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October 23, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 23, 1998

(Th Sid~itun 1]adgd

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

r 3i

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.
RPe'ad onpm t
Programs offer ''dcance to help community

'Teaching Is one of the most valuable professions,
and we treat them so poorly.'
- LSA first-year student Camille Brown, on the recent contract negotiations
between the University and the Graduate Employees Organization

Friends feel
private, yet
public, pain

Fp or most University students, it is prob-
ably hard to imagine what it would be
like being unable to read. Students go
through their daily lives immersed in text-
books and e-mail, concentrating on the next
big paper. What we often don't realize is
that close to home, there are children who
can not read well and migrant farm workers
,who can barely speak English. Students
participating in the America Reads
Campaign and a University linguistics
course are tutoring these groups in reading
and speaking English.
Several University students are involved
with the America Reads Campaign through
the work-study program. Each tutor works
with one child or a small group of children
who are in kindergarten through third grade
ir a local elementary school. Since the pro-
gram began last year, four tutoring sites
have been added. According to Carolyn
Schrodel, the America Reads Challenge
coordinator at the University, these schools
-were chosen because they need assistance
in reading.
In 1994, 40 percent of fourth-grade stu-
dents failed to demonstrate basic reading
skills. This inadequacy was sometimes due
to a lack of pairental involvement or a learn-
ing disability. All children need the ability
to read, and tutors are one of the best ways
to teach children this vital skill. The one-on-
one attention that the kids receive from
University students not only teaches them
the basic skills, but also gives the child a
role model.
The University community should do all
that it can to ensure that all area children
have the essential skills of reading and writ-
ing. The America Reads Campaign is an
excellent way for students on work study to
get involved, but others who can spare the


time should think about volunteering for a
literacy campaign. The program also offers
a great opportunity for students - rather
than being regaled to a perhaps monotonous
job serving food in a residence hall or
answering phones, students get to use their
work-study contracts to the advantage of
the community that surrounds them.
The University offered students who
were willing to make a spring and summer
course commitment a chance to take part in
a similar project. Students enrolled in
Linguistics 385 were trained to teach
English to area migrant farm workers in
several camps in Adrian County. The tutor-
ing went so well that several of the workers
asked the tutors to continue coming after
the summer was done. The workers will
leave Michigan at the end of this month, but
the impact that the experience had on all
parties involved will be lasting.
The workers were taught practical skills
such as speaking with their employer, buy-
ing groceries and filling out job applica-
tions. Students noticed that the workers
were dedicated to learning the language,
even asking for tapes to help with pronunci-
Reading and speaking the English lan-
guage are essential skills to have, even
though most University students take them
for granted. Teaching English to people
who cannot speak the language well, or
teaching reading to young children are
some of the most important things that a
student can do to volunteer. In addition, the
America Reads Campaign gives students an
opportunity to do something with their
work-study funds that is more fulfilling
than many more traditional options. These
two programs prove to be beneficial to all
those involved.

All the wrong reasons
Morality has no place in confirming nominations

A few days ago, the U.S. Senate decided
not to call a vote on President
Clinton's nomination of James C. Hormel, a
San Francisco philanthropist, to be U.S.
Ambassador to Luxembourg. The
Republican leadership in the Senate, whose
majority ensures its ability to schedule
Senate votes, bases much of its opposition
to Hormel's appointment on the fact that he
is gay. Most congressional officials believe
that Hormel, who is popular among many
Senate Republicans and Democrats, would
most likely win a nomination vote if it were
to be called. The decision not to call such a
vote is clearly an attempt by a small number
of high-ranking Republicans to unduly
exert their own moral narrowness on this
issue and is only becoming a footnote in the
ever expanding war social conservatives are
waging against gay America.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-
Miss.), who was primarily responsible for
this recent decision, has become the leader
among social conservatives to denounce
homosexuality. He has made public com-
ments in the past few weeks describing
homosexuality as deviant behavior compara-
ble to alcoholism and kleptomania while well
aware that medical and psychological author-
ities have long since disassociated homosex-
uality from any mental illness. He is against
measures to protect gays under expanded
hate-crime legislation while the recent brutal
murder of gay college student Matthew
Shepard in Wyoming only shows that such
measures are overdue. Consequently it is no
coincidence that he is endorsed by such inter-
est groups as the Christian Coalition and the
Traditional Values Coalition - two groups
that spearheaded the war against gays from
its inception.

Hormel, a former dean of the University
of Chicago Law School and heir to the
Hormel family fortune, has been a long-
standing advocate of gay-rights legislation,
and makes substantial financial contribu-
tions to gay-rights causes. Therefore, any
attempts by Lott to call a vote may alienate
him from the social conservative groups
that he currently courts by allowing a
prominent gay-rights supporter to become
the first openly gay American ambassador.
Lott's political opinions, backed up by
powerful and potentially dangerous interest
groups, have unfairly halted the deliberative
process of the Senate in favor of Lott's own
views and shameless desire to maintain the
backing of his strongest supporters. This
action is only the beginning, with many
other economic and social issues dealt with,
the dichotomy between Republican and
Democratic platforms is fast moving into
the politics of morality. Issues such as gay-
rights and women's right to abortion are fast
becoming the litmus test for viable
Republican politicians and may become
important issues in future congressional
and presidential elections.
This trend is dangerous and limits hon-
est and respectable members of society
from being fully engaged in the communi-
ty simply because they are not attracted to
the opposite sex. It is more than evident
that Lott and company will continue to
walk all over the civil rights of gay
Americans in order to further strengthen
their own political clout and ambitions for
power. For these reasons, while
Republicans have effectively won the bat-
tle over the Hormel nomination, it is
important that they do not win their war
against aav Americans.

Taub's letter
David Taub's letter, "Anti-
Klan groups should not dic-
tate to campus" (10/13/98)
was clearly ridiculous. I won-
der which side he is really
on. The accused (those to be
tried for rioting) are not
being treated fairly. The
trumped-up charges are made
to frighten the rest of us into
becoming complacent and
tolerant of the KKK in Ann
Arbor. Taub thinks that the
laws are fair judgement of
the anti-Klan protesters' con-
duct. He is right. It is the
people who are abusing those
laws who are unfair. The
police, the Ann Arbor City
Council and the city's orga-
nized efforts to persecute
these people is where the
problem is. They misuse the
laws in order to justify their
persecution of those who
have enough courage to fight
bigotry. He is also right in
saying that an anti-racist is a
bigot to racist people. I guess
anyone can be bigoted toward
someone else who wants to
take away their freedom, well
being and life over something
silly like skin color. I am a
bigot toward anyone who
wants to harm or dominate
me because of my skin color.
If I didn't stand up to that,
like those anti-Klan people
did, I would be a bigot
toward myself - I would not
value myself enough to chal-
lenge those racists. I hope
Taub is a bigot toward any-
one who wants to destroy
him or anyone else for no
good reason at all.
Remember, Taub, we don't
have the freedom to take
away other people's freedom
anymore. And our freedom
must constantly be defended.
Proposal B
The state ballot proposal
for the "Terminally Ill
Patient's Right to End
Unbearable Pain and
Suffering Act," or Proposal
B, is a very serious issue that
warrants a great deal of con-
sideration. While the title
attempts to put forward the
most appealing image possi-
ble, the content of the lengthy
legislation presents many
dangers. Most of these criti-
cal flaws are not revealed by
the 100-word summary of the
12,000 word proposal that
appears on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Aspects of Proposal B
Pffa-+vA, nm..p .a nh+.nc

a parent, child, sibling or sig-
nificant other can legally
challenge a doctor's determi-
nation to prescribe lethal
treatment. Even if coercion is
suspected, a grandchild,
friend or counselor cannot
intervene. A tax-funded over-
sight committee would be
appointed, including only
members who are in favor of
euthanasia. The committee
would hold closed meetings
that would not be subject to
Freedom of Information Act
An example of abuse can
be seen in the Netherlands,
where euthanasia is common-
ly practiced and similar
guidelines are in place. An
official government report
issued in 1991 indicated that
1,040 people died from invol-
untary euthanasia in the pre-
vious year, without patient
knowledge or consent.
In additionto these dan-
gers, many obvious social
side effects would likely
result. This "right" would
almost certainly be extended
beyond the terminally ill. The
"choice" to live or die would
become a financial issue,
allowing the right to live only
for those with enough money
to afford it. The "right" to die
would become a responsibili-
ty to do so, when faced with
the mounting costs of long-
term health care.
This proposal goes
against the most fundamental
principle of medical ethics.
We now have the ability to
prevent this treacherous leg-
islation. I encourage every-
one to take a serious look at
this issue and join me in vot-
ing against Proposal B.
Rose offended
club sports,
It is unfortunate that the
travel plans of Daily
Managing Sports Editor Jim
Rose took him through the
traffic in Chicago after the
Michigan football game. If
instead he was forced to sit in
the traffic around Boston this
weekend due to the 500,000
people there to watch a crew
race, Head of the Charles,
would he not be insulting
another sport instead. In his
column on Monday
("Michigan men's soccer will
do great things, but when?"),
Rose managed to offend both
a group of very dedicated
women on the crew team and
all other club sports who
don't cause a big enough
traffic jam to be noticed.
The soccer team, while
impressive on their club cir-
cuit, is not able to compete
against other varsity pro-
grams. It is clear, as Rose
nnined nt +that th

men's soccer performs well
against clubs from other
schools, there are other club
teams at Michigan who regu-
larly compete against funded
schools and beat them. The
men's crew team is one such
group. The problem here is
not so much Title IX but the
fact that the Athletic
Department is so slow at
responding to the needs of
the non-varsity athletes.
Scholarships would be nice,
of course, but on a much
smaller scale, the University
and the Department have so
many resources that they
could make available to
teams competing under their
name. Travel, uniforms,
equipment and coaches' com-
pensation are just a few areas
where the Department could
take the financial responsibil-
ity away from the student
athletes. While Athletic
Director Tom Goss seems to
be responding to some of the
requests for attention, I am
fearful that it will take an
even bigger traffic jam for
action to be taken to help the
"club" athletes of this fine
University. If we all compete
as "the leaders and best'
why do some have to provide
entirely for themselves?
Frost was
misquoted in
In the Oct. 8 Weekend,
etc., there was an article by
Suevon Lee that badly mis-
quoted a poem by Robert
Frost in its introduction
("Nichols Arboretum pro-
vides relaxing slice of
nature"). It reads, "I came to
a fork in the road and I took
the path less traveled. And
that has made all the differ-
ence." Frost's actual words
Two roads diverged in a
wood, and I-
took the one less traveled
And that has made all the
While the theme is the
same, Frost's beautiful lan-
guage has obviously been
distorted. This is a gross and
unacceptable error for any
publication to make, let alone
a prestigious college newspa-
per. Either the author felt
confident in her memory of
the poem, and therefore felt
no need to look it up for clar-
ity or it was mysteriously
changed on the printing
Regardless, it is bad jour-
nalism, please guard against
it in the future.

n the first days of 1996, I leareda
lesson that should have come when I
am much older. It is a lesson many peo-
pe on campus were also harshly a -
ened to in the past week. 0
At a New
Year's Eve party
several states
away from home <,
that year, a friend
from high school
was alive one
moment and sud-
denly dead the
next. It was
shocking, it was
tragic, and it was MEGAN
absolutely unre- SCHIMPF
al. A 19-year-old j ;x>
Division I basketball player is not sup-
posed to die.
This is the time to live. But there was
no replay, no do-over.
Instead, there was media coverage,
tantalized by the unnerving reality fac-
ing a group of friends. Instead, there
was speculation about what had causedW
this seemingly healthy athlete to literal-
ly drop dead, talk of alcohol and talk of
fights at parties.
This is when it became horribly evi-
dent that this media whirlwind of "such
a tragedy" wasn't just another story that
flashes on the news or someone whose
face smiles from the newspaper.
Instead, this was someone I'd known,
laughed and joked with; it was uncom-
fortable watching something so private
exploded for everyone to tune in and
gossip about.
It is difficult for someone trained as
a journalist to grasp how distorted,
how public we can make a story.
We have a tendency to think that
interviewing a few bereaved friends
and showing some basketball high-
lights personalizes a tragedy to the
level of those who knew more than
facts. e
We are wrong.
While the news aspect of these stories
is undeniable, their personality can
never be fully grasped. In the midst of
grief, it is surreal to read news coverage
and try to share inner pain with the
I can now also appreciate that, the
same can be true of physicians. While
treating a condition or curing a disease,
the joys, habits and stories of a person's
life can be lost.
What we all forget is that patients,
clients and all the people who remain
names and faces have families and
friends who prize their presence. We
forget that everyone's life is intrinsical-
ly valuable in someone's eyes.
Most people on this campus recog-
nize parts of this scenario in the week
since Courtney Cantor fell to her death.
We have been told about the vibrance,
and vivaciousness of Cantor's life, an
we feel personally affected by her
Her friends have surely faced the
same emotions as we did three years
ago. Friends' raw emotions provide no
answers to the questions the rest of the
world wants to ask about windows and
alcohol and ladders. Even more, that
acute pain can only partially be cooled
by finding answers.
Answers do little to change reality.
When the answers camne three year~
ago, it was that a structural heart defect
had caused the sudden death. It mat-
tered little that my friend had been at a
party, or that he had been drinking,
unlike previous news reports had pur-
As the investigation into Cantor's
death continues, it seems that the Greek

system and alcohol may have been sec-
ondary to a simple, tragic loss of bal
And yet, still, no replays or do-overs.
Instead, my friends and I went to a
funeral, trying to look and act old
enough to have to cope with the harsh-
ness of losing a friend too early. The
pallbearers, wearing dark suits and
ties, had months or weeks before worn
the same team uniform as the friend
they now carried in a casket. We filed
past artwork, pictures and varsity
jackets too recent to be displayed at
funeral luncheon. We saw things com-
mon to our lives - the same year-
books, the same classwork - acutely
aware that we would live on, we would
return to school, and we would forev-
er be haunted by those feelings.
And that, perhaps, is why we pursue
answers, seeking a reason why we are
still here and some are not. We look for
that one factor that differentiates our-
selves from those incidents, comforting
ourselves with the reassurance that
because of that we can return to our
Those who knew Cantor know that
their solace cannot be completed by the
medical examiner. The balm comes
from each other from the embraces and

M=se -..-

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