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October 10, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-10

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 10, 1996

420 Maynard Street RONNIE GLASSBERG
z Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ADRIENNE JANNEY
students at the ZACHARY M. RAINI
t University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials li t the opin /he majority )/a1 Diily : eitorialnboard. All
other arHcles, letters and cartoons do not nccc scilv r/lect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
qFROM THE DAILY

:
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Looking ahAftad

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'Regents want to eliminate anything that might be
embarrassing from the public discussion.'
-Ann Arbor media law attorney Joan Lowenstein, on the
University Board of Regents 'possible circumvention of the state's
Open Meetings Act in the current presidenvial search
YuKI KuNIYUKI GROUND ZERO
F;r
S
... /
f/
RCW Fop~ }R
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Neal brings foresight
n Tuesday, Homer Neal celebrated his
first 100 days as interim University
president. Neal has stepped up to the plate
i more ways than one. He filled a vacant
president's office with administrative expe-
rience, he has tackled serious issues within
the University Medical Center, he has field-
ed questions about former University
President James Duderstadt's so-called
'"secret deals," and he has fostered good
relations and earned the respect of his
administrative peers all at the same time,
With his success and finesse in the presi-
dent's office, some wonder why Neal did
wnotconsider making a bid for the perma-
n2itnt position.
The Presidential Search Committee is
scheduled to begin interviewing candidates
next week, but Neal's name is not expected
-to be on the list of finalists. Although Neal
1 maintains that he does not wish to be a uni-
Sversity president at this stage of his life, he
would be an excellent choice in the current
:earch for this university's president. Neal
:has demonstrated his ability to accommo-
^ date the needs of a large, prestigious uni-
versity, promote good working relations
among different factions of the University
community and act in the best interests of
the University's future.
j Neal has not allowed the "interim" label
to limit his action, nor has he used it as an
:",excuse for stagnation. In September, Neal
- along with Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer Farris Womack
created a new office to monitor the suffer-
ing University Medical Center. The office
should help to soothe some of the adminis-
trative upheaval the Medical Center suf-
fered last year. The University Board of
Regents intended to make medical center

to interim presidency
administration a requirement for University
presidential candidates; Neal creatively cir-
cumvented the problem and at the same
time refocused the presidential search.
In mid-September, news leaked of secret
deals Duderstadt offered top officials to
keep them at the University. The University
community was full of questions, and Neal
was the one to answer them. His statement
downplayed the scandalous nature of
Duderstadt's deals and reassured concerned
officials that the deals do not merit serious
concern.
Neal's good-natured and professional
approach to administrative matters has won
him the respect of many - within the
University community and beyond. le
earned a healthy academic reputation as
vice president for research, the position he
held before he became interim president.
For this reason, Neal's transition to the pres-
ident's office has been a relatively easy one.
As Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann
Arbor) said: "There was a good strong rela-
tionship going into this period. That rela-
tionship has grown since he took the presi-
dency, but we were fortunate to have a good
floor on which to start."
A "good floor" is essential for positive
relations in Fleming. The relationship
between Duderstadt and the regents was
notoriously strained, from policy decisions
all the way down to Duderstadt's resigna-
tion. Neal has handily averted that problem
by stepping into the office with already
established rapport and respect.
Neal said that while he has enjoyed his
interim presidency, he is looking forward to
returning to his work in physics research.
Indeed, his gain will be the University's
loss.

'U' celebrates National Coming Out Day

M any students find that college is a
time for self-exploration and change
as they discover who they really are. For
some of the campus, the exploration also
involves delving into the makeup of sexual
orientation.
The Lesbian/Gay/ Bisexual
Programming Office and the Queer Unity
Project have a long history of defending the

LGBPO's 25th anniversary. The University
should be proud that the office is the oldest
of its type in the country. It serves as the
hub for on-campus gay, lesbian and bisexu-
al-friendly activities.
Among numerous other programs
LGBPO sponsors are sessions held during
the first week of dorm move-in. The pro-
gram's focus is on making first-year stu-
dents aware of the vast resources available

AATU offers
advice to
students
TO THE DAILY:
Thank you for your gen-
erally positive article on the
Ann Arbor Tenants' Union
("Student money funds
AATU," 10/3/96). I would,
however, contest the charac-
terization of the tenants'
union as a "little-known"
resource. In fact, thousands
of student households seek
AATU services each year.
The most common concerns
for which student tenants
seek AATU services are
repair/maintenance problems,
security deposit fraud, exces-
sive fees, privacy violations
and inadequate heat.
The Ann Arbor Fair
Rental Information ordinance
- which we passed in the
late 1970s - requires land-
lords to give renters a hand-
book concerning the rights
and duties of tenants and
landlords. That handbook
directs renters to the tenants'
union in the event of a prob-
lem.
I encourage all student-
enters to read that handbook
now so that they will be pre-
pared for any problems that
arise. And, of course, call the
tenants' union if there are any
questions at all about tenants'
rights and options in any
given situation. Generally,
tenants have more rights than
they know, but fewer rights
than they need. AATU edu-
cates tenants about the rights
they do have while also
working to preserve and
expand those rights.
I am writing this letter on
my last day of employment as
the coordinator of AATU.
After nearly four years at the
demanding and rewarding
task of coordinating the
multi-faceted efforts of
AATU, I am retiring from the
field to - finally! - write
my dissertation.
So, let me take this
opportunity to thank all of
the generous volunteers, ded-
icated work/study interns and
committed campus and com-
munity supporters who have
helped to sustain our work in
recent years. An old AATU
slogan says it all: "Landlords
have money and power ...
tenants have each other"
By sticking together
through hard times, we have
forged an ever stronger
union. Despite reduced rev-
enues, we have managed to
provide more direct services
each year while continuing to
work toward our long-term
goal of safe, decent, afford-
able and accessible housing
- for everybody!
PATTRICE MAURER
RACKHAM

against any "people," "associ
ation" or "lifestyle" is
beyond me, and that it was
carried out by a campus-rec-
ognized organization makes
it reprehensible. It seems to
me that no school organiza-
tion should be allowed to
continue when it bases its
activities and beliefs on the
dehumanization of other stu-
dents.
The College Republicans'
actions overstepped the
bounds of freedom of speech.
If someone is physically
assaulted and that assault is
coupled with a racial or
homophobic slur, the crime is
then elevated to a hate crime;
the assailant has no right to
claim "freedom of speech:"
Our circumstances are no dif-
ferent.
Some institution of the
University has to act in
response to these events and
address both the criminal
actions of the College
Republicans and the larger
issue of homophobia; not to
do so would also be repre-
hensible.
CAEN THOMASON-REDUS
SCHOOL OF MUSIc
Drinking age
should not be
lowered
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response
of your editorial "18 and
Life" (10/8/96). It says, "The
magic number (18) means
the power to vote, drive,
smoke and buy cigarettes,
drop out of school and be
drafted." Not only is this a
repetitive sentence saying
"smoke and buy," but it is
wrong. In Michigan at least,
you can drive and drop out of
high school at the age 16.
This is the system of
America. Your government
realizes that as individuals
grow up they are more
mature. This is the reason
why the government staggers
rights like this.
Also, the editorial states,
"Lawmakers have failed to
articulate a justification for
refusing individuals who
have so many privileges and
responsibilities the option to
drink alcoholic beverages
legally." Now, this is a bold-
face, straight-out lie. Ip the
1960s, those being drafted
complained about this. The
drinking age was 18. The
deaths of young people due
to alcohol ballooned.
Not all these were due to
drunk driving accidents.
People under the age of 21
have brains that are stiill
growing. Minors and young
adults drinking alcohol affect
the brain's growth. The aver-
age 18-year-old is not mature
enoupgh to handle alcohol

they goto a party. Since it is
illegal, don't do it, but if
you're going to do it, do it
safely.
PRTRICK ELKINS
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
News story
confused
DOM A facts
TO THE DAIL:
The front page of
Tuesday's paper featured a
story about gay rights,
including the Defense of
Marriage Act. ("Candidates
downplay gayp rights,"
10/8/96). Roiani Sanlo, the
director of the University's
Lesbian/Gay isexual
Programs Office, notes that
this act was defeated this
year. Sanlo i: wrong, howev-
er. The article's author,
Laurie Mayk, should have
picked up on this error; or at
least, the Daily's editors.
The Defxnse of Marriage
Act (Public Law 104-199)
was passed (Dn Sept. 21 of
this year, after President
Clinton sigred the measure.
Furthermore, Democrats
played a role in its passage.
In the Houe of
Representalhves, 70
Democrats voted for the bill,
and it was :igned by a
Democratic president.
Granted, Republicans
were overvhelmingly in favor
of the measure (only nine
Republicans voted against it
in the House), but they had
DemocratiE support.
I hope the Daily does a
better job of researching
campaign issues in the future.
ThoMAs KORNFIELD
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY
Israelis had
a right to
build tunnel
TO THE DAILY:
I woiald like to respond to
the gross distortions of fact
and abs'rd logic displayed by
Amer Zahr in his letter to the
editor ('Netanyahu risks war
by opersing tunnel," 10/8/96).
First of all, consider his
statement: "Arafat has told
his troops to act only in self-
defense, which means that if
any aggression persists, any
logical person could conclude
that Israel is the provocateur."
Has Zahr ever heard the
term "circular reasoning?"
Here are the facts: Israel did
nothinE more "provocative"
than open a touristtunnel in
its own capital. Contrary to
Zahr'sallegations, this tunnel

POWERFUL MPAT
Vouchers don 't
solve problems
As I sat with colleagues to watch
Sunday evening's presidential
debates, it initially seemed like a repe-
tition of the same old thing, and my
ears did not really perk up until toward
the end of the debate.
A proponent of implementing school
vouchers, presi-
dential hopeful
Bob Dole did not
seem to be strong
in the overall area
of education when
his opponent
twice mentioned
Dole's voting
record in cutting
student loan pro-
grams.
To this issue, MPATANISHI
Dole never direct- TAYARI
ly responded, but
instead began talk about a voucher
program that encouraged poor stu-
dents in inner cities to abandon public
schools for private institutions.
Introduced by two Republican repre-
sentatives, the American Communiy
Renewal Act of 1996 includes Title IV,
the Low Income Education
Opportunity Act that would establish
an "educational choice scholarship
program" through vouchers.
According to the terms of the pro-
posed bill, each locality determines
the value of the scholarship for poor
children, but the maximum value of
the scholarship would not exceed the
per capita cost of educating children in
a local public school.1(
A product of Chicago's public school
system myself, I recognize the need for
reform. Nationally, only one-third of
high school seniors can read satisfacto-
rily, 16 percent are proficient in math
and, even beyond these dismal statis-
tics, the high school drop-out rate has
been dramatically rising since 1990.
Indeed, there is a problem when stu-
dents wait hours to get into school
because of metal detectors, yet stil1
aren't safe during lunch or on their
way home. I remember hearing about a
situation where a deaf high school stu-
dent was shot and killed going home
while communicating in sign tah-
guage. Gang members thought he was
giving rival gang signals.
Even beyond the violence immanent
in many inner-city public schools,
there are book shortages, inadequate
lab equipment and holes in school
ceilings that make these institutions
comparable only to Third World states.
At Sunday's debate, Dole took pride
in the claim that he went to public
school - as if this somehow substan-
tiated his support for school vouchers.
It doesn't, and that's because all public
schools, like his, are not problematic.
Only certain public schools in low-
income communities need drastic
reform. Like many of the pulfic
school graduates at the University that
went to such magnet schools as King
(Detroit) or Whitney M. Young
(Chicago) can attest, their situations
are much different from many other
inner city schools.
As a graduate of Whitney Young
Magnet H.S., it must be noted that our
SAT and ACT scores, graduation rates
and percent of students going on to
four-year colleges and universit es,
were significantly higher than oth z
Chicago public schools, but even

beyond this they were better than sev-
eral "top" private schools nationwide.
Similarly, Bob Dole should realize
that although he was educated at a
"public school" in an affluent neigh-
borhood, he has not faced the apathet-
ic situation present in most inner city
public schools. He essentially attended
an Anglo-Saxon Whitney Young. a
All of these differences in public
education aside, I recognize that there
is a problem with our schools. Mostly
in the inner cities, mostly in poor com-
munities, and mostly dealing with
blacks, Latinos/as and other-minorities.
Taking money from nearly bankrupt
public schools to create vouchers,
however, is not a proper solution. It is
improper to take public funds from
public schools to support religious
institutions. Whatever happened 'to
separation of church and state? Is that
now thrown out the window? Even so,
this wouldn't bother me so much if I
wasn't convinced that one or two reli-
gions will be supported, rather than the
large span of religious sects that
reflect our nation's population. t
It is important for all to realize that
vouchers are only partial funding for
private education. Where are rena
ing tuition funds coming from?'Ie
students whose low-income communi-
ties never had enough school funding
to begin with? How are they getting to
school with busing programs being
cut? Thebvery poor are left behind to
wait for busesthat will never come.

rights of the University's gay,
bisexual community and fos-
tering an atmosphere con-
ducive to personal explo-
ration.
This week, QUP is cele-
brating Coming Out Week by
hosting numerous events
around campus. Events
included an open house last
night and an appearance by
Wilson Cruz from the televi-
sion show "My So-Called
Life" tonight at Rackham
Auditorium. Tomorrow, the

lesbian and

r

to the gay, lesbian and bisex-
ual community on campus.
Other programs oriented
toward the gay, lesbian and
bisexual community include
social events,. such as the
monthly dance "Club
Fabulous." During spring
break, LGBPO offers special
retreats and vacations.
"Out in the Academy" is a
panel where gay, lesbian and
bisexual faculty and staff
members interact with stu-
provide students with valuable
about how to get along in the
community. Also, "Queer

events will conclude with a rally in the Diag
at noon to celebrate National Coming Out
Day.
QUP holds similar events all year. For
example, during black and Latino/a history
months, it organizes programs relating to
race and ethnicity within the gay, lesbian
and. bisexual community. They also have
special events on Martin Luther King Day
and Valentine's Day.
QUP's activities are outstanding for the
University. They foster a nurturing environ-
ment where people feel that they may open-
ly express themselves. It contributes not

MATT WiMSATT/Daily
dents. They
information
academic

University" is a service that provides health
information, legal and resume help to cam-
pus.
LGBPO and QUP are an integral part of
the diversity of the University's campus.
They provide many services and programs
for the gay, lesbian and bisexual communi-
ty. They foster a caring, supportive environ-
ment that allows for individual expression
- not only of sexual orientation, but of eth-
nicity and gender.

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