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February 06, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-06

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 6, 1996

_ I

ibe £irilrn1 Eaigll

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 of a majority ofthe Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Watch your back
ACLU can protect students from new Code

'They don't even trust their own membership.'
- Michigan Student Assembly member
Dan Serota discussing his former
allegiance, the Wolverine Party. He recently
switched to the Michigan Party.,
- I4-
1~G 4FA

ou have the right to remain silent.
University students charged under the
recently implemented code of non-academic
conduct will not be informed of this legal
right. Concerned members ofthe Washtenaw
County chapter of the American Civil Liber-
ties Union are offering students who are
charged under the code advice, assistance
and - within certain constraints - legal
representation. The offer is timely and valu-
able, particularly in light of the turbulent
transition from the Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities to this semester's
infamous Code of Student Conduct.
Administrators admit that implementing
the Code has been difficult. Unsure of which
code to use for cases brought on the border-
line of transition, administrators have de-
cided to try cases charged last semester under
the old code. All cases charged this semester
will be tried under the unprecedented Code.
Before cases can be tried this semester,
each of the University's schools must select
the 60 students to serve on Student Resolu-
tion Panels - the juries of Code proceed-
ings. However, several schools have reported
recruiting problems. Student governments
are busy with other projects. Some schools
do not have presidents or student govern-
ments to mediate recruiting. The schools did
not have enough time to properly select pan-
elists. Widespread requests for volunteers
went unanswered; e-mail pleas to student
organizations were fruitless. In an effort to
observe the deadline, some schools filled

their panelist quotas by sacrificing the appli-
cation process--as a result, many juries will
consist of partially evaluated panelists.
The University's hasty and haphazard
approach to panelist selection is one of the
many frightening aspects of its new brand of
justice. Inadequate juries, the lack of case
precedents and the omission ofessential rights
such as Miranda warnings are alarming fac-
ets of the new policy.
Responding to these concerns, members
of the Washtenaw County ACLU have of-
fered students, who are charged under the
code, a helping hand. The ACLU will review
cases that students bring to it and offer advice
or assistance if the case falls within its juris-
diction. Attorney and ACLU member Jean
King said: "We want to help anybody who's
been affected by (the Code), so long as it fits
in with our criteria." King also stated that
although the ACLU holds regular monthly
meetings, it may hold additional meetings if
presented with a large number of cases.
While students are invited and encour-
aged to take advantage of this service, they
should remember that the ACLU is not prom-
ising legal representation to every student -
the case must demonstrate clear civil rights
infractions. They do, however, offer this piece
of sound legal advice to all students facing a
Code case: Speak with an attorney before
saying anything to Code officials. Keeping
quiet until seeking further council is not only
legal, but it is students' best hope for salvag-
ing justice.


Indecent proposal
Communications bill launches 'Net censorship

L ast week the Internet was a huge uncen-
sored form of communication - one
that eventually could link the entire world,
providing everyone with equal access to in-
formation. Next week, a portion of society
will have only limited access to the 'Net.
Congress passed a bill that rewrote the
nation's communications laws-at the same
time, lawmakers added a clause to the First
Amendment of the Constitution.
The legislation regarding Internet restric-
tion was tacked on to the end of this hotly
debated bill. The section
bans pornography over
computer networks and sets
penalties for those con-
victed of distributing "in-
decent" sexual material to
The pending legislation
is poorly defined at best.
Perhaps President Clinton
or U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers
(D-Ann Arbor), supporters
ofthe bill, canjudge "smut"
when they see it-but each
court will judge it differ-
ently. But if "smut" were replaced with "ob-
scenity," the legislation still would pose seri-
ous problems.
Many University students spend a signifi-
cant amount of time surfing the 'Net. A
portion of those probably take part in ex-
changing "smut." If these students met and
exchangedpornographic pictures, they would
not be committing a crime. But Congress has
decided if they did so over their computers,
they could be fined and sent to prison.
The government has put more restraints
on the Internet than any other form of com-
munication. From telephone lines to U.S.
mail, public speaking to newsprint - free
speech is one ofthe country's most important
principles. Yet Congress has chosen to squash

contend that Internet communication is not
covered under the First Amendment, and
therefore it should not be defined as speech.
However, the Constitution - meant to be a
flexible document - could not predict the
invention of e-mail. No other means of com-
munication can circulate one person's
thoughts as fast and as wide.
, Despite attempts to circumvent the issue,
the bill is a form censorship. If Clinton signs
it into law, Americans have no guarantee that
censorship will stop here.

Science is
moving to
I write this brief letter to
bring to the attention of the
general student population a
piece of news I read about in
the weekly science magazine
Science News, volume 149,
an article simply called:
"Gene tied to excitable
What this article covers
is that new research being
carried out in genetics has
produced evidence that the
human personality's traits
that govern "novelty
seeking, looking for thrills,
and new experiences.."
have shown themselves to be
governed by one gene,
called D4DR
Such testing has con-
firmed what for many is a
grave fear, and others a
sacrilege - the idea of
genetically engineering
Such attempts to seek out
novelties and new experi-
ences, in my opinion, also
can be considered aspects of
something more basic to
humanity: curiosity.
This vital aspect of
human nature is the force
which is one of the most
responsible, if not the most,
for all human advancement
in every field of inquiry, and
all changes in human culture
that have occurred over the
last 10,000 years.
Now, for perhaps one of
the first times in human
history, governments and
organizations have the
possibility of being able to
curb such curiosity and
social development.
Efforts like these could
make possible the dreams of
dictators such as Hitler and
Stalin, namely that a society
envisioned by one leadership
becomes the only society for
a people, and will last
Simply pause for a
moment and consider life
with only minimal change,
and the people simply being
disinterested in and unable
to bring about any major
change due to a lack of only
one element in their lives.
The ability to say, "I want
something different."
Party should
select better
for VP
i mitrtner toPvnrrltc

we expect her to "feel the
pulse" of the student body
and make recommendations
to the regents on policy and
other vital student matters.
It scares me to think that
someone who is unwilling
or feels poorly prepared to
make decisions whose
outcome can be linked to a
specific individual's face is
willing or feels sufficiently
prepared to make decisions
or possibly legislative
suggestions on such a large
and impersonal level.
I am not pleased with
(Michigan Student Assem-
bly President) Flint Wainess
(Michigan Party). His record
has demonstrated his
inability to represent the
student body. However, I
hope the Students' Party
will look for a vice presiden-
tial candidate that has not
openly expressed incapacity
or lack of training to make
decisions that affect
students' lives based on
available evidence. The
Students' Party needs to find
a candidate that feels
competent and sufficiently
trained to analyze the
available evidence and
provide a course of action. It
is extremely irresponsible
for the Student's Party to
nominate someone who
"never" intended to be
nominated within two weeks
of that individual's public
declaration of poor training
or incompetence!
The aliens in
East Quad:
I am writing in regard to
Dean Bakopoulos's article,
"Oh, the light of the left..."
(2/1/96). In the article, Mr.
Bakopoulos leaked highly
confidential information
regarding a pending invasion
of East Quad. It is unknown
at this time how sensitive
information of this nature
was leaked to media sources,
but a probe has been
launched to discover the
perpetrator of this interna-
tional crime. In order to
squelch speculation concern-
ing the raid, I have been
authorized to release this
intelligence briefing.
A specially trained task
force on alien activities has
reported the presence of
aliens throughout the East
Quadrangle Residence Hall.
It is their belief that East
Quad is a haven for a
thriving alien race bent on
the destruction of the sun.
After vast exploration of the
catacombs located beneath
the alien hot bed, they have

concluded that the aliens
have the capabilities of
carrying out this heinous
initiative, thus terminating
life as we know it on the
planet Earth. Spies for the
task force on alien activities
have penetrated the alien
conclave and obtained
detailed diagrams of the
aliens' weapons of mass
destruction. In another
daring intelligence-gathering
mission conducted at an
unspecified date, comman-
dos uncovered a thermo-
nuclear ray directed at the
molten core of the sun that
will trigger the explosive
We, at this time, cannot
divulge the precise location
of the activator, but we
would like to add that for the
sake of mankind, we hope
there are no Stanford Prison
Experiment fans visiting the
Halfway Inn in the immedi-
ate future. Exact plans for
the special forces raid on the
premises are confidential at
this time, but let me assure
the citizens of Earth that a
team of the best hi-tech
super commando androids
ever assembled has been
briefed on the situation and
is currently undergoing
rigorous training in prepara-
tion for the inevitable
Weask that no civilians
"take matters into their own
hands," and attempt any
confrontation with the alien
beings. Intelligence sources
report that these alien beings
are armed with deadly
photon phasers, capable of
vaporizing their intended
victim, thus posing a serious
threat to any misguided
freedom fighter out there in
media land. We would like
to inform citizens that there
is no cause for alarm, but
because of the leak through
Bakopoulos, we believed it
is in the world's best
interests to clear up any
misconceptions and assure
citizens that though we are
under the serious threat of
total global annihilation,
measures are being taken to
alleviate the problem.
VMI stats
A recent letter ("Men's
rights are ignored," 2/1/96)
stated that Virginia Military
Institute "gets about 2
percent of its funding from
public coffers." This number
is glaringly incorrect. VMI
typically receives in excess
of 32 percent of its funds
from the state of Virginia
each year.

In search of
knowledge and
a living wage
If you're an undergraduate, you
Imight be wondering just what's
going on with the graduate students
who teach many of your classes. Is
there going to be a strike? Just what
is the Graduate Employees Organi-
zation, and why are its members
picketing and
handing you fliers
in the Fishbowl?
The answer is
simple: CEO"
members are ne- EA
gotiating with the W
University over
wages, health care y..
and a number of
other important
issues, and it is
crucial for under- JEAN
graduates and the TWENGE
rest of the Univer-
sity community to
understand our demands and why
we are making them. So why should
you, as an undergraduatecarabout
these issues?k s
First, undergraduates have the
right to good teaching. Currently,
GS Is do not make enough to live n
- we make about $850 a month,
and even the Financial Aid office
admits that it takes at least $100 to
$300 a month more than that to live
in Ante Arbor. A GSI who must take
an outside job to make ends meet
doesn't have as much time to meet
with students, prepare for class, cor-
rect papers and do the many other
things that good teaching.requires.
A GSI who is worried about paying
her bills may find it more difficultto,
concentrate on teaching. A GSI who
doesn't earn enough money to pay
for health care may risk illness from
a lack of preventative care - and
possibly miss days of teaching.
Second, graduate programs that
pay a living wage attract the bes
applicants, the bestsstudents,and
the best teachers, ensuring a con-
tinuing supply of qualified, bright
GSIs. In addition, negotiations like
this often have a ripple effect on
other universities.Graduate pro-
grams that find themselves losing
their best applicants to other schoofs
may reconsider their funding pack-
ages; the wages at one school may
improve wages at other schools. Tha
means that if you decide to go to
graduate school after college, the
negotiations here may bring you
better funding package-at Michi-
gan and at many other universities.
Most important, the University
community should understand the
importance of the demands in the
contract. We are not demanding a
wage increase for extravagances.
We are demanding it because righ
now a graduate student who works
as a GSI has only three choices: take
out costly loans, work a second job
or borrow from already strapped
parents, spouses and other relatives.
Here are a few examples:
A GSI with a 0.40 appointment
(considered full support) writes:
"I've had to take out an additional
$4,500 in loans this year to be able
to pay my rent, utilities and BASIC
living costs. The University think.
we're wasting our money on mov-
ies and CDs - I haven't seen a

movie since I moved here in Au-
The biggest expense for most
GSIs is rent, but even moving to
Ypsilanti doesn't solve the problem
of a living wage. One GSI says,"I
keep track of every penny I spend,
and I can prove that without goin
out to eat every night, I still ha
about $1,200 per month in expenses,
and that's living in Ypsilanti fdr
cheaper rent, which requires that"I
find a parking space somewhere
around campus when I drive in.
Typically, this is down around Burns
Park." (GSIs, incidentally, have no
campus parking privileges).
Another GSI who came back to
school to finish her degree is mar-
ried and has a young child. "M4
appointment doesn't meet my bifls
by about $100 to $200 per month"
she says. "I've gone through my
savings so now we are eating a lot of
peanut butter and pasta. When J
work temporary jobs to cover soie
of the bills, my progress on the dis-
sertation suffers. I'm a mom aiid
wife; I cannot desert my family MW
bury myself in data for a year or
more to do this."
A GSI with less than a 0.25
appointment receives no health cafe
benefits. One GSI writes: "Unfortui-
nately, I must have insurance, be-
cause I am diabetic. My insurance
costs $112 per month for me, which
is 25 percent of my already in~d-


The Internet is complex
and intimidating. Access to
some Internet files, such as
pornography, is relatively
easy, and its large capacity
presents a threat. Jake
Baker's case unearthed one
potential problem; a recent
"conspiracy" case involving
three students setting off a
bomb echoes that concern.
Both of these cases impli-
cate defendants specifically
for using the Internet. Baker
could have spoken or pub-

lished his obscenity; the students could have
talked to each other directly after consulting
the library about how to use household items
to make a bomb.
Instead of focusing on constructive ways
to address new concerns, Congress followed
the precedent set by the University's han-
dling of its graduate journalism degree - it
took the easy way out. But this time, the easy
way out inhibits freedom of speech - a
guaranteed right for Americans.
Americans will use the "information su-
perhighway" more than ever in the 21st cen-
tury. Citizens should be free to express what
they wish over the Internet, as most other
forms of communication allow. But the gov-
ernment appears to be holding its citizens on

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