4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 29, 1995
(he Lirbigan &zilg
STANDING ON THE
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors
The meaning of colkege,
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V ~ _
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.
'U' would be justiffied to sue for state funds
n Monday, University President James J.
Duderstadt and Provost Gilbert R.
Whitaker Jr. spent part of the day handing out
yellow smiley stickers to passersby on the
Diag. It was part of Project Smile's "Friendly
Days," a week-long effort to spread cheer on
All too appropriately, some of the stickers
the executive officers gave away were not
smiling. Their expressions were twisted into a
mixture of sadness, happiness and confusion.
Perhaps it was unintentional, but Duderstadt
and Whitaker's stickers spoke volumes about
the current mood in the Fleming Administra-
tion Building, as administrators fight to block
the Michigan Legislature's planned cut of $8.4
million to the University. Whitaker and
Duderstadt have reason to frown - and if
necessary to sue the state to recover the funds.
One could call it a case of biting the hand
that feeds you, but University officials are
serious when they threaten to bring suit against
the state. Earlier this month, the House ap-
propriations subcommittee voted abruptly to
cut off the routine funding increase the Uni-
versity was expecting from Lansing. Largely
the work of one legislator - Democratic
Rep. Morris Hood of Detroit - the funding
cut comes in response to what some view as
an excessive number of out-of-state students
at the University. Of the current student body,
33.4 percent is from outside Michigan, de-
spite an informal agreement in 1987 between
the Legislature and the University to limit the
number to 30 percent. Hood and other law-
makers now want to treat the 1987 deal as a
formal contract, one the University has ap-
Such an assumption reveals a fundamen-
tal misunderstanding. Nowhere does the Uni-
versity have a contract with its benefactors in
Lansing that specifies the number of out-of-
state students the school can admit. And in
allowing the number to exceed 30 percent,
University officials were reacting to a tempo-
rary decline in the academic qualifications of
in-state applicants. Simply put, University of-
ficials were attempting to maintain a stable
level of quality in its student body. No contract
was broken - at least not by the University.
The state, on the other hand, is obliged to
provide the University - along with other
public universities in Michigan - with an
inflationary increase for each budget year. The
University reasonably expected a 3-percent
increase this year, necessary although woe-
fully inadequate to defray the rising costs of
the institution. The Legislature broke its con-
tract with the University by denying the school
at least an inflationary increase. The Univer-
sity should be successful arguing in court that
the state, not the University, acted in bad faith
by breaking the contract between the two. As
for whether the University ultimately retrieves
the money that has been wrongfully denied, a
state judge may have to decide.
The outcome, if it follows the letter of the
agreement between the Legislature and the
University, should plant a smile on the collec-
tive face of the Fleming Building.
The choosing of commencement speak-
ers seems to be humongous mystery
on campus. We wait and wait until they
announce who will be telling us the mean-
ing of perhaps the most intense years of our
In recent days, I have heard more and
more whispering among students:
When will they pick somebody?
Have they announced it yet?
No, I don't think they announced it yet...
And what is funny is that no one knows
who they are. I had to call three or four
University offices before finding out from
Walter Harrison, chief flak for the Univer-
sity of Michigan, that he, Rackham Dean
John D'Arms and President James J.
Duderstadt are the main players who se-
lect the commencement speakers.
Even some people in Harrison's office
could only give me one piece of vital infor-
mation: "They haven't announced it yet."
Who are they?
"I don't know."
Why this is a mystery, I don't know. It
Facts are that John D'Arms takes nomi-
nations from anybody on campus -includ-
ing students - to be candidates for honor-
ary degrees. The president's office then
selects a person from these individuals to
speak at commencement.
Yet, except for one bid for Kevorkian
last year, Harrison does not remember any
students having made nominations.
This has got to change.
A famous, respectable person comes to
Ann Arbor. He or she talks to all of the
graduates about what their education meant
and how it fits in to their lives. The speech
is written entirely for the students. Yet the
speaker was chosen by the administration.
It is too late to make nominations for this
April, but it's not too late for future com-
mencements. My candidate: Harrison Ford.
He can't write a comic strip, but this
actor is everything a commencement speaker
The official qualifications of a good
commencement speaker are that he or she:
1) Is interesting to students
2) Gives a good speech
3) Has made a major contribution to his
or her field
4) Doesn't need to be affiliated with the
University of Michigan.
I rest my case. Harrison Ford meets all
four of these credentials. Only thing is: He
didn't get a bid.
I figured Walter Harrison, co-owner of
the cool name "Harrison," would like the
idea of Harrison (Ford) speaking at the
University, if not merely for the chance to
meet someone with a similar name. If
someone were to have the first name
Wartowski, I know I'd like to meet him.
His response to the idea seemed posi-
tive. So I know they'd take the nomination
"Harrison Ford would certainly be the
type of person we're looking for," Harrison
I knew he'd like the idea.
Heartthrob, great actor, not-so-good-
Fugitive," Ford is a shoe-in.
Think about it. Harrison Ford symbol-
izes all that a student should be: adventur-
ous, calm under pressure and smart. Plus
Harrison puts his smarts to use: While
cracking whips and stealing idols, Indiana
Jones knows a lot about old legends and
lost covenants and other old stuff.
Educated at Ripon College, Ford was a
carpenter before landing acting roles. And
during his acting career, Ford has played
space men, archeologists, teen-agers, law-
yers and doctors. Harrison Ford is a Re-
And judging from his carpentry experi-
ence, there is certainly a strong correlation
between Ford and his characters.
1) are good-looking
2) can crack a whip
3) run from boulders and natives
4) are very smart.
1) is good-looking
2) can use a hammer
3) can probably run
4) has an education.
The only thing Harrison doesn't have
going for him is that no one nominated him.
And if no one calls John D'Arms' office
before next year with a nomination, then the
administration will have chosen the 1996
commencement speaker without a say from
We will have just sat and waited for the
answer. And we will complain when it is
It's too late for those of us who are
graduating to nominate our heroes. But for
those of you who with some semesters left,
don't make it too late to nominate yours.
SHARP AS TOAST
American Prisons: 1995
One sentenced for life, the other usually for sixty days.
- - -- -
P 3 EU U
Ii__I t, -
Guatemala case sounds call for CIA overhaul
~ - \1
The latest fracas surrounding the Central
Intelligence Agency and covert actions
abroad has resulted in renewed calls from
Capitol Hill that the broad, far-reaching pur-
poses of the agency be redefined.
The most recent disaster concerns an al-
leged joint CIA, State Department and Na-
tional Security Council cover-up over the fate
of two men - one an American and the other
the Guatemalan husband of an American law-
yer- in the hands of the Guatemalan military.
At issue are two grievances. The first one
concerns the fact that the Guatemalan military,
long notorious for human rights abuses, de-
tained and tortured both of these men for two
years under the auspices of the CIA. The
second one stems from the veil of deception
and misinformation that the wife of one of the
victims, Jennifer Harbury, had to overcome
to learn the truth about what had happened to
her husband. According to Rep. Robert
Torricelli (D-N.J.), the State Department
knew for two years that Julio Roberto Alpirez
had been killed by a paid CIA informant but
withheld this information from his widow.
Clearly, this demonstrates the agency's
willful disregard for following American law
in dictating foreign policy. For decades, cer-
tain instances of secret CIA and National
Security Council involvement around the
globe have ignored congressional directives
and international sovereignty. The guise for
such actions was long accepted as "vital
How TO CONTACT THm
national security interests." But now, with
the end of the Cold War and the emergence of
new threats, it is unclear just whose security
interests the agency is protecting.
Obviously, in this particular case, it was
not protecting the interests of Americans.
The inherent problem with the CIA is not
the existence of the agency itself, as some
claim. Certainly there is value in intelligence
and covert activity in a world rife with eco-
nomic conflict and terrorism. However, the
CIA has also proven incapable of managing
itself. Cases such as the one in Guatemala
and the Aldrich Ames spy debacle show that
there are too many holes in the agency - too
many departments with complete autonomy
from the agency as a whole. That the CIA can
claim ignorance in the tragedy in Guatemala
is sadly believable: It is possible that the top
brass may have known nothing about the
Guatemalan military situation, just as it had
no idea why a minor employee in counter-
intelligence like Aldrich Ames was suddenly
experiencing a windfall of wealth.
At a time when the nature of world security
threats is changing drastically, the CIA re-
mains an agency at war with its own govern-
ment and with itself. It is time for the Clinton
administration and Congress to re-evaluate
the agency's role in this post-Cold War world.
The need for the restructuring and possible
consolidation of the agency has never been
t - itt
r lme Sweet oJme
%Vfimwmw-. --- .
Help fight Republicans' Contract 'on' America
To the Daily:
As a member of CACOA,
the Coalition Against the Con-
tract on America, I wish to re-
but so-called "arguments"
made by Michael Wheaton in
his letter defending the Far
Right's most recent attack on
the majority of Americans
("'Lyric' off-key on politics,"
First, Wheaton claims that
Washington has been fighting
"welfare" since 1960. Govern-
ment programs like Aid to
Families with Dependent Chil-
dren fight poverty, not wel-
fare. The Contract "On"
America, however, does seek
to fight welfare, thereby in-
creasing poverty. The Personal
Responsibility Act would deny
assistance to 6 million poor
children, half the children cur-
rently on AFDC. Other cuts
could mean 200,000 children
expelled from Head Start,
200,000 kicked out of day care,
7.5 million without school
lunches, 2 million pregnant
women and their infants de-
nied food and milk, and
900,000 disabled children re-
ceiving SSI losing benefits. All
of this proves Mr. Lichtstein is
correct in stating that Republi-
ans are "slahing thie rnial
("Newt's Contract: It slices, it
dices, it soaks the poor!" 3/16/
Second, Wheaton advocates
limiting the tax "burdens" im-
posed on wealthy Americans,
arguing they have "worked hard
for their fortune" and these taxes
will stop the wealthy from "pro-
viding jobs." This is pure
Reaganomics, or "trickle-down"
theory. It was also completely
discredited in the 1980s. The
Contract "On" America em-
braces these policies of "Voodoo
Economics" through numerous
reverse Robin-Hood measures
which take from the poor to give
to the rich. Capital gains tax cuts,
$500 per-child tax credits for
families earning up to $200,000
a year (a few Republicans have
recently suggested lowering this
to the measly sum of $95,000 a
year), and increased defense
spending will all make the rich
richer and the poor poorer.
The Contract "On" America
also takes the prevention money
out of the 1994 crime bill, so we
can erect more prisons and ex-
pand the use of the death penalty.
It attacks laws that protect the
environment through unfunded
mandates, cost/benefit analysis
and "takings" provisions. It
make it harder In e cornora-
age awards like those imposed
on Exxon for the Valdez spill. It
slashes education spending and
student loans. It scapegoats im-
migrants, cuts off funds to de-
fend abortion clinics, and its
homophobic sponsors seekto bar
the use of federal funds that would
"directly or indirectly" condone
or accept homosexuality.
The members of the CACOA
have joined together to fight
this Far Right attack on the
majority of Americans. We are
sponsoring a Rally and March
Against the Contract, beginning
at noon on the Diag, today. This
action will be part of a coordi-
nated National Day of Protest
involving more than 150 other
colleges and universities across
Only 23 percent of eligible
voters voted in the last election,
and only 52 percent of those
voted for GOP candidates. A
contract the majority of Ameri-
cans didn't consent to isn't a
Contract "With" America, it's a
Contract "On" America. Join
CACOA today at noon on the
Diag to demonstrate against the
contract, and in favor of a pro-
gressive, anti-racist, anti-sexist,
"There may be
who are less
qualified, but I
think they can all
read and write."
- Athletic Director
Joe Roberson, on the
academic level of
Hill Aud. a bad
To the Daily:
Tuesday evening, I was for*
tunate enough to see Live per-
form at Hill Auditorium. Alto-
gether it was only an acceptable
concert despite the fact that Live
put on a great show. I love con-
certs, and even saw Live perform
before - they put on a great
show -the only significant dif-
ference between the previous
show I saw and the one on Tues-
day was the venue.
Hill Auditorium (like many
other venues) forbids smoking in
the theatre. This is not unexpected
or unnecessary. What is unnec-
essary is the overly vigilant at-
tempt to find smokers. Several
times during the show, security
would pan over the audience with
aflashlightto see smokers. When
I go to a concert, the last thing I
want is to have flashlights blind
me in an attempt to find smokers
- that is taking things to far.
That was not the only prob-
lem with Hill. The faulty layout
placed me in the section directly
in front of the spotlights. Be-
cause of this design flaw, nobodo
in the section (1st balcony, cen-
ter) was able to stand during the
show (I guess they thought we
might block the spotlights). What
gives? Part of the concert experi-
University Regent Deane Baker
4944 Scio Church Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
University Regent Shirley McFee
611 Jennings Landing
University Regent Laurence Deitch
2000 Town Center, Suite 1500
Southfield, MI 48075
University Regent Rebecca McGowan
2210 Melrose Ave.