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October 04, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily -- Tuesday, October 4, 1994

aIe id46u Fig ttt:9 t

'Defeating the President's health care plan was
the most positive thing that this Congress did. I'm
proud of our role in it.'
- Republican Senator Phil Gramm

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

Jessie Hallady
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess
Editrial Page Editors

The trials and
tribulations of
Generation X

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.

A future vision for the 'U'
Duderstadt ignores important ideas for students

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ese are frenetic times for the University.
It is expanding and changing a great deal.
These are also turbulent times. So much is
"happening so fast that no one can say how it
will all turn out. In a speech last week, Presi-
dent James J. Duderstadt launched his vision
_.,f what the University should look like in the
coming years. In his proposed plans for the
future, there were many promising ideas, but
they dwell mainly on organizational changes.
President Duderstadt sees a future which
continues the excellence that has been achieved
to date. He points out the architectural projects
that have been undertaken, the great techno-
logical strides the University has made and the
movement toward interdisciplinary studies.
He sees the University of the future as a world
wide University, with projects around the
globe. Even more striking, he grasps the ne-
cessity of the University moving away from
being a traditional physical entity, and em-
bracing the wonders and possibilities of
cyberspace. With the help of new computer
technology, the University can be anywhere,
anytime and accessible to everyone who
chooses to give to and take from it.
Unfortunately, the cost of excellence is
rising, and how the school will pay for these
changes is a tremendous challenge. State ap-
propriations to the University have generally
fallen in the past 15 years, and the University
.must deal with this if it continues to grow. As
part of the solution, Duderstadt cited the Cam-
paign for Michigan, an effort to get more
money from private donations.
President Duderstadt's vision includes
many interesting ideas. A movement toward
interdisciplinary studies is a great idea, very
much in keeping with the fact that this is not a
vocational school, but one whose mission is to
turn out educated, independent individuals.

Moreover, these are tough times in the job
market, and a diverse education has become
almost a necessity. Better computer technol-
ogy may also improve the quality of life and
education here, to a degree. But there are other
values, more abstract but no less essential,
which Duderstadt has failed to address. For
one, computers can only take us so far. The
President should bear in mind that the corner-
stone of this University resides in its people -
no monitor can substitute for the relationship
that can flourish between student and teacher.
Duderstadt should also remember that stu-
dents are paying a substantial amount of money
to go to school here. As it stands now, the
average middle class family has a difficult
time affording an adequate college education.
With tuition increases mounting annually, this
dilemma is only getting worse. The University
must actively search to find alternative sources
for funding instead of continuously turning to
students' pockets.
The most important item that President
Duderstadt left out, though, is the concept of
safety. Safety in a physical sense, but even
more important, intellectual safety. The inde-
pendent thinker needs to have the freedom to
explore and express his or her views unhin-
dered. This means ending restrictions of as-
sembly on the Diag. It also translates to putting
an end to the scourge of political correctness
that acts as a cancer on academic life -
exempting inquisitive student and faculty alike
from this group think.
President Duderstadt is right. These are
exciting times for the University, and the
future looks very bright indeed. But the chal-
lenge of change is very hard to meet, and if we
are to do so, he and the University need to
broaden their vision. The key thing to keep in
mind here is the people. Always the people.

O.J., jury selection and the legal system

By K.L. HOFFER
This week in Los Angeles,
jury selection began in the mur-
der trial of O.J. Simpson. Fed
by enormous media attention,
men and women across the
country have been talking about
and thinking about this case
since Nicole Brown Simpson
and her friend Ronald Goldman
were found murdered this
spring.
Being in the spotlight no
doubt makes every step in this
case more challenging for the
parties involved, from the vic-
tims' relatives to the lawyers
on Simpson's defense team.
Theirchallenges, however, will
provide us with rich opportu-
nities to examine the ways in
which our courts and our coun-
trymen and women deal with
the many difficult issues that
this case raises.
Jury selection, forexample.
Ideally, prosecutors and
defense lawyers would work
together to select a jury of in-
telligent men and women,
people with compassion
enough to feel for both victim
and defendant, and level-
headed enough to listen in a
non-biased manner to the evi-
dence put before them; people
who would understand that it is
the prosecutor's burden to
prove guilt beyond a reason-
able doubt, and who would be
Hoffer is a Law student.

able to determine if that had
been done or not.
Realistically, howeverjury
selection will be a battle be-
tween opposing teams, to se-
lect individuals who will be
sympathetic (or biased, if you
will) more towards one side
than the other. In an adversarial
system (where the lawyer's
personal ego enhancement is
often as much of an incentive to
win as is the securing of jus-
tice), we can only hope that the
legal adversaries in this case
are evenly matched, and closely
monitored, so that the jury se-
lected will be as fair as pos-
sible. As you think and talk
about the jury selection pro-
cess, think about whether you
would make a 'good' jury mem-
ber... do you even know what
that means? Does impartiality
require ignorance or a genetic
predisposition against forming
opinions? Do you think some-
one who is concerned with do-
mestic violence, or thinks there
are a lotof racists in L.A., would
automatically make a bad jury
member?
The jury that is eventually
selected will be asked to con-
sider only the evidence and the
arguments the prosecution and
defense teams are legally en-
titled to set before them, and
come to ajudgement about only
one thing-namely, whether
Mr. Simpson is guilty of mur-
der or not. I believe that it is

incumbent upon us, as mem-
bers of the American public, to
examine much more than just
what we are fed by the lawyers
in this case, and think about
much more than whether or not
weareconvincedofO.J.'sguilt
or innocence.
To begin with, we should
all be thinking critically about
this case as occurring in the
context of a society that has
been all too willing to punish
black men's supposed trans-
gressions against white
women, and at the same time
been practically unwilling to
punish any man for violence
done to his girlfriend, lover or
wife.
As the O.J. Simpson case
unfolds over the next few
months, I hope that every
American who thinks about the
case will attempt to examine
the judgements that they have
already made, as well as the
issues they have neglected to
think about. And as the
soundbites proliferate, I hope
that we can all take a hard look
at everything that is said, with
a full awareness that both the
prosecution and the defense
would like to convince us that
this is a simple case, when in
fact it is incredibly complex,
and full of thorny issues that
may be easier to neglect in the
short run, but will come back
to haunt us for as long as we
leave them unattended.

The headline, tucked away at the
bottom of page five, confirmed all of
my worst fears. "Young Americans
find UFOs much more plausible than
Social Security," it read. Yep, that's
our generation, I thought,cynical and
butt-stupid.
But much like the Generation X
stereotypes, the finding was more
complex than that. A survey of 18 to
34-year-olds showed that about 9%
believe that Social Security will have
the money to pay their retirement
benefits. On the other hand, 46%
believe in UFOs. Either young people
are losing faith in government and
life in general, or we've all been
watching a little too much Star Trek.
("I sense distrust, cynicism, and
grunge clothing," says Counselor
Cleavage - uh, I mean Troi. "En-
gage," says the captain. "We must
reach Planet MTV before Pearl Jam
tickets sell out.")
Cynicism was once seen as unde-
sirable, asign that you'd fallen asleep
in class the day they explained the
social graces of cheerfulness and not
complaining. Butlately a lotof people
are losingfaith in our leaders. Survey
after survey reports that voters don't
trust the politicians they vote for.
And the GenX fear that we won't
live to see our Social Security dollars
is a valid concern. The demographics
charts since World War it look like a4
snake that swallowed a bowling ball
- as the Baby Boomers age, a bulge
of population goes with them. Ac-
cording to the Congressional Budget
Office, annual benefits will exceed
receipts by the year 2029. Unless the
system is changed, we'll see a system
which is no more than generational
robbery.
But you've probably heard all of
those arguments before - that our
generation has been thrown into the
trash heap of history, never being the
right age at the right time. The prob-
lem is we don't realize the situation,
and even if we did, I'm not sure
anyone would care enough to put
down the remote and do something.
We have seen very few examples
of constructive change, and so many
examples of failure, waste and politi-
cians' endless boastful blathering.
Our lifetimes are a progression of
bad decades: Watergate, bellbottoms,
disco, arms talks, hostages, gas lines,
plane crashes, Wall Street crooks,
greed-as-a-virtue, Ronald Reagan,
Geraldo, Iran-contra, Ollie North,
Tonya Harding andthe Salad Shooter.
We've watched untold hours of
television - and seen next to noth-
ing happen in the world. The televi-
sion news programs we've grown up
on are masters at turning absolutely
nothing into a pre-empting news
event. The Baby Boomers saw Lee
Harvey Oswald shot on live televi-
sion. We saw O.J. Simpson toddlingi
down the freeway at 45 mph on live
television. They got Vietnam. We
got little nasty skirmishes in Iraq,
Haiti, Somalia, and Panama. They
saw the sexual double standard fall
apart and hemlines rise to just below
women's derrieres. We saw the re-

turn of flannel to the world fashion
scene.
What we do see on television is
that our generation is the root of all
evil. On April 30, 1994, for instance,
the three top stories on my local TV
station in Dallas were the enforce-
ment of a youth curfew which made
it illegal for someone under 16 to be
out after 10pm, a 19-year-old who
had killed her parents hoping to in-
herit their money, and a report issued
by the FBI finding that all crime was
down in all major categories save
one: murders committed by people
under the age of 15. "Today's young
people," said a commentator, "are
maturing into a generation of kill-

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Senate obstructionism

Highly partisan Congress
Bob Dole has been quoted as saying, "we
kind of wonder sometimes, what we're
doing here." As this year's congressional ses-
sion closes up before midterm elections,
America is thinking the same thing. Not in
recent memory has there been a more disap-
pointing and disillusioning end to Congress.
These last few months have been a virtual
parade of pork barrel politics, blatant obstruc-
tionism and partisan finger pointing by both
sides. Of the major bills being considered in
the early spring, only the crime bill has passed
across the president's desk to be signed into
law. The end result is shameful: Campaign
Finance reform, dead; Health Care Reform,
dead; environmental legislation, dead; and
GATT, pending (barely).
The United States Congress has never
been a role model for the perfect legislative
body. Congress can frequently be a down right
sleazy place. The usual partisan rhetoric and
bickering has always been a cornerstone to
congressional politics. And this being a tight
election year has amplified interparty animos-
ity. But what has made this year especially
poor has been the use of piddling procedural
votes to blatantly obstruct any sort of final vote
on the issues that are important. Bob Dole and
his band of cronies went out of their way to rob
Clinton of any sort of victory on Health Care
Reform this year. In the middle of the summer,
he was enthusiastic about passing minor re-
form when the White House was pushing for
major reform. When Clinton acquiesced and

neglects the people
reform. "Take it slow," he warned. But Health
Care has been on the minds of Capital Hill
since the 1960's. It can't get any slower.
The Crime Bill is another example. The
NRA lobbied so ferociously to block any ban
on weapons that, at many times, the bill looked
completely doomed. To think that one organi-
zation could wield so much power to effec-
tively shut down the Senate leaves one to
wonder. In the end, the Crime Bill had been so
picked apart, it's passing was largely sym-
bolic, and the American people received a
watered down bill. They deserve better.
In the wake over the bickering of Health
Reform, a slew of beneficial environmental
legislation has been left languishing. Most of
the bills have fragile coalitions of supporters
that could pass them now. But with the season
nearly over and neither side willing to budge,
waiting until next year could mean the demise
of the more promising bills.
Last, we come to GATT. The good Senator
Ernest Hollings (D-SC) has used his influence
to bottle up GATT in his committee for the full
45 days he's allowed, thereby killing the glo-
bal trade agreement for the normal congres-
sional season. A furious President Clinton has
told congress it will have to reconvene for a
"lame-duck" session after the elections. Hope-
fully, with election pressures gone, congress
will reverse this year's dismal record and pass
GATT. For a bill that all major economists say
will be a huge bonus to our economy, we hope
the nrovincial Mr.Hollings and all the other fat

I

Sexism in the
Greek system
To the Daily:
I am glad that fraternities
and sororities are aware that
sexism is still a problem within
the Greek system ("Fraterni-
ties defendants in lawsuits" 9/
30/94). However, the statement
by Terry Landes, IFC advisor
("Greek life..." and "Greeks
'rush'..." 9/30/94) that "Men
are competitive by nature,
whereas with women, the role
of rush is to keep everyone
even" and the idea that
"...women are more structured,
the men have survival of the
fittest, in a positive way" show
exactly how far the Greek sys-
tem still has to go in its' battle
against sexism. It seems to me
that the Greek system seems to
be nurturing dinosaurs like Mr.
Landes rather than selecting
the most fitto survive in today's
society.
Devnrah Adler

media representative of this out-
standing university throw about
half of this nation's people into
a stereotype earned by a few
neurotic murderers. I guess as
Mr. Lasser would have it, we
should also blame all Jews for
the Hebron massacre, all men
for the execution of Joan of
Arc, etc., etc. Let's not be fas-
cists and try a little tolerance
for the diversity which makes
this university so great.
Bill Malone
LSA Junior
In Defense of
the Mongolian
Barbecue
To the Daily:
In response to your restau-
rant review of the Mongolian
Barbecue in the September
29th weekend section, have you
ever worked in a restaurant? It
sounds as though you have no
clue how a restaurant is run. I
think that this is the first time
vnn hnvp -v r C in th fen

ing a restaurant, especially one
with unique qualities, that re-
quires staffing that allows em-
ployees to interact with the
customers.
If this is a help yourself,
create-your-own-stir-fry place,
then you must control the
spices? Don't blame the res-
taurant if your chicken was fla-
vorless. After your second trip
to the food bar, the reviewer
mentioned to "Call the fire de-
partment," again putting blame
on the Barbecue when she put
two spoonfuls of Cajun and
one spoonful of Cayenne in her
food. The wait staff advises all
patrons to watch out for the
spices that begin with "C".
If you're worried about feel-
ing awkward while on a date
despite the venue, maybe you
should blame your date and not
the restaurant. The Barbecue
provides a fun, spontaneous
atmosphere allowing the cus-
tomers to feel comfortable dur-
ing their visit. Any awkward-
ness produced may be due to
you lack of self-esteem.
I felt this article to be dis-
tasteful and poorly written.

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