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April 17, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-17

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 17, 1996

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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's editorial board. All
other articles,.letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Vested interest
'U' must evaluate link to 'secret' societies

'Cigarette ads objectify the female body and
contribute to the Idea of the slim Ideal that
Is difficult to live up to.'
- Nursing Prof Carol Boyd, the Golden Apple award recipient,
commenting on the effects of cigarette ads during her
"ideal last lecture " Monday night
/00 'V

T he University community has a vora-
cious appetite for sensationalism -
the most recent feast involves the
University's so-called "secret societies."
Initiated by a widespread e-mail campaign
and sustained by the campus' prolific rumor
mill, speculations about the Michigan
Union tower occupants abound. The discus-
sion has led students to question whether
such societies should exist - but students
should ignore the secret societies' club-
house mentality. Instead, students should
expend their energy more efficiently by
investigating the University's involvement
with the groups.
The presence of the exclusive Tower
Society, which is comprised of three "secret
societies," should not be a student concern.
Many campus groups are somewhat exclu-
sive in nature - take the Greek system. The
Greek system, however, maintains the right
to exist independently of University regula-
tion, because it is 'sanctioned by the
Interfraternity Council. Unlike the fraterni-
ties and sororities, the Tower Society groups
are University-regulated - like all other
groups registered with the Michigan
Student Assembly.
Students' loudest objections stem from
the society's monopoly of the Union's upper
floors. Historically, the Tower Society has
had a hand in Union administration - the
group is credited with the building's con-
ception and construction. In 1932, the
University Board of Regents gave the Tower
Society the space that it currently holds. No
board has seriously challenged the contract
- which indefinitely leases the tower to the
society free of rent - since the unanimous
1932 vote.
However, several groups on campus

have both officially and unofficially con-
tracted space - whether the contract is
legally binding may be inconsequential
when weighed against the groups' historical
use of the space.
The issue, then, lies in the fact that the
Tower Society has exclusive access to the
Union tower. Space appropriated for other
student organizations - such as MSA's
chambers - is not restricted to members
only. Since the Union is a tuition-supported
University building, leasing space for stu-
dent organizations is acceptable only if the
rest of the student population is allowed
access as well.
Despite its best efforts at secrecy, the
Tower Society has revealed links with high-
level University officers; Associate Dean of
Students Frank Cianciola reportedly advis-
es the Tower Society groups. While
University students should not concern
themselves with the groups' membership or
activities, they do have a right to know how
the associate dean of students budgets his
time. If University officials or staff are
involved with the groups, they must answer
to the student population and reveal what
monopolizes their working hours. Officials,
such as Cianciola, are here to serve the
entire student population - not to protect
the interests of a few.
The secret societies have very little
effect on students' daily lives. In all likeli-
hood, few desired tower access until the
recent rumors and pseudo-controversy
sparked discussion. If some students would
like to have a closed clubhouse and play by
themselves, that's fine.
But the University could spend its
resources better than in the groups' com-
mitment to secrecy and elitism.

Undue influence
Politicians should respect judicial independence

In a speech last week, Supreme Court
Chief Justice William Rehnquist called
for a new commitment to judicial indepen-
dence. His comments were spurred by a
recent controversy involving federal district
Judge Harold Baer Jr. of New York. Baer
overturned a ruling on a drug case after he
came fire from politicians of both parties.
While the criticism's impact on the reversal
is hard to calculate, the incident is unset-
tling. Politicians, and all Americans, should
heed the Rehnquist's call to protect the
independence of the courts - a corner-
stone of American democracy.
In the New York decision, Baer ruled
that some of the evidence in a drug case
was inadmissible in court because it was the
product of an improper search by the New
York City police. This would have severely
weakened the prosecutors' case against the
alleged drug dealers. Presumptive GOP
nominee Bob Dole (R-Kan.) suggested that
Baer should be impeached after the initial
decision, and the White House did not rule
out the possibility that President Clinton
would seek Baer's resignation. Baer
reversed his initial ruling. He cited new evi-
dence as the main motivation for his deci-
sion, but many have speculated that politi-
cians' pressure was the key factor in his
Criticism of presidential appointments,
including those to the federal bench, are a
staple of presidential politics. But this year,
the federal judiciary has become an unusu-
ally potent issue in the presidential cam-
paign. This raises the troubling possibility
that politicians will continue to pressure sit-
S . .. . ._ ,_ _ ._. - TA.n T -

their rulings. These unsavory scenarios
would drastically upset the democratic bal-
ance that has characterized the United
States throughout its history.
As Rehnquist mentioned in his speech,
Congress has never impeached a sitting
judge on the basis of a ruling - the only
impeachments have been motivated by
criminal activity or ethical lapses. If Dole
had carried through on his threat to
impeach Baer, and Congress had agreed, it
would have constituted an unprecedented
strike against judicial independence.
The maintenance of judicial indepen-
dence is integral to the American system of
government. Without a free and indepen-
dent judiciary, as specified in Article III of
the Constitution, the power of law would be
seriously undermined - "the law" could be
subverted by popular whims, and there
would be no effective checks on the legisla-
tive and executive branches. The protection
against these undesirable scenarios is basic
to the Constitution. Its drafters designed the
independent judiciary as a check against
fickle and imprudent public opinion.
Moreover, the system of checks and bal-
ances between the branches is based on the
notion of a court system that can counteract
the executive and legislative branches with-
out fear of undue intimidation.
While Dole and Clinton may have dis-
agreed with Baer on the basis of sound
legal reasoning, their intimidation of the
judge was an affront to good legal thinking.
Rehnquist was wise to speak up for one of
the key tenets of true democracy: judicial
independence. The candidates should heed
1~o -.v -1r::,A - ultr+ aeh nd not, A

Assault ban
protects the
I felt the urge to respond
to Brian J. Kudary's letter
("Constitution allows arms,"
4/9/96) commenting on
Jordan Stancil's column
"How Could Congress be so
... Dumb?" (3/27/96). There
are a few things that I'd like
to point out.
First of all, the Second
Amendment to the
Constitution was not written
yesterday. It was written in a
time when the "right to bear
arms" was a much more
meaningful and less detri-
mental right - a right that
was carried on from British
It surprised me a bit, after
reading Kudary's well writ-
ten, though biased, letter that
he didn't know an important
fact: The cases where guns
actually served as protection
from assault are so rare that
they are almost negligible.
There are so many
instances each year when
guns kept as "protection"
either end up helping to ren-
der a disagreement fatal, or
accidentally cause the death
of a child who does not know
the difference between a
plaything and danger.
When Kudary stated of
gangs and drive-by shootings
that "... people who use
assault weapons for such a
purpose do not generally
obtain them through legal
means anyway" I had to
agree. However, he fails to
see that the ban would be just
one step toward decreasing
the violence and tragedies in
this country. If Kudary hon-
estly feels the need to "pro-
tect himself," I suggest that
he buy himself a security
offends men
I am writing this letter in
response to the column by
Kate Epstein, "Behind the
migraine myth," (4/15/96).
As a chronic migraine suffer-
er, I find it almost offensive
that the author all but denies
that males are susceptible to
migraines, just as females
are. Epstein writes, "I don't
know any male migraine suf-
ferers" and then bases the
rest of the article on a book
by Oliver Sacks, titled
"Migraine: Revised and
I have not read the book,
but I am willing to bet that

grandmother are victims of
these headaches. My two sis-
ters are fortunately unaffect-
ed. As a young child, I had
many headaches and went to
a number of neurologists.
After having a Magnetic
Resonance Imaging, going
through biofeedback and tak-
ing prescribed drugs on a
daily basis, the doctors could
not seem to find a curable
Luckily, my migraines
became less severe with age,
but every once in a while the
headaches come back with a
vengeance. At the slightest
indication of a headache, I
am quick to take a prescribed
drug called Darvocet. When
this does not work - when I
feel almost unbearable,
excruciating pain - another
prescription, Fiorinal with
Codeine, usually solves the
problem. I am aware of cer-
tain foods that aggravate my
"condition" as well as certain
weather conditions, certain
activities, etc.
It is probably true that I
will suffer from migraine
headaches for the rest of my
life. I would like the readers
of the Daily to understand
that both men and women
can get migraine headaches
- it is not just a problem
for menstruating women.
Rose faces
Another MSA election
has come and gone, and yet
again, the vast majority of
students on this campus did-
n't think the assembly was
worth the time it would take
them to vote. Surely that is
more sad of a commentary
on the assembly than the stu-
dents, but it is sad nonethe-
With all the ballots count-
ed, we know Fiona Rose shall
be leading our student gov-
ernment for the next year. I
won't say I'm elated by that
fact; I campaigned very hard
for and was disappointed by
the result of Jonathan
Freeman's presidential bid.
But I'm also not going to
wallow in some sort of parti-
san despair over the coming
Rose has a rather unique
opportunity before her in the
coming months: She can
probably take the Michigan
Party to heights of power it
hasn't known since its cre-
ation; alternatively, she could
follow the path that she laid
out last December, and help
to bring an end to the bicker-
ing that has plagued the
assembly by playing down
the importance of parties in

Charges of
racism are
Julian Vasquez Heilig's
letter ("Accountable for
racism," 4/15/96) epitomizes
what's wrong with the current
trend of irresponsible mud-
slinging on both ends of the
political spectrum. Heilig
borrows David Letterman's
"Top Ten" format (a sure sign
of deep political thinking, no
doubt) to chastise the Daily
in general and Michael
Rosenberg in particular as
guilty of "racism."
What is entirely absent
from Heilig's 10 points isnany
substantive charge of racism
whatsoever. He uses the
words "racism" and "racist"
repeatedly, but gives not the
smallest proof that the Daily
can be said to, in his words,
"demean and misrepresent
people of color." He claims
that the Daily has "continual-
ly censored us," but provides
no examples. He states that
"(y)our newspaper has deeply
offended me; you are racist,"
then asks that Rosenberg, et
al, "face the truth"
But that is precisely the
problem. In the view of
Heilig, it suffices to bring a
charge of "racism" in order
to find the accused guilty.
For him, apparently, there is a
single, monolithic truth: The
Daily is racist, and no sup-
port or explication of that
statement is necessary.
He claims that there is "a
very large contingent of stu-
dents that finds fault with the
Daily - very large." Now
that is brilliant! Cite no fig-
ures, give no criteria for what
constitutes "large," and make
an accusation so ridiculously
broad that it can't be denied.
Indeed, Heilig is correct. Lots
of folks probably do "find
fault" with the Daily; I know
that I often do. But how that
substantiates his empty
charge of racism escapes me.
Unfortunately, Heilig's
"thinking" is not an isolated
case. It is shared by at least a
few hundred members of this
community. Certainly, those
who have publicly supported
the cowardly theft of 8,000
newspapers are "sure" that
the Daily is "racist." What
seems to elude them is that
no thoughtful person on this
campus is going to accept
such charges without
specifics and supporting evi-
dence. On the "strength" of
letters like that of Heilig's, I
cannot help but grow increas-
ingly skeptical of the oft-
repeated but as of yet empty
epithets being used to justify
what, to my thinking, was a
childish, but nonetheless
criminal, act of thuggery.
Do the ends justify the
means? In this case, it's

If you re going
to the Brown
Jug, take Flint
or Sam along
he Brown Jug is brown on the out-
side and brown on the inside. It'1s
brown on the top and brown on the
bottom. Brown!
The air in the
Brown Jug is
filled with smoke
The Brown Jug
has coffee, and it
has nachos.
It's hard to put a
fingcer on what it
is that makes peo-
ple love the Jug.
It's hard to JORDAN
describe the STANCIL
crowd. You Can't
really make any generalizations.
Just the other day, I - believe it or
not - was at the Jug for lunch. Three
guys wearing hard hats came in from
one of the many, many. many, many,
many construction sites. Two of them
sat together on one side of the booth
while the other went to the more-than-
adequate restroom. The waitress came
up and, seeinwo guys on one side of
the booth, apparently couldn't resist a
bit of bawdy humor.
"You two on a date?" she asked.
"You wanna get in the middle?"
retorted one of the guys.
"Yeah! We'll show you all about a
date!" said the other.
The big, bearded man alone at the
next booth was in the middle of hi
second pitcher and the first volume of
Gibbon's Decline and Fall. He was not
on a date.
The Jug is an eraser of differences.
Just as immigrants came to this coun-
try and agreed to put aside their differ-
ences and become Americans, people
go to the Jug and agree to put aside
their tdifferences and eat greasy food
I like to go the Jug a lot, whicl
means I have put aside my differences
so many times and with so many dif-
ferent types of people that now I
essentially have no non-Jug identity.
Usually, I go to the Jug with Sam
Goodstein. (I like to drop his name
whenever I can because he's a famous
politician, and how many of you know
famous politicians?) In fact, it was
Sam who first introduced me to the
Jug as not just a building, a mere phys-
ical structure, but as something
Higher. Much Higher.
At that time, we were living in
Carriage House. In our apartment at
least, the place lived up to its name. I
mean, we didn't even buy a garbage
pail until late November. In a very
carefree manner, we threw all our
garbage outside our door. This wasn't
a problem, because gradually most of
it would just blow away. 4
Besides living in physical squalor,
we also lived in a kind of deep moral
squalor due to the fact that one of our
other roommates was Flint Wainess.
Now, Flint, also a famous politician, is
a good guy and all, but let's just say
that I saw enough scandal every week
in that apartment to sink ANY future
political plans Flint might have. Not
that I would stand in the way of mean-
ingful health care reform, but I am not
above blackmail.
On the other hand, Flint saw enough
of what can only be described as my

utter patheticness to sink ANY future
marital plans I might have. And I can't
afford blackmail.
I saw the Jug as a holy place, a kind
of foil to the physical and mental
squalor which characterized that par-
ticular year. In the Jug, everything
becomes clear and right.
That's still how it is. It's because the
Jug experience is a timeless ritual that
doesn't change. You go in, sit down,
and you get coffee. The coffeeais
served with a glass of ice water, and
you can tell that the water was kind of
warm when they put it in there,
because the ice melts really fast. You
also get two containers of half and
half, and in the coffee cup is a spoon.
As part of the Jug's total quality
management program, the waitresse4
leave you quite alone. No one threat-
ens you. No one comes up andl
describes some type of "special" with
a bunch of food words you've never
heard of. There's a time for that type of
thing, but at the Jug everything's
always the same. You don't need to ask
the waitress what a reuben is.
This means that you can think at the
Jug. There aren't many places, at leas
for students, on this campus where
thinking goes on. This is not a contem-
plative place. It's a busy place. It's a
place for work. The libraries aren't for
thinking. They're for reading and
Only the Jug is for thinking. It's






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