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October 16, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-16

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4--The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 16, 1996

Gbe £Thit iE

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

nless 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.
Housing should select RAs by November

'Dial GOD for help'
- Chalked on the sidewalk in front of a blue light -
emergency phone yesterday morning
t - ~

resident adviser position comes with
many benefits. In return for their ser-
vices, RAs receive free room and board,
along with use of an Ethernet-connected
computer for the year. The incentives ensure
that the University has plenty of applicants.
Currently, the RA selection process is not
finished until late February. By this time,
most students have already made their next
year's housing arrangements. Housing con-
cerns deter students from applying to be
RAs - the University should select its RAs
by an earlier date.
To find a residence near campus, stu-
dents often need to begin the search by mid-
fall. Those applying for RA positions face a
difficult position. They must wait until Feb.
25 or Feb. 26 to learn if they secured a posi-
tion. By this time, finding friends to live
with would be difficult. Rather than take the
risk, many qualified students choose not to
apply to be ,an RA. The late application
process is inconsiderate of student needs -
and the University has no compelling rea-
son for the process to continue past
RAs are a source of relatively cheap
labor for the University, but they also have
a great deal of responsibility and play a vital
role in maintaining a congenial residence
hall environment. RAs are ideal persons to
mediate disputes among roommates. They
could prevent conflicts from reaching the
Code of Student Conduct. Moreover, they
should be individuals whom residents feel
comfortable approaching for advice.
Having the selection take place earlier in
the year would increase the size of the
applicant pool -- ensuring that those given
positions are impeccably qualified to han-
dle the responsibilities of being an RA.
One reason to apply to be an RA is to

ease the financial burden of attending the
University. But because of the late applica-
tion date, many of those applying for a posi-
tion may experience an adverse effect on
their finances. If a student does not get the
position, few housing options remain. By
winter term, all reasonable housing options
have one thing in common - an abom-
inable price. Students not selected may have
no choice but to live in the residence halls,,
which certainly are not the proper place for
those on a tight budget. By keeping the
selection process late in the year, Housing is
increasing student costs for many of those
who can afford it the least.
To become an RA is difficult. According
to Julie Lavrack, the University's assistant
director of resident education, there are 475
applicants for RA positions. Of these, only
205 are hired. High selectivity helps to
ensure worthy candidates are chosen - but
those who are not offered employment are
left in the lurch. An earlier selection date
would give 270 students an opportunity to
live where and with whom they want.
Along with being a student resource,
RAs help to avert some of the conflicts
inherent in residence hall living. In return,
the University relieves some of the RAs'
financial burden. Moving the selection
process to an earlier date would be benefi-
cial to both students in resident halls and to
the residence advisers. More students
would apply for RA positions; consequent-
ly, those chosen would be more qualified.
Furthermore, if one is not offered a position
there would still be adequate time to find an
affordable place to live. Housing needs to
decide the dates of its selection process
based not upon what is convenient for them,
but instead by what is best for the student

Brave, clean & taxed
Amendment threatens nonprofit tax status

A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful,
friendly, courteous, kind, obedient,
cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent."
But if a group of Colorado citizens gets
their way, the Boy Scouts of America will
have to add taxable to the end of their Scout
This November, Colorado citizens will
vote on a state initiative, spearheaded by
trial lawyer John Patrick Michael Murphy,
that would end tax exemptions for 8,300
churches and nonprofit groups. Included in
this group of organizations are _
the Boy Scouts, Easter Seals,
Meals-on-Wheels, and
Planned Parenthood.
F This legislation would hurt
two groups. One: the members
of these non-profit organiza-
tions who would have to
unjustly shoulder twice the tax
burden. They would be pun-
ished for trying to give back as
much to the community, and
for helping those who need
help the most. Second: the
beneficiaries, particularly those who are
poor and need the services. Programs that
help the elderly, such as Meals-on-Wheels,
may not be able to afford the costs. Those
who benefit from the Easter Seals also
would suffer if the amendment passes.
Murphy argues that non-profit organiza-
tions use many public services, and there-
fore should pay taxes. However, he forgets
that each adult member of these nonprofit
organizations are taxpayers - it is only the
organization that does not pay taxes. Hence,
+U - ._,. l A _r;2i rrn s ~ r _e__e nt

ernment, and Murphy's argument is
reduced to hyperbole and exaggeration.
Moreover, many of the nonprofit organi-
zations could not afford to pay taxes. They
perform valuable community services -
by their very nature, they do not participate
in activities to turn a profit. These organi-
zations work to supplement government
services - keeping the cost of government
Although Murphy and his clan believe
that their amendment, if passed, would save

Coming Out
Week 'outs'
many things
So far, Coming Out Week
has outed more homophobes
than closet gays, lesbians or
bisexuals. Last Monday, we
awoke to the defacing of
many of the pro-COW mes-
sages chalked on campus by
the Queer Unity Project. The
QUP's messages were either
covered or altered in favor of
pro-Dole/Kemp messages.
Many of the paper flyers
were simply torn down.
Not only is this an inap-
propriate way to campaign
for one's political party, it
also has sent an important
message. The homophobes
on this campus are not going
to be silent. This means that
those of us, straight and gay,
in support of gay/
lesbian/bisexual rights should
not be silent anymore either.
I sure wouldn't come out
to a community that didn't
challenge the kind of homo-
phobic action that took place
last week. This was a call to
those of us who show our
support in our private circles
to let all the gays, lesbians
and bisexuals on campus
know that they have friends
out here too. The coming-out
rally on the Diag last Friday
at noon (was) an excellent
opportunity for us to show
our support and to stand up
to the homophobes on this
campus who make their voic-
es heard every day. Another
straight male in support of
gays, lesbians and bisexuals
Vote Rivers
I would like to add my
voice to the chorus of sup-
port for our incumbent con-
gressional representative,
Lynn Rivers. Despite the near
libelous accusations of
Juliette Cox ("Rivers is inept;
Vote Fitzsimmons," 9/25/96)
and Michael Navratil
("Fitzsimmons wants to serve
the community," 9/25/96)
Rivers has been a model of
integrity, efficiency and pru-
dence, and her record speaks
for itself.
Rivers is a strong voice in
Congress for student con-
cerns and for the working
family. She should know as
she is one of the few mem-
bers of Congress with a blue
collar background. It is
refreshing to see her vote
counted among a sea of pin-
striped millionaires and
career politicians. I encour-
age students and Ann
Arborites alike to cast their

awkward, obviously artificial
construction ("50 students to
join national Latino/a rally,"
10/9/96). Pick a label and
stop worrying about every
possible reaction. "Latino/a"
does not say "oh, they care"
or "hey, they have an appro-
priate level of conscious-
ness.' It just says "wow, they
need a better editor."
'Sick and
tired' of 'U'
I think that all right-think-
ing people in this university
are sick and tired of being
told that ordinary, decent
people are fed up in this uni-
versity with being sick and
tired. I'm certainly not! But
I'm sick and tired of being
told that I am!
In the race for Michigan's
13th congressional seat in the
U.S. House, only one candi-
date is firmly committed to
supporting reproductive
choice for women.
Joe Fitzsimmons, the
Republican nominee, has
been wavering on this issue
during the campaign. In
response to a survey from
Planned Parenthood, he
claimed he supports the 1973
U.S. Supreme Court decision,
Roe vs. Wade. However, in
another survey for Lifespan
News, a pro-life newsletter,
Fitzsimmons said that he
would support legislation
permitting states to restore
protection to unborn children
if Roe vs. Wade were over-
turned by the Supreme Court.
Does Fitzsimmons support a
woman's right to terminate
her pregnancy or not? Lynn
Rivers is the clear pro-choice
candidate in the 13th District.
She has always and will
always support reproductive
freedom for women. To send
a clear message that this
issue is too important for
indecision and pandering, as
well as protect the country
from Republican attacks on
abortion rights, I will support
Lynn Rivers for Congress.
'U' sold out
to capitalism

And if one of our donors has
discriminatory hiring prac-
tices, will we be too greedy
to give up the funds?
Preston Robert Tisch, a
tobacco baron, wants us to
name the new humanities
building after him. Some of
the money will go to help our
athletes. Can we allow our
athletes to be sponsored by
cigarette money? It's bad
enough that we are renaming
buildings at a public universi-
ty based on the wealth of pri-
vate individuals; we didn't
need a pickled dean.
Bill Clinton
has muddled
foreign policy
I believe that the
American people have been
finally treated to a real issue
that they can debate in this
presidential election cycle:
foreign policy. I believe that
with President Bill Clinton,
the record is clear:
No. 1. Bosnia is still a
war zone; the elections mere-
ly put off a continued war.
No. 2. Saddam Hussein is
better off now than he was
four years ago.
No. 3. Haiti still has death
squads roaming the country.
No. 4. Our policy toward
the Middle East has been to
force Israel to negotiate with
those who seek to destroy the
Jewish race (sic).
Clinton's foreign policy is
filled with black holes:
Money and troops flow in,
but nothing comes out.Bob
Dole has articulated to the
American people that his for-
eign policy will be one of
seeking American interests
above all else.
I believe that is a princi-
ple that all Americans can
agree on. Finally, it is time to
restore our allies confidence
in the United States. Without
Israel, we would not have
been able to keep the Soviet
Union from having a strate-
gic advantage over the United
States in the Middle East. It's
time we stopped forcing
Israelis to give up land that
has been their heritage for
thousands of years to terror-
ists. Dole will be a better
friend to Israel than Clinton.
Article gave
wrong OWL
We appreciate Jeffrey

Mnmt orcw TAP-
All this over a
screen saver?
T own pornographic software.
Well, pornographic is kind of a
strong word. Racy might be a bit more
accurate. Last Christmas, a friend
bought me the Playboy Screen Sater.
On my computer, after two minutes,
series of scantily clad (sometimes n
ever that) women
parade around on
my screen. The
program comes
with several,
adorable, Hefner-
esque variations,
like "The Girl
Next Door" and
the "Wet and
Wild." Usually the
pictures are rather DAMES
innocuous, mayber AM ES
tasteless in their MILLER
worst moments,
topless coeds trying - to the best of
their puppyish abilities - to look
alluring and sexy. Yet this little CD-
ROM has been a wonderful teaching
tool for me, and not just about the
Frederick's of Hollywood catalogue.
My semi-dirty screen saver has sho
me volumes about something college
students are mired in hip deep: The
human response to sex.
If I had to count the number of times
since I moved in that I have caught hell
from people about the damn thing, I'd
have to take off my shoes.
You would be amazed at how seem-
ingly rational, half-educated college
students have become visibly upset
over a girl in a bunny costume parke
on my monitor.
Putting aside the issues of feminism
and sexual politics this raises for a
moment, this is also right to privacy
issue. This is something I have in my
room. It's not like I have it on my door,
or on a sign around my neck. Can you
imagine the gall it takes for someone
to waltz into my home and chastise me
for my choice in incidental computer
I beg your pardon; I didn't reali'
that everybody's personal, mental
comfort was my responsibility.
But back to the sexual politics.
Women hate the thing. I have not had
a single male objection, but nearly
every woman who has seen it usually
reacts to it as if I had a jar of phlegm
perched on my desk. If anything the
Screen Saver Sociology project has
given me insight into feminist atti-
tudes about sexuality. Particulars
about the kind of bra-and-pasty sexu-
ality presented by a filthy piece of
Now, a true feminist would believe
that there is nothing wrong with a
woman posing for these kinds of pic-
tures, because feminism is a move-
ment that gives women the right to
make choices. It's not important if it's
the choice to run for the Senate or th
choice to be slobbered over by 14
year-old boys, and, I guess, me. The
nature of the choice is not important.
The choice in itself is paramount.
But that's not the kind of rhetoric I
hear. The main argument I've had
pointed my way is that images of this
kind are degrading to women and
encourage men to view them as sex
Well, of course these women are sex
objects. What else is the point of
Playboy Screen Saver? Was anyorr
under the impression that these
women are recruited for their insights

on Mideast politics or their witty ban-
ter? Doesn't it strike anyone as
remotely stupid to criticize somebody
(OK, me again) for looking at a
woman in dirty pictures in a sexual
way? Isn't that the damn point?
It's important to realize the purpose
of things like this: cheap titillatio
The entire concept is to have mostl.
naked, attractive in a cliched sort of
way, in cheap, tawdry poses to excite a
simple and malformed section of the
male psyche. Criticizing a Playboy
Screen Saver for being exploitative is
like criticizing techno fans for having
no taste. It's just their nature.
But this is about as far as this kind of
thinking should go. The women of
Playboy or other analogous public -
tions are, by definition, sex object
Only a fool would extrapolate this into
the rest of real life. It would be gross-
ly inappropriate, at the very least, to
view all women in this context.
Outside of this limited sphere, to look
at a women as purely a sexual being is
totally indefensible.
Since the average Jane did not ask to
be judged on her physical merits by
posing for such things, it makes
sense to evaluate her worth basedo
them. A purely aesthetic judgment of a
person is very rarely merited and has
little usefulness in the real world. It
only applies to the gauze and bronzed
world of centerfold land, and that's
where it should stay.


taxpayers some money, their
hair-brained idea would
destroy local community ser-
vices. If the amendment
receives substantial support,
many other states would con-
sider putting the legislation
up to vote as well. With the
need to pay taxes, many non-
profit organizations will not
be able to survive. The result:
A nationwide abandonment
of many local community
service programs.

At the base of this argument is a funda-
mental question of whether present-day
society values personal wealth over the wel-
fare of those less fortunate. The only moti-
vation to pass the amendment is greed -
some may believe that others are benefit-
ting from their tax money.
The amendment would have no positive
effects for the state of Colorado. Nonprofit
services would be placed in serious jeop-
ardy, as groups look for ways to meet the
new tax burden. Colorado citizens should
..a r -i r~i P~~o n A , mt 1%a _"a"_


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