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March 18, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 18, 1997

ir I(di!gUn Drnig

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. A ll
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Brealng up?
Grad. students' departure would weaken MSA

I want my daughter back. We have peace,
but I don't have my daughter anymore.'
-Alia Malka, whose 12-year-old daughter; Adi, was one of
seven Israeli schoolgirls gunned down by a Jordanian solder
CLoNt C-7 . .,5'fKAk' JO
J~MP$... t HoA) YOUA
TELL >A , tWt~kifs FEEL.
qtr r"
A pledge to curb spe~nding

M any students pay little attention to the
Michigan Student Assembly - they
are content to pay their $2.69 every semes-
ter and forget about it. A plan endorsed by
several graduate student government lead-
ers would split the assembly in half -leav-
ing two individual bodies struggling to gain
the legitimacy the present one often lacks.
The assembly is designed to represent the
entire student body - dividing it in half
would betray that commitment and decrease
the assembly's power.
Last Tuesday, Rackham Rep. John Lopez
announced intentions to create a separate
student government consisting of the five
graduate schools - the Council of
Graduate and Professional Students
(GaPS). He plans to place a referendum
question on each school's ballot in the next
two months, asking to divide MSA. GaPS
would revamp the present student gover-
nance structure - irrevocably altering stu-
dent representation to the administration.
With a mere 10-percent voter turnout in
its last election, the assembly's legitimacy is
questionable. Students simply ado not view
MSA's actions as relevant enough to vote
during its elections - let alone concern
themselves with its week-to-week happen-
ings. Removing a large portion of MSA's
constituency would further degradate stu-
dent participation. Furthermore, GaPS
would be unable to garner support in its
genesis - causing the division process to
backfire and the new student government
formation to collapse.
In order for MSA to better address grad-
uate student concerns, graduate students
must take a stronger role in the assembly's
practices. In the last election, only 2 percent
of Rackham students put forth the effort to

vote. Several of the school's representatives
fail to regularly attend meetings. MSA can-
not work for the benefit of graduate stu-
dents when they fail to offer adequate input
about their problems and needs. A higher
voter turnout and more active representa-
tives could go a long way in solving the
problems graduate students presently have
with the assembly.
Lopez stated that MSA fails to address
many graduate student concerns because it
is composed primarily of undergraduates.
Even so, MSA actively supports many grad-
uate student issues. MSA stands firmly
behind the Graduate Employees'
Organization. Members of the assembly
also worked to establish child care scholar-
ships for students - an issue affecting
graduate students more than undergradu-
ates. The assembly's present commitment to
graduate students is on par with the effort
that graduate students put into it.
Along with changing MSA's constituen-
cy, GaPS would seize graduate students'
fees - totaling $70,000 - and divert them
from MSA's budget. The budget drop would
significantly affect the assembly's Budget
Priorities Committee, forcing it to decrease
funding to many student groups - consist-
ing of both graduates and undergraduates
- that deserve them.
Splitting MSA into two weaker units
would not solve graduate students' prob-
lems. MSA's division could lead to further
constituent apathy - threatening the
assembly's relevance. Graduate students
should vote against the referendum ques-
tion's proposed division to maintain the
strength of unified student representation.
Together, the assembly stands - divided it
would certainly fall.

Last year Flint Wainess
was rumored to have spent
upwards of $5,000 dollars on
his campaign. While there was
never any official confirma-
tion of this year 's tally, we live
in an age where our current
president, Fiona Rose, feels
comfortable spending $137 of
assembly funds on a personal
day planner. This time around,
it 's already out of control,
where some of the parties who
declined a voluntary $500
spending cap did so because
they d already spent that much
before they even announced
they were running. How are
real students supposed to par-
ticipate in the political
process here?
- The Student Rights
Commission, MSA
Michigan Student
Assembly campaign spending
has, as of late, grown to out-
rageous proportions. Student
candidates have spent thou-.
sands of dollars to get elected
to executive offices-and this,
we think, is not only mis-
guided and wrong-headed,
but also harmful to democra-

cy on campus.
Student representative and
presidential campaigns have
degenerated into a battle over
artful banners and posters and
clever computer graphics
rather than real issues affect-
ing real students. As a result
of this perversion of the
democratic process, student
voters cannot know who will
best represent them.
Candidates ought to be
encouraged to meet and dis-
cuss issues with their potential
constituents, rather than
manipulating them with mind-
less propaganda. Constituents
must regain a sense that their
government is accountable to
and in touch with them.
Lately, letters in this paper
have expressed a loss of this
feeling of trust. We must give
students a reason to regain
trust in leadership: a govern-
ment of the students, for the
students and by the students.
And not just wealthy ones.
Financial sponsors (like
parents and grandparents who
foot the bill for many of
these campaigns) live outside

the University conmnity --
and are not, by definition,
affected by the leaderghip of
the student government --
and ought not have a say in
who gets elected to leader-
ship of the student assembly.
Student representative or
officer hopefuls shoidd not
be spending more money on
an election than most stu-
dents pay in monthly rent.
We, therefore, resolve that
we, as candidates, will not
spend more than $500 per
candidate on our election
campaigns. We recognize that
even this amount is out of
reach for many and makes
the political process or politi-
cal office inaccessible to
those who might meaningful-
ly contribute. We recognize
that, in fact, it may not really
be worth even $500.
However, it is a good round
number with which to begin
a good faith and spirited
reform of the way we elect
our representatives. We will
make our receipts part of the
public record by releasing
them to The Michigan Daily.

Return ofthe.9
House Dens?
I f politicians were traded tn the New
1York Stock Exchange, this would be
a good time to buy Dick Gehardts. Al
Gores would be holding steady, but
Gephardts - which began the month
about 1,000 points below Gores -- are
slowly climbing. This is not to say that
a Gephardt will ever sell f r as mu
as a Gore - it probably wn't - but
they are climbing nonethelqss.
Why this climb?
Of course, part of
it can be explained
by the real Al
Gore's stumbling,
bumbling and w.
generally idiotic '
behavior in the
wake of revela-
tions that he made
fund-raising calls
from his White iAMUEL
House office. GOODSTEIN
"There is no con- §GRAND
trolling legal - i LUSION
authority, there is
no controlling legal authority, there is
no ..."(Al: If you are going, to be one
of Team Clinton's Rut-Bending
Regulars you need to be able to wea*
your way out of mistakes ietter than
that.) But Gephardt's slow vrise on my
fictitious market is due to iore than
the revelation that Gore may not be as
squeaky-clean as was firsil thought.
The rise is due to three oth r factors:
1) As Newt Gingrich fades irom view,
House Democrats have their first
opportunity in more than twao years to
be players, 2) With the mairgiin between
Democrats and Republicanis in tl
House only 22 votes, (ephardW
troops can't be run over as they were in
the 104th Congress, and m pst impor-
tant, 3) Gephardt has a visio and he is
beginning to articulate it. In short,
House Democrats are beginiing to re-
discover their raison d'tre and
Gephardt is positioning hirself both
to be the man to deliver their vision
and to provide Al Gore with some
opposition in 2000.
If Gephardt does square- NTagai*
Gore, his first priority will he to shore
up support from the traditional
Democratic base. Last; Friday,
Gephardt delivered an address to the
Children's Defense Fund -- a key
member of that base - in which he
outlined a five-point plan of action for
the Congress to deal wi h educa-
tion/welfareflabor issues. iile this
plan is probably politically unrealistic
in Congress, it will be nticed 9
Democrats. The plan not onlh/ outlines
good policy proposals, It suds a sig-
nal that the Democrats have not for-
saken the most vulnerable ii our soci-
ety. This fact alone make$ it worth
examining to get some idea where the
political fault-lines are v ithin the
Democratic Party and how Gephardt
hopes to launch his renaissance.
U Increase the availabilitW of chi
care. Parents, especially sing le moth
desperately trying to piece together a
decent standard of living for their chi-
dren are often faced with t'Iis conun-
drum: What do you do with your chil-
dren while you are at work? Mabost poor
parents cannot afford good child care,
and child-care grants from the govern-
ment are usually inadequate N) meet the
needs of depressed commun ities.
Clearly, single mothers canot leave
small children alone at homei. Gepha
proposes increasing child-care gra ,
and providing businessesi with tax

incentives for providing 'child-care
facilities at the job site. To the surprise
of some in the business eorrvunity, on-
site child-care centers halve proven
profitable for some compaiies; work-
ers - who get to eat lunchu with their
children - are more produwtive know-
ing that their children are dwell taken
care of. Increased prodtctivity, j
course, means increased profits.
Regardless of profits, more and better
child care is an absolute n Ocessity -
especially as the new w elfare law
begins to kick millions of single moth-
ers off the rolls and pote rtially into
Health insurance for eiery child.
Discussion of universad health care
coverage is politically dead, but this is
no excuse to allow 10 millicn -let
repeat, 10 million children to go wiW
out health insurance. It is an absolute
abomination, a blot on our collective
moral conscience, if we h ve one -
that so many children can not receive
even basic medical care. Ab solutely no
child should die in th;ks country
because his or her parents cannot
afford health care - sadly, .they do.
0 Expand Head Start. Ais Gephardt
said, Head Start works and everybQ
knows it. Expansion is mvt only ch ,
it is cost effective: The benefits that
children receive from Head Start even-
tually cover the costs of the program.
Expand the Parents : Teachers
Program. Any initiative to get parents

Teacher-student relationships can be trouble

- Martin Cagin, Erin Carey, Aaron Freilich, Ryan Friedrichs, Dana Hanselman, Cynthia
Haupt, Joshua Kirkpatrick, John Lopez, Heidi Lubin, Jon Malkovich, Michele Menuak, Craig Myles,
William Nicholson, Sireen Reddy, Jim Riske, Raymond Robb, Lewis Rosenberg, David Singer Trent
Thompson, Matt Tomback, Steve Waterbrook, Stephanie Windisch, Lydia Yeung, Amer Zahr

T he past year saw an increase in the
number of sexual harassment reports
involving undergraduate students and their
Graduate Student Instructors. Although
there is a University rule prohibiting pro-
fessor-student relationships, there is none
prohibiting GSI-student relationships.
While students must retain the right to
make their own decisions about their per-
sonal lives, to protect themselves, under-
graduate students should consider delaying
relationships with their GSIs until after the
grading period.
When an undergraduate student dates his
or her GSI, there is an imbalance of power
- the same imbalance that spurred the rule
prohibiting professor-student relationships.
In recent allegations, an undergraduate stu-
dent reported that her GSI asked her out and
when she refused, her grade declined and
the GSI directed derisive remarks to her in
Responsibility for harassment does not
lie solely on GSIs. Undergraduates can

often wait until after they graduate to report.
Students should not have to fear the
repercussions of reporting harassment.
Although it may take from one to two
months to compile and present the data
concerning the incident, students must be
able to retain anonymity. The University
should create a process by which students
who have been harassed can report the inci-
dent without fear of negative repercussions
or a drawn-out investigation. The Sexual
Assault Prevention and Awareness Center
can provide support and advice to students
dealing with the aftermath of harassment.
Even if individuals are unsure if their expe-
rience "qualifies" as harassment, they can
still seek advice and counseling at SAPAC.
There is no statute of limitations for report-
ing incidents of harassment.
After a sexual harassment investigation
involving undergraduates and GSIs, GSIs
may receive sanctions ranging from coun-
seling to termination; if the offender is an
undergraduate, he or she may be expelled.
If a University investigation is not timely or
otherwise fails, and a student feels that he
or she cannot function in the class, he or she
should seek a transfer or an extension on
class work.
GSIs are an integral part of the high qual-
ity education the University offers. They
work long hours, dedicate their expertise to
teaching and provide a necessary link
between undergraduates and professors.
However, harassment between undergradu-
ates and GSIs upsets the balance and
negates positive teaching and learning

Web voting
I am currently studying
abroad 10,000 miles away
from Ann Arbor in sunny
Australia. Although physical-
ly detached from Ann Arbor,
I still care deeply about what
happens at the University,
especially what happens with
the election of our student
government, MSA.
Being abroad, I thought I
would be unable to vote in
the coming elections. This
was very upsetting to me
considering voter turnout is
usually only about 10 percent
and probably less than that
are informed votes. Every
vote can and does make a
significant impact on the out-
come of the elections.
But, I am very pleased to
find out that although abroad,
my student voice will be
heard. Thanks to MSA
Communications Director
Ryan Friedrichs, who imple-
mented this project, I can
now vote on the World Wide
Web. This is wonderful devel-
opment, and I hope all stu-
dents (on campus and
abroad) take advantage of
this easy method to find out
about the candidates and to
vote. Hopefully, now voter
turnout will increase and can-

minority retention on campus
at the University. This article
alone should prove very help-
ful in determining the best
presidential slate for this
year's elections, especially for
students of color on campus.
It troubles me to know
that there are students run-
ning for MSA seats who
claim to be committed to
diversity and the students on
campus, yet they don't even
have a clue about the issues
that face minorities on cam-
pus nor the problems associ-
ated with low minority
enrollment and retention.
Although I'm sure the
POKE party's Matt Tomback
has good intentions, he does-
n't seem to realize that the
reason for the division
between different groups has
to do with the differences
between the members of
these different groups.
"Different" is the key word
here. Too many people on this
campus believe that we can
unite everyone and live hap-
pily ever after. I think more
attention should be focused
elsewhere instead of trying to
create a color-blind society.
The Students Party and
their candidate, Mike
Nagrant, have come up with
a seemingly ingenious idea to
create a Roundtable
Discussion composed of
minority student leaders.
However, there are already
people, programs and ser-
vices that do everything that

and make it aware of the
problem. Unfortunately, if you
elect the Liberty party, even
MSA won't be aware of the
And now on to Jessica
Curtin. I'm sure everyone has
their opiniorm about NWROC
and everyone knows that
Curtin is a strong leader with-
in this militant organization. If
that isn't reason enough to
skip over her name on the bal-
lot, then her ideas of building
a student movement as a solu-
tion to increase minority
enrollment should be. Besides,
I don't feel like Curtin could
effectively represent me in
anything, especially MSA.
Stuart Krein of the United
Rebels Front is one of the few
who knows something about
the issues within the minority
communities. The low level of
comfort mperienced by
minorities is a large contribut-
ing factor to why many
minorities don't apply to and
why many minorities end up
leaving the University, but
that's only half of the problem.
Probir Mehta is the only
candidate who really under-
stands the bigger problem for
many minorities on campus:
financial aid. It costs a lot of
money to attend this
University and it isn't doing
enough to help minorities pay
those high costs. There is
always much talk by the
Univessity about-increasing
minority enrollment and
retention. but they still aren't

cause problems by expecting preferential
treatment or grade boosts and then by caus-
ing a disturbance if or when they don't get
it. Due to the complications for all involved
parties - and the quality that the rest of the
class loses to the disturbance - GSIs and
undergraduates should agree to save rela-
tionships for a time when they can meet as
equals, instead of as teacher and student.
If students want to report incidents of
harassment, they must go through a lengthy
process at the University's Sexual
Harassment Prevention and Resolution

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