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March 28, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 28, 1995

1E dqirijantt &alg

JEAN TWENGE

THE ERASABLE PEN

01

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

I I

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

One-step easy birth control
has never been such a pain,

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.
sudbet Affairs
{ Office should better serve its, constituents

As the Senate Advisory Committee for
University Affairs (SACUA) begins its
evaluation of the faculty's role in the Office of
Student Affairs, some major issues are becom-
ing clear. The faculty's role in the Office of
Student Affairs is an important issue, and the
SACUA investigation is a praiseworthy effort.
However, when considering the office's role
on campus, the primary concern should be
students. Despite the office's successful facili-
tation of student-faculty partnerships, its fail-
ures in addressing student concerns are mani-
fold. The students themselves must address
these failures.
While officials in the Dean of Students
Office, the first sector of Student Affairs to be
evaluated, believe that they have coordinated
efforts between students andfaculty and greatly
assisted both, they encourage any suggestions
based upon the SACUA investigation. Their
openness is certainly laudable, and many of
their actions have been equally commendable.
Services for Students with Disabilities, sexual
assault issues and suicide problems are several
areas where the office has successfully amal-
gamated student and faculty efforts.
Despite the successes of the dean's office
and more broadly the entire Office of Student
u Affairs, the existence of a faculty evaluation of
Student Affairs only accentuates the absence
of any such student evaluation of the office.
Clearly, the most important issue about the
Office of Student Affairs is its effectiveness in
serving students. In some areas, the office has
undoubtedly done much to improve student
life on campus. However, in other respects,
history shows the Office of Student Affairs to
be greatly deficient in fulfilling its duties.
Most important, the Office of Student Af-
fairs has consistently fought with students

over the Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities, otherwise known as the code.
Simply: Student Affairs officials want it, the
students do not.
Beyond the obvious differences in these
positions, the Office of Student Affairs has
been unyielding in its quasi-democratic code
amendments process and its insistence upon
closed hearings. Administrators' stances on
both of these issues demonstrate their failure to
cooperate with the students whom they are
supposedly here to serve.
The Union Dance/Party Policy is a another
example of Student Affairs' misunderstand-
ingof student needs, placing unfairrestrictions
on the Union for the uses of student groups.
The Housing Division's recent efforts to con-
struct living/learning programs also exem-
plify the misguided energy of the Office of
Student Affairs. Few of the current living/
learning programs at the University have proven
to be either effective or necessary.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with
SACUA's present evaluation of the faculty's
role in the Office of Student Affairs, more vital
issues are at hand. Is the Office of Student
Affairs fulfilling its obligation to the students?
Certainly not. The administration's failure to
address student anger with the code and its
misdirected efforts regarding the Dance/Party
Policy and living-learning programs help to
demonstrate the failures of the administration
to deal with student concerns.
In order to assess whether the Office of
Student Affairs is truly meeting student needs,
the Michigan Student Assembly should coor-
dinate efforts for a student evaluation of the
office. This is the first step to reform the role of
the Office of Student Affairs to deal with the
real, often overlooked concerns of students.

(6Home pregnancy test: the myth,"
reads the cartoon. A couple, she
in her robe and he in his white BVDs,
celebrate. "It's yes! We're going to have a
baby!"
"Geez, gosh, sweetheart, I'm so happy!"
Then there's "the reality": A woman sits
alone at a table, staring at the test. "Shit," she
says.
Welcome to the reality of sex in the'90s.
In these enlightened times, we thought we
had it All Figured Out - technology and
new birth control methods would help us
enjoy sex freely and without worries. The
reality: You're in a dark room trying to
figure out which side is up on the condom to
make it roll down. (If you want to make a
million bucks, figure out a way to stencil
"This End Up" in glow-in-the-dark letters
on condoms.)
There is no perfect birth control method,
only a few categories: embarrassing and
more embarrassing, convenient and less
convenient. Condoms are probably in the
"more embarrassing" department. Not only
does their structure resemble aMobius strip,
but buying them is just plain annoying. The
worst are the drugstores which keep them
behind the counter. "Uh, I'd like a box of
condoms, please," you say in a barely au-
dible whisper, hoping the 80-year-old nun
behind you is out of earshot. "WHAT? DID
YOU SAY YOU WANTEDCONDOMS?"

says the cashier.
Better yet, the cashier will ask the most
embarrassing question in the world: "What
kind?" Hint: If your boyfriend holds his
head high and says, "Large, extra sensitive,
and ribbed 'forherpleasure,"'hehasclearly
done this too often and is a weasel. And for
you guys: Yes, you will run into your
girlfriend's father (he'll be in line behind
the nun), so be prepared.
Even buying condoms at Meijer's is a
little embarrassing. You make your selec-
tion from the dizzying array of options,
conveniently located next to the canes and
reading glasses, and slip the box under the
Chili Cheese Fritos in your cart. Suddenly
everything else you buy becomes suspi-
cious."Whippedcreamandcondoms? What.
will the cashier think? I bet they wait all
night for laughs like this. Do I really need
that dog collar?"
Then there's the wonderful pill. It is not
just a pill, but The Pill, such a status it has
gained in our culture. It's a little less embar-
rassing than condoms, but unfortunately
involves the medieval torture known as a
gynecological exam. Guys, you may think
that this little pack of freedom is your salva-
tion, but think again. Women on synthetic
hormones are dangerous creatures, prone to
make unreasonable demands for unfathom-
able things like foreplay and your listening
when they talk.

Once you find the right brand and con-
quer the hormones, there's only one lttle
problem: You have to remember to take the
little sucker. If you ever see a woman stop
dead in the middle ofthe Diag, fumble in her
backpack, and turn her back to the sidewalk,
you are witnessing the art form known as
Woman Who Has Forgotten to Take Her
Pill.
Then there's the diaphragm. (This word,
I'm convinced, has the most diverse mean-
ings of any in the English language. Do you
mean a part of the lungs? The what-
chamadolley on a microphone? Or a birth
control method? How did this happen ?) It
resembles a condom in that you have to
worry about it every time you have sex, but
presumably it's easier to tell which side is
up. However, it was also the main method of
birth control for women in the 1950s, and
look how that turned out.
Beyond that, you start running out of
options. IUDs can poke holes in your uterus,
something I personally try to avoid. Sponges
and foam are good for backups, but iffy by
themselves. The rhythm method can work
but involves abstinence (thus making it
impractical for us sex-crazed college stu-
dents). And do you know what you call a
man who uses withdrawal? "Daddy."
Of course, there are ways you can avoid
dealing with any of this. Just ask the nun
behind you in line to tell you all about them.

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NoTA1BLE QUOTABLE
"This is not a
good thing to say
the least. I find
that very Irrespon-
sible that they
don't keep track
of where the
ballots are. That's
MSA for you."
-- MSA Rep. Olga
Savic, reacting to the
discovery of 200
untallied MSA ballots

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Faking responsibility
Despite benefits, federal bill imperils children

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LiRrns

T he first salvo against social welfare pro-
grams was fired by the House in a Repub-
lican-driven passage of the Personal Respon-
sibility Act. The bill has been publicized as one
that would "liberate" people from dependence
on public programs. The reality is that the bill
falls far short of promoting real work and relief
from the welfare system, and in the process
endangers those who depend most on the funds:
children.
There are positive aspects to the bill, but
their implementation is far from being logi-
cally sound. The first encouraging provision is
the diverting of Aid to Families with Depen-
dent Children funds to states. The Aid to
Families is the single largest source of welfare
funding, and arguably is to blame for many
problems associated with welfare. Several
states, including Wisconsin and Michigan,
have demonstratedinitiative in new approaches
with these programs on the basis of the state's
individual needs. Alhough federal control for
welfare appropriations would be relinquished
to individual states under the bill, there is also
a federal stipulation that no unmarried mothers
under the age of 18 would be permitted to
receive aid.
While this provision may start things in the
right direction by attempting to end the cycle
of teenage welfare and introduce responsibil-
ity to pregnancy, it is severely flawed. First and
foremost, the bill would hurt children by virtue
of their birthright. Children in need of the most
care would be plunged deeper into poverty,
thus continuing the cycle of neglect and want.
Second, the bill ignores the fiscal responsibil-

ity of fathers. It pays no attention to the fathers
who abandon women pregnant with their chil-
dren, and faults only the women for the actions
of two people.
At the same time, the bill places dispropor-
tionate fiscal emphasis on marriage. In some
cases, marriage can be a more abusive situa-
tion for a woman than single motherhood. If
proponents of the bill claim that women have
children merely to garner welfare checks, then
certainly it is possible for marriages out of
convenience to arise to ensure monthly checks.
A bad marriage is no improvement for a child
than the situation of living with a single mother.
Third, although Republicans have tried to
hinder a disadvantaged woman's right to ac-
cess to abortion via the Hyde Amendment, the
number of abortions will certainly increase
due to this law. This runs contrary to what both
pro-choicers and anti-abortionists would like
to see: a decrease in the need for abortion.
The irony of the wording of the Personal
Responsibility Act is that it has no programs
that would actually serve to get people off
welfare and into decent jobs. Welfare reform
in and of itself is empty and meaningless if it
does not shift people from the welfare track to
the job market. This bill ignores the impor-
tance of child care, education for both mothers
and children, and job training. If welfare re-
cipients are to have any realistic chance of
meaningful employment, these issues must be
made the cornerstones of any welfare pro-
gram. Cutting off funds and leaving recipients
floating in the wind will do nothing to serve the
greater interests of the country.

Anti-Contract
march a farce
To the Daily:
This Wednesday, there will
be a protest against the Contract
with America sponsored by the
uniquely named Coalition
Against the Contract With
America. To the students of the
University, I warn: Do not be
fooled! I have intercepted an e-
mail message from this "coali-
tion" and you must realize that
this protest is no spontaneous
uprising, it is all planned Demo-
crat tricks. These "protests" have
been encouraged by the Demo-
cratic Party on campuses all over
America and their lackeys here
are eager to follow suit. These
students have been encouraged
to engage in anti-Contract activi-
ties that are laughable. One rec-
ommendation is that students
perform Beavis and Butt-Head
skits against the Contract (i.e.
"The Contract sucks, huh, huh").
If the best the Dems can do against
the Contract is pit Beavis and
Butt-Head against Newt
Gingrich, I say that's pretty pa-
thetic. The Dems can stick to
their cartoon dreamworld and
we'll stick to the issues.
One "Coalition Against the
Contract" flyer encourages
people to protest Proposition 187
at their march. These people ob-
viously watch too much MTV,
for they should realize that Prop.
187 has nothing to do with the
Contract with America. Another

use words like racist, sexist,
homophobic, etc., etc., but never
explain why these words apply.
The reason they don't explain
these attacks is because they are
unfounded. So as people watch
the "March against the Contract"
on Wednesday (if they actually
decide to do it here), remember,
it's all a planned show. The im-
portant thing is that the Republi-
cans will have soon been able to
accomplish more in 100days than
the Democrats did in 40 years.
How many honest Americans are
going to protest that?
Mark Fletcher
President, U-M College
Republicans
LSA junior
MSA leaders
look to future
To the Daily:
Campaigning is tough
enough; governing is sure to be
an even more arduous task. Still,
with the help of the University
community, including both new
and old members of the assem-
bly, this could prove to be a land-
mark year for MSA.
Unquestionably, there is
much work to be done. From the
code to procuring a student re-
gent, from MSA On-Line to in-
creased student outreach, the
charge of MSA in the following
year will be an electric one. We
intend to do all we can to swiftly
and forthrightly fulfill all that we

Thursday. While voter turnout
was high across the board, LSA
turnout reached an astonishing
23 percent!
Again, we would like to thank
all of the participants in this year's
campaign, and commend the
grace with which our opponents
conducted themselves. We in-
vite all students to attend the first
meeting of the new assembly on
Tuesday, April 4 in the MSA
chambers (3rd floor, Michigan
Union);and encourage any ques-
tions, concerns and/orcomments
that arise over the next year to be
messaged to Flint at
fjawa@umich.edu or Sam at
faygo@umich.edu.
With yourhelp, MSAcan only
continue to ascend.
Flint Walness
MSA president-elect
Sam Goodstein
MSA vice president-elect
Exercise care
with homeless
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
the article "East Quad Resident
Sights 'Wolfman"' (3/17/95). I
am the person who saw him.
It is obvious by reading the
article that the reporter who wrote
it is unaware of who "Wolfman"
is - he is a potentially danger-
ous homeless person. I don't say
this because he is homeless, I say
this because of his oast record
with police and local establish-
ments. He has been given the

it has to be fixed. You can't fix
the problem by giving ,them
change or laughing at the prob-
lem in newspaper articles; they,
the homeless people, have to fix
themselves by wanting tochange.
If you notice as you walk by
the majority of them, they reek of
alcohol, some of them are even
unable to get up or walk because
of their alcohol-induced condi-
tion. If you want to help them,
don't give them money. Do you
want your money to pay for that?
College costs enough as it is.
Why support someone's bad
habit?
A word of advice ... choose
wisely when you give them help
There are places around here thaP
they can receive help if they want
it. The key is WANT IT. They
don't need money for alcohol or
cigarettes, they need to establish
a life for themselves, and helping
them support bad habits isn't
going to help them do that.If you
really feel like you have to give
them something, thengive then
food oran extra blanket you have.
We can't sit arcnd and do
nothing about the problem, and
we certainly can't laugh about it.
If reporters are going to write a
story on the homeless, at least get
the facts straight and address the
real issues at hand. Maybe a bet-
ter story would have been titled
"The Homeless: How do the*
Affect Our Lives?" or "Helping
Those in Need" or "How to Help
Yourself and Those Less Fortu-
nate." At least these seem like
they would not be articles that

HOw TO CONTACT TBEM
University Housing Division
Alan Levy, associate director

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