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April 16, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-16

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday April 16, 1996

(Itie fuun BMi 1

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 board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Cosmetic reform

'I harbor concerns that the
selection process focuses more on the Ideology
than the stature of the speaker.'
- MSA President Flint Wainess'feelings on the commencement speaker

Sibling rivalry:
Te joys, the


A.D. needs more than
L ast week, the University's Athletic
Department announced several inter-
nal changes that are intended to allow
Director Joe Roberson more time to exam-
ine "major philosophical issues" facing col-
lege sports today. According to Roberson's
assistant, Keith Molin, the reforms should
give the director more time to "significant-
ly look at major policy areas in day-to-day
operations." While it is a worthy goal, mak-
ing internal reforms will not bring about the
kind of improvement that the department
Not only does the plan outline a philo-
sophical goal, it calls for the
consolidation of the externala
relations department into one
unit. Also, numerous senior
officials will assume new
responsibilities to increase effi- -
ciency. These changes are sup-
posed to foster improvement in
the department's operation,
allowing its director more time
to confer with the regents and
the administration, as well as to
be more active in the Big Ten. M
Unfortunately, the reforms fall short in
one key area: accountability.
While these changes might give the
director more time to promote and enforce
professionalism among the University's ath-
letes, and increased fairness in recruitment,
there is still no oversight of how the direc-
tor arranges his priorities. The Athletic
Department has failed to specify exactly
how the changes will benefit the program
beyond general efficiency. The changes are
significant - and the department should
explain them in more depth. For example,
Molin said one of the key issues that
Roberson will look into is the "relationship
between academics to athletics." The
department needs to show the public and


internal restructuring
the administration how this change will
improve athletes' academic performances.
To ensure a clean athletic program, the
regents and the administration must play a
significant role in the operation of the
department. The University is currently
working on such a plan.
While the Athletic Department deserves
commendation for its own efforts at reform,
the regents and the administration cannot
afford to mistake this as a replacement for
their own efforts. The Athletic Department
still needs University regulation, just as the
School of Dentistry or Rackham does.

Allw VIsATT Diy

For the University, the
Athletic Department is a dou-
ble-edged sword. Athletics
enhance campus life and bring
in substantial revenue for other
programs. However, they are
also sports programs whose
primary purpose is to provide
entertainment. The University
must never allow the program's
success to come at the expense
of the institution's reputation.
Reorganizing may ensure that

the program remains competitive, but will
in no way guarantee that it remains an asset
to the school.
The department's desire to improve is a
worthy goal. Its efforts should ensure
smoother operation in the future. The
department reflects a desire for excellence,
and a willingness to work with the
University in a positive way. With this atti-
tude, the regents should have no difficulty
implementing future reforms.
However, the changes cannot replace a
an extensive - and external - overhaul.
Alone, the Athletic Department's abilities
are limited. University assistance should
yield substantial improvements to the pro-

for next year
This letter to the editor
will be the last one that I will
write before I graduate from
the University. I have been an
avid reader of the Daily for
four years, over which time it
has evolved from a big liberal
mass of pulp to, um, basical-
ly the same thing.
At this time, however, the
Daily is recovering from a
political attack that is being
fueled by multiple elements
on this campus. So I figured
that, as a final service to the
Daily, I could suggest a few
ideas to develop your integri-
ty and enhance your ability
to enlighten the student body:
1. I think Kate Epstein is
the best of your columnists
this year. She is unique in
that I can parse her columns
and usually find some decent
information among all the
gobbledegook (in this case,
feminist dogma). Yesterday's
column about migraines
("Behind the migraine
myth") is an excellent exam-
2.Also, Jim Lasser is
getting better! fe seems to
amuse me more and more

often. Yesterday's cartoon
about the LAPD was splen-
did. So was the one two
weeks ago about drugs and
death. So was thedone about
Law School admissions that
triggered the Daily thefts. All
of those cartoons succeed in
the same way good political
humor succeeds - they take
the truth and spin it in an
original way. Remember the
words "truth" and "original,"
Lasser, and the sky is the
limit for you.
3) Now about this "racist"
stuff: Disagreeing with the
Daily, or even being offended
by it, is one thing; charging
racism is something much
more serious. I think the
clowns who stole those 8,000
papers need to go back to
class and learn the basic
lessons of responsibility with
regard to speech and expres-
The Daily was on the side
of responsibility in this case
and, even though I often
don't agree with its opinions,
it has never failed to provide
a voice for dissenters such as
myself. If not, the College
Republicans would have
staged a protest many moons
ago, believe me.

Criticism is
Thank you for printing
Julian Heilig's humorous and
insightful criticism of the
Daily ("Accountable for
racism," 4/15/96).
Rarely does one find
objective writing in a college
I agree that stealing a
publication you don't agree
with so no one else can read
it is a novel and practical
Ileilig doesn't mention
the group he represents, but I
rest assured knowing that he
and his rational, accommo-
dating minions are out there
addressing the racial imbal-
ances that continue to plague
the United States.
The letter is a timely one,
coinciding with the 50th
anniversary of Orwell's
"Animal Farm."
Ile deserves praise for
reminding us that no matter
how noble the revolution,
there will always be some pig
out there who wants to take it

sorrows and the
was about 2 and I12 when the pic-
ture was taken. I'm sitting on our
family's '70s-looking hound's-tooth-
pattern couch with a pudgy little smile
on my face, hold-
ing my baby broth-
er in my arms. !
"I don't know%
why I'm smiling in
that picture! Id
say bitterly as I
grew older. Dan
would knock over
my block towers
get all the atten-
tion, and even
threw up on my JEAN
shoes the morning TWENGE
of my first day of
school. I'd wish my parents had pos-
sessed the foresight to keep me an only
child. If they'd gotten perfection the
first time, I'd think, why did they need
to try again?
On occasion I'd change my mind
My brother and I created vhole wo ds
together as children. We invented two
families called the Cats and the Dogs
who lived in the Lego houses we built.
We made obstacle courses together in
the backyard out of lawn chairs and
boxes, and timed each other going
through it. We'd watch the "Brady
Bunch" religiously after school and
never miss "Mork and Mindy" during
lunchtime in the summer. -41
We'd pull each other around in a
wheelbarrow in my grandparents'
backyard. Sometimes we'd decide to
play a trick on our parents like pre-
tending one of us had scampered off
when they 'd run into the grocery store:
Dan would hide on the floor of the
backseat and I'd sweart up and down I
didn't know where he'd gone. Then
he'd burst out giggling and ruin it al
but it was fun anyway.
Other times it wasn't so peachy
he'd want to tear down the Lego house
when I wanted to keep it together for-
ever. He'd memorize commercials and
proceed to sing them at the top of his
lungs, while I chased him around the
house and tried to wallop him into
shutting up. He'd sit in the backseat of
the car, hit his own leg, and yell, "Jean,
stop hitting me!!!"
As we moved into adolescence, ou
conflicts tended to be more subtle. It
was hard for him to always be "Jean's
brother" at school, and he didn't want
to have anything to do with the things
that were important to me - orches-
tra, liberal politics, poetry.
We also grew apart during the nor-
mal adolescent storm years - my par-
ents didn't want him to catch on to the
fights we were having, so he was left
wondering what everyone was so tens.
He also realized that the less he told
my parents about what he did, the bet-
ter things were, so the usual fear of
sibling tattling kept us from talking
It also became clear that we had very
different personalities and outlooks on
life. I was content with clothes that
looked okay even if they came from
Target: Dan nearly bought out the J
Crew catalog his first year of college,
and wanted a designer label on every-
thing from shirts to shoes. While I was
so stubborn I'd fight tooth and nail
over a minor point, Dan was much
more laid-back.
Once when I visited him at college,
he made a telling comment: "Dont
take this the wrong way," he said, "but
if-you weren't my sister, I don't think

we'd be friends."
I didn't realize it until recently, but
there's a key phrase there: "If you
weren't my sister ..." But I am, and no
matter how different we might seem,
no one else understands our family, my
childhood and my personality better
than my brother does. When it comes
to that level of understanding of the
past, all we have is each other.
Recently we've begun to get along
better and talk more about all of these
things. We each have our favorite sto
ries about our family, and we share our
insights on our parents and how to deal
with them.
We compare notes on what we have
in common from growing up in the
same family - what strengths and
neuroses can be traced to our shared
upbringing. He shares many things I'd
worried were unique to me, worries
and fears and traits instilled by o4
We also laugh at the same things.
It's not funny to anyonc else when my
brother pretends there's stairs in the
kitchen and makes it look from behind
the counter like he's descending into
the basement. But it was funny when

A show of strength

Clinton's abortion bill,
Since the Supreme Court decided Roe v.
Wade, abortion opponents have been
waging a war to get it overturned. The latest
battle is occurring on the eve of the presi-
dential campaign. Recently, congressional
Republicans voted to outlaw an abortion
procedure that is used during the late stages
of pregnancy, but President Clinton vetoed
the bill last week. The president's decision
was vital - the government cannot, under
any circumstances, infringe upon a
woman's right to choose.
. Public opinion polls reflect that the
majority of Americans consistently support
the right to choose. In spite of this, the U.S.
House voted 286-129 and the Senate voted
54-44 to ban the late-term abortion proce-
dure. The abortion procedure is most often
used to save the mother's life. The proce-
dure is used approximately 500 times per
year in the United States and generally
occurs following the 20th week of pregnan-
cy. Sometimes a woman must choose
between saving her own life or that of the

veto was appropriate
recently vetoed legislation, Clinton should
by no means sign the bill.
The foundation for this congressional
decision is not firm. Republican lawmakers
seem to be searching for ways to gain votes
in the fall. Last week, three Catholic arch-
bishops held a prayer vigil and denounced
Clinton's decision in front of the White
House. Traditionally, the Catholic vote has
been very important in presidential elec-
tions. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility
of members of Congress to uphold the
beliefs of their constituents. Using expedi-
ency as a basis for lawmaking is a recipe for
disaster. Thus, the Republican Congress
should by no means attempt to override the
presidential veto.
In his comments upon vetoing the bill,
Clinton backed himself into a corner. He
said that he could not sign the legislation
unless it contained an exception for women
who faced serious health consequences. In
doing so, Clinton disturbingly wavered on
his stance of maintaining the absolute right
to choose. Even if that clause is added, the
president should not support the infringe-
ment of abortion rights.
Congressional Republicans, in an
attempt to gain both votes and the campaign
contributions of Right to Life of America,
have gone against the beliefs of the majori-
ty of their constituents. Deciding to have a
late-term abortion is a difficult decision.
This decision should not be outlawed.
Passing any anti-abortion legislation would

Making MSA more functional

. .-

Preparing to step forward
as the new Michigan Student
Assembly president. I feel
many things: gratitude toward
those who supported my can-
didacy and share my ideas:
eagerness to begin working
for the student body: humility,
facing the imminent task of
representing my peers.
Mostly, though, I feel chal-
lenged by a fundamental
question: Is our student gov-
ernment working?
As a veteran of the assem-
bly, I have been wrestling
with this question for some
time. Now, as I am ready to
lead the body, I invite you, the
students of the University, to
consider this question with
me, and ultimately to work
with me in moving forward
on real campus issues.
I believe in our campus
democracy, and I believe that
the student leaders who
emerge from it are honest
individuals committed to
doing hard work for their
peers. Additionally, I believe
that the best way to help stu-
dents is not to fret over inter-
nal bureaucracies, but to
focus on the everydaytcon-
cerns of each of us. To that
end, in my tenure with the
assembly, I have seen con-
crete progress in the areas of
financial aid, campus safety,
student representation, the
Code of Student Conduct and

working alone: rather, they
reflect students' united effort
to work in harmony with their
government. This is a func-
tional system - one which
will continue its successes
with all students participating
to the best of their ability.
There is no question that
past assembly actions have
invited ridicule and mistrust
of its members. Joseph
McCarthy-style purges, gross
mismanagement of funds and
puerile personal attacks -
these are the actions of the
past that resulted in divisive-
ness, stagnation and discon-
These are also actions that
have no place in the new
Michigan Student Assembly
- one whose ties with stu-
dents are forged from an iron-
clad promise of tireless advo-
cacy on their behalf.
If liberty and equality are
to be found on our campus,
and if our democratic assem-
bly is to aid in their suste-
nance, they will best be
attained when all students
alike share in governance to
the utmost. While it is not fair
to demand daily fixation on
campus governance and poli-
tics of every student, I suggest
to you that the only way to
reach our collective potential.
is participation - even once
per semester at the polls. The
strength of the assembly is
inexorably wedded to the
invoement of itsc nn-

time for all members of cam-
pus to step forward and make
their voices ring clear. The
inevitable result of inaction is
the increasing security of
struggle and bitterness among
us. Lest we be divided by the
twin terrors of hate and apa-
thy, we must join hands in an
effort to understand each
And so, in the coming
months, as I work on improv-
ing student well-being
through health and child care,
more parking, lower textbook
costs and more secure finan-
cial aid, I ask each of you to
work with me in bringing
about progress on campus.
Those of you on campus dur-
ing the summer can help in
the presidential search by
submitting input to its com-
mittee; or in securing higher
University appropriations by
writing letters to state and
federal legislators; or in
granting all students the luxu-
ry of health by voicing ideas
on universal health care cov-
Those of you away from
Ann Arbor can keep in touch
with me regarding these same
areas, via e-mail or postal
mail. The legitimate object of
MSA is to do for the students
that which needs to be done,
but which they cannot, by
individual effort, do for them-
selves. An honest and tena-
cious effort at student advoca-
cv. which will holster campus

Passing even a single piece of legisla-
tion that opposes a form of abortion would
set a dangerous precedent. Once the sancti-
ty of Roe . Wade is eliminated, abortion
opponents would have license to sponsor
anti-abortion legislation nationwide.
Access to abortion in certain regions of the
United States might be limited, as it was
before the Roe decision. Back-alley abor-
tions, which pose serious health threats to


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