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March 26, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-26

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, March 26, 1991
Ghbe AItrb gan BaiI

420 Maynard Street ANDREW K. GOTTESMAN
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and Managed STEPHEN HENDERSON
by Students at the e n',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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Today and tomorrow, University students have
the opportunity to send a clear message to their
student representatives. Whetherit be a message of
encouragement, disgust, or apathy, all students
should make the effort to cast their ballot in the
Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) spring elec-
tions, to let our campus "leaders" know that stu-
dents are concerned about theirelected government.
The planners of last spring's MSA elections
were elated by the highest level of student voter
turnout in years: approximately 12 percent of the
33,000 students on this campus took the time to fill
out a ballot. This number was twice the turnout
Slevel in recent years, but it is difficult to find any
encouragement with such a high level of student
apathy on campus.
- That an overwhelming majority of students on
this campus don't bother to vote sends a very
dangerous message to these elected officials; if
most students don't care enough to vote, then these
representatives will feel free to act on their own
political agendas with little regard to the desires of
students as a whole. I

Campus activists, both conservative and liberal,
have been the main voting blocks in recent years,
and it has been these factions that have decided the
outcome of the last two elections. These highly
politicized groups have voted students with like
minds into office, and the assembly has wasted the
last four semesters pandering to these radical
fringes, instead of serving the entire student body.
Itis these potential voters-the average students
who care little for MSA - who have not voiced
their concerns in past assembly elections. And it is
these students who need to have their voice heard
the most. This student government must bemade
more responsive and responsible to the campus as
a whole.
Whether your politics are conservative or lib-
eral, whether you are impressed with the accom-
plishments of this years's assembly or want to
"throw the bums out," take the time today or
tomorrow to vote. Polling sites are open all day and
into the evening all over campus, and it only takes
five minutes. Make sure that MSA knows this
campus cares about its student government.

,Unhealthy profits
'U' should join coalition in divesting from tobacco companies
n an attempt to send a message of disapproval to In recent years, as atrocities committed by the,
the tobacco industry, three major universities Afrikaaner government received substantial inter-
have recently divested their financial holdings national publicity, a slew of universities took a
from cigarette companies. Johns Hopkins Univer- moral stand by divesting all of their holdings in
sity, Harvard University, and City University of South Africa. It was realized that financially sup-
New York have each severed all business ties with porting the South African industry translated into
the Phillip Morris Company, a major tobacco pro- supporting the apartheid system. By presenting a
ducer. united front, universities made a strong political
These universities should be commended for statement and economically punished a racist re-
putting their obligation to serve and educate the gime. Unity will also be essential if universities
community above their desire to profit from busi- wish to make an impact on wealthy and powerful
ness investments in the tobacco companies - an tobacco producers. Instead of adding its name to
industry that reaps its profits from Americans' this coalition, the University is exacerbating the
addiction to nicotine. It is no secret that cigarettes problem by its inaction and acquiescence.
have been directly linked to such fatal diseases as Cigarette stocks bring in a lot of money. In these
lung cancer and emphysema.Investing in cigarette times of looming fiscal cuts, it would be dificult to
companies only promotes the unnecessary loss of let go of such a lucrative source of income for the
life caused by their dangerous products. University. But financial administrators must re-
Despite the leadership provided by Johns alize that the University's primary role is as a
Hopkins and the other universities, the University people-serving institution, not a money-making
of Michigan plans to retain its investments in the business. Divesting from cigarette companies is a
Phillip Morris Company. . good way to make these priorities clear.
Urban warfare
Bush must turn attention to problems of America's inner cities

Can LSA-SG
To the Daily:
As one of the female members
of LSA Student Government
(LSA-SG) who supported the
resolution condemning the
Women's Studies Department, I.
wish to explain my views -
which are not necessarily the
views of the entire LSA-SG.
The resolution was not meant
to condemn the entire Women's
Studies department; rather, it was
a statement of opinion on a
certain issue. I have no personal
problems with the Women's
Studies department; however, its
seemingly narrow-minded stance
on an issue with many facets is
indoctrination, not teaching.
LSA-SG is not a political
action group. Its main focus is to
deal with issues pertaining to the
education that people receive in
LSA. Women's Studies was asked
to participate because the abortion
issue, while affecting everybody,
is much more a women's issue
than an economic or mathematical
issue.
There is a hypocrisy involved
when people suppress others'
personal beliefs in the name of
open-mindedness. Freedom of
speech has been repressed in
order to allow freedom of
expression to predominate. Which
is right? The Women's Studies
department has made their
decision. What will be yours?
Claudette Grinnell
LSA senior
LSA-SG council member
Abortion unfit
for Soapbox forum
To the Daily:
On behalf of the Executive
Committee of the Women's
Studies Program, I would like to
try to clear up some misunder-
standings that have arisen recently
about our decision to decline
sponsorship of the Student
Soapbox abortion debate.
The Executive Committee felt
strongly that abortion was a
subject deserving thorough
discussion throughout the
community, and that the program

would be interested in working on
planning such a discussion.
However, the Committee also
felt strongly that abortion de-
serves to be discussed in its full
complexity. Moreover, we felt
that casting a discussion of
abortion in terms of two very
simple and opposite views -
"pro-life" versus "pro-choice" -
would not be very educational.
There are many views on abortion
which are not well captured by
those two labels, and many
aspects of the issue which are
unlikely to arise when the issue is
framed in this way, including
abortion for minors, poor women,
and women of color. In addition,
closely-related policy issues like
maternal health care, child care
alternatives and adoption policies
are not likely to receive focused
or full attention when the issue is
framed as a simple "alternative."
Because the Executive
Committee felt that abortion was
not a subject most fruitfully
discussed in a debate format, we
decided that it would be best not
to sponsor the event.
Despite the fact that we
explained our reasons for declin-
ing sponsorship, individuals have
"alleged" that we had other
reasons.
In addition, the LSA Student
Government (LSA-SG) has

"condemned" us for not sponsor-
ing the event. At no time did
anyone from LSA-SG contact us
to tell us of the charges being
considered, nor did anyone ask us
what our reasons actually were.
The suggestion has been made
that the Women's Studies
Program, by declining sponsor-
ship of an event planned by an
organization, was attempting to
impose some particular views on
that organization or on students
more generally. On the contrary,
our concern about this particular
forum was precisely that its
structure was likely to prevent
discussion of the complex and
varied views and issues associated
with this subject.
Some have also said that the
Women's Studies Program should
not decline sponsorship of events.
We believe we have the same
responsibility that other depart-
ments and programs have to
assess the relevance and educa-
tional value of events we are
asked to sponsor. We will not
abdicate that responsibility in
order to avoid being criticized on
the basis of inaccurate representa-
tions of our views.
Abigail Stewart
Director,
Women's Studies Program

.

condemn Women's Studies?

A s the first day of the Persian Gulf ground war
drew to a close, President Bush boasted in his
evening address to the American people that, on
that day, more people had died violently in the
streets of America than in the battlefields of Iraq
and Kuwait. At the end of the Gulf campaign it was
apparent that American soldiers, particularly Afri-
can Americans and Latinos, were safer in the 100-
hour ground war than in their hometowns.
This point was dramatically driven home last
week, when a returning Gulf veteran was mur-
dered in Detroit. Army specialist Anthony Riggs
survived Scud attacks and the 40-day air and
ground war, but fate caught up with him on a
Detroit street corner last week, as five bullets were
pumped into his body.
President Bush's idle remark illustrates a real-
ity for which he must bear some responsibility.
While the White House gloats over the liberation
of Kuwait City, there is no corresponding effort to
help those in the inner cities here at home. The
pervasive level of violence in cities like Detroit,
Los Angeles, and Miami makes life almost unbear-
able for their residents. According to the FBI,
murder is the highest cause of death for Black
males in Am'erica.
There are deeply rooted socio-economic condi-
tions which underlie the violence that afflicts our
cities; these factors have clearly reached a crisis
level. But President Bush, with his emphasis on
foreign policy, has completely forsaken the do-
mestic arena. While the president is busy pardon-
ing Egypt's massive foreign debt, he is allocating
only $304 million dollars this year for math and
science education in public high schools.
Education is at the root of many of the problems
afflicting America's cities. The ghetto poor are
falling behind the rest of the-nation in their school-

ing; many cities' public schools are falling apart
from the lack of teachers and funds. With such an
ever-widening gap in education, many people in
inner cities lack the skills necessary to get jobs in
today's high-tech markets.
In this light, Bush's efforts to scale back fund-
ing on needed social services and education cannot
be justified. Washington lawmakers should put
programs like Head Start - which works to im-
prove opportunities for city children to catch up
with their suburban counterparts - at the front of
the receiving line for federal monies.
Accompanying the decline of education is the
gradual deterioration of economic conditions in
inner cities. The "White Flight" that began in the
1970s continues today, and inner-city neighbor-
hoods find themselves bereft of local jobs and
capital. The present downturn in the nation's
economy will further exacerbate the problem of
unemployment.
With the complete lack of jobs available to
inner-city youth, it is no wonder that many of them
turn to the profitable business of running drugs.
The drug trade- with its vicious cycle of violence
- is perhaps the greatest contributor to the dete-
rioration of law and order in America's cities.
Bush has talked about how he wants to be
known as the "education president," or the "tough
on crime president." If he continues to ignore these
problems, he will only be known as the "urban
deterioration president."
Ironically, the president has turned a deaf ear to
any valid ideas on how to renew America's cities,
and listened only to his foreign policy "wizards"
James Baker and Brent Scowcroft. Instead of
making the world "safe for democracy," Bush
should make American cities safe for their citizens.

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Some post-Persian Gulf War predictions...

by David Leitner
Now that the war is officially
over, American patriotism has
skyrocketed to an all-time high
for this half of the century. But
while President Bush and his staff
are patting themselves on the back
for their "victory," one must
wonder to what the results of the
war translate in the long-term.
Indeed, some very dangerous
consequences can be seen, of
which we all must be aware:
The 1992 presidential
electionhhas practically been
decided in Bush's favor. It is sad
to note that a president who was
not widely supported before the
war could be so loved after he
ordered the killing of more than
100,000 people while striding
along a Kennebunkport shoreline.
What a definitive statement on
American values.
A Now that cheaper oil prices
have been protected, there seems
litttle doubt that Bush's war-time
proposals for new energy plans
and research into alternative fuels
will again fade into the backdrop.

cannot believe that President
Bush will pull out a majority of
the troops for at least another six
months. As some token forces
return to satiate the American
public's desires, hundreds of
thousands still remain in the
Mideast. Two Navy aircraft
carriers are returning from the
Gulf, only to be replaced by two
more. Is this recalling the troops?
Many times during the war,
Bush stated that "the troops will
not be there one minute longer.

finally come to an end. Hopefully,
all those who hung up flags --
more because such a display was
en vogue than because they were
"patriotic" - will put them away
until national holidays.
Another good consequence
will be the country's reaction to
our budget problems after this
whole war. This $1 billion-a-day
war, coupled with the current
economic recession and our $4
trillion national debt, will force
some changes to be made,

It is sad to note that a president who was
not widely supported before the war could
be so loved after he ordered the killing of
more than 100,000 people... What a defini-
tive statement on American values.

S

Nuts and Bolts
IA ENHE TA

QDEiO)

I4AT,S%+S MY - PINTNl t>.

by Judd Winick
I TNK DTWE VI AL. JOKE
STANPS O". iT Og4t'

than is necessary." "Necessary"
was the operative word, which
has been left deviously undefined,
allowing Bush to decide when

perhaps - read my lips -
increasing taxes again. If Bush is
forced to again flipflop on his
most famous campaign promise,

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