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September 20, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-20

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 20, 1996

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420 Maynard Street RONNIE GLASSBERG
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ADRIENNE JANNEY
students at the ZACHARY M. RAIMI
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorialh oard. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
ITD is working hard to fix computers
or a University veteran student, one of computer.
the worst computing nightmares is the Another problem is the chaos in the
two-hour wait at the Angell Hall Computing Angell Hall site. Salley said the University
Site. But for those who just arrived on the has abandoned its old waitlist policy
scene, a new dread has taken over: the com- because it was inefficient. She said students
bination of long lines and fewer computers. often steal their waitlist numbers or give
The University's Information Technology them to friends who have not waited in line.
Division, which runs most of the computing Instead, the University will use flags or
facilities, has received an increase in com- markers to denote open computers.
plaints since the school year began. Salley said two employees will roam the
Thus far this year, computer problems computer site, keeping watch over what
have increased at sites. Last year, ITD computers are empty and trying to control
received 30 problem reports per day out of the crowd. This program is expected to start
1,350 computers. This year, the complaints in the next few weeks, once the University
have increased to 50 per day. Liz Salley, the gets its supplies.
Operations Manager for Campus However, the new policy may cause
Computing Sites, said the number of com- more confusion than before. The site will
plaints has increased this year because of need more than two employees to patrol it.
"aging" equipment, not enough funding and Plus, the new policy eliminates the first-
the hiring of new technicians. come, first-serve policy, which is more fair.
Salley said ITD closed its Computer Moreover, the two employees would be
Service and Repair Center last summer more useful if they worked with students on
because of inadequate funding. The center computer problems, rather than policing the
had helped repair most of the University's area - this would be time better spent. The
computers. Many of its employees are no old system was imperfect, but it presented
longer with the University, Salley said, and more order than the new one could.
ITD has hired new employees. Many students, particularly those who
Currently, the University's general fund held temporary University jobs over the
is the major funding source for ITD. The summer, found their X.500 entries deleted
University should consider increasing the or badly distorted during the first week or
division's funding. Finding new funding for two of school. While the mix-up was annoy-
any of the University's divisions is never an ing, ITD deserves credit for quickly repair-
easy task; however, ITD provides a service ing the system and restoring correct infor-
that directly impacts student life. mation to the X.500 directories.
The cost of personal computers is expen- Midterms are approaching and students
sive - roughly $1,600 to $2,000 for an will need easy and quick access to comput-
adequate system. Many students cannot ers. Despite a lack of funding, ITD appears
afford such an expense. Instead, computers to be working hard to repair broken com-
should be available to them. Moreover, due puters. In the meantime, ITD should rein-
to the increase of broken computers, stu- state the waitlist policy in Angell Hall to
dents often have to traipse over campus - ensure more fair - and less chaotic -
sometimes late at night - to find a working usage of computers.
Iol ing out las ks
Illegal drug debate lacks substance

'A president is supposed to show the way.
This president has shown moral confusion.'
- Bob Dole, Republican presidential candidate,
deriding President Clinton ' drug policy
in a speech Wednesday afternoon

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T he "War on Drugs" is generating a lot
of publicity as both major party presi-
dential candidates are using the "war" as a
platform from which to sling political mud.
While the issue is important, both candi-
dates have traded lame barbs instead of
honestly and intelligently discussing solu-
ions to the growing problem. Election-year
politics once again has reared
:its ugly head.
In 1992, Bill Clinton
promised to decrease the size of
the White House staff. In ful-
filling his promise, Clinton cut
the Office of National Drug
Control Policy from 146 people
to 25. Dole cites this action as a
cause for the recent upward
trend in drug use. However,
Dole has not mentioned that the
increase in drug use began dur- MAT
ing the Bush administration. The president
has since restored the Drug Control Policy
.ffice's staff. Furthermore, the Clinton
appointed Barry R. McCaffrey - a retired
four-star army general - as a new "drug
czar." He also elevated the position to cabi-
bet-level status.
Dole's attacks on Clinton lack validity.
Under Clinton's administration, the portion
of the national budget devoted to fighting
drugs has increased from $13.3 billion in
fiscal year 1995 to $15.1 billion for the fis-
cal year 1997. Furthermore, Clinton used
his first legislative veto to prevent Congress
from slashing appropriations to the Safe
and Drug-Free Schools Act. Dole is grasp-
ing at straws.

to Dole's attack, the Clinton campaign ran
commercials stating that "Bob Dole even
voted against creating the drug czar."
Again, this political mud-slinging lacks
substance. Although Dole initially voted
against the creation of the position, he later
changed to support it. Clinton never men-
tioned this in the ad, thereby relaying mis-
leading information.
Rather than focusing on
more substantive issues -
such as the economy or welfare
reform - Clinton and Dole
have taken a stand on an issue
on which they essentially
agree: Both candidates oppose
drug use. Instead, the candi-
dates are using the drug issue
to cloud more controversial
issues. Clinton is seizing the
WIMSATT/aaiiyissue to take a stand that has
strong bipartisan support, instead of issues
on which he might have trouble taking
action because of a Republican Congress.
Dole also sees a chance to create a stir.
Clinton appears to be coasting to re-elec-
tion, leading by about 20 percentage points,
in most polls. The economy is in good
shape and crime rates are dropping. Dole is
trying to undercut Clinton's lead; however,
focusing on the drug issue is not com-
pelling enough to win an election - or
even save Dole's losing face.
Yesterday, Dole continued to promote
his anti-drug message, and Clinton contin-
ued to defend himself. But the words are
becoming hollow. If the candidates wish to
discuss drugs, they should introduce solid

U religious
policy will
help students
A perennial problem for
religiously observant students
at the University is missing
classes, tests, paper deadlines
and other academic responsi-
bilities on religious holidays.
The University has been
wary to address the issue in
the past, and students have
been tacitly expected to
check their religion at the
door while in class.
Consequently, students have
been confused about their
academic responsibilities on
religious holidays, and facul-
ty have been equally uncer-
tain. Individual professors
and graduate student instruc-
tors have attempted to patch
this administrative hole by
developing their own de facto
policies on religious-academ-
ic conflicts.
While most students work
out agreeable alternatives
with their instructors, some
are not so fortunate.
Professors have been known
to penalize students who miss
class on religious holidays,
and some students have even
had to drop courses or accept
failing grades because of
grievously intolerant instruc-
tors. The new University pol-
icy on religious-academic
conflicts - approved by the
offices of the Provost and
Vice President for Student
Affairs - will help alleviate
this problem. It articulates
the rights and responsibilities
of students and faculty. The
policy is fair, applies to all
religious traditions, and
empowers students to prevent
the negative outcomes of
missing class.
While The Michigan
Daily has demonstrated that
it does not understand the
history of the problem or the
policy ("Holydays," 9/11/96).
those of us involved in draft-
ing the policy appreciate the
publicity it has received.
Sunday evening through
Monday evening, thousands
of Jewish students on campus
will observe Yom Kippur, the
solemn Day of Atonement.
Thanks to the Daily, Jews
and all other religious stu-
dents now know that we will
not be penalized for missing
class on our holy days.
Dole should
use influence
I would like to protest the

weapons treaty was the cor-
rect thing to do. The "rogue
states" that you seem to
address as insignificant are
where the concern for this
treaty should be directed.
This element is important for
the fact that when declaring
to destroyta portion of one's
defenses, that country is leav-
ing themselves vulnerable, to
attack or otherwise. Only if
all parties are in agreement
does this declaration have
any meaning. Without full
participation from all
involved, the treaty is more
dangerous than beneficial.
Parking is
In response to your editorial
on parking ("Cooperation,"
9/9/96), I have to make a few
points. Much of the editorial
discusses the lack of parking
and the problems faced by
commuters trying to park their
cars. The University offers a
free parking lot on South State
Street to any student or staff. I
parked in this lot for two years
and never found it more than
half full. The University pro-
vides a free bus to campus
from this lot every 15 minutes.
In my two years of parking
there, the bus nearly always ran
on schedule. There is also a
free commuter lot next to
Crisler Arena. Are people so
lazy that they have to park on
campus because they refuse to
wait a few minutes for a bus?
Your editorial complains
about the cost of parking
meters and parking tickets.
What are you comparin
these costs to? Parking tick-
ets in many cities can easily
run $15 and up. Ann Arbor
charges $5 to $7 for an
expired meter. Most parking
meters in other cities charge
a much higher rate than the
one cent a minute in Ann
Arbor. How can you possibly
call these fees "outrageous?"
You suggest that the
University open staff lots to
students. Yet you don't men-
tion that fees are charged of
staff to park in these lots.
some of which cost hundreds
of dollars per year for a per-
mit. Certainly if these lots
were opened to students the
University would not waive
these fees.
There have been many
complaints about the ongoing
construction on campus. Yet
the Daily is advocating that
the University build more
high-rise parking structures.
You do not suggest who will
pay for new high-rise struc-
tures. Either the people park-
ing in them will have to pay,

MSA parties
squelch real
Political parties have
turned the Michigan Student
Assembly into a joke.
How can I say that? I've
served on the assembly for
more than a year, only to see
it go from a forum of debate
to a dramatized version of
'Lord of the Flies"
Where once we might
debate affirmative action, we
now argue over parliamentary
procedure. Where once there
was substance, there are now
personal agendas. And
where there was once order,
there is now utter chaos.
Why have things gotten to
this sorry state? I believe it is
a direct result of partisan pol-
itics on the assembly. For evi-
dence of this, let us play a
quick game of "Where Are
they Now'?" starring the can-
didates for president in last
spring's MSA election.
Among the candidates
from the smaller parties, not
a single one has attended an
MSA meeting yet this fall.
Jonathan Freeman of the
Students' Party has left the
country. Andy Schor of the
Wolverine Party has since
cast off his affiliation with
his former mates. Finally, the
winner of that mock election,
Fiona Rose, has been going
blue in the face trying to tell
everyone within earshot that
the partisan days of the
assembly have passed, so as
to somehow save face before
The Michigan Daily prints
another negative editorial.
The common thread'? All
of the candidates have been
pursuing their own personal
interests, not those of
whichever party they held
allegiance to in the spring.
The explanation to this is
very simple, but also very
important: There are no real
issues debated by MSA.
Sure, the assembly does
all sorts of good things, from
funding student groups to
promoting student interests in
Lansing. But these aren't
issues; they are tasks better
handled by bureaucrats than
politicians. So, ifthere are no
real issues, why do parties
exist? Why, for personal gain,
of course. There is a simple
contract between party mem-
bers at campaign time: Tell
your friends to vote for me,
and I'll tell my friends to
vote for you.
When one party has more
"friends" than the rest, all the
crafty politicians jump ship
to get in on the bandwagon.
It is no coincidence that both
our current president and
vice president changed their
party affiliation before their
successful bid for office.
The Daily has stated sev-
era] times that narties are

Votefor Bill:*
A Democrat
is better than
a Dole
President Clinton turned his back
on Imillion poor children when
signed the welfare bill in Augus
putting short-term political interests
before good pub-
lic policy.
But I will vote
for him anywap.
Gearing up 'for
the convention I
was disappointed '
- but not sur
prised - to learn
that the president
had signed the bill
that his own
appointeestat the KHAT IE
Department of HUTCHINS
Health and
Human Services claimed would throw
a million children into poverty. But I
brushed the issue aside and supported
the president, figuring he knew some-
thing I didn't.
Until the resignations pouredi
Peter Edelman, a long-time advocate
of children and families and adamant
fighter against poverty, was hardly the
person I expected to resign his post at
HHS at such a crucial time. He and
Mary Jo Bane - both assistant secre-
taries -resigned last week, citing the
welfare bill as their reason. Their
pledged departures follow a similar
protest - that of Deputy Assistant
Secretary Wendell Primus - by *
The resignations were quiet. They
came more than a month after the
president signed the bill. They came
without public commentary from
Edelman or Bane. And now the issue
is nearly forgotten.
It makes me wonder what the presi-
dent's really trying to do to fix that
bill.. With all the posturing he's been
doing about how he'll make amendsO
was starting to believe it. I was sur-
prised at the convention to see HHS
Secretary Donna Shalala - a behind-
the-scenes opponent of the bill -
defending it so strongly.
But she didn't have much to say to
audience members who attacked her in
a question-and-answer session. One
socialeworker asked what she should
tell her clients on welfare when they
ask what they should do with the
lives. Shalala's answer: "Ele
Presumably, these Democrats we
elect will somehow be able to fix a bill
that kicks people off welfare after two
years; that places lifetime limits on
receiving benefits at five years; that
turns control over welfare administra-
tion to the states. This will be a partic-
ularly daunting task because there are
no jobs out there.
So the liberals are furious. The party
is in an uproar. Loyal friends and
appointees like Edelman, Bane and
Primus are resigning when the presi-
dent needs them most. The scary thing
is, these are the people who were -the
best candidates for "fixing" the wel-
fare bill.
But that doesn't mean we can a n
don Clinton. He has placed us in a ~f
ficult position, but if we understand
the logic behind it - that this _v*
something President Bob Dole would

have signed, anyway; that signing it
gives him a great chance at reelection
and a chance to create more jobstfor
current welfare recipients; that the bill
can't be enforced fully for a few more
years (leaving him time to fix it) -we
can still support him.
The president and Shalala wanted
welfare reform. They advocated get
ting people out of the destructive cyc$
and into the workplace.
It's better for welfare recipients and
for this country as a whole - reduding
federal spending on welfare by $54
billion in the next six years. It simply
doesn't have the safety nets in place -
Clinton was wrong when he risked
the lives of 1 million children to get
reelected. Even if he did it for the ulti-
mate good of the country, if there.
no Democrats in the White House after
January it will be pretty tough to save
the kids.
Polls tell us Clinton's got a .-great
chance; but how many children's lives
would you leave up to the results of a
presidential election?
But it's over. Edelman and Bane -
for whatever reason - abandoned the
cause and gave up their positions tha
might have had some influence on fi
ing the bill. Or maybe they didn't have
much influence at all. After all, the
White House ignored their initial
What Edelman and Bane did was
admirable, not so much because of




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