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September 20, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-20

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4- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 20, 1995

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1 :3

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

a Opportucnity knocks on the
door oft brave new world

uless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Guaranteedcode loan
Duderstadt's adopt-a-code plan a mistake

something has been working at an-
other large university for 20 years, it
could certainly work here." So goes the logic
according to President James J. Duderstadt
for adopting an interim student code of con-
duct from another university if the student
committee on revamping the code fails to
present an adequate revision to the Board of
Regents. Duderstadt's logic is flawed. Even
if the newly proposed code is unacceptable,
adopting an interim student code of non-
academic conduct at the
October regents meeting
from another large uni- I Z J$ g

only make matters worse.
If the University adopts an interim code
from another school, students will have to
abide by a code that they did not help create
- effectively eliminating the student voice
from any such code. But the regents have
made it clear to Hartford that a code written
without student input is unacceptable. How,
then, is a generic document going to be a
satisfactory replacement?
Harvard University's equivalent to the

emco van Eeuwjik, however unwit-
tingly, created a Vision last week of a
society driven almost entirely by consider-
ations of race and gender. It is strange that he
did something so important and interesting
partly because he is a Michigan Student
Assembly representative, but mainly because
he did not intend to do anything other than
come up with a "representative" Budget
Priorities Committee.
The BPC makes recommendations to the
full assembly about funding for student
groups. It determines, with the assembly's
approval, which groups get money and how
much they get. The BPC has a chair, a vice
chair and eight members. Van Eeuwijk, a
Rackham representative in the assembly, is
chairperson this year. To him fell the task of
choosing committee members. Since he
doesn't like "ad hockery," he created a sys-
tem by which points would be assigned to
each applicant, thereby taking the decision
out of his hands and exonerating him before
the fact of any charge of personal bias.
Van Eeuwijk used "observable" traits:
prior experience, gender, race and school.
Females got one point, males none for the
gender category; non-whites got one point
for race while whites got none; prior experi-
ence got one point, none got none. For school,
each applicant got one over n, n being equal
to the number ofapplicants from that school.
There were about nine from LSA, so LSA
students got one-ninth of a point in that
category. Sexual orientation was not a factor

because it wasn't observable.
According to van Euwijk, these shenani-
gans were supposed to yield a new and
improved BPC, representative of the student
body. Even if it wouldn't be perfect, it would
be different from last year when the commit-
tee was lily white.
After the committee was approved, some-
one pointed out that it had no Jews. "There
were probably some categories I didn't think
of," said van Eeuwijk. Right. Like a quarter
of the campus.
The point isn't that this would have been
a good system if accounted for every "cat-
egory." The significance - in fact, the only
significance - of this year's BPC is that it
raises the question: How should we decide
who gets hired and fired, admitted and pro-
moted, accepted, elected and rejected?
Van Eeuwijk attempted to answer that
question with his own system, since MSA
rules don't provide guidelines for commit-
tee selection. He thought it would be a change
from partisan politics and the old-boy net-
work. But he was also playing a form of
race-based politics by trying to make sure
that "no group feels like the deck is stacked
against them (when they apply for funding)
because they're a black nationalist group or
a feminist group or even a white nationalist
group." There are two problems with this:
First, I think white nationalist groups should
feel that the deck is stacked against them,
and second, I find it very dehumanizing.
Discrimination on the basis of race and

gender is wrong. Discrimination on the basis
of merit is desirable. Van Eeuwijk's system
uses the bad discrimination to discourage
the good kind. Like other affirmative action
and diversity programs, as currently prac-
ticed, its defining characteristic is its use of
a person's race and gender as a qualification.
Van Eeuwijk's system may be a stark ex-
ample of quota-based thinking, but the con-
cept behind it is typical. It is the logical
result ofthis country's (andthis University's)
struggle to deal with racism which, ironi-
cally, has not decreased our preoccupation
with race but merely changed its nature.
We can't figure out why the BPC was
all white last year but we can fix things so it
doesn't happen that way again. Never mind
the underlying social reasons. Just get some
minorities. Unfortunately for all of us, that
kind of thinking is being exposed for the
chicanery it is. It has robbed the civil rights
movement of its moral thunder, allowing the
far right to take the high ground, however
ingenuously, on racial issues.
So what's the answer? Go back to the
good old days of networking? Back to the
early form of affirmative action that relied
on increasing opportunities rather than
achieving certain outcomes? Or pure color-
blindness- ifanybody believes it possible?
I don't know. But one thing's for cer-
tain. The current race-based thinking leads
straight to van Eeuwijk's brave new world.
- Jordan Stancil can be reached over
e-mail at rialto@umich.edu

versity would result in a
Since the regents di-
rected the Division of
Student Affairs to rewrite
the code, the results of
endless committees, fo-
rums and laughable stu-

'lLi r?.< . vLl.W'3.:++A.6 Y~fCFV '7sC.'fhhF4C
... " .:

University's code,
which is included in
its 100-page "Student
Handbook," is very
similar to the
University's existing
code. Why import a
code from Harvard
with the same flaws
the University has

dent surveys have been fruitless. The work
group has attempted to communicate with
students, but failed to reach even an adequate
percentage of students. With the October
deadline looming ever near, the administra-
tion is not surprisingly conceding defeat on
the summer forum -and the entire rewriting
The University needs to show that it can
handle its own affairs. By lifting a conduct
code from another school, the University
would essentially admit it is incapable of
resolving tensions between students and the
administration here. Students will correctly
see the work group and Hartford's efforts -
and ultimately, the leadership of the Univer-
sity - as a failure if their proposed code
flops. And pirating yet another code would

been unable to rem-
edy for two years? This would defeat the
purpose of dumping the old code, creating a
student-friendly policy on non-academic con-
Furthermore, if the University does adopt
an interim code, there is no guarantee that the
Division of Student Affairs will continue its
work on a new code. An interim policy might
become a permanent mistake. The "need to
have appropriate guidelines in place (by Oc-
tober)," of which Duderstadt spoke must not
override the need for continuing aggressive
efforts to create a code satisfactory to all
parties - but especially for students.
The University is unique. It is not Harvard,
Stanford or Berkeley. Students cannot be
expected to tolerate a conduct code designed
at the hands of outsiders.



'r I


* x~x1



'You print It and
he doesn't kill
anyone else;
that's a pretty
good deal. You
print it and he
continues to kill
people, what have
you lost? The cost
of newsprint?'
-Arthur . Sulzberger
Jr., publisher of The New
York Times, referring to
the decision to print the
Unabomber's manifesto

t" "


The gift that keeps on giving.
f jj

Time to START
Congress is impeding treaty ratification


The world watched in amazement in Janu-
ary 1993 when President George Bush
and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed
the far-ranging START II treaty. Coupled
with the earlier START I treaty, START II
marked an historic agreement between the
United States and Russia to reduce their
nuclear arsenals by two-thirds. Congress
readily ratified the START I treaty and it
went into effect last December. However,
Congress is now dragging its feet in ratifying
The first obstacle to the ratification of
START II arose when members of Congress
tacked onto a defense authorization bill a
provision mandating the deployment of a
"multi-site national missile defense system."
This plan, which critics have described as a
defense boondoggle on par with the discred-
ited Star Wars fantasy, would have cost bil-
lions to construct. Many defense officials
consider it impractical and ineffective. Be-
yond the downfalls of the proposed system,
the Russian national legislature deemed it a
violation of the spirit of START II and has
vowed to hold up its ratification as long as
Congress insists on implementing it.
'Last week, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
successfully led a vote to eliminate the anti-
missile system from the defense authoriza-
tion bill. That move was received warmly by
University Regent Daniel Horning
(R-Grand Haven)
600 S. Beacon Blvd.
l- r mn - A 0mm A A 4 7

both Russia and the White House.
However, not all is in place for a speedy
ratification of START II. Sen. Jesse Helms
(R-N.C.) has also put the treaty in his cross-
hairs. He has vowed to keep START II bottled
up in the Senate Foreign Relations Commit-
tee - which he chairs - until the White
House agrees on a reorganization of the State
Department. Also bogged down in Helms'
committee is a 1993 treaty that would ban all
arsenals of chemical weapons.
The United States, long a preacher to the
world on the evils of nuclear proliferation
and testing, has often been accused of saying
one thing, yet doing another. While it aggres-
sively pushed other governments to forgo
nuclear weapons, it indulged in an arsenal of
unimaginable destructive force. Even during
recent negotiations that extended the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, the United States
had to answer to these cries of hypocrisy.
Now that the government has finally be-
gun to correct its course, congressional bun-
gling is blocking the way. Enough is enough.
The reduction of nuclear arms is no place for
domestic political cat-fights. START II is
praised by many experts as effective and
comprehensive. The reduction of mass de-
struction weapons is clearly in the interest of
all. Congress should put domestic political
quibbling aside and ratify START II.
University Regent Shirley McFee
(R-Battle Creek)
611 Jennings Landing
D a++t rraak It AQnI R

W imsatt's
To the Daily:
One question I've been pon-
dering lately is Mookie's Di-
lemma. I've decided there are two
ways of looking at this so-called
dilemma. The first is from Mr.
Wimsatt's perspective. He asks
himself before every deadline,
"How can I, a person without
much talent and virtually devoid
of a sense of humor hope to com-
pete for accolades with Jim
Lasser, a cartoonist of superior
artistic ability and greater wit?"
By the way, wasn't Gary Moeller
fired this summer? Maybe Matt
should read the newspaper and at
least be current if not original.
Since Mr. Wimsatt represents
the Daily, the dilemma can be
seen as applying to the Daily and
especially to its leadership.
Henceforth, the question may be
posed as being: How soon can
Mr. Rosenberg terminate Mr.
Wimsatt's (un)artistic career and
restore Mr. Lasser to full time?
Hopefully, the sooner the bet-
Steve Gralnes
LSA senior
Pitts dares to
challenge PC
of University
To the Daily:
Please do not be angry with
Antoine Pitts. He is not a bad
person, hejust misunderstood the
way in which freedom of speech
nna ., innr,.. 1++1 ,t.;rnn nit

sports editor,'and he is supposed
to write editorials. Never mind
that all kinds of other editorializ-
ing goes on in the sports page
(e.g. "For the second straight
week, it was the Wolverines' de-
fense which keyed their attack,"
9/18/95). Never mind that he lives
in America, land of the free. The
important thing is, he questioned
a feminist viewpoint, and that's
wrong. Antoine, you can't do that
here at Michigan -didn't you
hear the limits on the First Amend-
ment during Orientation? No?
Well, you live and learn, and now
you know not to question any-
thing that is even slightly PC.
But what about his jab at
women's sports in general? Once
again, Antoine never saw the
feminist beast rear its whining
head. We should all feel proud of
our women's sports, and we
should continue to work for equal
opportunity in athletics. Never
mind that men's gymnastics,
men's soccer, and men's volley-
ball do not have varsity status,
while their female counterparts
do. Never mind that this is a bla-
tant violation of Title IX (no dis-
crimination based on gender, re-
member sisters?), which feminists
hold dear to their hearts. The im-
portant thing is, women are not
being discriminated against.
When I read Antoine Pitts'
column, I suddenly felt in danger.
After all, he is a man, and he just
attacked feminists. That makes
him the worst kind of criminal in
Ann Arbor. What's even more
ridiculous, the police allowed him
to roam free! Thank God the
thought police's crack storm-
troopers (Alicia Smith, "Pittsdis-
plays sexism in column," and
Michele A. O'Toole, "Pitts' re-
marks offend women," 9/18/95)
made him understand the law of
the land here at the U Iniversitvo nf

but the Title IX violations are still
there. Never mind those issues,
though, let's get back to more
important things, like trying to
get Ms. Nolin and that sexist
"Baywatch" show off the air.
Courtney Faller
LSA senior
Work group
code issues
To the Daily:
President Duderstadt's state-
ment that the University may
adopt another school's non-aca-
demic conduct code ("President
considers options on code," 9/15/
95) is completely at odds with the
professed beliefs of the work
group and Vice President Hart-
ford. At the open forum on Sept.
13, both Hartford and the work
group explained that the code
being drafted will include a dec-
laration of community values de-
signed to emphasize the unique
nature ofthe University of Michi-
gan community.
Federal and state requirements
for a code say nothing about a
value declaration. The only rea-
son provided by the work group
or by Hartford for including a
value declaration in the code is
that we should not let our com-
munity be defined by outsiders.
I fail to see how adopting
Harvard's code, even as an in-
terim measure, could be consis-
tent with this goal. A policy writ-
ten for another school cannot rep-
resent the unique values of the
University of Michigan commu-
nity. If another school's code is
acceptable to the University ad-
ministration, perhaps the value
declaration is nt a itmportant as

Cho's column
picture of
MSA budget
To the Dally:
In his Sept. 18 column, "MSA
audit uncovers some surprisesin-
student money," James Cho raises
some interesting questions. How-
ever, the addition of a few facts
should help to provide a more
thorough picture-of what MSA
does, and how it spends your
First, it is important to re-
member that the mandatory fee
paid to MSA through your tuition
is decided democratically.
Through ballot questions at MSA
elections, students decide
electorally how much money
MSA deserves; MSA cannot re-
ceive more money than students
Second, not only has MSA
fee-inflation been nearly non-ex
istent, a number of years have
actually seen a decrease in our
student fee. Today, MSA's fee
remains at a paltry $2.94. Not
many students drop out of school
over those three dollars.
In addition, if Cho had talked
to more than one MSA represen-
tative, he would have learned that
the $0.36 per student that pays for
representation for University stu-
dents in Lansing, by no means
extravagant to begin with, has
been zeroed out in our proposed
1995-96 budget.
Instead, the crux ofthe money
is slated to be given to student
groups in many ways, the civic
and intellectual epicenter of this
University in the form of a
$17,000 increase.

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