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February 11, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-11

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, February 11, 1992
Gbe £Ediian CaiIie
kditor in Chief

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.
764 - 0552

MATH'IIEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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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.MSA unm-aware of alcohol realities

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O n anytypical weekend atthe University, hoards
of students partake in the consumption of
alcohol. On these very same weekends, this activ-
ity is mirrored on virtually every other college
campus in the free world. Some of these collegians
may have legitimate alcohol problems, but most
are simply drinking to relax, blow off steam and
above all, have fun.
While this phenomena may seem perfectly nor-
mal to most people, the Michigan Student Assem-
bly is convinced that alcohol abuse is abig problem
at the University. Such a big problem, in fact, that
last October the ass .ii iNy spent $13,000 on whatit
called Alcohol Awayeness Week. Over one quarter
of this hefty bill was a line item on MSA's budget.
Alcohol Awareness Week started out as a com-
pletely innocent idea. It seems to have been in-
spired by the puritanical ethics of the representa-
tives in MSA's ruling Conservative Coalition (CC)
- many of whom are, coincidentally, members of
the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship. These naive
representatives were clearly trying to do some-
thing which they thought would somehow benefit
the University community.
As it turned out, they were dead wrong. Alcohol
Awareness Week was one of the most colossal
wastes of time and money which this University
has ever witnessed. Despite efforts to publicize the
week's events, attendance was minuscule at best.
The closing event of the week was a lecture by
three speakers. MSA reserved Rackham audito-

rium for the event. A grand total of two people
attended. That's right, two people.
This raises the question of why it should even be
necessary to dredge up the ghost ofAlcohol Aware-
ness Week - a pathetic event which, four months
ago, skated through campus virtually unnoticed.
Clearly, any sensible MSArepresentative involved
in the project would apologize for such a humiliat-
ing error and move on to more productive activi-
ties. Startlingly however, this is not the case.
In his recent MSA action plan, LSA Rep. and
CC member Scott Gast, the proud founder of
Alcohol Awareness Week, referred to his colossal
failure as "a huge success." He went on to say that
"plans are already underway for Alcohol Aware-
ness Week 1992," as if the entire campus is just
shivering in baited anticipation of the disaster
revisited.
Gast's desire to waste more time and money on
a second Alcohol Awareness Week is remarkable,
(remarkable being a nice way of saying ridicu-
lous). Evenif the events of the week had drawn any
noticeable attendance whatsoever, Gast and CC
have no business trying to dictate their puritanical
morality on the rest of this campus.
Moreover, since students have sent a clear mes-
sage to Gast by avoiding Alcohol Awareness Week
with more fervor than they avoid 8:00 p.m. classes,
Gast's obsessiveness in pursuing his piece de resis-
tance suggests that he should loosen up and have a
drink.

Back alleys or safe clincs?

As the landmark case, Roe v. Wade, celebrates
its 19th anniversary this year, pro-choice ac-
tivists fear there may be no festivals for its 20th.
The Supreme Court recently announced that it will
rule on a Pennsylvania case which, by the end of
the summer, will call into question existing abor-
tion laws.
Depending on the court's decision, itis possible
that the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the case which
marks the strength of the feminist movement, is
only a few months away.
This is not the first time that legalized abortion
has been threatened. The government has been
chipping away at Roe v. Wade since its conception.
Attempts to overturn it occurred in both 1983 and
1986. A 1989 Missouri decision allowed states to
impose significant restrictions on abortion rights.
TWo years later, the Supreme Court prohibited
physicians in federally funded clinics from telling
patients that abortion was even an option. Despite
these attempts, Roe v. Wade has remained a symbol
of the liberation of American women.
Unfortunately, the combination of President
George Bush and his conservative packed Su-
preme Court is likely to crack the foundation of
abortion rights. The confirmation of Associate
Justice Clarence Thomas tios the already unbal-

Roe v. Wade is a new Pennsylvania law that places
tight restrictions on a woman's ability to obtain an
abortion.
These restrictions include a 24-hour waiting
period after a woman informs her doctor of her
decision to abort and a clause requiring the doctor
to inform the woman about the development of the
fetus. This case has been upheld by a federal
appeals court, and will be heard by the Supreme
Court within the next six months.
If Roe v. Wade is undermined, which is likely,
then laws regarding abortion will be turned over to
state legislators. As a result, abortion laws will
become random, subject to the will of each indi-
vidual state legislature. Pro-choice advocates, al-
though they are angered over the probable over-
turning of Roe v. Wade, are pleased at the timing of
this ruling. They are hoping that due to the over-
whelmingly pro-choice public opinion, the timing
will force abortion into the political arena as a key
campaign issue.
A woman's right to have a safe and legal abor-
tion should not be questioned. It should be a
fundamental right in this country. At best, the
overturning of Roe v. Wade undermines a woman's
right to control her own body. At worst, it will bring
the back-alley butchers out of their hovels. endan-

More on
Adam & Ernie
To the Daily:
Well, Mr. Seacrist, you should
probably do a little research
before you write a diatribe against
homosexuality. I have a few
questions for you to answer.
1. Does producing offspring
make one a better person?
Considering this from a purely
ecological view, there are already
5.5 billion people on Earth. Do
we really need more? But even
then, lots of straight people don't
have children; in fact, two of my
four aunts and uncles have no
children. And yes, they're
straight.
2. How much do you know
about every animal on Earth? Rats
have been known to perform
"homosexual acts." Even if this is
the only example (which it isn't),
you missed it. And does "within
its own species" imply that
mankind has "homosexual acts"
outside of its own species? I
suggest that you get your facts
straight (no pun intended).
3. Have you ever taken an
American history or government
class? If you had, you would
realize that, at least theoretically,
the church and state are separate.
This means that you cannot call
upon your God to limit the rights
of a minority or even a majority
group.
4. When did we become the
pinnacle of God's creation? In my
years as an Episcopal acolyte, I
don't recall that as having been
the word of God. A lot of people
happen to.believe in the big bang
theory. Don't get me wrong; I'm
not saying that either one is more
valid. Having a system of belief is
a person's right, only so long as
their beliefs don't advocate the
oppression of minorities.
So, Bennett, I think you
should think about this. Get some
gay friends who can lead you into

the 20th century before it passes
away. This is a social issue with
political ramifications. Socially,
you wouldn't want to be discrimi-
nated against on the basis of your
religion, sex, hair color, whatever.
From now on, no more of this
"Adam and Ernie" stuff; "Adam
and Steve" is more popular
anyway. Besides, the only Ernie I
know is part of that fabulous
acting duo, Bert and Ernie. Who
knows? They live together...
Ryan Bradley
RC first-year student
Daily as toilet paper?
To the Daily:
The other day as I sat in the
bathroom in Bursley Hall I was
struck (as we so often are in the

bathroom) by what I felt was a
great idea.
At the time this wave of
brilliance overtook me I had just
looked over and noticed that there
was no toilet paper in the stall and
I thought: Why not have the Daily
printed on spools and distributed
in the various campus rest rooms
instead of in all the dorms and
campus buildings?
My idea was, however, shot
down. It would be absolutely
impossible for anyone to stuff any
more shit on the pages than there
already is.
I guess some dreams are were
never meant to be realized.

No more deceit;no more Bush

To the Daily:
Was that it? President Bush
forced the nation to sit patiently
and wait for a "solution" to our
economic woes for almost two
months, and that was it?
I find it deplorable and
reprehensible that the president
lead us to believe he had an
answer to the economic disaster in
which this country finds itself,
and that we would have to wait
for his State of the Union address
to actually hear his proposals. If
you were the CEO of a major
company which was in the midst
of a serious economic skid, and
one night you were inspired with
a solution for your company's
problems, would you wait for
almost two months to let your
company know what that solution
is? No way!
But the president was able to
tell us that he had measures which
would help the country get out of
its economic recession, only we
would have to wait for a politi-
cally advantageous moment in
order to be "enlightened" by him.

01

Larf Mandarano
School of
Music Sophomore

I

The tragic irony in all of this is
that President Bush's "solution" is
nothing of the sort. His proposed
tax breaks, budget alterations, and
other measures to induce our
stalled economy are a feeble
attempt to revive the nation. They
are not enough to bring us out of
this recession.
More importantly, it was just
this short-term, quick-fix eco-
nomic policy that got us here in
the first place. Wake up America!
Twelve years of conservative
planning have brought us to this
point: the economy is faltering,
the welfare system is being both
pulled and reduced to the limit,
discrimination is on the rise, the
rich are richer, and the poor are
poorer. It is time for a change in
the leadership of this nation.
No more empty promises; no
more political manipulation; no
more misleading of the American
public by the President. In short,
no more Bush.
David Dvorin
LSA sophomore

.

I am man, hear me roar

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Houses division makes n rovement

"

n these times of slow procession toward equal-
ity between the sexes, a men's rights move-
ment has evolved. There are some men within the
movement who recognize inequalities in the fact
that women are ineligible for the draft, as well as in
issues surrounding child custody. These men do
not wish to be trapped in the stereotypical image of
the beer-chugging, unfeeling Neanderthal man.
They feel the need to break away from the
gender role placed upon them by society. While
some leaders of the movement seem to have the
right motivations, there are others who have con-
verted the movement into a sort of knee-jerk re-
sponse to the rising power of the women's move-
ment.
Leigh Travis, president of the Washtenaw
County chapter of Fathers for Equal Rights and a
leading activist in the Men's Movement wrote a
recent paper entitled "The War of the PAD (Pater-
nity/Assent/Draft)" In it, Travis states some rea-
sons why the Men's Movement is "necessary." His
reasoning is either ridiculous or completely op-
posed to common facts.
Travis points out, withsomedisgust, that women
have obtained complete control over their repro-

ductive cycle with the use of the pill. He is also
intimidated that women have filled close to 50
percent of the workforce. Both of these facts are as
a result of the long struggles that women have
endured over the decades. They represent the em-
powerment of women, which is what Travis is
really attacking.
The most shocking claim Travis makes, how-
ever, is when he mentions that, "It is well-known
that there are more physically abused husbands
than there are abused wives." In citing an obscure
study, Travis belittles the very real crime ofdomes-
tic violence against women.
The real facts come from the Department of
Justice, which states that approximately 95 percent
of the victims of domestic violence are women.
National Crime Survey data shows that women are
three times more likely to be the victims of violent
crimes committed by family members.
The idea of a men's movement interested in
working toward the goal of sexual equality, is not
completely without merit. However, the only way
a men's movement can have any merit and truly
help society is if it does not belittle women or the
progress they have made over the past decades.

by Larry Durst
and Alan Levy
The Daily editorial "Let Them
Eat Nothing" (1/17/92) raised
some concerns about the new
meal plans the Housing Division
began offering this fall. While the
plans now available to residence
hall residents may change again in
the future, we believe the new
plans have been responsive to
student interests in a number of
important ways. In fact, we are
now providing a number of
choices to our residents very
similar to those outlined and
recommended in another Daily
editorial published a year ago.
Although it is not clear from
the editorial, we currently offer an
Any 13 meal plan. In the past, the
standard meal plan was for 13
meals, with any two meals per
day, Monday through Saturday,
and one meal on Sunday. The
current 13-meal plan is for any 13
meals. The Daily estimate of the
cost of the 13 meal plan for winter
term was $1,200; the actual cost
to residents this term is $1,017.
We also offer two additional
options that were not offered
before. The Weekday 9 plan
allows for eating any nine meals
from Monday through Friday,

number of students eating in our
dining halls on weekends drops
substantially from weekdays
because of travel away from
campus, different schedules, or
desire for a change of pace. This
plan was one way to not unduly
penalize such students who were
often not able to eat any of the
meals offered on weekends. The
new buy-out plan replaces a very
inadequate meal plan cancellation
option that returned to students
only $588 per academic year. The
current plan returns $1,100 per
year. The buy-out option is not
offered at many schools around
the country that have mandated
meal plans in residence halls. Of
the schools that do offer it, they
do not credit as much as Michigan
does. We understand that the Zero
Meal option is less economical
than our other options and only
recommend it to students with
very specific requirements unable
to be met anywhere in our
residence hall dining system. Still,
both plans permit residents to
miss some meals or opt out of the
meal plan entirely and still recoup
board charges that up to this year
were not refundable.
In addition, our Entree Plus
program continues to expand with

League dining room and snack
bar. We anticipate that this
program will continue to grow
over the next several years. We
currently have 11,000 Entree Plus
accounts.
The Housing Division does
not receive any general fund
(state) support to operate the
residence hall and family housing
systems. The reason that Housing
does not return all board charges
to residents who select either the
Weekday 9 or Zero Option plans
is that it operates from a philo-
sophical stance that all residents
who live in traditional residence
halls should help support the fixed
costs of all hall operations,
including dining services. In the
same manner, a portion of each
resident's room fees help support
ongoing capital improvements
and facility rehabilitation so that
our buildings, over 30 years old
on average, can continue in
satisfactory condition well into
the 21st century. The Daily
acknowledges that Housing is
entitled to some overhead built
into its fees, but feels the current
level is too high. It may be right,
but at this point we are waiting for
a full year's data from 1991-92 to
evaluate how these programs

0

Nuts and Bolts
ANICE UR CAT.
'F 1K l0i. CST IRSA&

IF lYoO'RE ONE OF 7H0SE i
m~~t~4. ffi,45~N

yr PAl p IRJR 1771M-
s e &d 8
a ./tr

by Judd Winick
CMAAM, 2M NWSR 049 'm

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