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February 02, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-02

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 2, 1995

USE firtrbigan Iftlu

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

JASON LICHTSTEIN JASON'S LYRIC
The Marines and Hershey's
Kisses- Coler is unqe

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES NASH
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.
Sounds in the nigt
'U' should tighten security near fire alarms

L magine being abruptly awakened- not
nce but twice in one night - by a loud
and intrusive noise. This unsettling scenario
is very real for residents of South Quad, who
have lived through it twice this semester
alone. And the problem is not limited to
South Quad. The rash of fire alarms in resi-
dence halls has extended far beyond the point
of childish pranks - it is serious and it is
dangerous. Unfortunately, the University's
response to these false alarms has been both
inadequate and misguided.
The University, in its attempt to stop stu-
dents from remaining in their rooms during an
alarm, has burdened resident advisors with
added responsibilities. Currently, upon the
sounding of a fire alarm, RAs must knock on
every door and collectively tell their residents
to evacuate. However, the Housing Division
recently decided that, with every fire alarm,
RAs must enter each room on their hall and, if
necessary, remove students from the building.
University officials apparently have decided
to accept incessant false alarms in the dorms as
inevitable. In accepting the alarms, the Uni-
versity has failed to get at the root of the
problem.
When students leave their homes for col-
lege, they take on much of the responsibility
for their own lives. The University is neither
their mother nor their father - it should not

be acting as if it were. This is, put simply, an
inappropriate solution to the wrong problem.
The University should be approaching
this matter from a completely different per-
spective. It must take preventive measures
that increase the likelihood of offenders be-
ing caught. There is a wide range of possible
solutions to this problem but the University
has attempted few of them. First, all resi-
dence hall fire alarms should be encased in
glass. This would make would-be violators
think twice before maliciously setting off the
alarm. Another possible solution to the prob-
lem would be to install security cameras near
the fire alarms - or, at least, near those that
are most often sounded. This measure would
change this ridiculously childish act from
one with little chance of disclosure to one
with a great chance of detection. Further-
more, the University could install an indel-
ible ink spray in every fire alarm. These
devices would spray an ink invisible to the
naked eye on the person who sets off the
alarm. If necessary, a machine would iden-
tify the person responsible.
Although the University is no longer turn-
ing a blind eye to the problem, it must face the
issue directly rather than fall back on its
reflex of behaving like a "benevolent" par-
ent. And perhaps students will be able to
sleep through the night.

This week's columnar focus is a feature
story of sorts, and we begin with a little
quiz:
Which eminently popular University
lecturer and historian has done the follow-
ing in his life?
A. As a rite of passage into the greater
Ann Arbor community, this academic advi-
ser purchased his own pair of Birkenstock
sandals.
B. Served as an officer in the elite Army
Special Forces in Vietnam.
C. Graduated from West Point Acad-
emy.
D. Is proud to say that he keeps a cup of
delectable Hershey's Kisses on his desk in
2011 Angell Hall. Strangely enough, his
cup always seems to be empty.
E. Hasn't exactly finished his Ph.D. dis-
sertation at the University, and has stored in
his basement hundreds of pages of notes and
,documents to prove it. Like Nick (William
Hurt's character) from The Big Chill, he
just, well, moved on. Instead of advising the
psychiatric ally-inclines, our guy advises
similarly confused students.
The answer: the one and only ... Tom
Collier. Mr. Collier is a man with a long-
assembled history of military service - a
man, who when I first inquired about writ-
ing this piece, described my proposal as
"madness."
These days, Collier is the instructor of
two absolutely essential University courses:

History of the Vietnam War and 20th Cen-
tury American Wars. His courses have the
admirable reputation of being fair, honest,
accurate, widely educational and right to the
point. Save that book about Vietnamese
peasant life he had us read in History 211, I
have almost never been exposed to so much
new information -stuff they sure don't tell
ya about in Noot-country or at Palm Beach
Gardens Community High School, an insti-
tution well south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Collier, born in our nation's capital, grew up
on military bases around the world with his
brothers, sisters and a certain Marine brat
who also doubled as his father. Unlike many
a Beltway politico, Collier does not shrink
from telling the truth, nor from cracking a
few widely held myths that have persisted in
our post-Vietnam era -namely that a full-
scale ground invasion of North Vietnam
would have made any sort of difference in
the outcome in this bloody conflict, which
was basically a civil war.
Collier finished his prestigious military
career, after 20 years of dedicated service,
as a lieutenant colonel. He saw military
action on the ground in the Central High-
lands of Vietnam, in both the Special Forces
and the 1st Cavalry as an infantry and opera-
tions field officer. Collier was in country for
about a decade - from 1962 until 1972-
and much of his mission was to supply the
Montegnard tribe along the Cambodian
border with supplies, training, weaponry,

and of course, ideological persuasion to join
forces with the boys from ARVN. After
'Nam, Collier continued his academic pur
suits into the study of history and war. 14
received two master's degrees -- one in
history, and one in international relations,
from those Cameron crazies at Duke Uni-
versity. Collier then taught at West Point for
three years, and soon afterward ventured to
A-squared in 1978 to enter into the history
doctoral program. Since that day, he has
never left our humbled surroundings. I think
it's safe to say that he likes it here. In 1981g
Collier taught his first course - History of
the Second World War. For a while, Collier
also lectured at Eastern Michigan Univer-
sity over in Ypsi, but now he spends half of
his time advising needy undergrads, and
half of his days instructing LSA concentra-
tors. Collier seems to be about as comfort-
able and as content as a puppy ctog.
Let me leave you with this last note. I,
like hundreds of other students who havd
been fortunate enough to sit in one of Tom
Collier's lectures and listen to his voice, to
witness his modesty and essential sureness,
am sure glad that you're here-Tom Collier
is what college is supposed to be about.
-Lichtstein is an LSA senior; disparag-
ing comments about his column should be
forwarded to Jason.S.Lichtstein
@um.cc.umich.edu. "Jason's Lyric "is also
looking for material on what it means to b
a teen-alger in America for next week.

JIM~ LASSER
~45J5e 9f
,weNa ,s'n

SHARP AS TOAST
-

r

Baseless decision
Congress shouldn't hesitate to close bases

.-

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"He signs off on
everything
because they're
his words. He has
a particular style
and language all
of his ow.
-Associate Vice
President for University
Relations Lisa Baker, pn
President JamesĀ°J.
Duderstadt

H

n 1988, the first of three commissions was
initiated to investigate the possibility of
closing unneeded military bases. Since then,
the numberof U.S. defense installations world-
wide has shrunk by 20 percent. In accordance
with these plans, 1995 is supposed to see the
largest number of closings. However, the
Pentagon and Secretary of Defense William
Perry have been recently backpedaling from
those plans. They say that due to budget
constraints, the military will scale back the
number of bases it will close this year. This
action would be misguided. While the issue
is extremely complicated, Perry should stick
to the schedule and begin closing the bases
that are slated for deactivation this year, even
if it means Congress footing the bill.
Closing a major military base is an ex-
tremely expensive four- to five-year process.
With leaner defense budgets, fiscal resources
are spread thin, especially by the high num-
ber of military missions this year. The U.S.
military had extensive operations in Haiti,
Somalia, Rwanda and Kuwait among other
U.N. roles. The funding for these operations
comes out of the defense budget and the large
amount of activity means that other areas in
the military have been crunched. The
military's concern about not having the nec-
essary funds to complete the closings is le-
gitimate. It will cost about $15 billion to
close the designated 70 bases.
However, the long-term gains will be sub-
stantial. At the end of the decade, if all bases
planned for closure were completely closed,

there would be a savings of at least $4 billion
a year. Such a short-term investment would
pay for itself after four years. Also, with the
national economy doing well and unemploy-
ment at record lows, the impact of closing
bases will be less difficult for local economies.
Since it is inevitable that bases will eventually
be closed, there will hardly be a better time to
reorient local economies from military depen-
dence to self-sufficiency.
There are other consequences of not com-
pleting the base closings. The Pentagon has
planned its future military budgets in anticipa-
tion of not having to pay for base operations of
those on the closure list. If they are still open,
the military will face an even larger budget
shortfall than it has today. Delaying closings
will impose added costs on taxpayers in the
future.
The New York Times quoted an anony-
mous Pentagon official assaying, "We're down
to the tough choices, and the question of how
much money we have forclosing and cleanup."
Another was quoted as saying, "In a time when
our budget is under considerable pressure, we
are constrained by the up-front costs of clos-
ing." If funding is the main issue, then Con-
gress should put up the money. Spending
now to close the bases agreed upon in the past
will reap benefits for the future. Closing
bases will provide real gains in the coming
years. Secretary of Defense Perry and the
Pentagon should stick to their plans and shut
down all the unnecessary military bases they
have agreed upon closing.

LETTERS

. . . . . .

Zionist caucus
opposes force
in Middle East
To the Daily:
This is a response to Aryeh
Caroline's letter to the editor of
Monday, Jan. 30 ("Daily's bias
revealed in Israel article"). In it,
Mr. Caroline attacks the Progres-
sive Zionist Caucus (PZC), and a
group we have engaged in a dia-
logue with, the Palestine Soli-
darity Committee (PSC). We felt
it necessary to respond to a few
of his points. Firstly, Caroline's
claim that "(PZC and PSC) seem
to share a single opinion of the
bombings ... (it) is of minor sig-
nificance and a reasonable price
to pay."At no point has PZC ever
condoned terrorism or violence.
This event was a tragedy, noth-
ing less. Maybe we felt this view
to be obvious, and were not ac-
tive enough in presenting it, but
we in no way support any form of
terrorism, ever.
Secondly, Caroline's com-
ment that our groups engage in a
monologue and not a dialogue
does not do justice to our activi-
ties. I have never seen Caroline at
one of our meetings, so am cu-
rious how he came to this con-
clusion. Furthermore, we are not
the same group; there is in fact
much dissent within PZC itself.
We feel that dialogue is impor-
tant to gain a better understand-
ing of all sides in the conflict,
ilt -17Aa n nn ' ton frump tofr

this past October, the event was
marked by the speaking of an
Israeli consulate member from
Chicago. We were not interested
in being a part of an event which
included political ideals not in
line with our own. You cannot
translate this into support of the
killings, and we feel it irrespon-
sible that any such linkage be
attempted.
PZC feels that the only viable
option for the future of the Middle
East is two states for two peoples.
We will continue to work toward
these goals. As Caroline pointed
out, there has been violence in
the region for a long time, and
attaining peace is also going to be
a lengthy process. Though not
condoning violence, we should
not allow it to be a justification
for stopping the peace process.
Michael Newman
SNRE junior
Chair, Progressive Zionist
Caucus
BSU ignores
real racism
To the Daily:
On MLK Day two strategies
were presented for the way for-
ward for Black students and
workers at the University. There
were two demonstrations. There
were two groups of people. One
group was the Black Student
Union (BSU) leadership; the
nth~r (yrn n ne ct0 Pr*)thetl...

have a symbolic, "commemo-
rative" march. A march whose
sole significance was a sym-
bolic posture instead of a march
and rally conceived from the
standpoint of actually fighting
racism. The workers and
NWROC chose to march on and
picket the Dental School, call-
ing for the workers' reinstate-
ment, for formation of a worker/
student alliance to fight racism
and for building a new, militant,
integrated civil rights move-
ment. We believe that eulogiz-
ing Martin Luther King while
avoiding the struggle against the
racism of today is despicable
hypocrisy.
NWROC and the workers
approached the BSU leaders re-
peatedly on MLK Day with ap-
peals for a united front around
the workers' case. NWROC was
not in the planning meetings for
the MLK Day events, but struggle
demands that plans be changed.
However, the BSU leaders were
unwilling to join with us in con-
fronting the racism of today at
the University.
Doing that would have meant
breaking with their policy of
symbolic posturing and coming
into conflict with both the source
of their funding and their aspi-
rations for managerial and ad-
ministrative careers.
As part of their no-fight plan,
despite initially agreeing to our
speaking they refused to let
NWROC and the Dental School
worke~rs sneak.and did everv-

spoke and about 150 of the re-
maining 250 people at the Diag
rally responded to Dawn's ap-
peal to march on and picket the
Dental School.
Kofi Malik Boone's letter
("Article downplays Black role
in organizing MLK Day," yl/
95) says that "the issue of t'
firing of the three Dental School
workers was addressed by desig-
nated speakers at the rally."
The truth is that the second
to last speaker on the program
made one passing reference to
the workers. Boone's letter does
not mention that the firing of
the workers was racist or ev
that these three union worker
are Black. Nor does the letter
mention racism at the Univer-
sity, or even use the word "rac-
ism."
The sole intention of
Boone's letter is to cover the
BSU leadership's bureaucratic
behavior and their scandalous
attempt to derail this strugo
against racism at the Univer-
sity.
We call on the BSU leaaers
to change their shameful policy
of capitulation to racism at'the
University.
Joining the campaign for the
reinstatement of Atkins,
Mitchell and Isabell would
an important start. Helping
build the demonstrations,: the
worker/student tribunal and a
worker/student alliance to fight
racism would be another im-
nortant step.

State legislators

52nd district (North Campus)
Rep. Mary Schroer (D)
992 Olds Plaza Building
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-1792

53rd district (Central Campus)
Rep. Liz Brater (D)
412 Roosevelt Building
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-2577

18th district (Washtenaw
County)
Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D)
510 Farnum Building

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