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February 12, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-12

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily-- Wednesday, February 12,1992
Editor in Chief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764 - 0552

Opinion Editors

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.
Honors bet "yaf
Honors benefits only a fiew

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s obstacles to obtaining a worthwhile under-
graduate education at the University mount, it
is good to know that there are some classes that
consistently challenge students to excel. Unfortu-
nately, many of these classes are open only to
"honors" students.
For some time now, the University has been
marketing its honors program as an oasis of per-
sonal treatment in a desert of red tape. And while
this may be true, there are a host of problems with
this program that do not make it into the University's
glossy brochures.
The selection process used to determine who is
admitted into the honors program ignores most
subjective criteria. It is widely accepted that the
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is more an indica-
tion of students' backgrounds than their intelli-
gence. Yet the honors program continues to give
tremendousweight to SAT scores during the selec-
tion process.
This is inherently flawed, and it serves to keep
otherwise qualified students out of some of the best

courses the University has to offer. Why is it that a
student with an 1100 SAT score is not honors
material, while a student with a 1250 score is?
Access to smaller classes, more personal counsel-
ing, and better instruction should not be limited to
the so-called "best and brightest."
The University is among the top 25 Universities
inthecountry. Despite the huge number of students
who attend, each one should be guaranteed a qual-
ity education - regardless of some arbitrary cut-
off point. Rather than determining which students
are elite enough to participate in this program, the
University should instead divert its resources into
improving the quality of instruction for everyone.
Honors courses should be open to every stu-
dent. That is not to say, of course, that every course
should be an honors-style course, but any students
willing to put in the additional effort to challenge
themselves should have that option available.
It is time that the University started to remem-
ber that instruction of undergraduates is a priority
here, too.

.. ...................... I- ........... --l--'---,- -------------------- --

]Bush helps planet and himself

Tt is no secret that President George Bush is not
theenvironmentalpresident he claimed he would.
be. His term has been riddled with environmental
no-no's ranging from the destruction of wetlands
to his recent attempt to block new Environmental
Protection Agency clean air regulations.
Last Thursday, the administration's apathetic
attitude concerning the planet took a 180-degree
turn when the Senate unanimously passed an
amendment to an international agreement that
would accelerate the elimination of ozone-damag-
ing chemicals.
Bush has stated that he will sign the bill. No
doubt he is feeling increased pressure from envi-
ronmental groups and statistics concerning ozone
depletion. While such a move to protect the envi-
ronment is welcome and long overdue, the presi-
dent seems to have moved on the issue only for
political reasons:
The new proposal is a modification of the
Montreal Protocol, an international agreement
signed in 1987 which advocates the abolition of
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the year 2000.
Recent studies indicating that ozone depletion is
occurring at twice the previously believed rate
prompted the amendment as well as a response
from Eileen Claussen, director of the EPA's Office
of Atmospheric and Indoor Air Programs.
"It is obvious that we have to move up the dates
(to eliminate CFSs)," she said. "The Senate resolu-
tion says to move them up as fast as we can. To the

extent there is debate, and there isn't much, the
debate is over just how early we can fix these
This bill currently enjoys the support of the
Senate, where it passed 96-0, as well as the en-
dorsement of the House. Had the president at-
tempted to block this bill, as he did three months
ago, it probably would have passed despite his
attempts. Certainly having Congress showing-up
the White House during an election year would
hurt Bush in the upcoming polls.
Perhaps the largest factor in the president's
decision is a report by scientists of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration which stated
that exceptionally high levels of an ozone-killing
chemical derived from CFCs were discovered over
a large portion of the northern hemisphere. Closer
examination proved the ozone layer particularly
thin over Kennebunkport, Maine, where the presi-
dent owns a vacation home. William Reilly, an
EPA administrator, described the president as "very
Finally, after years of neglect as the ozone layer
turned to swiss cheese and Johnson & Johnson
made millions selling "30 plus" sunblock, Bush
has become "very concerned."As Sen. Al Gore (D-
Tenn.) said, "The president had abdicated his re-
sponsibility. This amendment is a wake-up call ...
Where was the president when the warnings came
through so loudly and clearly for the last several
years?" Good question.

Workshop pushes
pro-minority agenda
To the Daily:
On Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day, I attended the College of
Engineering's workshop entitled,
"Demographics in the Workplace:
2001." I expected it to address the
social issues arising from a multi-
ethnic work environment. Instead,
I was startled to discover such a
strong emphasis in the session's
tone on doctoral degrees awarded
to foreign citizens. According to
one of the panelists, Jaime
Oaxaca, in order for the United
States to remain "number one" in
the world it must make more
efforts to bring minority U.S.
citizens into the higher levels of
the professional cadre, rather than
only foreigners.
I am a Ph.D. student and a
member of the minority for whom
Oaxaca pleaded. This workshop
seemed a subtle tool to engender
political support for minority
issues by playing on jingoistic
tendencies. The message was that
the uplifting of U.S. minorities is
important only because they
belong to the United States and
our ultimate goal in examining
diversity is making the United
States strong and the world's
"policeman." Such a conception
of diversity which extends only as
far as the U.S. borders deeply
undermines the global sense of
the word as Marting Luther King
understood it. It is incredible that
in his name this university can
sponsor a talk which attributes to
diversity such base connotations.
Chandra Raman
Engineering graduate student
Write the Daily
All letters should be 150 words or
less, and should be sent to: The
Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard,
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109. Or via
MTS to.. The Michigan Daily,
letters to the editor.

Daily rejects feminity
To the Daily:
Your article, "What are Little
Girls Made Of?" (1/30/92) in the
Weekend section of the Daily,
although written by a woman,
perpetuates the Daily's long-
standing policy that anything
feminine is wrong, and that
women should always attain to be
(second-class) men.
Why shouldn't a "thin, frail
and tiny" girl be taught that thin,
frail and tiny are attractive any
less than a tomboy be taught that
she is OK too? As far as ballet
setting goals unattainable by
many girls, I hope it would not be
implied that girls, and boys too,
should never aspire to be presi-
dent, that our society take that
goal away from children.
Finally, I think that the article
stresses too little an appreciation
for art and emphasizes too
strongly that feminine identities

rely on overt sexuality - a
feminine ideal, which if ex-
pressed, the Daily is too often
quick to censor.
Pat Burkard
Ann Arbor
Get your tickets here
To the Daily:
In reference to the recent
notice that appeared in the paper
regarding the Detroit Symphony
Orchestra's performances, you
may want to inform your readers
that student rush tickets are
available immediately before
showtime for five dollars, upon
presentation of a student ID.
These tickets are not available
in the event of a sellout, an
unfortunately rare occurrence.
Waleed Meleis
Engineering graduate


Learn both sides of the story

To the Daily:
In my history of art lecture
today, my professor proposed that
to understand .the art we are
currently covering (the Renais-
sance period), we should read the
first four books of the New
Testament. Upon saying this, she
was greeted with a loud murmur.
She then forgot she was not trying
to push a certain religion, but
many Renaissance works are
based on the Gospels, and she just
wanted students to be familiar
with the stories behind the art.
However, a strong feeling of
discontentment was still present. I
can only assume that the dis-
gruntled ones were shocked at this
apparent attack on diversity. I, on
the other hand, think that this was
a call for expanded diversity. If
we were studying religious works
from another culture, I would like
to know the background of those
works. I will admit that I am a

Christian, but I am secure enough
in my own beliefs that learning
another culture's background
could not hurt me. If-people are
strong enough to live in a Chris-'
tian based society such as ours
and not believe in the Christian
God, how can reading the Gospels
hurt? Knowledge of the opposing
side's arguments can only
strengthen one's own.
When people are given the
choice to learn something they
don't already know, even in
regard to religion, it cannot be
fairly equated with forcing them
to learn a certain set of ideas. The
people that refuse to be exposed
to new ideas simply because they
are held by the majority are as
guilty of discrimination as those
who refuse to learn ideas held by
Joe Corrado
Engineering first-year

Don't give us a November surprise

jonce again, the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) is engaged in a covert operation to
undermine the government of a foreign country.
President Bush has authorized the CIA to use a
contingency fund to try to oust Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, according to
administration officials.
The plan, which for the time being only autho-
rizes the use of propaganda and meetings with
rebel leaders, will cost an estimated $20 million to
$30 million. However, Pentagon officials have
already prepared a report for the White House
which details the necessary military operations
should U.S. armed forces become involved in the
CIA-instigated coup. In this case, Bush's imperial
foreign policy will likely backfire, and the cost in
American lives and money will increase enor-
These revelations of CIA operations are not
surprising, considering Saddam is a two-bit dicta-
tor. Meddling in other countries' internal affairs is
not a new practice of either the CIA or its former
director, George Bush. However, the sheer hypoc-
risy of a CIA instigated coup is staggering.
Bush repeatedly touted the Desert Storm opera-
tion as a U.N. action to enforce U.N. resolutions.
Now, when faced with Saddam's continued non-
compliance with U.N. resolutions, Bush is under-
taking unilateral action without U.N. auspices.

Bush shed crocodile tears over the sovereignty
of Kuwait, a non-democratic country whose lib-
erty was snatched away by a miniature "evil em-
pire." Now, when only Iraq is involved and when
no country is threatened, the sovereignty of a non-
democratic country seems to be of little or no
importance in Bush's private vision of world order.
Bush has repeatedly supported dictators when
it suited his fancy. China, Syria, Panama and Iraq
itself head the long list of countries that have
received Bush's casual acceptance. Now, when
Saddam's continued reign is perceived as a black
mark on Bush's foreign policy record during an
election year, Saddam's downfall is suddenly worth
risking more bloodshed, even though there are no
U.S. interests involved.
Perhaps the motivation for this foreign policy
move is revealed when one looks at Bush's declin-
ing approval rating among voters, his State of the
Union flop, and the increasing criticism of his
domestic policy vacuum.
Distracting the public from domestic affairs is
an old trick for Bush and, like the producer of a hit
movie, he seeks to repeat his demonstrated success
at Saddam-bombing.
However, like the sequel to a hit movie, this
one will probably not do as well. The audience can
only take so much of a stale plot, and the price of
admission is just too high.

.41.:.OM M UNITY:.::4::.4::::::X:": t:' ':.:" X.XGU
Intri policy4"::poses :: thought control.. .

by Peter Mooney
and Michael Warren
Recently, the Student Rights
Commission (SRC) of the
Michigan Student Assembly
issued an investigative report
recommending the abolition of
the Interim Policy on Discrimina-
tion and Discriminatory Conduct.
In rare moment of unanimity
MSA endorsed the SRC's
recommendation that the Interim
Policy be abolished, and that a
student referendum be held on the
As the following incidents
indicate, students consider the
poliyca major campus issue:
HIn 1989, a University
student brought a suit in federal
court which overturned the initial
harassment policy. Instead of
complying with the constitutional
mandate of that decision, the
University imposed the current
Interim Policy.
Last Spring, student
publications united to oppose the
Interim Policy. The editors of The
Michigan Daily, The Michigan
Review, Consider, The Res
Gestae, and Prospect signed a
letter urging the policy be

the MSA offices in the Union:
The importance of freedom
of speech:
Freedom of speech is vital to
the democratic foundations of
America. Justice Cardozo noted
that freedom of speech "is the
matrix, the indispensable condi-
tion, of nearly every other
freedom." Benjamin Hooks, the
NAACP president, agrees: "The
civil rights movement would have
been vastly different without the
shield and spear of the First
Amendment ... (It) is of particular
importance to those who have
been victims of oppression."
Fighting Words:
Since the fighting words
exception to the First Amendment
requires that speech incite
violence to be regulated, that
exception cannot be invoked to
justify the policy. The policy does
not require a violent reaction, but
rather states that speech be
intended to injure its target.
We are sensitive to the reality
that hate speech is extremely
injurious. We reject racism,
sexism, homophobia and similar
attitudes. And we recognize that
these ideas can severely scar their

speech. -
EDue Process:
Enforcement procedures
currently resemble a Stalinist
show trial more than an American
courtroom. Jurors are political
appointees; the Administration
acts as prosecutor; the right to
counsel is severely limited; and
unreliable hearsay evidence is
admitted. This is Kafka, not
s Thought Control:
The Interim Policy imposes
thought control. The University
generally does not sanction
non-academic conduct, yet the
Interim Policy sanctions certain
speech and conduct based solely
on the motivation of the actor.
For instance, Jane may impale
John with an ice pick and not be
sanctioned; but if she mutters an.
insult about his maturity the full
weight of the Fleming Building~
comes down on her shoulders.
What is sanctioned is not her
conduct, but her motivation.
Justice Douglas and Harvard Law
Professor Lawrence Tribe
condemn such prohibitions as
"thought control." We concur.
Policy advocates assume


Nuts and Bolts
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