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February 09, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 9, 1994

cl1te dgu &tilg

'Sometimes I get up and tell myself, "You know, damn it, I
wouldn't have said that at 9 a.m., but I said that at
-David Stead, City Councilmember (D-3rd Ward), on a proposal to adjourn
council meetings at 11:30 p.m.

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors


Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority oftheDaily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Renters ware
Landlords easily victimize unsuspecting students


,,E'MS CE rA C-,UN AND),
l r


W ith the pressure on to sign a lease for
the next academic year, area land-
lords are finding it even easier than usual to
overwhelm unsuspecting students. While it
may seem that as you sign on the dotted line
a headache has ended, an even bigger one
could be on the way.
In general, undergraduates - many of
whom are setting up their first independent
homes --are inexperienced renters, and are
therefore vulnerable to landlords taking ad-
vantage of them. Incoming graduate and
foreign students are not in the best positions
either-they must find housing in one short
trip to Ann Arbor, or when they arrive at the
beginning of their terms.
Patrice Maurer of the Ann Arbor Tenants
Union (AATU) refers renters to a pamphlet
compiled after sifting through 18 months of
student complaints. It describes the top five
ways landlords "mislead, deceive and other-
wise cheat students." Among these tips are
issues such as heating requirements, secu-
rity deposits and related late charges.
According to the AATU pamphlet, it is
required by law that every rental unit is not
only weatherized, but should be capable of
heating every room to 68 degrees (without
heating any room over 80 degrees). The
pamphlet also states that landlords must
return security deposits within 30 days of
the termination of occupancy. They can
withhold the money only for unpaid rent,
unpaid utilities or damage to the rental prop-
erty caused directly by "conduct not reason-
ably expected in the normal course" of liv-
ing. Tacked-on fees, such as cleaning de-
posits are not legally the tenants' responsi-
bility, since it is the landlord's responsibil-
ity to clean properties in between renters. In
addition, many illegal clauses - such as
unwarranted late charges - may appear in
a lease.
Not only should these charges be ques-
tioned, but renters should be aware that they
have rights as tenants-rights beyond those
specifically mentioned in the lease.
The reason Maurer claims that students
are most apt to allow these violations to go
unchecked is that the last "landlord" figures

with whom most students have had contact
are their parents. In fact, most contact with
adults, prior to college, has been in the form
of a power relationship in which the adult is
the authority, according to Maurer. Because
students look at a landlord as an authority
figure, they are unlikely to question any
statements, guidelines or contracts set forth
by the landlord. Renters must remember not
to be overwhelmed by landlords who claim
to be "looking out for your best interests" as
they hand students contracts full of bewil-
dering "legalese."
Many students, turning to the University
for advice or help in this matter, should be
aware the University is not necessarily look-
ing out for the students' best interests either.
It is beneficial to the University to lobby
against stricter housing laws, as the Univer-
sity must abide by Michigan's standards in
its maintenance of Residence Halls. And
since the tax-exempt University owns about
17 percent of Ann Arbor land, local prop-
erty taxes skyrocket to compensate for the
chunk of money not assessed to University
property. Therefore, landlords demand
higher rents to cover these extra taxes.
Given this situation, it should be the
University's primary concern to accept re-
sponsibility toward its students. On the con-
trary, the University - in flagrant disregard
for its students -lobbies against laws that
would prevent student victimization.
In this harsh atmosphere, one of the few
voices heard in favor of the students is the
AATU, which provides a service that is not
only on the renters' side, but also produces
literature that deals with realistic problems
facing University students, such as "The
Art of Breaking a Lease."
With a captive, naive student market it is
easy for landlords to capitalize on the situ-
ation, especially when the University al-
lows it to happen. Taking the extra few
minutes to look over a lease and browse
through a couple of pamphlets will prove
beneficial to students. It will not only make
the quest for housing easier, but may free up
some extra disposable income that an old
landlord may have owed.


Fast-food restaurants
need improvement
To the Daily:
Recently I decided to get
dinner at one of the local fast-
food joints. At first, I decided
on Subway in the Michigan
Union. However, after
watching the employees
prepare my sandwich with no
gloves on, I almost felt like a
subway train went right
through my stomach. So I left
and decided to go to good
'ole Mickey D's on South
University. All I did was ask
for a Big Mac and they gave
me a Quarter Pounder after
waiting over 10 minutes as
the employee talked with her
"girlfriend." Even Taco Bell
couldn't understand what
soft tacos are. I only hope
that these fast-food places
improve or else I think the
school should get funding for
a large bulldozer and make
Ann Arbor a better and
healthier place, to live and
LSA senior
Bring back Spence
To the Daily:
I looked forward every
other Thursday last term to
reading Lester Spence's
column. While I didn't always
completely agree with his
viewpoints, they were always
well thought out. He gave
perspectives that were
valuable and thoughtful
additions to the public square.
But I haven't seen his column
but once this term, and not at
all since the new editorial
board took over. I don't know
if this was because of an
editorial decision; if it was, I
would like to see it rescinded
(especially after reading a few
of the "new" columnists).
Rackham Graduate Student
Kevorkian doesn't
'force his beliefs' on
To the Daily:
I am intrigued by Heidi
Segal's letter discussing the
moral dilemma surrounding
Dr. Jack Kevorkian's work in
euthanasia ("Kevorkian
shouldn't speak at
commencement," 2/4/94).
Segal states: "He acts with the
illusion that he is God,
deciding who should die and
who should live...
Kevorkian is forcing his
beliefs on a society grounded
in Judeo-Christian laws." I
question those assertions. Let
us suppose that I am a
terminally ill patient. I
approach Dr. Kevorkian and
ask for his medical
assistance in ending my life.

How is Dr. Kevorkian

should be discussed as we
deliberate the future of
euthanasia. If medical
knowledge and technology
continues to advance,
allowing doctors to keep
terminally ill human beings
alive longer than without such
medical efforts, then it
becomes necessary to conduct
rational discussion about the
merits and pitfalls of legalized
euthanasia. Segal vilifies one
doctor by-distorting his
motivations and applying her
personal moral convictions to
his efforts. This is
irresponsible and does not
contribute to the larger issue
at stake. Ms. Segal cautions a
previous letter writer against
imposing his sense of
morality on others. Yet that is
exactly what she proceeds to
do. Let us move on to the
more substantial issues
concerning the practice of
euthanasia in our society.
SNRE graduate student
The College Years:
doomed without Tori
To the Daily:
We are very distraught
about the negative publicity
that "Saved by the Bell" has
received in the Daily. There is
no question in our minds that
the Tori episodes were on the
same par, if not better than,
those with Kelly and Jessie. It
is quite apparent that the
impending failure of The
College Years is a direct
result of the decision to
exclude Tori. With her
presence, "The College
Years" would not be a
perennial bottom dweller in
the ratings, and the show's
devout fans would not be
facing cancellation and
empty Tuesdays before
"NYPD Blue."
LSA junior
Business School senior
Not all drug dealers are
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
Sean King's letter printed 2/2/
94. He says, "Obviously you
are not aware that 60 percent
of the murders in Michigan
cities are drug related." Well
Sean how about the murders
that take place outside city
limits, are they not as
important or do they just not
fit into your facts as well as
you would like them to? You
also refer to the inability to
reason at the beginning of
your letter. It seems to me that
you also suffer from this
inability (also narrow minded
and typical) to reason. The
original editorial made issue
of first time drug offenders
spending time behind bars,
your response was about

muirdrers- i believe that yui

Jordan apparently don't
realize that Mr. Lasser is the
best cartoonist a publication
like the Daily could retain. In
their letter, they assert that Mr.
Lasser "is not funny,"
"doesn't make any sense" and
that he is "thoughtless and
offensive." They are
obviously confusing Mr.
Lasser with the staff on the
Daily editorial board. Sure
he's superficial, sure his
cartoons look like rehashes of
Letterman and Leno jokes; but
when they're placed next to
the drivel labeled "editorials,"
he's a present-day Thomas
Nast. Why are Ms. Melcarek
and Ms. Jordan "so sick and
tired of opening up the Daily
and having to look at such
utter nonsense?" Alas, you
are two of those unfortunate
souls who take the Daily
seriously. Lighten up, it isn't
worth it.
Engineering junior
Urge Congress to
sponsor House
Resolution 188
To the Daily:
With Ann Arbor
experiencing one of the
coldest winters in history,
going outside has become a
dreaded experience for most
people. Students at the
University of Michigan, who
must battle the arctic weather
each time they attend classes,
are probably appreciating the
luxury of heat more so than
anybody else. In general,
people are relying greatly on
heat and other energy sources
to shelter themselves from the
bitter cold. Now, more than
ever, it is high time to put out
senses into using energy more
efficiently. Energy production
and use happens to be
America's largest source of
pollution. We, as citizens
wanting a healthier
environment, must urge
Congress to shift their energy
priorities away from polluting
sources of energy and toward
efficient usage and renewable
sources such as solar and wind
These notions are laid out
in House Resolution 188,
which would work to
substantially increase energy
efficiency and use of
renewable energy sources and
shift $1 billion over the next
two years in the Department
of Energy's budget for these
programs. As citizens
practicing our liberty to
influence government, we
must take additional measures
such as urging our Congress
members to co-sponsor House
Resolution 188, making
requests to increase auto and
fuel efficiency that saves us

money and opposing
government subsidies given to

and the
myth of
If you're anything like me,
then you too have tired of the
whole Tonya Harding/Nancy
Kerrigan escapade. You know the
story: Harding's ex-husband and
bodyguard conspire and attack
Kerrigan to prevent her from
uprooting Harding's chances of
being selected for the Winter
Olympics. Harding claims she
had nothing to do with it. You
know, your typical soap opera
But, the one thing about this
entire fiasco that fascinates me is
that when news of the attack was
made public, many people were
shocked. This reaction amazes
me as I wasn't shocked by the
attack on Nancy Kerrigan. If
anything, I'm surprised it didn't
occur sooner.
Stroll with me, if you will,
down the road of sports history.
Let's see whether or not the
attack of Nancy Kerrigan is really
all that surprising. -
Remember the stories of high
school and college coaches who
would dope up injured players
and make them play, unfazed that
playing while injured could
irreparably harm them. Coaches
want to win; nothing else matters.
As if that weren't bad enough,
the "winning-at-all-costs" way of
thinking has infested the world of
little league sports. No longer is
allowing young children to
simply have fun competing,
without concern of winning or
losing, stressed in little league
sports. Rather, parents, coaches
and other "fans" can be seen
yelling and cursing at children
with single digit ages for
dropping a ball or running too
slow. Some truly unscrupulous
coaches will even recruit older
children for their teams and lie
about their ages, all in the name
of victory.
What of the coaches who
teach players how to cheat in
such a way as to not be caught by
the referee? What of coaches who
order their players to
intentionally hurt players on
opposing teams? Where is the fun
in this? Where is the morality?
And let's not forget the
exorbitant use of synthetic drugs,
like steroids, which have infested
the sports world at all levels.
The lack of morals and honor
in sports is nothing new. Even as
long ago as the Olympic games of
ancient Greece athletes who won
their events received money and
gifts while those who lost were
shunned by their family and
friends. As a result, many athletes
resorted to cheating as did their
sponsoring states. Some local

leaders would even hire female
athletes to act as men and
participate in the male
competitions, until athletes were
forced to compete naked, of
So, does the attack on Nancy
Kerrigan, whether or not Harding
was involved in its
implementation (of course she
was), seem all that surprising
now? Cheating and foul play in
the name of a shallow win have
infested scholastic sports, little
league and professional sports.
Did you truly think that the sport
of ice skating would be forever -
immune to this virus?
And it won't stop there. Don't
be too surprised when, in years to
come, you will hear stories of
people weighting down ping-
pong balls, booby-trapping a
fellow player's golf cart or
stealing BINGO chips all in the
name of a villainous victory.
Many true lovers of sport look
upon the entire Harding/Kerrigan
story with sadness. They realize
that sports has become nothing
short of a money-grubbing, win-


Strangers are not the primary threat to women

A ccording to a recent study, two thirds of
all attacks against women are commit-
ted by someone the survivor knows. Yet
date-rape, domestic violence and other forms
of acquaintance violence are largely ignored
by our society, as we hold on to the myth that
violence against women is committed only
by strangers. The greater danger against
women - that posed by people they know
and, often, love - is being disregarded.
Consequently, little is being done to fight it.
According to a Justice Department study,
67 percent of rapes, robberies, aggravated
assaults and simple assaults against women
are committed by someone the victim knows.
Twenty-eight percent of the attacks are com-
mitted by husbands or boyfriends, and 39
percent by other relatives or acquaintances.
However, the media and the general pub-
lic ignore these 1.6 million women who are
victims of acquaintance-violence every year.
We saw a great deal of extensive media
coverage about the alleged local rape in
December committed by a stranger against
a South Quad resident. But we don't see one
word about the woman who was checked
into St. Joseph's after her husband stabbed
her with a knife. We don't hear about the
student who was raped by her drunk date.
The alleged South Quad rape shocked the
local community. It was an example of the
very thing that women are led to fear: vio-
lence committed by a complete stranger. It
was reported on Detroit television news and
was on the front pages of the Daily for days.

to take self-protective measures when they
went out and University officials promised
to make the campus safer for women. But
few people said anything about the more
threatening issues facing women in this
community: those of violence on their dates
and in their homes. Nothing was said about
what women should do to counter unwanted
sexual advances from their escorts, nothing
was said about what women should do when
their boyfriends hit them.
The time has come for us to face the
harsh realities of our society. More and
more women are being attacked not by
strangers, but by people they know - hus-
bands, boyfriends, friends and acquaintan-
ces. To turn a blind eye to acquaintance
violence is not merely to ignore it, but to
encourage its growth. By dismissing ac-
quaintance violence as inconsequential, we
allow it to continue.
We as a society must stop pretending that
crazed maniacs are the only ones who com-
mit violence against women. It is clear that
most of the perpetrators of violence against
women are not strangers on the street, but
those known in their daily lives. In the face
of the 1.6 million women who suffer at
familiar hands every year, the course of
action becomes obvious.
If we want to, reduce violence against
women, we must focus more energy on
acquaintance-violence. We must take steps
to educate and protect women against their
most dangerous threat. It is a problem that


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