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September 30, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 30, 1994

U7 rE titl g tti1

'Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.'
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

JessieHalladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess
Editorial Page Editors

I

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.

Goodbye, ombudsman
Dr. Perigo is wrongly fired after 13 years of work

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@tudents praised his work, faculty and
staff lauded his fairness and devotion, but
Maureen Hartford fired him.
At the end of last summer, Don Perigo, the
University Ombudsman for 13 years, was
denied a new contract by Maureen Hartford,
the Vice President for Student Affairs. The
dismissal of Perigo is not only a huge loss to
students, but a shameful display of the way
Student Affairs handles personnel matters.
Over the past 13 years, Perigo has carried
,out the duties of the University Ombudsman
fairly and diligently. His job of helping people
peacefully reconcile disputes demands that he
be a neutral party; he could not side with the
administration or student body on particular
issues because it would jeopardize his objec-
tivity. Perigo maintained his objectivity as
well as could be expected of anyone - maybe
the administration felt he was too neutral.
Many students have worked with Perigo to
solve such crises as their financial aid prob-
lems, residency status fights and withered
relations with faculty members; Perigo has
arbitered such disputes to the satisfaction of
students.
The Ombudsman is a vital position for a
University of this size and scope, and Don
;Perigo was a great Ombudsman. But Perigo
was let go because he was told he no longer fit
well into the mission of the Division of Stu-
dent Affairs. Hartford and the Division of
Student Affairs must justify this dismissal
better than they have-- a full disclosure of the
,rationale for ending Perigo's tenure with the
University must be made available to the
student body. Knowing Perigo's record over
the past two decades with the University, his
dismissal, without even a transfer to a different
position, cannot simply be justified by saying

his position does not fit with the mission of the
University. In fact, as the University is getting
more bureaucratic and more complex, stu-
dents face many more complications in their
college years which they may very well need
an Ombudsman to help them solve. Therefore,
the position of Ombudsman is more necessary
than ever at the University.
In light of these recent developments and
the ever increasing need for an Ombudsman,
the Ombudsman should be repositioned within
the University structure as a position, sanc-
tioned by the regents, reporting directly to the
president or Board of Regents. It is too impor-
tant of a position to be at the mercy of Maureen
Hartford and her ever-present desire to re-
structure the Division of Student Affairs in the
name of Total Quality Management.
Even though the Division of Student Af-
fairs maintains that an Ombudsman-type posi-
tion will remain in their division, the final
status of such a new creation is yet to be
determined. But, for the past 13 years, it has
certainly functioned well in its current posi-
tion; apparently, the only reason the Ombuds-
man no longer exists is because Hartford de-
cided this was a good personnel move. But if
this really is to be believed, the burden is on
Hartford to explain quickly and publicly who
will take over the important duties previously
undertaken by the Ombudsman.
The University must further justify this
dismissal of a great student advocate out of
fairness to Perigo and the University commu-
nity.
SACUA should look into this matter in
their review of the Division of Student Affairs;
maybe the faculty can discover some of the
information that has been artfully kept from
the student body.

.
fi

CONVE~NT 1C)Ot

Daily Editor addresses apparent suicide photo

BY DAVID SHEPARDSON
Many angry students called
and wrote the Daily yesterday,
saying they were appalled and
offended by this paper's deci-
sion to publish a photograph of
a student who apparently
jumped to his death Tuesday.
Still others criticized the
Daily for placing the story in-
side the paper and not on the
front page.
First, our deepest sympa-
thies go out to the family and
Shepardson is Managing
News Editor at The Daily

friends in this time of loss.
As a newspaper run by stu-
dents for students, we strive to
use care in printing stories
about suicide. We seek to
avoid glamorizing or over-em-
phasizing suicides. One rea-
son for this is to avoid "copy-
cat" suicides. The Daily also
prints suicide hotline numbers
for readers who may be con-
sidering suicide.
Printing the photo was a
difficult decision; for the stu-
dent fell to his death in broad
daylight near a busy street, in
view of passersby.

While we regret any of-
fense that some may have
taken from seeing the photo-
graph, it illustrated the hor-
rific nature of the tragedy and
could help to prevent some-
one else from committing sui-
cide.
Indeed, the student's ap-
parent suicide is the second to
occur from a high-rise apart-
ment building in less than four
months.
And only by informing
readers of the tragic nature of
events, can we hope to avert
similar incidents.

SThe musings of
a TV-loving
couch potato
Twenty years ago this week, I
was born at 12:35 on a Saturday
afternoon. I have thought long and
hard about why, at that exact mo-
ment, I came to be, and I have come
to a startling conclusion: there was a
college football game on TV.
4
Thus began one of the extraordi-
nary careers in TV-watching his-
tory.
I can watch TV any time, any
place. any channel, except PBS,
which might actually teach me some-
thing. I can use a clicker with both
hands tied behind my back. I can
watch several TVs at once. I can
watch TV while talking on the phone
or listening to the radio. I can watch
TV while studying - at least, I
probably could if Itook up studying.
I can watch TV with my eyes closed
..well, maybe not.
Don't be offended when I say I
watch TV better than you do. As
Ralph Waldo Emerson, or someone
almost as famous and equally de-
ceased, once said, "Everyone is my
superior in some way."
No man, woman, child or hippo
has ever made a truer statement,
with the possible exception of an-
other great philosopher, Norm
Peterson of Cheers.
I personally can tell you that ev-
eryone is my superior in some way.
For example, there are numerous
things you can probably do better
than I, like peeling an M & M or
writing a humor column. I, on the
other hand, can do some things bet-
ter than you, like peeling a Reese's
piece (a totally different art form
altogether).
Now, saying I watch TV is actu-
ally a rather pure choice of words,
inasmuch as it implies that the TV
and I are two separate objects. So I
don't really watch TV, as much as I
become the TV. When I am at one
with the tube, you could point the
clicker at me and the channel would
change, provided that you first sur-
gically removed the clicker from my
hand. 4
This is not to say that I watch TV
more than anyone else. On the con-
trary, I usually stop watching at least
once a week, when I run out of
pretzels. Clearly this reveals a deep
problem within me: Why don't I buy
larger quantities of pretzels? Really,
there isn't any reason. Maybe, sub-
consciously, I want to stop watching
TV. 4

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Daily photo is Coach Gary

E.Engineering: a hazard
Construction disrupts class and endangers lives

Construction and reconstruction on the Uni
versity campus are generally good ideas.
Construction allows for campus expansion
.and beautification, things to which few stu-
dents would object. Through reconstruction,
the UGLi will soon be the pretty UGLi, and
through additions to buildings, many Univer-
┬░sity departments - such as mathematics and
psychology - will get much-needed new
space.
However, no matter how beneficial the
role of construction, if preceded by bad plan-
ning and organization it can easily become a
nightmare. This is exactly what is happening
at the University, and nowhere is this fact
more apparent than at the East Engineering
building.
Since January, students attending class at
East Engineering have had to stand in line
outside the only open main entrance for up to
10 minutes to get to class, and even longer to
get out. While in class, students must struggle
to hear - never mind understand - every
word the instructor says, over the sounds of
pounding and jackhammering that fills the
classroom from outside. Yet the headaches
and impatience that stem from the East Engi-
neering construction are but minor inconve-
niences in the face of other problems, most
notably a grave fire hazard.
East Engineering, a four-story building, is
old and was built before modern fire codes
existed. As such, it was built using extremely
flammable materials. Due to the current con-
struction, the East Engineering building has
only two stairwells leading into three exits.

hundreds of students in this building daily.
Moreover, scores of professors' and TAs'
offices are located there.
For months, thousands have been circulat-
ing daily throughout East Engineering, a vir-
tual fire trap, while the University turns a blind
eye. Moreover, people will continue to trek
through this matchbox of a class site as part of
their daily routine. Should a fire start in East
Engineering, hundreds of students would be
trapped inside to burn, or would be trampled
trying to reach the three avenues of escape.
Does the University care about this potential
disaster?
Even more odd is the fact that neither the
Ann Arbor nor state fire departments seem to
be lifting a finger to prevent what could some-
day be a great tragedy. Anyone can see that
current conditions at East Engineering are fire
hazards, so why don't our fire marshals take
action?
Perhaps - though unlikely -the Univer-
sity could not at first fathom that such prob-
lems would occur when construction began at
East Engineering. However, since that time
the administration has had an entire summer to
figure out ways to alleviate the inconveniences
and potential danger wrought by the building's
construction.
When will the University start to care about
its students the way it claims? Will administra-
tors soon realize that they, in their apathy, are
endangering student lives? Or, will they wait
- as they many times do -until the Univer-
sity is so deeply drowned in lawsuits that they
have no choice but to recognize and fix the

insensitive
To the Daily:
I was a friend of Seth
Charlson. Seth decided on
Wednesday to take his own life.
I expected an article about his
death to appear in your paper,
but I did not expect one that was
so completely devoid of class.
At the top of a very long list of
complaints that I have is your
inclusion of a photograph of
Seth's body. While I respect
your right to information, Ithink
you should also respect Seth's
right to dignity. This is a diffi-
cult time for all of us who knew
Seth and your insensitive dis-
play did not make things any
easier.
Brigham Smith
LSA Junior
Can we all
thank our
friends in the
Daily?
To the Daily:
Now that the tears have dried
and the Carpenters music has
stopped, we have regained
enough composure to write this
letter, thanking Jessie Halladay
for her insightful commentary
on the meaning and value of
friendship. Her column has
taught us two valuable lessons.
First, we know far too much
about her parade of friends than
we really wanted to and sec-
ondly, that the Editor in Chief
of the Daily extends herself an
astounding breadth of editorial
freedom.
Since it appears that the
Daily has become a forum for
paying tributes to friends and
co-workers, we would like to
take this opportunity to have

needs a lesson
in coaching
To the Daily:
I'm writing this in an abso-
lutely stunned state. With eight
minutes left and a 26 to 14
point lead, with Michigan's
offense and defense playing
as well as I've ever seen them,
Coach Moeller made a deci-
sion to play one of the best
teams in the nation with only
his defense. Michigan had
been completely dominating
Colorado with passing and
"trick" plays. That's when
Moeller consciously made the
decision that if Colorado could
score 14 points they could have
the game. This decision was
made with a full eight minutes
left. I cannot recall a passing
or innovative play called after
the eight minute mark, only
plays designed to run the clock,
not to win.
The point here is the Michi-
gan players deserved a lot bet-
ter. They proved they were
the better team. Had they been
allowed to play offense (to
win) they probably would have.
demolished Colorado. The
way they had been playing it is
reasonable to believe they
would have scored another 10
points or more. But Moeller
made an extremely poor deci-
sion, some may say even stu-
pid. To just try to run the
clock, instead of win. Then he
made what eventually was the
crucial damning move. That
was to deliberately allow the
opposing quarterback com-
plete freedom to throw wher-
ever he pleased on the last
play of the game, by only rush-
ing three lineman. That's no
rush at all.
I just hope Moeller learns
two things from this. To al-
ways apply some pressure to
the opposing quarterback, es-
pecially in a crucial situation,

Moeller

Why can the
U' have a
lawyer and
not students?
To the Daily
In the 9/23 issue of the
Daily, you ran a full page story
entitled, "Life Under The
Code". This article dealt with
issues of the SSRR (Statement
of Students Rights and Re-
sponsibilities).
There are a couple of items
I want to bring to the attention
of the Daily staff and the stu-
dents.
First, you quote the Vice
President of Student Affairs,
Maureen A. Hartford as say-
ing, "It's not attorneys lead-
ing (or) designing our pro-
cess." Well, that is a bunch of
horse manure.' Mary Louise
Antieau, the University's ju-
dicial advisor, advocate, part
designer and the person re-
sponsible for the initial inves-
tigation and advising any panel
about the SSRR is an attor-
ney. So what gives the Uni-
versity the right to have an
attorney so involved in the
process and representing the
university in the process, but
not allow the student to have
an attorney represent them?
Second, there is no reason
why the University, the great
school that it is, has to com-
pare its programs to, and live
up to (or down to) the stan-
dards of other universities.
Imagine where we would be
today if the University lived
by that same rule when the
MTS and CRISP systems
were introduced. They were
different than other
university's, therefore, they
could not have been used ...
Both Antieau and Hartford in-
sist on saying, 'other schools
are like this so why not us?'
Michigan does not have be
like 'other schools!' Do you
remember all those times
when you would tell your
mother or father that you must
have, or do, something be-

Iq

0

P-

Yeah, right.
One might assume-if one were
in the assuming business, which,
admittedly, is not very profitable -
that because I watch TV I enjoy
watching movies just as much, but
that would be like assuming that
because Dan Quayle was vice-presi-
dent he had a clue.
Watching something on TV is
infinitely more enjoyable than go-
ing to the movies. For one thing, you
can't go to the movies in your under-
wear. Well, OIL, you can go to the
movies in your underwear, but you
run the risk of being arrested and
having your TV show, "Pee-wee's
Playhouse," pulled off the air.
This probably explains why if
you were to ask me if I would go see
Jean-Claude Van Damme's new sci-
ft "thriller," "Timecop," I would
probably look at you like you asked
me to swallow my left foot, and
exclaim "I hate Jean-Claude Van
Damme! I will never see any of his
movies!"

S

S

..6h

Then I would go home and watch
"Kickboxer" for the 19th time on
HBO.

.!

Bad movies on TV are not just
better than bad movies at the theater;
bad movies on TV are better than

ii

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