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November 08, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-08

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 8, 2005

OPINION

Tbe w libtn auiiiI

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON Go
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
44'What our city
needs is a spiritual
healing and a spiritual
revolution."
- Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick,
as reported yesterday by
the Detroit Free Press.

COLIN DALY TH: Nl :HIGAN AYI

~~'N1 1;~ONOQT iR
r-

5

i

. l P .NtV3 ON Y{O E rt4 i11oW of -t QPT U P,!

Wendy Woods fights apathy and you can too
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK BORN IN THE U.SA.
hen Prof. erty restrictions long ago. Students, through the next census. Several members, includ-
Matt Lassiter, their landlords, pay taxes here. And as LSA ing incumbents Bob Johnson (D-Ward 1),
the mod- senior Eugene Kang told the Daily while Leigh Greden (D-Ward 3) and Woods, are
erator of a City Council seeking the Democratic nod in the Second fine with the current system.
candidate forum held Ward this summer, "(Permanent residents) Greden, speaking to the Daily's editorial
last Thursday introduced don't realize that students' interests aren't board, made the argument against reform in
Wendy Woods (D-Ward going to change every four years - student more detail. By creating a student-majority
5), he said she was run- faces may, but what they want won't." ward, the student body could gain a couple
ning unopposed for re- City Council, however, doesn't always of representatives. But other Council mem-
election. do a great job listening to what students bers would ignore students, as their wards
Woods challenged want. Part of the problem lies with students: wouldn't contain any.
Lassiter's statement. "I actually do have an While we might act up when the city cracks This criticism fails on a few points.
opponent this evening," she said, "and it's down on drinking or threatens our God- There are more than 35,000 students in Ann
apathy." given right to litter the porches of our rental Arbor. Even a 100-percent student ward
Apathy seems to be breaking a few elec- houses with ratty couches, students gener- couldn't absorb much more than 20,000
tion laws around here. Not only is he running ally pay little attention to city government. of them - no matter how the wards were
for City Council today in all five wards, but Does anyone on campus feel passionate redrawn, there would still be thousands of
he's also the leading candidate in the fall about the Emerald Ash Borer millage? Does students in each. Because the current wards
Michigan Student Assembly elections that anyone even know what it is? cut right through Central Campus, students
will remain oper at vote.www.umich.edu The new student-city committee will often live in a different ward each year; if
until midnight tomorrow. help keep city council informed about stu- that were changed, students would be more
Apathy has particularly strong support dent concerns. But even though students likely to participate by, say, knowing their
from students - much to the relief, no form roughly a third of the city's popula- Council members' names. And the strong
doubt, of some Ann Arbor residents. Ste- tion, there isn't a student on the ballot today, institutional voice students would gain by
phen Rapundalo, the Democratic candidate and there hasn't been an undergraduate on having their own ward would drive students
for City Council from the Ward 2, told the Council since the mid-'70s. Students can't from apathy.
Daily's editorial board a telling anecdote have backed apathy over their own inter- Any action on the wards in the near future
that took place at a homeowner's associa- ests consistently for three decades. Maybe is unlikely. But even under the current sys-
tion meeting: A woman asked him, in com- there's something else going on here. tem, Kang narrowly missed the Democratic
plete sincerity, why students are allowed to The city's ward system is the most likely nomination in the Ward 2. The turnout in
vote in Ann Arbor at all. culprit. It splits Ann Arbor into pie-shaped that primary was 7.35 percent. Apathy's
If you stifle your democratic gag reflex, it's electoral districts that are supposed to con- appeal, you see, extends beyond the student
almost a good question. Michael Phelps aside, tain "a very rough cross section of the com- body. Students, if they show up and vote,
students don't own property here. They're munity population from the center outward," can have a great impact in such races.
only in Ann Arbor for four years and usually according to the city charter. In theory, this Ultimately, City Council will be more
leave town over the summer. And, gosh darn means each ward contains a diverse group responsive to students if Council members
it, they make it impossible for a decent law- of constituents reflective of the city as a see that students are voting. If you're regis-
abiding citizen to stroll quietly around his whole. In practice, it gerrymanders students tered in Ann Arbor, go out and vote today -
town on a Friday or Saturday night without into the minority in every ward. if only to cast a write-in ballot for yourself.
encountering debauched revelry. At the City Council forum last Thursday,
But students have as much right to vote the candidates were asked if they thought the Zbrozek can be reached at
as anyone else. The nation got rid of prop- pie-shaped wards should be changed after zbro@umich.edu.
VIEWPOINT
The Coke Coalition responds
BY THE COKE COALITION the Miami lawsuit against Coca-Cola, asking all distributing fresh water to community members
litigants to agree that anything uncovered by an around the closed plant in India, deceitfully cit-
On the same day that University Associate investigation overseen by the commission will ing it as "progress."
Vice President for Finance Peggy Norgren not be used in court. The case relates to the rights In the eyes of the international student
said that Coca-Cola has been acting in "good of union workers represented by SINALTRAIN- movement to hold Coca-Cola accountable,
faith" (The University Responds to The Coke AL, which has seen nine members murdered in the commission has been delegitimized.
Coalition, 10/26/2005), another letter was the past 10 years. It is because of Coca-Cola's Mention of commission will not be accepted
publicly released announcing that students on treatment of the commission that the five students as an excuse for a lack of so-called "progress"
the national commission investigating Coke from separate American universities decided to offered by the University to explain why the
would be disengaging because of Coca-Cola's disengage from the commission. contract has not been cut. The University's
uncooperative nature. Despite Coca-Cola's unreasonable Coke Coalition will continue to escalate the
Created by Coca-Cola itself, a commission demands of the commission, Tim Slottow, the campaign after gathering strength from for-
was meant to plan and execute an independent University's chief financial officer, deemed mer Coke union worker Luis Adolfo Cardona
investigation of the current conditions at Coca- Coke's participation in the commission an and the India Resource Center's Amit Srivas-
Cola's bottling plants in Colombia and India. It act of "good faith." In doing so, he ignored tava, who visited campus as witnesses to the
was composed of university administrators, stu- the Sept. 30 deadline the University's Dispute company's crimes last Tuesday. Currently,
dents and labor rights experts. After months of Review Board set in May 2005 for Coca-Cola Cardona and Srivastava, along with other
negotiations, Coca-Cola continues its attempts to agree to an independent investigation. witnesses, are traveling through the United
to dictate the terms of the methodology and has Even as the University accepts Coca-Cola's States, Canada and the United Kingdom to
refused to settle on any draft investigation pre- actions as "good faith," human rights violations support and spark student movements. More
sented by the commission. continue inTurkey, Indonesia, Guatemala, Peru, than 55 universities worldwide have already
At a commission meeting in September, Ed India and Colombia. Nothing has changed; cut contracts. The Coke Coalition is commit-
Potter, Coca-Cola's global labor relations direc- things have only gotten worse. Furthermore, ted to our demand made in solidarity with
tor asked that the murders of the Colombian Coca-Cola successfully hid behind the com- communities that Coca-Cola damaged: the
union leaders not be investigated because they mission instead of meeting the University's contract must be cut.
are not part of the "current" situation. Further- Sept. 30 deadline of agreeing to an independent
more, Coca-Cola is struggling to strike up an investigation. What's more, in a letter delivered This viewpoint represents the opinion
inadmissibility deal with all parties involved in on the day of the deadline, Coca-Cola lied about of The Coke Coalition.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

0
0
I
0

0

Thumbs down to simplified
take on France riots
TO THE DAILY:
I was disappointed to see the current riots
in France boiled down to a simple "Thumbs
down" in today's Daily (The thumbs have
it, 10/07/2005). Condemning the actions of
those who found no other options besides
burning cars and battling with police officers
ignores many of the social and economic
problems that those people face every day.
Clichy-sous-Bois, where the riots began,

tions are dire and they see no other way to
express their disenfranchisement. Ignor-
ing these initial conditions will only make
problems worse.
Max Sussman
LSA junior
'Selective racism' tarnishes
'Vgina Monologues'
TO THE DAILY:
As a white male, I will not be the first
to admit that I am privileged in this soci-

cusable. Indeed, minorities use their history
of persecution as a means to enlighten-
ment and attempt to end racial prejudice
- turn the other cheek, if you will. What
we are seeing is the exact opposite: The
people responsible for the colorization of
the "Vagina Monologues" are only fueling
the fires of racism and enlarging the gap
between the races.
Apparently, petty vengeance and making
sure white women know how it feels to be
left out is more important to colored people
than ending racial prejudice. It is perfectly
acceptable for nonwhites to be openly rac-

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Reggie Brown, Amanda Burns,
John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Eric Jackson,
Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Will Kerridge, Rajiv Prabhakar,
MArr Re.D idrl Rusell. BrianSl adelnhn Srialich Imran Sved, Ben Tavlor.

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