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January 27, 1992 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-27

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Monday, January 27, 1992

be Mwbrjan UiIQ

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

K .

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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0

Dudergate
Regents illegally appointed 'U' preside
"...our (University) Board of Regents (has) The Un
authority over the University exceeding that of the broken the
legislature, governor or judiciary... " numerousj
- President Duderstadt cently the
State of the University address, 1988 Student Se
openly vio
T he state's Court of Appeals has validated what Particul
students and journalists have been saying a firm bac
since May 1988: that the process by which the regents are
University's Board of
Regents hired President K
James Duderstadt was
in violation ofthe Michi-
gan Open Meetings Act.
The process was closed;
names of applicants -
were not revealed untilN
they had been narrowed
down to one.
Duderstadt was se-
lected over the objec-
tions of the student ad-
visors to the search com-
mittee. He was singled
out for student criticism
for his open opposition
to the demands by the
Black Action Move-
ment (BAM), including
the demand for cancel-
ing classes on Martin
Luther King, Jr. day,
which he originally op-
posed. At his inaugura-
tion in October 1988,
students protesting the
illegal search process were arrested: the first time pete. Hec
newly-deputized University security officers ever salary.
arrested a student. But eve
At the time of the deputization - one of the risk of
Duderstadt's original accomplishments -thepresi- and state t
dent insisted the police were not intended to re- the tab; rat
press student dissent. The deputization, he said, should foo
"has nothing to do with protest. Rather, the issue is take the mi
crime on the Diag at 2 a.m. You can't use two Ifthere
deputized officers to control hundreds of protest- University
ers." tenure ha
Fortunately for Duderstadt, the University has should set
since deputized an entire department of police what stud
officers. Duderstad
Open the polls

ent
niversity, rather than arguing it has not
e law, argues it is above the law. In
job searches since, including most re-
search for a new vice president for
ervices, the University has continued to
late the law.
larly culpable is regent Deane Baker -
ker of the president - who claims that
above the law because they are elected.
This approach violates
the mandate of a pub-
lic university: a
privatization which
can be seen extending
to such areas as the
restriction of public
entry into the Union.
Whose University is
it?
The Court ruled
that the University is
responsible for cover-
ing the legal fees asso-
ciated with the suit -
to the tune of $66,000
-incurred by the Ann
Arbor News and the
Detroit Free Press.
Instead of appeal-
ing the ruling, as the
University may do, the
regents should fire
Duderstadt and insti-
tute a legal search, in
which Duderstadt
FILE PHOTO would be free to com-
could then be re-hired at his original
en if the University does not appeal - at
racking up more legal fees - students
axpayers should not be forced to pick up
her, the individual lawbreakers involved
t the bill. Or maybe the University could
honey out of research overhead funds.
egents go forward with a legal search, the
y only stands to benefit. Duderstadt's
s been mediocre at best. The regents
:t the record straight by acknowledging
dents have known all along - that
t is illegal.

mmma

Cha-Ching
To the Daily:
If I hear one more person say,
"Cha-ching," I will have no
choice but to beat them and then
kill them.
Jeremy Katz
LSA sophomore
Pro-Life not racist
To the Daily:
In Thursday's Daily (1/23/92),
the Ann Arbor Committee to
Defend Abortion and Reproduc-
tive Rights called right-to-lifers
racist. The group also said its
platform is pro-choice and not
anti-racist. This is addressed to
them.
One of my closest relatives
(within one generation) supports
abortion rights and the pro-choice
movement 100 percent. It is a
cause which he feels very strongly
about. He says that it is cheaper to
abort Black babies in Detroit than
it is to support them on welfare.
He is resoundingly pro-choice for
racist reasons. He supports your
cause.
I don't. Stop calling me a
racist and stop promoting the
extermination of minority cultures
in America.
D. Altan Hatay
Ann Arbor, MI
Fraternity filth
To the Daily:
It is once again that splendid
time of year when our campus
fraternities attempt to recruit fine
young men to promote thelofty
ideals of brotherhood and
community service. A brief walk
down State Street will show the
public how dedicated these
organizations are to our commu-
nity.
In the warmer months, it is
common to see litter and trash
strewn through the bushes and
yards of fraternity houses. In the
winter, snow is seldom (if ever)
shoveled from public sidewalks.
I am not denying the fact that
many fraternities benefit the

community through charities, etc.
But it is a shame that the "benevo-
lence" of our fine men's organiza-
tions does not spread to the front
yards of thier houses.
Mike Appel
Natural Resources, junior
Freedom of
expression?
To the Daily:
This concerns the confronta-
tion between the pro-choice and
pro-life groups on the Graduate
Library steps this pastWednes-
day, Jan 22. The incident ought to
ignite discussion on a fundamen-
tal political issue - totally apart
from the abortion debate.
No matter which side one
takes in that particular debate, one
has to admit that the disruption of
a scheduled campus presentation
represents a breakdown of civil
discourse.
Letrme explain what I do not
mean. "Civil," in this sense, does
not mean "polite;" it has nothing
to do with pretending to have
respect for opinions you disagree
with. Rather, "civil" suggests a
process, a set of proceedures,
which allows people to engage in
public life. It means that there
must be minimum ground rules
for keeping open a forum for free
speech.
This kind of "openness"
applies even to people with whom
you or I completely disagree.
Otherwise, why waste words
arguing? Why not use guerrilla
tactics if we really bate a
speaker's ideas? Without a
commitment to an open process,
what's to prevent the repeated,
coercive opposition to public
speech?
The University community has
an interest in enforcing such an
open forum on campus. At the
very least, this means the preven-
tion of physical intimidation.
But the other requirement,
which is even more relevant to the
present case, is a "reasonable
distance" rule which will lessen
the ability of counter-demonstra-
tors to engage in wholesale
"shouting down."
This is not to prevent legiti-

mate counter-demonstration,
which is itself a form of free
speech. But is it legitimate when
repeated shouting shuts down the
free speech of others?
There need to be at least some
university officials present at
large speech events. And they
should intervene whenever a
group is being silenced - not
wait until a physical confrontation
has arisen. Last Wednesday,
campus police separated the two
groups only after considerable
shoving had taken place.
Ms. Rhonda Laur said in the
Daily, (1/23/92) that her organiza-
tion had a permit to be "on the
Diag." But does this mean that the
University actually scheduled two
different demonstrations at the
same time? I doubt that.
Even so, part of the blame for
the melee falls on the administra-
tion, on whomever is in charge of
regulating presentations on the
Diag.
Is there no plan for enforcing
the policy that only one group at a
time shall occupy the stage?
Few people really believe in
using persuasion anymore. Some
thinkers have rejected the very
idea of a "liberal marketplace of
ideas" as hopelessly naive, as a
process which guarantees no
results. But can anyone come up
with something better? Appar-
ently, the expedient alternative is
to obstruct the speech of one's
opponents.
We need to step back and
clarify the ground rules for
campus discourse - lest the Diag
become a place where free speech
is squashed rather than practiced.
Steve Alter
Rakham graduate student,
The Daily encourages let-
ters from its readers. All let-
ters should be 150 words or
less. All op-ed pieces should
be no longer than 3,000 char-
acters. The editors reserve the
right to edit all letters for style
and space. Send all letters to:
The Michigan Daily, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI
48109. Or send them viaMTS
to: The Michigan Daily, Let-
ters to the Editor.

0
0

i
c

Closed primaries and Tuesday elections discourage voters

O n March 17, Michigan voters will be called
upon to select their respective parties' nomi-
nees for President of the United States. Since this
year is a presidential election year, voter turnout is
sure to be higher than usual. Nevertheless, there
are still far too many obstacles to voting in this
country; the current system serves to make the
voting process less democratic.
Specifically, the structure of March's closed
primary election is inherently flawed, and serves to
remove many from the electoral process.
By definition, a closed primary only allows
voters to participate in their own party's primary.
In order to vote on March 17, registered voters
Mmust sign a document declaring their affiliation
with either the Democratic or Republican party.
Even worse, Republicans must declare 30 days in
advance.
This part of the process is restrictive. It ensures
only Democrats and Republicans are involved in
choosing the president. Like it or not, this country
employs a system in which a third-party candidate
will likely never get elected, and only allowing
registered Democrats and Republicans to vote
during primaries - a crucial part of the election
process - removes everyone else from the pro-
cess.
Forcing voters to declare party affiliation yields
yet another document that a prospective voter has
to go out of their way to sign. In addition, Repub-
lican voters, who must register in advance, are
further restricted from the voting process.
Voters already have to register before they can
vote; now they will have to make a separate trip -

during business hours - to the city clerk's office
before every primary election.
All of this points to some more general flaws in
the American electoral process.
The rationalization for voter registration, when
it was initially instituted, was to avoid fraudulent
voting and multiple votes. And, for a time, registra-
tion was the only way to do that. But, in an era
where 900 numbers and "peoplemeters" are bring-
ing vote tabulation into the 20th century, these
things are no longer as much of a concern.
It is now conceivable that voters could vote
either by phone, using their social security number,
or through some other technologically advanced
means. All of this can be accomplished despite its
possible great expense. And the benefits of a true
participatory democracy are surely worth the cost.
Even, if we do stay with the archaic voting
system, registration should be automatic. There is
no reason that all the people who live in a given
district couldn't be accounted for, regardless of
whether or not they have registered, and told where
to vote. At the very least, people should be able to
vote by mail.
Furthermore, voting on Tuesday is incredibly
restrictive. Anybody who works has trouble voting
on a weekday. Election day should be made a
holiday, or elections should be held on a weekend.
With less than 50 percent of the public voting
even in even the presidential elections, Americans
are being further cut off from their government.
Our "representatives" in Washington must act now
to bring about a system that will move us forward,
rather than tying us to the past.

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Classes should resume on MLK day.
by Noah Finkel improving the racial climate on gathered only 50 in the expansive
campus. MLB 4 lecture hall.
Few would argue that the Acceding to the demands of a Most students, even ones I
University's celebration of Rev. cross-section of students, the know to be liberal, slept, studied
Martin. Luther King day benefits University gave students the day or took a three-day weekend.The
the campus. Educating students off from classes while the various rationale for cancelling classes on
about American history's most schools and departments, the MLK day - educating students

inspiring figure, calling attention
to the evils of overt bigotry and
institutionalized racism, and
providinga forum for racial
healing are all worthy goals.
But the limited amount of
student participation in recent
MLK day events no longer
justifies the cancellation of
classes. The money spent to give
faculty members a paid day off
could be better allocated to long-
term projects or events that take
place year-round.
The cancellation of classes on
MLK day became an issue in the
late 1980s when the campus was

Most students, even ones I know to be
liberal, slept, studied or took a three-day
weekend.

Nuts and Bolts
sow ~rwa um.

~fWEEKIN ANDW(OOT'
OF~ t~(OOR gT.

r £LL NOT 714S5L WOK Yf
WE W~ANT TO HER?
PiE7TNlN'FROM tX)

by Judd Winick
NUTS AP BQLS
I~vz 2V Czrc~F,

Office of Minority Affairs and
students themselves planned
various rallies, symposia, and
lectures.
While the first few MLK days
saw outstanding attendance,
participation has dwindled in the
past two years. This year's MLK
day attendance was appalling:
only about 600 people turned out
for the Unity March, usually

about MLK and his continuing
struggle - remains. But students
are failing to take advantage.
The University pays its faculty
more than $1.2 million for each
day of classes. So on MLK day,
the University pays its professors
$1.2 million to stay home. With
such low attendance, the Univer-
sity misspends its educational
dollars.
T'L. n n.re .tr ~

11

ii

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