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September 23, 1996 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-23

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 23, 1996

IE £1Ci7§m &ugi

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

RONNIE GLASSBERG
Editor in Chief
ADRIENNE JANNEY
ZACHARY M. RAIMI
Editorial Page Editors

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'I am not that psyched. I get to wake up
with a hangover and confront my parents.'
- Engineering first-year student Jason Gruehl,
on the trials and tribulations of Parents Weekend
JIM LASSER SHARP AS TOAST

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.
FROM THE DAILY
Much ado over Dude
.'Midnight' deals are not regents' business

THE PR EIVDENIT/AL
DEBATE S SHOULD ONLY
3INVOLVE L E6ItT" MATE

ii% G P R E I D ) i1 \J T I D ' ...

CADI PATES Wir H
SHOT iAT fW/!NNINX6

A

Nothing's better than a scandal, espe-
cially when it involves the University
aministration.
Sometimes the uproar is justified.
Sometimes, it is not.
The latter is true of the latest "crisis" out
of Fleming. Last week, reports emerged of
br bery and deceit coloring former
University President James Duderstadt's
last days in office. The University Board of
Regents claimed Duderstadt went over their
heads and offered top University adminis-
trators cash bonuses as incentive to stay
with the University.
Yes, he did.
The regents went on to say
Duderstadt's action was inap-
propriate at the least, scheming
and underhanded at most.
They're wrong.
Duderstadt orchestrated
compensation agreements with
administrators before he
stepped down in July. The
incentives he offered include
ore-year paid leave and othern
bonuses. He did not consult with the regents
before he made the deals. It was not his
reponsibility. Everything he did was with-
in the bounds of his presidential powers.
University administrators constantly
field offers from other institutions.
Employment at the University makes them
top contenders for prestigious positions at
other universities. For example, in the last
tw9 months, Vice President for University
Relations Walter Harrison said he has
received offers for vice presidential posi-
tions at four universities ranked in U.S.
News and World Report's top 25.
Duderstadt himself has appeared on several
lists of potential presidential candidates at
other institutions. To maintain any kind of
loyalty among University administrators,

the president must make sure that adminis-
trators want to stay. It is not the regents'
responsibility - nor is it their privilege -
to approve of transactions like Duderstadt's.
It is also important to keep the deals in
perspective. A one-year paid leave for
administrators is the equivalent of a sabbat-
ical - a benefit commonly awarded to
tenured professors. Despite the regents' best
efforts to exaggerate the deals' tenets, the
truth is, they aren't much more elaborate
than common faculty perks.

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1977,

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2.

Students are upset because the monies
are from the general fund -
including tuition dollars.
Michigan Student Assembly
President Fiona Rose went
public with her painfully glib
criticism, claiming the
University would soon become
known as the "cheaters and
best." But this year's tuition
increase was the lowest in sev-
eral years. Students and
regents alike have no reason to

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

deATT WIMSATTDaily
designed

be incensed at a move
primarily to preserve the

University's quality of leadership.
Duderstadt didn't cheat anyone - in fact,
he correctly excluded the regents from his
decision. The regents have no right to over-
ride the deals because they interpret
Duderstadt's motivation differently.
Relations between Duderstadt and the
regents were strained - it is no secret.
Even Gov. John Engler made allegations of
miscommunication and poor cooperation.
However, no one can say whether
Duderstadt's deals were an intentional blow
to the regents, as they claim.
Duderstadt's actions were in the
University's best interests - the fact that
the regents' pride is hurt is of no conse-
quence.

Off with their hormones
Chemical castration is cruel and unusual

L ast Tuesday, Gov. Pete Wilson (R-
Calif.) signed a law that made
California the first state to require chemical
castration of repeat child molesters. The
law, effective Jan. 1, 1997, applies to those
convicted of committing a second sexual
assault against a child under 13 years of
age.
Does the molester of a 5-year-old child
have the right to his sexual desire'? Wilson
doesn't think so. Offenders will be required
to receive weekly injections of Depo-
Provera, which curbs sexual desire. The
effects of Depo-Provera, a synthetic hor-
mone women commonly use as birth con-
trol, wear off without continued doses.
Offenders may choose surgical castration
instead of injections.
Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin,
refused to adopt similar legislation. The
law's backers are quick to point out that in
Europe, the procedure helped cause a drop
in the repeat offender rate from nearly 100
percent to 2 percent. Those opposed to the
law, specifically the American Civil
Liberties Union, call 'it "barbaric."
Eliminating sexual desire - or a body
part, for that matter - seems like a quick
fix. No trying to squeeze extra convicts into
already overcrowded jails. No spending
money to feed and clothe another felon sen-
tenced to life. Just get rid of the testes. But
this law avoids the real issues.
The United States penal system -
effective or not - is purportedly designed
to protect society from harmful members

criminal ready to face society. Offenders
need to get to the root of the problem via
psychological treatment. Treatment is cru-
cial if the offenders are ever going to be
contributing members of society.
Counseling should be just as much a part of
the penal system as jail time is - it is a
more civilized way to deal with criminals
than physical mutation.
Not only is castration - surgical or
chemical - cruel and unusual punishment,
it is ineffective. Rapists have raped without
a penis. Molesters can find ways to be vio-
lent with children.
Sexual assault is not about sex - that's
a myth. The law reinforces a stereotype that
men are sex-crazed individuals and moles-
ters need to be drugged to control sexual
impulses. In reality, sexual assaults are
about violence, power and the humiliation
of the survivor or victim.
Repeat molesters are unquestionably
disturbed people who have trouble func-
tioning in society. Affected communities
may want offenders to feel the pain they
have caused. And the criminal justice sys-
tem might never realize the possibility of
reform. However, each human being has the
right to control his or her own body. The
American judicial system must protect
offenders from maiming and chemical
alteration. Men who molest children under
age 13 have the right to sit in a jail cell
indefinitely, such as the men who rape
grandmothers and women who molest 15-
year-olds.

Not 'dorms'
TO THE DAILY:
Having read through the
Daily this past month, I have
ran across the word "dorm"
on many occasions referring
to our residence halls on
campus.
Our residence halls are
not dorms. We have 16 resi-
dence halls on campus. Dorm
stems from the latin word
meaning "sleep" - indica-
tive of a place with lots of
beds to sleep in. Here, at the
University, we have residence
halls, a living-learning com-
munity which enhances a stu-
dent's education through dif-
ferent means from student
affairs.
Thank you and please
change your wording.
Remember, we have resi-
dence halls on campus.
ADAM THODEY
ENGINEERING GRADUATE
STUDENT
Use column
space wisely
TO THE DAILY:
I realize that James Miller
only has 4.500 characters to
work with for his column, but
this should not prevnt him
from writing a well-written
column. Not only was his last
column ("Republican bullies
target the most basic of free-
doms," 91896) rather poorly
written, he makes the error of
lumping together
Republicans, conservatives
and anyone else who dis-
agrees with liberal policy
into a conglomerate of intol-
erant, uneducated fools.
While I agree with Miller
that the Defense of Marriage
Act is a serious violation
upon the civil liberties of
Americans, I do wish he
could have made a coherent
argument. His column was
devoid of logic, purpose or
even order. How he even
comes up with "This is not
like affirmative action ...
where conservative legislation
has to be really creative to
avoid the Constitution" is
beyond me, as it really doesn't
make sense. Affirmative action
is not constitutionally mandat-
ed (no matter what the
Residential College tells you).
His stereotypes of conser-
vatives were foolish and
show either a genuine lack of
knowledge about the makeup
of the Republican Party or
simply a desire on his part to
brand all conservatives as
evil evangelical Christian
zealots, who, when they are
not organizing militias and
buying large caliber weapon-
ry, are controlling the higher
echelons of government in an
evil attempt by Newt
Gingrich and Bob Dole to

approach his topic with pru-
dence and intelligence,
instead of continuing to write
columns as poor as (this). In
today's world, one finds that
most of the bullying is done
by those on the left side of
the political spectrum.
BENJAMIN KEPPLE
LSA JUNIOR
A flaming
conservative
TO THE DAILY:
Thursday's column by
Dean Bakopoulos ("The right
revolution is dead." 9/1996)
seriously tarnishes the image
of the Daily. It is dismaying
to think that a well-respected
and first-rate campus news-
paper once run by a worthy
and intelligent liberal named
Tom Hayden has lowered its
standards to the level of the
idiotic rambling submitted by
Bakopoulos. It seems that
Bakopoulos perfectly fits the
role of the ultra-liberal whin-
er who, instead of arguing
intelligently about anything,
has decided instead to use his
genitals in place of his mouth
(urinating on chalked side-
walks).
However, I will refrain
from directing any more per-
sonal attacks and instead pro-
vide some food for thought
for the community.
The Republican Party is
truly an all-inclusive political
organizations.
While more controversial
members of the party, as well
as other extreme right-wing
entities, comprise a tiny frac-
tion of it, Bakopoulos
seemed to forget that it also
is home to such diverse and
talented public servants as
Colin Powell, black Rep. J.C.
Watts, Rep. Susan Molinari
and Sens. Kay Bailey
Hutchinson and Nancy
Kassebaum.
One of the convention
delegates from Massachusetts
is an openly homosexual
African American.
On the other hand, the
radical left includes some of
questionable characters as
well. Included are the
University's own Unabomber,
who uses maibombs to
spread his ultra-liberal mes-
sage about extremist environ-
mental protection. Let us not
forget Louis Farrakhan, who
pledged his support to some
of the most dangerous anti-
American dictators in history.
I would like to remind
everyone that Clinton signed
the welfare reform bill into
law and has consistently
opposed gay marriage.
It certainly will be inter-
esting to see which way
Clinton swings should he
receive a second term. We
can only hope that he will
join his dozen or so friends
who have ended un in prison

meeting is sign of things to
come, and it is obvious that
Bakopoulos feels threatened
by it. The Republican tide
may not sweep America this
election, but the conservative
message is being spread
everywhere. I consider
myself a Republican; yet both
of my ears sport silver ear-
rings. I love my sister and
support her lesbian lifestyle.
and I have protested the Klan
on two occasions. This does-
n't quite seem to fit
Bakopoulos' profile of a
conservative. We are not con-
formists like everyone else in
ast Quad; we instead recog-
nize our differences and build
on them. I look forward to
the battle this fall.
EVAN KNOTT
LSA SOPHOMORE
The GOP
perseveres
TO THE DAILY:
Once again, the
University College
Republicans will forge ahead
to implement our unwavering
commitment to the eternal,
yet oft disregarded. principles
of family, community, prop-
erty, the organicity of our
culture, personal initiative,
clarity of' purpose. We sup-
port personal activism and
not complacency, economic
growth and capital produc-
tion and not redistribution of
wealth, organization and not
anarchy, idealism and not
materialism.
Our model of democracy,
ladies and gentlemen, sub-
sumes hard work, responsi-
bility and vigorous self-
action. We decry the passivi-
ty of de facto socialism
espoused by demagogues
whose bankrupt social poli-
cies have denigrated entire
nations. We celebrate equali-
ty along the marathon of life
- but equality at the starting
line, and not in the outcome
of life's every race.
The effectiveness of any
political organization is
wholly dependent on the
quality and commitment of
its leadership. This year's
newly-elected officers will
strive to provide the vitality,
strength and vision necessary
to nurture and propagate
these ideals of proven, endur-
ing legitimacy at the
University, and to do so in
the face of spurious opposi-
tion at intramural, municipal,
state and national levels.
Let us forever be mindful
of the glory of America - a
glory rooted in the unprece-
dented idealism of her
founders. Most deservedly
did she serve as a model for
nation builders throughout
the ages! We College
Republicans will seize the
challene of the seeminglv

SMOKE & MIRRORS
Spanish class
horror stones
and other woes
l M idway through the second
my semester of my sophomore year,
my Spanish 232 instructor had a ner-
vous breakdown and left the country.
The signs of her impending downfall
were present from
the first class. She
never learned ourta
names or made an
effort to get to
know us. Shes
would take atten-
dance by reading v
the class roster yt
never calling s by t
our preferred
name or even a
Spanish "nom- ZACHARY.
bre." I was "Raimi M. RAIMI
Zachary Michael"
The instructor made it clear that she
never wanted to be in class. She was'.
about 10 minutes late for nearly every
class, and often skipped. When she
was there, she had us work in small
groups so she didn't have to teach.
She wouldrelay personal stories
about how she was not getting along
with her husband. Apparently, he was
sick and taking out his frustration on
her. Even more shocking, she alleged
that a priest molested her when she
was younger. Needless to say, I learned
very little Spanish.
While my experience may have been
more outrageous than my peers', most
students get very little out of their
respective foreign language, classes,
And so, with a humble voice, I amn
calling upon the University to elimi-
nate the LSA foreign language
requirement. The arguments against
the requirement are compelling and
can no longer be ignored. First - and
most obvious - most students do not
want to take a foreign language. It's as
simple as that. This attitude is illustrat-
ed. in part, by the huge number of stu-
dents who take the foreign languages
pass/fail. That way, students do not
have to be overly concerned about
their grade and can quietly protest
against the requirement.
Moreover, students think that the
requirement is intrusive, and a waste
of time and money. If you are not
lucky enough to place out of your
requirement, you must take up to four
semesters of a foreign language. This
is four classes that the students could
have used to select something that
interested them.
After four semesters, students learn
very little and become furious with
the University. In fact, I believe that I'
lost knowledge in my Spanish classes
- I had a better understanding of the
language as a high school student.
The requirement seems even more
idiotic once one realizes the sorry state
of the foreign language departments..
For example, in Spanish, the depart-
ment coordinator often writes a stan-
dardized test. Each section must take
the same test on the same day.
However, such a procedure under-
mines the individualty of each section
and steals the instructors' freedom.
One section may be very adept at
Spanish while another is slower at
absorbing the material. But the depart-
ment refuses to acknowledge this and
treats the thousands of students the
same. In the end, students lose out an a
become more disillusioned with the
requirement.

Plus, when I took my 200-level
Spanish courses, the department
refused to include grammar lessons. I
asked - begged - to be taught gram-
mar, but the instructors and their supe-
riors wouldn't allow it. They said we
should have learned it in the lower-
level classes, and that if we didn't
there was nothing they could do.
Grammar is the foundation of any lan-
guage. If you don't understand it, you
can't communicate. But the higher-ups
didn't seem to care.
Also, the departments - especially
Spanish - change the textbooks near-
ly every semester for no apparent rea-
son. Students can't sell their books
back to the bookstores, because the
school doesn't use the old ones. And,
just as the students become familiar
with the style of the text, the depart-
ment changes it again, interrupting the
continuity of the courses.
LSA has few specific requirements
- you must take various humanities,
social science and natural science
classes. Amazingly, one can graduate
from the University without: taking a
course in American history, reading
classic literature like "The Iliad" and
"The Odyssey," being introduced to
the supply and demand curve, and
learning how to write effectively. Yet
the University believes that learning a
few phrases in a foreign language is
more important.
Something is terribly wrong.

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