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September 15, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-15

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 15, 1997

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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. A1111
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Students can help all
Diversity marks the University's student
body, but one thing remains constant
for all - the capability to give blood.
Across the country, a serious blood shortage
is imminent in hospitals, due to increased
demand for blood transfusions. University
students should find a free hour in their
busy schedules to help put an end to this
looming crisis.
Most members of the University com-
munity meet the minimal requirements
needed to donate blood - people who are
at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds and
are in good health are eligible. Giving blood
requires a minimal time commitment and
recovery is quick, but the impact is signifi-
cant - a single donation can save up to
three lives.
The number of blood donations has not
decreased in the past few months, but a high
number of transfusions has depleted nation-
al blood reserves. Hospitals are reduced to
one-day blood supplies, as opposed to the
ideal three-day blood supply. Among other
problems, the shortage may influence doc-
tors' decisions to perform some surgical
The type of blood that is in highest
demand is type O, because it can safely be
infused to nearly all people. For those who
are not aware of the blood type they pos-
sess, donating blood can provide the means
of finding out, as well as providing a free
HIV test for donors.

eviate blood shortage
The Red Cross makes donating blood on
campus easier than ever by coming to the
residence halls. Students should also look
into visiting the nearest Red Cross on
Packard Street -just a couple of blocks off
University students should take advan-
tage of frequent campus blood drives. The
Red Cross sets up stations at several resi-
dence halls, the Union and the Michigan
League throughout the year. In November,
students can also show school spirit by
becoming donors in the annual blood drive
battle against Ohio State University. The
battle pits University students against their
counterparts at OSU, to see which school
can donate more pints of blood.
Giving blood is only slightly uncom-
fortable and healthy individuals should
take advantage of many opportunities on
campus to do so. Most healthy individuals
take for granted that they would be able, if
in need, to receive a blood transfusion. If
supplies continue to decrease in the cur-
rent manner, patients in need of blood
transfusions may have their health jeopar-
Giving blood provides an opportunity to
do some good for the community, with little
effort and great impact. It is not often that
something one does will directly save lives.
By seizing this opportunity, students can
make a great difference to hospitals and

' Ipublicly apologize for this incident. I expect my
employees to be responsible for themselves
and I feel bad that this happened.'
-Nectarine dance club owner Mike Bender, apologizing for an alleged racial
incident involving Nectarine bouncers and University students
Y ; SST 1;z TO -1t
4# ~ ,
DtcOtsrtC DOtL m. flOitJ
Left mst reconcile for change

Buffaloes and
age-old sexual

This is a call to all those
on campus who are dissatis-
fied with the current state of
the nation. I know there are a
lot of us out there, but it is
hard to tell sometimes. Those
with right-wing politics can
just skip this letter. It does not
concern you. This is a mes-
sage to all the leftists trying to
exist in a worldwide time of
reaction. It seems, too often,
that we must be crazy for
being so hopelessly out of
lock-step with the New World
We know that the
American left is in retreat
these days. Attacks on affir-
mative action, immigrants and
the welfare safety net are only
the recent manifestations of a
sustained decades-long cor-
porate campaign to shift
American politics firmly to
the right. They have been try-
ing toshut down viable pro-
gressive politics and action,
and they have been winning.
We know that the exis-
tence of the horrendous
NAFTA, GATT and other
trade treaties that the U.S.
forces upon the world testifies
to the supreme hegemony of
the "free market" ideology,
over lesser concerns such as
human rights, fair labor stan-
dards, environmental protec-
tion and true democracy.
Multi-national corporations

set policy and dictate terms,
with the U.S. military ready to
invade and impose order
when needed. The majority
will continue to live in misery,
and the right tells us that this
is the most natural and perfect
economic system.
We know the main prob-
lem is that major decisions are
completely out of the hands of
the people. Elected officials
respond universally to the
interests of capital, at the
expense of the majority.
Corporations take much of the
action that affects us, and they
systematically "downsize" the
workers, attack their unions,
keep their wages low and
working conditions inade-
We are not supposed to
know that capitalism is just
one way of doing things and
perhaps not the best way. We
are not supposed to realize
that our workplaces lack even
the pretense of democracy.
We are supposed to believe
that it is good to squeeze prof-
its out of a health care system
that neglects 40 million peo-
Police brutality is always
an aberration, CEOs are justi-
fied in making millions, the
environment can be sacrificed
for profits, racism is nearly
gone, feminists are responsi-
ble for the breakup of the
family, the rich need a tax



break and on and on in an
endless steam of ideological
lies masked as truth. We are
not supposed to question this
New World Order.
Leftists do not believe any
of this, of course. The liberals,
progressives and radicals out
there who want to reform the
system or overthrow it, know
what is going on. We are all
working on the issues that are
important to us, whether it is
anti-racist, labor, feminist,
environmental, anti-imperial-
ist, gay rights or any of a thou-
sand causes that desperately
need fighting. We struggle
against an endless mountain
of right-wing money, and the
dominant ideology that it sup-
ports. The problem is the lack
of a significant, visible,
movement to change things.
There is enough discon-
tent and energy out there to
put together a powerful force
that can challenge the corpo-
rate order and all its eager ser-
vants. It starts with the left
coming back together, drop-
ping the defensive, apologetic
attitude that has shackled us
for too long and standing with
one defiant voice for real
change. We have to let therest
of the country know that we
are here, that we are angry
and that we will not be
- Eric Dirnbach is a
Rackham student.

CouRogue justice
Courts should decide rioters' punishment

SW e Wolverines certainly had a lot
to cheer about this weekend. As
I'm sure you've by now read, the
University of Michigan's triumphs in
the national spotlight this weekend
didn't end with
our miraculous
destruction of the
Buffaloes from
For those of us
lucky enough to
have kept our tel-
lies tuned in to the
Alphabet network
Saturday night, we
witnessed the JOSHUA
annual Skin-and- RicH
Grin festival com- TRAL
monly known as USM
the 77th Miss -- R-- T
America Pageant. Looking closely, we
noticed one of our very own among
the toothy masses - Engineering
senior Kimberly Stec.
To be sure, Stec had the honor o
competing as Miss Michigan, follow-
ing in a long line of illustrious state
champs, four of whom have been cele-
brated as our "ideal" over the years:
Patricia Donnelly in 1939, Nancy
Fleming in 1961, Pamela Anne Eldred
in 1970 and the immortal 1988 Miss
America Kaye Lani Rae Rafko. I
understand that it has been a longtime
dream of Stec's to compete in the Miss
America Pageant, so I sincerely com-
mend her.
From what I could see, Stec did a
tremendous job: When it was her turn
to smile, she smiled, when it was her
turn to prance across the stage, she
pranced, and when the ridiculou:
pseudo-feminist, imitation "Real:
World" video snippets rolled before a
few commercial breaks, Stec indee;
did her job by saying a few profound
I'll admit, I honestly felt a great deai
of school pride while watching one of:
my peers compete in such a uniqu:
arena. Hell, it took a lot of mind powe
to control my inherent urge to throx¢.
marshmallows at the TV set any time
another contestant appeared on screen
(I am now proud to say that in additio'
to the fact that I once sat next to ou
illustrious starting quarterback in a.
film class, Kim Stec is a dear friend of
one of my dear friends. Undoubtedly
both haven't the slightest idea who ;
Much to my dismay, however, Sto'
was unceremoniously left by the wa
side along with the 41 other conte,
tants who failed to make the exclusi
early top 10 cut.
And I'm so glad. Thank God Stec,
mighty Michigan Wolverine like urc
all, didn't have to go through t1~
humiliating tasks of politically co
rectly answering a bunch of insipi:
questions, or singing the love theme
from this summer's action flick "CC
Air" on live global television. This lak
act actually was the unwelcome tale-
of one of the 10 finalists, I kid younot
As the millennium nears and Mis(
America begins knocking on the dor
of its eighth decade as the grandmo
my of beauty pageants, the festival4
struggling to reinvent itself. Amon
the so-called innovations in this yeas
event, whose official slogan w
something like Everything Old is Ne
Again, whatever that is supposed to
mean: a talk show-like interview seg-
ment instead of the old Big Question,
and - gasp - the young ladies' first
time-ever option to wear two-piec
Right, so to somehow increae
respectability, the pageant now has, a
more serious question session and sexr

ier bathing suits. That follows.
The Miss America Pageant (like any.
national sporting league or the motion.
picture academy, I might add) is a pn-
vate organization - a TV ratings-huii ,:
gry corporation that determines,-id
own rules and is responsible for its.
own publicity and marketability. Ii
order to provide a desperately needed
boost to the latter, the pageant this year
spiced up its presentation on the
ABC network (hence the "Mond4y
Night Football"-esque contestant bids'
and snazzy graphics with lines
swirling across the screen), and it -is
billing itself as a scholarship providet,
first and foremost. Yeah, and so is the
Michigan Athletic Department.
Imagine, therefore, the relative,
Prozac consumption of event organi.,
ers in the moments after they learne
that Miss Vermont has a taboo -naveI,
ring that can now be seen by the woid
when she wears her bikini (oops!), andl
that Miss Pennsylvania sports a tattoo
somewhere on her body. Needless .
say, neither woman was a finalist. Stil
it is nice to see someone injecting a i
tle noveltv into thisawfullv tired nie&






Two weeks ago, the Michigan State
football team stepped all over Western
Michigan in a 42-10 victory. Yet, the
destruction inflicted on the field pales in
comparison to the actions of hundreds of
-MSU students. Police booked four students
and issued at least 31 citations in the after-
math of rioting that embarrassed the uni-
versity and displayed inexcusably violent
:East Lansing Council members have
;devised an extended punishment to all the
,people caught. The council plans to pur-
chase ads in all the hometown newspapers
of :those arrested for the sole purpose of
-embarrassing the students. While they
deserve to be punished for their actions, the
council's plan shows a blatant disregard for
-9e perpetrators' civil liberties.
.Police reports indicate that a victory cele-
btation got out of hand when dozens of drunk
-yopng adults, presumably students, threw a
oOch into a street, ignited a bonfire and pro-
ceeded to dance around flames reaching two
stories high. In addition, the rioters threw
cans and bottles at police who were attempt-
ing to clear the streets for fire personnel.
'Few would disagree that the students'
acts demonstrated disrespect for others,
themselves, the city and the school. Their
immjature behavior cannot and will never be
condoned, no matter what the explanation.
But those caught will either pay a fine,
serve jail time or be placed on probation.
This is the way society has decided to pun-
ish those who violate the law, and the East
Lansing City Council has no right to take
the law into their own hands by publicly
humiliating the students. Using people as
guinea pigs in an experiment of right and
wrong is more of an inhuman act than that
committed more than a week ago.
American law attempts to inflict stan-
dard penalties for those who commit
crimes. Those found guilty of a crime have

enough. Neither the council's constituents
nor the American people have bestowed
upon the council, a body elected not as law
enforcement officials, the power to disci-
pline a group of people.
Due process is an important part of the
American justice system. Citizens rely on
this system to punish and rehabilitate those
found guilty of a crime. The council, by
bypassing the system, is stealing many of
the rights inherent to 200 years of American
customs. If the city council takes it upon
themselves to violate two centuries of stan-
dard law, then much of what we rely on as
citizens has been washed away.
The actions of the council are reminis-
cent of Megan's Law, a law intended to noti-
fy people if a sex offender moves into their
neighborhood. While the intentions may
appear benevolent, the law further punishes
the offenders. The targets are people who
served their time, as administered by the
judicial system and were released. For the
council to further castigate some criminals,
as Megan's Law does, and not others,
undermines the justice system's validity.
The East Lansing city council is execut-
ing a punishment its members contrived
and formulated. They are not members of
law enforcement or the judicial system and
therefore have no right to administer mat-
ters of justice. They believe that ridiculing a
small portion of the truly guilty will solve
their problem. Their dilemma is one that
warrants more than just a naive solution
that will end up acting as a quick fix.
The city council should review its origi-
nal intentions and powers before placing
the ads. They must delegate the authority to
punish to law enforcement officials and the
justice system. If the council abuses its
authority, not only will their policies be
detrimental to the accused, but to us all. The
East Lansing City Council may be setting a
dangerous precedent that violates human

'The best code is no code at all'


"We have no comprehen-
sive code now, and the
University has none planned.
This is not a priority for me or
members of my administra-
- James Duderstadt,
November 27, 1990, in a
letter to students
published in the Daily.
Okay, so he changed his
mind a little. In fact, the
"Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities," which
was mailed out to students this
summer, is a comprehensive
code of nonacademic conduct.
While the latest code has cor-
rected many of the glaring
flaws in previous codes, it
would still cause mare prob-
lems than it would solve.
In 1988, the University
responded to student protest
against racism by implement-
ing a dangerously vague and
overly broad code regulating
students' conduct outside the
classroom. After a district
court struck down this code as
an unconstitutional restriction
on freedom of expression, the
University implemented an
interim code aimed at halting
racial and sexual intimidation.
This code, too, was suspended
following a recent Supreme
Court decision limiting anti-
hate speech measures.

this country. While this may
seem obvious to students, it
has apparently eluded our
administration through four
years of code-mongering.
While the U.S. legal sys-
tem is imperfect, it is based in
hundreds of years of prece-
dent and well thought-out
legal theory. The student tri-
bunals to be utilized under the
new code, on the other hand,
are mere kangaroo courts that
do not necessarily follow
standard legal procedure. For
instance, grounds for guilt
exist if a majority of jurors
find it "more likely that not"
that the defendant is guilty.
Call us sentimental, but we
prefer the defendant being
innocent until proven guilty
"beyond a reasonable doubt."
Why, then, do we need to
set up our own legal system?
The letter introducing the code
furnishes several horror stories;
such as beatings and harass-
ment of students and professors
that supposedly warrant disci-
plinary action by the
This implies that if there
were no code, rapists, thugs
and other criminal scum could
wander freely through campus
and terrorize the University
community without fear of
punishment. This implication

Granted, there may be
some instances when they may
spare grief to the victims of
harassment by imposing
swifter justice. However, this
comes at the expense of legal
safeguards designed to protect
the innocent from false prose-
cution. Victims' rights count,
but they do not supersede the
rights of the accused.
The administration is
attempting to build support
for this code by playing on
students' fears of rape and
harassment, just as it played
on those fears when pushing
precious codes and deputizing
the University police force.
The connection is very clear.
First, deputized police
replace the Ann Arbor cops.
Now the code usurps the legal
system itself. A disturbing pat-
tern emerges. The University
has created its own govern-
ment within the ivory tower, a
government which is not
bound to the standards and
principles of the outside world,
and is accountable to nobody.
The city of Ann Arbor
already had police and courts
of law to protect it. The
University need not assume
these functions. There is no
reason to assume that it can
do a better job. Once again,
the best code is no code at all.





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