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March 01, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-01

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4 --The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 1, 1996

ctje £id1i{gr , l lg

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.
Under the w re
'U' saved by GBO's last-minute extension

'Like the Devil, political correctness has a thousand
masks and a thousand homes, including
the University of Michigan.'
- Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor), telling the presi-
dential search advisory committee that the next University
president should rethink political correctness.
err' r ToMtAY.. .
"DOLE" is
~u -O-tL-E!

L ess than 24 hours before the Graduate
Employees Organization could have
gone on strike, the union and the University
agreed to extend bargaining negotiations
through March 13. Last week, 81 percent of
GEO's voting members approved a measure
allowing the union's steering committee to
call a strike if a contract resolution was not
reached by today's deadline. The latest move
caps a monthlong bargaining process in which
the University has been slow to acknowledge
- let alone meet - GEO's reasonable de-
mands. GSIs graciously continued to teach
during the bargaining process. The graduate
instructors deserve commendation for their
decision to continue bargaining and not strike;
they have extended themselves beyond duty.
GEO members said they decided to ex-
tend the deadline because it has made some
progress in its negotiations with the Univer-
sity. The two sides agreed last night to hire an
affirmative action liason to head a previously
planned committee to handle discrimination
and hirihg procedure complaints. This small
comprise is heartening, but the University is
far from fair in its treatment of GSIs.
The union also suggested that bargaining
efforts focus on the economic proposals.
Focusing attention here is the next logical
step - wage increases and improvements in
benefits are the centerpiece of GEO's pro-
posals. The union is seeking a 15-percent
wage increase to make ends meet; the
University's own statistics showed that the
increase would bring GSIs to an economic
level that would allow them to live in the Ann
Arbor community. Most GSIs currently re-
ceive a stipend of $850 per month; Ann
Arbor's cost of living is close to $1,200. The
union's request is not excessive or greedy -
it is necessary for GSIs to live adequately.
Another point of contention between the
two sides is over international GSI training

and support. GEO's proposal calls for in-
creased economic and educational support
to potential and hired international GSIs.
Such a program would benefit the entire
University: The undergraduate students
would have better prepared GSIs and the
University would continue to enjoy its world-
wide reputation. Last night's extension of
the deadline signals hope that the University
and GEO will reach an agreement on the
issue - they must ride the momentum to a
quick solution.
By settling the negotiations as quickly as
possible, the University would reaffirm its
commitment to undergraduate studies. Also,
a contract would provide reinforcement for
graduate programs by continuing to attract
the best and brightest students in the nation
- not only on the strength of its reputation
and accomplishments, but on the clear sup-
port of this academic community.
However, a strike would not benefit the
University community. The University
should have been making aggressive attempts
to settle with GEO since the original contract
expired in early February. The new exten-
sion gives both sides an opportunity to use
the spring break week, with minimal distrac-
tions on campus, to reach an acceptable
agreement. Eventually the GSIs' patience
will run out, and they'll strike.
GSIs are indispensable - administrators
need to face this fact. While running a stream-
lined institution is desirable, efficiency can-
not come at the cost of damaging or dismiss-
ing the University's primary focus: educa-
tion. GSIs reaffirmed their commitment to
undergraduate education last night. The
University must settle differences by the
new deadline. GSIs provide a vital service to
the University. It is time for this community
to give them the support they have earned
and, moreover, deserve.

Controversy over Cuba
Clinton handled situation wisely

in a scene eerily reminiscent of the Cold
War era, Cuba shot down two U.S. civilian
planes Saturday, sending shock waves
throughout the world. Immediately, Presi-
dent Clinton and top officials of his adminis-
tration began investigating exactly what hap-
pened and how to respond, while Congress
worked to toughen sanctions against the com-
munist country.
Clinton has agreed to sign a version ofthis
bill. The president gave a mature and mea-
sured response to the incident - a more
hot-headed approach could have increased
tensions between the United States and
Three civilian aircrafts, piloted by anti-
Castro Cuban Americans, were flying near
the Cuban air border Saturday. The pilots
often flew around the area - they would
look for rafts of Cubans in the ocean who
were escaping from the country. Often, the
pilots would drop food and other supplies to
help the escapees.
The United States maintains that the Cu-
ban airforce failed to warn the planes before
shooting and killing four people. The Cuban
government claims that the pilots flew into
Cuban airspace from bordering international
airspace. But the truth is unclear. The U.S.
government said at least two of the planes
- the two that were shot down - had not
flown into the Cuban airspace that day, but
were over international waters; the Cu-
bans' actions were illegal. Eye witnesses
reported that none of the planes were in
Cuban airspace. Regardless of where the

States should press ahead with tough sanc-
tions to punish Cuba for its act of aggression,
which U.S. Secretary of State Warren Chris-
topher described as not only illegal, but as a
violation of "the norms of civilized behav-
On Wednesday, the House and Senate
each passed slightly different forms of
legislation. Both would punish Cuba sev-
eral ways. Clinton promised to sign it,
although he claimed some reservations.
The bill would toughen sanctions on Cuba.
For example, it would allow Cuban Ameri-
cans and other citizens to sue foreign in-
vestors - who used land that the Cuban
government confiscated from the sover-
eign throughout Fidel Castro's rule - in
U.S. courts.
Although Clinton first opposed the bill,
Congress granted him the right to waive the
implementation ofit for an unlimited amount
of six-month intervals if the delay is vital to
national security interests or if it will help
bring democracy to Cuba. Clinton's com-
promise was important: Congress had enough
votes to override a veto. Instead, the United
States will send a strong unified message to
Cuba, condemning the country for its griev-
ous actions.
Fidel Castro has been a thorn in the side of
every U.S. president throughout his 37-year
regime. Each has tried to be both tough yet
diplomatic, strict but fair. President Clinton,
with Congress' help, has accomplished a
balance. Until Castro steps aside and democ-
racy steps in, the president and lawmakers

policies will
cause pain
Pat Buchanan tells the
U.S. electorate that he fights
for the economic well-being
of the 'little guy" on the
battleground of American
politics. He points the finger
at big business and a
manipulated legislative body
in casting blame for the jobs
crisis in the United States.
He endorses closing borders
to foreign-produced goods
and immigrants as the
solution to the economic
insecurity of the U.S.
working class.
Closing borders to trade
only manages to internalize
the problem. Employers
driving down labor costs by
cutting wages, job security,
health benefits and work-
place safety and outsourcing
work to low-wage non-union
shops. The income gap has
widened over the last 20
years, with 80 percent of
Americans facing a lowering
of real wages or economic
Pat Buchanan's solution
attacks the very constituency
that can help working people
in the United States: working
people around the globe,
wherever U.S. corporations
are transplanting American
jobs. These companies are
using the threat of "global
competition" to wrest
painful concessions from
U.S. workers, and will
continue to do so while they
can pit workforce against
workforce, country against
country. The way to reverse
this process is to work to
bring wages and worker
rights in other countries
nearer to the level fought for
in this country.
To find out more about
this issue, the public is
invited to hear two workers
from a Ford plant in Mexico
City speak at the Kuenzel
Room of the Michigan
Union at 12 noon, Monday,
March 11. Jose Santos
Matinez and Edmondo Casas
will discuss their efforts to
democratize their own union
and establish cooperative
organizing efforts with
unions in the United States
and Canada. This talk will be
sponsored by Student Labor
Action Coalition, Latin
American Solidarity
Committee, Fuerza Latina
and the Graduate Employees
Organization. For more
information, contact
slac@umich. edu.

correctly, Matt Curin and
Andy Schor would like to
double BPC's remaining
funds by tapping into the
funds previously allocated
for other MSA committees.
What is BPC smoking?
The first thing Matt
Curin needs to do is resign!
Then, MSA needs to "clean
house" and remove the
current BPC members from
office. When someone says,
"Every year BPC comes up
short of money and comes to
other committees for
money," you know that
individual should not be in
charge of the BPC! You do
not double the funds as long
as those who have created
the shortage remain in a
position to squander the new
allocations as they did with
previous allocations. I am
sure the entire MSA holds
some responsibility for this
current "crisis." However,
those in the BPC that
recommended expenditures
to MSA must assume the
majority of the blame. This
is supposed to be an honest,
informed and good faith
decision. It is clear the BPC
did not do this.
Olga Savic, Jonathan
Freeman and other MSA
committee chairs have
expressed concern about
their committee funds being
milked to bail out the BPC.
Though I would not have
been so diplomatic, I agree
with their concerns. What all
MSA members need to say
to Matt Curin and Andy
Schor when asked to
surrender funds is "back
off!" Stick a fork in the
BPC because they are done.
After reading the weak
and deceptive editorial on
the Michigan Tuition Tax
Credit ("70% representation:
MSA slights out-of-state
students,"), I am convinced
the Daily edit board consists
of incendiary meatheads.
Probably rich ones at that.
How much money does
the University lose if the tax
credit is reestablished? Less
than 1/10 of 1 percent of its
budget. A minimal amount
that will clearly not impact
the cost or quality of our
How much do students
stand to save? Four percent
of their tuition. Do out-of-
state students really suffer?
No. Unlike the University,
the state considers anyone
whose income tax address is

the bill - a clause that
excludes graduate students
from the credit. One cannot,
however, fight all battles
simultaneously when so
severely limited in resources.
The Daily's evaluation of
the effects of Senate Bill 678
is immature and shows a
distinct inability to closely
analyze legislation. The
Students' Party testimony on
the bill was well researched
and better prepared than any
student testimony seen
before the state Senate in
years, by the admission of
the senators themselves.
Perhaps the Daily should
take a lesson in preparing
their editorials from those
who prepared the testimony.
mall is
After reading the article
in the Feb. 26 edition of the
Daily, "East U. to become
pedestrian mall," a chill ran
through my spine. On a
campus where students
seldom encounter areas free
of construction workers'
trailers, multifarious.
temporary fencing and the
sounds of drilling and falling
debris, I cannot resist
greeting this next "beautifi-
cation" project with disdain.
The University's ongoing
efforts to upgrade the
campus have reduced the
Diag and other parts of
campus to eye sores,
amplified by the recently
melted snow.
Yet the ugliness of our
campus is not the sole reason
I am writing this letter.
Instead, I would like to
comment on the possible
effects the state of our
campus has on members of
the University community. I
believe that the continuous
construction, which over-
powers the little natural
beauty that exists on the
Diag, sets a bad example for
the University community.
The path between the West
Engineering tunnel and the
entrance of the UGLi is
littered with cigarette butts
and other trash. The melting
of the snow has revealed tire
tracks over what used to be
grass. Granted, the campus
usually does not look as bad
in the warmer months as it
does these days, but
shouldn't we always try to
respect the environment in
which we live?
University planner Fred
Mayer, commenting in the

Small town life-
it isn't New York
Uspent the first 18 years of my life
living in the same room in same
house in the same small town. The
odds that my parents will ever move
from that town stand somewhere be-
tween the odds that Michigan will
sweep the football, women's basket-
ball and field hockey national champi-
onships next year, and the odds that
Bill Clinton's
presidency hasjust
been a nationwidey
bad dream, from
which we're soon
all going to wake.
Not that I would;
ever want them to W
move .Will- r
iamston, a hamlet
outside Lansing, L
was always good toBRENT
me, and I'd be ly- MCINTOSH
ing if I said I didn't
love thattown.One
thing about Williamston, though: It's
a little small.
It's not small if you're from the
North Dakota or the Upper Peninsula,
or if you're from one of those towns
where young mens' 18th birthdays are
eagerly anticipated because they mean
another member of the city council.
On the other hand, Williamston's
really tiny if you're from a cultural
mecca- like Los Angeles, Nashville or
Newark. It's minutesenough that we
considered East Lansing the Big City.
Williamston was the sort of small
town where everyone knew everyone
else's business. If you were ignorant
to the last week's gossip, you could
alwaysjourney to the bank downtown.
The bank served as the center of
Williamston's gossip web, with my
friend's mother as the ravenous spi-
The speed at which rumors traveled
in Williamston was truly breathtak-
ing. I've often thought that the bank
was nothing more than a front for the
Psychic Friends Network, so quickly
did the tellers know the latest gossip.
The tellers often reported that I had
a new girlfriend before I was aware of
it. It came to the point where my friends
would go to the bank to find out who
they were dating. Ifthey didn't like the
girl, they would spread a rumor that
they had broken up with her. In this
manner, many an affair came and went
with no contact between the partici-
Speaking of affairs, in Williamston
dating an exotic woman consisted of
going out with either the exchange
student or a girl from Hasett, the town
next door. It was a sort of betrayal to
date a Haslettgirl, like consorting with
the enemy.
There were classic Haslett-
Wi liamston battles. Neither town had
enough people to have any real gangs,
soWilliamston'shard-rock kids would
just haveharweekly rumble with
Haslett's hard-rock kids at Burger'
King. We'd all drive our Chevrolets
out to watch.
Pretty much everybody in
Williamston drove a Chevy. New
Yorkersdwill assume this made it diffi-
cult to determine social class of the
driver by his car, by whether it's a
BMW or a VW Bug. Not true: You
could always make class distinctions
based on whose old Chevy was being
driven by whom.
For example, if you sold me a Chevy

you bought new, you're upper class
and!I'm middle class. But if you bought
the Chevy from Billy Joe, then Billy
Joe's upper class, you're middle class,
and I'm lower class.
The only exceptions are Corvettes.
Corvettes have to be sold twice before
they cease to be indicators of
Like the cars, the people in my home-
town are outwardly pretty homoge-
neous. Just about everybody's white,
which leaves the local racists with a lot
of time on their hands. Because there
aren'tenough minorities againstwhich
to discriminate, Williamston racists
have to take turns harassing the local
I'm kidding, of course, but there are
Big City types out there who will be-
lieve all this is true and add it to their
list of indictments of small-town liv
ing, right beside the lack of public
transportation and the inability to buy
good crack.
The mistake most Big City people
make in stereotyping Williamstonersj
(yes, Williamstoners) is assuming the
outward homogeneity is akin to in-
ward similarity.
We may not be famous - Norm
from the first Real World and a couple
of European basketball professionals
are Williamston High's most famous
alums - but we're not all the same.
Williamston is full of ideological
diversity. There are the staunch con-







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