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November 11, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-11

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 11, 1996

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S42Q. aynard Street
Ani 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 Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily refleet the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Dangerous del
Rose must sell students' decision to regents

'It's time for our generation to have
a voice on the political scene.'
- University Law School alum Harold Ford Jr, a 26-ear-old Democrat from
Tennessee, commenting about the meaning of his recent election to Congress
9 a
t G1 1
Searching for a delicate balance

O n Nov. 20 and 21, students will elect
representatives to the Michigan
Student Assembly. In addition, they will get
a chance to raise student government fees
by more than 100 percent. In three separate
ballot proposals, MSA will ask students for
for an extra $3.50 per term - $1 per term
to support general MSA needs, such as the
Budget Priorities Committee's funding of
student groups, another $1 per term to pay
for individual school governments, such as
LSA Student Government, and $1.50 for
Project Serve and the Black Volunteer
Network. In a best-case scenario, students
should vote down the second and third pro-
posals, approving only the first increase. If
any of these proposals pass, they would go
before the University Board of Regents for
final approval.
Students have the choice, however, to
approve any or all of the increases. MSA
President Fiona Rose already said she will
not support the $6.19 student fee before the
regents. If students want fee increases, Rose
must not oppose the students' will.
Rose's office, along with MSA Vice
President Probir Mehta's, is the only student
office on campus for which the entire stu-
dent body can vote. As such, it is the only
position with a mandate to speak for all stu-
dents. After years of intense lobbying by
past MSA presidents, the regents granted
students an official representative to the
board - regents bestowed the responsibili-
ty upon the MSA president for that very
reason. If students choose to increase the
fees through ballot referendum, then Rose,

as MSA president and as the only student
voice at the regents' table, must support that
decision. To go against referendum results,
and not support the fee increases, would
contradict Rose's very purpose.
Rose tries to maintain a good relation-
ship with the administration and regents -
and in honor of that relationship, the regents
may accept any recommendation she makes
about these fees, regardless of how students
vote. However, the office of MSA president
would suffer greatly if it were seen to
undermine, rather than uphold, the voice of
students. Moreover, if the MSA president
cannot live up to her duties as student rep-
resentative to the Board of Regents, stu-
dents and regents should look for another
liaison to convey student interests.
Students already question the effective-
ness of MSA and its budgetary processes.
Roughly 10 percent of students care enough
to vote in MSA elections as it is - such a
move would further diminish student confi-
dence in MSA.
To argue against the fees before the elec-
tion is one thing. To actively misrepresent
the voice of students, in case the fees are
approved, would be a grave error.
If Rose really feels the proposed fees are
unreasonable, she should lobby against the
increases and educate students on each pro-
posal. Raising awareness of the ballot issues
should have the added benefit of increased
student participation in the MSA elections.
If Rose is unsuccessful at this task, perhaps
she should work harder next time, rather
than threaten to betray a student choice.

Hanging from the tower
Berkeleycommunity protests Prop. 209

Tomorrow morning, the
University Board Of Regents
will ask Provost Lee Bollinger
of Dartmouth College to
become the 12th president of
the University - capping a
sometimes controversial, but
always well-meaning presi-
dential search. The selection
having been made, it is seem-
ly to reflect on a process
derailed midjourney by three
newspapers who called the
search "a speeding train ...
engulfed in secrecy" (The
Ann Arbor News, 10/20/96).
Lest the voice of students is
lost in thevpost-selection shuf-
fle, we share our thoughts on
the tug-of-war for governance
of our school.
Both parties - three
newspapers on one side, eight
regents on the other - aimed
for the same end: protection
of the public interest. Their
methods for achieving this
end were different, but not
incompatible. One party was
unwilling to abandon its
"commitment to open govern-
ment," while the other was
desirous of private interviews
allowing discussion of sensi-
tive matters.
The joint Detroit News,
Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor
News lawsuit was brought
forth, according to Ann Arbor
News editor Ed Petykiewicz,
only as a "reluctant last
option," seen by the three
papers as necessary in the face
of "secret interviews." These
media seem to view privacy as
anathema to open governance.
To them, what is best for the
- Rose and Mehta are
MSA president and
vice president. Both are
LSA juniors.

University is fully scrutinized
discussion of candidates' mer-
On the otherthand, the
regents maintain that such a
constrained process threatens
to dissuade certain would-be
candidates. They point to the
absurdity of preventing a can-
didate from speaking privately
with his/her potential boss
before the hiring is made. In
the eyes of the current board,
what is best for the University
is a mix of public and private
sessions - the former
designed to invite questions
and input from the people, the
latter to provide more candid
open and closed
meetings would

involved students from the
start: two able students were
selected by the Michigan
Student Assembly to serve as
full-fledged members of the
Presidential Search Advisory
Committee; and as part of the
University's original plan, stu-
dents were invited to ask
questions of candidates at
open town hall meetings.
We understand the merits
of public participation, and
are pleased that the violations
of the last search have not
been repeated. However, we
understand too that high-pro-
file candidates face practical
repercussions in their present
positions, and for this reason,
they should be allowed priva-
cy in discussing sensitive mat-

Last week, students from the University
of California at Berkeley stormed their
campus to demonstrate against Proposition
209, which bars state institutions from
ising affirmative action policies. The
proposition is deplorable and Berkeley is
now in serious danger of losing valuable
students - the admission board must with-
lold $1.1 million in scholarships given out
b sed on race and ethnicity. Students are
doing the right thing by peacefully protest-
ipg the passage of a proposition that will
only hurt Californians.
Berkeley students are entitled to stand
up for what they believe - even better,
Berkeley faculty, staff and other communi-
ty members joined the demonstration
against Prop. 209. Students marched
through the main campus singing songs of
freedom. They stormed the Campanile -
berkeley's equivalent to the University's
Burton Tower - and then a few students
chained themselves to it. Students who
could not get to the top of the tower camped
out around it.
For the most part, students have done an
effective job protesting Prop. 209. Only 54
percent of the voting population favored the
proposition, which is far from an over-
Whelming endorsement. Protesting students
have a great deal of support - nearly half
the population of California is on their side.
These techniques are visible, positive
and effective means of demonstration, and
they show that students made a choice to
take peaceful actions against the proposi-
tion. Last week's actions may lead the
University of California regents and a
majority of the state's voters to reconsider
Their abandonment of affirmative action.
Other students, however, chose irrespon-
sible - and ineffective - tactics. They
stole the entire 23,000-copy press run of

Without speech,
we become
immune to our
own racism
It's winter. Halloween is over,
Thanksgiving is coming and the
stores have put out the Christmas dec-
orations. I even
got out my boots
when I saw a few
flakes of snow
The windoweAN
between me and
the snow insulates
from the weather
along the season
comes that false
sense of security ADRIENNE
from hiding inside JAN NEY
heated homes and
warm clothes.
But on the still-sunny West Coast,
The Daily Californian at UC-Berkeley
feels no such sense of security.
Last week, a group disagreeing with
one of the student newspaper's editori-
als stole the entire press run of thg
paper before most students had their
morning doses of espresso. That's
2 3,000 copies.
Of course, the editorial was wrong.
Yes, I said wrong. The piece supported
California's Proposition 209, which
aimed to wipe the state colorblind. Uh-
The University of California's
regents shocked colleges across the
country last year by adopting an anti4
affirmative action policy. Fortunately,
our regents are not so stupid.
Apparently, the climate is a little dif-
ferent out there. So different that the
student newspaper concurred after a 6
to 5 vote of its senior editorial board.
I'll take Michigan weather any day.
But that's just my opinion. Yes, I said
opinion. As it was The Daily
Californian's opinion. We're all enti-
tied. And we can even write about it.
But stealing information away from
the public is more wrong than an edi-
torial page could ever hope to be. Most
of us would have a hard time listening
to anyone who insults our intelligence
- who won't allow us to read the facts
and the analysis.
The editorial certainly wouldn't have
changed my mind about affirmative
action.But then again, I'm informed.
The Daily Californian will no
change its position. The state will not
relax its affirmative action stance. And
it's not going to snow in Berkeley.
Finally, someone had a better idea.
Berkeley students stormed
Berkeley's Campanile tower -and six
of them chained themselves to it.
(Nice touch.) Police made no arrests
and local businesses donated food -
it was a community effort.
And the protesters didn't just criti
cize the newspaper. They called for
administrators to respond to a list of
demands, and for the state to repeal
Proposition 209 - and "eject" those
who created it, The Daily Californian
(The protesters, lit by their own
intensity, also threw a temper tantrum
on the way back from the Campanile.
They trashed newspaper racks and
burned copies of The Daily
Californian. Perhaps by the nexi
protest, they will have passed the terri-
ble twos.)
Protesters also focused on free

speech. Amen.
Instead of taking that right away
from others - directly or indirectly -
you've got to find a better way to com-
municate. You've got to respond, not
The editors of The Daily Cal have
had a hard week, I imagine. J
empathize with the loss of their last
Monday's edition. But I can't help but
breathe a sigh of relief that people
reacted to that editorial on the form of
loud and vocal protest.
You've got to speak louder, and bet-
ter, than the racists - that's the way to
muzzle them. Ah, yes. I said racists.
That's the issue here we've all been
skirting, isn't it?
Racism. .
Colorblindness, in my eyes, is
And racism isn't a phenomenon for
which any of us can shirk responsibil-
ity - myself included. A protester
called the Campanile an "ivory tower
of elitism." I am painfully aware of the
position from which I write, insulated
from my whiteness in this column
space. I am observing from my own
Those who stole newspapers at
Berkeley may not have columns, but
they have words and intelligence that
they did not put to use.
Those who protested at Berkeley
used their resources well.

of Prop. 209. The theft was akin to censor-
ship, preventing students from obtaining
information from the free press. Berkeley
students should stick to protests.
The theft was the third major incident in
recent memory - The Michigan Daily last
year and the University of Pennsylvania's
The Daily Pennsylvanian the year before.
While most University of Michigan stu-
dents, faculty and administrators would
fight to uphold affirmative action -
including The Daily - stealing newspapers
does nothing for the cause except show the
fighters to be unintelligent. This is a dis-
concerting trend that threatens students
right to information.
The student body must continue to
demonstrate peacefully and positively.
Prop. 209 may harm Berkeley's future stu-
dent populations, but current students must
realize they carry the torch of freedom for
their school. They must not extinguish their
freedoms with damaging demonstrations.
About 20 student activists may be lead-
ing the way. On Thursday, these students
used campus media to stress their discon-
tent, instead of interfering with it. Their
views were broadcast on WKLX, the
Berkeley radio station, and their message
reached a wide variety of students and
members of the Berkeley community.
Speaking out and sharing information is the
best way to support a cause. Selectively
blocking the media is the worst way to
accomplish these ends.
Therefore, they must continue the fight
- not only throughout their campus, but
throughout the nation. Without protest,
other states may copy California's proposi-
tion - and other college campuses may
mirror the newspaper thefts.
Peaceful, positive and sound demonstra-
tion is an effective means of clearly com-

work best, It is frustrating that The
Detroit News, after arguing
discussion of the job between that private interviews be
candidate and regents. struck from the process, has
From a student's point of complained of the mediocrity
view, the intention of the of the finalists, calling them
newspapers is admirable: Still "B List." On the contrary, we
haunted by violations of the feel that the four provosts con-
Open Meetings Act in the sidered comprise an "A List"
1987-88 University presiden- of candidates.
tial search, they wished to pre- Doomsday predictions
vent "personal agendas play- notwithstanding, the open
ing too much of a role in the search - though "virgin tern-
selection ..."' and to ensure tory" for the Board of Regents
that "what is best for the uni- - did not churn out a
versity" is decided "on the mediocre 12th president, nor
basis of public discussion" was it a "shot in the dark." The
(Detroit Free Press, 10/31196). University has in Bollinger a
However, the regents have a champion of undergraduate
point in that they, as duly elect- education, a defender of intel-
ed representatives of the voters, lectual freedom and a friend
should have the freedom to con- to public universities.
duct a portion of the search out- Nevertheless, we hope that the
side the public glare. search for the University's
As students, we know well 13th president will strike a
the importance of making our better balance between open
needs heard in University and closed, inviting participa-
decisions. Thus, we seek to tion of the public while allow-
have some say in the gover- ing for private discussion of
nance of the school we love. sensitive matters between can-
In fact, the process in question didates and the board.


Praise for
govt, articles
With the election over, I
believe that there are two
people on this campus who
deserve thanks from all of us
for the wonderful job they
did keeping us informed
about the election. Laurie
Mayk and Jennifer Harvey
contributed much time and
effort to chasing down candi-
dates, writing stories against
deadlines and working
impossible hours. Thank you
for the great job you did.
I would also like to thank
Dean Bakopoulos for his col-
umn about the College
Republicans ("Dole is a good
man,"1 1/7/96). True, we do
not see eye to eye with Dean
on virtually any issue, but we
do respect his opinions and
ideas. To praise our efforts in
mobilizing the Republicans

the Constitution of this coun-
try. Hillary Clinton may have
"intelligence and political
savvy," but you forget what
she doesn't have. That would
be an office.
The people of this coun-
try elect Congress and the
president. Then these people
appoint officials to do other
duties. This process has been
evident in the last couple
weeks and will be evident
even better in the next couple
of weeks. We have just fin-
ished the election of these
individuals, including
Clinton. Now in the next cou-
ple days, we'll get to see
Clinton appoint new cabinet
members to replace those
leaving. This is a process we
should all be familiar with.
The president and the author
of the editorial obviously are
not. Mrs. Clinton has not
been elected to any office. I
do notrbelieve that she has
run for an office since she
ran for president of her col-

come from? She doesn't have
the right. She has been given
power where it is unconstitu-
tional to give her power. She
doesn't have any right to
"guide and help implement
improvements on the current
It has been said that
Republicans hate Hillary
because she is a strong
woman - this is a lie.
Republicans just realize that
she has no right to do what
she's been doing. The main
reason Hillary was hidden
was her stark contrast to
Elizabeth Dole. Mrs. Dole
has just as much "intelli-
gence and political savvy" as
Mrs. Clinton, but she has
actually been appointed to
her offices. She gained politi-
cal power through her hard
work and determination not
through her husband. If
women's-rights activists want
a liberated woman it's Mrs.
Dole for gaining power on

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