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October 21, 1991 - Image 4

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, October 21, 1991

20 Maynard Street
Arbor, Michigan 48109 ANDREW GOTTESMA
747-2814 Editor in Chief

4
Ann

N

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

STEPHEN HENDERSON
Opinion Editor

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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Sigma Kappa
City should allow sorority to renovate its house

T n September, Sigma Kappa Sorority sought
1 approval for an expansion of its house at 725
Oxford. The sorority was forced to gain the city's
acceptance of the plan because of an ordinance the
city passed in 1976 regulating group housing for
students.
Despite the fact that Sigma Kappa met all of the
zoning requirements, the city planning commission
denied the request. The planning commission voted
unanimously against the sorority because of con-
cerns voiced by neighbors who live in near-by
single family dwellings.
The decision by the planning commission to
deny the renovation plans was unfair. The pro-
ceedings entailed a short presentation of the plan
by the sorority's nationalorganization and executive
board and was then followed by a seemingly endless
lobbying session by virtually every neighbor who
lives in the vicinity of Sigma Kappa.
By the end of the session, it became obvious
that the planning commission was more concerned
with the political ramifications of its decision on
future elections than in the fundamental fairness of
the decision that it eventually rendered. The city
completely neglected to recognize the fact that
Ann Arbor is a college town which naturally in-
volves "mixed" housing of students and permanent
residents.
The planning commission's vote represents a
setback for all students who wish to live together in

large groups. This is not the first time that the city
has actively opposed students' request to occupy
property that is rightfully theirs. This summer, Pi
Kappa Phi Fraternity was forced to sue the city
after the city planning commission denied the
fraternity use of their new house at 903 Lincoln.
It is clear that the City Council and the residents
of Ann Arbor are opposed to group housing for
students. Although the city has only used the
decade old zoning ordinance against greek orga-
nizations, students should not be fooled. The or-
dinance also applies and was originally intended
for cooperative housing.
Indeed, it is difficult to take seriously the
proposition that the city actually wants "mixed"
housing given recent decisions made by the plan-
ning commission.
Fortunately, Sigma Kappa has chosen to chal-
lenge the fairness of the zoning ordinance by filing
suit against the city on grounds of discrimination.
Lawyers for the sorority intend to argue that the
ordinance is unfair to students because it does not
apply to all forms of group housing, namely housing
occupied by adults.
Sigma Kappa has a strong case. Pi Kappa Phi
won a similar case against the city based on grounds
that the ordinance fosters sexual discrimination.As
students, we can only hope that Sigma Kappa is
equally successful so that our right to live in groups
is preserved.

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Hindus excluded
from WeVAMkend

0

Midnight Madness
Events had potential for greatness, but came up way short
Midnight Madness, an event that marks the booed off the court by the estimated 2,500 Wolver-
beginning of the NCAA men's basketball ine faithful. The lip-synching that followed was a
season, is celebrated religiously at a handful of chapter out of The Gong Show files that made the
Division I schools. This penultimate pep-rally was audience wish they were sitting through a four-
held at midnight Oct. 15, and marked the first time hour biology lab.
that the "madness" hit our University. . After three and a half hours of boredom, the
Imagine 10,000 screaming devotees packing Michigan Marching Band took the floor. The band
Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum, or a sell-out of woke the crowd up again, but only played for about
the Allen Field House at the University of Kansas 10 minutes. This was followed by a weak perfor-
as the thirst of the die-hard fans is quenched with mance of the cheerleaders and Wolverettes who
the very sight of their round-ball warriors. People lulled everyone right back to sleep.
go crazy and the team is energized with the stu- Finally, the team emerged from the tunnel. The
dents' enthusiasm. crowd cheered as the players were announced.
Although this is the scene at most participating However, this, too, was put to an end as coach
schools, the hysterics in AnnArbor were abit more Steve Fisher took the microphone. His inspiring
subdued. words were essentially: Tell your friends to buy
The festivities began with a potential spark plug season tickets because we still have 1,000 left from
- the Legends Game. But this jump start was the 4,000 available.
poorly planned and consequently ineffective. The The actual practice session and the team 3-point
players were neither contemporary nor legendary, shooting and dunk contest were great. The five
and were either out of shape or out of talent. Not new recruits - among the best in the country -
one of the participants had graduated within the were the favorites, and the "oohs" and "ahs" rang
last four years, and many were ex-football players clearly with each monster jam.
who never had stepped foot on the Michigan bas- At about 1 a.m., Midnight Madness was over,
ketball court. and most people were thankful. The evening lacked
This segment could have been great, but it "madness" because of a lack of both fan partici-
turned out to be a rousing flop. pation and quality entertainment. This poor attempt
Next came the comedian/karaoke contest. Al- reminded the students of two things- they had
though some of the singers did have excellent neglected a lot of homework, and they were a long
voices, the vast majority of the performers were way from Lexington or Lawrence.

To the Daily:
I am deeply disappointed
that the Weekend special
Religion Issuee(Weekend, Oct.
11, 1991) did not include a
section on Hindu philosophy.
Hindus are the third largest
religious/cultural group on
campus after Christians and
Jews, according to the Univer-
sity Office of Ethics and
Religion. In the United States,
there are between 700,000 and
1,000,000 Hindus.
In a way, it is good that
Hindus were not included in
this issue, because we do not
consider our philosophy and
culture to be a religion, in the
sense that the West uses the
word.
Hindus do not have one
sole authoritative text, one
spiritual founder or leader, or
religious hierarchy/organiza-
tion, and they do not follow a
belief simply because it is
preached. Beliefs are followed
only if they only if they make
sense and have a good pur-
pose.
Furthermore, Hindus do not
believe that there is one set of
beliefs that must be followed.
The beliefs of Hindus are a
result of thousands of years of
experiments by millions of
monks, ascetics, swamis,
gurus, rishis, and other great
souls. What Hindus follow

In a way, it is good
that Hindus were
not .included in this
issue, because we
do not consider our
philosophy and
culture to be a reli-
gion...
today is a result of answers
into questions such as: "What
is one's duty in life?" and
"What is the relation between
people and other forms of
life?" and "What is the true
nature of a living being?"
When the answers to these
questions were confirmed
over and over again through
the ages, they became
common beliefs among
Hindus.
Also, Hindus believe that
there are infinite paths to
reaching TRUTH (or reality,
or God, or realizing one's true
nature: all are equivalent
terms). Individuals, having
different personalities and
inclinations, will have varying
paths to the same Universal
TRUTH. Thus, nobody can
claim to be the sole authority
on philosophical and meta-
physical issues.
Because of this, Hindu
dharma, or way of life, is not
stagnant; it is continuously

evolving. Old texts are
superseded by newer texts,
outmoded ideas are replaced
and discarded, and new leaders
can receive as much, or
greater, respect as ancient
leaders.
In today's age, it is unfortu-
nate that some religions are
claiming a monopoly on
TRUTH and spending absurd
amounts of time claiming that
there is only one way to God,
or that simply believing in a
God with a different name
would mean everlasting
damnation.
Ancient seers from India,
thousands of years ago,
proclaimed the following:
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -
the whole world is one big
family Ekamam Sat Vipra
Bahudha Vadanti - Truth is
one, sages call it by various
names (Or God is one, names
are many).
If people realized this
today, we could concentrate on
helping each other rather than
worrying about what Godone
follows, or who will go to Hell.
After all, if there is a God
(or TRUTH), he, she or it will
be common to everyone.
Mihir Meghani
Overall coordinator
Hindu Students Council
LSA-inteflex sophomore

01

Elliot Abrams
Iran-Contra resolutions are welcome, but late in coming

E lliotAbrams has finally admitted his guilt. The
formerAssistant Secretary of State for Central
America for the Reagan Administration admitted
to lying underoath before two Congressional com-
mittees in October 1986. He lied to the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee about official U.S.
support for the Contras, and to the House Intelli-
gence Committee about funding for the anti-
Sandinista resistance.
Abrams is the first and only State Department
official to face criminal charges for the cover-up of
the Iran-Contra affair. Hejoins along list ofReagan
Administration employees to face investigations
or to plead guilty to charges relating to the scandal.
Lawrence Walsh, special prosecutor for the Iran-
Contra affair, has investigated Oliver North, John
Poindexter, Robert McFarlane, Albert Hakim,
Richard Secord, Carl Channel, Alan Fiers, and
several other officials for their involvement in the
affair.

Last July, Alan Fiers plead guilty in a plea
bargain that would help in the prosecution of other
key figures. Now that Fiers and Abrams have both
plead guilty to lesser offenses in similar plea bar-
gains, Walsh must ensure that Abrams holds up his
end of the bargain in order to convict higher-ups*
without merely giving Abrams a slap on the wrist.
The successful prosecution of Abrams con-
firmed what investigators had said foryears: Reagan
administration officials continually lied to Congress
in order to increase funding for the Contras. These
lies denied Congress its ability to check the ex-
ecutive branch when wrongdoing occurred.
Walsh achieved this victory after persevering
through long months of a seemingly fruitless in-
vestigation.
But many questions remain. A crowd of gov-
ernment bureaucrats, and perhaps top administra-
tion officials, still need to be brought to justice
before Iran-Contra can be resolved.

Bad band corner
To the Daily:
If the Daily can't write about
the Michigan Marching Band in a
positive manner, it shouldn't write
about them at all.
Asa four-year veteran of high
school marching band, a friend of
several of the band members, and
a resident of Brown Street (which
is two blocks away from the band
practice field), I am in a position
to know how much time and
energy the members of the band
put into their performances.
At the very least they deserve
our/your appreciation, not the
sarcasm and abuse so frequently
heaped upon them by the Daily.
Paul Levine
Engineering sophomore
Pulling punches
To the Daily:
Good arguments end with a
punch. But when throwirg the
final hook, a writer can some-
times miss the target. The "Gay
Soldiers" editorial in the Oct. 14
issue attempted to persuade us
that the U.S. military should
follow Canada's Defence Minis-
try in allowing homosexuals to
serve in the armed forces. The
opinion ended with, "If the
Mounties can do it, so can we."
But did the Mounties do it?
The Royal Canadian Mounted
Police does not come under the
Ministry of Defence, and is not
subject to policies of the Defence
Ministry. The RCMP is a national
police force reporting directly to
the solicitor General in the federal
cabinet. The Mounties have as
much to do with the Defence as
the FBI has to do with the
Marines.

he thinks students "really care"
about. But I would also, in the
interests of fairness, like to further
clarify the "derisive comments"
of the security guards that he
professes are so irrelevant.
For the guards he refers to
were not only making "derisive
comments," they were laughing
and joking about how they would
be able to gas and shoot students
when they were finally deputized
and given guns.
Kelly Goodman, a former
worker for the Department of
Public Safety and Security,
"cared" enough about these
threats to resign in protest: and
yet the administration, obviously
under no pressure from Green,
have yet to look into her allega-
tions.
Since the time these "derisive
comments" were made, DPS
officers have indeed gassed
students, and used their fire-arms
in circumstances that are impos-
sible to justify.
With this hindsight, it seems
all the more ludicrous that Green
could dismiss these "derisive
comments" as something no-one
cares about.
But perhaps that is a matter for
Green, and those who might
consider voting for him, and his
party, a second time to think
about. For my own part, I care a
great deal about what the new
armed security guards say,
whether it involves open threats to
student protestors, racial epithets
or homophobic remarks.
I care not only because they
are unacceptable in and of
themselves, but because they are
indicative of how security guards
deal with students on this campus.
Do students have to wait until
someone is shot before Green
"really cares?" I personally would

a certain Rackham student who is
apparently very confused.
According to Tracye
Matthews, in a statement in the
Oct. 14 article, "Group to protest
police at Diag rally," Christopher
Columbus is responsible for all
the problems in today's American
society, mainly racism.
From her statements, one
would think that Columbus
himself initiated slavery in
America - in that case, one
would be wrong, and Matthews
herself is very, very wrong;
possibly a bit insane.
Perhaps Matthews should also
think about the fact that, without
Columbus, she might be present-
ing her leftist views to a not-so-
welcoming Communist society, or
possibly enjoying the benefits of a
socialist economy. However, she
would probably not mind this a
bit. All I ask is, "What next?"
possibly a rally condemning
Clarence Thomas for initiating
sexism in America?
I wouldn't doubt it.
Jonathon Iverson
LSA sophomore
Letter was
homophobic
To the Daily:
I would like to respond to Jeff
Luther's letter to the editor that
appeared on Monday, Oct.
14,1991 ("Gays not normal")
Luther is homophobic! Thus, it
should come as no surprise that he
has been and will continue to be
"looked down upon" by those
more enlightened and open
minded than he is.

I

Nuts and Bolts
AS 1AREDITS UWLY
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FPCT E'iERYONE TO
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by Judd Winick
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Leo O'Brien
La w student

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