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February 07, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-07

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 7, 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 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 center will encourage omnt evc

'I think women have the right to work wherever they
want, but it's sad to see them work at those places.'
- HUES Publisher Oplira Edut offering her opinion of
women who work at Hooters, a restaurant chain where
waitresses wear skimpy uniforms

T he number of University students who
participate in community service has
increased significantly over the last few years.
One 12-by-18 room office in the Michigan
Union is now too small. With 5,000 Univer-
sity students already active in community
service, the demand is high. To accommo-
date the increasing desire for service projects,
the University is planning to build a new
center for students and administrators in-
volvedwith community service. This useful
addition to the University will encourage
more community service involvement among
In a city like Ann Arbor - where the
University's presence is domineering - ex-
pansion is necessary. The new center will
organize the various service groups. In the
new building, each one will have its own
office. With the added space and organiza-
tion, the groups will have better links be-
tween them. The University and surrounding
communities will have easier access. Expan-
sion could make the University more recep-
tive to the campus and the city.
Several otherpossible plans have emerged
from the move to expand. An increase in
faculty involvement in service organizations
is one possibility- several department heads
have voiced strong support. Another idea
includes expansion of the current programs
into 83 other counties in Michigan. This will

allow University students more choices in
the types of services they can participate in
- as well as more location options. Students
will have the chance to participate in the
improvement of their own surrounding com-
munity, as well as other communities.
The more choices students have, the more
tempted they will be to get involved. More
hands-on training in specific fields will be
available through the new center. Volunteers
will receive in-house training before going
on service assignments. A transportation ser-
vice to Flint or Ypsilanti may be part of the
new plan. The expansion will promote inte-
gration of community service into the cur-
riculum. Translating community service into
credits is a strong incentive for students to
donate their time. And credit for community
service is an excellent way to justify the cost
of the expansion.
However, the plan has one hitch: The
estimated cost for staffing the center has not
yet been announced. Moreover, administra-
tors are unsure where the funds might come
from. The new center is scheduled to open in
1997. By then, the administration should
have the cost worked out, and a plan for
credit hours.
In the meantime, students in search of
community service can visit the office in the
Union, or contact Project SERVE. It's never
too late to be involved.

Ensuring disaster.
Car insurance bill would hurt urban drivers

The Michigan Legislature might again
allow the interests of big business to
take precedence over the good of the general
electorate. Last week, the state Senate voted
to eliminate the rate restrictions. Eliminating
all controls on insurance rates could devas-
tate urban residents.
Current law allows insurance companies
to charge different insurance rates in up to 20
geographical territories throughout the state.
Variation in rates between a corporation's
highest and lowest territories cannot exceed
10 percent. At present, the variance in insur-
ance rates statewide is significant. A married
couple in Detroit with two late-model cars
will pay approximately $3,000 peryear, while
in Kalamazoo the cost would be less than
Proponents argue the legislation would
allow larger urban based insurers to enter
rural markets. Insurers claim increased com-
petition would balance the price increase
resulting from removal of state-imposed.
However, an insurance company informed
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)
that rates in heavily populated areas may rise
by more than 10 percent - a conservative
. estimate. Rate restrictions were eliminated
from 1986 to 1989. At that time, rural rates
barely dropped while urban insurance rates
increased significantly.
If the bill passes, residents in economi-
cally depressed urban areas will feel its ef-
fects the most. Low income households can-
not afford to spend a higher percentage of
their already small earnings on car insurance.
530 S. STATE ST.
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109-1349

Many drivers would be forced to choose
between two bad options. One alternative is
to depend on other means of transportation.
However, inner-city areas often lack em-
ployment opportunities and adequate bus-
sing systems; therefore, giving up a car may
result in job loss. The employed would then
shoulder the burden of supporting newly
unemployed people.
The other alternative is to drive without
insurance. Not only is driving uninsured bla-
tantly illegal - it would further damage
insurance clients. Auto accidents of unin-
sured Michigan motorists are actually paid
for with a portion of each auto insurance plan
in the state. If the number of uninsured driv-
ers rises, those who are insured will suffer the
consequences. Taxpayers would feel the fi-
nancial strain if urban insurance rates rise -
whether it is a result of unemployment in-
crease or a rise in the portion of car insurance
rates used to cover the uninsured.
Not only would eliminating restrictions
on car insurance rates damage taxpayers state-
wide, it is also disturbing that voter sentiment
from recent elections opposed the bill. Two
proposals in the last five years have attempted
to change the current territory rating system.
When asked, the public voted to maintain the
status quo - each time. The House should
follow suit when the bill lands on its door-
step. The Legislature must not be swayed by
the campaign donations of large insurance
corporations. Now that money holds more
weight with state senators than the wishes
and well-being of their constituents.

unites gays,
I would like to thank the
Daily for its report concern-
ing the dialogue between
students from Queer Unity
Project and various Chris-
tian groups ("Gay and
Christian students discuss
stereotypes, beliefs," 1/24/
96). Because the discussion
lasted well over three hours,
the Daily's reporter had to
leave early to meether
deadline. Thus, as a co-
facilitator of this event, I
would like to contribute
some comments.
First of all, the discus-
sion was very successful: It
was a time in which students
could share personal beliefs
in a sensitive atmosphere.
As such, students have
already established e-mail
groups and they hope to
meet again both individually
and in small groups. No
doubt, some barriers persist
and many questions remain
unanswered, but I think all
the participants would agree
that Tuesday night's
discussion exemplifies how
people with different beliefs
- and, in some instances,
deep distrust - can come
together in order genuinely
to talk. For this, each student
is grateful.
Second, I would like to
thank each of the students
from Queer Unity Project
for their thoughtfulness.
Because of this, myself and
other heterosexual Christian
students were deeply moved
- when before we had put
little thought to the matter.
Third, I thank the Lord
Jesus Christ. I am not
exempt when I say that, as
Christians, it is so easy for
many of us to get wrapped
up in our own social circles,
to ignore real-life experi-
ences or to avoid others who
are "different." Yet at
Tuesday's meeting, students
came in with open and
honest minds in order to
begin reconciliation. It is my
belief that these latter
qualities mirror Jesus who
lived and died in order that,
as the Bible reveals,
humanity be reconciled to
Thus, I am thankful to
God and thankful to the
students who attended. I
pray that on this campus all
students can strive to discuss
difficult issues and over-
come divisions with the
God-given qualities.of
"love, joy, peace, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control"
(Galatains 5:22). Take care.

96). Not only did it fail to
include a response from the
Students' Party or rebuttals
of the allegations made, but
it also misrepresented the
.MSA political scene.
The very same person
who complains of the
partisanship of the Students'
Party was one of and still is
one of the biggest deal-
brokers on the assembly.
Mehta was one of the most
vocal proponents of
"cooperation" with the
Wolverine Party during
chair elections, effectively
cutting out any person in the
Michigan Party who was
interested in running. Mehta
played party politics like
none other on the assembly,
and still does, joining the
Michigan Party for the
express purpose of achiev-
ing his electoral goals.
Mehta informed the
Students' Party when he left
that his major concern was
electability and maximizing
his options. He told us he
was tired of being part of the
"opposition," tired of
fighting the party he had
campaigned against last
winter, tired of standing up
to the same people that he
had told us he had "little
respect for" only a few
months before.
The Daily article forgot
to mention that Mehta chose
to take the easiest route out
and to support the status
quo. The Students' Party
wishes him well, but has no
desire to follow his actions
by compromising our
unswerving dedication to
underrepresented groups on
campus and our commit-
ment to changing the status
quo. It is this same status
quo that has choked the
effectiveness of the assem-
bly, an assembly which must
reach farther than merely
3905 Michigan Union.
Articles add
to negative
MSA image
While I commend the
efforts of new MSA beat
reporter Laurie Mayk for the
enthusiasm with which she
is doing her job, I question
the decision to run a couple
of her most recent pieces.
Articles such as "Students'
Party jump-starts MSA
race," (2/1/96) and "MSA
reps. switch to Michigan
Party line," (2/5/96) do not.
help the student population
by informing them of the
issues with which MSA is
dealing, nor do they provide
substantive viewpoints by

Letters have
about Israel
From the moment I read
the viewpoint titled "Israel: a
lonely champion of democ-
racy," (1/24/96) 1 knew it
would be viciously attacked.
Well, let me commend the
Daily for finally printing an
article that "tells it like it is"
about the situation in the
Middle East. I, too, have
lived in Israel. It is indeed a
just, peaceful, prosperous
and democraticpnation.
Unfortunately, it seems some
people cannot accept this
The letters attacking the
article ("Viewpoint unfair to
Arabs," 2/5/96) contain
numerous falsehoods and
distortions. I will mention a
few of these. Prior to Jewish
settlement, the land known
today as Israel was an
undeveloped region con-
trolled first by Turkey and
then by the British. Not until
Jewish settlement did Israel
begin her remarkable
economic and social
advancement. Jews built the
nation of Israel with their
bare hands and made her the
advanced, prosperous nation
she is today. Though tiny
both in populationiand
geographical size in relation
to her Arab neighbors, Israel
has had to fight for her very
existence from the moment
of her inception. From the
beginning. Jews have wanted
nothing more than to be left
in peace, but the Arab
nations refused. The letter
states that the Jews drove
Palestinians from their
homes. This is false. They
chose to leave, and the Arab
nations would not let them
enter because the Arab
nations believed that the
Palestinians could be used as
propaganda against Israel.
Through countless wars
and murderous terrorist
attacks on innocent civilians
by the Arabs, Israel has had
to fight for her very exist-
ence. The letter mentions
wars in which Israel
supposedly invaded Arab
countries. It does not
mention the murderous
terrorism and other legiti-
mate concerns that made
such invasions necessary for
the security of Israel, nor
does it mention the many
instances, such as the Yom
Kippur War, when the Arab
nations invaded Israel with
the sole purpose of conquer-
ing her out of existence.
Other letters attacked the
article for claiming the Arab
nations to be undemocratic
("Israel's policies hurt
Arabs," 2/5/96). Well, what
would you call Saddam
Hussein in Iraq? A demo-
cratically elected leader?

It's all in the
style of debate
It's hard to figure out why so many
people in New Hampshire and
Iowa want to vote for "SteVe
Virtually his only idea is the flat
tax, which not only is unoriginal but
also would be harmful to most vot
ers - Democratic and Republican.
Besides being a geek, "Steve" has
no experienceas a public servant,
and he's fabu-
lously wealthy,
which would
seem to open him
up to the "out of
touch" charge.
So, why is he
poised to upset
Bob Dole, a man
who may not in-
spire anyone, but
who is experi-
encedandrespon- JORDAN
sible? Unfortu- STANCIL
nately, the answer
seems to be that "Steve" an' his
money have managed to buy enough
air time to sell voters on the flat tax
- and the idea that "Steve's" nam
is not Malcolm.
When one considers that polls
show voters to be unsupportive of
"Steve's" tax plan, once it's ex-
plained to them, mystery deepens.
Keeping this in mind, we now
shift our attention to last weekend's
debate between James Carville and
Phil Gramm operative Chuck Yob.
The debate, held in the Michigan
Union Ballroom, was a showcase
for entertaining and wholly unin-
formative political discourse.
Not that that's a bad thing all the
way around. After all, I did get to
hear James Carville demolish Mr.
Yob, who was clearly out of. his
league. And, anyone who saw "The
War Room" knows that James
Carville is more entertaining than
most comedians.
Butcthedebate, which Carvill
described as a forum for a discus-
sion of beliefs, was nothing more
than an opportunity for each side to
state very general principles and hurl
insults at one another.
For instance, on the issue of "fam-
ily values," the audience learned
that both parties are in favor offami-
lies containing parents. Plus,
Carville got to say, "I'll give you
$1,000 if you can name one Repub-
lican who left his wife for an olde
woman." Everybody laughed.
'Steve' Forbes won't
accomplish more than
history's most expen-
sive name change.
At another point, an audience
member asked what speakers
thought about the University of
California's decision to change cri-
teria for affirmative action.
Carville proceeded to talk about
race relations in general and man-
aged to get in the phrase, "Mend it,
don't end it."
When it was his turn, Yob didn't
know the question. "Oh, it's just a
general one on affirmative action,
Carville said helpfully.
Of course, it wasn't just a general
one, but that's just how politicians

and their handlers think. Both
Carville and Yob managed to "an-
swer" the question without ever
mentioning the words "university"
or "admissions" ... etc.
The point is that this kind of thing
is what people expect from thei
leaders. Anyone who does explai
details is labeled as "cold" or "bor-
ing" or "wooden." This is what we
expect and so it becomes a self-
fulfilling prophecy. No one wants a
straight answer, or even knows what
one sounds like if they happen to
hear one. Just ask Walter Mondale.
Ironically, Bill Clinton - who
somehow got elected in 1992-
does answer questions in detail. This
is actually considered to be one 4
his weak points.
I realize that one function of de-
bates is to entertain, and to convince
listeners based on style rather than
substance. I also realize that "Steve"
Forbes is not going to be our next
president and probably won't ac-
complish more than history's most
expensive name change.
But we know that most people ge'
most or all of their news from TV,
medium wholly unsuited to debate.
Even worse, the average length of a
clip from a debate has lengthened
steadily over the last two decades.
Even the president gets only a few
seconds on the evening news. To
score points, you've got to be good


530 S. STATE ST.
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109-1349

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