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September 20, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-20

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 20, 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
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.

'The dictators have recognized that it is in their
best interest and the best interest of the Haitian
people for them to step down peacefully.
- President Bill Clinton, on the accord
reached with Haiti's military dictators
WELCOM
SX- STATE%5'
MCHIGA

Dream

#I

A break from
the American

AATU faces doom, again
MSA should reject proposal to cut AATU funds

T onight, the Michigan Sti
(MSA) will vote on its
determining how thousands o
from students will be distribt
this budget proposal is an atte
the Ann Arbor Tenants Un
MSA funding - a total which
two-thirds of the union's fina
a new issue - in fact, last
leadership attempted to do the
to be narrowly stopped by an,
tion.
Supporters of the AATUL
organization provides stude
services that cannot be duplii
notably support in dealing wi
culties. Detractors insist that
poorly run organization whici
portionately large number
Furthermore, they claim that
vided by the AATU can be p
well by the University-run Of
ing Office (OCHO), as wel
Legal Services (SLS), as soon
tion is integrated into the Lav
While it is true that nonst
served by the AATU with stu
organization nonetheless pro
vice for many students -one
convinced can be duplicated
eventually, SLS. Even if thes
be duplicated, there is a leg
that, should OCHO become th
for student's tenant-landlord c
University would be responsil
these situations. While this
overtly dangerous, consider
defending a student for son
administration suspects is a
Gluns in

udent Assembly
annual budget,
f dollars plucked
uted. Included in

Statement of Student's Rights and Responsi-
bilities. This possibility of conflict of interest
alone makes the MSA budget proposal dubi-
ous.

mpt to strip from Looking beyond the prospect of students
ion (AATU) all turning to the University for help with housing
7amounts to over disputes, the MSA proposal to cut off the
nces. This is not AATU is shortsighted and goes against the
year the MSA supposed ethos of the Michigan Party. If
same thing, only MSA President Julie Neenan and her support-
adamant opposi- ers are correct in claiming that the services
provided by the AATU can indeed be dupli-
J claim that the cated, they have a responsibility to inform
nts with unique students of this, a case that has not yet been
cated elsewhere, made. Once students are notified that there are
th housing diffi- worthy alternatives to AATU, supposing that
the AATU is a this case can indeed be made, the MSA budget
h serves a dispro- should include a phaseout of services to the
of nonstudents. AATU, while students are notified of the
the services pro- alternative. This potential scenario is not an
)rovided equally ultimate solution, because it falls short of
f-Campus Hous- dealing with the problem of the University
l as by Student representing students. However, it is a vast
as this organiza- improvement over the total funding cutoff the
w School. AATU now faces.
udents are often Approval of the MSA budgettonightwould
ident dollars, the spell doom for the AATU. While the union
vides a vital ser- receives minimal finances from grants and
which we are not other sources, its prospect for survival without
by OCHO and, student support is slim. In making the dubious
e services could claim that the services provided by the AATU
;itimate concern can be duplicated, and in supporting a com-
e primary source plete withdrawal of all funds to the organiza-
onsultations, the tion, supporters of the budget are performing
ble for mediating a great disservice to students. Completely
may not appear withdrawing a service, without demonstrat-
the University ing to constituents that there is a viable alter-
nething that the native, runs counter to the idea of responsible
violation of the student government.
school

Writer should look inward before criticizing

To the Daily:
I am writing because of an
article I read entitled "Welcome
to the 'zoo"' (9/8/94). Seth
Abrams wrote about
multiculturalism in our cam-
pus. After reading his article I
thought the Daily must have
printed his first draft. This ar-
ticle was the classic "I am a
sheltered white person and I
can't understand why 'minori-
ties' (as he puts it) don't like
me!" "Couldn't we just be one
big happy family?" The answer
to that is no, not at the price you
are asking. To you, we should
all be together and interact
within a white community and
lifestyle, which would mean
people of color would have to
leave their heritage, culture, and
pride checked at the door. We
can all get along as long as we
cross over. Well, I am not will-
ing to do that.
I don't see Seth Abrams try-
ing to cross over into my world.
I don't see Seth Abrams trying
to sit with me and my friends
while we are having lunch in
the Union. It is very nice to
want and expect
multiculturalism and inter-ac-
tion when it's by your rules.
For example, when you stated:
"...minorities each go into their
own separate group until class
begins the next day." And you
don't? You mean to tell me
Seth that when you get out of
class you don't go off with your

"majority" friends untilthe next
day, or is it just "minorities"
that have that band habit of
leaving with their friends after
class. What kind of petty argu-
ment was that? You talk about
how just seeing different races
in our campus does not make
racism go away. Well, your
generalizations won't help the
situation any.
How about when you said:
"...don't just look at people
that look like you for strength."
You must not know a thing
about people of color! Of
course I am going to look for
people that look like me for
strength, I have to. The people
that look like me are more likely
to understand me, my experi-
ences and my struggles. What
do you, Seth Abrams, know
about being a Puerto Rican
woman (a Latina, a Woman of
Color) in a predominantly
white school? I'll tell you what
you know about it, NOTHING!
How can you offer me strength
when you know nothing about
me?
I am tired of the self-righ-
teous, holier than thou, "I'm
not racist, really I'm not" argu-
ments that white people have
been giving me since I moved
to the United states. It is not the
University's job to bring stu-
dents together in this campus,
it is up to the individuals. You
have to give a little to get a
little. By the sound of your

article you want totake, but you
are not trying to give. Just be-
cause you don't have friends
who are "minorities" (because
if you did, you would know that
most people of color don't like
to be called minorities) does
not mean that there isn't inter-
action between races in this
university. And if you are so set
on the fact that you want to
interact with people of color
why don't you educate your-
self instead of whining about
University programming.
Finally, about that idealis-
tic tidbit about the human race!
Get off fantasy island Seth!
When I filled out my Univer-
sity of Michigan application
under race there were boxes for
African American, Asia,
Latino/Hispanic, Native Ameri-
can, White/European, but there
wasn't a box for Human (as in
human race). Now that I think
about it maybe that's what
"Other" is for. I hate to be the
one to tell you this Seth, but the
world does not revolve around
you.
This article was very one
sided. It seems like all the blame
for lack of interaction is falling
on either the University or
people of color. It is sad that
with the year 2000 just around
the corner I have to pick up a
paper and read something like
this.
Dallis Garcia
LSA senior

"High school," Kurt Vonnegut
once said, "is a microcosm of the
American experience."
All of the groups are there. The
bouncy cheerleaders will eventually
sell you insurance or real estate (en-
thusiastically, of course) the luck
smart kids will rise to the top to achieve
the American Dream the losers who
skipped class and smoked in the bath
room will become, well, older losers;
the football players who ran the school
will run the businesses (unless they
become teachers in a futile attempt to
relive their faded days of glory).
"School is important," cartoonis
Mall Groening says. "School prepare
you for the future. By sitting quietly
in neat rows for long periods of time
doing exactly what you are told in
school, you are preparing to sit qui-
ey in neat rows for long periods o
time doing exactly what you are told
as an adult."
I'd sworn I never wanted to see
my high school classmates again, bu
this August I gave in to curiosity and
went back to Irving, Texas for my
five-year high school reunion. I still
think that Vonnegut was right, but it
looks like the American experience
skips the decade from 18 to 28.
The people I knew in high school
were narrow-minded and conformist,
much like the town as a whole. Hig
school students form a society
their own, but it is a society which
differs from their parents' only in
degree. They may have gone steady
and we may have explored our sexu-
ality, but the conformity, material-
ism, and immersion in popular cul-
ture are common to everyone in a
family-oriented conununity, young
and old. In the Irving Schools Sta
dium, the band parents worked the
concession stands, and the football
and cheerleader parents wore cor-
sages in schoolcolors with theirchild's
picture in the center ("That's my Ti-
ger!" it proclaimed.) High school foot-
ball games are the center of entertain-
ment, and the local newspaper regu-
larly ran stories on students who won
contests or earned scholarships. 4
Away from the family-oriented
community, my classmates went in
unexpected directions. College in
general seems to be a radicalizing
experience; colleges are supposed to
teach you how to think and question
the world, while high schools and
most jobs teach you to do what you're
told and go with the majority. Al
though most of my high school class-
mates stayed in state for college, they
emerged well-educated and more
aware of the problems of the world.
People on planes often ask me if study-
ing psychology means I can read their
minds; if the plane is to Texas, they
ask me if it's cold up north. My high
school classmates not only didn't ask
those dumb questions, they asked m4
what I thought about Piaget and what
research Iwas interested in. When my
English teacher was fired two years
ago, probably because he is gay, I was
sure I was the only one who cared, but
several people at the reunion were
outraged that the school district
showed such prejudice.

Of course not all of my classmates
were wonderful, informed people, bu
all of them had grown up. A lot of
them had jobs; a lot of them were
wallowing in the seemingly universal
post-college-graduation angst that
seems to characterize our generation:
At least for now, the Irving High
School Class of 1989 has taken a step
back from being a "microcosm of the
American experience." We smilec4
for our graduation pictures and sym-
bolized the hope of our communities,
which awarded us with Elks and
Chamberof Commerce scholarships,
attendance at our games, and support
in our dreams for the future. For most

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19

'9

Billfails to address real
V iolence in U.S. public schools
has become one of the hottest issues in
society today. Many Americans believe that
there need to be tougher crime laws and more
severe penalties for all who break the law.
With violent crime continually on the rise and
guns becoming increasingly prevalent in
American society, these feelings are under-
standable. As more people feel that they are
prisoners in their own homes and as guns are
more frequently seen and used in schools,
more should be done to confront the real issues
behind society's crime problem, not merely
offer a quick means of soothing the public's
desire for stricter crime laws.
A new crime bill pending in the Michigan
Legislature is just such a quick fix. While there
are some generally positive ideas in the new
legislation, the bill fails to confront the heart of
the problem. If passed, the bill would require
expulsion from school of any public school
student bringing aweapon to school, and would
barhim or her frombeing admitted to any other
public school in the state. The bill does provide
some relief from this sanction - a student in
the fifth grade or below could petition for
reinstatement after 60 school days, and the
school board could reinstate the child after 90
days. Older students would have to wait 150
school days to petition, and could not be offi-
cially reinstated for a whole school year. In
addition, students could avoid expulsion if
they show that the gun was not brought to
school with the intention of using it.
This misguided bill needs to be rethought if
it is ever to tackle the heart of the crime
problem. As of now, the bill fails to deal with
the student after expulsion,, simply leaving the

issues behind crime
created for those students expelled from tradi-
tional public schools. Innovative, creative pro-
grams are needed to challenge the students not
only mentally and physically, but also to give
them a viable alternative to the streets -
where many expelled students turn. Further-
more, civic education and community service
could be stressed in these schools in order to
teach students about the importance of com-
munity and the negative impact guns have in
our society. Such alternative schools would
allow students the chance to talk to peer
counselors and other students about crime
while giving them the chance to confront their
own problems.
Another problem with the current bill is
that of enforcement. Protection needs to be a
priority for teachers and administrators who
do challenge students with guns. In many
schools, officials are scared to confront the
students for the obvious reason that the stu-
dents could do physical harm to them or to
their families. Better security, including metal
detectors, more officers and other measures,
need tobe pushed to protect school officials as
well as other students from the criminal ele-
ment in schools.
If society is ever going to change, lawmak-
ers and community leaders need to address the
real issues behind crime. Catchy but ineffec-
tive legislation must not be rammed through
legislatures in order to appease the public's
fear. Leaders need to reinvent and rethink
solutions to problems rather than pass such
misguided legislation. The specter of the No-
vember election is no doubt pushing legisla-
tors to demonstrate their toughness on crime.
However, this bill does little for the true

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