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October 19, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-19

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, October 19, 199


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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Opinion Editors

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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'U' attempts to hire illegally, again

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T he Open Meetings Act, bane of the University
Board of Regents, faces another serious chal-
lenge. The 15-year-old law, designed to force
public institutions such as the University to con-
duct business in public, has been repeatedly vio-
lated by the regents. Last week, the regents met in
private to plan how to circumvent the act legally
when meeting to select the chancellor of the Uni-
versity of Michigan, Dearborn. The regents should
call off their war on the Open Meetings Act and
follow both the spirit and letter of this crucial
The Open Meetings Act recognizes the simple
truth that proceedings which are funded by the
public should be open to the public. As this law
clearly prohibits the regents from holding private
meetings to conduct University policy, they are
dead set against it.
The conflict first arose in 1988, when the re-
gents secretly selected James Duderstadt for the
position of University president. Two newspapers
sued the University and won damages in the Court
of Appeals. The University has since appealed to
the State Supreme Court in a futile attempt to deny
the obvious.
The regents' policy of noncompliance is not
cheap. Student tuition dollars pay for both the fines
resulting from violations of the act and the legal
costs of continued unsuccessful appeals. The irony
of this policy is sickening: not only are the regents
denying students their legal rights, but they are

forcing them to foot the bill for this denial.
This time around, the decision concerns the
selection of Dearborn's chancellor, and the regents
are trying a different tactic. Rather than simply
violating the law, as if engaging in a strange form
of civil disobedience, the regents are looking for a
method to close their meeting to the public without
violating the Open Meetings Act.
The self-contradictory nature of this logic should
be apparent to the regents. Their latest insistence on
skirting the law has placed the general public and
students in a no-win situation: either the regents
will succeed in evading the spirit of the law, and the
Open Meetings Act will be functionally dead, or
they will fail, in which case the meeting will be
closed anyway while the University is fined once
The regents argue that meetings must be closed
so that the privacy of applicants can be protected.
But there is nothing embarrassing about applying
for a higher position at a prestigious institution
such as the University.
In fact, such movement between universities is
routine. As the Court of Appeals ruled, the public's
right to know outweighs applicants' right to pri-
If the regents disagree with the Open Meetings
Acts, they can lobby for its repeal. But their pig-
headed refusal to abide by the law is a slap in the
face to all Michigan taxpayers and members of the
University community.

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Cancel classes for

Letter from President Bush

Pres. debates exclude student hosts

t today's presidential debate at Michigan State
University (MSU), college students will see.
the presidential campaign roll into their own back-
yards. But despite the fact that all three presiden-
tial debates were held on college campuses, one
constituency - students - has been cut out of the
otherwise valuable process.
At each of the debates, a vast majority of the
seats were reserved for political hacks, VIPs and
other non-students. In fact, the Commission on
Presidential Debates originally had the gaul to
exclude students from the MSU debate all to-
gether. Only after Michigan State Interim Presi-
dent Gorden Guyer threatened to cancel the debate
did the Commission finally agree to reserve some
300 seats for State students.
The previous presidential debates have made
even fewer seats available to students. At Wash-
ington University in St. Louis, for example, only
100 tickets were allotted to students. Because of
.the special format of the University of Richmond
debate, all the seats went to undecided voters, and
Richmond students were not invited to the debate
that they hosted.
According to MSU's debate hotline, one reason
why students were excluded from these debates is
that the Secret Service, which handles debate
security, assumes that large numbers of students

will become rowdy and obnoxious during heated
discussions. To assume that students would treat a
debate as they would a football game is incredibly
paternalistic. When 18-year-olds first got the vote
during the 1960s, they earned a stake in the elec-
toral system, and deserve better treatment than this.
Moreover, even though few Michigan State
students will be allowed to attend the debate, they
may still be stuck with the bill. The total cost of the
debate is $70,000 more than the university has
raised, as yet. If donations do not cover this deficit,
the University and its students may have to pick up
the tab.
Additionally, despite the horde of journalists
who received press credentials for the debate, only
three press passes went to student journalists. All
three of these passes were given to The State News,
MSU's student newspaper. That means that Uni-
versity students, and other college students around
Michigan, will not have the opportunity to either
attend or read about the debate from a student
Judging from Gov. Bill Clinton's efforts, it is
clear that he views college-age voters as a key
constituency. Since these voters already turn out in
disparaging numbers, the commission should be
doing more, not less, to bring students into the
electoral process.

Jewish holidays
To the Daily:
With a school having a Jewish
population of approximately 30
percent, I am appalled that on the
holiest day of the year in the
Jewish religion classes are in
session. In some cases classes are
canceled, but not all. In other
cases, Jewish students are
excused; however, their class still
When a class meets and a
Jewish student does not attend,
that student knows that they are
missing valuable information
given during class time. The
Jewish student then feels obliged
to attend, even though it is not in
accordance with the observance
of Yom Kippur. Why should a
Jewish student feel guilty about
wanting to observe their holiday?
Debra Fishman
LSA sophomore
'U' discrimination
To the Daily:
The regents have supposedly
affirmed that the University does
not and will not discriminate
based upon, among other things,
marital status. But the very same
University has a housing policy
which does not allow an unmar-
ried couple, regardless of sexual
orientation, to live together in
Family Housing. Is Dan Quayle
their consultant on defining a
Not only is it supposedly
regents' policy, but also a state
law that a landlord shall not
discriminate base on marital
status. But when you ask the
University administration about
this, you will probably get the
same response I got.
I was told that this law does
not apply to the University
because it specifically exempts
state agencies. So, the University
is legally allowed to take the
moral low road. And they do. As
for regents' policy, well, the
administration can apparently
simply ignore it.
When the University adminis-
tration asks you to take their
word for anything, to trust them,
to believe them, I ask you to
think about the inherent trustwor-
thiness of a bureaucracy which
sees no problem with declaring
from one side of their mouth that
they are not discriminating while
actually being so bold as to put in
writing a policy which explicitly
demands discrimination based on
marital status.
Dan Freidus
Rackham graduate student
Toughest job
you will ever love
To the Daily:
I enjoyed and appreciated your
coverage of opportunities for
international English teaching
("U-M students encouraged to
travel overseas and teach English
abroad," 10/7/92).
Concerning English teaching
in the Peace Corps, however,
teaching certification is not
required. On the contrary,
University graduates with an
English major or formal tutoring
experience are placed in assign-
ments in Asia, Africa tLne Pacific
and Eastern Eur , . every year.
T Tnivoreity ctAnte enni h

To all University students:
As you prepare for your
future, many of you are worried
about whether there will be jobs
for you when you graduate -
jobs in which you can apply all
you've learned, and through
which you can realize the
American dream.
I know the feeling. Shortly
after I was graduated from
college, Barbara and I moved to
Texas with our young family to
begin a life of our own. I started a
business, raised a family and
eventually began my career in
I want all of you to have the
opportunity to graduate from
college, repay your student loans,
begin your careers and start
families of your own.
MyAgenda for American
Renewal will do just that by
reinvigorating America's
economy and creating jobs and
opportunities for all Americans
while protecting our environ-
Revitalizing America's
economy starts with individuals,
families and communities.
It requires lower taxes on
individuals and businesses,
enhancing competition, and
cutting regulation. It includes
health care for all Americans,
child care, job training,rhousing
opportunities, a competitive
school system based on commu-
nity involvement, and choice for
American families.
My Agenda prepares
America's youth for the 21st
century by promoting national
academic standards so schools
like Michigan have a strong
student population from which to
For you college students, my
administration calls for the
largest-ever one-year increase in
student Pell Grants, and a 50

percent increase in the amounts of
individual Pell Grant awards. In
addition, I want to raise the loan
limit on guaranteed student loans
and make the interest on student
loans deductible for federal
income tax purposes.
My Agenda calls for continued
substantial funding for responsible
environmental protection. The
United States has the toughest
environmental laws on earth, and
it was the Bush Administration
that proposed and negotiated the
Clean Air Act Amendments of
1990, which I signed as the most
protective and market-oriented
clean air laws in the world.
My administration also
established a moratorium of
offshore oil and natural gas
drilling; accelerated the phaseout
of ozone-harming substances;
added more than 1.5 million acres
to America's national parks,
wildlife refuges and other public
lands; tripled the rate of toxic
waste site cleanups since 1989;
and collected more fines and
penalties and secured more prison
sentences for environmental
crimes in the last three years than
in the previous 20 years com-
I call upon the youth of today
to take up the entrepreneurial
challenge and join me in making
America the economic, export,
education and environmental
leader of the 21st century. Let's
win the peace by looking forward,
not inward.
My Agenda for American
Renewal empowers all Americans
to make their own choices and
better their lives. No one will be
left behind for want of opportu-
Good luck to you, and may
you achieve your goals in life.
George Bush
President of the United States


Don't speak for all women


Gov't buries Qaet-dome

,With all of Vice President Dan Quayle's talk
about character, voters should take a look at
what happened to Brett Kimberlin in 1988.
Kimberlin is a federal prisoner who claims he sold
marijuana to Quayle on several occasions during
the 1970s. He first made the allegation, however
unsubstantiated, four days before the 1988 presi-
dential election and tried to call a press conference
to tell reporters his story. Unfortunately for
Kimberlin (and, incidentally, for free speech) prison
officials put him in solitary confinement for rather
vaporous reasons, and the story was subsequently
-Kimberlinlater sued the government for breach
of his constitutional rights, and a Washington D.C.
judge found that there was enough evidence for the
case to be heard. The government is appealing that
ruling, claiming that only if the prison official inf
question confesses to wrongdoing can the case go
to trial. This ridiculously strict standard has re-
sulted in only 30 favorable jury verdicts out of
12,000 suits initiated since 1971. Clearly, this
standard is a legal oddity that makes recourse for
victims of constitutional violations nearly impos-
sible. In this case, there is certainly alarge body of
evidence to suggest that Kimberlin was silenced
because prison officials didn't like what he had to
say. Ifhis case is dismissed, freedom of speech will
suffer a serious loss.
Furthermore, the Kimberlin incident raises other
important questions which will not be at issue in

. f


To the Daily:
I no longer attend the Univer-
sity, but I am a career woman
with a B.B.A. in finance. My
boyfriend is a senior at the
University, and he recently read
me your letter in the Daily ("A
letter to a tall blond guy," 9/29/
First of all, the final paragraph
is offensive to me because you
choose to speak for all females,
stating that "we are getting pretty
tired of [street harassment]". I am
a female, and I do not recall
being asked my opinion. Why do
feminists think that every woman
in the world has the same beliefs
as them?
In addition, the idea of "street
harassment" is treated as a very
general act according to your
letter. There is a difference
Co-ed living hc
To the Daily:
I would like to clarify a
statement which was attributed to
me in Monday's article about co-
ed living on campus ("Couples,
friends share experiences in co-ed
households," 10/12/92).
Living with members of the
opposite sex brings into focus
such questions of identity as
gender and sexuality on a daily
basis. This comes in the form of

between "your shorts look nice"
and "do you want to go to my
place and get busy?" Perhaps you
should treat these comments as
compliments rather than harass-
ment. Believe me, every woman
in this world is not noticed, and
some would kill for a look and a
nice comment from a man. I
believe it is very egotistical of you
to consider this comment as a
proposition rather than a simple
statement that this tall blond guy
likes your shorts.
Finally, I cannot understand
why you would get this upset and
write this beautifully composed,
grammatically correct letter to the
guy. You go to school, right? I
thought you would have better,
more important things to do.
Michelle J. Thompson
1992 University graduate


Before Kimberlin was to hold a news confer-
ence (which is something prisoners are normally
allowed to do) he spoke to National Public Radio's
Nina Totenberg. According to the Justice Depart-
ment, Totenberg told a public affairs director that
Kimberlin's life was in danger, and her statement
was the basis for the decision to transfer him.
However, Totenberg has since signed an affidavit
stating that she never said anything of the kind. It
is also interesting to note that such high-level
Bush-Quayle campaign officials as James Baker
III and Lee Atwater were aware of Kimberlin's
allegations. There may be more to this story than
the Justice Department wants to disclose.

as its challenges
deciding the wisdom and morality
of crossing such boundaries.
The gender interactions
encountered in co-ed living create
a situation unlike those found in
the classroom, workplace and
other adult areas of life. One must
learn to deal with issues ranging
from power dynamics to safe sex
to finding out who keeps leaving
the toilet seat up.
The problem is not in deciding


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