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February 17, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-17

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 17, 1998

U 1E iriTgux Dai g

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

j NyyJM
r '. YGYAaa '. t

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Our national interest is in preventing him (Saddam
Hussein) from threatening his neighbors once again,
trying to take control and dominate that region.'
-- National Security Adviser Samuel Berger, on the US.
willingness to initiate militaty action against Iraq

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
Raising voIce
Voter registration program will benefit students





!N ;.rDARK AGc,&.

C ollege-aged students have a notorious
reputation for low voter turnout. In
order to boost political participation among
students, the University will send voter reg-
istration cards with lease agreements to
incoming first-year students for the next
academic year. The University should be
commended for this action and should
extend the plan and encourage greater voter
registration among all University students.
The program is largely due to the efforts
of Voice Your Vote, a campus group dedi-
cated to boosting the number of registered
student voters. The groups efforts registered
approximately 6,500 students during the
1996 presidential campaign. While this
number shines on a nationwide scale, the
results dim when compared to the
University's student population of 36,000.
Clearly, many students were not taking
advantage of their precious right to vote.
By sending the cards with leases, stu-
dents will be more apt to register because of
the added convenience. This eliminates any
special effort a student currently would
need to make in order to become a regis-
tered voter. As a collateral benefit of the
program, the number of student voters reg-
istered here in Ann Arbor would also
increase. Students will have their Ann
Arbor addresses listed on their lease agree-
ments, eliminating an obstacle that may
prevent them from registering in the city.
Since students spend the majority of the
year in Ann Arbor, they would be able to
play a greater role in events that directly
affect them by voting in local elections.
The University's next priority should be
to register current students, first concentrat-
ing on students who will be in their sopho-
more year next fall. The great majority of

these students just missed participating in
the last presidential election and subse-
quently missed the efforts to stir political
participation. In between these quadrennial
elections, the initiatives to register new vot-
ers tend to slip. Students may not feel it is
important to register until the year 2000
The quest to attract student voters
should take inspiration from the tremen-
dous effort put forth on campus in the fall
of 1996. During that semester, the campus
became inundated with volunteers seeking
to increase student. Tables of volunteers
were commonplace in heavily trafficked
campus buildings, such as the Michigan
Union and Mason Hall. MTV's Rock the
Vote bus tour stopped by for a day on
South State Street. As the registration
deadline drew within a week, students
could not walk across campus without
someone presenting them with the oppor-
tunity to register. In comparison, the drive
to register students last fall was smaller.
Convenience is such an important factor in
getting students to register that the oppor-
tunity to fill out a card during a break
between classes must be available and well
advertised. In this way, registration
becomes a task of virtually no effort - lit-
tle more than simply filling out a form.
For the democratic process to work
properly, a large number of people must
actively participate in elections. Students
have a tendency to neglect this usually
newly acquired right - hurting the popu-
lace as a whole and student interests specif-
ically. Sending registration cards with lease
agreements should encourage students to
vote in larger numbers, an act that can only
benefit the University and its students.

[ I IW---- 4

Expensive seats

Excessive spending
A year of congressional pressure
prompted Attorney General Janet
Reno this past Wednesday to investigate
Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. In
question is his department's rejection of an
American Indian gambling proposal in con-
nection to generous campaign contributions
to the Democratic National Committee by
rival tribes. This inquiry reveals some prob-
lems that arise with the current system of
campaign financing. Personal wealth and
contributions dominate the American elec-
toral process, making the system more like-
ly to grind down in corruption and less
accessible to average candidates. It is
imperative that lawmakers enact reforms to
reduce the costs of campaigns and allow
government to operate without a continual
risk of impropriety.
An independent counsel's investigation of
Babbitt will not include an inquiry into cam-
paign finance issues. The more narrow prob-
lem arises from the appearance of inappro-
priate influences on the Department of the
Interior's termination of the Chippewa casi-
no project. These suspicions center on con-
tributions to the Democrats totaling
$230,000 from rival tribes, which stood to
lose business if a permit was granted.
Republican lawmakers believe campaign
solicitors improperly influenced Babbitt,
though he insists that the department's action
was indeed based on the applicant's lack of
merit. Since the 1998 election season is now
underway, this scandal should remind the
electorate about the current campaign
finance system's problems.
Political campaigns today, especially
national races, require huge expenditures.
An excellent example is this year's

damages democracy
campaign in American history, Democratic
and Republican nominees will spend mil-
lions of dollars on advertising and publicity.
Al Checchi, the millionaire Democratic
front-runner, admits that a serious con-
tender must have a considerable treasury to
adequately disseminate information. The
importance of money in elections also dis-
courages able, deserving candidates from
entering high-profile and important cam-
paigns because few can secure sufficient
contributions. Additionally, wealthier politi-
cians have immediate advantages over more
experienced, and perhaps better qualified,
competitors. Steve Merksamer, former chief
of staff to a Californian governor, observes
that past wealthy politicians ran for lower
offices before pursuing national positions.
But now that large campaign budgets
almost directly correlate to electoral suc-
cess, candidates without experience or even
basic political skills believe their amassed
or inherited fortunes automatically qualify
Some states, such as California, have
passed laws to limit the amount of a single
contribution, but this invariably benefits the
wealthier candidates - one law will not
solve this problem. Legislators ought to
understand that the current trend corrodes
the essence of American democracy.
Although some legislators claim restricting
campaign spending is unconstitutional, the
central role of money in politics threatens
free and fair elections - the foundation of
true democracy. Congress should find ways
to diminish the role of money in politics,
such as organizing town hall meetings,
coordinating election advertising and limit-
ing spending in campaigns. In doing so, the

'U' community
should reject
tobacco ads
I am writing in response to
a request by the Senate
Assembly - the elected gov-
erning body of the faculty. At
its Jan. 26 meeting, the assem-
bly expressed deep concern
over practices aimed at distrib-
uting "free" tobacco products
to members of the University
community. Tobacco, whether
smoked or chewed, is highly
addictive and has been directly
linked by overwhelming evi-
dence to a variety of cancers.
In fact, it holds the dubious
distinction of being a product
that kills people when used
strictly as intended. Because
of this risk, people are less
likely to purchase tobacco pur-
posefully for a first encounter,
and some parts of the tobacco
industry have apparently
adopted the unacceptably
aggressive marketing practice
of luring students with free
The University of
California at Los Angeles'
Higher Education Research
Institute recently reported that
tobacco use is at the highest
level in 30 years among sur-
veyed students, and university
campuses can expect contin-
ued aggressive efforts on the
part of the industry to take
advantage of what they view
as an experiment-prone, lucra-
tive market. All members of
the University community are
urged to recognize the magni-
tude of this threat, to exercise
good judgment in rejecting
and speaking out against sam-
ples of any addictive sub-
stance, and to exercise respon-
sible judgment by not facili-
tating the distribution of mate-
rials related to this kind of
U.S. policies
hurt innocent
Iraqi people
I am writing to urge every-
one to oppose any and all
efforts to initiate a military
strike against Iraq. The United
Nations estimates that
1,000,000 Iraqis have died as a
result of the sanctions against
the country. Yet U.S. President
Bill Clinton and United
Kingdom Prime Minister Tony
Blair brandished the use of
American and British force
before the international press.
What can become of this?
The Iraqi infrastructure
has been largely demolished
by the Gulf War bombing.
Iraqi medical facilities are

find it outrageous that the
inspection teams have
searched convents and
churches while seeking chem-
ical and biological weapons.
Churches are a place of sanc-
tuary. In the United States, we
would be aghast at the search-
ing of religious institutions
for political reasons. I find it
intolerable that Iraqi religious
institutions are expected to
allow themselves to be
searched. As a person of faith
and a human who values lib-
erty, I find this conduct
As to the sanctions and
the ensuing starvation, death
and misery in the face of an
incompetently implemented
"oil for food" program, I
must question the ability of
the Iraqi people - the recipi-
ents of damage from the
sanctions - to significantly
influence the policy of their
government. Much less do I
expect them to greet U.N.
policy with open arms.
Saddam lussein has indeed
committed atrocities upon his
people, especially the Kurds
and the Shi'a. But I do not
believe that sanctions will
stop this. I expect that they
will drive him to desperation.
Chemical and biological
weapons already exist in
Syria, Israel, Libya, Egypt,
the United States and other
countries (despite interna-
tional law). Nuclear weapons
already exist in the United
States, Russia, France,
Britain, China and Israel and
are dispersed throughout the
world. Given this large num-
ber of weapons of mass
destruction throughout the
region and the world, I must
believe that significant deter-
rence exists to prevent the
use of biological weapons on
the part of Iraq, even if they
ever were developed. Yet U.S.
measures provide significant
impetus for Iraq to take mili-
tary action. Could a starving
nation do any less?
It is past due for us to
oppose any attempt by the mil-
itary to in any way injure the
people of Iraq. Given our pur-
ported dedication to human
rights, I can expect no less.
New cafeteria
should be on
I would like to identify
myself as a disgruntled South
Campus resident. I was
humored to find out that
there is a plan to build one
large cafeteria in the Hill
area. The most obvious ques-
tion is: Why waste $14 mil-
lion to build a cafeteria so

close to or inside of Fletcher
Hall. This may sound like an
incredulous negotiation, but
it seems that headlines forget
the smaller residence halls. I
am challenging University
President Lee Bollinger to
take my plea under consider-
ation. Building a cafeteria on
South Campus would be in
the best interests of the stu-
dents of South Campus.
Error was a
'harsh blow'
to sorority
My name is Suki Kuang
and I am a member of the
gamma class of Alpha Kappa
Delta Phi, the only Asian-
American sorority on campus.
I, along with the rest of my
sisters, are incredibly upset at
the misprinted letters of our
sorority in the Jan. 28 Daily
("Ethnic Greek organizations
build cultural awareness").
Each and every one of us
went through a pledge period
to earn our letters. To see
what we have painfully earned
misprinted in the widely cir-
culated and read Daily was a
harsh blow to our pride.
We are honored to be
mentioned in the Daily, but
the fact that our letters were
misprinted in this way was
dramatically painful. Printing
a miniscule correction in the
future will not change or
undo the damage. The Daily
should correct its mistake as
soon as possible.
Reviewer was
not paying
Normally, I would never
write a letter to the Daily in
fear that it will serve to pro-
vide some validity to the
Daily as an actual work of
journalism, but I could not
resist pointing out a glaring
error in the "Replacement
Killers" review ("Forgettable
'Killers' could be replaced,"
Matthew Barret mentions
something about Chow Yun-
Fat's character having a
change of heart and not being
able to kill the police officer.
Was Barret paying attention
to the movie at all? The char-
acter never had to kill the
police officer. The assign-
ment was to kill the officer's
son. Hence, the whole sav-
ing-the-son aspect of the plot.
Additionally, if Barret is

Superfan needs
your heo to earry
on his tradition
W hen fans stod and started to chant
"Superfan, Superfan," during
Friday night's hokey game against
Miami (Ohio), all MYi Holzhausen could
do was raise his arms up and bask in the
attention - his expeed noise was abat
ed when a police
officer confiscated
his coveted cowbell
and stick for the
duration of the game
just minutes earlier. ;
Holzhausen said
that hearing the
cheers "was just the
greatest ... that was
the best."
While Superfan
calls the Miami OSH
game one of his WHITE
greatest because he tUMING
rearly got ejected 1 .UN
from the stadium for
getting up into a Miami fan's face, it was
just a small marker on a long career. After
years of chanting, cheering, ranting and
jeering, Superfan's days are numbered -
and he's looking for a replacement to fil
his mask and cape.
Superfan, aka Jeff Holzhausen, who will
receive a masters degree this May and end
his years as a University student, seems as
much a part of this University as anything
else I have known - a constant part of
football Saturdays and a vital cog in the
rambunctious Yost wheel. He seems like he
should be here forever, like he should be
taunting refs and helping cheerleaders for
an eternity. As he looks to pass the torch to,
he hopes, a "very young student, possibl'
a freshman," he too looks to start a tradi-
tion the likes of which this University
should not abandon, a tradition of deep-
seeded love for the maize and blue.
Holzhausen has missed just one foot-
ball game in recent years, attending both
home and away contests regardless of
their location. His lone absence was in
Colorado last season due to a wedding he
attended: "Looking back, I should have
gone to the game," he said. He has seer4
three national championships in person
- swimming, hockey and football - and
has been attending Michigan Stadium
since the ripe age of three weeks, when he
"was there" for the Ohio State-Michigan
tie of 1973. ("I don't remember it, but it
must have been a good one," he added,
smiling.) He said his Superfan days start-
ed a few years ago when the cheerleaders
gave him the name after spotting his cape
and mask - but Holzhausen has been thg
Superfan since birth.
At Holzhausen's high school in
Chelsea, they have named an award after
him, giving praise to the "most spirited
junior" at the high school. He said his
high school officials want him to return to
present the award this year - something
he considers an honor but not much of a
surprise. It seems he evokes spirit in the
meek and turns the average student into a
raving lunatic; and all with raw ability. *
At Friday night's game, an usher who
is a regular at the upper-level Section 16
entrance (where Superfan sits) and was a
party to having Superfan's bell removed,
said his antics rile up the crowd to a point
of being "intrusive" to others in Yost, and
the usher pointed out the opposing team's
fans, the elderly and young children who
hear a constant barrage of swears, lewd
comments and jeers throughout the
"It has gotten to a point where kidD
are repeating the chants at home and in
;chool," the usher said. "One recently
>ot in trouble at school for saying what

he students say after a penalty - you
:now, with the chump, dick, wuss, etc.
- and then people point to Michigan
nd think badly of it."
But Superfan says he usually doesn't
ppear in costume at Yost "because the
ins don't need me here," despite hi
isual role in most of the traditiona
deers and his ability to lead the crowd.
I am just being me, that is what is hard-
6t for most people to understand."
And that is what will be hardest for the
ext Superfan, and undoubtedly the most
inportant challenge: to be him or herself.
Iolzhausen said some of his friends truly
nderstand that his antics are for fun and
ast a part of the way he is, but others
pink that he goes too far, that his screams
.nd derision should have a breaking point H
-le said people accuse him of being intox-
cated at games (he doesn't drink alcohol),
>f being too loud (at Yost or Michigan
tadium?) and that fans often threaten to
;et ushers to control him (he has been
jected from one football game "for get-
ing up on the wall" in his early years as a
;tudent, but now is quick to assure you
hat the field director for the Department
if Public Safety has an autographed pic-<
ure of Superfan on his office wall.) Thi
4l seems way too much for it to be an act.
Superfan has been on every major
sorts network and has been an unofficial
nascot for the University since he started
t(don a cape, a mask and those Michigan
snglasses he wears - even at Yost. He

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