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February 03, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 3, 1998

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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 boani.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Students should take advantage of 'U' events

'Were Sadaam Hussein to attack ... Israel, or
any of the other neighboring countries, our
response would be swift and resounding.'
- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
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t a time when affirmative action and
race relations occupy much of the
University's attention, Black History Month
and Chicano History Week offer many ways
to improve students' understanding of the
contributions African and Mexican
Americans have made to culture and society.
Advocates of marking the coming weeks
with these designations hope it will empha-
size the important impact these cultures have
had on the United States. The activities and
programs scheduled on campus and around
Ann Arbor will provide an excellent oppor-
tunity for the community to better under-
stand the rich, diverse cultures that comprise
the United States. Participating in the various
discussions and listening to the speakers is
valuable because a greater knowledge of the
black and chicano communities in the histo-
ry of the United States will work against big-
otry and discrimination.
One of the most important goals of the
upcoming events is to change the misconcep-
tions one might take from a traditional edu-
cation. Students have the opportunity to
explore black culture by taking courses
offered by the University's Center for African
American Studies. The center provides a vari-
ety of classes in departments such as history,
music and English. These courses may illu-
minate the misunderstandings regarding
African Americans that often arise from a
more narrow education.
But the special focus on black history will
undoubtedly allow students that do not take a
course from the center to learn more about
cultures the mainstream classrooms or com-
mercial mediums often misrepresent.

Attending the discussions and educational
forums sponsored by the various African and
Mexican American student groups will sig-
nificantly enhance students' learning experi-
ences. The activities scheduled this month are
undoubtedly among the best opportunities to
improve one's understanding of black and
chicano history. LaRonda Brown, the African
American coordinator in the Office of
Multiethnic Student Affairs, and Steven
Hernandez, a member of the student group
Movimiento Estudiantiantes Chicano/a De
Aztlan, emphasized the necessity for students
from all cultural backgrounds to participate.
Although the events certainly will enable
African and Mexican American students to
learn more about their own heritage, the pro-
grams are meant to enlighten all, regardless
of ethnicity.
Student organizations also have planned
to discuss less conventional aspects of their
cultures' history. For example, the Queer
Unity Project will more critically analyze
the issues surrounding gay racial relations
and how this more narrow category of black
history fits into the larger concept of
African American heritage. Additionally,
forums will explore the role jazz, rock 'n'
roll and other forms of popular music have
played in shaping the experiences and
images of American culture.
Regardless of specific interests, students
ought to take advantage of the planned events.
By promoting a better understanding of diver-
sity in American society, the scheduled Black
History Month and Chicano History Week
events could help the University community
achieve greater equality.

Crosing the lin
Clinic bombing goes beyond right to protest

uring the past few weeks, the nation
has celebrated the life and legacy of
the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a
visionary dedicated to non-violent protest.
Last Thursday, in the wake of these celebra-
tions, the bombing of an abortion clinic in
Birmingham reminded the country that
King's ideas have not been understood by
all. The incident does not boil down to a
pro-choice versus pro-life issue - it is a
woman's legal right to get an abortion; she
should be able to act on this right without
risk to her own life.
In the bombing, officer Robert D.
Sanderson died as he was working as a
guard at the front door. Emily Lyons, a
nurse at the clinic, sustained serious injuries
to her face and legs. Perhaps most harmful
is the indelible mark this act of cowardice
has left on the national psyche. This is an
atrocious act of terrorism that goes well
beyond the abortion debate.
The right to protest and the right to free
speech are two staples of American life -
instilling fear and threatening lives are a far
cry from these concepts. What happened to
writing congressional representatives and
picketing? Who decided that killing inno-
cent bystanders in the name of saving lives
is rational?
This is not the first bombing of an abor-
tion clinic. Last year, two bombs were det-
onated at an Atlanta clinic, but nobody was
seriously injured. Officials have not ruled
out a connection between this bombings
and the Birmingham attack. But the ques-
tion remains: How can one justify killing
innocent people who are exercising one of
their rights as Americans? This does not
work out logically - but terrorism rarely
makes sense.
As the law stands in Alabama, abortion
is 1ca1 inside secified clinics It is had

a possible threat to their lives. Even when it
is legal, abortion can sometimes be nearly
as dangerous today as it did back in the days
of back-alley surgeries.
For the past 200 years, picketing and let-
ter-writing has proven to be much more
effective than violent riots and, most recent-
ly, bombings. The genius behind such
peaceful protest is that through one's fight,
an educational process takes place.
Through this dialogue, not only can the
media pick up and spread a variety of ideas,
but average people around the country can
learn about both sides of the issue. The only
outcome to be expected from a violent
bombing is tragedy, shock and disdain for
the criminal.
One issue that remains unaddressed in
many ways is the rise in domestic terrorism
in the United States. In the past few years,
Americans have witnessed churches burn-
ing, federal buildings bombed, and pack-
ages exploding in recipients' faces. Violent
and rash measures should not be a vehicle
to gain attention.
Federal agents claim that they are going
to track down and convict the killers in this
case. This is the least that they should do.
The next step is making sure that women -
who under the law have a right to choose
whether or not to have an abortion - can
safely go to abortion clinics.
The bombing in Birmingham has taught
Americans a new lesson' about mutual
respect and how it can be abused. Bombing
a clinic with the intent of harming human
life under the aegis of protecting unborn
children should not be tolerated. Pro-
choice and pro-life groups have spoken out
against the recent actions. But this does lit-
tle, considering that people who would go
so far as to set a bomb are not affiliated
with these nencies These horrible acts

BYOB policy
is only IFC's
first step
I am writing in response
to the Daily's editorial
"Who's Buying?" (1/28/98).
The Daily misunderstood the
goals of the "bring your own
beverage" policy. This policy
alone certainly will not curb
underage drinkers, but was
not necessarily meant to
address that issue. The prob-
lem of underage drinking
presents one that by no
means can be solved in an
all-encompassing legislative
This policy addresses the
liability issue. With hosting
organizations moving to
BYOB functions, liability
shifts from the organizations
involved to the individual
who purchases and consumes
the alcohol. Not only does
this protect the hosting orga-
nization from a non-Greek
member attending a party,
but it protects it from a delin-
quent member of the Greek
In lieu of the many diffi-
cult aspects in dealing with
the problem of irresponsible
drinking, the Interfraternity
Council and Panhellenic
Association are attempting to
create a safer social environ-
ment by addressing the prob-
lem with a two-fold process.
The BYOB policy is the first
step. The next logical step
involves educational pro-
grams on the dangers of alco-
hol consumptionand how to
drink responsibly. Both IFC
and the Panhellenic
Association recognize that
when students come to the
University, they are adults
and should be responsible for
their own actions. The Greek
system hopes to educate
them on how to master this
new responsibility safely and
effectively. Treating this
problem in a two-fold fashion
should help in achieving the
ultimate goal of curbing ille-
gal and irresponsible drink-
Contrary to what the edito-
rial said, the IFC policy does
restrict the fraternities to have
BYOB parties with signed
sororities. The Daily was cor-
rect in saying that fraternities
will not supply alcohol.
But the Daily failed to
recognize that this is a trial
period. The participating 10
sororities and 20 fraternities
have agreed to host BYOB
functions. Each organization
will fill out an evaluation
form that will be submitted
to the BYOB Committee,
composed of past and present
chapter presidents as well as
other interested Greek system
members. When the trial
period ends on March 31, the
committee will propose
changes to the alcohol policy,

to prove that our Greek com-
munity upholds the
University's theme, "The
leaders and best."
CEO's study
was 'pseudo-
The claim of the Center
for Equal Opportunity that
whiteqapplicants to U of M
are 174-times less likely to
be admitted than their
African American counter-
parts with equivalent grades,
test scores and high school
class rankings ("Study finds
racial preferences," 1/27/98)
reveals far more about
CEO's agenda than it does
about the University's admis-
sions policies.
I have not yet learned the
details of how they cooked
up this number, but it is
clearly absurd. Consider a
white student whose numbers
are "shaky" enough that,
based only on the factors
cited, one would predict a 5-
percent chance of admission.
Clearly, it is mathematically
impossible for anyone to be
174-times as likely to be
admitted as this student,
since the best chance the
hypothetical minority com-
petitor could ask for is a 100-
percent chance of admission!
One way the claim could be
true would be for every
African American applicant
to score lower than every
white applicant whose test
scores and grades are high
enough to expect a 0.5-per-
cent or better chance of being
admitted (thesewhite stu-
dents would not count in the
ratio since under this sce-
nario there would not be any
"equally-qualified" African
American competitors), and
the rest following the 1/174
figure. As I'm sure even state
Sen. David Jaye (R-Macomb)
would concede, at least some
minority applicants score
above the bottom 0.5 percent
of white applicants, which
drives down even further the
threshold at which the 1/174
figure might become valid.
Reality would have to be
even more far-fetched than
my ridiculous example for
CEO's claims to hold up, at
least as they have been
Had the center claimed
that white students are "dis-
advantaged" by a factor of,
say, five in admissions proba-
bility relative to certain
minorities, I could at least
find a way to understand
where it comes from (though
I would certainly disagree
with their implicit equation

will hold MSA
I often hear complaints
about the lack of Michigan
Student Assembly accountabil-
ity to the University's graduate
students. This complaint is
clearly based in reality. Those
running for MSA can obtain
all the career benefits possible
by only serving one term. For
this reason, voting someone
out of office does not hold the
same threat in MSA as it does
in other elected positions.
MSA's constitution claims
its power is derived from the
students, but there is no
accountability. Fortunately, a
grass roots effort has begun
to put a constitutional
amendment on the MSA
election ballot March. This
proposed amendment will
hold MSA accountable to all
schools. With the passage of
the "Schools & Colleges
Accountability" amendment,
MSA will no longer be able
to impose itself upon any
school with impunity. MSA
will be held accountable.
I have had the privilege of
signing the petition for the
ballot question. I encourage
all students, both undergradu-
ate and graduate, to sign this
petition and support the
amendment on the March
ballot. Let's hold MSA
accountable. Sign the petition
and vote for this historic
amendment package.
Clinton lacks
There have been a number
ofjokes going around regard-
ing the latest debacle in the
White House. One that stuck
in my mind in particular said,
"2,000 American women were
asked in a poll if they would
sleep with the president.
Ninety-four percent said,
'Never again."' Unfortunately,
there seems to be more truth
to this than meetsrthe eye. In a
very real sense, President
Clinton has been unfaithful to
the nation and has breached
our trust.
Several years ago, Clinton
said, "There is a difference
between the character of the
president and the character of
the presidency." This is a
revealing quote and most
clear-thinking people should
see the absurdity of it. If the
person seeking (or in) the
office can't match the charac-
ter of the office, then they do
not belong there. The presiden-
cy represents not just the views
of the citizenry, but also the
ideals represented in society's

Violencedoes not
offer resolution to
abortion debate
W hen a bomb ripped through the
quiet, early morning in
Birmingham last week, it took one life
and nearly two. There is no doubt that if
the engineer of the explosive had his or
her way the bomb would havekilled
maimed plenty more. The bomb, aim
at a family planning
clinic that per-
formed abortions,
exploded at 7:33
a.m. on Thursday,
and it was put there
to kill and for noth-
ing else.
It seems we have
renegades out there
fighting a war - a
war against the O SH
Constitution, a war WHITE
against women and a JUMPlNG
war against rationali- I E Ct(UN
ty. They kill in the
name of a cause in which they believe,
and they are indiscriminant; they kill any-
thing in their path.
Unfortunate for two innocent people,
that pathruns through every abortion clin-
ic in the nation, including one
Birmingham. That path ran through an
off-duty police officer and a nurse who
were both either doing their jobs or on
their way to work. The officer was killed
for nothing more than performing his job,
the nurse injured for nothing more than
showing up early for work,
There is clearly something wrong
with this whole scenario, as is obvious
- I find it hard to imagine how one
could justify killing another person
the name of the abortion argumer ,
regardless of which side you support.
Killing in the name of the pro-life
movement? Jumbo shrimp anyone?
The fact of the matter is that just a week
after people nationwide celebrated the
anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade
decision that granted women abortion
rights, someone decided that the Supreme
Court wasn't good enough for them and
that the laws of this nation didn't apply
their little bomb (which incidentally sha -
tered windows a block away). Where do
these people come from?
I would like to think that I don't know
anyone like those who would kill others
over anargumentsuch as abortion rights
- what I fear is that I do. Perhaps these
are the people who sit next to us in class,
who stand next to us in line and who
work with us on a daily basis. Perhaps
they are our friends or relatives-
sad truth about a bombing such as tI
one is that we may never know who they
are because they were too cowardly to
face their decision and they were too
crazy to think correctly enough to stop it
ahead of time. The really sick part of this
whole incident is that it probably was not
the work of just one person but of many.
To be completely honest, I abhor abor-
tion. I think it is terrible, disgusting and
wrong; I think it is overused as a form
birth control and I know that it can
extremely dangerous - even life-threat-
ening - for women who decide to have
it performed on their bodies. But I, like
most people out there who decide to have
an opinion on this issue, don't have even
an inkling of a clue what abortion is real-
ly about. I am not a woman and will never
be faced with waking up in the morning
and learning that I am pregnant. I hope
abortion will never directly affect me or
my friends - but it already has affect
several people I know. I have the leisure
of speaking to an issue I will never face

on a personal level, and I bet the person
who set that bomb is in the same position.
Given all of that, I support the pro-
choice movement. I support choice
because I know that my opinion about
abortion is not the right opinion, and I
know that no one else knows the "right"
opinion either. This is about one thin
civil liberties. '
See, those who want to kill the doc-
tors who help women take stock in their
lives and who help women make the
most difficult decisions they will ever
encounter don't understand personal
choice. They don't understand that one
woman's abortion is one woman's abor-
tion - it is her problem, her situation,
her decision, no one else's. It doesn't
affect me, it doesn't affect you, and it
certainly doesn't affect the bomber.
John Salvi shot a few people
Brookline, Mass., just outside of Boston,
a few years ago. He shot them in the
name of the same cause the bomber
killed with. From one clinic to the next,
he mercilessly shot at innocent people
who were either working at or going to
planned parenthood services. They think
they are better than the law, they think
they are better than society, and they
clearly think they are better than you.*
What I find exemplary is that peop e
on both sides of the issue condemn such
actions, as Randy Tate, executive director
of the Christian Coalition, openly stated
Thursday. But there are people out there
who truly believe that killing others will

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