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December 07, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-07

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4A -- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 7, 1995

I

L7bIe ir~grn p~wwaUt~

JUDITH KAFKA

Tm- FirE PRuN,

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

MICIAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors

A word to procrastinators:
Trust me, it all will be aver soon

Unless otherwise notei unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofa majority ofthe Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarili reflect the opinion of The Michigan Dailv.
Our 2 cents
President forum a good start on student input

mid term papers, exams and final due
dates, 15 students took time at the Uni-
versity Board of Regents' forum on Monday
night to articulate their concerns and sugges-
tions for the presidential search. Though the
number of students represented a miniscule
proportion ofthe student population, the con-
cerns they vocalized should be echoed by all
on campus. Moreover, the regents must care-
ully consider this solicited student advice.
Several patterns emerged in the comments
at Monday's forum - each subsequent
speaker validated and contributed to the pre-
vious speakers' points. The students made
passionate pleas for candidates who will re-
spect and encourage diversity across lines of
race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orienta-
tion. They called for improvements in presi-
dent-student relations, including greater stu-
dent accessibility to the president. They also
demanded that the regents select candidates
who would respect students as adults. Above
all, the speakers demanded the creation of a
student advisory board to aid the regents in
their search.
Now the campus population will watch
and listen to determine whether the regents
heed these suggestions. Regent Shirley
McFee (R-Battle Creek) - co-chair of the
search committee - said she is unsure
whether a student advisory board will mate-
- rialize. The regents owe the students repre-
sentation in this critical decision. The student
population must campaign steadfastly for an
advisory board. The regents do not necessar-
ily represent students' best interests, nor do
they have any legal obligation to include
students. If the search committee is without

formal student input, fundamental student
needs will not receive due attention. If the
presidential selection process is to be at all
representative of student concerns, an advi-
sory board is essential.
Furthermore, the regents must continue to
show an active interest in student opinion.
They must prove their self-professed high
esteem for the student voice by continuing to
gather student input and carrying out the
search accordingly. It would behoove the
regents to set dates for several more student-
targeted forums - preferably at a more con-
venient time than the last week of classes.
Ifthe regents are willing to cooperate with
student concerns, the student population has
a responsibility to take advantage of given
opportunities. Excuses will only suffice for
so long before the students are labeled as
apathetic. In his comments at the forum,
Michigan Student Assembly President Flint
Wainess jokingly suggested that if the re-
gents had held the forum at the Angell Hall
Computing Site, participation would have
increased substantially. His comment had
more than a hint of truth - and MSA should
capitalize on that fact. An organization like
MSA has the resources and influence to
effectively solicit student response and orga-
nize it for presentation. If the student popula-
tion needs a moderator or motivation, MSA
should be campaigning for and collecting
student input- wherever students are found.
A few students have forged ahead on the
trail toward a new University president. The
rest of the population must follow and con-
tribute to create a voice the regents will be
unable to ignore.

It's the end of the semester. I'm tired, over-
worked, and really, really stressed.
Essentially the last thing I want to do is
write a column, which only a few people will
read anyway because they're just as tired,
overworked and really, really stressed as I
am, and thus have better things to do with
their time then read 3,000-odd characters
about a topic to be determined later.
On the other hand, maybe a lot of people
will be forced to read this, stuck waiting the
full 220 minutes for a computer at Angell, or
hanging out on the floor of some hallway,
trying to make their professor's or TA's very
last office hours before they're left on their
own, with nothing but the possibility of a
review session, to prepare for whatever it is
exactly that they have to do to prove to this
same professor or TA that they've under-
stood everything this particular class has
had to offer, and then some.
So maybe there are some people reading
this column right now, but certainly not out
of choice, and not out ofa real interest to see
what I have to say about the same miserable
experience we're all going through.
Actually, I've noticed that people have
different ways of dealing with these final
weeks of school. Weird as it may sound, not
everyone is suffering rightnow. In fact, even
as I write, some of my very own housemates
are sleeping, having decided that whatever it

was they managed to accomplish today was
enough to warrant catching some z's. There
are people like that, who manage their time
well and get to sleep and socialize at a
normal rate, even during finals week.
On the other hand, there are those sleep-
ing right now who have accomplished virtu-
ally nothing today, but have dotle so with
such focus and dedication that they, too, feel
it is their right to slumber.
Then there are others who will not sleep
at all - sleep-lorderers, not to be confused
with sleep-lords. These sleep lorderers will
try to lord the size of their sleep deficit over
whomever they can, as if they are better
people, or at least more worthy of pity,
because of their ability to survive without
sleep.
Similar to this group are the seasonal
recluses, people who are out and about doing
stuff during most of the semester, but now
confine themselves either to their rooms or a
cubicle in the Grad, thinking that if they
don't talk to anyone until they take their
exams, the chance that they'll be able to
absorb and remember three months' worth
of information in a week's worth of studying
is increased.
Then there are those who feel the need to
reach out during this time, and call friends
they haven't hung out with all year except
for that first week of school when they

diligently "did" lunch or coffee and "caught
up" on each other's lives. Now, at the end of
the semester, they want to "do" lunch or
coffee again, so that the next time they
accidentally bump into each other, they'll be
able to marvel at the fact that they haven't
seen each other since right before Christmas
-although actually, with ourextended win-
ter break this year. the end of classes aren t
right before Christmas at all.
Productive procrastinators come out of
the woodwork these days as well, as evi-
denced by the increased 'iumber of mes-
sages in my Pine "Inbox." They're the ones
who feel a lot better about not doing their
school work if they do other valuable stuff
instead. Living with productive procrastina-
tors means that the kitchen will always be
clean this week, and if things get really bad,
the bathrooms may follow.
The thing about this collective body of
school work looming ahead of us in the
coming week is, we can tell ourselves that
eventually it will all get done - even if it
doesn't, eventually it will all be over.
But these words of wisdom may not
prove sufficient consolation for the masses,
especially since finishing classes so early
this year simply means we're home that
much longer ...
- Judith Kafka can be reached over >-
mail atjkafka@umich.edu.

MATT WIMSATT

MOOIE'S DILEMMA

FOR G NcASUATE' W H AMERMk'\

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'You would like to
believe that when
the president
says something
that you can,
count on that
statement to be
true.'
- University Regent
,Andrea Fischer Newman
(R-Ann Arbor), reacting
to apparently deceptive
assertions by President
James J. Duderstadt

A threat to federalism

VIEWPOINT
Flippant use of 'Nazi' cheapens history

Court correct to reject
n Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court re-
jected Colorado's attempt to withhold
Medicaid funds for abortions in cases of rape
and incest. The ruling is well-timed and ab-
solutely appropriate. The issues the Colo-
rado case brought to the court are threefold,
and the court's latest ruling should be inter-
preted as a warning to states that are trying to
wrest power from the U.S. government and
effectively challenge federalism.
The first issue, and the backbone of the
court's ruling, is that states cannot partici-
pate in a federal program and then pick and
choose which of its guidelines to follow.
Current Medicaid policy bans funding for
abortion except in cases of rape, incest or a
danger to maternal health. Colorado had cho-
sen to receive Medicaid funds from Con-
gress, but took it upon itself to write its own
laws on how the funds could be used. Such
actions are in direct contrast to the system of
federalism in place for more than 200 years.
It is both naive and unfair to request federal
funds and then withhold them from citizens
based on state politics.
- The case also exemplifies the dangers
inherent in handing over control of Medicaid
and Medicare to states in the form of block
grants. Citizens of one state could be left at
the whim of reactionary conservative poli-
cies, whereas residents of another state may
continue under the status quo. The purpose of
wMedicaid is to provide a safety health net for
the less privileged, not be used as a football
for moralist concerns. Colorado's attempt to

Colo. abortion policy
withhold funds was a political move that
ignored the ramifications such a precedent
would set. If full control of Medicaid were
handed over to a state government with a
recent history ofbackward conservatism such
as Colorado, it is reasonable to assume that
Medicaid would cease to exist.
The restrictions on abortion funding them-
selves are morally abhorrent. The Hyde
Amendment, which has been in place since
1976, originally barred federal funding for
all abortions. It was modified in 1993 to
provide for cases of rape, incest or the
mother's health. This law egregiously denies
poorer women access to a safe and legal
medical practice, discriminating on the basis
of economic status. As long as abortion is
legal, there is no excuse for not making it safe
and accessible. Using a federal health pro-
gram to assault abortion rights is far beyond
reprehensible. Giving states leeway to deter-
mine further which medical procedures the
poor may receive -- while the well-to-do
have the ability to pay and thus access to
comprehensive care - is unfair and runs
contrary to the very idea ofequality on which
Medicaid was founded.
Governors and state legislatures - many
of whom have taken it upon themselves to
declare states independent of the federal gov-
ernment - must take notice of this prece-
dent. As long as a state continues to receive
and depend on federal funds, it has no right to
hold government services hostage to its own
discriminatory whims.

By Stephanie Jo Klein
White males are running
scared these days.aThey seem to
feel their dominance is being
threatened by oppressive forces
and Nazi-like regimes made of
militant females and "uppity"
minorities.
I beg to differ.
People from outside the old-
boy network of bald, fat, white
men who make strides toward
racial and gender equity have
nothing to do with the totalitari-
anism of Nazi Germany from
1932-45.
As a female, I take it as a
personal affront when I hear men
andwomen who strive forchange
in America's governmental sys-
tem equated with a movement of
brutal, genocidal killers who
sought racial purity.
Stephanie .Io Klein is
" LS.l solphomore and
a Dail staff reporter.

I have often heard the term
"femi-nazi"used on campus to
describe feminist groups. I hax e
most often heard this term used
against NWROC, the National
Women's Rights Organizing Coa-
lition.
A group that prints "No free
speech for fascists!" on many of
its signs, NWROC is an easy tar-
get. At rallies opposing the Ku
Klux Klan, members threw
bottles, rattled fences and got
maced. Their tactics. one could
say, are less than subtle.
At other times, they have pro-
tested peacefully and encouraged
participation in governmnent, on
cases such as Jennifer Ireland's
fight to maintain custody of her
child. Shouts of anger at an op-
pressive court system that tried to
keep a child away from hermother
because the mother had a social
life and went to school are not
surprising. In protesting male at-
tempts to dominate females in

such cases. NWROC members
hardly deseve the label "ferni-
nazis." I ould never call a man
who protested based oan his be-
liefs a "mascu-nazi." Chauvinist.
maybe, but one must keep things
in perspective. NWROC's tac-
tics often detract from their argu-
ments, but they are not Nazis.
Conservative Republican ra-
dio guru Rush Limbaugh uses the'
term "femi-nazi" freely and fre-
quently. Mr. Limbaugh loves to
insult feminists and}people who
support affirmative action pro-
grams. Like many other mem-
bers of his cowardly political
party, he says affirmative action'
destroys the "meritocracy" of
America. ie fears that qualified
people who have not been given
prior employment opportunities
due to systemic discrimination
could take his job.
This is not reverse discrimi-
nation and it most certainly is not
a subversix e attempt at oppress-

ing another class or race ofpeople
like the Nazis did.
I have heard- Gloria Stein' e
called a "femi-nazi" because sh
dares speak her mind and foste
female empowerment. I havt
heard Mark Fuhrman called
Nazi because he possibly tam
pered with police evidence 'an
used a racial slur. I have evet
heard the late Israeli Prime Min
ister Yitzhak Rabin parallefe
with Nazis for his dealings with
Palestinians.
None of these people hav<
anything to do with Nazis. I
trivializes the term when we-usi
it in everyday speech or whes wi
disagree with someone. Fuhrmai
is clearly a racist, but he has'no
where near the power of the terri
tying mmindset that allowedan
encouraged the burning, gassing
and mass burials of more than
million Jews, Catholics, Poles
Gypsies and homosexuals.
I hope no one ever does.

LETTERS

Data dilemma
lurks on-line
To the Daily:
All I wish to do in this letter is
draw your attention to a growing
aspect of our society I feel should
be more closely examined by all
citizens - the growth of a new
identity that each person has in
cyberspace. In particular, per-
sonal documents and data stored
on-line raise the questions of just
how safe is this data, and just who
has the power to examine it.
First, I ask you the reader to
take out your Michigan identity
card, and examine the back ...
yes, I am serious, go ahead. If you
look, you will see your Social
Security number printed on the
t -^, A ,*, ;- t n v - 2 nr..

what departments can see what
portions of your files'? Certainly
the University promises security,
but how careful are they, how
closely do they really review ac-
cess privileges to your records?
For example, think of your e-
mail. Where is the actual physical
data that makes up your e-mail
stored? Most likely on this cam-
pus, in one of several mail servers
on campus, whose sole duty is to
sort and deliver e-mail. But this
means your e-mail isn't really
secure from examination by the
University if they wish, it is only
as secure as they permit. In other
words, the University regulates
itself on how e-mail is treated,
and whatever privacy your e-mail
appears to have, or actually has,
relies entirely on their whim.
)T l l-.- f: 1/l. - a P :t n - tl

considered? As well, how do you.
feel knowing at any time some-
one might be able to just pop into
your e-mail box and check up on
you, see how you are doing?
Then of course there is the
question: Does the University
store your e-mail? For those who
remember, the University at one
point lost some servers due to
mechanical failure, and several
accounts lost access to their files,
but all was well because the staff
at ITD were able to restore all the
lost files off their backups. This is
good policy, but also should make
you wonder, just hoV much of
my e-mail is backed up? Did you
intrinsically agree by having an
e-mail account at the University
that they in turn had the right to,
keep your e-mail in storage?,
P:inll. t.,n nfthic Wat of

records of your life. How ruc
control of your future do y~ou re~
ally have, how safe is the data yo
rely on'?
As a close, I only ask yodsto
after reading this for five minute
and ask yourself this question
how many records involving m
exist, and where? Who has them
and why are they being stared
Ponder on that for a minute, anc
you may find I sound~a little lest
paranoid after all.
Ed Chusid
LSA first-year student
Thanks, Blue!
To the Daily:
This letterofthanks isdirecte
to the Michigan football team an
to all of the fans that cheerei

How TO CONTACT THEM
Send written comments about the presidential search to:
Secretary of the University
2012 Fleming Administration Building
Ann Arhor M 48109-1 344

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