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March 01, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-01

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, Marchl, 1994

(ihl £irigan tui1g

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

JESSIEHALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAM GooDsmIN
FLINT WAINESS
Editorial Page Editors

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.
The residence fee paradox

'Her mother was married six times; she grew up In a trailer
... called a white nigger. Abused child, abused wife. Her
insides must look like broken glass.'
-Jesse Jackson, defending Tonya Harding
~3
Vg. .
O N
f U' A

The decision to raise housing rates by four
percent next year - substantially above
the rate of inflation - by the University
Board of Regents sets the Housing Division
down a primrose path of disaster. With dan-
gerously low occupancies and badly mis-
placed priorities, this latest step may well
result in hundreds of vacancies next year.
Given the recent ouster of Director Robert
Hughes, observers might have expected a
shake-up in the tired plan of raising rates ad
infinitium until students are unable and un-
willing to pay the ridiculously high prices.
Residents living in a double in a traditional
residence hall with a 13-meal plan will have
to pay more than $4,600 next year. That
comes out to $575 a month.
That the Housing Divisionwould continue
to raise rates above the rate of inflation, while
housing rates in Ann Arbor remain constant
across the board, strikes against the very grain
of common sense and gives us pause to ask:
What in the world is the Office of Student
Affairs doing?
It is Vice President Maureen A. Hartford's
office that makes the final recommendations.
Her office faces a projected $350,000 to
$400,000 revenue shortfall resulting from
an unprecedented low occupancy rate in
Bursley. Hartford's office has decided to
make other students in the dorms pay for the
increasing unattractiveness of the Univer-
sity-provided housing. Is it fair to tax stu-
dents living in the dormitories more to com-
pensate for the lost revenue brought about
by poor dormitory conditions?
The resulting loss in revenue has reduced
funds for building renovations. Major new
projects for improving conditions at the resi-
dence halls have been put on hold indefi-
nitely. Along with an intense advertising cam-

paign urging students to return to the dormi-
tories next year, the Housing Division has for
years provided advice to students about off-
campus and alternative housing.
Such conflicting initiatives within the
Housing Division will soon come under in-
tense scrutiny. The resulting actions by the
vice president for student affairs will inevita-
bly hurt students. Hartford's office will soon
launch a nationwide search for a new director
of the Housing Division -- a search for a
"puppet" who will certainly bend over back-
wards to appease his administrative over-
lords sequestered within the Fleming Build-
ing. Ex-Housing Director Hughes seemed to
generally have the best interest of students in
mind, resulting in friction between him and
the administration. The latest rate increases
and upheaval within the Housing Division
clearly foreshadow a move by the adminis-
tration to recruit a "housing director" who
will merely serve as another figurehead in the
over-inflated administrative infrastructure to
serve at the whim of the "executive adminis-
trators."
Under the guise of a new "director," and
with opponents in the Housing Division con-
veniently "reassigned to a lateral position
within the University," the administration
will implement decisions based not on pro-
viding a safe environment suitable for aca-
demic enrichment for students, but rather
based on cutthroat economics for the specific
purpose of replenishing the depleted reserve
funds in the Housing Division.
The executive administrators who run the
corporate business called the University of
Michigan again have based decisions not on
providing an atmosphere suitable for aca-
demic progress but rather on maximizing
profits and yearly revenue.

Single-payer argument
flawed
To the Daily:
While embracing the
single-payer system in its
recent editorial on health
care ("Health Care Crisis," 2/
28/94) the Daily makes
several mistakes and leaps of
faith. First, you say that the
single-payer system will
"revers[e] the morally
abhorrent fact that millions
of Americans go without
health care." Perhaps what
you meant to say was
"millions of Americans go
without health insurance." It
is not only immoral to deny
health care to citizens, but in
the United States, with our
current health care system, it
is also illegal under section
9121 of the Consolidated
Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1985.
According to the American
Hospital Association,
hospitals provided $10
billion in uncompensated
care to the uninsured in
1991.
You are also amazed that
"a debate has surfaced asato
whether or not a health care
crisis even exists." Again,

you have confused health
care with health insurance.
Just because the Clintons
proclaim that there is a crisis
doesn't make it so. Members
of Congress on both sides of
the aisle are beginning to
question the depth of the
"crisis" when most polls
show that three-quarters of
Americans are satisfied with
the health care system.
The Daily makes a great
leap of faith when it says that
with a single-payer system,
run by the government,
"administrative costs would
significantly decrease."
Since when has big
government been efficient at
anything? With little
incentive to keep costs down
(all you need is a little
backbone to "take the
political risk of backing tax
increases" to get more
money), how will a
government-run system be
more efficient? What the
Daily proposes is that the U.S.
government be given control
of an additional 15 percent of
the U.S. economy. If there is
one lesson to be learned in
recent history, it is that a
centrally planned economy is
doomed to failure.
THOMAS LAPORTE
Second-year Rackham
student

'Vote no on Proposal A'
To the Daily:
On March 15, voters will
be going to the polls on how
to "re-fund" the education
system of Michigan.
This proposal was made
due to the public's discontent
with high property taxes.
Well, the proposal wiped out
property tax but increased
other taxes. So both plans,
the one to increase income
tax and the other to increase
sales tax, just redistribute the
money lost from property
taxes into other taxes, such as
income and sales tax and
phone and homestead tax.
I urge voters to vote on
March 15, and I urge you to
vote no. As students, we do
not receive a high enough
income, but we do purchase
many items. Therefore, if the
state sales tax were to
increase from four to six
percent, it would be an
increase that would be
detrimental to our already
vanishing savings.
Vote on March 15, and
vote no on Proposal A.
DANIEL CHERRIN
LSA junior

*" *
F inding a
place in
time to call
your own
Like most recent college
graduates, my friend Dan had a few
problems finding a job. He slept on
a friend's couch as he searched for
work, but after two months of trying
he wasn't having any luck. Fed up,
he found some cardboard and red
paint and made a sign that read
"College graduate. Need a job and
will work for food." He went to
Michigan Avenue in Chicago dressed
in his business suit and stood on the
median with his sign as the traffic
passed. After two days, he didn't get
any offers, though some of the other
guys who stood on the median offered
to let him sell watches with them.
Welcome to our generation.
You've heard all the labels that have
been thrown around - slackers, the
13th generation, Generation X, the
baby busters, 20-nothings, the
boomerang generation. Whatever
we're called, we must face asobering
fact: by all predictions, we are likely
to be the first downwardly mobile
generation since the Civil War, the
first who will not exceed or even
equal our parents' standard of living..
In the book "13th Generation,"
self-described Baby Boomers Neil
Howe and Bill Strauss pull together
statistics andpopularcultureto argue
a very simple point: those of us born
from 1961 to 1981 have managed to
get the bum rap at every point in our
lives.
Since I'm not living with my
parents like most of my college
friends, I'm not really in a position to
rail against the world. However, much
of what the authors said about our
unfortunate generation rings true.
Do you remember what it was
like to be a kid in the '70s and early
'80s? The divorce rate reached an
all-time high, leaving kids to mediate
between parents, watch their mothers
wait for dad's support check that
never came, and come home to empty
houses after school with only the TV
for comfort. In 1979, the year
"Kramer vs. Kramer" won Best
Picture, most of us were the age of
the child in the movie - and none
too happy about being there.
Having kids was not cool in the
'70s. We were the first babies people
took pills and had abortions not to
have. Restaurants which allowed
children in the '50s and '60s and
would again in the '80s wouldn't let
us through the door. Disney stopped
making large-scale animated G
movies when we were kids- "The
Little Mermaid," their first hit in
almost twenty years, came out in
1989 when most of us were already
in high school and college.
TV-which during the '60s was
tame enough forjust about everybody
-began to portray violence and sex
which our little latchkey minds
absorbed without any parental
supervision. Even shows that weren't
blatantly violent dealt with adult

topics. I remember telling my parents
to turn down the volume on "All in
the Family" when I was nine because
hearing the arguments as I went to
sleep gave me nightmares. As an
adolescent, I loved the show, but as a
kid all I heard was people yelling at
each other.
Little kids became cool again just
when we weren't little anymore-in
1982, those ubiquitous "Baby on
Board" signs began to appear, and
evilchildrenlike "Rosemary'sBaby"
or that eerie kid from "The Exorcist"
became the lovable infant in "Three
Men and a Baby ." In the same year,
the kids who would be the Class of
2000 were born, and educators came
back to basic education and
abandoned the open schools and
permissiveness we knew as children.
My elementary school walled in the
5th grade "pod" which housed 100
kids and four teachers in open space
in 1983, but it was too late for the six
classes (including my own) who
attempted tolearn long divisionwhile
trying to tune out three other teachers.
Then we hit adolescence, a time
which brought sexual freedom and

01

01

S

Blackmun's wise realization

Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun
never has been the reactionary liberal many
have attempted to portray him as. A Nixon
appointee, Blackmun came to the Court with a
belief that government generally worked well
for most people. But at the age of 85, Blackmun
is beginning to draw on his almost 25 years of
experience on the bench to speak out against
some of the Court's greatest mistakes and injus-
tices. Last week, after the Court - as it has done
so many times during the Rehnquist years -
refused to hear an appeal from a death row
inmate, Blackmun and arch-conservative Jus-
tice Antonin Scalia exchanged heated words
over Blackmun's proclamation that the death
penalty can never be administered constitution-
ally.
Blackmun is the only current justice to rec-
ognize the inherent problems with the death
penalty. Past justices have opposed the death
penalty based on moral or philosophical grounds,
but what makes Blackmun's vehement state-
ment particularly important is the fact that he
renounced the death penalty on constitutional
grounds.
"I feel morally and intellectually obligated
simply to concede that the death penalty experi-
ment has failed," Blackmun noted. "It is virtu-
ally self-evident to me that no combination of
procedural rules or substantive regulations
ever can save the death penalty from its inher-
ent constitutional deficiencies."

Conservative constitutional scholars counter
that the framers were aware of the death pen-
alty, and didn't think it constituted "cruel and
unusual punishment." But while this may be
true, the framers could not possibly have antici-
pated the environment in which the death pen-
alty operates today.
The Court has tried with "ingenuity" and all
in its arsenal to ensure that the death penalty
is administered fairly. However, it is clear that
the death penalty is still handed out arbitrarily
and subjectively. Blackmun merely realized
that the State cannot "tinker with the machinery
of death" if punishments cannot be meted out
fairly and consistently - and if you begin to
sentence consistently, you sacrifice jury sub-
jectivity. This is a Catch-22 that cannot be
solved except by scrapping the death penalty.
The facts speak for themselves: The Stanford
Law Review states that at least 23 innocent
people have been executed this century. More-
over, only one white has been executed for
killing a Black since 1932, whereas Blacks are
routinely executed for the murder of whites.
And outside of the constitutional arguments,
one must consider the sorry representation that
the indigent receive in this country and the
tremendous amount of court time and money
death row cases gobble up.
Blackmun has it right: the experiment has
failed, and the Court is guilty for acquiescing
with this unconscionable failure.

+

Republicans have own beliefs

By D. M. WINTHROP
I am somewhat
surprised at the various
signs hung around campus
by the College
Republicans heralding:
God, Family, Country. As
I quite recall, it is Truth,
Justice, Liberty, but
perhaps, I am getting this
confused with France's
own three word
declaration.
Although I am
presently somewhat non-
partial, I confess to myself
once brandishing the
American flag and
basking in the glow of
Republicanism. Perhaps it
was the advances of the
eighties, Ronald Reagan or
the influence of my family.
However, I was not the
least concerned with the
economy during the
eighties, had no particular
penchant for Reagan -
save that he was indeed a
good president - and am
D. M. Winthrop is an LSA
senior

quite likely to counter
anything my family
represents. Whether it was
these issues or not, I hadn't
any idea that I needed these
three qualifications to be a
Republican and reap the
benefits of capitalism.
Certainly, someone should
have told me sooner. I
supposed I could have but
asked Rush, yet he may
only request that I buy his
book or videos. Certainly,
he understands capitalism
as well as these three
golden rules.
In defense of these
three noted criteria, I must
confess that had I, myself,
any political aims for
office, I would most
certainly thrust to my
bosom a devoted husband
- with a yen for Armani
- and 2.5 children and
immediately attach my
name to a particular
church - Protestant of
course. Yet, as a private
citizen who should like to,
or not, as the case may be,
consider myself a
Republican, do not feel the

necessity to categorize my
freedoms along a
programmed set of ideals.
Unless I am mistaken, a
single person with
undecided, unclaimed, or
private religious ideals
could as well have a place
in the party. I seem to have
a problem with such
flippant use of three very
"loaded" words as God,
Family, Country. The
individual concepts and
choices of the first two are
certainly a part of the
make-up of the latter.
So, perhaps I should
remove my Bush/Quayle
poster from my wall and
inform the Kennedy's that
they are indeed working
for the wrong side. Then
in exchange for these three
words I offer a suggestion
for all politics, regardless
of party. "To be able to'
practice five things
everywhere under heaven
constitutes perfect virtue ...
gravity, generosity of soul,
sincerity, earnestness and
kindness." - Confuscious.

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Olympic moments to remember
They may not have brought home the gold, but there are three Olympic performers that
will always be winners in my mind.
Katarina Witt, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean - three figure skaters who
seemed to remember that the events in Lillehammer were about more than busted knees,
Disneyland commercials and Inside Edition episodes.
Call me sentimental, but watching the former champions skate in tribute to the people
of Sarajevo (the home of the 1984 games, where the above skaters won their medals)jerked
me out of the trivial soap opera I had found myself lured into.
Stumbling but never falling, elegant even in defeat, these classy performers provided a
brilliant metaphor for the plight of Bosnian sovereignty. One can only hope that next time,

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