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January 23, 1995 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 23, 1995

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'The menage-a-trois that we're all supposed to be afraid of
is now with Ben&Jerry ... the moderated, liberated woman
of today can't do anything, she's too hungry.'
-Jean Kilbourne, at Saturday's Medstart conference, on how women's sexual
repression has been replaced with dietary repression.

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.

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Don't tread on us

L ast week, the Michigan Student Assembly
nce again approved proposed amend-
ments to the Statement of Student Rights and
Responsibilities, also known as the code. This
is now the fourth time MSA has passed pro-
posed amendments to the code to submit to the
student panel that can recommend policy
changes to the Board of Regents. MSA must
be commended for its diligent work in pursu-
ing greater procedural protections of students'
rights under the code for more than four years,
since the beginning of the code debate.
However, because of all of the attention
given to the code by MSA and the entire
University community, other stringent Uni-
versity policies affecting students have been
overlooked. Students should not give up on
protecting their rights as students and citizens.
Rather, even if a policy is implemented by the
University to the student body's dislike, stu-
dents should continue pressing the University
to rid the policy of its offensive portions. MSA
should not be the only student organization
pressing for policy reforms. Instead, other
student leaders, whose organizations are fre-
quently affected by such policies, should work
in conjunction with MSA, as a stronger, uni-
fied student voice is more likely to succeed in
protecting students' rights.
First, while the Diag policy still restricts
student use of the Diag and other common
areas, its evolution is proof that vigorous stu-
dent opposition to apolicy, along with diligent
student leaders pursuing change, can succeed.
Student leaders were successful in eliminating
the restrictions on chalking the Diag and sim-
plifying the bureaucracy that controls allocat-

ing Diag time and space. However, more
modifications should be made so students'
free speech rights will not be infringed upon in
the future. Most importantly, student leaders
should continue working to change the way in
which security deposits are mandated on orga-
nizations using University common areas.
Second, many student leaders vigorously
opposed the implementation of the Dance/
Party Policy this summer. However, while
these students may have been slightly success-
ful in amending a few minor details of the
policy, it has been enacted, restricting the
ability of many student organizations to have
free reign in planning their parties in Univer-
sity facilities. Student organizations, such as
the Black Greek Association, that are hurt
most by this policy should strive to amend it.
Third, while MSA leaders have been suc-
cessful in ensuring that the Policy on Alcohol
and Other Drugs is without additional restric-
tions or sanctions, it still has the potential to be
expanded to sanction student organizations,
especially after the students who vigorously
opposed the implementation of this policy
graduate. This should concern all student or-
ganizations, for the University could mandate
guidelines for student-organization recogni-
tion and sanctioning organizations for violat-
ing this policy. To ensure this never happens,
student leaders must continue voicing their
opposition to the policy and any expansion of
it. Additionally, all student leaders must be
responsible for informing their successors of
these policies and what must be done to ensure
the University does not continue trampling on
students' rights.

Academic affairs commission
requests student involvement

To the Daily:
As we, the members of the
Michigan Student Assembly's
Academic Affairs Commission,
prepare for this semester's ac-
tivities, we offer an open invi-
tation to the participation of
students interested in improv-
ing the academic environment
at the University. Our goals as
a commission expand beyond
our previous activities in an at-
tempt to increase the input of
the student body in University
decisions which directly impact
academics.
In order to create more com-
munication between students
in the different schools we are
in the process of setting up the
Academic Assembly. The Aca-
demic Assembly will consist of
students who sit on the college
or school curriculum commit-
tees. The Academic Assembly
will meet on a monthly basis to
engage in a discourse on cur-
riculum and other academic is-
sues. The goal of the assembly
is to provide coordinated re-
sponse of student governments
on academic issues that span
more than one school or col-
lege or to aid a student govern-
ment in a school or college when
needed.
Secondly, the Academic
Affairs Commission aims to
increase our contact with the
student body. We plan on dis-
tributing a survey to identify

the issues of key concern to
students at the University. Ad-
ditionally, we plan on holding
monthly forums on academic
issues to get in-depth input from
students on timely issues (e.g.
policies proposed or up for re-
view). Hopefully, we will also
get participation from mem-
bers of the administration to
participate in these forums to
allow them to develop into an
open discourse on the issue.
The Academic Affairs
Commission plans to work on
the behalf of students; how-
ever, we need your help to ac-
complish our goal to increase
student input in University aca-
demic policy decisions. We
encourage and invite your in-
volvement as a member of the
commission and input to our
effort. If you are interested in
joining the commission or giv-.
ing input, please contact Mike
Christie at (313) 763-3241 or
e-mail me at mike.christie
@um.cc.umich.edu.
Mike Christie
Chair, Academic Affairs
Commission
Jonathan Freeman
LSA sophomore
Paul Check
Second-year Rackham
graduate student
Adam Clampitt
LSA sophomore

Outgunning the NRA

With violent crime in America at an all-
time high, contemporary urban life
might more aptly be described as urban war-
fare. Despite overwhelming evidence which
shows that the American public is strongly in
favor of stricter gun laws, politicians balk in
the face of the monstrous gun lobby, the
National Rifle Association. Although immea-
surable in power, the NRA has only 3.3 mil-
lion members, less than 2 percent of the na-
tional population. Its disproportionate power
has made gun control a legislative nightmare.
The Washington Post, which labeled the NRA
as "the incarnation of ignorance and evil,"
holds the interest group directly responsible
for increasing crime in the United States. In
the past two years, Congress has finally taken
a stand against the NRA - passing its first,
basic gun-control measures. Although the
Brady Bill, passed by Congress in 1993, and
the crime bill, passed by Congress in 1994, are
a good start in the war against guns, they are
just that: a start.
The Brady Bill, which established a five-
day waiting period for the purchase of hand-
guns, was originally seen by many as little
more than a symbolic gesture. But even this
simple measure has proven highly effective.
In its first month, the Brady Bill prevented
more than 23,000 possible felons from pur-
chasing handguns over the counter. Programs
such as Toys for Guns have also proven greatly
successful. By offering youths the option to
exchange their guns for material goods, more
than 3,000 guns were removed from the streets
in the program's first year. Similarly, the 1994
crime bill elicits optimism by eliminating the
sale of19 different types of automatic and
semiautomatic weapons. But this too was only
a symbolic effort, as more than 600 different
semiautomatic weapons remain on the mar-
ket.
With tens of millions of unregistered weap-
ons floating throughout the United States, we
tri,. to thw ..tichn r.an an,.cuur noaA ha

access to their weapons through gun clubs. A
similar system could be effective here.
The new system would work by complet-
ing the ban on all assault weapons and shot-
guns, other than handguns. Through privately
owned companies, all citizens would be al-
lowed to purchase designated pistols, for home
use only. To eliminate guns completely would
unfairly prevent U.S. citizens from protecting
themselves in their own home. Shotguns and
other non-automatic weapons would be avail-
able for use through a local gun club. Such
guns could presumably be checked out for
rental with a simple deposit. Hunters who
wish to use their own guns could purchase and
stored them permanently at the gun club.
By banning all guns, other than handguns,
the government could effectively lower the
number of guns and consequently crime on the
streets, while still allowing individuals to pro-
tect their families at home. This would violate
neither the spirit nor the letter of the Second
Amendment, a sacred cow to gun advocates
who lobby against any curtailment of their
right to bear arms. The Second Amendment
was conceived under circumstances quite un-
like today's: Private citizens needed to form
militias in self-defense against the British and
other threats. Rather than threatening our safety,
Britain now provides a convincing model for
change. Under the gun-club system, citizens
would retain their right to bear arms - al-
though not necessarily at home. Gun clubs
would give hunters the opportunity to con-
tinue their sport while simultaneously cutting
back on the number of guns on the streets.
Although such a program might not have a
tremendous impact immediately, eventually
the number of guns on the streets would
dwindle. Used in conjunction with buyback
programs such as Toys for Guns, this type of
comprehensive gun program would be an in-
tegral part of the fight against crime, violence
and accidental deaths. Even the NRA's clout
in Wnrtnn ch el~,inot emnA in h, w, of

RHA explains
grape boycott
To the Daily:
It is the decision of the Resi-
dence Halls Association (RHA)
that the pesticides used to grow
California grapes are harmful
to the consumer and to the ap-
proximately 55,000 farm work-
ers employed in California's
vineyards. The Residence Halls
Association recognizes the over
one thousand groups that have
supported this ban of Califor-
nia grapes.
Therefore, be it resolved that
the Residence Halls Associa-
tion go on record in support of
the boycott of California table
grapes by the United Farm
Workers of America.
We, the Residence Halls
Association of the University
of Michigan, declare that the
purchasing of California grapes
is not supported by the students
in the residence halls. As legis-
lated by the Residence Halls
Association Assembly on De-
cember 8, 1994, we ask that
effective this date, California
table grapes not be purchased
by the University Dining Ser-
vices for consumption in resi-
dence hall dining rooms.
We, the RHA, understand
that if we wish to continue the
boycott of California table
grapes in the Fall of 1995, as
per our constitution, the Resi-
dence Halls Association must
provide continued documenta-
tion of the students' support of
this grape ban.
We do not hold this request
to cease the purchase of Cali-
fornia table grapes to affect any
other part of the University's
food services, except those ar-
eas which serve student cus-
tomers.
The Residence Halls.
Association Assembly
MLK dinner
honors Blacks
To the Daily:
This is in response to the
woman concerned about her
residence hall's special dinner
for the Martin Luther King Jr.
holiday. She complained that
she was served "traditional"
African American foods.
Frankly, when I resided in
South Quad, it was definitely a
treat to eat the foods that I
loved and was only able to
experience when I went home
a few times out of the year.
I don't view ABENG's ef-
forts as "stereotypical," nor do
I understand how this woman
was "dumbfounded" because
of the selection of foods in
honorof the day. Martin Luther
King Jr. was definitely a man
who took pride in his ethnicity,
and the foods that were served
are a part of his heritage, as
well as YOURS, from what

Hijacking Dr.
King's legacy
Apathy is not the only reason for
the lack of student activism on this
campus.
An embarrassing display at last
week's MLK Day unity march points
to another reason: scary activists.
It was a much smaller turnout
than in previous years. But given that
MLK Day has become a vacation for
students that was to be expected'
(though still not excused).
Black Student Union reps led the
march to the Grad steps, announced
in a series of speeches their intention
to make the University live up to old
promises to eliminate racism, and
proceeded to end the rally. But wait!
Someone in the crowd demanded
to speak. One of the Dental School
workers who say they were fired for
racist reasons wanted to address the
crowd. But it was BSU's event and
they were out of time. As BSU
Speaker Nina Smith proceeded to
end the rally, the megaphone was
grabbed from her hands. A struggle
ensued.
No punches were thrown, but it's
very clear that at least one campus
group has again stepped out of line.
The Dental School workers were
represented at the rally by NWROC,
the National Women's Rights Orga-
nizing Coalition, a front group for the
Revolutionary Workers' League.
You may remember the RWL for
their "no free speech for fascists"
rock-throwing demonstrations. They
are the crowd that in the last five or so
years has infiltrated any campus group
they could get their hands on.
While I support many of the same
causes they do (they oppose racism
and sexism and support workers
rights), theirtactics are offensive,
violent, hurtful and nonproductive,
and weaken a positive movement.
In the case of the unity march last
week, NWROC succeeded only in
wounding the virtue of what other-
wise would have been effective event,
tarnishing BSUand labeling the Den-
tal School workers as radicals.
If the workers were, in fact, wrong-
fully fired, they deserve a chance to
be heard. They may have had wider
support if others were not turned off
by NWROC's self-serving tactics.
In an e-mail letter to several cam-
pus groups this week, Paul Lefrak, a
member of the University employ-
ees' union, criticized NWROC for
monopolizing the Dental School
workers' fight from the start.
NWROC posted flyers that demanded
the firing of "racist supervisors," in-
sulted Black student leaders for be-
ing "sellouts," and insisted that the
union leadership be ousted for not
being militant enough.
This, by the way, is not how you
build coalitions.
According to Lefrak, NWROC
"completely rejected the need to work
with other groups, and falsely con-

veyed that they and they alone are the
only ones in the world willing to
fight." I know of at least one student
group that wants to support the Den-
tal School workers, but has stayed
back in disgust of NWROC.
The tactics of groups like
NWROC are unnecessarily obtru-
sive and hinder, rather than further,
the noble causes they pursue.
(They'll likely send a letter to the
editor whining about how I oppress
them with this column. Ignore them.)
There is a huge need on this cam-
pus for coalition-building.
I was wrong in September when I
wondered in my first column of the
year why there seemed to be no stu-
dent activism at Michigan.
Today, in my last column, I rec-
ognize the level of student activism is
higher than I had suspected. But stu-
dent movements stay separate.
About 200 students came out in
December to rally against anti-immi-

01

0

Hillary Clinton overextends
role in national government;
media buys distorted image

To the Daily:
If one ever wondered why
the American people share a
contempt for their country's
mainstream media (including
you on the opinion staff), they'
need to look no further than
your Tuesday editorial on the
first lady. In it you spit upon the
citizens of the most powerful
and successful country the
world has ever seen by assert-
ing that they are "two Connie
Chungs away from the ideal
world" in which exists "a think-
ing, knowledgeable American
public."
In fact, people objectto Mrs.
Clinton's role in the White
House for the same reason your
colleagues in the national me-
dia thought people should ob-
jectto AriannaHuffington: Mrs.
Clinton is neither elected nor
appointed to any government
office; therefore, she is unac-
countable to the American elec-
torate. Her involvement in
policymaking, particularly
health care in this instance, can

Why? Because Mrs.
Huffington wouldbea "woman
who plays a strong role in gov-
erning" if her husband was
elected? Don't assume that
people don't notice your in-
consistencies. (For those inter-
ested, I have covered this "im-
age" in the next College Re-
publicans newsletter, due out
soon.)
I don't think that people
require a "coffee and cake"
role for the first lady. An ac-
ceptable policy-making role
would be an administrative
position to which she would be
appointed by her husband and
confirmed by the Senate. She
would travel the same legal
channels that Robert Kennedy
passed through when his
brother selected him to be at-
torney general, and then she
would be accountable to the
people.
Unfortunately, both Mrs.
Clinton and you in the estab-
lished media still don't get it.
And if you can't figure it out

I

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