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November 04, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 4, 2003

OE
OP/ED

U~ftz idjign4baU

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
"((Dean) knows
about as much
about the South as a
hog knows about
Sunday."
- US. Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.), on Sunday's
"Meet the Press, "on Democratic presidential
candidate Howard Dean, as reported by
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

SAM BUTLER CLASSIC SOAPBOX
\ 4 -Ve V

You are responsible for your parents' apathy
JESS PISKOR JOIN TIHE PISKOR
riving through Agitators for having children argue that parents' selfish interest in what is suppos-
suburbia one kids teach selflessness and give parents a edly harmful to their kids. "Think of what
day with my sense of responsibility for others on a level this does to our children" is the argument
family I began railing that is unattainable any other way. Non- used in conservative opposition to violent
against the waste asso- sense. Nothing is perhaps more selfish video games, movies, music, pornography,
ciated with all the big, than having children. gay marriage, abortion, inheritance taxes,
green, well-watered, An immediate consequence of pregnan- limits to suburban growth and decriminal-
well-fertilized lawns cy is a turn toward selfish, irrational per- izing drugs, to name a few.
wrapped, moat-like, sonal decisions. People who hate the I'm not advocating that our generation
around every home. To suburbs and would never move out there not enter into parenthood. But we should
me, it was pretty clear that the harms of on their own, suddenly feel the need to not rush. Wait until we are in our thirties
huge green private lawns outweigh any move out to a gated community where the at least. And then we need to raise our kids
possible benefits. kids have access to supposedly better right by example. Parents who work in
However, I was told very succinctly by schools and where kids will be "safe," corporate jobs for the money, who stay in
my parents that, "When you have kids of leaving cities to rot as places not kid- marriages for the kids and plant lawns for
your own, you will understand that a nice friendly enough. T-ball aren't succeeding in raising their
grass-covered play area for your children So many parents justify their selfish- kids right.
makes a lot of sense." It's a line parents ness and absence from political move- As the next generation of parents, we
use a lot to justify selfish and destructive ments by arguing that, "As long as I raise cannot model ourselves on the apathetic
personal decisions and to defend a lack of my kids right, then I've done good in the boomers who gave up their activism to
political involvement. "Sure I'm against world." This logic, followed to its conclu- keep their kids safe. We should set real
the war, but I can't go to the protest sion, amounts to nothing: Kids raised right examples for changing the world through-
because Jimmy has a soccer game." who raise their kids right to raise their kids out our parenthood.
Frankly, I'm sick of all this "when you right adds up to three generations where Political involvement and a willingness
have kids" crap. Sure, having kids will nothing got done. Parents should not lull to stand up against a system of oppression
change my opinions and make me discover themselves into apathy with the "teach are the best ways to each our children
new truths, but it won't change the reali- your children well" mantra. well.
ties of the problems of the United States. With a myopic view of the needs of In his "Letter from Birmingham City
All it will change is that by having kids I their own children, parents may take to Jail," Martin Luther King Jr. stated that it
will become more selfish and less rational. politics but only when it immediately and wasn't the Ku Klux Klan or George Wal-
Yeah, kids change peoples' outlooks - directly effects their children. So parent lace that were the barriers to change, but
for the worse. teacher associations are home to bitter the everyday Americans who simply didn't
Why do twentysomethings abandon feuds over little Kaytlyn's social studies care or didn't get involved. Today, the
their anti-materialist outlooks and buy test while bigger issues are ignored. Moth- majority of parents who gave up their pro-
Christmas presents or not run the organic ers and fathers may have opposed the war gressive views are worse than those who
farm they have always wanted to operate? in Iraq, but were too busy "raising their never held progressive views and it is they
Why do parents work at corporate jobs kids right" to find time to protest or write who are the greatest barrier to change in
they hate and support a system that they a letter. the world.
used to believe was wrong? Because they And where parenthood doesn't create
think it will better to provide for their apathy it breeds conservative Republicans. Piskor can be reached
kids, making for happier boys and girls. Many conservative appeals are aimed at atjpiskor@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

University students
privileged as Schuh

not as
believes

TO THE DAILY:
In rebuttal to Department of Public Safety
Officer Troy Schuh's response (A2 built to
attract homeless, student naive about situation,
10/31/03) to my initial letter to the editor All in
a days work (10/21/03), I meant no personal
offense to his hardworking coworkers. I have
no doubt that Schuh is devoted to the less fortu-
nate in our community, despite their apparent
lack of gratitude or expulsion of bodily fluids. I,
too, made my convictions to improve the lives
of those less fortunate. This provided the main
impetus for my criticism of the picture. In my
disclaimer, it may have been an inappropriately
overlooked journalistic faux pas. The original
picture prompted me to question the intent of
the photographer in the context of emergency
health care. Disparities exist and I implore the
Daily's readers to consider how publications
perpetuate or promote these factors.
As for the "lesson (my) parents don't have
to pay for," please don't make the brash
assumption that every student at this fine uni-
versity is funded by their parents! I took out
tens of thousands of dollars in student loans
to return to academia after a seven year
absence. I honor the privilege of attending
school again. In my employment days, I
worked to serve'marginalized and low-
income populations. I learned to criticize and
reflect upon this demographic's portrayal in
the media. I would hate to think I am as
"young and impressionable" as you perceive
the vast majority of 17 to 21-year- olds here.
There are indeed older students here with
"real life" experience. I doubt many university
students, or lay people alike, honestly believe
that any alms we give to the homeless yields
food instead of alcohol. Coping mechanisms
take many forms. Unfortunately, maturation
breeds cynicism. If I strike up a conversation
with a transient person and it appears like they
need sustenance, I offer them any food I have
on my person or to offer to take them to get a
sandwich. Please don't assume naivete!
I appreciate the work Schuh does for such
an esteemed medical care system at the Uni-
versity. As a future public health practitioner, I
hope to bridge any existing chasms. Also, this

was important to correct his "oversight"
and set the record straight on homelessness
in Ann Arbor (A2 built to attract homeless,
student naive about situation, 10/31/03), I too
feel that I must set the record straight on
the situation. Alternatively, I work at the
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
in both the men and women's shelters.
I am flabbergasted to note that someone
would purport that people flock to Ann
Arbor because being homeless is so lucra-
tive. There are a multitude of factors that
play into why Ann Arbor has homelessness
as well as why people from other cities
arrive here homeless. Ann Arbor has virtu-
ally no affordable housing. Due to Univer-
sity students, Ann Arbor has created an
insanely expensive housing bubble that rich
students can afford but the majority of peo-
ple that work at living wage cannot afford.
Studies have proven that the living wage in
Ann Arbor is about $10 an hour in order to
make rent, food, and so forth. People come
to Ann Arbor not for these amazing home-
less programs, because they aren't that
amazing, they could really stand to
improve. People come for jobs, anyone
slightly familiar with Michigan can clearly
understand why people from Flint or
Detroit or Jackson move here.
We must realize that there are people
that are struggling with alcoholism and
addictions in our community. The only
treatment facilities that we have in the
county are that of Dawn Farm and Home of
New Vision (for women only). Two facili-
ties with a maybe a few dozen beds are not
sufficient for the whole community. Nor do
we have a strong support system of housing
for people who are just getting out of a pro-
gram and are starting a new sober life.
There are not several free food pro-
grams; there is one, the Ann Arbor Hunger
Coalition. It has a breakfast program (seven
days), lunch (five days) and dinner (seven
days) a week. There are times when the
meal program runs out of food due to unex-
pected numbers of people. It is not just the
homeless community that eats at these
meals; the working poor also come to these
meals just so that they can get by. By no
means is this food terribly appetizing, think
of hot lunches at public school, not the
pizza or the tater tots but the really awful

"Danny" and multitudes of other people
that are dealing with issues of homeless-
ness and so many other social issues. I sug-
gest that if people are interested in these
issues that they volunteer at the Shelter
Association of Washtenaw County. There
they can actually have a "real" education
with the situation to understand the com-
plexities of homelessness as well as realize
that they are people just like you and me,
and they deserve the respect every single
human deserves and that is to be acknowl-
edged as one.
HEATHER MOONEY
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
Daily misinformed, should
have endorsed Lax over Haug
To THE DAILY:
As a student, I was very pleased to read your
articles about students running for Ann Arbor
City Council. However, I was dismayed by the
misinformation and misrepresentation they con-
tained. In the article, A2 City Council hopefuls
discuss urban sprawl (10/30/03), the author stated
that "all University residence halls are located in
the 4th Ward." In actuality, the majority (9 out
of 14) of the residence halls are located in the
First Ward. These residence halls are West
Quad, Betsy Barbour, Helen Newberry, Alice
Lloyd, Couzens, Mosher-Jordan, Stockwell,
Bursley and Baits. This means that most stu-
dents living in the residence halls will be
focused on the First Ward elections, in which
two students are running for Ann Arbor City
Council. Of these two students, the Daily decid-
ed to endorse Robert Haug of the Green Party
over Rick Lax, running as an Independent.
In the Daily's editorial entitled Ward war I
and IV (10/30/03), the Daily cited "lack of
experience and concrete initiatives" as reasons
for not endorsing Lax, while describing Haug's
lack of experience as "freshness." This seems
inconsistent to me. Also, the Daily failed to
mention that, of Haug and Lax, only Lax is
running a full-fledged campaign. This cam-
paign is based on initiatives that are more "con-
crete" than Haug's goals of "forging a sound
agreement between the University and the city"
and "retaining many of the city's beloved
t: - .. - ~. A - n rc 9 r wre

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