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November 14, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-14

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 14, 1996

420 Maynard Street RONNIE GLASSBERG
Ann Arbor, Mi 48109 b Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ADRIENNE JANNEY
students at the ZACHARY M. RAIMI
University of Michigan 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 reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Regents should approve childcare program
T oday, the Childcare Task Force will the meantime, more than 1,500 students liv-
present its long-awaited report to the ing in Family Housing or off-campus
University Board of Regents. After several accommodations have suffered a lack of
months of study, the task force will state sufficient, affordable childcare.
how the regents can best address student And the present system needs repair.
childcare concerns. Due to the lack of ade- Currently, the University offers six child-
quate, inexpensive childcare presently care assistance options - all of which stu-
available on campus, the regents should dent-parents say are not economically feasi-
implement the program. ble. Students have enough trouble paying
In last spring's Michigan Student for rent and books - let alone paying for
Assembly election, the students voted in childcare. Concern for the minute-to-
favor of allocating a fee of $1 per student, minute well-being of a child does not foster
per term to improve childcare options for an environment conducive to learning for
students with children. Then, last June, the parent - if the University can solve this
Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann Arbor) problem, it should. The $1 per term fee
derailed the changes, after MSA President increase will help the University create bet-
Fiona Rose, also the student representative ter opportunities for student-parents.
to the Board of Regents, brought the plan to Revamping and consolidating existing
the regents. McGowan said she didn't want programs into a more comprehensive plan
to solve the problem "in one stroke for only is an excellent idea - as long as it is qual-
a handful of the members of the communi- ity childcare. The regents must act quickly
ty." The task force was thus created to deter- on the programs set forth by the task force
mine the best way to solve childcare prob- to ensure that student-parents do not have to
lems for the University community. spend another semester in financial straits,
If the student body is willing to lend distracted from their studies.
financial suppo-t, the regents should fulfill Because the regents and the task force
students' wishes. If not, the board is effec- have left more than 1,000 people in the
tively undermining the students' choice on lurch for the past several months, they must
this matter, which directly affects them. make sure that the programs are implement-
Tomorrow's actions will create a prece- ed soon. The ultimate design should suc-
dent for the future of the University's child- cessfully resolve the student-parents' con-
care decisions. But the precedent is long in cerns. The students have demonstrated they
coming. By the time the new programs are willing to incur the additional fee -
would take effect - winter 1997 at the ear- now the regents must act. They owe it not
liest - almost a year would have passed only to students with children, but also to
since students voted in favor of the fee. In the student body.

'Everyone is so excited that
you're coming. Coming back.'
-Regent Andrea Fischer Newman (R-Ann Arbor) talking to University
President-select Lee Bollinger at his official welcome yesterday
° Mo 're uP a N41H.
ANDwiEW6 a c
cN ~'E Ac
o C1At'E...
'j Cut'C 4K E L

Armed services m
R ecently, the U.S. Army filed charges
against five military trainers at the
Aberdeen Proving Ground, a preparatory
facility near Baltimore, Md. The men faced
accusations of sexually harassing at least a
dozen women during training. Although the
Army is taking positive steps to ensure a
friendlier environment, Aberdeen's pattern
of harassment cannot be allowed to contin-
ue elsewhere. Closer supervision of Army
facilities is essential.
At Aberdeen, officials filed criminal
charges against three men and administra-
tive charges against two more. The charges
against the men range from sending inap-
propriate love letters to rape. It's possible
that officials will press more charges - 15
other officers were placed on paid adminis-
trative duty as a result of the investigation.
Such frequent discrimination could not
have emerged at Aberdeen overnight.
An Army phone hotline, set up at
Aberdeen last Thursday, already has fielded
more than 2,000 additional harassment
complaints, from Aberdeen and elsewhere.
Other branches of the armed services are
plagued by similar problems. For example,
the Navy Tailhook scandal implicated 70
officers in the assault of at least 26 women.
Machismo military culture appears to breed
a disturbingly high incidence of criminal
sexual conduct. The armed services must
forge a new culture, one adapted to attain
gender equity.
Often, in the armed services, women
have no means to expose harassment with-
out personal endangerment. In some cases,
the danger is physical. One of the instruc-
tors at Aberdeen threatened to. kill three
trainees if they told supervisors he was hav-
ing sex with them. More often, ambitious
women are forced to endure sexual harass-
ment to advance in rank - or at least to
prevent stagnation or demotion. A woman,
k1 +rnirn Ar n aAwn vnnpc frn cnerinr

gust end harassment

evaluation. Furthermore, if she files a com-
plaint against her supervisor to a higher
officer, she will probably find the "good
old boys" network very much alive.
Rear Admiral George W. Davis VI, the
officer in charge of the Tailhook investiga-
tion, did not discipline Tailhook convention
attendees because he believed the public
would perceive such actions as a "witch
hunt." In other words, he resents efforts to
correct problems in a centuries-old military
Although the military forced Davis to
resign because of these actions, his senti-
ments may mirror those of many officers.
Any woman pressing sexual harassment
charges could face a number of male offi-
cers who would deliberately hamper her
advancement. To hold military sexual
harassment in check, reform must start at
the top.
All personnel, ranging from plebes to
high-ranking officers, must receive com-
prehensive and ongoing gender sensitivity
training. As of now, the military has
received 56 complaints of sexual harass-
ment involving Aberdeen. Armed forces
supervisors must be held more accountable
for their personnel. Just as important, lines
of communication must stay open. Soldiers
should feel free to report any sexual harass-
ment incidents without fear of reprisals.
Aberdeen and Tailhook display clear lack of
institutional control - which means that
the incidents are likely not isolated to one
or two bases.
Sexual harassment traditionally has
been intertwined with the military culture.
As gender equity becomes the societal
norm, the military, as evidenced at
Aberdeen and Tailhook, has been slow to
adjust. Although efforts such as the hotline
show promise, the armed services must
enact permanent measures. The institution-
al hahit must he to assre that women

'U' should
salt walks
instead of
using sand
As I walked outside today
(11/12/96), I said to myself,
"Hey, this is nice. A blanket
of snow on the grass, a cool
breeze blowing." But when I
looked down at my feet, I
stopped. No, it couldn't be.
But it was.
Sand, on the sidewalk.
Someone purposefully
poured sand onto the side-
I asked myself, "What
good does this do?" As I slid
down the sidewalk, I began to
yearn for the days when I
walked on salt-covered side-
walks back in Normalsville,
USA. As I nearly fell on my
butt, I recalled the way the
salt grabbed my feet and
planted them firmly onto the
ice. Whoa, careful, the sand
was carrying me down the
sidewalk for a moment.
Wait, what do I see in the
distance? Oh no, someone
running on the sidewalk,
obviously trying to get to
class by 10-after. Careful,
keep your balance. Ouch.
Are you alright?
Geez, can't the University
at least try salt out for a trial
period? I'd much rather see
salt on my floor than sand
plus melted snow and ice any
Daily should
improve MSA
For the next 10 days'
this campus will be over-
come by bright, promising
posters, cute quarter-sheets
in the diag and bold chalk-
ings proclaiming progres-
sive change.
Yes, the Michigan
Student Assembly elections
are once again upon us.
I am one of the brave
souls who has thrown my hat
in the ring as I vie to retain
my current position as the
School of Education
Representative to MSA.
I am not writing this letter
as a plea for votes (although I
wouldn't mind gaining a few)
but to urge you, the editors of
perhaps the single most influ-
ential publication on this
campus, to take a stronger,
more informative role in
these important elections.
Every day, thousands of
students rush to class,
sometimes forgetting books
and notebooks, but always
with a Daily in hand. Thus

run a special spread, inviting
individual candidates to sub-
mit a short description of
himself or herself and a way
to be contacted.
Thus, students have
something, written by the
candidate, on which to base
their vote and a way to ask
questions of the candidates,
making us more account-
able for what we say. In this
election year, we have seen
the interest the students have
in the issues that affect us.
Let's carry the energy on to
our own elections. In this
spirit, a forum is being
planned at Mary Markley
Hall at which candidates
can speak and students can
ask questions of them.
Being the leader of bringing
students information that
they need, the Daily should
take a more active, positive
role in MSA elections than
just party endorsements.
After reading Jed
Christiansen's letter to the
editor ("Edit Photos'd
11/13/96),1I was appalled that
Christiansen would feel that
the photo in question was
I believe that the photo
really captured the essence of
every Michigan football fan's
feelings. I think you're doing
a good job and keep it up!
Cartoon was
Once again I find myself
questioning the purpose and
goals of The Michigan Daily.
In the "Ground Zero" car-
toon (11/12/96), the cartoon-
ist asserts that one way to
figure out winter is coming is
by "realizing that bluebook
exams werenot named for
their color, but for the color
of your skin."
Who is this hypothetical
"your?" There are a signifi-
cant number of students at
the University to whom that
doesn't apply, including
African American, Asian,
Indian, Latin American stu-
dents and many others. I find
the idea that "my" skin color
will turn blue as a result of
the cold weather offensive, as
if to imply that we live in a
community consisting of only
light (blue?!)-skinned people.
While this is simply
-nnthr nn nin h

must not be
burdened to
help a few
I find myself very disap-
pointed with the comments
made by law student Joshua
Turner with regard to child-
care. In his letter ("'U' child-
care will reduce other costs,;
11/7/96), he states, "If the
University does not provide
childcare, we, as members of
the community will still incur
This statement is made on
the mistaken assumption that
the University is meant to
solve every problem. The
University is not supposed to
be a welfare center. If you
increase student fees to pay
for infant/childcare, you are
taxing the poorest members
of the community - students
- in order to provide social
Why should a student
whose employment future is
uncertain incur debt to pay
for someone else's child?
I know for a fact that
there already exists federal
and state-funded welfare pro-
grams that pay for day care
for the children of students.
In fact, I am good friends
with someone who receives
subsidized childcare while
she attends the University.
Please tell me why this
burden should be transferred
from those currently in the
work force to unemployed
individuals with a negative
financial worth only sur-
passed by the U.S. govern-
Turner also states that,
"we ... should recognize the
courage it takes for the single
parent to try and go beyond
that mistake by going to
school ."
This so-called courage is
as commendable as saying
that if a drunk driver kills or
cripples someone and then
seeks treatment, we should
applaud. I disagree.
I was raised on the princi-
pal that you play now and
pay later or pay now and play
later. Individuals who have
children before they can
afford it played first so why
should students pay now?
Too many students gradu-
ate from the University only
to work in low-paying jobs
and default on their student
loans. No one can justify
those loans including the cost
of caring for someone else's
Finally, I would really like
to know when this country
went from a democratic capi-
talist nation to a socialist
Less than 10 percent of
the student body supported
the childcare fee increase.

Hail, hail to Z*
Thle Weather
Its coming. Some would argue it's
already here.
Snow. Ice. Frostbite.
Winter in Michigan. Isn't it wonder-
Contrary to pop-
ular complaint,
the weather is one
of my favorite
things about living
in Michigan.
Getting to class in
Michigan winters
is an action-
adventure thriller
- much like navi-
gating the corn- ER
mute from I-94 toM MARSH
central campus on
a football Saturday, but with less grid-
lock and more profanity.
Students develop an active interest in
the weather when it's cold - type,
size, weight and configuration ofsnow
becomes a significant topic of conver-
sation. The newfound seasonal interest
in temperature and precipitation even
November leads avid weather connoW
seurs everywhere to the greatest inven-
tion of the 20th century: The Weather
FirstCof all, The Weather Channel
should be worshiped and revered for
the sheer quantity of procrastination
potential it provides. You can watch
hours upon hours of some of the least
mentally taxing information available
on television. An afternoon of Weather
Channel watching provides no issu
no wars, no politics, no sports gam
- and yet it still manages to be cul-
turally relevant and engaging.
For example, Weather Channel cor-
respondents demonstrate the art of
taking pride in their jobs. They have a
great work ethic. Think about it and
evaluate your ability to sit and talk
about the weather all day. "Nobody
could do that," you think.
And yet, there they are, those pill
of strength, bringing you the humidiW
statistics for Hackensack, N.J., day in,
day out.
Not only do they tirelessly report
useless news, they will suffer the most
difficult environmental conditionsto
do so. Correspondents report from the
middle of hurricanes, with torrential
rains and gale-force winds and an
impending tsunami, clinging desper-
ately to a streetlamp and screamio
"No one is left here on the island!
National Guard has evacuated all resi-
dents! The conditions are the worst
I've ever seen! I'm not sure I can hring
on much -"
The Weather Channel offers infor-
mation you simply will not find any-
where else - and with good reason. In
daily broadcasts, it will give the "Cold
and Flu" update. This report lists cities
that are in the "red zone' or peak
and flu season. SoDetroiters,
Yorkers and Washingtonians better
keep the tissues nearby. Chicagoans
are safe for another week.
The "Pain Index" is another of these
profound reports. It lists the relative
regional humidity and predicts which
areas of the country will be particular-
ly troublesome for arthritis sufferers. I
am not kidding.
The Weather Channel also facilitates
students' imaginations. Say you w,
to plan a trip.

(This, of course, could not be a real
trip, because you are overdue on the
phone and cable bills [and you 'are
actually living in terror because the
cable gods could disconnect you from
your Weather Channel fix any day
now], you aren't sure how much cash
is left in your checking account
because you haven't balanced it since
1992, and you are facing a steady do
of Ramen until financial aid comes
through with the check it's owed you
since September. In short, you're not
exactly in the market for: a trip to
But say you were.
The Weather Channel can hook you
up with temperatures, seasonal highs,
seasonal lows, times of sunrise, sunset,
tide change and the mayor's daily
lunch appointments for virtually
city in the country. It providesm
useless information than you couldn't
use in a year.
Also, if you're not sure where your
imaginary trip will take you, The
Weather Channel helps by showing
footage of the weather in random
cities. Little video postcards, if you
will. So, you can watch the sun shine
in Macon, Ga., the rain fall in
Portland, Ore., and the wind blow*
Chicago, Ill. Maybe they're trying to
give us the impression of looking out
of other people's windows. Aaah, The
Weather Channel - bringing us all
closer together.
Lastly, The Weather Channel pro-
vides students a great service: It can

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