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July 01, 2002 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-07-01

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 1, 2002
U letters@michigandaily.com Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
STUDENTS AT THE Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
SINCE 1890 necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
A t June's University Board of Regents the primary source of crime: Uncontrolled
meeting, the University approved a Securi Un i LV. access to the residence halls. DPS needs to
series of sweeping security changes implement door monitors to prevent indi- 4
to combat one of the most serious problems New security measures must be balanced with student rights viduals not affiliated with the University
the University faced this past academic year. from entering the residence halls. Patrols
A crime wave, which lasted much of the---------_ _ _ _ _ _inside the residence halls need to be
Winter semester and has continued into the lives. As the residence halls represent a pri- brunt of the University's discipline ranging increased, and more DPS officers must be
summer months, hit many of the residence vate space for its residents, the University from suspension to permanent expulsion. hired to supplement the already overbur-
halls. The most serious incidents included must recognize that any attempts to invade The cameras invite the University to dened department. If DPS is going to
anned robbery, peeping toms and other ran- students' privacy would be improper and, engage in wrongdoing and allow little pro- restore a sense of safety in the residence
dom acts of violence. As the year progressed most likely, illegal under Michigan law. tection for students. halls, a human presence must be felt
a siege mentality affected many students liv- These concerns are especially relevant The University and DPS also have a throughout the residence halls. This will
ing in the residence halls. considering the unfair judicial process that troubling history of documenting student allay the fears of students and strongly dis-
in response to these dangers, the University students must contend with actions with video cameras. During the courage sexual predators and burglars from
Department of Public Safety will install new under the Statement of Student Rights and 2001 Hash Bash, DPS Officer Paul Vaughn intruding in the residence halls.
locks in residents'rooms and bathrooms and Responsibilities, formerly known as the dressed in undercover clothing and video- The new measures that DPS and the
cameras will monitor the residence halls. Code of Student Conduct. With inadequate taped the day's events. While DPS spokes- University Board of Regents have accepted
While this is a positive first step, the new procedures for appeal and the admissibili- woman Diane Brown insisted that the will help stop the frightening events of the
measures, if improperly used, represent a ty of hearsay evidence, the Code encour- recordings were solely to prevent frivolous past six months. However, it is readily
threat to student rights at the University. The ages impropriety and prevents students lawsuits against DPS for misconduct, the apparent that these new measures are not
implementation of security cameras poses from attaining even a semblance of justice possibility of using the tapes to prosecute sufficient to arrest the development of the
the most disconcerting potential for abuse. when prosecuted by the University. students for other activity still remains. crime wave nor do they guarantee students'
The tapes could be used to monitor student Evidence obtained through video cameras These concerns aside, the University rights. DPS must continue to develop its
activity in the residence halls and unneces- could easily be used to implicate students must do more to protect the residence halls, safety procedures and cannot rest with the
sarily intrude into aspects of students' daily in a wide variety of offenses that elicit the Cameras and locks will do little to attack current measures.

A troubled court
Vouchers ruling distorts First Amendment

"No tax in any amount, large or small, can
be levied to support any religious activities or
institutions, whatever they may be called, or
whatever form they may adopt to teach or prac-
tice religion."
-Justice Hugo Black writing for
the majority in 1947's Everson
v. Board of Education.
In its final decision of the 2001-2002 term,
the increasingly partisan and divided
Supreme Court once again bowed to ideolo-
gy and political convention. While the
Zelman v. Simions-Harris decision Despit
will hurt the vast majority of poor stu- pronou
dents who do not receive funding Scalia
through vouchers and whose public adhe
schools will be neglected as a result, philoso
the ruling will be remembered for its Zelmal
disregard for the establishment clause.
The court abandoned this bedrock principle of
American jurisprudence, which has ensured a
government free from religious interference.
The majority opinion in Zelman upheld the
Ohio Pilot Project Scholarship Program, a pro-
gram that allows 3,700 students in Cleveland
schools to attend schools outside of the city
with government funding. When approaching
the establishment clause, the majority was
unable to muster strong arguments for the
voucher program. The majority's contrite belief
that the program "is entirely neutral with
respect to religion" is irreconcilable with the
reality that over 96 percent of participants are
enrolled in parochial schools. The vouchers
only provide $2,250, a sum that is sufficient for
tuition at many religious schools, but few non-
denominational private schools have tuitions
that low, a situation that effectively mandates
voucher recipients enroll in parochial schools.
While the court's opinion is inconsistent
with Constitutional principles, it is particularly

troubling that some justices were willing to
break from their own judicial philosophies to
support the decision. Justice Antonin Scalia, a
fierce proponent of "originalism," concurred
with the majority in the decision. In a 1996
speech at Catholic University, Scalia defined
his philosophy: "I take the words (of the
Constitution) as they were promulgated to the
people of the United States, and what is the fair-
ly understood meaning of those words" Despite
this lofty pronouncement, Scalia failed to
adhere to his philosophy in the Zelman opinion.
He did not acknowledge that the
e this lofty framers were mainly deists who
incement, sought to remove religion from
failed to the government. The history of
re to his religious persecution which pref-
phy in the aced European immigration to the
in opinion. New World and the belief in the
values of a secular government
served as the basis for the establishment clause.
Scalia's interpretation of the Constitution
is not a principled adherence to the spirit of
the document, buta tool to achieve his desired
political ends. This is made manifestly clear
in his hypocritical ruling that threatens soci-
ety's respect for the probity of the Supreme
The Supreme Court's decision creates the
future possibility of increased religious intoler-
ance, strife and persecution, all of which threat-
en the continued existence of a democratic poli-
ty. The Zelman decision allows for a massive
influx of government funding to support indoc-
trination of the nation's youth, a reality that nei-
ther helps children or society.
The die has been cast and now it is the
responsibility of state legislatures and voters to
prevent the advance of religion into govern-
ment. Michigan voters have already rejected
vouchers and their actions should serve as an
example to the nation.

Regional concerns
Area planners must work to improve entire region
Regional planning is often viewed as the pressed for a regional planning effort since his
model of coordination necessary to election, argued that while a difficult venture in
address the many issues faced by munic- Michigan where each city and township has its
ipal and township governments. Cooperative own planning rules, regional planning is neces-
efforts between neighboring communities can sary for the area. He also held that such an
better serve to meet the challenges associated effort is necessary to attract new residents and
with transportation, affordable housing, land businesses. While this is important to the area's
use and the environment, that cannot be ade- future, equally important if not more so, is the
quately addressed independently. A recent maintenance of the unique character of each
regional planning meeting held in Ann Arbor, individual community. Disrupting the features
however, illustrates that along with the benefits of each community that makes them unique in
associated with regional coordina- the name of regional planning
tion, there is a risk that political Planners must threatens to erode the delicate
leaders will focus upon those issues realize that diversity that characterizes and dif-
that will serve business interests to regional planning ferentiates this area.
the detriment of other important is a means toward While regional planning issues 4
regional and community concerns. achieving an end such as affordable housing, land
Ypsilanti Mayor Cheryl that strengthens use and environmental issues must
Farmer, one of the 50 political, and enriches be addressed jointly, each commu-
business and environmental lead- communities. nity must retain some individuality
ers present at the meeting hosted less the area becomes a conglomer-
by Washtenaw County and the City of Ann ation typical of the suburban sprawls surround-
Arbor, voiced her desire to see the relocation ing many urban centers. Communities are
of social service facilities and affordable hous- threatened by a loss of individuality with little
ing out of her city. Others suggested that to set them apart other than political bound-
affordable housing would have to be located aries, united only by transportation and eco-
outside of Ann Arbor. While some argued that nomic concerns.
it would be a "shame" to give up on affordable Regional planning is necessary to prop- g
housing, many thought that such an outcome erly address the many issues that face the
may be, if not desirable, unavoidable. area's communities. Decisions made by one
Transportation is an important issue that community effect surrounding communi-
should be addressed regionally. While regional ties. Cooperative effort, however, must look
transportation issues are central to the area's beyond attracting businesses and widening
growth and development, they should not roads and toward addressing those issues
trump affordable housing and urban sprawl. which are key to each community's' viabil-
Furthermore, transportation issues persist ity as well as the complex issues that
beyond congestion on the area's major thor- require pooled resources and effort.
oughfares - a concern of many participants. Planners must realize that regional planning
Regional planners must address public trans- is a means toward achieving an end that
portation issues in addition to the traditional strengthens and enriches communities. And
road building and widening efforts. must not blur communities into faceless
Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje, who has conglomerations.

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