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April 01, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 1, 1996

Ullie £idihgun Thig

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'Technology will continue to become more a
part of instruction In the way we communicate,
learn and study together.'
- David Schoem, assistant dean for undergraduate education,
explaining the future of education at the University.

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Picket lines
Support GEO work stoppage next week

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M embers of the Graduate Employees
Organization are planning a work
stoppage April 8 and 9 -- unless they can
reach an agreement with the University
before mediation. While it may be inconve-
nient for undergraduate students and pro-
fessors, it is a necessary step to move the
contract negotiations along and demon-
strate the seriousness of the issue. Students
and professors should throw the full weight
of their support behind GEO.
Contract talks started last October. GEO
held a mock strike in early February, when
the graduate student instructors' contract
expired. GSIs picketed at various locations
around campus. Eventually, both sides
agreed to extend the bargaining sessions
while GSIs taught, until today. With the fail-
ure to finalize a contract, GEO correctly
believes that a work stoppage is the most
effective way to pressure the University.
GEO chose the exact dates because it
will enter mediation with the University
April 10. The work stoppage is key for GEO
to send a strong statement to the mediator in
order to demonstrate the importance of
GSIs in undergraduate education.
Moreover, finals are not yet in swing; can-
celing classes any later would risk hurting
undergraduate students. GEO's timing was
GEO directly affects the quality of
undergraduate instruction. With better ben-
efits and a more comfortable work environ-
ment, the University will be more success-
ful in attracting top GSIs - both from the
United States and abroad. Undergraduate
students, in an act of solidarity, should sup-
port their fellow students and honor the
strike by not attending classes. While it may

be burdensome for students to miss class,
their support is crucial for GEO to be suc-
cessful in its mediation. Professors should
be aware of the situation and either cancel
class or refrain from punishing students
who choose to stay away.
Mediation is not binding; a resolution to
this contract squabble is far from guaran-
teed by the introduction of a third party.
After more than six months of negotiations,
mediation is a desperate last resort. In addi-
tion, the University hires the mediator.
When GEO and the University were ham-
mering out the last contract, the mediator
appeared somewhat biased in favor of the
University. Clearly, mediation may not be
enough to express the gravity of the situa-
tion - a work stoppage will.
The University has ignored the issues at
hand and stalled repeatedly on addressing
key GEO demands, which include a reason-
able cost-of-living increase, better health
benefits and improved training for interna-
tional GSIs. One of the biggest sticking
points is the wage increase. By the
University's own statistics, GSIs need about
$1,200 per month to live in Ann Arbor.
Currently, GSIs earn about $350 below that.
The University has yet to seriously engage
GEO in discussion of the topic. Perhaps the
work stoppage will force the University to
confront this issue, as well as the other top-
ics on the table.
Undergraduate students and professors
should support GEO by skipping class April
8 and 9. GSIs are educators and undergrad-
uate education would be impossible without
them. A work stoppage will attract the
administration's attention - and may even
solve the dispute.


Linguistic diversity
Court must strike English-only amendment

L ast week, the Supreme Court agreed to
hear an Arizona case that could deter-
mine the future of English-only laws. Many
politicians, especially in the Southwest,
often make language a campaign issue to
rally conservative support. The Supreme
Court should strike down such an attempt;
doing so would end the elitist - and subtly
racist - campaign to impose cultural impe-
rialism on American citizens.
The case stems from an Arizona state
constitutional amendment narrowly passed
in 1988 that required English to be the offi-
cial - and only - language of ballots,
public schools and all government func-
tions and actions. Maria-Kelley Yniquez, a
bilingual state employee who speaks
English and Spanish while evaluating med-
ical malpractice claims, sued the state.
She claims the amendment violates her
right to free speech, as guaranteed by the
First Amendment. While 22 states have
English-only laws, only Arizona assesses
penalties and fines to those who violate the
amendment. The language was so vague
that Jamie Gutierrez, a Hispanic state sena-
tor, noted that under the law he could have
been prosecuted for speaking Spanish to his
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Appeals Court
wisely struck down the amendment; the jus-
tices said the amendment restricted the con-
stitutional rights of both state employees
and the people they serve. In the majority
opinion, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote,
"Language is by definition speech, and the
regulation of any language is the regulation
of speech."
Supporters of the legislation argue that
English language is the glue that holds us

However, these supporters overlook that the
United States has existed for 219 years
without an official language. As a nation of
immigrants, the United States has seen
waves of immigrants who know little, if
any, English upon arrival. The United States
has not disintegrated, but has been enriched
by allowing immigrants to feel as comfort-
able as possible.
Proponents of English-only laws have
yet to produce a solid reason why such laws
are needed. Many claim that by speaking
another language, people are forcing them-
selves into a lower class of society.
However, all minorities, whether they be
Spanish-speaking Hispanics or English-
speaking African Americans, are already
forced into lower classes than whites.
Claims that language determines social
standing have yet to be proved.
Currently, the United States is undergo-
ing rapid cultural change. The 1990 census
found that 32 million people over the age of
5- 14 percent of U.S. residents - speak a
foreign language in their home, an 11 per-
cent jump since 1980. English-only laws
force an increasing number of Americans to
live in a place that makes it difficult for
them to communicate.
Whenever institutions pass laws to limit
free expression of language, they are effec-
tively ripping into First Amendment rights.
But beyond the theoretical argument, such
laws are impractical. English-only legisla-
tion proves that many in this country would
rather see non-English speakers change,
rather than trying to embrace cultural dif-
ferences and allow for various forms of
communication. Now it is up to the
Supreme Court to make a statement that

distorts point
I was glad to see my let-
ter March 20 ("China must
give Taiwan autonomy").
However, the published title
was not right to me and those
who sent complaints to me.
The published title sug-
gests that the sovereignty of
Taiwan belongs to China.
This is of course not what my
article intended to say. The
sovereignty of Taiwan
belongs to the Taiwanese, and
Taiwanese have their own
right to determine their own
future. The right to self-deter-
mination is part of human
rights that have been interna-
tionally recognized.
Therefore, we could not
agree with the published title
"China must give Taiwan
autonomy." Instead, we think
Taiwanese have their right to
determine their future, no
matter what the China gov-
ernment thinks.
What is
going on at
the mal?
What is going on?
Monday (318/96) or Tuesday
(3/19/96) this week, I started
seeing the grounds crew busy
all over the place. They were
raking, sweeping, digging,
spreading mulch, etc. Spring
seemed to be arriving.
But, as I passed by the
Natural Science Museum
entrance near the School of
Dentistry, I noticed a grounds
crew working in the circle
near the entrance. It looked
as though they were digging
up a very healthy green
shrub. When I returned with-
in 45 minutes, all the shrubs
within the circle were gone.
In their place was a layer of
mulch. What was the matter
with these shrubs? As I said
they were a very healthy
green, not the dead green of
most of the grass around
campus. Nor did they appear
to be dead or even sick. They
weren't even that brownish
green that many of the ever-
greens are this time of year.
It was a waste - of
resources, time, money and
plant life.
I would like to know why
this was done and how much
it cost? Is this part of the
greater plan for this campus,
such as using non-native
species for the pedestrian
mall on East U.?

great local magazine
"Cashiers du Cinemart"
(which he mistakenly refers
to as "Cahiers du Cinemart).
The magazine is a thoroughly
engaging collection of intelli-
gent movie reviews and news
and not the "typical hipper-
than-thou 'ine"' that
Zilberman seems to think it
The two articles of "labo-
rious Tarantino bashing" are
actually enlightening reports
on "Cashiers"' editor Mike
White's hilarious short film
"Who Do You Think You're
Fooling?" I think it's apparent
that Zilberman should shy
away from literary criticism.
In fact, after reading his
clumsy review of "Rumble in
the Bronx," he should proba-
bly stay away from film
reviews as well. Leave it up
to the swell staff of "Cashiers
du Cinemart"
Coverage of
track and
field lacking
I am writing this letter in
response to the Daily's
pathetic coverage of the
NCAA Track & Field
Championships. Your article
"Indoor season finale let-
down for men and women
runners," (3/11/96) grossly
underplayed our achieve-
ments at the NCAA
Championships. I have spent
my years as a non-revenue
sport athlete reading articles
laced with ignorance buried
on the back page of your
sports section, so I have
grown accustomed to shrug-
ging off the incorrect infor-
You belittled the efforts of
some of the hardest working,
finest athletes at this institu-
tion. We have not qualified
for the Olympics yet, and we
have no multi-million dollar
contracts waiting us in the
pros, but that does not make
us lesser athletes. Give us the
respect we deserve.
All I'm asking is that you
do some kind of research. Do
not simply scan the results
and spew them out. Let me
clarify you on a few things
- I have never run in a
"tournament" or "played"
against any Big Ten teams.
We "compete" in track and
field "meets." These things
may seem petty, but they
point to a deeper problem.
Your writers really don't
know what the hell they're
talking about! I have grown
tired of fielding questions
like "what event are you run-
ning?" during cross country

assigned to cover us. Just
curious, but exactly who told
you that the meet was a let-
In the women's 3,000
meters, Courtney Babcock
returned from a year plagued
with injuries to finish fifth in
a personal best time, just 0.5
seconds out of second place.
Her finish earned her All-
American honors. Monika
Black was also named All-
American with her finish in
the high jump.
The Men's Distance
Medley Relay broke the
school record which two
years ago was a world record.
We ran the third fastest time
of all-time and lost by a mere
0.15 seconds. We were all
named All-Americans.
But there is more to the
story. Trinity Townsend
moved up from his past dis-
tance of 400 meters to the
800 meters this season; Jeff
Wood had never competed at
NCAA's and was not named
to the team until a week
before; I am returning from a
year of injuries which includ-
ed knee surgery and a stress
fracture and Kevin Sullivan,
who chose not to defend his
NCAA title in the mile due
to an Achilles injury that has
plagued him all season, ran
the relay and outkicked this
year's champion. These
would all be big stories if we
were competing in the final
four of the hockey or basket-
ball tournaments. Well, this
was our final four. And we
lost by 0.15 seconds.
Your article was pure
numbers and stats which do
not even begin to scratch the
surface of the story. Track is
more than times and places,
but not according to your
article. Neil Gardner did not
make the hurdles final and
ran 8.01, nowhere near his
personal best. Your assess-
ment - a letdown.
e-mail sent
Many people in South
Quad recently received an e-
mail message mocking the
Gay and Lesbian Movements
Jeans day with a concept
called shoes day. This mes-
sage sent under a non-exis-
tent group name,fags@
umich.edu, encouraged dis-
crimination against and phys-
ical violence toward homo-
sexuals. I abhorred the fact
that such blatant hate existed
and that people would ever
encourage the use of violence
against another person no
matter what their beliefs. I
hope that the majority of the
people on this campus are
not as ignorant or as cold-

unions will
break the mold
for the better
T he Republicans in the state
Senate, who recently voted t
deny state medical benefits to same-
sex partners, per-
form such mea-
sures in the name
of "traditional
marriage" and the
"traditional fami-
ly" They say that
same-sex partners x
intrinsically can-
not marry in the
o 1d - fa sh i on e d
way, that to recog-KATE
nize such unions EPSTEIN
by conferring the
privileges of heterosexual marriage on
them threatens the character of hetero-
sexual marriage.
The senators have a point.
Sex/gender difference is intrinsic to
"traditional marriages," and same-sex
marriage lacks sex/gender differenc
between its members. Sex/gender dif-
ference - by which I mean any and all
social and biological differences
between females and males -
accounts for many types of differences
between men and women, but one of
the most important of these differ-
ences is that men are more powerful
than women.
Same-sex marriages can involve
power difference, but without sex/gen-
der difference, there is no outwa
sign of power difference. This absence
symbolizes the possibility of marriage
made on equal terms.
Equal terms are not in the tradition..
But the only way to save the institution
of marriage from obsoleteness is to
revise its traditions.
Fortunately, marriage has been able
to change to some extentalready. If it
hadn't, it would have been destroyed.
Not so long ago, husbands owne
wives. Women could not own property
by themselves. They had no legal iden-
tity apart from their husbands and
could not sign contracts.
Changes have been made, but more
are needed. To varying degrees in dif-
ferent states, husbands still own their
wives' sexuality. Marital rape is
explicitlysharder to prosecute under
the law than any other kind.
The power difference in the tradi
tional marriage leads to unhappiness.
Dominant husbands take on the
responsibility for making decisionst-
such as career decisions - that wives
must make for themselves. Children
raised in homes where men dominate
women find these patterns hard to
break in maturity. Whether male dom-
inance puts women on a pedestal or
calls us sinners, it demeans us. It
diminishes our claim to humanity.
What is less than human can be
treated with unspeakable inhumanity.
Male dominance can be fatal. The FBI
reports that more than one-third of
female homicide victims are killed by
their husbands or boyfriends. The
AmericanMedical Association esti-
mates that nearly one-quarter of
American women will be abused in
their lives by a current or former part-
Domestic violence is too prevalen
to be considered aberrant. It expresses
the logical outcome of the traditional

power balance. Those marriages and
other kinds of romantic partnerships in
which abuse occurs - whether
straight or gay - are traditional in the
sense that one partner dominates the
other. The right to abuse a partner
comes from the ownership of wives
that "traditional marriage" confers o
husbands. The "traditional marriage
must be stopped before it kills one
more person.
The conservative claim that "tradi-
tional marriage" must be preserved in
order to create a stable environment
for the upbringing of children is a
farce. Domestic violence poses the
largest threat possible to children's sta-
bility. Beginning in the fetal stage,
which conservatives hold so sacred
battery poses a grave risk; battery 04
pregnant women raises the likelihood
of miscarriage, low birth weight in
infants and high infant mortality.
The Domestic Violence Project,
which runs the battered women's shel-
ter in Ann Arbor, estimates that 60 per-
cent of battered women are beaten
while pregnant. The same organization
found that more than 70 percent of
men who batter their wives also abus
their children. These men are empow-
ered by the "traditional marriage" the
state Senate wishes to protect.
The worst we can do for our children
is to allow them to grow up in the hor-
ror of domestic violence. The worst we
can do for the institution of marriage is


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