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November 19, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-19

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 19, 1996

Uh i S dhttn &zailg

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 Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.


with Schor

'Having to memorize some vocab words
and then spitting them out on a test - that's
no way to learn a language.'
- Students'Party Coordinator Chad Bailey
RE4wJ lWE .4
R~cwprJ4 gE4," AD s
Bur, *THE woNT is
UJ PR E DI G *d4~A-r *!0
WI i w P" 'o EA
c CI.. WEEK -.

Although weak, vote Michigan Party next

Extremists win,



f students vote for anyone in the
Michigan Student Assembly elections,
they should check the box for LSA repre-
sentative Andy Schor first. Schor has all
the qualities of an excellent representative
- as well as a solid understanding of the
assembly's role in student life. He left the
Wolverine Party to work as an independent,
and placed himself in prime position to help
students. Schor previously served as the
chair of the External Relations Committee,
concentrating lobby efforts against cuts in
federal financial aid, such as Pell grants and
direct student loans.
Schor's legislative priorities are to keep
tuition low and student aid high - and he
wants to lobby in Washington, D.C. and
Lansing. He also places great emphasis on
student representation to the board of
regents. MSA members must fight for stu-
dent interests there. "At no point is MSA
not responsible to students," Schor told The
Michigan Daily. To ensure that representa-
tives understand student interests, he sup-
ports a student vote for MSA proposals, and
endorses representative office hours.
In stark contrast to Schor, other candi-
dates and parties aim to cram wider politi-
cal aims into MSA. Nicholas Kirk, who is
running with the Victors Party for LSA rep-
resentative, is also the president of the
College Republicans. While he can moti-
vate students, he has proved to be an inef-
fective spokesperson for the CRs - for
example, his handling of the chalking con-
flict with the Queer Unity Project was less
than graceful, and he probably did not rep-
resent the views of all Republicans. Nor
does he consider any alternatives to the
straight Republican party line. Moreover,
Kirk cares more about his idea of
Republicanism than he does students.
Politics of this kind do not belong on the
In the same vein, the Liberty Party must
not gain seats on MSA. The Liberty Party's
political goal is to bring the ideology of the
national Libertarian Party to the student
level. Candidates should not regard MSA as
a place to practice national politics at the
student level - that should be left behind
with the old fact-finding missions. The
party's primary platform concern is volun-
tary student fees - it wants to make all stu-
dent government fees voluntary. Also, the
Liberty Party wants to put all MSA-funded
student groups on a ballot so students can
select the student groups that receive funds.
Operating under the guise of democracy,
the Liberty Party plan would actually elim-
inate many smaller student groups. MSA's
Budget Priorities Committee is responsible
for appropriating funds to student groups -
aside from mathematical debacles last year,
it performs its role efficiently.
One seemingly political slate, the
Nihilist Party, turns out not to live up to its
name - they do not believe in the death of
everything. The party first wanted to dis-
solve the assembly, but then decided that
MSA might actually have some use, such as
funding student groups. While the attitude
is noble, the participants still have very lit-
tle knowledge about the current govern-
ment. They think that lobbying has little

use; however, they seem a bit confused on
which issues MSA lobbies. The Nihilists
still crusade to prevent fact-finding mis-
sions - something that Michigan Party
representatives eliminated when they
gained MSA seats. In addition, they want to
trim fat in the assembly budget that the
Michigan Party leadership has already cut.
Starting over again with tired causes is

However, they raise issues to which the
entire assembly should pay attention. Ozell
Hayes, a first-year student running for LSA
representative, told the Daily, "People are
aware of all concerns of students - except
for those (of students) of color." Hayes and
the UPC are not far from the truth. They
seem to have modified their stance from
last year, when they aimed only to take on
concerns of a small number of students.
Hayes said he hopes that concerns of stu-
dents of color, such as tuition, financial aid
and other issues, "dovetail and become con-
cerns of the rest of the student body."
UPC's Kenneth Jones is chair of the
Minority Affairs Commission. For an MSA
commission, MAC is rather active, and
Jones deserves much of the credit. He
makes sure that the University community
stays in touch with minority issues through
a rigorous letter-writing campaign to the
Daily. Students should instate him as a rep.
The Students' Party, however, has not
grown. Traditionally based on opposition to
the Michigan Party, the platform is no better
this year. Its members plan to focus on non-
issues, such as eliminating weeder courses
and increasing "accountability" of academic
counselors. One of their more substantive
issues, living-learning programs, is nullified
by the actions they took to eliminate it -
they contacted lower-level University
Housing Division employees; however, the
power rests in the Office of the Vice
President for Student Affairs. The Students'
Party, despite retaining some old members
such as Jonathan Freeman and Olga Savic,
hasn't even learned how the University
works - let alone what students need.
How did they come up with their goals?
Savic told the Daily that the candidates, to
prepare the platform, had a meeting. "They
sat around in a room and they were pissed
off." Savic should know better - MSA is
student government, not group therapy.
There's no question that the Michigan
Party members are the movers and shakers of
the assembly. They have an agenda and they
get things done. However, the Michigan
Party is a little top-heavy, with President
Fiona Rose and Vice President Probir Mehta.
The Michigan Party's MSA domination has
led to overconfidence and a revolutionary
view of the assembly. While its quality plat-
form is generally in tune with the best inter-
ests of the student population, far too much
power lies within the party, which hinders the
assembly's democratic functioning. The last
couple Michigan Party victories, deserved
though they may be, dismantled the other
parties' competing mechanisms.
Moreover, Rose made a troubling state-
ment recently when she said she would not
support all of the student fee increases, if
passed. Later, she backtracked, and now she
and Mehta claim they are firmly committed
to fighting for them before the regents.
Rose's initial statements indicated that she
wanted to have more power than she should.
Rose must remember that MSA's purpose is
to represent students' wishes, not her own.
Michigan Party members Srinu
Vourganti and Michael Nagrant deserve
to be elected as LSA representatives. These
two have been able to keep the ball rolling

along from the lower end of the hierarchy.
Vourganti has been actively promoting stu-
dent interests in city council, and Nagrant is
a motivated representative.
Another candidate, Dan Serota, is run-
ning for an LSA seat, but he is little more
than cute posters and the party line. He prob-
ably outspent other candidates this year with
his Diag boards and his posters of himself as
a child with a dog. Serota is an enthusiastic

Using mud on
sidewalks is
I am writing to agree with
Manuel Magana's letter "'U'
should salt walks instead of
using sand" (11/14/96). 1
think the University's use of'
sand is an aberration. My
friends and I have discussed
this problem for the two and
a half years that we have
been here and we all disagree
with this policy.
I understand that sand is
used as a supplement to the
salt and is used for traction
when it is slippery, but it
simply turns to mud and gets
everything dirty. For exam-
ple, if you have a new pair of
shoes, forget it - they're
ruined by the mud, your
pants get back-splash from
the mud, and the mud gets
tracked into all of the build-
ings on the floors as well as
getting tracked back to your
dorm room or house.
On top of paying the out-
rageous tuition to go to this
school, I do not feel that I
should have to purchase a
new pair of shoes as a result
of the University's snow poli-
cies. Mud may be cheaper
and more environmental to
use than all salt, however, I
feel that I pay more than
enough money for this school
to use salt and not ruin my
Not all gay
men will get
It is sad to see that people
like Damon Kitterman must
resort to transparently illogi-
cal arguments and pretenses
of compassion to masquerade
their own ignorance and
homophobia ("Red Cross
does not discriminate,"
11/15/96). Any astute reader
who considered the wantonly
deficient reasoning behind
banning gay men from donat-
ing blood would unquestion-
ably come to the inescapable
conclusion that the Red
Cross does indeed unneces-
sarily discriminate.
While it is true that HIV
has infected the gay male
community more than it has
others, it is also true that
even an active gay man who
engaged only in what is con-
sidered safe sex has such a
small chance of contracting
the disease that it is negligi-
Simply being an active
gay man is not reason enough

men who practiced safe sex
to donate.
While the charge that
"there is still no absolute
100-percent effective method
of testing blood for HIV" is
true, I would ask how many
tests for any type of condi-
tion are absolute 100-percent
The undeniable fact is
that, thanks to modern tech-
niques, current methods of
testing for HIV are so effec-
tive that the chance of an
erroneous result is so small
that it is almost negligible. It
is because it is not zero that
the Red Cross can legitimate-
ly ask high-risk donors not to
give. But, as clearly shown,
simply being an active gay
man is not reason enough for
being placed in that category.
As a gay man who has
engaged only in safe sex, has
been tested for HIV (albeit
perhaps unnecessarily), and
is absolutely 100-percent sure
of being HIV-negative, I too
am saddened that I cannot
help others who truly need it.
It is because of blind bigotry
that such an unfortunate situ-
ation occurs.
Finally, I would like to
clear up the blatantly untrue
allegations that Kitterman
has laid claim to regarding
Ryan LaLonde. LaLonde is
on no crusade to improve his
leadership image. He doesn't
need to be - he already is an
esteemed and well-respected
leader in the University com-
munity who is a selfless,
hard-working and vocal
Second, he is not "in
charge" of Queer Unity
Project. He serves on a non-
hierarchical Planning Team at
the same level as about six
others, including myself. It is
the member base of QUP that
is truly "in charge" of what
happens - the planning
team is simply the coordina-
tion. I hope that Kitterman
will be reputable enough, in
the future, to be at least
vaguely truthful when he
loathsomely lambastes good
people like LaLonde.
To kill trash
TV, turn dial
and boycott
This is in reply to the
recent Miller on Tap column
("'20/20 is decadent and
depraved TV," 11/13/96)
regarding "20/20" and other
talk-TV shows. In the end of
the column, Miller maintains
that "... the country will
remain stupid as long as you
treat it as such" - the "you"
in this sentence referring to
Hugh Downs and Barbara

didn't watch them, the ratings
of these shows would crash,
the advertisers would pull
out, and they would go off
the air.
However, we (and by
"we" I mean regular, as well
as occasional, viewers - I
watch them sometimes, too
- I'm not claiming inno-
cence here, either.) like it!
We love the scandal!The
sleazier the subject, the more
riveted we are to the TV
Seems that there are lots of
people who claim that they
hate trash TV, but the ratings
are the highest for the
trashiest shows!
Someone must like it,or
they wouldn't be on. So, here
is what I propose: Shut it off!
We can change the quality of
our television programming
not by bitching about it, but
by boycotting it. Try it. Give
up "The Ro Show" for a
week. Silence Montel and
Ricki Lake for a while. Give
Oprah and Gordon Elliot and
Jerry Springer and Maury
Povich an open-ended hiatus.
And quit watching Jenny
Jones altogether.
This chick doesn't even
know what the hell.goes on
with her show, and is current-
ly trying to disavow any
responsibility for the murder
of one of her guests! And,
then, she deserves air time
because ... why? Get this
sleaze queen off the air! You
have the power - the choice
is up to you.
AATA should
I would like to thank
Deano Smith for his letter to
the editor titled "Give
Property" (11/13/96). It
brought to my attention a
problem that 1 thought the
Ann Arbor Transit Authority
was solving.
Two months ago a truck
crashed into the bus shelter
on the corner of Washtenaw
and South University.
Since that time, I assumed
the AATA was in the process
of replacing it with a new
one. Smith's letter informed
me that the AATA needed
some more property in order
to build a shelter up to cur-
rent code.
I can't understand why, if
this is the case, the AATA
didn't call and ask us for our
help. My fraternity would be
glad to help out the commu-
nity by letting the AATA
"borrow" some property so
the residents of our commu-
nity don't freeze waiting for

peace falters
Historians will look back upon the
Arab-Israeli peace process of the-
early 1990s and note two monumental
events - one for its great offer of
hope, the other as a dark harbinger of
turmoil. These events: The Araffat-
Rabin handshake in 1993 and the
attacks perpetrated
by Hamas on
Israeli civilians in
the winter of 1996.
The handshake,
and the Oslo
Accords that pre-
ceded it, not only
established a
framework for .
peace they creat-
ed a generation of
young Israelis SAMUEL
ready, even GOODSTEIN
expecting, peace-
ful relations with their neighbors -
Israelis who viewed Yitzhak Rabin not
as the b'rilliant and calculating military
strategist most Israelis knew, but as a
visionary of peace.
Conversely, Hamas' suicide bomb-
ings turned the Israeli electorate
already reeling by the assasination of
Rabin by one of their own, on its head.
More important, the attacks gave right-
wing extremist Jews and the Likud
Party new and powerful political allies:
Israelis who yearned for peace but were
scared into voting for Likud, out of a
justifiable fear over their own security.
The matchmaker in this Jewish political
wedding was, of course, Hamas. So
extremist Palestinians drove the Israel
political center into the waiting arms o
the Israeli right: Enter Benjamin
Netanyahu, elected by this rearranged
In the end, extremists and right-
wingers on both sides of the conflict
got their respective wishes: Hamas.
which unequivocally opposes the
peace process, got stalled negotia-
tions; right-wing Israelis got a govern-
ment willing to expand settlements i
the West Bank and unwilling to con-
sider the possibility of Palestinian
What has been the benefit to most
Israelis from this process?
Unfortunately, this is a difficult ques-
tion to answer. The most important ben-
efit Netanyahu promised. "peace with
security," has not been realized: the
threat of Hamas attacks has not receded
significantly, Syria is semi-seriously
preparing for war, and violence hasl
resumed between the Israeli Army and
Palestinians (leaving more than 60
Palestineans and 15 Israelis dead in the
past few months) - this time, however,
the Palestinians have guns, not rocks.
Israel, despite the Likudniks' claims, is
not more secure today than before
Netanyahu's election. Furthermore, thd
renewed threat of violence and instabil-
ity threatens to slow Israel's economic
revival; Rabin and Peres understoo
that the peace process is necessary not
only for security, but for Israel to con-
tinue its impressive economic growth.
This growth is jeopardized by the cut-
rent stalemate.
How quickly hope has melted into
Many on the left criticize Netanyahu
for not having a vision; to the contrary
he has a vision - his vision is exactly
the problem. Netanyahu's long-tern4
vision is to reach a detente, whereby
the Palestinians get autonomywbut not
statehood. His short-term vision is to
move through negotiations at such a
torturously slow pace, breaking
promises made at Oslo along the way,
that any significant breakthrough is

impossible - ad hocracy in its ugliest
form. A key breakthrough, after all,
would not satisfy the most vocal ele;
meats of his constituency. The negoti-41
ations over Hebron is a prime example
of this dynamic in action.
The Palestinians, however, are unlike-
ly to accept these visions. An economy
in utter shambles gives the Palestinian
anti-peace movement a tangible battle
cry: unemployment is more than 50
percent, Palestinian employment in
Israel has fallen from 150,000 to
30,000 since the suicide bombings, and
Palestinian incomes have fallen by one
third, to $4,000, in the past three years.
It is no secret that people are more sym-
pathetic to nationalist or extremist
views when they are poor and face few
prospects for a brighter future.
So while Netanyahu has both a long-
and short-term vision, it is unlikely that-
this vision can lead to anything but
renewed stalemate, violence and, possi-
bly, war. The conflict between Israel
and the Palestinians, and to a degre4
between Israel and all Arab states, can-
not be fully resolved until there is a free
Palestinian state - which, of course,
will not have a regular army. This may
not please people, but it is a fact. If the
conflict is to end, the political suppres-



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