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March 09, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 9, 1995

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


Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Things they don't teach you
atfreshman Orientation

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.

Council misu
A s it was conceived in 197(
gan Open Meetings Act
attempt to bring governmental
into the public eye and to eli
back-door dealing. The act took
politics out of decision-making 1
public in on meetings of govern
But the Open Meetings Act -
- is open to abuse, and the An
Council's recent actions cross t
political games to outright mis
So glaring has been the coun
the Open Meetings Act that the c
legal action from a retired cit
The worker, Robert Peer, corre
that the council must take minu
meetings in accordance with the
council took no minutes of two
ings. Viewed alone, the counci
may be dismissed as a lapse c
Taken in the context of other coi
however, this violation of the O
Act is a disturbing example of a
that attempts to shield sensitive
the public by wantonly disregar(
The council's breach of the
ings Act is especially curious
In an ominous action remin
botched presidential search of 1
versity Board of Regents is c
plan to split off into smaller
Supporters say the plan would st
burdensome process of govern
versity. While this is an admira
present plan looks like anothe
avoid public scrutiny and escap
ments of the Open Meetings A
Except in cases specified by
regents must hold all meetings i
the act only requires public mee
quorum - that is, more than h
regents are in attendance. Duri
dential search, the regents bypas
Meetings Act by discussing the
sub-quorum groups, withholding
until Duderstadt was finally s
board's actions during the searc

ises law as political football
6, the Michi- February meeting in which a majority of
is a worthy council members voted to open a meeting
proceedings that should have been private. The council
ninate shady was discussing legal action against the YMCA
some of the - clearly sensitive information that could
by letting the compromise the city's position in the legal
ment bodies. standoff with the YMCA. Instead of invok-
like all laws ing a provision of the act that allows public
n Arbor City bodies to discuss pending litigation behind
he line from closed doors, the council turned the spotlight
conduct. on potentially damaging information.
cil's abuse of Council members were concerned that
ity now faces the information would have become public
y employee. anyway: Leaks from previous closed meet-
ctly asserted ings have disrupted delicate negotiations
tes of closed between the city and the YMCA. One coun-
e act. But the cil member was alarmed enough over what
recert meet- he viewed as the council's previous abuses of
l's oversight the Open Meetings Act to sabotage attempts
of judgment. to hide information from the public by leak-
uncil actions, ing to the press on at least one occasion.
pen Meetings Political wheeling and dealing is to be
government expected in any unit of government. But the
issues from Open Meetings Act must not become a bar-
ding the law. gaining chip in the hands of imprudent poli-
Open Meet- ticians, which unfortunately has happened in
in light of a the case of the Ann Arbor City Council.
nts must observe act
iscent of the declared illegal in court - invalidating the
988, the Uni- University's argument that sub-quorum com-
onsidering a mittees may formulate policy and forward it to
committees. the whole board for approval.
treamline the But now, with a plan to restructure board
ing the Uni- into two four-member committees for fiscal
ible goal, the and policy issues, the regents are ignoring the
r attempt to lessons of the past. University General Coun-
e the require- sel Elsa Cole insists that sub-quorum groups
ct. are excluded from the Open Meetings Act.
ythe act, the However, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled
n public. But in the case of two newspapers suing the
tings when a University over the 1988 presidential search
ialf - of all that even sub-quorum groups are subject to
ng the presi- public oversight. The groups may meet for
;sd the Open informal brainstorming sessions - but not
candidates in to decide policy. In moving to restructure the
g their choice board, the regents are doomed to repeat the
elected. The costly mistakes of the past unless they allow
ch were later for public scrutiny at every level.

was traveling through the ionosphere a
week ago and it struck me like a zinger
straight from Bob Dole's mouth. What I
and my fellow erudites desperately needed
was their very own hitchhikers', cable
ready, generationally adjusted for the slack
at heart guide to college life. Here's what's
inside the latest edition, published by
Lichtstein Free Press:
Excerpts from a section titled "The
Dysfunctional Academic"--
If for some bizarre reason you're inter-
ested in graduating in three rushed years and
set upon hurrying from the pleasantries of
being a full-fledged member of Generation
X into the dreaded real world of "idiot
labor," do the following:
Go to a lame, conformist, racially torn
community high school on a street named
after a southern flower and take AP courses
with the residenthippie/SDS organizer/draft
dodger/teacher. I myself pulled down a
promising "2" in AP Art History, but don't
let that daunt you, because dammit, you're
ambitious, you're Clarise Starling and you're
gonna go all the way to the FBI!
When you have nothing else to do
with your summer before 12th grade be-
sides endeavors into cynicism and suburban
destruction, leave the gates behind, go off to
some urban, dangerously violent Pre-Col-
lege program, deepen your depression and

manage to get yourself forced into reading
a couple hundred pages a week of Poli Sci
on U.S.-Soviet foreign policy in the Third
World. As fascinating as it gets this side of
the Mississippi.
Don't even think of starting your first
year like everyone else does in the second
week of September. Labor Day, ha! Miss
Freshmen Orientation, skip sensitivity train-
ing workshops, avoid formative bonding
experiences and hop on an overcrowded
white van with a bunch of budding geolo-
gists, frat boys and other social misfits to
Camp Davis, Wyo., on the outskirts of the
Tetons and Jackson Hole. This solid ca-
reer move will nab ya eight extra Nat Sci
credits and automatically lower your na-
scent GPA. Good fringe benefits though,
like having the pleasure of being able to
see a professor drunk and naked.
So before your college life actually
departs from the familial mother ship, rack
up a term's worth of non-graded credits,
exploits in triangulation, mineral identifica-
tion and experience in rock hammering. Do
you know about the K-T boundary? Can
you recite the eras, eons and epochs of
geologic time off the top of your head?
Well, neither can I. An extra bonus of this
plan: You get to call yourself a sophomore
before no time and tell your one friend back
home the good news in December. Social

status, look out.
Enroll in the Honors College but bolt
after some pesky advisor-type informs you
in hushed silence that you'll have to take
another Great Books or Classical Civiliza-
tion course after the 191 fiasco. Praise Cliff
Notes. This is not a good development. At
this point, forget about some shiny accolade
on your diplomaand in a flash of referential
epiphany, pretend you're Doug from "The
State" and proclaim "I'm outta here."
0 Check into Hotel Couzens for a
year's worth of liberal-bashing and gen-
der ambiguity.
When it comes to deciding about a
major, pull an ICP. Make sure to include the
words "Socio-Historical-Political" in it and
you're guaranteed success with the board
that meets in the upper echelons of°Litera-
ture, Science and the Arts. This will en-
sure safe passage to the world of the 3-year
graduate. Congrats on your voyage.
Stay the course. Be stout of heart.
Defy the oddsmakers. Shun indecisiveness.
Shock the relatives. Plow away at300-level
Psych and 400-level Poli Sci courses. Basi-
cally, be all that you can be, sans econ or
stats courses, or any training in mathematics
for that matter. That is, a graduate of the
most expensive public university in the
land. Worthy of all kinds of presents, thanks
and $100 checks. Nothing could be finer.


TOV~AY... .
4oW ,
1 ) 1


L t
r _1 o l . -
NEWVJ... -
0 ..


Thecu rse of Hyde
Congress should respect Roe vs. Wade

Doe vs. Wade is probably the best-known
upreme Court decision of the last 40
years. Yet in attempting to erode abortion
rights, many members of the House of Rep-
resentatives deny the high court's decision.
Well, in case anyone has forgotten, Roe vs.
Wade made abortion legal in the United
States. Certain members of Congress appar-
ently need this reminder - they have repeat-
edly tried to circumvent this law of the land.
In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde
Amendment, which bars the use of Medicaid
funds for abortions. An exception was made
for cases where the life of the mother is in
danger, and a 1993 law extended those ex-
ceptions to cases of rape and incest. Now,
even this odious restriction is considered too
lenient by many House members. Legisla-
tion to allow states to eliminate the excep-
tions for rape and incest - and thus nearly all
federal funding for abortions - soon will be
discussed in the House. The Hyde Amend-
ment is bad enough - for Congress to take it
even further would negate decades of progress
in securing abortion rights.
Abortion is legal. Why does Congress ig-
nore that fact at every chance? Well, only those
privy to Congress' special brand of logic could
answer that question. And given that an an-
swer does not appear to be forthcoming, it is
clear that legislative attempts to undermine

women in the United States. No woman
should have the option of abortion taken
away from her, especially notby this country's
legislative body. And since abortion is legal
in the United States, these limitations dis-
criminate against women on Medicaid by
depriving them of a legal right.
The eradication of Medicaid funding for
abortions could give rise to some terrible
scenarios. If pregnancies evolving out of
rape or incest are not allowed to be termi-
nated, both mothers and children would be
forced to experience emotional trauma due to
the violent origins of the pregnancy. More-
over, this proposal shows the hypocrisy of
many conservative legislators. Without fund-
ing, many mothers on Medicaid may be un-
able to have abortions. If mothers are unable
to afford.an abortion, how will they be able to
provide for their child? Families with chil-
dren resulting from such situations will al-
most certainly end up on welfare - some-
thing Republicans are determined to cut as
well. In times when budgetary concerns are
so prevalent in political discussion, an end to
federal abortion funding would be fiscally,
shortsighted and socially intolerable. Legis-
lators have made enough mistakes in the past
- they have constantly tried to circumvent
the Roe vs. Wade decision. Or perhaps Con-
gress has simply forgotten that landmark
nana C' a n n.a nra msa fi4i r. ..a..nAar

Cho off base
on agenda
To the Daily:
For much of the last 200 years
people have tried to justify exist-
ing social structures and preju-
dices by appealing to scientific
"truths" about the inequality of
different people. They sought to
justify injustices - slavery, the
exploitation of workers and the
exploitation of women. James R.
Cho in his article against the
Michigan Agenda for Women
("Agenda heads down the wrong
path," 2/27/95) similarly at-
tempts to justify gender inequal-
ity among Michigan tenured
faculty by appealing to scien-
tific "truths." Cho argues that
scientific evidence shows that
people of different genders ex-
cel in different areas and conse-
quently men should dominate
in some fields while women
should dominate in others.
Cho does not clarify in what
fields science presumably shows
women should excel (nursing?
home economics?). But he does
assert that males have an advan-
tage in "visual-spatial abilities
and higher mathematical reason-
ing." According to a New York
Times article in gender differ-
ences in mental ability and brain
function (2/28/95), "(The field
of brain research) has been sul-
lied by overinterpretations of
data, like the claims that women
are genetically less able to do
everyday mathematics because
men, on average, are slightly

that women are on average
worse at mathematical reason-
ing than men, this would say
nothing about whether there
should be gender equality
among tenured faculty in math-
ematics or engineering. Rela-
tive to the population as a whole
Michigan faculty must be at least
in the top 5 percent of the popu-
lation in mental abilities rel-
evant to their area of interest.
Even if women on average are
worse than men in some skill, it
could be true that the top 5 per-
cent of women are better than
the top 5 percent of men in that
skill. The average value of a
population tells you precisely
nothing about the extremes.
Peter Muhlberger
Rackham graduate student
Chevy Chase
is brilliant
To the Daly:
We appreciate the amount of
time that it takes to write a for a
newspaper, but perhaps some of
your Weekend etc. movie critics
should take some of that pre-
cious time to re-watch some of
the classic comedy movies of our
time, such as "Caddyshack,"
"The Three Amigos" or "Natonal
Lampoon's Vacation." Last
Thursday's section included a
review of Chevy Chase's latest
film, "Man of the House," which
incredulously claimed that Chase
was and is a terrible actor.
We believe that Chevy Chase
is a comedic genius who is the

Murphy or Jim Carrey, each of
whom have had far fewer hits
than Mr. Chase? All we ask is a
little respect for the wealth of
work that Chevy has given com-
edy. Giving his newest film a bad
review is your choice, but calling
Chevy Chase's entire career a
wreck is foolish and unfounded.
David Schick
Jack D. Zelimer
LSA sophomores
To the Daily:
On Feb. 10, three days prior
to the Daily's front-page article
telling the whole campus, a
friend of mine told me he was
running for president of the
Michigan Student Assembly. I
smiled, knowing from the fire
in Flint's eyes that he had found
another way to concentrate his
passion for furthering the
public's understanding. A po-
litician. I acknowledge I have
been quite apathetic in past years
about this arena, due in part to
my general animosity toward
politics and my somewhat ig-
norant view that MSA does not
affect me. Flint Wainess and his
running mate Sam Goodstein
schooled me about how the
school government not only af-
fected me, but how important it
was that I take it seriously.
Here comes the point. On
Feb. 13, the Daily printed an
article in which one first-year
student, Fiona Rose, found that

"We kept
'There's an
appeal here,' and
she kept.
around it."
- MSA Rep. Jonathan
Freeman, on MSA
President Julie Neenan's
refusal to hear debate on
a resolution
Perhaps it was the pervasive
influence of the media, the bright
lights in Fiona's eyes, but if she
wants to play the politically cor-
rect game, she has to think be-
fore letting the words flow from
her face.
Ian Lester
LSA senior
Union in need
of renovations
To the Daily:
In response to "Renewing the
Union, fix it-but don't privatize
it" (Daily 1/27/95), the Daily was
correct in acknowledging the
need for University Union reno-
vation, thus ensuring that an im-
portant asset and resource of this
University is "keeping up with
the times."
The Union turned 90 years
old this past year. A building
with such heavy traffic, and such
a long and rich history, deserves
some care, and definitely de-
serves at the very least to be r-
brought up to code.
The article made it very clear
that many of the issues are re-
lated to the American Disabili-
ties Act (ADA), about 70 per-
cent. Hopefully with the other 30
percent, we can realize the po-
tential of this great "untapped"
resource, and create a growth,
spirit and sense of community0
that is greatly needed among the
student population.
It is true that students are
being drained of funds through
increasing tuition, but the prob-

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