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October 27, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-27

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 27, 1998

~fje idigrn ul
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by Eti e
students at the JACK SCHILLACI
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily ' editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Vote Smfth
Incumbent is well qualified for second term

'It was an eyesore and a reminder of how a city failed.'
- Detroit resident Harold Varner on why he was happy to
see the demolition of the Hudson's building on Saturday



In the state senatorial race this year,
incumbent Alma Wheeler Smith
should feel very comfortable about her
plans for another term. With her experi-
ence and superior ideas, Smith should
have no difficulty in representing
Michigan's 18th senatorial district for a
second term.
Her opponent is Republican John
Hochstetler, who is underqualified for the job,
to say the least. Not very
clear on the issues,
Hochstetler spent a great
deal of time during his
endorsement interview with
The Michigan Daily dis-
cussing the corrections sys-
tem. Considering the fact
that he would be represent-
ing a district containing two Smith
of the state's large public universities, knowl-
edge about funding for higher education
would seem to be almost a prerequisite. But
even when asked about the topic directly,
Hochstetler dodged the issue and began talk-
ing about fairness in prison sentences again.
He is very much opposed to affirmative action
and would not support the University in fac-
ing the two lawsuits challenging the use of
race as a factor in admissions.
Furthermore, on the issue of K-12 educa-
tion, he is in favor of schools competing
against each other - the underlying philos-
ophy behind the state's problematic "schools
of choice" program - and believes that
teachers should be held responsible for the
current state of many districts.
Running once again on the Democratic
ticket, Smith is much more pulled together in
her philosophies and preparations for how to
represent the district in the state Senate. A
member of the Senate's appropriations com-

mittee, Smith would continue to support the
University financially. In an endorsement
interview with The Michigan Daily, she
expressed outrage that the corrections sys-
tem budget almost equals that of education
and would do what she could to change that
in her next term. This would be accom-
plished by rehabilitating some non-violent
offenders through drug and mental health
treatment, saving a good portion of what is
now spent on prisons. Smith is also very con-
cerned about the environment and would
focus on clean up and prevention.
Smith has many positive and thoughtful
ideas concerning education. While she would
like to put much of the prison money into
Michigan's numerous public universities, she
is concerned that most of it will soon be taken
away by the passage of Engler's income tax
reductions of $2.6 billion. She said that she
felt the state should "step up to the plate" in
regard to education funding as she noted that
the state's charter school program allows pri-
vate schools access to state dollars without
changing their clientele. Smith wishes to raise
the standards of public education through
more funding and a set core curriculum.
Smith already has a good relationship
with the administration and wishes to foster
new communications with students through
e-mail networks and "voice yourself"
advertisements in student publications.
Although Hochstetler does have a pret-
ty neat Petoskey stone pin shaped like
Michigan that he has been wearing
throughout his campaign, that's about the
only thing he has going for him. Smith is
intelligent, creative, driven and will do an
excellent job in her next term. It may be
some time before Hochstetler figures out
the issues. Vote Alma Wheeler Smith for
state senator.


A, mmolb.,


t Lpy4
4 t



GSI contract should be agreed to before deadline

T he structure of the University educa-
tional community resembles a pyra-
mid: students form the base, faculty forms
the top and Graduate Student Instructors
are in large part the mediators between the
two groups. Without any of these three
groups, the University's delicately balanced
educational schedule comes crashing to a
halt, as was demonstrated April 8 and 9,
1996. Due to a two-month delay in success-
fully negotiating a new contract with the
University, members of the Graduate
Employees Organization staged a two-day
walkout, effectively causing the educational
gears of the University to grind to a halt.
GSIs are too integral a part of the
University to be treated with so little regard
by University administrators. The
University must ensure that when the cur-
rent contract with GEO expires on February
1, there is a new, mutually beneficial con-
tract to take its place.
GSIs are a vital part of the University's
teaching process. It is impossible, for obvious
financial reasons, to procure professors to
teach every undergraduate class and section.
Yet it is vital to offer undergraduates small
discussions to facilitate learning. The solution
is provided, most often very effectively, by
hard-working GSIs. It is GSIs who enable
underclass students to adapt to the college
learning environment through small classes
and who make the large lectures of a student's
first year much more personal and worth-
while. The University cannot maintain the
stellar reputation of which it boasts without
the services of GSIs.
The University has a responsibility to
recognize the integral role the members of
GEO play in the education of undergradu-
ates. and should behave accordingly in the

upcoming negotiations with GEO. Graduate
Student Instructors require decent working
conditions and wages, and should be grant-
ed such. The University should be reason-
able in its negotiations and recompense
GSIs as they deserve. Additionally, the
University should not expect its GSIs to
work for two months without a contract, as
it did last semester, but should make a con-
certed effort to reach an agreement with
GEO before the Feb. 1 deadline.
But should the University and GEO prove
unable to reach an agreement within an
acceptable and reasonable deadline, GEO
should protect the rights of GSIs and consider
walking out in order to remind the University
of the importance of GSIs in the University
system. Of course, walking out is an extreme
measure, and should be used only in the most
extreme of circumstances. Such a drastic
measure should remain only to be enacted
under such a dire situation as occurred in
1996. But if this sort of difficulty occurs, stu-
dents and faculty both have an obligation to
the GSIs to recognize their impact on the
University and support their cause.
The University would be unable to
function as a premier institution without
its world-class Graduate Student
Instructors, and the administration must be
able to offer a reasonable contract in order
to attract and retain high-quality graduate
students for its programs. Without GSIs,
undergraduate courses would be enormous
and impersonal, and faculty workloads
would drastically increase. The University
would grind to a halt. Students, faculty
and, most important, the University
administration need to recognize this fact
as the University and GEO negotiate for a
new contract.

Proposal .
would save
One of the great "extras"
students at the University
receive is the chance to be a
part of a very special com-
munity, the beautiful Ann
Arbor and surrounding
Washtenaw County. We are
blessed with natural areas in
which we may hike and bike,
as well as clean waters in
which we can canoe or sim-
ply enjoy as we walk beside
them. And what a joy it is to
purchase fresh produce on a
Saturday morning at the
Farmers' Market.
To preserve this commu-
nity's natural beauty and
farms, we need to vote "yes
on Proposal 1.
Proposal I is a ten-year
initiative to slow relentless
and haphazard development
in Washtenaw County. The
funds raised from the propos-
al will be used to save farm-
lands, protect open spaces
and redevelop urban areas.
Don't be fooled by the
opposition, the so-called
"Washtenaw Citizens for
Responsible Growth" This
special-interest group is real-
ly a front for those irrespon-
sible speculators who would
like Washtenaw County to
look like another faceless
suburban zone. A quick look
at their supporters and finan-
cial backers reveals that they
aren't a citizens' group at all,
and they're certainly not for
"responsible" growth. They
advocate business as usual-
the same kind of approach
that causes Washtenaw
County to lose an amount of
open space and farmland
equal to the size of Ann
Arbor every four years.
I, for one, am greatly sad-
dened and angered at the
prospect of Washtenaw
County losing its unique
character. If you want to save
some of the natural beauty
that makes this community
such a great place to live,
please join me in voting
"yes" on Proposal 1.
Tolerance is
in short
I could not help but notice
the striking similarity
between the agonizingly slow
current gay and lesbian
movement and that of
African Americans - and
Asian Americans, for that
matter - in the 1950s. A
question I often ask myself
is: Why is the United States
.marec;- e -u elw au

"White normative identity,"
that is).
Why must we focus on,
for instance, two women lov-
ing each other- oh, the
audacity of it all - instead of
the chilling pattern of drink-
ing-related tragedies or stag-
nant race relations or health-
care or class conflicts ...
Is there anyone else out
there who believes that after
thousands of years of evolu-
tion, homo sapiens should be
able to think just a tad less
primitively? I certainly do not
hate something because it is
different - quite the con-
trary. When will the cycle of
stereotypes handed down
through generations be bro-
ken? I am waiting around for
a second and more relevant
period of enlightenment.
Just what homophobes are
afraid of remains a mind-
boggling mystery to me,
since it is more than obvious
that American tolerance,
maturity and human decency
is going nowhere fast.
RHA worked
to improve
Over the past few weeks,
many a-mails have been sent
to the Residence Halls
Association (rha@umich.edu)
consisting of questions, com-
plaints and suggestions about
the RHA-sponsored movie
channel. After meeting with
Michael Clancy, the coordina-
tor of Housing Broadcasting, I
am happy and excited to say-
that these problems were mere-
ly technical and have been
attended to.
In response to the Oct. 16
letter about the movie channel
("RHA movie channel has
glitches"), a few things will
happen in order to ensure qual-
ity productions. Surveys will
be put out at the beginning of
next month with a list of new
releases from SWANK, our
movie supplier, and will be
used when determining the
selections for the month. The
quality of the tapes will, and
has been, checked in advance
in order to give you the best
quality movies. Be aware
though, that two-part movies,
like "Titanic," do have 10 to 30
seconds of dead air in between
tapes, as they are playing from
different VCRs.
We agree that a "half-rate
production" is unsatisfactory
and are taking every measure
necessary in order to make the
movie channel the best it can
possibly be. We, as an organi-
zation that represents the 8,000
students living in the residence
halls on campus, are ecstatic
that neole are voicing their

coverage is
Reporting the news is a
tight-rope walk the Daily
has done well. In approxi-
mately 107 issues in 1998.
the Daily's coverage of vari-
ous ethnic and cultural
groups on campus has, fair-
ly, steered clear of sensa-
tional stories about extrem-
ists somewhere else in the
country and instead focused
on positive efforts by local
While a few extremist
environmental groups nation-
wide perpetrate violent acts,
the Daily fairly focused seven
articles on peaceful educa-
tional efforts launched by
campus environmental
The Daily fairly notes
events organized by campus
African American organiza-
tions in 14 articles. There
have been eight articles on
gay and lesbian efforts
against discrimination.
There have been four arti-
cles pertaining to Hispanic
activities, four describing
efforts by the Native
American community to
educate others, 10 on Asian
Organization activities.
Therefore, it was with
some surprise that I noted
the Daily featuring the arti-
cle "Kansas church to pick-
et Shepard funeral," in its
Oct. 15 issue. It seemed a
bit odd that the paper
should devote as much cov-
erage to the intolerance of
one church acting in com-
plete opposition to the most
fundamental teachings of
the faith as the vast majori-
ty of Christians understand
it (example: Mark 12:28-33;
John 8:1-8; Luke 6:27-38).
This year, the Daily has
run four other articles (not
counting two combining
Jewish and Christian per-
spectives on
Easter/Passover), of which
one was a history exhibit
about the Bible ("Exhibit
traces the Bible's history
with classic texts," 1/9/98),
one was about extremist
Christian support for Prime
Minister Netanyahu's
uncompromising stand in
peace negotiations
("Netanyahu proposal may
not be enough," 1/21/98)
and one was the front-page
article in the Oct. 15 issue
portraying student indiffer-
ent or negative student reac-
tion to the Diag preachers
("The profession of preach-
The last of the four arti-
cles highlighted a Good
Friday rally launched by
Christian groups cam-
puswide to dispel the notion
that Christians are all intol-
erant, self-righteous people
("A spiritual renewal,"

Women really do
have it all
I n light of the recent National Days of
Action, much needed attention has
been brought to issues of discrimina-
tion, unfairness and ignorance. The
nationwide student activism surround-
ing these events - both the National
Days of Action and the National Young
Women's Day of Action - was almos
akin to the fervent protests and rallies o
the '60s. And while
the ideologies
behind these
protests are impor
tant, timely, worth-
while and neces-
sary, the NYWDA
stood out as a little
over-the-top. While
statements demand-
ing equality and
justice were spo- SAR
ken, statements LOCKYER
regarding the social," A
stereotypes of I.I.
women were also
delivered. Although I have no problems
with other women calling for fairness or
equal rights, I get a little antsy when
someone tells me from the steps of
Angell Hall to stop drinking Diet Coke
simply because it is a stereotypically
feminine drink.
Yes, we deserve equal pay for equal
work. Yes, we should be judged on our
merits rather than our looks. Yes, we
should have completely equal opporfu-
nities in every aspect of life.
Infact, these basic demands are what
every minority group calls for - and
women are decades ahead. So while
calling for choice and independence, it
seems a little ironic that I'm not allowed
to choose to drink Diet Coke. Thi.
example might seem a little ridiculous,
but it almost perfectly exemplifies what.
turns some women off from certn
aspects of women's movements -those
involved want every woman to be liber-
ated, but only on their terms. It makes
no sense to me why a woman be strong,
independent and empowered but not be
allowed to still drink Diet Coke?
So to claim just one day -- Oct. 22 -adyfralwmnt eert hi
as a day for al woen to ceerate22ei
femininity and demand equality, while
symbolically a great idea, maybe misses
the mark. To really celebrate woman-
hood, we should be looking at the every-
day affairs and revel in the fact that
we're women. Equality does not neces-
sarily have to cancel out differences.
We, as women, have so much to cele-
brate and be thankful for; we have so
many little perks of being a woman. In
many ways, we even have it better tha
men. (I chose just three categories tha
seem extremely pertinent to college
We can study engineering or med-
icine and English or history. In the for-
mer, we are pioneering women, ready to
break down the stereotypes of alleged"
difficulties in math and science. In the
later case, we are students ready to pro-
vide a gendered perspective to male
dominated fields. Either way we are'
special. Men, on the other hand, are-
engineering geeks and control-freaked
pre-med students or overly sensitive
Shakespearean gurus and LSA slackers.
Stereotypes work both ways.
We can get away with so much
more than men. Professors and graduate
student instructors are more likely to
believe an excuse from a tearing woman
than a bumbling guy who is too proud to
cry. Even more, we can use excuses i
the sphere of "womanly problems" or
"personal issues" while man really can't -
claim the same. See ladies, there are

some perks to being a woman.
We can get into a bar quicker than
any man can say "I swear I'm really
21!" With a seductive smile and a sexy
glance (a tight shirt also never hurt) we
can glide through the doors, and usually
for free. Further, when in the bar, we
can get quick service, free drinks and a
seat, usually with the same above-stated
On a Saturday night we can dress
however we see fit. We can dress up in
black skirts, tube tops and stilettos for
absolutely no reason except to be fun,
trendy and sexy. On the flip side, we can
dress down and be cool, comfortable
and down to earth. Could you ever see a
guy wearing a suit to the bar, just
because, and not get'laughed out of tho
bar? Ladies, there's no denying we have
it all.
We can do anything we want,
whenever we want to. If we feel like try-
ing something new, do you think our'
partner(s) would object? Unlike men,
we don't have to be concerned about
whether they'll be "freaked out" or be
"insulted" - chances are, they'll like it
We have a ridiculously long list o'
perfectly respectable excuses. We can
say that we're tired or we can claim it's
that time of the month and our
boyfriends, or significant others, have to
respect it with no questions asked.
Ladies, in this field we really hold the
tn,,n cad ' aci ; innl And

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