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March 02, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-02

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

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, Ml 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.
MSA: The rush is on
Candidates must keep to high standards
T he Michigan Student Assembly presi heated, candidates have the responsibility to
dential elections are quietly drawing stick solely to the facts and concentrate on
near. Students will cast their ballots for a new proposed solutions. In keeping track of the
assembly president and vice president as candidates, students must pay more attention
well as several seats March 22 and 23. And as to how the candidates plan to deal with issues
in every election, the candidates will strive to at hand, and much less attention to minute
separate themselves from the crowd--mostly details which exist in candidates' personal
in differences of style, as their positions on lives or pasts. The intelligent University stu-
most issues are quite similar. All of this is dent should note that when one candidate
perfectly within the realm of healthy debate, slams another on anything other than legiti-
however, elections at the University level mate policy issues, that candidate is trying to
certainly have the potential to become unpro- conceal his or her own shortcomings.
fessional and downright distasteful. Students have historically been poorly
When viewing actions taken on the elec- represented in MSA elections. Turnout in
tion trail, one must consider some of the last March's election was a mere 9 percent -
inherent similarities among the major par- an improvement from the previous year, but
ties' platforms. Each party wants to see the still a sorry example of student involvement
code reworked or discarded, each seeks to in their most local government. Such a low
expand student influence on administrative turnout means that each vote has an propor-
policies and each would like to assist the tionately strong influence on the outcome.
greatest number of students. Each of the Therefore, no student has the excuse for not
parties, obviously, believes itself to be the voting that "it doesn't make a difference."
most appropriate to attend to these goals. The Each student has the responsibility to be
differences, as students will soon be exposed aware and vote in the upcoming elections.
to, concern the approaches the parties use in If University students desire an able leader
accomplishing their goals. to represent them to a sometimes-hostile
This is where candidates and parties must administration and other student govern-
watch their step lest they stomp on their ments, rather than a political hack suitable
beloved students' feet on the race to the polls. for a Geraldo episode, they must insist that
Mudslinging, though exciting to watch, only the elections run with the utmost standards of
degrades the election and alienates voters. In respectability and professionalism. And the
the debates that are sure to be lively and candidates should respect the students' wish.
Download your vote: Coming soon?

Things I did and did not do, but really
wanted to, while I was in Florida over
"spring" break (a mouthful to say):
Contemplated swimming out to the
buoy. Felt the water - too cold for my
Florida blood. Na ga do it. Sat in my chair
and drank a Slushee.
Witnessed hordes of nameless,
brightly colored tourists burn their skin to
a pulp and watch it peel out like paper from
a banyan tree. Why? Don't ask why.
Ate lots of good critters from the
crustacea family line. Ymm ...
Booed some middle-aged scabs at
the Braves' Training Camp in West Palm
Beach with penetrating lines like these:
"Union busters!" "Old dried-up hacks!"
"You look like a prune!"
® Was stuffed into an ungodly com-
muter transport, whose driver seemed to
be a chromosomal relative of the Parking
Violations Bureau staff, to Detroit Metro.
It took us a full hour to make it out of Ann
Arbor city limits. Could've killed some-
one. On the way back, I felt like I was
heading straight into purgatory.
Took my dog "B" for a walk. There's
nothing like a good walk around our neigh-
borhood, a so-called "private community"
- Preston residents are armed with re-
mote control devices to spring the gates of
class warfare - where entrance is denied
to people like Noot, Jake Baker and the

rida postcard: A whole
of nothing going on

recent escapees from the maximum-secu-
rity prison to the west. In truth, our subdi-
vision is about as much of a community as
the Gaza Strip. My fellow Prestonites even
called the residential police out on me a
couple of years ago because I didn't look
like I belonged there. (It was my hair.)
Thought about the effervescent
Michigan weather awaiting my return to
the home where all my stuff's at. Not a
nice thought. Made me sick, really. Pain-
ful experience.
Cheered on the boys from North
Dakota and the stately Sen. Robert Byrd of
West Virginia. Byrdlock, ha! Down with
the Contract! Down with Haman!
Ate a juicy cheeseburger and washed
it down with a tasty vanilla milkshake.
One of the pleasantries of life that keeps
me going, like receiving a letter in the mail
that says "Par Avion" on it. Mail carriers
are definitely underappreciated in our so-
Jumped in a Go-Kart at the legend-
ary Grand Prix Race-o-Rama off 1-95 and
ran some teeny-boppers off the track, into
the fence. Felt good.
Drove to culturally rich Ft. Lauder-
dale, Daytona, Miami Beach and Key West
so I'd have a bit of conversational material
to share with the folks in the basement of
Cava Java.
Had my face picked and my teeth

bloodied with a metallic weapon by a
dental hygienist all in the name of my
physical well-being.
Argued with my cousin about the
Balanced Budget Amendment and block
grants for a couple of hours. Predicted a
Clinton loss in '96.
All in all, Florida's all right if you only
stay a little while, and avoid the roads,
eateries and airports. The restaurants are
packed full of Ontarian wanderers and
loud New Jerseyites, and I-95's right lane
average age hits 65. But you can wear
shorts and sneakers, so it's not too bad. For
me, spring break this year was the time of
year to catch up on some light reading, like
Salinger's classic and the new Clinton bio.
Holden Caufield is one messed up boy.
Time to catch a high school basketball
game. Watch some Knicks game with Dad.
Rent some movies from Wayne Huizenga,
Inc. Stick a worn-out Seinfeld tape in the
'ol recorder. Read the entire newspaper
each morning. Think about April and the
summer to come. Drive by a Miami Subs
and not even think about going inside.
More thinking. Basically, it's a time to do
a whole lot of nothing, which is pretty
relaxing if you ask me. Life is a lot more
enjoyable if all you have to do is nothing.
Like Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Nothing
is good."





A- (

It was bound to happen. With Newt
Gingrich and Ross Perot preaching a com-
puter-driven political culture, the Michigan
Party has followed suit with "MSA On-Line."
The program would make information on the
assembly available at the click of a button.
The idea has merit but deserves further study.
However, "MSA On-Line" is significant
as a bellwether of change in the assembly: As
the University cruises ahead on the Informa-
tion Superhighway, students shouldn't be
left in the dust.
The assembly should seriously consider
on-line voting for MSA elections. Students
could simply enter their vote by clicking the

names of candidates they prefer. Now that
students can access financial and academic
information at any Campus Computing Site,
why not introduce the virtual ballot box?
Although computer voting on a national
scale is fraught with potential security
glitches, election integrity could be ensured
at the University if the Information Technol-
ogy Division uses adequate safeguards.
Results would be available in an instant,
the problematic process of ballot counting
would disappear, and student participation
would undoubtedly increase. With candi-
dates embracing technology, on-line voting
is an idea whose time has come.


Logic in the crosshairs
Congress should uphold Brady Bill

A s the one-year anniversary of the sign-
ing of the Brady Bill approaches, the
forces that stonewalled the bill throughout
the Reagan and Bush administrations are
working overtime to repeal the Brady Bill
law and the assault weapons ban. The in-
creasing numbers of House representatives
- both Democrats and Republicans -- op-
posed to firearm regulation have already
begun efforts at dismantling these corner-
stones of President Clinton's anti-crime pack-
age. The claim is the same as it has been
during the last decade: laws that impose
waiting periods on new gun -buyers are the
first steps in depriving citizens of their right
to bear arms. Similarly, the assault weapons
ban, which prohibits only 19 types of auto-
matic weapons, has been deemed by the
NRA as a major infringement of the rights of
hunters and gun collectors.
Congressional efforts to repeal existing
gun laws are misguided and serve no con-
structive purpose in deterring crime or ensur-
ing the rights of legitimate, law-abiding gun
owners. For Congress to justify the repeal of
either law, there would have to be substantial
evidence of their unconstitutionality or proof
that these laws have been detrimental to
In this case, Neither of these arguments
hold any water. Though the Brady Bill has

metropolitan areas, according to the Depart-
ment of the Treasury. Furthermore, though
gun ownership is a legitimate, albeit ambigu-
ous, right under the Second Amendment,
there is no case for the private ownership of
state-of-the-art military weaponry aimed only
for purposes of killing large groups of people
in a short time span. The gun lobby has failed
to produce any evidence that the rights of
law-abiding citizens have been seriously
abridged by last year's legislation. It is also
clear that neither the Brady Bill nor the
assault weapons ban have worsened the ex-
isting gun problem in this country. The NRA
claimed for years that such a ban would only
place guns in the hands of criminals and
would leave gun owners powerless. This
simply hasn't happened.
Both the Brady Bill and assault weapons
ban need to be given a longer chance for
success before any efforts at repealing them
are considered in Congress. The past 20
years have seen an explosion in the number
of gun-related deaths and injuries in correla-
tion with the ever-increasing number of guns
in circulation. Given that the problem was
ignored so long, one year is not sufficient to
undo the nation's murder crisis. For Con-
gress to overturn these laws -which have
earned overwhelming public support nation-
ally -- before they have a chance to have a
mni - -- - - - f- - 2itra2nn .AAn- Ei e%,1At,

Get a clue
about Baker
To the Daily:
Argh! I'm so sick of the Jake
Bakercase. Why is it that with all
of the facts floating about, the
people who write to the Daily
rarely have a clue of what they
are talking about? This isn't that
Everyone seems to think that
the major flaw in Jake Baker's
stories that got him arrested was
the use of a fellow student's
name. They all say that the Uni-
versity had no reason to immedi-
ately suspend Baker in the way
that it did because they should
have followed the code. Every-
one feels that he wasn't really a
threat to anyone because so much
time passed between the original
posting and his arrest/suspension.
This is crap. Doesn't anyone
remember reading the quotes
from his e-mail messages to the
man in Canada? Doesn't anyone
feel that Baker describing his plan
to attack a woman late at night
near his dorm room, stuff her into
a big duffle bagand haul her off
to do God-knows-what to her is a
big concern? My guess is that the
University suspended Baker, not
because he was a threat to the
woman named in the story, but
because he was a threat to
women in general on campus. In
another e-mail message, he said
how he was tired ofjust fantasiz-
ing and how he needed to do
something about it. I for one
would consider this to be an ad-
mission of his danger to the Uni-

because Baker did represent a
threat to the community and
Duderstadt's immediate action
to suspend him should be ap-
plauded, not condemned.
Peter Wilhelm
LSA first-year student
How I spent
spring break:
helping others
To the Daily:
I didn't spend my spring break
lounging in the sun in Cancun
nor skiing down the slopes of
Vail. I didn't even go home. Yet
what I did over spring break was
more rewarding and amazing
than any of the above. I spent my
break learning about life, or
rather, about learning how to live
and love life with 11 other re-
markable University students.
We participated in an Alterna-
tive Spring Break trip to Big Tal-
bot Island, Fla. All the positive
adjectives I can think of would
not be able to fully describe this
When people ask what I did
over break, it's so difficult to
convey the wonderful feelings
and experiences that I had. It's
so hard to relay the warmth I felt
after spending a week volun-
teering at a bird sanctuary. How
can others understand the sad-
ness of seeing a baard owl
blinded from pesticide use or a
pen of pelicans covered with
toxic fire-fighting foam or a bald
eagle shot in the eye? How can
others see the dedication of a

throughout America during their
spring breaks knowing that their
presence and hard work changed
someone or something's life is
commendable. I deeply thank
Project Serve for giving me and
approximately 200 other Univer-
sity students who shared similar
experiences this wonderful op-
portunity. I urge anyone who
remotely cares about their world
or fellow citizens to participate
in Alternative Spring Break and
Project Serve. Support for this
program, from administration
and students, needs to thrive in
order for our generation to be-
come responsible and caring
Mona Hanna
SNRE first-year student
Writer ignorant
about gays
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
the letter from John Yob (3/1/
95). In particular, I would like to
comment on some misleading
and narrow-minded statements
he made about homosexuality
and the Kiss-In on the Diag.
Mr. Yob states his concern
aboutprograms that"encourage"
homosexual activities. Sadly, this
is a common excuse for dis-
crimination against homosexu-
als. The assumption here is that
we are in danger of young het-
erosexuals being turned into ho-
mosexuals unless we enact laws
to restrict homosexual rights.
Mr. Yob, if you would take
the time to get to know a few

"It's a perversion
of the process to
take what's in
the code and
read into it that
there is a month
at least between
the hearing and
when the
amendments are
- Vince Keenan, chair
of MSA 's Student Rights
crimination against people based
on sexual preferences.
Mr. Yob argues that homo-
sexuality should not be advo-
cated because of its tendency to
spread the HIV virus. I should
clarify that it is not homosexual-
ity per se that spreads HIV, but
rather unsafe sexual activity. As
such, heterosexual couples are
also indangerof contracting HIV.
Should we then discourage het-
erosexual behavior and
lifestyles? No, but we should
encourage condom use and
AIDS testing. Another possi-
bility is to legalize homosexual
marriages. This would encour-
age monogamy, which makes
sex much safer. Another fact to
consider is that oral sex is less
likely to spread HIV than anal
or vaginal intercourse. Perhaps
we should advocate lesbianism
as a form of safer sex for women.
Mr. Yob calls the Kiss-In "dis-
gusting and demeaning" and
"indecent exposure." I do not
see how anyone can call a dis-
play of affection between two
people "disgusting and demean-
ing." And how can kissing be
considered "indecent expo-
sure"? It seems that Mr. Yob's
biggest hangup was having to be
"subjected"'to affection between
people of the same sex. It appears
that you didn't pay attention to
the purpose of the Kiss-In, Mr.
Homosexuals are constantly
subjected to heterosexual affec-
tion and sexuality in movies, TV
and around campus. Is itreally so
unreasonable to allow homosexu-
als the same nrivilee ofexnress-



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