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February 10, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 10, 1994

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'Good kids screw up occasionally. If ... they were my kids,
they would have been playing for me here tonight also.'
-IU basketball coach Bobby Knight
on the controversy surrounding three Michigan basketballplayers

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Students and regents
Students deserve representation on the Board of Regents

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Last month, the University Board of Re-
gents held a meeting to discuss the pros
and cons of tuition increases. Speakers in-
cluded an economics professor detailing the
growing national gap between rich and poor
and a state senator discussing the
Legislature's possible role in holding down
burgeoning tuition rates. One voice was
notably absent from the considerations: the
voice of students. Since student voices and
opinions are ostracized from the current
decision-making system at the University,
the Board of Regents should adopt a non-
voting student regent.
In any issue-specific discussion, it is cer-
tainly necessary to include experts in that
particular field. Moreover, the regents are
democratically elected representatives of
Michigan taxpayers -which includes most
in-state students. However, students are the
people most directly affected by decisions
made by the Board of Regents. Therefore,
students need some medium to access the
rules governing them.
The best way to ensure this access is through
a non-voting student regent. Ideally, this stu-
dent would be elected by a majority of student
voters. But as the logistics of holding yet
another student election are extremely diffi-
cult, the president or vice president of MSA
should be the one representing students at
regents' meetings. Although the low voter-
turnout rates in MSAelections give its leaders
something far from a mandate, these leaders
are currently the only individuals elected by a
campus-wide vote that could serve in this
This proposition has been put forth to
several regents, as well as to President
Duderstadt. While no one will out of hand
dismiss the idea, they have expressed reluc-
tance to accept it. Their reasoning rests on the
assumption that individual constituencies
should not be represented at regents' meet-
ings. But whether or not one thinks students

are an individual constituency, allowing the
MSA president or vice president to sit at the
regents' table makes sense.
If one does consider individual constitu-
encies to be problematic, a non-voting stu-
dent regent could be considered an expert-
hence functioning not as a representative, but
as a helpful tool for the regents when consid-
ering student issues. Clearly, students are
experts when it comes to paying the costs of
tuition increases; students are experts when it
comes to talking about non-academic con-
duct codes that directly influence their lives
and actions.
In the other camp, there are those that
consider "individual constituencies" merely
a catch phrase in this debate. Calling for a
non-voting student regent doesn't mean that
members of all organizations on campus or
around the state should be represented at
regents' meetings. It simply means that there
is one special constituency that does merit
representation. In short, that constituency is
students, the ones that pay the price of deci-
sions made by the Board of Regents.
This proposal is far from radical. It would
not take an amendment to the Michigan State
Constitution. It may not even change how a
single regent votes. But it would allow stu-
dent voices to be heard where they have been
so often ignored.
Next time a Board of Regents meeting
rolls around, students shouldn't be forced to
cram all their concerns and opinions into a
helter-skelter public comments session.
When amendments to the Code come up for
consideration, it should not only be admin-
istrators that are allowed to share their expe-
riences with the regents. It should be a
student representative.
This representative would by no means
speak for all students or be a panacea for the
communicative breakdown that has occurred
between students and administrators over the
years. But it would be an important first step.

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Religon and Politics Do Not Mix

To the Daily:
This letter is inspired by
Arnold Lumsdaine's letter,
"Killing Fetus is the Same as
Killing Infant" (2/2/94);
however, it is directed toward
any Republicans on campus
who espouse a pro-life stance.
I agree with most of the
principles behind the
conservative platform because
I am a vehement supporter of
individual rights. I believe
that every life is an endtunto
itself - not the means to
another's ends -to be
enjoyed by that individual in
this lifetime. The only
political system in history
which puts individual rights
and freedom first is
capitalism. Behind even the
most benevolent-appearing
socialist systems is the
principle that the rights of the
individual can be sacrificed,
by the government, to the
interests of "society" (or its
other members).
The conservative platform
comes the closest to
respecting the individual
members of our society over
the "society" as an entity in
My question is, why ruin a
logical and moral political
philosophy by interjecting
religion? This is completely
unethical and contradictory to
the conservative platform's

fundamental endorsement of
individual rights. Here is why.
It is first unethical because
the Constitution guarantees
separation of church and state.
Period. Religion has no place
in an American political
election so long as the
freedom to practice religion is
guaranteed-which it is.
Of more importance to
Republicans should be that
preaching Judeo-Christian
ethics is contradictory to
everything else they stand for.
The essence of Judeo-
Christianity, after faith, is
altruism. Altruism holds that
people do not have the right to
live for themselves -that it
is their moral obligation here
on earth to live for others.
Altruism, as preached by
conservative religious
leaders, is the same principle
on which the liberals rely
when they say an individual
should be sacrificed for the'
"'common good."
To religious conservatives:
for yourtown sake, do not use
religion to defend democracy
and capitalism! Because
altruism (as in, indenturing a
woman (a human life) to her
fetus (only a potential life))
contradicts everything else
you stand for, it will only lead
you to the frustration of
chasing your own tail.
LSA Senior

Daily bias apparent
To the Daily:
Last week Bay Buchanan
came to Ann Arbor. In case
you don't know, she is the
former U.S. treasurer. She
received no advance notice
in your publication except a
one liner in the calendar
section. The College
Republicans took out a large
ad because they are
accustomed to your lack of
exposure for their events. On
the same day a speaker
advocating multiculturalism
was acclaimed before giving
his speech. Who was he? I
have no idea, some professor
from Harvard. Never heard
of him. The day after both
speeches, you reported both
speeches, the one drawing
approximately 500 people,
the other 200. Obviously Bay
Buchanan, a nationally
known speaker, not getting.
front-page coverage (or any
advance coverage) is a sham
as her credentials far exceed
this no-name who you
herald. You are the only
major student paper on
campus and you repeatedly
use your paper as a bully-
pulpit for some people and
causes and shaft the rest.
Please attempt some fairness
in the future, and at the very
least forewarn busy students
when famous speakers are
coming, letting them decide
if they want to hear them out.
LSA first-year student

starts to
"Never again. "
As newspaper columns
decry the evils of the Nazis, as
Holocaust museums open, as
"Schindler's List" racks up
millions of dollars, these words
are spoken freely and
frequently. The words have
become so commonplace that
they have lost their original
meaning. It has become
another cliche of thenAmerican
culture. For while "never
again" is uttered from the
mouths of people around the
country, we are standing by
while it happens again.
I am, of course, speaking
of the Balkan holocaust, a
tiresome subject for most
people. Stories of the Balkans
have long since moved off the
newspapers' front page. When
it appears on the television,
people turn the channel. It is
old news. It is happening, we
accept it, and we no longer
care. We are bored with the
slaughter of human beings. We
are interested in severed
Apathy would be the best
word to characterize the
current American attitude
toward the Balkan holocaust.
We see the pictures; living
skeletons staring out from
behind barbed-wire fences. We
hear the stories; about the
barbaric rapes, about the mass
executions, about the brutal
torture. But we look away. We
don't want to think about it. It
is easy to say "never again,"
when we are dealing with
things in the past, events over
which we have no control. It
becomes quite difficult,
however, when we must act on
our proclamations, when we
are faced with another
holocaust, when it is happening
in front of us, when uttering
two words is not enough to
stop it.
I think, then, that it is
inappropriate to continue using
the words "never again." It is a
promise that we have no
intention of fulfilling. Instead,
let's say what we mean:"Never
again ... unless we have to work
to make sure it never happens
again." Let's quit beating
around the bush and pretending
that there is nothing we can
do. Let's admit to ourselves
that we simply do not care
enough to stop the murder of a

I do not blame the
politicians for their halfhearted
efforts. They merely reflect the
feelings of the people. I blame
you. I blame myself. I blame
every person who doesn't like
what is happening, but doesn't
do anything to stop it. I blame
the silence of the American
people for allowing the Balkan
Holocaust to continue.
I wonder how many of the
people who saw "Schindler's
List" thought about the bony
Muslim faces staring out from
behind barbed wire fences in
the Serbian concentration
camps. I wonder how many of
the people who have said,
"never again," have thought
about the soccer stadiums in
Sarajevo, torn up fields full of
unmarked graves. Of those
people, I wonder how many of
them did anything about it.
I once asked my
grandmother why no one did



Doctar asslsted suiacide

ith all the talk about Dr. Jack Kevorkian
speaking at spring commencement,
the issue that pushed Kevorkian into the
limelight - assisted suicide - seems to
have taken a back seat. But myriad recent
developments have, on a national level,
brought new hope to Kevorkian's crusade to
legalize doctor-assisted suicide. The most
important developments came from the
Michigan judiciary, where three recent court
decisions have ruled the state law banning
assisted suicide unconstitutional - mainly
on technical grounds. However, Kevorkian's
new tactic, a ballot drive that would let
Michigan voters decide whether or not phy-
sician-assisted suicide should be legal, is
also an important development for those
who believe individuals should have the
ultimate control over their own bodies.
The question of assisted suicide is a his-
torical one, and it has taken on increased
significance with Dr. Kevorkian's appear-
ance on the national scene. In response, and
as a clear rebuke to the practices of the
doctor, the Michigan Legislature, in 1992,
passed a law banning all physician-assisted
suicides. The debate has raged on, however,
from hospitals to courtrooms to voters'
minds. After being convicted on several
occasions, and serving weeks in jail,
Kevorkian is still pressing his cause. And
while several appeals courts have invali-
dated the law based on technicalities, mul-
tiple judges have also added that any sweep-
ing statewide law criminalizing doctor-as-
sisted suicide would be unconstitutional.
The message is clear - the law banning
physician-assisted suicide in Michigan
should be revoked. But beyond the message
of the courts is the message of ordinary
Americans that are forced to die without
dignity. Terminally ill patients know no

personal dignity. Individuals should have
the inalienable right to live and die with this
dignity if they so desire. This is the most
vital decision a person can make, and the
people of Michigan should be able to make
this decision without the interference of the
Furthermore, physicians should be able
to offer their patients all available options in
treating disease without fearing a meddling
legislature. In cases arising every day in the
hundreds of hospitals in Michigan, patients
and their families desire to end the suffering
of the terminally ill patient. Whether they
accomplish this through means of active
euthanasia (such as the tactics employed by
Kevorkian) or more commonly passive eu-
thanasia in which medical necessities are
gradually withheld from the dying patient,'
they are all exercising the right to die with
dignity. This right should be legal in the
state of Michigan, and indeed in the entire
This debate is often characterized as one
not about rights, but about questions of
abuse. Naysayers like to claim that once
assisted suicide is legalized, people will
make split decisions to end their lives -
decisions that can never be reversed. But the
fact is that doctor-assisted suicide doesn't
occur until after extensive discussion with
the patient and his or her family. And the
patient can, at any time, even on the death
bed, stop the process. Individual decisions
must ultimately rest with the individual.
Now is the time for a final decision - the
state's voters should decide on the legiti-
macy of physician-assisted suicide in a ref-
erendum on the November ballot. The Michi-
gan Legislature must recognize that their
current ban on physician assisted suicide is
illegitimate and infringes upon the rights of

Statistics that don't tell the truth-

Jason Dandy's
"Viewpoint" (2/8/94)
accuses SAPAC of
wrongly ignoring men. He
points out some specific
exclusionary policies that
SAPAC enforces, saying
that the center devalidates
or fails to address the needs
of (violence against) men,
then goes on to argue that
women's needs for such
services are overhyped or
Men are raped too.
Dandy says that if he were
raped, and called the
center's crisis phone-line
for counseling, he would
prefer to speak to a man.
The truth is that more
women are sexually
violated than are men, due
to biology, power
differentials and other
societal factors. I agree that
male volunteers should be
allowed to counsel as well,
but in fewer numbers than
females. This is not an
issue of gndreaitv or

violent acts perpetrated by
men against women is
equal to or less than the
frequency of violent acts
perpetrated by women
against men." I would very,
much like to know how and
by whom this study was
done. In using statistics,
say, compiled by police,
legal, or social institutions,
one must consider how and
under what guidelines they
are compiled. Take the fact
that in 1994, over 20 states
do not legally recognize
marital rape as a crime (in
Michigan until June 1988);
once a woman and man
legalize their relationship,
she instantly has less rights
than he does. These violent
acts thus go unreported as
they are legally or
otherwise "non-events"-
data is systematically
erased. By conservative
estimates, in the United
States 3,000 women are
killed each year by their
husbands, lovers or
fn,;f i k(thp: F T

expressed over the
Michigan husband who
literally hammered his wife
to death in her dental office
three weeks ago. Women's
experiences are
systematically erased from
the public consciousness.
Women's experiences,
from being chattel to not
having the right to vote,
have historically been seen
as those of a minority, and
therefore not terribly
urgent. What is not
recognized is not
quantified, Mr. Dandy.
Dandy says that SAPAC
leaves grave omissions
(regarding the male side of
domestic violence and
sexualassault) in its official
statements of cause and
function, and that the
responsibility for this falls
on the person who
"misunderstood ... certain
statements and translated
them into what is supposed
to be fact."
Mr. Dandy seems to
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