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November 06, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 6, 1998

cat 11e Allicl igtttt JDat7jg

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

'U' funding is a step
orty-four years after the infamous
suspension of three University pro-
fessors surrounded by speculation about
their Communist sympathies, University
President Lee Bollinger, endorsed by the
University Board of Regents, has finally
offered financial support to the annual
Davis, Markert and Nickerson Lecture
Series on Academic and Intellectual
Freedom. While this sort acknowledge-
ment of prior bad practice is good, the
University still has many amends to make
for ignoring the issue for decades.
In 1954, former University professors
Chandler Davis, Clement Markert and
Mark Nickerson refused to testify about
their political beliefs before the House
Committee on Un-American Activities. As
a result, the University suspended all three
and eventually fired two of them. Former
U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy led the infa-
mous Communist witch hunt at the height
of the Red Scare in the 1950s, unjustly
misleading a fearful and threatened
American public. While the ethos and
events of the time made such fear com-
mon, it does not excuse the administra-
tion's suspension and dismissal of the pro-
fessors. The University must maintain a
strong sense of individual academic free-
dom and prevent contemporary political
beliefs from throwing its integrity to the
In 1989, the Senate Assembly and the
Senate Advisory Committee on University
Affairs, the faculty's chief governmental
bodies, passed resolutions pushing to
maintain academic freedom through a lec-
ture series. In 1990, the Academic
Freedom Lecture Fund asked the regents
for financial support, but was rebuked by
administrators. SACUA made it possible

in the right direction
for the AFLF to receive contributions from
various University-related sources, hero-
ically keeping the lecture series afloat.
At a recent SACUA meeting, members
of the Lecture Fund's Board of Directors
finally began to discuss reconciliation with
the University. By becoming affiliated
with the University, the fund will be pre-
served, but the fund's leaders remain skep-
tical of the University's newfound support.
Such skepticism is reasonable considering
the past actions of the administration on
this matter - since the University evident-
ly does not feel that this issue is a current
problem, it has failed to even give it much
While the proposed financial support of
the fund is commendable, SACUA and
AFLF are still waiting for an official apol-
ogy from the University, which would sig-
nify acknowledgment of the embarrass-
ment endured by the three professors as
well as show that the University is capable
of learning from its mistakes. The
University's attempt to amend its past mis-
takes is a step in the right direction, but it
will take more than a simple monetary
offer to gain the trust of the fund's leader-
ship. In addition; a written apology and
statement acknowledging the error should
be issued by the administration and the
This is a good time for SACUA and
AFLF due to the administration's apparent
change of heart. The recent prospects for
support and communication will open
many doors for the fund and its goal of
academic freedom. But this remains but a
first step - the administration should con-
tinue to show that it realizes its prior bad
acts and make amends for four decades
worth of ignorance.

'Deep in his heart I'm sure he cares greatly for the
University of Michigan and that is the greatest
aspect of any regent. I feel for him.'
- Regent Dan Horning (R-Grand Haven), on Regent Phillip Power's
loss in his bid for re-election to the University Board of Regents

PIagued by the pa t
Adoption records should be kept confidential

W ith all the election hubbub of the
past few weeks, it is easy to miss the
important, precedent-setting issues hidden
within partisan politics. Oregon's ballot on
Tuesday contained such an issue - an ini-
tiative that would release original birth cer-
tificates to all adult adoptees. This measure
will provide adoptees with the names of
their birth parents and allow them to poten-
tially begin a search to track them down.
Releasing thousands of confidential birth
certificates, although an action of good
intention and possibly good results, has the
power to shatter the lives of thousands of
parents whose confidence would be
betrayed by such an act.
Adoptees, of course, have an interest in
completing the puzzle of their birth. This
interest, however, is not to be considered
above the rights of the thousands of men
and especially women who have trusted the
confidentiality laws surrounding their
adoption. The thousands of parents who
chose to trust in the governments' guaran-
tees of secrecy surrounding adoption chose
that secrecy for a reason.
Parents do not choose to lose contact
with their children on a whim; they often
have no further other option. For centuries,
there has been a stigma - one that has only
recently begun to be eradicated - regard-
ing out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Young
women especially are faced with a decision
that will affect the rest of their lives.
Women, of course, have the right to abort
the fetus, but this right should not be their
only option. Women who do not choose to
have an abortion and who are not capable of
raising their children can choose adoption,
but the loss of confidentiality will eliminate
anntion a s achoice in which the mother

can close that chapter of her life and move
on. It is a difficult choice to mpake - the
government should not make it more diffi-
cult by reopening a chapter of a woman's
life that she trusted the law to close.
Eliminating the option of secrecy for
future adoption cases will prove to be trau-
matic to many women, but it is absurd that
the states would recant on its promises of
secrecy, betraying the thousands of parents
who trusted in the confidentiality of the
adoption process. The cases of these parents
should remain closed at all costs -- the
states should not retract its promises, but
uphold the confidential information in its
files. To eliminate confidentiality in the
future is wrong; to eliminate confidentiality
retroactively is repugnant.
Although adoptees have a legitimate
interest in learning of their birth parents, the
parents have a right to keep that information
confidential. Of course, there are always
exceptions to every rule. In cases of med-
ical emergencies, adoptees should be given
access to such records as original birth cer-
tificates in hopes of finding compatible
donors or other potentially life-saving infor-
mation. But to shatter the lives of the birth
parents to satisfy curiosity, albeit a justified
curiosity, is not right. Birth parents who
feel, after the confidentiality clause has
been enacted, that they would like to estab-
lish contact with their adopted son or
daughter should definitely take steps to
open up that possibility, provided their child
is willing. While Oregon residents have
already approved the proposal, other states
should refrain from following suit and
enacting similar laws. The state should keep
hidden chapters of peoples' lives closed and
locked and ston daneline the key.

U U should
cut ties with
The history of
Michigamua is tainted by an
affinity and glorification of
racism and sexism. It is bad
enough that such an organi-
zation encourages students to
embrace anal-minded
thought. It is something
entirely different for a univer-
sity to have any ties with an
organization that violates the
foundations of enlightened
thinking. We can reasonably
anticipate how Michigamua
will act tomorrow by how
they acted yesterday.
Thereis no rational foun-
dation for believing
Michigamua will cease to
practice sexism. The
University should not wait
for Michigamua to change.
Does the University have the
courage to sever any and all
ties with Michigamua?
The Bible
should not be
used to justify
This is in response to Ed
Blum's letter ("One must not
cherish sin for forgiveness,"
10/26/98) and to all the other
believers in the "love the sin-
ner hate the sin" philosophy.
Allow me to tell Blum
that there is no greater con-
tradiction than to love what
he hates. In other words,
while he so eloquently pre-
tend to believe that the per-
son and the act are separate,
there is no way that a person
can be separate from their
actions. The funny thing is,
outside of the issue of homo-
sexuality, there is no place
that the church or people like
Blum would ever attempt to
separate one from the other.
That's just it: To say that
they are two different things
and that one thing can be
loved while the other is hated
is to say "I love you, so long
as..." In layman's terms,
that's to judge an individual.
Perhaps Blum has forgot-
ten Jesus saying "whosoever
among you has not sinned,
may he throw the first stone."
Well, according to this, then
certainly Blum is without sin.
At least in his eyes (and the
eyes of all those quick to
come to conclusions about
the gay community), he has
"less" sin than those commit-
ting that "ultimate" act of
Please, quote me your
Romans and your Psalms. It's
quite entertaining. Now, real-
ly live what you preach, and
thats -n e...rvn ctnv Fr t

against Native Americans,
Irish immigrants, African
Americans, Jews and now
homosexuals. The greatest
interpretation of it is what it
doesn't explicitly say and
what it then tells us about
being human and living with
each other.
Now is as good a time as
any to stop using God's word
to promote discrimination
and prejudice. Now is as
good a time as any to cease
trying to justify homophobia
with something like the
Bible. Now is as good a time
as any to start truly compre-
hending Jesus's message and
to stop seeing it as one which
declares some people unfit
for God and requires them to
Besides, what would be
so terrible if homosexual
people were just allowed to
live like any other people?
An alum's
favorite legend
My favorite U of M leg-
end that many gullible stu-
dents believe is true: The
University never cancels
classes because of inclement
weather because two eager-
to-please law students once
sued the U of M for one day's
tuition when classes were
canceled. Completely false,
but in the middle of a bitter
Michigan January, many stu-
dents still believe it.
'U' violated
its own ideals
Promoting the exchange
of fresh ideas and diverse
perspectives, the University
moved to strike down the
attempt to name a student
reading room in honor of
Prof. Carl Cohen. Once
again, it is clear that the
administration promotes free
thought - as long as one
agrees with the agenda of
the administration. In a
demonstration of multicul-
tural fervor, the administra-
tion decided to place trendy
ideals ahead of the most
important University ideal
- the free exchange of
ideas. In no way am I advo-
cating Cohen's stance
against race-based admis-
sions. But this is not the
issue! Unfortunately, the
University's political climate
forces one to ask if the
"fundraising violations"
would have been addressed
had the room been named
for a more "PC" individual.
In snite of views which

$1 or Jefferson from the
Nickel? Both men were
slave owners.
Engler is a
bad governor
As Matthew Bieniek
would like to believe,
"Engler is obviously the best
and only candidate for gover-
nor" (1/2/98). Well look, little
sophomore, it's time for you
to stop living in your fantasy
world and wake up.
Of course employment is
up. We see these people every
day. I saw some of them yes-
terday when I hit the drive thru
at McDonald's. Funny, she did-
n't look happy to be working
when I said, "Thank you, have
a nice day." I also saw some of
these people this morning ...
working on US-23. They were
doing an excellent job ... fill-
ing pot holes. Well, I guess we
can't aIl work at the plethora of
big businesses that have been
attracted into the state in the
past eight years such as First of
America. Oh, wait, it left the
state. Hmm, let's see, I guess I
can't think of any industries
that have benefited in the
Michigan '90s other than
insurance. Engler talks of all
the new business, but can you
actually recall him giving
many specific examples?
Perhaps we should look at
what Engler "has done for
the environment." Maybe we
should ask PEER, a
Washington-based group that
helps whistle blowers. I'm
sure that half of the people
they anonymously inter-
viewed lied with claims that
the present administration of
the Department of
Environmental Quality has
instructed and intimidated its
employees to put budget
ahead of environment. I'm
sure the ever-vigilant Engler
will heed the advice of PEER
and address these accusations
during his next debate.
I'm also sure that legal
counsels state Sen. Michael
Gadola (R-Midland) and
Lucille Taylor, whose husband
Clifford Taylor is up for a
bench seat in the 55th Circuit
Court, were just making
"friendly" phone calls to Kurt
Hansen (55th Circuit Court
judge) "asking" him on behalf
of Engler to rescind his
endorsement of democratic
candidates. Hansen's claims of
political threats and retaliation
are obviously concoctions of a
deluded mind meant to smear
the good name of Engler right
before a pivotal election, the
results of which will set the
stage for redistricting during
the 2000 census and deter-
mine which party will have
power. I'm sure John could
have no aspirations of rigging
election districts come the
census ... he's so partisan.
Tha ,Andfiul ta hra

People will make
new house a 1
H alfway back to Ann Arbor, it hit
me. I had walked out of my home
for the final time. After two days of
packing most of my 23 years in boxes, I
had moved most into the new house that
will be "home" the next time I make the
Within a week
of first touring a
house about a
mile and a half
from our current
home, my par-
ents had essen-
tially finalized
the deal to move.
While they have
talked about
moving for years MEGAN
- whose parents SCHIMPF
haven't? - the r PR SCIPuN
decision still
came as a surprise because of its swift-
ness. We had grown rather entrenched
in our house of about 20 years.
From here, I reasoned that I wouldn't
spend much time there, and it wouldn't
make that much of a difference to me
ultimately. How often am I able to g
home anymore anyway?
Several years ago I discovered that
the true definition of "home" didn't
dependon location. It revolves around
the faces and personalities that are at
any given address - "home" is defined
by people and atmosphere, not by place.
And so I knew intellectually that my
family could create a new home.
Armed with these rationalizations, I
went home. As the real estate agent did
a loose appraisal of the house and its
fixings, what was about to happen
became more real. The details she was
admiring, which we now took for
granted, were part of the house we
were now officially leaving. These
were the renovations we had endured,
the little personal touches we had ago-
nized over choosing, and they are
about to pass to someone who can not
appreciate that.
What strikes you most during thc
packing and the boxing is not what you
will bring with you, but the permanent
things you have to leave behind - those
you considered yours alone because
they reflected you at some point in time.
The little improvements like the green
carpet and the striped wallpaper will
remain where we put them. We move
away. Someone else moves in.
We will make similar changes to the
new house, but for now, we adjust t
those decisions previous owner
made. We start from the very begin-
ning by trying to connect light switch-
es to lights they control and by
arranging cupboards with hopes of
finding what we need. We open doors
several times to remember what they
contain. We look at a room and try to
decide in which corner to put a bed or
a couch.
All that is exciting in its newness. Bu9
is it home?
At the now-old house, cardboard
boxes wait to be filled and jarring
spaces appear on shelves. In my room, I
am surrounded by the life I had six
years ago - high school yearbooks and
mementos, clothes out of size and style,
books I will never read again. I find
stickers from sixth grade, 1993 calen-
dars and samples of my handwriting
throughout the years.
My current life has afforded m
scant time to sort through these
archives and to appreciate how these
things contributed to the insanity that

is now my life. I had only the chance to
quickly decide to pack or to pass on -
yet long enough to realize how long
ago middle school, and even high
school, was.
I realized my propensity for saving
things of value - some that still hold
heavy meaning and some whose history
is lost in the ages. I found things I had
forgotten and some which I would have
rather. I found things definitely not
worth saving. I found several things I
had saved out of a desire to preserve
them, because they were too nice to
actually use or wear. Now out of style --
and utility, I threw most out, still in their
carefully cared-for condition.
I began to appreciate what all these
things - maligned for the clutter they
create - mean to my definition o
"home." Thanksgiving weekend will be
filled with organization trying to recap-
ture that feeling.
I am beginning to appreciate how
many times I hear and see that address
without thinking about it - and that I
now need to recognize that as "old" or
"wrong." My subconscious images of
the place "home" must now trigger
something new; while "old" is no
exactly wrong, it is no longer right.
Years and people change, it becomes
time to move on and that is good - a
statement easy to say from a distance
and less simply realized standing in the
building that was home or is home or is
somewhere in between.
Back in Ann Arbor now I am nm-

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