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January 31, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-31

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 31, 1996

1ie £tirdlnt aigl

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 ofja majority of the Daily's editorial board. Al
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Signs of hope
Neal's appointment must be a beginning

'Detroit is more than on its way back, it is on the way
to becoming the city of tomorrow.'
- Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer discussing
Detroit's future during his State of the City
address Monday night
EL~ +
30 1 5f AC-E

L ast Thursday, the University Board of
Regents took another step in the long
and tedious process of finding a successor to
University President James Duderstadt. At a
special meeting, the regents appointed Homer
Neal, vice president for research, to the posi-
tion of interim president. He will begin after
Duderstadt steps down in July, and serve
until a permanent president is hired some-
time this fall. Although the announce-
ment was sudden, the regents were
correct to select Neal early.
Members of the University com-
munity were quick to praise Neal.
Several students, faculty, staffmem-
hers and regents agreed that Neal
would be a capable and competent
interim president. Regent Rebecca
McGowan (D-Ann Arbor) said, "We3
were looking for the best person to Neal
take the helm. at the University. He
happens to be a lot of things. He happens to
be the best." Despite Neal's popularity and
extensive experience as an educator and ad-
ministrator, he does not want to be consid-
ered for the permanent position. Neal's choice
is understandable but unfortunate.
By appointing Neal more than six months
before Duderstadt steps down, the regents
have helped to ensure a smooth transition.
Neal has several months to prepare for the
interim role and to become familiar with the
tasks ofthe University presidency. As a mem-
ber of the executive committee, Neal is fa-
miliar with its other members as well as with
how the University operates.
Neal has earned the respect of his col-
leagues and students by being both an able

teacher and administrator. Prior to joining
the University, Neal served as dean of re-
search and graduate development at Indiana
University and as the Provost of State Uni-
versity ofNew York at Stony Brook. In 1987,
Neal was hired by the University as a profes-
sor and chair of the physics department. He
became vice president for research in 1993.
In addition to these positions, Neal is a world-
recognized scholar and has received
several impressive fellowships and
The regents also should be lauded
for selecting a minority to hold the
University's top position. Neal, an
African American male, will be the
University's first minority president
in 179 years. It's about time.
However, the regents must not
stop at Neal's temporary designa-
tion - they must actively seek out
minority and women candidates for the presi-
dency and appoint one as a permanent re-
placement to Duderstadt. Women and mi-
norities are presidents of many universities
throughout the nation. The University has no
excuse to hold back.
Neal's appointment provides a direction
for the presidential search. He embodies sev-
eral qualities that the next president should
have - a strong academic background, ex-
tensive administrative experience and an
ability to bring a different viewpoint to the
office. Neal's selection signified the regents'
intention to find someone like this - but the
University needs to do more than give out
signals. It's time for a woman or a minority to
be at the helm.


Inspecting the slums
Rental property bill would hurt "U" students

R oaches as roommates, faucets that drip
to tunes and foreign matters festering
near the oven - students living in rental
properties may face these and other grim
conditions. A bill passed in the state Senate,
pending in the House, would amend
Michigan's Housing Code to order inspec-
tions every six years instead of two. The bill
could lead to the degradation of many rental
properties, harming thousands of students in
Ann Arbor.
Each city's inspection code would be af-
fected by the bill. Currently, Ann Arbor's
code requires an owner-arranged inspection
every 2 1/2 years without consent of the
tenants. The bill would require tenants' writ-
ten consent for the city to inspect the prop-
erty. The state currently requires that state
inspectors survey rental properties every two
years; under the bill, the state would conduct
inspections every six years.
Politicians have outlined specific compo-
nents-ones thatjeopardize students' living
situations. Because of the additional paper-
work and logistical preparations, the process
will become more arduous for the inspectors.

They are likely to raise their rates to compen-
sate for the hassle. In turn, property owners
would raise rents, as if Ann Arbor rental fees
aren't high enough already. For these rea-
sons, two Michigan Student Assembly mem-
bers lobbied state House not to pass the bill.
Many Detroit area inspectors say the new
law would defray the expense of inspection.
However, supporters have lost sight of the
importance of regular inspections. Due to
high turnover rates in college cities like Ann
Arbor and Ypsilanti, new tenants could move
into a dangerous dwelling. Inspections are
crucial for the tenants - they ensure that the
building is a safe place to live. If the city
inspects once every six years, apartments
could decay to hazardous conditions.
Legislators in Lansing may believe the
bill would alleviate the state's inspection
burden. However, the bill could have nega-
tive effects on those who live in rental ac-
commodations, especially University stu-
dents. State House representatives should
reject the bill, understanding its consequences
for the constituents who send them to Lan-

Daily rightly
Well, thank you, Daily,
for setting the record
straight on "Waterworld"
and those countless other
bombs ("Anticipation
builds; films disappoint," 1I/
25/96). It never would have
occurred to me to examine
the intricate psychology
involved in the failure of the
American public to accept
"Howard the Duck" as a
valid cinematic work. I
myself could not have so
eloquently expressed in
mere words the lack of
"significant chemistry"
between the characters in
"Ishtar." I'm glad a Daily
editor took it upon them-
selves to do so.
Maybe we do need to
accept the fact that movies
cost a lot these days, and
that many of them bomb.
But given a few choices of
where to spend
"Waterworld's $175
million budget, I would
probably rather see the
population of an unfortunate
Third World country fed and
clothed for 200 years than to
have a moderately
watchable movie on
Ten years from now
when I am watching
"Waterworld" in a cheap
hotel at 2 a.m., I'll appreci-
ate (thanks to your article)
the way it rose above
cynicism, artistic conflicts
and harsh weather to take its
place in history among the
other truly mediocre
creations in this world.
Dental 3
On Thursday, Jan. 25, I
was reading the Daily
editorial page when I came
across the biggest piece of
racist thrash I've seen in this
newspaper in some time
("Crying Wolf). The Daily
completely distorted the
facts about the Dental
School 3 case and showed
their complete lack of
understanding of the state of
racism in this society and on
this campus. One would
think that the administration
wrote the editorial, it was so
It is true, the University
examined itself and found
that it was not racist in firing

receiving. The arbitrator did
not agree with the Univer-
sity. The arbitrator ruled that
the Dental School 3 were
not guilty of fraud and
restore them to their
origina pay.
The Daily writes that the
National Women's Rights
Organizing Coalition
trivializes the fight over
racism by actually organiz-
ing the fight against this
racist University. The Daily
probably believes that there
is no racism around here.
Yet the Daily reporter who
came to the press conference
for Dental School 3 asked
Dawn, Theresa and Delano
why they would want to
return to the Dental School
if they were not wanted
Why should they be
forced to go to another job
because their supervisor is a
racist'? Maybe the Daily
believes that black school-
children should go to all-
black schools because they
are not wanted in white
The very fact that the
Daily runs editorials like
they did on the Dental
School 3 shows that the
fight against racism is far
from over. The Dental
School 3 have not yet
received complete justice
and as long as the adminis-
tration has pawns like the
Daily, the struggle will go
In Monday's article on
the Challenger explosion
("The Challenger: 10 year
later" 1/29/96). Will
Weissert wrote, "killing the
shuttle's I1 passengers ... "
For 10 years I've marked the
anniversary by reciting the
names of the seven members
of the Challenger's crew.
Smith, Scobee, Onizuka,
Jarvis, McNair, Resnick and
McAuliffe were the only
people I knew to be on
board. If Mr. Weissert has
new information I'd like to
know more.
By inaccurately reporting
on this incident you seem to
trivialize the loss of these
individuals. They died in the
most noble of humankind's
endeavors; breaking us free
of our cradle. My breath still
catches in my chest and my
eyes mist over when I hear
the words, "Roger, go for

'U' Housing
does a good
job for
Recently, every resident
should have received a letter
from William Zeller, the
director of University
Housing, which is a division
of the Office of the Vice
President for Student
Affairs. This letter informed
its recipients of a decision on
the part of University
housing to extend leases to
accommodate the residents'
busy end-of-the-year
Specifically, Zeller states
that he is "very pleased to let
(us) know that University
Housing is voluntarily
extending ... residence hal
leases from the stated date
and time of May 2, 1996, at
9:00 p.m., to May 4, 1996,
at 12:00 p.m." These extra
two days are at no charge,
and are provided merely to
assist residents during the
hectic period of "move-out."
Altruistic decisions such as
this one are almost unheard
of at this University.
This decision exemplifies
the commitment to nothing
but total and complete
service to the residents on
the part of University
Housing. Under the direction
of Zeller the talented staff in
Housing administration has
worked tirelessly to assure
not only a comfortable living
situation for almost 10,000
residents, but also has
strived to accommodate all
the needs and special
The Residence Halls
Association both commends
and applauds Zeller and the
staff of University Housing
for their actions and for their
continued dedication and
commitment in serving the
interests of residents.
Other departments at the
University would do well to
study the excellent "cus-
tomer-service" attitudesthat
University Housing
demonstrates on a day to day
Congratulations should
go to both students and
administrators in this
situation. We have all won

State-led war
crimes should
be punished
F orty-fve"Bosnian Serbsand seven
. Bosnian Croats have been in-.
dicted for so-called "crimes against
humanity" by an international tribu-'
nal at the Hague. So far only one, a
Serb, has been arrested, and it ap-
pears unlikely that any more suspects.
will be arrested
any time soon.
This is because the
United States does
not want to use
NATO troops to '
gather evidence ,
and make arrests.
Instead, the United
States chooses to
use diplomacy to
persuade Croatia
and Serbiato abide JORDA
by the terms of the STANCIL
Dayton peace
agreement, which
require that they arrest and extradite
their own nationals who have been
indicted. They have shown no inter-
est in doing so, each arguing that th
other has to go first. And so it appears
that justice will not be done after all.
Those who oppose an active
American role claim that all parties to
the conflict committed atrocities and
that it's not America's "job" to arrest
foreigners who committed crimes on
their own soil against people who are
not Americans. Besides, they say,
how can we keep the peace among
people we are investigating, indic
ing and arresting? These arguments
are based on a misunderstanding of
what occurred in the latest Balkan
war and on a failure to learn the
lessons of the Holocaust. The truth is
that the issue is too important for the
United States not to act, even at the
risk of angering Serbia and Croatia..
While all sides are guilty ofatroci-
ties, those indicted by the tribunal are
charged with crimes against human
ity, not war crimes. The difference is
crucial. War crimes are actions which
are incidental to warfare, and whilh
we recognize as falling within the
realm of possible human wrongdo-
ing. We can't forgive a soldier who
rapes a civilian or who mistreats
prisoner, nor can we condone his ac
tions. But we can't categorize them
as crimes against anyone other than
his immediate victim.
However, if the systematic mur-
der or rape of civilians becomes state
policy, as it was for Nazi Germany
and appears to have been for Croatia
and the Bosnian Serbs, then these
crimes cease to be war crimes be-
cause they are not merely isolated
wrongs committed by soldiers during
war. Once carried out on a large
enough scale, they become "crimes
against humanity," or in the words
a French war crimes prosecutor
quoted in "Eichmann in Jerusalem,"
"crimes against the human status."
They are crimes which, because of
their scope, are offenses not only
against their immediate victims but
against all human beings.
Under this logic, the crimes com-
mitted by the Nazis were too terrible
to be limited in the way an individual
murder is limited to harming only the
person murdered. By introducing ne
evils to the world, Germany degraded
the very concept of humanity. Her
actions proved conclusively that hu-

man beings' capacity to do evil was
Because the victim of the crime is
"humanity," it is proper for an inter-
national tribunal to pass judgment on
the criminal. This reasoning gives
our outrage at the Holocaust
juridicial means of expressing itsel
and it recognises that all nations
even if not in immediate danger -
must together oppose such crimes.
The Bosnian Serbs and the Croats
committed crimes against humanity.
It was their policy to wipe out entire
villages. Thousands of civilians were
murdered in the name ofethnic cleans-
ing, and Muslim women were sys-
tematically raped by Serbs in orderto
produce Serb children. Not eve4
body did this, and even if everyone
had, this would be no excuse. If the
world fails to bring the criminals to
justice, the phrase "Never again" will
become ever more meaningless.
The United States is building a
powerful military presence in Bosnia.
If the Serb and Croat governments
fail to turn over all war criminals, the
United States should use its power
arrest them. The United States shou
collect evidence of the crimes; the
Serbs and Croats must be confronted
with it.
This was the process by which
Germany was made to acknowledge
what it had done. The weight of the
evidence and the fact that everyone


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