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November 14, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 14, 1997

e 3kCutigrtn tig

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

A

JosH WHITE
Editor in Chief
ERIN MARSH
Editorial Page Editor

I Unls otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily', editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
FROM THE DAILY
Paking dough

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'I understand what the motivation Is, but I think
(MSA is) very unrealistic. There is not going to
be a cheaper way after the court ruling.'
Michigan Document Service owner Jim Smith, referring
to the court case his store lost to publishing companies
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Who 6Eir us FREEWpoM OF THE PRCsS.
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- LEr c"STOTH rEI7
L ETTERS TO TH E EDITOR

Clinton s lost in
the forest, but
the mediafound
some nice trees
have never been one to criticize the
Imedia for its coverage of Americap
politics. I really don't care about home
race coverage or attack dog tactics.'I C
American politics have become devoi
of issues and sub-
stance, politicians
have to shoulder at
least as much
blame as journal-
ists. Also, it is
foolish to think
that the details of
horse race cover-
age, image and
appearance,
regional versus PAUL
national strategy SERILLA
don't impact poli-
tics, they do andWAUR
they are newswor-
thy. But every once in a while, I have
to concede that the details that make a
good news story may not be as impor-
tant as the points the media glosses

0

City council should
After spending 30 minutes circling Ann
Arbor in search of a parking spot, dri-
Nvers take part in the tiresome ritual of dig-
ging through their pockets, backpacks and
car seats for enough change to feed the
parking meter. This troublesome quest may
soon worsen as the Ann Arbor City Council
considers a proposal to raise parking rates.
The proposal would raise rates from 60
cents to $1 per hour starting in January. The
debate over the 40 percent hike will be
decided upon by the council on Dec. 1.
Students, residents, shoppers and merchants
will all bear the consequences if the
increase receives the council's approval.
As the proposal stands, it appears that
Ann Arbor is going to take advantage of
those who have no choice but to come
downtown - off-campus students and busi-
ness people. It will also scare off those who
would like to enjoy downtown shopping -
shoppers and restaurant-goers - but do not
want to pay the excessive meter rates. The
hike would create a bad image of Ann Arbor
as an unwelcoming and greedy place.
The city became less open-armed to vis-
itors by closing the Washington St. parking
structure and condemning portions of the
Forest St. structure. With these closings,
parking in Ann Arbor is even harder to

not raise meter rates
visitors to steer clear of downtown Ann
Arbor. As one Saline resident noted in The
Ann Arbor News, "I probably (won't)
come to Ann Arbor to park when parking
at Briarwood (Mall) is free." If downtown
is to remain friendly to business, the city
must reconsider the exorbitant 40 percent
hike.
If the council presents a concrete plan to
use the extra revenue toward more parking
structures in the downtown area, the hike
could be understandable. Yet the public has
yet to see a succinct plan for the increased
parking revenue's use; without a smooth
transition between the parking meter raise
and more parking, the proposal leaves city
drivers with much to be desired.
With the Downtown Development
Authority's lots and structures estimated to
bring in nearly $5 million during 1997 and
1998 and city street meters already creat-
ing a yearly revenue of nearly $1.5 million,
it is hard to grasp why the 40 percent
increase is necessary. It becomes even
harder to comprehend when considering
that the hike may hurt local merchants -
the commercial backbone of the downtown
area.
Parking in Ann Arbor is already the butt
of many jokes and a source of annoyance
for students. The proposed hike would
make it even less of a laughing matter.
Those who have to park in Ann Arbor will
be unfairly penalized for lack of other
choices. Local merchants may suffer the
effects of shoppers and restaurant-goers
taking their business elsewhere. Students
and city residents should attend the public
hearing on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the
Larcom Municipal Building at Fifth and
Huron Streets in downtown Ann Arbor. That
is, if they can find a parking spot.
I course
s students save money

0

I

come by. Because parking spaces are
already at a premium, the hike would take
advantage of people who have no other
choice - or force them out of the down-
town area altogether.
Initially, with the structures' closings,
shoppers and visitors left with few places
to park were more apt to take their busi-
ness elsewhere - hurting the downtown
area's economy. If the prices of the few-
and-far-between parking spots increase, it
will be another reason for shoppers and
s..Backon
Coursepack store help

S ome of the hassles and expenses
involved with shopping for coursepa-
eks could soon be things of the past. If the
Michigan Student Assembly has its way, a
student-run coursepack store will be the
primary supplier of supplementary class
naterial. The idea - part of the Students'
Party's election campaign platform - has
'ntered the first stage toward completion.
iow is the time when full participation by
bath the students and faculty is crucial to
tl, store's success.
_-The coursepack store is an ingenious
idea to revitalize the assembly's image
rile relieving the student body of a major
l irden. Although the store is in its prelimi-
tiary stages, MSA obtained the support of
the Michigan Union Bookstore - repre-
jenting a vital step toward its completion.
Students will be able to buy coursepacks at
the same time they purchase their books,
resulting in enormous time savings. The
coursepack store will also benefit the work-
udy program as it provides several job
4enings for participating students.
In contrast to the excessive prices
Aiarged by other coursepack vendors, the
student-run store will charge only 2 to 3
cents per page of copied material. A 100-
jge coursepack would likely cost no more
than $3.00.. To reduce overhead, the
Michigan Union Bookstore granted MSA
ftee use of shelf space and space in the
building's basement in which to conduct
copying. Under this plan, students will save
a tremendous amount of money, quelling
many early semester frustrations.
: But the coursepack store is restricted -

idea to fully coalesce, it must surmount
royalty restrictions and other obstacles.
There are many non-royalty coursepack
options available to faculty - they must
commit to utilizing the assembly's coursep-
ack store for their classes' needs. Without
full cooperation on the part of the faculty,
the store will fail. As an incentive to pro-
mote usage, MSA provides the instructor
with a free coursepack. Once the service
grows, MSA may be able to accept
coursepacks with royalties, which would
greatly expand this innovative project's ser-
vice to students.
The coursepack store not only aids stu-
dents - it marks a period of transition for
the beleaguered MSA. The assembly has
suffered from students' perceptions of inad-
equacy and scandal. Now is the opportuni-
ty for representatives to put the dormant
years behind them and strive toward a more
positive image. The store also represents a
significant step for the Students Party
toward fulfilling campaign goals made last
semester. In addition, MSA president
Michael Nagrant deserves commendation
for his hard work at founding the service.
It is crucial that every member of the
student body and the administration active-
ly support the coursepack store. Plans call
for the store to be up and running in
January - one professor has already
pledged to utilize it. MSA hopes to increase
the number of interested faculty members
to 30-40 by the beginning of Winter term.
Students, as well as faculty, must support
the new store. It is a resourceful alternative
to the traditional overpriced monopolies

Article about
lawsuit was
'one-sided'
TO THE DAILY:
The Daily article titled
"'U' prof. faces trial on
charges of improperly inter-
viewing a child" (11/4/97)
contained inaccuracies and
was one-sided, reflecting pri-
marily information from
Demonstenes Lorandos, the
lawyer suing the University
and the Family Assessment
Clinic.
Edward Bileaska is not a
judge and his civil suit against
the clinic was summarily dis-
missed by the Wayne County
Circuit Court. In the 1990
case, Elissa Benedek was an
expert for the parents, the
defendants, and Prof.
Kathleen Faller was an expert
for Child Protective Services.
Benedek never testified in
front of former Michigan
Supreme Court Chief Justice
Thomas Kavanaugh. The par-
ents apparently did not have
the same confidence in
Benedek's opinion that
Lorandos does. They pleaded
nolo contendere to the child
abuse charges and allowed the
Juvenile Court to take custody
over their four children. After
they complied with the court's
orders, the court closed its
case. They then filed a civil
suit against the University,
Faller and the pediatrician
who examined the child, but it
was summarily dismissed.
The dismissal was upheld on
appeal.
The primary immunity the
University has asserted in
seeking a summary judgment
of dismissal on the Champney
case is not governmental
immunity but rather immunity
under the Michigan Child
Protection Act. The act
requires that professionals
who work with children report
to Child Protective Services
when they have reasonable
cause to suspect child abuse
and neglect. If they fail to do
so, they are liable for harm to
the child and may face crimi-
nal charges. In turn, the statute
provides immunity to persons
who report in good faith and
who cooperate with investiga-
tions of abuse and neglect by
Child Protective Services. It is
fundamental to the safety of
children for professionals who
try to protect them to befree
from retaliation.
According to his adver-
tisement, Lorandos special-
izes in defending persons
accused of sex offenses in
civil and criminal cases and
in filing civil suits on their
behalf against the profession-
als and agencies who have
formed opinions that his
clients have behaved inappro-
priately toward children. He
seems to have targeted Faller
and the clinic in particular.
LIsA BAKER
AceCrVIATFrVr IiPDEC ifinlr:T

enal and your offensive line is
great. Those are the two most
important qualities a champi-
onship team must possess.
Unfortunately for us, yours
does but ours does not.
Here's hoping you can
remain No. I and not get
screwed by the pollsters like
we did in 1994.
BOB KELLAR
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
'U' policies
victimize
good students
To THE DAILY:
The University's policy on
affirmative action lowers the
academic standards of the
University and is racist.
According to The New York
Times article "Group suing
University of Michigan over
diversity" (10/14/97), the
University's policy is charac-
terized by a sizable grade dis-
parity between African
Americans and the rest of the
University's students. The
two tables accompanying the
article essentially reveal a
dual admissions policy. This
policy creates lowered admis-
sions standards and lowers
the school's academic reputa-
tion. Moreover, the dramatic
increase in class size in the
past 10 years may be a result
of the University's efforts to
offset this degrading trend.
Affirmative action patron-
izes African Americans.
Patronization is a form of
racism because it infers that
African Americans are not
intelligent enough to get into
the University without GPA
and standardized test score
inflation. This inference
(which is rather common)
reinforces stereotypes placing
African Americans in the
same predicament. Thus, affir-
mative action policies are not
the answer if America wants to
absolve itself of racism.
The University's pursuit of
diversity is a ruthless numbers
game that leaves many fine
students with excellent acade-
mic credentials indignantly
rgjected. According to the
Daily ("'U' to fight lawsuit at
any cost," 11/5/97), the
University has demonstrated
its resolve. Unfortunately, if
the University wins it will
continue to enact a policy that
victimizes many excellent stu-
dents.
MARTIN PrASINSKI
LSA SENIOR
Vote in the
MSA elections
To THE DAILY:
Twice a year students at
the University have the oppor-
tunity to vote on campus ref-

Prof. Faller
violated
child's rights
To THE DAILY:
As an organization trying
to represent children's rights,
we frequently come across
stories of tampering with the
minds of children for the pur-
pose of favoring one parent
in custody disputes, as is the
case that involves Prof.
Kathleen Faller.
Unfortunately, these
instances of bias against
fathers is something that has
been repeated over and over
again by many professionals
conducting assessments. In
our opinion, in addition to
having her removed from the
University, the remedies
should also extent to disman-
tling the adversarial system
of justice and fining the
University for condoning
such practices.
All of our support goes to
the victims of this woman.
BILL FLORES
THE CHILDREN'S VOICE
Aff irmative
action eases
racial tensions
To THE DAILY:
Some feel that the high-
lighting of race in admissions
policies has led to increased
racial tension. Continuing
with this argument, one might
conclude that eliminating
racial preferences in favor of a
purely merit-based system
would decrease racial ten-
sions.dTake away racial prefer-
ences and we take away some
animosity, right? Wrong. The
only result is that we take
away a substantial and impor-
tant portion of our well-quali-
fied minority student body.
Yet, in a demented way,
proponents of this argument
are correct. After all, was there
much racial tension on cam-
puses in the '40s and '50s?
No, of course not. There was
no racial integration either!
But, the injustice of that situa-
tion has long been proven.
As racial integration desta-
bilizes the status quo, tensions
do increase. But admissions
preferences are not the root of
campus racism, bigotry, jeal-
ousy and cultural misunder-
standing. These social ills
long predate racial prefer-
ences in college admissions.
Defeating affirmative action
will not alleviate present
racial tensions, it will merely
sweep our virulent and per-
sisting social problems under
the political and legal rug.
Measures moving toward a
resegregated University and
society only increase exclu-

over.
Such was the case last weekend
when President Bill Clinton spoke to a
group of gay rights activists. Clinton
was there to generally endorse a plat-
form of gay rights and profess his per-
sonal support for the gay community:
no big shocker. This is the presidet
who, as a candidate in 1992, promised
to break down the barriers of sexual
orientation that currently bind our
armed forces.
Despite backing down on that very
serious issue, according to most statis-
tics, about seven percent of Americans
who voted in the 1996 presidential
election identified themselves as gay
or lesbian and the vast majority voted
for Clinton. Seven percent of the ele-
torate is nothing to be sneezed at a~d
the president, who has often been crit-
icized for leading an administration
according to Gallop polls, knows thi.
I heard analysts on several television
news programs arguing over whether
Clinton endorsing gay rights made
good political sense and whether or
not it would hurt Al Gore's chances r
the presidency in 2000. I guess this is
how 'political analysts pay the bi4s
during the non-election years.
While that pretty much sums up the
horse race reasons why Clinton gave a
speech before this group, it isn't te
primary thrust of this story. But ne-
ther is the other detail of the evening's
events that made it into the headlines:
"President Clinton and sitcom star
Ellen DeGeneres share stage at gay
function."
First of all, I don't know what coin-
stitutes a function versus a party, fund-
raiser, rally or hootenanny, but I do
know that the fact that the president
and the star of an ABC situation com-
edy shared a podium requires no great
alignment of the planets. I guess it
gives the story human interest 0it
whensit became the primary focusIt
demeans the rest of the story. "
The rest of the story is that in his
speech, President Clinton made a clear
pledge to fight discrimination against
gays and lesbians, including lending
his support to federal legislation tat
would aid the cause. Maybe it's just
me, but the protection of the civil
rights of Americans who face bigotry
and hatred because of an immutable
characteristic carries a little more
weight.
Taken in conjunction with the White
House Conference on Hate Crimes
that convened on Monday, President
Clinton may be on the verge of taking
his most serious stand on civil rights.
Maybe his most serious stand on any-
thing. There were 8,759 hate crimes
reported to the Justice Departmentin
1996, buttdue to inconsistencies in the
way various jurisdictions report those
statistics (when they are reported at
all), these numbers are likely to under-
estimate the extent of the problem.
The forthcoming legislation that has
the bipartisan sponsorship of Sens.
Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Arlen
Specter (R-Penn.) would add gays, les-
bians, women and the disabled to te
list of federal hate crimes that already
include crimes committed against peo-
ple because of race, color or national
origin. Clinton also announced a mod-
est package of federal initiatives to
combat hate crimes, but battling igno-
rance and blind hatred toward those
who are different is daunting at least
and perhaps it has been the most cor
sistent challenge during our nationi
history. Often, the hatred appears me
than institutionalized - it looks lik
national pastime. ,
Furthermore, the president aI
Congress need to unearth legislatiM
to protect gays and lesbians fra

workplace and hiring discriminatio .
The legislation was killed in its ear1y
stages last year, but is vital to
social health of this nation.

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