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January 19, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-19

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4 -- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 19, 1995

cat 1 C 4wttn Batlg

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'
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 refuse to let Wildcats, Hoosiers and Buckeyes
take jobs away from Spartans and Wolverines.'
- Michigan Gov. John Engler, in his annual State of the State address.
S. GOVE -N - 1

Health care on the cheap

t is estimated that approximately 12 percent
of all University students have no health
insurance and many more possess less than
adequate insurance. Without revisiting the
contentious debate over whether or not health
care is a right, this page believes it can be
agreed that for students with no health insur-
ance, a higher education degree is a difficult
goal to pursue. Uninsured students, particu-
larly married students and students with chil-
dren, know that each day holds tremendous
uncertainty. The smallest accident could lead
to costs that the student is simply unable to
Survey research on the subject indicates
that for uninsured college students, the desire
for affordable health insurance is a paramount
concern. While no such research has been
conducted dealing sole with the University
community, it can be inferred that uninsured
University students feel the same insecurities.
Fortunately, this is a problem that can be
solved. The precise diagnosis is not yet clear,
but it is clear that it is high time students, MSA
and administrators entered into a dialogue to
seek common solutions to the health care
conundrum. The options at their disposal are
For one, the University could allow, en-
courage or perhaps even mandate uninsured
students to join M-Care, which currently pro-
vides an effective house for staff and faculty to
purchase insurance. In keeping with the theme
of the newly created health care corporation,
the University could place the 12 or so percent
of uninsured students into one managed care
risk pool.
Besides the savings generated from utiliz-
ing the managed care approach, health insur-
ance would become available at bargain rates

by the very nature of a student risk pool.
Students, after all, are a healthy sort; estimates
indicate that such a risk pool would allow
students to obtain coverage for $300 or less per
Perhaps the University could take the tack
other institutions of higher learning have
adopted. That is, it could consider the cost of
insurance to be part of the total cost of one's
education. It could do this by "mandating" that
all uninsured students receive insurance under
the new program. But it would include health
insurance as a University fee, thereby making
it so financial aid would cover the cost for
many. For others, the premiums would be
cheap; and supplementary methods can be
easily conceived to subsidize those who still
can't afford the insurance. This is particularly
not threatening considering all students al-
ready pay more than $90 per year to University
Health Services -- a $200 increase would be
a great price to pay for full coverage.
Still, the details of the final policy are not as
important so long as the policy contains two
vital provisions: Students who are already
well insured under a parent's policy do not
have to pay the additional fee and the insur-
ance covers health care costs on and off cam-
The University operates one of the largest
and greatest health care systems in the world.
While many students benefit from this system,
many do not because of their lack of health
care coverage or knowledge about how the
"system" works. To ensure all students have
equal access to health care coverage, the Uni-
versity should implement a new approach to
health insurance for students make good health
care coverage affordable and accessible to
every student.

Article downplays Black role
in organizing MLK Day

Avoid haste in Haiti

The recent death of aU.S. serviceman while
on duty has put the American operation in
Haiti back into the news. While the media has
turned its attention to more recent events,
Operation "Restore Hope" has been quietly
continuing since U.S. troops landed on the
island in September. It is understood that the
loss of one life is one too many, however this
death should not be used as a political tool for
the opposition to try to pull U.S. troops out of
Haiti. In fact, quite the opposite. This develop-
ment should remind us that the Haitian opera-
tion is not over and that we should continue
efforts to bring peace and security to that
The Republican leadership have been ex-
traordinarily critical of President Clinton's
decision to intervene in Haiti. Although a
good deal of that criticism was pre-election
posturing, some Republicans have been con-
sistently asking the White House to end the
operation. Last Wednesday's slaying could be
cited as an example to show how the operation
has been misguided and should be ended as
soon as possible. But, if the United States were
to begin pulling troops out of Haiti before the
previously set date in March, it would be most
In the beginning of the intervention, policy-
makers clashed over the wisdom of the opera-
tion. There were some good arguments against
the intervention and many have remained skep-
tical that Haiti will return to its sad tradition of
political mayhem once troops are gone. How-
ever, the fact remains that U.S. troops are still
in Haiti. Because of the past four months, the
United States has made a large investment in
Haiti's future and should remain committed
until its mission is complete and day-to-day
peacekeeping can behandedoverto the United
More important, it should be noticed that

in power as the elected leader of the country,
the Haitian Parliament has been running and
the economy is beginning its first signs of
revitalization now that the international em-
bargo has been lifted. Through confiscation
and buy-backprograms,14,000 weapons have
been recovered, lessening the risk of further
political violence. So far, the aims of restoring
Haiti to stability have made great progress and
these efforts should not stop. The death of the
U.S. soldier only illustrates that these efforts,
especially those to remove weapons, are not
complete and should be continued.
American foreign policy makers knew upon
intervening in Haiti that troops faced the risk
of a quagmire. But humanitarian concerns
overrode political considerations, and the op-
eration went ahead. For the Clinton adminis-
tration to back down from one of its few
foreign-policy successes would be a shame-
less capitulation to short-term domestic politi-
cal concerns - hardly the foundation of a
lasting world order.
Haiti, situated notfar off the U.S. coastline,
is animportantcomponentofAmerica'spolicy
toward the Caribbean. The nation cannot af-
ford to abandon Haiti in its time of need and
send a signal to other states that the United
States is interested solely in burnishing our
humanitarian image with no follow-through
on our commitments.
U.S. foreign policy has been accused of
being myopic: Once media attention is di-
verted to other issues and the public loses
interest, so does the White House in imple-
menting its policy. Haiti has helped reverse
that. While unpopular, the White House has
stayed committed to its policy, a policy that
ultimately should be viewed as successful.
The United States should remain in Haiti and
finish the job of restoring it as a stable and
democratic Caribbean nation. To pull out pre-

To the Daily:
I have been involved in a
number of Black student-initi-
ated activities over the years on
this campus. I have also experi-
enced, repeatedly, the "morn-
ing after" shock from reading
Daily articles which M:daim to
portray Black student-initiated
activities accurately and suc-
cinctly. I have been shocked
because of the great disparity
between my recollection of
these activities as a participant
and their subsequent misrepre-
sentation in a Michigan Daily
article. I have found Spencer
Dickinson's article titled, "Stu-
dents rally for renewed 'U' ac-
tion" (1/17/95) to be no excep-
tion to this unfortunate rule.
In the spiritofthe day, Black
students took a great deal of
time and energy planning the
format of the Unity March. As
a former coordinator of this ac-
tivity (1990) I can attest to the
consistent display of concern
exhibited by Black students for
contemporary issues affecting
our people and communities.
As in previous years, students
and others from many different
backgrounds and orientations
were engaged in vigorous dia-
logue to determine the frame-
work and format of the Unity
March and rally. People used
the planning process for these
events to determine the breadth
and the scope of issues to be
addressed. The majority of par-
ticipants in this process agreed
that the plight of the three re-
cently fired Dental School
workers demanded a space in
the content of the speeches at
the rally. However, the National
Women's Rights Organizing
Coalition was conspicuously
absent from these meetings and
this process.
In fact, NWROC and oth-
ers appeared on the day of the
Unity March and rally. Because
it was generally agreed that the
issue of the firing of the three
Dental School workers was a
significant one which warranted
attention and action, they were
incorporated into the Unity
March. However, the format
and content of the rally was
predetermined. NWROC was
Letter writer

not a part of the Unity March
and rally planning process.
And although the issue of
the firing of the three Dental
School workers was addressed
by designated speakers at the
rally, NWROC forcibly placed
themselves and their agenda
into the rally. The actions of
NWROC on Jan.16 follow a
consistent pattern of organiza-
tions (including the Revolu-
tionary Workers League) at-
tempting to force their organi-
zational agenda of Black stu-
dent-initiated activities on cam-
pus. Organizations such as the
NWROC and the RWL have
repeatedly disrupted Black stu-
dent-initiated and otherstudent
activities, blemishing the im-
age of positive events with
spontaneous acts of aggression
which in many cases have en-
dangered students.
I choose to characterize.
Dickinson's article as a gross
misrepresentation of the rally
events because his article has
falsely portrayed Black stu-
dents as undisciplined and ag-
gressively reactionary. He has
assembled a series of quotes
and an irresponsible timeline
of events that portray Black
students as the aggressor and
NWROC as the "victim." This
misrepresentation has dis-
counted the spirit and nature of
MLK Day and the Unity
March. It has hampered the
ability of Black students to sup-
port and advocate in the inter-
est of the three fired Dental
School workers. It has vali-
dated the integrity of NWROC,
whose members include indi-
viduals who have a long his-
tory of disrupting student-ini-
tiated activities on campus.
As a soon to be alumni of
this university I am both sad
and angry to witness the con-
tinuance of the maliciously neg-
ligent trend of media misrepre-
sentation of Black student-ini-
tiated events. With love for my
community and support for the
struggle I feel that I have every
right to demand more respon-
sible journalism.
Kofi Malik Boone
Rackham graduate student
Daily editorial

Movie review
is pointless
To the Daily:
I've seen good movie re-
views; I've seen bad movie re-
views. I've never seen one so
ludicrous as ScottPlagenhoef's
review of"Dumb and Dumber."
I'm not defending the movie
- I haven't seen it. But what
kind of journalist writes a re-
view of a movie where he only
talks about the movie in the
first paragraph and then com-
ments on society for the rest of
the article? I expected a movie
review, not social analysis. And
on both ends Plagenhoef falls
Plagenhoef criticizes a
movie that makes jokes on di-
arrhea, yet even he is not above
making a Bobbitt joke (simul-
taneously looking down on a
society that makes jokes about
him). Scott also wonders about
a society that it could make
"Dumb and Dumber" No. 1,
yet is ignorant of the simple
fact that O.J. Simpson has only
been accused -not convicted
-of murder. And then he tells
us "Beavis and Butt-Head" is a
clever"... satire ofourdetached
TV culture"? Whatever ...
So, in closing, I offer some
advice to Mr. Plagenhoef: The
next time you write a movie
review, write about the movie.
If you want to comment on
society, write a political sci-
ence paper.
Ryan Garcia
LSA junior
Prof's claims
To the Daily:
In the Jan. 11 Daily, Prof.
Carl Cohen offered his inter-
pretation of a recent Federal
court case that dealt with
whether a professor's classroom
statements constituted sexual
harassment. (Silva vs. Univer-
sity ofNewHampshire). While
we disagree with several points
Prof. Cohen makes, we com-
ment only on one.
Prof. Cohen claims that the
finding in the case means that
faculty, students and adminis-
trators involved in handling
sexual harassment cases at the
University ofMichigan may be
subjected to "substantial per-
sonal liability." This is not true.
Under the University's De-
fense and Indemnification
Policy,the University will pay
for an individual's legal de-
fense, and any damages as-
sessed against him or her by a
court, so long as the individual's
action in implementing or en-
forcing a University policy,
such as its Sexual Harassment
Policy, is in good faith and in
the performance of his or her
University responsibilities. See,
Standard Practice Guide 601.9.
This defense and indemni-
fication will continue even if a
court later invalidates the Uni-

Cobain, the Xers
and the GOP
Young Republican David Wil-
son, 27, the smiling, sweater-wear-
ing legislative assistant for telecom-
munications, education and Indi
affairs for Senate Majority Lea
Bob Dole pontificated earlier this
week in The New York Times thattie
thought the late Kurt Cobain, the lead
singer for Nirvana and a classmate in
high school in rural Washington state
"strange. I think he dropped out [of
school] ormoved." Sure Kurt Cobam
(1967-1994) was unstable, disturbed
and "strange" enough to take a shot-
gun to his head and take his own l
-but implicit in Mr. Wilson's com-
ments, and others from the law-and-
order perspective he proudly resides
in. the same camp that produced the
dubious Contract with America and
its notion of wielfare moms and "or-
phanages"- is a deep contempt for
the so-called "slackers" and cultural
fixtures of the Prozac-induced Gen-
eration X. We are men and won
who found community high school
to be the most horrible experience of
our young lives and ours may be the
first generation in all of American
history that will be the first to bring
home less in personal income than
the preceding generation. We may be
nervous about the direction America
is heading in, but we sure like Sega
Genesis. What's more, there arem
than 60 channels provided by o-
lumbia Cable to accommodate our
disposition toward "slack" and "chan-
nel surfing."
It would be difficult to deny that
Mr. Cobain (for now, let's leave the
cast of "Reality Bites" out of this)
best symbolized what Generation X
stands for--agenerational cohort48
million strong caught between a st9
gering divorce rate, widespread fa-
milial dysfunction, limited economic
opportunities and pervasive cynicism
in America's bedrock political and
social institutions to effect change.
This cannot be accomplished by just
banning commerative legislation and
by placing TV cameras in all com-
mittee hearing rooms, Newt-style.
Yet inside the media packag
of the much heralded Second Com-
ing of the Woodstock Nation are
people like Kurt Cobain, who felt life
to be too painful and excruciatingly
sad, full of disappointments and at its
core, essentially meaningless. His
poignant lyrics eloquently expressed
this far-reaching, unnerving disillu-
sionment. The onset of the informa-
tion superhighway, Hockey '95
um-gopher didn't cheer him up ei-
ther. But you may be asking to your-
self right about now - "Didn't Ijust
read in this column space last week,
right after 'Jason's Lyric' sounded
the praises of the U-M College Re-
publicans' skills with signs and their
undying support of those almighty
Reagan economic and cultural val-
ues, that I would hear somen
things about Republican politicos t
year?" Newman! Hell, this Wilson
was just antagonizing us Xers, and
unusual as it may sound, it occurred
to me that the Reaganites are both
responsible for and complicit in the
excesses of the "me" decade whose

result now our generation is forced to
confront. We have to deal withclean-
ing up a huge federal budget def(,
restructuring underfunded publice
cational systems that are unable to
provide American youth with basic
math, science and writing skills and
coping with the AIDS epidemic that
sounded so spooky in the early '80s,
so "strange" that the Reagan admin-
istration made virtually no effort to
direct federal research funding to
combat it. And probably most cn-
cally, we face a social order furt
stratified and divided along lines of
rich and poor.
True, countercultural values of
the'60s, long associated with the left
wing of the Democratic Party and
with people who don't feel it's neces-
sary to brush their hair, didn't help
the equation either. Free love and
narcotic experimentation don't
actly spell f-a-m-i-1-y. All of th*
discordant societal forces came to-
gether in the 1990s, in the form of
Generation X, to produce Kurt
Cobain, and many like him. His is a
sad story.Cobain subsequently turned

misunderstands loose with

To the Daily:
Steve Graines' letteron Jan.
9 deeply saddens me. Lasser
was gracious enough to apolo-
gize for his mistake, and I ap-
preciate that. However,
Graines has yet to understand
what the nature of prejudice is.
According to Graines,
Lasser did not create news.

To the Daily:
In your editorial "Cutting
off the arts" of Wed. Jan.
18,1995 you stated that "many
more people see weapons of
war as more offensive than the
art the NEA supports," as if it
were a common fact. I chal-
lenge you to verify this state-
ment with accurate factual and


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