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February 19, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-19

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Page 4 --The Michigan Daily- Friday, February 19, 1993

rbe £irbijiuu tzii1

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Josni 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.






Give insurace to same-sex couples,families
R HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES, marriage mendous obstacles. Most insurance companies
not only represents the bond of love, but an refuse to cover same-sex partners. And those
economic partnership as well. They gain that do - like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which
the right to inheritance and employers often the city uses-charge much higherpremiums to
extend medical and other benefits to workers' cover homosexual couples.
spouses. But homosexual spouses -who make The city must pay the first $150,000 in hospi-
just as strong a commitment to each other as -tal expenses for same-sex partners, $100,000
heterosexualcouples-almostneverqualifyfor more than it pays for married spouses. Ann
the same simpleben- Arbor City Council,
efits. C~however, recognizes
But as part of its that denying benefits
new contract nego- represents institu-
tiations, the Gradu- tional homophobia.
ate Employees Orga- The council deter-
nization (GEO)- a mined the price for
labor union for Uni- equality was worththe
versity teaching as- risk. The University
sistants, research as- should follow suit.
sistants and other The insurance
graduate employees industry's paranoid
-has demanded the response to requests
University offer , for more equitable
spousal benefits to SHARON MUSHEFVDaiiy care exemplifies the
domestic partners of attitude of a country
the same sex. Homosexual employees involved where homosexual rights are still in the dark
in same-sex relationships deserve the same ben- ages. The insurance companies claim that do-
efits and respect heterosexual couples automati- mestic partner registration does not clearly de-
cally receive, fine relationships.
In a progressive move last year, the Ann Companies will not extend benefits to homo-
Arbor City Council passed an ordinance allow- sexual couples until the government recognizes
ing couples to register their same-sex or oppo- legal unions between same-sex couples. In other
site-sex relationships as an official domestic words, the University blames insurance compa-
partnership. Registrationqualifiesdomestic part- nies, who in turn, blame the federal and state
ners of city employees for the same benefits governments. The responsibility lies with every-
married spouses currently receive. one, but corporate homophobia is no excuse for
University administrators, however, still balk the University to drop the issue. The University
at putting this official registration to use. provides coverage for almost 30,000 employees
Granted, the University is not the last ho- and their family members. The University, a
mophobic institution in an otherwise enlight- powerful client, should push insurance compa-
ened nation. Government and insurance systems nies to change their policies or risk losing Uni-
are designed in such a way to make implement- versity business.
ing GEO's demand very difficult for the Univer- Instead, the University has "tabled" the issue
sity, but the administration's attempt to "look until someone else - in the conservative insur-
into" extending spousal benefits to all domestic ance industry or the government- acts to affect
partners has been weak. a change. But inaction won't set square wheels
The University has, in fact, encountered tre- in motion.

.' ' l$' A
I- %" -C

7 -p aR
I.i c

' Nc TaE Mtc"or,

Issues Forum: Diag Policy
'U' already selectively enforces D

yEde Fox
p resident
Why do we need a newer
and better Diag policy? We
don't, but if you listen to the
administration you would be-
lieve otherwise. The new policy
implies that thousands of stu-
dents have been injured by per-
ilous shanties (three dimen-
sional structures) with sharp
edges, and the assailants who
hide inside of them.
You would think chalking
was senseless destruction of
property, and that thousands of
studentprotestersrun recklessly
through the Diag littering, de-
stroying grass and trees, and
generally wreaking havoc wher-
ever they go. If you have ever
walked through the Diag you
know that this is not the kind of
thing that happens every day or
even once in a while.
So why do we need a Diag
policy? We don't, but the ad-
ministration does. Over the last
two years, the administration
has done everything it could to
tighten the reigns on the Uni-
versity and take away our stu-
dentrights, and so far they have
been successful. They have their
own police force to enforce all

the policies they concoct, the
latest of which has taken away
our right to protest freely and
express alternate opinions.
When an MSA representa-
tive asked VicePresidentofStu-
dent Affairs Maureen Hartford
how the administration intends
to enforce the policy, she re-
plied, "I honestly don't know."
If they are not going to enforce it
what do they need it for?
I think they are going to
enforce it. The revamped policy
gives the administration the op-
portunity to decide exactly who
can and can't have their voice
heard on the Diag. Clearly, the
administration is trying and suc-
ceeding to turn this school into a
"respectable" institution with
some activism,butonly the right
They say they will not selec-
tively enforce the policy, but
they already have. I have per-
sonally told many administra-
tors that MSA is holding weekly
information sessions/rallies on
theDiagevery Wednesday from
12-1 p.m. Clearly we are break-
ing the rules-having no permit
to be there and chalking on the
ground. However, the adminis-
tration has done nothing. I have
asked many what they plan to do

about us and have received a
different answer every time.
Obviously, the administra-
tion is hoping this whole thing
will blow over and students will
forget about it. They will then

once he is staying true to his
words. This policy would keep
a student group from express-
ing their opinions on the Diag. If
we do not join together and tell
the University that this is not
acceptable, they may be suc-
cessful in stifling students' free
It is funny that the adminis-
tration is always telling us, when
they pass more ridiculous po-
lices, that they had student in-
put. They obviously will listen
to the inputof two students who
say what they want to hear, bu
ignore 2,000 students who say
they want"nocops,noguns,no
lust begin
ost rights
A government does not pass
laws if they don't think they can
enforce them.Itisthemethodof

enforcement that we are con-
cerned about.
How long before DPS is
called out in riot gear to remove
a noisy protester who doesn't
is called out in riot
y protester who
haveapermit? How longbefore
the tear gas moves from South
U. into the Diag?
The administration claims
that this is a time-place-manner
restriction, so it does not violate
the First Amendment. If they
are the ones giving out the per-
mits, what is to stop them from
refusing permits to groups they
don'tlike? They did exactly that
to The National Organization
for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws (NORML) overlastyear's
Hash Bash.
It is ironic because the Hash
Bash is the event this policy is
designed to prevent, but it is
also the one event they will never
block. On April 3, 1993, there
will be 5,000 happy people on
the Diag permit or no permit. It
is the small rallies, the minority
protests, the ones who can't af-
ford the advertising it takes to
get5,000 people which will suf-
fer under the new policy.
Students must begin to fight
or the rights we have lost, be-
ore we lose the rights which
permit us to fight at all.
The Dude thinks that "stu-

continue to create more un-
wanted policies.
There is one group against
whom the University will defi-
nitely enforce the policy. That
group is the campus chapter of
the National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws
(NORML), the group that puts
on Hash Bash every year. Presi-
dent Duderstadt has said many
times that he will do anything he
can to get rid of Hash Bash. For


1 .1

Economic plan targets
T HAD BEEN along, long time since a president
had given Congress and the nation a dose of
economic good sense. Perhaps the long wait
made President Bill Clinton's speech Wednes-
day night that much sweeter
or perhaps it was the fact that
he demonstrated his ability to
prescribe a necessary, but bit-
terpill. Clinton has put asound
and reasonable economic pro-
posal on the table, and for that
he deserves a great deal of
Hopefully, Congress will
do what the president has
asked and pass the complete
proposal with a minimum of
petty, partisan bickering -
all too common to the inter-
est-based politics we know
too well.
Clinton proposed a wide
array of spending cuts, tax
increases and new govern-
ment investments which, as
the president said, are necessary for the long
term well-being of the nation. The fact of the
matter is that the economic focus of previous
administrations has failed.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush
both ran on the platform of lower taxes, lower
spending and smaller government. In a column
for the New York Times yesterday, Reagan
wrote that it isn't that "people are taxed too little,
but that the government spends too much." But
when Reagan was president he had a hard time
putting his theory into practice. In fact, he pre-
sided over a government that grew and budgets
that increased deficit spending. Incidentally, it
wasReagan,in 1982, who signed the biggest tax
increase in history. After adjusting for inflation,
that tax increase was bigger than the tax hike
President Clinton proposes now.
In the Republican response to the president's
speech, House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-
-) s aid that while taxes an a neicsarv evil.

issues with solutions
must be cut before it furthercripplesoureconomy.
The real issue is whether the nation should take
responsibility now, while the sacrifice is rela-
tively painless, or wait until solving the problem
requires an excruciating over-
For those who are ready for
economic change, the choice is
clear. President Clinton's plan
spreads the sacrifice among all
social classes and all regions of
the country. His energy tax is
environmentally responsible
and fair. This will reduce
America's dependence on for-
eign oil and may help spur pri-
vate industry into developing
cleaner fuels.
Clinton also made promises
to "end welfare as we know it"
and to initiate his previously
promised college loan program.
While his intentions are noble,
what's missing is the specifics.
Hopefully, he will provide
more details on these issues. Based on his com-
mitment to passing the family leave bill and
establishing a time table for lifting the ban on
gays in the military, there is no reason to doubt
that he will follow through on economic prom-
ises as well. As Clinton noted, no plan can be
successful without health care reform. He has
already taken an importantfirst stepby announc-
ing a federally sponsored immunization pro-
gram for children.
Members of congress are certain to spend the
next few weeks bickering over their favorite
pork-barrel projects. But Clinton and his cabinet
have already taken their economic proposals
directly to the American people. The nation
should rally around the president and prove this
is not a nation of people who cringe at the
slightest suggestion of higher taxes, but rather a
nation that can contribute when the need arises.
Of course the Republicans and special interests
will do their best to ston any snendina cuts or tax

challnge 'U' Diag
policy in court

Students m
fight for l

by Yvonne Nix
U-M American Civil
Liberties union secretary
Written in the same suppres-
sive spirit as the student code of
non-academic conduct, the lat-
est endeavor from the Fleming
Building is clearly determined
to stifle student protest.
As stated in its preamble,
the new Diag policy sets to pro-
mote and maintain a "safe and
orderly" environment," and"...
protect and advance the health,
safety and total environment of
the campus community."
Undertheoldguiseof safety
and security, the policy has
wrongly and severely restricted
a large portion of the right of
assembly. In addition, the policy
is highly discriminatory in its
eligibility standards:permission
to assemble is granted only to
those who have the financial
resources to cover what the
Office of the VicePresident for
Student Affairs assess to be se-
curity and clean-up costs (as
though this determination could
possibly be made in advance).
The policy is clearly aimed
at Hash Bash. The National
Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws (NORML) is
being charged $8,000 in ad-
vance to use the Diag. Bob
Carbeck,NORML's American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
attorneyis challenging theright
of the University to charge
groups for securityand clean-

Furthermore, this standard is not
equally applied to all groups
using the Diag; NORML is
clearly being punished for its
Are the Christians who sing
on the Diag on Good Friday
held accountable for the behav-
ior of their passers-by? Are they
asked to make a deposit to pay
for security and clean-up should
a religious dispute break out? In
any case, the policy's require-
ment that "... recognized orga-
nizations must have sufficient
funds on deposit to meet all ob-
ligations in connection with such
use," is extremely discrimina-
tory in its selection of whose
voices may be heard.
In addition to charging for
security and clean-up costs, the
policy requires that the Diag be
reserved seven business days in
advance. This severely under-
mines the right of assembly in
what isknown tobe the center of
assembly at the University,
where students converge. This
regulation considerably limits
the content of the rally. Political
rallies in response to an immedi-
ately relevant event are deemed
The way that opinions may
ited as well. Chalk, taped signs
and posters are restricted. The
megaphone may only be used
between 12-1 p.m. Music and
solicitation are restricted. Many
of these problems are not yet
being addressed in court. The

by Tobias
MSA representative
When I first arrived at the
University, the biggest issue on
campus was deputization We
accused the administration, "if
you have a deputized police


How long before DPS
gear to remove a nois
doesn't have a permit

force you will use them to en-
force a code of non-academic
conduct." The Dude issued a
statement saying: "we are not
interested in writing a code."
Less than two years later the
Statementof S tudent Rights and
Responsibilities (the code) ap-
Studentconcern was that the
code would "be used to stifle
free speech and protest." The
administration wentoutof their
way to write into the code "not
intended to stifle free speech or
protest." Then they imple-
mented the code less than 24
hours after 92 percent of stu-
dents voting objected to it.
Now, less than two months
later, we have the Designated
Outdoor Common Areas
Policy, which aims at the very
heart of students' rights to free
speech and protest. Does any-
one else see a trend?
The new Diag Policy is a
danger to students. Although
the administration claims that it
is merely a collection of exist-
ing rules, there are definitely
some new regulations. Anyone



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