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February 12, 1997 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-12

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News: 76-DAILY
Advertising: 764-0554

One hundred six years of editorial freedom

February 12, 1997

Harvard prof. urges action

Former Clinton aide speaks as
part of African American
Heritage Month
lice Robinson
Staff Reporter
Harvard Law Prof. Christopher Edley has helped
influence President Clinton's stance on one of the
most controversial issues in the nation.
When Clinton asked Edley, a Harvard Law profes-
sor and member of the White House Affirmative
Action Review Board, to explain affirmative action
laws, Edley responded, "You're the president. What
the law says is really not relevant ... to what you will
say to the American people about what you think is
' Edley told a sparse crowd of about 60 people in

Rackham Auditorium last night.
Edley, whose lecture was the keynote address for
the University's African American Heritage Month
celebration, primarily spoke about the difficulty of
shaping the Clinton administration's position on affir-
mative action during the Republican Congress' initial
"legislative assault" on affirmative action in 1995.
After thanking the audience for "braving the bliz-
zard" outside, Edley moved from behind the podium
and sat down informally on the edge of the stage to
give his lecture.
Edley said that when Republicans gained control of
Congress two years ago, the Clinton administration
needed to clearly define its position on affirmative
According to Edley, Clinton has shown substantial
interest in the controversial issue. "He was just suck-

ing up all kinds'of information on affirmative action,"
he said.
Edley told the crowd that Clinton told his advisors,
"Let's just step backand study it thoroughly so we
know what we're talking about"
Edley said he encouraged Clinton to think about his
views on discrimination, after noting flaws in
Clinton's argument for affirmative action.
Law first-year student Richard Rountree said
Edley's points were valuable.
"I think I've always had pretty much a guttural feel-
ing that affirmative action was right, to some extent,"
Rountree said. "He gave me additional insight on the
problems that revolve around affirmative action.
Looking ahead to the future, Edley said U.S. Rep.
Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Clinton "should recognize
See EDLEY, Page 7

Harvard Law Prof. Christopher Edley Jr. speaks about affirmative action last night
at Rackham Auditorium.

focus on
WASHINGTON (AP) In a display
of bipartisan unity, President Clinton
and congressional leaders agreed yester-
day to focus the new Congress on bal-
ancing the budget and five other issues
ruing from cutting taxes to solving the
tal city's myriad problems.
From the agenda it produced to its
very location in the Victorian-style
President's Room in the Capitol, the
closed-door meeting was designed to
signal voters that both sides want a year
of compromise with minimal partisan
sniping. It was also aimed at persuading
the participants that they can trust each
other and at finding ways to quickly
yield legislative accomplishments.
*We're trying to find a way to take
the minimum number of pot shots at
each other and get
on with our work,"
,F ~Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott
(R-Miss.) told
' reporters after the
3... meeting, which
lasted just over an
hour. "And that's
not always easy. I
think it's a learned
Clinton trait, and we're
trying to learn
how to do that."
Vice President Al Gore called the
session "an excellent start" and said
both parties want to prevent disagree-
ments "from generating the kind of ten-
sion that would slow down progress in
the areas where we know we can even-
ly find agreement."
e agenda will include improving
schools, combatting juvenile crime and
finding ways to help welfare recipients
find jobs. Participants said working
groups of lawmakers and administration
officials would be established for each
area in hopes of reaching early agree-
The meeting was opened with a
prayer by Senate Chaplain Lloyd
*lvie, who asked for divine guidance
of the leaders, participants said.
The backdrop for the meeting: A
1996 election campaign in which still-
bitter Republicans said Clinton unfairly
accused them of seeking to ravage
Medicare; GOP plans to investigate
Democratic fund raising; and lingering
disputes over the balanced-budget con-
stitutional amendment and revamping
campaign finance laws.
he campaign-financing issue is
ibly absent from the parties' mutu-
ally agreed priorities; Republicans,
who control both houses of Congress,
are divided on a solution. Also missing
from the agenda are expanding chil-
dren's health-care coverage, a
Democratic priority; and an overhaul of
toxic-waste cleanup laws, with
Democrats objecting to GOP efforts to
ease some penalties for corporations.
*ven the issues on the bipartisan
agenda are rife with differences. Both
sides agree the budget must be balanced
by 2002 but champion different mixes
of savings. Clinton wants narrower tax
cuts than Republicans and more money
for education and welfare clients, too.


Mehta to
face probe
By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
What began as a routine round of announcements by mem-
bers of the Michigan Student Assembly last night ended in a
decision to investigate actions taken by assembly Vice
President Probir Mehta.
Members voted 13-12-1ito reverse last week's decision and
form a committee to investigate a $500 allocation signed by
Mehta without MSA approval in September.
Mehta contends that he allocated the funds to the United
Asian American Organization without the assembly's
endorsement because it was impossible for MSA to reach
quorum with so many members gone for the summer.
"We're basically taking a giant step backward," Mehta said,
adding that he has already acted responsibly by acknowledg-
ing the mistake. "I still stand by my intentions"
Engineering Rep. David Burden made
a motion to suspend the rules so that
members would have to vote by roll call
- instead of by the secret-ballot format
used last week.
Burden said he had not planned to 4 a
make the motion before the meeting, but
students' negative reactions to the inci-
. dent influenced his decision.
"It appeared we were going to leave it
how it was," Burden said, adding that he
thought last week's vote was partisan. Mehta
Burden, who abstained last week,
voted last night in favor of forming the investigative com-
Before the vote, MSA member Amer Zahr addressed the
assembly, condemning the assembly's use of a secret ballot
last week.
Zahr said students have a right to know how MSA repre-
sentatives voted so they can "decide who they want to be on
the assembly instead of having to guess."
"I was speaking about the secret ballot," Zahr said. "The
vote was made, so there was no reason to change. I didn't
think (the vote) was going to change."
Schor said the decision to re-vote shows that the assembly
holds itself accountable to students.
"We responded to wishes of our constituents," Schor said.
"Today, MSA did the right thing - we righted a wrong."
While some assembly members said the formation of the
committee is not personally or politically motivated, other
MSA members disagreed.
"This is a personal and political vendetta, Mehta said.
"This is a heart-breaking development:'
MSA President Fiona Rose said she is upset the assembly
changed its mind.
"Where is the sense of respect on this assembly?" Rose
asked. "I see none."
"It comes up every election cycle" Rose said.
The investigative committee, composed of five randomly
selected assembly members, excluding Mehta, has until Feb.
25 to complete its report.
See MEHTA, Page 7

Washtenaw Community College student Anne Ryan prepares custard and raspberry paczkis at Dough Boys Bakery, where about 1,100
paczkis were sold during Fat Tuesday before 4:30 p.m.
Students discuss gender issues

By Ericka M. Smith
Daily Staff Reporter
The age-old battle of the sexes was dis-
cussed last night as part of Diversity Days, but
it was a discussion that sparked little student
University alum-
nus Susan Peterman,
icurrently a radiolo-
ure gist at Emory
- 3 University, discussed
her experiences with
"Gender Issues" dur-
" U/ ing the second day of
the weeklong event.
Outside of the
suMAKOAdwAoady Angell Hall auditori-
um, Michigan
Initiative for Women's Health and the Jewish
Feminist Group passed out gender-related
information as just 12 students gathered inside
for Peterman's lecture.

Peterman divided her life into phases to
illustrate how she has coped with gender
She said that when she was pregnant, she
had to leave her radiology residency.
"I was failing as a mother and I was failing
as a resident," she said.
During her hourlong lecture, Peterman said
businesses need to value differences in male
and female workers.
"In the past, just the masculine has been val-
ued and feminine has been devalued as we
enter the work force," Peterman said.
Peterman also discussed issues of power and
control in society. She told students that the
world seems unfair when you lack power.
"I was born female in a male world,"
Peterman said. "If the world is run by a certain
kind of people, then you are bound to feel like
you are lacking somehow and no matter how
hard you try, you can't make it."
Some of the students who attended the lec-

ture said they were concerned about how gen-
der issues would affect them in the future.
Public Health first-year graduate student
Andy Timleck said his concern arose out of
future health care issues.
"Part of my focus has been on gay and les-
bian health promotions. There (are) issues that
come out of the gender of gay men and les-
bians," Timleck said. "For example, if gay men
are (seen as) feminine and if society values a
male ethic of health, then overall their health
issues may not be valued as much."
Other members of the audience questioned
whether the medical profession has changed
for women since Peterman's entrance in 1980.
LSA first-year student Payel Gupta said she
would have to check current enrollment ratios
before agreeing with Peterman.
"I kind of feel like I'm on the outside looking
in, Gupta said. "I would have to look at Inteflex
and the number of women to men ratio."

Rackham exhibit displays prisoner-created artwork

By Greg Cox
For the Daily
While freedom is a distant dream of many
Michigan prisoners, some artwork produced by
inmates has escaped to Ann Arbor.
A gallery of artwork created entirely by prison-
ers is on display at Rackham through Feb. 24.
Herschell Turner, art instructor at the Ionia
Maximum Security Facility, said he's very excited
about the program.
"I hope eventually other prisons will be able to
place expressive arts into their programs," Turner
said. "It's not expensive and gives instant results."
Although many prisoners whose work is being
displayed in the gallery have minimal art experi-
ence, Turner has 12-13 students whose pieces are
"Through Herschell Turner, I was blessed with
being given the opportunity to maximize my
artistic gifts, knowledge, and ability," said inmate

coming from a background of poverty often
haven't had that before."
Visitors to the gallery will notice powerful
pieces and the raw talent possessed by many
inmates, Turner said.
"You wouldn't know that many of these pieces
were done by inmates;" Turner said. "Much of the
art on display here often doesn't represent incar-
ceration. It is just like any other artist's work."
Janie Paul, a lecturer at the School of Art and
Design, said the inmates benefit from having the
opportunity to express themselves artistically.
"Art allows them to express another portion of
thought - a poetic side that is a part of us all, but
is often oppressed in prison," said Paul, who is a
co-curator of the exhibit.
Turner said artistic creations can give prisoners
a sense of accomplishment.
"Art will fill up their leisure time by giving
them something to do - all of the sudden they're


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