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October 08, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-08

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Page 4--The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, October 8, 199=1
.br£rbt au1 ,rj

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

I 7^.I

. 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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Police draw guns unnecessarily
S n Thursday, in what is becoming the norm on
our campus, University and Ann Arbor police
drew their guns on a fleeing, unarmed suspect and
chased him to the Diag. They then frisked him,
instructed him to stand against a tree, questioned.
him, and finally arrested him on charges involving
an altercation in front of the First Congressional
Church on State Street.
But they didn't stop there.
After hearing that a companion of the suspect
was a Black woman, the police proceeded to ques-
tion random Black females in the vicinity of the
Diag.
The officers attempted to bring one woman to
the police station for questioning. The woman
refused to go and the police did not persist.
Suspecting that another woman had a gun, the
police searched her purse without a warrant and
without probable cause, other than the fact that she
was the same race as the suspect.
According to witnesses, the police were angry
that they had arfived too late to make substantial
arrests. It seemed that they resorted to discriinina-
tory tactics simply because they were unable to
conduct an effective investigation due to their
tardiness. In the words of one women, "They just
wanted to see some heat on somebody." It is
unacceptable for the police to resort to discrimina-
tory tactics in order to compensate for their inepti- .
tude.
Drawing their guns whenever officers deem it
convenient is a direct violation of University po-
lice procedure. Students were told last fall when

again, harass students
the University police force was formed, that they
would not draw their guns unless students' lives
were in danger. They were also told that University
officers would be trained to be more "racially
sensitive" than the ordinary police.
Last Thursday's police actions were damaging
to the credibility of the community .police. In
addition, the credibility of the University admin-
istration, which assured students that incidents
such as these would not occur, has been harmed.
The recent activity of the local police is an
unmistakable violation of police authority and
citizen rights. The pattern being set by the police
this year is clearly one of misjudgment and racial
insensitivity.
This latest incident is only one in a series of
questionable police actions that will probably go
without investigation. Instead, it will be written off
as, "all in a days work."
We are systematically losing our rights as a
result of brazen and often illegal law enforcement.
Day by day, the police extend their authority into
the realm of personal freedom and the right to
privacy, without any oversight or accountability to
check them. But students must not allow this to
happen.
Students must organize to oppose such blatant
infringements on their freedoms. Concerned stu-
dents must pool their resources and assert their
frustrations with overzealous and dangerous police
tactics. Only in this way will the new "muscle"
tactics of law enforcement officers be curbed.
Where is the SRC?

01

Term limitations

Voters should find a better way
opular discontent with Congress, always a con-
1 cern in American political culture, has been
highlighted in recent years by a growing anti-
incumbent sentiment. Angry citizens in some states
have vented their frustrations by approving or
pushing state initiatives on term limitations -for
members of Congress. Not only are such moves
probably unconstitutional; they would also only
make the situation worse. Term limitations would
actually complicate the legislative process more
than they would streamline it, and would ironically
weaken the electorate's already limited power over
the decisions of public officials.
The constitutional provision for unlimited re-
election to both houses of Congress gives voters a
sanction over the actions of their representatives.
Without the fear of being thrown out of office,
legislators would feel no obligation to represent
eitherthe interest orithe will of their constituencies.
Although the current plans in Colorado, Cali-
foria, and Washington do allow formultiple House
and Senate terms, they would still weaken the
sanction ofreelection. Members of Congress would
not take constituency opinion into account on
decisions for which they may be taken to task later
on in their careers, because the limitations rule out
the possibility of such an indefinite tenure. Also,
the tendency for representatives to cultivate close
relations with certain groups of constituents to
ensure reelection would become meaningless un-
der term limitations.
Haiti
U.S. should use diplomatic, not
Haiti is quiet now, as the citizens seem to be
supporting a general strike to oppose the coup
by General Raoul Cedras. Ousted President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide has been reassured by President
Bush that the United States is opposed to the new
leadership and wants Aristide returned to power.
While Bush did not rule out eventual military
intervention, he froze Haitian assets in the United
States, and moved United States forces into
Guantanamo Bay.
The support for Aristide is necessary. He was
the first democratically elected president in Haiti.
This was a step for this country, so used to the
controlling force of the military.
Now, it seems that some people in the military
are not so eager to give up the idea of controlling
the country. A step backwards like this cannot be
permitted; it endangers Haiti's trek toward de-
mocracy. Aristide must be restored to his right-
ful position as Haiti's president.
Nuts and Bolts
LOMU5AN D NAT5ONGO fL 5 AMeRICNA JAM RI AN
HLNTIN.
15 - AM~RmCA~4'NI

to check elected officials
This loss of a long-term perspective would also
affect Congress' institutional workings. With the
knowledge that they won't be staying around for
long, legislators would have no reason or desire to
uphold the Congressional norms of specialization
and institutional respect, because they would only
want to use the body as an avenue to publicize their
own selfish agendas. If voters find the current
system slothful and paralyzed by partisanship,
they would be enraged by the ineffectiveness of a
legislature that lacked basic operational norms and
reflected only the personal interests of its members.
The U.S. Congress is without a doubt in the
midst of a crisis, but rather than weaken the
electorate's power, term-imitation groups should
work to expand it by pushing for an overhaul of the
country's voter registration system. Reform of
campaign finance laws.and limiting members' free
mail privileges would do much more to break the
incumbent advantage than limiting terms.
Congress.must also deal with other problems,
such as making further changes in its seniority
system.
Representatives must work harder to pay at-.
tention to the preferences.of their constituents, but
term limitations will give them less of an incentive
to do so, not more. If voters want to retain their
limited influence over the actions and workings of
Congress, they should work to make the system
more accountable, and not engage in this act of
popular abdication.
military pressure
Sanctions are the best first step. Freezing assets
in the United States will send a message to the
military junta in Haiti that their actions will not be
tolerated. Further sanctions by other nations will
increase the effect, while at the same time, cutting
available money for an already-poor nation, the
poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
However, this cannot be allowed to turn into
another multi-national military action like in the
Gulf. This is not a time for "Operation Tropical
Storm." It was a terrible move to bringU.S. forces
into Guantanamo Bay. They are not necessary and
will bring nothing other than direct confrontation.
Aristide is quite right as he now speaks of using
diplomatic ai d economic pressure rather than.
militar intervention in Haiti.
Bush should listen to him, and not exacerbate a
situation by simply attempting to play the bully,
and use his Big Stick in a situation that doesn't
warrant it.

Open 'U'
family housing
To the Daily:
We are writing to express our
unhappiness with the events that
have transpired involving the
proposal to change Family
Student.Housing (FSH) policy to
include gay and lesbian couples
and families.
We have lived in FSH for five
years, during which time we have
enjoyed the cultural and ethnic.
diversities of the residents. For.
the majority of FSH residents,
living with and learnig about
people with lifestyles different
from our own is an-enriching
experience.
Recently, the University's
Board of Regents decided to
maintain the status quo and
continue to exclude gay and
lesbian couples/families from
FSH. To exclude couples/families
based on their sexual orientation
is no less bigoted.than excluding
families because of their color or
faith.
What is important in maintain-
ing or achieving a healthy, safe,
and peaceful existence with
neighbors (be it a next-door
neighbor or a neighboring
country) is to respect their
individual choices. We should be'
judging people, and teaching our
children to judge people, by how
they act or interact with their .
fellow man, not by what they do
in the privacy of their bedrooms.
Sexuality, be it hetero- or homo-
sexuality, is a private manner; as
such, it should not, and cannot be
discriminated against.
Particularly disturbing to us
was the manner in which the
regents dealt with this issue.
Despite the fact that no formal
proposal had been put forward,
the regents took preemptive.
action and voted not to discuss or
hear public opinions on this
matter.. Not only did the regents'
actions preclude many FSH

residents and other interested
parties from expressing their
views, they clearly were contrary
to the University's professed
stance of being a non-discrimina-
tory institution.
It is our hope that the regents
will reconsider their decision and
open this discussion to all
interested parties.
David Bronstein
and Carla Fenson
FSH residents
Get in step!
To the Daily:
For the first time since I have -
attended the University of
Michigan, and now that I have
graduated, I find myself com-
pletely and wholeheartedly
agreeing with the Daily's edito-
rial, "Unfair housing: Policies
discriminate against homosexu-
als," (Daily, Sept. 26, 1991).
It is high time that the Univer-
sity, in this day and age of
supposed enlightenment and
diversity, accept the fact that gay
men and lesbians exist, attend this
school, are thriving and produc-.
tive members of society and
deserve the rights that are denied
to them'solely based on their
sexual orientation.
Homosexuals have no choice
as to their sexual orientation; that
is how they are born. Their only
choice is whether or not to "come
out" and accept themselves for
who they are, despite the igno-
rance and intolerance of our
society.
The University should be
ashamed to perpetuate the
discrimination of homosexuals.
Gay men and lesbians should
have every, right to pursue their
own relationships. The City of
Ann Arbor has recognized
domestic partnership - now it is
time for the University to do-the
same. Gay and lesbian couples
should have the right to- enjoy

their relationships; and if that
means that they want to marry or
live as domestic partners, they
should. The University has no
right to enforce outdated and
discriminatory rules on individu-
als' rights to privacy. If two '
people are in a relationship in
which they are in effect married
(despite the fact that they can't
because of outdated laws), then
the University should allow them
to have married housing rights.
Let's get with the times
Michigan! Today, even progres-
sive new shows, like Roc on the
Fox Television Network are
showing that gays do get married.
This past Sunday night, it showed
an African-American man
marrying a white man in his own
brother's home. And they dealt
with it!
So, President Duderstadt and
the regents should get with it.and
just deal with it. Homosexuals are
among, us. They are real. And
they deserve to be treated with
respect, dignity, and their basic .
human rights to be themselves!
Joel Davidson
University graduate
The Daily encourages
reader responses. Letters
should be 150 words or
less and include the
author's name, year in
school and phone number.
They should be mailed to:
The Michigan Daily, 420
Maynard 48109. or they
can be sent via MTS to:
The Michigan Daily
Letters to the Editor. The -
Daily does not alter the
content of letters, but does.
reserve the right to edit for
style and space consider-
ations. If you have ques-
tions or comments, you
should call Stephen
Henderson at 764-0552.

01

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Welfare cuts unfairly. inch po, or

by Geoff Earle
and Jay Mazumdar
In his attempt to cut the state
budget, Gov. John Engler.
eliminated welfare benefits for
some 80,000 Michigan residents.
For these struggling adults, the
checks stopped coming last
Tuesday. Engler' s move marks
Michigan's realization of a.
Snation-wide trend to fight the
recession at the expense of the
working class.
By cutting these benefits, the
state of Michigan will save $240
million. In addition, the State
House and Senate cut $260
million more from.Michigan's
already ailing social programs,
helping Engler decrease state
spending. Engler's logic is to
eliminate welfare dependency by
forcing able-bodied workers into,
the job market - and, unfortu-
nately, into the streets.
Michigan isn't the only state
to consider such detrimental
policies. President Bush has
promised to veto the bill passed
by Congress to extend unemploy-
ment benefits. At least six other

responsibilities.
The reasoning behind these
cuts is twofold. The state and the
-nation are currently in an eco-
nomic recession. President Bush
and Engler hope to lift the United
States and Michigan, respectively,
out of the current economic slump*

current economic situation keeps
even college-educated people
: from finding work. Many of these
400,000 are old, handicapped,
uneducated, or untrained - all of
whom require the services of the
state.
.The belief that budget balanc-

Michigan isn't the only state to consider such
detrimental policies. President Bush has
promised to veto the bill passed by Congress
to extend unemployment benefits.

by slashing areas of the budget,
which the Republican administra-
tions deem expendable. In
addition, Engler hopes to remedy
the state's dire economic situation.
by balancing the budget better.
By cutting welfare benefits to
working-class adults, many of.
them single, Engler is punishing
the people already suffering the
most from the recession. While
the middle-class merely tightens
its belt during times of recession,
the unemployed worry about
where their next meal will come
from, or buying sweaters for
w~inter- Encrler"s molve kicks the~

ing is of more importance than the
perpetuation of needed social
programs is ludicrous. While
large deficits are certainly causes
for concern,-the government
cannot shut down just to save
money. The responsibilities of the
Michigan State government
include providing the support the
poor need to find work, food,
clothing and shelter. Refusing to
provide these services, to save
money, runs counter the
government's responsibility.
Engler's move is one of
callousness, cruelty, and clearly 4
lacking' in compassion.Tf Engr~t

01

'~Go't iE U(.) 'AE
O U MP! P C-K, GO Po wN TO O HF N N I LM'A G N rw M

by Judd Winick
M r

S

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