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March 12, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-12

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, March 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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With the conclusion of the Gulf War, cities and
towns from coast to coast are festooning their
trees with yellow ribbons and preparing their streets
for ticker-tape parades. The troops are returning
home, and with Vietnam now a fading memory,
Americans are determined that this time American
GIs will be welcomed home in style.
But if the Bush administration has its way, style
will be the only difference between the troops'
return from the Gulf and the Vietnam vets' home-
coming. Even as the president prattles on about
"how proud he is ofour brave men and women," he
is doing almost nothing to assure that these troops
are provided for once the confetti is swept away
and the last champagne uncorked.
White House Budget Director Richard Darman
has already made clear that any monies set aside
for returning soldiers must come out of other
domestic programs. Since most of these programs
have already been severely slashed, there is little
hope that veterans will receive the benefits they
According to the Washington Institute forPolicy
Studies, adequate veterans' benefits cost - on
average - 278 percent of the total cost of a war.
That means that the White House needs to come up
with more than $150 billion if it plans to help Gulf
veterans back onto their feet.
The money for veterans' programs - includ-
ing adequate unemployment benefits for those
who were jobless in August or who had their jobs
eliminated by the recession while overseas -
should come from the Pentagon's bloated budget.
There is no reason why the military should con-
tinue dropping $300 billion on its expensive toys

when it cannot even adequately compensate its far
more valuable human resource: the troops in the
If these misguided priorities are not changed
soon, many of the Gulf veterans will meet the same
fate as their Vietnam War predecessors: poverty,
joblessness, and ostracization. This country's
shameful treatment of those vets left an ugly scar
on the national psyche - one which the White
House vowed to eradicate this time around. But
unless Bush is willing to put some money where
his mouth is, Americans will soon be thinking
about hypocrisy rather than patriotism when they
read his lips.
Welcome home
A fter almost eight months in the field, U.S.
troops are finally coming home. Regard-
less of one's feelings about the war, all Ameri-
cans should welcome them home, treat them
with dignity and respect, and be thankful they
are alive.
Many soldiers will not be coming home.
More than 300 were killed between August
and February-including 12 from Michigan.
We can only mourn with those famlies who
will suffer such an acute loss. As General
Norman Schwarzkopf said, the loss of even
one soldier is a great tragedy.
Even as we welcome home those who
survived, let us remember to mourn for all the
casualties of this war. Perhaps it will help to
prevent our nation from becoming involved in
similar wars in the future.

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Students' voice
Swain's actions show disregard for student representation

A dministrators and students have recently been
scrambling for ways to enhance the lines of
communication between them.
Students - and especially representatives on
the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) - have
expressed discontent with existing forums for
discussion, like the monthly public comments
sessions during the University Board of Regents
meeting. And Interim Vice President for Student
Services Mary Ann Swain, backed by the rest of
the administration, appears to be exploring some
viable alternatives.
But a recent se-
quence of events points
to the apparent insin-.
cerity of the
administration's ef-
forts, and - more im-
portantly -reveals at-
tempts to undermine_
students' only current
recognized representa-t
tion, MSA.
MSA President
Jennifer Van Valey was
invited to read names
during this year's Hon-
ors Convocation, only
to have the invitation .
taken away by Swain.
This sudden, mysteri-
ous change of policy
smacks of administra-
tive disrespect for stu-
dent representatives -
and for the studentbody
as a whole.
Swain's decision to
disinvite Van Valey
came on the heels of a
request by Van Valey to
speak at the ceremony. Van Va l ey and
But even more striking
than Swain's denial was the reasoning behind it.
A letter written from Swain to Van Valey states:
"Since it is not clear that you will behave perfectly
at this function, I have decided to withdraw the
invitation for you to sit on the platform."
Admittedly, it is questionable whether the MSA
president should speak at the Honors Convocation.
No other student leaders will be addressing the
crowd, and this particular event is not an appropri-
ate venue for political rhetoric.
But Swain's statements in this letter show that

Van Valey's exclusion was based on her consistent
disagreements with the administration's policies
- and Swain's fear of Van Valey's expression of
these disagreements during the convocation. The
vice president's actions demonstrate an adminis-
trative willingness to selectively disregard student
While several individual schools have their
own in-house councils, MSA is the only legitimate
representative body for the campus as a whole;
each individual college has a certain number of

Drake's Five will
not be silenced
To the Daily:
Recently, I was forced to leave
the premises of Drake's Sandwich
Shop before I had consumed what
I had purchased. In the course of
ejecting us, Drake's owner, Mr.
Tibbals, made demeaning remarks
about two of the women with me.
Since daring to speak out
about what happened at Drake's
that night, I have been called
sexually paranoid, ridiculous,
ignorant, and - my favorite -
silly. Since daring to suggest that
one might not want to give one's
money to a man who treated
women in this way, I have
received aggressive, anonymous
telephone calls from several men
who appear to think that making a
profit from the Ann Arbor
community is Tibbals' birthright.
Supporters of Drake's have
scrawled obscene insults on flyers
announcing the Drake's boycott
and, as documented in Daily
photographs of our Mar. 7 boycott
rally, behaved in a physically
intimidating manner.
Since daring to raise my voice
in protest about what happened to
me, I have endured numerous
personal attacks by those who
would ignore the fact that this
boycott was called by five women
and is supported by a number of
organizations. I have been
frustrated by media coverage
which has ignored the ugly,
demeaning and often violent
quality of the boycott's opposi-
tion. I have seen Tibbals - who,
as a white, straight male business
owner, scores four out of four on
the power and privilege scale -
portrayed as the helpless victim of
this incident.
As a thinking person, I am
stunned by the illogic of this
portrayal of Tibbals as victim and
by the certainty with which
people who were not at Drake's
that night assume that they know
better than I what happened. As a
woman, I am alarmed by the
violence of the opposition to our
boycott and appalled by the ease
with which our version of what
happened to us is discounted. As a
person, I am frightened for us all.
Frankly, I am feeling very
vulnerable right now. I startle

when the phone rings, and look
over my shoulder when I walk
down the street. I want the public
to know what is happening and I
want the "Drake's supporters" to
know that, while they may scare
me, they will never silence me.
Pattrice Maurer
Rackham graduate student
Tenure system
must be changed
To the Daily:
Something must be done about
the present system of tenure. Too
often, undeserving teachers are
granted this nebulously defined
privilege of guaranteed career
The method by which tenure is
rendered is in itself a mystery. No
established standard exists. It
should be obvious; either a
teacher has the talent of instruct-
ing well, or not.
Obscured by this disjointed
process of tenure are the instruc-
tors that inappropriately yet
successfully passed through and
have their highly valued positions
of job security. These people are
comfortable in the knowledge that
they never have to suffer review,
and do not have a mandatory
retirement year. I have had
several senile, unintelligent, and
just plain uncaring teachers, and
wonder how they ever made it
past their first day on the job.
How am I expected to learn from
a professor that screams, throws
chalk, frequently forgets the point
in mid-sentence, becomes
flustered and angry at any
questions, or simply whizzes
through an incomplete lecture,
mocking confused students? Do
these people have to worry about
losing their jobs?
Coming out of high school, I
was excited at the prospect of
finally having good teachers. I
had naively believed that, since
student evaluations were collected
each term, incompetent professors
and instructors would be nonex-
istent. I was disappointed to find
Why go through the false
motions of assessment? Standards
need to be set to effectively
review those granted tenure
periodically. If promotions can

To the Daily:
The Daily's Mar. 21 editorial
"Tiananmen Square: Washington
Must Condemn Repression of
Student Movement" understates
the severity of the current
crackdown in China. The editorial
erroneously states that the 13-year
sentences meted out to the
pioneering social science re-
searchers Wang Juntao and Chen
Ziming are "the harshest reprisals
by the Chinese government to
While it is true that these
sentences are the harshest handed
down to the 18 well-known
students and intellectuals whose
trials were held in recent weeks,
the reprisals against some of the
workers who took part in the pro-
democracy movement were much
harsher - some have been
sentenced to life in prison for
"spreading rumors" and donating
money to the pro-democracy
Prison sentences, however, no
matter how lengthy, do not
constitue the harshest form of
reprisal. In addition to the
thousand or more people killed by
martial law troops in Beijing,
Tibet, and elsewhere, Amnesty
International has documented at
least 42 executions in connection
with the pro-democracy move-
ment. They estimate that the real
total is probably in the hundreds.
The Chinese leadership
believes that criticism of its
abominable human rights record
will diminish over time and
people like Wang Juntao and
Chen Ziming will be forgotten. It
is up to both the American people
and the American government to
make it clear to the Chinese rulers
that Americans have not forgot-
ten, and they will not forget.


exist, then so should the opposite.
After all, it is our future that is
being so carelessly manipulated.


Kelly Schrubba
LSA first-year student
Tiananmen Square
injustice continues

I Swain face off

seats on the assembly.
Swain's moves are the
most recent example of
administrative attempts
to undermine this rep-
resentation by silencing
assembly members, and
the student body should
not stand idle in the face
of these efforts.
Undoubtedly, the
actual effectiveness of
MSA's representation
can be challenged; few
students vote in elec-
tions, and even fewer
actually get involved in
assembly activities. But
if MSA's legitimacy is
to be questioned by
anyone, it must be the
student body - not the
For too long now, the
administration has over-
stepped its bounds in its
dealings with student
representation. Its con-
sistent attempts to con-
trol or undermine rec-
ognized student repre-
sentatives because of


Michelle Hargrave
LSA first-year student
member, Amnesty
International, U of M

Macing incident shows administration's insensitivity

by Lester K. Spence

their opposition to administrative policies hinders
not only productive dialogue between students and
administrators, but effective student representa-
tion itself.
If students are displeased with the assembly's
behavior, they should take steps themselves to
increase the accountability of their elected repre-
sentatives. But the administration cannot be af-
forded the same luxury; its discontent with MSA or
particular representatives should have no bearing
on the assembly or on the student voice.

The weekend before the last
term's finals, at a social function
held in South Quad, the Ann
Arbor police used a chemical
weapon on students, citing the
belief that a "riot" was in progress
as the reason for inflicting pain
and temporary blindness on
University students. Besides the
chemical weapons, other tactics
were used, such as racial slurs and
the threat of physical violence, to
get students to comply with the
orders of the Ann Arbor police.
There were various articles in
newspapers across the state which
covered the incident; however
most of them made the occurrence
seem commonplace. No official
statement was made by the
University administration
regarding the incident, and the
entire event was blown off by
most of the University community
and most of the state-wide
community as well.
However, I personally take
nff-. n e nnrnnt -m-nt of

The administration has not
even conducted a thorough
investigation, even though a
thorough account of the incident
was prepared by students and
presented to them. It would be
interesting to look at the response
time of the administration to this
event, as compared to the re-
sponse time of the administration
to a case in which University
property was severely damaged.
Discussions with members of
the administration have convinced

overturned cars, looted stores, and
caused tens of thousands of
dollars worth of damage.
Did the Ann Arbor police use
mace on them? Is it a coincidence
that the one time in 173 years of
this University's existence that
chemical weapons were used on
students was in the case of an
event involving African Ameri-
cans, during which only $200 of
damages were caused, and at the
most six people fought?
Jan. 31, 1991, was the 126-


Not even during the turbulent 60s, or during
BAM I, did the Ann Arbor police seek to con-
tain or detain students by the use of a chemi-
cal weapon. Where is the outrage?

Nuts and Bolts
ON 7Nm~ ca."


o *

by Judd Winick
How %Boor $Av1N'
I 14AT BARD , EN -
DoNN!II ?7s

me that they are not able or
willing to provide for the safety of
University students.
One of our first responsibili-
ties as students is to ensure that
we nerform well in school.

year anniversary of the abolition
of slavery. It went by without
fanfare, without rallies, and
without distinguished speakers. I
think that the reason for this stems
from one fact: we are not free.

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