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December 04, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-04

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Friday, December 4,1992

3bE StdbiganEailu
Editor in Chief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

C IY'2Y1iA Y! fM-IE,7 k E IWE'b, LOVE tOHEL
p y- j3>A11 STATIONSi' /ALL 7O0jBUSY HAViNG- 2
HHA H HA,4/M #9,4
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Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's E'ditorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Blind luck saves MSA tax status


he Michigan Student Assembly may have
succeeded in obtaining tax-exempt status
dating back to 1968. Unfortunately, this has more
to do with blind luck than adept MSA leadership.
As the Assembly searched for an auditing firm to
help it clean up its self-incurred mess, one maver-
ick representative went beyond his bounds and
almost cost the Assembly thousands, while MSA's
vice president was tight fisted and almost cost the
Assembly its tax-exempt status. Neither approach
was appropriate, and the Assembly should clean
up its books to avoid further conflicts.
In 1969, the Internal Revenue Service enacted
a code requiring organizations to notify the gov-
ernment whether or not they met tax-exempt stan-
dards. MSA failed file the necessary materials for
24 years, because its leadership was either igno-
rant or disorganized.
This year, prospects for attaining past tax-
exempt status for those past years looked bleak.
But Stewart Lazar, the law student MSA eventu-
ally hired to investigate the problem, declared
yesterday that the Assembly was probably in the
clear, since MSA was formed one year before the
current tax code was enacted. That means MSA
has probably escaped the heavy penalties which
have accumulated over the years.
During the summer, when MSA first noticed its
limbo tax status, Student General Counsel Roger
DeRoo personally hired Plante-Moran-the high-
class auditing firm that the University and MSA
often use - to investigate MSA's tax status. But

he neglected to inform the Assembly or other MSA
chairs. Plante-Moran estimated the investigation's
cost at about $5000. DeRoo was wrong to act on his
own in this matter. But in hindsight, paying for a
quick audit this summer would have been wiser
than the Assembly's other course - delay.
Once Vice President Van Valkenburg saw the
hefty bill, he deemed the price too expensive, and
decided to contact someone else to continue the
MSA spent precious time holding out for firms
that charged flea-market prices, ultimately hiring
Lazar to continue the investigation for independent
study credit. But Lazar was brought in too late.
Since the government changed the rules regard-
ing back taxes in October, this indecision could
have cost the assembly tens of thousands of dollars.
Of course, Van Valkenburg could hardly have
been expected to predict the change in filing proce-
dures. But once the problem came to light, instead
of acting decisively, Van Valkenburg was deter-
mined to play the odds by scrimping on the auditing
Yet, only days before the filing deadline, Lazar
managed to find a loophole. For the moment, MSA
appears to be in the clear. But it made a narrow
escape. Disorderly files, a history of negligent
leadership, and bungling by this year's officers put
MSA in dire straits. In the future, MSA should
clean up its act, and make sure never again to put
students' only representative body in jeopardy be-
cause of fiscal irresponsiblity.

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Read it, know it, join the debate
Is military policy on gays, lesbians just?
'U' must fight military dicrimnination of gays, lesbians

Standing on sidelines of genocide

The United Nations commander in Bosnia-
Hercogovina announced yesterday that the
convoy of relief supplies will be delayed a third
time. Cargo planes carrying more relief were
unable to land at Sarajevo for much of the week,
wary of mortar shells continue to raze the already
devastated city. Not long ago, President Bush
stated that the United States will take whatever
steps are necessary to distribute relief to the people
suffering in Bosnia. The President
and the United Nations have talked
a good game. But aid, not talk, is
needed when thousands are starv-
ing and genocide continues.
The war has already taken tens
of thousands of Bosnian lives.
Many of those who are still livingj
and suffering in Bosnia have no
shelter, no food, and a slim chance
of surviving the winter. While the
U.N. wrings its hands in Sarajevo
airport, hoping the Serbian mili-
tiamen will take a long enough
lunch break to allow relief con-
voys through, homeless Bosnians
are chopping up suburban homes
for firewood.
The fact that Serbian forces
have engaged in ethnic cleansing ol r m a e t sf
only reemphasizes the suffering
that is now commonplace in the
former Yugoslavia. Unwilling to A U.N. soldier in
watch the tragedy continue, a col- of chocolate to
lection of Islamic states, including on the road to M
Iran, have called for greater effort Wednesday.
on the part of the U.N. to help end
the suffering.
One would have expected the European Com-
munity to try to solve a clearly European problem.
Unfortunately, the most the E.C. has done, faced
with this violent manifestation of xenophobia and
the bloodiest conflict since World War II, is hold

a summit in London, where each nation tried to
shove the refugees on to somebody else.
Many people who oppose further involvement,
even if oply to distribute needed aid, cite the com-
plexity of the situation as the primary obstacle.
Serbs are killing Bosnians, Bosnians are killing
Serbs, and both are exchanging gunfire with the
Croats. But there can be no question as to who are
the real victims of the land grab. The Bosnians are
unable to even defend themselves.
During one day of fighting in
Sarajevo this week, Serb fighters
launched some 250 shells, while
u", , the Bosnians managed to return a
paltry 20. The lopsided nature of
the conflict makes clear that this
is not just a war, but a massacre.
No one expects the war to be
over anytime soon. It should be
noted, however, that Serbian and
Croatian forces have taken nearly
90 percent of formerly Bosnian
territory, leaving little more than
metropolitan Sarajevo in the
hands of Bosnian forces. The
Serbs and Croats have pretty
much what they want in Bosnia.
The fear, however, is that the re-
surgence of fighting between
AP PHOTO Croats and Serbs will reach a
level comparable to the battles
nia gives a piece raging in Bosnia, and that Kosovo,
r-year-old Samir Macedonia, and even Albania are
j, central Bosnia, unsafe in the face of Serbian ex-
The U.S. and U.N. have just
agreed to send tens of thousands of troops to Soma-
lia to distribute aid. It was a good step, and a similar
one ought to be taken to help the Bosnians. If not,
the end of winter will leave a decimated population
- a tragedy for which the entire international
community would be responsible.

by Heidi Smith
The Lesbian and Gay Rights
Project of the American Civil Liber-
ties Union Foundation (ACLU) has
sent letters to governing officials at
universities across the United States,
including President James Duderstadt,
requesting these officials to sign the
ACLU resolution calling for an end to
the U.S. Department of Defense dis-
criminatory stance on sexual orienta-
The resolution urges the U.S. gov-
ernment to rescind Department of
Defense Directive 1332.14sectionH.1
"so that all Americans currently serv-
ing their country in the amed ser-
vices, and those who want to serve,
will not be prevented from, or pun-
ished for, doing so based on their
sexual orientation."
The American Council on Educa-
tion, the National Education Associa-
tion, the American Association of
University Professors, the American
Association of Collegiate Registrars
and Admissions Officers, and the As-
sociation of College and University
Housing Officers have already signed
the resolution.
The letter to President Duderstadt
reads in part, "The Military's policy is
wrong because it judges men and
women on thebasis of prejudice, rather
than performance. Thousands of sol-
diers are forced to live in fear that their
military career could abruptly end if it
is discovered they are gay, regardless
of their service record. These men and
Smith is a member of Gay Libera-
tion Front.
Washington debates
Thefollowing isa letterfromRep.
PatriciaSchroeder (D-Colo.) to Joint
Chiefs of Staff chair Colin Powell. It
is dated April 28, 1992.
Dear Colin:
For some time, I have been
troubled by your comments before
Congress in February about the suit-
ability of gay and lesbian Americans
for service in our nation's armed
On the one hand, I was pleased to
see youadmit that the exclusionary
policy is no longer defended for na-
tional security purposes. As you know,
two PERSEREC reports from the
Department of Defense - which, I
fear, are merely collecting dust on
some desk at the Pentagon - con-
cluded, "Both patriots and traitors are
drawn from the class American citi-
zen and not specifically fromthe class
heterosexual or homosexual."
You also admitted that the exclu-
sion doesn't exist because gay and
lesbian Americans "are not good
enough." Rather, you explained, "ho-
mosexual behavior is inconsistent
with maintaining good order and dis-
Indulge me further, as I under-
score your words: "I mean it is diffi-
cult in a military setting where there
is no privacy, where you don't get a
choice of association, where you don't
get a choice of where you live, to
introduce a group of individuals ...

women serving America are ready to
risk their lives for the freedoms it
stands for - yet they are denied the
freedom to be honest about who they
Not only does this policy place an
unnecessary burden on gay
servicemembers, it also costs tax-
payers. Each year the Pentagon dis-
charges more than 1400 men and

women for homosexuality. The fi- includin
nancial loss of firing these trained seem tN
soldiers and sailors has been esti- isincons
matedrto be $300 million annually. The
Societal attitudes toward the needs t
military's policy have changed a great statemer
deal in recent years. Studies commis- Defense
sioned by the Defense Department AFROT
itself have concluded that there is no the basi
valid reason for maintaining the dis- discrimi
criminatory policy against lesbians Univers
and gay men. compan
While we doubt that the regents formati
of the University will soon endorse tisemen
the ACLU resolution, we hope that posts on
President Duderstadt will offered his versity p
personal endorsement. sity nev
The ACLU makes it clear that to statemer
sign the resolution does not make a military
statement about the presence of the registrat
Reserve Officers Training Corps formati
(ROTC) on campus. entation
Many students need ROTC fund- Wei
ing in order for them to pursue their sity con
studies here and we would not sug- cern to1
gest that their source of financial Univers
support be removed from campus. and gay
Signing the resolution simply says crimina
gay, lesbian Americans'
jor - because your shower appre- resentm
hensions or privacy fears could have course?
been written in 1942 from the chair of that the
the General Board to the Secretary of furthert
the Navy: forced,t
Men on board ship live in par- contentn
ticularly close association: in their in the se
messes, one man sits beside another; I am
their hammocks or bunks are close reasonin
together; in their common tasks they the mess
work side by side, and in their par- the nam
ticular tasks such as those of a gun's and rega
crew, they form a closely knit highly conduct
coordinated team. How many white of your,
men would choose, of their own ac- because
cord, that their closest associates in and wor
sleeping quarters, at mess, and in me?
gun'screw shouldbe ofanother race? Re
How many would accept such condi-
tions, if required to do so, without

g sexual orientation. It would
iat the ROTC's discrimination
istent with University policy.
University administration
o demand that a disclaimer
nt ("Present Department of
policy governing ROTC and
C programs discriminates on
s of sexual orientation; such
ination is inconsistent with
ity of Michigan policy") ac-
y any recruiting brochure, in-
onal packet, poster or adver-
t that ROTC distributes or
nUniversity property, in Uni-
publications or in any Univer-
wspaper or newsletter. The
nt should also be included in
science course descriptions,
tion materials, admissions in-
on and first-year student ori-
urge members of the Univer-
mmunity to express their con-
President Duderstadt and the
ity Board of Regents. Lesbian
men deserve justice, not dis-
tion and harassment.
right to serve
ent and just as a matter of,
The General Board believes
answer is 'Few, if any,' and.
believes that if the issue were
there would be a lowering of
ment, teamwork anddiscipline
ervice. "
sure you are aware that your
ng would have kept you from
s hall a few decades ago, all in
e of good order and discipline
ardless of your dedication and
. s I can't make much sense
privacy defense, particularly
of its past abuse against blacks
men, would you explain it to
p. Patricia Schroeder

that "intolerance and bigotry of all
kinds are reprehensible and will not
be tolerated."
Further, since the 1984 "Presiden-
tial Policy Statement," issued by then
President Harold Shapiro, states that
"educational and employment deci-
sions should be based on individuals'
abilities and qualifications and should
not be based on irrelevant factors,"

It would seem that the ROTC's discrimination is
inconsistent with University policy.




Reservations: gambling loophole

Powell responds to


Developers Ted Gatzaros and Jim Pappas are
moving ahead with a plan to bring casino
gambling to downtown Detroit by converting part
of It into a Native American reservation. They
have disregarded the opinions of Michigan voters,
who have repeatedly rejected legalized gambling.
Gatzaros and Pappas have allowed profit to blind
them from the cruel realities casino gambling
would bring to an already troubled city.
The latest proposal would donate a portion of
Greektown real estate to a Native American tribe
from Sault Ste. Marie. Native American reserva-
tions, which have a degree of political sover-
eignty, often feature legal gambling. Unable to
° Y _.. L1 '..L...----U_-4----------------- .tiA

members of society. Moreover, the increase in
organized crime that usually follows casinos can
only be a further detriment to an already defunct
This latest venture carries the usual exaggerated
promise of creating jobs and revenue. But the city
would collect only 4.5 percent of the proceeds in
taxes, and the casino would employ only 4,200
people - mainly members of the Sault Ste. Marie
Tribe. That is not much payback for the damage the
casino would wreak on the area by enticing the
crime, prostitution and theft that goes hand in hand
with organized gambling.
At the same time, it is a disservice to Native

exclusion is a necessary prejudice

Dear Pat:
Thank you for your recent letter
concerning the position I took before
Congress in February concerning
homosexuals serving in the armed
I have given a great deal of thought
to my position and continue to hold
the view that the presence of homo-
sexuals in the military is prejudicial
to good order and discipline.
This is the policy of the Depart-
ment of Defense and is supported by

Americans in the defense of their na-
tion and the tribulations they faced. I
am part of that history.
Skin color is a benign, non-behav-
ioral characteristic. Sexual orienta-
tion is perhaps the most profound of
human behavioral characteristics.
Comparison of the two is a conve-
nient but invalid argument.
\I believe the privacy rights of all
Americans in uniform have to be con-
sidered, especially since those rights
are often infringed upon by the condi-


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