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October 10, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 10, 1994

'The £1dchigut ifIg

'The more rules and regulations the University
tries to impose just shows it sees students as in-
competent kids.'
- Libertarian candidate for regent Emily Salvette

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

The wall

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\/~y bO I A<'PE'P ty %-Ao

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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 student vote
Register today to voice student concerns

\#o NpV2IC....
39'

P
M
;

Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote
in the Nov. 8 election. Students can regis-
ter at the Michigan Student Assembly office,
3909 Michigan Union, or on the second floor
of City Hall. An Ann Arbor driver's license is
not needed - meaning that even if a student's
permanent address is elsewhere, he or she can
still vote in Ann Arbor. Students must take
advantage of this opportunity by registering
before their chance to shape their government
escapes them.
The upcoming election is highlighted by
several extremely important races. Michigan's
voters will choose a governor and a senator,
and Ann Arbor residents will select a congres-
sional member, a state representative, a state
senator and several city council members. The
winners of the gubernatorial and state legisla-
tive races will, in the upcoming two years,
consider issues such as abortion, assisted sui-
cide and the state welfare system. The winner
of the senatorial race will represent Michigan
in Washington, D.C., voting on matters rang-
ing from welfare reform to Haiti to the nation's
budget
Important as these issues are, perhaps the
most significant races for students are those
taking place here in Ann Arbor. Students often
overlook city elections, viewing them as bor-
ing and irrelevant to campus life. They do not
register in Ann Arbor, preferring to keep their
home registration and vote by absentee ballot.
It is understandable that some students
wish to keep in contact with politics in their
home area. Yet what many do not realize is the
extent to which Ann Arbor politics affect
campus life. Consider the student who walks
along Washtenaw after dark, in physical dan-
ger due to inadequate lighting. Consider the
Rock, which City Council came close to re-
moving last year after neighborhood residents
complained of a graffiti problem. Consider

noise and housing ordinances, affecting stu-
dents who live off-campus. Consider the lack
of adequate parking spaces, and the thousands
of dollars students pay in parking tickets each
year.
These are all city issues. They are dis-
cussed, voted on and enacted by city govern-
ment, a government elected with only a very
small percentage of the student vote. City
officials do not treat student concerns seri-
ously, do not consider students an essential
part of their constituency - and they cannot
be blamed, given the tiny number of students
who actually vote in their election. As a result,
student concerns are largely ignored by city
government. Students must change this. They
must not only vote, but vote here, showing
themselves to city government as a powerful
group whose needs must be considered along
with all others.
Pundits in recent years have commented on
the apathy among the American people, be-
moaning the fact that such a small number of
eligible voters actually go to the polls on
Election Day. Unfortunately, this attitude is
not uncommon even on a traditionally "activ-
ist" campus like the University's. Many feel
there is no purpose in voting, that one vote will
never make a difference.
Yet nothing could be further from the
truth. The vote is the most powerful weapon
citizens can wield against incompetence or
unfair treatment by the government. This is
especially true in Ann Arbor, where students
have the potential to be a strong and influential
constituency.
There are still two days left to register for
the November election. By registering and
voting in Ann Arbor, students can make them-
selves known as a force in the city, and can
take a giant step to shape the world around
them.

Daily errs on health care

Paying tachers
Salary study fails to tell whole story

Sportswriter
shafts Ivy
League
To the Daily:
In the article "Student Ath-
letes -How Wolverines Mea-
sure Up" (9/19/94), Scott Bur-
ton asserts "The Ivy League
schools, which don't offer ath-
letic scholarships, finished one
through 11 in his (Dr. Jack
Gourman's) rankings (of stu-
dentathletic graduation rates)."
This comes as a surprise to those
that know there are only eight
Ivy League schools, but Im
sure it was just an oversight. He
then goes on to editorialize:
"However, those schools don't
field nationally competitive
sports programs, and mostly
attract elite scholars who
couldn't make it in Division I
athletically."
Of course any good sports-
writer knows that the Ivy
League is a Division I athletic
conference. I'll forgive him that
oversight as well. But I'm sure
that the Princeton men's and
women's lacrosse teams, both
currentNCAA Division I cham-
pions, would strongly object to
his statements, as would our
national champion women's
varsity and men's lightweight
varsity crew teams. Mr. Burton
was obviously not thinking of
Princeton's field hockey team,
which has been a final four
team in the NCAA tournament
a few times in the past couple
years. Nor did he remember
our men's soccer team, a final
four team in the most recent
NCAA tournament. And I
won't even mention the varsity
squash team.
Interestingly, in the same
issue, I learned that Michigan
doesn't even have a men's var-
sity soccer team. Nor does it
seem to have many varsity
sports for its size - according to
Barron's Profile for American
Colleges, Michigan offers only
11 men's and 10 women's var-
sity sports for an undergradu-
ate population of 22,000.
Princeton, with 4500 under-
graduates, offers 17 men's and
women's varsity sports. That's
one-fifth the size and twelve
more sports. Who's not com-
petitive?
Of course, there are other
schools in the Ivy League which
have teams that certainly "make
it in Division I athletically";
I'm sure Harvard is proud of its
1989 NCAA Division I cham-
pion hockey team, Columbia
could tell you about its national
flhamninn fpnrfoin fiAtwan ant i

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
youreditorial "Health Care: An
Obituary" (9/28/94). When I
read that health care was get-
ting an obituary, I became
frightened: I thought Clinton's
plan passed in Congress. I was
relieved to read of its failure
because I may now keep the
money I would have had to pay
into another government-
funded entitlement quagmire.
Your editorial was incor-
rect on a number of premises.
Its first error was its message,
namely that our angelic
President's health care pana-
cea was defeated by insurance
companies, big business and
Republicans. Wrong! It was
defeated by the American
people. Now you say that the
American people were de-
ceived. If ever they were de-
ceived, it was during the State
of the Union address when
Clinton promised reduced costs
and more simplicity. Instead,
his bill would have raised taxes,
reduced the availability of cer-
tain life-saving operations
through spending caps, elimi-
nated incentives to develop new
drugs through government con-
trol of the pharmaceutical in-
dustry, eliminated many spe-
cialist training programs (dev-
astating New York) in favor of
general practitioners, rammed
abortion funding down an en-
tire nation's throat, and even
injected a little affirmative ac-
tion into the system where it
concerned the training of phy-
sicians.
Dole's plan, on the other
hand, would have reduced costs
by putting money directly into
the hands of Medicare recipi-
ents and not in the hands of
inept bureaucrats. Prohibiting
discrimination against those
suffering from pre-existing con-

ditions is an idea most Ameri-
cans favor, in contrast with the
Clinton plan. Also, Dole's plan
would have provided for
greaterjob-to-job portability of
insurance plans, once again a
popularnon-controversial idea.
I can't understand why people
oppose Dole's plan. Itincorpo-
rates the best of the Clinton and
Mitchell plans. Dole moved to
the center, Clinton moved to
the far left and angered Con-
gress by not involving them in
the creation of his plan. The
membersof Hillary's task force
were never revealed to the pub-
lic. One must wonder why.
Since South Africa also
lacks the "benefits" of govern-1
ment run health care, I guess
no one from that nation has
been here this year in search of
an operation unavailable un-
der a socialized system. Ger-
many had acrisis lastyearwhen
it was discovered that under its
socialized system, blood was
not tested for AIDS before it
was used in transfusions, all in
the name of reducing costs. I
mention this because I am fre-
quently told that America needs
a nice socialized health care
system like they have over in
Western Europe.
Finally, 39 million Ameri-
cans do not lack insurance.
More than half that number are
uninsured for under a year
while switching jobs, and many
young people who can afford
health care decide they don't
need it. If Clinton wanted to
provide a handout to those with-
out insurance, he should have
done so. But being power hun-
gry, he chose to raise the pre-
miums of the rest of the coun-
try. This is why the status quo
has prevailed for 1994.
Ian Goldenberg
RC First-year student

On the Mexican border near San
Diego, the Immigration and Natu-
ralization Service (INS) has con-
structed a fortress: a complex ob-
stacle course designed to keep "un-
desirables" away from us.
It's a 12-foot high solid steel
fence, stretching inland six miles
from the ocean. Behind that, banks
of blinding, hot lights illuminate the
quarter mile from the fence to the
outskirts of San Diego. Then there
are three lines of border patrol age 8
in trucks equipped with night vision
devices. Then there's the moat.
It's called Operation Gatekeeper,
and in my mind it is a symbol of
what our nation has become: a self-
ish, tyrant king sparing no expense
to keep the peasants away from his
palace.
In San Diego alone 1,100 guards
defend what in reality is just a line
on a map, an imaginary border.
Less than a year ago, we wel-
comed Mexico into our world. The
North American Free Trade Agree-
ment (NAFT'A) threw open eco-
nomic doors to Canada and Mexico.
Goods and services now flow freely
between the three nations. Produqs
and capital cross the border without
tariffs or restrictions. We are united
as one.
But if a Mexican worker-em-
ployed in a U.S.-owned production
plant and earning wages below a
livable rate - wants to follow the
jacket or car or calculator that he has
assembled to a nation where people
can afford such things, he is met
with the oh-so-welcoming Opera-
tion Gatekeeper.
Welcome to America! A nation
founded by immigrants, a land of
equal opportunity.
I think it's the wall that gets me.
The 12-foot steel wall. More im-
posing than the Berlin Wall, th
iron curtain. It is more a symbol of
a rift in human interaction than a
restriction on a would-be illegal
immigrants.
Economists and politicians dis-
cuss lowering barriers and forging
stronger links. They call for build-
ing bridges with our neighbors. Yet
we're led instead by fear, ignorance
and selfishness to build walls. Sti
walls. Walls backed up by thou-
sands of dollars and trained INS
border forces.
Do I advocate free immigration?
Not necessarily. But I didn't see the
California fruit growers complain-
ing about Mexicans when the grow-
ers went down in search of cheap
labor to pick their poisoned (by
pesticides) fruit. And itdoesn'tseeh
like anyone minds hiring immigrant
women to burp babies and scrub
floors without vacations, social se-
curity benefits or decent wages.
Immigrants only become "a
problem"when they have been here
a while and start to succeed. When
they learn English and build com-
munities to support one anoth6.
When they open businesses and get
good jobs. Then they are threats to

"Americans." Then we want to
throw them out and build walls to
prevent their brothers and sisters
from joining them. This is OUR
America. No one else can have a
cut.
Does it matter that our nation got
to be wealthy by stepping on t e
toes of one group after another?
Does it mean anything that one of
the reasons northern Mexico is poor
is because the water from the Rio
Grande has all been diverted to "our"
side? Does it'mean anything that we
got rich off cheap labor and re-
sources from Third World coun-
tries we exploit? It means nothing.
The citizens of those countries can
only come here if first they earn
$10,000 or get a Ph.D.
In California, Florida and Texas,
immigration is the biggest issue in
(ianhv, ntr aIrnrPaC i 'at Q~C

A recent report issued by the American
Federation of Teachers (AFT) listed
Michigan teachers' salaries as the fifth highest
in the nation. When the state's relatively low
cost of living is figured in, Michigan's rating
jumps to No.1, with an adjusted average salary
of $46,991, compared to a paltry, national
average of $35,813.
Unfortunately, this ranking can be a double-
edged sword. While it is good that Michigan's
teachers are so well-paid, many will look at the
AFT study as an excuse to complain that
teachers earn too much. They see teaching as
an "easy" job, with summer vacations and
short hours. They will use the study as fuel to
the fire that has grown in the past several years
against the power of teachers' unions.
The study must be qualified by several
factors. First, over 50 percent of Michigan's
teachers hold master's degrees in their fields.
In addition, many of the state's teachers are
over 40 and have reached the top of their salary
schedules. When these teachers retire, the state
will have to hire younger, less experienced
teachers at lower salaries, and the average
figure will drop.
Aside from these points, the most impor-
tant fact is obvious: the best teachers need to be
paid good salaries. Being a teacher is not
merely an eight-to-fourjob. Class plans, evalu-
ations, homework and test correcting and ev-
eryday bureaucratic work takes up many hours
not spent in the classroom. Furthermore, the
public's tendency to blame teachers for the
nation's education problems, the consistent

ers.
In addition, fewer and fewer college gradu-
ates are heading into the teaching profession
- a fact that can be attributed in large part to
the relatively small salaries teachers take home.
When compared to what one with an advanced
degree in medicine, law, or the sciences can
expect to earn, teaching-even with a master's
degree - is clearly not the most lucrative of
professions.
The drive to obtain world-class education
in Michigan must start with attaining the best
teachers. The recent ranking of Michigan teach-
ers compared to the national average is not as
much a positive for Michigan as it is an indict-
ment of how poorly compensated teachers are
across the country. The number one ranking
shows that Michigan is headed in the right
direction, but citizens cannot under any cir-
cumstances allow the progress strong teacher's
unions have made in this state to be eroded.
Gov. Engler has recently signed into law a bill
limiting teachers unions' collective bargain-
ing agreements which will penalize striking
teachers and limit bargaining issues. This is a
symptom of a dangerous trend, one that must
be recognized and stopped for the good of
Michigan's students.
Teachers, on the whole, are not in the
profession for money, appreciation, or sum-
mer vacations. They are in it for the love of
teaching children and improving the quality of
education. Funding education must always be
the number one priority in this country. Fund-
ing well qualified educators is the first step in

I

around (never mind that you
also field a professional bas-
ketball team). A good sports-
writer should not forget these
things. Maybe he's just a vic-
tim of sloppy writing as well as
sloppy thinking. In any case,
aside from the lone exception
of football (a sport, I might add,
which was mostly invented by
Princeton, Harvard, and Yale),
Ivy League sports are often
every bit as competitive as
Michigan sports, and in many
cases, even better. And all this
despite the handicap of being
"elite scholars" with no athletic
scholarships. Go figure.
Peter A. Dutton
Ann Arbor resident
Rivers is best

favors fundamentalist politics
including a return of prayer to
school and the end of all repro-
ductive freedom for women.
These regressive stances are
drastically out of touch with
the views of the people of this
district and especially the stu-
dents at this University. How-
ever, this is hardly surprising
considering that Mr. Schallhas
spent the last 11 years in Wash-
ington and not in Michigan.
Lynn Rivers, the Demo-
cratic candidate, is clearly the'
good choice. Ms. Rivers has
spent the last decade in service
to the community, including
the last two years as our state
representative. During that
time, Rivers has fought hard
for pro-choice policies as well

I

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