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March 24, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-24

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 24, 1995
UI1~E41 k b,rxO 4

-r

MICHAEL ROSENBERG

RosEs ARE READ

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

i I

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.
The real fun begins
In election's wake, MSA has work to do

Voting in this year's Michigan Student
Assembly elections was no easy task for
even the mostpolitically aware students. Given
candidates and parties with very similar goals
and only minor differences in their plans for
implementation, it was tempting to simply
vote for the party with the most witty cam-
paign slogan. Now, however, this difficult
campaign has finally come to an end. No
more will party members engage in partisan
bickering, insignificant detail-smashing or
constant complaining on the floor of MSA.
Or will they?
The majority of University students should
hope the opposing parties will now see their
common goals and merge together to work
on matters of general agreement. Issues such
as seating a student regent, campus safety, and
the Statement of Student Rights and Responsi-
bilities (the code) must be at the forefront.
As students look toward new leadership,
outgoing MSA President Julie Neenan's ad-
mirable progress'in paving the way for a non-
voting student regent is to be commended.
Over the past year, Neenan has led the way in
bringing the regents to the verge of voting a
student on board. Her efforts should not be in
vain. If the new administration does not pick
up where Neenan leaves off,. the immense
progress she has made will slip through our
fingers. Opposing parties must work together
with the new administration in full support
until the regents purchase the nameplate for
the first student regent.

On another matter, every student and can-
didate agrees that the issue of campus safety
is important. With no elections in the midst,
MSA should be able to ignore internal differ-
ences and come to the best possible solutions.
The efforts of Neenan and MSA Vice Presi-
dent Jacob Stern's administration - most
notably December's campus safety walk -
have been admirable, but there is still work to
be done.
Another issue that unites almost everyone
is the code. Each candidate's platform called
for at least a vast overhaul of this invasive
policy. Efforts are being established to bring
together the entire assembly and even the
entire University in a united front against the
code and its mockery of student rights.
Now is a critical time for MSA. Although
partisan politics are easy to get caught up in
and everyone likes to act like bona fide
politicians, this petty waste of time brings no
satisfaction to constituents. The regents will
not vote for a student regent or for a change
in the code if the request comes from any-
thing but a unified student body. Indeed, the
regents must be assured that an overwhelm-
ing majority of the 35,000 students at the
University want and need a student regent
and do not want and do not need the student
code. If the regents are approached on sev-
eral flanks by several parties, each with dif-
fering demands, students' only gain will be
stalemate. And no one likes a stalemate but a
bad chess player.

bu
Matt Theurer should have said no.
His bosses at a McDonald's restau-
rant in Salem, Ore., asked Matt to work
more hours. He should have said no. The
extra shift was against the establishment's
policies for teen-agers. It was probably
against Matt's own better judgment. But
Matt Theurer said yes.
And it killed him.
He left work one night, after working
12 of the previous 17 hours, and drove into
another car. Matt had fallen asleep at the
wheel.
This death would have gone unnoticed
by the general public, as most deaths do.
But there was a lawsuit. It seems the
driver of the car Matt Theurer hit, a man by
the name of Frederic Faverty, didn't take
kindly to the accident. So he sued.
Didn't sue Matt, of course. Didn't even
sue the Theurers. No, Faverty sued the
people who he felt really caused the acci-
dent.
He sued the people at McDonald's.
Faverty claimed that the restaurant
should never have allowed Matt to work
so many hours. He said the establishment
indirectly caused the accident.
Does this sound like a frivolous law-
suit? The judges on the Oregon Court of
Appeals don't seem to think so. They
awarded Faverty $375,000 this week, con-

curring with an earlier jury decision.
The people at McDonald's aren't
happy, of course. They will continue their
appeals. The next step is the Oregon Su-
preme Court. Then, who knows? Maybe
the case will even reach the U.S. Supreme
Court, where seven men and two women
can sit down and decide whether a young
man's employers had a hand in the car
accident that caused his death.
The people at McDonald's may not be
the worst criminals in the world. But the
fact remains, the establishment did have
policies in place for ths very reason, and
they did ask Matt Theurer to violate these
policies, and he probably would be alive
today if they had not asked.
Still, McDonald's is absolving itself of
any blame. In the decision, one of the
dissenting judges warned of "grave conse-
quences" for employers if employees'
negligence due to exhaustion can be traced
back to employers.
There is an inherent irony in this case.
A young man volunteers to work harder
than even his employers allow. Then, when
disaster strikes, the employers claim inno-
cence. Meanwhile, around the country,
people criticize the young man's genera-
tion for being lazy, for not taking respon-
sibility for their own actions.
Unknowingly, each character in this

te blame candbe sldfted,
t thefacts stand still

S
0

story is a symbol.
Matt Theurer is everyone in his gen-
eration, labeled Generation X by elders
who do not understand them.
The people at McDonald's are the older
generation, trying to squeeze everything
they can out of Generation X, but not
willing to sacrifice for them.
Frederic Faverty is caught in the middle,
trying to grab his share of the pie from
anyone and everyone. Faverty gets the
criticism because he is the leech, trying to
make a buck off the problem. But he is not
the problem.
The judges are the oldest generation,
looking down at everyone else and shak-
ing their heads, wondering how this mess
came to be. They have trouble understand-
ing a world where people do not trust each
other, a world of $4 trillion debts and war.
zones in the streets, a world of people who
can't just get along.
At some point, Matt Theurer will be
forgotten, and this lawsuit will be forgot-
ten, just another news item in another
news day. That's too bad, in a way. There
are lessons to be learned here.
It's OK to go against the
establishment's policies, but only at the
establishment's convenience.
And sometimes it's tough to tell who
really fell asleep at the wheel.

Crimes against women
Clinton deserves praise for new office

P resident Clinton has finally begun to
tackle the issue of violent crimes against
women - a step no past president has taken.
Tuesday he named Bonnie Campbell, a former
Iowa attorney general, director of his new
Violence Against Women office, which falls
under the Justice Department and was autho-
rized in the recently passed crime bill. Another
positive measure in the law was an allotment of
money for state grants to deal with violence
against women. After years of avoidance, the
government is right to face up to the challenge
of eliminating this type of crime. And whether
it is wife-beating, rape by a stranger, incest,
acquaintance rape or some other form does not
matter -- all these crimes must be eliminated
from everyday life. Violence against women
cannot be an accepted part of society.
The office should begin its work in the
proper direction. In order to devise a solution
to the problem, the cause first must be deter-
mined - a cause that is deeply rooted in the
tenets of American society. Sexism plays a key
role in enabling violence against women to
take place - women historically do not merit
as much respect as men, placing them in a
supplicant position. In planning to combat the
problem, the Violence Against Women Office
must take this into account.
Also important to consider is that no woman
is immune from the danger. While many feel
they can prevent it, it is often unpredictable.
For this reason, no survivor of violent crime is
to be blamed. As government officials wage
their campaign, they must remember this.
Another notable point is that violence against
How TO CONTACT THEM

women reaches into every level of society. It
makes no difference whether the survivor is
wealthy or poor. This type of violence crosses
socioeconomic lines - as well as state lines.
For this reason the $26 million in grants
will be a vital part of the effort to end violence
against women. Each state will get grants of up
to $462,000 to further law enforcement, pros-
ecution and services for survivors. Not only
must the states put the money to the fullest use
- they must encourage local governments to
make efforts as well.
Down to the smallest level, steps can and
should be taken. In the area of domestic vio-
lence, restraining orders are difficult to obtain
- women have to go through excessive red
tape, and here in Washtenaw County must
pay a hefty fee. These must be made more
easily obtainable - they are essential in
protecting women against abusive husbands
or partners. Also, tougher sanctions on
spouse-abusers should be implemented. Do-
mestic violence must be acknowledged as a
serious offense, not a problem "within the
home" as many would like to believe.
Mistreatment of women in this manner is
everyone's problem. The number of violent
crimes are committed against women is a
national disgrace. President Clinton must be
commended for calling attention to the prob-
lem in a way none of his predecessors have had
the courage or the caring to do. Yet the execu-
tive office is only one small step toward elimi-
nating violence against women. All Ameri-
cans must concentrate their efforts to put an
end to violence against women.

JIM LASSER
x,1PAT 8 VCHANANJ WILL NoW
6o AND ANNOUNCE To 'THEWORL D
M Y CA NDIDA CY FO R TDE51 DEN T.-
kIWPO NT
The nternet: Yu
By Virginia Rezmierski ... so she did. She thought of the
Bob could send electronic reactions it would get and chuck-
mail to Joan, a girl in his class, to led to herself She could evern
ask her to go out with him... so he print pictures on ashared printer
did. After all, e-mail was a great around the cornerfrom the com-
wav to communicate and he puter she was using, wait for
wanted to communicate with others to retrieve their output,
Joan. He could keep sending her and witness their reactions when
messages even though she said they came across her pictures.
she wasn't interested ... so he She could do it ... so she did. It
did. Whv shouldn't lie continue didn't matter that these people
to try to persuade her? After all, didn't want to see herpictures. It
it was easy; sending the message didn't matter that they might be
only took a few seconds. When interrupted in their work, feel
Joan became annoyed and asked hurt, upset, angry, and perhaps
him to stop bothering her, he become fearful because of the
could send her e-mail using an material. After all, Kendra
alias to throw her off-base ... so wanted to see their reactions and
he did. Perhaps she would think she could do it ... so she did.
he was clever andfunny. So what Peter could create a direc-
if the name he used belonged to tory of information about people
another classmate? It didn't who workedfor him ... sohle did.
nwtter that she might get angry As their boss, he could require
vwith the other person or that the that they give their names, home
person was being misrepresented addresses, phone numbers, pic-
by Bob. It just didn't matter that tures, and other bits of informa-
he was bombarding Joan with tionfor inclusion in the directory
this unwanted mail and unsolic- ... so he did. Peter wanted to
ited attention. Why should she be know more about the people in
upset? After all, Bob could do it his group and be able to contact
and he wanted to do it ... so he them more easily. He also wanted
did. others in his division to know

Vtl?

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6E A 131T MVCH;

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"The higher-ed
pie has been
shrinking
consistently
and we should
not further
exacerbate
the problem by
giving some
universities more
than others."
- State Rep. Liz Brater
(D-53rd district), on
state cuts in University
funding

0

an do it ...
even curtailing them, for the sake
of others, for the sake of higher
values, and for the sake of the
community to which we belong.
This kind of maturation contin-
ues throughout our lifetimes if
we stay open to growth; in fact,
we continue to learn to manage
impulses many years after we
consider ourselves grown.
Though we may continue to
change, non-egocentric, higher-
level social thinking and moral
behavior is the goal.
In each of the previous vi-
gnettes a line was crossed. The
line may on one side demarcate
the rights of one individual and,
on the other side, the rights of
another. It may be a line that
everyone would agree divides
right and wrong, one that marks
the difference between egocen-
tric and social behaviors or one
that defines the difference be-
tween appropriate and inappro-
priate use of shared resources.
Sometimes the line is blurry. But
clear or not, it is a line of judg-
ment that should always be con-
templated by individuals - for
themselves and for organizations
they represent.
On this campus we see con-
tinual examples of individuals
wanting to do something, being
able to do it technologically and
then doing it seemingly without
passing judgment on the effects
of the action on others. From
posting creative writing, to for-
warding chain mail, to using an-
other person's name withoutper-
mission, to reposting material to

wil you?
others or for the community of
which they are a part. Undoubt-
edly and unfortunately, we may
see more of these behaviors. How,
then, should we respond?
We would do well to reflect a
moment on the thoughts of Ernest
Boyer, president of the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement
of Teaching, who wrote: "A col-
lege or university is a disciplined
community, a place where indi-
viduals accept their obligation to
the group, a just community
where the sacredness of each
person is honored, a caring com-
munity, a place where the well-
being of each member is sensi-
tively supported."
We are a community of grow-
ing, maturing individuals who
don't act solely on impulses.
Though we have the ability to
act, we don't act without think-
ing of higher values and the needs
of others. Technology has made
it possible for us to do many
things with incredible speed,
sometimes so quickly that cogni-
tion has little chance to mediate
between stimulus and response.
We can act before we think of the
implications of our actions. How-
ever, technology is neither the
answer for how to behave nor the
excuse for solelyegocentric, self-
serving ways.
At our best moments at the
University of Michigan, we se-
lect one behavior over another
because we care about one an-
other, honor personal boundaries
and rights, exercise our freedoms
with responsibility and value this

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

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

Kendra was a whiz on the
Internet; she could locate elec-
tronic information easily on the
network using her computer and
read it on the screen or print it...
so she did. After all, there was so
much to discover in cyberspace,
connecting to resource after re-
source and to news groups all
overthe world. Kendra especially
liked reading material that she
believed others wouldfind offen-

more about
aged, so the
more easily4
technologyc
pilation of i
the transpor
in ways that
munication.
someofhise
their pictur
home add
Peter's opi,

the people he man-
y could contact them
as well. After all, the
allowed for the com-
mages and text and
.- of that information
would enhance com-
It didn't matter that
mployees didn't want
es included or their
resses published.
pion was that if they

State Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith
(D-Washtenaw County)
410 Farnum Building
1InnincsNAI AQOQ~IC

I

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