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November 23, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-23

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4- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 23, 1994

~w1re £k])antu~

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

'Gobble gobble goo and gobble gobble giggle,
I wish turkey only cost a nickel.'
- Adam Sandier
oNEy-WOULDYOU 7FRATW8Y A7T
LIKE sOME -ru <EY THANK5GIVINC

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.

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The Contract on Education
GOP 's war on education waged at all levels

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n an interview last week, University Presi-
dent James J. Duderstadt made the point
that the University could expect to obtain less
financial assistance from the state and Federal
governments as a result of the recent GOP
landslide. The Republican party, searching
desperately for discretionary programs to cut
in the pursuit of a balanced budget, would be
expected to see many higher education pro-
grams, facilities, grants and loans as "pork"
not worth funding. Duderstadt is all too cor-
rect in this assumption. The sad fact for stu-
dents is that funding the University of Michi-
gan and other educational programs just doesn't
fit intothe Republicans'Contract with America
- which provides for "important" programs
such as tax cuts for affluent families with
children, capital gains "relief"and increases in
defense spending. The more it is publicized,
the more it seems that the Contract with
America is an ill wind for the nation's stu-
dents.
The concrete implication of the recent
change in government is that students can
expect to see cutbacks. At the Federal level,
the GOP has expressed interest in ending
President Clinton's direct student loan pro-
gram. Because ofthe president's innovation, a
student can now take out a loan from the
Federal government in order to pay for a
college education, and interest will not begin
to accrue until he or she graduates. This is
highly beneficial not only because it limits the
amount of interest that students have to pay,
but because it allows them the option of pay-
ing off their loans immediately after they
graduate, thus amassing no interest. The Re-
publicans, in keeping with their Contract,
would like to have interest accrue while a
student is in school, forcing the student to bear
a much greater expense. This act alone could
deprive many prospective students - espe-
cially those of a lesser socio-economic status
r-of a college education.

At the state level, further cutbacks in appro-
priations should be anticipated. With Republi-
can majorities now in place both in the State
Senate and House of Representatives, it is
expected that state appropriations, which now
account for 37.3 percent of the University's
general fund, will be severely reduced, forcing
increases in tuition in order to make up the
difference.
It all leads to the question of what the
Contract with America really is. It's a Contract
out on Students, to be sure, and its implemen-
tation would severely hurt our ability to obtain
an adequate education, good jobs and a decent
quality of life. In a larger sense, however, it is
highly detrimental to the country as a whole.
Every major industrialized nation recognizes
that education is the key to a viable economy.
Already, nations like Japan and Germany have
more stringent educational standards, and make
it more accessible to the population than the
United States. On the surface, it's hard to
understand why the country's electorate would
vote in such a short-sighted program as the
Contract with America. The American people
want a strong economy and education for their
children, but they elect politicians whose mo-
tivations are to thwart these ends.
The only hope for students, and the Ameri-
can people as a whole, is that leaders like
President Clinton and Gov. Engler, who both
claim to support the improvement of educa-
tion, recognize that this election was far from a
mandate to cut education, and fight tooth and
nail for the continuation of those programs
which make a high quality education available
to all. At the local level, it is vital that the
University work aggressively to raise funds in
new and creative ways, so as to avoid increas-
ing tuition. The situation looks grim, but if
enough of the right people in the right places
make an effort, perhaps the opportunity of a
decent education will not be lost forever to the
children of this country.

f

5 .

t'ooM INQoS Fo

New grading system to combat racism

More UN wi ndow.dressing
UN/NATO need to bomb the hell out of the Serbs

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
your article on Monday, Nov.
21 ("Mandate: Blacks still lag
behind") in which the writer
notes and faculty lament the
substandard graduation rates
of certain minority groups.
Most significantly, the article
states that currently only 65.1
percent of Black students en-
rolled in 1987 have graduated
as compared with 85.4 percent
for the total student body. "We
must have a concerted effort
throughout the entire Univer-
sity. We must continue to work
harder," offered Lester Monts,
vice provost for multicultural
affairs.
However, a solution that
addresses only race is bound
to be marginally effective for
it neglects the socioeconomic
factors that, as President
Duderstadt noted, are the real
cause of the poor graduation
rates, relatively speaking, of
certain minority groups. In
order to raise the graduation
rates of Black, Hispanic and
Native American students to
levels near those of the total
student body, a solution must
address the fact that these
people are more likely than
Daily gives
'aura of
legitimacy' to
disturbing
quote
To the Daily:
We are writing this letterin
response to your decision to
reprint a comment by Trinity
Townsend of the Black Stu-
dent Monthly as the Daily's
"Notable Quotable" on Nov.
11th. That comment read:
"Jewish leaders must realize
that they cannot trifle with the
attempt of unity (sic) among
Blacks and at the same time
expect for blacks to perceive
them as anything but a prob-
lem to be loathed and feared."
It was disheartening to read
such a statement. African-
Americans and Jews both un-
derstand the damage that can
be done when one ethnic or
racial group attempts to build
itself up by demonizing an-
other; it is unclear what
Townsend seeks to gain by
perpetuating this sorry tradi-
tion.
Ms. Townsend is, of
course, entitled to heropinion,
however hateful or ill-in-
formed. What we object to is
the Daily's decision to print
her statement in the editorial
section without any sort of
comment. What makes this
snippet of hatred "notable?"

the average student to come
from a background of economic
and educational depravity.
Adoption of the following
grading system would bring the
University significantly closer
to the goal of equally high gradu-
ation rates among the various
ethnic groups that vibrantly
enrich this fine campus - and
the attainmentof this goal would
bring the campus closer to the
larger goal, the dream if you
will, of perfect racial harmony.
The system is this: Based on
information such as a student's
race, household income during
upbringing and spending per
pupil at the student's high
school, the University would
calculate and assign to each stu-
dent a socioeconomic factor E.
This number E would range
from a value of say 1.00 to no
more than 1.50. It would be
multiplied by the student's test
and quiz scores, project and
paper grades, or by the final
course grade depending on the
particular grading situation. A
white or Asian student from
Manhattan might be assigned a
socioeconomic factor of 1.00
indicating that there is virtually
no societal bias against him. On
the contrary, a value of 1.15
Sex: a desire,
not a need
To the Daily:
Paul Ziziski's comments in
his letter("The human need for
sex," 11/22/94) show several
misconceptions about sex, love
and religious faith. "If millions
[of people] have sex everyday,
I wouldcount itasabasic need."
Millions of people also lie,
cheat, steal, watch TV, drink
Pepsi and read newspapers ev-
ery day. None of those activi-
ties are "needs:" rather, they are
expressions of desires.
So too, sex is a desire, not a
need.
"Sexual expression is nec-
essary for happiness." True, but
why equate sexual expression
with physical intercourse? Is it
only possible to enjoy the won-
ders of being male and female
in the bedroom? Is there no
room for celibate love?
"Commitment and loyalty
... [only] depend on the
individual's feelings toward one
another." Loyalty and commit-
ment are much more than feel-
ings; they are conscious deci-
sions, made sometimes in spite

might be assigned to a Black
student from inner-city De-
troit. Of course, experts in the
fields of education, sociology
and statistics would work out
the details.
Certainly, there are those
who will argue that this is not
fair, that it is so-called reverse-
racism and that it would pe-
nalize people for having good
parents. But haven't Blacks
already been penalized by sim-
ply being born into a racist
America? And is it fair for
someone to go to school in an
under-funded school district?
Is it fair for someone to have
parents who don't stress the
value of an education? Is it
fair for someone to grow up in
the midst of alcoholism, job-
lessness, drug abuse, or drive-
by-shootings? We must real-
ize thata grading system which
employs a socioeconomic fac-
tor such as I am proposing
would not introduce additional
bias; rather, it would correct
for the inherent bias of the
American capitalist system
against the lower classes.
Matthew Dennison
Morgan
Engineering junior
of our feelings. Those who
marry do more than express
feelings of love;they take vows
of commitment.
"The-catholic church ... has
its own problems: ... some
priests can't keep their pants
up." True - but many of our
own elected leaders have the
same problem. Is the validity
of the message limited to the
integrity of the messenger?
"Galileo was only forgiven
by the pope a few years ago."
But the people who got Galileo
into troubleain the first place
were not Catholic officials,
but anti-Catholic academics
who hated Galileo's radical
ideas about astronomy and ma-
nipulated the church into pros-
ecuting. The university bears
as much blame for Galileo's
disgrace as the church.
"The church needs some
Energizer batteries!" It seems
it already has them. After two
thousand years with a single
charge (to go and preach the
gospel), it just keeps growing,
and growing, and growing ...
Jim Huggins
Rackham graduate
student

Thne elections
that discredited
the Democrats'
The 1994 election was a turning
point for American politics. The
Republicans took control of the
House and Senate, for the first time
in 40 years. The Speaker of the
House was defeated for the first
time since reconstruction. A record
37 incumbent Democrats were de-
feated in the House of Representa-
tives. The likes of Mario Cuomo
and Ann Richards, who were re-
jected by voters, must now take a
back seat to the likes of George
Pataki and George W. Bush. Spence
Abraham was elected as Michigan's
first Republican U.S. senator in
eighteen years. What did the '94
outcome mean?
Were voters taking a stance against
liberalism, the Democratic party,
or the president? Are voters be-
coming more conservative? Or did
voters simply have enough of the
Democrats controlling Congress for
so long, yet not produce and move
the country forward as they should?
I would tend to side with the latter
argument.
Politicians often say that a vote for
them is a vote for change. Well,
whatexactly is change? Americans
are always asking for change.
Democrats have been at the helm in
Congress, for four decades, yet we
haven't experienced any drastic
changes for the betterment of this
country. Democrats, underthe lead- 4
ership of President Bill Clinton,
made efforts to completely over-
haul the U.S. health care system.
When almost 75 percent of the this
country's citizens have some form
of health care, would they look to
dismantle the existing structure?
Why not work to implement a sys-
tem to accommodate only those in
need of health care, rather than dis-
turbing the entire system? It's plain
and simple common sense.
Indeed, Democrats have passed
some legislation which has had posi-
tive effects on this country, but not
enough to satisfy the majority of
voters. For example, the poverty
rate is at an all-time high, violent
crime rates are at an all-time high,
and the high school drop-out rate is
at an all-time high. Americans are
afraid - for their finances, their
safety, their children's values and,
most importantly, they are afraid of
being kept away from the good life
America symbolizes.
Like mostAmericans, Iwantchange
that will lead to a safer world, less
hatred, less poverty, and more jobs
and greater hope. I favor policies
that will encourage independence.
I feel we need less government
intervention and more individual
freedom. Democrats are always
pushing for policies that will in-
volve greater government. I would
like to ask them why. When was the
last time the government of this

country did something to directly
help you?
Americans should look to better
themselves, and not look to the
government to solve all their prob-
lems. Americans often have an illu-
sion, thatothers, especially the gov-
emment, are responsible for their
problems. Well, the time has come
for people to wake up and start
carrying the burden themselves. A 1
reminder would be the famous
words of President John F.
Kennedy, "Ask not, what your
country can do for you, ask what
you can do for your country." If
Americans folloW through with this
belief, the United States will prob-
ably be a much improved nation.
Finally, I feel the Republicans must
take advantage of the situation and
must make effective changes the
American public has long been wait-
ing for. Republicans should be
aware that if they don't produce
and make the most oftheir opportu-

01

01

hl.

Monday, the largest NATO airstrike ever
assembled produced a "massive" attack
that blew afew craters in a cement runway and
destroyed afew surface-to-air missile installa-
tions on a Serbian-held runway in Croatia.
Meanwhile, 15 Serbian jets and the runway's
air traffic control tower remained untouched.
This should come as no surprise to observers
of the conflict in Bosnia - NATO forces, in
conjunction with the UN mandate, have is-
sued warnings to Serbs like parking tickets.
Rarely are the warnings heeded. The airstrikes
that cyclically begin - and then abruptly
cease - are paltry attacks on single targets
thathavedone nothing butincrease the resolve
and daring of Serb forces.
For the past two and a half years, airstrikes
have been a viable option for NATO and UN
forces to counter Serb aggression against
Bosnian civilians. Unfortunately, there has
yet to be an attack that has struck at the Serbs
hard enough for them to pull back perma-
nently. The attacks are always aimed at "send-
ing a message to the Serbs," while showing
restraint. The message the Serbs get is directly
related to the softness of the attacks: They
know that as long as peacekeepers are in
Bosnia and Herzegovina, no attacks will be
severe. Hence any threats made by NATO are
nothing more than empty threats. The de-

running again within a week or two. The Serb
jets that took off with cluster bombs and na-
palm to be used against Muslim forces will take
off again within weeks.
It is important for the United Nations to
keep peacekeepers in the region to protect
enclaves of civilians from being overrun by
Serbs. But it is also imperative that NATO go
after Serb aggression with authority when the
opportunity presents itself. The Bosnian city ofj
Bihac, along with Srebenica, was supposedly
one of the reasons for keeping peacekeepers in
the country.
And the recent Serb attacks on the city's
outskirts prove that peacekeepers can only do
so much. The UN's unwillingness to truly
protect "safe areas," acting on the skewed
advice of our European allies, and its impo-
tence in stopping the continued strangulation
ofSarajevo irreparably damages the credibility
of the world body.
If there ever is a clear and present danger to
the safety of peacekeepers, the United States
should push for their withdrawal. It is more
than likely that Bosnian Serbs will finally get a
message if their war machine is crippled at its
heart. As things stand right now, Serbs know
that no retaliatory strike by NATO will have
any teeth to it - and thus, their despicable
wartime actions are not bound to end anytime

c

Glee Club review sexist

c

To the Daily:
This letter is in regards to the
Daily's review of The
Women's Glee Club's Nov.

I can just picture what's next:
"The Women's Glee Cub's
version of Felix
Mendelssohn's plea, 'Veni

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