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March 28, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-28

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 28, 1996

be diguan ?atig

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'We cheat. We give racial preference knowingly
while we say that we do not.'
- Prof Carl Cohen criticizing the
University's affirmative action plans




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
Strings attached
State should not prevent same-sex benfits




The state Senate Appropriations Com-
mittee voted last week to cut funding to
public institutions - including the Univer-
sity - equal to the amount of money that the
institutions spend on benefits for same-sex
domestic partners. Since the University re-
cently approved such benefits, this action
represents a financial attack against the Uni-
versity. Moreover, the vote is a foolish at-
tempt to impose Lansing's false morality on
public institutions throughout the state.
A few weeks ago, Gov. John Engler's
budget looked promising for the University;
it signaled a new commitment to higher edu-
cation funding. Last week's vote demon-
strates that the optimism of February may
have been premature. Regent Dan Horning
(R-Grand Haven) is one of the most vocal
supporters of the bill. His support and mes-
sage of intolerance should concern the Uni-
versity community. Furthermore, any cut in
funding for the University is troubling, re-
gardless of the political strings attached.
However, the political strings are the most
troubling aspect of the proposed legislation.
The senators weighed in on the wrong side of
the issue - homosexuals deserve treatment
equal to that afforded to heterosexuals. The
husbands and wives of employees usually
share in the employment benefits - such as
health insurance - of the workers them-
selves. Since homosexuals cannot legally
marry, they are often denied this protection.
Employers who do not offer benefits to same-
sex domestic partners are thus discriminat-

ing against homosexuals, denying them the
"rights" that are assumed for heterosexuals.
Progressive employers, such as the Univer-
sity-which have extended these benefits to
homosexuals - are leading the way to a
more enlightened society. It is troubling that
reactionaries in Lansing are fighting the posi-
tive trend.
The coercive nature of the pending legis-
lation is just as troubling. The senators are
entitled to their opinions; however, they
should not try to impose their thinking on the
University. Even if Lansing disagrees with
the personnel practices of the University, it
still must recognize that the University -
along with the state's other public universi-
ties - is an autonomous institution.
According to the state constitution, the
authority for operating the University is
granted to the Board of Regents - whose
members are elected on a statewide ballot.
The Appropriations Committee's vote last
week was an attempt to micro manage the
state universities in orderto impose the closed-
minded agenda of some legislators on the
Fortunately, the legislation must clear
many hurdles before it becomes law. Even
then, it would be subject to probable court
battles. In the meantime, the University should
be strong in its opposition to the legislation.
The message from Ann Arbor should be loud
and clear - the University will not be black-
mailed into adopting the reactionary agenda
of the legislation's supporters.

# 0KORY py j
F R\ r nt/4


Assaulting the ban
U.S. Senate must not repeal gun law

O nce again, special interest groups have
brought their finances to bear on Ameri-
can politics. The Republican-controlled
House of Representatives voted to repeal the
ban on assault weapons - in what is a clear
tip of the hat to the Washington gun lobby -
last Friday. The bill now moves on to the U.S.
Senate, where legislators should let common
sense prevail and vote down the bill.
In 1994, the U.S. Congress voted to ban
assault weapons as part of Clinton's crime
bill. At the time, Democrats controlled Con-
gress and the American people overwhelm-
ingly supported it. Although the Republicans
now control Congress, the American people
still want the ban. To his credit, Sen. Bob
Dole (R-Kan.) has pledged not to bring the
bill to the Senate Floor, and President Clinton
is promising a veto should Dole be overruled
by a filibuster. Both leaders should be com-
mended for their positions.
The bill was brought to the floor in haste
last week, but the gun lobby was ready for
action. Proponents of the bill to repeal the
ban are taking a three-pronged approach.
First, they claim the 1994 legislation did little
or nothing to lower violent crime involving
guns. In addition, they argue that since crimi-
nals perpetrate crimes, more stringent sen-
tences should be enacted in place of the
assault weapons ban. Finally, they say the
ban should be lifted so American citizens
could purchase assault weapons for home
and self defense.
The opponents of the ban, however, have
a better argument. They say the 1994 ban has

decreased the number of assault weapons on
the streets and has led to a decrease in crimes.
In addition, they say the move reflects the
growing disparity between Washington val-
ues and American values. Moreover, they
cite the measure as a clear sign of the insidi-
ous influence of the Washington gun lobby.
Friday's vote is another example of the
National Rifle Association trying to control
the struggle over gun rights. While the mea-
sure was supported by members of both par-
ties, it is clearly Republican in origin. Repub-
licans who received extensive campaign con-
tributions from the NRA voted for the bill.
Unfortunately for the American people, the
time has now come for the representatives to
pay back their debts to those who elected
Representatives do not realize that the
measure still protects a person's right to
carry guns. It is simply an effort to keep
dangerous weapons off the streets. Clearly,
the assault weapons are designed for one
purpose: killing people. Firearms, such as
AK-47s, UZIs and Tech-9s are not used for
hunting, but for military or terrorist pur-
poses. Moreover America's police officers
are already out-manned and out-gunned -
allowing people to carry assault weapons
will dramatically shift the balance of fire-
power in favor of the criminals.
The measure to repeal the assault weap-
ons ban is motivated by insider politics,
monied influence and ignorance. Friday's
vote is a definitive sign that Washington has
lost touch with those it is supposed to serve.

7th grader
tells MSA to
grow up
To all the people who
write critical letters about
my sister, Fiona Rose, I have
this to say: My sister is a
nice person and a good
leader. Even though I know
almost nothing about
politics, I think it would be
appropriate to stop your low-
down attacks on Fiona and
start behaving like adults.
Instead of acting like little
children, keep mean things
to yourself and respect other
people's ways of doing
2017 is
After being bashed by
the Daily ("Vote Michigan
Party: Rose, Mehta will
provide strong leadership,"
3/26/96) for not knowing
about the administration's
program Leadership 2011
(sic); I, representing the
(Geoff Tudisco) and (Adam)
Mesh slate for the Michigan
Student Assembly, searched
to find how accessible this
information is to the
students. The way the Daily
made it to sound, was like it
was the campaign's biggest
issue and that the student
body was actually greatly
affected by it. First of all, I
ask you as a student, do you
know what it is?
Secondly, I went and
called the MSA office, the
Student Council Office,
Student Affairs, the Univer-
sity Public Affairs office and
the Assistant Dean's office,
and was told by all offices
that no one knew about this
program. If this is such a big
issue, why can't I find out
about it? I am a student at
this University aren't I?
I'll tell you why. The
administration's program
has not be advertised to us
students. Rather, it is a
program that has been
advertised to the elected
officials to join. It is not an
issue. But when interviewed
by the Daily it was the first
question asked to (Tudisco)
and Mesh. They didn't ask
why they were running, nor
did they ask what is the
biggest concern for students
as they saw it. Rather, it was
asked to them, because they
knew there was no possible
way they could answer it.
The Daily has misrepre-

crossed it.
Today, you will have a
chance to change things.
The issues as well as
information must trickle
down to the students. That is
what (Tudisco) and Mesh
want. Ironically it seems to
me that neither the Univer-
sity, the MSA, or the Daily
want this.
Vote Liberty
for change
I found your editorial on
the MSA presidential tickets
in Tuesday's Daily ("Vote
Michigan Party: Rose,
Mehta will provide strong
leadership," 326/96) rather
amusing, and would like to
clarify the record on a few
issues that were and were
not mentioned.
The Liberty Party
program is one of vision and
insight into real change. We
have identified real prob-
lems with the structure of
the Michigan Student
Assembly and the way it
operates. Unlike the
pessimism that we see in the
national candidacy of Pat
Buchanan the Liberty Party
is optimistic. Our plans are
based on past and current
programs which work, while
gutting those that do not. To
say that our plan is utopian
is a compliment. 1, quite
frankly, do not want to have
a doomsday view of the
future of MSA, and I'm sure
the editorial staff of the
Daily feels the same way.
The keystone of the party
is our plan to change the
funding structure of MSA
from one that is mandatory
to one that is voluntary. It is
rather revolting to me to see
my opposition and the Daily
scoff at this idea as being
utterly ridiculous. It is
revolutionary, true; but
ridiculous it is not. Coer-
cion, which is currently used
to get MSA's funding,
breeds ill will.
The Liberty Party plan
goes one step more, too. The
fees for MSA, the Ann
Arbor Tenants' Union and
Student Legal Services will
be voluntary. Students will
have the choice as to
whether or not they want
their money going to these
entities. The Liberty Party
plan includes a provision for
at least 90 percent of the
collected monies to actually
go to student groups, up
from a paltry 37 percent (the
current rate). Students will
be able to check off the
groups that will receive their
money, too! We think that
this is a great plan, and
others should seriously
investigate it.

is a severe parking shortage
on both Central and North
Campus, and the party seeks
to have MSA vigorously
work on this problem and
actually bring direct results
to the students.
The Liberty Party would
make much-needed improve-
ments within the student
governing structure and
within the University itself.
It is the party's belief that
most of these changes would
be supported by the student
body, and that is precisely
the reason we are running
candidates in this election
and will be running candi-
dates in future elections.
Party is best
As the Roman writer
Lucan put it, "Don't
consider anything to be done
if anything is left to be
done." If any words could
describe the attitudes toward
MSA of Jonathan Freeman
and Olga Savic, it would be
these. They are not content
with a few projects here and
there. They are not simply
going to stand on a few
issues that have some kind
of mass-appeal.
Freeman and Savic not
only actively search out
issues that students feel are
important, they write these
things down with the sole
intention of doing everything
in their power to achieve
them. The platforms of the
parties may not seem too
drastically different. But as
Fiona Rose so eloquently put
it, "The differences between
the parties are the people
involved." However, that
view swings both ways.
What she is essentially
saying is, "Hey, screw the
issues and focus on the
people." With that attitude in
mind, I must choose
Freeman and Olga because I
believe that not only do they
have the experience in
dealing with campus
institutions, but they really
do care.
Since Fiona has forced
me to make up my mind on
the basis of personality and
not politics, I have to take a
closer look at everyone who
is running. The determining
factors for me have been
consistency, integrity and
vision. Olga and Jonathan
have not taken the easy way
out. They have not sacrificed
the cause for the immediate
goal. They did not bail on
their parties. In Probir's
defense, however, I must
admit that his circumstances
were rather extenuating. He

beliefsyst emto
yourpmctice of
those beliefs
B ecause college is a major iden
tity-forming stage, religious tur-
moil is pretty likely to occur. If you
disagree with me, tell that to the
Moonies, the
The Way Interna-
tional and several a Ii
== Y
other non-main-
stream religions
that actively try to
recruit kids on col-
lege campuses.
Tell that to the . K
commune that
tried to recruit me
at a Grateful Dead KATIE
show withpeanut HUTCHINS
butter and jelly
sandwiches and
the promise of long, fun and enlight-
ened hours riding in a camper with 20
of my closest friends.4
Tell that to the valid and valuable
psychic hotlines and the people who
offer to read palms, Tarot cards and
past lives on campuses across the
country. Tell that to all the people
walking around with "Zen and the
Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" or
"The Tao of Pooh" who now con-
sider themselves experts on far-East-
ern philosophies.
We no longer embrace these theo-
ries without skepticism. The negativ-
ity associated with hippies and beat-
niks seeking an enlightened view of
the world has scared many from look-
ing into the beyond.
Perhaps this is why the Church of
Scientology has retreated somewhat
from its religious image in favor of a
more scientific base. No longer does
it tell you that youwere once a thetan,
a god-like creature with telekinetic
and telepathic powers, unhindered
by human flaws, such as the common
cold and less imperfect vision.
Rather, the church focuses on self-
help, improvement ofwork and study
habits, seminars, books, tapes and
programs that make you live a better
life. Ever see the "Dianetics" flyers
in virtually every University build-
ing and coffee shop? That's the work
of the Scientologists, praising the
teachings of L. Ron Hubbard and
urging you to buy the book. Never
mind the guy once said the best way
to make a lot of money is to start your
own religion.
It often recruits people with a free
"personality test," a survey consist-
ing of questions about your life and
social relationships that - not sur-
prisingly - seem also to ask how
easily you'll be brainwashed. (E.g.
Do you like to follow the crowd o
form your own path?).
As the dutiful rebellious Catholic, I
took the Scientologists up on the of-
fer and was told via line graph that
there are significant flaws in two as-
pects ofmy personality. I laterlearned
that everyone is told they have flaws.
And the best way to get rid of these
and become god-like is to shell out a
lot of money to get better.
I was told that psychology was be-
ing phased out - which kind of
bummed me out because I was plan-
ning to major in psychology - and
that this new, enlightened science
was more able to help people out.
The money is spent on auditing
sessions, in which you get hooked up
to an E-meter (a crude lie detector)

and are put into a trance so you can go
back to childhood memories and get
rid of your personality flaws. These
sessions are meant to cure you of
your engrams, which are the conse-
quence of the evildoings by the ga-
lactic emperor Xenu, who is now
banished to some mountaintop some-
It all makes a lot of sense, consider-
ing Hubbard is an accomplished sci-
ence fiction writer. But what doesn't
make sense is that our favorite idols
we obviously wish to emulate -
John Travolta, Nicole Kidman,
Kirstie Alley and Tom Cruise - are
ardent Scientologists.
But not everyone believes in Xenu's
evil powers. Some like to concen-
trate on Tarot cards and past lives. So
not only have I been told I used to be
a god-like creature, but I also used to
be a waitress in Ireland who died
during childbirth.
I'm not saying Xenu, Tarot powers
and palm reading are invalid. They
might have some merit. But-justas
those neo- Zen Buddhists who read
hip books and know nothing about
the true nature of the philosophy -
many ofthe followers are unaware of
the basic tenets behind them.



Due to circumstances beyond our control, The Michigan Daily did not reach all ofour
readers yesterday. In light of this, we would like to reaffirm our support for the Students'
Party candidates for LSA-Student Government. Presidential candidate James Kovacs
and vice presidential candidate Sara Deringer have the right combination of experience,
vision and nracticality to effectively lead LSA-SG.j



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