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October 25, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-25

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4 - The Michigan Daily -- Tuesday, October 25, 1994

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'Students can have a major impact on the out-
come of these elections. It's time that we had a
governor who was more interested in the next
generation than the next election.'
- Gubernatorial candidate Howard Wolpe, speaking Sunday to the College Democrats

420 Ma and
Ann Arbor, 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.

University activities?
UAC must revitalize itself and campus events



hi s week is Homecoming at the Univer
Esity. Many students must be commended
for planning an eventful weekend-it is about
time that the University reestablish and reen-
ergize our homecoming tradition. One would
think that fun homecomingevents for students
should be coordinated by the University Ac-
tivities Committee (UAC) -the central, stu-
dent run programming organization on cam-
pus. However, such is not thecase. This inabil-
ity to plan a homecoming weekend is merely
one example of the lame condition of student
programming on campus.
UAC receives two dollars per student per
semester to fund its programming. While this
is less than similar organizations receive at
other universities, it is still plenty to at least
plan more than afew token exciting, entertain-
ing and educational events. In addition to
academic excellence, the University is known
for its political and cultural awareness and
athletic excitement. Luckily, the University's
athletic teams have recently performed excel-
lently - because major political and cul-
tural programming has been nonexistent.
UAC must be held accountable for this defi-
ciency of programming.
UAC does provide some decent student
programming including their mini-courses
such as wine tasting, the College Bowl, musi-
cal and dramatic performances and semi-fre-
quent "grunge" concerts. However, these
events only attract a small number of Univer-
sity students from distinct cliques. There have
been almost no large events in recent memory
which have featured a performer or politician
that could attract a wide array of students.

Aside from MSA's program featuring the
Democratic National Committee Chair, David
Wilhelm, earlier this year, when was the last
time a major political figure appeared on cam-
pus? This University has a history of being a
frequent stop for national political leaders; but,
recently, it has only been visited by local
politicians needing students' votes in Novem-
UAC has a decent structure in place to
coordinate extraordinary student programming
on campus. Unfortunately, these committees
often collaborate with other groups and then
seek primary credit. Forexample,UAC's home-
coming committee has contributed to some of
the events of the weekend, but would like to
take most of the credit, even though the
events have largely been planned by non-
UAC student leaders.
Collaboration on student programming is
certainly encouraged, for it can only lead to
more enriching activities, but other student
leaders should not continuously feel obli-
gated to fill in for UAC to ensure quality
student programming. UAC should take the
lead in planning large and meaningful stu-
dent activities that will attract diverse stu-
dents, not just publicize and take credit for the
work of others.
University students should notonly be guar-
anteed a quality speaker once a year at com-
mencement, but should have the option of
frequently attending entertaining and educa-
tional programming featuring prominent fig-
ures. UAC must begin reinvigorating itself so
that the University continues to be an active
and exciting campus.


Ann Arbor native defends his hometown

To the Daily:
Regarding the letter by
Andy Mughannam ("Spoofing
Maize and Blue Fans"), all I
can say is "Whoa!" At first I
was miffed, but soon pity re-
placed the insult.
I was born here in Ann
Arbor (at the old University
Hospital) and this poor fellow
shows the attitude of many the
students that we "Townies" like
to refer to as "Coasters", those
folks who hail from the coastal
cities located on the east and
west coasts. Every year with-
out fail we get to suffer the
onslaught of these folks who
come into town, use (and
abuse) our hometown, mess
up our local politics and then
go back home and tell their
hometownfolks how back-
wards we are out here in the
"hinterland" of the Midwest.
Well, I'm sorry to say that
Mr. Mughannam is just an-
other example of a Coaster who
just doesn't get it. He thinks
that the students hejokes about
in his silly joke are Ann
Arborites? I've got news for
him: Many U of M students
and football fans are from out
of state, and many of them are
Coasters like himself. If we
poor Midwest hicks are sup-
posed to be awed by the world-
liness of the Coasters, then how
come this guy didn't avail him-
self to the diversity of the city

of Detroit where there are some
of the largest Middle Eastern,
African-American and Eastern
European populations in the
country? Am I supposed to
think that the Tenderloin Dis-
trict of San Francisco, Harlem
and The Bronx of NYC, or the
Southside neighborhoods of
Chicago (to name his examples
of cities with diversity) are any
better or worse than Detroit?
It's not my fault that this
poor fellow is too narrow-
minded to get over his preju-
dices and get out there and ex-
perience the vital jazzand blues
scene, the ethnic diversity of
the surrounding communities
and the genuinely nice people
of Michigan. And to say Ann
Arbor is the most trendy town
he's ever seen is so laughable I
can hardly sit in my chair! He
forgets about L.A. and Venice
Beach; San Francisco/Marin
County and all that wine, cheese
and Nouveau Cuisine; Santa
Cruz and all those retro Earth
Hippies; and Seattle - with
their amazing "Grunge-meets-
Juan Valdez" (a la coffee) de-
lirium. Of course, New York is
not without it's share of trends
either. When the Pistons win
the NBA championships, De-
troit riots; in San Francisco,
when they win, the same be-
havior is called "disorderly."
Go figure. Mr. Mughannam
implies that to be from Michi-

gan is to lack intelligence, as
measured by IQ points. Not-
withstanding the debate over
the validity of the Wechsler
test, what can you say about the
intelligence of people who
grow wet weather crops like
rice, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. in
what is for all practical pur-
poses mostly a desert, and then
commence to whine about lack
of water? For that matter, how
smart is it to build a city right
on top of a fault line? Not just
one, but TWO major cities!
Yeah Man, now that's intelli-
gence like we don't have here
in the Midwest. Thank good-
ness. I have always thought
that we hereinMichigan should
help our more intelligent
Americans out there by trading
them water for oil, on a barrel
for barrel basis. After all, Mr.
Mughannam commented on
how cold it is here, and so we
could use the oil to heat our
houses and they could use our
water to squander in any irre-
sponsible way they want. And
hey, if they don't like it, let
them drink their oil. So, with
that, I bid him a fond and sin-
cere farewell. Have a good trip,
and next time you come back
(if ever) leave your "holier-
than-thou" attitude at home,
where it belongs.
Chris Godwin
University Alumnus and
Rackham Student

Sex (or rather
chastity in the
C 990s
Forget the half-naked bodies
writhing on MTV, forget the joys of
sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend,
and forget the sexual revolution: vir-
ginity is now cool.
Teens are signing pledge cards
saying they'll save themselves for
marriage. Public figures are proclaim-
ing their virginity. Newspapers and
magazines are heralding a new trend
of chastity among America's young
It's true that virginity should not
be a stigma nor promiscuity an ac-
complishment and the movement
should be applauded for furthering
thatgoal. Unfortunately,the dialogue
on the issue often sinks straight into
the simplistic, hypocritical, and sex-
ist thinking typical of the 1990s
Teen sex is an amazingly com-
plex issue. More and more teens get
pregnant every year, and the specter
of AIDS haunts all of us. Abstinence
may be the right choice for some
teens, but it is clearly not the right
choice for others. It also has another
problem: as a solution to teen preg-
nancy and STDs, it doesn't work.
Teen pregnancy is actually down
from the 1990s (it has increased
among whites, though not nearly as
much as many people think.) Coun-
tries with more permissive sexual
attitudes such as Sweden and Den-
mark actually have lower rates of
teen pregnancy and STDs. On the
other hand, places like my home state
of Texas which are big on abstinence
and low on sex education have much
higher rates of teen pregnancy and
STDs. The old practice of telling
teens to just say no just doesn't work
- according to all available histori-
cal evidence, it never did.
The recent Newsweek article on
the trend toward virginity introduced
a teen couple (let's call them Scott
and Jennifer) who had vowed to stay
chaste until marriage. A little later in
the article we learn that Scott pro-
posed to Jennifer a few months ago.
This is one of the undiscussed
side effects of chastity vows: the kids
who take them often marry very
young. A lot of churches seem to
figure that it's better for kids to marry
young than have premarital sex, but
the truth is that about 70% of couples
who marry before they turn 21 end up
divorced. A messy divorce at a young
age, especially if children are in-
volved, has much more serious con-
sequences than premarital sex. This
harks back to the 1950s, when the
average age of marriage for women
was 20. As historian Stephanie
Coontz says in her book The Way We
Never Were, "1950s teens were not
taught sexual restraint - they were
just handed wedding rings.yr
The new chastity movement also
carries a vicious double standard.

Although some articles and programs
make an attempt to include boys, it's
obvious that the focus is on girls --
their "chastity vow" ceremonies are
held first, and they're the ones that
get the coverage,(e.g., Chicago Tri-
bune, October 11, 1993; pg. 7).
An article in the Summer 1994
edition of the American Educator (a
magazine for teachers) warns that
premature sex will "stunt character"
and lead to guilt and shame -(you
guessed it) "especially for girls." It
also quotes a lot of girls who say that
they don't like sex. "Sex does not live
up to the glowing reports," one girl
said. "In fact, it's pretty disappoint-
Well, there we go, back to the
days before Kinsey, when we thought
that women didn't like sex. It may be
that this girl hasn't yet experienced
loving sex, but female desire is a
powerful force - a beautiful force
which has been repressed, controlled,


Faculty giVevance
Procedure gives full advantage to administration

Two weeks ago, a panel of faculty members
and administrators met to discuss reforms
of the faculty grievance procedures at the
University. This meeting is of great impor-
tance because as use of the grievance proce-
dure by faculty increases in large number,
major flaws in the process itself continue to
emerge. When it comes to resolving conflicts
between faculty and administration here at the
University, the administration has the over-
whelming advantage.
Under the current system, a faculty mem-
ber has 180 days to file acomplaint against the
administration. The complaint having been
filed, a dean or other administrator within the
department must form a review board of fac-
ulty members, within 30 days, to review the
complaint and pass judgement. After the re-
view board renders its decision, the adminis-
trator overseeing the case has full authority to
implement or ignore the decision at his or her
discretion. Thus, the entire process concludes
in the hands of one administrator, and the
review board decision can be easily thrown
out. Clearly, the administration is placing a
democratic facade on an essentially autocratic
The major problem here is that the faculty
grievance process depends too much on the
good faith of the administration. The process
assumes that the administration, and indi-
vidual administrators, will act with integrity in
objectively reviewing a situation. And, be-
cause the process involves a grievance be-
tween faculty and the administration, the ad-
ministration is judging itself. What incentive,
then, could the administration have tobe com-
pletely objective?
Moreover, the administration uses thegood

to its policies. The 180 day deadline for the
faculty is strictly enforced by the administra-
tion - it is difficult or often impossible for a
faculty member to file a complaint after that
The deadline for the Administration, how-
ever, is rarely adheredto. ProfessorTomMoore,
who is a member of the Senate Advisory Com-
mittee on University Affairs (SACUA), has
spent several years studying the faculty griev-
ance procedure. According to his records, it
takes the Administration an average of 201
days to form a review board in response to a
grievance. With almost full power to sit on a
grievance, the administration can delay as long
as it wishes before acting. From the point of
view of a faculty member, that's a long time to
have a problem unresolved.
More important, once a review board has
been formed, has met and has rendered a deci-
sion, that decision holds no weight. It is simply
not binding. Ultimately the review board is an
advisory board. The administrator who formed
the committee makes the final decision, and
often has little interest in following the board's
advice. In fact, this administrator is frequently
the very individual whom the complaint has
been filed against.
The faculty grievance system, therefore, is
basically a farce. It exists in name only, giving
full advantage to the administration andlittle or
no recourse to the faculty. It is one of the many
indicators of a dangerous pattern of control that
has recently been implemented by the admin-
istration - part and parcel with the recent
firing of the student Ombudsman. The faculty-
administration meeting to discuss the faculty
grievance procedure is a good first step toward
reversing the trend of administrative domi-

Abraham is a
voice for
To the Daily:
Once again the Michigan
Daily lowers itself to the level
of Pravda by printing propa-
ganda rather than facts. The
facts are that the Republican
candidates, including Spencer
Abraham, have been out cam-
paigning and not hiding be-
hind ads as the Daily suggests
in its editorial "Ads of Opposi-
tion"(10/19/94). Had theDaily
writers been doing investiga-
tive reporting rather than throw-
ing their own ideas down on
paper they would be fully aware
that Spence Abraham as well
as many other Republican can-
didates have been in Ann Ar-
bor campaigning before sev-
eral Michigan football games.
These candidates have also at-
tended many other events
around the state.
Unfortunately, the Daily
continues to miss the message
that Abraham and other Re-
publican candidates stand for.
Had the Daily actually had a
reporter at Monday's debate or
Wednesday's debate they

and calling Spence's ads un-
true is calling Bill Clinton a
It is time that the Daily stop
making misleading accusations
and start doing some real re-
porting. The American people
are tired of Washington poli-
tics and students don't want
government to control their
lives. America relies too heavily
on social institutions. This is
precisely why Democrats con-
tinue to raise taxes to support
BIG government programs. I
am welcoming the breakdown
of these social institutions and
lower taxes.
Imagine Dan Rostenkowski
leading the Ways and Means
Committee. Imagine Don
Reigle leading the Senate Bank-
ing Committee. Oops -that's
reality! That's exactly why I'm
going to the polls and voting to
stop these crazy liberal trends.
Jeanette Lamer
V.P. U of M College
Bike crash
gives all
cyclists a bad

ans, and saying, "On the left"
or "On the right" to forewarn
people a cyclist is about to pass
them. Frankly, I nevergave the ,
issue much thought until I was
rudely awakened to the reality
of life as a pedestrian on central
Recently, I was walking
down the hill between MoJo
and Stockwell. Behind me I
heard the distinctive sound of a
cyclist slamming on his brakes
and going out of control. He
was flying down the hill and
locked his brakes in a futile
effort to prevent an imminent
collision. He wiped out, taking
me and another nearby student
with him. The other student
glared at him, got up and walked
away. My friend and I stared at
him in amazement. Instead of
profusely apologizing to us as
any decent cyclist would, he
proceeded to say that we should
not have been walking in front
of him. When my friend dis-
agreed with his rationale, since
he was behind us in the first
place, he began to shout ob-
scenities at us.
This happened in the early
afternoon, with nearly a hun-
dred other people walking in
the area. No one should be
riding a bike through a crowd
of people at high speeds. It was


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