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March 27, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-27

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4 The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 27, 1996

ahje ! ['rrl igFUt 3 ttil

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

1I think leadership is not something you do to people, like
fixing their teeth - it's what unlocks our potential.'
-Sen. BillBradley (D-N.J.) discussing the
importance of leadership at his
book signing Monday night at Borders

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.
Students' for LSA4G



Kovacs, Deringer bring
Michigan Student Assembly elections
MJ.often overshadow another important
election on campus - for LSA Student Gov-
ernment. This year, three slates are vying for
presidency and vice presidency. The parties'
platforms are similar, but the candidates are
vastly different. Only one slate has the neces-
sary experience and skills to lead the body:
Students' Party presidential candidate James
Kovacs and vice presidential candidate Sara
Deringer. Kovacs and Deringer ran for the
same positions last year and lost. They earned
The Michigan Daily's endorsement then, and
deserve it still.
While their styles are low-key, and they
are less outspoken than their opponents',
they possess the necessary experience, lead-
ership and ability to effectively lead the gov-
'ernment and represent the students. Kovacs
has been on the government for three years.
In addition to serving as its treasurer, he has
served on nearly all of its committees. He is
widely within LSA-SG. Deringer also has
served as representative on the body for two
years. Like Kovacs, she participated in many
committees and served as chief judiciary.
Their platform consists of many solid
ideas. They advocate the expansion ofcourses
that the Race and Ethnicity Requirement
encompasses, they plan to fight to keep prac-
tical journalism courses in the communica-
tion department and they want to create an
LSA-SG newsletter for constituents.
Not only will these initiatives enhance the
government's profile on campus, but they
will improve student life as well. Their ex-
tensive experience on the body will be a great
asset in translating these ideas into tangible
results. Dedicated and driven, Kovacs and
Deringer are genuinely interested in improv-
ing conditions for LSA students.
The Wolverine Party, led by presidential

experienced leadership
candidate Jeff Berger and vice presidential
candidate Barry Rosenberg, shows potential.
Berger has been a representative since 1993
and Rosenberg since last year. Many of their
good ideas - pushing back the drop/add
deadline by a few weeks and reforming the
credit/workload system - are shared by the
two other slates.
Their more original proposals border on
implausible. They want to award bonuses to
Graduate Student Instructors who are good
teachers and to reform the tenure system to
foster more focus on undergraduate students.
Yet the candidates are not sure how the
University can implement such reforms.
Berger and Rosenberg continually flaunt
their connections within the LSA adminis-
tration. While such contacts may afford them
easy access to decision-makers, it is a trou-
bling prospect. They could compromise im-
portant student positions in order to maintain
such contacts. This would undermine the
purpose ofthe organization and lead students
to question whose interests the duo represent
- the students' or their own.
The Michigan Party slate, led by presi-
dential candidate Paul Scublinsky and vice
presidential candidate Eve Madison, put forth
a platform delineating the problems.
Scublinsky, an MSA representative, is famil-
iar with the organization and issues confront-
ing it. Madison is a true outsider; she has
never held a position on LSA-SG. While
enthusiastic, her inexperience would hamper
progress. She's more of a cheerleader than a
serious campus leader.However, the pair are
the only candidates discussing the need to
retrain Code jurors and restructure the jury
selection system - despite the election's
outcome, the winners should push for this
Vote Students' Party for LSA-SG.


Elections, ballot proposals affect students

f traditions hold fast, only about 15 per-
cent of students will vote today and tomor-
row in the elections for the Michigan Student
Assembly and the LSA Student Government.
Eighty-five percent of students will not take
the time to check a few boxes and make their
voice heard. That means the vast majority of
students think student politics on this campus
do not really affect them. Election after elec-
tion the apathy perpetuates itself- and each
round the student voice on this campus sounds
more and more strained.
Often it seems to the average campus
dweller that student leaders are a clique of
people who sit in their committees and talk
about forming new committees. But these
leaders also represent students to the admin-
istration. A regent, dean or the next president
of the University may not have contact with
many students other than these student lead-
ers. When someone has to lobby the admin-
istration about an increase in tuition rates or
changes to the curriculum, students must
elect a representative to speak in their place.
When that person goes to speak on behalf of
student needs, the administration will have
trouble taking seriously a student backed by
a 10-percent vote of the student body.
Empowerment is a buzz word thrown
around casually these days, but voting is
one of the few chances students have to get
their voice heard. It's time to take advan-
tage of it.
Ballot proposals
In addition to deciding who will represent
the students of the University, this week's

tional dollar to be added to student fees for
the expressed purpose of making child care
services available to students. Most of the
money would be distributed by the Office of
Financial Aid in the form of child care tuition
vouchers, and be available to students with
children. While the number of students with
young children has not been clearly deter-
mined, there are more than 2,000 children
living on North Campus; this institution has
been too lax for too long in making sure that
higher education at the University is a viable
option for as many parents with young chil-
dren as possible.
The other three proposals involve MSA
task forces and commissions. The first two
proposals would give the North Campus and
the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Task Forces com-
mission status. Making the Lesbian/Gay/
Bisexual Task Force into an official com-
mission gives overdue support from the stu-
dent assembly to one ofthe most consistently
underrepresented groups on campus. It is
time that students spoke out with their votes
and did something about it. The North Cam-
pus Task Force has proved over the past year
that its work is not only important to a lot of
students who use the forgotten part of cam-
pus, but that they can accomplish their goals.
They deserve recognition.
On the other hand, the Peace and Justice
commission, while well-intentioned in the
1960s as a lobbing group against war, has not
fulfilled any service for students in quite
some time. The ballot proposal, which is just
a formality, would eliminate the useless
commision. It's just a formality; students
no- t nn.m- ther..At-r n itm tof,11vCtei

her stance
Michigan Student
Assembly presidential
candidate Fiona Rose said in
regard to Students' Party
campaigning during last
year's election that "We
spent more time tearing
down the assembly and
building up ourselves."
("Rose, Mehta to represent
Michigan Party on ballot ,"
3/11/96). As her running
mate during that election,
this comment was surprising
to me; surprising because
Fiona Rose was, in fact, the
heart of the very campaign
that she criticizes.
It also surprises me that
any party would knowingly
run a candidate for MSA
president who would, by her
own admission, tear down
the assembly, in addition to
embezzling assembly
monies, selectively follow
assembly rules to her own
advantage and work for
positive change, not for its
inherent positive effects on
the student body, but rather
for its positive effects on her
own political agenda. Then
again, these are the same
qualities of the last Michi-
gan Party presidential
candidate. So, I guess I
shouldn't be too surprised
-just ashamed to have run
with her.
Attacks on
Rose are
It deeply saddens me that
so many people have lined
up to attack Fiona Rose.
Most of the attacks are
personal; it's difficult to
attack Rose on the issues.
She is one of themost
capable student leaders at
any campus anywhere.
Apparently, the overwhelm-
ing majority of students feel
this way because few
candidates have ever done as
well as she has in MSA
I wish these people who
have made these vicious
attacks could see how hard
Fiona works. In addition to
her classes and MSA work,
she works countless nights at
Espresso Royale Cafe.
Unfortunately, she didn't
have $5,000 from her father
to spend on the MSA
I question the motives
of Fiona's detractors. Much
of it is ex-boyfriend/ex-

who attack her would be
lauding her competence,
her ingenuity and herhhard
work. I hope that in the
coming days that the
personal attacks on Fiona
can cool off. No one
deserves to go through
what she has gone through.
Savic are
Yesterday's editorial
"Vote Michigan Party: Rose,
Mehta will provide strong
leadership" (3/26/96),
reflects a bias, or a personal
dispute with Students' Party
candidate Jonathan Freeman,
and a misinformed view of
the tireless and thankless
work that Olga Savic has
done to support her constitu-
ency. To state that "Jonathan
needs Olga as a babysitter"
is to undermine the credibil-
ity of the Daily as a re-
spected and well written
publication. Such immature
journalistic slander is
obviously a personal attack
on the character of a man
who has given and done so
much for his friends, his
party and certainly the
student body. This personal
attack lacks objectivity and
is certainly unfounded. As a
current member of the
assembly and as a constitu-
ent through much of
Jonathan's fall term as
representative, I stood in
awe and gained a respect for
one of the most sincere,
principled, altruistic and
hard-working assembly
members MSA has ever
Jonathan's altruism is
probably one of the main
reasons he was not elected
last term; instead of concen-
trating on his own personal
election bid, he put the work
of his party, and that of the
assembly first. Jonathan's
motion to recall himself was
not selfish, nor a political
maneuver - rather it was a
selfless effort to maintain
accountability on an
assembly that sometimes
loses focus on its main goal:
To help students in anyway
possible. For example,
rJonathan's motion to
reconsider buying an
expensive computer for
MSA. He was more con-
cerned that this money
should be disbursed among
the students and utilized for
supporting the initiatives of
student groups.
With regard to the
political slams on Savic, I
defy you to find a more
actively involved representa-
tive on the assembly. In fact,
I am willing to bet that you

action when she converted
MSA's Communications
Committee this term into one
of the most successful and
vital committees MSA has
seen in a long time. And she
most certainly demonstrated
her activism when she
lobbied the administration
on behalf of the Graduate
Employees Organization
earlier this term. The
assembly needs leaders like
Jonathan and Olga who are
not afraid to take control and
offer vitality, fresh ideas and
a genuine heartfelt desire to
work for students. If the
Daily can classify their
efforts and examples as
"rhetoric," then apparently
the Michigan Party has
nothing to say at all. Of
course that is what we would
expect from past precedents,
now isn't it.
Rose has
Fiona Rose is no Stalin
("Rose lacks integrity," 3/20/
96). Stalin was a ruthless
dictator who killed countless
Russian peasants. Perhaps it
is true that Fiona is almost as
intimidating as Stalin,
especially to her opponents.
After all, she is a very tall,
intelligent and talented
woman. But the fact is that
there is no reason for anyone
to be comparing her to a
dictator and murderer.
Rose has put a great deal
of time and energy into the
Michigan Student Assembly,
as well as her current
campaign. It is ridiculous to
question her supreme
dedication, unrelenting
commitment and highly
mature sense of responsibil-
ity. Rose is one of those rare
individuals who just seems
born to lead. She has a
political nature; she is
trusted, respected and
admired. People like her.
But Fiona also has the
humility to recognize that
with the admiration of her
fellow students comes a
responsibility to them.
She wants to help
improve the quality of life of
all students here at the
University, which is
precisely why she is running
for president of MSA. She
has been able to help do so
much as a member of MSA
that she realizes as president,
there is even more she could
Beyond this, I think we
need to recognize that
mudslinging, insults and
blatant exaggerations are no
way to critique or question a
political opponent. None of
us will ever be able to take

How could
Congress be
so ... dumb?
I n their latest bout of inanity,
House Republicans voted on Fri-
day to repeal the ban on 19 types of
assault weapons. True, some Demo-
crats voted for the repeal, and some
Republicans voted against it. But
this was a Republican measure, and
we can take it as further evidence
that the Republicans, by and large,
are simply too
dumb to run the
In saying this.
I am guilty of a
lowering even w n
further the levelx
of our nation's
public dis-
course, but when
we look at what
the crazies did,' JORDAN
it becomes clear ..JRA
that dumb is the STANCIL
only way to de-
scribe it.
First of all, huge majorities of the
public support the ban on assault
weapons. Secondly, the repeal of
the ban is unlikely to be passed by
the Senate, and certainly would
never be signed by the president.
So, besides not accomplishing
what they want, these shrewd mas-
ters ofthe political chess game have
allowed themselves to be tagged
with a highly unpopular vote.Maybe
they don't even want to hang on to
Congress this year.
However, when one considers the
role of the National Rifle Associa-
tion, things make a little more sense.
According to The New York Times,
Republican leaders rationalized
their action based on the fact that
they had promised the NRA a vote
on the issue. Maybe it's a coinci-
dence that the NRA is a major con-
tributor to Republicai campaigns,
but I suspect otherwise.
Still, I think there's more to the
story than just corrupt politics, al-
though there's plenty of that too It
isn't just money from the gun lobby
that keeps the gun control debate
alive. The worst part is that some of
'these congressmen actually believe
that everybody has the right to own
an assault weapon. Why? How could
anybody be so ... well ... dumb?
Rep. Gerald B. H. Solomon (R-
N.Y.) spoke in favor of the repeal.
He said, "My wife lives alone five
days a week in a rural area in upstate
New York. She has a right to defend
herself when I'm not there, son.
And don't you ever forget it."
With this remark, Solomon con-
jured up images of the strong fron-
tier woman, ready to fight all com-
ers even when herman is not around.
And thus exists the fantasy world
where the true gun-lover lives. It is
a dangerous world, where lone indi-
viduals, geographically and spiritu-
ally outside the reach of a protective
government have to fend for them-
selves, eat or be eaten. It's a world
where a man protects his family,
and when the man leaves, he tells
his oldest son to "look after your
Thiseis the same mindset that
makes little boys (but for some rea-
son not little girls) say, "Cool!"
when someone gets blown away on
the movie screen. The problem is
that too many men appear to have

carried this attitude into adulthood,
even into Congress.
Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) is aman
who grew out of the boyhood belief
that violence is cool. His was a
voice of reason in Friday's floor
debate. "Target shooters have a right
to weapons, but an Uzi oran AK-47
has no legitimate purpose in the
civilian population," said Hyde.
It is unclear how anyone could
disagree with that statement. Of
course, the gun lovers like to bring
out their legalistic arguments. "It
doesn't matter whether people
should have these guns," they'll say.
"The point is that the Constitution
gives us the right to bear arms, and
if the government takes that away,
who knows what will be next?" But
the Second Amendment gives the
people the right to bear arms only
for the express purpose of main-
taining a "well-regulated militia."
The gun lovers rely on their own
personal, abridged version of the
amendment, which says simply that
the right of the people to bear arms
shall not be infringed. That's be-
cause they're not interested in mili-
tias or in things that are "well-regu-
lated." They are interested in -
fascinated by - this paranoid idea
of everybody protecting himself or
After a man was shot to death in
Texas during an argument over a










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