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March 31, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-31

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4 - The Michigan Daily -- Thursday,_March 31, 1994

be Lirb igan &ig

'You got it, Virginians, there is a Santa Claus. It's you - and
millions of other taxpayers who ... subsidize Californians ...
rich enough, lucky enough, or foolish enough to live at
water's edge or in the picturesque path of fire."
-Columnist Richard Reeves, on emergency federal relief for the rich.

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

Editor in Chief
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.


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Paying to assemble
'U' involves itself in another losing Hash Bash battle

- li


U ndaunted by legal concerns, the Univer
sity continues to employ petty bureau-
cratic requirements in order to impede the
National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws' (NORML) annual rally for
the legalization of marijuana.
In the University's perfect world, Hash
Bash would no longer exist. Over the past five
years, the University's attack on Hash Bash
has involved charging user fees and institut-
ing the infamous Diag Policy. In addition,
NORML's use of the Diag presents such an
extreme aggravation to University adminis-
trators that they actually take them to court to
bar their access. Not once. Or even twice.
Four times, and in each case, the same judge
has ruled in favor of letting NORML on the
And the battle resumes again this year.
One must question the resources and money
spent in order to suppress a group that con-
venes once a year to air their opinions, and
peacefully demonstrate against the
criminalization of marijuana. Furthermore,
the University has employed outside legal
counsel the last two years, spending an outra-
geous $65,617 to keep hearing the same ver-
dict over and over. The University will argue
that they must go to court because it is still an
open issue whether or not NORML has to pay
clean-up fees. But the fact is, the University's
clean-up fee defense is no less spurious than
the shady legal claims that have spurred four
straight years of courtroom embarrassments.
If this was another group with a different
political focus, one wonders if the University
would put up this much fuss. The University
cites the extra costs they must burden as a
result of the event as their bone of contention.
But when the University decides, as it did last
year, to saddle an organization with an unre-
alistic $9,400 cover charge to supply services
that weren't even asked for, it becomes obvi-
ous that the University really has no intention

to allow NORML to demonstrate at all.
Admittedly, Hash Bash brings people in
from all different locales that bring their trash
with them, giving the University some basis
for their assessment of clean-up charges. Yet
the arbitrariness of the assessment causes
some concern, echoing last year's fee inclu-
sion of police officers that NORML did not
request, and were not needed. NORML, like
most student groups, has little financial capi-
tal - and is now being forced to turn to MSA
for support. Thus when the time comes for
applying to assemble, or in this case, paying
to assemble, the University only needs to
bring out the old tab from last year and present
it as the preventive roadblock, providing an
easy excuse for officials to deny a permit.
And don't forget that a group must apply to
assemble here on campus, thanks to the Diag
The recent demand that NORML pay its
old debts and a deposit before being allowed
the demonstration time and space sets a dan-
gerous precedent. A group that gathers to
rally should not be held responsible for un-
provoked damage that is done by individual
members of the community. To emphasize
and require the payment of past unfaircharges
is just another way for the University to place
bureaucratic blockades to the freedom of the
speech. For a group to demonstrate on the
Diag, it shouldn't have to be financially sol-
vent. It should merely have the will to exer-
cise its constitutional right to peacefully dem-
Despite these efforts, Hash Bash will go
on as it always has - bills paid or not. The
University should give up their pointless le-
gal fight and devote their attention to more
important matters. When the Diag Policy was
instituted, administrators argued that it was
necessary because demonstrations tend to
disturb classes; we wonder which classes will
be interrupted on Hash Bash Saturday.

- --------------- War column 'suffers
In the case of Dr. Pratt... from historical

Trials of a tenants' union
Michigan Party sacrifices student needs in AATU battle

flast night, for the second straight time, an
EMSA meeting ended with tempers flar-
ing. It was perhaps the last round of the year-
long fight between the Michigan Party and
the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union (AATU), and
the scorecard is in: $11,000 in AATU entitle-
ment money is to be moved to MSA's Budget
Priorities Committee, where AATU's fund-
ing is likely to be slashed. And while AATU
Director Pattrice Maurer has filed a suit with
the Central Student Judiciary, which can over-
turn MSA decisions, and is threatening to file
a lawsuit in local courts, the immediate rami-
fications of the latest development are clear:
one of the most invaluable resources avail-
able to students is in jeopardy.
The Michigan Party's desire to rid AATU
of its entitlement status -and many argue, its
desire to eliminate AATU altogether -- has
been explicit for a long while. The school year
began with much political infighting on the
Assembly over the future of AATU. A com-
promise seemed to have been reached in late
September, when the Assembly passed Pub-
lic Health Rep. Meg Whittaker's amendment
to put half, or $11,000, of the money it doles
out annually to the tenants' union on a contin-
gency basis. The amendment gave AATU
180 days to submit a detailed report that
would "quantitatively track students' use of
AATU" and propose reforms for the future. If
the tenants' union turned in the report before
the deadline, it would be assured its funding.
But, as seems to happen so often at MSA,
a simple compromise got mired in bureau-
cratic miscommunication. According to the
Michigan Party leadership, Maurer turned in
the report after the 180-day deadline. There-
fore, consistentwith September's amendment,

be allotted to any of a number of student
groups. If the Committee so desired, the.
money could go back to the AATU - most
likely, the tenants' union will end up losing
around $3,000, but will retain some of the lost
However, the Michigan Party leadership,
in its quest to push AATU and its funding
slowly out the back door, misses one major
point: Maurer never attempted to stall putting
together a report. She turned the report in
several days ago, which was ahead of the
March 31 deadline she was told existed. She
could have easily had the report prepared a
week earlier, but she was told by an MSA
employee of a March 31 deadline.
The reason for all the confusion is simple:
after Whittaker's amendment passed, Maurer
was never informed by MSA when the 180-
day countdown would begin. Whittaker her-
self assumed that the countdown would begin
at the end of the month, which would mean
Maurer had the report in on time. There was
miscommunication on both sides, as the
amendment never stipulated when the 180-
day period would end. For the Michigan
Party to seize on this miscommunication to
effectively slash AATU's funding, and then
claim that it was only following the rules
(when MSA rules are relaxed all the time),
reveals dubious motives.
The Central Student Judiciary must rem-
edy this gross violation of power that the
Michigan Party exercised. 885 students have
had counseling appoints at the tenants' union
in the past six months, and many more have
benefited from the many other services AATU
provides. If the Michigan Party is truly a party
that represents students, it will reverse its

'Michigan Review'
coverage faulty
To the Daily:
I am currently embroiled
in a major conflict in my
department (Pharmacology!
Medical School) regarding
racism charges. Although this
is a most critical issue not
only within my Department
and the School but also the
University, this letter is not to
address that issue directly but
rather the "coverage" of the
issue by two student
newspapers, The Michigan
Review (Feb. 16) and the
Daily (March 15).
The article in the Review
contained numerous errors
and inaccuracies, and more
importantly, information that
was both confidential and
privileged. The inaccuracies
could likely be attributed to
poor journalism as I would
expect the reporters who
obtained the information to
confirm that information.
Personally, I can cite at least
two places where the
information that the reporter
"obtained" from me was not
reported accurately. As for the
breach of confidentiality, I
would place the blame for that
not on the reporter, but rather
on the source (whomever that
might be!). For example, the
information regarding my
promotion was most certainly
not provided by me and
whoever did provide it did so
without the permission or
even consideration that this
was confidential. Curiously,
this is information that should
only be available to selected
personnel within the School,
particularly the Pharmacology
Department. As for the article
in the Daily, I found it to be
very well done, not only
containing correct and
appropriate quotes (at least
from myself), but also in
providing accurate and
relevant information
regarding the issue.
An issue such as this
should not be debated, argued
or certainly resolved via the
media, but rather by the
involved individuals through
proper procedures. At the
same time, the importance of
this issue almost "demands"
its exposure in the media (e.g.
newspaper reporting).
However, the nature of this
issue also "demands" that this
reporting must respect and
protect the sensitivities and
confidential privileges of the
individuals involved. In my
opinion, the article in the
Daily did this in a most
professionaland responsible
manner, whereas the

Michigan Review article was
inaccurate, unprofessional and
I hope that this letter will
at least let readers of those
articles know the perspective
of one of the individuals
Associate Professor of
Editorial is unfair
To the Daily:
Your editorial of March
28, "Provost Interference,"
suggests that I am involved
with a grievance that was
made by a research scientist in
the Department of
Pharmacology. I am not. I
want to also point out that the
grievance procedures were
designed to protect the
privacy of the individuals
involved. Violating this
privacy by discussing these
issues outside the grievance
proceedings compromises the
integrity of the process.
I wrote the letter that you
referenced in your editorial in
response to the concerns of a
number of faculty members
who had told me that they felt
that unsupported allegations
of racism had been made
against one of their
colleagues. As Provost, I felt
it important to say that I view
accusations of racism against
any faculty member, or any
individual for that matter, as
very serious charges. Charges
of racism should either be
documented or withdrawn. As
SACUA members George
Brewer and Thomas Moore
wrote in the January 31, 1994
Faculty Perspectives page in
the University Record, "If
there is evidence of racism ...
let's hear the evidence."
Personal and reputational
harm can result from the mere
utterance of such accusations.
It is unfair to the individual
accused and to our entire
academic community not to
require substantiation of such
As Provost, it is my
responsibility to reaffirm the
principles of academic
freedom. All faculty, students
and staff at this University
have the right to carry on their
work in an environment
where respectful discourse
takes place. Civility and
respect for human dignity are
fundamental values that must
be practiced as well as
celebrated. As long as I am
Provost, I will urge my
colleagues to embrace these
values whenever I have the
opportunity to do so.
Provost for Academic Affairs

To the Daily:
For someone who purports
to 'teach', Mr. Bowen reveals
how little he has learned.
"Since 1975," the U.S. has not
been in the Vietnam War. It
did not occur in the early '80s
nor did it start in 1975 - that
is when it ended! Perhaps this
does not exhibit a lack of
knowledge, just sloppy
writing. Unfortunately, the
rest of his column, "War: what
it is a good for?," suffers from
historical ignorance.
While war sometimes
results from leaders playing
power politics, it is not
"simply the brainchild of
those who love money and
power more than they do
humanity." War is not simple.
Often, it arises because of
complex, intractable passions.
Various Middle Eastern wars
have stemmed from ancient,
irreconcilable differences.
Moreover, people should not
be excused as victims of
corrupt leadership as they may
consciously elect belligerency.
Hitler was not solely
responsible for World War I
- he was supported and
assisted by an entire German
Mr. Bowen has not
considered the public support
that has accompanied many
wars; rather he summarily
dismissed war as unnecessary.
A government's belligerency
is unrepresentative because
"governments are never by,
of, or for the people?" How do
you explain the Russian armed
resistance to Napoleanic
France or the U.S. response to
Pearl Harbor? Such
ethnocentric actors probably
would not qualify for Mr.
Bowen's allowance of war by
"the oppressed." As barbaric
as war is, even whites may
reasonably resort to it for self-
preservation. Future
generations would be
protected from suffering the
aftermath of defeat by those
enduring the hardships of war.
This is called
humanitarianism. Oh, I'm
sorry Mr. Bowen, I forgot -
"There has never been
anything humanitarian about
Mr. Bowen does make
some valid points.
socioeconomic burden,
political propaganda, and
catastrophic consequences
should deter people from
accepting wars. When he
implies that these are all the
results of a conspiracy
between big business and the
government to oppress
minorities, his points go from
wise to absurd. Rather than

We are killing ourworld. Plant
and animal species are either
endangered or extinct. Pollution
is everywhere. Destruction ofthe
world's natural landmarks
continues at an ever increasing
We live on a beautiful planet
graced with a variety of natural
landscapes and a host of different
speciesof life. To destroy themis
idiotic at the very least.
We've all heard cutesy
sayings about stopping to smell
the roses, listening to the insects
and feeling the morning dew -
you know, communing with
nature and all. Personally, I'm
not too keen on the idea of
becoming one with rodents and
ferns. Needless to say, I don't
want this column to sound cutesy.
Regardless, even cutesy
sayings have their points.
The simple beauty of a
lightning bug, a baby's smile or a
leaf in the fall attest to the vast
beauty within our world,a beauty
which must bepreserved. (I really
hope this doesn't sound cutesy.)
What little interest I've ever
had in nature and forests and all
that Mother Earth stuff was
rekindled when I attended the
Ann Arbor Pow Wow festival
last weekend. (And I am sure
many of you will gain an interest
in nature and natural things this
weekend at the Hash Bash.)
To see the traditional garb
worn by the Native American
dancers, to learn how the attire
represents a oneness with nature
and to see and hear Native
Americans making bird sounds
that were so realistic that I thought
I was listening to a CD entitled
something like "The Birds and
You," is to understand fully the
idea of "natural beauty."
The crippling of our world is
saddening, but from the mindless
destruction of what God created
(orwhat atoms collided and made
or whatever you believe brought
the world into existence-except
for you philosophy majors who
think that existence is a figment
of our imagination and that we
are all just "brains in a vat," but I
digress) also sprouts perhaps the
greatest beauty of the human
species: we care.
Of course, some of us don't.
They either actively participate
in the erosion of our world and
it's denizens or simply ignore the
blatant harmful results of such
But, many do care. From such
love and concern comes
everything from an additional
recycling bin on a college campus
to the establishment of major
environmental organizations.
When I see people volunteer their

time on behalf of the issues which
concern them, I am reminded
that for all the apathy and cruelty
out there, goodness still lies
within the heart of mankind. Best
of all, in seeing people who work
towards the goal of giving our
handicapped land a fighting
chance for survival, I am able to
feel that perhaps one day such
hard work will pay off.
In honorofthose who dedicate
themselves to the preservation of
our world in all its natural
splendor, I would like to present
the following Native American
prayer. I needn't describe it; it
speaks for itself,
Mother, Father, God,
Universal Power.
Remind us daily of the sanctity
of all life.
Touch our hearts with the
glorious oneness of all
As we strive to respect all
the living beings on this





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