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January 23, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-23

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 23,1992
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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
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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Complaints by faculty, staff and
W hen English Prof. Bert Hornback, one of the
most celebrated professors at Michigan, an-
nounced his resignation with pointed accusations
about the University and the way it is run, many
important - and often neglected - issues were
brught to light. Known for his great dedication to
te a ching and counseling undergraduates, Hornback
will he leaving the University after this term.
His accusations are worth noting. In a number
of ways, the University has demonstrated in all but
rhetoric that it lacks a sincere commitment to
educating undergraduates.
In a letter sent to his colleagues, Hornback
explai !ned he. is leaving after 28 years on the Michi-
gan faculty because of what he refers to as a
University "corporation."
He blames faculty members who have been
c rrupted by an atmosphere where research is
v alued over teaching and publication takes prece-
dence over students. He cites the low number of
classes taught per faculty member in the biology.
depart ment - a mere nine-tenths of a class - as
one example of a declining administrative com-
mit ment to teaching.
lie criticizes an institution where instructors
are encouraged to teach classes of more than 150
students, while graduate student teaching assis-
tants teach more than 40 percent of the classes.
There is much to be said for Hornback's ideas,
and e is not alone in his criticisms. Other faculty
members as well as students have been demanding
these re forms for years.
Un fortunately, the administration has turned a

students show discontent
deaf ear, as its faculty evolved into a body that
prefers the benefits of research to teaching. It has
become blind to the detriments of standing-room-
only classes and seems not to care if Michigan
students ever even meet their professors. For years,
the administration has been multiplying exponen-
tially in size and budget. Class sizes have progres-
sively increased. Not surprisingly, when the Gradu-
ate Employees Organization (GEO) requested last
year that the University limit class size to 25
students, the administration refused to yield. More
and more, professors are giving up their teaching
duties to less experienced - and less qualified -
teaching assistants.
In the 1970s, teachers in the English Depart-
ment taught an average of three classes per term.
Today they teach only two. When Professor
Hornback leaves Ann Arbor this summer, the Uni-
versity will lose a fine professor.
Administrative disdain for the process of teach-
ing is best summed up by the events at a recent
meeting of the University's Board of Regents. As
a response to Hornback's resignation, one regent,
Phil Power (D-Ann Arbor), stood up and gave a
short speech relating how Professor Hornback will
be missed. President Duderstadt, who chaired the
meeting, asked for any other comments from the
regents. None were given, and the board moved on
to "more important" financial matters.
But if the administration, faculty groups and
students listen to - and act on - Hornback's
advice, the University could undergo tremendous
change for the better.

Ho ras fact in and leaving the University for
HornbaCk is off Rumor Owhat many would probably

Change elections
Students need to have better representation in City Council

T Wo events last semester were rude reminders
to the student body that it lacks a voice in city
government. The first was the apathy displayed by
t he Ann Arbor City Council as students were tear-
g assed on South University. Next, the City Council
.tood by as undercover police officers insidiously
oht ained admittance to fraternity parties and issued
under-age drinking citations inside. This govern-
ment neglect of student concerns should act as
wake-up calls to students. As long as students fail
to vote in large numbers, they will constantly be
ignored by council members more concerned with
wealthy Burns Park residents than with disenfran-
chised students.
A pril city elections are part of the problem. Last
year, a comparatively large 23 percent of the city
population swept the Democrats to victory with the
largest voter turnout in years. Such dismal partici-
pation is pathetic enough. Yet the numbers drop
even more during even-numbered years when there
is no mayoral election.
One way to make elections more equitable would
Tax cuts
Bush exploiting middle class to
t seems that George Bush thinks a tax cut of $2
a day for families with an income of more than
$50,000 will stimulate the flagging U.S. economy,
boost demand and protect jobs. We should not
atiributesuch naivety to him, for even the president's
conception of the problems facing the economy is
more realistic.
In recent speeches and interviews, President
Bush has suggested a middle-class tax cut as one
way to revive the economy. Bush's main proposal
would increase personal exemption, or non-taxable
incone, for all tax brackets. This will result in a
small increase in income for all taxpayers - in-
cluding the middle class. However, those in higher
K ax brackets will receive greater cuts.
What, then, is the purpose of this proposed tax
cut'? It is, of course, a bribe - pure and simple.
Well, perhaps not so simple, for it is probably the
result of a carefully considered judgement as to
where the payoff will be most effective - Bush's
There is no point in pitching the tax break at
higher earners. Bush has most of these votes al-
It would be dangerous to target lower income
families for they might vote Democratic anyway.
The t ax must be strategically placed to shore up the
Nuts and Bolts

be to hold elections in November; the Michigan
Student Assembly recently passed a surprisingly
sound resolution calling for as much.
The fact is, many more students vote in Novem-
ber, especially when the presidency is at stake, as
was evidenced in 1988, when polls in the dorms
had lines out the door. With more than 4,000
students helping to determine the outcome of city
races, we might find city council more sympathetic
to the plights of gassed voters on the streets.
In addition, changing city elections to Novem-
ber would reduce the number of times citizens
would need to go to the polls every year. Finan-
cially, the city would be sAving approximately
$60,000 annually.
Enstating November elections is one way the
City Council could make itself more democratic.
But in the absence ofNovember elections, students
must register to vote in droves if they want to be
heard. City issues must be taken seriously, lest
student apathy result in the South University inci-
dent relived.
gain votes
president's rapidly declining support in the upper
middle class, and that is exactly where he has
placed it.
Once we have recognized the cheap election
bribe, we should see that there are two more
important issues at stake here.
First, the wisdom of cutting taxes in general, in
light of the budget deficit and the recent cuts in
welfare spending. Second, there is the question of
which groups in society should benefit from these
tax cuts if we accept them as a way of stimulating
the economy.
Perhaps he thinks that people on lower in-
comes do not know how to spend money. But there
seems to be no reason to assume that those with
lower incomes could not use the same amount of
money to stimulate demand in exactly the same
way as the middle and upper classes.
Furthermore, as most economists agree that tax
breaks of this magnitude will do little to revive the
economy, the measures will do no more than
pacify the disillusioned middle classes with funds
that could be used more profitably.
Rather than giving the middle class a tax break
at a time when the government is short on cash, it
would do better to fund social programs, put
people back to work, or even decrease the deficit.

To the Daily:
I feel compelled to express my
dismay with Prof. Homback's
recent slander of the University.
Although I do not personally
know the man, from his state-
ments it seems as if he is rather
conceited with his position of
He seems to think that without
teaching efforts, we the students
will not learn anything. Well let
me say, after spending many a
late night poring over texts and
notes so as to learn course
material, I believe that the
majority of my "education"
comes from within. Sure, notes
from class and subject paradigms
from the teacher help in this
pursuit. But, whether the teacher
likes his/her job or not doesn't
matter; the same material will be
spit out at us all the same.
Do I feel this way, however,
for the exact reasons which Prof.
Hornback enumerated in his
letter? Do I feel as if Iam
educating myself because no one
cares about me? I doubt it.
The system has been the same
since when my parents went to
school. And for that matter, I
quite like the system. I like the
ability to sit back and be an
anonymous figure in class, with
the option of seeking help if I
need it. It may be impersonal, but
at least I haveythe choice to get to
know my professors or not. And
when I have gone forward to seek
help, I have met some of the most
inspirational people I have or will
ever meet.
So, in my eyes Prof.
Hornback's attempts have failed. I
believe he wanted to "go out with
a bang," the archetype professor,
free-thinker extraordinaire.
Actually, I do respect the good
old American craftiness he has
used. He probably got a good deal
on a house down south during
these hard times; he now has a
small easy-going school to teach
at during his remaining years, a
nice professor's bungalow to
retire in, and of course our
memories of him as the intellec-
tual reformer ahead of his time,
ahead of us all.
Michael P. Lazarski
LSA Junior

To the Daily:
In your editorial entitled "Let
them eat nothing" (1/17/92) you
write about a conspiracy "to force
students to purchase coursepacks
as professors accept kickbacks."
This is a very serious accusation
implying unacademic, unethical
and possibly illegal behavior on
the part of some unnamed
It seems to me that you are
obliged now to pursue this in one
of two ways: either you publish
the names of these professors
(who surely deserve to be
exposed), or you declare that you
do not really know any such
persons but printed a rumor that
you stated as a fact (which would
not be responsible editorial
writing, least of all in a paper
published by students at a
Ernst Pulgram
Professor Emeritus
not research
To the Daily:
I am writing to share senti-
ments I experienced after reading
about Bert Hornback's departure
from the University (1/16/92).
While I have never had a class
with Hornback, I have heard
many students who have raved
about his teaching. It is a shame
that such a well-liked professor is
leaving under such circumstances.
Unfortunately, I have experi-
enced first hand what Hornback is
upset about. This term I was not
able to CRISP into any of my
classes as a second term junior
because all the courses I needed
were closed after only three days
of registration. I have received
little sympathy from any profes-
sors and am faced with the
possibility of dropping out for a
term, a victim of a large imper-
sonal institution. By paying one
of the highest tuition bills of any
public university in the country,
we as students deserve much
Kudos to Bert Hornback for
standing up for what he believes

consiaer a less prestigious
position. I challenge President
Duderstadt and his cohorts to
secure more Bert Hornbacks and
fewer research grants.
Jason W. Blessing
LSA junior
CC hypocrisy
To the Daily:
I'd like to know how MSA
would explain its hypocrisy.
Conservative Coalition (CC), who
holds a majority of the seats in the
student government, ran on a
ticket which claimed they would
stay out of partisan politics and
the "radical protesting" of the
opposing parties. So what is this
"Racism and Abortion: A Pro-
Life Perspective" sponsored by
MSA? They could hardly pick a
more controversial issue to devote
student funds to. At the very least
they should sponsor a Pro-Choice
speaker as well. I just wonder
what MSA Women's Issues
Commission is doing.
Mimi Arnstein
LSA sophmore
Reform MSA
To the Daily:
Given recent developments in
the Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA), there are two changes that
must occur if students at this
university are to get competent
First, political parties in MSA
should be abolished. MSA is not a
junior congress. Any one MSA
rep. who takes a side on an issue
should be responsible enough to
do so as an individual. The only
way to end partisan bickering
(and inane campaigns) is to force
everyone to serve on MSA
without hiding behind a label.
Second, MSA needs to reach
out to the students. Every time a
problem occurs with MSA, it is
debated within the assembly.
Brian Kalt
LSA sophomore


Rape and women's self-reliance

by Philip Cohen

Whatthe patriarchy lost when
U.S. American women began
speaking up about the pervasive-
ness of rape, it is gaining back in
the paranoia and dependency
exhibited by some women -
especially economically privi-
leged young women - faced with
the threat of rape.
On campus, this translates into
asking of men, "Walk me home?"
In a single phrase the power of
society's recognition of rape as a
widespread problem is erased by a
new-found weakness.
The expressed fear of stranger-
rape on campus is the contempo-
rary translation of the centuries-
old white fear of Black men
raping white women, and it has
little to do with preventing or
avoiding real rape.
Reliance on male friends is
tied to reliance on the police -
the same police who harass Black

possibility of stranger rape and
harassment on and around campus
at night and even in daylight.
Women travelling in groups,
protecting themselves with
martial arts, mace or other
weapons, are all self-respecting
means of reducing this risk.
Movements which have made the
most progress toward liberating
women have been driven by
armed women acting in the name
of their own liberation.
Self-reliance can replace
feelings of helplessness and fear
with power and resolve to act
independently in the face of male
domination not only through rape,
but through the diversionary and
paralyzing fear of stranger rape.
Student women who want to
avoid being raped - and rape
remains fantastically prevalent (at
levels at or higher than before it
was so widely recognized) -
should reconsider the reality of

walk without a male chaperone?
Because fear of rape by men of
the same social, cultural and
economic standing is not hyped
with the same ferocity asthe old
racist image.
Sensitive men in today's
campus political climate offer to
walk women home. Really
sensitive men insist that women
not walk alone, not take the risk.
What is the effect of such
paternalism when these same
women and these same men
attempt to take action to really
stop rape- to confront the
foundations of patriarchy with the
political steps necessary to end
rape for all women? How often
will we see men and women
emerge from political meetings or
discussions in which women have
asserted their points of view,
attempting to gain real legitimacy
for feminist perspectives, only to
see them ask men for a walk


by Judd Winick

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