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April 08, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-08

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, April 8,1993

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

JosH Duiow
Editor in Chief

ERIN LIZA EINHORN
OpinionEditor

s

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.

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NATIONAL SERVICE

Hopefully Clinton will accept
E UNIVERSITY SHOULD be commended otherwise
T for applying to be one of the first few AnniArb
schools involved in the national service created b
program - a recently announced Clinton helpful in
initiative. gan state
In a rush to submit their ideas by last week's If the 1
deadline, University officials flew to Washing- will be re
ton with theirconcept about how students could Affairs. I
participate in the National Service Program in Service L
Michigan. If the proposal is one ofthe four to 10 studentsu
chosen nationwide, University students could communi
begin reaping the benefits of the program this with you
summer. consideri
The national service program establishes a gram to s
partnership between higher education and com- dents fro
munity service. Under the University's plan, participal
students would work for community groups increasin
ranging from the Detroit-based Focus:HOPE to the Univ
theLeaming Community CoalitioninYpsilanti. options.
In return, students would earn minimum wage It is es
plus a $1,000 educational stipend after comple- sity woul
tionof the program. Clinton has designated $15 programc
million of his economic stimulus plan for the activism.
pilot program. Up to 350 University students new Peac
could participate this summeriftheUniversity's such a p1
plan is selected. program;
The University has shown great foresight in rediscov
offering to pilot this program. One of the most While
exciting proposals to emerge from the Clinton benefit ifI
administration so far, the national service pro- this sumr
gram willbenefiteveryoneinvolved-fromthe progressi
students eaming money toward their education would rep
to the community organizations who might not around t

'U',

proposal

have been able to hire volunteers. In
or, for example, the volunteer corps
y this program would be particularly
light of declining funding for Michi-
social services.
University's plan is accepted, students
xruited through the Office of Student
Director of the Office of Community
earing Jeffrey Howard said that while
will be judged on their"commitment to
dty service and an interest in working
th," financial aid needs will also be
ed. This is a logical place for the pro-
start, but hopefully as it expands, stu-
m many backgrounds will be able to
te. As the financial aid system becomes
g dependent on loans ratherthan grants,
ersity is wise to invest in alternative
specially appropriate that the Univer-
ad apply to pilot the national service
due to the campus's history of social
Clinton's plan has been touted as the
e Corps, and itwouldbe only fitting for
Ian to begin at this university. As the
grows, hopefully more students will
er the spirit of community.
University students would certainly
the administration's plan were chosen
mer, it is importantto recognize that any
made on the national service program
present ahuge step forward for students
he country.

^ Ir

w "- "' ' 1 f f

University unjustified in cutting men 's gymnastics

LGM I TASKFORCE
MSA moves forward; must avoid pointless debate.

EFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL torch was
passed from EdeFoxtoCraigGreenberg
last week, the outgoing Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly (MSA) passed a resolution es-
tablishing a task force on lesbian, gay and bi-
sexual student affairs. The resolution, spon-
sored by Women's Issues Commission Chair
Erika Gottfried, will direct the task force to act
as liaison between MSA and the Lesbian Gay
Male Programs Office (LGMPO). The Assem-
bly, often maligned for being out of touch with
student concerns, has, albeit in its final meeting,
passed a resolution that will directly benefit
students.
Hopefully Greenberg, newly elected Vice
President Brian Kight, and the new assembly
will continue to focus on LGMPO and other
issues that directly affect students and not get
bogged down in meaningless debate.
Unfortunately, the discussion concerning
approval of the LGMPO resolution sparked
concern. Proponents of the resolution insisted
on electing co-chairs to the task force, a man and
a woman from the lesbian, gay and bisexual
community. This request is fair and warranted.
Male and female homosexuals and bisexuals

have different concerns that need to be ad-
dressed. Kight, however, opposed the resolu-
tion because the compiled code of MSA states
that each task force be headed by "a chairper-
son." It is unfortunate that Kight, who has a
strong command of the rules governing MSA,
found it necessary to oppose such a sensible
resolution (which ultimately passed 19-5) be-
cause of a technicality. Pointless bickering such
as this is precisely the reason students voted out
Progressives and elected Greenberg and Kight
to run MSA. While Greenberg, along with newly
elected representatives from the Keg Party, have
shown enthusiasm and promise, Kight's oppo-
sition to the LGMPO resolution is difficult to.
understand.
Because the administration appears con-
vinced that it can disempower students right and
left, an effective assembly is pivotal. If certain
members of the assembly cannot put aside tech-
nicalities to further student rights, MSA will
never be an effective body. In establishing atask
force to deal with lesbian, gay and bisexual
issues, MSA takes a step forward; students can
only hope that mindless debate will not keep the
new assembly from helping students.

By Cory Hutterga
Men's Gymnastics Team
On March 22, 1993, the Board in Con-
trol of Intercollegiate Athletics and Athletic
Director Jack Weidenbach announced the
termination of the Michigan's men's m-
nastics team. As members of the-
team, we feel that we are being
severely short-changed by the y
University's decision.
Though personal feelings of hurt
and confusion run deep, we realize
they are not the issue at hand. What
is most disconcerting about these
drastic actions is that we have be-
come another example of how the
University turnsitsbacktothewants
and needs of the student body. As
with the numerous codes and poli-
cies instituted at this University, "
the administration did not consult
the student body before deciding
what is in its best interest. It is no
longer an issue of athletics, but rather the
administration's repeated lending of a deaf
ear to student's concerns on issues that
directly involve them. We believe this is
only the beginning.
The more decisions the University
makes for the students without their input,
the more programs will be dropped, the
more opportunities will be shattered, and
the voice of the students will become less
and less important. A university is a place
forexperience and learning,constructedfor
the students. We feel that the political pow-
ers of the University of Michigan have
forgotten this.
Even the Athletic Department, which
prides itself on its emphasis on student-
athletes, not just athletes, has become en-
twined in the bureaucratic red tape. What-
ever became of the Jack Weidenbach who
claimed, "I am here for the student-athlete,"
the man who insisted all athletes place
academics as the top priority? If Mr.
Weidenbach were truly sincere in his con-
cem for the advancement of student-ath-
letes, we have an even harder time under-
standing his recent actions. As a team, we
earned the second highest recorded cumu-
lative grade point average of any men's
varsity sport. Currently, we post five aca-
demic All-Big Ten honorees. All of this,
while maintaining our position as one of the
nation's elite teams. In the 1991-92 season
our team upheld its distinguished reputa-
tion by qualifying five men to the NCAA
Championships, finishing 10th in the na-
tionasateam,andintheprocess,producing
the highest team score in Michigan gym-
nastics' history. We pose this question to
you, then, Mr. Weidenbach and those serv-
ing the Board, what is the definition of a
student-athlete, that term you stand so
strongly behind? What exactly is the mis-
sion statement of the Athletic Department?
In a weak effort to justify its decision,
the Board provided only ignorant and con-
tradictory reasoning. Just one day after the
Gender Equity Act was sited as an influen-
tial factor, Jack Weidenbach spoke of the
Department's plan to bring varsity men's
soccer in 1995. Although we do not ques-
tion the intent of the Gender Equity Act, it
obviously does not constitute the cutting of
one men's program in exchange for an-
other.

Mr. Weidenbach has also stated that the
decreasingparticipation in high school gym-
nastics in the state of Michigan is a key,
factor in the decision for dropping the pro-
gram. Like most other Olympic sports, the
predominant recruiting in college gymnas-
tics is not from high schools, but from
national age-groun nrograms. Therefore.

tudes toward the affected students. Mr.
Weidenbach boldly commented on the in-
stant eligibility at another university upon
transfer. Why should we be forced to study
at a less dignified University because the
"Leaders and Best" cannot provide oppor-
tunities for its own students? In addition,
Bruce Karnopp, a member of the board,
was quoted as saying: "While I think
each one of us feels that (dropping gym-
nastics) is at leasta partially unfortunate
thing to do... the facts are the facts."
Perhaps the loss of an entire program
which has been part of Michigan history
for nearly five decades is only "partially
unfortunate" to Mr. Kamopp. We see
this,however, as the belittling of a deci-
sion that will not only affect athletics at
Michigan, but across the country as
well. How can a student body trust an
administration with such an uncaring
attitude toward the students whom they
are supposed to serve?
As athletes, we cannot sit quietly
watch athletic opportunities be de-
stroyed. As students, we can not accept the
possible loss of an education from one of
the greatest academic institutions in the
country. The decision to drop men's gym-
nastics lacks investigation,compassion, and
reason. We, as members of the University
of Michigan, are forced to fight for the
educational and athletic opportunities we@
deserve. Please help us put the University
back in the student's hands, where it be-
longs.

contrary to Mr. Weidenbach's accusations,
participation and interest is not waning, but
becoming more specific as is necessary to
compete in both national and international
competition. Gymnastics as a sport is on the
rise. There are an estimated 15,000 club
programs nationally. This hardly appears to
be a "lack of interest."
Not only did the Athletic Department
make an unjustified decision, they have
expressed extremely unsympathetic atti-

Gender equity okay, but termination unfair

PARENTAL CONSENT
Freedom of Choice Act needed to overrule State

Sean King
LSA Sophomore
On March 22, the Michigan Athletic
Departmentannounced that it would termi-
nate the men's gymnastics program fol-
lowing the 1993-94 season. TheUniversity
cited the Big Ten Gender Equity Act as the
primary reason for the decision. The idea to
increase the number of women athletes at
the college level is certainly a goal worth
attaining. It is good to see that the Univer-
sity is serious about such an endeavor.
However, the Athletic Department has
handled the termination of the men's gym-
nastics program in such an unprofessional
manner that it borders on ignorance.
Prof. Bruce Karnopp, an NCAA board
member as well as an Associate Professor
of Applied Mechanics and Mechanical
Engineering, is quoted as saying, "While I
think each one of us feels that dropping
gymnastics is at least a partially unfortu-
nate thing to do...the facts are the facts."
"Partially unfortunate?" What wonderful
compassion. The 22 members of the men's
gymnastics team have sacrificed the major-
ity of their lives to compete at the collegiate
level. The time and effort it takes to become
a collegiate athlete is almost incomprehen-
sible. Not only did the athletes themselves
sacrifice, but each one of their parents gave
up time, money, and emotion to support
their child's pursuit of excellence. Obvi-
ously, Mr. Karnopp does not appreciate
hard work and determination. It is rather
ironic that a man who is making decisions
concerning athletic teams has no respectfor
what it takes to become an athlete. Further-
more, Athletic Director Jack Weidenbach

'The educational opportu-
nities that will be
thwarted as a resulted of
dropping the program,
parallel the atrocity of
terminating history or
chemistry classes. This
simply cannot be toler-
ated.'

ALL GIRLS UNDER age 18 in the state
of Michigan are now required to seek
parentalconsent before obtaining anabor-
tion. According to a judge in Kalamazoo, the
parental consent law, approved by the state
legislature in 1991, is legal and constitutional.
Last week, Circuit Judge Phillip Schaefer lifted
a restraining order that halted the ban on parental
consent. While the constitutionality of the law is
clear, it may do more harm than good to the
troubled youth of society.
The law, first passed by the state legislature
in the late eighties, was initially vetoed by
former Gov. James Blanchard. Right to Life of
Michigan, the bill's primary sponsor, then ob-
tained enough signatures by petition to elicit an
initiative from the state legislature that effec-
tively denied the power of veto to the governor.
Consequently the bill was signed into law by
Gov. John Engler in March, 1991.
In a controversial court case last summer,
PlannedParenthood challenged the law incourt,
claiming that four separate provisions were un-

"could not be reached for comment" re-
garding the men's program. How conve-
nient that he was replete with comments in
the article concerning the elevation of
women's soccer to varsity status.The deci-
sion to drop men's gymnastics involves

40

parent. Mandatory parental consent for abor-
tions only strengthens this tension, potentially
causing far-reaching problems within a family.
Michigan must realize that politicians simply
cannot legislate concerns within families.
Moreover, if a girl is old enough to decide
whether to engage in sexual intercourse, she
should be old enough to practice the freedom of
choice by herself without outside intervention.
The pregnancy is the girl's alone - it does not
belong to her parents, a circuit court judge, or
state legislators. Right to Life of Michigan has
conveniently forgotten this fact. Furthermore, if
the state determines this girl is not old enough to
make the choice by herself, how is she mature
enough to raise a healthy child?
Fortunately all might not be lost by Judge
Schaefer's ruling. The Freedom of Choice Act,
which would advocate true abortion choice with-
out parental consent to all women and girls inthe
nation, has been introduced in Congress. If this
bill passes, Michigan's law would be rendered
useless. Also Planned Parenthood still awaits a

more than just the 22 members of the team.
It involves the entire student body; just
regular students like myself. Athletics of
any nature provide a learning experience
far beyond what we learn in books. The
educational opportunities that will be
thwarted as a result of dropping the pro-
gram, parallel the atrocity of terminating
history or chemistry classes. This simply
cannot be tolerated. Dropping the men's
gymnastics program is an appendage to the
familiar bureaucratic idiocies that control
the University. Such a rash proposition is
symbolic of the gridlock that exists within
the University's administration. Therefore,
termination of the men's gymnastics pro-
gram cannot go unnoticed. I urge all stu-
dents to support the members of the gym-
nastics team in their efforts to regain their
sport. These bureaucratic inconsistencies
will affect ordinary students as much as the
gymnasts.

R,
.

Coffee boycott
could ruin A2
To the Daily:
On Friday some flyers
appeared in the Fishbowl

Aliens sometimes abduct

people from
To the Daily:

New Jersey
I have it on good faith

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