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December 02, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-02

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 2, 1992

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

Editor in Chief
MATFIEW 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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University becon
The University has long had a reputation of
being on the cutting edge of technology. That
is why it is surprising that the University lags far
behind other universities in offering cable televi-
sion to residents of University housing. Fortu-
nately, the Housing Division is trying to rectify
this situation and is currently considering install-
ing cable in all residence hall rooms by next fall.
Installing
cable would
make the un-
savory dormi-
tory experi-
ence a little
more pal- -
pable.
For the
past several
weeks, the
Housing Dii
sion has been
meeting with t t
Columbia \\ - _
Cable, an Ann
Arbor cable -
service, to ne-
gotiate a con-
tract. The Uni-
versity al-
ready has a
contract with Columbia for the University's mar-
ned housing units, and Alan Levy, housing direc-
tor of public affairs, said negotiations are going
well and he expects to get a contract by the end of
this month.
Cable television was initially to be installed in
1986 along with new phone lines, but Housing
bailed out, and students are still without cable.
While the University procrastinated, nearly every
other public university in Michigan acquired cable
access for dorm residents.
As aresult, dorm residents must settle for fuzzy
television reception. Many fashion make-shift an-

ies cable-ready
tennas out of coat-hangers and aluminum foil to get
television reception.
Now that cable is coming, dorm residents can
look forward to many benefits. Dorm cable rates
will be less than the standard rate. Students who
don't want the service need not worry, cable service

will be optional, and those
don't have to pay for it.

who aren't interested

RH-ai
RICH CH©I/Dail y

In addition
to standard
cable service,
University-
specific cable
stations will
also be avail-
able. There will
be a housing
channel which
announces spe-
cific dorm ac-
tivities and pro-
grams. An edu-
cational chan-
nel that would
offer tapes of
guest lecturers,
movies and
television
shows to
supplement
curriculum is

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also in the works. A cable station devoted to student
programming is under consideration as well.
Cable opponents claim the service would be a
distraction for students, and that students could not
resist the temptation of having MTV in their own
rooms. But there are already plenty of distractions
on campus, and students are mature enough to
decide for themselves what they do with their time.
And if they are not, cable hits such as "Ren and
Stimpy," "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "the
Donna Reed Show" should offer them hours of
television enjoyment. It is good to see that Housing
is finally catching on to the cable trend.

U.S. double-crosses convicted spy

A handful of people assembled last month at
Ann Arbor's Hillel to hear Judith Barnett, the
lawyer of imprisoned spy Jonathan Pollard, speak
out against the injustice of the now-infamous
Pollard case. While Barnett entertained questions
concerning Pollard's life sentence for espionage
on behalf of Israel, the convicted spy continues to
rot away in high-security Marion prison. The real
question is why Pollard is serving such a harsh
sentence, especially considering the plea Pollard
and his lawyer bargained with the government.
In 1985, Jonathan Pollard was arrested and
accused of selling classified documents to Israel.
Pollard's lawyers arranged a plea bargain: he
agreed to plead guilty, and the Justice Department
agreed not to seek a life sentence in exchange.
When the judge handed down the sentence,
though, Pollard got life, with a recommendation
for no parole. Notonly had the government broken
its promise, the sentence itself was completely
disproportional to any other sentence handed down
to a spy working for an allied country.
During sentencing, then-Secretary of Defense
Casper Weinberger sent a memo to sentencing
Judge Audrey Robinson stating that Weinberger
could conceive no "greater harm to national secu-
rity than that caused by Pollard." This is a ridicu-
lous exaggeration. The information Pollard sold
was mainly about the location of Palestine Libera-

tion Organization headquarters in Tunis and other
information that posed no threat to American secu-
rity.
Yet, Pollard, who has already served seven years
in prison, has been locked up longer than any other
allied spy in American history. In fact, the average
period of incarceration for Soviet spies during the
Cold War was only five years.
After the sentencing, Judge Robinson explained
that one of the main reasons he had imposed such
a harsh sentence was that Pollard had leaked infor-
mation on joint Israeli-South African missile tests.
Yet, the prosecution papers contain no mention of
this. The government may have fed Robinson inac-
curate information.
Espionage against the United States is certainly
a serious crime. Yet the Pollard's sentencing repre-
sents a serious breach of good-faith plea bargaining
and basic justice. Pollard, who certainly represents
no threat to the American public, is locked away in
one of the highest-security prisons in the nation.
Jonathan Pollard may be guilty. But in all like-
lihood, he has been subject to an unjust sentence
because of the widespread fear of American Jewish
"dual loyalty" to Israel.
The only way for Pollard to be released now is
for the president of the United Sates to commute the
sentence. This is a matter President-elect Bill Clinton
should look into.

Strive for accuracy
To the Daily:
There must be clarification
regarding the article, "Graduate
students to perform environmental
audit of U-M," (10/28/92).
Though a good portion of the
article was accurate, there were
some fundamental misquotes
which must be addressed before
they are misinterpreted by the
University community, especially
those people with whom we have
had a good working relationship.
It is not true that the chemistry
department "couldn't care less
about the environmental dangers
of chemicals." What was actually
said was "they don't care as much
about waste minimization as they
do about safety and compliance."
Further, in talking about the
business school portion of the
project, Lori Kaplan did not say,
"reorganizing the administration
may be part of the plan." In
contrast to this confrontational
statement, she suggested that an
administrative shift such as
appointing a liaison to coordinate
environmental activities might be
appropriate.
We hope in the future editorial
changes and reporting at the Daily
will strive with better success to
be accurate for two reasons. First,
the misrepresentation of just two
words can have devastating
effects on the working relation-
ships of the subjects of the
articles. Second, the readership of
your paper deserves to read the
truth reported accurately.
Pam Bloch
Lori Kaplan
Pollution Prevention Master's
Project
Homosexuality is a sin
To the Daily:
With regards to your editorial
about Christian homosexuals
remaining excluded from the
National Council of Churches
("Gay Christians remain ex-
cluded," 11/19/92), I couldn't
disagree with you more.
First of all, you obviously
have a very shady grasp of Jesus
Christ and what Christianity is all
about - which leads to your
inept attempt at judging God's
laws by human opinion.
Homosexuality is a rebellion
against God - a sin. This is not
subject to interpretation. The
Bible clearly states this in
Romans - it is fact. Sin is sin, no
matter if it's homosexuality, pre-
marital sex, rage, slander or lying
- it's all the same in God's eyes;
"for the wages of sin is death,"
(Romans 6:233a).
The real issue at hand is not
whether the church is discriminat-
ing against one sin or another.
The real issue is what are we
going to do about rebellion and
how does this affect the American
churches?
The Bible is the word of God
and the only foundation of
Christianity. Christians must be
willing to accept homosexuals as
people - for all fall short of
God's glory. But acceptance is
not the same thing as approval.
Sin can be overcome through
Jesus' death and resurrection;
"but the Gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord,"
(Romans 6:233b). This, obvi-
ously, is not a license to justify or
rationalize sin with human logic
- re-i Ut-Thr,~wnI ()~A;1

To the Daily:
Although I admittedly have
not studied the latest version of
the "Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities," I am
disturbed by your reports that
there is no provision for the right
to counsel in any hearings under
this code.
In terms of what due process
safeguards should apply to these
proceedings, we should think of
the interests that are at stake.
Part of the due process
formula in law is that the greater
the property or liberty interest at
stake, the greater the abundance
of due process safeguards which
should be afforded. For instance,
most of us might agree that a
minor sanction should not trigger
the same due process safeguards
as a more harsh and lasting
punishment. Below are two
extreme examples from criminal
law.
Although the sum of 25
dollars has different meanings to
different people depending on
where they are on the economic
ladder, most of us might agree
that the maximum penalty of a
fine in this amount should not call
forth a full array of due process
safeguards.
However, if the maximum
penalty is capital punishment,
then we should afford all the
current due process safeguards
and probably more. Living in a
racist society, we should also be
certain that none of the discretion-
ary decisions leading to a sen-
tence of capital punishment were
racially inspired.
With regard to infractions
under a student code, if indeed we
are to have one, we should not
only define each punishable
behavior with precision, we
should attach specific penalties to
each infraction, much the same as
the state does with its criminal

Examining code, due process

I

code.
The assignment of specific due
process safeguards would then be
dependent on the maximum
penalty which might be invoked in
any particular case. Consequently,
whether or not we afford the right
to counsel would depend on the
weight and significance of the
interest at stake.
For instance, being expelled
from the University constitutes a
significant penalty; for most
students it would be devastating.
Prospects for future education and
a future career may be at stake.
Indeed, the damage to ego, to
reputation, to life may be so great
that other penalties pale in
comparison. In such a case, both
the liberty interest and the
property interest are so great that
other penalties pale in compari-
son.
In such a case, both the liberty
interest and the property interest
are so great that a full array of due
process safeguards ought to be
applied.
Where the infraction is of
lesser consequence to the Univer-
sity and the maintenance of an
educational environment, we
would hopefully apply more mild
sanctions, hence fewer due
process safeguards.
I have no knowledge of
whether this perspective on due
process has been discussed. I
assume that it has and that it has
been discarded.
However, taking even a
minimalist perspective, I do
believe that denying the right to
counsel in cases of permanent
exclusion from the University
based on non-academic conduct
violates fundamental concepts of
due process and invites litigation.
Tom Croxton
School of Social Work
professor

4

SAPAC volunteer resigns

Harmful AIDS laws infect states

IFt took a Louisiana District Court jury only 12
minutes to convict Salvadore Gamberella last
Friday of knowingly transmitting the HIV virus
that causes AIDS to his former girlfriend. Louisi-
ana is just one of several states that have passed
broad legislation making the transmission of HIV
a punishable crime. Transmitting HIV knowingly
ought to be punishable, either in criminal or civil
court. The Louisiana law, however, punishes any-
one who transmits the virus, rather than targeting
only people who knowingly transmit the disease.
These laws completely ignore the most funda-
mental rights of the accused in our judicial system
and institutionalize the stigmatization of AIDS
victims.
The logic behind the law is twisted and sets a
dangerous precedent. It would seem that propo-
nents of the HIV law would condone prosecuting
anyone who spreads a virus under any situation.
Can doctors who follow strict safety guidelines in
good faith, yet unintentionally infect a patient
with a virus (which is always a possibility), be
liable? How about CPR or first-aid recipients who

people what precautions to take against the virus -
not through legislation that tramples on our most
fundamental rights.
The recent Texas case, where a woman who had
sex with as many men as possible with the intention
of spreading HIV, is aperfect example ofcriminally
punishable behavior. It is a travesty that any HIV
victim would spread the virus with an intent to
harm another individual. But broad legislation, like
that in Louisiana, lumps all AIDS victims into one
criminal class of people.
Realistically, even laws that apply only to people
who transmit HIV knowingly would be difficult to
enforce. People cannot be convicted in the U.S.
legal system without being found guilty "beyond a
reasonable doubt." It is virtually impossible to
determine whether the accused told his or her
partner that he or she was HIV positive. Thus, the
courts must approach cases of HIV transmission
carefully and strictly adhere to the axiom of inno-
cent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Unfortunately, the Louisiana case tossed out
some basic tenets of American justice. Much of the

To the Daily:
I have been working as a
volunteer with the Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center
(SAPAC) peer education program
for two years. I have grown
immensely because of my work
there; I have been personally
empowered as a survivor of
sexual violence, and continuously
inspired and educated by my
peers, supervisors and the people
with whom I have done work-
shops.
In the two years that I have
worked with SAPAC, I have
witnessed a slow but steady and
committed effort by staff and
volunteers to make SAPAC an
organization which is welcoming,
accessible and prepared to meet
the needs of the diverse group of
women and men who are
survivors, the different communi-
ties which desire ed acation about
the issues of sexual assault, and
the multiplicity of students and
community members who desire
to devote time to SAPAC.
I have been continually
amazed by SAPAC's comprehen-
sive commitment to the issues of
sexual assault, and continually
aware of the pivotal role that
SAPAC has played in my
personal recovery and education.
It is with these connections to

continued efforts to be a more
accessible organization that values
student input.
'I went through the extensive
peer education training this Fall.
Ms. Cain came to only one session
of many, a workshop on racism in
which she did not fully participate.
I felt her lack of concern for this
workshop, and consequently, her
lack of support for me as a student
volunteer at SAPAC.
Since this initial contact, I
have continued to feel her
absences at student activities and
events specifically related to
sexual assault. A community
reception was held in her honor on
Columbus Day; I was angered by
this scheduling and by her absence
at an event that same evening, co-
sponsored by SAPAC and the
Baker-Mandela Center, that
discussed rape in the context of
the Latino community.
Following this, at a reception
in her honor at SAPAC, she
dismissed the concerns of students
and others once again by thanking
us for the "Michigan Welcome." I
feel that this generalization
trivialized and ignored the genuine
concerns that students have had
with the hiring process and
selection of Ms Cain as the new
director.
My concerns emerge alongside
A___ __ . ,. r _ _.{., _.. -1

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