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June 10, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1992-06-10

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4-The Michigan Daily Summer Weekly- Wednesday, June 10, 1992
Clie lifidligniil _1i fu
OPINNPN,

EDITOR IN CHIEF
ANDREW M. LEVY
OPINION EDITORS
GIL RENBERG
DAVID SHEPARDSON

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion
of a majority of the Daily's editorial
board. All other cartoons, signed articles,
and letters do not necessarily reflect the
opinion of the Daily.

420bMaynard Street
Ann Arbor, Muchigan 48109
764-0552
Edited and Managed by
Students at the
University of Michigan

*I

I

Giving women a sporting chance

T he 1990s did not begin well for women
athletes at the University. When the
Schembechler Hall athletic facility was opened
lastyear, women's teamsfoundthattheyhadto
fight for equal access to the training facilities.
This travesty occurred despite the heralding of
Schembechler Hall as a wonderful place for
"all" Michigan athletes to practice their sport.
The term athlete seemed to apply only to male
athletes. Despite this incident, organizers of
Michigan sports have not leamed their lesson.
Once again, women associated with the athletic
department are finding that they have to fight to
get equal status and consideration.
Last Wednesday a banquet was held on
campus to honor three senior "athletes of the
year." The event was attended by athletes,
coaches, athletic department staff, Athletic
DirectorJackWeidenbachandUniversity Presi-
dent James Duderstadt. The banquet is spon-
sored annually by a booster club, the Bob Ufer
Quarterback Club. The Ufer Club also sponsors
agolf game on the same day.Entry fees are used
to support the Bob Ufer Scholarship for out-
standing high school athletes.
Nice ideas, right? Local businessmen are
getting involvedin theUniversity community to
promote education and good sportsmanship. A
nice idea-except for the fact that women have

Ufer Club fiasco shows that Michigan s Athletic
Department has yet to give sexism the boot

been barred from participating in both the dinner
and the golf game. Not only are female coaches
and athletes not permitted to attend the events,
but mothers of honored athletes are also unwel-
come.
In a year in which Michigan women contin-
ued to excel in sports, it is sad to see that the
University condones their exclusion from cer-
tainnon-University events; for, while thebooster
clubisnotdirectlyaffiliated withtheUniversity,
it receives considerable support from the
University's Athletic Department. The banquet
was held in the University's Bennie Oosterbaan
Field House. The golf game was played on the
University's golf course. The University presi-
dent, athletic director and football coach spoke
at this year's dinner.Despite the participation of
University employees, the Athletic Department
Public Relations Office claims that the athletic
department "has absolutely nothing to do with
the banquet."
The University has many avenues available
to encourage change in matters of discrimina-
tion and exclusion. The factthatit took the threat

of a large public outcry to make the University
administration take a stand on the issue is dis-
turbing. One wonders what other restricted ath-
letic activities have yet to be uncovered before
action is taken.
Although the Ufer Club provides scholar-
ships to both high school boys and girls, it only
honors men as "athletes of the year." Don
Robinson, the committee chairman, said, "It is a
Michigan sports banquet which honors out-
standing athletesfromtheUniversity.Allcoaches
and staff from the athletic department are in-
vited." When asked if women coaches were
included, he replied, "Oh no, we haven't got to
that point yet. It's just tradition and practice.We
haven't gotten around to inviting women yet,
but we're going to do that next year."
While the Ufer Club will allow women to be
present atnextyear's festivities, there isno word
yet on whether it will continue to consider only
maleathletesas"athleteof the year."Butatleast
it has taken.a step toward full inclusion of
women. The University needs to review thor-
oughly any similar forms of discrimination and

then discourageitspersonnelfromparticipating
in such activities as well as to stop permitting
groups that discriminate to use University facili-
ties.
Thisis the firstyear thatPresidentDuderstadt
was asked to attend. He chose to use the event as
aforum for discussing the sexismof the club and
his disappointment that such practices continue
at the University. While Duderstadt deserves
praise for his actions, he must realize that just
speaking out at an event like this does not go
nearly far enough. Duderstadt should have is-
sued a letter to all Athletic Department staff
discouraging participation until the club permit-
ted femalecoachesandathleticdepartmentstaff
and the mothers of the honored athletes to at-
tend. Without the presence of the Athletic
Department's top personnel, the banquet would
have been a failure and members of the Ufer
Club would have leamed a valuable lesson.
Blatant sexism in athletics persists because
men who can effectchange are unwilling to take
astand or fail to see that there is aproblem. There
are too few colleges in America where women
arein a position to correct problems of sexism in
athletics.Butwhatcan womenathletesatMichi-
gan expect from an athletic department which
does not even consider them worthy of consid-
eration for "Athlete of the Year?"

01

All the President's Men: Part II

01

At a House Judiciary Committee meeting
last Tuesday, senior House Democrats in-
dicated that they would call for the appointment
of an independent prosecutor to investigate the
Bush administration's dealings withIraqbefore
that country attempted to annex Kuwait. This
call wasechoed by federaljudge Marvin Shoob,
whose court had investigated crimes within the
BancoNazinale deLavoro(BNL)inconnection
with thedefaultof $2billion inloansto Iraq.The
Department of Justice (DOJ)mustimmediately
appoint a special prosecutor to determine the
possibility of illegal activities by the Bush ad-
ministration.
Several committee investigations in the
House have unearthed substantial amounts of
information about misuse of the federal farm
credit program to fmance Iraqi arms purchases,
alteration of key documents, and the willful
effort of the Bush administration to mislead
Congress - all of this is more than enough to
warrantthe appointmentof aspecialprosecutor.
Republicanshavetwoargumentsagainstthe
appointment: first, that the motive of the Demo-
crats is simply for political gain in this election
season, and second, that special prosecutors,
such as the ones who are investigating the Iran-
Contra and October Surprise, simply waste tax-
payermoney.Rather thanmaking realprogress.
Both of these arguments are flawed. If the
Democrats, under the leadership of Henry
Gonzales (D-Tex.) and Charlie Rose (D-N.C.),
who have been investigating this for almost two
years, wanted to make this a political issue they
wouldcontinuetoholdpublichearingsandkeep
it in the public eye, rather than place it in the
handsofanon-partisanindependentprosecutor.
Furthermore, at least $2 billion in taxpayer

Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the role
of the administration in funding Iraq 's war machine

money was lost when the Iraqi govemment
defaulted on its loan, which had been guaran-
teed by the federal government. In addition,
Republicans fear that an investigation could be
anelectionyearembarrassment because it would
probably focus on the roles of Clayton Yeutter,
the former GOP chair who is currently serving
as White House Domestic Policy Chief, and
Robert Mosbacher, the Bush reelection
campaign's general chair.
The BNL scandal displayed how the federal
govemment had an ineffectual regulatory sys-
tem that begged for abuse, with the direct effect
that BNL-Atlanta was able to use U.S. govern-
ment loan guarantees to send billions of dollars
worthofagricultural goods, ignoring Iraq'slack
of creditworthiness, with the consent of the
administration - despite the illegality of those
actions.
TheState department believedithat, as Presi-
dent Bush said during his prime time news
conference last week, Iraq could "be brought
into the family of nations... we tried to work
with him on grain credits and things of this
nature to avoid aggressive action." Yet, pre-
cisely the opposite occurred as the Iraqi govern-
ment used the grain credits to further its war-
makingcapabilities. The Bush policy ofexpedi-
ency in foreign policy decisions, despite the
legality or rationale for them, must be consid-
ered and thoroughly investigated.
TheBushadministration-whichsoldweap-
ons to both Irp and Iraq during the ten-year

Iran-Iraq War - continued to support the Iraqi
government even though it had evidence that
Iraq was using U.S. farm credits andillegalbank
loans to produce weapons and increase its mili-
tary capacity. The policy of supporting this
dictator and feeding his war machine directly
led to Hussein'sability todeclare waronKuwait
and later enabled him to kill American troops.
Rep. Rose said at Tuesday's hearings, "I
fumly believe that violations of federal criminal
lawshave occurredand that these violations will
never be completely investigated or prosecuted
unless an independent counselis appointed."He
argues that by placing the responsibility of in-
vestigation in the hands of the Justice Dept. is
ridiculous because it is likely that DOJ officials
were involved in the pre-Iraqi invasion policy
blunders.
The DOJ is not an independent or non-
partisan body - its officials had an interest in
the investigation. Justice changed documents
subpoenaed by the House, concealing the fact
that the administration interfered in the BNL
investigation and that BNL-funded Iraqi front
companies were involved in Iraq's ballistic mis-
sile program and nuclear weapons program and
nuclear weapons program. Other administra-
tion officials including National Security Advi-
sor Brent Scowcroft had close ties to BNL as the
bank's attorney and NSC documents note that
the NSC staff was directly involved in the
administration's handling of the BNL scandal.
In a 347-count indictment of BNL, DOJ did

not investigate its connections with the main
branch of BNL in Rome, nor any of its other
worldwideoperations.AsShoobnotes,"Itseems
far-fetchedthatrenegadeemployeescouldmove
$4.5 billion in the fashion it was done without
some type of participation by the people in this
country and outside the country."
Under the special prosecutor law which was
enacted as a result of Watergate, the special
prosecutors are supposed to be free of interfer-
ence from the executive or the legislative
branches. These investigations can be expen-
sive and are reserved for the most serious issues
- this potentially enormous scandal, which
appears to involve significant violations of U.S.
law and reckless disregard for the authority of
Congress on the part of the administration, cer-
tainly deserves to be investigated by a special
prosecutor. The integrity of government must
be placed before the short-sightedconcernof the
expenditure of a relatively small amount of
money to investigate alleged illegal activities.
In the 1988 presidential campaign, President
Bush won despite serious doubts raised by the
Iran-Contraaffair. This scandalhas directparal-
lels with Iran-Contra - misleading the Con-
gress, alteration of documents, lack of over-
sight, conflicting administration policies, and a
cover-up. Steps must be taken immediately to
learn the truth about the administration'srole in
building Iraq's military. For this issue to be
clouded in mystery on the first Tuesday of
November may lead to an even more serious
mistake. Unless steps are taken, including the
appointment of a special prosecutor, the truth
about the role of the administration in the Iraqi
decision and ability to attack Kuwait will never
be known.

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