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October 09, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 9, 1996

cbe 3drtigau t Ui

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

r r k t

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the najoritv of the Daily . editorial hoard. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarilv reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Looking for a eader
Next SAPAC head should be from outside

'They had a monopoly on chalk last night.'
- LSA junior and College Repubicans President Nicholas Kirk,
on the Queer Unity Project s chalked rebuttals to Republican chalkings
* !
Watch where you walk: The sidewalk chalks

irector Debi Cain has decided to leave
the Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center - a move that should
improve the organization..
Eight months after a faction of Peer
Educators staged a work stoppage, Cain is
finally leaving the organization. But not
because of any bitter disputes - she found
a better job. However, the University com-
munity should not mourn Cain's departure.
Her spotty record at the University made
her a questionable leader for such a sensi-
tive organization. In January, volunteers
claimed she breached a survivor's confiden-
tiality in front of other staff members - an
action that would go against the basic prin-
ciples of the group.
Following that incident, Cain and others
dismissed Peer Education co-coordinator
Janelle White. Grounds for firing White
were contrived and shaky. SAPAC members
- both those who left in the work stoppage
and those who remained faithful - also
alluded to a number of serious internal
Some complained that members of the
black community felt alienated and that
SAPAC was not addressing issues of the
lesbian/gay/bisexual community - and that
the firing of White exacerbated those
issues. PE Carmen Crosby told The
'Michigan Daily in February, "I pointed out
(to Cain) that Janelle was the only black
-Woman who was a representative of the les-
bian/gay/bisexual .community working
there, and Debi immediately started talking
about her behavior, which is kind of code
word for 'how to control (women of

The PEs did not return to the organiza-
tion, which undoubtedly is still in a state of
transition. Associate Dean of Students
Delories Sloan, who oversees SAPAC's
operations, told the Daily this week that she
hasn't made decisions as to who will
replace Cain - and she hasn't discussed
possible options with SAPAC staff. Sloan
seems to think that Cain's departure is as
insignificant as she treated Cain's faux pas
to be.
The University must preserve SAPAC's
vital services - counseling, sexual assault
education, etc. Cain's replacement must be
a strong leader, able to pull up SAPAC's
credibility and morale. New volunteers told
the Daily that Cain is "competent" and
"inspiring," but most who were uncomfort-
able with Cain's style have already left.
However, departures - White's, Cain's and
some of the PEs' - do not erase deeply
embedded problems.
The University is likely to consider
Joyce Wright, training and education coor-
dinator, for the job - but Wright would be
the wrong choice. Instead of exploring
SAPAC's problems, she participated in cov-
ering up Cain's indiscretion and firing
White. Whatever other qualifications she
may have, Wright was too involved in
January's blowup to lead SAPAC to a new
Sloan should look outside of the organi-
zation for a new director. The new leader
should have ideas about taking SAPAC in a
new direction as a powerful force on cam-
pus. As students' only current place to turn,
SAPAC should be focusing on helping oth-
ers - not sorting out its internal strife.

More than

Congress makes tree-friendly agreement

N ature lovers can now hug millions of
additional trees - and their senators,
The U.S. House of Representatives
deserves commendation for excluding a 15-
year extension of logging in the Tongass
National Forest in a recent bill. That move,
along with a deal with a logging company,
made it possible for the government to pro-
vide millions of dollars in funding to
national park preservation.
The bill, which the Senate passed last
Thursday, consisted of several environmen-
tal preservation financing plans. It would
provide funds for a variety of parks and
memorials nationwide, from a tallgrass
prairie preserve in Kansas to a ski develop-
ment in Utah for the 2002 Olympics.
The most significant chunk of the funds
- $17.5 million - was designated for the
purchase of the Sterling Forest. The forest
is a 20,000-acre tract near New York City;
the government is buying the land to pre-
vent it from purchase by a private owner
who might have used it to for commercial
development. Throughout the past year,
various lawmakers heavily encouraged
approval of this particular purchase.
However, other provisions, such as logging
in the Tongass, obstructed passage of the
The package included a stipulation to let
an Alaskan company continue use the forest
for timber, but only temporarily. Last week,
the White House said Clinton would veto
the bill unless that provision, and a few oth-

ers, were dropped. The House dropped it
and the bill passed with an overwhelming
majority - a large accomplishment for
environmental advocates.
Congress then made a separate deal with
the Ketchikan Pulp company. The company
had a contract with the government to sup-
ply timber and create jobs with their log-
ging mill. The company had plans to close
down the mill, but the government cried
breach of contract. After much haggling,
the two sides arrived at a compromise deal.
The company will be able to log for two
more years after closing the mill.
All of these provisions are intended to
preserve the environment without harming
business. Many environmental groups con-
sider the 104th Republican-controlled
Congress the worst ever on environmental
issues. While passing this bill will not com-
pletely erase the lawmakers' blemishes, it is
an important step in protecting the environ-
ment. President Clinton has agreed to sign
the bill.
Also, the bill will allow for the nation's
first protected tallgrass prairie in Kansas.
Moreover, the bill includes funds to com-
memorate the historic trail in Alabama's
Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march.
Martin Luther King led the march during
the 1960s civil rights movement. The trail is
an important part of American history -
Congress should have passed this provision
a long time ago.
Although the bill is not perfect, its bene-
fits outweigh any drawbacks.

an eyesore
Along with literally every
single person I spoke with
today, I was appalled at the
Republican chalkings around
campus. Writing your own
message is one thing,
destroying someone else's is
completely different.
Aside from the eyesore it
made our campus, these une-
ducational, unmotivational,
offensive statements definite-
ly lost the GOP many of the
few votes it will squeeze
from Ann Arbor.
Chalk talk is
free speech
Freedom of speech is a
wonderful thing. One of the
things I like the most about it
is not the political freedom,
but rather the fact that it
allows us to know the people
around us. When speech is
free, choosing to say some-
thing - or not to say some-
thing - is an expression of
one's thoughts, feelings or
beliefs. We can understand
and make judgments about
those around us based on the
choices they make, as seen in
the way they exercise their
freedom of speech.
So I am not concerned
with compelling some kind
of judgment on the students
in the Republican student
organization-a legitimate
student group - who modi-
fied the chalkings of the stu-
dents in the lesbian, gay and
bisexual student organization
- another legitimate student
group - in an offensive and
demeaning way. I am not
concerned with making sure
they issue any kind of public
apology - such an apology
would not be an exercise of
free speech, for it would be
compelled by political moti-
vations outside of free
expression of their feelings.
Rather, I am concerned with
making sure that everyone
understands what this act
implies, for the people who
did it, and for both the group
they claimed to be represent-
ing when they committed this
act and the group they are
representative members of.
From the first time I saw
the chalkings of the
Republican student's group,
several weeks ago, I was
amused because I wondered
what kind of message they
were sending to anyone who
thought about what they were
doing: "Our candidate can't
win on his own merit, we

The choice to show the
world that they do not
respect the messages of oth-
ers. The choice to show the
world that they are not inter-
ested in allowing anyone to
express a view other than
themselves. The choice to
show the world that if they
had their way, gay students
should lie to their friends,
their families. themselves.
just in order to fit in with the
Republican agenda.
So, I think it is important
that we all see and under-
stand how, with the freedom
to do what they did. they also
take the responsibility of a
very strong statement
expressing their beliefs. The
response to this is not to pun-
ish them, but to exercise our
own freedom of speech,
every one of us. I lad I any
influence, I would urge many
specific individuals to
express their freedom of
speech: the right of the presi-
dent of the University to pub-
licallv announce that this
action goes against the
University's stated stance on
the recognition of minority'
groups and the nature of ver-
bal harassment the right of
the University newspaper to
print the truth about how the
messages chalked around
campus came about and the
expressed attitudes of those
parties involved; and the
right of each individual who
is upset at the personal
insults implied by the
Republican student organiza-
tion's chalkings - insults not
only to non-heterosexuals,
but to anyone who feels that
bigotry based on sexuality is
wrong - to contact people
and organizations in power to
let them know how you feel.
There is no
place for the
chalk words
This is neither the time
nor the place for those mes-
sages. Honestly, there is no
time nor place for these con-
cepts. They are particularly
inappropriate on the campus
of an institute of higher edu-
cation, and reprehensible at
the beginning of a time dedi-
cated to assisting homosexu-
als in becoming more com-
fortable with who they are.
These messages are not
simply words; they are
attacks on the well-being of
human beings. These words
create the pervasive impres-
sion that homosexuals are not
people, but rather things to
be avoided, ridiculed and
hated. It was because I
bought into that impression

most people are repulsed by
hlate. If the club truly wishes
to garner support for GOP
candidates during this elec-
tion year, it might wish to
clarify its stance on the
attack by its members.
To the students, faculty
and administration of the
University, I ask whether or
not this is representative of
the ideals of the University
and those of us associated
with it. Right now it is repre-
senting us. Stand up and be
heard if you believe other-
wise. I believe otherwise.
Finally, to everyone hurt
by the statements scrawled
all over campus Sunday
night: Remember that hate,
and everything inspired by it,
is wrong. Love, in all its
forms, is a beautiful thing,
and it is right.
are effective
ChalkingsLare an effective
way for a campus organiza-
tion to get out its message to
rest of the University. And
last Sunday, two such groups,
the College Republicans and
Queer Unity Project
"clashed" with messages on
the Diag.
The QUP is pointing the
finger at the College
Republicans as gay bashers,
using the chalkings as an
example. Nowhere in the
Republican platform or in
any College Republican doc-
umentation is there any men-
tion of homosexuality or any
positions regarding it.
Before the Republicans'
chalkings, members were
encouraged to chalk only
pro-Dole messages as
opposed to anti messages.
While most adhered, out of a
group of 57, some may have
not. If I saw any messages so
blatantly offensive written by
a College Republican, I
attempted to either wipe it
out or change it.
Unfortunately, the QUP
did not hold the same philos-
ophy. What the Daily's article
fails to report were the
numerous QUP messages
stating, "Kiss Me, I'm a
Lesbian" or "Join a Fag Frat"
or the amusing yet still offen-
sive, "A pair beats a straight."
I am all for groups having
equal access to display their
political message. I just wish
that they do so with tact and
respect to the rest of the
University. I was uncomfort-
able seeing all the gay agen-
da messages, let alone all the
offensive ones, but I still
respected their right to utilize

Attack of a two-
faced elephant
Politics is where philosophy and
human nature collide. John
Locke's and Edmund Burke's theories
of personal freedoms and property
rights are perverted daily into the
flawed constitutional reasoning of sup-
ply-side economists and Phil Gramik
loving NRA mem-
bers with penis
size issues. They
provide the philos-
ophy, we provide :
the human nature. N
As a nation, we
are not serious or
consistent about
applying our
philosophies to
policy. Even a
casual student of JAMES
politics can see MILLER
several glaring
holes in logic, just watching the
evening news for a week.
Both parties are hideously guilty-of
this flavor of two-faced rhetoric.
However, since this is my column, and
I am an unrepentant Democrat, oce
again I will be picking on the conse -
atives.sBecause Lord knows they-ve
been safe for too long.
In order to understand a big problem
with conservative logic, it becomes
necessary to explain a bit about liber-
tarianism. Libertarians believe that
government should take on the role of
a night watchman. That is to say, keep-
ing an eye on our stuff when we can-
not, and performing other duties we
can't for ourselves, like road buildiog
and other large projects necessary for
a smoothly functioning society. They
believe that under no circumstances
should a government try to protect its
citizens from themselves (only each
other) or try to force one person to
help another. This having been
Complaint No. 1: drugs. Man smokes
joint. Man eats. Man goes to sleep. It's
hard to see what all the fuss is about.
Drug use, except where minors are con-
cerned (Bob Dole, Joe Camel, don't
think I can't see you), is a victimless
crime. Adults are allowed to waste their
lives in any manner they see fit. A lib-
ertarian would object to laws regarding
victimless crimes. So what gives?
I suppose a cynical man would sug-
gest that since the United Smack
Manufacturers don't donate to cam-
paign war chests, they cannot benefit
from the ignorance of law. But not ne.
(And yes, I realize that both parties are
strictly anti-drug, but we Dems never
claimed to be the "get government off
your backs" party, did we?)
Complaint No. 2: Homosexuality. I
hate to sound like a broken record on
this one. There has never been, nor
will there ever be, a convincing or log-
ical argument as to why government
has an interest in whom its citizens a
sleeping with. Period.
The pefense of Marriage Act was
supported by claims that allowing
homosexuals to marry freely would
change the entire basis of Western
society, namely the basic family unit.
Why? Why is that bad? Other than it
makes the several key members of
Congress, and their repressed con-
stituencies a little uncomfortable. The
Civil Rights Act made an awful lot of
people uncomfortable once upon'g
time, but you don't see the rest of the
nation marching in time to the morali-

ty of Orval E. Faubus.
Complaint No. 3: The war on big
government. This is just hogwash. If
there was just one true libertarian in
Congress who was slashing govern-
ment with feverish passion, at least I
could respect that. But that ain't neces-
sarily so. The "revolution'ary"
Republican Congress proposed a
of constitutional amendments, ranging
from the slightly fiscally irresponsible
balanced-budget amendment to the
asinine flag-burning amendment.
Mercifully, most of them died before
they left the House floor.
Government does not get any bigger
than a constitutional amendment. And
there are few processes more byzan-
tine than the ratification of a constitu-
tional amendment. Things like Dol's
attack on the IRS and other bureau-
cratic restructuring initiatives have
less to do with saving money and sim-
plicity than with attacking easy targets
that will rile up stupid votes.
Nobody likes paying taxes, not even
us wild-eyed tax-and-spend liberals.
But to give the taxman his walking
papers because some people have a
chip on their shoulder is the rashest
flavor of silliness. 4
Cultural conservatives are opposed
to cumbersome government, unless it's
the kind of cumbersome government
that makes the rest of the country obey
their poorly misguided, suffocating,
neo-Victorian, pseudo-Christian code
of ethics And al ht the most hard-



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