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October 22, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 22, 1997

IIIE £it1ign ilg

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 Dailys editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Reno.uing rhetodc

'We've known that many of the men who batter their
wives and girlfriends are also abusing the children. We
can't treat one problem independent of the other.'
- Lynda Baker director ofthe Wayne County Coordinating
Council to Prevent Domestic Violence
\. ? ("" /,}( +T> ;,Qt,,,1 S Tt ^&" Y 4 "C-H -A n!O V istwL4
o- 11

Symposium must
W ith the recent class-action lawsuit
filed against the University, debate
over affirmative action continues to rage
on campus. This means that all too fre-
quently, debates about affirmative action
amount to little more than accusations of
racism on both sides. However, discussion
about the way affirmative action actually
works is frequently overshadowed by emo-
tional debate.
The Michigan Student Assembly plans
to shift the focus to information - by
sponsoring a much-needed symposium on
affirmative action. The goal of the sympo-
sium, which is scheduled to take place in
November, is to teach students about affir-
mative action through a series of lectures
presenting both sides of the issue.
MSA's plan should prove very helpful.
It should allow students to form their own
opinions on affirmative action based on
factual information. Because affirmative
action is such a hot topic, unbiased opin-
ions can be difficult to find. Many people
feel very strongly about it, but too often
the opinions they put forth are rooted in
misrepresentations. The symposium
should allow students to learn about affir-
mative action in an environment free of
political posturing and angry debate.
It is important that the lectures remain
objective; anything else would defeat the
purpose of the symposium. It is also nec-
essary for MSA to use discretion in plan-
ning the symposium and selecting its

focus on the facts
speakers, to make sure that what should be
an educational experience does not degen-
erate into a shouting match. The goal is
instruction, not confrontation.
It is important that students learn more
about the specific issues of affirmative
action. The debate over diversity is one
that must be won by reason, not through
emotion and shouting. The fate of affirma-
tive action at the University should not be
decided based on widespread misconcep-
tion - knowledge is the best way to
ensure that it is not.
It is encouraging to see that some effort
is being made to educate the public about
affirmative action. As long as MSA's sym-
posium meets its goal of objective instruc-
tion, it should be a good way of teaching
people about the issues at hand, as well as
opening up a reasonable debate on diversi-
And it is clear that reasonable discus-
sion about affirmative action is necessary.
If the question of affirmative action is ever
to be resolved, some sort of consensus on
diversity must be reached. But this cannot
occur if people are not well informed.
Finally, it is important that students
attend the symposium, or else MSA's
effort will be wasted. If students wish to
continue in the debate, it would serve all
parties well to supplement their education
with academic discourse on affirmative
action. If diversity is to succeed, it cannot
be struck down by ignorance.

The riit to die
State should legalize physician-assisted suicide

C urrently, the U.S. Supreme Court
refuses to recognize assisted suicide
as a constitutional right, delegating legisla-
tive power on the issue to the states. Of the
states, only Oregon has legalized assisted
suicide, while 35 states have banned it -
including Michigan. Although legislation
and debate on this matter is bouncing
around legislatures nationwide, the popular
consensus is not being heard. The U.S.
Supreme Court must realize that the diffi-
cult issues surrounding assisted suicide
should be reconciled by individuals, in
concurrence with the medical profession
- politicians have no right to interfere.
The Oregon law states that patients age
18 or older, who have an incurable illness
that doctors conclude will lead to death
within the next six months, have the right
to seek medication for the purpose of end-
ing their lives "in a humane and dignified
manner." The patients must undergo a 15-
day waiting period, during which a psychi-
atric analysis is administered, before they
may receive a prescription. This law was
passed by a state voter referendum in 1994
and is up for repeal on another referendum
next month. But according to a poll in The
Portland Oregonian, 63 percent of those
surveyed opposed repealing the assisted
suicide law. The Oregon legislature should
be commended for delegating the lawmak-
ing power on this issue to the people, as
well as setting an example for other states.
The law is a stride toward further protec-
tion of individual rights.
The 14th amendment to the U.S.
Constitution grants the right to liberty.

Denying individuals the right to die, under
circumstances where death is inevitable
and pain is extreme, violates their 14th
amendment rights.
The U.S. Supreme Court, by not inter-
fering in Oregon's assisted suicide law,
makes it apparent that debate over this,
issue is far from over, and that there is still
question over the constitutionality of
assisted suicide rights. States need to
embrace the court's decision with open
debate as the door has been left open to
enact "death-with-dignity" legislation.
In Michigan, lawmakers are divided
over putting the assisted suicide legislation
on the ballot. Dr. Ronald Bishop, a retired
University physician who received the
third annual Jerome Strong ACLU award
last Friday for his work on attaining the
right to physician-assisted suicide, believes
in civil liberties and the rights of the
patient. He spends much of his time col-
lecting signatures to get the issue on
Michigan's ballot. It is people like Dr.
Bishop, well-respected members of the
medical community, who should be decid-
ing the intricacies of assisted suicide.
The result of Oregon's vote on whether
to repeal the 1994 law will set the prece-
dent for future state legislation on assisted
suicide. If it is passed, the state will be a
laboratory for nationwide study. Oregon,
by granting basic civil liberties to its citi-
zens, has accomplished what the Supreme
Court needs to realize - individuals
should have the right to make personal
decisions concerning physician-assisted

needs more
bike hoops
The amount of land that is
already devoted to car parking
on North Campus is ridicu-
lous - especially when one
considers the fact that very
often there is no space left at
mandated bike-locking hoops.
This forces bicycle users to
lock their bikes to street
signs, parking meters, trees,
This is clearly unaccept-
able. Many students cannot
afford a car; many (students
and otherwise) want to avoid
the hassle of using one and
still others see the bicycle as a
greener alternative to the
automobile. Whatever their
reason, it is clear that more
bicycle hoops are needed on
North Campus.
action is
I must say that your edito-
rial of Oct. 16 ("Under
attack") represented a dying
gasp of breath for racial pref-
erences at the University.
Devoid of any true justifica-
tion for racial preferences,
you decide to question
motives rather than debate
the issue at hand. To accuse
Rep. Jaye (R-Macomb) and
his legislative colleagues of
political grandstanding is not
only petty, but shows your
lack of knowledge about the
work of these legislators. The
state representatives working
to change University admis-
sions policies have been long
time opponents of affirma-
tive action. It has taken them
years of effort to come to this
point, an amount of time no
political opportunist would
be patient enough to wait.
The Daily will complain
about the reasons why people
oppose affirmative action for
years to come, because you
simply cannot justify why
racism against whites solves
years of racism against
blacks. Racism is wrong
regardless who is performing
it. This is a concept the over-
whelming majority of
Americans understand, but as
usual, University administra-
tors think they are above and
better than the common
I attended Rep. Jaye's
hearing on racial preferences,
and while some would like to
suggest otherwise, the fact is
that the supporters of affir-
mative action were responsi-
ble fAr hintal and offenive

ter get used to it, it is only a
matter of time.
Maun misses
the point
In the Oct. 17 issue of the
Daily, Tim Maun wrote a
touching defense for a fellow
male student accused of sexu-
al harassment ("Code hearing
was biased against accused
man"). Maun wrote, "It is
troubling to me that a woman
with a history of passing out
drunk at a frat house can up
and decide she was harassed,
and bring very serious
charges against another per-
son." I agree with Maun that
the story is troubling. It is
troubling that the accused
man felt he "was justified" in
grabbing the complainant by
the hand and physically
pulling her out of the house.
Regardless of whether or not
she had been "banned" from
the house, this man had no
right to touch her.
Personally, I have serious
concerns about Maun if he
considers this behavior
"healthy flirting." It also trou-
bles me that Maun feels that
this woman, "doesn't sound
like one who would be able to
accurately recount the partic-
ular evening's events."
The Daily explicitly stat-
ed that both parties had been
drinking and neither were
drunk. So why is the man
deemed more credible than
the woman? Was she too
emotional to evaluate the situ-
ation clearly? Was she overre-
acting? Was she jealous? Was
she PMSing? Or does Maun
simply feel that women do
not tell the truth? Finally, I
am disgusted by Maun's
insinuation that the accusa-
tion was fabricated and by the
accused's claim that the
woman made up the story for
"a women's studies project."
While I am sure that they
are both dutiful students, I
cannot imagine that Maun or
the accused would consider
risking personal humiliation,
public disbelief, invalidation,
fear of retaliation and possi-
ble injustice for the sake of an
Daily should
have covered
Nike protest
I am writing because I
was looking at your Daily
Online Sunday morning, and
was extremely disappointed
that vAn fuaied tn ver what

tarnished! Whoever it was
within the administration who
decided on Nike as our outfit-
ter made an unwise choice.
Funny enough, Nike was
there too, and I also got one
of their handouts - but I
have a hard time believing
them over the students.
I have to say that I am dis-
appointed that the Daily,
which I remember as quite a
solid student paper, missed
coverage of the anti-Nike
protest. There was a large
number of students there, and
I think that what they had to
say was definitely noteworthy.
New policy for
RA selection
is not fair
I am writing in regard to
the University's new policy
that candidates applying for
resident staff positions must
take Psychology 402.
Because of this new policy,
resident staff candidates and
next years' incoming first-
year students are going to be
the ones hurting. University
Housing praises itself as hav-
ing a diverse staff in the resi-
dence halls - this should
also include academic back-
However, as a result of
this class, Engineering and
Nursing students that want to
be on staff will be left out in
the cold. As an engineer, most
of our humanities and social
science requirements are fin-
ished by the middle of our
sophomore year. Because of
this, the psych class would
count for nothing toward our
major. It is hard enough to
graduate from Engineering in
four years without having to
take classes that will not
count towards your major.
What is the point of hav-
ing free room and board
when you have to pay the
University a few thousand
dollars in tuition to be on
staff? Also, candidates will
not find out if they have been
chosen until the middle of
February. Housing is nice
enough to let candidates
know before the drop-add
deadline if they have been
selected, but what if you are
one of the unlucky people not
to be chosen! If you drop the
class, you might fall below
the minimum number of cred-
it hours to keep a scholarship,
or receive financial aid.
So how does this affect
next year's incoming stu-
dents? Well, because of this
new requirement, the number
of applicants is down signifi-
cantly from last year. Not
only will there be less quali-
fied applicants to choose
from, the backgrounds of the
,api'c rzhi' l i4e eirve

Taking a stand
for the swoosh
Ideology has a habit of stuffing a
:1.person into strange positions.
Libertarians stick up for pot smokers,
Bill of Rights advocates stick up for
KKK members, Miller sticks up for
There was an article in last Friday's
Daily about The Shoe Pimps and their
involvement with the athletic depart-
ment. Among the
more entertaining
quotations was
that of a student
who said the
repeated appear-
ance of the Nike
logo in sporting
events and on ath-
letes was "scary."
That's a strong
word. We are a
cynical and relent- JAMES
lessly ironic cul- MILLER
ture. Not much MILLER
scares us. "The ON TAP
Shining" and IRS
horror stories, maybe, but it's a small
pool to choose from.
And this is not a minority opinion.
Lots of people feel a vague sense of
uneasiness about Nike having a such a
prominent place in our academic pan-
theon, even if they are sneaking in
through the athletic department. Why?
College athletics is a pricey under-'
taking. If the bills for uniforms, trips
to South Bend, Ford Explorers and-"
other sweathog expenses had to be
paid out of the general, tuition dollar
fund. there would be no end to the'
complaining. The armpit hair types
would be shaking their Naomi Wolf
books in the air, screaming for the sep-
aration of athletics and atate. If the
athletic department has the ability to
be self-sufficient and financially inde-
pendent, let it. What is it that people
think Nike is trying to extort from the
football team? All they want is their
logo to be seen, for the benefit of the
three or four Pentecostal hermits who
don't have a swoosh burned into their
By way of comparison, the total
amount for the 1994-2000 contract
with Nike is $7 million. More than $1
billion has already been raised for
campus renovation, with another $79
million on the way from the state of
Michigan. The phrase drop in the
bucket seems to fall short. More like
shot glass in Lake Michigan.
But there is something else here, and
I can smell it like a fart in a car. It's the
offended sensibilities of the guilty,
wealthy, suburbanite community.
(Before I get e-mail from rabid, wild-
eyed, Alternative Spring Break bunny
huggers about how their years at the
Buffy and Todd Prep School opened
their eyes to the plight of The
Common Man, do me a favor and shut
up. I'm an Ann Arbor native. My par-
ents bought me a car when I was in
high school. I used to donate to
Greenpeace. My closet looked like a
Banana Republic storeroom. Attention
pampered yuppie larvae: I am not your
prosecutor, I am your king.)
And as guilty liberals on the verge of
affluent lives and over-education,
money makes us very nervous. We are
supposed to be good, little proto-
socialists and thumb our noses at cap-
italist institutions like Parke-Davis,
Nike, Microsoft, Pepsi-Co and the
Rolling Stones. That is, capitalist insti-
tutions that don't pay our tuition and
put on our Ani DeFranco concerts for;

Nike is a private, capitalist entity,
therefore cruel and vile. The-
University is a public institution that,
teaches us about Oppression,'
Marxism, Pity, The Evils Of The,
Phallocracy and How To Succeed In
The Humanities Without Really
Trying. This has nothing to do with
Nike's human rights violations, or the,
shrinking and screwing of the middle
class at the hands of a corpulent, CEO.
worshipping culture. It has everything-
to do with trying to burn off our sense
of guilt over being born privileged,:.
wealthy (relatively) and into the easy
lifestyle of academia and the whit
collar job market.
"I'm sorry! I really wanted to be
poor, oppressed and cool. It's not my
fault - dad's a podiatrist and morn
spends her days deciding which hat to
wear to the racquet club and which
cabana boy to ogle. I tried to join the.
Maoist International Movement, but
their meetings were at the same time
as my field hockey practice. Here, I'll
make snide comments about Nike and-
The Man. All power to the people,
dig? We shall overcome. Right? Muffy
and I will help."
I am not quite so stupid and priggish
in my moralism that I don't think pri-
vate money perverts the public on a
daily basis. In fact, this is a problem
that is being played out before our
eyes, in the form of campaign finance
reform. But until it can be shown to
me that Nike wants something else









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