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November 24, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-24

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 24, 1992

Ot . i htoign aCii
Editor in Chief

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

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

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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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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University code of sodomy?

Along with Regent Veronica Latta Smith (R-
Gross Ile), Regent Dean Baker (R-Ann Ar-
bor) took a noble stand against the code at
Thursday's regents' meeting. However, included
:ir the statement Baker issued was a homophobic
remark that should not go unnoticed.
As an
amendment{
to the
University's
"Statement
of Student
'Rghts of
R.esponsi-
bilities,"
Baker sug- -
gested the 5
regents add L
"pedophilia,
sado mas- ,
ochism, in-
{cest and
gross inde-
cency" to the
listofcrimes Regent Deane Baker
punishable
the code.
ankfully,
e regents did not adopt the amendment.
This might appear to be a clever attempt to bog
down aharmful code with an embarrassing amend-
nent. Unfortunately, this politicking was a thinly-
weiled shot at gays, who have borne similar intol-
erance for years. Actually, Baker's amendment
represents an established gay-bashing tactic -
linking homosexuality with bestiality and other

acts. Baker has a long history of unabashed
homophobia.
At first glance, a University code of sodomy
might seem to be a preferable alternative to the
current code administrators have labored over for
years.
But Baker has made such a volume of similar
statements - even during public events such as
regents meetings - that he has invited and de-
served widespread criticism from the public.
A few years ago, Baker went on a crusade to
stem what he claimed were widespread acts of gay
sex in the Mason Hall bathrooms.
"I know of examples of homosexual conduct on
campus which I have and will not condone. If the
University approves of the homosexual lifestyle, it
makes the public judgement homosexuality is ac-
ceptable on campus," he said in 1984.
When the Lesbian and Gay Men's Program-
ming Office requested funding from the regents a
few years later, Baker proposed funding a "neutral"
(or straight) office at the same time.
Most importantly, Baker has posed stalwart
opposition to adding gays and lesbians to regents'
bylaw 14.06, which bans discrimination against
most other groups. This indicates that Baker's
personal views about gays are interfering with his
conduct as a regent.
Unfortunately, most of Baker's colleagues on
the Board have tacitly approved of these stances.
The only reproaches Baker has received have come
from student-protesters and local newspapers.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that such
intolerance would infect the statements of the re-
gent who took such a bold stance in support of
students last week.

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40

Truth about AIDS
To the Daily:
We read your article "Gay
men, lesbians express concern
about AIDS virus," (11/10/92)
and would like to point out a few
misconceptions.
Joe, the LSA senior, reports
that his "life has been saved"
because a friend "outed" a
potential sex partner as having
AIDS. If Joe does use condoms
and is aware of what constitutes
safe sex, as he says in paragraph
four, he should not make such
sensationalistic and erroneous
claims. Having sex with someone
who has AIDS/HIV does not
mean that you are going to die. It
does mean that you have to make
sure the sex you are having is
safe.
We feel that the few people
interviewed are not a fair repre-
sentation of the lesbian and gay
community. Our community is
much more compassionate than
Joe and Dale would lead people to
believe. A diagnosis of AIDS/
HIV only serves to strengthen
community support for the person
diagnosed, not to outcast him/her.
The article makes the claim
that women are not in as high a
risk group as gay men. Unfortu-
nately, AIDS is spreading faster
among heterosexual women -
especially women of color - than
in any other community.
This article infers that people
who have AIDS/HIV will
necessarily hide that fact in order
to have sex with "unsuspecting"
others. Everyone, gay and
straight, must treat his/her partner
as if he/she is HIV-positive and
take appropriate precautions.
We feel that the sensationalis-
tic and misinformed statements
made by the interviewees and
printed by the editors reflect a
"National Enquirer" style of
journalism. While we are grateful
that the Daily chose to discuss

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
letter from Tait Sye of the United
Asian-American Organizations
("Racism at O'Sullivan's bar,"
10/22/92). Since the incident at
O'Sullivan's, I have been in
contact with Mr. Sye's organiza-
tion a number of times and I wish
to express my gratitude for his
bringing this matter to my
attention.
I would like to clarify
O'Sullivan's stance on this
unfortunate incident.
O'Sullivan's is a community
establishment which welcomes
all people from the University
and the greater Ann Arbor area.
We stress this point whenever we
interview prospective employees;
and we make diligent efforts to
ensure that all of our employees
share out commitment to serving
a diverse population. I have met
with the people who were
working at the door on the night

in question and they have assured
me that they were unaware of any
racist or discriminatory comments
directed toward the group or any
other group. They are not saying
that it is impossible that such a
comment was made by a patron;
but they do not recall hearing any
such thing. I made it clear to them,
and reminded all of my employ-
ees, that O'Sullivan's does not
condone, nor will it tolerate,
ethnically biased activities on the
premises.
I am glad to have had this
opportunity to address this issue in
this public forum; and I appreciate
the United Asian-American
Organization's suggestion that we
do so. I look forward to
O'Sullivan's continued close
relationship with this and all other
campus and community organiza-
tions
Randy Demankowski
General Manager,
O'Sullivan's

0

O'Sullivan's public apology

Court ruling hides homeless

South Florida Federal Judge C. Clyde Atkins
ruled last week that the City of Miami could
not continue to arbitrarily arrest and harass home-
less people,, who live on city property and must
piovide atleasftwo "safe zones" where the home-
less can eat and sleep without police interference.
The sad social dilemma that homelessness pre-
sents finds only a temporary, transitional solution
In the court's ruling. Rather, cities across the
nation, like Ann Arbor, must face up to the dark,
.ugly realism of homelessness and enact more
comprehensive and far-reaching plans that will
{aid and empower the homeless, instead of simply
hiding the disturbing "problem."
Judge Atkins' ruling is a compassionate, if
misdirected, step. Miami's estimated 6,000 home-
less will now have two designated zones where
they "can remain without being arrested" for the
innocuous crimes of panhandling, begging, or
sleeping in public. The ruling also prohibited the
,city from destroying the homeless' personal pos-
sessions and rounding-up and systematically ar-
resting large numbers of homeless in an effort to
keep them from view before such nationally tele-
vised events like the Orange Bowl Parade and the
Super Bowl.
The city will establish the "safe zones" near
.public health care clinics and community service
,programs. Homeless people will be better able to
,find desperately needed food, shelter, clothing and

medical provisions, and will be better served by
state welfare institutions. However, there is a greater
injustice in this seemingly benevolent ruling: the
new zones will conveniently allow the public to
ignore and even casually forget about the serious
social effects of homelessness.
To keep the crisis from disappearing from the
public's eye, the entire city of Miami should be a
"safe zone" and thus the urban citizenry will have
no way to turn their collective backs on the nagging
homeless quandary. The city council should imple-
ment ordinances that call for the creation of more
homeless shelters and require more low-income
housing, to be built in disaffected metropolitan
areas. The federal and state governments should
make basic job-retraining projects and expanded
public employment opportunities available. Atkins'
seemingly progressive ruling is actually a regres-
sive ruling in disguise - beneficial in the short-
term but not aimed at the long-term solution of the
homeless dilemma.
The City of Ann Arbor should lead the move-
ment for a recognition of homeless rights. It clearly
has its own problem to clean up. City and state
institutions should not be allowed to shy away from
this difficult and unpleasant social "menace." The
homeless have a basic right to be treated with
dignity and decency. Local governments need to
more responsive and sincere in their approach to
the basic needs of homeless people.

such a serious issue, we wish the
editors had taken a more informa-
tive approach.
Ron Genotti
MBA first-year student
Joseph Easthope
LSA senior
A real music review?
To the Daily:
In reference to the article
entitled "An e'en of Hallow Skits
and Symphony," (11/2/92) I
would like to say thanks once
again for reviewing a School of
Music concert and treating it as a
farce. The combined University
and Philharmonic Symphonies, in
their own way, gave an excellent
performance focused on the
holiday of Halloween. That was
the point of the concert. Contrary

to your opinion I'd go as far to say
that everyone else in attendance
picked up on this fact and enjoyed
themselves.
The only positive opinion you
seemed to have in the article was
in commenting on the attire of the
bassists. Funny, they happened to
be wearing spandex outfits.
Music, especially the caliber of
performance the School of Music
produces, deserves greater respect
than that. The evening was not
meant to be a serious, typical
orchestra concert. It was a
celebration of Halloween.
Music in this day and age
doesn't need articles like yours
written by uneducated people.
Next time you venture to the
Halloween Concert, don't
impersonate a musician.
Emily Marriott
School of Music sophomore

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Educational system seriously flawed

;

Baker uses State for dirty tricks

The State Department's inspector general,
Sherman Funk, admitted last week that the
illegal search of President-elect Bill Clinton's
.records was politically motivated and geared to-
w.ard sabotaging the Arkansas Democrat's presi-
'dential bid. The inspector general's conclusion
only solidifies concerns that the Bush administra-
tion - already sinking in a cesspool of scandal -
would stoop to using the department for clearly
partisan purposes. This inexcusable act becomes
nore disturbing with the latest development that
former Secretary of State and Chief of Staff James
'Baker III knew of State's recklessness, but did
nothing to discourage its proceedings.
According to the investigator's report, Baker,
and his aides were kept informed of the operation,
;ut avoided contact with those conducting the
search. Baker defends his position by asserting he
did not get "a blow-by-blow account ofthe progress
;of the search." Baker should not expect this non-
:excuse to minimize his culpability. Had President
:George Bush wonre-election, the best decision for
-Baker would have been to resign. That, of course,
is no longer a reasonable option.
There is talk. however, that the President-elect

has shifted the principal blame to mid-level bureau-
crats, and primarily on the shoulders of Assistant
Secretary of State Elizabeth Tamposi, who con-
ducted the search and actually kept Clinton's file at
her home. In light of recent events, accepting
Tamposi as alone gunman is naive at best. Tamposi
had made at least one documented call to Baker's
staff, and more ties to Baker continue to surface.
The investigation report, in fact, points to more
White House involvement than was previously
thought.
Moreover, after such blatant partisanship, the
future president may be wary of State's intentions,
choosing instead to formulate foreign policy through
the Pentagon or the National Security Agency.
Clinton has already expressed his new-found
distrust of the department. In his first news confer-
ence he declared, "... the State Department of this
country is not going to be fooling with Bill Clinton's
politics ..."
No arm of the government can be truly non-
partisan. Butthe manipulation of State Deptartment
resources by the GOP may have some severe con-
sequences in the next four years. If Clinton cannot
rely on State . inter-departmental feuds and spats.

by Sarah Suit
A fellow student once asked me
what I was going to do with my life
after I graduated. "I'm going to be
an elementary school teacher," I
answered without hesitation.
"That's all," he replied, "I
thought you would do something
more." His
reply was
meant as a
compli-
ment, sug-
gesting
that I was
intelligent
enough to
compete successfully in a male-
dominated profession, "like a law-
yer or something."
"What do you mean that's it?"
was my immediate response.
To-insinuate that an elementary
school teacher needs to be of only
minimum intelligence is simply
absurd.
Education should be everyone's
concern and as such they should,
take interest in insuring that those
who will one day be educating their
children are intellectually capable.
This is no small requirement, when
considering the daily challenges that
teachers must overcome in their at-
tempt to make their classrooms con-
ducive to learning.
The challenges are numerous.
They range from decidine who will

ings in the system.
One of the most infuriating prob-
lems inherentin today's educational
system is the inequity between
school systems. I have known that
the inequity existed, but only
through my experience as an ob-
server in an Ann Arbor classroom
have I become aware of the true
implications of this problem. All
16 students in this classroom have
special needs, as do all children,
but one student - who we'll call
Jimmy -- requires special atten-
tion from the teacher.
Jimmy is not learning disabled,
nor is he considered in need of
special education services - yet
has needs that must be addressed in
order for him to reach his full po-
tential. Jimmy needs tobereminded
of the task at hand more often than
the other students and sometimes
he requires special assistance in
understanding new material. Jimmy
becomes upset frequently and the
teacher must address these feel-
ings, so that his anger will not inter-
fere with his learning. All of these
things take time.
Last week when I visited the
classroom, Jimmy had been moved
from the Ann Arbor school district
to the Ypsilanti school district. The
difference in property tax and there-
fore the difference in funding for
schools these two districts is enor-
mous. According to the Michigan

Jimmy's new classroom, it would
be impossible for the teacher to pro-
vide Jimmy with the same amount
of attention that the Ann Arbor
teacher with 16 students could pro-
vide.
In a Ypsilanti classroom with 28
students, how can Jimmy possibly
learn and develop to the same level
that he would have been able to in
the Ann Arbor classroom? This says
nothing of the resources that were
available to Jimmy in the Ann Ar-
bor school district that may no longer
be available to him in Ypsilanti.
It is frustrating for a teacher to
realize that a student who was a
successful student in her classroom,
may not continue to be successful
because he has moved to a less af-
fluent school district. It is even more
frustrating for the teacher who has
28 students- all demanding atten-
tion, who knows that despite his
efforts he can not possibly be as
effective as the teachers in the neigh-
boring school district who have
classes with fewer students.
As students at the University we.
represent those students who were
successful despite the system. Our
success can be attributed to various
factors. We had support from fam-
ily or friends to overcome the defi-
ciencies in the school. system. We
may have had the advantage ofcom-.
ing from an affluent school system,
where resources and sopportwere

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