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September 17, 1991 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-17

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 17,1991
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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

V. . -

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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TEEK
September 16, 1991: Back at school. Still no girl, and
remarkably, my GPA didn't go up over the summer.
-
No more wasting my time at mindless parties and on
cheap dates. This year I'm transforming myself into
a man of knowledge and letters-a man of great
internal strength...
- - -- --
--O
-0

By Thomas Keenan
This year's going to be different, though. I'm going
to live life on a higher spiritual plane. I'm going to
read more philosophy...more Charles Dickens.
Q
0
Yeah, right...when monkeys
fly out of my butt...
O

MSA budget

Assembly should not cut Ann Arbor Tenants' Union

The Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) will
begin consideration of its 1991-92 internal
budget tonight amid an intense debate over the role
of the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union (AATU), which
is funded through the assembly.
MSA President James Green and his executive
officers have criticized some AATU activities and
its historical lack of financial accountability, and
have proposed a 46 percent cut in the union's
allocation.
As legitimate as those criticisms may be, we at
the Daily are convinced that such a harsh reduction
in the AATU budget is not the answer, and that
Green and his cohorts have opted forshort-sighted,
reactionary policy overreasonable response.
The AATU undeniably performs a valuable
student service. Through lobbying and counseling,
the tenants'union seeks to keep rent affordable for
student tenants, and to ensure the protection of
their rights. In the past, the AATU has sponsored
laws that require landlords to properly weatherize
houses and that protect tenants from unjust evic-
tions. It also publishes How to Evict Your Land-
lord, a guide to tenant/landlord relationships.
Green's criticisms of the AATU, though, stem
from its alleged involvement in the now-defunct
"Recall Gov. Engler" campaign and the fact that it
has operated for sonie time without an accountant

or a board of directors.
Indeed, he may have a point. It is certainly
questionable whether an organization whose mis-
sion is to protect tenants' rights should be involved
in issues that have nothing to do with tenants. And
any organization that receives studentmoney should
be accountable for its use of that money. The
AATU sorely needs a board of directors and an
accountant to deal with these problems.
But the proposed cut in the union's budget just
doesn't make good sense.
The problem withtheAATU is not that ithas too
much money; it's that there has been no record of
how its money is spent, and that it has had no board
to monitor its activities. Slashing its financial
support will merely cripple the tenants' union; it
will not necessarily make it more responsible.
MSA should take the proper steps to ensure that
the AATU operates under a board of directors and
that an accountant thoroughly monitors its finances.
If, after a year, these measures do not adequately
address the union's problems, a funding reduction
may be necessary...
But Green and his executive officers have over-
reacted, and offered a knee-jerk response to the
AATU's inefficiencies. The rest of the assembly
should recognize this, and offer a fairer, more
constructive solution.

0

A2 not
the suburbs

A 2Police
Citizens, students need review board

rompted by the decision by Ann Arbor Police to
use chemical Mace to disseminate a Black
Greek Association party in South Quad last spring,
the Concerned Students group began pushing the
Ann Arbor City Council to establish a means for
the community to monitor police actions. The
group worked with city officials to propose a
citizen review board comprised of students, resi-
dents and a liaison from the City Council to handle
complaints.
Last Friday's tear gas incident on South Univer-
sity and the increased aggressiveness with which
police have confronted students this fall demand
that this proposal be considered once again.
The review board would have served as an
independent check on police behavior in the
community. It would have scrutinized police re-
ports, investigated citizen complaints, and for-
warded its findings to the City Council for action.'
But since Concerned Students first approached
city administrators with the idea of the review
board, all the city officials who worked on the
program -- Mayor Gerald Jernigan, Police Chief
ill Hooverand CityAdministrator Donald Mason
- - have been replaced and the idea has been
abandoned.
Recent police actions suggest that we revisit the
proposal.
Last Friday's gassing incident on South Univer-
Congression

sity has incited anger and resentment in many who
consider the police action unnecessary and dan-
gerous. Observers also complained that police
struck random individuals with billy clubs and
sprayed Mace at people who approached them.
And while much of this may be rumor, it certainly
warrants investigation.
. Additionally, many students - and especially
those in the Greek system - have noticed a
marked increase in police presence and action on
and around campus this fall.
When members of the community feel the po-
lice have harmfully ventured beyond justifiable
activity, they need a foruminwhichto express their
concerns. Police are not above the law and should
be held accountable for their actions. That ac-
countability must be to the community they purport
to protect and serve.
Already, a citizen review board has been es-
tablished for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's'
Department, and numerous other municipalities.
across the country are considering similar oversight
bodies.
Regardless of whether students or Ann Arbor
residents agree with previous or present police
behavior, they deserve the right to review the
actions of public servants. It is hightime they were
granted that right with respect to the police de-
partment.
al travel

To the Daily:
Ann Arbor is not a typical
suburb where the middle- to old-
aged portion of the population can
enjoy a quiet, sterile, numb and
isolated life. Choosing to live in
Ann Arbor, is a rewarding
experience, where entertainment
and intellectual stimulation can
practically be delivered to your
front door.
The obvious compromise that
must be made in choosing to live
here is that you must be willing to
interact with the community
instead of trying to block them
out, The community constantly
challenges the individual intellec
tually and physically. Luxury, the
driving force of suburban tran-
quility is noticeably repressed in
an academic environment. Instead
of letting the world happen to
them, intellectuals are driven to
make the world happen.
Noise, music, sexuality and
substance use are signs of inquiry,
of unrest. Ann Arbor is not
Bloomfield Hills, Long Island,
Evanston or Shaker Heights; it is
not content with quiet isolated
existence. What a shame that
some of the same people that
accuse today's youth of apathy
are so disturbed by our coming
together and celebrating our
existence.
We live in a complex time
with many confused values, but
for some reason, students of every
background and/or ideology like
to, at least once in a while,
explode their senses with music,
substances and crowds.
No. Ann Arbor is not a
suburb; it is not old. For all the
tradition, it remains young and is
replenished every year to deny
maturity. How long will it take for
lawmakers and my neighbors to
realize that youth is good, and
must have a place to flourish. If a
college campus is too noisy for
you, then don't live by one. This
may sound naive, but think of it
this way.
If you hated the water, why

would you pay an extra premium
on the land to live by the sea, and
then try to build a landfill so you
could deny the sea's-existence?
Michael Bonanno
LSA senior
IFC out of
line on BYOB
To the Daily:
The IFC Executive Board is
way out of line proposing BYOB
parties without consulting the
member fraternities.
The IFC is killing the frater-
nity system. The executives
continue to come up with propos-
als which restrict the fraternities
and make everyone involved
unhappy'(i.e., dry rush and
banning open parties). The
Michigan Greek system has a
unique opportunity in that the
school cannot control us, there-
fore we can control ourselves.
The fact that we are restricting
ourselves is ludicrous.
If a fraternity wants to have a
party. and take all the liability
risks that go with it, then so be it;
that is for the chapter and the
national to deal with, not IFC.
IFC is not liable for anything,
thus there are no good reasons to
restrict the member chapters. We
are all grown-ups and can take
care of ourselves; we don't need
IFC President Matt Comers
telling us what we can and can't
do in our own houses.
I urge every fraternity member
to stop sitting back and saying
these things are inevitable,
because they are not.
If a specific fraternity house is.
already having BYOB then fine,
but that doesn't mean everyone
should have to do it. There should
be no more discussion of this
topic, because if it comes to a
vote, many nationals will force
the chapters to vote in favor of a
BYOB proposal even though the
chapter does not want it.
The executive board pushes
these issues to a vote because it
knows this. That is exactly what
happened with dry rush and open

parties, and it will happen here if
it is not stopped early on.
Michael Schmeltzer
LSA senior
Thomas a
good nominee
To the Daily:
I cannot believe it. After 10
weeks of bleeding-heart liberal
Democrats criticizing Judge
Clarence Thomas' nomination to
the Supreme Court, I was all set
to finally get down to business on
Tuesday (Sept. 10) and watch the.
confirmation hearing on televi-
sion.
Alas, even on the very day
soon-to-be-justice Thomas was to
begin his successful testimony,
the Daily had to print yet another
unfounded opposition to Thomas'
nomination.
I fail to see why so many
people object to this man. He
obviously has all of the necessary
qualifications to become a terrific
justice on our highest court. He
has served in some higher-level
government position since the
mid-70s, when he began work for
Sen. John Danforth (R-Missouri).
He is skilled in the law
process, with a Yale law degree.
The man has obviously come
under undue scrutiny from the
media of this country, whose
ranks are made up mostly of
liberals.
I, myself, was especially put
off by claims that President Bush
was out of line by nominating a.
conservative to a seat that was
held for so long by a liberal. What
did we really expect? That Bush
would nominate someone of a
different political persuasion? Get
real!
I look forward to the day when
Justice Thomas takes his seat on
the Supreme Court of this great
land.
James Long
Engineering
first-year student.

'0

Representatives must be held accountable for possible abuses

A report released last week by Public Citizen
a congressional watchdog group - cited five
'iembers of the Michigan House of Representa-
tives as the most frequent travelers for special
ipterests. Representatives Guy Vanderjagt (R-
Cadillac), Bob Carr(D-EastLansing), David Bonior
(D-Mt. Clemens), Robert Davis (R-Gaylord,)
Dennis Hertel (D-Detroit), William Broomfield
(R-Birmingham) and William Ford (D-Taylor) each
averaged 19 trips sponsored by special-interest
groups in 1989 and 1990, more than doubling the
national average of nine trips for members of
congress.
Three U.S. Representatives from Michigan also
lead the nation in trips abroad - all paid for at
taxpayers expense. Representative Vanderjagtmade
the list for both domestic trips and trips abroad,
while Rep. Carr lead Michigan members of Con-
tress with 28 privately funded trips.
' Certainly, some of these trips served legitimate
purposes. Inter-state travel allows representatives
the opportunity to attend conferences and observe
experimental programs in other states. But through
excessive travel, some representatives - in addi-
tion to robbing their constituents of their time -
are receiving frequentvacations, and special interest
groups are often flipping the bill.
By providing expenses paid trips and substan-
tial honoraria fees to speakers, PACs and special
interest groups are able to augment their already

substantial influence on legislators. This type of
influence-peddling must be stopped. Public offi-
cials must be held responsible for drawing the line
between public benefit and private gain from their
travel.
Frequent travel by legislators may be perfectly
legal at no significant cost to the public. Rep. Carr,
for example, may find reasons that "legitimize" his
trips to Palm Beach and Hilton Head. Joan
Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, called these
trips lobbyist-funded vacations and legalized
bribery. Precisely because of the private funding of
these trips; they will necessarily affect his ability to
vote impartially.
Perhaps the greatest harm that comes from this
sort of behavior is the loss of public accountability.
Even though blatant or scandalous violations of
law may not occur, the rise of special-interest
influence and the decline in accountability in
congress has caused the public to develop a cyni-
cal, helpless attitude towards their representatives.
Officials are obviously lacking the personal
integrity needed to clean up their own act. This is
precisely why voters cannot allow such violations
of the public trust to be taken lightly, and should
demand reform. Nor should they cynically accept
muddled explanations from WashingtonorLansing
as these issues get swept under the rug.
The public deserves accountability from its
representatives at all levels.

*I

Celebrate the Bill of Rights

This fall, civil liberties organi-
zations across the nation will
proudly celebrate the bicentennial
of the ratification of the Bill of
Rights. To contribute to this cel-
ebration,
The Michi- MICHIGAN DAILY
gan Daily CELEBRATES,
will run a
bi-weekly.
column on P
the Opinion
page de-
voted to
civil liber- by
ties issues.
Freedom of Katie
the press, Sanders
the affectof
the Bill of
Rights on women, racial minori-
ties, gay men and lesbians, gun con-
trol, police activity, and campus
speech, are all issues we plan to
fi .t4ra fi

student awareness of the unique and
fundamental role the Bill of Rights
plays in American life, as well as
the critical need to protect our con-
stitutional freedoms. This is espe-
cially relevant at a time when the
responsibility of citizens, rather than
the courts, to defend ourselves
against governmental encroachment
on our individual rights is increas-
ingly pressing.
In recent years, federal courts,
including the U.S. Supreme Court,
have shown less willingness to de-
fend constitutional freedoms and
have even eroded certain individual
rights most Americans had begun
to take for granted.
Slavery was abolished by the
13th Amendment in 1863,but rac-
ism in 1991 still compels Black
Americans to fight for true equality.
Women won the right to vote
with the 19th Amendment in 1920,

on a national level. The struggle to
achieve equality for all groups in
our diverse society is endless.
Throughout our history, the
struggle to realize the freedoms
proclaimed by the Bill of Rights has
shaped our culture, and the docu-
ment continues to serve as a model
for many nations.
It is sadly ironic that at a time
when every American should be
celebrating their rights as estab-
lished in the Constitution, these
precious freedoms are diminishing
virtually every day.
The campus chapter of the
American Civil Liberties Union is
devoted to capitalizing ontheunique
role students can play in raising
awareness in fellow students of our.
constitutional freedoms, as well as
involving ourselves in community
activities that promote this goal.
This fall, the ACLU will con-

0

Nuts and Bolts

by Judd Winick

S OME HEM' OAER HEREi

M SRR-Y WE'REN

0tF YU STRIP SEARCH4
M~'E FRwEA1ON5,TEN
CAI GET 50HE ERVCE.

~'WFLL GcO, T,

0

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