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February 08, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-08

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, February 8, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Josii DuBow
Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors



Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Clinton may actually listen to constituents


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P ESIDENT BILL CLINTON, keeping true to
his campaign promise, announced inten-
ions last week to hold his first town
meeting in Southfield, Michigan. The meeting
willbeheldthis Wednesday, Feb.10, 1993.This
is one of many proposed meetings scheduled to
occur throughout Clinton's presidential term.
By creating town meetings, Clinton sends a
message to the "average" citizen that his admin-
istration is committed to responding to this
nation's voices and concerns.
The hour-long meeting will be televised
throughout the metro Detroit area and also in the
cities of Atlanta, Miami and Seattle. Small audi-
ences at all these locations will have the oppor-
tunity to personally ask the President questions
about their concerns regarding the government.
Clinton hopes the town meetings and subse-
quent dialogue with the public will prove as
successful as it did during his campaign.
It is highly significant that Clinton chose
Michigan as his first site for meetings. Not only
was Michigan a major swing state in the Presi-
dential election, but due to its reliance on the
automotive industry, the state of Michigan has
come to symbolize the nation's economic and
unemployment difficulties. Detroit is home to
Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Few indus-
tries impact the national economy and employ-
ment rates like the automotive industry..
By establishing this meeting in the Motor

City, Clinton is expressing his concern for the
job and money woes deeply hurting our nation.
"The President wants to go back to continue the
dialogue about how best to create jobs," said
Clinton'spress secretary Dee Dee Myers. Hope-
fully, the town meeting will give the issue of
unemployment the attention it deserves.
Moreover, after a rough first few weeks in
office, Clinton needs to turn his attention to the
real reason he was elected - the economy.
Clinton's town meeting should help demon-
strate that he will indeed "focus like a laser
beam" on the economy. By incorporating the
average citizen's views into his agenda, Clinton
recognizes those who elected him. The public
has already expressed high disapproval ratings
for the President, and any contact with the elec-
torate will help both Clinton and the nation's
However, President Clinton must remember
that the town meeting in Michigan is only a
beginning. By representing the concerns of
Americans through actual policy changes,
Clinton can solidify his commitment to the
American people and their priorities. Further-
more, Clinton must not turn the town meetings
into meaningless publicity stunts - they must
be productive for the government and for the
people. Unlike recent politicians, it appears that
President Clinton may actually listen to his con-


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National vaccines project long overdue

O tNLY 40 TO 60 percent of preschool chil-
dren currently receive essential vaccines.
In light of this situation, the Clinton ad-
ministration has taken a humanitarian step,
proposing the federal government make vac-
cines available to all children in the United
States. These vaccines would be distributed atno
cost to private and public clinics.
The cost to private doctors for recommended
vaccines rose from $23 in 1982 to $244 in 1992.
As the cost of these vaccines increased, their
accessibility to the general public fell. In fact,
only 10 percent of all inner-city children receive
these vaccines.
The situation endangers those who cannot
afford a doctor's care. Preventable diseases such
as diptheria, measles and mumps have increased
in recent years.
One of the primary steps to effective health
care is prevention. By stopping diseases before
they hit, people can avoid the pain and high costs
related to curing the disease. Though the new
proposal will cost the government an additional
300to $500 million a year, studies show that for
every dollar spent on vaccines, $10 is saved in
latermedical costs. Clinton is currently working
on a plan to nationalize health care, and this
preventative measure will be a effective first

Under this plan, the government would ne-
gotiate a reasonable price for vaccines with
manufacturers and buy the whole amount in
bulk. This move has angered the manufacturers
who currently make a large profit off vaccines.
They claim limiting profits would reduce their
ability to do effective research and to innovate
new or improved vaccines. However, the gov-
ernment can respond with grants or incentive
tax credits for research.
Complaints of this sort appear to be a guise
for greed. Clinton's health care proposal which
includes caps on many of the country's dispro-
portionate medical costs has been met with
similar opposition. Standing firm on this pro-
posal will set the stage for stringent cost-cutting
measuresin the future.
Clinton's proposal, supported by the
Children's Defense Fund and Secretary of Health
and Human Services Donna Shalala, responds
to a 1986 law which requires the Department of
Health and Human Services to develop a na-
tional plan to immunize children. Although the
law was supposed to take effect in 1987, the
Bush and Reagan administrations allowed this
plan to languish. Universal immunization of
children would mean the virtual elimination of
several deadly diseases. This proposal is long

by Gilbert Whitaker
Vice Presidentfor Academic
Harold Johnson
chair, Search Advisory
In the Feb. 5,1993 edition of The Michi-
gan Daily two editorials("BAM IV: Minor-
ity students' rights circumvented ... "U"
historically ignores UCAR demands,") and
an op-ed piece by Regina Freer ("Univer-
sity ignores 1987 UCAR demands.") ques-
tioned the process followed in the search
which has been conducted during this aca-
demic year for a new Vice Provost for
Academic and Multicultural Affairs.
We recognize and respect the right of
individuals to express their opinions in the
press. We also recognize that opinions may
be viewed as facts, misperceptions may be
taken as truths, and silence may be viewed
as agreement.
The vice provost position is a very sig-
nificant academic leadership position at
this institution and it is important that the
University community understand how this
search was conducted. Therefore, we write
to clarify the process which was followed
for this important search.
The initiation of this search was
prompted by two factors. The first was the
decision by the current Vice ProvostCharles
Moody, not to continue in the position
beyond his initial five-year term,in favor of
focusing on theUniversity'sexpandedSouth
African initiatives. He agreed to remain in
the position until his successor was se-
The second was the completion, in late
May 1992, of the Report of the Committee
toReview University Programs in Minority
Affairs and Services. This University-wide,
faculty/student task force, chaired by Dean
Harold Johnson, recommended a restruc-
turing and broadening of the role of the vice
provost as well as the Office of Minority
Affairs (OMA).
Consistent with other searches for
regentally appointedpositions,a committee

was appointed to conduct a search and
present a slate of qualified candidates to the
officer responsible for recommending the
successfulcandidatetotheUniversity Board
of Regents.
For this particular search advisory com-
mittee, faculty members were selected from
a list nominated by the Senate Advisory
CommitteeonUniversity Affairs (SACUA).
Student members were selected from a list
nominated by student organizations. Among
the representative student organizations in-
vited to submit nominations were: Michi-
gan Student Assembly, Students of Colorof

This process resulted in an outstanding committee of
thoughtful, dedicated senior faculty and students,
committed to academic excellence and to enhancing
the multicultural environment to the benefit of all
members of our University community.

more than 100 candidates, 13 individuals
were interviewed personally by the com-
Ultimately, six finalists were invited to
the campus for two days of intensive per-
sonal interviews by a number of deans,
faculty, staff and students. Special arrange-
ments were made to involve leaders of a
number of interested student organizations
in the campus visits. Representative of
eight student groups (MSA, BSU, SCOR,
NASA, SALSA,PuertoRican Association,
United Asian American Organization and
Lesbian/Gay Males Programs Office) were

Rackham (SCOR), Baker-Mandela Center
Board, Asian American Student Coalition,
Latino Network and the Asian American
Association. The Vice President for Student
Affairs, the Directorof the Office of Minor-
ity Affairs and the Associate Dean of
Rackham were asked to contact student
groups that did not have established e-mail
message groups (Black Student Union
(BSU), Socially Active Latino Student As-
sociation(SALSA),Rackham StudentGov-
ernment, and the Native American Student
Association (NASA).
This process resulted in an outstanding
committee of thoughtful, dedicated senior
faculty and students, committed to aca-
demic excellence and to enhancing the
multicultural environment to the benefit of
all members of our University community.
The committee membership also reflected
the multicultural composition of our cam-
During the Fall term the committee con-
ducted an independent, aggressive national
search which, with the assistance of a na-
tional search consulting firm and extensive
advertising, resulted in a large pool of can-
didates. After evaluating the credentials of

invited to luncheon meetings with the can-
didates on both days. And, open forums
were scheduled for both students and fac-
ulty/staff for each candidate.
The search process described above has
resulted in a outstanding group of finalists,
each of whom would bring unique experi-
ences, strong academic credentials and a
deep commitment to multicultural issues to
the position of Vice Provost for Academic
and Multicultural Affairs at the University.
We appreciate the efforts of the faculty and
student members of the search advisory
committee. They did an excellent job. We
also appreciate the participation and input
(to the committee) of the students, faculty
and staff who participated in the lunches,
forums and interviews.
We hope that this description has clari-
fied the process which was followed in this
search. We look forward to concluding the
search and to working with the successful
candidate to continue to expand and en-
hance multiculturalism at the University.
We hope the entire University commu-
nity will join us in welcoming and support-
ing ournew viceprovostin this effortwhich
is of great importance to us all.


Schott's suspension overlooks real issue

Last week, Major League Baseball's Execu-
tive Council suspended Cincinnati Reds' owner
Marge Schott for making racial and ethnic slurs.
In so doing, the baseball owners have bowed to
public pressure and have delivered a resounding
slap in the face to the principle of free speech.
No one will dispute the fact that Schott is an
obnoxioushumanbeing. Herreferences to "dirty
Jews" and "million-dollar niggers" speak elo-
quently to her racist and bigoted views. How-
ever, holding racist views is not the same as
committing racist acts. Schott's suspension, along
with her $25,000 fine, serves as punishment for
her words, not her actions -that is wrong. If we
begin sanctioning people for expressing their
thoughts, it will become increasingly difficult to
know where to draw the line. Soon, no one's
ideas will be safe; they need only be condemned
by a majority of their peers to be stifled into
The First Amendmentprinciple of free speech
is based on this idea. Since Major League Base-
ball is a private organization, it is not bound by
the same restrictions as the govemment - the
owners had a perfect right to order the suspen-
sion. However, this does not mean their action
was justified.'They have rejected the spirit, if not
the letter, of the First Amendment.

a sticky situation without ever confronting the
real problem: bigotry in baseball. By suspending
Schott, they have painted themselves as high-
minded individuals, sensitive to racial concerns
and intolerant of any sort of bigotry. Meanwhile,
having satisfied the public outcry, they can return
to their plush offices and get back to the day-to-
day business of baseball - a business which
includes countless Black superstars yet no Black
general managers.
Theowners contend Schott's suspension was
warranted based on the bad image she created for
baseball. Yet Schott does not represent the entire
MajorLeague. By condemning her remarks, and
disclaiming any responsibility for them, the
owners can distance themselves and the sport
from the kind of bigotry she espouses. And if
they are truly concerned about baseball's image,
they could increase the number of minorities in
high-level positions and require workshops on
"multiculturalism" for all owners and employ-
But these things would have been too diffi-
cult. It is much easier just to eliminate Schott, a
symptom of the problem, rather than go straight
to the cause. By accommodating the public de-
mand for Schott's suspension, the owners have
shown that public opinion (read: public mon-

Clinton will not
decide future of
abortion alone
To the Daily:
In the "ClintonPerspectives:
Abortion" article (2/2/93) a
Daily staffer writes that "only
one man will determine the fu-
ture of Roe vs. Wade and the
makeup of the U.S. Supreme
Court: President Bill Clinton."
While pro-choice activists may
view Clinton as a champion of
their cause, he alone does not
determine the future of abortion
in America.
The 100 members oftheU.S.
Senate will find that surprising
- after all, they have to con-
firm all Supreme Court nomi-
One might argue that the
hundreds of Senate aides and
reporters will also wield con-
siderable influence on the fu-
ture of the court.
Clinton will need the help of
the 535 members of Congress
to accomplish that. And even if
the protections are placed into
law, abortion may become un-
available by other means.
Abortion is unavailable in
three-fourths of U.S. counties
hecause there are no nhvsiciang

To the Daily:
Bruce Bielawa cries
"choice"as if women live in a
society where free choice is a
reality ("Women can make
own moral decisions," 2,/2/93).
The truth is that women are
coerced in every manner pos-
sible when it comes toissues of
sexual intercourse. Television
subtly tells us we aren't real
women until we have had sex.
Pornography tells us we are
two-dimensional objects for
men to use and then discard.
Advertisements demonstrate
that we are only valued for our
looks and sexual appeal. Boy-
friends forcefully tell us we
should have sex with them to
show our love. Husbands com-
mand sex on their terms as a
marital duty. And society tells
us everybody is doing it.

Does this sound like a fair
It is extremely easy to give in
to this unrelenting pressure to
have sex. And when faced with
an unplanned pregnancy, then
whatkind of choice are we look-
ing at? Certainly no support
should be expected from the fa-
ther; afterall, contraception, and
consequently the babyis solely
the woman'sresponsibility. And
even if the father admits pater-
nity, child support is virtually
No government suprt is
available, such as free childcare,
free medical care for pregnant
women, or free infant supplies
and check-ups. In addition, little
ado ption or foster care support is
readily obtainable. It is no sur-
prise that, to a woman with an
unplanned pregnancy, an abor-

Choice or coercion?

tion looks like the only viable
So the next time you cry
"choice," consider how you
have helped to make the op-
tions so perversely one-sided.
By using pornography, by en-
dorsing television and adver-
tising messages that objectify
women, by measuring love by
the yardstick of intercourse, by
not supporting strict and-date/
marital rake and anti-prg
raphy legislation whic ight
truly allow women to control
their own lives, and by ignor-
ing child care issues, you have
perpetuated a society where
each day over 4,000 mothers
resort to killing their own chil-
Sylvia Chen
Law student


Understand African Americans' feelings

To the Daily:
I am wrting in answer to
Meghan Roekle's response,
"Deal with issues of today," (1/
In your response to my let-
ter, "Ignorance about racism
hurts all people," (1/13/93), you
argil, that I am not qualified to
.1. the nrnnnann "wP" whin re.

have suffered, struggled and died
in the past. These people
struggled as a group in order for
all ck people in this country
to haverights, not only for indi-
vidual purposes.
Second, because it is in the
original nature of Black Ameri-
cans as a people to focus on
fami1 the aronn and the fuiture

domjudged in this society based
on our individual merits. The
phrase "you people" is an ex-
ample ofthis way of thinking.
Since the majority of the Afri-
can Americans in this country
experience similar treatment as
a result of what happened in the
past and this "you people" way
of thikino- in the nreent. it is

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