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March 19, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-19

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Page 4 --The Michigan Daily--Tuesday, March 19, 1991
420 Maynard Street ANDREW GOTTESMAN
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and Managed STEPHEN HENDERSON
by Students at the DANIEL POUX
University of Michigan 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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Playin' hookey
Pathetic attendance at MSA meetings cannot be ignored

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Many of the candidates campaigning in the
spring elections for the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) consistently complain that not
enough students attend MSA's meetings or even
know what MSA does. Unfortunately, the same
can be said about the student representatives who
sit on the assembly, as is evidenced by their shame-
fully low attendance at their weekly Tuesday night
This term's assembly meetings have rarely ended
with quorum - a stipulation that at least half the
4 total number of representatives be present for
motions to pass. In fact, the last three meetings
have been adjourned before the meeting's agenda
could be completed because few reps bothered to
show up. MSA's attendance record is often a topic
of jokes among assembly members.
Less than 50 percent ofthe assembly was present
for both opening and closing roll calls at last
week's meeting. From the attendance record of
certain members, it seems they have completely
abandoned their seats on the assembly.
The MSA Constitution contains a clause de-
signed to ensure responsible attendance, but the
current leadership has neglected to enforce it.
Article XI of the MSA Constitution stipulates that
attendance of the weekly MSA meetings is an
obligation for all members. Even more important,
however, are the penalties listed for accumulated

absences. According to the Constitution, "a mem-
ber will be removed from office when s/he accu-
mulates 12 absences." Absences can include miss-
ing beginning or closing roll calls, missing meet-
ings of committees on which the member serves,
and not fulfilling the requirement for working at
polling sites during elections.
Absences can only be excused "by the Presi-
dent if and only if: the member is seriously ill, if the
member had an exam at the same time as the
member obligation, or if there was a death in the
member's immediate family within one week of
the member's obligation." Exceptions to this would
require a unanimous vote by the assembly.
This lackadaisical attitude toward meeting at-
tendance cannot be allowed to continue. Elected
MSA reps cannot be allowed to "play hookey"
from the assembly and their responsibilities. Stu-
dents are encouraged to find out how good their
representatives' attendance ratings are.
The Daily publishes an assembly attendance
list every Wednesday. Many of the candidates
campaigning in this election are incumbents, and
students should use the Daily's attendance records
as a basis for their voting decisions. If University
students ever hope to have a responsible and re-
sponsive student government, then they must first
force their elected representatives to show up at
their meetings.




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erman s walls
Poverty, unemployment continue to divide East and West
Sixteen months ago, the world looked on as consumergoods on the East Germanmarkets while
Germans from East and West smashed the investing next to nothing in East Germany's ex-
Berlin Wall - that ugly symbol of all that had tensive industrial infrastructure, in shambles after
'divided them for more than 40 years. After decades decades of mismanagement.
of living under a system that had denied them their While pundits in the West crow about "the end
freedom and failed them economically, East Ger- of history" and "the death of socialism," their
mans were ready for both democracy and prosper- cherished free-market system is wreaking havoc
ity. West Germany's Chancellor Helmut Kohl on an entire population. "Behind each West Ger-
promised them both. man measure," writes celebrated West German
Today, East Germany has neither. In a state novelist Gunter Grass, "lies a limitless greed for
which once guaranteed work for everyone, almost profits."
: a million East Germans are unemployed and an- East Germans are not pining for the bad old
k other 1.8 million are working "part-time" - a days under the yoke of a Stalinist regime. But
euphemism for unemployment, since above 90 increasing numbers are justifiably wondering why
percent of these part-timers currently have no their heroic struggle has achieved so little - and
work. lost so much. When they tore down the wall, East
East Germans once enjoyed rent control, com- Germans were demanding democracy. They were
prehensive social security, subsidized prices for not demanding an end to their comprehensive
necessities, free day-care facilities, and abortion social services. And the two are not mutually
laws which were far more liberal than their West exclusive.
German equivalents. Today, all of these benefits If Chancellor Kohl truly wants to prove the
are gone, and Kohl's government has offered few superiority of his country's economic system, he
replacements. will put his money where his mouth is by restoring
Massive investments promised from Western some of EastGermany's social services. Currently,
Europe and the United States have failed to ma- as yesterday's promises grow stale, too many East
terialize. More interested in making a buck than German mouths are going hungry instead.
creating jobs, West German firms have dumped

Bread & Roses
confuses history
To the Daily:
In his 3/8/91 Bread & Roses
column, Mike Fischer apparently
confused the withdrawl of the last
U.S. citizens from Saigon with the
withdrawl of the last American
soldiers ("Victory, and whom it
spoils"). The last American
soldiers left Vietnam March 29,
1973. The famous withdrawl by
helicopter of the last U.S. citizens
from Saigon occured April 29,
Eric Smith
LSA Sophomore
No grounds for
forgery charges
To the Daily:
I am compelled to write this
letter to clear up a number of
misconceptions caused by an
article about Angie Burks ("Burks
out five bucks for forgery," 3/11/
First, the use of the word
"forgery" is incorrect. Burks had
the consent and knowledge of
Core Morman to sign the
candidate's affidavit for her.
Morman is a student who desired
to run on the Common Sense
ticket, and was physically unable
to sign the form. There was no
attempt at deception, and Burks
admitted readily that she had
signed for Morman. I do not
dispute that it constituted a
technical violation of MSA rules;
Burks has paid the fine and the
Common Sense party cannot have
Morman on its slate. In no way do
Common Sense party members
consider ourselves above the rules
for any reason. Burks was
operating within what she thought
was the intent of the rules, though
the Election Court disagreed.
The Daily article falsely gave
the impression that Burks implied
there was a racist motive involved
in the Election Court's decision.
She did nothing of the sort, but

was expressing her frustration at
getting nailed for a minor
technical matter while the
anonymous racists harassing her
are getting away with what they
do. That is a separate issue and
should not have been given
emphasis in the article.
The article stated incorrectly
that Corie Morman is ineligible
for election. Election Director
Tim Pope has informed us that
while she may not be on the
ballot,sshe is still eligible to be
elected on a write-in basis.
Hunter Van
LSA junior
Common Sense party
Daily mishandles
S. Quad incident
To the Daily:
The controversy resulting
from the incident at the Alpha
Kappa Alpha sorority party is
more sickening than the incident
itself. The part of the incident
which has been most poorly
handled is the one-sided response
of leaders in the Black Greek
community and the self-contra-
dicting March 14 Daily editorial.
The ultimate source of conflict
at the party was the conduct of the
students, not the police. The
police managed to break up the
multiple fights at the party
without firing a shot, swinging a
nightstick, or laying a hand on
those who caused the conflict.
They should be commended.
The perpetrators of violence in
this situation were those who
caused the conflict, not those who
tried to control it. However, the
only explanation given in the
Daily for the fact that mace was
used on these "peace-loving"
students - engaging in fights
involving at least eight and up to
25 people - was that they were
black. Completely downplayed
were the facts that both the
University and AAPD stood to
sustain a lawsuit from more brutal

methods of crowd control.
University property could have
been damaged, and more people
in attendance could have been
The editorial slammed the
police for "clashing unnecessarily
with people of color," though they
were called in to bring a situation
under control that was caused
solely by members of this group.
It is true that the students were
"threatened in their own commu-
nity with physical violence," but
in this case, it was their own. If
BGA members think this extra
measure of security is truly
necessary, they can pay for
security guards themselves like
other Greek organizations on
campus. If BGA fraternities and
sororities don't like the conse-
quences of brawls on University
property, they can hold their
functions in fraternity houses
instead of University buildings,
and solve their own problems.
If students involved in
situations like the one at South
Quad were more objective and
less quick to cry "racist" they
might be able to rationalize the
actions of police and security
officers. Solving social problems
requires identification, objectiv-
ity, and self-examination, not just
the placement of blame.
Rich Martin
LSA junior


It would make fine fodder for a soap opera, or a
George Lucas movie for that matter.
In last week's episode of "School Wars," we met
Boston University president John R. Silber, the man
who is determined to run the Boston schools at any cost,
and Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, the man who will go to
any extent to discredit and destroy the Boston School
Committee - even if it means holding his nose and
teaming up with rebel Democrat Silber.
This week, in "The Committee Strikes Back," we
meet the members of the Committee, whose hatred for
both Silber and Flynn is only matched by their des-
peration to survive as a legitimate body. In this episode
they pulled out their trump card, their white knight, as
such: Northeastern University.
It is sad commentary on this city that the future of
Boston's schools, and most importantly thatof Boston's
little Ewoks, has turned into a boxing match between the
Flynn/BU Sluggers and the School Committee/NU No-
Last week, having been rejected by the Committee,
BU was called in by Flynn to study the Boston schools.
This week, the Committee, one of whose members
happens to be NU Vice President for Student Affairs
John D. O'Bryant, unanimously accepted an alternative
offer to study Boston schools made by none other than
"But," the enquiring soap fan may ask, "why would
the Committee pick a university that has successfully

set up a 10-year program to run Chelsea's schools?"
Because NU has a great plan set up for studying Boston
schools, of course -just ask NU spokesperson Alix de
"There is, as far as I know, no timeline (for studying
the schools,) because we didn't want to presume any-
thing," de Seife said Tuesday night. "We didn't know
what the vote was going to be tonight." There's forward
planning for you.
The real reason the Committee rejected BU is be-
cause, in the Boston Globe gubernatorial endorsement
style, they just can't stand Silber. Silber joined Flynn in
ridiculing their management of the Boston schools
during the election campaign and now they're getting
their revenge.
Regardless of the fact that BU has plans prepared,
outlines written and 100 times more track experience
than our friends on Huntington Avenue, the Committee
chose NU. If these are the kinds of antics to which the
Committee must resort to defeat Silber and Flynn,
maybe we are seeing the ultimate lunacy: a system of
uneducated children being run by a committee of spoiled
Tune in next week for "Return of the 18th Century"
as Boston schools go totally down the drain.
March 12, 1991, The Daily Free Press
Boston University

Democracy must replace deception on MSA *

by Corey Dolgon
By now, most MSA-watchers
know my politics. Although some
distort them - like The Michigan
Review's claim that I believe in a
totalitarian state - my views on
students rights, discrimination,
and University reform are clear. I
think many students agree with
my goals: meaningful student
participation in policy making;
increased access and a safe,
empowered cultural and educa-
tional climate for women, people
of color, and Lesbians and Gay
men; and a university where the
substance and quality of educa-
tion is more important than the
"images of excellence." Some,
however, question MSA's
confrontational tactics, and that's
fair. In the four years I've been
here, we've met with administra-
tors, negotiated and even compro-
mised, and still they refuse to
address students' concerns. But,
debate over strategies, tactics, and
goals is crucial for democracy and
I welcome sincere criticism.
I'm tired, though, of the
deception and dishonesty of other
MSA members masking their
"political" ends under the guise of
representing "student concerns."
A mnet recent eamnlii ill

funding and legislation. But
"Coz" and Williams don't like the
Last week, Cosnowski was
quoted as saying USSA wasn't
"cost effective," ("MSA passes
funding request to attend USSA
conference," 3/13/91). At MSA,
they said the workshops were
useless and a waste of money.
And Coz's argument that the
University has its own "individual
needs" doesn't make any sense.
The very issues Cosnowski says

the U.S. Department of Education
for revoking minority scholar-
ships. But instead of debating the
issues openly within USSA or
MSA, they tried to circumvent the
process "in the name of the
Second, it's campaign time
again, and the Conservative
Coalition (CC) likes to claim "we
lobby for students in Lansing and
D.C." Instead of participating in
state and national student lobby-
ing groups, CC planned on

The very issues Cosnowski says we need to
lobby for in D.C. ... are not specific to this
University. The real power in pushing these
issues will come as part of a national student
delegation representing hundreds of schools *
across the country

Nuts and Bolts



by Judd Winick
THRsS A w4optAN WLnm
HItM, S+W.
GorcsA.H&X HDS.

we need to lobby for in D.C. -
"funding for education, financial
aid, and the Higher Education
Reappropriations Act" - are not
specific to this University. The
real power in pushing these issues
will come as part of a national
student delegation representing

organizing their own trip with
students' money and then taking
credit during the campaign.
For the CC, this tactic isn't
new. Last year, CC members.
misrepresented themselves and
took credit for meal reform when
it was the Residence Hall Asso-


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