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April 09, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 9, 1997

U £irItn &
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 JOSH WHIT
" Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by E
students at the E RIN MARSH
studets a theEditorial Page Editor
University of Michigan.
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.
FROM THE DAILY
Help wanted
University must fill administrative openings
L ast week, University Provost J. Bernard University community is important. Ties
Machen announced that he will leave with the University's central administration
his post when his contract expires in have been lax in recent years.
August. The University community should Enter Bollinger's new administrative
consider Machen's departure the most sig- team. The recently created position of
nificant administrative shift since Executive Vice President for Medical
University President Lee Bollinger took Affairs should do a great deal to improve
office in February. However, the Office of relations and strengthen ties between the
the Provost is not the only senior adminis- University's Medical Center and central
trative position that will be opening up in administration. A search is currently under-
the next year - other top administrators way to fill the new post; expediency is cer-
have contracts that expire soon, ranging tainly desirable. The creation of the position
from within five months to a year and a - and filling it wisely - promises to
half. In response to the impending selec- soothe relations between the University and
tion, University Prof. Nicholas Steneck its largest financially independent institu-
said, "The two absolutely must get along - tion.
there is no question about that ... the Other positions soon to open up include
provost frees the president from much of the University's Vice President of
the daily administrative affairs and handles Development. The office is currently held
the day-to-day runnings of the University." by Thomas Kinnear, who does not plan to
Bollinger has the opportunity to turn over renew his contract when it expires next
central administration and create his own September. Bollinger's familiarity with the
core team. Doing so quickly - but careful- University should help him find candidates
ly - is essential in establishing Bollinger's who fit the University well; he is in prime
presidency. position to make excellent selections.
Most facets of the University face a vul- Three search committees are working to
nerable period due to the recent administra- fill vacant spots in the senior administra-
tive transitions. Such instability is wide- tion, providing Bollinger with the opportu-
spread, leading to inconsistencies that can nity to design a team of administrators in
be seen in the University Medical Center's which he has confidence. Mutual trust,
operating losses and gains, for example. respect and compatibility are crucial to the
The Medical Center grossed a $2.8-million success of Bollinger's presidency, in addi-
operating gain through the month of tion to the well-being of the University
February. Last year, the hospital reported an community.
$11-million loss during the same time peri- The University is a massive organization
od. The gains have been attributed to oper- that needs a stable, qualified team of lead-
ating budget cuts, which included the elim- ers to run it efficiently. Bollinger's presi-
ination of 1,055 job positions last July and dency is off to a good start; to return stabil-
a reduction in the number of beds in ser- ity to central administration, Bollinger
vice. The Medical Center serves as both a needs only exercise his characteristic care
place of clinical care and an academic and experience in hand-picking his team
research facility; its place within the and getting it into action.
Playing percnaentes
Increasing blood alcohol levels is ineffective

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'Unless someone ingested it, there's no problem.'
--Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Melissa
Patsiavos, quelling fears ofpotential health risks from a three-
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LErTERS TO THE EDITOR

It is said that education is the best method
of prevention. However, instead of
applying this sentiment, lawmakers recent-
ly considered a bill from state Sen. Doug
Carl (R-Sterling Heights) to decrease the
state of Michigan's legal blood alcohol level
for driving from .1 to .08 percent. The state
Senate should vote against the bill and
instead concentrate on creating programs
that could benefit the public, such as edu-
cation and preventative programs to keep
the roads free of drunk drivers.
Legislation like Carl's draws from the
state's true intent: to promote the "don't
drink and drive" message. Although indi-
viduals may admit to knowledge of the dan-
gers of drinking and driving, some continue
to do it anyway. The state should punish
drunk drivers for their crime, but the bill
attacks the problem in the wrong areas.
The bill infringes on social situations in
which individuals choose to drink in mod-
eration. At some point, many adults over the
age of 21 choose to consume a few social
drinks. The real problem is that after indi-
viduals have become intoxicated they
choose to sit behind the wheel. The pro-
posed bill will not make the difference in
how intoxicated these drivers are as they
venture onto the road.
When observing traffic, police officers
will most likely not be able to determine the
difference between a .1 and .08 blood alco-
hol level; the bill's greatest effects will most
likely result from routine stops for speed-
ing. That is because the difference between
. and .08 percent does not necessarily indi-
cate that the individual will be incapable of

this description should be able to drink four
beers one hour before driving to achieve a
blood alcohol level of .1. However, individ-
uals of various weights - and even other
180-pound males - have varying tolerance
levels. The bill's arbitrary numbers could
punish individuals who are perfectly capa-
ble of operating a motor vehicle, but hap-
pen to have two-tenths too much alcohol in
their blood.
Instead of concentrating on petty frac-
tions of percentages, legislators should take
initiative in creating programs to increase
education programs that teach the public
the dangers of driving under the influence
of alcohol. In addition to educating the pub-
lic about the dangers of driving drunk, leg-
islators could aid instant solutions by sup-
porting programs that transport intoxicated
individuals home. Private businesses' exist-
ing designated-driver incentive programs
are more practical; they promise to solve
drinking and driving problems more effec-
tively than the current legislation.
In a perfect world, an individual who has
ingested any amount of alcohol would
choose not to get behind the wheel.
However, there are those who - for rea-
sons of tolerance or physical characteristics
- feel sober enough to drive. To make the
roads safer for everyone who drives on
them, programs to eliminate and educate
drunk drivers are more likely to make a dif-
ference.
Two-tenths of a percentage point is near-
ly impossible for an individual to estimate
when deciding whether or not to have
another drink before driving home. The

MSA is like
any club on
campus
TO THE DAILY:
Campus seems very
polarized over the issue of
campaign spending limits in
MSA elections. And while a
lot of people are trying to
sound convincing by blankly
quoting the same Supreme
Court decision (Buckley v.
Valeo) over and over again
like a bunch of mindless ditto
heads, they all seem to miss-
ing the point: MSA can
impose whatever restrictions
it wants on its own elections
because it's not a public gov-
erning body.
MSA is just a club like
any other club on campus -
it just gets all the money and
decides who gets a share
after it's spent most of it.
Don't believe me? Think I'm
full of shit? Consider this:
Whenever MSA wants to
raise the fee, it first asks for
student approval (although it
need not do this), and then
asks the University Board of
Regents to carry this act out.
Sure would be nice if
Congress had to work on this
principle. Also, MSA created
a new executive officer posi-
tion for graduate students.
But, until they define the
duties of the job and get stu-
dent approval in the fall elec-
tion, the position is effective-
ly null and void. MSA spends
most of its time passing
vapid resolutions and squab-
bling.
MSA is different from
other student groups on cam-
pus in only one way: It gets
all the money its behemoth
bureaucracy needs. The very
fact that MSA is not a public
body says that it may govern
its own elections in any way
that it wants to. MSA is a
registered non-profit organi-
zation. The U.S. government
is not.
MSA only exists to serve
the students at the University.
It has no power outside of
campus and, in fact, has very
little power on campus. Dan
Serota, John Winick and all
their friends can sue MSA all
they want, claiming First
Amendment infringements,
but unless they can undeni-
ably prove that private groups
cannot regulate their own
elections, they really don't
have much of a case.
JUSTIN WOJACKI
ENGINEERING JUNIOR
Waiting period
gives time for
real choice
TO THE DAILY:

really bad day could be
enough to make it seems like
the only solution. If we have
a three-day waiting period for
gun sales because the gun
might be used to end some-
one's life, why not a week's
wait for a decision that is 100
percent certain to end a
child's life?
And I must add, lest any-
one think that I am condon-
ing abortion, that abortion is
murder and abortionists and
those who go to them are
baby-murderers.
IAN CUMMINGS
RACKHAM
Feminist
problem was
misidentified
TO THE DAILY:
Chris Godwin ("Feminists
don't 'get it,"' 4/7/97) seems
to have gotten his wires
crossed on the subject of
feminism. Many people, self-
proclaimed feminists like
myself included, have noticed
that the feminist movement
has lost the influence it once
had due to extremism and its
failure to address the practi-
cal issues affecting women
on a day-to-day basis.
However, Godwin
misidentifies feminism's
problems as its desire for
"special privilege and superi-
ority," which he connects to
feminist support for pro-
choice. He seems to imply
that, in fighting to protect a
woman's right to choose
when and if to have a child, ,.
feminists are trampling on
men's rights to make those
very same decisions. "A
man's choice," he says, "ends
with sexual intercourse."
Well, it also begins with sex-
ual intercourse: A man who
does not feel ready to
become a father has the
choice either not to have sex,
or to use effective birth con-
trol. If he does neither of
those things and his partner
becomes pregnant, then it is
not feminism's problem if he
finds himself a father at the
age of 21. If he uses birth
control and it fails, that is
unfortunate, but again, the
situation he then finds him-
self in cannot be blamed on
feminism.
Prior to the achievements
of the feminist movement,
safe and legal abortion was
not even an option; men were
even more likely to become a-
father unexpectedly back
then. It is offensive to com-
pare the financial obligation a
man incurs when his night of
pleasure results in a child to
"involuntary servitude," as
Godwin does. Sending a
monthly check for, say, $200
to make sure the child you
created is provided with the

man, she is denied the right
to choose when to become a
parent and given financial
obligations she may not wish
to incur; but she is also
forced to endure the physical
and emotional changes preg-
nancy causes - her very
body is forever changed -
even though she does not
want to.
Godwin makes a valid
point in saying that it is
wrong to treat men as walk-
ing wallets, objects whose
value depends on the size of
their paychecks. To me, that
is just as offensive as the sex-
ual objectification of women
so many readers were debat-
ing during Playboy's visit to
our campus. He is also right
to note, like so many others,
that there are serious prob-
lems in the ideology femi-
nism currently promotes.
But the issues he singled
out to criticize are not prob-
lems at all; and when he sug-
gests that, because of its cur-
rent problems, feminism
itself is useless to the men
and women of the '90s, he's
wrong. What's the best thing
to do with something that's
run down or broken? Fix it.
LZA HALL
RACKHAM
Bollinger is
available for
student input
To THE DAILY:
Last Thursday, several
student leaders met with
University President Lee
Bollinger regarding his com-
ments in The New York
Times. On behalf of the lead-
ers of the student groups that
met with him, we want to
express our support for his
actions and decisions and we
are confident that they will
be made with the students'
best interests in mind.
Our meeting with him
was very productive and pos-
itive. We were very happy
with his expressed interest in
learning more about student
organizations and in his com-
mitment to furthering the
relationship among students,
faculty and the administra-
tion. By openly encouraging
student involvement and
activism, more students will
hopefully take the initiative
to get involved in co-curricu-
lar activities.
After meeting with
Bollinger, we are confident
that he will take the neces-
sary steps to make himself
more open and available to
discuss students opinions and
concerns at the University.
We look forward to his
leadership and to his commit-
ment to social activism and
student concerns.
onea e nunnfie'w

Compromise:
The newest
poliicalscheme
T here's nothing worse than a good
mood spoiled.
For the last few weeks, House major-
ity leader and trouser snake par excel-
lence Newt Gingrich has been up to
his corpulent, pudgy cheeks in hot o
First it was campaign financin
improprieties, fol-
lowed by ques-
tions surrounding
his history class,
from the ethics
committee and
now his own
troops are sprint-
ing away from him
like he's got lip
sores and a pen-
chant for free
hugs.M MLLER
All things being MILLER
equal,- I was a ON TAP
happy guy. It seemed like a great rever-
sal of fortune. Ever since assuming
leadership of the House, Gingrich has
made it his goal, nay, his passion,to
bash people with no capacity to ba.
back. He has used everybody from t
poor, the homeless, homosexuals -
and everyone else who probably isn't
welcome on the sidelines at a Sunday
soccer game - as whipping boys and
scapegoats to engender himself to his
bloated, greedy constituency.
And now the hunter was the hunted.
The great visionary of the New Right
was exposed for what he truly was: a
whiny, petulant tax cheat. True justice
in this world is so rare and beautiful
should be savored and I was ready to
enjoy every drop.
And then, dammit, I just couldn't.
My conscience was gnawing at me a
little. The reason Gingrich had become
such a pariah in his own party is due,
in large part, to his recent statements
about congressional fiscal planning.
Specifically, he committed the huge
sin of saying that maybe we should tr
balancing the budget before we c
taxes, so as not to keep hemorrhaging
out 25 cents on the dollar.
In the conservative community, the
idea of putting anything above cutting
taxes goes over about as well as a turd
in a debutante's punch bowl. Ever since
the fatal comments, his colleagues
have been making snide remarks
behind his back about how the speaker
is no longer credible or relevant.
And for what? He was preachir
compromise, a sin in congressiona
circles. See, in the popular Republican
imagination, tax dollars collected on
April. 15 are taken on April 16 and
thrown in great big handfuls to home-
less; black, lesbian performance artists
on AFDC with high-level civil service
jobs given to them by an affirmative
action quota while they're on paid
maternity leave with their sixth child,
none of whom have the same fath
In order to prevent welfare queens
from spending their moneyon vodka,
oranges and Cadillacs, taxes must be
slashed because, after all, it's my
money and no one else can have any of
it; it's mine, mine, mine!
Sorry. I forgot that poor people
shouldn't be sucking large amounts of
cash from the public coffers. That
should be left to experts like Chrysler
and General Dynamics.
All Gingrich said was that maybe
should think about fixing the problem

that makes high taxes a necessity:
namely, an unbalanced budget. That
perhaps a little compromise and.
adjustment was needed to come up
with a plan that is the best possible
arrangement for the country.
Heretic!
Our legislators don't compromise
because we don't make it worth the'
while. As voters, we love wedge issue
and savor tiny factionalist causes. We
don't want to hear about belt-tighten-
ing for the good of the budget, or
about those of us who can afford it
sacrificing a little bit so that a few kids
can have a free school lunch or some-
thing to do at night besides kill each
other.
As a nation, that doesn't interest us.
No sir, the rights of rich, honky nim-
rods in jungle camo to run around
the woods of northern Michigan play-
ing soldier - that interests us. Our
own silly ideological vendettas and
personal gripes have become more
important that any notion of helping
one another or achieving some kind of
collective social good. No, we're too
busy attending meetings of our local
chapter of "That's Mine, This Is
Yours.'
As long as we voters insist on go
ernment pandering to us like men's
room attendants, we're going to get a
gridlocked, ineffective system.
Congress can barely function with its
present number of constituents; if it
has to cope with everybody's social

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