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October 08, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-08

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 8, 1996

J$e £thigan ?g

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

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
FROM THE DAILY

ubi o

NOTABLE QUOTABLE7
'His running mate, Jack Kemp, once said, "Bob Dole
never met a tax he didn't hike."'
- President Clinton, discussing Bob Dole's record at the
presidential debate Sunday night in Hartford, Conn.
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LEMrRS TO THE EDITOR

BPC, not ballots, should fund groups

ast week, the Michigan Student
Ld Assembly approved a plan to put a fee
increase proposal on the November ballot.
The proposal would raise the student fee by
$1.50 per term, pushing the total student fee
to $4.19 per term. The additional funding
would go to two groups: Project Serve and
the Black Volunteer Network. These two
organizations perform worthwhile commu-
, nity service activities - however, the
groups are attempting to bypass the normal
allocation system.
To receive funding, student groups must
present proposals to the MSA Budget
Priorities Committee. BPC allocates funds
based upon the quality, merit and number of
requests received. Project Serve and the
Black Volunteer Network are not satisfied
with their current level of MSA funding.
Using the ballot to appeal for additional
money sets an irresponsible example. If the
November ballot initiative is passed, other
groups could adopt a similar strategy.
Eventually, a student might directly pay the
operating budgets for many groups in to
which they do not belong.
Moreover, if students vote for the pro-
posal, the issue would go before the regents,
who have ultimate control over fee increas-
es. The regents then would be deciding
whether to fund these two organizations -
which should be outside the scope of the
regents' power.
BPC tries to ensure that student money
is spent on students - not squandered away
by faulty budgeting. Groups applying for
funding must specify each expense. If a
proposal is ambiguous or disorganized,
BPC most likely will reject the group's
application.
The November ballot initiative would
weaken BPC oversight over the Black
Volunteer Network and Project Serve.
These groups would no longer have to go

through the standard application process.
With less scrutiny of funding requests, a
greater possibility looms for misuse of stu-
dent funds. Despite last year's mistakes,
BPC is vital to the allocation process.
MSA President Fiona Rose said that sev-
eral past ballot initiatives set a precedent for
an increase in the student fee. Rose referred
to increases passed on behalf of Student
Legal Services and the Ann Arbor Tenants'
Union, which offer essential services to stu-
dents. SLS provides legal counseling at a
discount rate. AATU fights for tenant
rights, assists in resolving disputes with
landlords and provides valuable informa-
tion to student renters.
However, Project Serve and the Black
Volunteer Network are student groups.
Unlike SLS and AATU, funding Project
Serve and the Black Volunteer Network is
not essential to students' rights. Rose
should reconsider her support for the ballot
initiative - the reasoning behind her prece-
dence argument is unsound.
The proposed student fee increase
should not appear on the MSA ballot.
Results of MSA ballot initiatives are a
biased way of gauging student support for
an issue. With recent voter turnouts hover-
ing around 10 percent, any large organiza-
tion could take advantage of political apa-
thy on campus. Funding should be based
upon merit and not a group's ability to
mobilize its supporters.
Project Serve and the Black Volunteer
Network are valuable student organizations.
They sponsor numerous service activities
and provide resource for others.
Nevertheless, other student groups make
equally valuable contributions to the com-
munity. To increase student government
fees and to wrest control of funding from
BPC are the first steps on a precarious path
to higher fees and less institutional control.

18 and life
Lowering drinking age would solve problems

Believe it or not, students who are under
21 do drink. Every weekend, students
armed with fake IDs go out to intoxicate
their worries away while at the same time
attempting -to- avoid the dreaded Minor In
Possession tickets and the Department of
Public Safety. Tougher punishments and
regulations seem to have little effect on the
number of people who are willing to risk
legal ramifications for a drink. The govern-
ment can help ease the fruitless struggle
between students and University officials
by lowering the lawful drinking age to 18.
Current laws regarding underage drink-
ing do not make sense. In 1984, Congress
enacted the National Minimum Drinking
Age Act, which required states to enforce a
drinking age of 21 or risk losing some fed-
eral highway funds. The act was originally
established to prevent inexperienced drivers
from crossing state lines to drink legally
and driving back drunk to their home states.
However, the genius behind the minimum
age act does not apply to the University.
Most students do not have cars on campus
and those that do are often over 21. And,
drunk driving laws that did not exist in
1984 proved to be successful deterrents.
By law, a child becomes mature enough
to be called an adult at age 18 - therefore,
the drinking age should be 18. Many privi-
leges and responsibilities that exist within
society are reserved for those age 18 and
over. The magic number means the power to
vote, drive, smoke and buy cigarettes, drop
out of school and be drafted. Yet with all of
these granted rights, they are denied some-

drink alcohol.
Automobile driving puts more people in
danger than controlled drinking. Voting
rights entrust individuals with more power
than the ability to- purchase alcohol.
Smoking cigarettes and dropping out of
school can be more detrimental to a per-
son's life than enjoying a beer. Eighteen-
year-olds can risk being shot or bombed to
death, but may not have a glass of wine
with dinner. Lawmakers have failed to
articulate a justification for refusing indi-
viduals who already have so many privi-
leges and responsibilities the option to
drink alcoholic beverages legally.
Furthermore, lowering the drinking age
would be economical. If the present illogi-
cal law was updated, DPS would no longer
have to nag University students across cam-
pus about underage drinking. Also, local
retailers would have less pressure to spot
underage buyers using false identification.
Instead, the University and the city could
re-invest these currently wasted resources
into more productive efforts. University
authorities seem to have forgotten that stu-
dents will illegally drink no matter how
many cops are running after them with tick-
ets in their hands. And yet the same point-
less cycle repeats itself every weekend,
every year on into infinity.
Living 18 years entitles citizens to deter-
mine their own fate through actions.
Underage drinking is an easy obstacle to
overcome at the University. Lawmakers
should allow socially responsible students
who have legally reached adulthood to act

Fitzsimmons
is wrong for
Ann Arbor
To THE DAILY:
This letter is in response
to all the letters that have
appeared in the Daily favor-
ing Joe Fitzsimmons. Do
your research!
Fitzsimmons has been
running for the 13th congres-
sional office under the slo-
gan: "This time a voice for
us." Who is the "us?" What
does he mean by "this time?"
What the slogan is saying
is that U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers
(D-Ann Arbor) hasn't been
voicing our concerns. Wrong.
Rivers has done just the
opposite. She has voiced our
concerns and has put them
into action. She has been
there for children, senior citi-
zens, veterans, working fami-
lies, minorities and students.
She has been one of the most
outgoing and highly produc-
tive first term representatives
this area has ever had.
Who is the "us?" If
Fitzsimmons means him, he
should probably rethink his.
slogan. We are not all white,.
older, multi-million dollar
rich men.
The reason it bothers me
to see people support such a
narrowly minded man is the
fact that Fitzsimmons just
moved into the area a year
and a half ago. Do we really
want someone like that repre-
senting our area?
As to the chalking around
campus by the College
republicans, let's be respect-
ful of University property. It
really bothers me to see that
anytime a woman makes
some sort of progress in the
United States and is being an
effective leader, men start
calling her a socialist. Get
real: Lynn Rivers is the "our
voice," a voice that has not
only been getting things
done, but a voice that is far
above her congressional
opponent.
RYAN LALONDE
SCHOOL OF ART
AND DESIGN
Netanyahu
risks war
by opening
tunnel
To THE DAILY:
Every Prime Minister in
Israel before Benjamin
Netanyahu has refused to
open the controversial tunnel
near Al-Aqsa Mosque and
Dome of the Rock. Others
refused because they knew
the kind of trouble it would
cause.
If any Palestinian leader
would ever even propose

only adversely affected
Palestinian citizens.
More than 40 Palestinians
were killed by Israeli sol-
diers. Arafat has told his
troops to act only in self-
defense, which means that if
aggression persists, any logi-
cal person could conclude
that Israel is the provocator.
One of Netanyahu's right-
hand men, David Bar Illan
said recently on the news that
Arafat has to control the
aggression. The Israeli gov-
ernment refuses to take any
responsibility for violence.
Even former Prime Minister
Shimon Peres criticized
Netanyahu for his actions
concerning the tunnel and
praised Arafat for his actions.
Maybe Netanyahu will
learn his lesson when a war
breaks out and no one will be
safe. But this is what he
wants: a war. And it will hap-
pen. I don't mean to sound
like a pessimist, just a realist.
I believe Netanyahu underes-
timates the Palestinians.
While he thinks he can start a
war and then abolish them,
he may have an unpleasant
surprise.
AMER ZAHR
LSA SOPHOMORE
ARAB AMERICAN ANTI-
DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE
Don't post
notes on the
I nternet
TO THE DAILY:
This refers to the editorial
"Notes on the Net" from the
Oct. 3 edition of the Daily.
The idea is not bad, but
has some drawbacks that
should have been mentioned
in the proposal:
First, most professors
already work more than 40
hours a week, so when shall
they create those web pages?
Students work or play
with the World Wide Web
anyway, if there are notes on
it or not.
Why don't you students
attend class and take your
own notes? You should first
boldly investigate your own
abilities to follow the presen-
tations in class and not rely
on the treacherous afterwards
strategy: "I will lookup
everything on the web."
Relying on oneself is by
far the best way to study. I
guess most students at the
University do not know how
well they are taken care of
and waited upon; yes, from
the point of view of Europe,
they are really pampered.
They should try to study
more on their own and try to
become much more indepen-
dent.
HEIKE MILDENBERGER
VISITING SCHOLAR IN MATH

venue to attack her opponent,
rather than speak to the con-
cerns of her potential con-
stituents.
Conversely, Levin made a
tremendous effort to stick to
the issues that concern
Michigan's voters and steer
clear of negative slams.
Romney has a lot to learn
about respecting the people.
She should follow Carl's
lead.
MICHAEL BRANDON BRAUN
RC SOPHOMORE
Chalkings
make 'U'
a closed
atmosphere
TO THE DAILY:
At an institution such as
the University, there should
be enough room for all dif-
ferent mindsets of people to
coexist, right?
With the recent chalking
of campus in celebration of
National Coming Out Week,
however, some people found
it necessary to try to distort
these messages of visibility
by chalking over the queer
pride signs and replacing
them with pro-Dole/Kemp
signs. NCOW's messages
were altered in many cases to
suggest that all queers sup-
port the GOP. When the
College
Republicans chalked cam-
pus last week, the queer
groups on campus did not
run out and vandalize those
messages. It's a matter of
having enough maturity to
accept the fact that other
opinions do exist and should
be allowed to be expressed.
I'm not sure what the College
Republicans think they're
doing by interfering in such a
manner, but I am sure that
they are displaying their
overall rudeness in grand
proportions. Why is it so
wrong to let another group's
message go out to this cam-
pus? Sure, the Dole/Kemp
supporters can have their
cement space, too, but why
do they have to alter mes-
sages already written?
Mincing words and mixing
messages is not something
that adds admirability to any-
one. I hope that the College
Republicans realize that they
are just annoying people and
possibly even turning voters
away from supporting a can-
didate whose followers have
such a low standard of decen-
cy and lack of respect for
others.
AIMEE GERMAIN
LSA JUNIOR
Stop chalking

GRAND ILLUSION
The facts, just
the facts, sirs
W hen my father and I debate an
issue, one of his favorite rejoin-
ders is "I hate to interject with the
facts, but ..." While watching the
presidential debate Sunday night, I
couldn't help but think of my father
and his fondness for facts (he is fond
of saying that he
knows everything
that is unimpor-
tant and my moth-
er knows every-
thing else) - both
major candidates
merrily bored the
nation with politi-
cal sound bytes,
silly jokes and
selective use of SAMUE.
facts and figures. GoSTMEL:
My editors have GOODSTEI
asked me more
than once to write about the election
- well, I don't have much commen-
tary that you couldn't find elsewhere.
Bill Clinton is going to win the elect-
tion easily. Period. So instead of ana-
lyzing the latest campaign tactic, pon-
dering over the polls, or beating the:
dead-horse that is Bob Dole to death
will fill this space with facts that
candidates apparently forgot, or
repressed, during their debate.
Bob Dole: "When I am President,
you will see ..." This is clearly at
example of Bob Dole repressing the
facts. In presidential elections since
1860, when the economy is not in
recession the incumbent party wins 77
percent of the time. Furthermore,
when GDP growth during the incum-
bents' term equals or exceeds average
growth during the previous two terms,
the incumbent pary wins 77 percent
of the time. These numbers are even
higher when it is an incumbent presi-
dent running for re-election. Both of
these characteristics are true of the
economy today. What does this mean?
Bob Dole had very little chance from
the get-go. It is extremely difficult to
knock out an incumbent when the
economy is strong, and it is even moe
difficult when the incumbent skillfully
co-opts your issues, is much smarter
than you and you are an inarticulate
73-year-old.
Bill Clinton: "I have put 100,000
police on our cities' streets." Here I am
forced to assume that the president is
just ignoring reality. He certainly
knows that his crime bill, for all of its
praiseworthy provisions, put nowhere
near 100,000 cops on the street.
Better estimates are close to 20,00 .
Because the crime bill only funds
these cops for a few years, cities that
take up the federal government's mon
etary offer are forced to pay for the
balance of these new cops careers,
plus retirement. Understandably, many
localities are saying "thanks, but n
thanks." It is not for lack of effort, but
there are simply not 100,000 new
cops.
Bill Clinton: "Income disparity has
fallen over the last year ..." Well, this
may be true, but the president conve-
niently left out the fact that the differ-
ence between the richest and poorest
members of our society has never been
greater. The top 20 percent have seen
their earnings rise 18 percent since
1979, while the bottom fifth have seen
a 16-percent drop in income. In addi
tion, the top 1 percent of the popula-
tion earns 40 percent of our natio
income, while the bottom fifth earns

only 4 percent. These are striking
numbers, and signal not only a broad
economic division between rich and
poor but the fact that those with the
least are not getting anywhere.
Both candidates: "My balanced bud-
get plan ..." Now we get to the subtle
distinction between "plan" and "reah-
ty." Every politician worth his pa
has a balanced budget plan, but f
ever explain exactly how the budget
will actually reach balance, or why it
should. To the president's credit, the
budget deficit, $130 billion in 1996, is
at its lowest point in decades.
However, assuming current policies, it
will balloon to over $400 billion early
in the next century. By 2025, assuming
no change in entitlement policy, the
deficit will reach $6 trillion! Why so
high? Because the baby boomers a(-e
Security and Medicare, and the gov-
ernment doesn't have the cash to pay.
Medicare will be broke in a little
over a decade, and the Social Security
trust fund (despite its current surplus)
will hit the red a few years later.
People over 65 are the fastest growing
segment of the population - there
were four million in 1900, 33 milliq,-
today and will be an astonishing
million by 2030 - and we cannot
afford their benefits. Unfortunately,
the only candidate that has addressed
entitlement reform is Richard Lamm,
and he is back to teaching public pol-
cy at the University of Denver. If nei-

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