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April 12, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-12

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4-The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 12, 1996

ahte 3ttigd t zilg

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 the majority of the Daily ': editorial hoard. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Tentative aeement
GEO heads off permanent strike

'(In addition) to numbers and test scores,
we also look for the human being.'
- Theodore Spencet; director of undergraduate
admissions, explaining the criteria used by
University admissions counselors
T ocK;a5 D
{ x
~5TA E 81 ADS4

finding the best
day speaker
For many of us, graduation is rapid-
ly approaching - a little like
runaway semi. As notes from "Pomp
and Circumstance" crash around in
our heads, we are
faced by that most
pertinent of ques-
tions, the question
that must occur to
every graduate., . ~
the question that
is so crucial for
our future:,.


While the rest of the University was
sleeping at 2 a.m. yesterday, the
administration and the Graduate Employees
Organization were just finishing a 12-hour
negotiation marathon. With the help of a
state-appointed mediator, the two sides
reached middle ground. GEO signed a ten-
tative contract with the University - but it
cannot disclose the details because the
organization must receive approval from

sign such a deal - LSA wages are deter-
mined in the summer, and GEO would lose
power to refuse once the two sides signed a
contract. The union asked for a 10-percent
raise the first year of the contract and an 8-
percent wage increase per year for the next
two. There have been hints that GEO settled
for less than their original offer - the
University should meet the union halfway.
GEO deserves enormous credit for hold-

Once we've
graduated, how
will we check our BRENT
First of all, I MCINTOSH
should apologize
to all of you who will be taking part in
the May 4 graduation at Michigan
Stadium with me. Not only are you
going to participate in about the eighth
most-important event to be held in th
stadium this year, but you're going to
do it in the rain.
Sorry - milestones in my life
invariably feature precipitation; you've
simply had the poor fortune of gradu-
ating with me.
The speaker for this year's gradua-
tion will be announced at next week's
regents meeting. It's strange to me that
we leave momentous decisions like
this one to people like the administra-
tion and the regents - people who ar4
so obviously unfit to make them for


1,200 of its members via a
mail-in vote.
Whew. Now students can
breathe a sigh of relief-- the
University will have classes,
exams and grades. GEO will
not go on a permanent strike.
But what's next?
Previews of the agree-
ment hint at a compromise
for both sides. The mandato-
ry three-week training for
international graduate stu-
dent instructors was a major
sticking point. Instructors
coming from other countries;

r 1


ing out from October to
April, while the possibility of
a strike hung over the
University. Administrators
continued to spurn GEO's
requests. GEO continually
agreed to extend its bargain-
ing contracts to avoid a
strike. GEO's reasonable
approach to negotiation
demonstrated commitment to
undergraduate students.
Although GEO may not
have received every demand
it was fighting for, the

are classified

as students until the first day of classes
when the University considers them actual
employees. For three weeks, the GSIs are
stuck here without lodging, funds or health
insurance because the University refuses to
take financial responsibility for the training
it mandates. Reportedly, the University
offered IGSIs a $500 fellowship as a con-
cession - but the University also wanted
the fellowship left out of GEO's contract. If
the bargain leaves IGSIs out of the contract,
the University could wiggle out of its end
whenever it seems convenient.
Overall wage packages were the other
major point of contention. Originally, the
University offered GEO a percentage
increase to match LSA professors.
Naturally, GEO members were unwilling to

University community should applaud them
for not striking. A strike could have spelled
disaster for students, professors and the
administration. The deal the two sides
struck ensures that the rest of the semester
will run smoothly.
The University may offer its GSIs a bet-
ter deal than most public universities. But
the University lags miles behind private
universities to which the administration is
so fond of comparing the University of
The important issue: Students at this
university deserve quality graduate student
instructors. GSIs deserve adequate com-
pensation. Graduates and undergraduates
alike are here for an education. It's up to the
University to see that they get it - no mat-
ter what other universities are doing.

Downtown dollars
Cities should pay 'living wage' to employees

'U' handling
of Hash Bash
was unfair to
When one spends thou-
sands of dollars to attend a
university, one expects to
have access to the facilities
during regularly posted
On April 6. in commemo-
ration of Hash Bash, the
University effectively closed
campus facilities to everyone,
including students.
While I can appreciate the
University's desire to keep
the Hash Bashers who have
no affiliation with the
University from glutting our
facilities, denying access to
students and staff who would
normally have access to areas
under normal circumstances
is intolerable.
I was denied access to the
staff paid lots on Church and
Hill Streets because I have a
commuter tag on my car. I
was denied access to the Law
Library because I'm not a
law student. I was met at the
door to the Shapiro Library
by two gentlemen whose pur-
pose I was unable to deter-
mine because they let me in
without frisking me for dope.
I guess I just looked
respectable or something.
This is the first time in
my 3 1/2 years at this campus
that I have needed to conduct
academic business during
Hash Bash, so perhaps this is
typical. But I resent needing
to rearrange my life to
accommodate the
University's security precau-
tions because a bunch of peo-
ple want to invade the town
to rot their brains on pot -
which is an illegal drug no
matter whether one thinks it
should be or not - together.
So, for all of my wasted
time that should have been
used doing my research, I
thank the University adminis-
tration. You have once again
demonstrated your intellectu-
al prowess and your amount
of respect for the people who
pay tuition at this esteemed
bill will foster
national unity
The author of "Linguistic
Diversity: Court must strike
English-only amendment"
(4/1/96) ignores at least three
critical pro-English argu-
ments in what amounts to a

grants who know little, if any
English upon arrival. The
United States has not disinte-
grated, but has been enriched
by allowing immigrants to
feel as comfortable as possi-
Once again, the author
omits important information.
Until recently, many in those
"waves of immigrants"
worked very hard to assimi-
late: The older generation
encouraged the younger to
learn English and many
"Americanized" their names.
They did this not because
they wereashamed of the
culture into which they were
born, but because they want-
ed to be part of a new cul-
ture. Why would anyone
decide that the American cul-
ture is so desirable that they
are willing to leave family
and friends and then ask that
culture to change?
Lastly, I cannot be
enriched by your culture if
you and I cannot communi-
cate! I certainly do not know
the future and cannot say for
certain which is the best path
to take on this complex issue.
However, I know that any
discussion of a topic like this
that ignores important
aspects is counterproductive
and irresponsible.
MSA parties
should strive
for diversity
Kenneth T. Jones, in his
letter ("Stop the racist bias,"
4/3/96) regarding racism at
the Daily, asks the question,
"What makes you think we
(United People's Coalition)
are 'not fit to lead the assem-
bly?"' He then goes on to
mention that perhaps the rea-
son is that his party is com-
prised of candidates "who
just happen to be non-white"
Stated in that manner, it
seems that Jones is asserting
that the race/ethnicity of
UPC candidates was simply a
peripheral detail; they only
"happened" to be non-white,
and their candidates should
earn their votes based on the
issues, not on race.
That would be a great sit-
uation, but what I saw during
the campaign was completely
different. Race, which was
supposed to be a peripheral
detail, certainly seemed to be
more than that. On nearly
every poster, UPC made a
deliberate point to say that
they were the only complete-
ly non-white party on the bal-
By doing this, UPC is
guilty of the racial exploita-
tion that Jones speaks out
against. I wish I had an ade-

I urge UPC to reconsider
its methods before the next
election and to concentrate
on the issues rather than just
the race of its candidates.
grants right
to bear arms
I find it extremely repul-
sive that the Daily has the
gall to cry foul about the dis-
appearing papers on the front
page, while at the same time
supporting laws that are con-
trary to the Second
Amendment. You claim the
unusual demand for papers
March 27 was "an act of cen-
sorship" and a violation of
the Daily's constitutional
Maybe the Daily's editors
only read the First
Amendment of the
Constitution. The Second
Amendment says, "A well
regulated militia, being nec-
essary to the security of a
free state, the right of the
people to keep and bear
arms, shall not be infringed
Regardless how you may
try to interpret this amend-
ment, it is undeniable that the
assault weapons ban infringes
upon the right of the people
to keep and bear arms. If, as
the Daily says, "the American
people still want the ban'
("Assaulting the ban: U.S.
Senate must not repeal gun
law," 3/28/96) then the
American people should
amend the Constitution.
Enacting and supporting
unconstitutional laws for
political correctness is poor
Every time Congress tries
to pass a law to prevent the
publication of dangerous.
material, such as those used
in the making of the
Oklahoma bomb style devis-
es, the press screams about
the First Amendment. Now
Congress tries to repeal an
unconstitutional law and the
Daily forgets the
The Daily's editors are
correct when they say an
AK47 or Uzi is meant to kill
people. Whether you like it
or not, the Second
Amendment is about killing
people. It does not say you
have a right to bear arms for
the the purpose of goose
hunting. If Americans want
to limit or end the right to
bear arms in the United
States, the Constitution
should be amended, not vio-
The editorial makes it
clear that it values the
Constitution when it is to its

With the probable construction of its
new baseball stadium, Detroit may
soon become another metropolitan city to
embark on a major downtown re-develop-
ment project. One of the main goals of such
programs is to create jobs. However, many
of these jobs are low-wage service posi-
tions. To improve the situation, some cities
have advanced a novel idea - a minimum
"living wage" that all of the cities' contrac-
tors must pay. Detroit, and other cities in
similar situations, should put this idea into
As municipal governments slashed bud-
gets and privatized during the past few
years, many workers have lost their well-
paying public sector jobs. Government
employees usually were protected by gener-
ous contracts and were well-compensated.
The increase in private contracts and public
works projects has led to new job creation;
but these jobs - usually in the service sec-
tor -- often pay at or near the federal mini-
mum wage.
Unfortunately, the minimum wage offers
little protection to workers; it has fallen
behind the cost-of-living since the 1970s.
Moreover, the Republican-controlled
Congress has refused to approve even the
most menial increase in the minimum
wage, let alone restore its earning power to
the level it was 25 years ago.
These harsh realities have caused munic-
ipalities to take matters into their own
hands. The result is the "living wage"

required to pay employees. These minimum
living wages are intended to provide work-
ers with the means to adequately support
their families, and they often mirror the
wages offered to public employees.
Currently, only a few cities, such as
Baltimore and Milwaukee, have adopted
this program. However, the idea is spread-
ing, with more than 30 cities nationwide
moving toward similar plans.
An adequate federally mandated mini-
mum wage would be better than a city-by-
city approach, but the living wage idea is a
good start. Wage stagnation for working
people is one of the greatest problems con-
fronting America today. The proposal
would begin to alleviate the problem.
Economic changes over the past 20 years,
such as public downsizing, have hit large
cities especially hard hit; thus this urban
approach is especially appropriate.
Furthermore, privatization is saving
cities money and public-private ventures,
such as stadiums and downtown develop-
ment plans, bring in tax revenue. City gov-
ernments have an obligation to help work-
ers whose pocketbooks have been adverse-
ly affected by shifts in the economy. These
changes have pushed them from high-pay-
ing public jobs into lower-paying private
service jobs.
As Detroit and other cities see their
economies change, they cannot rely on the
U.S. government to protect their workers. It
is encouraging that some cities have taken

These are the same regents that nod-
ded dumbly when President
Duderstadt told them the Code of
Student Conduct was a good idea, and
we're going to let them have the final
say on who speaks at our graduation.
very nossibly the only lecture for
which we'll be awake this entire term?
Chances are, we will be treated t
some politico seeking re-election, or
the Queen of England, or George
Foreman or that Bud Light "I love you.
man" guy.
I propose that the regents consider a
more nontraditional speaker, someone
to whom we, the graduating, can more
readily relate.
I would suggest, for example, Kato.
Kae in. Kato, ike most of us, is unem-
ployed. Even better, he wants to be a
"actor" - again, much like a weighty
chunk of our class. So Kato would be
a speaker with whom we could sympa-
Another good choice would be AxI
Rose. This is not because Rose is just
like me and you, in that he has'
absolutely no musical talent,or in that
he spells horribly. (Witness his first
name: I don't pretend to be an auto
mechanic, but I'm pretty sure that'
not how you spell that word.) While
these are both true, the reason that the
administration should pick Ax is that
he has bad hair. Really bad hair. Bad
hair like that takes effort.
Many of us will spend the next few.
decades growing old, and our hair will
either fall out or get scraggly - so I
figure Axl can give some insight on
bad hair, and maybe some tips on cop-
ing. Or maybe he'll just play some o
his unique New Jersey rock 'n' roll. (I1
the sarcasm is dripping on your new
shirt, I apologize - but don't think
I'm going to buy you a new shirt. No
way, buster.)
If thesregents cannot secure either
AxI or Kato to address us, a solid
selection would be former Daily
columnist Mike Rosenberg. They say
you can't please all the people all the
time, so we might as well try to fin
someone who can't please anyone
In his years at the Daily, Rosey man-
aged to offend almost everybody: The
conservative elements on campus
seem to think that Mike is a bastion of
pinko thought, while the more liberal
elements agree that he is a reactionary
Senator, I know Mike Rosenberg. I
have worked with Mike Rosenberg.
can assure you that he sleeps far to
much to spend time really being either
one of those things.. But if we can
wake him, he'll certainly make for an
entertaining speech.
It is very important for the dignity of
this university that the speaker not be
an artsy type, or someone who consid-
ers art to be a primary part of our edu-
cation. Not that I don't like art, but
should a person of this sort be selectg
ed, there is the very real possibility
that the speaker would, in the interest
of impressing our gathered loved ones
with our breadth of knowledge, ask to
stand those who have visited the
University's art museum.
I can just see President Duderstadt

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