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November 29, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-29

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 29, 1999

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Rule No. i for success: Never say what you really mean .

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

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.

Season of giving
Students should help Ann Arbor's homeless

S uccess and advancement in contem-
porary America are based on one
skill: diplomacy. That is why anyone who
hopes to prosper these days must have
complete command of this talent. Sure,
things like intelli-
gence and compe-
tence have their
place, but if you
plan to win friends
and influence peo-
ple, nothing is more
important than mas-
tering the art of tact
(or 'lying,' as it is
known in some cir-
Now, I'm sure
many of you are Scott
wondering, "Scott, Hunter
just what makes this Roll through
'diplomacy' thing so ,he Sol
doggoned impor-
tant? After all, you
never use it." Well, despite my occasional
lapses, diplomacy is important and I will
tell you exactly why.
Every day, we must express our
thoughts and opinions on a variety of top-
ics - from our friends' appearances to
the competence of our MSA candidates.
And these opinions are not always favor-
But our success in life invariably
depends on securing the approval of as
many people as possible. If people like
you, they will surely go out of their way
to help you by writing" recommendations,
giving promotions or letting you write a
column. If they don't like you, then they
will merely spit on you when you request
a favor. Therefore, it is important that
anyone hoping to achieve any success be

able to express him or herself without
arousing hostility.
Though you are probably unaware of
it, we as students are forced to engage in
cunning acts of diplomacy every day. This
is because we often find ourselves at the
mercy of GSIs, professors and other peo-
ple who can ruin our academic careers on
a whim ("Give that one a 'D,' He irritates
me."). Accordingly, there is a right and a
wrong way to express ourselves.
Wrong: "Look, you crackhead, if you
don't give me an 'A,' I'm gonna kick your
butt right here in the East Hall!"
Right: "Professor, could we possibly
meet at office hours to discuss my
progress in your class?" But don't think
that the need for tact only exists here in
the academic world.
It is a little known fact that everyone
in this country - including public fig-
ures - uses the skill every single day,
often saying things that they don't quite
mean to avoid eliciting ill will. This
becomes very apparent just by reading
your run-of-the-mill newspaper. Here are
some of my favorites:
She said: "The bottom line is money. It
would be futile to continue." Former pres-
idential hopeful Elizabeth Dole speaking
in October on her decision to drop out of
the presidential race.
She meant: "Bob's Viagra budget is
eating up all my campaign money. That
stuff's expensive nowadays."
He said: "The frequency and the way
the (prayer) was made did not indicate
that he was using it as a part of everyday
speech." Senior U.S. law-enforcement
official, expressing concern over a prayer
made by EgyptAir 990 co-pilot.
He meant: "I mean, come on. If he
were Christian or Anglo, that'd be one

thing. But he was Muslim, for Chrissake.
What more eyidence do we need?
He said: "Sure, there's disagreement
over the speech. But ultimately, I think
I'll be measured by how I have effective-
ly accomplished a number of important
objectives that I think are significant to
the black leadership of the community."
South Carolina governor Jim Hodges
responding to criticism of his speech in
support of allowing the Confederate flag
to fly over the state house.
He meant: "Damn that Abraham
. He said: "If I believed in polls, I
wouldn't be the governor of Minnesota."
Jesse Ventura, disregarding the results of a
poll that shows his approval rating tum-
bling after his comments to Playboy on
He meant: "I don't have to care what
people think. I'm the governor, dammit!
Of course, I hear Hulk Hogan might be
running in the next election."
He said: "America understands that a
guy doesn't know the name of every sin-
gle foreign leader. That's not how
Americans are making their choices on
about who's going to be the president,"
Texas governor George W. Bush in an
ABC television interview.
He meant: "Americans will vote for
me because I'm gonna buy this entire
She said: "I haven't really talked to
him about that." Hillary Clinton, on
whether her husband will live in their
recently purchased New York residence.
She meant: "Don't count on it: Once I
am elected mayor, I'm gonna drop Bill
faster than N'BC dropped Mary Albert."
- Scott Hunter can be reached via
e-mail at sehunter@umich.edu.

A s you return from Thanksgiving break,
look around on the streets ofAnn Arbor.
What do you see? Besides gaudy holiday dec-
orations and flashing lights, you're likely to
notice people lining the streets. But these
aren't just students looking for a strong cup of
coffee. They're the homeless, and they don't
have anywhere else to go. Recent state poli-
cies have greatly aggravated the homeless-
ness problem in Michigan. And during this
season of giving, we all should stop and take
time to help the many homeless people in
Ann Arbor.
During the past three years, Gov. John
Engler has slashed funding for mental health
facilities in half. Ironically, when he funds
new prison construction, he acts like money
is going out of style. But his policies have left
a huge, unsatisfied demand for mental health
care. Many homeless people sorely need
mental health treatment. Many of them have
painful life stories, and professional care can
help them cope and get on with their lives.
But without mental health care, they will
remain homeless.-
By restoring funding to mental health
facilities, the state would help not only the
homeless. It would help local business own-
ers who complain about the lost customers
who are scared away by loitering homeless
people. While that is not an altruistic reason,
hopefully it would help convince Engler this
is a real problem. It also would help the
state's economy by increasing the amount of
eligible members of the work force. With an
all-time low unemployment rate, Michigan
would thrive from more employees to staff
many growing businesses. These shouldn't
be the only reasons for us to eliminate the

homeless problem, but we welcome anything
that will.
Sadly, we cannot wait for Engler to grow a
heart. As citizens of Ann Arbor, we all must
take civic responsibility and do our part to
help the city's many homeless. Volunteer in an
area homeless shelter. If you don't have the
time to volunteer, then dig up some spare
change and give it to a homeless person. Most
college students are on tight budgets, but
every one of us could find a way to gather a
dollar or two. That dollar will mean a lot more
to someone who has nothing than to you. It
could buy the cup of soup that keeps them
warm for the day.
Some people say they don't give money to
the homeless because they don't want to sup-
port drug habits. It's a sweeping and untrue
stereotype to assume all homeless people are
drug addicts. But if it is a concern to you,
then you can buy food and give it to a home-
less person. We haven't heard of a huge
pizza-for-cocaine market, so you're probably
not supporting drug deals.
Homeless people do not want to live on
the streets. Who wants to sleep in garbage-
filled alleys on an icy winter night? They
have physical or mental disabilities that
give them a tremendous disadvantage in
life. And when mental health funding is cut
in half, they have nowhere to go. Political
figures like New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani treat homeless people like com-
modities, worrying more about moving
them out of site than actually helping them.
In a season that is defined by goodwill
toward others, everyone should step up and
do their part to help the homeless. If we
don't, who will?


Plenty to do
AIDS Awareness Week offers many events

Daily's stance on
abortion lacks
Regarding The Daily's Nov. 19
"Maintaining Choice" editorial: Yours is a
position of hypocrisy and intolerance.
When the Republicans took control of
Congress in 1994, it was by popular man-
date. That means, whether you like it or not,
a majority of voters supported their poli-
cies, which generally includes a pro-life
Whether it was a small group of them
or all of them, nothing gets out of
Congress without a majority vote.
Accordingly, as a function of our political
process, a majority of people are assumed
to support the refusal to fund abortions
overseas. You don't have to like that, you
just have to accept it. I highly doubt that if
the inverse was true, that if it were
Democrats in control, and a small group of
them forced funding of abortions, that you
would complain. I can see it now: "Dear
Congress: I support abortions, and I sup-
port them being performed overseas with
U.S. tax dollars. I must, however, take
exception to the fact that it was a small
group of you guys responsible making this
possible. Like most Americans, I put the
purity of the political process ahead of my
own priorities, and until you guys do it
right, that is, make it a large group of
Democrats, I guess, I want you to reverse
your action and defund those abortions.
Sincerely, The Ethical Voter."
As if. I'll be sure to hold my breath
waiting for that to happen. Furthermore,
the "capitulation" that you refer to most



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n the early, ignorant days of the AIDS
epidemic, before information about it
became widespread, the disease grew at a
staggering rate. But thanks to new treat-
ments and the prevalence of material on
AIDS, the number of fatalities are decreas-
ing and the future looks
brighter. While researchers:
still seek a cure, our main :
defense against the disease
remains education.
Beginning today, AIDS
Awareness Week gives

can put a face on a disease often thought of
only in statistics.
But events on campus are not simply
held to lecture and discussion formats.
Artistic contributions to the campaign for
raised AIDS awareness pervade the cam-
Today, noted a capella
group Amazin' Blue kicks
EVen~S '.. the week off with a con-
com u cert in the Michigan
League Underground at 8
du p.m. Following the show,
students can screen the
award-winning film

certainly does not require detrimental
effects to family planning clinics. You
wrote that "The detrimental effects will
be felt by family planning, population
control and sexually transmitted disease
prevention." You then mention that family
planning clinics also provide health care
and information to prospective mothers,
and educating people about safe sex.
Perhaps you could explain how abortions
affect STD's, safe sex or the provision of
health care and information to prospective
mothers? The only effect, if there is any, is
that women will have to pay for the abor-
tions themselves if they want to use it as a
form of birth control.
Of course, the clinics have the option of
maintaining business as usual, with the
exception of performing abortions. Since,
as you assert, their primary focus is not
abortion, it will have secondary effects at
If abortions only account for a small

portion of any family planning association's
funds, as your editorial asserts, then what's
the big loss? Is it an ideological loss to you?
Are you idealogues? Why is it OK to be a
pro-abortion idealogue, but not a pro-life
Taking abortion away from women in
third world countries (and anywhere else)
most certainly is defensible. You just find it
objectionable and unpalatable. If abortions
were restored by a group of idealogues,
would you complain? Would that be inde-
fensible to you? Shut your mouths and open
your minds for a minute. Your position may
be popular, it may be PC, but it is not the
only position. Political viewpoints oppos-
ing your own are always defensible by
somebody's standards. If you refuse to
acknowledge their viewpoints and values,
who then should acknowledge yours?


University students

a valu-

able opportunity to combat
the disease's spread through k
educating themselves and
Clearly, we need to con- n
tinue and improve the flow$
of information about AIDS.
Despite the progress made,
the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention estimate a mini-
mum 40,000 new infections of HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS, occur each year.
Those feeling they've already heard
everything about AIDS should look at the
week's roster of events. The variety of
activities might surprise students expect-
ing only presentations on risk factors.
For one, students can talk about sex
with famous expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer
at the Michigan Theater this Wednesday
night. Those familiar with Westheimer
know to expect a candid and entertaining
Students looking elsewhere to partici-
nn+t mni t+. inPthe 1,nt'rc orf Al



throughout theweek, stu-
."dents can venture to
Pierpont Commons on
North Campus and view
an art exhibit related to
AIDS awareness.
The organizers of
AIDS Awareness Week did a commend-
able job providing students with multiple
forums for AIDS education. While this is a
busy time in the semester, students can
make room in their schedules to walk
through an art exhibit before class or catch
a lecture after dinner. Even those consider-
ing themselves well-educated about AIDS
likely will find a new perspective or a new
story that furthers their experiences with
AIDS Awareness Week provides
University students with a much-needed
reminder of the possibilities for infection
and the actions students should take to pre-
vent the disease's nroliferation Education

Union policies will be changed to ensure safety, fairness

I am writing this viewpoint because I
think the community deserves a response
to the concerns that students have been
voicing, including a Nov. 22 Daily editor-
ial "A discriminatory union," about the
handling of social events sponsored by
students of color at the Michigan Union.
The policies were developed in partner-
ship with students. All of us, students and
staff, had the best of intentions. But stu-
dents came and went, staff came and went,
and the reasoning behind the policies got
lost. Despite our best intentions, policies
and procedures designed to ensure a safe
and enjoyable environment for students
have become a source of distress.
Recently I had a chance to hear stu-
dents talk about their experiences attend-
ing parties and other social events at the
Union. It became painfully apparent to
me that there is a large gap between what
we intended when these policies were cre-
ated and what students are experiencing
today. The plain fact is that students of
color feel marginalized and unwelcome
when attending social events at the

lence we experienced was associated with
non-University students.
Together with students, we examined
the problems we were having and collec-
tively developed some policies that were
intended to keep our own students and
staff safe, and to ensure that the groups
hosting the parties could maintain control
over their events and have a positive expe-
In order to make sure that all social
events were safe for the University com-
munity, we began to check id's for every-
one entering the Union - all students,
faculty, staff and guests - on Friday and
Saturday nights after 9:30 p.m.
Wristbands were developed because
the students hosting social events at the
Union told us they did not want to keep
track of the number of guests by using a
hand stamp, as they had in the past. They
proposed, and we accepted, changing to
wristbands. This approach was designed
to help event hosts identify paid atten-
dees and to make sure the number of
guests determined by the fire marshal's
limit for the scheduled room was not

near the fountain. This way, students
could linger and socialize with their
friends after the event.
Student events, regardless of the host-
ing organization, typically have one
Department of Public Safety officer per
100 guests in attendance to help with
security. DPS officers have not ended
events early unless the host of the event
requested it, or if the safety of guests has
been in jeopardy. The last time an event
was ended early due to safety concerns
was in February 1997 when a large fight
broke out. More recently, when events
have ended early it has been because there
were fewer guests than anticipated and the
hosting organization chose to end early.
All that said, it's clear these policies
are not having the effect we intended
when they were formed. We have begun a
review, and two changes already have
been made. Students attending events at
the Union will no longer need to wear
wristbands, and they may exit the building
from any door.
Together with students, I and the new
director of public safety, William Bess,


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