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November 11, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-11

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 11, 1997

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 JOSH WHITE
# Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ERIN MARSH
students at the Editorial 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.
Bloated votes
Ballot question will not represent U'
A s a result of the recent civil lawsuit ballot, moving the focus from the election
against the University, tension has of MSA representatives to a vote concern-
been rising over the issue of the use of affir- ing affirmative action at the University.
mative action in admissions decisions. The Another factor the assembly should con-
Michigan Student Assembly held a debate sider is that the heated issue would likely
last Tuesday to discuss the policy's merits. draw a response bias -- the group of voters
While the assembly correctly supported the who flock to the polls will not likely repre-
University's admissions policies, it also sent a balance of public opinion. MSA elec-
considered putting a referendum on a future tions poll the students who choose to come
election ballot to gauge student opinion on out and vote, not the opinions of the entire
the issue. MSA should use caution if they student body.
opt to present the student body with ballot Ultimately, the ballot questions may cre-
questions regarding affirmative action - ate an inaccurate portrayal of University
the response generated from such polls may students to the nation. While the student
not be representative of students' thoughts. body is aware of the fact that apathy is ram-
The assembly lost time in internal proce- pant during assembly elections, the rest of

'We're going to work on having international accord but
we cannot afford to have anybody doubt our resolve.'
- Secretary of State Madeline Albright, stating the United States'
intent to retaliate for any Iraqi attacks against U2 spy planes
o -

dures and was unable to pass the measure to
create a ballot question next semester. The
current assembly is unable to bind the next
assembly to act on a decision it makes. But
Student General Council David Burden said
he will attempt to bring his proposal up
again next semester. "I hope that (these
questions would help) the students become
more aware of the affirmative action poli-
cy," Burden said. When the proposal is pre-
sented to the next assembly, careful consid-
eration should be taken to determine the
validity of the response generated by the
In the last MSA election, 12 percent of
the student body voted - a record high for
MSA elections. The opinions of such a
small portion of students on affirmative
action are not an accurate representation of
the University community. While it is
important that the assembly stay in touch
with constituents, ballot questions are only
effective if students get out and vote. An
opinion poll would create an issue-oriented

the nation may not be. The results may cre-
ate an image of the University's support -
or lack thereof - while in reality this is
only the opinion of a small portion of
University students. The assembly will have
to take precautions to ensure that along with
the results, the number of students who vote
will be presented.
Before deciding to put these questions
on the ballot for the spring, MSA should
generate a plan to make use of the results. It
is important for the assembly to have some
direction and a plan for which to use the
results, regardless of the outcome.
In the meantime, the assembly should
continue with such debates as well as its
upcoming forum on affirmative action. It
should direct efforts to educating students
on the University's policy regarding affir-
mative action and dispelling misconcep-
tions students may have. Educated students
make educated voters - MSA should take
responsibility in helping to educate the
University's population.

Serving for change
Lee is a good choice for top civil rights job

Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary
Committee decided to delay its vote on
President Clinton's nomination of Bill Lann
Lee for Assistant Attorney General for civil
rights - the nation's top civil rights job.
The western regional counsel for the
NAACP Legal Defense Fund and an oppo-
nent of California's Proposition 209, Lee
has met criticism from conservatives for his
support of affirmative action.
The postponement came at the urging of
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), who mir-
rored the wish of committee Democrats to
give Lee an opportunity to respond to
Republican "misstatements of his position."
Though many of Lee's opponents wish to
fill the highest-ranking civil rights position
with an affirmative action opponent, both
practicality and reason dictate that one
whose positions support the best interests
of women and minorities should take the
Many conservative attacks on Lee are
rooted in distorted illustrations of the affir-
mative action policies Lee supports, falsely
characterizing the California civil rights
attorney as a rabid liberal activist. The head
of the anti-Lee operation, Sen. Orrin Hatch
(R-Utah), claims that as counsel for the
NAACP Legal Defense, the United States'
primary legal advocacy organization, Lee
supported programs such as integration
through school busing that conflict with the
wishes of the majority of Americans.
But the programs prove necessary to
ensure that civil rights do not merely exist
on paper. Such an active proponent of equal
opportunity initiatives is necessary to effec-
tively execute the Assistant Attorney
General position. To appoint a person

opposed to the initiatives Lee champions
would, in effect, grant power to a person
whose stances lean toward maintaining the
status quo - not toward balancing the dis-
tribution of opportunity and power. The
wish for Clinton, a strong affirmative
action supporter, to nominate an affirma-
tive action opponent proves an unlikely
demand that has engendered an unneces-
sary delay in the confirmation procedure.
Sen. Hatch formally rescheduled the
vote on Lee for Thursday. But as the Senate
nears completion of its 1997 agenda, it may
adjourn for the year before then, delaying
the decision until January. The postpone-
ment of the Lee vote typifies the unneces-
sary conflict that has repeatedly paralyzed
the White House and Congress to inaction.
While careful scrutiny of lifetime-appoint-
ed federal judges and officials improves the
quality of the court, congressional delay
has become so severe that it has created a
backlog in the federal court system, dimin-
ishing expediency. For example, the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the
panel hearing Michigan cases, has relied on
the aid of semi-retired judges to keep pace
with its caseload. But the court remains up
to 25 percent behind schedule.
Congress must remain committed to
performing thorough candidate evaluations,
while preserving efficiency. Such a com-
mitment is absent from the current debate
over Lee's nomination. The conservative
push to name a person to the post who does
not promote programs in the best interests
of women and minorities - affirmative
action, in specific - contrasts sharply with
the central goal of civil rights activism: to
equalize opportunity for all Americans.

News story
I am outraged at the egre-
gious violation of journalistic
integrity shown in Stephanie
Hepburn's article about Dr.
Kathleen Coulborn Faller of
the School of Social Work
and the UM CIVITAS Family
Assessment Clinic.
Dr. Faller is an interna-
tionally recognized pioneer in
the field of forensic inter-
viewing of children suspected
of being sexually abused,
having published numerous
articles and books on the
subject. She is a respected
expert in the field of child
abuse and serves on several
state, national and interna-
tional boards dedicated to the
protection of children. She
has dedicated her career to
protecting children by work-
ing directly with children,
researching and publishing in
the field, teaching and train-
ing clinicians in this impor-
tant work. She formed the
Family Assessment Clinic;
itself an innovative and pio-
neering interdisciplinary
model in the field.
Interviewing children sus-
pected of being sexually
abused is a complex and intri-
cate undertaking for which
clinicians undergo extensive
training. Although the Daily
sought to report on the con-
tent of a particular interview,
it neglected to report both on
Dr. Faller's extensive training,
and also on the complexities
of such an interview. Further,
the Daily did not report that it
is the ethical and legal obliga-
tion for a social worker to
report suspicions of child
The author of the article
failed to mention Dr. Faller's
expertise and experience in
the field. Hepburn also failed
to report on the existence of
a backlash against profes-
sionals who take a stand for
the safetyhand well-being of
children. In other public
media, the attorney for the
plaintiff who is suing the
clinic has stated it is his goal
to shut down the Family
Assessment Clinic. Let us be
clear that this lawsuit is not
only waged against the
named defendants, but
against all clinicians and pro-
fessionals who take a stand
for children. The backlash is
an organized movement to
deny the reality and extent of
violence against children.
As a student in the School
of Social Work, I am dismayed
that the Daily failed to report
on all sides of this complex
issue, thereby colluding with
the backlash and obfuscating
the real issue of professionals
who carry out their ethical and
legal duties to protect children.

David Kwan 1,651 to 1,031.
You know what? Though I
voted against him, I'm not
upset with Mr. Kwan's re-
election as a city councilper-
son. What I am upset about is
that a total of 2,682 people
voted in the election. That's
Ann Arbor residents as well
as students, but I can forgive
the Ann Arbor residents. It's
the students that I cannot. We
could have doubled those
numbers if every 20th student
had gotten out to vote!
The yahoos who don't vote
are responsible for a good part
of the evil presently being per-
petrated by governments
across the country. Yes, Mr.
and Ms. Yahoo, despite what
the racist (yet newly elected)
State Sen. David Jaye feels
about affirmative action stiff-
ing white kids, it is your fault
that many people or any race
can't secure college loans.
Here's the formula: College
students are the ones who care
about student loans. They don't
vote. Accordingly, evil tyrants
like Newt Gingrich and the
House Republicans have no
reason not to make every effort
to slash the hell out of our stu-
dent loans. Part 2: They scape-
goat minority students for tak-
ing upper-class white kids' loan
money. David Jaye now has his
ammunition for fear mongering
throughout the state! Compare
that to Medicare. Congress
would sooner consume bat-
tery acid than try to trounce
Medicare for the simple fact
that elder Americans vote!
The student body of the
University of Michigan is to
blame for the present action
against affirmative action.
Racists like David Jaye can't
help but be evil - but you can!
Get your asses to vote next time
you can. Stop letting the corpo-
rate Republicrats who run this
show destroy student loans,
environmental laws, telecom-
munication fairness, public
health protections, education
funding, campaign reform, pris-
oner rehab and, you know, ...
public interest. Get off your
tuchus and do something.
Michigan fans
are £second
to none'
This letter is in response
to a letter an alumnus sent to
the Daily before the football
season. In it, he berated
Michigan fans for not sup-
porting its football team.
After sitting in the stands at
Beaver Stadium this past
Saturday, I realized just how
ridiculous that letter was.
Thousands of diehard
maize-and-blue fans drove
hundred of miles from Ann
Arbor as well as other parts

pride in their football team,
which is evident in the all-
time sellout record Michigan
Stadium holds. Are these
alumni who make the accusa-
tions that Michigan fans do
not cheer enough and are not
supportive enough attending
the same games as I am? If
they are, then they should take
a second look. After observ-
ing both Penn State and
Michigan fans this weekend. I
have come to a simple conclu-
sion: Regardless of what these
crying alumni think, Michigan
fans have been and always
will be second to none!
Diversity is a
valuable part
of education
With all the current furor
due to the pending lawsuit
against the University regard-
ing its admissions policies, I
think that we should take a
critical look at these policies
and the current status of affir-
mative action and how these
effect the University commu-
nity and society in general.
It seems to me that our
admissions policies, while
having a similar end result as
affirmative action initiatives,
have in principle and practice
very little to do with such
policies. Affirmative action is
an attempt to compensate for
prejudice and inequality by
addressing such problems as
lack of representation of and
disparate pay rates for women
and minorities. As such, it is
debatable whether these types
of legislation do more good
than harm. The important
thing to consider when look-
ing at the University's current
situation is that although the
effect of these admission poli-
cies is to favor underrepresent-
ed minorities and women, the
true and valid goal of these
policies is to create a diverse
campus. Not just diverse skin
colors, but diverse back-
grounds, diverse beliefs,
diverse interests: everything
that made me want to go to a
large public university.
No one seems to complain
that the University considers
geographic location, field of
interest, or educational back-
ground in choosing which stu-
dents to admit. Is it prudent
for the University to turn away
a gifted writer or artist, a tal-
ented actor or dancer or singer
merely because of lower test
scores or high school grades?
It is just as reasonable to
include ethnic and racial back-
ground in these considera-
tions. If test scores and grade
point were the only require-
ments for admittance, the
school would be full of engi-
neers and pre-med students,

The 'new 'serial
rapist is more
terrifying than
any individual
I t was close to three years ago that
women were frightened to walk just
a single block after dark in Ann Arbor
for fear of attack, or. even worse, rape.
As the campus and community was
embroiled in a
hunt for a violent
serial rapist
throughout 1 994
students rallied
against the fright-
ening crimes and
cowered, power
less against they
terror of one man
As time passed,
the man was conJsH
victed and the WHITE
streets were JUPN
declared safe once
again. Today, with
what is a rather misguided idea of
security, women seem to feel safe on
the streets. There isn't a serial rapist.
There isn't imminent danger. There'
nothing to worry about. Some say tha
they can defend themselves.
The problem is that the new "serial
rapist" is not a person at all. It is a
group of people of unknown propor-
tions, armed with a terrifying weapon.
These people wreak their havoc with a
tasteless, odorless drug that is so fear-
fuil it has been outlawed in America
and cannot even be prescribed. And
they don't lurk on the street or in the
darkness - these rapists are class-
mates and friends.
Armed with the potent drug
Rohypnol, commonly called "roofies,"
"rope" "roach" and "the forget pill,"
people are turning parties and infor-
mal gatherings into dangerous and
abominable situations. The small
white pills, once dissolved in an alco-
holic drink, cause disorientation,
dizziness and amnesic effects - the
victimized woman may never knox '
what happened to herwhile she wasr
drugged. These men have discovered a
perfect weapon, one that leaves no
trace and leaves no memory. Their
rapes never happened.
Such a possibility has scared women
into carefully monitoring their drinks
while at parties, making every situa-
tion a dangerous one. This drug,
imported at an alarming rate from sev-
eral countries that allow its produc-
tion, has driven women into a fear tha
they can't even fathom. This scenario
doesn't hide insthe alley, it hides in
their best friends' hands.
Unfortunate for the University com-
munity, there is no way to clearly esti-
mate the level to which Rohypnol has
infused itself in Ann Arbor. Reports
from southern states show an increase
in the drug's popularity with teens and
with heroin users who are looking for
a way to slowly come down off a
euphoric high. As the drug creeps
northward. fears have increased.
prompting the Department of Pubic
Safety to issue warnings last week that
the drug may be here. There have been
no confirmed reports of the drug's use
on campus, but most scary is that it
may be that no one knows they have
been victimized.
And women still feel safe. They
walk alone and stay at parties by them
selves. They revel in the "safe" atmos-
phere of Ann Arbor but maybe don't
realize the danger that lurks behind
every door.

But as the Mayor's Task Force on
Increasing Safety for Women gears ip
for a huge November publicity cam-
paign, they are warning that women
are not safe - at least they are not as
safe as they might want to believe.
Later this month, the task force i
putting a painted AATA bus on the
road with anti-violence messages and
important phone numbers to contact
for information or help. The bright-
red bus, which promotes the "There's
NO Excuse For Violence Against'
Women" slogan, aims to educate they
community about the dangers that
exist and to prevent the average of
more than 46 sexual assaults that are
reported to the Ann Arbor folic4
Department each year. Experts warn
that that number doesn't come close
to the actual number of sexual
assaults each year - some say just 10
percent of the crimes reach authori-
ties' ears.
In the face of a silent and invisible
enemy in the hands of the most con-
niving and despicable men I can imag-
ine, women need to seek help. When
put in a situation where they are con,
fused, helpless and alone, women need
to seek the help that is readily avail-
able on this campus and in this com-
We all know someone who has been
raped and someone who is a rapist -
it is just as much our responsibility to
help these women recover from their




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