4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 9, 1995
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan
Editor in Chief
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.
'White students need to see minorities in positions
of responsibility so when they see a Black man
walking down the street they don't immediately
assume that he is a serial rapist.'
-Senior Associate Librarian Charles Ransom
L AWFUL NI CE O-FT-HTE-
&OVE RNME N TTo 'PRovID
S 'PJESTS0WI TH AL
(O)'V )WN -L9 I
th NE7NGRIkH *
Breaking the monopoly
Book exchange provides
A t the beginning of the fall and winter
terms, the Student Book Exchange (SBE)
offers a book-buying/selling service to stu-
dents, vastly different from the profit-minded
commercial book-buyers. A student may set
the selling price of a book sold through the
SBE, and if another student buys the book, 85
percent of the set price goes back to the student.
Try to beat that at Ulrich's.
The Student Book Exchange was once a
service of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, but
is now a sovereign group recognized by the
Michigan Student Assembly. At the beginning
of each fall and winter term, the SBE opens its
doors in the Union two days before the first day
of classes for students to consign their books,
and then for the following two days the books
are showcased for purchase. Students who
consigned their books may return the follow-
ing Tuesday to receive either their unsold
book(s) or a check from the SBE. Books not
recovered are given to charity and checks not
recovered are sent to students. The program
benefits the student-buyer as well. Each book
purchased may be returned within 24 hours.
The problem with this service is that few
students are aware of the service before it is too
Why does no one know about the exchange?
Of the 15 percent held from a student's
payment, six percent goes to a sales tax, leav-
ing the SBE with a 9-percent payoff for each
book sold. A meager gain, in spite of an
average term sale involving $20,000. Overall,
the SBE comes out with just under $2,000.
This money goes toward publicity, the main-
tenance of a bank account and rental of com-
puters to ensure proper payments.
Exchange spokesman Ron Pacis feels that
the advertising for this term's sale was not up
to par. He and other members of the volunteer
fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, posted the dates
on kiosks and in dorms at the end of last term.
He noted that a banner at the Union and
advertisements in the Daily are more effec-
tive, but the funds and general volunteer man-
power are just not there. With a frigid winter
and many potential volunteers returning late,
widespread publicity is a distant goal.
Clearly, the SBE is a wonderful service to
the students at the University. It is admirable,
indeed, that such an extravaganza can be
pulled off solely by volunteers on a nonprofit
basis. In the future, students need to be better
informed and take full advantage of the SBE.
There are several ways this can happen effec-
tively. An unfortunate but perhaps necessary
option would be to raise the profit margin the
SBE takes from students, to cover more of the
cost of publicity. An even better solution lies
within MSA, whose role is to act in the best
interest of students, to make this invaluable
service more accessible by supporting the
SBE with an annual allowance for publicity.
Whatever the method, the group could use
some help in informing the student population
aboutits worthwhile service.The funds needed
are few, but the rewards reaped are many.
'W ith the opening of the tion would set a dangerous precedent: Legis-
104th Congress, Republicans are do- lators who seek a politically palatable solution
ing their best to show that their The 104th to acomparatively recent prob-
Contract with America is forelem need only etch their solu-
real. Already in the hopper for Con ress tion into the Constitution. The
quick debate and passage is a foundation of our republic thus
constitutional amendment re- Third of a series becomes a repository for po-
quiring a balanced budget. Somehow, it has litical schemes that may appeal in the short
become thepolitical vogue to echo the thought- term, but whose long-term viability is ques-
less slogan: if American families can balance tionable at best. Undoing the work of the
their budgets, why can't the government? But 104th Congress will be tricky if ingrained in
the worst aspects ofthe balancedbudgetamend- the Constitution.
ment transcend ideology; in practice, imple- If the amendment were to pass and even
mentation of the amendment would be an be effective, another problem would arise:
absolute fiasco. At best, the amendment would Sometimes deficit spending is advantageous
mask a deepening budget crisis; at worst, it to the nation. When the economy is down and
would decimate the integrity of the budget- federal revenues are low, going into debt with
making process. stimulus spending can help nurse the economy
The federal deficit has rightly been at- back to health, thus raising federal revenue to
tacked in the past as a liability. That both help cover the amount it went into deficit. If a
political parties are concerned and want to do balanced-budget amendment were as effec-
something is a positive change. However, a tive as the Republicans claim, then this valu-
balanced budget amendment would be a cos- able economic tool would not be at hand for
metic solution. It does absolutely nothing to the next recession.
confront the real problem: The federal govern- All the talk about a balanced-budget
ment spends more money than it takes in. amendment simply does not add up. This
Tacklingpork-barrel funding andentitlements, "quick fix," which is more quick than fix, is
and fostering general efficiency should be the irresponsible. There are only two ways to
first steps to a balanced budget. Simply telling balance the budget, either by lower spending
Congress to balance the budgetis the easy part. or higher revenues. With Republicans and
But if the amendment passes, won't Wash- Democrats alike brandishing their respective
ington be forced into fiscal responsibility? tax cuts, the only remaining possibility is to
Unfortunately not. A number of states already decrease spending. Solutions along this line
have balanced-budget amendments written into include cutting off subsidies to farmers and
their constitutions. However, this usually poses big business, means-testing Medicare and rais-
just another hurdle in the budget-making pro- ing the retirement age on Social Security
cess. On paper, the budget may be balanced, benefits. The bottom line is that each member
but items beyond the limit are simply omitted of Congress must be willing to accept certain
from the budget. In addition, any economist cuts in his or her state or district.
will explain that tinkering with numbers can In the end, a balanced-budget amend-
magically make any budget work on paper. In ment would make the federal budgetary pro-
the past, balanced-budget amendments on the cess more gimmick than it is now. The federal
state level have been a motive for exaggeration deficit will not go away and needs to be
and fiscal smoke and mirrors to make every- addressed. This increasingly bi-partisan trick
'U' claims of
To the Daily:
With MLK Day approach-
ing, the University is giving
full-time lip-service to
"multiculturalism" and aca-
demically eulogizing Martin
Luther King Jr. But these hypo-
critical holiday speeches are
nothing but a thin cover for the
actual racist policies of the
While with one hand the Uni-
versity pats the heads of the
anti-racist fighters of the '60s,
with the other it fires employ-
ees fighting racism on the job
On Dec. 2, three Black
AFSCME workers from the
Dental School were framed and
fired for taking union action
against a racist white supervi-
sor. In September, Theresa
Atkins, Dawn Mitchell and
Delano Isabell (all University
employees with more than 10
years seniority) started new jobs
at the Dental School and since
then have faced constant racist
harassment. Delano was re-
ferred to as "boy" by one per-
son in management, and the
direct supervisor of the three
Black employees repeatedly
used terms such as "you people"
to address them, even after be-
ing told that such language was
racist and unacceptable. Her
first day on the job, Dawn was
told she was to blame for bro-
ken equipment. Delano was told
in front of other employees that
"they had never wanted him
there," and Theresa was told
that she could "go back to where
they came from" if she didn't
like the way she was being
treated. Their comings and go-
ings were constantly monitored
while white workers came and
went as they pleased. Minority
workers were expected to do
the dirty work that white work-
ers with the same job title
weren't expected to touch.
As a result of standing up
to management's racism by re-
peatedly filing grievances,
when the three employees came
to. work on Dec. 2, they were
met by management and po-
lice and escorted off the pre-
mises. They weren't told what
the charges against them were
until Dec. 8, when they were
informed they had allegedly
falsified their time cards. Dawn,
Theresa and Delano have wit-
nesses to prove the complete
falsehood of these purely fab-
ricated allegations. The truth
is, these three workers were
fired for standing up to racism
on the job!
All anti-racist students and
workers must stand up against
the outrageous firing of these
employees! To turn away from
this outrageous attack on Black
University employees in the
midst of MLK Day celebra-
tions would be a disgusting
parody of anti-racism. We must
use the celebration of MLK
Day to mark the beginning of a
renewed militant movement
against racism at the Univer-
sity. We call on all students and
workers to attend the 7 p.m.
Tuesday (Jan. 10) forum in the
Parker Room of the Union, and
come to the 4:00 Thursday
march, starting at the Diag, to
fight for the reinstatement of
Theresa, Dawn and Delano,
and the firing of the racist man-
agement. We must fight to win
elected worker committees to
investigate and organize action
against racism - obviously
management, guilty in this and
in other cases of the racist ha-
rassment of employees, can't
be entrustedto investigate and
take action against itself' We
must fight to win free tuition
and open admissions to recruit
and retain Black students at the
University and for the hiring
and tenuring of more Black
National Woman's Rights
To the Daily:
I usually refrain from writ-
ing the Daily, because as a
worker at another campus pub-
lication, I understand that one
can never please every reader.
But when one of your readers
labeled me and my colleagues
at the Michigan Review as rac-
ist, I feel the necessity to re-
spond to these untrue and irre-
sponsible accusations that have
been hurled at us.
As the editor of the Serpent's
Tooth column, I assure you that
no racist material has ever been
published, or even submitted
by our staff. The current staff of
the Review abides by high pro-
fessional standards. If Mr.
Arwulf found past material of-
fensive, he has no right to con-
demn the current hard-working
staff at the Review. I wonder if
Arwulf has read any current
issues of the Review; I assume
he has not.
Anyone who has read one
of our recent issues knows that
we are dedicated to the classi-
cal liberal ideas of civil liber-
ties, individual rights and lim-
ited government. We defend
the ideals of free speech, free-
dom of religion and a right to
privacy. In short, we consider
ourselves an outlet for intellec-
tual and humorous insights not
traditionally heard on college
campuses. Pick up one of our
recent issues, you may be sur-
prised. (Incidentally, recent
Serpent's Tooth columns have
been tougher on Newt Gingrich
than anyone else.)
In short, we have no align-
ment with the moralistic
pedantics of the religious right,
the ideologies of William F.
Buckley and the dim-witted
In fact, we are blatantly op-
posed to some of their stances.
To align us with this right-wing
rhetoric is unfair, as is the im-
plication that we perpetuate
deplorable racist thought. If
anything, Mr. Arwulf, it is your
negative, unsubstantiated hurl-
ing of sundry epithets that has
turned American into a burning
ball of cynicism.
Finally, please try to remem-
ber that Serpent's Tooth is a
humor column. Ourgentle tears
and barbs at American political
and cultural figures have hit
everyone from sorority girls to
engineers and from Newt
Gingrich to Bill Clinton.
Some things in our society
need, to be laughed at, Mr.
Arwulf, so pick up the latest
copy of the Review and enjoy
it, savor it, or else you might
become as paranoid as Rush
Will our scars
So I guess we're saved, eh?
We can all breathe freely.
They've got a man in custody
and evidence seems to point to the
fact that he may be the one we've
been fearing, shutting our doors
against, carrying Mace to deflect,
Police said Friday that DNA
tests link Ervin Mitchell, arrested
last week for purse-snatching, to at.
least four of the violent rapes in.
Ann Arbor in the last two years. He
may be the serial rapist.
Now we don't have to carry
spikes when walking home. We
can dim the lights in the Diag so it
no longer looks like day at night.
We can open our doors and once
again live without fear.
Do I seem sarcastic enough?.
Sorry. Vacation was way too
short and it's too cold out to write
a column that isn't cynical. But this
entire rapist scare has rubbed me
the wrong way since the start.
The entire shenanigan has re-
vealed some of our most frighten-
ing societal flaws and turned us all
into what looked like a scared,
It turned Black men into sus-
peets and women into victims.
Over 100 men were DNAtested
and since an award was posted,
600 men were named as suspects.
Meanwhile, women were made
prisoners in our owntcommunity.
Families began to scrutinize
Black neighbors - is he the rap-
ist? - and we all began to look out
for someone meeting the vague
description put out by the FBI: an
anti-social, dark-skinned man, 25-
35 years old, who shows hostility
toward white women.
The message: be on the lookout
for a Black man who seems alittle
strange. Turn in your neighbors,
co-workers - anyone, for that
matter, who has pissed you off.
We as women were told: Don't
walk home alone. Don't go out at
night. Not that this isn't good ad-
vice, but why in the world was it
assumed I was more at risk this
past year than previously? It was
viewed by my friends and family
that because there was a highly
publicized serial rapist on the street,
the risks I faced as a woman were
Everyone insisted on helping.
Well, I'll ask for help when I
want it and, as I've said before and
will say again, I will not live like a
victim. That is not living at all.
My parents say this approach is
stupid. But so is living in fear of
one man who has attacked before
and who represents the very atti-
tude intended to keep women infe-
nor to strong men who can protect
As a result of such thinking,
women have been barred from
high-paying jobs seen as "too dan-
gerous," been kept out of high-
ranking military posts and are be-.
littled into the oft-used category of.
"women and children."
So is it over now?
If Mitchell is the rapist - and
pray for him if it turns out he's
innocent - does that mean the big
threat is over and we can return to
life as it was?
For the past year, we as a com-
munity have behaved like children:
pointing fingers, accusing one an-
other, hiding from our neighbors.
We have allowed the most savage
of tendencies -hatred and fear-
to emerge from the depths where
they ought to have been stored.
They have haunted us more than
any one man ever could and for this
we will be scarred and, in my opin-
Whether or not the man in cus-
tody is the rapist, our streets are no
safer than they were before- there
will always be creeps willing and
able to take advantage of inno-
cents. Rape will not disappear.
But one thing is certain: It's
time to make amends if it's not
already too late. We have a lot of
apologizing to do and we better
make damn sure that the next time.
shit like this threatens the serenity
o~f nr i1ttler Bht-raltowin we wocn'
Comment misrepresents RHA
To the Daily:
I am writing in reference to
your article about the Residence
Halls Association (RHA) that
ran in the Friday, Dec. 8, 1994
edition ("RHA votes to ban
grapes in dorm cafeterias").
More particularly, I take issue
with your choice ofquotes. Near
the end of the article, you quote
Heidi Naasko, a representative
to RHA from Henderson
House, describing RHA as "an
Regardless of her opinion
that "it's salvageable," Naasko
was grossly out of line, and
incorrect, in making that state-
ment. First off, RHA is any-
thing but an apathetic organi-
zation. This is evidenced by the
rnnntipcc C I'nrCc nant byinnvflI
ing. While Naasko is entitled
to her opinion, she is not en-
titled to slander RHA as she
sees fit. If your reporter were to
ask any of the other representa-
tives in attendance at the meet-
ing how they feel about RHA,
you would have found out that
there are a number of devoted,
members who feel radically
different from Naasko.
Naasko's comment is not
the sentiment of a vast major-
ity of RHA representatives. If
the reporter would have taken
the time to properly survey the
representatives, she would have
found that apathy is far from
being a correct adjective to de-
scribe RHA. I would person-