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November 09, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 9, 1994

cI je £idi~wu &zilg

! L e [0 ± ! g 1Ie f1 :

'Woe is us.'

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

- the Daily editorial staff

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.


A time to heal
Regents need to come together after campaign

A divisive, partisan and altogether ugly
Board of Regents race has come to an
end. Mirroring national trends, the reelection
campaign of Regent James Waters took apage
from the smear playbook - as he sent out a
partially misleading checklist put out by a
right-wing group about the views of Republi-
can candidates Andrea Fischer and Dan
Horning. ThelistnotedthatFischer was against
teacher tenure, failing to mention that she has
stated she fully supports tenure at the Univer-
sity level. And it dealt with many issues that
have no bearing on how well a regent will
perform. The fact is, the Board of Regents has
no control over gun legislation or abortion
rights, and candidates need not delineate their
stands on those issues.
More conspicuously, the Democratic-con-
trolled Board of Regents finally got around to
changing its conflict of interest bylaw. The
action occurred in the middle of the campaign,
directly affecting Andrea Fischer, who works
for a law firm that handles many University
suits. Potential problems were avoided when
Fischer promised she would fully abide by the
change, but the stigma of partisanship re-
This need not be how the Board runs. It is
now necessary to put the campaign in the past,
and begin the daunting task of making the
Board of Regents work for - and be acces-
sible to - students.
First, that will require a fundamental shift
in the current Board paradigm. Most regents
view their job as a reactionary one. The execu-

tive officers draft a budget, and the regents vote
on it (always voting in the affirmative). The
Office of Student Affairs puts together a con-
duct code, and the regents vote on it. Affirina-
tive action policies are decided on, and then the
regents talk about it.
It would, of course, be silly to think the
regents should spend their days on campus,
feeling out student opinion. They represent the
entire state, and are not paid for their service.
But the commitment to govern is not a small
one, and it is high time the Board stands up for
what it believes in.
Investment is not enough - it is time to
think of new and innovative ways for the
University to raise money. The Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities is not sat-
isfactory - it is time regents begin thinking
about ways to make the process more student-
friendly. Voicing support for a non-voting
student regent is only part of the puzzle -- a
regent needs to actually bring a proposal up for
Progress, at times, has been made by the
Board. The decision to amend Bylaw 14.06 to
include homosexuals was a courageous one.
But while the amendment probably had the
votes to pass for quite some time, it wasn't until
Regents Deitch and McGowan became mem-
bers of the Board that the change actually came
to a vote. Being a regent is not simply having a
vote. It requires the courage to lead, and the
ability to build coalitions.
That is the charge of the newest Board of


Diwali Show misrepresented

The rijit to die

With the advent of powerful life-support
systems, medical science has been able
to prolong lives which would have otherwise
succumbed to the cold hand of death. For some
of these people, this "extra" life is welcomed
as a chance to remain longer with friends and
family, to do things that had remained undone.
However, for a significant number of other
people, this prolonged life only represents a
continuation of the pain and misery of termi-
nal illness, and they wish medical science
would not artificially prolong their lives. For
these sufferers, the right to die on their own
terms should be a fundamental right, protected
by law. As of 1991, statutes regarding living
wills or other 'advance' directives, instruc-
tions for doctors or family members in case of
accident or medical mishap, had been enacted
in all but three states.
The decision for death should be left to the
patient. In cases where the patient is terminally
unconscious or otherwise incapable, the deci-
sion should fall upon the family. In extreme
cases, doctors may be forced torender the final
decision. However, there should never be a
situation where political or religious groups
can hold the decision making process hostage
by mounting legal challenges that prolong the
agony of the families, and often times act
against the best interest of the patients them-
A recent example of this problem comes
from Minnesota, where the parents of coma-
tose Jamie Butcher won theright to disconnect
his feeding tube two weeks ago. Since 1977,
Jamie has laid in a coma, totally dependent on
his family. After years of hope and despair, the
Butcher family accepted the fact that Jamie
would neverrecover fromhis living death, and
sought to allow him to pass away. At that time,
the Nursing Home Action Group attempted to
gain legal guardianship of Jamie, not only

lost its attempt to get legal guardianship, but
now threatens to appeal the court order allow-
ing the Butcher family to remove the support
systems keeping Jamie alive.
Although it is doubtful that the nurses group
will be successful, the very fact of their re-
newed challenge raises disturbing questions
about their motives, and those of extreme "pro-
life" groups across the nation. When the qual-
ity of life is held subordinate to the fact that
some life exists, no matter what its condition,
it shows a callous insensitivity toward the
bereaved, and toward the victim.
Legal and medical bodies largely agree that
the wishes of terminal patients refusing medi-
cation, leading to certain death, are to be re-
spected, and recent surveys of doctors indicate
that they would participate in physician-as-
sisted suicide if that option were legal. Some
doctors currently respect their patients' wishes
for death by subscribing superlethal drug dos-
ages, or by not medicating fatal ailments. In
thousands of other cases each year, terminally
ill patients are delivered from their pain with
help from loved ones. Yet, assisted suicide
remains illegal, and various groups are allowed
to force the terminally ill and their families to
suffer further, through litigation. Choosing
death is not easy for anyone, and once that
decision has been made, it should not be chal-
lenged by people who have no connection to
the victim.
Laws protecting the rights of the terminally
ill to die in a dignified manner need to be
enacted, to allow patients and their families
peace of mind. Yesterday, voters in Oregon
voted on a right-to-die initiative that would
protect the terminally ill from groups like the
Nursing Home Action Group. And the state of
Michigan still has not recognized living wills.
Gov. Engler may still be in office, but he surely
has no mandate for his repressive anti-physi-
a -n Ln-..1% ( ..nnn,..er i ne, ci n. a .. u - c.t

To the Daily:
I was very disappointed in
the article written on
Monday, Nov. 7th by Mr.
Eugene Bowen covering the
1994 Diwali Show held by
the members of the Indian-
American Students' Associa-
tion. Several facts were
inaccurate, including the
names of the singers as well
as the names of some of the
items performed. What
strikes me as strange is that,
with a show consisting of
over 350 participants and a
dozen organizers, not a
single person was quoted in
the article. Instead the
largest annual Asian ethnic
festival on campus was
reduced to a subjective,
rhetorical report that failed to
display the efforts of so
many University students.
Not only was the article
poorly written, but the author
failed in his initiative as a
reporter. I had plenty of
information available for his
use which should have been
included in the article. Yet
when I went to meet him at
our prearranged time and
location, he was not present
nor did he make another
initiative to obtain the
information. As for the
photographer, we even
offered to allow the use of
flash photography so as not
To the Daily:
I would like to ask the Daily
why they chose to write an
article on the most addictive
drug on campus and hide it
away on the seventh page of
the paper. Why, when one of
the largest groups of consum-
ers of this drug are those who
read your newspaper, do you
devote only two columns (less
than that allotted to the
Candlebox interview) to this
Yes, I am referring to the
drug tobacco and the article,
"Report: Hazards of smoking
largely underestimated" by
Vahe Tazian. While I do not
mean to discredit the article as
a whole, I would, neverthe-
less, like to make some clarifi-
cations astothemyths of smok-
One of the largest excuses
for smoking is the fact that not
everyone who smokes devel-
ops lung cancer. Well, smok-
ing can also cause cancer of
the lung, mouth, larynx,
esophagus, bladder, kidney,
stomach, pancreas and cervix.
Yet, you might say that not
evervone who smokes devel-

to have such an unintelligible
picture as the one that was
featured with this article.
Unfortunately, Mr. Bowen
declined to use flash photog-
raphy and instead all we have
to show of a stage full of
graceful dancers holding lit
candles is a mistitled portrait
of what appears to be an
abstract fireworks demonstra-
tion. Not only have you
disappointed the organizers of
the show with such a poor
display of journalism, but you
have more importantly hurt
the participants by not even
attempting to accurately
depict the beauty of Diwali.
I hope that the reporters and
editors of the Daily realize
that events such as the Diwali
Show, which happen only
once a year, require a
significant amount of time
and effort by those students
involved in the production.
Since only a fraction of the
University community is ever
able to attend, the only way
that others will know of these
happenings is through your
paper, and I think that since
several hundred other
students have invested such a
great deal of themselves into
such events, it is only fair that
you invest just a bit more
time on their behalf.
Jaspal Sodhi
Diwali Show Coordinator
percent by tobacco use. Also,
the use of alcohol and tobacco
combined increases the risk of
gastric, head and neck and oral
cancer. This type of causal
smoking is what can lead to
addiction later in life. There is
just no safe way to smoke.
Renee Burke
LSA sophomore
reforms exist
To the Daily:
In the editorial of Nov. 1,
the Daily calls for sweeping
federal-level reform of voter
registration laws. I would like
to remind your readership that
the reform you so eloquently
seek has already been made
law: an apparently forgotten ac-
complishment of the Clinton
presidency is the enactment of
the Motor Voter bill nearly two
years ago. Starting on January
1, 1995, this law wilirequire all
states to provide amail-in voter
registration form. This method
of voter registration will ad-
dress many of the concerns
about the current voter regis-
tration nrocess that were ex-

helps to
I attended SAPAC's
"Speakout" during Sexual As-
sault Prevention and Aware-
ness Week and spoke on behalf
of the National Women's
Rights Organizing Coalition
(NWROC). The goal of the
event was to provide women
like myself who have been
raped an opportunity to stand
up and declare that the experi-
ences were rape and that they
weren't our fault. This is im-
portant for expunging the guilt
and shame that most women
feel when they are raped, be-
cause our society is one that
tolerates violence against
women and blames the victim
for the crime.
What I found most impres-
sive about Speakout was the
sheer numbers of women and
anti-sexist men in attendance,
and the potential power of com-
bining such people in a deter-
mined fight against rape and
violence against women. Hun-
dreds of previously atomized
and disempowered individuals
came together and felt a sort of
strength in numbers. Unfortu-
nately, this wasn't enough.
Short of taking some type of
direct social action as a group
with a unified perspective, all
those individuals including
myself were bound to leave
feeling like a part of a bigger
but nonetheless isolated and
still powerless unit. The only
way to adequately express the
rage that's left over after the
humiliation passed, to allevi-
ate the sense of lack of control
and the fear that it may happen
again and again nothing will be
done about it, the only way to
truly empower women, is to
build a mass, public offensive
against rape.
That's why NWROC be-
gins in our approach where
SAPAC ends, in our view pre-
maturely. We feel it necessary
not just to hear the stories and
trauma of victims, which
frankly becomes exhausting
after a. while to listener and
recounter alike. We must go
further to initiate campaigns
that canget justice in individual
cases and be the foundation of
amovementthat upsets the sta-
tus quo makes rape socially
unacceptable and changes the
power differential between
women and men. A women's
centeracting independently of
the administration and con-
nected to such a movement
would investigate allegations
of rape and choose from abroad
range of tactics: from private

The U.S. foreign
policy paradigm4,
God looks after fools and
drunks, the saying goes, and the
United States of America. She may
be getting pretty tired of looking
after that last one. Once more the
good old U.S. of A. has come
through on the divine wings of
Providence, this time in Haiti. That
nation, which swallowed whole one
of Napoleon's best armies, turned
out to dance and clap and sing for
ours. The time before that, Kim Ii
Sung, glorious leader of the war-
like state of North Korea, stayed on
this planet just long enough to greet
Jimmy Carter and turn a grim crisis
into negotiations. Earlier there was
the chaos of Somalia, where we got
out after only one grisly skirmish;
and Iraq, which could have been a
bloodbath, but wasn't.
The question is, why are we
tempting Fate like that? Literally,
what are we doing? The answer is,
like it or not, that we are playing the
part of the world's policeman. Sure,
it's Robocop the way we play it,
with all our high-tech stuff. But
even Robocop can get hurt. Not
only get hurt, but pay other prices
as well. There's the straight-out
bottom line price: what is it costing
in dollars? Will we have to pass the
hat after each police action, as we
did after the Gulf War? Then there's
the price in readiness of our forces:
how many Christmases will that
good sergeant miss before she de-
cides not to reenlist? There's also
the price in wear and tear: when
will the wings fall off of our C-141
transports and our refueling tank-
ers? And finally there's the price
that God or someone has kept from
charging us since Vietnam: the
killed and crippled, the missing and
mentally broken. Who says we have
to play this role and risk those
We tell ourselves that we do.
We caper about with a raised right
index, cheer ourselves as Number
One and let our pride run away with
our horse sense. Sure, everyone
wants to be on top, whether in the
Big Ten, the World, or the LSATs.
But where do we draw the line?
How far from Kansas does the
Monroe Doctrine reach? How big a
foe are we willing to take on? Is
every border violation equal to the
blitzkrieg in Poland, every dictator
equal to Hitler? And is the use of
force, even in what we think of as
righteous causes, the mark of na-
tional greatness? Do we, like the
Huns, want to be remembered in
history only as the scourge of God?
Or of the United Nations?
They tell us that we do. After
years of announcing to the world,
"Never fear, Uncle Sam is here,"
the world has come to believe it.
Western Europe and Japan depend
on Persian Gulf oil far more than
we, but did they stick their necks

out back in August, 1990? Whose
fighter planes and paratroops came
to the aid of Saudi Arabia then?
The disintegration of Yugoslavia is
truly aEuropean problem, but have
you seen a European solution? To-
kyo, not Texas, is threatened by
Korean nukes, but has Japan
slapped an embargo on its rich trade
with North Korea? Of course it's
easier and cheaper to let the Ameri-
cans do it for you, particularly when
they seem to love to play world
So what if the United States
were to just say no? Are the causes
of peace and justice in the world
served only by our 82nd Airborne
and Marines? Are there not places
where the locals can actually do a
better job? Must it be that if we
don't do it, nothing gets done? The
United States, for the third time in
this century, is at a turning point in
its foreign relations. It is a time for











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