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October 21, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-21

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 21, 1996





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

Editor in Chief

Utniversity of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
UnIe's 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:

Keep o
Child-care task force
M aintaining a good grade-point aver-
age while trying to pay for college is
enough to cause any student stress. Imagine
trying to raise a child, too.
More than 1,520 residents live in
University family housing and the general
assumption is that other students with chil-
dren live off-campus. The cost of tuition
plus child care can be staggering. Last win-
ter, students voted to allocate an additional
$1: per student per term to strengthen
University child-care programs. Most stu-
dent-parents argue the University's six
child-care assistance programs are not
affordable. The fee implementation was
halted in June when Regent Rebecca
McGowan (D-Ann Arbor) suggested the
creation of a task force to look at child care
more closely.
A task force is hindering students from
receiving funds they were already approved
to receive. The task force, which students
expected to present a progress report to the
regents by November, should take this
opportunity to revamp a system that obvi-
ously needs help. The task force will not
only review the $1 fee, but discuss the
establishment of a scholarship fund as well
as: an infant-care center.
These additions would clearly benefit
students with children. However, task force
members should not forget that they have
left hundreds of students dangling for the
past several months. If the task force is
going to take the timne to examine fees and
other programs, they must accomplish a
significant amount to make the student-par-
ents' wait worthwhile.
The child-care issue has received a lot of
attention - not only at the University, but
at other colleges and workplaces nation-

in task
must make progress
wide. Many institutions are calling for addi-
tional funding and programs to make it pos-
sible to be a student-parent, which is essen-
tially the same as being a parent with a full-
time job. Many University student-parents
hold a part-time job in addition to their
responsibilities as a student and parent.
The delay in the addition of the $1 fee
has been a setback that should be corrected
as soon as possible. University student-par-
ents hope the task force's suggestions to the
regents will be concrete enough that it will
make a difference in child-care programs. It
is still unfair that student-parents had to
wait for much-needed funds. It is hard to
look ahead and think how good an infant-
care program might be when you need
money to buy books today. The task force
will need to convince students that the delay
was not only crucial, but beneficial.
Michigan Student Assembly President
Fiona Rose hopes that the regents will
approve the $1 fee as well as match it by
winter 1997 - a good goal. Still, students
would benefit from the fee a year after it
was approved. While the task force plan-
ning to change child care as soon as possi-
ble is worthwhile, some students are uneasy.
The task force also is expected to come
up with a "philosophy" of the role of child
care on campus. This may well be neces-
sary, but it does not address the fact that
graduation dates are being pushed back for
student-parents who do not currently have
the funding - nor the support - to com-
plete their degrees. The funding was
approved; the child-care task force was
commissioned to help design improve-
ments. Student-parents now must place
their trust in the task force to put the funds
into action.

'Whoever is most qualified - be it a man or a woman -
(should be chosen). I'm just tired of everything being a
racial or a gender issue.'
- Third-year Nursing student Heather Polsen, commenting on the
now public list of candidatesfor the University presidency

Protect Infl
Court must supp or
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court
reopened an issue that falls on the very
front lines of the abortion debate.
The case in question: an injunction
placed on anti-abortion protesters by the
Federal District Court in Buffalo that creat-
ed a floating 15-foot space around people

and automobiles entering and leaving abor-
tion clinics. Protesters seeking to discour-
age a woman entering a clinic from having
an abortion may enter within that space, but
must withdraw when the woman indicates
she has no interest in conversing with the
protester. Anti-abortion critics claim these
kind of limits infringe on their First
Amendment rights. However, these mobile
zones do a service to both sides of the
debate by protecting women seeking abor-
tions from undue harassment and reducing
the possibility of physical violence - but
without silencing the constitutionally pro-
tected voice of protesters.
Lawyers on behalf of an anti-abortion
protester argued that a floating zone of any
distance amounts to suppression of speech.
Justice Steven Breyer countered that he was
about 15 feet from the lawyers, and asked
the lawyers to name "a word, expression or
idea that you can only communicate to me
when I'm closer to you than I am at this
Breyer's argument echoes a high court
ruling from two years ago when the court
ruled in favor of a Florida court that had
placed a 36-foot buffer zone around a clin-
ic and rulings that have supported laws
establishing quiet zones around hospitals
and buffer zones around polling places.
DrntPet~c narP frP tr ovrrPCC emcnlvnc

g privacy
t 'floating barrier'
ing abortion clinics.
Several justices have questioned the
floating nature of the zone as an excessive
limit. But the new buffer is the next logical
step in a debate that has, in recent years,
escalated from argument to harassment and,
in several notable instances, physical vio-
lence. People have the right to choose what
they do with their own body, including a
woman's right to seek an abortion - and
that difficult choice should not be hindered
by actions that leave the realm of rhetoric
and enter into verbal and physical assault.
The floating zone makes it clear that
harassment is not only a disagreeable form
of expression on one side of a boundary, but
completely unacceptable.
One specific problem with this injunc-
tion is that it calls upon a woman to indicate
she does not want to attract protester atten-
tion before the 15-foot boundary goes into
effect. A woman seeking an abortion is like-
ly to be very scared and distraught, and
walking through a horde of vehement anti-
abortion activists is not going to assuage
that fear.
Also, the woman may not know she has
to indicate her desire to avoid contact with
protesters - and what constitutes an "indi-
cation" to both sides may be quite different.
The ambiguity of the "indication" must be
removed creating a floating zone that is
flatly imposed on all entering or exiting
abortion clinics, thereby removing error in
the enforcement and general understanding
of this injunction.
Floating buffer zones do not limit the
words that enter the 15-foot area, but they
don restrict contact so that a woman's right to

Leave Christ
at Berkeley
It is greatly disappointing
to see the name of Carol
Christ as a finalist for the
presidency of the University.
I am a senior engineer at the
University of California,
Berkeley, performing
research functions in a staff
capacity. Our research labo-
ratory is under the manage-
ment of Vice Chancellor
Christ. Over the past 10
years, I have had many expe-
riences with Christ and her
attempt at managing in a
campus setting. She is
uncomfortable in speaking
with groups of employees. is
unable (or unwilling) to dis-
cuss items of relevance in an
open forum, has little under-
standing or interest in the
workings of the modern
research university or staff
(even those under her tute-
lage), and generally prefers
to make policy behind closed
doors and then ignore the
questions or protest that fol-
low. Her leadership style
might be well suited in her
chosen field of Victorian liter-
ature. but has certainly made
her a seasoned combative in
her dealings with her staff.
Case in point, Christ's
office recently has attempted
to change classifications for
research scientists. Despite a
huge impact to many career
employees, the policy was
not thought out, and was
outright unfair to many
researchers. After many
failed attempts to contact.
Christ via e-mail, fax and
phone calls, a group of 54
affected scientists sent a let-
ter directly demanding an
open hearing or at least an
acknowledgement of the
transmittal Christ, as is her
accustomed style would not
even give them the profes-
sional courtesy of a reply.
If Ann Arbor desires a
seasoned, uninspired, with-
drawn bureaucrat who views
staff members as a nuisance,
dialogue with students and
staff a burden, believes the
best way to formulate policy
is in the back room out of the
prying eyes of those affected,
seeks solace in many layers
of insulating bureaucracy.
assumes confrontation with
staff is the natural order of
things, then look no further
than Carol Christ. I'm sure the
University deserves better. Let
Berkeley keep their Christ.

The Presidential Search
Advisory Committee's list of
candidates was formed with-
out consideration of race or
sex. The Daily's criteria,
apparently, would be nothing
else. The editors write:
"While finding qualified can-
didates for the position is no
simple task, the search com-
mittee would have benefitted
the community to include
more candidates with diverse
backgrounds"'here means
men and women of different
racial and ethnic back-
grounds (specifically non-
white), which has no bearing
on whether a candidate is
qualified to lead a major
research university.
Arguing that more women
should have been considered,
the editorial states: "While
the upper echelons of univer-
sity administrations are filled
by men, it is not completely
dominated by them."
Realizing that the search
drew most heavily from vari-
ous university administra-
tions, doesn't this correlation
make sense to you?
The worst transgression
of the article, however, was
levied against candidate
Carol Christ. After spouting
off about how the list con-
tains an inadequate number
of women, you charge that
Christ. the sole female final-
ist selected by PSAC, is not
qualified for the job. and that
she is "the token woman"
included by the committee as
"a stooge." And your con-
cluding remark is that her
selection as a finalist is actu-
ally an insult to her by the
University? Christ has been
insulted, all right, but not by
PSAC or the regents. This
editorial is an embarrassment
to the students of the
University, a disgrace to the
journalistic integrity of the
Daily and should never have
made it to print. I wish candi-
date Christ best of luck in the
coming stages of the search.
and hope that she realizes
that. the general student body
is not as hypocritical as its
R ivers' woes
Lynn Rivers has been
attacking Joe Fitzsimmons,
saying he has no right to dis-
cuss education because he
didn't vote in some school
board elections. Why is
Rivers afraid of a healthy
debate? Maybe it's because of
her dismal record as a mem-
ber of the Ann Arbor School
Board. While Rivers was
president of the school board,
grade-point averages fell,
standardized test scores went

schools. With friends like her,
who needs enemies!
Miller defends
In his editorial defense of
his Playboy Screen Saver
("All this over a Screen
Saver?" 1016/96), James
Miller asserts that, "a true
feminist would believe that
there is nothing wrong with a
woman posing for these
kinds of pictures, because
feminism is a movement that
gives women the right to
make choices ... The nature
of the choice is not impor-
tant. The choice in itself is
paramount." We would agree
with Miller that the concept of
"women's choice" is an
important one. Feminism cer-
tainly values the absolute abil-
ity of women to make free
and uncoerced life choices.
However, this is the most
superficial feminist argument
that can be made. A more
complete discussion ques-
tions the nature and out-
comnes of choices freely
made, but made under a
restricted set of unequal
assumptions and conditions.
A social system that provides
plenty of opportunities for
women to make money by
selling their bodies, either lit-
erally (prostitution) or
through images (pornogra-
phy), yet at the same time
actively limits what women
can achieve through other
avenues, is a flawed and sex-
ist system. Why is the one
profession where women can
make more money than men
the profession where they are
selling their bodies? The
women who choose to partici-
pate in these professions, and
the men who patronize them,
contribute to this system.
It's important to examine
pornography in the context of
the essential problem: the rel-
ative powerlessness of women
in society. Pornography is
(dehumanizing and) a mani-
festation of and contributor to
such a system. Miller himself
suggests that the screen saver
is merely a harmless item of
exploitation that should not
be extrapolated to women in
other situations. However,
there is actually no such
thing as a harmless exploiter.
It's a small piece of a larger
constructed belief system
about sexual politics and
rigid gender roles that man-
dates that displayed images
of scantily clad women are
exciting, harmless and per-
fectly acceptable. Most men
(and some women) have been
used to propagate this ideolo-
gy. Any instance of exploita-
tion against women is unde-

Democracy and
t is another Midwestern Monday
morning and all across campus stu-
dents are arising to meet the sparkling
sun shining its radiant rays upon trees
changing leaves, which define fall.
There is still a sense of newness and
wonder; the semester is not too old,'
and we have
entered into
Michigan's most
beautiful season.
The economy is
rolling along and
Democrats arek
poised to win back
Capitol Hill. This
would' appear to
be a time of
boundless opti- ZACARY
But appearances - M. RAIMI
are often deceiv-
ing. A cloud of cynicism and anger
hangs over America. And much of the
cynicism is fed by the public's disgust
with government, and politicians'
empty promises and bankrupt slogans.
I've thought about the cynicism that
has infested America, and come to the
conclusion that much of it exists
because of trust -- or. more precisely,
lack of trust.
While almost every politician uses
the word "trust," the fact is that our
leaders - both at the federal level and
here on campus - do not trust us, the
people. As a result, we do not trust
them, giving birth to pessimism.
If you don't believe me consider
some seemingly unrelated examples,
which illustrate this profound lack of
trust that has come to characterize our
Last year, when the Republicans
gained control of Congress, President
Clinton was one of the most unpopular
individuals in America. But Clinton,
being a shrewd politician who never
lets an opportunity go unexplored,
realized that the Republicans' plan to
scale back Medicare was the perfect
chance to regain popularity.
The plan called for about a 7-percent
increase in Medicare spending, which
was lower than projected spending, but
nonetheless, an annual increase.
Immediately, Clinton and his
Democratic allies claimed that the
Republicans were going to "cut" and
"slash" Medicare. They ran countless
television ads, which spread this false
information and portrayed scared
senior citizens worrying about their
Basically, Clinton lied to the people,
forsaking trust for political gain.
Clinton failed to mention that his plan
also called for a reduction in the rate
of growth, but slightly less of a reduc-
Since when is a 7-percent increase a
Clinton did not trust the American
people's judgment enough to hold an
honest and open debate about
Medicare. The program is on the brink
of bankruptcy, but the president did
not seem to care. Instead, he and the
Democrats resorted to demagoguery,
and the president reinvigorated a
seemingly failed presidency because
of shameful rhetoric.
Hate chalkings
This evasion of truth lurks on cam-
pus as well. Earlier this month, several
members of the College Republicans
altered the Queer Unity Project's

chalkings, which spread messages of
tolerance for theygay, lesbian and
bisexual community.
But some juvenile members of the
College Republicans would not let the
messages stand; instead they altered
them to express hatred of homosexual-
ity. These people refused to let the:
University community honestly and
openly reach its own conclusions
about homosexuality. Instead, they
resorted to demagoguery and infuriat-
ed large segments of the student body.
Once again, the issue of trust arises
- regular students will have a hard
time trusting the College Republicans
to honestly debate future issues. The
group would not trust them.
The search
The University Board of Regents
have a hard time trusting the public as
well. They tried to conduct much of
the presidential search in secrecy and
circumvent the democratic process
and the law. Last week, a judge
declared that much of the regents' pro-
posed search plan was illegal because
it violated the state's Open Meetings
Act. Ironically, the act's purpose is to
make government bodies more
accountable to the public in order to,
restoreand retain citizen trust.
The regents, who should strive to set
examples of proper behavior for the
rest of the University, betrayed the
trust of this community. No wonder ncs







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