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March 13, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-13

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Friday, March 13, 1992
Wtie £rcbrgau &uIy
l:ditor in Chief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor.Michigan 48 109
764 - 0552

Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Unsigned editorials represent a majority ref the Daity's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Hooray for the 24-hour library

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A university dedicated to education that did not
offer students aplaceto study for six hours out
of each day was something that just didn't make
For years, and notably in the last few elections
of the Michigan Student Assembly, a 24-hour
library has represented a plausible solution to the
problem, as well as a campaign issue.
Thanks to members of the Conservative Coali-
tion, who put the issue on its agenda, and new Vice
President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford,
who did most of the ground work, students now
have a place to study into the night. Hartford, as
well as MSA President James Green, deserve praise
for their efforts.
When Green campaigned for the MSA presi-
dency last spring, the library constituted one of the
few substantive planks ofhis platform. Thelibrary,
argued Green, was a non-partisan service that
would benefit all students. But for the first three
quarters of his term, Green failed to get the issue

off the ground.
Last month, the Daily was highly critical of
Academic Affairs Chair Jeff Muir, who made the
library a priority in rhetoric only. It was discourag-
ing to see so important an issue being mishandled.
But the arrival of Maureen Hartford offered the
spark that got the program going. Hartford was
able to secure University funding - some $40,000
to $50,000 a year - and get the necessary admin-
istrative approval. By the time students begin tak-
ing their final exams, the Undergraduate Library
will be open until five or six in the morning on an
interim basis. If the program works, and enough
students take advantage of it, it will be made
Admittedly, improvements still need to be made.
The library is really only a 21-hour library, and
details such as additional safe-walk or night owl
services need to be ironed out. But the important
part is over. Students finally have a place to study
late at night..

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ition without representation

At Tuesday's meeting of the Michigan Student
Assembly, LSA Rep. Ken Bartlett, chair of
MSA's Campus Governance Committee proposed
farming a student committee to investigate giving
students the authority to elect regent. The issue of
student repre-
sentation is of
particular sig-
nificance today
considering the
shameful and
callous treat-,
ment students h
suffered at the
hands ofthe Uni-
versity Board of
Regents during Y
the deputizaton
process. Protect-
ing the interestsp
ofstudents while
Michigan tax-
payers' influ-
ence in Univer-
sity affairs will
require an im-
pressive balanc-B
ing act. The best Brown
way to ensure student input and influence in Uni-
versity affairs is to put a student-elected represen-
tative on the board of regents.
Allowing students to elect a regent isn't a new
idea. Student activists and politicians have been
trying to place a representative on the Board for
years. Some have suggested actually electing a

student to the Board.
Recent events indicate that the regents care
little for student concerns. Since they are not elected
by students, they are not accountable to student
views. MSA should pursue a course that would
allow for the student election of a regent who
would wield full regental authority and be an
employee of the state of Michigan.
The lack of accountability of the regents today
continues to limit the influence of students in
University affairs. But, because Michigan is a state
institution supported by taxpayers' dollars, cutting
voters out of the process completely would set a
dangerous precedent. The point of electing a stu-
dent regent shouldn't be to reduce state influence
but to increase student power.
Regent Paul Brown (D-Petoskey) insists that
the State constitution would not allow such a move
due to possible conflicts of interest. Legally, the
constitution and the University charter, as they
exist today, may not allow for a student-elected
regent. If so, the charter and constitution need
The process will not be an easy one. MSA
representatives this year must get the ball rolling
for following assembly administrations. Amend-
ing government law will require cooperation with
many state officials and institutions. This issue
cannot be allowed to flitter away over time and
between elections.
The University Board of Regents wields great
governmental powers over the residents of the
community. The decisions the regents make every
day have great impact on students. Maintaining
democratic rights demands the election of a regent
by the University students.

Greeks harm women
To the Daily:
While reading Melissa
Peerless's Viewpoint article
("Sorority women are not sex
objects," 3/5/92) I was immedi-
ately struck because a very close
friend of mine was a victim of
this attitude. After having entirely
too much alcohol (as encouraged
by her "sisters" and the fraternity
men present) she was told she
should "hook up" with a certain
fraternity man. She didn't
understand everything "hooking
up" included and this man (who
was totally sober) took advantage
of the helpless girl in his room.
Afterwards he simply dropped
her off in front of her dorm. That
this kind of monster can exist
boggles my mind. I'm sure that
this is not an isolated incident and
I see it as a problem inherent in
the Greek system, resulting from
a combination of alcohol and
sexism. I call for the leaders of
the Greek system and each
individual fraternity and sorority
to deal with the problem swiftly
and decisively. Maybe someone
else will be saved from the utter
humiliation and degradation
experience by my friend.
Jay Boverhof
LSA sophomore
Capitalize white, too
To the Daily:
Why is it that every article and
editorial in the Daily capitalizes
the word "Black" when using it to
describe race while the word
"white" remains in all lower-
case? Neither of these words is
the proper name for a race. The
proper terms are African Ameri-
can and Caucasian, which should
both be capitalized. Capitalizing
one word and not the other
promote reverse discrimination
during a time when equality needs
to be stressed more than ever.
J. McIntosh

Save us from skateboarders


To the Daily:
Last Thursday I witnessed
University police officers
harassing two teenaged boys and
confiscating their skateboards. I
would like to commend these
men and others like them for
rescuing us, the students of the
University, from the dangerous
and threatening menace of
teenagers on skateboards. I'm
taken aback by your commitment

to "public safety." Keep up the
good work, and never mind about
doing more to stop rape on
campus, gay bashing, or other
bias-related crimes. Now, if you
could confiscate those rollerblades
from all the sorority women
wreaking havoc all over campus,
we would all feel much safer.
Christopher Powers
LSA Junior

Don't patronize the Union

To the Daily:
I am writing this letter in
response to the latest editorial
published by Jabulani McCalister
in the January-February issue of
The Black Student Monthly. I
whole-heartedly agree with
Jabulani's suggestion that we,
African Americans, should pull
all of our parties out of the
Michigan Union.
Ever since the University
decided to place numerous
restrictions on African-American
parties, I have wondered to
myself, "Why the hell are we still
giving these people our money?"
I am sick and tired of University
security guards greeting me at the
doors of the Michigan Union
every Thursday night through
Sunday night asking me for I.D.
when I only want to socialize
with my friends, or get something
to eat.
Those security guards make
me feel as if I have already
committed a crime, even though I
have not entered the building yet.
There have been countless times
that I have been at parties at the
Michigan Union, and the sign
downstairs said "Party sold out,"
but, in actuality, there were no
more than 300 people upstairs in
the party.
I also do not appreciate being
told to move from a certain area
in the Michigan Union when it is
my tuition that helps maintain all

areas of the Michigan Union. Let
me paraphrase Jabulani by saying
this: I do not like the fact that
since I am an African-American
student, I must enter through an
African-American door that was
designated by University security.
I, being a tuition paying
student, should be able to enter the
Michigan Union from any
entrance, during any normal
business hours, just like it was
before the University reinstated
Jim Crow laws!
Believe me, no one enjoys a
good party more than I do, but I
will be damned if I continue to
pay my hard earned African-
American money and shake my
African-American ass, in a place
that does not want "too many
African-Americans in it at any
given time." I am definitely in
support of all African-American
organizations and their efforts to
provide a safe environment for
everyone to party in, but there are
other ways of doing this and other
places to do it in.
Anywhere is better than the
Michigan Union at this point!
Please, I am asking everyone to at
least think about all the issues that
Jabulani raised in his editorial, and
one issue that I have commented
on here, and then let's see what
we can do about them.
Shelly-Ann Sangster
LSA sophomore


Michigan's return to barbarism


Gov. John Engler signed a bill last week that
creates a gaping loophole in the Michigan
state law that bans corporal punishment in the
public schools. The bill, authored by Sen. John
Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), allows teachers and
other school employees to use "reasonable physi-
cal force to maintain order." It appears that Gov.
Engler's interest in maintaining educational stan-
dards in the state now include a return to barbaric
disciplinary methods, making Michigan the first
state to ban and then re-establish the use of corpo-
ral punishment to discipline students.
Thelawis dangerously vagueinits definition of
when staff members are allowed to administer
physical discipline. As it stands, the legislation
does not indicate to which specific school employ-
ees the power extends. Anyone from a teacher to a
crossing guard to the cook in the school cafeteria
could lash out at a student without breaking the
The legislation permits the use of corporal
punishment when a school authority deems it nec-
essary to maintain order and control in a school or
school related setting."
From this language, one can assume any teacher

with a penchant for "control" could hit their stu-
dents at will.
Parents should be aware that the law allows
administrators to discipline children in a stringent
manner. It offers no example of events that would
merit the use of force. This legislation does not
offer peace of mind to parents - it smacks of
corporal punishment. It offers a freehand to schools
to chastise at will.
The use of the term "reasonable force" is in
itself problematic. What one teacher may find
reasonable, another may find excessive, and a
student may find painful. This clearly creates prob-
lems, in that no one person or body sets the rules.
Instead the rules and their corresponding punish-
ments will fluctuate from person to person.
Engler and others who supported this law have
shown disrespect for students and the Michigan
taxpayers who pay for the schools. The weak
definitions of key points of the law will likely lead
to abuse and injustice in the classroom.
The ban of all corporal punishment was a mea-
sure that would have augmented the rights stu-
dents. But by undermining that ban, Engler has
helped ensure that some students will suffer.

University wrongly censors NORMIL

by Michael Warren, Jr.,
While the administration is
apparently amenable to revamp-
ing the Interim Speech Policy to
protect students' right to free
expression, it is denying the same
liberties with regard to NORML's
(National Organization for
Marijuana Legalization) applica-
tion for a permit to rally on the
NORML's student and
national chapters lobby for the
legalization of marijuana. Recent
NORML rallies coincide with the
"Hash Bash" - an Ann Arbor
tradition in which thousands
flaunt drug laws and smoke
marijuana on the Diag. The
University claims that NORML is
responsible for the Hash Bash,
that it need not issue a permit to
"party," and points to a problems
accompanying the event.
Even if the accusations are
true, the University is ignoring the
rights of speech and assembly.
Even a cursory glance at the
Constitution and Supreme Court
precedent reveal the illegality of
the permit's denial.
Public sentiment is increas-
ingly intolerant of drug use and
the government is waging war

cultural views are exchanged for
evaluation by the People. Content
neutral protection of speech is
essential to the preservation of
our democracy, otherwise the
majority may silence the minor-
ity, and self-government may
collapse into majority tyranny.
Historical lapses illustrate the
danger: the Red Scares of the
1920s and 1950s brutally
censored political activists.
Further, unbridled expression is a
prerequisite for progressive social
change - without the protection
and the weapon of the First
Amendment, for instance, the
civil rights movement would
have been squashed iy the South.
Moreover, the University's
denial is a prior restraint - i.e., it
prevents the speaker from
speaking - the most pernicious
form of censorship, and never
permitted in practice. The
University claims that it is merely
stopping breaches of the law, but
it must not silence a speaker
before a danger exists. The policy
against prior restraints is so
strong that the Supreme Court has
upheld the right of papers to
publish designs of hydrogen
bombs and military secrets during

course, NORML asks that persons
not violate the law, and people
will smoke pot regardless of
NORML. Furthermore, only the
danger of violence has justified
such limits on speech - obvi-
ously inapplicable here.The
University's last gasps are to
claim that their regulation is a
time, place and manner restriction,
and berate NORML by arguing
that if it were interested speech
they would sponsor a debate or
rally at another time. Historically
such restrictions allow the
government to limit the loudness
of speakers or the time and place
of parades -not to deny speakers
effective forums. Currently Hash
Bash serves as excellent publicity
tool for their speeches.
Moreover, the University
would not bar an anti-apartheid
rally because they refused to
sponsor a debate, because it
annually drew thousands of people
into Ann Arbor or even if minor
lawbreaking was expected to
occur. If the University is con-
cerned about the law, it should
grant the permit and ticket illegal
The University's denial of the
permit is political censorship to

Nuts and Bolts
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by Judd Winick


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