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March 18, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-18

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 18, 1996

iwe £ichigan Daig

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'Anybody having a baby ought to have it in the new
(hospital) wing. It's beautiful. It's like going to the Ritz-
Carlton for a couple of days.'
- Andrea Fischer Newman (R-Ann Arbor), telling
people at the regents' meeting Thursday about her
baby delivery at University Hospitals.

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.
l Without representation
Wainess lax in important duty

espite the many changes at the Univer-
sity during the past four months, one
'thing has remained consistent - Michigan
Student Assembly President Flint Wainess'
" 'bsence at every regular regents meeting
since the November sessions. Wainess is the
'4irst student representative to the University
Board of Regents. Getting the right to this
;position was no easy task; many people,
including Wainess, put a great deal of work
.into obtaining a student voice
on the board. Wainess de-
ascribed his own attendance at
,he monthly regents' meetings
'las "sporadic." By not attend-
ing those meetings, Wainess
Js negating his work.
- Wainess told The Michi-
gan Daily his presence is un-
!necessary at the majority of
the meetings because so much
-pf what is discussed amounts
to "simple working matters
that don't require student in-
xut." But last Friday, the M
.Graduate Employees Organi-
zation picketed the regents' meeting. At the
end of the meeting, they loudly voiced their
,,desire to complete contract negotiations to
-o.University President James Duderstadt and
the regents - a sharp variation from day-to-
,Iay business. But GEO members were with-
,Cut a representative who could have voiced
;heir concerns when they were not able to
,peak outside of public comments.
Wainess was not in attendance.
Although Wainess has the option to send
replacement, he has not done so for the last

one in his place). Meanwhile, students are
silenced in the vast majority of regents' busi-
Furthermore, his absences leave the re-
gents with a bad impression of the students
who worked hard to put a student representa-
tive in place. Wainess said he is in constant
contact with the regents and characterized
their working relationship as amicable. But
how can the regents take students seriously if




their highest representative
doesn't show up to represent
Wainess is not only sup-
posed to represent student
needs as they arise - he
should be there representing
the student body as a compe-
tent, concerned group.
Wainess said his is the first
"administration" that has the
power and responsibility of
addressing the regents in this
fashion. His disregard creates
a weak precedent for succes-
sive MSA leaders. MSA in-

tended a representative as an "incremental
step in the process of obtaining a full regent,"
he said. However, future students will have
problems attaining a full non-voting student
regent in the wake of Wainess' careless ne-
Wainess did not paint his halfway com-
promise to be a permanent sellout, but an
effective voice that would be respected and
an effective tool of students at this institu-
tion. Wainess' more than lax representation
of students is equivalent to a breaking of that

several months (although after questioning, pledge. It is time the position lived up to its
he indicated he may again start sending some- potential, so that the silence might be broken.
Undignified potur
NBA forced Abdul-Rauf to make unfair choice
0 ~ h say, does that star-spangled banner line up in a dignified posture" prevents play-
+ ~.yet wave in the National Basketball ers and coaches from acting on their personal
$Association? Not only does it wave, but or religious creeds. The NBA's rule must be
NBA administrators are wrapping it around changed to allow for the diversity that makes
players' throats. the league great. No other organization in the
Last week, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (for- world offers the opportunity for basketball
merly Chris Jackson) of the Denver Nuggets competition of such caliber. The NBA's en-
found himself suspended indefinitely with- forcement of cultural elitism is abysmal and
out pay-particularly severe sanctions, con- woefully outdated compared to standard
sidering he earns about $30,000 per game. upheld by other professional sports organi-
i And what was his offense? Refusing to stand zations, such as Major League Baseball. Na-
for the national anthem in pre-game ceremo- tional professional sports leagues must rec-



French do
not deserve
I am writing in response
to Brent McIntosh's
ridiculous and extremely
offensive article ("Confes-
sions of a Francophobe," 3/
15/96) entailing all the ways
he hates the country of
France. I have two ques-
tions: What is this guy's
problem and what has
France, or any French
person ever done tohhim? He
even states right in his own
article that he really has no
reason to hate France, he just
does. I've read for weeks
now as McIntosh has put
down everything and
everyone he can think of, but
this article was just too
Making fun of the French
language, calling the people
whiny, insulting their soccer
team ... is this what he has
been reduced to? This article
is so ludicrous and without
merit, it's really quite
comical. First of all, none of
it is true, and even if it were,
does he have nothing better
to do with his meager
journalistic talents than
attack a country that
basically won us the
Revolutionary War?
I don't care if this article
is meant as a joke or not. As
someone who happens to be
part French, I don't appreci-
ate it and I would encourage
McIntosh to make better use
of his column space in the
future by concentrating on
something that's either true
or amusing. He can take his
Media Union
I must say I am im-
pressed with the architecture
of the Media Union, and the
smoothness with which it
has been integrated to the
other buildings of North
Campus. However, it always
raises some concerns.
The spirit of North
Campus has always been
that the students are trusted
and respected. The Media
Union policies are violating
this feeling of trust by
restricting student access to
the building and the general
interior design of the
The restricted hours of
the building is not an

of things to be completed in
the never-ending construc-
tion of the building. The
emphasis on security is
rather excessive considering
that the usual purpose of a
campus building is to serve
the students, not to enforce
zones of control by various
University splinter groups.
Also, it vexes me that the
Media Union has asked all
of the students studying and
passing through the building
not to bring food or drink
with them. I feel this is a
very hypocritical decision
for the administrators of the
building considering that
there are in fact kitchens in
the building for the adminis-
trators. I feel that the
inability of students to have
food and drink in a building
that they will be asked to
maintain is bad policy, but
the fact that non-students are
allowed to eat their lunch in
the building.
If these policies con-
tinue, I will have no choice
but to voicermy concerns
through more official
channels. Perhaps a student
petition might be in order,
although this University
traditionally ignores any
desires of undergraduate
students. However, I am
sure that there will be more
than a few people annoyed
at such policies, and
eventually someone will
have to take notice.
Party is
best choice
to lead MSA
As a former executive
officer of the Michigan
Student Assembly, External
Relations Chair and long-
time member of the
Michigan Party, I want to
throw my full support
behind the Students' Party
slate of Jonathan Freeman
and Olga Savic for president
and vice president of MSA.
Although this endorse-
ment may seem unexpected,
I have chosen Freeman and
Savic because they appear
to be the only slate that has
the integrity and ability to
lead the assembly.
It was not so long ago
that both members of the
Michigan Party slate were
members of the Students'
Party. This may be a point
that has been forgotten by
the student population, but
as someone from the inside
of the Michigan Party, I
know it was done solely for
political gain. Fiona Rose
first came to MSA as a
creative leader, continually

her creative energy and
focused it increasingly on
inside politicking and
personal gain.
The personal views of
Jonathan and Olga have not
inspired me to write this
letter, but their consistent
integrity and passionate
dedication to student issues.
Having worked with
Jonathan over the past two
years I know that he has the
leadership ability and skills
to lead the student body.
Rather than steamrolling his
own agenda, he will work to
forge a positive consensus
that will benefit all. Fiona,
however, in her brief
chairmanship of ERC, did
not show that she was
interested in getting any
form of opinion other than
her own. For example, she
even referred to the member-
ship of the External Rela-
tions Committee as"My
steering committee." This
kind of power-hungry
behavior is not needed on
the assembly, and has
contributed to MSA's poor
image. ,
Although I do not
ideologically agree on
everything that Jonathan and
Olga stand for, I believe they
do have many qualities that
can finally increase the
legitimacy of MSA with the
student body.
The Daily has continually
endorsed the Michigan Party
on a few lackluster issues.
Now faced with choosing
between an authentic
Students' Party slate and a
Students' Party slate running
under the Michigan Party
name, it's time to make a
change by choosing integrity
over political maneuvering.
Create a
for parents
You should publish a
weekly Michigan Daily
designed for parents. You
can get weekly subscriptions
and added revenue.
column was
While I'm sure you've
already heard it, Kathy
Mann's letter "Swimsuit
issue exists to entertain
sexist men" (2/22/96), just
goes to show that some

Voice fom theps
help to close the
genemation gap in
modern feminis
have just emerged from a seven-
month series ofimeetingswiththree
other women.
The meetings existed only on the
pages of their pbems and essays, in
my head and on the
pages of the senior
English thesis I
was writing, but it
was the best I
could get. Espe-
cially since one of
the women I talked
to, Emily 'e;.
Dickinson has
been dead for more
than 100 years.
I met with the KATE
three woment- EPSTEIN
the 20th century
poets Adrienne
Rich and Alice Fulton, along with
Dickinson - to discuss, through
prose and poetry, what it means to be
a woman and a poet of ourrespective
generations. Emily Dickinson's po-
etry was published for the first time
in 1890, four years after her death;
Rich published her first book of po-
etry in 1951, while Fulton began pub-
lishing her poetry in book form in the
mid-1980s. In 1996, Ilam only begin-
ning to send my poems to literary
Listening to feminist poets across
generations taught me a lot. The work
of Dickinson, Rich and Fulton re-
flects their level of development as
poets, which is higher in each case
than mine. Their longer experienc
as poets gives them insight I do not
have about our mutual craft. But their
experience isn'tjust longerthan mine.
Each poet has had a particular expe-
rience coming of age as a woman
poet because she was born at a par-
ticular time.
The condition of American women
has changed hugely since Dickinson's
time. Dickinson could never have
had the time to write more than a few "
poems if she had married, much less
the 1,775 she did write inthe 36years
between her first known poem and
her death. Not marrying caused a
significant loss in social status before
and after her death, and some of
Dickinson's poems ponder her pref-'
erence not to marry. They reflect an
experience of womanhood and
poethood I could not imagine on my
The situation of the woman poet
has changed more subtly from Rich's
coming of age as a poet, to Futon'
coming of age, to mine, than betweer
Dickinson's death and the earliest of
Rich's poems, but there was much to-
learn in that history. As a feminist,1
am always striving toward change i
women's lives. Without knowing
where we have been, I will never
understand where we're going. With*
out talking to older feminists, I will
never know where we have been.
Feminists ofall professions needtd.
meet across the generations to listenV
to each other. Most of the feminists
older than me to whom I get th
chance to talk are my mother or my
professors. In the first case, there is
too much history, too many emo
tional stakes, for free discussion of
politics. In the second, there is to:

much power difference, too much
formality. Feminists of all ages need,
to seek out less loaded spaces.for
Emotional investment in one an-
other and differences in power will
always be a factor when women of
different generations get together to
talk. Older feminists have a certaig
authority by virtue of their greater.
experience, but they're vulnerable
too, because their hard work will be
for nought if we don't take the torch:
Feminists cannot afford to permi
the sexist media's choice of young
feminists' reactions to the so-called
feminist establishment to represent
all feminists under age 25. Nor ca4
we permit the older feminists' react
tion to the media's pet yopng femi-
nists, whose poorly argued and poorly
researched treatises resemble the arr
rogant rebelliousness of an adolesk
cent, to represent the second wave of
feminism's attitude toward younger
feminists. We need to be creating out
own dialogues instead of dialogue$
officiated by Time Magazine.
Divisions along any line damage a
political movement like feminism:
The generation gap is no different;
Without talking to one another, we'll
never understand the differences be-
tween growing up before the 1 970s
surge in feminism and growing up
after it. If we don't listen to oldet





Abdul-Rauf proclaims himself a devout
Muslim, and asserts that his personal reli-
gious creed prevents him from recognizing
the American flag and the national anthem as
symbols of freedom. Abdul-Rauf said the
anthem represents tyranny and the type of
"nationalistic ritualism" that his religion for-
!:bids. Therefore, Abdul-Rauf exercised his
constitutional religious freedom by sitting
down or staying a few extra minutes in the
locker room during the playing of "The Star-
Spangled Banner." NBA officials responded
last Tuesday by suspending the Nuggets'
I leading scorer. A few days later, Abdul-Rauf
conceded to stand for the anthem --with the
stipulation that he would recite a personal
prayer instead of observing the flag.
The NBA violated Abdul-Rauf's free-
,, dom of religion and speech with its harsh
imove. Some argue that the sanction is appro-
riate because the NBA is a private organiza-
t1ion, but this argument is unfounded. Re-
. gardless of the NBA's status as a private
organization, it is still subject to constitu-
tional laws like every other American busi-

ognize that they draw players from all over
the world -and not all players hold standard
ideologies. Diversity among players must be
Although the controversy surrounding
Abdul-Rauf's suspension has faded with the
compromise, the NBA's rule requiring play-
ers to rise for the anthem still stands. In
effect, the NBA did very little compromising
- it has maintained the appearance of vic-
tory while Abdul-Rauf has lost some free-
dom. Abdul-Rauf's concession was one he
never should have had to make.
The NBA must not impose standardized
cultural practices that do not affect the com-
petitive purpose of its business. Abdul-Rauf
did not conduct himself ip an unsportsman-
like fashion. He was not guilty of missing
practice. He did not abuse narcotics or com-
mit a crime. He did nothing that hurt his
game. Nor did his actions' detract from his
athletic prowess. He performed his job -
and will continue to do so -- with the same
enthusiasm and talent as other players on the
same court. The NIA had no cause to contest
his performance. It should not include cul-
tural premises among league guidelines.

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