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October 20, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-20

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 20, 1998

e, lCitt igtt Et(tild

Lack of interest
in protest does
not equate to


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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Every criminal has a right to a lawyer. Why
shouldn't every sick person have a right to a doctor?'
-former US. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders,
speaking on the need for universal health care

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Cancer education
Students need to know the risks of breast cancer

ast Thursday, University Students
Against Cancer honored Breast Cancer
Awareness Day by distributing pink ribbons
and information on the Diag. As Breast
Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close,
,it should be noted that the University com-
munity has made a valiant effort to heighten
- -onsciousness about the disease.
°F College students often think they are
Invincible. Unfortunately, nobody is
immune to the many diseases and tragedies
society faces. Breast cancer, while most
prevalent in women over the age of 50,
affects young adults now more than ever.
According to the American Cancer Society,
breast cancer is the sixth leading cause of
:death and the most common form of cancer
among American women. Approximately
180,000 women and 1,600 men will be
diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 and a
shocking 43,500 will not survive. For many
Vomen, the key to survival is early detec-
4ion. This is where college students come
into play. Experts affirm that all women over
age 20 should conduct monthly self-exami-
-nations and get clinical breast exams every
three years. Mammograms, one of the most
important screening and diagnostic devices,
determine the possibility of cancer in lumps
that are too small to feel. About 94 percent
of American women diagnosed in the early
..stages survive.
In an interview with People Magazine,
.actress Marcia Wallace, a breast cancer sur-
-vivor, said, "If you're a woman and you're
alive, you can get breast cancer" There are
nany factors to determining who is and is
.,ot at risk for developing breast cancer, but
.experts have found three primary groups
Ahat have an increased risk: women whose

blood relatives suffered from the disease;
women over 50 years of age; and women
exposed to excess estrogen due to early
menstruation, late menopause or those who
were never pregnant.
While there are no guaranteed methods
of prevention, changes in lifestyle can
reduce the risk of acquiring the disease for
everyone, especially young adults. Birth
control has lower levels of estrogen than it
did in the 1970s, so it does not cause the
concern it did years ago. But studies show
that those who consume a large quantity of
alcohol are at greater risk for the disease. A
healthy, low-fat diet full of vegetables can
also reduce the risk.
The medical community is constantly
making advances toward improving early
detection tools and rehabilitation for those
diagnosed. In the past, a breast cancer diag-
nosis often meant a need for disfiguring
surgery. But recent breakthroughs allow
doctors to selectively remove malignant
lymph nodes and use chemotherapy treat-
ments with fewer side effects. There have
also been significant improvements in breast
reconstruction should there be a need for it.
While it seems prevention and cures are
just around the corner with new drug thera-
pies being developed, breast cancer contin-
ues to be a serious and prevalent disease. If
early detection is the key to survival, steps to
promote awareness on campus - such as
those of USAC and the University Health
Services, which provide free informational
and instructional pamphlets on cancer and
examinations - are to be commended and
encouraged. Students should heed the
advice of experts and take the necessary pre-
cautions to lower their risk.

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Abuse behind bars

State must end rights violations in its prisons
'M ichigan's attorney general's office - severe reprisals against those who have
: dropped its suit against the New York- come forward. This brings the constitutional
based organization Human Rights Watch last violation tally up to three: the Eighth
week. The suit was intended to force the group Amendment bars "cruel and unusual punish-
:to release the names of the plaintiffs in Nunn ment," the Fourth tacitly suggests a right to
v. Michigan Department of Corrections, a privacy, and the First guarantees freedom of
class-action suit filed by inmates at speech without punishment for exercising it.
Michigan's two women's prisons that alleges The class-action suit outlines abuses that
widespread sexual abuse by male prison range from rape and sexual assault to inap-
guards. The attorney general's attempts to propriate visual surveillance and strip search-
obtain this information were - with all pos- es performed by male prison guards.
sible understatement - quite brazen consid- Furthermore, those women who have leveled
ering the state's track record on this issue. such accusations have been the victims of
In December 1996, Human Rights Watch retaliation at the hands of those whom they
released a report titled "All Too Familiar: accuse. Many women interviewed by Human
Sexual Abuse of Women in State Prisons." Rights Watch reported being written up for
The report documented sexual abuse, harass- sexual misconduct themselves after reporting
ment and privacy violations by prison guards abuse; in addition, several inmates said that
in five states - including Michigan - as they had lost "good time" (accrued toward
well as the District of Columbia. Human early release), were subjected to punitive seg-
Rights Watch attorney Widney Brown stated regation and often lost privileges such as vis-
that "in most states, the problem's acknowl- iting rights after speaking out against the
edged and the state makes an attempt to deal abuse that they suffered.
with it." Not so in Michigan, where In light of these allegations, substantiated
Corrections Department officials have consis- by several women who have told their stories
tently denied that any such abuse takes place to Human Rights Watch, it is unconscionable
within state prisons, despite volumes of evi- for the state to demand that their names be
dence to the contrary. In fact, repeated allega- released; such an action would invite further
tions of abuse made by female prison inmates abuse against those who have already been
in Michigan have prompted the United victimized. While the attorney general's
Nations to launch its own investigation. But office has dropped its suit against iuman
Gov. John Engler has refused to allow U.N. Rights Watch, not enough action has been
human rights monitors into the prisons, accus- taken to stop the abuse in the first place.
ing them of being an "unwitting tool in the Instead of engaging in legal battles with
Justice Department's agenda to discredit the human rights groups, the state should make
state of Michigan." Engler's conspiracy theo- sure that there is no reason for such investi-
ry aside, it is unreasonable - not to mention gations in the first place. A citizen does not
unconstitutional - to allow what appears to surrender all of his or her civil rights upon
be rampant and unchecked abuse of the state's entering prison, and it is the responsibility of
prison population. the Corrections Department and the state to
The Nunn suit alleges not only sexual ensure that such violations as reported by
abuse of female prisoners by male prison Human Rights Watch do not occur in

Daily ignored
Home Depot
On Oct. 14, in more than
1,000 cities across the nation,
students joined together to
protest Home Depot's sale of
ancient forest wood. A cam-
paign, run by Rainforest
Action Network, has been
targeting this nationwide
chain in an attempt to
encourage Home Depot to
make good on its promise to
stop selling old-growth wood
in their stores.
The United States has
already lost 96 percent of its
old-growth forests. More
than 70 percent of the world's
remaining old-growth forests
are found in Canada, Russia
and Brazil. Some of these
forests have existed continu-
ously for 65 million years.
Consumptive habits and an
appetite for a disposable
lifestyle have contributed to
the rapid loss of this
unmatched resource.
The Ann Arbor News cov-
ered this exciting student-run
event last Wednesday, show-
ing again that it is interested
in the community and the
University's students. But the
Daily, a supposed voice of
the students, was too busy,
despite much advanced
When University students
join together, combat the apa-
thetic reputation that our gen-
eration has gotten and work
toward the conservation of
one of our Earth's rapidly
dwindling resources, the
Daily should be there. It is a
real shame that our student
newspaper can put an article
about Oprah's new movie on
the front page, but won't
cover events organized and
carried out by members of
the University community.
Dylan album
Sometimes, one really has
to wonder what exactly is
going on with the articles
published in the Daily. In the
review of the recent Bob
Dylan release titled "Live
1966" ("Playing 'Like a
Rolling Stone,"' 10/13/98)
Ryan Malkin twice com-
ments that the first disc of
the two CD set (or the first
set of the concert) consists of
politically oriented music.
Nothing could be further
from the truth. All of the
songs from that set are clear-

In the greater scheme of
things, such a mistake is not
important. But in the context
of a review of "Live 1 966'
labeling the songs performed
by Dylan as "political"
severely distorts readers' per-
ceptions of the material con-
tained on the album.
Furthermore, it calls into
question to what extent the
reviewer can offer an educated
opinion of this release. After
all, if Malkin cannot be count-
ed on to read the linear notes
or even listen to the lyrical
content of the songs, how can
it be assured that he paid
attention to anything else.
Dialog needed
between RAs
and residents
Resident advisers and
directors play a vital and influ-
ential role in the lives of stu-
dents living in residence halls.
They can be leaders, friends
and role models. Sometimes,
rigid policies force them to be
ruthless dictators yielding arbi-
trary and damaging power.
Such was the case last week in
West Quad.
The residents of the first
floor of Adams House planned
a substance-free social gather-
ing in the lounge for Friday,
Oct. 16. The time was set for 8
p.m., well before quiet hours.
Signs announcing the event
were posted in legal posting
zones around West Quad.
As later accounts would
testify, the resident director
went into a tizzy about the
gathering because the signs
referred to it as a "party,"
which is prohibited by official
rules. Rather than confer with
the first floor residents or alter
the signs, the director demand-
ed the first floor RA tear down
all the signs. The residents
remained clueless as to the cul-
prit or motivation behind the
removed signs for the entire
week, until the details surfaced
from the RA on Thursday.
All these details are com-
pletely factual. The entire
episode could have been
avoided with open communi-
cation and compromise.
Instead, there was no sal-
vaging the "party," and the
first floor Adams residents
were left with tarnished repu-
tations, while the rest of West
Quad was denied a legitimate
chance to socialize. The rules
of the residence halls are
designed to protect and satis-
fy students, but they must be
carried out reasonably and
justly. We hope the Daily will
support the airing of these
concerns as well as the need-
ed public dialog on such
campus issues.

Playgirl status ... would obvi-
ously have to be imported
because God knows there's no
one that good looking at the
University." There are quite a
few of us around, and remem-
ber, everyone's vision of
beauty is different. Although
Lockyer might not have seen
anyone filling her ideal, these
people may very well be gods
and goddesses to someone
else's eyes. So her "... where
we could celebrate what's so
great about all of us - our
differences" closing sentence
is meaningless and hypocriti-
cal in her article.
Also, not everyone's par-
ents were enjoying the greed
of the 1980s and making
money. It seems like
Lockyer's article is "noton-
ously clique-ish,' the exact
words she used to describe
the campus, and any sort of
creation of a Studio 54 by her
standards would just replicate
the behavior her article and
pseudo-studio sought to
GEO backs
Days of Action
The Graduate Educators'
Organization supports the
upcoming Days of Action as
part of the movement to
defend affirmative-action pro-
grams at the University. As a
union that is working to defend
and expand affirmative action
at the University, we recognize
the crucial link between the
struggle for worker rights and
the general fight for social and
economic justice, of which
affirmative-action programs
are one component.
We encourage all GEO
members and the University
community at large to partic-
ipate in both Days of Action
and the movement to defend
affirmative action in general.
forecasts are
often wrong
Who is in charge of the
Daily's weather forecasts? I
honestly don't think I have
seen one correct forecast this
year. When I get up at 6 a.m.
every morning for crew, the
first thing I do is turn on the
TV to see the forecast so I
know how to dress for prac-
tice. It always surprises me to
read the Daily and see that
the forecsted "low" is usuial-

In the 1960s, student activism was all
the rage. The University's campus --
along with many others across the orn-y
try - was filled with students angryabu h a nVenm h ii
abgutsthe warmintVietnam, the Civil
Rights Movement
and the women's < *"'
a d t e w m nsliberation move-
ment, among many
The Hippie
Generation went on
to become the
Baby Boomers,
leaving a tall bill
for the upcoming
generation to fill. JACK
But in the 1990s, SCHILLACI
we Gen-Xers S N T T1
(which, depending T1H LF
on who you listen
to, encompasses anywhere between all
and none of the student body) have, in
many ways, left our predecessors' lega-
cy of activism in the dust. Most -- but
not all - of us are much morecr
placent watching the drama unfold on
the "Real World" than staging a
Like all else, this rule is not hard
and fast. There still exist those on this
campus that believe that the only way
to further their ends is to stage a rally.
They feel very, very strongly about a
particular issue or group of issues,
and they are willing to stand on top of
the tables, shout and make all a ruckus
to get their point across. Their mind-
set can be that of brazen zealotry pep-
pered with a sense of self-righteous-
Examples of this ideology are lit-
tered in cities and campuses across the
nation. Religious zealots such as Rev.
Fred Phelps of the Topeka, Kan.,
Westboro Baptist Church are clear
examples of overly strong reactions to
equally strong feelings. While he
claims to stand on principle, he has
clearly let his lofty-yet-idiotic views
cloud his sense of taste and reality.
Picketing a funeral, for God's sake? I
think not - nowhere in the Bible does
it say, "Thou shalt be a disrespectful
ass:' ,
Political zealously is equally com-
mon. It can be found on both ends of
the political spectrum - from the
pro-affirmative action rants to the
tireless drumming of the morally cor-
ruptive power of the media that that*
1996 presidential election loser made
so popular.
The problem I've always had with
this mentality is the sheer girth of it. I
don't care to be told that one cause -
no matter how valuable and vital - is
of ultimate importance. The success-at-
any-cost (or by any means necessary)
attitude is not something that endears
people to me. Rather, it makes me fear-
ful that I might someday find myself in*
the crosshairs of an overzealous cam-
paign (well, actually, I have been, but
that's not important now).
I'm not talking about people who
simply feel strongly about something
and do something about it. If you are a
part of a group that advocates a particu-
lar cause or means of action, by no
means think that I mean to put you
down. Political discourse and activism,
while sometimes counterproductive in
my opinion, is as much a part of ou@
national culture as baseball and apple
pie. It crosses the line, however, when
all sight of other things is lost and nor-
mal logical thinking that should take
place doesn't.
I, too, share very strong feelings
about many political issues. Affirmative
action, civil liberties, money-hungry
capitalism in lieu of sound social policy

- all are issues in which my yea is yea&
and my nay is nay. But am I gonna stage
a protest? No. Stand on a bench in the
Diag and accost passersby? Nyet. 1
might be willing to get into an argument
here or there about it, but I'm not gonna
exhaust myself. It's not at all that I am
politically moderate, but rather that I am
of a moderate temperament.
Does this make me the type that will
not go to a rally or protest to defend a
cause I believe in? Yes. Does it make me
weak in my convictions? No. Does t
make me apathetic to goings-on around
me? Not at all.
Manyare all too fond of labeling our
generation as a bastion of apathy -with-
out any hope of promoting societal
change. In fact, I had the pleasure df
hearing one of this fine state's guberna-
torial candidates say something to that
effect just last week (I won't tell you
who, though). But the thing that such
critics and pundits miss is that contemO
porary student activism hasn't disap-
peared so much as it has simply
I want to bring about change in this
country, but I believe that there is more
than one way to skin a cat. I want to help
change things from within society's

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