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April 23, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-23

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4A- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 23, 1996

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofthe majority of the Daily ' editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Obstructing Injustice
'U' is correct to stand by Matlock

'There was a lot of squirming in the room.'
- MSA President Fiona Rose, referring to the administratkon s
reaction to her speech at Fridays Board of Regents meding

he University has not wavered in the
support it pledged to John Matlock two
months ago - even when the director of
the Office of Academic Multicultural
Initiatives was charged with assault and
attempting to resist arrest. After a two-
month investigation, the Michigan State
Police concluded last week that the arrest of
Matlock after an incident at the Central
Campus Recreation Building on Feb. 17
was lawful and just.
Matlock alleges the incident began when
Department of Public Safety Officer
Michael Kelly tried to physically halt his
entry to a midnight slam-dunk contest at the
CCRB, which was sponsored by the Black
Volunteer Network. He said he removed the
officer's hand from his chest and then the
police assaulted him. Matlock, an African
American, claimed that the white officers'
actions were racially motivated and that the
officers never administered Miranda rights
- serious violations of Matlock's civil
rights are in question. Without an official
DPS statement, and with disparate accounts
of the incident, the administration has taken
the right path. President James Duderstadt
ordered an investigation run by an impartial
department; the University is supporting
Matlock on the basis of his character and
strong record.
However, Jackie McClain, executive
director of Human Resources and
Affirmative Action, recently said she sent a
letter to the state police Feb. 26, asking for
the University-requested investigation to be
suspended. Instead, McClain and other top
administrators requested a less formal
investigation. University representatives
said at the time the letter was sent, they

were unaware that the investigation had
begun. It seems that the University was
recalculating the nature of the investigation
- preferring to administer it internally. The
latest incident, which arose when several
newspapers obtained the police report
under the Freedom of Information Act,
appears to be a misunderstanding.
Representatives of the Washtenaw County
Prosecutor's office say the office is present-
ly unaware of any charges being brought
against the University.
The University is continuing to support
Matlock - it deserves commendation for
doing so. Several administrators, including
Duderstadt, made public statements in
recognition of Matlock's value to the educa-
tional community. Until the case is
resolved, the University must continue to
give Matlock the respect he has earned
throughout his career, not the quick disdain
the original charges might imply.
The state police investigation proceeded
unhindered. After more than 300 hours of
work and 32 separate interviews, the police
said the DPS officers' arrest was justified.
DPS still has not commented on the inci-
dent in any substantive manner. DPS'
silence only clouds an already ambiguous
As the state police, DPS and the
University determine exactly what hap-
pened regarding McClain's letter, the
University should continue to stand by
Matloek. The three parties should formally
meet and discuss what may just be a misun-
derstanding. In the future, DPS and the
administration should better coordinate
their efforts when dealing with potentially
explosive situations.

Reform or regression?
State may make reckless education cuts

n an attempt to reform education,
Lansing lawmakers and special interest
groups recently introduced two proposals
that threaten to erode Michigan's educa-
tional standards. Gov. John Engler's 1997
fiscal- year budget calls for the elimination
of most adult-education programs for stu-
dents over age 20. In addition, the Michigan
Board of Education endorsed a preliminary
plan to significantly ease teacher certifica-
tion requirements. Both of these attempts at
reform are reckless.
On Wednesday, 2,500 people rallied in
front of the state Capitol to maintain current
adult-education funding. The governor's
proposed changes would transfer $105 mil-
lion of the $185 million appropriated for
adult education to the Jobs Commission.
Students over 19 years of age would not be
allowed to take traditional classes in basic
math and literacy; instead, they would be
given job and literacy training after they are
Eliminating traditional adult education
would significantly limit educational
options for adults who wish to return to
school. After forcing people to obtain a job
and denying them the opportunity to obtain
a high school equivalency diploma, a col-
lege education would be a less viable
option. Engler's proposal, in an attempt to
lower unemployment, would harm adults
who wish to further their education.
Engler's proposal lacks foresight. Some
low-wage jobs do not require literacy. After
obtaining a job, some people would lose the
incentive to learn to read or do elementary
arithmetic. This, in turn, would adversely
affect their children. The parents would not
be able to assist their children with school-

Lansing Republicans, who comprise a
majority of the state Board of Education,
propose to ease the requirements for a
teaching certificate. The proposal would
grant a teaching certificate to anyone with a
bachelor's degree and five years of work
The proposal's results could be disas-
trous. A college education does not ensure
competency in the classroom. The purpose
of a degree in education is to learn how to
develop a cohesive curriculum. Moreover,
educators learn proper means of discipline
in an education program. Through student
teaching, they learn how to enthusiastically
and effectively present a subject. The
board's proposal would halt many of these
benefits, which would negatively impact
Michigan's public classrooms.
The board's motives in pushing this pro-
posal are suspect. According to Jim Sory, a
spokesperson for the Michigan Department
of Education, decisions about salary for the
newly certified teachers would be left up to
individual school districts.
Thus, school districts would have the
option to pay a lower salary to a person
without a degree in education. Districts
would have the incentive to sacrifice teach-
ing to save money.
Both proposals were formulated without
regard to their long-term consequences.
Engler is attempting to make Michigan an
educational trendsetter, while appeasing
some conservative anti-union constituents.
Allowing school districts to hire teachers
without teaching certificates would give
them the freedom to hire people who are
opposed to unions. Cuts in adult education
are unnecessary. Political expediency and

Black Greeks
I regret writing this opin-
ion which "airs the dirty
laundry" of our black com-
munity to the University
community as a whole.
However, I cannot sit quietly
and let the benign image of
the Black Greek Association,
perpetuated by the Feb. 9
article, "Joining together as
one," stand unchallenged.
Now, I will be the first
one to agree that these orga-
nizations do a fair amount of
community service of
immeasurable benefit to our
African American communi-
ty. But, I have to wonder:
Does this service that they do
for blacks as a whole in any
way diminish the turmoil and
conflict that they create
amongst black students here
at the University'?
The members of these
organizations (not all, but
many) walk around campus
with three letters emblazoned
on their chests, heads or
other personal belongings
like they are better than the
rest of us. Their elitist atti-
tudes manifest themselves in
the lives of black students in
a variety of ways.
First, their attitudes pre-
sent huge obstacles to rea-
sonable students who desire
to commit themselves to the
principles of the organiza-
tion. These organizations
have these "rush functions"
or "rites of passages," replete
with rudeness, intimidation
and small-scale hazing,
which do nothing but impose
an inordinate amount of men-
tal and emotional stress on
prospective members.
While all of this is going
on, you are expected to have
some interaction with the
other people who are going
through this asinine process
with you. And - because
there are many more people
competing for spots than will
actually be let into the orga-
nization - the atmosphere in
these prospective camps
while appearing to present a
matrix of solidarity, is very
hostile. This is because
everyone knows that the
admissions policies of these
organizations, though they
give the illusion of being
very straightforward, are bit-
terly biased and subjective.
Thus, we have to create ways
to make ourselves more
appealing to the members. If
a fellow prospective gets
slandered or harmed in the
process, well that's OK
because it's all in pursuit of
the ever elusive Dream.
Then, when you actually
make it to that sacred place
called "line," the way you are
expected to balance pre-exist-
ing academic and social com-

who happen to be serious
about their scholarships.
Hence, the real Black
Greek Association is com-
prised of various black stu-
dents who think, because
they wear those three letters,
it is their right to subject
nonmembers to their "stank-
titudes" and egoism. The fact
of the matter is, we support
you. If we stopped patroniz-
ing your parties and coming
to your events, where would
you be? You will never be
able to do enough community
service abroad to make
amends for the irreparable
harm you have done to your
home - the black students at
this university.
IFC seminar
was useful
I am writing this letter
with respect to an article
written by Ann Stewart: "IFC
holds seminar on violence,"
(4/l/96). 1 am disappointed
by the Daily's negative atti-
tude regarding the seminar on
violence against women that
was held March 31.
The turnout for the event
was not the usual attendance
of other IFC/Panhel's estab-
lished programs, but it should
be noted that this was the
first seminar regarding vio-
lence against women spon-
sored by the Interfraternity
Council. The starting of new
programs in any organization
can be a difficult task, and I
commend the efforts of the
Interfratnerity Council's Vice
President ofaExternal
Relations Dan Levin for
choosingsto bring this new
program to the fraternity sys-
tem here at the University.
This seminar was not a
one-time event. The practice
of informing men of the
deplorable crime of commit-
ting violence against women
is something the Inter-
fraternity Council is commit-
ted to providing each year for
the fraternity system.
I also disagree with the
attitude of the article that
seemed to lead readers into
believing few positives came
from the conference. I feel
the audience was very recep-
tive and interacted well with
the speakers. The article also
left out the fact that many
members of the audience
asked insightful questions
centering on what they
should do to help someone
who has been raped.
The seminar was highly
effective and served its pur-
pose well despite the few
flaws. I am surprised how
quickly a positive effort such
as the education of men on
the subject of rce and other

Israel should
stop bombing
Israeli aggression in
Southern Lebanon is totally
inhumane. Imagine someone
coming to your house, taking
half your backyard and when
you demand it back, they
laugh at you. Then you fight
for it back and they destroy
your house and kill your chil-
The Israelis are outrightly
occupying land in South
Lebanon. Although militant
groups, such as Hezbollah,
are not totally justified in
their methodologies, their
message is clear: dismantle
the occupation. Occupation
in Palestine has already led to
thousands of Palestinian
deaths by the Israeli army
and occupation in Lebanon is
leading to the same thing.
Even worse, the Israelis, in
their disrespectful treatment
of international law and
human lives, are being fully
backed by the United States
How are any Arab coun-
tries supposed to live peace-
fully when they know the
Israelis have free reign over
all their lands by the permis-
sion of the United States? In
order for aggression and
unrest to halt in Middle East,
the Israelis must end all their
unlawful acts, the biggest
ones being occupation of the
West Bank, Southern
Lebanon and the Golan
Heights, not to mention all of
Israel proper itself.
These lands were illegally
occupied by the Israelis at the
cost of another people. The
Israeli government, the Israeli
military and therefore the
American government are
preaching discrimination
against Arab countries and
their inhabitants. And the
scary thing is that anti-Arab
sentiment has become fash-
ionable in American society.
As we speak, innocent
Lebanese citizens are paying
the price of this racism.
Everyone knows the Israeli
army is much stronger than
any Arab army. What are the
Israelis trying to prove? That
they can precisely bomb
civilian neighborhoods in
southern Lebanon? OK, they
have proved their point time
and time again taking inno-
cent Arab lives.
Now the solution is clear:
End the occupation! This is
how peace is achieved in the
Middle East - no other way.
I'm reaching out to those of
you who don't know the
details of these situations and.
the plight of these peoples.
Now you can reach out as
well. Let the American gov-
ernment know that it can stop
the massacre of Lebanese
children, and that it can help
to restore peace in the region,

Enjoying warm
spring days
G rowing up in Texas, I always took
spring for granted. We'd have a
few months of colder weather, and
then one day in late February or early
March it would warm up and just like
that, it was spring.
Before long, we'd be back to the
sweltering days and tepid nights of a
Texas summer. As
kids we'd sway
back into the tra-
dition of playing
until dusk, char
ing footballs and
June bugs on ths E
Our parents
would sit on the
driveway in lawn
chairs, talking JEAN
about the things TWENGE
adults talked
about - politics or bills or their chil-
dren. It was never cold enough fo a
coat at night, and we'd make it through
the day on Kool-Aid and sugary popsi-
cles that melted color down the side-
walk when we dropped them.
Things don't work that way around
here - we Midwesterners work for
our summers, dream of them all winter
long, do our penance in cool spring
days and frigid spring nights, and suf-
fer until it finally warms up. In the
Midwest. Mother Nature teaches a
crucial lesson in April: Enjoy the
beautiful weather I have given you
today, because my snow and ice will
kick your butt tomorrow. A simple
primer on summer:
Read outside! Ignore a nice day as
I did my first spring in the Midwest
and you'll go for weeks without feel-
ing the sun on your face. (I'd had a
reading assignment on Freud I had to
finish; with the faith of a Texan, I fig-
ured plenty of warm days were ahead
of me and stayed inside. I spent the
next month or so staring out the win-
dow at gray clouds, and I still hate
Let's face it: Reading outside is a
great way to enjoy the weather, com-
pletely slack off and convince yourself
through the haze of sunny, 70-degree
denial that you're getting work done.
Trying to work outside usually goes
something like this: Find an open spot
of grass on the Diag. Open book. Look
at all of the appealing scantily clad
bodies around you. Read one sentence.
Get hit in the head by a Frisbee. Read
some sentence. Feel the wonderful
warmth of the sun on your skin and the
novel feeling of a warm wind blowing.
Read next sentence. Retrieve Frisbee
thrown by scantily clad person.
Introduce self. Head to the Jug with
him and forget your book on the grass.
Aaccomplishments of day: two sen-
teinces, one bump on the head from the
Frisbee and a great night at the bar.
U Cultivate romance. Once you've
introduced yourself to your barely-
dressed chosen one, you're lucky it's
summer, the natural season for
Although there's a lot to be said for
cuddling for warmth, you take a big
rislL when you rhteet someone during
the winter - what do they look like
under all of those clothes, anyway?
Summer is also just a lot more fun.
There's not much to do in Michigan in
the winter other than work and read -
Duiring the summer you can take
walks, go swimming, play softball, eat

at am outdoor restaurant, sunbathe or
Then there's canoeing on the Huron,
an activity which is both fun and a
good test of character. Between run-
ning into trees, grounding out and
learning how to paddle together, any
couple who can make it down the river
without whacking each other with the
paddles deserves a special prize.
U Flay ball! Summer also means
baseball: sitting in the ballpark on a
beautiil June day as the sun-streaked
sky turns to a deep purple-blue, talk-
ing to friends and enjoying the evening
as the bat cracks and the ball disap-
pears -far into the blinding glare of the
lights. You can also indulge yourself
- playing softball on an intramural
team teaches teamwork, good coordi-
nation and, if you happen to be holding
an aluminum bat, a healthy respect for
Bocim. As long as you're not hold-
ing an aluminum bat, thunderstorms
are another great part of summer.
Standing on a balcony during a thun-
derstormi, nature is unavoidable.
Lightning slithers across the sky like
an electrified snake; the thunder
shakes and rattles, reminding us that
we're not so powerful after all.
And always there is the rain, a con-
tinuous, cooling sound which both
lulls and energizes.
No matter how much we wish it,
summer won't last forever. Classes

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