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March 06, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-06

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Friday, March 6,1992
Editor in Chief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764 - 0552

Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Unsignedl editorials represent a Majority ref the Daily s Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Hold city elections in November

J'. - -


A new group called Voter Initiative for Novem-
ber Elections (VINE) is attempting to amend
the city charter to move the April Ann Arbor city
'election to November. VINE has started a petition
drive to place the issue on the November 1992
ballot. The group's political action is welcome.
Separate April city elections discourages voting
and limits student voting power. Correcting this
wrong will increase voter turnout and help end the
city's historic under-representation of students.
About 20,000 people voted in last April's city
election. As many as 55,000 voted in the last
November election. One reason voter turnout more
than doubles in November is that state and federal
,elections also occur at this time. Voters are con-
fronted with important state and national issues in
November. The publicity generated by the media
and the candidates for these elections is far greater
than anything the city could accomplish on its own.
The media's coverage of the 1992 presidential
campaign is proof of this. The city might as well
take advantageofsuch publicity togetmore people
to the polls. Holding city elections at this time
would force the city government to be more ac-
countable to the community.
Moreover, this switch would encourage more
students to participate in city politics. While stu-
dents often become engaged in national and state
MearesISa sighti
ince an administration committee released a
1 report last fall detailing the role of women and
minorities at the University little progress has been
made to extend the role of minorities and women,
who have been traditionally under-represented in
the administration and the faculty. However, one
positive note is that Dean Paula Meares, a Univer-
sity of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, professor and
head of the Illinois School of Social Work, has
been approved by the University Board of Regents
as the next dean of the School of Social Work.
Meares will take over next February.
The University is constantly extolling its com-
mitmentto diversity and should be commended for
recruiting Meares. However, it should make a
ygreater effort to practice whatit preaches. It should
hire more women and minorities in order to bring
diversity to its ranks.
Dean Meares will enter the University with a
first-hand understanding of a university that has
tbeen deficient in its minority enrollment. Blacks
makeup only 5.7 percent ofthe student body at the
University of Illinois, while Hispanics make up
only 3.7 percent of the student population. In
addition, Meares is the only woman dean who is a

elections, many remain ignorant of city issues.
But, if students were allowed to vote on city issues
when they were already at the polls, they might
become more involved in city government. This
would help insure students' voices are not ignored
by the city.
Another benefit of the switch is the cost. The
City Clerk's Office reports that the city expects to
spendbetween$20,000 and $25,000 per electionif
there are contests in all five wards. This year, the
city expects to spend $50,000 for the combined
cost ofApril and November elections. Holding two
elections when one would suffice is simply a waste
of tax dollars. The city is already experiencing
financial woes and has had to cut back some city
services as a result. If the budget is really an issue,
April elections should be abandoned and the sav-
ings redistributed.
Monday is the last day to register vote in the
April 6 city elections. Students are encouraged to
register so they are not steamrolled by city govern-
ment. However, In the long run this process must
Voting rights legislation of the 1960s empha-
sized the government's responsibility to ensure
more participatory democracy. The city should
recognize this and try to ease the voting process,
rather than maintaining barriers to democracy.

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ror sore eyes
member of a minority group. These statistics are
comparable to the under-representation of women
and minorities at this university.
This trend is not unique to either Illinois or
Michigan, but applies to universities throughout
the country.AffirmativeAction programs and other
programs dedicated to increasing the diversity of
college communities is critical to making the Uni-
versity more responsive to the needs of students.
But further stagnation by the administration can
only be expected. How much longer will it be
acceptable for Colleges to employ atiny fraction of
women and minorities?
Dean Meares is a welcomed addition to the
University. She is a qualified professor and dean of
social work with vast experience as a social worker,
special education teacher and tenured professor at
Illinois. Selections on par with hers must be made
if serious progress is to be expected. Department
chairs, associate professors on tenure track, ad-
ministrators and provosts all lack significant repre-
sentation of women and minorities.
The administration must avoid further lip-ser-
vice and engage in serious recruitment of those
without equal representation.

A2 not a sl resort
To the Daily:
A recent editorial in the Daily
("Slowpokes," 1/28/92) brought
home to me the strident and
spoiled tone of many voices
within the student community -
and especially those of the Daily
The editorial certainly makes a
valid point concerning the
importance of timely snow-
removal from streets and side-
walks. However, the paragraph
that deals with Ann Arbor's lack
of snow-related activities sounds
as if it comes from a child who
always has everything it wants,
and reacts petulantly when some
activity is not available or is
The argument that Ann Arbor
is a winter city (what does that
mean, anyway?) lacking winter
related activities for car-less
students seems absurd.
Why should Ann Arbor have
winter-related activities? Because
students are used to instant
gratification for anything else?
Why should students be permitted
to sled in an arboretum, where
people devote their energies to
growing and caring for plants and
plant habitats, and where the issue
of liability comes into play?
Tell me the same students
who expect instant gratification
will not sue when they are
The same people who moan
about skiing (downhill?) and
sledding obviously ignore
photographs in the Ann Arbor
News, which depict people
skating up and down the Huron.
I would suggest you continue
your effort to ensure prompt snow
removal, which is the responsibil-
ity of a municipality, and move to
some other university, one in a
mountainous locale, if you want
to downhill ski or sled!
Nina Stoyan-
Rackham graduate student

the Daily. We are writing to beg
that he contribute to more of the
Daily's opinion page.
Each week, he brightens our
otherwise ordinary Thursday

Aileen Supena
LSA sophomore
Elizabeth Wewers
LSA first-year student

Through rose-colored glasses

To the Daily:
It was with neither pleasure
nor surprise that I read the
editor's notes on the inside cover
of the May/June issue of Michi-
gan Alumnus. One expects the
magazine, published by the
University's alumni association,
to propagate a rose-colored vision
of all things Michigan. This was
no exception. Even so, I am
compelled to respond to editor
Noreen Ferris Wolcott's (class of
'77, as the publication dutifully
informs us) column.
Ferris writes, "As for the day
itself, majority rule underwrites
the basic premise of democracy,
and on Saturday, May 4, there
was no questioning who the
majority were. They stood and
cheered; they waved flags; they
decorated their graduation gowns
and mortarboards with yellow
ribbons and welcoming messages
to President and Mrs. Bush,...
and they broke into even bigger
applause when, in speaking of
'political extremists who roam
the land' he departed from the
prepared text (as the chants of the
hecklers in the stands could be
heard), and added the phrase,
'abusing the privilege of free
speech."' ,
But give Wolcott her credit.
She gives cursory mention to
"some two dozen graduates
(who) publicly opposed Bush's
participation in the spring
commencement by standing with
their backs to the president as he
spoke, or holding up blood-red
flyers." She fails to mention,
however, the hundreds if not

thousands of graduates who wore
red ribbons opposing the Persian
Gulf War, the protesters who
marched outside the stadium, and
the graduates who left the stadium
when Bush began his speech.
Moreover, in the ensuing pages
we see Bush's image no less than
seven times, while we are treated
to only one photo of people
opposed to the war. That photo, by
the way, is dwarfed on the same
page by a shot of students
brandishing Bush's photo and
biography in their commencement
Wolcott concludes, "The
majority mood was truly one of
celebration." There is no doubt
that this is true. But why, I
wonder, does she go to such great
pains to paint an image of a 5,000-
person senior class (save two
dozen rouge graduates) gathered
to express their overwhelming
solidarity with the president? One
had only to visit campus once last
year (as I assume Wolcott did) to
realize this was simply no true.
The University, as President
Duderstadt enjoys reminding us, is
a campus of great diversity:
diversity of heritage, diversity of
culture, and yes, Ms. Wolcott,
even diversity of opinion. Don't
be afraid to show it.
If anyone has "abused the
privilege of free speech" it's the
Noreen Ferris Wolcott who
distorted certain facts and failed to
report others to offer an impres-
sion she had to know was false.
Ian Hoffman
Class of '9)


Chait makes our mornings
To the Daily: morning breakfast with his
Jonathan Chait makes our sarcasm and shared insight on the
Thursdays. He is the best part of University. Thanks!

Nationalism or Japan bashing?

he recession this country is experiencing is
hurting most Americans. Naturally, the
economy has become the primary issue in the
presidential campaigns. In recent months this coun-
try has shifted its attention from trying to discover
ways to heal the ill economy: finding a scapegoat
for its sickness. Somehow, competition with Japan
has'become twisted into racism against the Japa-
nese people and Japanese Americans.
There has been an alarming increase in racial
discrimination and violence against Japanese
Americans and Japanese citizens in this country.
This is abitter irony, considering lastmonth marked
the 50th anniversary of the U.S. government's
internment of Japanese Americans during World
War II. The 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl
Harbor only intensified tensions.
Today, as in World War II, a dangerous climate
has developed where people of Japanese ancestry
living in the United States are blamed for the
supposed actions of the Japanese government.
In Seattle, a local businessperson and Japanese,
company made an offer to purchase the financially
strapped Seattle Mariners baseball team. The people
of Seattle opposed the sale apparently for no other
reason than because of the Japanese company. The
bid was rejected in the end.
The people in Seattle apparently felt that be-
cause of his Japanese descent he could not be
entrusted with "America's favorite past-time."
Ironically, many who play the sport are descen-

dants of other countries.
The Winter Olympic concluded just two weeks
ago, and some reports indicate that figure skating
gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi has not been of-
fered the volume of endorsements usually offered
to a gold-medal winner. Why is it that of all the
companies that advertise during figure skating
events only a handful could benefit from the added
status of an Olympic Gold Medalist as its spokes-
person? The reason is simple. Many sponsors are
afraid that featuring a Japanese American as the
spokes-person would damage the image of their
product. This type of attitude not only acknowl-
edges the existence of the racist sentiment against
Japanese Americans, but promotes its escalation
by not trying to confront it.
The campaign for the presidency is unfortu-
nately not immune to these anti-Japanese tenden-
cies. Some talk about "patriotic" economic poli-
cies. Others talk about getting tough with Japan.
Even the most liberal candidates - often associ-
ated with civil liberties - are participating in
serious Japan-baiting.
This type of racism, intolerance and discrimi-
nation is sweeping the nation, and it cannot con-
tinue. The onset of the Great Depression brought
radicals into the political scene who were anti-
Semitic and violently and bigotedly isolationist.
Hopefully, Americans have learned a lesson.
People of this nation should be wary of any type
of national pride that feeds from hate and racism.

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Reader, PolkDURiy tell hani-tru

by Jeff Muir
On Feb. 20, the Daily printed a
letter written by Kingii Hinterland
in which the author got an
opportunity to express the
"disgust, anger and sorrow" she
felt "upon reading the article
pertaining to the resignation of
Amy Polk (2/5/92)."
Hinterland took exception to a
statement attributed to me in that
Daily article she refers to ("I
would simply say that I think your
emotional comments tonight
don't hold a lot of weight)," and
then went on to determine from
this one statement that I "obvi-
ously gladly participate... .in the
denigration of women" and that I
engage in "sexism."
First, let me say that the one
sentence attributed to me in the
Daily, from which Hinterland is
amazingly able to psychoanalize
my entire being and personality,
was reported out of context and in
a misleading manner. Following
Polk's five minute long resigna-
tion speech, in which she repeat-
edly insulted me, I gave a two to
three minute reply. Of course, of
that two to three minute long
resnonse. the Daily chose only to

The thrust of my statement
was that it is important for people
to remember that it was Polk who
brought formal charges of
"unethical behavior" and "misuse
of Michigan Student Assembly
resources" against me at MSA in
a childish attempt to seek revenge
upon me for my part in the
reforming of the AATU. The lack
of credibility in this charge was
demonstrated by the fact that
Polk could only get three
members of the entire assembly'
to vote for her resolution, while
the entire balance of the body
voted to dismiss the charges
It is also important to remem-
ber that it was Polk who wrote an
article for the Daily which
accused my party, the Conserva-
tive Coalition (CC), of wholesale
malfeasance and corruption for
allegedly handing out committee
and commission chair and vice-
chair positions "like poker chips
during a late night card game."
The ridiculousness of these
charges was well demonstrated
not only in my own article (which
pointed out that every legislative

members and CC did not itself
have enough members to compile
the votes cast for most of the
positions. (In fact, the indepen-
dents swung most of these votes).
Further, one must understand
the argument which grounded my
Michigan Review article about
Polk. The point was not Polk's
intelligence. On the contrary, the
point was that while Polk likes to
pretend to be offended by the
realities of hardball politics, she is
perhaps one of this campus' most
adept paricipants in hardball
politics. In her MSA resignation
speech she again assumed the role
of the injured little girl, shocked at
the supposed brutality with which
one of her political opponents
returned her attacks. My point in
responding to her was simply that
I didn't buy her little act.
Hinterland must really think
herself something special;to
maternalistically berate me for one
out-of-context quote. It is people
like her, people who are so eager
to throw around accusations of
"sexism" and "denigration of
women" based on such floppy
"evidence," that give feminism a
bad name and who cause sexism



Nuts and Bolts
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