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November 08, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-08

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4A - Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

( 4e Michioan [ 43at*lu

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed
articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
x.After MCRI
Proposal 2 passes, but affirmative action debate not over
Afew hopeful souls may be waiting for a deus ex machi-
na to uncover the missing half-million ballots oppos-
ing Proposal 2, but with 94 percent of precincts reporting
at press time, it's clear that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative has
passed. Despite years of effort, first to keep the proposal off the
ballot and later to educate voters about what the proposal actual-
l means, Michigan residents have spoken - and come out over-
whelmingly against affirmative action.

Tonight is a victory for all people - those who can buy a
Cadillac, and those who assemble the Cadillacs:'
- GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM, in her victory speech last night, after defeating Republican challenger
Dick DeVos to win re-election.
Te loss nobody talks about

Let the affirmative action games
begin. In light of Proposal 2's
passage, the University will
be racing against falling minority
enrollment, sprinting to its attorneys'
offices and vaulting into the spotlight
in the fight to pre-
serve a diverse
student body. The
University faces
some serious
questions now:
Is the adminis-
tration willing to H
litigate the issue R s~
again and fight
for the "educa- WHITNEY
tional value of DIBO
diversity" all the
way up to the
U.S. Supreme Court?And how can we
keep minority enrollment from plum-
meting like it did in California where
a similar ballot initiative passed?
The questions continue: How can
the University remaina leader in aca-
demic diversity? How can students of
all races and ethnicities continue to
work, live and play together on this
campus and learn from each other,
both in and outside the classroom?"
Wait a moment. That doesn't
sound quite right. The University's
brochures and website may depict
students of all colors studying on
the Diag together - my acceptance
packet three years ago even included
an image of colorful students lying
on their backs in the cliche pinwheel
smiling up at the camera together.
Yet despite the administration's
commitment to diversity, this cam-
pus remains starkly segregated. The
united front against Proposal 2 tem-
porarily masked this division, but
sadly it remains a sad reality of our
We live in different student neigh-
borhoods. We go to different bars
on different nights. We join differ-
ent student groups. There are even

separate Greek systems. While there
are exceptions to every trend, for the
most part integration at the Univer-
sity ends in the classroom.
The purpose of affirmative action
is twofold. Opponents of Proposal 2
focused on the idea of equal oppor-
tunity, on the continuing need for
affirmative action given the socio-
economic realities of our society.
We need affirmative action to mend
our self-inflicted wounds. After all,
Brown v. Board of Education is only
a half-century old, and Title IX was
passed not quite 35 years ago.
That is where the second part
comes in. The Supreme Court recog-
nized in 2003 that affirmative action
is necessary not only to support cer-
tain groups that still struggle due to
years of discrimination, but also to
foster diverse learning and working
environments. If we live and labor
together, racial barriers will eventu-
ally break down through communi-
cation and mutual understanding. At
least that's the idea.
The shared goal of equal oppor-
tunity was an admirable one, and it
was inspiring to see so many differ-
ent racial and ethnic groups come
together in the name of defeating
Proposal 2. But what good does it
do to unite and fight for diversity -
handing out stickers, making posters
and manning info booths - if at the
end of the day we all go to our sepa-
rate corners?
In a mass e-mail to students and
faculty earlier this semester, Uni-
versity President Mary Sue Coleman
wrote, "We have much more work
to do at the University of Michigan
to live up to our ideals of what a
diverse learning community should
be." Coleman emphasized minority
recruitment and retention, as well as
the importance of mutualrespect and
support systems. While these goals
are profoundly important, Coleman
avoided mentioning social integra-

tion. She, like many of us, deals in the
politics and policies of affirmative
action rather than in the actual prac-
tice of integration.
But Proposal 2 passed last night,
and now the University has bigger fish
to fry than worrying about whether
black, white and Hispanic students
hang out after class. Now it will be a
challenge for the University to create
an environment that even offers the
possibility of social integration.
Our campus alone could not control
the outcome of Proposal 2, though
local Democrats and activists gave it
their best shot. Proposal 2 bulldozed
over statistics that scream Michigan
is not yet ready to end affirmative
action. It marched past California's
decimated minority enrollment num-
bers and Mary Sue Coleman's grave
warnings of devastated diversity.
But we students are not helpless.
Everyone who voted "no" on the
ballot initiative yesterday should stop
and ask themselves why they filled in
that circle. If you darkened it because
you believe affirmative action levels
the playing field, that's fine. But if you
darkened it because you also believe
diversity and integration is a respon-
sibility of our generation, know that
the self-segregation on this campus
will thwart that goal more than any
ballot initiative. We don't all have to
lie on our backs in a colorful pinwheel,
but we need to do more than fight the
occasional ballot initiative together.
Students were willing to stand out
in the rain yesterday and encourage
people to vote no on Proposal 2, but
now that the electionls over, what will
be our next move? Perhaps while the
University deals with the repercus-
sions of yesterday's election, students
can start trying to live the diversity
they fought so hard to maintain.
Whitney Dibo is an associate
editorial page editor. She can be
reached at wdibo@umich.edu.

here's always more that opponents
could have done, but with the pro-
posal passing in all but a handful of
counties, it's unlikely a few more flyers and
rhdio ads would have made much differ-
enoce. But the battle isn't over. Some changes
are certain: The University will revamp its
admissions process, tweak some programs
and probablyeliminate others. But Proposal
2.hasn't put an end to the affirmative action
debate - it's begun a chain of court battles
to sort out what "preferential treatment"
a" tually means. If the deluge of lawsuits
filed in California after a similar initiative
passed in 1996 is any indication, the debate
inthe courts could go on for years.
Both supporters and opponents of Pro-
posal 2 can agree that the status quo was
unacceptable. For being born to the wrong
family, thousands of children received an
inferior education from the first day of
kindergarten. For being born the wrong
gjnder, women across the state face the leg-
acy of male privilege that persists today in
emiployment and contracting. The passage
of Proposal 2 has done nothing to remedy
these inequalities that demand our imme-

diate attention.
More than any other public institution, the
University now has a lot of decisions to make.
But the University also stands in a unique
position. It remains committed to maintain-
ing diversity on campus despite yet another
obstacle. And it has the influence to allay
the negative effects Proposal 2 will surely
bring. So far, the administration has been
unwilling or unable to disclose much about
its strategy to respond to Proposal 2. As last
night's results made clear, that will have to
change. It likelywill, beginningwith Univer-
sity President Mary Sue Coleman's speech at
noon today on the Diag.
The morning after is hard, but the real
challenge lies in the coming months and
years. The University has fought battles in
the U.S. Supreme Court to defend its commit-
ment to diversity; we hope it doesn't abandon
that commitment now. Some may be willing
to accept Proposal 2's passage as the end of
affirmative action, but we have a feeling the
Universitywon'tgive up thateasily.If there is
one university that can find a way to achieve
diversity after a setback as dire as this one,
it's the University of Michigan.

Thoughts on a momentous election night
Members of the Daily's editorial board weigh in on some highlights of election night

-,Revenge of the Democrats
Party's gains will check president, drive state forward
A s disappointing as the passage of Proposal 2 was, it was
one of the few losses in an otherwise thrilling night for
Democrats across the state and nation. As expected, Dem-
Ocrats safely locked up the U.S. House of Representatives early in

the night.
t appears that Democrats also pulled
off monumental upsets in Virginia and
Missouri, likelygivingthem a 51-49 lead
ii the Senate. The president has proven all
too willing to ignore the public good and the
nation's laws to promote a hard-right social
and economic agenda and the dubious idea of
a unitary executive. The prospect of Demo-
tratic control in both chambers of Congress
offers a chance to restore oversight to the
executive branch and put this country on a
more responsible path.
Closer to home, state Democrats logged
their own victories. Despite spending $35
million of his own fortune in his campaign,
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick
DeVos failed to buy himself a victory. Demo-

crats also seized control of the state House
for the first time in eight years. A stronger
Democratic presence in the Legislature will
be an important tool as Gov. Jennifer Gran-
holm takes on initiatives to expand access to
health care and education - and as she tries
to fill a $1.9-billion hole in the general fund
left by the repeal of the Single Business Tax.
Still, term limits and carefully gerryman-
dered districts have left the state Legislature
bitterly divided along party lines in recent
years. Given the necessity of addressing the
state's ongoing economic malaise, though,
the state can no longer afford such partisan
squabbles. Now that Democrats are more
solidly in power, we hope they'll find a way
to get things done.

Granholim defeats Amw
After the most expensive gubernatori
history, Gov. Jennifer Granholm won re-el'
fortable margin. While Granholm is entl
push to restore the state to economic pro
tory is more a testament to the complete i
her Republican opponent, Dick DeVos. The
the issues the state will encounter in the
seem lost on DeVos, who ignored the imp
issues and only managed to throw around e
about "Michigan jobs." And as for those jo
has lost any, it's hardly her fault; former G
left the state in an economic hole that wil
part of a decade to climb out of. Granholm
a weak challenger, but she's running out
second term must produce more results o
of the Michigan Democratic Party - not
state - will suffer.
Proposal 5 catastrophe
Michigan residents voted rationally an'
reject Proposal 5. Even though a steady so
for education is what the state needs, hedgi
in the education budget with money from
eral fund would be a disaster, taking fund
services like law enforcement and health<
legislators should harness the buzz genera
5 and present a real solution for problems f
system of public education.
Indexing funding for public universit
giving K-12 districts relief with their reti
ments and bridging the gap between high-
school districts are all great ideas. Hopeft
legislative session, our representatives wil
seriously and craft innovative legislation
the themes of Proposal 5 in more fiscally

ortance of these With the focus in this midterm election squarely on
mpty platitudes heated races in Virginia, Tennessee and the Midwest, it's
bs, if Granholm worth taking a look at the seat of the politician who may
ov. John Engler have ignited the Democratic resurgence. The seat held
1 take the better by Mark Foley was contested by Republican Joe Negron
easily overcame and Democrat Tim Mahoney. Despite the fact that vot-
of excuses. Her ing for Negron meant having to mark Foley's name on the
r the reputation ballot, the race was uncomfortably close, with Mahoney
to mention, the carrying a slim 1-point lead over Negron in Florida's 16th
IMRANSYED This district showed how strongly the Foley scandal
affected the political mood. The close vote shows just
how overwhelmingly conservative this district is, and for
averted a Democrat to upend a Republican in such a district is a
major accomplishment indicative of the tide of anti-Repub-
d responsibly to lican sentiment that swept the country in this election.
'urce of funding BEN CALECA

ray guy
al race in state
ection by a com-
husiastic in her
sperity, her vic-
ncompetence of
complexities of
next four years

cry themselves to sleep tonight, nor will the animal rights
activists dance in the streets. I wouldn't even consider this
outcome a victory in the fight for animal rights. With my
anger toward government growing daily, mourning doves
will be one less thing I can take it out on.
Foley's shadow weighs on GOP

ing any shortfall
the state's gen-
s from essential
care. Now, state

Pelosi rules the House

To achieve a diverse student sity should enact a modified affirmative action
o 'm oe oprogram that grants preferential treatment on
b y, U must overcome the basis of economic hardship, lack of previ-
passage of7Proposa12ous educational opportunity and unique experi-
ences and viewpoints. At the same time, we are
all responsible for creating a comfortable and
TO THE DAILY: inclusive environment on campus for all people.
The University's goal of a diverse student Rather than lament the passage of Proposal 2,
body is very worthwhile, and I believe it can be the University should resolve to take innovative
achieved without preferential treatment on the action to promote equality and diversity.
basis of race, ethnicity, gender, color or national
origin. The barriers to achieving diversity are Russell Golman
nostly economic and psychological. The Univer- Rackham
Editorial Board Members: Reggie Brown, Kevin Bunkley, Amanda Burns, Sam
Butler, Ben Caleca, Devika Daga, Milly Dick, James David Dickson,
Jesse Forester, Gary Graca, Jared Goldberg, Jessi Holler, Rafi Martina, Toby
Mitchell, Rajiv Prabhakar, David Russell, Katherine Seid,
Elizabeth Stanley, John Stiglich, Neil Tambe, Rachel Wagner.
",.i OA

ted by Proposal Democrats easily took control of the House of Repre-
acing the state's sentatives last night, and Nancy Pelosi will become the
first female Speaker of the House. An interesting dynam-
ies to inflation, it has emerged out of this shift in power in Congress. Will
rement commit- Pelosi pursue an agenda along party lines, or willshe show
and low-income real resolve to heal the country? She faces the challenge
ully, during this of striking a balance between what the Republicans call
1 take education her "San Francisci liberal" views on issues such as abor-
to incorporate tion and gay rights, and more moderate views on tax cuts,
responsible leg- immigration and the war. If she hopes to get legislation
through a bitterly divided Senate, she must take a prag-
NEIL TAMBE matic approach. Reaching out to conservatives and swing
voters could prove vital - and prove that the Democrats
t l havena bettera nnroach fnr overning America_


Stabenow drops surging Bouchard
The race for Michigan's Senate seat was among the elec-
tions called early last night, thanks to incumbent Debbie
Stabenow's easy defeat of Republican challenger Michael
Bouchard. While this win comes as no surprise to most
analysts - CNN called Stabenow's victory with only about
2 percents of precincts counted - Bouchard's loss does
not come without disappointment for many Republicans
around the state and country. National Republicans, who
donated more than $1 million to the Oakland County sher-
iff's campaign in the final days before the election, thought
Bouchard was gaining significant ground on Stabenow.
But thankfully for the future of the state and the national
Democratic Party, those efforts fell short.
While Stabenow's seat is secure for the next six years,
she must not take her win for granted. Michigan's econ-
omy and unemployment rate remain among the worst in
the country. Stabenow must effectively use her post in
Washington to improve the unsatisfactory conditions in
our state, and no longer be the idle freshman senator she
was in her last term.
Anti-dove proposal shot down
Michigan voters chickened out and decided to save
mourning doves by defeating Proposal 3. I applaud those
who spent endless hours getting signatures to put this pro-
posal on the ballot - but seriously, how much free time
did these people have? Yes, I am for peace, yes, I am for
saving doves, but this proposal doesn't really matter at all.
I doubt that the National Rifle Association member will

r Uy ppdV g Ce PPUC1 gUV 11r ~1C1~.
Meanwhile, in Ann Arbor
Under any circumstances, Ann Arbor voters might be
excused for not getting very excited about local races this
election season. Threats to affirmative action and Gov.
Jennifer Granholm occupied the efforts of local activists.
The prospect of Democratic control of the U.S. House of
Representatives encouraged left-leaning Ann Arborites,
who have become all too used to disappointment over the
past few years.
But state and national elections aside, there was a far
greater reason why you didn't hear very much about local
races this fall: There wasn't a single competitive election
in the city. Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje faced only token
opposition from an independent challenger. Four of five
City Council races were uncontested, and the other race
pitted a Democrat against a Green. Though socialist LSA
senior Matt Erard brought an uncommon perspective into
a lopsided race for state representative, he still garnered
less than a thousand votes. Looking at Ann Arbor's elec-
tion results, the most contentious local issue on the ballot
was a parks millage.
Oh, sure, there were some contested races here. There
was even a close three-way race decided by a mere 28
votes. But those were Democratic primaries, held back in
August as state law requires. With the departure of Repub-
licans from the local political scene, primaries are the real
elections in this one-party city. That's unfortunate for stu-
dents, who in August tend to be found anywhere but in Ann










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