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October 10, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-10

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 10, 1997

Aw Ahigau Paitg
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 JoSu WHITE
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by it ERIN MARSH
students at the
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
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
Tenants' reunion
MSA was right to restore AATU funding
C ome winter, some University students possibility of losing large amounts of staff
may find themselves sitting in their each May as graduation rolls around. New
apartments, watching icicles fall from the volunteers should be hired and trained early
roof, as they wait for their landlords to fix on to avoid future staffing problems.
the heat. The Ann Arbor Tenants' Union can To get the AATU back on its feet, former
help prevent these and other troublesome president Pattrice Maurer has been volun-
housing situations. Since its inception 29 teering her services and will continue to do
years ago, the AATU has helped countless so until it is again fully functional. In addi-
numbers of students and local community tion to Maurer's help, a new part-time coor-
i embers. On Tuesday, the Michigan dinator will be hired to help smooth out the
Student Assembly voted in favor of dispers- problems of the past few months. Such pos-
ing the $20,000 allocated for tenant ser- itive steps will help the AATU recover from
vices in its annual budget to the AATU. its recent shortcomings.
MSA should be sure to follow up on the MSA should take advantage of the
ATU's progress and not simply dole out option of having a student representative on
the money if services that students need are the AATU executive board. The position
not provided and improved upon. would allow MSA and other University stu-
MSA decided to disperse the money in dents to have a voice regarding the union's
four payments throughout the course of the decisions. The representative would also be
year despite recent complaints that the aware of how many students the union
AATU did not fulfill obligations in the past helped and the quality of service provided.
few months. Individual payments will be The student representative would also be on
contingent upon the submission of reports the hiring committee for AATU administra-
detailing the number of students served, as tors as well as volunteers. Therefore, MSA
compiled from the AATU's database. MSA would have some control over who would
should carefully investigate student satis- work for the AATU and could ensure that it
faction with the AATU before dispersing measures up to students' expectations.
the funds. In its 29 years of operation, the AATU
Students' dissatisfaction stems in large, helped countless students resolve disputes
part from the staffing crisis that left the with their landlords - its standard of excel-
AATU unable to meet students' needs. It lence should not falter. The AATU has the
was not fully operational from May until opportunity to recover from its slip in stan-
October because a large number of long- dards with the funding from MSA. MSA
time interns and volunteers left. This and the AATU have a responsibility to pre-
staffing crisis has yet to be resolved - the vent repeating the mistakes that occurred in
AATU was incapable of handling high the past. By working together, the two orga-
demands as students began moving into nizations can ensure that the operation runs
housing at the beginning of the Fall semes- smoothly and serves the best interest of the
ter. The tenants' union should anticipate the student community.
The tie tha inds
'Covenant' marriages restrict divorce options
n an effort to curb the nation's 50-percent one member of a couple against another
4ivorce rate and to enforce marriage as a when trying to obtain a divorce. It would be
png relationship, state Rep. Harold the duty of the person seeking a divorce to
Z hees (R-Wyoming) proposed a bill that prove the fault of his or her partner in order
0sdd make it harder for married couples to justify the break.
submit to a voluntary marriage Under the proposed bill, there are five cri-
.crenant"to get a divorce. One of Vorhees' teria for an expedient divorce. It is allowed if
i6 fntives for the proposal are staggering one spouse commits adultery, a felony or is
aYtrce statistics - in Kent County in 1995, sentenced to life in prison. Also, if one spouse
were 4,810 marriages and 2,233 is physically or sexually abusing their partner
-rces. The legislation is similar to a bill or if they abandon the home for more than a

Sently passed by Louisiana's legislature. In year, a divorce would be allowed. Short of
of ition to Vorhees' bill, state Rep. Jessie these criteria, couples must split for two years
SD Ian (R-Ottawa) has been trying for two to attain a legal divorce. In addition,
years to repeal a 1972 law that established "covenant" marriage couples would commit

"NOTABLE QUOTABLE,
'I really had no idea what I was doing (during
the hearing). It was just me defending
myself and I thought that was ridiculous.'
A former fraternity president who was charged under the University '
Code of Student Conduct for sexual assault and harassment
PURPLE HERRING MiEG N
A AND T- r#/ K IT Ai STAR7ED WIT/
T H HA M BU R G E R S a d
-~~~-~U-R--
_CoM
VALUEMEAL
L ET H D
LETTERS TO TH E EDITOR

From now on, if
you want to go
to a party, bring
an invitation

0

Students, not
drivers, are
responsible
for tardiness
To THE DAILY:
I have very little sympa-
thy for any student who com-
plains about the bus system
and that it might be the cause
of their tardiness ("Students
gripe about bus delays"
10/8/97). I've experienced
the same problem myself.
However, rather than try-
ing to pin the blame on the
bus system, I decided to
blame myself. What was my
solution? I left for my exams
and classes earlier. It is a very
easy concept. All it takes is
setting the alarm clock to go
off a touch earlier. Et voila, no
more tardiness. Not only do I
arrive to class and my exams
on time, but I also enjoy a
comfortable bus ride, having
beaten the rest of the crowds
who still do as I once did.
As for the bus drivers,
they do their best to get the
students where they need to
go in as timely a manner as
possible. Many a time I have
ridden a bus whose driver
insisted on going through red
lights and blowing past
pedestrians as they unsuc-
cessfully try to cross the
street - at a pedestrian
crossing, mind you. So, is it
truly the driver's fault for the
student's tardiness? Or is it
the student's fault for the stu-
dent's tardiness? I think the
answer is clearly the latter.
Stop griping, children. (By
the way, why is there a
Clinton-Gore sticker on the
driver's seat in the article's
accompanying photo? Has
the University suddenly
decided to support liberal
politicians? Gasp! Maybe we
should blame the drivers,
after all.)
CHARLES CRUCE
LSA SENIOR
'U' grounds
crew actions
were unjust
TO THE DAILY:
While walking outside of
the MLB on Monday after-
noon, I could not avoid the
rather numerous and candid
chalkings for queer unity and
National Comning Out Day.
But what became even more
blatant was the blue van filled
with a huge water supply con-
nected to a powerful water
spray, which a groundskeeper
used purposefully to wash off
the chalkings.
In my four years here at
this "diverse" University, 1
have never witnessed such an
act of utter ignorance and

expect the student body to be
tolerant and educated on con-
troversial issues when the
administrative body sets this
kind of example.
Regardless of your skin
color, religion, sex or sexual
orientation, this act should
offend you as much as it
offends me as a student and as
a person of values and
humanity. If the University
decides to wash off chalkings,
they should do it for all chalk-
ings. But if VSA chalks in
front of Rackham, Angell Hall
and the UGLi (to name just a
few) and no one does any-
thing about it for five days, it
is only fair and just that all
student groups receive the.
same treatment. What is more
frightening is how this intoler-
ance will be brushed aside
and not become a prominent
issue because of people's
unwillingness to stand up and
speak out for what is right.
I can unequivocally state
that this act has lessened my
respect for the University as
an institution of higher learn-
ing. If the University student
body does not feel that all
students and all student orga-
nizations should be given an
equal sense of respect and
dignity, then I feel no one has
the right to say that we are
"the leaders and the best."
KHOA HUu NGUYEN
VSA VICE PRESIDENT
LSA SENIOR
American
society is not
colorblind
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to respond to
the attacks on affirmative
action that have been leveled
by two of the Daily's readers
over the past few days
("Affirmative action is 'un-
American,"' 9/29/97 and
"Affirmative action is no
longer 'useful,"' 10/6/97).
These attacks on affirmative
action are revealing of both a
lack of understanding of the
purpose of affirmative action
policies and a naivete about
the current state of race rela-
tions in the United States.
As the clice goes, affir-
mative action does seek to
"level the playing field." The
idea here is not, as David
Jordan argues, to imply that
certain groups are inferior -
it is just the opposite.
"Leveling the playing field"
means changing the environ-
ment so that all individuals
will have an equal chance.
The assumption is that the
environment does not afford
equal opportunity to all and
that we must change the envi-
ronment so that equal oppor-
tunity becomes the rule.
One of the most popular
arguments against affirmative
action, and one voiced by

tion. Rather, it must be con-
sidered a basis for acceptance
and admission. To assert that
we are a colorblind society,
or even that we are approach-
ing such a state, is just down-
right silly. To claim, as
Jordan does, that "today,
there are enough enlightened
individuals to ensure that
everyone has a fair chance"
is to deny the reality that
confronts us every day. Race
is still a defining feature of
American society. One need
only refer to the O.J. Simpson
trial or the Rodney King
debacle to realize this.
At times, I have felt quite
ambivalent about affirmative
action policies and speculated
about how they might have
personally affected me and
placed me at a disadvantage.
This-ambivalence, however,
does not lead me to conclude
that we must discard the poli-
cy. Few will argue that affir-
mative action is a perfect
solution; rather, it is an
imperfect solution for an
admittedly imperfect society.
BEN GORVINE
RACK AAM
Explanation
of editorial
cartoons?
To THE Day:
On Oct. 1,1opened up the
Daily to the editorial page in
order to read the editorial car-
toon. The first thing I saw was
a picture of Bob Dylan with
Jimi Hendrix's haircut.
Standing on his arm was a
man wearing a tie saying
"Yeah ... Yeah ... Blowing in
the wind! Yeah ... Yeah . .
The caption read "Pope John
Paul Ringo." While it was
quite obvious to me why this
cartoon was side-splittingly
hilarious, perhaps some of
your slower readers would
benefit froin an explanation of
the intricacies of this panel.
Also, for the sake of the
"comically impaired," do you
think you could print an
explanation of the Sept. 17
strip? You know, the scream-
ingly self-explanatory one
which featured a bald man
talking on a cellular phone
saying, "That's right, lower
interest rates," as his secretary
says "Uh ... Mr. Greenspan,
your tie was little moreexpen-
sive than I thought." Of
course, I know why a man
bearing absolutely no resem-
blance to Alan Greenspan
being told about the price of
his tie is as simple to under-
stand as the Sept. 3 comic
featuring a man with six arms
and an elongated sea anemone
growing out of his head
exclaiming "Good Morning!"
Good morning, indeed!
Perhaps this man is hav-
ing such a good morning
because he just read the Sept.

Inever thought I'd feel this way, but
about a year ago, I began to realize
that my mindset was really changing.
Sure, at first I denied it was true -but
as '96 faded into '97, the feeling only
became stronger.
What was I to do?
It must be true -
I had to face it.
Now, almost a
year later, I am
ready to share
2 hX
with the rest of the
world what I stowv
I really miss
Bob Dole. PAUtL
It is an incredi- SgRnu.A
bly conflicting SERILLA
statement for me WARFARE
to admit; anyone-
who knowsame could tell you that. I
come from a long line of staunch
Democrats -except for my one great-
grandma who still thinks Nixon was
framed (for perspective, she thinks
0.1. was innocent too - I guess she
just believes in the innate goodness of
human beings or something).
It% the ind of family that still gets
excited talking about FDR or teary-
eyed remembering JFK. It's the kind of
family that got excited about voting
for. Walter Mondale (call it severe
denial, call it sick, I don't care). Pro-
labor, pro-social programs; that's right,
tax and spend, baby. Heck, my grand-
mother was even a teamster. So for me
to even mention =Bob Dole without a
completely negative inflection is buck-
ing a lot of tradition.
But it is not just about some sort of
blind, familial obligation to the party
of Jefferson - this is about who I am.
I always considered myself a dyed-in"
the-wool Democrat, steeped in liberal-s ed oba akayadal
ism and ready to beat back any and all
GOP-types and leave 'em crying in the
back seat of their daddy's beemer. Let
me tell you, being a Democrat wasn't
easy- either.' I was the sole member
(and the president) of my high school
chapter of the Young Democrats
Consequently, I have always viewed
my personal politics as an uphill
climb, a worthwhile journey, but one
that doesn't grant much slack to the
"other side."
I still would never vote for Bob Dole
and I still don't agree with about 90
percent of what the guy stands for.
don't even like him much apart from
his political persona. To tell you the
truth, I-liked him better before he ran
for president.
At least Bob used to dislike supply-
side economics and all that other
Reaganesque crap. I mean, one day he's
a firm economic realist and the next he's
running with Kemp, the prodigal son of
voodoo economics and barking about
the magical properties of the number 15
(Nancy Reagan's presidency-by-num-
bers all over again). But I still miss him,
and as you might have been able to
guess from this discussion so far,I miss
George Herbert Walker Bush too.
Although at various times in my life
I have espoused that both Bob-o and
Georgie-poo were under the influence
of Beezlebub himself I have come
realize how badly America needs men
and women like these two. We need
people like them in the Republican
party very badly.
Why would I say such a thing?
Because the American political axis is
continuing its shift to the right, but
contraryto some current rhetoric it
isn't because the GOP has a mandate
from heaven. Moderate conservatives
are being driven from their camp and
they are crashing my party. This liber-
al is pretty convinced that the

Democrats aren't.
A couple of weeks ago at the
Christian Coalition's National
Convention, its founder/televange-
list/homophobe/ex-presidential candi-
date/deadbeat dad Pat Robertson basi-
cally stated a "no tolerance" policy for
moderates in the Republican party.
Robertson referred to Dole and Bush
as "losers"and basicallycalled for an
internal Republican revolution, to
insure that candidates are proven con-
servatives.
No tolerance is what the new
Republicans are all about - there is no
room for Bush or Dole because they
were around when Republicans sup-
ported civil rights, lots of social pro-
grams (Richard Nixon increased spend-
ing on social programs more than any
other president), and lots of other "lib
eral" ideas. Don't forget, George Bush
was even a closet pro-choicer (it is
National Coming Out Week, George).
What put them in the GOP was primar-
ily their wealth, not an agenda to legis-
late morality. Compliance to law is not
equal to a societal shift in values; and it
never uuill be.

I

0

:1

r

ol

0

"no fault" divorces in Michigan. The law
allows couples to cite "irreconcilable differ-
ences" as cause for their divorce, making
r extensive explanations unnecessary. The
movement to revitalize the commitment
i between couples call into question how well
state legislators understand relationships
between people. The new marriage
"covenant" is logically flawed - legislators
should not interfere in couples' private lives.
Life takes unexpected turns when people
are least prepared for them - 20 years of
iairriage can often produce two very differ-
ent people than those who originally
entered the union. No couple gets married
with the intention that they will eventually
divorce. Vorhees' bill does not account for
unforeseeable factors in relationships that
cause dissolution - the government should
not force marital relationships.
People change over time and this new
"covenant" creates a system that would pit

to seek counseling when problems occur.
One of the problems is that the bill applies
the same set of criteria to all relationships. If
one partner repeatedly abused a spouse psy-
chologically and verbally, the abused mem-
ber may want to seek a divorce immediately
- in a "covenant" marriage, this is not pos-
sible. Under the law, they would have to sep-
arate for two years or abandon their home -
a ridiculous requirement. The state govern-
ment has no right to stipulate excessive
requirements for divorce.
Every relationship is unique from all oth-
ers, with its own set of problems and obsta-
cles. Vorhees and Dalman's bill constitutes a
violation of couples' rights as free citizens,
regardless of whether couples voluntarily
agrees to this "covenant" The state legisla-
ture should vote the proposal down. Divorce
is a problem for our society - but
"covenant" marriages are not the way to
solve it.

01

HOW TO CONTACT THEM

1
}

MSA PRESIDENT MICHAEL NAGRANT
3909 MICHIGAN UNION

I

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