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April 22, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-22

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 22, 1996

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

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Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'The goal is to bring awareness to violence against
women and women's oppression.'
- Dorsia Smith, afirst-year graduate student in Public Policy,
explaining the purpose of the "Take Back the Night" march-

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

I LI41


A thorny Rose

MSA president walks
At Friday's University Board of Regents
meeting, Fiona Rose - the newly-
elected president of the Michigan Student
Assembly - spoke to the regents in MSA's
biannual address. While the address was an
impressive display of her oratorical finesse,
kose's speech contained more rhetoric than
substance. Both Rose's tone and the few
concrete statements within her address
should set off warning signals to the student
population - Rose must not forget her con-
Overall, the address was slick and polit-
ical. Such qualities are often necessary to
possess when addressing the regents.
However, Rose went overboard in her cam-
paign-type approach; she attempted to
appease both the administration and the stu-
dent-body, and in doing so, inadvertently
contradicted herself. Rose has already been
elected - a second campaign is not neces-
Rose attacked the University's curricu-
hum and the global community's disrespect
for academia. She implied that the
University is a kind of vocational factory -
providing students with "skills-only"
degrees to venture out into a world that does
not value a "human" education. Rose's
attacks on technological training - supple-
mented with anecdotes of her positive edu-
cational experiences in the humanities -
-insult the students who came to the
University specifically for that type of edu-
cation. Rose's idea of the ultimate educa-
tional experience is a worthy vision until
she presumes to define all students' ideas of
this experience. As MSA president, Rose is
responsible for representing -not defining
- students' needs and wishes.
Rose proceeded to criticize the

tightrope in speech
University's research-oriented professors.
She criticized the University's "star profes-
sors," accusing them of dedicating insuffi-
cient time to instruction, shirking classroom
duties and forgetting their responsibility to
students. Rose's blanket criticism paints an
unfair portrayal of the quality of instruction
at the University - not all of the
University's research professors are inac-
cessible, nor do they all provide inadequate
instruction. The regents balked at Rose's
generalization; Provost J. Bernard Machen
chastised her statement as "unfair and inac-
Rose misrepresented students once more
when she praised the living-learning pro-
grams. Administrators - such as Vice
President for Student Affairs Maureen
Hartford - have been promoting mandato-
ry requirements for first-year student par-
ticipation in the living-learning programs.
Mandating the programs would be detri-
mental to the University experience - the
only way to keep the programs from per-
vading the residential hall experience is to
keep them optional. Rose should discour-
age the administrators' relentless mission to
expand the living-learning program -
instead, her praise fed their fire and drew
beaming smiles from Hartford and other
administrators. Students will grow increas-
ingly intolerant of Rose's politicking if she
continues to pander to the administration
while sacrificing their interests.
Rose is a charismatic and well-versed
leader. She is capable of representing the
student population well - provided she
does not saturate her presidency with her
own personal agenda. The regents do not
need their egos massaged - but the stu-
dents do need a representative.




Dollars and sense.
City Council should consider income tax

'T ast week, a resident committee recom-
L U mended that Ann Arbor seriously con-
-ider implementing a city income tax to
replace property taxes as the main source of
,ity revenue. The Ann Arbor City Council
'would be wise to concur. There are several
limitations on the city's ability to raise
money through the property tax. Also, an
income tax would be a fairer way to raise
revenue. Ann Arbor should continue to
study the feasibility of a city income tax,
and should move toward implementing
such a plan.
The Budget Review Committee, com-
,prised of nine Ann Arbor residents, was
charged with determining how to improve
the city's financial situation. Its report made
two main proposals. The first was for the
city government to streamline its operations
and introduce efficiency measures to save
money. These are worthy suggestions, but
they are not enough to ensure fiscal securi-
ty for the city in the future.
As a result, the panel also suggested the
city conduct further study on the idea of
replacing city property taxes with a city
income tax - the committee's tentative
proposal was for a 1-percent tax on resi-
dents, and a 0.5-percent tax on non-resident
workers. For each category, the plan would
include a personal exemption of up to
$2,500, thus protecting most students from
tax liability.
A city income tax is necessary because
the property tax is rapidly losing its viabili-
ty as a source of revenue. The state's
Headlee Amendment limits the growth of
property taxes to a level below the inflation
rate. Proposal A, which passed a few years
I. ..

statutes make it difficult for a city that
relies on a property tax to raise sufficient
revenue. Moreover, voters must approve all
millage increases - which means that city
taxes must compete with school and county
taxes for popular support. An income tax
would not be subject to these restrictions.
One of the biggest problems with Ann
Arbor's reliance on the property tax is that
the University is exempt, by law, from pay-
ing it. The University owns 40 percent of
the taxable land in the city - this is a major
drain on city finances. A city income tax
would collect money from employees of the
University. Thus, the city would receive
some of its fair share from the University.
Moreover, a city income tax is the fairest
way to collect money. Income, not property,
is the best determinant of wealth. An
income tax would be progressive - it
would take more money from those who are
better able to pay. Wealthy renters would no
longer be exempt from city taxes. On the
other hand, homeowners who have finan-
cial problems would see a tax reprieve. Not
only would an income tax be better than the
property tax for the city's coffers, it also
would benefit many residents.
Reliance on property taxes poses large
problems for Ann Arbor. The city should
move to follow the advice of the Budget
Review Committee and move toward a city
income tax. The city would free itself of the
statewide restrictions on raising revenue
through property taxes, and the University
would cease to be such an enormous fiscal
drain on Ann Arbor. Moreover, an income
tax would be more fair than the present sys-
tem. Ann Arbor needs to maintain revenues

Post article
skews Israeli
I have been in Ann Arbor
since 1990, and have never
found it necessary to respond
to a Daily article until now
because no matter what, I
thought the Daily was fair
and accurate. Until now.
Your April 19 article
reporting on the Israeli
bombing of a U.N. camp in
Lebanon was the most one-
sided piece of "news" I have
ever seen ("Israeli shells hit
U.N. compound"). I under-
stand that it was taken from
The Washington Post, and the
Daily editors could therefore
take the easy route and toss
responsibility aside, but in
the name of good reporting, I
hope you will not do that.
Nowhere in that article
did it mention the fact that
the bombs were in response
to a series of Katushyah
rockets sent into Kiryat
Shmonah from a mere 300
meters from the U.N. camp.
Nowhere did it mention that
during Hezbollah's attacks on
Israel for more than a decade,
Israel has resisted respond-
ing, trying only to knock out
the Katushyah launchers.
Nowhere did it mention that
it was a mistake that the
Israeli bombs landed in the
camp, as opposed to the
launchers they were aiming
The fighting in Southern
Lebanon is unfortunate and
extremely sad. I hope that it
can come to an end before
any more people, soldiers or
civilians, Israeli or Lebanese,
have to pay with their homes
and lives for the battle. But
that hope does not override
my knowledge that a country
has a right to protect its citi-
zens from a religious military
faction backed by Syria, Iran
and Lebanon. Israel wants
nothing more than peace.
I ask the Daily to remem-
ber that there is more to a
story than what appears on
the first few moments of
CNN, and to please try to be
more informative and equal
in its coverage.
Cole is a
symbol of
The University students
that are opposing Johnnetta
Cole speaking are displaying
their ignorance and close-
If she is a member of
such controversial organiza-

ditch attempt to educate stu-
dents on the many different
people that are successful in
higher education. We are
insulted by the suggestion
that Cole is not qualified
enough to speak at this "pres-
tigious" school, despite the
fact that she is president of
her own highly prestigious
These students need to
welcome the chance to hear a
non-traditional (non-white)
speaker, and perhaps learn a
little bit about the historically
black colleges.
She may not be main-
stream for the many students
at this university, but because
she is speaking at our gradu-
ation, we will stand a hell of
a lot prouder during the cere-
My suggestion to the stu-
dents that are offended by
Cole is that they do not par-
ticipate in graduation, which
is something we considered
when there was the possibili-
ty of another cartoonist, like
the author of "Cathy," speak-
ing at our graduation.
Israeli attack
unlawful and
As a reader who is not
always impressed with the
diversity of views expressed
in the Daily, I want to con-
tribute my view of the recent
violence in Lebanon.
While the press often
seems to excuse Israel's inhu-
mane policies and outright
theft (of land and water) in
the Middle East, I hope that
it will stop this injustice in
light of Israel's infractions in
Israel has not only disre-
garded U.N. Resolution 425
by maintaining a presence in
Lebanon, but they have bro-
ken international law by
bombing an ambulance.
Although they claim that the
driver was a member of
Hezbollah, international law
forbids the bombing of any
ambulance, even an Army
ambulance carrying soldiers.
At least five civilians were
killed by this illegal bomb-
The Lebanese
Ambassador to the United
States, Tabarah, expressed the
simplicity of this situation in
an interview on CNN. Israel
is the occupier, he explained,
one has no right to ask the
retaliators to stop defending
themselves against an occupi-
er, one must ask the occupier
to end the occupation.
Please do not excuse this
horrible injustice. It really is
nnit cina r hnnna

Music listing
I was reading the Daily,
scanning the upcoming week-
end events, when I came
across something that really
angered me. I am not a per-
son who is easy to offend, but
this really ticked me off.
I am writing in response
to some smart ass comment
in the description of the Ravi
Shankar concert on Saturday,
April 13 ("The List: Ravi
It said, "Probably the
most famous Indian musician
in the United States, the 75-
year-old will be living it up at
Rackham at 8 p.m." This part
was fine.
It was the next line that
was ridiculous and inappro-
priate. "Go now, he should be
dead soon."
Was that intended to be
some funny joke? I don't
think it was at all - it was
absolutely tasteless.
Is that all that the writer
had to say about one of the
most prominent, talented,
respected musicians in the
Pretty pathetic, I must say.
And just for that writer's
information, Ravi Shankar is
in good health. Next time,
leave out the rude comments
... please.
slams Greek
As a member of the
Greek system, I am writing
to express my outrage over
the recent barrage of attacks
on my people that have
appeared in the abjectly prej-
udiced Michigan Daily.
Lasser's cartoon, which
consistently stereotypes and
attacks members of my
group, is an affront, not only
to members of the Greek sys-
tem, but to members of any
group on campus. The perva-
sive anti-Greek sentiment in
the Daily is clearly a symp-
tom of the institutionalized
hatred of "Greeks" in our
Of course, the Daily will
attempt to defend itself by
claiming that members of the
Greek system are both wel-
comed and presently
employed by the paper. Do
not be fooled!
A few token fraternity
brothers is just not going to
cut it. Until the Daily pub-
,: . , . .

After four years
atmosphere of
oppression at
'U' is improving
I t was more than four years ago now.
I was discussing my choice of col-
lege with a friend who had made a ra
ically different choice - a smaI
northeastern liber-
al arts college. He
felt the need to
validate his choice
of college by
insulting mine. He
said he'd read in a
college guide that
the emphasis on
the white male
was so strong at
the University that KATEF
everyonetwho was EPSTEiN
not white, and/or
was not male, felt left out and disen-
Without any experience of college, I
didn't know enough to tell him I was,
n't listening to opinions about a school
from someone who hasn't gone there.,
But now, with only two weeks left un!,I
my graduation, I'm as qualified to rate
the University's treatment o f
oppressed groups as I'll ever be.
I'm best qualified to rate tle,
University in terms of gender-based
oppression because of my own experi
ence. Things have changed here since:
the days when women weren't permit-
ted to set foot in the Union. I am a
woman, and in four year I've rarely
felt held back by my double X chro-
mosome. I've been able, by choosiz
my classes carefully and working har
at them, to learn a lot in the classroom
setting. I've almost never felt in thk
classroom that my gender undermines
my authority. There may be fewer
female professors than male, and
fewer than there should be, but I've
had enough same-sexl role models
among my professors that I'm consid-
ering training for their career someda
Outside of academics, as insi
them, I've had some strategizing to do
that I wouldn't if I were male as well
as white; but I've come out successful.
I've been able to find fAends of both
sexes who respect me as much as they
would if I were a man. The bulk of the
women, with whom I've become
friendly, comfortably identify as femi-
nists. The student groups I've been in
have all had significant female partic-
ipation and recognition - throu_
titled positions - of female participa-
True, women are subject to sexual
violence in the same staggering num-
bers on this campus as on any other in
the country, and the University's poli-
cies are abysmal at dealing with this
kind of abuse by instructors. True, as l
reported in this space, women dopy
seem to participate as much as menin
the University's larger classes. "9
True, in English, I have chosen a dis-
cipline with a longer history of female
participation than some of the more
technical fields, and that has made for
a more positive experience than the
average woman's. True, in my first
year I followed the required' course
"Great Books," a.k.a.ibooksdby dead
Greek men, with the optional "Great
Books by Women." Supposedly books
by women are only "great" if we elin
inate books by men from consider

But things have changed for white
women at this school, and they will
change more. If I were filling out a
report card like the ones I got in ele-
mentary school, I would check "I" for
"Improving" in the area of gender-
related oppression. None of this is, to
say that we can rest on our oars.
But the report card wouldn't look
good in terms of other kinds of oppres-
sion. As an able-bodied white hetero-
sexual with an upper middle-class
background, it is harder for me to see
oppression related to identities other
than gender - or related to the com-
bination of gender and identities other
than gender - than it is to see sexism.
I can only guess from what I see. The
one or two people of color in my class.
es often seem to band together and no
talk to anyone else - they also oft
participate in class even less than
white women. Gay, lesbian and bisex-
ual people are even quieter, since their
complexions don't speak for them. I
don't even know, with a few excep-
tions, who among the people I come in
contact with are gay, lesbian or bisex-
ual. Even by the most conservative
estimates, it's more people than I know
about. The silence means it has r
been as safe to be gay as it is to
straight, or non-white as it is to be
I know even less about the
University's atmosphere in terms -of
oppression related to economic class
and to disability. This amounts to more

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