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April 14, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 14, 1998

(9Iw Bti a Ialig

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 board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Head of the class
Money is needed to expand use of AP tests

'This agreement really doesn't finalize peace. It
creates the opportunity for peace and reconciliation.
It's a good first step, there's still a long way to go.'
-former US. Sen. George Mitchell, on the peace pact to be
voted on by the people of Northern Ireland on May 22
fVE =V' HAVE rF o F- 11*,sE. DAYS?

I n many high schools, college-bound stu-
dents all take similar courses to prepare
themselves for the world of higher educa-
tion. This pre-college equation often
includes Advanced Placement courses,
which allow students to do college-level
coursework and earn credit toward an
undergraduate degree. Ann Arbor's Huron
High School was recently named as one of
230 public schools in the country that has
an average of more than one AP test taken
per student. The AP courses and tests have
many benefits for participating students -
but often, schools cannot afford to offer
such rigorous courses.
The AP classes usually use the same
textbooks that introductory college courses
use. Because they are generally accelerated
and harder than the rest of the high school
curricula, the courses can help prepare stu-
dents for the difficulties of college work.
Students that do well on AP tests receive
credit for their work - giving them a head
start and possibly enabling them to pass out
of prequisites for some college classes. AP
classes give students a taste of what lies
ahead in college and help prepare them for
the nature of college work.
But one problem that many public
school systems have in trying to establish
the classes is a lack of funds. Since the
courses require different textbooks and
high-quality faculty to teach them, they
can often exceed the cost of more run-of-

the-mill courses. This denies schools in
more economically disadvantaged neigh-
borhoods the option to offer such classes
- resulting in a greater disparity in not
only the schools' respective curricula but
also in the preparedness of their respective
graduates. The government should allo-
cate more money to support poorer
schools is needed to help counteract this
School districts should also make sure
that all students that are interested in taking
advanced coursework have the opportunity
to, regardless of the subject. There present-
ly are 18 different subjects covered by AP
tests, but most schools do not offer classes
for all of them. Schools should expand the
breadth of the courses offered to ensure that
students with a wide variety of academic
interests have access to the advanced class-
es. Further, schools should try to encourage
more than just their top-of-the-line students
to take the classes. Expanding the number
of students involved in the programs will
likely benefit schools' overall academic
With the crisis facing many public
schools, including those in Ann Arbor,
programs like the Advancement Placement
tests could benefit students' ability to
attain higher education. The government
must ensure that economic blockades do
not hinder schools' ability to offer such

An end to equity
Perot's policy amounts to discrimination

W hile the fight for equal civil rights has
been productive and led to societal
change for many groups, the gay communi-
ty's battle has just begun. Discrimination and
persecution has found another outlet in gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individ-
uals. Their battle is not only for equal rights
or equal pay; they are also fighting outright
discrimination in the form of hate crimes and
violence. This group of citizens has an uphill
battle against ignorance and intolerance -
and they have just been dealt another blow.
Last week, Ross Perot's computer services
company revoked health coverage for part-
ners of newly hired gay employees. Within
the last month, Perot suspended benefits for
new employees while retaining them for cur-
rent ones. While the nation pushes for grow-
ing acceptance and increased diversity, this
act is unacceptable and unfair.
Perot's corporation was the first to reverse
a trend among many businesses, especially
among the computer industry, to grant bene-
fits to same-sex marriages. The gay commu-
nity and the nation must not ignore Perot's
action. Fairness and equity must be reinstated
in the workplace, an environment that often
mirrors the problems and issues of society at
large. Perot said that his action "has nothing
to do with gay rights - it has everything to
do with fairness and equity." He argued that
his decision only reflected a fear that individ-
uals in a heterosexual relationship would
falsely claim to be committed in order to win
benefits. But what Perot seems to forget is the
fact that individuals in a committed gay rela-
tionship have no means to solidify or prove
their commitment - gay marriages are still
illegal in many states. If the gay community
cannot legally unite in the eyes of the state,
then there lies no other option but to merely
claim commitment. But individuals in a het-
erosexual relationship have the option of
legal marriage and are not forced to ambigu-
ously claim commitment but also allowed to
prove it. In defense of the business world,

This protects their bottom line and alleviates
confusion for human resources. But at this
point, gay relationships have no legal outlet to
prove their commitment. Their benefits
should not be lost simply because most states
do not yet accept gay unions.
Perot's action also exemplifies a backlash
that businesses have successfully been fight-
ing since the introduction of benefits for gay
partners. The Lotus Development
Corporation became the first public company
to introduce benefits to same-sex partners in
1991. I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft,
Intel, Apple Computer, Northern Telecom
and Electronic Data Systems followed suit
quickly thereafter. The Human Rights cam-
paign, a leading gay and lesbian political
organization, has commended these compa-
nies and said that Perot's action has "shown
himself to be completely out of step with
American business, especially in the infor-
mation technology business, this was a total-
ly unnecessary and mean-spirited action." To
instate health care benefits and then revoke
them is not only unfair but can also lead to
financial problems for individuals who count
on health care. Even though Perot is not
revoking benefits to those who already
receive them, not granting them to new
employees creates an unfair hierarchy in the
Even more, because only gay employ-
ees' partners are barred from receiving part-
ner benefits, benefit. packages inherently
hinge upon an individual's sexual orienta-
tion. This is blatant discrimination. Perot
must be held responsible for this wrongful
action. More important, members of the gay
community should not allow this practice to
become commonplace. While other compa-
nies have not yet followed Perot's lead, pre-
emptive action must be taken. Until gay
marriages are accepted and legal, gays and
lesbians have no way to qualify for a legal-
ly bound requirement for workplace bene-
fits. This obvious and hurtful discrimina-
tin ann h rr.tr nr_1nwP. s_ n

mindset of
LSA students
is 'wrong'
I have long been a fan of
Erin Marsh's column
"Thinking of U,"' and she
has long provided an interest-
ing view of life at this
University. But after reading
her March 31 column
("Almost done at the 'U'?
Beware - the party will only
last so long"), I feel she has
truly demonstrated every-
thing that is wrong with the
career mindset of many LSA
students on this campus.
I am an LSA student who
has endured a fair share of
teasing from my many
acquaintances in the School
of Business Administration
and the College of
Engineering. While initially,
I, too, entertained the thought
of transferring to the
Business school, I decided
I am a student of the dis-
mal science they call eco-
nomics, and I subscribe to
the theory that apart from
one's income, there is no bet-
ter way of measuring one's
worth to society.
While it is true that LSA
students "cannot answer
questions" as my Engineering
acquaintances so succinctly
put it, our true worth comes
in asking the right questions
for others to come up with
It is also true that we will
be payed 30 percent less than
our fellow graduates from
Engineering and Business
working for soulless corpora-
tion so vividly described by
Marsh, but if one looks close
enough, we would realize
that while the highest-paid
employees in soulless corpo-
rations are engineers and the
chief executive officers are
B-School grads, the share-
holders - those who had the
original idea - are people
with a liberal arts back-
We, the LSA students, are
armed with our cross-disci-
pline approach to education
and can see things others
from the glorified trade
schools they call the College
of Engineering and the
School of Business
Administration cannot see
with their blinkered approach
to life.
So please, I plead that all
LSA students get out of the
mindset demonstrated by
Town Hall
meeting was

recognize all of the individu-
als who contributed their
thoughts and their energy to
this important dialogue -
you made this event possible.
I firmly believe that the
University accomplished
something that few schools in
the nation are capable of - a
constructive dialogue about
race. It is an emotional issue,
a difficult issue and a very
important issue. It took a lot
of courage for this University
to get behind such a discus-
sion, and I am proud to be a
member of this University -
for this if for no other reason.
I acknowledge that there
were individuals and groups
who did not agree with the
nature and the presentation of
this event. I would like to
apologize to those individuals
and groups who felt their
views or interests were not
represented and urge each
and every one to work with
me and with the Michigan
Student Assembly in the
future to address these con-
cerns in a constructive fash-
ion. I take sole responsibility
as the organizer of this event
for any problems or con-
cerns, and I hope that the
purpose of this event nor the
intentions of MSA are
skewed by my errors. I am
confident that MSA will con-
tinue to work to address these
important issues, and I wel-
come everyone - across this
University - to help MSA
identify the direction to take
and join us as we move down
that important road.
Lessons from
sports carry
over into life
I really enjoyed the col-
umn by Sharat Raju in the
April 6 issue ("Newest title
shows that hard work pays
off"). As a University alum-
na, current Ann Arborite and
avid Michigan hockey fan, I
felt Raju captured my
thoughts and feelings about
this year's team perfectly. The
article showed great insight
into how the lessons we learn
from sports relate to all of
our lives.
College sports, especially
at Michigan, are a symbol of
the goals we all strive to
achieve. It is so nice to see that
even the underdog can come
out on top in trying situations,
given a lot of hard work and a
good coach! It is not a fluke
that Michigan is the first
school (I think) to win both a
football and hockey national
championship in the same year

Blum missed
point in letter
I am writing in response
to Edward Blum's letter
"Humankind cannot follow
biblical laws" (3/30/98).
Blum seems to have missed
the point of Jonathon
Seyfried's letter ("Modern
society does not adhere to
biblical laws," 3/23/98), to
which he responds. The point
is that most Christians who
argue that homosexuality is a
sin make no attempt to fol-
low many of the other laws in
the Old Testament. A person
who eats pork and disobeys
various other biblical laws
(concerning, among other
things, acceptable food and
material for clothing), yet
decries homosexuals for their
sins is quite simply a hyp-
Comments in
Golden Apple
article were
The Daily's article about
this year's Golden Apple
award recipient, Prof. Jim
Adams, ("Apple' winner
gives ideal last lecture,"
4/7/98) highlighted the out-
standing achievements of one
of this University's finest
In an apparent effort to
"objectively" report on the
award ceremony, however,
Daily staff reporter William
Nash cited opinions that
characterized Prof. Adams as
"pompous" and
In a theoretically laudato-
ry article such as this, the
addition of "some" students'
derogatory comments is inap-
propriate. There is no
respectable justification for
the inclusion of such dis-
paraging statements. This
misjudgment only tarnished a
journalistic piece which
could otherwise be framed on
the wall of Adams' office.
Additionally, as his stu-
dents, we know that these
allegations could nottbe fur-
ther from the truth. Adams is
a humble professional, unlike
some professors who take
every opportunity to flaunt
their glories. For instance, his
only mention of the award in
class was to personally deliver
an invitation to each "co-
recipient:" his students. He
felt that his students, as active
participants in class discus-
sions, were equally deserving
of his teaching accolade.

Tax dodgers hurt.
us all by shirking
Anyone who picks up their monthly
paycheck to see it wittled away by
both federal and state fingers is bound to
be a bit upset. Seeing, in some cases, more
than a third of your income virtually dis-g
appear can in no way be a good feeling
You worked for that money, you
deserve it, right?
As the deadline for
tax returns nears
(you've got a little
more than 36 hours)
dollars and cents
nt always mean
dollars and sense --
people often forgetn'
the importance of
those tax dollars and
the ways in which OSH
they are put to use. HITE
Not that I amparticu- tMPING
larly pleased with the THi GUN
government's spend-
ing policies, nor am I particularly pleased
with every venture our representatives in
Washington undertake, but I do understand
that without Uncle Sam in my pocket, I
might not be able to write this column, and
you might not be able to read it.
In looking at federal income taxes,
either those withheld or the extra cash you
have to senddin, there is a tendency to be
overwhelmed with the cost of living in
this country - I mean the cost beyond
that of rent and food and everything else
we need. We look at the percentage, we
look at the numbers, and we wonder
where it all goes and why we are respon-
sible for paying for it. The reports of
$20,000 toilet seats and $15,000 hammers
in the federal budget cannot make us
much more secure.
I am definitely not an economist and
I don't know very much about tax code
(those EZ forms are amazing), but I do
know that if we all stopped paying
taxes, a lot in this country would
change, and very quickly. Our way of
life, perhaps, would be uprooted and we
wouldn't be able to function.
It angered me last week upon reading
quotes in The Washington Post from
several U.S. citizens who were open,
and even proud, about the fact that they
don't pay their taxes. On the front page
last Wednesday, "Tax Dodging: An
American Rite of Spring" discussed
national tax trends and discussed dodg-
ing tactics with a few people who take
in large amounts of cash that never get
reported and others who refrain from
paying because they either feel they
won't get caught or because they have
problems with the government.
I wish there was some way to prevent
these people from driving on our roads,
using our public buildings, entering our
libraries, and taking advantage of the
many other things that are run with public
funds. The biggest offenders are removed
(through jail sentences), but most of the
people typified by those mentioned in the
Post article are not caught - siphoning*
thousands of dollars out of the public cof-
fers for no reason other than greed.
The truth of the matter is that there are,
of course, things that will not get report-
ed, things that are overlooked and small
cash transactions (babysitting, snow
shoveling, etc.) that will never show up
on the books, and it seems as if that is
almost entirely acceptable, at least by
today's standards. In a nation that sees a
vast majority of its taxes collected, these
are incidental costs that are inevitable. 0
But the IRS reports that more than $80
billion in taxes will go missing this year,
enough, the Post reports, to fund "the

salaries and benefits of the entire U.S.
military." And if you thought that the
defense budget was too high to begin
with, this certainly does not help matters.
Keep in mind that there are problems
with the current taxation system and
within the IRS - it seems Congress
can't ever find anything right with either.
But the way to beat the system is to
change it for the better, not to avoid it, as
so many of our fellow Americans do.
The toughest part of the problem is
that there is no way to audit everyone,
and there should be no need to either.
The people who follow the rules (or
who at least try to) are the ones who get
cheated, not the federal government. If
more than 17 cents on the dollar go
unaccounted for, the rest is made up by
the paying public and the lack of ser-
vices or loss of services is due to the
few who choose to break the rules.
Perhaps some feel that they have no
need to support the rest of the country or
they feel that their meager wages should
not be tapped, but what separates them
from the rest of us? It goes back to the
age-old quandary of collective goods -
those who don't share still get to play, this
time on a much larger scale. Should greed
outweigh the public good? Of course not.
But the cheaters will say that if they can
get away with it, why not? Their argu-
ment: "Everyone else is doing it too!"
On CNN Headline News yesterday
morning, a report outlined the success of

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