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March 14, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily -- Monday,_March 14, 1994

1 E Sidigrtn t z

'Basically, we choked.'
-Michigan basketball player Juwan Howard
on Saturday's 97-94 loss to Northwestern

420 Maynard JEssIE HALLADAY
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed JuUE BECKER
by students at the JASON LIcHrsTEIN
University of Michigan Acting Editorial Page Editors
Unles.s 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.



If it isn't broken...
Hartford's residence hall proposals are misguided

tuR RESU/Mc? ZopNor!I?
Ip = 010 NarT. WHAT.. i
~~ IQ N E T D A t 'ur
M SA 10

n Monday, March 7, in a speech fo the
LSA faculty, Vice President for Student
Affairs Maureen A. Hartford outlined several
new proposals for residence hall life begin-
ning in 1996. Later this week, the task force on
Y first-year living, headed by Hartford, will
offer a report that plans radical new changes
in the residence hall format.
The most radical of these changes will be
the requirement that every incoming student
participate in a "Living, Learning Environ-
ment" during his or her first year at the Uni-
versity. New programs, similar to the Resi-
dential College and Pilot programs, would be
created at every hall. These programs offer
valuable experiences to most of their mem-
bers, and developing similar programs for
other disciplines is a worthwhile idea that
deserves attention. However, requiring par-
ticipation in these programs for all students
would be a mistake.
One of the ways the University hopes to
improve residence hall life is to group stu-
dents according to "broad interests." The fact
of the matter is that any such grouping dimin-
ishes the diversity of people found in each
hall. Learning how to deal with diversity is
one of the most important lessons taught at the
University, and the residence halls are one of
the most fundamental components of this
experience. In this case, diversity not only
refers to racial and ethnic groups, but also to
students with different backgrounds and in-
terests. Furthermore, students do not need the
administration's "groupings" to prod them
into developing their social and educational
networks.'This already occurs, simply through
the nature of residence hall life.
Hartford also noted other plans for the
future. "Para-professional" staff members,
most notably resident advisors, would be re-
quired to take a psychology course designed
to improve their ability to deal with situations

that may arise among residents. While this
may be a good idea on the surface, in reality,
the best training that residence staff members
receive is the training that comes on the job-
more administrative training will never be as
Not all of Hartford's proposals are objec-
tionable. She suggested expanding the resi-
dence hall libraries to make them more useful
and accessible to students. And while it is
unlikely that any new configuration will al-
low the libraries to compete with research
libraries such as the Grad, plans to enlarge the
computer capacity of the libraries, and to
connect them to the growing information
highway, are excellent.
Another proposal is to dedicate four resi-
dence hall cable channels to University pro-
gramming. New stations will be doled out to
LSA and the Office of Student Affairs, and
other programs will address music, arts and
athletic interests. This is an idea that deserves
further consideration.
It is not the administration's role to control
students' living environments. If anything, it
should work to enhance them. Proposals such
as those regarding the libraries and cable
channels are such examples, and are where
the University should focus its attention.
The residence halls already provide envi-
ronments for living and learning. It is not the
administration's place to structure students'
lives, but rather to provide an environment
that makes those lives as pleasant as possible.
This can be done in rather mundane ways,
such as fixing rusty pipes and replacing tat-
tered shower curtains, as well as in extremely
important ways, such as making sure that the
elevators run and that computers are avail-
able and functioning. By maintaining and
improving existing residence hall conditions,
the administration can best serve its clientele
- the students.

I ______________________________________________________

Self-defense no excuse
for Peoples
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
D. Bailey's letter ("Police
erred in their investigation,"
3/4/94). While I, too, thought
the police's actions seemed
somewhat uncalled for and do
indeed raise questions, I do
not believe that Shonte
Peoples' actions were at all
Bailey mentions the anger
Peoples must have felt upon
knowing strangers were in his
car, and points out that he
called 911 immediately.
Peoples should have stopped
at that - without taking it
upon himself to take further
action against the police.
I strongly believe that
every law-abiding citizen has
the right to own a gun and use
it to protect himself and those
around him from personal
bodily harm. The justification
in a court of law for such an
action is self-defense. Was
Peoples in fear for his life? I
think not.
I wonder what Bailey's
thoughts would be if one of
the police officers had been
shot. The reports say that
Peoples fired seven to 10
gunshots at the men. Did he
deliberately aim to miss? All
involved are very lucky that
none of the bullets hit its
target. If one of the officers
had been shot, or killed,
Peoples's defense of
"protection of property"
would not have counted for
much in court. While a car is
worth a lot of money, its
protection is not worth a

human life.
The point is, what Peoples
did was dangerous and rash. I
hardly think he stopped to
consider what the conse-
quences of his actions could
have been. Guns should be
used only to protect people,
not material property that can
be replaced. There was no
need for him to carry his
actions that far, and he justly
deserves whatever
punishment his charge brings.
LSA first-year student
The Power Macintosh
is here
To the Daily:
The newest revolution is
here. But, unlike most
technological revolutions that
seem to leave everyone in the
dust, this one is all inclusive
and affordable.
This revolution is the
Apple's Power Macintosh line
of computers. These new
models combine the
lightning-fast PowerPC chip
with Macintosh ease of use.
Virtually all of your
favorite Macintosh software
will work on the new Power
Macintosh computers. There
is no need for costly software
upgrades. Many computer
software developers will be
releasing new software that is
specially written to take full
advantage of the speed and
features of the Power
Macintosh. These companies
will be offering upgrades for
as little as five to 15 dollars.
In the past, computer
manufacturers have priced
new technology beyond the
budget of most people. A

complete Power Macintosh
system with a color monitor
starts at only $2,100.
Competing systems from
manufacturers can start at
almost double the price.
The Power Macintosh will
run virtually all of the current
software at Quadra speeds.
Any programs that are
graphics intensive will run
even faster. Programs written
specially for the PowerPC will
run two to five times faster.
Math intensive programs such
as graphics, statistics, and
spreadsheets will run up to
eight to 10 times faster. This
much power has never before
been available on a personal
computer at an affordable
Although they are widely
touted as the most powerful
machine on the market, the
Pentium-based PCs are an
expensive outdated solution.
The PowerPC gives
Macintosh computers a large
price performance advantage
over Pentium computers. In
addition, studies have shown
that Macintosh users are 43
percent more productive than
Windows users. Therefore,
Power Macintosh enhances
productivity to a new level.
To introduce this new
technology, representatives
from Apple Computer will be
in the Computer Showcase in
the basement of the Michigan
Union to answer all your
There will also be hands-
on demos of the new Power
Macintoshes, door prizes and
Apple student representatives

Orwell '
vision: on
the mark
I liked 1984. All that Big Brother
stuff was sort of interesting, but
what really struck me was the book's
geopolitical vision. Orwell wrote of
a world with three superpowers,
Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. Since
dynamics changed quickly, the
nations shifted overnight from being
enemies to being allies, and the
public was manipulated into
following along zealously. Out of
all the predictions (or warnings) in
1984, this was the most accurate.
The government of the United States
"manipulates us into zealously
following along" in its silly little
adventures. And we love it.
Things used to be simple. The
Russians were our simple Chosen
Enemy in the old, bipolar world.
Now, of course, things have
changed. Like Orwell's Oceania,
the USA switches its allegiances
overnight. Noriega? Take him off
the CIA payroll and send in an
arresting party. Saddam? Call him
Hitler and try not to flinch when our
troops are killed by American-made
weapons. Deng Xiaoping? Keep
stalling and bluffing; he'll die soon,
and then we can start from scratch.
In the meantime, Americans give
their government ridiculously wide
latitude. Not only can presidents
pretend that places like Grenada
and Panama suddenly represent a
threat to us, they can bump their
approval ratings up ten gazillion
points by invading them. We love it
when our presidents get tough, so
we overlook inconsistencies with
blissful ignorance. What we really
hate is inaction. If President Bush
had sent troops into, say, Georgia
(the one by Russia) to restore
Gamsakhurdia to power, the general
public would have rallied behind
the effort. As long as we won.
The government can manipulate
us like this because we are ignorant.
The world is changing quickly.
Right now, Russia has designs on
regaining influence in its former
empire, and has essentially retaken
control of Georgia and Belarus.
Japan is a net importer of TVs:
Suharto is facing a grassroots social
welfare protest that could realign
power in Indonesia, the world's
fourth largest country. Do these
things matter? Of course they do.
Do people notice, know, or care
about them? Of course they don't.
So if President Clinton's team of
foreign policy doofuses decides to
react to any of this, they can count
onus, the public, believing whatever
we are fed in glitzy Pentagon
Americans do care about some
things. If a plane crashed in China
and 600 people were killed, it would
make the headlines. If an American
happened to be aboard. When we
fight a war people care; they go out
and buy maps and flags. But caring
and questioning are two different

things. The public challenged U.S.
policy in Indochina, but it took 25
years. Lots ofpeople died needlessly
in the meantime, and they weren't
all Americans.
Certainly, if you are going to
fight a war, you should win it. But if
a war is avoidable and pointless,
can it ever be a victory? Even though
the draft is long gone, I still feel
sorry for our troops sent to fight
these pointless campaigns. I didn't
join in the Gulf War protests for that
reason. It wasn't that I disagreed
with the people who criticized U.S.
policy, though I felt that their protests
came about 10 years too late. It was
that our troops deserved our support,
even if our government did not.
The U.S. government will never
stop redirecting its favors overnight
and sending Americans off to die in.
countries they have never heard of.
As long as we care more about
Tonya Harding than Nursultaq
Nazarbaev (he's the President of
Kazakhstan), the government will
be able to do this. This is not a
prediction it is what has been



Vote YES on Proposal A
Ballot plan is lesser of two evils

Michigan voters will decide tomorrow
how to rebuild the system of school
taxes that lawmakers leveled last summer
when they eliminated property taxes for edu-
Proposal A, the lone issue on Tuesday's
ballot, gives voters two means of replacing
the more than $6 billion the Legislature wiped
out in July. If the ballot plan is adopted, the
sales tax will increase in May from 4 to 6
percent. The backup plan, which would auto-
matically go into effect if voters reject Pro-
posal A, would raise the income tax from 4.4
to 6 percent.
As tools to construct a new system of
education funding, both Proposal A and the
backup plan are inadequate --like the choice
between a paintbrush and a sander. Both
apply cosmetic touches to a system in disre-
pair, but only Proposal A spares the economy
the most crippling tax hikes. Proposal Ashould
be approved Tuesday.
The alternative to Proposal A, dubbed the
statutory plan, would retain 12 mills of prop-
erty tax on homestead property. Each mill
represents $1 in taxes for each $1,000 of
property value. Lawmakers voted in June to
wipe out this particularly burdensome and
inequitable form of taxation, but it has resur-
faced in both plans, as Proposal A would
maintain the property tax at 6 mills.
For years, property taxes have supported
massive inequities between richer and poorer
school districts. Schools presently derive
nearly two-thirds of their operating revenue
from property taxes, which are levied based
on the value of property inside the school
district. Districts in high-income areas can
receive ample funding without saddling resi-
dents with onerous tax burdens. Low-income
districts, on the other hand, must impose
unreasonably high taxes to stay afloat.

poor school districts. Both will slowly in-
crease state funding to low-income districts,
yet inequities will be preserved. This will be
accomplished through a so-called local op-
tion tax, which would allow school boards to
levy up to 3 mills above the base level, with
voter approval in a special election.
Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's
election, the Legislature's half-solution will
be implemented in May. Proposal A's sales
tax increase will be written into the Michigan
Constitution, guaranteeing the stability of the
plan. As a legislative initiative, the backup
plan is subject to further dickering by law-
makers - a dangerous prospect considering
the unstable split between Democrats and
Republicans in the Legislature.
Furthermore, Proposal A would impose a
50-cent hike in the cigarette tax, as opposed to
a 15-cent hike under the backup plan. While
some object that this tax burden will be borne
most heavily by the poor, this will be out-
weighed if the tax encourages people to stop
buying cigarettes-therefore helping to elimi-
nate a major health care problem.
The chief drawback of the backup plan is
the income tax hike, a proven deterrent to
economic development. While neither tax
will come as a boon to the state's economy,
the sales tax will at least draw revenues from
out-of-state tourists. The income tax, by con-
trast, is borne entirely by Michigan residents.
The backup plan also increases the single
business tax while Proposal A does not. Eco-
nomic analyses conclude that Proposal A
will not harm Michigan's economy as much
as the alternative.
Neither plan offers a concrete solution to
the inequities that exist between rich and poor
districts, and both impose new taxes. But with
the future of Michigan public schools on the
line, Proposal A offers a more secure source

The Viewpoint printed by
the Daily on March 9
("Hebron coverage displays
Daily's anti-Semitism"), by
Aryeh M. Caroline is
abhorrent yet predictable -
and very saddening.
Caroline espoused a great
deal of hatred and resentment
toward Arabs in his opinion
piece. Many will be quick to
note the blatant racism in his
thinking. "Most particularly,"
he wrote, "I am disturbed by
the media's attempt to equate
Jewish and Arab terrorism. In
fact, the two are so different
that to compare them is an
absolute injustice." Here,
Caroline clearly tips his hand.
He cannot tell me and have
me believe that he is
respectful of all innocent
peoples, regardless of
ethnicity. Terrorism is
terrorism - an act of terror.
The perpetrator is, by
definition, irrelevant. To
suggest that a Jewish terrorist
is somehow less guilty of an

homework and is very
obviously misrepresenting
myths as facts surrounding the
Hebron massacre? Perhaps.
Or, is my concern that
Caroline, who is obviously a
product of his environment,
has simply taken from his
upbringing a host of
inaccurate and harmful
stereotypes and woven them
into a web of frighteningly
hateful attacks on all Arabs?
Suddenly I realized the latter
was at the heart of my pain. I
cannot sit idly by while
someone espouses such
blatant anti-Arab sentiment.
("My Muslim friends," I read
in disbelief, "tell me that such
violence also violates the
Qur'an. Perhaps the Arabs
have a different version of the
Qur'an than the other
You see, anti-anyone
sentiment serves only harmful
intentions. First-year students
who pick up the paper without
the armament of any classes
on these issues might blindly
agree with Caroline. After all,
Aras are denicted as evil.

therefore, being Arabs, have
a lesser right than Jews to
basic human rights, including
self determination. But what
to do about it?
I noticed that Caroline
himself is a first-year student.
To that, I sighed a cautious
sigh of hopeful relief. If
Caroline diverts a fraction of
the energy he expends on
promoting racist anti-Arab
sentiment on taking a class or
two on the subject, he may
come to realize what college
is all about.
We must all remain
accountable for what we
convey to others, even our
opinions. Thankfully, there
are a great many in Israel and
elsewhere who recognize the
tragedy at Hebron as horrific
and unacceptable. Indeed, the
time is not to defend any act
of terrorism, period. The time
is to shed our stereotyping,
our hatred, our
misrepresentation of fact and
representation of myth as
fact, our rage and our
outrage, our bitterness and
our tendency toward nolitical

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