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March 07, 1994 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-07

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4- The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 7, 1994

(Tefie &tn tiUg

I hate to sound macabre, but hey, isn't that my job ... to lay
it on the masses, to get them off their asses.'
-Digable Planets

Just a

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

JEssri HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAMGOODSTON
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.
Thanks, Dr. Williams
SSRR letter proves, once again, that the code must go

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O ne week ago, Dr. Reg Williams, associ-
ate professor in the School of Nursing
and faculty chair for the judicial board of the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsi-
bilities (SSRR) wrote an article in the Univer-
sity Record supporting the SSRR. Williams'
defense of the policy is flawed on several
levels and proves, once again, that the code
simply doesn't work.
Williams begins his article by admitting
that he first had doubts about the SSRR,
especially since it covered some actions that
are also prohibited by state and federal laws.
When he was asked to become involved in
this process, he still had these concerns about
the policy, and discussed it with Vice Presi-
dent for Student Affairs Maureen A. Hart-
ford. As a result of this discussion, Williams
agreed to be part of the SSRR judiciary board.
Williams's fears were -and are -valid.
Under the SSRR, students can be tried twice
- once by the University and once in a court
of law - for the very same offense. In fact,
Williams admits he still had "fewer, but nag-
ging doubts" about "whether we (the Univer-
sity) really should be in this business" even
after his training session.
Then, during Fall term 1993, Williams
was called to serve as the non-voting faculty
member on a hearing panel. (Each hearing
panel under the SSRR contains six student
jurors and a non-voting faculty chairperson.)
This experience, Williams says in his article,
was the cause of his conversion to his new-
found belief that the code is a sound policy.
However, his own presentation of the facts
does little to back up this assertion.
The case Williams heard consisted of two
students who had stolen University property.
Since the one student Williams mentioned in
the article admitted his guilt in this act, the
SSRR hearing panel was responsible only for
setting sanctions appropriate to his actions.
The panel decided the student must get in

touch with a faculty mentor, attend all the
classes he was enrolled in, and perform com-
munity service.
This sentence is remarkably similar to the
one handed down by the criminal courts,
which sentenced the student to counseling
and community service. Still, the student was
required to serve both sentences. Perhaps the
only thing the criminal courts did not do that
the SSRR did was put the student in touch
with a faculty mentor, and the University
simply should not need a sweeping code
governing non-academic conduct to accom-j
plish that.
The more troubling aspect of this case,
however, is one Williams failed to mention in
his article at all. There was another student
charged in this case, who chose to have his
case heard by an administrator - which is
also an option under the code. This student
was originally to be expelled, but had his
"sanction" commuted to suspension after an
appeal. Still, the difference in sentencing is
marked. The only reasoning given for the
difference in sentencing was that the two
students "responded differently in their hear-
ings."
What made the student Williams spoke of
so much more "worthy" of education that he
was given a relatively light sentence, while
the SSRR hearing panel recommended that
his partner be expelled? Williams states that,
in the case of the student who was given
counseling and community service, he "be-
lieves that we helped a student who was
headed for more serious problems to head
toward a road of success." No explanation
has ever been given as to why the other
student involved in this case was so much less
deserving of this type of "help." This type of
arbitrary decision-making, as well as the du-
plication of state and federal laws that the
SSRR allows, are just two of the many rea-
sons it must be abolished.

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Statistics that kill

n 1992, there were 367 people murdered
with handguns in Great Britain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Japan
combined. In the same year, 13,220 Ameri-
cans were killed under the same circum-
stances. In 1991, 38,317 Americans died be-
cause of gun-inflicted injuries. That's more
than 100 people a day, a casualty rate much
higher than that of the Vietnam War. Even
more striking are the statistics for children.
Today, 14 children will die from gunshot
wounds. Of these 14, four will be due to
suicide, a rate of one child every six hours.
These are just a few of the most recent statis-
tics released by Handgun Control Inc. and the
Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.
Obviously, a society without guns would
be a society where violence is drastically
reduced. However, this is not a viable option
in the near future. Instead, steps need to be
taken to remove the most destructive of these
weapons from the public's hands. The Trea-
sury Department has recently taken one of
these steps, by requiring registration and li-
censing for three semi-automatic shotguns,
including the "Street Sweeper," favored by
drug dealers for its potency.
Inorderto truly combat the proliferation of
guns in this country, any future steps that are
taken must apply to both new and old weap-
ons. At the local level, communities and busi-
nesses have started gun-collection days where
people can turn in a gun in exchange for
concert tickets, toys and other incentives.
Federal legislation prohibiting the manufac-
ture and possession of certain types of fire-
arms has been proposed and debated for years,
and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.
Y.), has proposed an excellent new plan: to
tax out of existence the forms of ammunition
deemed most dangerous.y
Nnffallr n11l af ~ael K4T l aArcnny fn-

has found fault with every piece of gun-
control legislation proposed. Their continued
lobbying to protect a citizen's "right" to bear
any type of arms shows that they misunder-
stand a very important fact - one of the
major sources of violence in this country
stems from the public's possession of guns.
For example, this is the same organization
that criticized the government for closing gun
stores during the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
Does anyone truly believe that dumping more
guns into that situation would have helped to
alleviate it? Additionally, after the Treasury
Department began to require licensing of the
"Street Sweeper," the NRA attempted to
defend this weapon by saying that it had never
been used in a crime. The very next day, the
"Street Sweeper" was used in the senseless
violence against Hasidic students in Brook-
lyn. This sad coincidence is beyond ironic-
it is unconscionable.
We cannot expect miracles from these
one-by-one, specific gun control laws -
there are so many varieties of weapons that to
ban one is only to increase use of another, and
most laws target the way in which guns are
purchased, rather than prohibiting guns from
being purchased at all. The most striking
example of this is the recent Long Island
Railroad attack - the man who committed
the attack purchased his gun in California, the
state with the strictest gun-control laws. Ex-
amples like this are usually used by oppo-
nents of gun-control legislation to show that
restrictive measures are useless and ineffec-
tive. However, focusing on this angle blurs
the point - that halfway-measures will only
solve half of the problem. The only real
solution to this problem will come when
those guns that are specifically designed to
kill human beings are removed from our

An apology from the
P.O. Box man
To the Daly:
In the article appearing in
the March 3 issue of the
Daily, "Bogus Flyer makes
rounds on 'U' campus," my
name was associated with
the incident because of the
P.O. Box that I purchased. I
naively and stupidly agreed
to open a box for a group of
unscrupulous individuals and
distribute flyers without a
clear realization of their
possible fraudulent ends.
After reading the Daily and
realizing the situation, I
closed the box immediately
and any letters received to
that box should be returned
to the sender. No letters
received to that box were
opened. I had no intent to be
a part of a fraud and have cut
off ties with these
acquaintances.
I urge all to disregard any
flyers. I also note that the
University Psychology
Department has no ties to the
flyers.
Obviously, I will certainly
be much more careful about
my future liaisons.
MIKE VAGNETi
LSA first-year student
Women's track team
deserves more
recognition
To the Daily:
I, along with the rest of
the team, was very
disheartened, though not
surprised by the inadequate
coverage of the Michigan
women's Big Ten Track and
Field win at Purdue.
For whatever reason, be
it that there wasn't enough
room in Monday's paper
because of the numerous
other Big Ten wins over the
weekend, or that our beat
reporters did not get their
stuff in on time, I think that
the team deserves more than
the 12 inch column that we
received on Monday. The
team also deserves
recognition as a whole and
not just as a handful of
individuals that were
mentioned. There were many
other athletes who
participated and deserve
recognition for their
performances.
The team also has
qualified many for Nationals
that will be taking place next
weekend and yet there was
no mention of this either.
I think that you need to
find someone who is
interested and will cover the
women's team a lot better
than they are doing now.

Maybe you should assign the

'Easy, killers'
In response to Joseph
Harpe's letter "Nice Try"(3/
2/94), and all the other letters
the editor has gotten regarding
the Daily's cartoonist, Jim
Lasser, I have one simple
message: easy, killers. It
seems to me that your dry
sarcasm and off-the-wall
attitude isn't doing any good
at all. In fact, it's
accomplishing nothing. As a
junior at the University, don't
you have any productive
hobbies?
Mr. Lasser's cartoons,
which are mostly pointed at
current events and other
contemporary issues, are fine.
While I may not laugh out
loud at each cartoon, I can
understand and appreciate his
points. Oh! By the way,
Joseph, Mr. Lasser did not ask
me to publicly "pat his back"
for him. I do not know Jim
Lasser personally; I have
never met him before. I do not
even know what he looks like.
I think it's time for Joseph
Harpe & Co. to get a grip.
What's with the vehement
hatred for the cartoonist? I
will be the first to admit that I
am not a fan of the Daily.
However, it is my choice to
read it, and if I look, I can find
a few interesting articles every
now and then.
If Mr. Lasser draws a
cartoon that you disagree
with, Joseph, then why don't
you thoughtfully and calmly
explain what you didn't like
and why you didn't like it?
Ranting and raving with no
intelligent reasoning backing
your opinion up only makes
you sound like the foolish
one.
MICHELLE MURTAUGH
LSA first-year student
Whole fraternity can't
be implicated
To the Daily:
Your brief report on the
police action which took
place on the Thursday before
spring break at the Zeta Beta
Tau fraternity (3/1/94), was
in its brevity, insubstantial
and malicious toward my
fraternity and the entire
Greek system
The incident you have
reported was not a fraternity
incident, but merely an
isolated event concerning a
few individuals whose roles
still remain undecided.
By failing to investigate
and uncover the entire story,
your article presents a false
and highly unfavorable view
of an upstanding
organization. What your
brief piece failed to mention
was a fraternity with a 3.3
grade point average, and a
strong community service

incident was University
Towers or South Quad, the
headline would not simply
state that these residences
and all who resided within
were all implicated.
Unfortunately, by printing an
article which was both
incomplete and untrue, your
paper has served in enforcing
a negative stereotype toward
an institution of great merit.
IAN SANDLER
LSA sophomore
Israel shouldn't give
up West Bank
To the Daily:
I would like to respond to
a letter written by Patrick
Killelea to the Daily in the
March 3 issue. His broad
statements about the state of
Israel are completely
uninformed and
misrepresented. First, it was
a tragedy when Dr. Goldstein
went on his shooting spree,
but to say that it is the fault
of the United States who
financed this is ridiculous, and
to stop spending on Israel
would be problematic for the
United States, who has only a
small foothold in the Middle
East.
Second, and more
important, is the notion that
Israel should withdraw from
the West Bank. I have
personally visited Israel, and
have seen the landscape and
monuments to the many wars
Israel has fought to keep its
independence. The
boundaries in Israel are there
for a reason: protection from
the Arab states that surround
Israel and are a constant
threat to its security. The
suggestion that Israel should
give up the West Bank would
just be the beginning of the
extermination of the state of
Israel.
MICHAEL CASTINE
LSA first-year student
'Freezin' my butt off'
To the Daily:
About this time every
year, I start wondering why I
ever left sunny, warm
California! Even though my
wife and I just got back from
a glorious week in Arizona
and the Grand Canyon (we
managed to hike quite a way
down into that amazing,
inverted mountain!), I still
feel as if the winter just
keeps lingering on and on
Eveready-bunny style... One
thing is for sure, the spring is
greeted here like some sort of
religious experience, replete
with cries of joy and
ceremonial bathing in pure,
cleansing sunlight for hours
on end. If only the winter
were one month shorter, we
might be able to get through
it without so many suicidal
thoughts, cranky moments

number
wouldn't
be so bad
No one likes the fact that we are
treated like numbers at the University.
This isn't athreat toour individuality
though - we each have our own
number. The real identity crisis*comes
from being grouped into races. The
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
does a great disservice to its students
by treating them as demographic
statistics and not as people with
individual experiences and needs.
Call it affirmative action,
multiculturalism, or whatever you
like; as practiced here, it is
dehumanizing and wrong.
Currently, if you belong to certain
ethnic or racial groups, you get"extra
points" in the admissions process.
This practice is intended to remedy
historical disadvantages and increase
minority representation. The
University believes that by leveling
the playing field, groups can compete
on an equal footing. The raceproblem
in America is not, however, that the
playing field is slanted. The problem
is certainly not that the playing field
is being slanted too far in the other
direction. I really don't care if a few
white people get inconvenienced;
few, if any, really are. The real
problem is that we are seen as 'groups
incompetition' inasortofeducational
race war, and not as individuals trying
to live up to our own potential.
Employers, landlords, the
University and the government define
us based on all of the boxes we check
off on their forms. I check off white,
male and suburban, and some
bureaucrat thinks that he knows all
there is to know about me. Someone
else checks off African-American,
female andurban, and the University
thinks it knows her life story too.
That is, by definition, prejudice.
It does not matter that the
University is only trying to help the
groups defined as disadvantaged. It
is damaging and wrong to lump all
minority applicants together and
assign them an equal amount of
"suffering points." Take two kids
from the same high school, both
African-American. One lives like the
Huxtables, and while he has faced
isolated incidents of discrimination,
he has basically performed up to his
potential in school. He applies to
Michigan, which adds up his GPA
and ACT. Then they say "he's Black
- add ten points," degrading his
very real achievements.
The other kid, who lives on the
other side of town, can't study as
much as he should - he has to work
ridiculous hours because his mother
faces a racist job market, and his
father is gone. His (ignorant) teachers
largely ignore him because he speaks
Black English. His GPA and ACT
don't reflect his true potential. He
applies to Michigan, where they take
his numbers, then say "he's Black-
add ten points." But ten points aren't
enough to get him in. His potential is
lost, and the discrimination he has
faced is overlooked by the

University's crude attempt at being
racially sensitive..If applicants were
treated as human beings and not
demographicprofiles, this would not
happen, and we would have a much
stronger student body.
People are often treated poorly
because they are members of
marginalized groups, but this
discrimination should be treated as a
part of their individual lives and
experiences. I don't care how many
applications the University has to go
through every year. As long as the
University sees someone as a person
of color, or as a white person, before
seeing them as a 'person' with
individual needs, there can be no true
equality. It is one thing for a group to
self-identify itself. It is chilling,
however, when an institution as
powerful as the University groups
and defines us based on our ancestry,
regardless of its purpose in doing so.
Equal opportunity currently
comes at the unacceptable price of
casting off one's own traditions and

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