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September 26, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 2000

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What to do when your ceiling falls in: Housing in A2

- ,,,

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Ed
Ed

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
ILY ACHENBAUM
itorial Page Editor
n of the majority of
artoons do not
Daily.

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinio
the Daily editorial board. All other articles, letters and c
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan 1

wa~ m
Students should watch Gore forum
: ith all the talk about voter apa- major issues - which could lead to a
thy, it is good to see that at the more informed choice come election
University, word of a presidential day.
candidate's visit still gets the campus Gore has been in the national pub-
excited. Today, Al Gore, the sitting lic eye for almost a quarter of a cen-
vice-president of the United States tury prior to his current campaign for
and current Democratic party nomi- President. After obtaining a law
nee for the Presidency, will visit the degree and working as an Army jour-
University to tape "A Town Hall nalist covering the Vietnam War,
Forum with Al Gore," which will air Gore entered national politics at the
at 8 p.m. on MTV. age of 28 as a representative of Ten-
The forum will give select stu- nessee's fourth congressional dis-
dents the opportunity to directly trict. Since then, Gore has served 16
interact with Gore in years in Congress
front of a national The forum gill lye (eight years in each
audience. While only g house) before being
a a handful of Universi- students and elected vice-president
ty students get the of the United States
chance to be a art of community - a post he has held
the taping, a H stu- for the last eight
dents can and should members a chance years.
watch the broadcast It is unfortunate
on television. to directly interact that more students
The forum is a could not be included
unique opportunity With Gore in front in the forum itself,
for students because but taping restraints
the questions posed to of a national probably account for
the vice-president the relatively low
'will be directly from audience number of students.
-their peers and men- Despite the fact
tors. Students select- that most students
ed for the taping have prepared will watch the forum on television
Nquestions for the meeting. rather than actually participating in
The issues that will be raised dur- the event, Gore's visit to the Univer-
ing the show will not only have sity should be a positive one. It sheds
national appeal but will probably be a positive light on the University
especially pertinent to students. community and gives students the
Thus, watching the show ought to be chance to begin making a decision
an easy way to become more for the presidential election in
informed about Gore's stance on November.
Capital sofensive
Death penalty should be abolished

s our MSA President, Hideki, once said:
Living in Ann Arbor shouldn't cost the
same as living in San Francisco or New York.
But really, where do we have to turn? With
shady landlords and ancient houses that
haven't seen a mainte-
nance man since 1987,
students are not left
with many options. If
this was anywhere but
a college town, no one
would stand for such x
outrageous prices one
houses that smell like
a musty basement and.
have suffered from
years of built-up party
sludge.
The houses that are Erin
being leased are so VCQui
beat up from years of nn
abuse that they should P.1 yx -with'
just be bulldozed and tWrd
put out of their misery.
Landlords, or rather
slumlords, are making a killing on leasing
these shacks to desperate, naive college kids.
Some of us would be better off camping out
in the backyard rather than living in the hell-
hole of a house that we're paying for.
No one ever bothers to read that "Rights of
the Tenant" booklet when they sign a lease.
With all of the unnecessary reading that pro-
fessors already make you do, who can blame
someone for not reading that seemingly use-

less little book - I know I didn't. But I wish
I had -- the book guarantees you things such
as a clean house upon move-in and other
often-overlooked stuff. But with the house
vacancy rate at lower than one percent, the
slumlords have developed a sort of screw-
you attitude - they can always find someone
else to take your place.
One of the saddest Ann Arbor housing
scams is the apartment appraisal at the end
of the lease. Only now will the landlord be
so attentive to every detail of your habita-
tion. Why'? Because they already have the
security deposit money and they really don't
want to give it back. So now, just because
you put a burnhole in an orange couch from
1972, you now have to pay for an entirely
new cushion. But you know they will never
actually use the money to replace the cush-
ion - the money is probably pooled into
buying a stripper for the owner of the apart-
ment complex.
But I'd still prefer to live in an apartment
over a house any day. Over spring term, my
friend Isabel and I subleased a house for the
first time. After finally moving in 3 days
after the decided date, we were greeted with
a fridge full of moldy food and puke in the
sink. The landlady who said we were getting
a "great deal" didn't offer much support.
She also accused us of letting an extra
person live there and told us we had to
check in our guests with her. Also, the psy-
cho mother of a previous tenant showed up
and said she was going to put the house

under surveillance. Actually, the psycho
mother showed up in our living room - the
landlady failed to collect the keys from the
previous tenants.
The rest of the semester was an on and off
headache with the landlady playing mom -
literally. She let herself in and complained
that the house was too messy and bitched that
we hadn't taken the garbage out. She never
failed to remind us though that we should be
thankful for our "great deal" until the kitchen
ceiling literally came falling down in chunks
one morning. The landlady still insisted,
however, that these kinds of things happen.
Looking back, we should have withheld
rent for the last month - after all, eviction
takes a month (another fun fact from the
book). I should've yelled at the mom instead
of being the polite girl that I was. There were
a lot of things that two freshman living for
the first time on their own failed to do -hbut
still some justice can come of this . . .
University lawyers: Those wonderful, tal-
ented, aspiring legal superstars whose service
is paid for by part of our tuition. That's right
- they're relatively free - because we all
know that nothing is free, especially at the
University. Not that I'm all about suing, but
something has to be done to keep these out-
of-control landlords in check. We should not
stand for shoddy leases and broken promises.
Just because you're only living there tem-
porarily is no excuse to live without a ceiling. @
- Erin McQuinn can be reached
via e-mailat emcquinn(q~untich.edu.

'I can't believe that
within 20 feet
- LSA Soph
for MTV
voice their wishes, does not mean they don'tI
deserve as much right as a newborn baby or a I
full-grown adult. Do you honestly think the r
child wants to be killed? I believe the Center for
Bioethical Reform. Chi Alpha Christian Fellow- i

Pro-life Diag display
is warranted

A dvocates of capital punishment shockin
claim the death penalty is a use- innocei
ful deterrent and is legitimized by example
retribution. Twelve states, including death h,
Michigan, know better and disagree. pared to
A recent New York Times study sup- been e
ports the position of death penalty know j
opponents, with statistics exposing been un
gaping holes in the arguments of pro- absence
ponents. appeals.
While the main argument for the TexaE
death penalty is that it deters crime, not tou
homicide rates in the 38 states with Governi
the death penalty have been 48-101 to carry
percent higher than states without it 27 and
over the last 20 years.
If anything, it Nobody can ev
appears the death b c
penalty may aggravate know just how
crime.
Even if executions many people he
were effective deter-
rents, they still are not been
fairly administered.
Minorities are vastly executed beca
overrepresented and
the mentally handi- of the absence
capped often wind up
on death row rather n tests and
than in mental institu-
tions. . ,e'ected appea
By examining who re
is on death row, one
can see why the system
is blatantly racist. Forty-three percent tioned.
of death row inmates are black in a Studi
nation which is only twelve percent more ex
black. Furthermore, according to Rob than iti
Warden, founder of the Center for prison..
Wrongful Convictions, criminals who taxpaye
murder Caucasians are seven times as doesn't
likely to receive the death penalty as The
those who murder blacks. inherent
Men such as Warden, who spoke it clear
at the University Friday, have exoner- stopped
ated dozens of wrongfully convicted homicid
death row inmates. Problems such as punish
the lack of DNA testing in many exonera
cases, compounded with incidents of the ove
poor representation by state-appoint- on deai
ed defense attorneys. have resulted in should 1

gly frequent convictions of
nt people. In Illinois, for
, thirteen people sentenced to
ave been exonerated as com-
just twelve that have actually
xecuted. Nobody can ever
ust how many people have
justly executed because of the
of DNA tests and rejected
s is the prime example of how
use the death penalty. Under
or George W Bush, Texas, set
out executions on September
October 4, has continued to
outrage capital pun-
er ishment o p ponents
by constantly execut-
ing criminals (espe-
cially impoverished
Hispanics and
v blacks)at abnormal
rates. Over 100 men
and women have
use been executed since
us uhfirst became
of governor.
Another factor in
deciding whether to
use the current sys-
Is. tem is by far sec-
ondary to previous
arguments, but
deserves to be men-
ies have established that it is
pensive to execute a criminal
is to maintain one for life in
And it seems a waste to spend
rs' money on a system that
work.
problems and injustices
It in capital punishment make
that the practice should be
immediately. Due to higher
le rates in states with capital
ment, numerous cases of
ated death row inmates and
rrepresentation of minorities
th row, capital punishment
be abolished.

TO THE DAILY: ship and the campus Students for Life are doing I
This morning when I picked up the Daily, I what they can to raise awareness about an issue
was very upset with the biased position the edi- they feel strongly about and that deservest
tonal page took on the pro-life (or anti-abortion respect, which the Daily dismissed in the biased i
as you like to call it) exhibit. The main article articles. Choose life, choose the future. I
was biased, including few positive opinions'on-
the topic, which was accompanied by two more NICOLE BABCOCK
writings against the exhibit. Does this paper LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
have no journalistic integrity? Shouldn't both
sides be displayed equally so that the students
may make up their own minds on the issue, Abortion genocide
rather than being told what is right and wrong? IA,
am pro-life and I believe that it couldn't have not the sam e
been that hard to find even one person to write a t
small section its support of this exhibit, as 1, andl
probably tany other pro-lifers, would've TO THE DAILY:
jumped at the chance to share my belief. In response to the Daily's Sept. 25th. editori-
I believe that desperate times call for desper- al "An Obscene Analogy' the reference to the
ate measures and trying to convey a typically
conservative view in an extremely liberal cot- THOMAS KULJURGIS
munity is a very desperate situation. The exhibit
is non-violent and it forces people to think about
the issue, because I don't believe that someone A W RS ORV \ AC 1E\1
could look at the placards and think "oh, that's SlnM~ l(,:a
gross" and not even give the issue a second
thought. I could go on about the reasons why I
am pro-life, but that would require a whole sepa-
rate newspaper section, as I proved at my high
school and intend to continue here, but I will say -
this: Women have a choice and it's not abortion.
If a woman is not ready to be pregnant, she
has the choice not to have sex. Choosing to have
sex means agreeing to the many potential conse-
quences, including pregnancy. Even after a
woman becomes pregnant, she has other choic-
es, such as adoption. The editorial "An obscene
analogy" (9/25/00) makes an obscene point that
a baby one day from birth is different from a
baby one day after birth because it's physically
connected to and dependent on the mother. This
is so false that I can't believe anyone would hon-
estly believe it, because babies born as soon as
six months can live unattached to the mother.
Also, the idea that an unborn baby "impinges on H SAGS.OF C . 2
her right to freedom" sickens me. What about A QUkRT OF tS FOOD
the baby's right to live? Just because they cannot
Its action, but how affirmative is it?

,1 1 M .t6 liccll.
I'm going to be
of Al Gore.'
omore Edgar Zapata on being chosen4
f's A Town Hall Forum with Al Gore.
Holocaust is only part of the crime against
humanity committed by the Genocide Aware-
ness Project. The word genocide in their title
should be reserved for those persons world wide
who have faced near eradication. The term
genocide was adopted to describe the intentional
and methodical annihilation of an entire popula-
tion. Pro-choice advocates do not intend to elim
inate children from the earth. Hearing the word
genocide should send chills down our spines.
This emotional response should be in the
remembrance of the horrors committed against
Jews, gypsies, gays, Armenians and Native
Americans throughout history. If true genocide
went unchecked, these forementioned popula-
tions would be extinct. The reckless use of this
term numbs its true meaning. The comparison
of pro-choice advocates to defenders of the
Final Solution is asinine and a crime again.
those who have faced true genocide.
ROGER STETSON
LAW SCHOOL
tEN'AiRE ' .PEA

9

? ig ME'SOLYMP'IC..
l'
icCRE 4

'l1

I

0

T hree years ago, the University got saddled
with an ongoing lawsuit that sought to
challenge its seemingly discriminatory admis-
sions policies. Since its filing in October of
1997, the admissions lawsuit has become a bat-
tle cry for some students, our own neo-Civil
Rights Movement. Every year, I see people
wasting pounds of paper on fliers and petitions
lending support to the University and its poli-
cies. For a while, it was manageable, and I sim-
ply shook my head politely when asked to sign
this, or show up for that
or read these.
No thank you, I don't H
need another pamphlet in
my pocket. No thank
you, I've already read it
and I'm not interested.y
No thank you, I don't
believe in affirmative
action.
Actually, I should
amend that. It's not that I
don't agree with the con- Manish
cept of affirmative
action, it's that I don't Rail
agree with the Universi- N.nting
ty's admissions policies. '.
The University rests its
case on a Supreme Court
decision from 1978, when Allan Bakke sued
the University of California after being denied
admission into their medical school. In his
case, Bakke showed that both times he applied,
his credentials were superior to those of any
minority applicants who were admitted. The
Supreme Court had a rather interesting opinion
regarding this case; they officially stated that
UC could give preferential treatment to minori-
ty applicants, which is the side of the case that
our University cites. However, the University

isn't so quick to offer up the fact that the
Supreme Court also mandated that UC admit
Bakke into their medical program. So what
does that say? The Supreme Court acknowl-
edged that UC's admissions policies are unfair
by making them accept Bakke, yet they didn't
do anything to change these unfair policies?
The basic problem is that affirmative action
was borne out of relatively noble idealisms, and
any attacks on affirmative action are seen as an
attack on those ideals. Affirmative action was
meant to be a stepping stone to a more equal
society, where opportunities are not predomi-
nantly in the hands of a very selective - and
very white - portion of society. These altruis-
tic motives are most decidedly not what are dri-
ving the current system of admissions at this
University. Their policies are not about
attempting to redistribute wealth in this nation,
it is not about fostering a sense of socio-eco-
nomic equality and it is not about giving a hand
to impoverished people who would otherwise
have no opportunity for advancement. No, the
idealisms first uttered by Harry Truman have
been prostituted in the name of a far lesser
goal, that of"diversity."
Not to say that diversity is not important. I
agree with the University's estimation that
diversity "produces significant educational ben-
efits." Of course race matters; I would be a fool
to suggest otherwise. However, the concern for
diversity is far overshadowed by the severe dis-
parity between rich and poor in this nation.
Affirmative action does little to mend this divi-
sion, because it gives extra consideration, to
people who often have had access to a good
education their entire lives, while ignoring
those that have grown up with no one to care
for their mental development. What this nation
needs to realize is that being a minority is not a
prerequisite for being downtrodden. There are

plenty of minorities who struggle every day to
survive in tough neighborhoods, but they are
not the ones being helped by affirmative action.
I believe that when Truman called our for
America to "take affirmative action to ensure
that applicants are employed without regard to
their race, creed or national origin," he meant it
in a manner that fit in with the Civil Rights
Amendments. He meant that we as a country,
should learn to be color blind and certainly not
to be overwhelmingly color conscious. How
many times have I had to fill out forms that ask
me for my racial identity? How is making an
entire portion of application dedicated to race.
making us more of a color-blind society?
Yet the University does ask for race. It does
practice admissions policies that violate the
Civil Rights Act of 1964. It does give regards
to race, creed or national origin. If the Univer-
sity is so adamant about practicing discrimina-
tory admissions policies, than it might as well
do so in order to secure some greater cause. It
might as well discriminate in an attempt at
reversing the long-standing segregation that has
plagued this nation. It might as well ask for
economic status instead of racial status, and
give extra points to kids who grew up in dan-
gerous neighborhoods and went to sub-par high
schools, yet still have a desire to get a higher
education. If the University continues to use
diversity as its battle cry, it can, and will, get
away with admissions policies that do little to
nothing to help those Americans who desperiW
ately deserve the extra help. I would hope that
the University, and those passing out pamphlets
and fliers, realize what a slap in the face these
admissions policies are to the children in this
nation who yearn for a better life, but have
never had the opportunities to attain such a life.
- Manish Raifl can be reached
via e-mail at mra igciumich.edu.

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