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April 14, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 14, 1994

Eie £irbi!1n Ntig

'Other nations' governments invest heavily in the post-
secondary skills of the non-college bound. Britain, France
and Spain spend more than twice as much as the United
States ... Sweden, almost six times as much.'
-Lester Thurow, professor of economics at MIT

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

JESSIE HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAM GOODSTEIN
FIuNT WAINESS
Editorial Page Editors

CA SHINC

IN.

C" n
,,

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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Muscling out MCC

M SA voted on Tuesday to end its rela-
tionship with the Michigan Collegiate
Coalition (MCC), a student lobbying group
that represents eight universities throughout
the state. The bill, sponsored by unusual po-
litical bedfellows who only three weeks
ago refused to debate one another in the
same room, is correct in condemning the
inefficiency and mismanagement of MCC.
But the final decision does not put in place
a firm, viable alternative to MCC and ulti-
mately will prove to be an irresponsible
decision that could endanger the future of
solid student lobbying.
Over the years, MCC has successfully
lobbied for many acts of legislation that
provide direct benefits for University stu-
dents. In the past year alone, MCC has
successfully worked toward the passage of
the Work Study Amendment, Campus
Sexual Assault Bill of Rights and Governor
Engler's higher education budget. The Work
Study Amendment and the Sexual Assault
Bill of Rights have passed the Michigan
House of Representatives by substantial
margins and the education budget, currently
being debated in the House, gives the Uni-
versity an increase in funding that hopefully
will trickle down to students.
No one denies that MCC has its problems
and as of late has proven itself to be a poorly
administered organization. Recently, MCC
announced that it would remedy its $10,000
debt by disposing of its lobbyist, the most
valuable benefit the organization provides.
Just as significant, the University funds 1/3
cf the total MCC budget but in return re-
ctives less than 1/4 of the total representa-
tion on the MCC board. Simply put, per
dollar spent, MSA is not getting its money's
worth.
Supposedly, the last straw occurred this
weekend at the annual MCC General As-
sembly in LAnsing. The lobbying group ac-
cepted 16 MSU students into the meetings
even though MSU had voted to withdraw
firom MCC earlier this year. MCC thus gave
a. non-paying university full representation.
It seems that the University is simply being
screwed by MCC, a group we are currently
paying $25,000.
Last night's vote to secede from MCC
therefore made sense from a business stand-
point. Unfortunately, MSA is not a busi-
ness. The MSA plan would allow for the
liring of a student lobbyist in the fall. Ac-
cording to the resolution, this individual
would work three to four days every week
14.06 recomo

lobbying in Lansing and would be paid by a
portion of the money not spent on MCC.
Not only does MSA have no firm plans for
this plan's implementation, but it remains
merely a glint in the Assembly members'
eyes.
Furthermore, MSA has already paid MCC
$22,000 of the $25,000 allotted for this
fiscal year. By dropping out of the organiza-
tion now, MSA would only be saving $3,000
and would be without any concrete lobby-
ing efforts in the coming summer.
The real catch in this whole plan resides
in one of its sponsors. The $3,000 left over
would pay for any lobbying efforts MSA
conducts during the summer. The lobbyist
would almost inevitably be Conan Smith, the
current liaison between MSA and MCC and
a co-sponsor of this bill. Thus, the bill's
passage ensures Smith of a hefty paycheck
this summer and a good title on his resume~
not surprisingly, Smith conspicuously argued
Tuesday evening that this new liaison must
have a lofty title such as "Legislative Direc-
tor."
Moreover, the passage of the resolution
ensures that Smith will have a $2,500 debt
that he was responsible for erased. It would
be nice if students could rely on the good
intentions of former and current MSA mem-
bers.
But as MSA Vice President Jacob Stern
proved - by voting against an amendment
that would forbid students from using the
same lobbying office as the administration,
thereby preventing administrative interfer-
ence into student affairs - cost control is
paramount while integrity, avoiding in loco
parentis and protecting student interests are
less important concerns. In AATUesque
style, many MSA representatives once again
have decided that an individual can do the
same quality work as a well-established
organization. Yes, Michigan State pulled
out of MCC. But MSU is located in Lan-
sing, next door to the Legislature; we're not,
and we need a Lansing office that consists
of more than one University student who
can only spend several days a week there at
most.
If MCC collapses due to MSA's finan-
cial consequences, the results could be dire.
If bills such as the Sexual Assault Bill of
Rights die as a result, the collective con-
science of the new Assembly will have to
take heed.
It will not be easy to erase the stigma the
new MSA has already placed on itself.
lendations

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MASON
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I - III -

' shouldn't waste
efforts on smoking
policy -
To the Daily:
I am writing simply due
to a curiosity of mine that
has arisen over the past few
months while reading all of
the articles regarding the
proposed smoking policy.
First, I am not writing this
letter from the vantage point
of a defender of "smokers'
rights," but rather from the
vantage of a skeptical and
interested observer.
Throughout these articles
and various other letters-to-
the-editor, I have observed a
repeated pattern of
individuals claiming that to
put a fifty foot perimeter
around each and every
University building would be
beneficial to asthma
sufferers, non-smokers, etc.
On what basis are these
claims made? I have yet to
see a study on secondhand
smoke cited. Further, it
seems to me that in order to
justify such a policy -
considering that many seem
to feel it will have such
significant implications -
there is required a concrete
basis of solvency. Consider
this, move every smoker fifty
feet away from the buildings
and what you will see is a
clump of smokers standing
50'1" exhaling the same
toxins as they do five feet
from the front door.
Secondly, the enforcement
for this policy is a fine -
$50 I believe. With this in
mind, consider the fact that
the current fine in Ann Arbor
for possession of marijuana
is basically equivalent.
Smoking a cigarette is now
as deviant as smoking a
joint. How appropriate.
Finally, exactly who will be
enforcing this mandate? Am
I to believe that the
University is going to post
their (armed) guards on a
round-the-clock schedule in
front of buildings in order to
deter a possible "smoker?!"
That would seem just as
logical as arming them in the
first place. Exactly where did
the idea for such a policy
originate? Doesn't the
University have better things
to do with their legislative
time than to propagate an
unenforceable, ineffective
policy or is my tuition being
spent in the name of a
frivolous buzzword? God
forbid the next proposal is to
ban coffee - that is bad
too...
TYLER RHEEM
LSA junior
Pollard shouldn't be
freed

supposedly promised its "full
cooperation")? Free an
unremorseful espionage agent
who sold Israel documents
detailing analytical studies
with technical calculations,
graphs, satellite photos, U.S.
ship positions, naval tactics,
code-making formulas, raw
intelligence, and training
operations - all for $50,000
in cash? Free a man who,
according to prosecuting
attorney Joseph diGenova
and Defense Secretaries
Casper Weinberger and Les
Aspin, caused some of the
most serious damage to U.S.
national security in history,
incurring costs of $3-4
billion to correct security
systems and neutralize
exposed information? Free
an American traitor who still
includes classified
information in his letters
from prison - all for the
sake of "Israel's survival?"
No, it is not Pollard who
should be freed, for his life
sentence punishment is fair
and just, as even the New
York Times has pointed out.
Rather, it is the American
people and the U.S.
government that should be
freed from these ridiculous
pleas to pardon Mr. Pollard.
SUZY SALIB
LSA senior
AATU doesn't deserve
Stern's scorn
To the Daily:
Jacob Stern's letter to The
Daily (04/11/94) is an insult
to the scores of students
involved with the AATU and
the thousands of students
helped by the AATU each
year. It's a shame to see the
newly-elected Vice President
of the Michigan Student
Assembly disrespect students
in this way.
A few months ago, during
the coldest days in Michigan
history, AATU student
volunteers braved vicious
wind chills walking across
campus (and sometimes
across town) to staff the
AATU tenant counseling
hotline. They sacrificed their
own comfort in order to
make sure that student
tenants with cold-related
emergencies (dangerously
inadequate weatherization,
frozen or burst pipes, no heat
and no landlord in sight) got
the answers they needed to
keep themselves safe and
warm.
This is just one example
of the altruism and
professionalism shown by the
students who comprise the
AATU. They don't ask for
accolades but they certainly
do not deserve to be
"rewarded" with Jacob
Stem's scom.
PATMRICE MAURER
Rackham graduate student

streets, in a space created just
for women that separated this
night from the other 364
nights of the year.
For the first time in
fifteen years, men were
invited to participate in the
evening's activities and in
the final block of the
women's march. While the
women were marching
through the streets of Ann
Arbor, these men were
discussing their role in
dealing with issues of
violence. However, after a
spirited march of chanting
and commemorative silence,
something disturbing
occurred as we approached
City Hall. As the men began
to join us, a small group of
women protested their
involvement in the march.
They sat down in an attempt
to block the men from
marching alongside the
women. We are writing to let
the community know that
this was not the opinion held
by the majority.
We feel that violence is
everybody's problem, and
that no one should be
excluded from this march
based on her/his gender. We
feel that the all-women's
march was empowering, but
we also believe that the
support of men is essential.
Excluding them, as these
women did, contributes to
the belief that violence
against women is solely a
woman's concern. It is
everybody's concern.
KYM AHRENS
TREY COTEY
AND OTHER
LSA first-year students
Final Four coverage
'pathetic'
To the Daily:
At the risk of being
labeled heretical, as Galileo
was when he claimed the
earth revolved around the
sun, not vice versa, I would
like to point out that the
sporting world does not
revolve around the
University of Michigan.
The Daily's coverage of
the NCAA Final Four was
pathetic. Actually, I guess a
better description would be
non-existent. I couldn't
believe it when I opened
Monday's sports section and
found no articles about
Saturday's men's semi-final
game, Sunday's exciting
women's final game, or the
upcoming men's
championship game featuring
Duke and Arkansas - the
two winningest men's
programs over the last five
seasons. Add to this the fact
that Tuesday's edition had no
mention of Monday's
thrilling championship game,
and it appears that the Daily
assumes that if a UM team is
ni any I- -- n swv -

Making the
grade
Ever notice how you act at the
beginning of a semester? At first
you're excited. This is the
semester where your 1.2 GPA will
rise to a 3.7 because you are going
to take all honors classes (25 or so
credits worth) and make an "A" in
each one.
Eventually (i.e. three days
later), those expectations begin to
dwindle. This is the fault of
professors.
I've always felt that PhDs were
sick, twisted, sadistic people. They
know we hold high hopes at the
beginning of each semester, and
they immediately squelch our
dreams of undoing what frat
parties, 40 ounces and Sega
Hockey had done to our GPAs the
previous semester by presenting
each of us with a syllabus from
hell (I also have reason to suspect
that Lucifer invented the
coursepack and designed our
current system of CRISPing, but I
digress).
Also, professors lecture.
Surely there is no greater torture.
What better way to make sure
students don't learn anything than
to lecture in such a way that
students spend more time
reminiscing about the most
embarrassing date they'd ever
been on or contemplating what to
do about an ingrown toenail than
trying to understand the reasons
leading to the French revolution
or learn why in the hell Da Vinci's
drippy oil paintings are worth about
10 billion dollars each.
So you skip lectures and read
the books hoping that they will
cover the material in a more
interesting manner than Prof.
Dullasfuck. Upon glancing at the
covers, however, you learn that
those required readings were
authored by, horror of horrors,
Prof. Dullasfuck.
So you attend discussion
section (of course you're almost
late for the first meeting because
you were too busy burning your
required readings), hoping the TA
will save you when all else has
failed. Now ask yourself, what is
your chance of getting a good,
interesting TA? What is your
chance of simply getting a TA
who speaks English? After a day
with Mr./Ms. Dullasfuck Jr., you
realize that there is no hope to be
gotten there either.
So you turn to your fellow
students hoping one of them has
at least an inkling of a hint of a
clue as to what's going on. To
your dismay, you realize that only
the true geeks - you know, the
people you want to stay as far
away from as possible and your
parents want you to marry - know
anything. The cool people are all
just as clueless as you are.
So you turn to religion. You
pray to God, Allah, Buddha,
Jehovah, Rush Limbaugh, the
Spirit of the Cabbage - any and
every entity you can. But then

your professor (aka the god of the
Grade) does things to your
midterm that border on heresy.
After being assigned the first
negative grade in the history of
the University on an assignment
that counts for 80 percent of your
final grade, you finally realize that
you no longer care about getting
straight A's; you just want to make
sure your GPA doesn't slide down
any further (as if it could); one trip
to the academic actions office was
more than enough. But, those
sneaky professors pull out more
arsenal assuring that no matter
how hard you try, your GPA will
go down.
Finally, you reach the point
where you don't care about your
grade. You just want to make it
through the term alive and with
your sanity (or what's left of it)
intact. This is the stage many of us
are at now.
However, you feel guilty about
your newfound lack of concern.
Deep down, you do want to do
well in your classes. But those
professors ..

0

W ith the realization finally hitting the
University that equal status for the
gay, lesbian and bisexual community on all
fronts must start from equal treatment on the
most fundamental issues, the long overdue
University Task Force Report on Regents'
Bylaw 14.06 released Monday set the bu-
reaucratic wheels in motion.
After the Board of Regents' decision in
September to include sexual orientation in
the bylaw, mandating that gay, lesbian and
bisexual members of the University com-
munity will not be discriminated against,
the Task Force began its work to determine
the resulting effects on four areas: employ-
ment benefits, financial aid, family housing
and student residency status. And in its
recommendations, the committee says yes:
give gay, lesbian and bisexual students and
staff the benefits that their heterosexual peers
presently are afforded without question. But
now it's up to President Duderstadt. Recom-
mendations in hand, Duderstadt must now
decide exactly to what extent to institute the
committee's findings - after he commis-
sions another study.
The time is at hand for President
Duderstadt to quickly implement these
changes. Under the standing system, any
employee benefits cannot be extended to
children of partners, even if the partners are
registered under the City of Ann Arbor's

partners due only to their sexual orientation,
a situation definitely in opposition to the
spirit of the new bylaw.
The concerns aren't monetary: the task
force found that the approximate cost for
including partners would add up to $2,000
per person, and end up in the.overall range
of $100,000-$250,000 -a small drop in the
$260 million benefit pool.
Also, due to the current situation, part-
ners are forced to live separately in family
housing. Residents of these complexes have
voiced opposition to allowing co-habitation,
failing to realize that many of the gay couples
already are their neighbors.
As with the policy that extends benefits
to married students and staff, the committee
has developed stringent guidelines to pre-
vent fraudulent claims. Partners would regis-
ter under the city's Domestic Partnership
Act, much as a marriage certificate is re-
quired, to attain housing and benefits. Also,
a form to legally bind the employee to
partner's expenses further ensures the legal
aspects pertaining to the situation.
With the institution of these basic needs
and rights, equal treatment and acceptance
in other areas would be likely to follow.
President Duderstadt must act swiftly to
implement the committee's recommenda-
tions. If he does not, he will be making a
mockery not only of self-governance, but of

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