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January 24, 1992 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-24

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Friday, January 24, 1992
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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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Free slush
Icy sidewalks pose inconvenience to disabled students

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Last week, ice and snow covered the entire
campus, leaving students slipping and sliding
on their way to class. One would think a university
grounds crew with a $3.4 million budget that is
armed with the latest in snow-fighting equip-
ment could tackle the problem. After all, students
are currently paying a $50 maintenance fee per
term.
Granted, the storm was one of the worst to hit
the area in recent memory. But it was no surprise,
and the grounds crew had plenty of time to prepare
to salt and plow the Diag and walkways around
campus. Instead, the grounds crew seemed to pre-
fer the classic "wait for it to melt" technique of
snow removal.
While traversing the ice and snow covered
paths was difficult for many people, it was espe-
cially difficult for those with disabilities.
Just as a car has difficulty driving on snowy
roads, students in wheelchairs have trouble cross-
ing snowy paths.
Fortunately, there are special buses available to
help disabled students get around campus. But this
system is not without its problems.
To get help with transportation, students must

go through the Services for Students with Disabili-
ties Office. Special buses pick up and drop off
students, often at a considerable distance from
their classrooms. But students must still use the icy
sidewalks to get to class.
One must not forget, however, that students
with disabilities includes not only those students
needing wheelchairs, but also those with hearing
and sight impairments.
In addition, students with temporary handicaps,
a broken leg for example, must also meet the snow
on unequal terms. Considering all these groups, a
big storm and an insufficient clean-up effect a lot
of people.
It is puzzling how the same grounds crew that
was so effective last year in removing chalk-
writing from the Diag during the deputization
movement has suddenly become ineffective with
the onslaught of snow. It seems the grounds crew
prefers free slush to free speech.
If the University is serious about its pledge to
increase student safety on campus, perhaps it should
start by simply making sure students, including
those with disabilities, can get to classes without
slipping the entire way.

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All the king's furniture
Brater and Engler spend on selves, not enough on community

3 he citizens of Ann Arbor have recently been
dealt a double-blow of greed and hypocrisy by
their state and city governments. As Michigan
residents, citizens of Ann Arbor included, tighten
their belts for the winter, Ann Arbor Mayor Liz
Brater and Gov. Engler are engaging in extrava-
gant spending.
In spite of spending cuts averaging six percent
across all city departments, Mayor Liz Brater and
the Democratic City Council majority have in
recent months increased their own pay by 10
percent, increased their travel expense budget by
23 percent and doubled the mayor's secretarial
staff. Most recently, Mayor Brater requested and
received a brand new car assigned full-time to her
office, even though Brater's is only ahalf-time job.
Such self-serving appropriations, however, pale
in comparison to those taking place in Lansing. As
part of a $62 million Capitol renovation project,
the legislature has designated $800,000 to pur-
chase antiques and furniture for its ritzy new of-
fices.
Not only is the legislature appropriating big
money for its own amusement, but it is getting
some pretty bad deals. Among the most illustrious
furnishings are a $62,100 set of committee room

chairs, a $6,000 table, a $3,000 bookcase, and
more chairs for $2,000.
One of the driving forces behind the restoration
project's passage through the Senate was its former
majority leader, current Gov. John Engler.
This is the same Engler who claimed that there
was nothing left in the state's pocketbook, and
promptly cut off general assistance for thousands
of Michigan residents. This is the same Engler who
has slashed virtually every state social program,
from funding for the arts to mental health care. This
is the same Engler whose office will now sport a
$5,600 television set at the expense of Michigan
tax dollars.
For this information on the governor's culpabil-
ity, we must thank Ann Arbor's own Rep. Perry
Bullard who, it might be noted, also voted to
approve the expenditures.
It is simply absurd for a government to be
cutting programs that Michigan residents depend
on while simultaneously buying antique furniture
for the capital.
Such aristocratic tendencies, especially during
tough economic times, do not speak well for our
leaders. The voters would do well to remember
them in the next round of elections.

Make course
readings available
To the Daily:
I have been struggling with
my reading assignments for both
English and political economy.
The readings have been difficult
because they are illegible. Both
assignments are in coursepacks.
My English coursepack was made
at Accu-copy and the print is so
faded I have worn both my
contact lenses and my glasses to
try and discern the words.
My political economy
coursepack was made at Dollar
Bill Copying. The employee who
laid out the pages on the photo-
copier must have a different
understanding of right angles than
the rest of us. The first word of
each line is consistently cut off.
My problems with my books
have been even greater than with
my coursepacks. At least I have
my coursepacks. One book I need
for my political economy class is
titled, "Understanding Capital-
ism," second edition.
Shaman Drum Bookstore,
which is responsible for having
this book, has explained to me
several times that the author is
late in publishing the second
edition and therefore is not yet
available. In the meantime, I will
have to continue to read the not
yet published "Understanding
Capitalism," second edition,
which is being held on reserve at
the Benzinger Library.
I do not know whether the
bookstores or the professors are at
fault. It is, however, the responsi-
bility of the professors to have
legible coursepacks and the
required books available before
the semester is over.
Daniel Morton
LSA junior

Human rights
To the Daily:
Although I am encouraged
that the University sponsors
MLK day events which deal with
many different minority groups, I
am afraid that even at such a
diverse campus as ours, many
students fail to realize the
widespread oppression of both
minority and majority group
members worldwide.
As we focus on the empow-
erment and inclusion of minority
groups within the United States,
we seem to forget about the
overpowerment of unfair govern-
ments in much of the world.
While I am concerned about
African Americans, I think that it
is equally important to work for
the human rights and dignity of
our brothers and sisters in Africa
who have to deal with frequent
arbitrary imprisonment, unfair
trials and torture.
Amnesty International works
to end these abuses of human
rights worldwide.
This semester, the campus
chapter of Al is working on an
"Action for Africa" campaign. I
challenge students and University
members to follow through on the
values promoted by Martin
Luther King, Jr. by joining
Amnesty International in the
peaceful struggle for human
rights.
Ingrid Hogle
Al Events Coordinator
Homeless plight
To the Daily:
I would like to reflect a little
on the stabbing of two homeless
residents of Ann Arbor, one at
Westgate mall'and the other in
front of the Union. First of all, I
want to discuss the Westgate

death. They say that Daniel, the
one that was found in the alley,
was refused entry because he
appeared under the influence of
alcohol. Well, I have a question.
Isn't the Shelter Association there
to help and rehabilitate the
homeless? If Daniel was a known
and chronic alcoholic, why didn't
the shelter refer him to a source of
help?
I don't know if the Shelter
Association or any other organi-
zation is aware of this, but the
United Way does publish a
compiled list with addresses of
where to get relief of social
problems.
One would think that if the
shelter had a little more time and
compassion they would have
taken Daniel in and referred him
to a source ofdrelief.
If they had a little more
professionalism in their policies,
then maybe Daniel would still be
alive today.
As far as the Union goes,
would they prefer if all of the
homeless were frozen to death on
the streets or be humane and let
them in out of the cold? I also feel
that the shelter board of directors
should be questioned on their day
shelter closing on weeckends
during the winter season.
I also want you to know that
you could very well be next to be
homeless. You don't have a
promise of holding onto your
money or your homes. In bad
times there are sure economic
insecurities.
Don't be naive enough to
think that the homeless will go
away. It's not that simple, thanks
to our own apathy and greed. The
homeless population will climb
and be here for years to come.
The American homeless simply
will not go away.
Col. Charles D. Tackett
Ann Arbor

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State of the state
Thanks to Gov. Engler; the people of Michigan will suffer

T uesday night, Gov. John Engler gave his state
of the state address to the residents of Michi-
gan. Unfortunately, Engler's Kevin Costner mono-
tone delivery and his cliched rhetoric produced a
speech lacking in emotion and any real substance.
Engler began his speech, stating that "Michigan
is a state of change." Change is correct. Today, the
Detroit Institute of the Arts fights for survival, after
suffering a callous and vicious budget cut. Engler
said that such recreation should be supported by
charity. The multi-million dollar service to the
people of Detroit - young, old, rich, and poor -
is being left to the vultures.
There has been change. 80,000 residents of
Michigan, trying to survive during the worst reces-
sion in ten years, were thrown off general assis-
tance.
Engler's transformation of Michigan didn't end
there. Engler cut government support for mental
health programs, leaving Michigan residents who
suffer from mental disorders with nowhere to turn.
There has been change. Can we afford much
more?
The jobless rate in Michigan is one of the
highest in the country. Yet, American manufactur-
ers, after years of waste and undeserving pay-
hikes, were left unscathed at the close of the
governor's speech. Instead, Engler called-up the
specter of the mythical Japanese threat. After re-
minding the audience that one out of every four
cars in the United States is Japanese, he said, "Just

think of the jobs we could have had - building
those cars."
Education, too, was on his agenda. Michigan
2000, the reform bill Engler sent to the legislature
last September, is his solution to the state's educa-
tion problem.
Without describing the proposal's contents,
Engler insisted that, "It is time our schools stood
behind their students the way we expect our
automakers to stand behind their cars." Let's hope
we strive for a little more.
Must we remind the governor of his record on
education? The MichiganEducational Trust (MET),
one of the nation's most progressive attempts to
help families pay for college, was slashed merci-
lessly. Michigan just didn't have the cash, Engler
told us.
The governor, however, did do everything he
promised the people of Michigan. He cut and
slashed the Michigan budget, leaving hatchet marks
on every agency and department door. Engler did
balance the budget. But, at whose expense? The
jobless, the homeless, the artists, the mentally ill,
the students - at the expense of the people of the
state of Michigan.
The state of the state address was less an analy-
sis of the state of the Michigan, than it was a list of
reasons why Michigan should regret electing Gov.
John Engler. The governor shouldn't expect many
thank-you cards for making Michigan a state of
change.

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Hopes for true Algerian

by Fazlur Rahman
Zahurullah
I would like to direct your
attention to recent events taking
place in Algeria. In the first free
election that Algeria has ever
witnessed, in which 49 political
parties participated, the Islamic
Salvation Front (FIS) won 188
seats out of the 231 decided in the
first round. The FIS was expected
to win an unprecedented two-
thirds majority in the second
round of elections. The National
Liberation Front, the ruling party
for Algeria's three decades of
independence and overseer of the
elections, came in a dismal third.
Clearly, the Algerian people
wanted a change and were eager
to voice their wishes in peaceful,
democratic manner.
When the overwhelming
support for an Islamic order
became evident, a military coup
was staged. This move's sole
purpose was to deny the freedom
of expression of the Algerian
people. The army intervened and
cancelled the results of the
election, halted further elections,
and installed an unconstitutional
"council" to oversee the country.
Hundreds of top FIS officials
have heen arrested the nartv itself

mentalist" FIS as a threat to
democracy. Thus, the council
took it upon itself to impede the
democratic will of its people and
to install a "democracy" that is
more to its liking.
The actions taken by council
are an act of bigotry against the
people of Algeria, Muslims
everywhere, and all those who
claim to adhere to the principles
of democracy. A threat to
democracy anywhere is a threat to
democracy everywhere.
Despite the magnitude and
seriousness of the current crisis,

democracy
domestic papers have no informa-
tion whatsoever on Algeria.
Furthermore, we have yet to
see one major publication with an
editorial recognizing the serious-
ness of this situation. This all
leads us to question an editorial
process that keeps its readers
(especially its domestic readers)
woefully uniformed about events
and issues so central to democ-
racy and the freedom of the press
itself.
We, the Muslim Students
Association, are saddened,
concerned, and angered over the

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A threat to democracy anywhere is a threat
to democracy everywhere.

the Algerian situation has failed to
gain appropriate actions from
both regional and distant govern-
ments. Many of these same
governments, the United States in
particular, poured billions of
dollars to restore the family ruled,
government of Kuwait. Clearly, if
the United States felt that the
Kuwaiti call for assistance in
preserving its monarchy was
worth answering, then the
American government cannot turn
a deaf ear to the A1!erin neonle

recent events in Algeria. We are
equally troubled by the apathy
shown by western governments
and media. Indeed, an Islamic
state has a different approach to
the organization of society and
economy. Nonetheless, the critical
issue is that it is the choice of the
Algerian people. This is undeni-
able.
While the will of the Algerian
people is raped by a group of
corrupt generals, it seems the
Anerican vovernment and media

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by Judd Winick'
[OULP YO GOY5 L ISI

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