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February 12, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-12

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Page 4--The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, February 12, 1991
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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors

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

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Representatives need student input to be effective government

L ast week at the Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA) meeting, a proposal was put on the
floor to conduct a survey determining student
attitudes toward MSA.
The assembly rejected this proposal, and they
were right to do so. But their reasons for rejecting
it - while also correct - provide a telling com-
mentary on what is wrong with the campus govern-
Most students who are not entirely ignorant of
MSA react to it with disgust; the assembly realized
that it didn't need a survey to confirm this campus
truism. Students perceive MSA as a forum where
aspiring politicians can practice their trade rather
than provide for their constituents.
Because most assembly representatives realize
this fact, and do nothing to rectify the situation,
MSA is not only ineffective, but exists in a state of
The non-stop bickering between the Action and
the Conservative Coalition parties does little to
address this problem, and whatever the merit of the
two parties' respective agendas, there is no merit at
all in the way MSA members from both parties
spend more time listening to each other than they
do listening to the voices of their constituents.
MSA Representative Corey Dolgon suggested
that, in place of the survey, MSA attempt to in-
crease voter turnout in the upcoming March elec-
tions by stepping up election advertising and im-

proving communication between MSA members
and their student constituents. These are both good
ideas, but they attempt to treat one of the symptoms
of MSA's problems rather than working toward an
overall solution.
Genuine student participation and interest in
MSA must be preceded by serious attention to
opening up what is presently a boring and sterile
set of debates between warring ideologues. Though
the opinions represented by members of Action
and the Conservative Coalition are important -
and do reflect the thinking of many students -
they must be supplemented by other opinions and
other political parties.
Action and the Conservative Coalition should
welcome such a development. As more political
parties run inupcoming elections, each will have to
work harder to refine and clarify both their argu-
ments and persuasive skills.
Such a process will make every political party
- including those which currently dominate the
assembly - stronger and sharper. More impor-
tantly, it will force parties that claim to represent
the students to put their money where their mouths
are, and actually listen to their constituents.
Such a process - and the emergence of such
parties-will take time. Buthoweverlong it takes,
student voters should not settle for surveys and
pretty speeches. Democracy takes time; let's fight
to ensure that MSA takes the time to make it



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Housing rate hikes
'U' should trim bureaucracy, not increase students' fees

Input necessary
for effective MSA
To the Daily:
Corey Dolgon and Jennifer
Van Valey finally admit MSA's
lack of representation of the
student body and ineffectiveness.
Regarding the proposed
student perception survey of MSA
("MSA rejects student perception
survey," 2/6/91), Dolgon is
quoted, "The (previous) surveys
have never told usanything that
we didn't already know." Yet
Dolgon and his cohorts do
nothing to change the perception,
much less the reality, of MSA.
Van Valey claims that the
interpretation of the survey would
be difficult because, "Different
students want different things."
Yet she claims that she
represents the student body and
does, among other things, such
things as sending road trippers to
the Middle East with student
funds, without any clear mandate
for - and strong opposition to -
such trips. Effective student
government is difficult enough,
but when the student government
doesn't even represent the
students and doesn't want their
input, it makes it impossible to
respect MSA.
David Willson
Rackham graduate student
Van Valey sexist
To the Daily:
To paraphrase Jennifer Van
Valey's most eloquent comments
in a recent Detroit Free Press
article, if women were in charge,
there wouldn't be war because
women love their husbands and
sons too much to let them die.
How wonderful.
To be more precise, how
sexist. According to Van Valey,
fathers do not love their sons, and
sons do not love their fathers
enough to care if they live or die.
Or, if men do have the capacity

for love, it is too easily overcome
by unclean sexual desire or
bloodlust. Therefore, the world is
full of rape and war.
Regardless of whether the war
in the Gulf is justified, war is a
human condition. All conflict is.
Even peace-loving women can
have unsolvable disputes with
others. It seems that the nation-

out that men or women can both
make these choices. Fathers do
love their sons as much as their
sons' mothers love them. Van
Valey's remarks were inexcus-
able. Perhaps she ignored the men
that were also at the peace
marches. Obviously, these men
were doing more than looking out
for their own skins; they feared
for their brothers and sons and
fathers that are in the Gulf. Do not
deny the love, caring, and concern
that is in their hearts, too. It is a
great disservice to the human race
as a whole, to women and men.
As an aside, I sure am glad
Van Valey's world doesn't exist,
because if it did, she'd probably
keep me barefoot and pregnant in
the kitchen. Maybe not, because
we all know that men can't keep a
clean house.
Jack Ulrich
R.C. Junior
Tell our readers
what you think
Write to the
Michigan Daily at
420 Maynard
Street, or send
your letters via
MTS to
"Michigan Daily."


The proposed six percent room and board rate
increases forUniversity housing were approved
at the University Board of Regents' meeting last
week. Much of the regental debate centered around
an even higher propsed housing rate increase.
Whether any increase was needed at all was not
discussed, which makes the current situation even
more unfortunate. The entire proposal is an unnec-
essary and unfair action that threatens the welfare
of University students.
The costs.
for living ink
residence halls
will increase
$200-$300 for.
every student.
Coupled with
the tuition in-
creases al-
ready planned
forthe coming
fall and winter
out -of-state
expenses may
rise to $20,000
per year - a
price tag com-
parable to pri-
vate Ivy-
schools. Many
parents and 4
students may
whether the
University of.
creasing in-
sensitivity to .
the welfare of
its students, is
worth such an
e n o r m o u s The cost of living in residence hallsv
amount of University's Board of Regents approv

to the extensive homeless problem.
Demanding an additional $300 from every stu-
dent living on campus will certainly not reverse the
trend. In the long run, the University will be hurt by
the loss of much-needed revenue.
Not surprisingly, there is an obvious source of
revenue untouched in the administrators' half-
hearted search for funds: the University's massive
bureaucracy. The bureaucracy has been the fastest
growing wing of this institution, qnd continues to
expand geo-
Careful book-
keeping and
bud g e tin g
should allow
for the trim-
ming of the
Such respon-
sible budget-
Sary policies
would free
.revenue tied
up in admin-
E' luxury and
red-tape. The
vnewly avail-
able funds
could then be
used for con-
structive pur-
poses, such as
housing costs
for students.
It seems
only logical
that an insti-
BRIANCANTONIDaRy tution com-
mitted to edu-
increase again in 1991, as the c a t i n g
a 6 percent increase in students' A me r i c a 's

Van Va ey


state system still would have
arisen if women led the world;
territory would still be divided
among differing groups of people,
even if only for ease of governing.
Other groups and nation-states
may have differing ideals or may
want another nation's resources.
These disputes would not always
be solved by discussions or
sanctions alone. Armed conflict
would come about. Women are no
less familiar with argument and
violence than are men. Sometimes
leaders who feel they are looking
for their nations' interests may
decide war is the only option,
whether the leaders are male or
This is not an attempt to
justify all wars. It is just to point

SAPAC myths hit too close to home


by Andrew Williams
For the last three years, the
Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center (SAPAC) has
been printing the "Myth of the
Month" as a part of our rape
education program. The "Myth of
the Month" is a series of posters
and bookmarks which highlight
myths relating to sexual assault
using both the myth, the relevant
fact and a graphic. One of our
most controversial myths was
printed this past December. The
myth: "Most rapists are Black
men; their victims white women."
The fact: "In more than 90
percent of rape cases, the victim
and the rapist are of the same race
and socioeconomic class. White
men rape Black women twice as
often as Black men rape white
women. The charge of rape has
been used historically against
African American men as a
justification for racism and
lynching." The graphic that
accompanied this was of a large
tree with several bodies hanging
from it.
Over the years, this myth has
generated controversy from all
parts of our campus. Often we
have received hostile and threat-
ening phone calls from people
accusine us of "winer with our

For this reason SAPAC has
decided to replace this graphic
with one that is less threatening.
We sincerely apologize to those
who were offended and appreci-
ated the feedback we have
The myth of the "Black male
rapist" has a long, painful history.
After Emancipation, the lynching
of African American males
reached epidemic proportions. Ida
Wells, an African American
journalist estimated that more
than 10,000 African American
men were lynched between 1865
and 1895 alone.
The lynching of African
American men and the rape of
African American women
resulted from the white man's
craving for complete political,
economic and sexual power to
testify to his ultimate superiority.
Lynching and rape conveyed to
African American women and
men that their lives had no value
and there was nothing about them
that whites were obligated to
respect. Lynchings are a prime
example of how white patriarchal
power can manipulate sexual
ideologies to justify and reinforce
the political and economic
subordination of African Ameri-
cans as well as white women.

African American women. Until
such myths are dispelled racial
and sexual violence will continue.

rnnm Oro k^o%.-e4 rn+nn

money. room anu uoaru rates.
the regents are aware of the dangers of increasing
room and board rates, which makes their support of
the proposition bewildering. The number of stu-
dents applying and re-applying to live in residen-
tial halls has been declining steadily for 10 years.
The increasing costs of a University education has
led to more students commuting to class and living
off campus in an attempt to cut college costs. This,
in effect, inflates the city's housing market, adding

youth- what
the University
of Michigan at least pretends to be - would do its
utmost to make education affordable to as many
people as possible. The fact that the regents have
accepted this rate hike proposal shows that the
administration needs to prioritize its responsibili-
ties. The students - the University's first respon-
sibility - should not suffer for the benefit of a
growing and burdensome University bureaucracy.

Nuts and Bolts

By Judd Winick


s:;r is A 717 ANt _
'Pr a t' c r o


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