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March 21, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-21

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i

4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 21, 1995

ciue ffiidtigan iail

JEAN TWENGE

THE ERASABLE PEN

1 1

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

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES NASH
Editorial Page Editors

The myth and reality of

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.
S: Vote Students'
Kovacs, Deringer offer best leadership

W hile LSA-Student Government may
get lost in the dust of the Michigan
Student Assembly, the election of officers
this Wednesday and Thursday is an impor-
tant choice. This year's election gives LSA
students a choice between Michigan Party
candidates Richard Bernstein and Steve
Madhavan and Students' Party candidates
James Kovacs and Sara Deringer. In both
their leadership styles and their positions on
relevant issues, Kovacs and Deringer are
superior to their opponents and have earned
the Daily's endorsement.
On every topic, the Students' Party candi-
dates take the most reasonable position. They
support pushing the pass/fail deadline back
to give students time to make their decisions.
The Michigan Party candidates take a similar
position - but come at it from a cockeyed
perspective. Michigan Party presidential can-
didate Bernstein says, "Students at a univer-
sity are consumers. The University should
act according to student satisfaction." While
he is correct in demanding more accountabil-
ity from the University, he errs in equating
the University with a corporation. It serves a
higher purpose than simple bean counting.
Kovacs and Deringer also have clear vi-
sion on the foreign language requirement.
They acknowledge the obvious importance
of such a program. And they understand that
student input must guide their actions.
Bernstein, however, loses his focus on this
issue, taking off on "consumer notion" tan-
gents. He asserts that it is not students' duty
to reform the foreign language department.
The Students' Party believes that the credit
hour determination system must be reformed.
LSA must weight classes by the level of
difficulty, not the number of hours spent in
class per week. Again, Bernstein could only
reiterate his consumer theory on the issue.
Other tenets of the Students' Party plat-
form include the expansion of the list of
classes that fill the ROE requirement, and
moving the focus of ROE away from West-
ern cultures. Kovacs and Deringer echo the

student sentiment that the Communication
Department is a shambles, and would push
the college to improve the restructured de-
partment. These positions represent the best
formula for improving LSA.
Bernstein departs from central issues and
into sheer irrelevance by claiming that stan-
dardized tests should have less importance in
graduate school admissions. He plans to ap-
proach the regents and is convinced that the
administration will agree that the high qual-
ity of University classes makes the require-
ment unnecessary. If Bernstein takes his idea
to public comments, he will likely be laughed
out of the regents' room.
The Students' Party slate offers a bal-
anced ticket with more experience than their
opponents. Kovacs has served two years in
the student government, Deringer 1 1/2 years.
In contrast, neither Bernstein nor Madhavan
has spent time on LSA-SG. Bernstein has a
broad range of knowledge about LSA, but his
running mate appears ill-informed about the
most important issues facing the student gov-
ernment. Kovacs and Deringer both are well-
versed on LSA issues with complementary
areas of expertise.
While Bernstein appears extremely en-
thusiastic, it is doubtful that he will be able to
build consensus within LSA-SG. Kovacs and
Deringer take an understated yet energetic
approach. Their ticket has made a point of
soliciting opinions from LSA students -
and they appear willing to carry this commit-
ment beyond the election. They neither be-
come defensive when speaking nor involve
themselves in petty opponent-bashing.
From any standpoint, the only viable op-
tion for LSA-SG president and vice president
goes to Students' Party candidates James
Kovacs and Sara Deringer. They both have
the leadership skills, the focus on issues and
the experience that LSA-SG needs to continue
to perform its valuable service to LSA stu-
dents. Kovacs and Deringer represent the
most level-headed, effective candidates. They
should be elected.

7 ( 5tgender-based d
D uring the 1800s, doctors gave women should women be forced into the sciences
a solemn prescription. Do not exer- if they "freely" choose to involve them-
cise, play sports or strain yourself in any selves in other activities?
way, they said. If you do, you will never be The answer, simply, is that sex differ-
able to have children: Vigorous exercise ences are not large enough to produce
damages the reproductive organs. such large differences in the sex ratio of
This is more than just a great excuse professions. In a meta-analysis of the avail-
not to go to the gym. It is a parable for sex- able studies, Janet Shibley Hyde came to
differences research in the 1990s - ex- two clear conclusions: Sex differences
cept now the great, uncrossable gulf be- exist, but they explain such a small amount
tween the sexes is not just in our bodies, of the variance that they are not useful in
but in our minds, our thoughts and our prediction. Sex differences are like the
souls. Wizard of Oz: They are great, powerful
Men and women, we read on the and frightening until you see the minus-
bestseller list, are from different planets. cule size of the effect behind the curtain.
Media reports of science refer to "male In any sex-difference study, the simi-
brains" and "female brains." Research on larities between men and women will al-
spatial ability, verbal fluency, and other ways outweigh the differences; the over-
sex differences in abilities abound. In a lap between the bell curves is always larger
new study by Yale researcher Sally than the gaps. Men are taller than women
Shaywitz, men and women under a Mag- on average, for example, but some women
netic Resonance Imaging machine used are taller than some men. Yet if a statisti-
different parts of their brain when doing a cally significant difference is found, it
task as simple as talking. It's a wonder, comes out that we are dealing with two
reading all this, that I can ask a male different entities - the "male brain" and
human being for change and have him the "female brain," and never the twain
know what I'm talking about. His anten- shall meet.
nae didn't even move! It's also tempting to conclude that these
This new trend of sex resegregation is differences between men and women are
frightening in itself, but now some are inborn. However, the brain is a living
beginning to argue that the new research organ, constantly changing as we learn
justifies the low percentage of women in and adapt to different environments. A
leadership positions and science majors difference in the brain is just as likely to be
(e.g., "Agenda for Women heads down a learned, environmental program as it is
the wrong path," Daily, 2/27/95). If men to be hard-wired. Considering the often-
and women think differently and are good divergent developmental patterns of men
at different things, they say, why shouldn't and women, some small differences in
they have separate areas of expertise? Why brain function may not be surprising. But

rfferences
this means that the differences may be in
the society, not in the biological program
of development.
Even if we accept the argument that
female deficits in spatial ability preclude
us from becoming engineers, we are left
with another problem: What about those
areas where women show an advantage?
Women are more verbally fluent than men,
but that didn't stop men from becoming
great orators. Women are more aware of
emotions and the intricacies of human
relationships, but that didn't stop men
from becoming great novelists. Women
make better grades in high school and
college, but that didn't (and doesn't) stop
men from earning the majority of doctoral
degrees.
Others may argue that women just don't
want to go into science and engineering -
by their own "free will," they are inter-
ested in different things. By their .own
"free will," there were practically no
women at all in graduate programs in the
sciences in the 1950s; now women make
up about 15 percent of graduate students
in physics and nearly half of those in
mathematics. Women's "free will" didn't
change - society's expectations did.
Eventually we may reach an upper bound-
ary created by ability, but it hasn't hap-
pened yet.
Instead of trumpeting our differences,
we should be grateful for how similar men
and women are after all: Mars to Venus is
an awfully long commute, and in the end
we have to live on our fragile Earth to-
gether.

0

JIM LASSER

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SHARP AS TOAST
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NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"My friends tell
me I'm contrary."
- University Regent
Philip Power (D-Ann
Arbor), explaining his
favor toward
contrarian investments

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Vote 'Yes' on SLS
Legal service deserves extra $2 per student

LETTERS

A nyone who has had a legal problem un-
derstands the advantage of having access
to sound legal advice. For this reason, Student
Legal Services (SLS) provides a valuable
service to students. It is especially helpful to
students in a financial crunch, as there is only
a token retainer for services provided. This is
made possible by the amount allotted in the
student fees portion of the tuition bill.
To keep this service available and improve
upon this resource, the $2.07 increase on this
week's ballot must be approved.
One function of SLS is to aid students
where the Ann Arbor Tenants Union can no
longer help. With Ann Arbor's notoriety for
tenant-landlord disputes, many students find

representation indispensable. SLS has pro-
vided this admirably. The increase will allow
protection to continue, shielding students
against the many landlords who try to take
advantage of inexperienced students. Ten-
ants must have a viable recourse when cor-
nered in a difficult legal situation.
If the fee does not go through, not only is
SLS prevented from expanding but it may
have to downsize its staff. This would limit
the number of cases it can take on, effectively
barring some students from legal counsel.
Overall quality also would suffer if funding is
not passed.
For these reasons, students must vote to
increase the SLS fee on March 22 and 23.

MacKinnon's
words twisted
To the Daily:
Your coverage of the panel
discussion of March 9 ("Panel
addresses Internet policy is-
sues." 3/10/95) states that
"American Civil Liberties
Union associate director Barry
Steinhardt questioned the va-
lidity of her (Law Prof.
Catharine MacKinnon's) opin-
ions."
How can that be? Mr.
Steinhardt revealed in his open-
ing statement his very ignorance
of Prof. MacKinnon's opinions
when he alleged (incorrectly),
"As many of you know, it's
been Prof. MacKinnon's theory
that speech which puts women
in postures or positions of sexual
submission, civility or display.
ought to be criminally punish-
able."
Even a cursory reading of
Prof. MacKinnon's writing and
interviews shows that one of
her principal tenets on pornog-
raphy is not that it should be
criminally prosecutable: rather,
pornography that meets certain
criteria and is shown to have
resulted in harm should be ac-
tionable under civil law. Mr.
Steinhardt's credibilitywent to

was not she who kept bringing
up pornography; but members of
.the audience (and occasionally a
panelist) who kept bringing it up.
That she would respond when
addressed on this issue was natu-
ral and appropriate.
A transcript of this event is
available to all on the World
Wide Web (url=http://
w w w.umich.e du/~umlaw/
mttlr.html). Many congratula-
tions to the Michigan Telecom-
munications and Technology
Law Review for hosting this
outstanding debate. All the pan-
elists were interesting and pro-
vocative, with perhaps the ex-
ception of Mr. Steinhardt, whose
blundering and defamatory er-
ror serves to remind us all that
one does not challenge another's
opinions until one has heard or
read them.
Allan C. Chubb
Engineering graduate
student
U.S. guilty of
terrorist acts
To the Daily:
On March 14 the Daily edi-
torial board wrote a piece called
"Buck stops here" which con-
demned Clinton's treatment of
Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn

hypocritical to condemn only
those "terrorists" who threaten
U.S. interests, like Gerry Adams
and Yasser Arafat, while sup-
porting or doing nothing about
terrorist regimes friendly to the
United States, itself a country
with a long list of terrorist ac-
tions.
The Daily doesn't want
money to go to groups that are
involved in "assassinations, drug
dealing, arms trafficking, and
the bombing of innocent civil-
ians." The United States has
attempted many assassinations,
including attempts on Fidel
Castro, the bombing of Qadaffi,
and other leaders we dislike.
Although the CIA denies it,
many believe they were behind
Salvador Allende's assassina-
tion. The CIA has been heavily
involved in drug dealing and
arms trafficking (Iran-
Contragate), and the United
States is one of the world's lead-
ing arms dealers. As to bomb-
ing of innocent civilians, a hor-
rible thing indeed, I believe our
attacks on the people of
Indochina speak for themselves.
Central America is another won-
derful example of the U.S.
policy on terrorism, as the many
U.S.-supported death squads,
tortures, and disappearances at-
test to.

Remembering
the Fab Five
To the Daily:
I know this season has been
less than uplifting for Michigan
basketball fans, especially those
who entered as freshmen at the
same time the Fab Five did. I
knew this moment would come
and yet I'm not able to accept it
now that we blew a fantastic 38
minutes of signature Ray and
Jimmy action.
Let the sportswriters analyze
the game, I just want to say as a
fan -thanks for the memories.
Thanks for the overtime
game against Duke, the most
exciting sporting event I have
witnessed live. Thanks for the
adrenaline, thanks for the brag-
ging rights, thanks for the shorts,
the socks and the attitude. As
long as I live I will never forget
meeting Chris Webber after the
Duke game in my neighbor's
room and actually playing Sega
football with him and listening
to him complain about the ACC
refs who were brought in for the
game. He talked trash about
Sega, to me! Thanks for your
legend. Thanks for the riots on
South U. Thanks for the Final
Four two years in a row.
So now that the era is over, I

Exercise your votin power
Repeatedly readers hear voices railing, "Go vote!"Indulge a little whim to make the incessant
urging stop. GO VOTE on Wednesday and Thursday. March 22 and 23. There are several
issues where choices must be made: LSA-Student Government elections, Michigan Student
Assembly elections and a ballot item on the Student Legal Services fee.
Be wild and vote on all three issues. Even two would be nice. But by all means -GO VOTE.
After all, it could only help.
How TO CONTACT THEM

0

Sen. Carl Levin (D)
459 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-6221

Sen. Spence Abraham (R)
B40 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-4822

Rep. Lynn Rivers (D)

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