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February 17, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-17

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4- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 17, 1994

Ulbe 9Ic~g Cumii

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

JESSIE HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAM GOODSTEIN
FLINT WAINESS
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editoria l board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Here today, gone tomorrow
'U' needs to answer for the firing of Robert Hughes

'The alternative is the suffocation of silence. If I can be a
magnet that redirects debate to ... campaign and lobbying
... reform, my mission is satisfied.' --Tom Hayden
former Daily Editor in Chief on his decision to run for governor of California
A U-MMA L E 5j 'S l
It
-IN
t GAF
I 'L A N uj
SLNNF L

Perks

Robert Hughes's ouster as Housing di
rector last week came as a shock to
many in the University community, That
Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen
Hartford would summarily remove a 16-
year veteran and transfer him to a lowly
position in the Office of Development -
without any justification, public or private
- and call it a "promotion," flies in the face
of fair employment practices and calls into
question the real motive for his firing.
Hughes' name is added to the long list of
University employees forced out of their
positions, under the auspices of "reassign-
ment." Henry Johnson, the former vice presi-
dent for student services and Jon Cosovich,
vice president for development, for instance,
were both asked to take new positions with
obscure titles and vague responsibilites. With
no union protection and little recourse but to
accept these unilateral decisions, adminis-
trators have gotten all-too comfortable re-
moving administrators when it suits their
fancy.
Hughes has been employed by the Uni-
versity for 34 years. Working his way from
South Quad building director, Hughes has
dutifully accepted every new assignment
the University has handed him. But now, in
all-too familiar form, the University has
given him a "parking space." That's the title
administrators give these "jobs" behind
closed doors. In the hopes of avoiding legal
action and recrimination, the University tries
to ease people out quietly. The title itself,
"parking space jobs," refers to new posi-
tions created by the University for high-
ranking officers to honorably hold a posi-
tion within the University until retirement.
The message is clear: You have three to

five years to find a job before the meter
expires and you are forced to leave perma-
nently. But the task before students now is
clear. Given the University's long history of
ignoring the concerns of students, Hartford
must appoint a wide range of students to
participate in the search committee to find a
replacement for Hughes. The University
can not be allowed to continue its tradition
of charging search committees far from the
eyes of the public. Moreover, Hughes should
be given the opportunity to re-apply for the
job that was taken away from him for shady
reasons.
But beyond the surface, the firing points
to a fundamental problem in the Housing
Division. With a 100-student shortfall in
Bursley and a more than $400,000 shortfall
in the housing budget, the University began
an intensive advertising campaign to fill the
dorms to their housing capacity. The Uni-
versity is having real trouble convincing
students that the dorms are still a good deal.
And there are structural problems in the
dorms: a bloated bureaucracy and high
costs continue to outpace inflation and the
Ann Arbor housing market. With
tomorrow's impending announcement of
another housing rate increase above the
rate of inflation, the gap gets even bigger.
Perhaps there were legitimate reasons to
remove Bob Hughes from his position. That
very well may be. But the University must
- repeat - must tell it like it is and justify
the action. If only out of common decency
to its long-time employees who have dedi-
cated their lives to the University, the ad-
ministration should answer the myriad
charges resulting from Hughes' firing and
stop leaving its employees out to dry.

_:

Consult students when writing articles

To the Daily:
I am writing this letter to
make two points in response
to an article printed in the
Daily on Tuesday, Feb. 8,
1994, entitled, "Sikh
community challenges 'U'
study program." In the
article, the reporter stated
that, "The Sikh religion,
rooted in the Islamic and
Hindu faiths, originated in
northwest India." This
statement is not entirely
correct. Sikhism did
originate in northwest India
but it is not however rooted
in the Islamic and Hindu
faiths. This is unfortunately a
common misconception. The
popular belief is that since
Sikhism originated in India,
it must be a part of the two
larger religions, Islam and
Hinduism. Sikhism holds
philosophies that are unique,
thereby making it an
independent religion among
all the other world religions.
The notion of Sikhism being
syncretistic (a synthesis of
Hinduism and Islam), is
incorrect but is thought to be
such by Western historians
and scholars. The second
point I would like to make is
regarding those who were
interviewed throughout the
article. Statements were*
made by non-University
'Sexual assault has no
place in the Greek
system'
To the Daily:
The men of Beta Theta Pi
would like to express our
deepest regrets to the victim
of the rape which occurred
Sunday, Feb. 13. Due to the
vagueness of the Daily article
(2/15/94), Beta Theta Pi was a
possible location for the site
of the rape. The men of Beta
Theta Pi played no part in this
terrible ordeal and would like
to reaffirm the idea that sexual
assault has no place in the
Greek System.
JIM OEGEMA
President, Beta Theta Pi
Education junior

Candidate Clinton's rhetoric
Immigration restrictions need to be loosened

In Florida, a resource crunch has forced the
state to cut off all foster care to immigrant
children. In California, Gov. Pete Wilson has
warned that his state will soon be forced to cut
back on services to legal residents in response
to the continuing flood of illegal immigrants.
Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles responded last
December by suing the federal govern-
ment for not providing Florida with the
needed funds to mitigate this burgeoning
problem. During an interview last week,
Wilson threatened to follow suit. President
Clinton has remained frighteningly silent
on the subject.
Candidate Clinton was a vociferous sup-
porter of human rights and less stringent
immigration policies. He recognized the in-
justice of Haitian boat people being turned
away from asylum - many of whom were
fleeing blatant political persecution at home.
His passionate speeches on the subject pro-
vided hope for those who were sickened as
the U.S. Supreme Court almost unanimously
upheld the turning away of desperate refu-
gees.
That was candidate Clinton. President
Clinton, while refusing to intervene militarily
in Haiti, allowed the status quo to remain in
place. But his worst blunder came only last
week, as his budget left out needed funds to
states such as California and Florida.
U U
The United States as a whole has no immi-
gration problem - except, maybe, for the
fact that it is a country that has often resorted
to nationalism and xenophobia when a loos-
ening of immigration laws has been needed
most (for instance, the refusal to allow a
sionificant nimbernf Tews to emiorate frnm

states absorb the vast majority of immigrants
and a problem does result there. If the federal
government picks up this burden, most of the
fiscal problems California and Florida are
facing would be circumvented. But the presi-
dent seems not to recognize this, and has
continued to leave certain states in a precari-
ous position.
There is still time for the president to do
something. One option would be to declare a
federal emergency. This would permit the
president to provide burdened states with
a large sum of money without recording it
on his budget. Of course, this would ony be a
short-term solution.
Looking to the future, the administration
must begin to revamp the country's perni-
cious laws toward immigrants. Most anti-
immigrant fervor results from a misconcep-
tion: the misconception that immigrants eat
up the country's resources while providirg
nothing in return. In reality, immigrants that
are treated fairly tend to give back more in
taxes than they take in handouts. Moreover,
the problem often lies with employers that are
all too willing to exploit immigrant labor-
the problem does not rest in the lap of the
exploited.
But the question of productivity is only
part of the equation. There is a moral, as well
as legal, problem with the president's silence.
There is no distinction under most state laws
between documented and undocumented chil-
dren. The state has an obligation to take care
of children that cannot help themselves. To
leave helpless children without an education
and medical services is dubious.
Hopefully, the court cases will scare the
administration into loosening immigration
laws. Definitions of political asylum need to
he exnanded_ and the svstem must become

members, the professor of
the Sikh Studies program,
and the program director for
the South and Southeast
Asian Studies departments
about the Sikh Studies
program here at the
University. This program
entails classes in Sikh history
as well as the Punjabi
language. It seems to me
however that a major party
was excluded from making a
statement: the students who
have taken the classes. I
think they should have been
given a chance to say
something since it has
affected them the most. For
some reason they were
excluded and I believe that
this leaves the article written
on Feb. 8 incomplete.
Furthermore, this paper is
mainly read by students, and
since this article (about the
Sikh Studies program) is
primarily about student
affairs, I cannot understand
how the Daily neglected to
interview any students. I
sincerely hope that this letter
is printed in the Daily for all
to see because I think it is
important to correct the
media when we (the public)
see fit.
AMRIK SINGN
Dentistry first-year student
on another 'L' for the
Generals. If the University
truly wants to save money,
they can refrain from
sending me pledge cards
when I graduate in a few
months. The University
legal team has supplanted
the women's basketball
team as lovable losers on the
court.
LOREN SHEIIZ
RC senior
No Polish
concentration camps
To the Daily:
The Friday, Feb. 11 issue
of the Daily has an article
under the title "Nazi death
camp survivor to speak
Sunday at Union," written by
Andrea MacAdam.
In her writing, Ms.
MacAdam states,"...
Auschwitz, a Polish
concentration camp..," which
prompted me to write this
letter. I find that phrase not
only offensive to the Polish
community, but also- and
more importantly-totally
false. There was never any
such thing as a "Polish
concentration camp." During
World War II only Nazi
concentration camps in
Germany-occupied Poland
were in existence.
I hope that you can see the
essential difference between

Drugs kill - period
To the Daily:
Your letter titled "Not all
drug dealers are murders" (2/
9/94) has caused me to raise
issue with the editorial staff of
the Daily. Upon reading Mr.
Schneider's response to a
letter by Sean King, I came to
the conclusion that the letter
has been falsely titled by your
staff. Acursory reading of the
piece will prove obvious the
need to retitle it, "Not all
murderers are drug dealers." I
am uncertain as to the motive
behind your blatant
sensationalism but I do not
appreciate it. It is insulting to
me as a reader.
As to Mr. Schneider's
assertion regarding drug
dealers and murders that Sean
King is "too inept to
distinguish between the two of
them," I am sickened. I
recognize Mr. Schneider's
valid point that not all murders
are the direct result of drugs.
Indeed, domestic violence
coupled with the ability to
purchase firearms with
relative ease has proven to be
a deadly mix. Yet to
disassociate drugs with
murder is an excellent
example of the obtuse
thinking that our nation has
regarding drug abuse.
The simple fact of the
matter is that drugs - all
drugs --kill. Whether it is a
drunk driver, lung cancer or a
cocaine overdose, the end
result is death. Drug dealers
sell poison to our friends and
relatives every day, yet our
government refuses to address
the issue in that context.
It appears to me that the
reason that you differentiate
between murderers and drug
dealers is that you hold the
belief that the act of murder
occurs rather quickly, whereas
it will take a person longer to
die from drug abuse.
Indirectly, what about the
enormous suffering caused by
drug related crime? Mr.
Schneider, do you not
consider it murder when an
innocent bystander
(unfortunately these are most
often children) is hit by a stray
bullet and killed? That person
had no interest in the conflict:
for them there was no money
or power at stake - simply
the misfortune to be in the
wrong place at the wrong
time.
Too many citizens of this
country regard drug abuse as
a matter of minor
importance. Mr. King has
shown a high level of
awareness for recognizing
the problem for what it is and
I congratulate him.
To all of you who do not
equate drugs with death, I
invite you to visit an

over
poverty
I was born in Gary, Indiana on
October 4, 1975. When I was
three, my mother and I moved to
Decatur, Georgia, a suburb of
Atlanta and the heartland of
Georgia's ghettos. I lived in East
Lake Villa, a housing project;
there, an average of ten murders
were committed each year.
In elementary school, we kids
would walk to and from school in
groups of greater than twenty
individuals - you know, safety
in numbers. And safe we were,
until that fateful day, only eight
days after my seventh birthday.
On that day that we were
heading home from another day
of spelling tests and history
lessons. As we walked past the
gutted out buildings, the homes
of past killed drug dealers and the
women who would laterbe found
selling themselves on street
corners, as we did daily, we were
oblivious to the squalor into
which we were born and many
would remain.
We were also oblivious to a
car coming towards us at top
speed. As it zoomed closer, I
remember seeing the back
window roll down and a thin
metallic "stick" appear. I
remember hearing loud noises,
like firecrackers popping all at
once, and falling to the ground,
no longer a happy-go-lucky kid,
but a frightened seven-year old
child.
I remember the blood on my
hands. It was that of my friend,
five-year old Roo-Roo.
As I stood up I realized that
not all my friends were standing
with me. Many were still on the
ground, lifeless their faces pained
and distorted.
I ran home screaming and
jumped into my mother's arms
crying.
The rest is a blur. I remember
little about the police questioning
me, the memorial services or
much else. That's probably a
blessing. I doubt I could handle
the full brunt of those memories.
To this day, no one knows
who pulled the trigger sending
two clips of bullets into the
crowd of elementary school
children. Maybe they were doped
up and just looking for a little
target practice. Maybe they were
gang members avenging the
death of one of their number;
some of the kids were younger
siblings of rival gang members.
It doesn't really matter; the
result is the same.
Kids were dead.
Many may question why I
have decided to tell this story.
Some may think I'm trying to
drain a little sympathy from
everyone. This isn't true. I'm
alive, and I'm attending a
prestigious university. I have no
need for tears spilled on my
behalf.
What I do ask is that you
remember my story isn't unique.
Many here at the University and
throughout the nation can recount
incidences sadder and more

disturbing than my own. Many
children are living like this now.
You hear statistics of children
living in poverty and dying,
many killed by handguns.
However, statistics don't tell the
whole story. Statistics cannot
speak of the horror of a seven-
year old who saw his best friend
die. Statistics cannot accurately
report the daily struggle of
children trying to escape the pits
of poverty and second-class
citizenship, a struggle many will
lose. Statistics do not address the
simple fact that children live in a
country that could care less about
them.
Words can't accurately
describe the anger I feel at a
system which allows youngsters
to suffer so gravely and
senselessly. Adequate education,
welfare and health care for
America's poor children will
always take a back seat to snecial

101

01

10,

S1

4

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}t
Y
R

'Losers on the court'
To the Daily:
Having just taken the
LSAT on Saturday, I am in a
critical mood. This mood
festered when I learned that
my beloved University has
lost yet another battle in
court. Although I do not
even possess a Bachelor's
degree, I feel that by virtue
of merely having taken the
LSAT, I am qualified to.
replace the current
Washington General-like
squad of University
attorneys. Whether it's Hash

. .

I

i

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