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September 19, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-19

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 19, 1994

cUt ie Lirbigi ig~l

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

Jessie Halladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
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.

'When you see one of those boogers aloose, you'll
say, I didn't know we had zebras in Mississippi.'
- Mississippi Representative Mack Melniss, on a new
state law that mandates all prisoners be dressed in
striped uniforms at all times
THE 011 SMPSON
UN/B/AISF, E J '
C'MON! 2 OCiS. . THAIS ibO EIMNW...
-oD How Otn MPGHAE LCZIACKSON MAK~E
ON THE WRYE h.Y HE PEIreC:. -HE'S
'BEEN LIVING-, IN A CAVE FOB,
1o YEARS!
S? t
__ I ______

Myths and
Mother Jones
There I am in Border's, perusin
the political mag section. Mother
Jones is in front (that's my favorite).
It's investigative without blindly push-
ing an agenda, and this month it really
grabs my attention: The TOP TEN
SCHOOLS FOR IDEALISTS &
ACTIVISTS. I buy it and flip to the
list while walking home. The list goes
with an article about "student activ-
ism in the 94s." 1

Ignoring the endowment
Regents need to ensure fiscal responsibility

The communication department at the Uni-
versity is in the news once again. This
summer, an internal audit found sufficient
evidence that the communication department
had misspent funds from three of its endow-
ments. And last week the department an-
nounced its new guidelines documenting the
proper use of the endowment money. How-
ever, it appears that the revised guidelines not
only undermine the findings ofthe audit-and
an explicit promise by President James J.
Duderstadt - but may also go against the
original intent of the donors.
The endowments in question include the
Weber Endowment, the Howard R. Marsh
Professorship and the Marsh Center for the
Study of Journalistic Performance. In June, in
a report to the Board of Regents following
release of the audit, Duderstadt promised that
all misspent funds would be restored. But LSA
officials are now saying that the money will
only be returned for those offenses that violate
the new guidelines - drafted after the audit's
conclusions were released.
The result of these new guidelines is readily
apparent - certain instances of endowment
spending that were once considered fraudulent
and were documented in the summer audit
have now become legal and justified. It seems
the University and the communication depart-
ment are merely creating new rules to keep
them frompaying the thousands of dollars they
rightfully owe to students. Regardless of the
new guidelines, the fact remains: the depart-
ment misspent its own money.
Many individuals close to the endowments
have backed up the criticism that both the
guidelines and the department's use of the

funds has been contrary to the intent of the
donor. A close family friend to the donors has
argued that the Weber Endowment's original
intent was to fund departmental internships,
not research.
And the guidelines, according to this criti-
cism, serve only to reinforce the misuse of the
endowment. The response from the Univer-
sity: "There's not much I can say about the
intent of someone who died," argued LSA
Associate Dean John Cross.
Clearly, new guidelines alone will not solve
the conflicts involved with the communica-
tion department endowments.
The regents, in their meeting today, will
address these concerns and hopefully ques-
tion them with the inspection they warrant.
The regents - and indeed students within the
communication department - were given a
promise last summer by President Duderstadt
that all misspent funds were be restored. The
new guidelines, which in a sense eliminate
any violations the University may have in-
curred, directly strike down this promise. In
today's meeting, the regents must take a hard
line in questioning Duderstadt about his prom-
ise, the revised guidelines and the motives
underlying the University's response to this
conflict. The regents must also make certain
the funds are satisfying the intent of the do-
nors, and not the collective intent of the Uni-
versity bureaucracy.
It is up to the regents to check both the
University and the communication depart-
ment on this issue. If this is not done suffi-
ciently, the University may continue to sim-
ply write away its financial violations in the
future.

But why should the mother get the child? j

To the Daily:
In reference to your edito-
rial entitled "Ms. Ireland is
wronged" (9/14/94)I think that
the Daily is guilty of falling
into the same politically correct
trap that the Court System as a
whole is guilty of, which is the
knee-jerk response in child cus-
tody cases that the child is al-
ways better off with the mother
rather than the father.
It is only under extraordi-
nary circumstances that the fa-
ther is awarded custody of chil-
dren is most cases, and I feel
that except in the situation
where the child is a very young
infant and relying upon breast
milk for nourishment, the courts
routinely do an egregious in-
justice to the father by follow-
ing the idea that somehow the
mother is automatically the bet-
ter parent. The idea of the

"Deadbeat Dad" is a result of
this unfair practice by the
courts. Indeed, the correct term
should be "Deadbeat Parent,"
but unfortunately very few fa-
thers get custody of children in
cases like these, and even fewer
mothers are required to pay
child support.
The reason why Ireland and
Smith ended up in Judge
Cashen's courtin the first place
was because Ms. Ireland was
trying to shake down Smith for
child support. If Ms. Ireland
cannot raise her daughter with-
out money from Smith, and if
Mr. Smith is willing to raise his
daughter so as to take this fi-
nancial burden upon himself,
then I don't see the problem
.here. Further, for the record,
Mr. Smith is also a student, but
unlike Ms. Ireland, he appar-
ently has more modest finan-

cial means because he must live
at home in order to afford to go
to a local Community College,
where he too hopes to make a
better life for himself.
So the issue here is not par-
ents who choose to go to school
or who work. I think that the
real issue here is the routine
unfair consideration that fathers
get in the courts, as well as the
routine unfair treatment that
fathers receive in the media.
And when Judge Cashen went
against the popular "politically
correct" but misguided notion
of the times, his decision was
bashed by the media and
women's groups. A more bal-
anced approach to these issues,
with equal consideration for
men and fathers, is in order for
all concerned.
Chris Godwin
Rackham Grad. Student.

What's the rush?
Eliminate fall rush forfirst-year students

MSA
procures more
than Wilhelm
To the Daily:
David Wilhelm's appear-
ance on campus last week was
a tremendous success. Every-
one I have heard from, from the
Democratic National Commit-
tee to President Duderstadt, has
reiterated that the event was a
success.
Mr. Wilhelm was so pleased

with the event that, when we
took him out to dinner atGratzi,
he insisted that he pay our bill.
He'll never forget that, for the
first time in seven years, he got
carded!
This event was about more
than David' Wilhelm. It was
about whether MSA could put
on these events. It was about
whether MSA could attract
quality speakers in the future.
This event was only the be-
ginning. I have talked to the
offices of prominent U.S. Sena-

tors, U.S. Representatives and
even presidential candidates.
At no office have I been told
that a potential speaker was
uninterested.
Part II of "Election '94
Showdown: Battle at the Bal-
lot Box" will take place in late
October.
Jonathan Winick
LSA Sophomore

I was shocked to read Michigan
had been rated number six (behind
Oregon, Brown, Wisconsin, North
Carolina and Rutgers. Berkeley was
strangely not listed).
In terms of activism, this was a
campus thathaddisappointed me from
the start and I was sure that the ratin
was based on an old reputation tha
we no longer deserved. A call to the
author last week refuted my assump-
tion, but opened a series of new ques-
tions.
*
In high school, I'd had high hopes
for this University. Little Berkeley, it
used to be called. I saw it as a place
where people knew what was hap4
pening in the world and acted to stop
the corrupt from corrupting. During
the 1980s, while the United States
was funding death squads in El Salva-
dor, students here were writing let-
ters, holding vigils, trying to do some-
thing about it. At the same time they
were pressuring the University to di-
vest from South Africa.
I was a senior in high school when
I watched the deputization protests
on the news. That was when the Re-
gents gave guns to the campus secu-
rity force and students stormed the
Fleming building, held sit-ins on
Duderstadt's lawn and chalked the
disagreement on sidewalks all over
campus. I couldn't wait to graduate
and be with students who-whethe
they were right or wrong - believed
in what they were saying and were
willing to say it loudly. That's what
college is about, I said. Young people
who give a damn about something
besides their own career potential
But this campus has been a differ-
ent place since I arrived.
I recall this image of six MSA4
members standing on the Diag two
years ago, begging students to join
their movement. The University had
just announced anew restrictive Diag
policy: groups must reserve space a
week in advance, and only at noon; no
chalking; no shanties. The policy -
now somewhat revised - was such
an affront to the civil rights students
fought for in decades-past that you'E
think more would care. But few no-
ticed. Ditto for yearly tuition hikes,
and for further police deputization. It
seemed a sign to the administration
that it could do anything without dis-
sent.
That's whatwas on my mind when
I tracked down author Paul Loeb in
Seattle last week.
His analysis was worth consider-
ation.
"Visible protest got kicked in the
stomach during the Gulf War and
that's had a lingering effect," he said.
"But community service efforts are
taking up the slack." It was Michigan's
community service efforts that put us
on the list.
That's true here to some extent, I
agreed. Project Serve IS one of the
largest campus groups. But at the
same time, while community service
is noble, it doesn't address inherent
inequities in the system. It isn't the

same as students working together,
standing up for what they believe in.
I don't know if I'm just waxing
nostalgic for an age I never knew, but
I really am interested in knowing what
happened to the feeling among young
people that, although the world
sucked, therewas something we could
do about it. Is rising levels of

1

di ou'll find your niche when you get
there."
Anxious college freshmen have been ap-
peased by similar sentiments for many a year.
Unfortunately, this long awaited niche is not
issued to students immediately with our room
numbers and parking permits. But perhaps this
period of "looking" for our place, however
uncomfortable, can also be valuable. It is dur-
ing this time that students can benefit most
from the diverse cultural opportunities and
heterogeneous University community thatlurks
outside your front door.
For various reasons, some people bypass
this crucial time in their social development
and immediately delve into Greek life. Of
course, this represents an attractive and under-
standable option for students uprooted from
theirfamiliar social setting. However, theprob-
lems that can result from the premature rush-
ing of first-year students outweigh the gains of
quickly making a large school smaller. The
Interfraternity Council, in conjunction with
the PanHellenic Association, would be wise to
take the initiative and eliminate fall rush for
a first-year students.
From the Michigan Mandate to the Race or
Ethnicity Requirement (ROE), the University
has taken many steps to promote students'
exploration of different cultures. Outside of
the educational process, the great task of the
multicultural university is to find creative so-
lutions to the societal problems of self-im-
posed segregation.
The Greek system clearly has much differ-
ent goals. It strives to provide a safe and
healthv environment in which friendshin and

loyalty can prosper. Yet, these goals will
never fully come to fruition as long as indi-
viduals are pressured into making quick -
often haphazard -decisions. Rather, if given
an entire termto deliberate upon which frater-
nity or sorority to join - and whether going
Greek is right for that individual in the first
place - their decision will be more well-
informed, thereby strengthening the bonds of
the organization.
By not immediately diving into a decision
thatoftenhas the de facto effectof segregating
students by ethnicity or background, every-
one will benefit.
Students would have a better chance to
broaden their social horizons. Additionally,
this delayed rush would allow first-year stu-
dents to fully realize the extent of their aca-
demic workload before making a lofty com-
mitment of time and money.
For many first-year students, the transition
into college life is a frightening experience.
Proscribing fall rush for first-year students
would help prevent students from joining a
fraternity or sorority simply as acrutch. More-
over, it protects against the already-existing
feelings of insecurity that are often greatly
compounded if a new student is immediately
rejected by an organization that he or she
wants to join.
Many sororities already rely on only one
semester of rush. By enlarging their pledge
classes, fraternities could easily do the same.
As has been the case at myriad other universi-
ties that have adopted the winter-only ap-
proach, the benefits will quickly but quietly be
seen by the entire university community.

,:T

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