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September 11, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, September 11, 1991
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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

ANDREW K. GOTTESMAN
Editor in Chief
STEPHEN HENDERSON
Opinion Editor

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Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

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Iran-Contra
American people should sustain
F ive years after the Reagan administration's
arms-for-hostages deals were uncovered, many
may be wondering why the celebrated Iran-Contra
controversyisn't dead and buried. But because of
the recent indictment of CIA deputy director Claire
George, the scandal has once again been brought to
the forefront. George's indictment not only helps
satisfy the demands of justice, but reminds the
American people that the wall of deceit surround-
ing President Reagan's policies must still be torn
down.
Any blame for the lack of real investigative
breakthroughs should not be directed toward the
independent special prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh.
Walsh has been struggling under the most frustrat-
ing working conditions: President Reagan doesn't
remember, the CIA continues to ignore requests
for documentation, the Justice Department ignores
the prosecution's need for resources, and, worst of
all, the American people have demonstrated a total
lack of interest in Walsh's investigation.
Just as in 1986, the general consensus today
seems to be that the Iran-Contra fiasco was actu-
ally about a few well-meaning patriots trying to do
what they could for the stars and stripes. But it
should be clear by now that Ollie North, John
Poindexter, and the rest of the gang were criminals
first and patriots only occasionally.
Had Walsh's independentprosecution originally
been offered the support necessary to unearth the
criminal activities of the CIA and the administra-

calls for full investigation
tion, this would have been apparent long ago.
Instead --with new revelations coming out almost
daily implicating everyone from Bush's CIA-chief
nominee Robert Gates to Bush himself -the Iran-
Contra scandal grows increasingly complex .
Revelations concerning the October Surprise
- the possibility that George Bush cut a deal with
Iran to delay the release of the hostages - involve
much of the same cast currently playing lead roles
in Iran-Contra. But as Rep. Bob Michaels (R-Il )
stated sadly, yet correctly, the people back home
don't give two hoots about the Reagan Adminis-
trations activities - even when they involve po-
tential treason.
Nonetheless, the sheer magnitude of the cor
ruption involving the CIA, and the Reagan and
Bush administrations is potentially enough to
overwhelm the strongest apathy. Though President
Bush - basking in his 70 percent approval ratings
- keeps wishing Iran-Contra out of existence, it
will keep coming back to haunt him until the truth
finally emerges.
The American people can help that truth to
come forth - and help the independent prosecu-
tion gain ground - by waking up now to the
dangers that a secret team of underground diplo
mats and intelligence officers pose to any true
democracy.
It won't matter what Walsh exposes if the citi
zens he is pledged to protect are unwilling to act on
his evidence.

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enroIlment
Academic decisions should not be made in Lansing

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T hreatened with state funding cuts, the Univer-
sity agreed in 1987 to comply with a state
proposal limiting the number of out of state stu-
dents at Michigan to 30 percent. Now, four years
later, the Senate and House higher education sub-
committee will again discuss whether to keep
these percentages in place. Such meddling in the
University's academic affairs constitutes an un-
warranted - and uninformed-extension of state
authority over University affairs.
At issue in the debate over enrollment caps is
the University's commitment to serve in-state stu-
dents while maintaining its international reputa-
tion as a first-rate University. As a state school,
Michigan must continue to serve the in-state stu-
dents who pay taxes here. But the University must
adso make efforts to enroll a diverse student body
that includes students from around the nation and
tihe world.
How Michigan chooses to pursue these goals is
up to the University - and specifically to its
Office of Admissions and to the Board of Regents.
The University community as a whole must en-
gage the complicated issues surrounding diversity
- such as curricular reform, affirmative action,
acid the proportion of in-state students - every
single day.
On the other hand, no matter how well-
intentioned the bureaucrats in Lansing may be,
they spend little time on University affairs - and
usually know even less. While it is their respon-

sibility to provide quality education forMichigan's
residents by properly funding its universities, it is
not and cannot be their job to legislate how these
universities are run.
Moreover, it is especially outrageous for the
state to consider increasing its influence over
University affairs while simultaneously cutting its
funds. Gov. John Engler, Speaker of the House of
Representatives Louis Dodak, and the rest of the
Lansing gang ought to be rectifying their own
mismanaged budget and petty squabbles rathei
than micro-managing the Fleming Building.
This is especially true when it comes to an issue
as complicated as enrollment percentages. When
balanced effectively, all students benefit from the
current 70-30 system. But there are numerous
complicating factors. Some educators, for example,
feel that increasing in-state enrollment in Ann
Arbor could siphon the best students out of other
state schools. Others wonder how the state's
changing demographics - which clearly demon-
strate a marked decline in the number of college-
age Michiganders - will affect the 70-30 policy.
These issues - and others involving minority
enrollment and the respective monies brought in
by in-staters and out-of-staters - complicate
matters further.
With so much involved, Lansing should leave
the University alone and mind its own mess -
which should be more than enough to keep the
politicians there busy.

Students beware
To the Daily:
Students should be advised
that robotically-eager young men
keep phoning me trying to pitch a
credit card, allegedly on behalf of
the University of Michigan
Alumni Association. Including
today's two calls, I have been
solicited at least five times by
mail and phone by paid agents
extolling the benefits of some new
Visa credit card with a nostalgic
campus scene embedded in its
plastic face. Thank god they have
not yet discovered MTS!
Although some day I hope to
be a rich, loyal and sentimental
alum, at the moment I am none of
the above.
If names can get on lists,
surely technology also allows
them to be removed. And I want
mine taken off!
Marsha Ackermann
G EO is
willing to talk
To the Daily:
I was surprised to read in the
Daily article about the GEO

contract negotiations ("GEO
members brace for possible fall
strike," Sept. 5, 1991) that
"neither side says it will change
its position."
That implies that both sides
have said they will NOT change
their positions, which would make
further negotiations pointless. But
as a member of the GEO bargain-
ing team, I can tell you that in
meditation we have offered to
move quite a long distance from
our official tablepositions inothe
hope of reaching a compromise.
If it is true that Mr. Owsley
has said the administration's
current bargaining position will
not change, I sincerely hope he is
wrong, because that would mean
our upcoming mediation session
would be a waste of time, and the
administration would be bargain-
ing in bad faith.
As for the GEO bargainers, we
are quite willing to change our
current positions if there is some
kind of reciprocation from the
other side.
Alan Zundel
member,
GEO bargaining team

The Daily encour-
ages responses from
its readers. Letters
should be 150 words
or less and include
the author's name,
year in school and
phone number. They
can be mailed to:
The- Michigan Daily,
420 Maynard, Ann
Arbor 48109. Or
they can be sent via
MTS to: The Michi-
gan Daily Letters to
the Editor. The Daily
does not alter the
content of letters, but
reserves the right to
edit for style and
space consider-
ations. If you have
questions or com-
ments, you should
call Stephen
Henderson at 764-
0552.

.

4

Cracker Barrel
Chain discriminates against gays and lesbians

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Administration stonewalling GEO

he ,construction of a Cracker Barrel restaurant
in nearby Belleville, Michigan is no cause for
cheers - even if you're a fan of their Southern-
style cooking: The chain's national management
issued a directive late last year which read: "Cracker
Barrel is founded upon a concept of traditional
American values ... it is inconsistent with our
concept and values, and is perceived to be incon-
sistent with those of our customerbase, to continue
to employ individuals in our operating units whose
sexual preferences fail to demonstrate normal het-
erosexual values which have been the foundation
of families in our society."
Twelve gay employees who were fired as a
direct result of this memo have already stepped
forward in protest. Opponents of discrimination
from across the country have held demonstrations
to protest this anti-lesbian and gay purge.
The campaign against the restaurant - which
is now heating up here in Michigan - deserves

support.
If such a flagrantly bigoted employer is not
vigorously opposed, other companies will have a
green light to carry out similar discriminatory
policies. This affects not only the rights of lesbians
and gay men, but could also threaten the rights of
women and minorities.
Federal laws to combat discrimination against
lesbians and gay men would be one way of provid-
ing at least minmal protection against polices like
those at Cracker Barrel. But until such laws exist
and are strong enough to fulfill their purpose,
companies like Cracker Barrell must be fought
through publcity campaigns and boycotts.
So, however much you might enjoy fried okra
and grits, satisfy your craving elsewhere. Better
yet, write Cracker Barrel yourself and let them
know that you will not tolerate the existence of
such an outmoded policy on the threshold of the
21st century.

by Tom Oko
For the 1,600 Graduate
Student Teaching Assistants and
Staff Assistants represented by
the Graduate Employees Organi-
zation (GEO), this autumn may
prove to be anything but usual.
TAs have been working without a
contract for 154 days and, before
they can put their energy into
teaching classes or fulfilling the
requirements for their own
degrees, they must confront a
University administration that has
shown little willingness to offer
anything substantial at the
bargaining table.
While it is true that GEO and
the administration have failed to
reach an agreement over salary
increases, TAs are more con-
cerned with the administration's
refusal to discuss issues which
will have a direct impact on the
quality of a Michigan education.
President Duderstadt and
company have attempted to run
the University like a business, but
they have failed to recognize that
the educational mission of the

years, while maintaining smaller
departmental limits. Over the past
several years the administration
has attempted to balance the
University budget by increasing
class sizes and cutting the number
of TAs.
TAs and their students are

compensated.
The administration is also
demanding changes to the current
contract language regarding
arbitration. Instead of having TAs
complete a semester and then
filing for compensation for
services rendered, the administra-

Two of the GEO's most important proposals
- class size limits and payment for services
rendered - directly respond to the crisis
created by the Administration's short-sighted
fiscal policies.

well aware that smaller class sizes
mean a TA can provide more
individual attention to each
student, whether during class and
office hours or in grading papers
and exams. However, the admin-
istration argued that the GEO
proposal interfered with their
"management prerogative" and
their counterproposal was to have
a committee study the impact of
large class sizes on the quality of
education at the University.

tion wants TAs to notify their
department chairs upon realiza-
tion that they are working beyond
their appointed fractions.
The aninw. aLration's dealings
with C(;. :tthe beginning
of w. ,y fldi e planned for all
sluliZ ins at the University. As
another sign of the
administration's disregard for
quality education, the Rackham
School of Graduate Studies
recently made it more difficult for

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