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April 10, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-10

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Page 4--The Michigan Daily- Friday, April 10, 1992

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0550

Editor in Chief
MATTHEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

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.
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Progressive MSA
A week ago, students granted the presidency of
the Michigan Student Assembly to the Pro-
gressive Party. Ede Fox won by a narrow marginof
less than 80 votes, and her party picked up five of
the nine delegate seats. The typical low-voter turn-
out at the elections and the divided Assembly that
Fox will have to face demand that she and her party
do some careful planning and rethink their original
goals.
If she wants, Fox can choose to follow the usual
pattern of MSA history: progressives gain power,
progressives mess up; conservatives gain power,
conservatives do nothing; progressives gain
power...
During elections, Fox seemed blind to this
scenario and appeared all too willing to make MSA
a place where delegates vote to adopt uniform
stances on international political issues. On the
Other hand, Fox can chose to end the vicious cycle
of MSAparty politics, and make MSA an effective
bi-partisan representative body that serves student
needs. We hope she chooses the later.
: The first thing Fox must realize is that her
election was not a mandate. She deserves con-
gratulations, but the new president should be aware
that she squeaked into the presidency. Fox should
recognize this, and refrain from pushing a radical
agenda against a hostile assembly. Rather, she
should focus on shaping an agenda with realistic
and achievable goals. To shun a bi-partisan effort
s to ensure the defeat of any progressive agenda.
Only with cooperation - not in-fighting - can

: Looking ahead
MSA begin to govern effectively.
This is not to say Fox must give up her ideals or
change her politics. Some of her goals, like her
commitment to curb tuition hikes, address specific
and current student-body issues. Trying to focus
the University on undergraduate education is an-
other such issue. Voicing strong opposition to the
Ann Arbor Police's growing addiction to tear gas
is yet another.
Moreover, Fox must construct her relationship
with the administration. This relationship is tenu-
ous by definition, mainly because of the power
dynamics: the administration has all the power,
and MSA has none of it. There are two schools of
thought regarding this dilemma. One is to protest
and scream and yell until the administration ig-
nores you (as with the Progressives during
deputization).
The other is to establish a rapport with the
administration until it ignores you (as with Michael
Warren during speech code negotiations). Obvi-
ously, a combinationof the two is needed, and Fox
must use her judgement to decide how to make the
method fit the situation.
The conflicts Fox will face will be difficult
ones, as they have been in the past. But they will
not be insurmountable, especially if she acknowl-
edges the opportunity she has -the opportunity to
make her party the one that turned MSA into a
reputable body that accomplished something. If
for no other motive than this selfish one, Fox
should get cracking.

"

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Daily far from anti-Semitic; letter misinformed

To the Daily:
It is difficult to conceive of a
letter to the editor with more
inaccuracies than "Daily belittles
Jewish concerns," (4/3/92) by
Bradley Cohn, Richard Fontana,
Joseph Paykel, Larry Seegull and
Benson Friedman.
Apparently the authors - five
first-year law students - operate
under some false assumptions in
their criticisms of the Daily's
coverage of a Diag rally opposing
Israeli occupation of the so-called
Palestinian territories (3/30/92).
First, a newspaper's "lead
story" appears in the upper right-
hand corner of the front page.
Just because a story is accompa-
nied by a photo with a large sign
does not mean it is the lead story
if it is placed on the left side of
the middle of the page.
Secondly, the article at issue
is not "the largest article on the
page" because in fact four stories
on the same page occupy more

column inches.
The Daily does not believe
Zionism is racism as the authors
suggest. The publication of the
photograph, which displayed a
sign stating, "Zionism is racism,
down with Zionism," need not
imply agreement with the
contents of the photograph.
If the authors bothered to take
the time to read the actual article
underneath the photo, they would
have discovered that the Daily
reporter performed professionally
and objectively, sprinkling the
article generously with quotations
from dissenting pro-Israeli
students disagreeing with many
of the protesters assertions.
Indeed, the Daily's editorial
board last term argued in favor of
the United States' attempt to
repeal the U.N. resolution
equating Zionism with racism.'
But Cohn, Fontana, Paykel,
Seegull and Friedman save their
most outrageous comment for

last: that "the Daily considers
Jews a subservient minority who
will tolerate any insult or offense."
As a former Editor in Chief of
the Daily, a Jew and a Zionist, I
urge these men to reconsider their
statement. The Daily is far from
anti-Semitic. At times, half of the
students who work at the Daily are
Jewish.
There is a-strong chance the
photographer who developed the
photograph at issue is a Jew and
the person who designed the
layout of that front page is Jewish.
Four of the last five Daily Editors
in Chief are Jewish.
Although the Daily may at
times offend its Jewish readers, it
does provide one of the best
outlets on campus for enlightened
discussion of Jewish and Israeli
issues - both on its news and
editorial pages and in its offices.
Noah Finkel
First-year law student

Wash MSA's mouth out with soap

From the ridiculous to the sublime. At last night's
Michigan Student Assembly meeting, LSA
lRep. Michael Oduro introduced a "resolution to
promote mature and disciplined behavior during
Michigan Student Assembly meetings." The reso-
lution would restrict members' rights to speak at
MSA meetings when they "used obscene or de-
grading epithets," and was inspired by the boxing
match/circus that developed when adelegatecalled
a constituent a bitch. This resolution probably
violates the U.S. Constitution, the MSA constitu-
tion, Robert's Rules of Order, and even the club-
house rules that children everywhere use to protect
the cherished right of emotional dissent.
An alternative resolution, sponsored by MSA
Rep. Andrew Mutch deserves praise. The resolu-
tion reaffirms MSA's commitment to the First
Amendment for even its own members. Such re-
solve is refreshing in light of the administration's
decision to delay the process of adopting an alter-
native to the University's interim speech code, as
well as the Oduro resolution. The Mutch proposal

was voted up as Oduro's went down in flames.
The Oduro resolution would have caused an
offender to "... (temporarily give) up the right to be
recognized to speak by the chair as a member ofthe
Assembly during an Assembly meeting." For ex-
ample: the constituents of say, the School of Public
Health, would have no one to represent them,
because the one Public Health representative may
be in the "penalty box" for slandering Corey Hill's
mother. Perhaps that is what MSA really needs: a
penalty box for stupid resolutions and members
dedicated to self-serving ends.
Including both the Steering Committee and the
general MSA debate on both bills, the debate took
at least an hour. While MSA was discovering what
level ofmaturity should be enforced, real issues get
put off, and infantile levels of maturity were ex-
posed.
John Locke proposed thatin government, "ma-
jority rule, minority rights." In exchange for ac-
cepting the decision of the majority, the minority
was allowed to be heard.

More than just parties
To the Daily:
This is written in response to
the article by Matt Adler. Not
only is the concept of the self-
hating Greek offensive and rude,
it suggests that anyone in the
Greek system with morals is
automatically a member of this
fictitious group.
The fact is that this campus is
almost a quarter Greek. With that
large group there is a wide variety
of both people and houses -
most of which do not conform to
the stereotypical image of a
fraternity man or sorority woman.
It is therefore entirely possible to
frequent such "PC" locals as
Ashley's and local coffee shops
and still enjoy being part of the
Greek system.
As to why these "seemingly

anti-Greek people" join fraterni-
ties and sororities, it is not just to
"enjoya good party once in a
while." The Greek system has
proven to be a training ground for
the best and brightest universites
like this one have to offer. The
list of former presidents, CEO's,
inventors and other influential
Greeks is simply amazing. Only a
non-Greek would view the Greek
experience solely as a series of
parties. The real experience is
one of friendship, support and
brotherhood..
Next time Mr. Adler decides
to create a self-hating group,
maybe he should consider Daily
Opinion writers. Oh, I'm sorry,
they don't need to hate them-
selves with all the people on
campus that already do!
Robert Broad
Engineering junior

Preach abstinence
To the Daily:
I applaud Howard Scully's
letter (3/27/92) which advocates
sexual abstinence. In a world
plagued AIDS and STDs, Mr.
Scully and his compadres seem to
have the situation well in hand.
Eric Bauman
Rackham Graduate Student
Pro-poi, anti booze?
To the Daily:
Why does the Daily publish
recipies for hash brownies and
editorials in favor of legalizing pot
while it won't publish cigarette or
liquor ads? How does this make
sense?
David Hansen
First-year law student

Council: don't abuse 9-2 majority

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I hearby resign. as chm*r of the SRC

s a result of last Monday's City Council elec-
on, Democrats won in four of the five wards.
This increases the Democratic majority to 9-2, the
largest a single party has held in the council's
history. Democrats have said that their party's
landslide victory is a sign of voter approval of the
Democrat-dominated council.
This amounts to an unlikely assertion. The
Democratic victories were more of a result of the
individual races. Moreover, the Democrats should
not view the election as a signal to proceed half-
cocked with a partisan agenda, and should instead
focus onthe bi-partisan cooperation the city needs.
Such an overwhelming Democratic majority,
has left Peter Fink and Kirk Dodge, the only
Republicans left on the council, virtually power-
less. They have said that their goal now is only to
get the Democrats to at least include them when
making decisions. Peter Fink, regarding the major-
ity, has claimed that "Basically, they can do what-
ever they want now."
Republicans have complained for a long time
that since they are a weak minority on the council,
they have often been disregarded by the Demo-
crats when council decisions are made. This hap-
pened in several cases last year, when the Demo-
crats held a still powerful 8-3 majority. Republi-
cans complained that the Democrats proposed the

1991-92 city budget and allowed the early retire-
ment of City Attorney L. Bruce Laidlaw without
accepting Republican input.
Council Democrats should be wary of viewing
their victory as a mandate to dominate the council,
especially considering the way in which it was
achieved. In every ward the voter turnout was
extremely low, and in no cases did the Democrats
win a landslide victory.
Some races were extremely close, such as the
3rd-Ward race, where Democrat Bob Grady beat
Republican Joe O'Neal by only 58 votes. The only
party truly lacking in popular support was the
Libertarian party, where Tim Schrodel received
only 29 votes in the 2nd Ward.
This is not to say that the Republicans are
helping to encourage party communication. Demo-
crats have repeatedly complained that Republi-
cans hold few seats on the council, their primary
goal is to make the Democrats look bad. Council
Democrat Bob Eckstein had previously stated that
what Republicans normally try to do is try to
politicize an issue and not look at the real facts. The
primary Republican goal, claims Eckstein, is to
make Democrats look disorganized.
Both parties should recognize that this type of
behavior will prevent the council from making real
progress.

by Michael Warren
Since September, the Student
Rights Commission (SRC) of the
Michigan Student Assembly has
been fighting the unconstitutional
speech and conduct code which
bars discriminatory speech and
conduct.
In January the SRC issued a
42-page report which condemned
the code as an unconstitutional
infringement of the First Amend-
ment. We noted that only
unfettered free speech can further
self-government and protect
politically unpopular messages.
We affirmed our rejection of
hateful ideas, including racism,
but recognized that free speech
helps expose the bankruptcy of
such ideas.
fMter lengthy negotiations,
Maureen Hartford, vice president
of student affairs - the "point
person" for the University -
accepted an SRC proposal which
would have replaced the code
with one which preserves stu-
dents' rights while regulating
discriminatory personal and
property injury, as well as verbal
threats.
Walter Harrison, vice presi-
dent of University relationsand
Hartford assured us that such a
compromise would be adopted.

more input from faculty, staff,
and students of color. He noted
that some Arican-American staff
and students had read a news
story regarding the SRC's efforts,
and told him that they felt they
were shut out of the process.
Although this position may
seem reasonable, the SRC
understands such posturing as the
end of the process for altering the
code and a betrayal of trust.
First, the University's
professed concern regarding
African-American input is
disingenuous. Neither the original
speech code, struck down by a
court as unconstitutional, nor the
current code were created with
student input.
More revealing, during recent
hearings regarding deputization,
hundreds of African Americans
protested and begged that the
University speak with them. The
University responded by locking
them out of the hearings.
Second, most of the com-
plaints Harrison cites arose from
within the administration. Yet,
this speech code only effects
students, not faculty or staff.
Third, the Daily has been
covering this issue; the SRC
received only a few negative
reactions, while many more
supportive ones.

vote, alone, is a mandate for the
abandonment of the code.
Sixth, all parties in the recent
MSA election opposed the code.;
Seventh, even the Daily
opposes the code.
Eighth, the SRC is open to all
students. We strongly encouraged
all interested students to join the
SRC. Unfortunately we did not
have persons of color, yet we
personally invited many to join us
and contacted, via mail, over 50
minority student groups. Minority
leaders were recently quoted as
opposing speech codes.
Ninth, the SRC distributed
2,000 flyers describing the SRC
Report, and sponsored dorm
forums and a debate to discuss the
issue.
Tenth, the SRC conceded all
demands made by the University.
Eleventh, further "input," in
University-talk is a code word for
delay and turning their back on
students. Repeatedly when the
University states it needs more
"input," it is the kiss of death for
any project.
The University uses such
posturing to hide its true deci-
sions.
Twelfth, if a year's worth of
research, time, meetings, MSA
votes, student referendum, reports,
student outreach and press support

Nuts and Bolts
(FiSo. WtiATD.
50, THE WA75T O GOoHOME.

YKN6W? SHE SAYS "NC?,
NOTi ON 'iIE FIR~ST PA!E.'"

o m -

by Judd Winick
= WAS GoN To r u
Go "t. ' U .. N

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