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October 30, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 30, 1996

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial board. Al
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Resources help women n politics
A s the election is less than a week away, EMILY's List also helps candidates build
students' thoughts have turned to the a strong, competitive, strategic campaign.
decision of whom to vote for. Gloria Professional campaign strategists and corn-
Steinem's recent visit to campus - as part munications experts help at each step of the
of U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers' (D-Ann Arbor) campaigns, giving advice, suggesting mate-
campaign - brought to light the issue of rial designs and lending technical support.
women in politics. Many area voters con- Furthermore, EMILY's List helps
sider Rivers a role model for females in encourage Democratic females to vote.
society as well as a fine member of One-third of the American voting popula-
Congress. tion is conservative to right-wing, and 90
It is apprdpriate that Steinem, also percent of this group votes regularly.
regarded by many as a role model, is cam- EMILY's List attempts to encourage female
paigning all over the map for the Democrats - a traditionally underrepre-
Democratic Party. Rivers credited Steinem sented group - to give a good showing in
with opening doors through which she is the election.
now able to walk. Women comprise 52 per- EMILY's List is one attempt to even out
cent of the U.S. population but only hold 10 the amount of funding that female candi-
percent of congressional seats. By cam- dates are able to receive. Women typically
paigning together, Steinem and Rivers set are unable to generate as much traditional
an example for young women interested in campaign funding as men. Therefore,
politics and even those out of the arena who EMILY's List attempts to push the funding
want to see women hold more political to a more equal level. When women run for
positions. office, they have a considerably harder time
There are considerably fewer females winning, partially due to the lack of fund-
than males campaigning for office, and ing.
even fewer incumbents. One of the many Young females have not always had such
difficulties female politicians face is gath- powerful, confident, strong role models as
ering the funding necessary to run an effec- Steinem and Rivers. This is an important
tive campaign. Female politicians can step in boosting confidence of growing
receive some of the necessary funding girls. When they have role models to look
through an organization known as EMILY's up to, they are able to set goals much high-
List. EMILY's List, an acronym for Early er. With the number of female politicians
Money Is Like Yeast (allowing dough to increasing by the election, young women
rise), targets pro-choice Democratic female have the opportunity to notice that involve-
candidates and supports them in three ways. ment in politics could be a career.
First, EMILY's List raises campaign con- Organizations like EMILY's List help to
tributions. Members of the EMILY's List increase the number of female politicians.
network choose from a list of recommended Given a chance to gain equal representa-
candidates and contribute $100 or more to tion, women could surprise people with
at least two candidates of their choice. their ideas and canabilities.

'1 think what a president can do Is to help the
community understand the challenges.'
- University presidential candidate Larry
Faulkner to the Board of Regents Monday
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Teaching values
Michigan pushes church and state rule

IT he Michigan State Board of Education
currently is attempting to blur the sep-
aration between church and state. On
Thursday, the board passed the "Policy on
Character" by a vote of 6-1 to encourage
state public schools to teach certain values.
Despite challenges to the policy, unconsti-
tutional references to religion remain.
On the surface, the policy could be
acceptable. It promotes the teaching of such
values as respect ,and citizenship, and chal-
lenges K-12 students to become conscious
of and abide by the U.S. Constitution. These
are subjects that must have a place in all
school curricula.
However, the board's move contradicts
itself by violating the Constitution to incor-
porate religious values in a public school
education. Board President Clark Durant
(R-Grosse Pointe) said it's as important to
teach what the nation's early leaders have
thought, as to teach the religious values that
influenced their thoughts. In fact, a section
of the policy's preamble quotes George
Washington as saying, "Religion and
morality are indispensable supports for the
political prosperity. ... We ought to be no
less persuaded that the propitious smiles of
Heaven can never be expected on a nation
that disregards the eternal rules of order and
right which Heaven itself has ordained."
The "Preamble," after addressing prob-
lems in education and school curricula,
concludes that "our body politic is in a grip
of a political crisis, a crisis of the American
character" due to the lack of proficiency in
the understanding of history. The approach
confuses the problems in education with
problems with character. Providing a "char-
.,i'.sptr icatinI" trint cnlve; thex nrr~hljmg

a more comprehensive lesson of American
history, that such stories as the life of
Moses would be taught.
Currently, Michigan has no policy on the
implementation of such teachings - yet
the state board has significant influence
over Michigan's schools. Its members, who
serve elected eight-year terms, oversee the
Michigan Education Department and hire
the superintendent. The board also receives
orders from the Legislature to develop cer-
tain policies, such as the controversial char-
ter schools and schools of choice.
Members' philosophies matter, and the
November election could decide the direc-
tion of the board's policies.
The line between church and state is
sometimes hard to keep in sight. When con-
sidering which values to present, public
teachers may have difficulty teaching the
tenets of a religion without actually teach-
ing the religion. The U.S. Supreme Court
deems comparative religion an appropriate
and necessary part of education; religious
teachings remain unconstitutional.
The American Civil Liberties Union
warned that if religion continues to be pro-
moted in schools, many Michigan school
districts would face lawsuits for the viola-
tion of church-state guidelines. "School
Boards need to spend money in the class-
room and not in the courtroom," said
Wendy Wagenheim, the Michigan
Legislative Affairs Director of the ACLU.
According to the National School
Boards Association, Michigan is a national
trend-setter in education; other states look
to it for social policy test cases. When the
state board addresses the "character" of its
sehilnts_ it mus't maintain respect fnr 'secii-

work 'idiotic'
I am writing in response
to the idiotic cartoon by
James Lasser that appeared
in the Daily last Wednesday
("Sharp as Toast," 10/23/96).
I think that his attempt to
make light of the very serious
situation that occurred last
week at the Theta Chi frater-
nity house is extremely
deplorable. Alcohol abuse is
a serious problem on college
campuses across the nation.
The young woman who was
taken to emergency could
have been seriously harmed.
To turn this serious incident
into a silly fraternity joke
was an extremely irresponsi-
ble act on Lasser's part.
Lasser's role as a fraternity
president on campus
demands a more responsible
response to this tragedy. I
challenge him to participate
in upcoming Alcohol
Awareness Week activities to
educate himself on the seri-
ousness of these issues. It is
time for our leadership on
this campus to "put down the
bottle" and lead us in finding
alternative ways to have fun.
The alcohol abuse must end.
Sheldon for
A2 mayor
I am writing this letter in
support of incumbent Mayor
Ingrid Sheldon.
In the past two years as
the City Liaison from the
Michigan Student Assembly
to City Council, I have had
numerous occasions to work
with the mayor and witness
her support to working with
student issues and involving
students in the city. Some
members of Council hold the
opinion that students, at best
seen as "temporary" residents
should not be as actively
The first sign of dedica-
tion from the mayor that I
witnessed was regarding the
safety of students. Sheldon
worked extensively on behalf
of students with University
administrators to lobby for
funding for more streetlights
in student areas. When the
University didn't come
through with any funding,
Mayor Sheldon still put up
the streetlights - at the city's
expense - on the corner of
Washtenaw and Hill and at
Washtenaw and Vinewood.
Mayor Sheldon came through
for students.
Later that year, when the

Commission for Increasing
Safety for Women, Sheldon
appointed two students to
serve. Sheldon is a commit-
ted force to involving stu-
dents at the highest levels of
decision making in the city.
Finally, Sheldon has been
available to students. She is
always willing to meet with
me, speak on campus, come
to MSA meetings, meet stu-
dents and work toward an
increasingly good relation-
ship among the city and stu-
Ingrid Sheldon is a force
for students in city govern-
ment and should be returned
to office so she can continue
to fight for students.
Daily ignores
School of
Social Work
I am writing in response
to your recent article in Fall
Outlook ("'U' stacks up for
grad, professional schools,"
10/24/96)>about graduate
school options at the
I was happy to see that
the U.S. News & World
Report ratings were finally
acknowledged, but I'd like to
point out a glaring omission:
the School of Social Work.
When the undergraduate pro-
gram in the School of
Business Administration
receiveda No. I ranking, the
Daily gave it front-page cov-
erage. The MBA, political
science, law, medicine and
other "top 10" programs were
highlighted in an article as
Yet the School of Social
Work, the only University
graduate program to receive a
No. I ranking, isn't even
mentioned. Not only was
there no acknowledgement in
the article itself, but the
.Daily failed to even include
the School of Social Work in
the list of programs and their
rankings. This is an insult to
the faculty, staff and students
who have worked to make the
School of Social Work the
best of the best.
Go Bob Dole!
As we approach election
day, I find it fascinating to
talk to my friends and listen
to who they are going to vote
for and why. I guess the
theme I hear over and over
again is that yeah, Clinton
sucks, but Bob Dole isn't any

trend that is very comparable
to a ship without a rudder.
Any man that can go from
allowinghomosexuals in the
military and trying to nation-
alize our health care in 1993,
and then passing the anti-gay
marriage bill and sweeping
welfare reform this past sum-
mer must have really had a
political change of heart or
more likely, no principle,
character or backbone. He
blatantly lies about the
Republicans' plan to reduce
the growth of Medicare, forc-
ing both sides to turn the
issue into a war of rhetoric.
The Republican Congress
saw last year as a perfect
time to have an educated
debate about changes to
Medicare, but instead the
president used the issue as a
catapult to revive his failing
I'm not sure if you've
heard or not, but Medicare
will be bankrupt early next
century. If you listen to the
president, he makes you
believe that Republicans are
just slashing Medicare
because they enjoy seeing old
people die on the streets.
How can he honestly look at
himself in the mirror. These
are the markings of an indi-
vidual who cares not for our
country or us, but only his
place in history as a two term
Another issue that I raise
when discussing the Clinton
administration is the number
of scandals that have rocked
the White House. The answer
I receive from most friends is
that, well everyone does that
sort of thing in politics.
Well shame on us if we
become so desensitized to the
wrong doings of our national
leaders that we think this is
normal. Yes, there has been
scandals in different adminis-
trations in both parties, and
the main ones that come to
mind are Watergate and the
Iran-Conta Affair. Well, the
Republicans paid for both of
these in court. At least these
scandals were not abuses of
power that had one thing in
mind, economic benefit.
Sure, Ollie North has a
good living giving speeches
now, but how about Clinton
administration Secretaries
Cisneros, Espy and the late
Ron Brown, who were
accused of receiving Large
amounts of money because of
their high-ranking positions.
Janet Reno and Hillary
Clinton could write books on
how to abuse positions of
power. Travelgate, Filegate,
the Bosnian-Iran arms deal
and now the Indonesian polit-
ical contribution scandal are
just a few of the different
scandals for the White
I hate writing these kind
of letters because I think
everyone should be able to
make their own educated
nnininnnc nn l tcn cur f

~ otidaysare bad times for cranky
snotty, difficult people (read:
me). Thanksgiving and Christmas con-
sist of one day of actual family fun and
togetherness and 12 days of subdued,
seething loathing for whole branches
of your family and dirty looks over
turkey and
eggnog, respec-
tively It's hard to
think about peace
on earth and good-
will toward men
when all you want
is to knock down
your obnoxious
uncle and roast his
chestnuts over an
open fire. J
But Halloween is MILLER
different. People MLE
nowadays are
expected to be screwed up about the
big-ticket holidays. But everyone loves
Halloween. Right? Who could say ary-
thing bad about the one day out of the
year when children get to indulge their
imaginations and run around free and
unworried about receiving candy from
strangers? Who could say anything bad
about adults dressing up in silly cloth-
ing and engaging in some slightly
puerile fun? Watch.
Maybe my hatred of Halloween
comes from my childhood. When I
was in the second grade, I made the
horrible strategic error of dressing up
as a ghost when everyone that year,
freshly inspired by the movie, was
dressingup as a Ghosbuster Blieve
me, if you ever get the chance to be a
short, skinny, dorky second-grader
with that kind of unfortunate costum-
ing, skip it. I would have been better
off with a bull's-eye on my chest and a
big sign proclaiming, "Too stupid to
live. Please beat the snot out of me and
take my candy at your convenience."
But I digress. Back to the matter at
if Halloween were truly the imagina-
tive holiday it was supposed to be, that
would be worth something. But
instead of a Kipling-esque exercise in
creative thinking, Halloween often
winds up looking like a merchandising
convention from the south side of hell.
Exactly how am I supposed to be
impressed with a spoiled, recalcitrant
little whelp who appears at my door in
a cheap Garfield mask with orange
plastic wrapped around his bodyshove
ing a pillowcase at me? Gone are
days of tin foil-wrapped kids mas-
querading as baked potatoes, the cork.
smeared faces of seven-year-old hobos
and the bedsheet ghosts of Charlie
Brown lore. It certainly dims my candy-
doling feelings when the adorable little
rugrat at my door is wearing a Michael
Jordan mask. Creativity should be the
price of admission for an evening of
unrestricted vandalism and confe-
tionery panhandling.
But my unreserved contempt is saved
for my peers, the college crowd. The
weekend before Halloween is often
filled with costume parties and the
like, everywhere from the c Wost
house parties. Now, I'm as big a fan as
anybody of the "any reason is a good
reason" rationale for having a party.
But have you ever been to any of these
parties? Sad is not the word.The level of
participation is disgusting. This is te
one night of the year when it is allowed
to dress up in the goofiest clothing pos-

sible, pour grain alcohol over your head,
attack a keg of Health Code Violation
brand beer and generally behave like a
total animal. And we blow it.
Nobody dresses up. Nobody really
even makes the effort. There are a few
die-hards. I saw one guy who had cut a
hole in the bottom of a laundry ham-
per, attached it to his waist and cov4
ered his shirt with old socks. He was
Dirty Laundry guy. My friend colored
most of his skin green, glued bolts to
his neck and went as Frankenstein.
Now that's dedication.
But most of the chowder-headed,
beer-swilling dilettantes I see have just
given up. You'll see them, plastic Cup
in hand, hovering over the keg looking
like they just wandered out of a psych
lecture. Or Rick's for that matter.
"Hey, who are you suppo sed to be?'"
"Qh I thought I'd go as fleevc-weanng,
Natty Light-drinking, U-Va. hat, hemp
necklace, Dave Matthews T-shirt guy"
"I thought so. I saw you come in
with crimson lipstick, clog-wearing;
Sbulimic, Jeep-driving, $100 for a dime
bag, Visa-packing, Back Room clog-
ging, tanning-booth-living Long
Islander. You look good together. Have
you seen the guys who came as Hooti4
and the Blowfish?"
Maybe living in East Quad has
ruined Halloween for me. The whole
point of the holidays is to dress up and
behave in a manner that you don't get
to every day. To do something differ-



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