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June 01, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-06-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OPINION
PageWd eda e 94

EDITOR IN CHIEF
James M. Nash
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS
Patrick Javid
Jason S. Lichtstein

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan.
Unsigned editorials present the opinion of a majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All otherrcartoons, signed articles and letters
do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Daily.

The Michigan Union needs a thorough
overhaul. With the potential expansion of
the Entre Plus system to off-campus busi-
nesses, the ongoing implementation of the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsi-
bilities,andanewcampus-wide alcoholpolicy
that would further restrict drinking by stu-
dents, it seems that the Union is heading
toward a useless existence and ultimate
oblivion. To avoid such an unnecessary turn
of events, the board of administrators that
oversees the day-to-day operations of the
Union must implement a number of funda-
mental reforms to transform the Union from
a dingy basement-based fast food joint to a
hive of cultural and social activity.
The Union's prospects look dim. The
effect of the Union's exclusionary policy,
which limits the number of non-University
students from entry into the Union on week-
end nights and prohibits the consumption of
alcohol on the premises, is overwhelmingly
negative. The policy directly discriminates
againstBlackfraternities andotherorganiza-

Save the Union from
Extinction
Students deserve a better Union

tions that have no other place to hold social
events. The Union can be more open and
willing to allow student groups to hold func-
tions inside the building - seeing that the
Union is supposed to be a repository of stu-
dent social life.
We feel that it is important, and economi-
cally wise, that alcohol be served in the Union
- in the U Club, or in any of the restaurants
and clubs that will likely flock to the Union
-so of-age students can enjoy a drink while
they relax and listen to a jazz band. Isn't this
what a Union should be -about? Can't the

Union be about more than a sub shop and a
pizza place?
Examples of potential and successful
change abound. The Union can openup the U
Club to a dance club and profit from the
immense business and publicity that some-
thing such as the Nectarine Ballroom gener-
ates. The outside stairs and courtyards can be
redesigned to allow for outdoor concerts dur-
ing the summer with local bands and other
musicians. As a crucial alternative to the
unhealthy downstairs eateries, the Union can
behome to anelegant, sit-downrestaurantfor

students to enjoy. And the Union could hol
a sports bar - complete with alcoholic bes
erages, beer nuts and popcorn - so ti
students can sit down in front of the telev
sion, relax with a drink and watch the man
athletic events the University makes so muc
money from.
The Union, asa microcosmofthe deteri
ration of the University's social realm, mu:
adapt. The Union could be so much more -
with a wider variety of restaurants, coffe
shops, clubs, a true movie theatre and otg
shops, such as a grocery or convenience stox
- which would attract students to stud'
socialize and congregate in the heart of canr
pus. Now more than ever, the Union cann
solely rely on EntrfePlus to entice students t
spend their money there. The Union mu
take reasonable steps to even continue to h
a blot on the University map.
The Union is fast becoming obsolete.
aforementioned changes would substantia
improve the Union, the campus and the Un
versity as a whole.

Rostenkowski: outed Free trade in China

Jurisprudence, not politics, must reign

Economic, human rights issues weighed

H ouse Ways and Means Committee Chair
Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.)was indicted
yesterdayonabroad array ofcriminalcharges,
including conspiracy to defraud the govern-
ment. Although Rostenkowskiis avitalcom-
ponent of President Clinton's fragile legisla-
tive alliance - and a crucial supporter of
substantive health care reform-the Clinton
administration has acted judiciously in in-
dicting Rep. Rostenkowski, an old-school
Chicago political boss. It is time for
Rostenkowski to stand trial, and prove his
case, against an overwhelming arsenal of
evidence, assembled by the federal govern-
ment, that has implicated him in fraud and
graft. Moreover, it is time for evenhanded
justice to prevail in the power corridors of
Capitol Hill, enforced by a depoliticized Jus-
tice Department.
Can it be that the mini-power brokers of
Clinton's cabinet have finally gotten it right?
Janet Reno and the Justice Department have
been rightfully under fire for their handling of
the Waco tear gas debacle, the FBI's political
interference in Travelgate and its frighten-
ingly low turnover rate. But Justice's han-
dling of the Rostenkowski case, led by the
U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., Eric H.
Holder, is a big first step toward non-partisan
respectability for the department. Reno and
President Clinton have let Holder indepen-
dently investigate and build a strong case
against Rostenkowski.

Unfortunately for Rostenkowski, the case
against him looks impenetrable. Neverthe-
less, he deserves his day in court, and ironi-
cally is represented by the same lawyer Presi-
dent Clinton is dependingon, Robert Bennett,
a seasoned Beltway politico. But no matter
how important Rostenkowski is to the
Clintons' political fortunes and futures,
Rostenkowski, and politicians like him, must
not be allowed to avoid or sidestep the long
arm of the law.
Political influence and prestige cannot be
staples of legality, as it was in the heyday of
Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese.
President Clinton promised amoremoraland
legitimate executive branch, and he must
deliver on this most basic premise - that no
one is above the law, and that for government
to be seen as a legitimate arbiter of justice, it
must go after the likes of Rostenkowski as
doggedly as it goes after the worst three-time
violent offenders.
Holder, Reno and Clinton are to be praised.
Rostenkowski is to give up his seat as chair of
the Ways and Means Committee, and if the
wheels of American democracy turn as they
should, he will be ousted in the November
elections. The daysofcorruption-andlegal
backwash - cannot fester any longer with
government sanction. It may be painful for
Democrats to see Rostenkowski ousted and
publicly soiled, but it is for a higher goal -
that of jurisprudence.

Geopolitical, economic and human rights
considerations simmered together to
force a difficult decision last week as Presi-
dent Clinton announced the United States
would renew China's Most Favored Nation
(MFN) status. Essentially, Clinton was re-
vamping U.S. foreign policy toward China
- no longer will human rights be the single
factor in determining policy as the post-Cold
War global economic concerns gain in im-
portance. Weighing the costs and benefits of
the Sino-U.S. trade relationship makes it
clear that Clinton made the right decision;
however, the United States must continue to
pushstrongly for aliberalhumanrights agenda
in China.
The 1989 Tiananmen Square incident fo-
cused the world's attention on China's hu-
man rights record and motivated many lib-
eral members of Congress to demand a for-
malgovernmentallinkage between preferen-
tial trade and human rights. While the Bush
administrationrefused to do so, Clinton signed
an executive orderlast May that gave China's
leaders an ultimatum - if they did not sub-
stantially undertake human rights liberaliza-
tion, the United States would not renew their
MFN status.
One yearlater, Chinahasnotlivedup toits
end of the bargain. The 1993 executive order
necessitated reform in seven areas; by last
week, China had swayed on only the two
most important of the seven. But Clinton

realized the numbers involved: $33 billion 1
Chinese exports came into the United State
last year,and $9billionofAmerican product
were exported to China - easily wort
150,000 American jobs.
The decision last week reflected the co
rect view that human rights can no longer b
the single issue on which the United State
sets its foreign relations. Within the Far E
China's strong economy has given it i
ence and power, andthenation is now amaj
world power. As long as the North Korea
nuclear issue festers, friendly relations wit
China are even more important - for Chin
holds a crucial veto in the United Nation
Non-proliferation is critical to maintain.
Also, China's leaders have given int
some human rights demands: They hav
promised to no longer export products m
by prisoners, and are making it easier o
families in China to join their loved ones ix
the West. And, would China truly liberaliz<
its human rights policies if the United State:
turned to the stick, instead of the carrot?
It would seem the answer to this is
resounding no, and the best path towar
human rights in China is to encourage fre
trade. Today, in acorner of Tiananmen Squ
a McDonald's has opened up its doors t
new people; with economic advancement-
and strong American prodding - Chin
shouldeaseitsrestrictionsandgrantitspeopl
the political freedoms they deserve.

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