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March 12, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-12

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, March 12,1992
be £ itiganhaiie
Edilor inChe

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 cf the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
No code is a good code

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SThe only good code is no code.
~ Last week the Student Rights Commission
(SRC), chaired by Michael Warren, Jr., released a
report detailing a new and potentially permanent
code for nonacademic conduct that would replace
the University's interim code, which rigorously
governs student expression. The report, entitled
"The University of Michigan Policy on Violent
Intimidation on Campus," was written by Warren
and Peter Mooney in an attempt to head off a more
restrictive speech code, which the administration
The newly proposed code does not attempt to
extend University control beyond those rights guar-
anteed by the U.S. Constitution. This alteration of
the current interim code is admirable and well
- wintentioned in guaranteeing the rights of students.
Warren and Mooney have both spoken out against
a code of nonacademic conduct and their desire to
abolish such a code should be commended.
However, the administration refuses to let go of
its own desire to implement a code, and conse-
quently Warren and Mooney are currently fighting
for the lesser of two evils. Although the University
can only punish a student for actions which are
already illegal, it should not be able to discipline a
student for any honacademic action. It is only
administrative rigidity that forces Warren and
Mooney to concede to a code at all. It should not be
surprising that the most crucial issue that the code
fails to address is the University's authority to
punish students for actions that are already illegal
under state and federal law.

Warren's new code falls short of guaranteeing
the rights of students if they are going to be accused
of a crime. First, the code states that "both parties
may be accompanied and advised by counsel, and
both enjoy an unrestricted right to counsel only if
expulsion or suspension are possible sanctions."
This means that students involved in a trial can not
have a lawyer present unless there is a possibility
that the accused would be expelled or suspended.
Students who face University sanctions are en-
titled to counsel, no matter the possible punish-
In addition, the new code calls for a jury of six
students. Only five of the six students must find
that there is clear and convincing evidence that the
accused is guilty. What ever happened to "beyond
a reasonable doubt?" Under the new code it is
much easier to find an. accused person guilty and
there does not need to be unanimity among the
The University does not need any type of code
to govern its students. There are already laws to
guard against speech that incites people to vio-
lence. In addition, there are already courts to judge
a person charged with inciting violence. This code,
like any code, would allow a person to be punished
twice, once by the courts and once by the Univer-
Although the proposed code is better than the
interim code, all codes of nonacademic conduct
are bad for students. Attending a University is
supposed to be a benefit of society. It should not
make students doubly accountable to the law.



.. .

"i ": .:: .::.:"i "". ".....:..:: .. ..

Misinformation act
To the Daily:
I concur with your editorial
("Back Alleys or Safe Clinics," 2/
11/92) about the pressing threat to
a woman's right to an abortion.
The public should know that the.
Michigan Legislature passed
House Bill 4280, which includes
the mandatory 24-hour waiting
period and misinformation act.
These laws are built on the
premise that women are not
capable of making autonomous
decisions about their own bodies
and lives.
. Under the bill, every woman
who chooses to have an abortion
would be forced to endure an
unnecessary waiting period.
Medical professionals would be
forced to read an anti-choice
script detailing unverified health
and emotional complications from
an abortion and to show women
fetal pictures. Low-income
women are entitled to the same
comprehensive care as wealthy
women. This bill forces logistical,
financial and emotional burdens
on mothers, workers and poor
women. A woman's body must
remain her own property, not that
of the church or the state.
Mimi Arnstein
LSA sophomore

To the Daily:
I am writing in regards to your
article on interracial dating (2/14/
92) where Helena Wang wrote
that she doesn't date white men
because "unless you're a person
of color, you can't understand
what I am struggling with" and
Latinisha Boston said that she
"has a hard time dating white
men because of their history of
oppressing African Americans."
What an interesting concept:
sweeping generalizations about a
whole race of people. Perhaps we
should remove all men from
courses that study women's
issues because they wouldn't
understand their point of view, or
all people of color from courses
that focus on "western" civiliza-
tion and funnel them instead into
courses that focus on their own
respective cultures.
One of the keys to ending
racism is people making an effort
to understand other cultures and
ideas, whether in a classroom,
everyday life or in a relationship
where you have the added
incentive of avmutual attraction to
help you on the road to mutual
Jon Heaton
Rackham graduate student

To the Daily:
Scholarships which deny
benefits to specific races (or are
only inclusive to a few) are
discriminatory, and they do
violate Title VI of the 1964 Civil
Rights Act. This generation of
students had absolutely nothing
to do with the racial discrimina-
tion in the era of Martin Luther
King, Jr., yet many members of
this generation are excluded from
money for college due to the lack
of color in their skin. Isn't nearly
thirty years of "payment" for
"past wrongs" enough? I refuse to
feel guilt over something that
occurred before I was born, and it
is about time that the Daily, and
every other liberal in the world,
realized that whites, just like any
other group, have been discrimi-
nated against.
Michael J. Corbin
LSA senior
The Daily encourages its readers
to respond. All letters should be
150 words or less and sent to: The
Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Or via MTS
to: The Michigan Daily, Letters to
the Editor.

Right-wing court takes R & R

T he U.S. Supreme Court decided to
give itself a tension-free schedule for the rest
of the year. The docket to be presented to the Court
represents a decline in its caseload by almost one-
third, when compared to the industrious Court of
the 1980s.While the Court may do more harm than
good, it is disheartening to see the highest court in
the land failing to address constitutional issues.
The Court did not need an explanation for its
self-granted hiatus. In 1988, Congress gave the
Court full discretion regarding which cases it
chooses to accept. Apparently, it is opting for
While no one can find definitive reasons for the
lax schedule, one need only look at a few details.
Of the justices of the Court, Chief Justice William
Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia, Sandra
Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy are all
Reagan appointees. President Bush appointed Jus-
tices Souter and Thomas. Since the judges of.lower
federal courts, over half of which were appointed
by Reagan, deliver conservative opinions, the Court
has been accepting fewer and fewer appeals. Thus,
withthe present conservative Courtin control ofits
own schedule, naturally it would relegate cases
concerning individual liberties to a lower priority.
Justices Clarence Thomas and David Souter are

not used to the great workload that a Supreme
Court justice faces. Before his nomination, Tho-
mas spent only a year and a half as a justice on a
D.C. Court of Appeals. He simply did not have the
experience necessary to handle the large case-load
of the Supreme Court.
Recent talk around Washington indicates that
Souter has been unable to keep up with the Court's
present workload. The fact that the new justices are
not up to par may constitute another reason the
Court wants a lighter schedule. In fact, very few of
the Court's opinions have been written by these
newer appointees.
Despite the court's light case-load, the court has
accepted a Pennsylvania case that could overturn
Roe vs. Wade. The Court will hear this case in
April. However, it will only be in session for one
week during that month. This is enough time for.
the justices to spend a few lazy weeks in the Mall
soaking up the sun.
The Court's period of rest and relaxation is no
surprise. The Supreme Court has few problems
with the disregard for individual rights that the
conservative lower federal courts have displayed.
Thus, the Court need not grant an appeal. Until the
judges start retiring - whether from their judge-
ships or from life - this trend will continue.


Housing hikes ludicrous and unjustified

To the Daily:
In response to the increase in
residence housing for the 1992-
1993 school year, I would like to
question the legitimacy behind the
4.9 percent increase. This brings
the cost of a room in the residence
hall to $4284.60 for the school
year. After living in South Quad
for about a year, I can say that
such a sum is certainly not
reasonable for what you get out of
the dorms. Needless to say, next
year I will be living in an apart-
ment. Even without the price.

increases, I will be saving money.
Rent on a two bedroom apartment
will cost about $2,160 for the
year. I will have privacy and my
own bathroom. Ah, the joys of
off campus housing!
I fail to understand how the
University can justify charging
such outrageous prices for the
residence halls, when other
universities offer housing at half
the price. Are our rooms better?
I don't think so. In fact, most
schools have rooms with private
bathrooms, something I have

grown to miss. It seems to me that
the University is simply taking
advantage of the fact that most
freshman choose to live in the
dorms because they don't really
know enough people to live
anywhere else.
They are turning this into a
profit, and in my opinion, we as
students should question and
oppose this unjustified increase in
residence hall prices.
Jennifer Sinacola
LSA first-year student

Practicing safe computing

he Michaelangelo computer virus came and
went this last Friday, fortunately with very
few victims. This virus, believed to have been
created by computer hackers in Europe, was pro-
grammed to wipe out computer data on March 6,
1992, the Italian Renaissance artist's birthday.
Before that date, experts estimated up to five
million IBM-compatible computers would be in-
fected with this virus worldwide. The actual num-
ber turned out to be only a fraction of this amount.
The media and so-called experts, by exaggerat-
ing the potential danger posed by the virus, may
prevent people from taking computer virus warn-
ings seriously in the future. Computer viruses are
still a potential threat, and users should continue to
take the necessary precautions.
For the past two months, the broadcast and print
media have given overwhelming amounts of news
coverage to the Michaelangelo virus. Stories have
warned the public about the danger of the virus,
and how to protect a computer with anti-viral
Anti-viral computer programs can detect if one
of the 1,200 viruses known to exist is infecting a
computer and wipe it out before it can cause any
major damage. These programs can be expensive.
For personal computers, they cost anywhere from
$25 to $100. For a network of business computers,
it can cost up to $200. There have reportedly been
millions of dollars in sales of this software, in part

due to the media hype concerning the
Michaelangelo virus.
Most computer virus experts are employees of
the same companies who sell these anti-viral pro-
grams. The fact that representatives of software
companies were frequently quoted in stories about
the virus indicates that the media failed to detect
this conflict of interest. Wouldn't these companies
want to raise hype about a computer virus in order
to scare people into buying their software?
Many people subsequently bought expensive
anti-viral software because they thought their com-
puters were in danger. Unfortunately, people may
be more reluctant to take such precautions in the
future. When there is an actual computer virus
threat, the public might be caught off guard and
easily vulnerable to its effects.
"Safe computing" can be practiced without
paying the high price for anti-viral software. Pub-
lic domain software can be obtained from several
computer bulletin boards free of charge. Or, when
a virus is known to be coming, computer users can
simply not use their computer for that day.
Computerviruses are still a serious threat. When
not taken seriously, they can wipe out all the data
on a computer's hard drive or even disrupt a
computer network. Hours of valuable research and
millions of dollars can be lost. People that own
computers should still take precautions in order to
prevent infection.

Iiring Black faces, not Black voices

Last Thursday on L.A. Law,
Jonathan Rollins, the only African-
American attorney at the firm, was
asked to try a case for his father, a
politically conservative professor
of economics. Rollins, the elder,
had quit his academic position to
take a more lu-,
crativejob hehad
been virtually
promised by a:
private com-:
pany. At the last
moment he was Mb
not hired, osten-:
sibly because of
racism at the Elizabeth Cole
company, which
had a poor record of hiring minori-
By the end of the episode,
Jonathan had unraveled the case.
Over time, the one Black executive
at the corporation had systemati-
cally slandered all African-Ameri-
car job candidates, turning the opin-
ions of his white associates against
the applicants.
Thus the racial discrimination
in hiring at the firm could all be
traced back to this Black man, who

groups themselves. Moreover, the
firing of the traitorous executive
suggests that corporate America is
anxious to eradicate racism wher-
ever it may lurk.
By framing the Black executive
as the villain in this story, the writ-
ers of L.A. Law were able to blame
African-Americans for their own
oppression and to simultaneously
give the impression that racism is
not systemic. It appears that it is
possible to eradicate racism at a
company by firing a single person.
These. events suggest another
scenario to me. Suppose the white
executives at the company were
indeed racists who welcomed the
Blackman's disparaging comments
about the minority applicants. After
the Black executive expressed his
objections to Black applicants, the
white businesspeople were legiti-
mated in voting against them. They
knew that their hiring procedures
would not be judged as motivated
by racism if their Black-colleague
had voted similarly. The Black ex-
ecutive was hired precisely to serve
this function in the company. Al-
though this duty of his job was

the defense attorneys representing
a white police officer accused of
killing a Black youth. He was not
asked to give the case the benefit of
his legal expertise, but of his Black-
ness, to give the impression that
members of the Black community
supported the defendant.
But in last Thursday's episode,
Jonathan and his father regarded
the Black executive with disgust
once his wrong doings were ex-
posed. They had assumed that he
was their ally in their dealings with
the corporation because he was a
fellow African American, a
"brother." The Rollins family ought
to withhold their judgement and
instead take a lesson from the fate
of the Black executive.
Once the corporation's racist
hiring practices were exposed, this
man took the fall for them by him-
self. He was hired to further the
interests of the corporation, not of
his group, oreven of himself. When
his image as a representative of
Black people as a group was soiled,
he was no longer of use to the com-
pany, and was quickly discarded.
Tokenism works by taking the


Nuts and Bolts
You A cAn
ASr r

*fl4W p oy m auly ma rH


by Judd Winick

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