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October 28, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 28, 1994

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

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.

'I just think the whole idea behind them is disgust-
ing ... I didn't get in this business to be on film. I
don't like the power music videos assert over the
success or failure of songs.'
-R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills lamenting the state of the music industry.
TZ 60 E'S5 NoT qg q,

about the

weather? Sure



Reaching out to students
Executive officers should follow Nelms' example

Should we talk

harlie Nelms, the new chancellor of the
University's Flint campus, should be a
role model for President Duderstadt and all of
the University's executive officers. Nelms'
emphasis on reaching out to students and
' being very accessible to the student body
should be an attitude which guides all of the
executive officers on the Ann Arbor campus,
as well as at Flint. All executive officers
should be as open to students and as aware of
current student concerns as Nelms, for such
knowledge allows the administration to make
more informed decisions about running the
n University.
Fortunately, President Duderstadt has vastly
improved and increased his contact with stu-
' dents this year: his speaking appearance at
Alice Lloyd Residence Hall, his participation
in Welcome Week by serving ice cream at
South Quad, speaking at Convocation and his
access via electronic mail are all greatly appre-
ciated by the student body.
Additionally, Maureen Hartford, Vice
President for Student Affairs, is very open to
students and does keep up to date on students'
ideas and feelings through her very frequent
meetings with students and student leaders.
However, the rest of the executive officers are
rarely seen by students. The efforts put forth
by Duderstadt and Hartford to be accessible
to, and in frequent contact with, the student
body should be expanded and copied by all of
n the other executive officers.
It would certainly be beneficial to Walt
Harrison, Vice President for University Rela-
tions, to know how students and their families
view the University. Provost Whitaker would
certainly be better informed if he heard stu-

dents' comments about the University's aca-
demic environment, and these are just two
This campus is so big that executive officers
rarely come into contact with students because
of the Fleming Building's location on campus
and their hectic schedules. Therefore, the ex-
ecutive officers should make special time to
ensure communication with students, and mak-
ing such an effort is very easy and requires little
time. Governors and mayors remain in fre-
quent contact with those they serve; there is no
reason University executive officers should
not do the same.
Chancellor Nelms noted that he walks
around campus and introduces himself to stu-
dents. All of the University's executive offic-
ers could do something so simple; they must
each walk past hundreds of students a day.
There are also many other simple ways that the
executive officers can know what is on the
minds of students, including: holding an open
office hour weekly, having lunch in the U-Club
or a residence hall on a regular basis, or attend-
ing student organization meetings such as the
Michigan Student Assembly or Interfraternity
Council just to say hello and see what topics
student leaders are discussing.
Clearly, the effort and time that the execu-
tive officers would have to spend to keep in
better touch with the student body is minimal.
But such time would be very well spent, for the
University's leaders would have a more accu-
rate view of how the University runs and its
strengths and weaknesses. Such knowledge
will certainly allow the executive officers to
make better and more informed decisions on
the running of the University.

Daily critique of SLS is misguided, inaccurate

It has been nearly four years
since the editorial board of your
newspaper removed the cap-
tion from its masthead pro-
claiming that it had enjoyed
"one hundred years of edito-
rial freedom." If memory
serves me correctly, the edito-
rial board's action was in part
to protest the central
administration's dilution ofstu-
dent representation on the
Daily's advisory board. I find
it ironic and, quite frankly,
galling that the same newspa-
per would favor the same dilu-
tion four years later on the gov-
erning board of Student Legal
Services (SLS). I, of course,
refer to the Daily's Oct. 20
editorial, "Reconfiguring
SLS." If I had the time and the
Daily provided me with enough
space I could address all of its
inaccuracies. But the con-
straints, such that they are, com-
pel me to discuss the most ob-
To begin with, as a long
serving member of the board, I
take personal exception to the
Daily's charge that the present
SLS board of directors is "un-
qualified and unable" to run
SLS. The truth of the matter is
that the present boardialong
with SLS's extraordinarily
dedicated staff, has kept SLS
running smoothly in spite of a
three year freeze on our fund-
ing. In that time, the board has
balanced every one of its bud-
gets. (In point of fact, SLS has
never run a deficit in the 16
years of its existence.) In addi-
tion, board policy has led to an
increase in the number of at-
torneys that handle students'
cases as well as a massive im-
provement in office technol-
ogy. The permanent addition
of a fourth attorney to the SLS
staff was a direct result of a
1993 board initiative to redi-
rect office resources. I might
also add that the directors of
most private for-profit law
firms would envy SLS's 16
year record of steering com-
pletely clear ofcostly malprac-
tice imbroglios. Again, board

policy (not to mention staff
expertise) has been the catalyst
for this success. If this some-
how amounts to incompetence,
I'll gladly reserve my vote in
the upcoming election for the
candidate that delivers incom-
To my knowledge, and I
have not missed a board meet-
ing in four years, the Daily has
never once covered the work
that SLS's board does. If it had,
and I have personally invited it
to do so on a number of occa-
sions, it would have seen that
the board is not made up of
incompetent or unqualified
members. The reality is that,
aside from having two highly
knowledgeable law students
among its ranks, the board
counts as one of its members a
law professor, the architect of
the law school reorganization
plan that the Daily favors. SLS's
bylaws mandate this level of
law school representation,
which insures that its represen-
tation is and will be more than
As for eliminating staff
members from the board, noth-
ing could be more unwise. To
begin with, the staff members
sitting on the board provide
other members with the infor-
mation necessary to make in-
formed decisions. On another
level, their presence is neces-
sary to insure that SLS's em-
ployees' voices are heard on
matters of vital importance to
them. Having limited democ-
racy in the workplace has
helped the board to maintain
staff stability through tough
economic times. Such stability
is a key component to the deliv-
ery of quality legal service. (Just
ask similar legal services cor-
porations with high staff turn-
With all of the above said,
let me just suggest to the Daily
and the rest of the University
that the problems SLS faces
have little to do with the con-
figuration of the board or with
what University department
supervises it. Let me further
suggest that neither the law
school option nor professional

board appointments are the
panacea. The problem is, as it
always has been, that the pro-
gram is woefully underfunded.
Staff attorneys make about half
of what other attorneys of com-
parable experience and exper-
tise make. SLS has employed a
wonderful paralegal for 16
years and has no money to pro-
vide for her retirement (or that
of any other employee). The
fact of the matter is that the
University, which incidentally
raised my tuition by 1200 dol-
lars and raises infrastructure
and other fees faster than a
Tyrone Wheatly touchdown
sprint, refuses to raise our fee
by a measlly buck and a half.
The Daily can put all of the
local attorneys it wants on the
board and that won't solve the
funding problems facing SLS.
Law school supervision will
not fix them either. SLS's board
has studied these proposals for
at least five years and the con-
clusion of this board member
is that these plans, for reasons
too numerous to list, simply
will not work.
In fact, if the Daily had both-
ered to check, it would have
found that the University of
Indiana is the only university
in the country that has its law
school supervise its SLS. Ac-
cording to the program's direc-
tor, the plan has been "ineffec-
tive" at best.
While I would be remiss in
saying that the present con-
figuration is perfectthe Daily's
ire would have been more prop-
erly directed at the powers that
keep funding at such an abys-
mal level.
The Daily's failure to do
so, makes me question who is
pulling its strings. Perhaps, the
old editorial board was correct
in protesting student removal
from the Daily's advisory
board. Now that student repre-
sentation on that board has been
diluted, the Daily appears will-
ing to sacrifice student inter-
ests in the name of god only
knows whose hidden agenda.
Students should be weary of
the same thing happening to

Autumn in Michigan is, without
question, one of the best weeks of the
year. The sun shines, the leaves
change colors, you fall behind in
your classes. The scenery, like most
pictures, is quite picturesque.
The problem with autumn is that
it's usually followed by winter. OK
'it's always followed by winter. It's
unbelievable. Every year, at the end
of autumn, winter comes. It's like an
act of nature or something.
Winter is noticeably different
from autumn. The sun doesn't shine,
and snow falls instead of leaves. This
difference is particularly obvious in
Michigan, where snowflakes are
roughly the size of small trucks. The
snowstorms last, on average, several
These long snowstorms can cause
mass confusion among students.
Student No. 1: "Hey! The world
is white!"
Student No. 2: "You racist!"
StudentaNo. 1: "I'm not a racist!
And why are you driving a snow-'
StudentNo. 2: "It's a small truck."
Student No. 1: "Oh."
Also, students start pelting you
with snowballs for no reason at all,
using flimsy excuses, like they don't
like your humor columns.
And it's not just the snow. Michi
gan winters are cold only in the sense
that ice is cold. According to scien-
tists, the cold is caused by a drop in
the temperature, which is caused by a
lack of mercury in the air.
The weather is generally not a
problem until a certain point in the
day, usually when you leave the
house. From there, the weathercause:
all sorts of problems.
The biggest problem involves
getting around Ann Arbor. There are
a few different ways to commute
such as ...
Driving. Here's a word of advice
for those considering driving: don't.
Because here's what will happen:
you'll climb in the car and start driv-
ing, naively looking for a parking
spot in the same zip code as your
class. You will drive and drive until
you are willing to accept any spot.
Then, when you actually do find a
spot, you'll rationalize why it's a
good spot (i.e. "Great! We're right
near the sign that says 'Welcome to
Michigan'!"). Then, moments after
your meter expires, your car will bg
towed. So, even in a best-case sce-
nario, driving is only a one-way
Ride a bike. Riding a bike has
definite perks, the most obvious be-
ing the ability to knock over random
pedestrians. But when youride abike
in the winter, with the wind blowing
in your face at the approximate spee
of a DC-9, your skin is likely to fly of
your face, causing serious medical
problems. This can also put a damper
on your social life.
Biker: "Hey, are you free tonight?"
Woman: "Sorry, I only date guys

with skin."
Walk. There are two reasons walk-
ing isn't a good idea: it is the slowest
of the options and it takes the most
time. This is actually not so bad,
because after several minutes in the
cold, your body becomes completely
numb, and you can't feel your limbs
falling off.
Dig. This involves digging an
underground tunnel to your destina-
tion. This has obvious advantages -
it's cheap, and it's legal, as far as 14
know. But you never hear about any-
one doing it, so there must be some
reason not to.
Ejection seat. This is easy. You
just take that old Air Force plane



Exploding welfare myths

Thejobless, unwed mother who sits at home
" with her babies while living off the com-
forts of an all-too-generous welfare system is
a common misconception voiced in discus-
sions about welfare, and is an integral part of
most assumptions representatives take into
their plans for welfare reform. It is all too easy
to preach about unmotivated women and an
over-providing welfare system. It is similarly
easy, and often popular with the electorate, to
rail about the culture of dependency and say
that the solution to this supposed cultural
breakdown lies in placing strict time limits on
public assistance.
A recent, extensive study by Donna A.
Pavetti, a researcher at the Urban Institute in
Washington, takes apart these stereotypical
notions that women don't desire or take action
to get off of welfare. Backing up liberal aca-
demics that have said this for years, Pavetti's
findings suggest that women are, indeed,join-
ing the work force; the problem is that an over-
riding percentage of these women are not
staying in the job sector once they get there.
This data suggests a need for broad policy
change emphasizing job-related benefits that
will keep women in the job market.
Pavetti's statistics are overwhelming. She
found that 64 percent of the women seeking
welfare for the first time returned to the work
force within two years - and more than 75
percent of these women who left welfare even-
tually returned. Clearly, the problem does not
rest on the notion that welfare benefits encour-
age women to remain jobless, but rather that
the conditions of the job market discourage
women from remaining in it.
Pavetti found that the most common deter-
rent to remaining in the working world is the
loss of health coverage women face as they
leave welfare and enter a new job. Presum-

at entry-level positions and receive wages near
minimum wage. In the current job market,
these positions, even when provided by large
conglomerates or chains, almost never pay for
- and many times don't even offer - their
workers health insurance. The only way to cure
this enormous problem is an overhaul of the
health care system, utilizing the employer
mandate that Democratic leaders called for in
1993. A mandate would protect small business
by promising they wouldn't have to spend
more than 3.5 percent or so of their payroll
toward health care costs, and would simulta-
neously provide a major incentive for single
mothers to leave the welfare rolls for good.
Pavetti found other issues besides health
care deterring women from a consistent work
record. Such issues as child care and transpor-
tation become added costs to working women
which they never faced when relying on wel-
fare. Furthermore, the study reports that jeal-
ous boyfriends act as an additional factor caus-
ing women to leave their jobs. Feeling threat-
ened by their girlfriends' new-found indepen-j
dence, boyfriends are abusing and assaulting
their mates. Therefore, it is imperative that
such additions as on-sight child care, transpor-
tation that is both affordable and accessible and
established support and counseling groups are
included as part of work programs. These
services are necessary to ease the transition
from welfare to working and to enable women
to stay employed.
We need to stop putting all our money into
welfare and, instead, start investing more of it
in "workfare." Although funding may be com-
plex, the shifting of dollars from one program
to another may not even be more costly in the
long term. If we invest more into work pro-
grams, and provide health care benefits for all,
women would find that the benefits of their

Allen is a third year law

Rapist acts
out of hate
To the Daily:
I congratulate Joshua's
courage to stand up and ac-
knowledge what role he
plays in this act of violence
against women. But I feel I
must make a clarification to
what he seems to be saying.
The creature who is

ings and loved ones. This
letter is addressed to him
and the other menaces out
there like him who either
stalk their prey or rape their
Try putting yourself in
your victims shoes.
Not getting raped be-
cause that is probably just
another one of your sick fan-
tasies but getting the shit
kicked out of you or having
one of your enemies grind

upon myself." These are
some of your thoughts as
you either sit in a hospital
waiting room, ormore likely,
go home alone since many
rapes are not reported be-
cause of fear and the guilt
which you do not deserve.
Now you are destroyed
as an individual, you are just
an object. To the ones who
act out their aggression in
such a manner, why not try
being a real man and not a


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