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August 07, 1987 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly Summer Weekly, 1987-08-07

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OPINION

Page 6

Friday, August 7, 1987

The Michigan Daily

.gW ik tgan r td m
97 Years of Editorial Freedam
No. 12S
Unsigned editorials represent the majority views of the Daily's
Editorial Board. Cartoons and signed editorials do not
necessarily reflect the Daily's opinion.
Policing the police

Voting: our voice in the choice

THE POLICE BRUTALITY that
occurred during this year's art fair
was not a momentary deviation
from discipline. Yet, the issue has
only become prominent as white
students have become the victims
of abuse. There has been a racially-
tinged series of documented
incidents in which police power has
been abused.
The problem has been historical
and must be treated as such. A
positive response to the demands of
Ann Arbor residents for full
investigation of police behavior
over recent years would be the first
step towards mitigating the
problem. But investigation without
action is insufficient.
Presently, the police department
is only responsible to the city
administrator. The department has
been, undemocratically, charged
with investigation of complaints
against itself. This system certainly
leaves something to be desired.
What it leaves desired is a citizens
oversight board. Even before the
Art Fair incident, concerned
individuals, such as councilmember
Jeff Epton, had been developing
plans for a citizens oversight board

to monitor police behavior. In light
of recent events, this plan has
received support from many sectors
of the community as well a s
Democratic members of city
council.
As Democrats hold seven seats
on city council, only the support of
one Republican councilmember or
Mayor Gerald Jernigan is necessary
to establish an oversight board. A
significant demonstration of citizen
sentiment behind the proposal could
be instrumental in securing
Republican support for an oversight
board.
Next Monday, there will be an
opportunity for constitutuents to
communicate feelings about plans
to control police behavior to their
elected representatives. At seven in
the evening, on the second floor of
the city hall, an open forum will be
held in which issues of police
behavior will be addressed.
Concerned individuals should attend
the meeting and voice their support
for a citizens oversight board.
Proper action now could prevent
future abuse and the need for such
ad hoc procedures as hastily-called
open foruns.

THE SELECTION PROCESS that
has been adopted to find a re-
placement for outgoing University
president Harold Shapiro provides a
simple and disturbing model of
intra-community relations at Mich-
igan. The Board of Regents, after
considering the depth and range of
human resources at the University,
has named itself as the presidential
selection committee. With true
graciousness and generosity, the re-
gents have provided for the creation
of student and faculty committees
to offer their "advice."
This system, we are told, is
known and admired at other schools
as the "Michigan system." We are
told of the system's celebrated ef-
fectiveness. Yet, it appears designed
to effectively shut-out meaningful
student and faculty participation
while arriving at an arbitrary se-
lection. Whatever the "system" is
known as at other schools, it is
known here as administrative dis-
regard and disrespect for "external"
input.

Of course, the creation of ad-
visory committees is pointed to as
evidence of regental efforts to seek
wide community input. Students
are familiar with the "advisory"
role. Regents meetings are a perfect
example of how such input is
welcomed. The regents allow a
limited number of people a limited
amount of time in which to address
issues of concern. The regents
tolerate this "advice" stoically and,
then, proceed to do what they
intended to do before they were so
inconveniently interrupted: "Thank
you for informing us of your
views; now, if you'll excuse us, we
must attend to business."
If the regents are so enthusiastic
about receiving student and faculty
input on the selection of the next
University president, why don't
they provide for faculty and student
positions on the presidential search
committee? Why await the writing
of collective reports from student
and faculty members when you
could have those same people

sitting next to you interacting in
the process of selection? Perhaps
student/faculty input is something
that looks good on paper, but is
undesirable in practice.
A The decision of who will preside
over the University in coming years
will profoundly affect the future of
students and faculty members. One
could persuasively argue that this
decision will affect other sectors
significantly more than it will the
board of regents. It is not un-
reasonable to expect that concerned
representatives of all affected sectors
be given a say in the final selection
of President Shapiro's successor.
Michigan State University, for
instance, provides for student,
faculty, and alumni representatives
on the committee which selects its
president. That seems a system
more worthy of admiration than
"our own."
All sectors of the University
community require'a vote, not just
a voice, if their input is to be fully
effective.

Rich opportunity for the poor

War and peace

THE ARRIVAL OF THE Michigan
Peace Marchers in Ann Arbor last
Saturday made more people aware
of what can be done to achieve
peace. During the summer, the
marchers have walked over 700
miles across the upper and lower
peninsulas and have discussed
disarmament, economic conversion
and political activism with
thousands of people.
In addition to numerous public
actions and rallies of supportive
actions for those imprisoned for
civil disobedience, the marchers are
accomplishing the greater goal of
planting seeds for action in the
communities they pass through.
People have joined the march as it
has progressed and many non-

marchers, met along the way, have
thought of creative ways to carry on
the message of peace brought to
them. In Ann Arbor, a peace garden
was planted by the community in
commemoration of the marchers'
advent.
With each community the mar-
chers visit, more and more people
become organized around the issues
of peace and nuclear disarmament.
And more and more people begin to
act against militarism in the United
States and the world. Hopefully the
marchers signify the end o f
awakening and the beginning of
action against a militarized
economy and towards a nuclear-free
world.

A T A TIME WHEN federal
appropriations for higher education
are continually being slashed and
the Secretary of Education's idea of
education reform/enhancement is to
preach sexual abstinence, it is
heartening to discover that amidst
such unenlightened policies, a
commitment to education still
exists in government. This com-
mitment however is riot to be found
in Washington, but rather in
Lansing.
Senator Dan DeGrow (R-Port
Huron), chair of the Senate Ap-
propriations Subcommittee dealing
with education has initiated new
legislation that warrants consid-
erable commendation and support.
Under the new program, welfare and
poverty-level students who graduate
from high school will receive free
community college tuition. Those
who graduate from community
college will receive $2,000 toward a
four-year degree.
What is unique about DeGrow's
initiative is that for the first time,
those citizens most in need of edu-
cational opportunities are targeted
for real, tangible help. Students
qualify for the new program by
meeting two basic criteria: the
income of the student's family
must be below the poverty level in
three of the four years prior to
application for the program, and the
studentmust graduate from high
schobl before tWe age'of20 Itis

hoped that the new legislation will
break the welfare cycle by
discouraging high school dropiouts,
and encouraging escape from
poverty via higher education. For
students who have grown up in an
environment of hopelessness and
economic deprivation, graduation
from high school often appears to
be a wasted effort, and college,
completely outside the realm of
possibility. This program offers
concrete incentives to likely drop-
outs to finish their high school
education and places before them a
real opportunity to continue on to
college.
Another unique feature of the new
program is its cost effectiveness.
Initially funded at $2 million the
first year, the program's annual
budget will eventually reach $23
million when it is fully
operational. Far from being more
"welfare," this money is rather a
sound investment in the future
productivity of those whose
economic future is appallingly dim,
and will save additional millions in
future welfare costs. The program's
annual budget is sure to be far
below the figure required were these
prospective high school graduates
abandoned to a future of poverty and
welfare.
This proposal, believed to be the
first of its kind, warrants whole-
hearted support and the legislature
should now transform it into solid

opportunities for disadvantaged
young people - beginning with
June 1988 graduates. It is an
excellent approach to the problems
of high school drop-outs, welfare,
and poverty.
It often appears that the
Republican party views public ex-
penditures to the less fortunate as
money wasted on those unwilling
to work. Senator DeGrow's
legislation shows that'while this
observation may be true of the
GOP as a whole, there are those
within the party who genuinely
understand the complexities of
poverty and are willing to take bold
stands to combat it.
A Photoon By T. Huet

I
I

The Daily welcomes letters from its readers.
Bringing in letters on personal computer disk is
thefastest way to publish a letter in the Daily.

It has been revealed that the surgery
performed upon President Reagan's nose
was not toremove cancerous materials,
as announced. The true intent of the
surgery was to control a condition
known as "Pinocchioitis," enlargement
of thenose due to excessive mendacity.

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