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March 17, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-17

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily-- Tuesday, March 17,1992
Editor in Chief

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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 miajority 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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Remember to vote today

Frustration and anger with the Washington es
tablishment is widespread. The front-pages of
our major newspapers are splashed with scandal-
ous news: a rape in Palm Beach, congressional
check-bouncing, the savings and loan fiasco, and
Rubbergate. Voters in the 1990 election promised
to "throw the bums out." Naturally, because the
populace failed to react, the bums are still there.
This year, voters will choose the first president
since the end of the Cold War. Anew era may begin
with the 1992 election. Only if every citizen exer-
cises their franchise will the people have a hand in
directing the future of the United States. Don't
forget to vote.
Hours before the 1948 election, pollsters were
declaring the wide-margin victory of Republican
Thomas Dewey. Millions of Republican voters,
certain of Dewey's victory, never showed up to the
polls. The citizens who supported Truman, by
exercising their right to vote, sent Harry Truman
back to the White House.
In 1960, President John Kennedy won by less
than 200,000 votes - a fraction of a percent. The
United States came frighteningly close to electing
the man who called Truman a traitor and used his
dog Checkers to save his career.
Gov. James Blanchard suffered a surprising
defeat to Gov. John Engler last year. Today, many
Michigan residents regret the Republican victory.
The arts, general assistance, care for the mentally

ill, the environment, and a wide array of other state
concerns have suffered at the hands of the axe-
wielding Engler. Engler's win-margin was slim.
Had more voted, he may not be governor today.
Citizens in Eastern Europe and China shed
blood to restore the government to the people -
some successfully, some not. As the tanks rolled
through Tiananmen Square and through the Red
Square in Moscow, the Chinese and Russians con-
fronted authoritarian regimes with the courage of
true democrats.
With the revolution of democracy in Eastern
Europe, many wonder how democracy has fared at
home. The chasm between the rich and the desti-
tute has widened. The number of homeless has
doubled since 1980. Some 30 million Americans
can't afford to see a doctor. Despite popular opin-
ion, everybody is affected by politics, both in
Lansing and in Washington. Still, less than half of
all eligible voters cast their ballots in presidential
elections. Even less show up if it rains.
Today's primary will send hundreds of del-
egates to the political conventions this summer.
After the 1968 Democratic convention, the pri-
mary system was revamped to better include citi-
zens in the process of choosing the party candidate.
Michigan residents should take advantage of this.
The election today is important- as important as
any other.
Remember to vote.


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Credit cut continues uncorrected

L ast year, the LSA Curriculum Committee voted
to change all upper-level history and political
science classes from four credits to three credits.
Even after condemnation by both departments and
a severe drop in enrollment in history and political
science classes, the LSA Curriculum Committee
refuses to reverse its decision. This damaging
decision will continue to weaken the quality and
bradth of courses undergraduates take.
This original decision to decrease the credit
values of these courses was made under the pre-
sumptionthatthenumberofclassroom hours should
reflect the amount of credit awarded, while bring-
ing the History and Political Science departments
iwline with the rest of the University. This reason-
ing is flawed, because the relative amount of work
for the credits received in upper-level classes is
greatly disproportionate to the amount of work
done in lower-level classes.
Since the credit changes, both the History and
lfolitical Science departments have reported a 15
tb 18-percent drop in enrollment. With less stu-
dents taking classes, cutbacks are sure to follow.
With these departments offering less credits,
students will have two options when scheduling
their classes. They can take five upper-level three-
credit classes, and risk faring poorly because of the

overwhelming workload. Or, if students want to
avoid overburdening themselves, they would have
to stay an extra year, spending thousands of dollars
in additional tuition. The committees decision to
cut credits seems to be an ingenious money-mak-
ing scam for the University.
One of the purposes of a liberal-arts education
is to take classes in a wide variety of areas and to
gain an understanding of a variety of subjects. The
University attempts to meet this ideal through its
distribution requirement.
But, with the credit decreases, even fewer stu-
dents who are not concentrating in history or
political science will be able to select advanced
courses in the two fields of study. Many will
simply not be able to afford to devote the necessary
effort to these difficult classes if they only offer
three credits. The vast majority of non-concentra-
tors will have little exposure beyond the rudimen-
tary basics of History 161 and Political Science
Unfortunately, the LSA Curriculum Commit-
tee will not yield, despite the lack of positive
results during this past yearto justify this draconian
decision. The committee should at the very least,
reopen the subject for discussion among teachers,
students and administrators.

Allegations of
letter were tasteless
To the Daily:
I am compelled to write in
response to Rick Shick's letter
("Flier tacky, not sexist," 2/19/
92). Shick has unfortunately
bought into a stereotype that has
plagued women for centuries: the
belief that women who do not
participate in life as virgins do so
as prostitutes.
I need only point to Shick's
own mother, who I can only
hope, was "a willing participant
in the whole copulatory act," and
who is, according to the logic of
her son, "a slut and a woman of
loose morals," to demonstrate the
horrendous implications of such a
Shick claims to find Theta
Delta Chi lacking in "taste and
sophistication." If this is true,
perhaps he should consider
rushing there; the allegations of
his letter are among the most
tasteless that I've encountered at
this University.
Stephanie Cook
Judge thyself
To the Daily:
The front cover of the U.
magazine distributed with The
Daily (3/11/92) has a blurb on it
bitching about the lack of intelli-
gence shown by college students
today. I just thought this was
kinda funny coming from a
publication which calls itself "The
National College Newspaper" and
which reads, looks and feels like a
section that fell out of USA
Pete Dresslar
LSA junior

Bullard unfit for Judgeship

To the Daily:
As of late, I am forced to ask
why the Daily deems it so
important to parrot everthing
Perry Bullard (D-Ann Arbor)
says as truth. This is particularly
tragic in light of what the man
has to say. It is also somewhat
laughable that the words and
minutiae of the life of Bullard
headline above the news of the
real world, i.e. that nebulous
region outside of Ann Arbor.
Bullard exposes himself as
unfit for a judgeship with words
expressing deep-felt political
prejudice. His statements about
conservatives in both parties
show a type of blind impassioned
liberalism that escapes the
bounds of rationalism.
Calling Bill Clinton "trou-

bling" and Pat Buchanan a
"fascist" is a tactic that reeks of
McCarthyism. Blind extremism on
either side of the political fence is
dangerous. For Bullard to attack
his opponents on what they are
and not what they stand for is in
itself prejudiced. The simple
labels he attaches to people don't
help his position, and certainly
don't go very far to explain what
the American people are thinking.
A judgeship requires at least a
pretense of being nonpartisan and
ideologically neutral. It would be
a crime for a man with such deep-
seated irrational views to hold a
position whose purpose is to
interpret laws in a neutral fashion.
Dante Stella
LSA sophomore

Alcohol abuse, serious problem *

To the Daily:
It is unfortunate that a major
problem on this campus such as
alcohol abuse be used to bash the
Conservative Coalition (CC).
While I certainly agree with the
fact that last year's Alcohol
Awareness Week events were a
"disaster" due to the extremely
low turnout, the truth is that
alcohol abuse is one of the
premier issues among students.
For those who are binge drinkers,
blackouts are common.
Alcohol is a factor in more
than half of the reported rape and
sexual assault cases on campus.
There is even some evidence to
suggest that alcoholism may be
passed on to future generations
through biological means. Your
attack on the "puritanical moral-
ity" of those who would have
students make wiser decisions
with regards to alcohol consump-

tion is disappointing. Part of a
newspaper's responsibility is to
inform its readers.
Also, the insinuating reference
to the "many" CC representatives
who are members of the Corner-
stone Christian Fellowship was
uncalled for. It does not matter
whether Michigan Student
Assembly representatives are
Christians, Jews or otherwise.
Finally, your suggestion that
LSA Representative Scott Gast
"loosen up and have a drink" is in
contempt of the law, which
currently prohibits consumption
of alcohol (responsible or
otherwise) for those under the age
of 21.
I hope the Daily uses better
judgement in the future regarding
alcohol on campus.
Michael Barry
LSA sophomore

Rubbergate revisited

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 426-
0 early Friday morning to release the names of
all 355 members who wrote bad checks at the
House Bank over a 39-month period. The irrespon-
sibility displayed by these representatives by their
part in the check-writing scandal, as well as other
abuses of power, fosters the notion that the Con-
gtess has become an imperial branch of govern-
For the 24 worst offenders, detailed informa-
tion outlining the number of bounced checks and
their amounts have been released. The worst of-
fender, former Rep. Tommy Robinson (D-Ark.)
bounced 996 checks totaling nearly half-a-million
dollars. Four Michigan members have admitted to
louncing checks: Rep. John Dingell (D-Trenton),
Majority Whip David Bonior (D-Mt. Clemens),
Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) and Rep. Bob Davis
(k-Gaylord), who is the worst Michigan offender,
bouncing $344,000 in checks.
Despite pressure from House republicans,
Speaker Thomas Foley (D-Wash.) stubbornly re-
fused to support the release of the names of the
offenders. Clearly, the public has a right to know
about the improprieties of its elected officials.
Three out of four Americans consider excessive
check bouncing reason enough for removing a
representative from office. The American public
has a vested interest in ensuring effective oversight

of the legislative process and the Congress itself.
But the public fury that has developed is not just
about "Rubbergate." Rather, it is about how the
public views Congress. The 24-percent public ap-
proval rating of Congress is at an all-time low. The
public is increasingly viewing the Congress as a
body spoiled by corruption and unnecessary perks.
The amenities that go along with a Congressional
seat have grown to almost royal proportions. House
privileges include: a special office that serves as a
travel agent where members can get discounted
airline tickets, five subsidized restaurants on Capi-
tol Hill, free parking privileges for members and
their senior staffs, free health club privileges, $5
subsidized haircuts and a subsidized hair salon,
$100,000 in life insurance with one-third of the
cost picked up by the taxpayers, free medical
service, free drug prescriptions, a special $3,000 -
tax deduction, not to mention the secret midnight
more than 25 percent pay raise that Congress voted
itself last year.
Bills introduced in the House by Reps. William
Hughes (D-N.J.) and Charles Bennett (D-Fla.)
would abolish virtually all extra benefits that Con-
gress receives at free or reduced cost. These mea-
sures are a welcome step to restore accountability
and to bridge the ever-widening gap between con-
stituents and a Congress that is increasingly out of
touch with them.

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open to
An letter Maureen Hartford

by Devlin Ponte
To Ms. Hartford:
I am writing you to express
my disgust with your recent
description of students as a "mob"
at the campus-police protest on
Feb. 20, 1992. It is sad that you
have resorted to name-calling and
labeling of students in a very
delicate issue. Black students, in
particular, are disturbed by your
hasty remarks noted in the Ann
Arbor News and the Daily. Your
"mob" remarks have set back the
credibility you should be working
hard to develop with the Black
Student Union (BSU) and
students in general. Instead, you
have joined an administration that
lacks any credibility in terms of
student input, issues and rights.
On Feb. 21, 1992 you were
informed of the brute force and
obscenities used by the Depart-
ment of Public Safety (DPS) and
the Ann Arbor Police against
Black students inside and outside
the Fleming building. Subse-
quently, you have only come out
publicly in describing students
inaccurately, and have not
mentioned the lack of supervision
and training of DPS officers at the
protest or the fact that students
were attacked physically. Why
were Ann Arbor Police called
when the University has its own

have not talked to them about
their feelings and interpretations
of the event. Furthermore, you
have been here for less than a
month and are unfamiliar with the
history of developments and
struggle of this issue and Black
students on this campus.
While your three-week
honeymoon should be over, our
nightmare still continues. The

right to protest. Students did not
turn into a mob.
In your letter you stated,
"There is never a place for
violence on a university campus:"
An outcry, to say the least, should
come from you for the incredible
armament of the DPS, the
University research of chemical
weapons, the excessive number of
gun-toting DPS officers at Black

What the BSU wants from you is a written
public apology to students and
denouncement of DPS and Ann Arbor officers
in their treatment of students.


contradictions of our condition on
this campus speak to the fact that
last year a protest of mainly white
students, much larger and
potentially more aggressive,
protesting campus deputization,
was not subjected to the same
police presence, treatment and
media portrayal.
Maureen, you should ask why
has there been such a dramatic
shift? Ask the administration why
it has not responded to Black
students being maced, white
supremacist graffiti, harassment
of a Black female student, and
abuse of the Union Policy, just to
name a few. You might then
understand why DPS and Ann
Arbor Police were sent after

student functions, etc.
Finally, your public remarks°T
affirm what we expected the
University to do: criticize the
tactics instead of addressing the
concerns of students at hand. We
do not accept the blatant disre-
spect and abuse in referring to
students as a "mob" and utilizing
"mob violence" in addressing
University issues. You have
shown plainly your inability to be
fair and accurate on this issue.
Your "mob" remarks have only
increased tension between
students and the University. There
are questions and actions that the
University must account for in this
whole deputization process.
What the BSU wants from you


Nuts and Bolts

by Judd Winick



oH...7NANK You... of.


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