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May 06, 2002 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-05-06

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

4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 6, 2002
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.
ast week, the Michigan Senate joined notify their parents when they seek these
in a national trend to undermine abor- 114 iiluSh ue a p t) I services through their parents' health insur-
tion and women's health services ance provider. When students feel uncom-
through the promotion of programs ostensi- HB 4655 shorts family planning clinics and studentS fortable or are unable to ask their parents for
bly aimed at strengthening families, but that help, local clinics like Planned Parenthood
in actuality limit women's access to abor- provide a crucial service. Without the subsi-
tion. The latest incarnation of this thinking requires that the Department of Community Planned Parenthood employs a "sliding- dized services of organizations like Planned
can be found in Michigan HB 4655. The Health follow the new standards when it scale" fee system that allows patients to Parenthood, students unable to seek their
bill gives priority funding consideration allocates state tax dollars earmarked for pay a fee corresponding to their income parents' assistance will likely find it more
to family planning clinics that do not per- family planning. level. This system which ensures equitable difficult to obtain affordable and reliable
form abortions or refer women to abortion Clinics that either offer abortions or coverage for women of varying incomes birth control discretely.
providers. information about abortions will lose future could be eliminated. Moreover, Planned Parenthood provides
While the bill is an appeal to abortion funding to their counterparts who do not Robyn Menin, president of Planned abortions, which serve as a necessary and
foes, the ramifications of HB 4655 will be provide these services. Since clinics are Parenthood Mid-Michigan Alliance in Ann protected reproductive option for University
most pronounced in the sphere of women's already barred from using state or federal Arbor says, that along with these limitations women. With less money for clinics that
health. The misguided bill threatens to funds for abortions, the measure will force in services, the funding cuts would likely provide abortions, students seeking safe,
intrude upon public health issues that should Planned Parenthood, which serves over stall plans for the construction of a new Ann affordable and confidential abortions will 4
be left to medical specialists. The bill, 89,000 patients in its 31 Michigan clinics, Arbor clinic. An additional clinic would find their options limited.
directed at Planned Parenthood and other to eliminate its other subsidized healthcare ease the space crunch at the current clinic Since state-subsidized abortion is
state clinics, will harm low-income women services. that served nearly 12,000 people last year-- already illegal, directing money away from
without medical insurance who use the clin- Subsidized services provide low- many of whom are students. clinics that perform or support abortions
ics as their primary care providers. Another income families with access to breast and University Health Services provides stu- simply diverts money away from other
group that will suffer are students who can- cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy dents with the services that these clinics important services for pregnant women and
not afford or cannot ask their parents to pay counseling, contraceptive programs and offer, such as contraceptives and birth con- punishes clinics for offering the services
for reproductive health services. The bill testing for sexually transmitted diseases. trol. However, students are often required to that their patients desperately need.
r ..A 1.

In loco parentis
Lawsuit threatens to expand universities' parental role
F ollowing the self-immolation of nation-wide drinking age of 21 and an
Elizabeth Shin in the spring of 2000, expanded definition of university liability it
her parents filed a $27 million has been relatively limited when compared
wrongful death lawsuit against the to the '50s and early '60s. However, our
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. current excessively litigious society has
Shin, an MIT sophomore with a history of created an environment where universities
psychiatric problems and attempted sui- could once again intrude in students affairs.
cides, had visited with MIT therapists for a One particularly dangerous incursion of
14-month period before her suicide. In their in loco parentis could be its effect on the uni-
lawsuit against the school, Shin's parents versities counseling and psychological
contend that MIT failed to inform them Services. The growth of in loco parentis could
about the nature and severity of their restrict the confidentiality that is imperative
daughter's illness. Every univer- in a healthy doctor-patient rela-
sity in the nation will closely fol- The presence of tionship since it could require
low the proceedings in Shin v. university physicians to divulge sensitive
MIT, a case that threatens to administrators information to parents. Student
reestablish the role of in loco par- and officials in privacy is crucial to a successful
entis in higher education. students lives mental health service. Many
In loco parentis - the con- stifles the very individuals require that their
cept that colleges and universi- growth that families do not know they are
ties have the authority and unldseekto receiving mental health treat-
responsibility to serve as should se.to ment. Students should be
parental figures for their stu- r. allowed to continue with their
dents - has been one of the most con- therapy without worrying about their fami-
tentious issues in education over the past ly's approval of their activities.
40 years. In the early '70s, much of the The presence of university administra-
authority that public universities had tors and officials in students' lives stifles
exercised over their students was scaled- the very growth that universities should
back or eliminated. Students benefited seek to foster. The finest graduates of
tremendously from these reforms, as they universities are created through the inde-
were able to develop and grow on their pendence that allows individuals to create
own terms, freed from the puritanical and their own values and ideologies. They
rigid oversight of university regulations question and struggle against the prevail-
and authority figures. Students were ing sentiments of their epoch and author-
allowed to organize their own extracur- ity. In loco parentis creates an atmosphere
ricular activities and social lives without where the university dictates students
the paternalistic influence of university values and prohibits opposition. The pas-
administrators and they independently sive individuals who are the standard
developed without the domineering product of an education of in loco parentis
forces of supervisors. are ill-served for the rigors and responsi-
While in loco parentis has undergone a bilities of life and participation in a
resurgence since the implementation of a democratic society.

Another horse in our race.
Student candidate will expand Dingell/Rivers debate
T he Democratic primary for political process.
Michigan's 15th Congressional While Boyle's platform is primarily
District may have a new candidate: focused on concerns unique to the
Law School student David Boyle is begin- University, his candidacy will require the
ning a petition drive to secure a position incumbents to address philosophical
on the ballot. The Aug. 6 primary (which issues of higher education. Boyle is
has attracted national attention) between advocating challenges to the University4
Reps. Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor) and Board of Regents.
John Dingell (D-Dearborn) may include The February bylaw change that re-
another option for Michigan Democrats. organized the regents into a committee
Most likely Boyle will not mount a seri- system with a chair and vice-chair, have
ous challenge to Dingell, the been criticized as a political
House of Representatives senior The Boyle power grab that hurts students.
member and one of the most campaign will The reforms removed the
powerful congressmen on serve to broaden power to set meeting agendas
Capitol Hill, and Rivers, a four- the scope of the away from the University pres-
term representative who has won primary and ident and to the chair of the d
the endorsement of the powerful Incorporate regents. The decision will hurt
fundraiser EMILY's List. students who students as the position of the
However, the student's candidacy often feel president is inherently more
is sure to invigorate the cam- neglected and receptive to student pressures
paign and raise issues that would alienated from and has more contact with the
have been absent from the the political student body than the
emerging campaign dialogue. process. statewide elected members of
One issue that could have the Board of Regents.
escaped with little scrutiny is the role of Boyle has also criticized the absence
students in the 15th District's future. With of a University student on the Board of
its abnormally large student population, Regents and a lack of diversity in the
students play a unique role in the econom- University's presidents. Both Rivers and
ic development and daily life of the district. Dingell should adopt Boyle's vision of
While Rivers has emerged as the ideal student empowerment and activism.
"student candidate" for many with her The primary has garnered the interest
strong support of gun control and a 100 of Washington policy wonks and political
percent rating from Planned Parenthood, observers as an example of money's role
she has yet to articulate a clear vision of in politics. Dingell's ties to the automobile
students' role in the District. Boyle's candi- industry and River's links to EMILY's List
dacy will force both Rivers and Dingell to have allowed each candidate access to
compete for the important student vote and millions of dollars in campaign contribu-
appeal to student interests. The Boyle cam- tions. Boyle's candidacy can move the
paign will serve to broaden the scope of the campaign's focus from well-funded advo-4
primary and incorporate students who cacy groups and toward matters that con-
often feel neglected and alienated from the cern student interests.

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