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September 19, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-19

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 19, 1995
~~Iie SiriaU U~



1345 Washtenaw
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors


Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial hoard. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Student son panels
Plan would assure student input in academics

t a meeting of the Senate
dvisory Committee last week for Uni-
versity Affairs, Michigan Student Assembly
President Flint Wainess made a proposal
that, if implemented, would greatly increase
student influence on University academics.
His recommendation to put students on the
executive committee of every school and
college at the University is an important part
of an ongoing trend toward greater student
involvement. In theory, it is an excellent idea
but like many excellent ideas, it may run
into serious pitfalls in practice.
Many University students now have a fair
amount of control over what they are taught
and by whom. This is especially true at the
two largest colleges: LSA and Engineering.
In LSA, there has been student representa-
tion on the curriculum committee for many
years. Students have been involved on highly
charged issues such as the Pass/Fail option,
experiential credit and individual courses
offered by the college.
At the more progressive College of Engi-
neering, students not only help decide these
curriculum issues, but serve on the Advisory
Committee on Information and Technology
and a new committee charged with overhaul-
ing the college's undergraduate program. In'
addition, a student disciplinary committee is
influential in enforcing the college's honor
code. Student input is also solicited in deci-
sions on granting tenure to faculty members.
Unfortunately, such favorable conditions
for student input do not exist in every school.
At many of the smaller schools, such as Art
and Law, there is no student involvement
other than on an ad-hoc basis. In fact, even at

the larger schools the substantial amount of
student involvement is limited to advisory
committees. Even though these committees
may exert a great deal of indirect influence,
they have no direct decision-making power
anywhere on campus. "In the end," said
Wainess, "the place where policy is actually
made has no students."
By placing students on every executive
committee, Wainess hopes to change this
condition. To do so would have the added
long-term benefit of producing a constitu-
tional framework for greater student control
across the University. However, the plan
could run into serious obstacles in its imple-
mentation. First, it would no doubt meet
strong opposition by the faculty of the vari-
ous colleges, many of whom see the execu-
tive committee as sacred territory on which
they do not want students treading. The fact
that reforming committee membership re-
quires a vote of current members could pose
a serious obstacle.
From a logistical standpoint, the execu-
tive committee usually requires a major time
commitment. In LSA, teaching and research
requirements are scaled back for faculty
members who serve on the committee. In
Engineering, committee members are as-
signed to a four-year term to preserve conti-
nuity in the college's governance.
In his proposal, Wainess is presenting a
major challenge to both students and faculty.
There are clearly problems in his proposal,
which need to be ironed out. On the whole,
however, Wainess' suggestion is bold, inno-
vative and long overdue. It should be moved
quickly into policy.

Thump. Thump.Thump.
Boom-da-da-boom. Da-da-boom.
You've finally sat down for a quiet hour
of reading when the noise begins. Either
King Kong has just moved in upstairs, or
your big-footed neighbor is playing his mu-
sic again.
Young adulthood is a time for wonder,
for exploration, for making your way in the
world and for telling your fellow dorm or
apartment dwellers to shut the hell up. Even
if your neighbors are decent, quiet people,
they still have to walk around, blow their
noses, flush the toilet, and do any number of
things that carry through the flimsy sound-
proofing of apartment walls with no effort
whatsoever. Is it live, or is it next door?
It's amazingjust howmany noises people
manage to make in adjacent rooms. Over the
years, I've decided that there are at least
eight different types of neighbors:
*The Wanderers. These charmers sound
like they're going to break through the ceil-
ing every time they walk around - they
either wear 20-pound combat boots or take
really heavy steps. Not only that, but they
walk around a lot, sounding like they're
moving their large collection of paper clips
off their desk one by one. Either that or
they've just bought a book called How to
Lose Weight While Cooking ("Time the
souffle by pacing back and forth ... next,
move each spaghetti strand from the strainer
to the plate one by one ...")
® The Magical Mystery Neighbors.
Known to make baffling noises at all hours
of the night. Provides hours of non-stop
entertainment for you and your roommates
while you guess What the Hell That Noise

Is. What are they doing, anyway - bowl-
ing? Doing a ritual dance? Putting up a tent
in the living room (and nailing in the spikes?)
Mud wrestling with the alligators that have
crawled through the toilet?
The Music Lover. Prone to blast Milli
Vanilli at 4 a.m., usually the day before your
chemistry final. This type also creates the
Essential Contradiction ofNeighborly Noise:
when you knock on their door to ask them to
turn the stereo down, they can't hear you
knock, because the stereo is so loud. It's also
difficult to know how polite and/or rude to
be when getting people to quiet down. Do
you threaten to call in Dan Quayle and the
Indiana National Guard? Or do you take the
diplomatic approach? "Hi, I'm your down-
stairs neighbor, very nice to meet you,
charmed, I'm sure. Listen, I was just won-
dering, I like Milli Vanilli as much as the
next guy, but could I trouble you to turn your
stereo down just a tad? I have an exam
tomorrow which, well, my life depends on.
Thank you very much. Good-bye, now."
The Loud Lovers. We all know these:
the moaners, the screamers, and the har-
monic frequency of the headboard slam-
ming against the wall. These are annoying
most of the time and intolerably distressing
when you haven't gotten laid in a while.
The Perpetual Party. For these neigh-
bors, fun requires the addition of 500 of their
closest friends. One friend of mine was
watching a movie while a party rollicked on
upstairs ("It was a loud movie, so we didn't
really mind," he said.) But then all 50-odd
souls upstairs started dancing in time -and
the ceiling fan started moving in time itself,
two or three inches with every stomp. Need-
less to say, he then raced upstairs to inform

the partiers that since their dancing might
soon take an unexpected detour downward,
they should choose a less collective means
of expressing themselves.
The Couch Potato. Deceptively quiet
and unobtrusive in appearance, this neigh-
bor has been deafened by years of sitting in
front of the tube. Thus you will be treated to
the emotional hollering of talk show guests,
the shrieks of game show winners, and the
boomingtones oftabloid journalists forhours
on end. The "wham-boing!" of the "Current
Affair" seal carries through walls especially
The Sports Fans. There's no need to
watch the game -just listen for the deafen-
ing whoops, cheers, stomping around, and
yelling when your team scores. When some-
thing goes wrong, prepare to see people
falling past your window. In truth, none of
this is really necessary: The volume is turned
up so loud on the TV that you can hear more
color sports commentary than you ever
wanted. This also works if you live close to
Michigan Stadium.
The Invisible Man (or Woman). Al-
though you hear the occasional noise, you
never see this neighbor, leading you to ques-
tion his or her existence. This is a great
guessing game, too: alien from the next star
system'? A vampire who turns into a bat and
flies out the window? Or just extraordinarily
shy? Personally, I go for the alien hypoth-
esis: With any luck, they'll abduct the rest of
the neighbors, finally making the planet safe
to read a good book.
- Jean Twenge can he reached at



- - 4

'This has been a
sad couple of days
for Ann Arbor.'
-- City Councilmember
Jane Lumm (R-2nd
Ward), alluding to the
council's search for a city

Families devalued
Social policy masquerading as welfare reform

he U.S. Senate has undertaken real wel
fare reform this past week in a genuine
effort to circumvent the downward spiral of
dependence many mothers have on public
aid. By vetoing the so-called family cap, the
Senate avoided using children born to al-
ready cash-strapped mothers as a means to
punish illegitimacy. Through the passage of
child care legislation, the Senate has made
women better able to afford child care - and
thus the ability to earn, to save and to become
Previous attempts to reconstruct the
welfare system have lacked the focus on the
root cause of need: Mothers on welfare can-
not work and care for their children at the
same time without assistance. Breaking from
the tradition of attempting to remedy the
irreparable, the Senate is considering anoint-
ing the states with the power to experiment
with welfare programs. Under Sen. Pete
Domenici's(R-N.M.) proposal, federal block
grants would be given to each state free of
national regulation. The Senate's recent so-
lutions to the welfare trap will provide women
with the ability to make the transition from
welfare to work.
Heated debate over the family cap issue
revealed the hypocrisy of Republican expec-
tations of the welfare mother. Cast by con-
servatives as "reckless, irresponsible"
weights on taxpayers, mothers receiving
governmental aid bore the brunt of the Re-
publican ire while paternal responsibility
went unmentioned. The Christian Coalition
naively advocated the cap as a measure to
deter future illegitimate births. Yet this right-
wing faction adamantly opposes sex educa-

tion, dissemination of contraceptives, abor-
tion and aid to impoverished mothers. With-
holding federal and state funds to uphold
extremist social policy is wrong.
The first step toward self reliance is the
ability to hold a job and to pocket earnings.
Motherhood should not be a sentence of
imprisonment by poverty. The lack ofafford-
able child care keeps many mothers on wel-
fare. Women now work to afford child care
- so that they can work. Child care subsidies
will help shatter this vicious circle.
Armed with block grants, states will be
able to target the needs of each community
and tailor innovative welfare programs to
meet them. Experimentation will allow for
increased understanding for and solutions to
the uniqueness of each woman's need. The
"bonus amendment" sponsored by Sen. Spen-
cer Abraham (R-Mich.), to be voted on later
this week, would offer an unspecified mon-
etary reward to states that keep illegitimate
birth rates down while not increasing the
number of abortions performed. A reward for
solving a problem before it becomes one is a
novel idea for government and should be
applauded. While governors request that the
grants come to them with no strings attached,
some federal guidelines should be prescribed.
The drive to reform the welfare system has
spawned some innovative proposals - and
rare displays of bipartisan cooperation. A
few final words of caution, however: Con-
gress must ensure that programs that keep
children from becoming victims of welfare.
such as WIC, school lunch programs, and aid
to families with dependent children do not
face the chopping block.

84RC yq o GAR Y



Contract With
America aims
at more than
social welfare
To the Daily:
The Daily's Sept. 8 editorial
"Reviewing the Contract" cor-
rectly states the danger the Con-
tract With America continues to
pose to education, worker train-
ing, and social programs. How-
ever, the Contract goes much fur-
ther than merely "bludgeoning
essential social programs." The
Contract With America is a full
frontal assault by Corporate
America and wealthy elites, dis-
guised in a twisted maze of com-
plex, Orwellian-titled bills.
Among the long list of proposals
which the Daily failed to address,
are craftily concealed provisions
to vastly increase military spend-
ing, to eliminate the need for po-
lice warrants, to cut the capital
gains tax in half, to give a $500
tax cut per child to families mak-
ing $200,000 a year and to dra-
matically limit the ability of the
government to protect our envi-
ronment. These regressive and
frightening attacks aretnot a Con-
tract With America; they are a
Contract "On" America.
But the Contract "On"
America is more than a legisla-
tive attack. It will also be the core
platform plank of whichever An-
gry White Male happens to be
chosen as the Republican presi-
dential candidate. Candidate
as wil ikelebrac racins t

lesbians and bisexuals, workers
and our environment.
Our fall mass meeting will be
held on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7
p.m. in Room 120 of Hutchins
Hall (Law School at State &
Monroe). We encourage all con-
cerned campus and community
members to attend our mass meet-
ing, to work with CACOA to re-
sist the Republican assault, and
to fight for real progressive
Hays Eilisen
Second-year Law student
Marti Bombyk
Visiting associate profes-
sor, School of Social Work
Coalition Against the
Contract "On" America
workers face
To the Daily:
We would like to set the record
straight. The press coverage of
The Detroit News and Detroit Free
Press strike has obscured the main
issues at stake. What should be
discussed is the extent of police
and company aggression against
the workers, both physical and
We were on the picket lines
the last few Sturdiavs. Numer-

uncertain financial standing have
forced the unions to concede
nearly 400 jobs. However, in the
last year, the newspapers made
more than $1 million a week
profit. Thus, rather than acqui-
esce to unfair company demands,
the coalition of unions represent-
ing the workers decided to strike.
The union-busting tactics be-
ing used in Detroit are typical of
a rash of attacks on the right of
workers to organize and bargain
collectively. Workers, however,
are fighting back.
Ifyou would like to learn more
about the Detroit strike or offer
support, write newssupport
@umich.edu. Ifyou would like to
more about other current labor
struggles, contact Student Labor
Action Coalition (SLAC) at
Ellen Schweitzer
Amy Carroll
LSA seniors
As a sport,
rowing merits
respect, not
Daily catcalls
To the Daily:
As a four-year rower and
former president of the Univer-
sity of Michigan Rowing Team
in addition to being a former pre-
elite U.S. National Team com-
petitor, I am very disappointed to
see the piece you wrote about
your obviously uninformed onin-

Mark Rothstein as the coach: Not
many nationally recognized
coaches would leave their jobs to
come to a fledging program like
this. While their is not much dif-
ference between a varsity soccer
team and a club soccer team, there
are many differences between var-
sity and club rowing teams, which
makes it hard to attract coaches
who are used to $3 million boat-
houses and lines of people wait-
ing to buy equipment for the team.
In addition, Mark Rothstein has
shown his ability very well in the
past few years and I say "Ifit ain't
broke, don't fix it." The crew
team needs most at this time
money and support from the Uni-
versity and not a new coaching
staff, especially since the Ath-
letic Department here knows very
little about rowing.
Finally, I feel it necessary to
comment on your feelings that
rowing is inconsequential. Row-
ing is becoming very big in the
Midwest. Wisconsin has been
varsity for some time and schools
such as Iowa and Ohio State are
making their women 'steams var-
sity. Rowing is also the biggest
club team on campus, with nearly
150 men and women coming out
to row every year. Do you think
100 men and women trying to
raise $150,000 to pay for their
team's expenses while also main-
taining their status as being one
of the best teams in the Midwest
and one of the best club teams in
the nation is inconsequential? As
for myself, I would not be a stu-
dent at the University of Michi-
gan Medical School if it wasn't
for my experiences with rowing.
As for your article, I hope you do

University Housing Division
A nn I im nc, - mto r iro +~

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