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October 31, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-31

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 31, 1994

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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

'We all know those types - critical of everything,
impossible to please, indifferent to nuance, inca-
pable of compromise.'
-Influential Pennsylvania Republican Teresa Heinz, ripping into
GOP Senate candidate Rick Santorum
F1

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.

An alliance for safety
Campus safety depends on 'U'-city cooperation

WE 9911

i

After the recent rape at Community high
chool and the abduction of a student on
campus, students' risk of becoming a "victim"
has been shoved into the spotlight as never
before. Following these incidents, the inad-
equacy of campus area safety has also become
a significant issue. This is a particularly diffi-
cult problem to tackle because it entails Uni-
versity and city cooperation. Since students
live both on and off University property, the
city's help is necessary in solving security
problems for students.
Last Wednesday's Campus Safety Aware-
ness Walk-Through was a major step toward
collaboration between the city, the University
and-most important-students, the biggest
group at risk. The Michigan Student Assem-
bly sponsored event gathered a group of stu-
dents, University and city representatives, in-
cluding Mayor Ingrid Sheldon, Vice President
for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford, Uni-
versity Department of Public Safety Director
Leo Heatley and Associate Dean of Students
Frank Cianciola. The participants divided into
groups and walked different parts of the cam-
pus and surrounding areas, critiquing safety
and making suggestions for improvement.
MSA should be commended for bringing
together University and city officials and start-
ing a hopefully fruitful cooperative dialogue
between thetwo. With student safety concerns
on the rise it is high time students got the ear of
both city and University safety officials. MSA
is an ideal body to do this, as they are-at least
in theory - representatives of the student
body, responsible for bringing student con-
cerns to the administration's attention. Al-
though the walk-through is only a first step,
not an ultimate solution, it opens the door to a
new kind of relationship between the Univer-
sity, the city and students.
The participants in last week's Safety Walk
all agreed that poor lighting and overgrown

shrubbery were a large problem. Many areas
had streetlights that were not turned on; in
others, lights were obscured by overgrown
bushes. Large shrubs caused further problems
at sidewalk level by providing possible hiding
places for attackers. Porch lights were found to
make a vast difference in sidewalk lighting.
These seem like simple problems to solve,
involving simple replacement and installation
of light bulbs and trimming of greenery. Yet
they become ridiculously complex when the
University and the city are called to work
together for solutions. Even during the course
of the walk it became apparent there will be
problems over who is going to pick up the tab.
The city has suggested that the University
donate a sum of money toward off-campus
safety improvements, while additional money
would be raised in Ann Arbor taxes. The Uni-
versity has balked at this suggestion, saying
that donating such money would take away
from on-campus safety funds. This is a very
weak excuse. Surely the University can find
sufficient money in its vast budget for such an
essential matter as student safety. However,
the responsibility falls equally on the city's
shoulders - instead of simply waiting for the
University to come through with money, city
officials must take the lead in planning and
pushing through safety improvements for Ann
Arbor residents and students alike.
The MSA safety walk was an excellent step
toward solving campus area safety problems.
However, because the University and the city
have so much difficulty acting cooperatively, it
is up to students to maintain and hopefully
widen the channel between the city and the
University. Students must continue to voice
complaints and suggestions, or the small vic-
tory claimed last Wednesday will quickly fade
from memory and student concerns will once
again be swallowedupby University-city stub-
bornness and stinginess.

College Republican V.P. is way off the mark

BY ROBERT WAY
In response to the letter
from the esteemed V.P., U of
M College Republicans,
"Abraham Is A Voice For
Change," I have had several
rancorous thoughts come to
mind. But rather than enter
into the Limbaughesque dia-
tribe that she represents in her
letter I would like to take a
moment to examine the truth
(or falsity) of what she has to
say.
It is true, as she says, that
Abraham and others have been
campaigning in Ann Arbor
before football games. But it
is also true that there a lot
more non-students that attend
those events than there are
students. To imply that show-
ing up to press flesh at the
tailgate party is effective and
participatory campaigning is
at best specious, and at worst
an attempt to make a false
impression.
Ms. Larmer rebukes the
Daily for continuing to "miss
the message that Abraham and
other Republican candidates
stand for." Given her vehe-
mence in this regard it is sur-
prising that she, as a concerned
Way is an LSA sophomore

Republican, fails to rescue the
Daily and the rest of the appar-
ently (by her view) ignorant
masses as to what exactly
Spence Abraham does stand
for. While it is clear that he
stands against Car andtothers,
she offers very little informa-
tion about what his programs
and platform stand for.
This leads me to her vitu-
peration about the misleading
nature of Carr's ads, and the
sincerity and truth of Abrahams.
This is perhaps the worst insult
she offers to the intelligence of
the Daily's readers. Anyone
who has any concept of reality
and politics can clearly see that
both candidates' ads are full of
hollow rhetoric and mislead-
ing innuendo. In the same para-
graph she rails against Wash-
ington politics and the social
institutions that Americans rely
so heavily upon. She welcomes
the breakdown of these institu-
tions, and the lowering of taxes.
I'm not sure how the two can
co-exist, but then, I'm not a
Republican.
So, Ms. Lamer, the ques-
tion remains: which social in-
stitutions would you choose to
break down first? Public edu-
cation? Tax breaks for
America's wealthiest individu-

als? Perhaps we should cut the
farm subsidies that help line
the pockets of Robert Dole, or
the free lunches, junkets and
othergoodies that the lobbyists
hand out, and which the Re-
publicans refused to disallow.
Maybe obstructionism is the
answer. Should we sit on our
hands and do nothing while the
deficit rises, the class gap wid-
ens and our infrastructure con-
tinues to crumble? Please en-
lighten us, oh wise young Re-
publican, how does one deal
with a deficit (created by Re-
publican administrations) that
our children's children will be
paying for by lowering taxes?
I do not stand in defense of
the Daily, Bob Carr, Bill
Clinton, or any particular po-
litical party. The truth is what I
seek, and honest politicians are
truly hard to find. I am glad that
Ms. Lamer and her herd of
invective throwing Republican
lackeys are around.
Her notion of honesty in
campaigning makes all of us
take pause to reflect on what is
the truth, what is innuendo and
what is simply rhetorical
fluff-all fury and invective
but totally lacking in substance,
reasoned argument, or philo-
sophical ideology.

Friends can be
rapists, so lets
be on guard
I was impressed by how many
women and men shared their lives
with 200 strangers last week at the
10thannual speakout for sexual vio-
lence survivors. They openly -
even proudly - told their class-
mates how they had overcome
sexual assault or incest. They are
brave and all deserve congratula ,
tions.
What struck me most was how
many survivors were assaulted by
dear friends or by someone they
trusted, someone helping them in a
time of need.
None of them had been walking
in adimly-lit parking garage or down
anempty,shaded street in the middle
of the night. This man we've been
fearing - the evil one lurking be-
hind bushes and dwelling in the
shadows-was not the villain chas-
tised Wednesday night in the Union.
That villain, more frighteningly,
can be our friends.
We can't protect ourselves from
him by calling Safewalk or glanc
ing behind us as we walk, keys
protruding from our fingers to be
used as weapons if necessary. Uni-
versity vice presidents, MSA mem-
bers and the mayor of Ann Arbor
cannot make him go away by taking
fieldtrips like they did Thursday
night through near-campus streets
looking for dark corners.
Since reports started circulating
about this Ann Arbor rapist, we've
been double-locking our doors, stay-
ing in when we would have gone out
and asking our male friends to walk
us home.
But while these safety precau-
tions are important and should con-
tinue to be made a priority, we can-
not allow them to substitute for real
anti-rape action.
Rape can only be addressed
through programs like speakout and
other events sponsored by SAPAC
during last week's Sexual Assault
Awareness Week. It can only be
addressed when society begins to
respect women and see us not as
toys or sluts but as human beings-
deserving of equal respect.
I know I'm dreaming in rhetoric
and that my empty words do noth-
ing more than bemoan sexism in the
purest "victim feminist" form. As a
columnist I'm supposed to support
my words with real solutions.
So what can we do? How can we
protect ourselves in our daily lives if
buying a can of mace won't cut it'
and we don't have time to cure
sexism before that date Friday night?.
The anti-violence movement
tells us that rape is never the victim's
fault. That a woman cannot be
blamed for rape even if she was
drunk, had a reputation for "putting

out" and was wearing a short skirt.
SoI won'tcall fora behaviorchange.,
We have the right to put out, get
drunk and to wear short skirts.

The student politicians
Three students work toward election

r ww

i

'"

T he writing is on the wall: University stu-
dents consistently fail to vote in local
elections. Turnout averages 10 percent; stu-
dents rarely appear on the ballot as candidates,
and when they do, it is often as fringe or single-
issue office seekers. The University adminis-
tration has repeatedly quashed efforts to im-
panel a student regent. The University's stu-
dent government exercises only limited pow-
ers.
Small wonder student voices are often lost
in the political din - even on the local level.
While politicians pay lip service to student
interests - and no doubt some of them are
sincere - when it comes time to make diffi-
cult decisions, they heed the wishes of the
voters. And when students constitute only a
tiny fraction of those voters, their interests
often fall by the wayside.
Election '94, while hardly a watershed in
student political activism, offers hope to re-
capture some of the spirit that sent legislators
like liberal legend Perry Bullard to Lansing in
the late 1960s. While Mike Christie Jr., Daniel
Cherrin and Andrew Wright are no Perry
Bullards, they represent a resurgent student
political activism that should be commended.
Christie is running for the Washtenaw
County Board of Commissioners in the 11th
district, which includes a part of campus.
Cherrin is seeking a seat in the Michigan
House of Representatives from West
Bloomfield. And Wright is running for the
Ann Arbor Citv Conncil in the 1 st Ward.

These three University students represent
divergent political interests: Christie is a Re-
publican, Cherrin is a Democrat and Wright is
an independent opposing a liberal Democrat
incumbent. Although Christie, Cherrin and
Wright differ on many issues, they share a
concern for student interests. That concern has
been painfully lacking on many levels of gov-
ernment, particularly local offices.
Students' lack of political clout has allowed
unfriendly zoning ordinances to penalize fra-
ternities and sororities, tuition to skyrocket and
unsafe conditions to prevail in student-popu-
lated areas around campus.
As chair of a Michigan Student Assembly
commission, Christie testified in Lansing on
the runaway costs of student textbooks. Wright
headed MSA's External Affairs Commission,
representing student interests in Ann Arbor
city government and beyond. Both of these
efforts, while praiseworthy, have been ham-
pered by poor student representation in Lan-
sing and locally.
Now Christie, Cherrin and Wright want to
change that. The student candidates are not
running on explicitly pro-student platforms, to
their credit. Demonstrating political maturity
that belies their youth, the three have cam-
paigned on numerous issues that touch all
segments of the community. Still, none of the
three is likely to ignore student concerns. This
voice, personified by Christie, Cherrin and
Wright, has an indispensable place in govern-
ment.

All men not
accountable
for all rapes
To the Daily:
Regarding Joshua
Meisler's Wednesday, Oct.
26th letter: I take serious ex-
ception. How on earth can you
hold me accountable for vio-
lence against women? Mr.
Meisler so brazenly states that
"we must take the responsibil-
ity as men for rape" and "with-
out [men] there is no rape."
Let's forget about the po-
liticized nature of the rape is-
sue for a moment. Rape is a
violent crime, a violent act,
levied almost all of the time by
men against women. Does the
fact that one sector of society
seems to contain the compara-
tively small amount of rapists
mean that they are all respon-
sible? This is identical to con-
sidering all "shady-looking"
African-Americans in Detroit
some kind of criminal. And
though developing opinions
and using past data to help us
make choices is wise, these
types of generalizations and
preconceived notions, preju-
dices if you will - are danger-
ous. If assuming that a hooded
ir nemcnn c nna in t h

my own problems. I try to make
my contact with everyone as
worthwhile as possible to the
best of my ability. I don't have
time to think about rape much
less anything else during the
day. Maybe I should make
time? No. Rape is "our prob-
lem" insofar as it is a devastat-
ing violence that exhibits itself
all over ourcommunity, all over
our country. But it is not my
problem because I am a man.
Viewpoints need to be changed,
rethought, realigned, to make
our streets and homes safe for
women.
But alas, you cannot shove
the blame for this down my
throat. As a male, I will not
along with you accept this guilt,
this misguided emotion that you
feel, simply because you are a
man. It is the criminals' (rap-
ists') responsibility, and our
responsibility is to respect one
anothers rights, including
women's, and to take responsi-
bility for our individual actions.
I don't know, Mr. Meisler,
maybe you should work as an
assistant to Catharine
Mackinnon?
Dave Schroeder
Engineering junior
LASC

American Solidarity Commit-
tee (LASC) broke up the speech
by protesting in the room and
drowning out Mr. Vega.
By censoring politically un-
popular speech as they did, the
LASC protesters breached here
the same principles of freedom
and openness that they would
condemn the violation of else-
where. We do not mean to ap-
prove of CIA activities, past or
present; but we do maintain
that Mr. Vega had a right to
speak and to be heard. The
LASC protesters not only vio-
lated the rules of the University
community; they deniedtooth-
ers the very constitutional pro-
tections that uphold their right
to protest.
Stephen Kuperberg
John, Paraschos
Gwendolyn Payton
Kate Ross
First-year law students
Daily
columnist
rewrites laws
of nature
To the Daily:

But when it comes down to it,
we still have to look out for our-
selves and be wary of everyone -
even very close friends.
Now I have on occasion taken
this idea too far. Before going out
this summer with someone I worked
with I stressed for days, called ev-.'
eryone I knew for advice and made
all sorts of back-up and emergency
plans -just in case.
My housemates advised: "don't
lethimknow where you live." Good
plan, I said. He could end up stalk-
ing me.
Another friend said: "Whatever
you do, don't go back to his house.
You want to be in familiar terri-
tory." Also good advice.
We ended up driving separately,
both getting lost and, in the end,
hoth gettina nrking tickets - mIa

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