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March 16, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-16

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 16, 1994

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

JESSIE HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
JuLE BECKER
JASON LicHTsm
Acting 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.
Third time a charm'C
Students, panelists must turn out to amend Code

'People should know what Is going on In MSA and people
just don't.'
-MSA vice presidential candidate Doug Kligman
- --
-f A-
N""""'" ""

Today from 6-8:30 p.m. in Room 120 of
T the Law school, students and other mem-
bers of the University community will have
yet another chance to amend the Statement
of Student Rights and Responsibilities
(SSRR), the University's code regarding
non-academic conduct. This gathering is the
Office of Student Affairs' third attempt to
hold a meeting to consider amendments to
the SSRR. The first was called off due to bad
weather, and the second failed to attract the
26 of 50 student panelists required to take
action on amendments. This latest attempt
at a meeting must not suffer the same fate as
the previous two.
Students should seize this opportunity to
voice their opinions on this important topic,
and show the administration they care about
changing the SSRR. Even more important,
the student panelists must recognize their
responsibility to students and the rest of the
University community and attend this meet-
ing, so that amendments can finally be sub-
mitted to the Board of Regents for consider-
ation.
The Michigan Student Assembly, the
Office of Student Affairs and individual
students have all sponsored amendments to
the SSRR. Their amendments, and any
others submitted for this meeting, deserve to
be heard and considered. Student input in
this process is vital - the SSRR can affect
many areas of students' lives, on and off
campus. Other than going directly to the
regents, the student hearing panel is the only
avenue available by which students can
amend this policy. Without the student pan-
elists, students can have no input on changes

to the SSRR.
Tonight's meeting is an opportunity for
members of the University community to
speak out against the rising tide of Univer-
sity policy-making that restricts student free-
dom. The SSRR allows the University to
impose sanctions on students for non-
academic conduct, both on and off campus.
It duplicates much of the work of the crimi-
nal justice system, but lacks even basic crimi-
nal justice protections such as allowing the
accused to have a lawyer speak for him or
her during hearing proceedings. At best, the
SSRR is a deeply flawed policy - at worst,
it is a gross violation of students' civil liber-
ties. The SSRR affects each and every stu-
dent, and each and every student should
attend the meeting tonight to discuss the
ramifications of this policy.
However, the most important people in
this procedure at this point are the student
panelists. If they do not take the time out of
their schedules to attend this meeting, the
many students who have sponsored amend-
ments will go unheard. Students want and
deserve a voice in shaping policies which
directly affect their lives, and when it comes
to the SSRR, the student panelists are virtu-
ally the only ones in the position to give them
that voice.
Tonight at 6 p.m., in Room 120 of the
Law school, concerned members of the Uni-
versity community will gather to discuss
what is perhaps the most onerous policy
currently in effect on this campus. For this
meeting to succeed where the others failed,
not only students, but the student panelists,
must shake off apathy and attend.

Whitewater fiasco
Clinton must purge administration, focus on real issues

As the Whitewater controversy festers,
the public is growing more and more
disenchanted with President Clinton and his
"slick" administration. Cries of impropri-
ety, whispers of secrecy and thousands of
pages of subpoenaed secret government
documents are prompting the American
people to question not only the motives of
the Clinton administration, but also its abil-
ity and commitment to change our nation for
the better.
While resolution of the Whitewater fi-
asco may not occur during this administra-
tion, Clinton can make a bold political move
now: he must demand that all government
officials who contributed to or took part in
secret Treasury Department-White House
meetings on this matter resign, or be termi-
nated, immediately.
Clearly, this would be an extreme move
on the part of the president. Yet it is neces-
sary so the government - and the nation -
can get on with more pressing issues. The
resignations would involve several top aides:
Communications Director Mark Gearan,
Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Altman,
Hillary Rodham Clinton's Chief of Staff
Margaret Williams and the first lady's Press
Secretary Lisa Caputo, among others. These
officials have all been implicated either by
their attendance at improper government
meetings or by passing along highly sensi-
tive legal information regarding the pace
and breadth of investigations into Madison
Guaranty and the Clintons. By asking for
their resignations, President Clinton would
be sending a message to the American pub-
lic that while he supports and will cooperate
fully with the ongoing investigation by Spe-
cial Counsel Robert Fiske, internal White
House misconduct must be severely sanc-
tioned. To do otherwise perpetuates the ap-

ministration, which in turn hampers the
President's legitimacy and ability to pass his
legislative agenda.
Last week, Clinton took an important
first step in this process by demanding that
White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum
resign. Nussbaum was implicated by several
sources as being an instigator of the secret
White House meetings that led to the sub-
poenas of several top aides. In these meet-
ings, Treasury officials illegally shared de-
tails of their investigation with White House
staff.
These meetings are ethically question-
able because they involved communication
within the government that, if normal oper-
ating procedures had been followed, should
only have occurred in public news confer-
ences - or never at all. High level officials
in the administration were also present at
these meetings and therefore, their resigna-
tions are warranted as well. This will weed
out lingering perceptions of corruption and
impropriety in the Oval Office and re-focus
the government, and the media, on pressing
domestic issues.
For the past few months, the Clinton
administration has been overwhelmed with
Whitewater allegations of criminal activi-
ties, and media accounts of Whitewater have
dominated the collective consciousness of
the American public. For Clinton to recover
lost political ground, he must be forthcom-
ing and deliberate from now on. The resig-
nation of these top officials will ensure that
internal White House missteps will not
threaten Clinton's vital domestic agenda.
The nation needs a sound economy, health
and welfare reform and job creation, not
nagging concerns about the ethics of gov-
ernment administrators. Clinton must take
action to put Whitewater in its proner place

Gun control laws cost
more lives than they
save
To the Daily;
In its March 7 editorial
"Statistics that kill," the
Daily asserts that the only
way gun violence will cease
is when "those guns that are
specifically designed to kill
human beings are removed
from society altogether. " I
certainly could not agree
more with this statement,
and Iwould join the Daily at
the front line in attaining
such a goal if it were not the
pipe dream that it is.
Regrettably, the Daily seems
to nonetheless pursue this
utopia by supporting the
regulation and restriction of
firearms and praising Sen.
Moynihan's proposal to tax
bullets. A look at history and
statistics will illustrate,
however, that such measures
have and will continue to
produce results diametrically
opposite of what is desired.
The fundamental flaw of
gun control legislation is that
it only affects criminals who
obtain firearms through legal
channels - and only five
to 15 percent actually do!
While 85 percent of
criminals still have their
guns, the ability of decent
citizens to arm themselves
for self-defense purposes is
retarded. Smart criminals
will prey in areas where
citizens are less likely to be
armed. While violent crime
rises in Washington, D.C.,
New York City and Los
Angeles, the states of
Florida and Oregon see their
homicide rates decline after
liberalizing the use of
concealed weapons.
Despite tough gun
control laws, Great Britain's
murder rate tripled from the
1950s to the 1970s. Japan's
combined murder and
suicide rate exceeds that of
the U.S., even though legally
obtaining a gun there is
almost impossible. And
America had a lower crime
rate before the 1968 Gun
Control Act than it has ever
since.
While the state can hire
more police officers to
protect the public, their
presence cannot possibly
replicate the defense and
security of a personal
firearm. Criminologist Gary
Kleck of Florida State
University found that
645,000 people defend
themselves with handguns
annually, and most often do
not have to fire a shot. They
consequently deter three
times as many crimes as
criminals succeed in
committing. And we can
trust these citizens over the

runeto i.athe islr enine

While gun control laws are
aesthetically (and politically)
appealing, they cost society
more lives than they save.
Regardless of anyone's
interpretation of the Second
Amendment, this is a rock-
solid truth.
MICHAEL WHEATON
Engineering junior
'U' is a better place
with Hartford
To the Daily:
I write to take exception to
your editorial "VP for
Whom?" in the March 5 issue
and to voice my support and
that of my colleagues for the
superbrwork that Maureen A.
Hartford has done as vice
president for student affairs
at the University.
Ironically, on the page just
before your editorial, you
show quite graphically the
channels of communications
and influence Maureen has
established for students since
she came here just over two
years ago. Despite your
allegations, I find she listens
more carefully to student
concerns than any vice
president I have ever known
and represents them very well
with her colleagues.
What your editorial really
boils down to is a rehash of
your arguments against some
University policies you
disagree with, most notably
the Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities
and our position on Hash
Bash. So be it. Let's argue
those policies.
But if you weigh those
policies and the other
initiatives Maureen has
brought to the University, I'm
confident that you'll find this
is a better place for students
than it was before Maureen
arrived. And I'm confident
that, thanks to her efforts and
those of her very dedicated
staff, it's going to get even
better yet.
WALTER HARRISON
Vice President for University
Relations
Daily editorial
contradicts itself
To the Daily:
For the first time in three
years I have been here, I have
read an editorial from your
publication worth commen-
dation. Your essay on Take
Back the Night and how it
will allow men to march with
women side by side showed
to me your thoughtful societal
concerns. It is finally noted
that "men are raped, some-
times brutally." Excellent.
But in the time it takes for
one to say "Daily blows!" I
noticed once again you
undermine your editorials
with contradictions. "Rape
doesn't just affect the victim;
it affects us all. Simply
n e . .. -- -_.

happen, since they are men,
right? Pathetic.
VINCENT ROLDA
LSA junior
Don't vote minorities
out of society
To the Daily:
I am very glad that the
proposed anti-gay ballot news
made the front page (Feb. 28).
The whole idea that a majority
can simply vote out a minority
is appalling. Both President
Clinton and Janet Reno have
made it very clear that those
proposing and supporting
these amendments do not
understand what America
stands for. I hope that your
article and this letter will be a
warning call to all minorities
that if this ballot passes, you
may be the next voted out of
society.
KEVIN KAATZ
LSA senior
'Words are simply
empty declarations'
To the Daily:
I find Brent McIntosh's
article on trash talk in
Tuesday's paper (Talk about
trash talk is getting tedious,
3/8/94) disheartening. For 12
years I played competitive
sports that were devoid of
trash-talk. Upon moving to
Michigan, I encountered a
trash-talking opponent who
out-played me. Besides not
respecting him as an athlete,
I hated playing against him.
His game was to belittle me
with words. Six months later
and playing soccer with him,
I found that he had very little
skill backing his words and I
was ashamed to know that
words beat me.
Then I hear people declare
that trash is part of basketball?
Enough! This Michigan
basketball team has nothing to
support its attitude; no
national title, no Big Ten. The
longer that Michigan
continues its antics the more
futile it becomes. I shall never
support the idea that words are
as good as actions and am
amazed to discover that
Michigan, as an institution,
values controversy over
accomplishment.
No, trash is not part of the
game, skill and intelligence
are. To aspire to use and
condone trash-talking is to
underachieve and ignore the
value of talent. While
Michigan stood, twice, with
mouths agape and tongues
running, both Duke and North
Carolina stormed past,
championships nicely tucked
away. Michigan basketball,
until you say win, say all that
you want. You have proved
nothing. All the words are
simply empty declarations. Is
Michigan so afraid of losing
that it must supplant ability
with words? I do not want to

Faith in
democracy
I just returned from two we
encamped in the tropical rain forest
of Nicaragua, sharing living
quarters with ants and mosquitoes.
I did it because that is where I do
the research that defines half of my
job as a professor, work that I love
despite the uncomfortable physical
conditions (for campers, the rain
forest is not at all like the Smokies.
I withstand this considera
physical discomfort because I love
doing my professorial research. Yet
the people with whom I live, poor
subsistence farmers, endure the
same physical discomfort 365 days
a year - and without Sears
camping gear or academic tenure.
Two of the books I read during
that time are noteworthy -- "Ho
Holocausts Happen," by Doug
Porpora and "Whirlpool: U.S.
foreign policy toward Latin
America and the Caribbean," by
Robert Pastor. Both are about U.S.
policy in Latin America, and both
were especially relevant to read in
the midst of some of the worst
poverty in this hemisphere.
"How Holocausts Happen" is
an investigation into the so*
responsibility of a nation's
citizenry. It surveys the attitudes of
Germans living during the rise of
Hitler and compares them to those
of U.S. citizens during the time
their country was waging a massive
campaign of terror against the
people of Central America. It
concludes that strong parallels
exist. We should all be concerO
with those parallels, because
Holocaust-like events are able to
happen only if the citizenry allows
them. The book conveys an
important message about political
process in a democracy.
"Whirlpool" is different. Its
author, Robert Pastor, clearly
knows Latin America. Yet the
book's central thesisis absurd. 7
metaphor of a whirlpool describes a
process in which the United States is
continually being sucked into the
center of the horrible vortex of Latin
American politics. Forced to install
a military dictator in Nicaragua,
forced to overthrowagovernmentin
Guatemala, forced to maintain a
colony in Puerto Rico, forced to
impose a blockade against Cu
etc. One certainly must feel sorry
for U.S. policy makers. The poor
chaps are trying so hard to do good,
but they just keep getting sucked
into this whirlpool. But such an
absurdity is not the issue here. The
book conveys certain assumptions
about political process in a
democracy.
The basic assumption of "H*
Holocausts Happen" is, it is
important what people in a
democracy know and do. The
responsibility for what was done by
Hitler as much as what was done by
Reagan lies with the citizenry that

let it happen. In this sense the book
is about all of us. It argues that a
democracy requires much of
citizens, otherwise it is not atrA
democracy. To hide behind the veil
of "I just didn't know it was
happening," may be acceptable for
a Stalinist system, but not if you
want a democracy.
Whirlpool has a different basic
assumption. Latin American policy
is the responsibility of professionals
who know what is "really" at stake.
And the book is written for them.@
the author expects us to read it, it is
only to teach us how the folks who
make political decisions think,
certainly not to suggest that we may
have a role in formulating policy. It
is a profoundly different view of the
democratic process.
Asfor me,Iwasraised believing
in the virtues of a democrats
society, so I have little patien
with policy wonks who don't. As
an average U.S. citizen I remain
horrified at how my government
has created the conditions that force
the people in Central America to
live the way they do, and I feel a

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