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March 02, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-02

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 2, 1994

Fe ,rIidiga n idQ

"Someone's opinion of you doesn't have to be a reality."
-Felman Malveaux, LSA junior and
member of the men's varsity track team

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

JESSIE HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAM GOODSTEIN
FLiNr WAINEss
Editorial Page Editors

The

Rz'E F I EMR4N T.~

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.
--- -- --
Celebration? Where?
U' falls short in recognizing women's history
IW ithunseasonablywarmweather, March apparently no interest - in commemorat-
V has come in a lamb, as the time-hon- ing Women's History Month. The burden
ored fairy tale goes. And while the month is has fallen again on the Women's Studies
dedicated nationally to commemorating the Program to organize and raise funds for the
importance of women's his- events, with only token sup-
tory, the University's Ann port from the Office of Stu-
Arborcampus-instarkcon- WOMES dent Affairs.
trast toitsFlintcampus-has H:STORY MONTH It is incumbent on Vice
again dropped the ball by fail- President for StudentAffairs
ing to recognize the impor- Maureen A. Hartford to take
tance of making this month a a leadership role. She can-
celebration of women in our not merely rely on her staff
history. members to ensure adequate
The Flint campus has University support. If Hart-
scheduled more than 100 ford has time to supervise
events for Women's History the code and make propos-
Month, from lectures to a als to the regents, than she
video series on numerous top- certainly has time to do rec-
ics, all under the theme "Sex, Power and ognize the importance ofcelebratingwomen's
Violence." In fact, University community achievements.
members have been asked to participate in the Moreover, the slate of events at the Flint
Flint campus events - because there are no campus demonstrates that, with initiativefrom
comparable events here in Ann Arbor. the administration, women's issues can re-
That the Ann Arbor campus would all but ceive the attention they deserve.
ignore the month, paying cursory attention But the blame cannot be placed solely on
only, justifies concerns that women's issues administrative inaction. Responsibility for
are not well represented on campus. Further- celebrating this month also rests with stu-
more, the University's lack of commitment dents, who have not demanded events, as
flatly contradicts its admirable seriesof events well as with the MSA Women's Issues Com-
and lectures that havetraditionally highlighted mission, which has not actively worked to
Black History Month in February. A detailed rectify the situation.
listing of events, programs, posters and flyers As another March drifts in and out, every-
displayed the University's commitment to one throws up their hands and laments: "I
bring speakers and reflect on the month's don't know why more isn't done at the Ann
importance. Arbor campus." Neither do we. But it is time
Yet, the small hodgepodge of events for that administrators and students - far too
Women's History Month reflects the reality content to wring their hands and wait the
that far too often on this campus, women's month out - realize the importance of cel-
issues take a back seat to other University ebrating Women's History Month. The Uni-
concerns. Where is the Office of Student versity community - students, faculty, staff
Affairs? They were quick to organize and and administration - must recognize
fund events for Black History Month and women's history, and its importance to the
Chicano History Week but hadno time-and University and the nation.
Helping public schools
Solution won't come from repairing buildings

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O0nly eight percent of schools in the Mid-
west region of the United States have
been built since 1980. The average age of
school buildings in Detroit is 65 years. Many
of those schools were built before 1900.
These are only a few of the findings in a
recently released study by the American As-
sociation of School Administrators (AASA)
regardingthephysical condition ofthe nation's
schools. The study, which has prompted ac-
tion in both the U.S. House and Senate, found
that schools nationwide have been unable to
complete maintenance projects whose esti-
mated total could top $100 billion.
In response to this study, the House began
debate last week on a plan to set aside $1
billion in low-interest, long-term loans to
renovate the nation's poorest, most dilapi-
dated schools. In the Senate, Carol Moseley-
Braun (D-Ill.) is expected to introduce a plan
for $600 million in direct grants to crumbling
public schools. Both of these plans are excel-
lent steps, and are much-neededby the nation's
schools.
For those who grew up in some of the
country's most affluent school districts, it is
sometimes difficult to imagine the sorry state
of these disadvantaged schools. Betweenbro-
ken heat, water pipes bursting and rats hid-
ing in the walls, it is a wonder that students
in these buildings are able to get any educa-
tion at all.
When a school's infrastructure is falling
apart, it creates more than an inconvenience
for teachers and administrators -it is detri-
mental to students' learning processes. The
AASA study found that students from such
facilities can be expected to score more than
five percent lower on achievement tests than
students attending schools in "fair" condition,
and up to 11 percent lower than students at
sehnn in "excellent" condition.

nize the importance of having good school
conditions, it would be a grave mistake to
assign the responsibility for these test-score
disparities to infrastructure alone. The prob-
lems of education inequality go much deeper
than that.
It has, for far too long, been a sad fact that
in the United States students from the poorest
school districts receive woefully inadequate
educations, especially in comparison to their
more affluent counterparts. Part of this can be
attributed directly to financing. In Michigan,
schools have for years been funded directly
by property taxes, meaning that wealthy,
suburban districts have consistently wound
up with more money per student than urban or
rural districts. And while plans for education
reform are under way in Michigan, with
intent to give more money to the poorest
districts, neither plan being debated state-
wide will come close to eliminating this in-
equality.
Yet funding reform is not the complete
solution. Another overwhelming problem
with schools in disadvantaged areas is that
their students--witnesses every day to crime
and violence - often need even more atten-
tion than other students, to combat the debili-
tating effects of the environment they face
outside of school. This is the most compli-
cated problem of all, one that will not be
easily solved by House debates or neat fund-
ing bills.
The plans being considered in Congress
for school repair are good ones, and should be
passed and implemented as soon as possible.
But legislators must not use these bills as a
way to claim they have filled their "quota" of
education legislation, or as an excuse to stop
working toward further improvement. While
these plans are good, they are only a first step
on the lon nath toward adequate education

Nice try
To the Daily:
Monday (2/28/94), when I
turned to the opinion page to
find out what my peers think
about all the latest issues, I
was deeply surprised by one
letter to the editor. I read
through Mr. Ravi Madan's
letter with eyes wide, shocked
to find that not only did he
claim to like Jim Lasser's
editorial cartoons, but that his
friends did, too! I felt truly
foolish when I read myself
described as an "ignorant
reader" who hates Mr.
Lasser's work because I am
"unaware of current events,"
like gun control, Olympic
figure skaters, gun control,
violent youth, gun control
and violence. Also, seeing
Lasser's work described as
"extremely humorous" for the
first time made me realize
that, whereas I find him as
funny and subtle as a sack of
hammers, others may find
him witty and incisive.
Perhaps, all along, I have been
wronging "this talented young
man!" Certainly if someone
loves him enough to write
these glowing words...
Before I would admit
defeat, however, I followed a
hunch. I pulled out the good
of Student Directory and o
and behold! Mr. Ravi Madan
seems to live in room 3212
Hunt South Quad, while Mr.
James Lasser occupies room
3216 of the same hail! Is it
mere coincidence? I somehow
doubt it. I suppose it would
take at least some brains to
ask someone who doesn't live
next door to pat your back for
you, but it's apparent that Mr.
Lasser lacks even that. Give it
up, Jim.
JOSEPH HARPE
LSA junior
'The ball remains in
Syria's court'
To the Daily:
Has Syrian Hafez Assad
decided to make peace with
Israel? Or is he waging a new
public relations campaign
designed to put international
pressure on Israel to make
unilateral concessions? The
jury is still out.
Assad's statement that he
is willing to have "normal
relations" with Israel is indeed
a positive step toward peace
in the region. But how does
Syria define "peace?" And
what is Syria willing to give
up as a result of it?
As the leader of the Arab
world, Assad is not just
negotiating peace between
Syria and Israel but between
the Arab world and Israel, so
to speak. And as the leader of
the Arab world, Assad will
need to offer a great deal
more than vague platitudes to

of long-range missiles from
dangerous states like Iran and
North Korea justify viewing
Assad's peaceful
proclamations with heavy
skepticism.
In addition to the security
calculus, the U.S. and Israel
must hold Syria accountable
to the issue of human rights.
Syria remains a brutal regime
in which political opponents
are still silenced and
information regarding Israel's
MIA's is still being withheld.
Syria says it wants to have
good relations with the West
and Israel, yet anti-Western
and anti-Israel animus still
exists. To wit: at the Clinton-
Assad press conference in
January, Syrian officials
barred Israeli journalists from
attending - a far cry from
normalization.
In short, the ball remains
in Syria's court. It is well and
good to talk of peace to third
parties who can do you favors
(i.e., the U.S.), but Assad
needs to present the Israelis
with direct, specific
commitments to peace, and he
must back up his words with
meaningful actions.
DANIEL CHERRIN
LSA junior
Fanaticism won't bring
peace
To the Daily:
As a Jew, Zionist, and
human being I am extremely
disgusted and disturbed by
Baruch Goldstein's Feb. 25
attack on Palestinian
worshippers in Hebron. That
over 40 men, women and
children were senselessly
murdered and over a hundred
others injured is in itself a
tragedy of immense
proportion. That Goldstein
acted from a perverted and
utterly sacrilegious
misinterpretation of Jewish
belief saddens me even
further.
Baruch Goldstein, a
devotee of the deceased hate-
mongering, religious/political
fanatic, Meir Kahane,
believed that in spraying
bullets into a crowd of
Palestinian worshippers he
was serving G-d, Torah and
the Jewish people. In reality,
Goldstein and other settlers
who follow ideologies of
hatred, violate the essence of
Jewish law and spirit. They -
not Rabin and Peres, who
have labored courageously for
peace - have betrayed
Jewish faith and people.
I hope only that
Goldstein's attempt to drown
the peace process in a sea of
blood will not succeed. It is
time that Prime Minister
Rabin, Israelis and world
Jewry make a strong stand
against Goldstein and his ilk
- and if that requires the
dismantling of antagonistic
settlements such as Kiryat

of murder and distrust.
I take great pride in my
faith, culture, and people and
believe in the necessity of the
state of Israel - as well as a
Palestinian state. With these
convictions comes a strong
passion for justice and duty
toward reconciliation with the
Palestinian people. Above all
comes a love for peace and a
disdain for Goldstein's brand
of fanaticism and the violence
it breeds.
DANIEL SHERE
RC first-year student
'Daily isn't even good
as toilet paper'
To the Daily:
I thought that the purpose
of journalism was to provide a
service, to tell people what's
going on in a mature and
professional manner - not to
insult, disgust or simply
make one madder-than-hell.
After reading Chris Leply's
"review" of "Dead Alive," I
came to a quick conclusion.
Either my idea of journalism
is wrong, or Leply would be
better off supergluing his
face to the nose of a 747.
Why am I upset? As a
New Zealander, I was quite
offended by his claim that
besides Kiwi Fruit, he'd be
"hard pressed to come up with
something else worth while
that's come from that isle
(New Zealand)." I won't
waste your time going by into
detail about how wrong he is.
There's a lesson I learned a
long time ago, and I'd like to
share it with Chris - If you
don't know what you're
talking about, shut up.
While I'm in a bad mood,
I'd like to kick your "paper"
around a bit more. I was
surprised and offended that
the review of the new 2 Tone
compilation "A Checkered
Past," was written without the
words "rudeboys,"
"rudegirls," "mods,"
"skinheads" or "Vespa." The
implication that second
generation ska "spawned"
new wave (yuck!) had me
frying 12 egg omelettes on
my head. You didn't kid me
- I've had the CD for a
while, and that review was
taken right out of the booklet
that comes with it.
In her review of the
Germs' "MIA: The
Complete Anthology,"
Heather Phares claimed that
because guitarist Pat Smear
has been touring with
Nirvana and appeared with
them on MTV, "the Germs'
punk virus is definitely not
MIA." Actually, it proves the
complete opposite.
And just who does this
"cartoonist" of yours think he
is? I've seen funnier stuff
coming out the back of my
dog. Can't you get any decent
articles by yourselves? All the

higher
education
rationale
If you aren't yet acquainted
with the attempted destruction of
Prof. David Goldberg last year
and the continuing scandal of the
failure of the University to chal-
lenge and respond adequately to
that injustice, hunt up a copy of
Geoff Earle's column "Unfin-
ished Business" in the Daily's
Weekend, Etc. section of Thurs-
day, Feb. 10. It's the best brief
and informed account of the mat-
ter.
Why is it important for stu
dents, as well as faculty, to be
aware of this injustice and its bear-
ing on the conduct of the Univer-
sity? And why should members of
administration desist from pretend-
ing that all is well or can be made
so if all adopted the right attitude?
Prof. Goldberg was insulted,
harassed and vilified for perform-
ing exactly the demands of hi
calling: the pursuit and profession
of truth. It's not an issue of "free
speech." It's an issue that relates
directly to the very rationale of an
institution of higher learning. As
such, it is mandatory (a mandate
at last!a real one) that the facts be
confronted directly, and not evaded
by ineffectual palliatives.A E1
The Dean of LSA, Edie
Goldenberg, has to her credit re-
sponded to repeated demands for
College notice of this affair (Uni-
versity Record, Feb. 14). I be-
lieve she is right in advocating
the view that disagreement can
foster discussion and learning, and
if her letter is intended as a sign of
willingness on the part of the Uni
versity to carry on discussion of
this particular matter it is most
welcome. If, on the other hand, it is
intended as the final word or clos-
ing of the books on this case, it is
wholly inadequate.
It is not sufficient to say that
investigation of the charges
brought against Prof. Goldenber
produced "no finding" of racism
or sexism on his part, or that the
charges were "not substantiated."
The proper question to look into is
how such an outrage could have
been countenanced at all. The con-
duct of the former departmental
chair is presented in Dean
Goldenberg's letter as exemplary
but in fact it was far from that an
the question of the climate or con-
ditions that allowed for such gross
malfeasance is what needs investi-
gating.
First, a fair reading of the "evi-
dence" proffered as well as Prof.
Goldberg's course materials makes
it clear that the students who
charged him with racism and sex4
ism offered as basis for their claim
a total misunderstanding of the

ideas being propounded. Were
they, then, perhaps incapable of
grasping the concepts? Or were
they merely willful disregarding
them? It seems relevant to say that
the sole rational (and signed) de-
fense of their actions made the two
points, first, that charges had to b
anonymous since reprisal would
surely follow from adverse public
criticism and, second, that while
some students might be able to
understand ideas presented in an
ironic or abrasive manner, other
students, less familiar with diverse
styles in higher education, had to
be "handled" differently, their men{
tal development being apparently
unequal to the challenge. Is not
such a "defense" an insult to these
students as well as to all in the
community? It is not a professor's
duty to flatter the sensibilities of

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