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September 27, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-27

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 27, 1995

(ihe Ahrbitan itrnlg

JORDAIN STANCIL

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the

1 1

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief

JULIE BECKER
JAMES M. NASH

University of Michigan i Editorial Page Editors
Unleis 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.
Wrigt for the job

MSA inconsistent in naming new city
T he good news for the Michigan Student detail of the City Charter, he
Assembly is that, in the words of Vice taint of his actions.
President Sam Goodstein, new city liaison The assembly decided last
Andrew Wright is "clearly the best person person who represents Univers
for the job." The bad news for University their city must be someone who
students is that their elected representatives External Relations Committe
no longer consider integrity to be an impor- Rose's statement that she "di(
tant job qualification. (Wright's former wrongdoing)
MSA members last weekratified Andrew ing on this position" is laugha
Wright, an LSA representative, as the new ment can be interpreted in tw(
student liaison to the city of Ann Arbor. Last Rose does not feel that the ethi(
January the assembly voted 18-9, with six representative are significantc
abstentions, to remove Wright from the very the position of city liaison to b
sameposition as well as from his position as cant that it does not matter wh(
ExtenalRelations Committee chair. Wright's The former position is ur
removal came after the propriety and ethics person's morality affects the d
of a number of his actions were called into she makes hundreds of timesf
question.Wright'smost conspicuous offense dents should be able to trust
was his connection to $796 that was anony- representatives to distinguish
mously donated to MSA last winter. Al- and wrong. The latter possibil
though it was never proven that Wright made position is insignificant - W
the donation, his retrieval of the funds after disproved through his enthusi
the assembly refused to accept tem made year. The city liaison represen
him an accomplice, at the very leait. Wright's variety of ways, from insulati
involvement with the money levo a formal and sororities from unfair zoni
MSA. condemnation that strongly urged his to ensuring adequate off-caml
resignation. Yet eight months later, he is MSA representatives hav
back-almost where he began. themselves and let down their<
Far more disturbing than Wright's actual promoting Wright to city l
offenses is the hypocrisy and superficiality Wright may indeed be the mos
MSA demonstrated in reinstating him. MSA fled, there are surely other M
representatives agree that Wright has more who could learn to perform th
knowledge about City Hall than any other Wright did - MSA need onl
potential liason, and there is little debate that harder. The 180-degree rever
before his dismissal he performed his job shows the assembly suffers fro
well. But didn't everyone know these same disease known as "lack of con
things last year when they called for his can only hope student voters d
resignation? Even if Wright knew every last same disease before the next N

liaison
still bears the
t year that the
sity students to
can be trusted.
e Chair Fiona
Idn't think that
) had any bear-
ble. The state-
o ways: Either
cs of an elected
or she believes
e so insignifi-
o fills the post.
nacceptable; a
decisions he or
each day. Stu-
t their elected
between right
lity - that the
iright himself
astic work last
ts students in a
ng fraternities
ng regulations
pus lighting.
e embarrassed
constituents in
iaison. While
t visibly quali-
ISA members
e job as well as
ly look a little
sal on Wright
)m the political
nviction." One
don't catch the
MSA elections.

1!A 4.4ypical dy/)
he Amerftan zv
A s a senior, I get the chance to talk to a lot office buildings in America is, in the light of
of other seniors, and there seems to be eternity, of virtually no consequence what-
a general inability among all of us to think of soever. And at the end of the day everyone
anything good to do next year. All of us goes home and watches the news and gets
agree that it would be bad to get ajob or even downright pissed off about the sheer idiocy
do anything that might lead to a job, like go of Bill Clinton except they realize that in-
to law school. This is because, as the heady stead of just being an idiot what he's really
days of college draw to a close, we have doing is Committing an Assault on their
become aware, either through instinct or Rights. Then they sit around.
summer work experience, that the working The next day, The Workforce goes back
world is not a very thought-provoking place. to the same place they were the day before.
I had a real office job this summer and at One member of the Force gets on the phone
the end of the day I would get to drive home, and calls another member. The conversation
listening to the news and complaining about goes something like this:
the ineptitude of Yasushi Akashi. I decided
that things actually went way beyond inepti- Member 1: We think so-and-so doesn't
tude, all the way into A Criminal Inability to have insurance.
Act. At stoplights I would loosen my tie. Member 2: Oh. We think he does.
When I got home I would take offmy tie and Member 1: Oh. We don't have the form.
have agin and tonic. ThenI would sit around. Member 2: Oh. I'll have to call you back.
The next day I would get up and take a
shower and drive to work listening to the Member 2: So-and-so does have insur-
news and complaining about the danger of ance after all.
Newt, except it went beyond danger and was Member 1: Oh.
actually A Threat to the Survival of Our
Nation. At stoplights I would straighten my After accomplishing so much, the Work
tie. When I got to work I would eat a bagel Force goes home. But they get up again and
and drink coffee. Then I would sit around. do the same thing for 45 years. Then they
I don't remember what I did at work join the AARP, an organization set up by the
because it was inconsequential. It's not just old people to fight the young people, and go
that my own work was inconsequential; all to meetings to oppose zoning changes in
the work in the whole office was inconse- their neighborhoods. Then they drive home
quential. But that's not an insult to my former and listen to the news and complain about
office because all the work done in all the the role of defense lawyers in the Decline

LAST-DITcaAPPEAL
th e 4fye
and Fall of America. Then they sit around.
It's no wonder that we try to avoid this
"real" world. I think college students still
have something that most people over 30
have lost: expectation. When you start col-
lege you have a vague idea that something
really good is going to happen. But as time
wears on, you realize you still can't specify
what the really good thing is. It becomes
clear that, for the vast majority of people, the
really good thing never materializes. Once
you're a senior, the possibility that it even
exists seems slim. But old illusions die hard,
and we would rather buy a little time in
Europe than bite the bullet and sell securi-
ties.
I discussed this problem (the general
meaninglessness of our working lives) with
a Century 21 agent. "What did you expect?"
he said.
The way out of this mess is to be able to
answer that question. I can't yet do this, but
some people don't resign themselves to real-
ity as firmly as my Realtor friend. They
never stop looking and some are even driven
into a strange fantasy world. An example is
my uncle, who believes that Disney World is
the real world and everything else is the fake
world.
Let's hope he's right. It would mean a lot
less stress when we get back from Europe.
- Jordan Stancil can be reached over
e-mail at rialto@umich.edu.

I

JIM LASSER

SHARP AS TOAST

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'A scab
works here.'
- written in chalk by an
unknown source on the
sidewalk outside the Detroit
Free Press Ann Arbor
bureau Monday

Granting a reprieve
Congress shouldn't cut Pell Grant program

IssuEs FORUM

n the information-driven economy of the
future, education will be an important
engine ofeconomic success. Individuals will
need high levels of education to succeed in
many fields, and economies will need well-
educated workforces to be competitive. Bal-
ancing the federal budget is a worthy objec-
tive; However, Congress must not harm
higher education in the process. The issue of
student aid has become a major political
battle, with the Republi-
can congressional lead-
ership pressing ahead
with cuts, and President
Clinton threatening toS'
veto them.
This summer, both
houses of Congress
agreed to a budget resolution outlining
planned federal spending over the next six
years. The resolution detailed $10 billion in
cuts to federal student aid, including big cuts
in the Pell Grant program. This item is espe-
cially troubling - these grants provide edu-
cational stipends to students on the basis of
financial need. The House appropriation bill.
cuts the program from $6.4 billion to $5.6
billion and eliminates 280,000 students from
the program. The Clinton administration, on
the other hand, has called for $400 million in
new funds for the grants. Clinton's proposal
constitutes a wise commitment to higher
education and should be incorporated into
the final budget.
The Pell Grant program is overburdened
as it is, and Congress has not fully funded it
since 1980. In the 1987-88 academic year,
2.9 million students took advantage of the

program-by the 1993-94 year, that number
had climbed to 3.7 million. Because of the
growth of use and decline in funding, the
awards have shrunk dramatically. The maxi-
mum award as a percentage of college costs
has declined from 46 percent in 1980 to 21
percent in 1994. Adjusted for inflation, the
value of the maximum award has declined by
65 percent since 1980.
America will pay in the future for the past
15 years' neglect of the
Pell Grant program. To
further cut the program
now would be a monu-
f Um mental error. Many dis-
advantaged students
would never have had the
opportunity to attend col-
lege without such programs, which provide
outright grants and carry with them no debt.
On this issue in particular, the Republicans'
proposed cuts raise the specter of an elitist
system of higher education in America. Pell
Grants and similar programs are important
engines of upward mobility, giving young
people opportunities for education they would
not otherwise have. Cutting these grants
deeply would be a step back toward the days
when college campuses were playgrounds of
established wealth.
Cutting the deficit is an important invest-
ment in America's economic future. How-
ever, education is just as important, and Con-
gress should not turn its back on America's
students. Continuing Pell Grant funding.
would be an important component of any
sound plan to cut the deficit while preserving
America's commitment to education.

Papers right to print Unabomber manifesto

By Erin Marsh
Imagine for a moment thati
you publish a newspaper. A noto-
rious terrorist sends you a lengthy
manuscript one day, accompa-
nied by a promise to stop taking
lives IF you print this manuscript.+
Both the FBI and the attorney
general "strongly urge" you to+
comply. Your journalistic prin-;
ciples are telling you not to yield
to a terrorist. What to do? It's a+
tough call ... or is it?1
Noble journalistic values
aside, the publishers of The New
York Times and The Washington+
Post made the only plausible de-
cision between two very unat-
tractive options. They needed an
immediate decision, much like
the type of decisions that publish-
ers are called upon to make every
Marsh is an LSA sophomore.
Journalism
By Zach Gelber
Ever since the Iran hostage
crisis of 1979-80, when Ameri-
cans received daily updates of
American hostages on the evening.
news and Jimmy Carter's ap-
proval ratings plummeted to an
all-time low, terrorism has seared
the American consciousness. As
the arms race escalated in the
1980s and the Cold War waned
with a beleaguered hammer and
sickle, the United States replaced
its defeated comrades with a new
international bogeyman - ter-
rorism. When the World Trade
Center was bombed in February
1993 America's worst fears blos-
somed into a horrific reality, as
we saw six people killed and doz-
ens injured; America's vulner-
ability to terrorism was exposed
like an open wound. Just as we

day. Journalism is a volatile busi-
ness - any precedent set today
will in all likelihood not apply
tomorrow. The publishers of the
Times and Post were correct not
to be concerned with the ramifi-
cations of the publication upon
future terrorist requests. The me-
dia does not survive by second-
guessing the whims of the future
- this decision is unique to the
case and should not be applied to
the possibility of copycat occur-
rences in the future.
Second, the newspapers re-
ceived counsel from the FBI and
Janet Reno. They advised the pa-
pers to print the manifesto on the
grounds that earlier excerpt pub-
lications had "resulted in numer-
ous investigatory leads." Their
aims are simple: They want to
catch the elusive criminal and end
his 17-year bombing spree. This
shouldn't{
mess.
Last Tuesday - prodded by
Attorney General Janet Reno and
FBI Director Louis Freeh - The
New York Times and The Wash-
ington Post, arguably the nation's
two most prestigious newspapers,
collaborated in printing the
Unabomber's manifesto. As one
of the world's most elusive ter-
rorists, the Unabomber has
wreaked havoc, murdering three,
injuring 23 and recklessly de-
stroying property, while manag-
ing to avoid authorities for more
than 17 years. When the world's
most notorious terrorist threat-
ened to strike again last week, the
Times and Post acquiesced to his
demands. Although only the Post
ran the letter, the Times took equal
responsibility for the decision. In
addition, both papers agreed to

is hardly an occasion on which to
attempt to surmise the motives of
a government agency. Public 7
safety is an obvious consideration;
- and a newspaper does in fact
exist to serve and inform the pub-
lic. Denying the Unabomber'sde-
mands would have been irrespon-
sible and in flagrant disregard for
the welfare of the public. Lofty i
ideals and saved newsprint do not
amount to much when compared
with endangered lives. Though .
the word of a terrorist is not the;
voice of reason, the decision-;
makers had to assume that the
promise would be kept - what
were the alternatives? Ifthe prom-
ise to end the massacre is kept,
then the papers have lost nothing
but the cost of the insert.
"... I'm convinced we're mak-
ing the right choice between bad
options," said Times Publisher
give way to
ance of the Times and Post, the
Unabomber resolved only to
bomb with the intent of destroy-
ing property. Sounds like a fair
quid pro quo, right?
While the decisions of these
two privately run newspapers are
certainly theirs to make, the deci-
sion to print the Unabomber's
manifesto was both unethical and
unwise. Although journalism is a
form of public service, newspa-
pers should not allow themselves
to be used as the tool of govern-
ment officials. As the main con-
duit between the public and gov-
ernment officials, the press, often
referred to as the fourth branch of
government, must remain impar-
tial and uninvolved in law en-
forcement and other government
affairs.
While the ultimate decision to

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. I will
not presume to criticize the pub-
lishers of such prominent papers
as the Times and the Post -- The
New York Times is not the Star.
I have no doubt that - far from
sensationalism -they took ac-
tion in the name of protecting the
public to the extent of their abili-
ties. They made the decision re-
sponsibly, with much counsel and
consideration. In addition, thepa-
pers' editors ensured that they are
almost completely absolved of
any blame resulting from pos-
sible future attacks. They have
done their part, and in the process
have temporarily sated the
Unabomber, complied with the
request of the FBI and attorney
general and quite possibly saved
some lives. That's a pretty good
deal for the publishers, and for all
of us, for that matter.
terrorism
Director Freeh misused their
power by applying pressure to
newspaper editors and unfairly
involving them in matters of law
enforcement.
In a misguided attempt to save
lives, the difficult decision to run
the Unabomber's manifesto could
unfortunately expose newspapers
across the country to countless
future terrorist demands. While
the editors of The New York
Times and The Washington Post
justified their decisions as a spe-
cial case of humanitarianism, the
outcome of such claims is yet to
be known. Malicious lunatics
across the country cannot help
but see this incident as a personal
invitation for their terrorist fan-
cies. Acceding to the demands of
any terrorist is not only a breach
of journalistic ethics but is also

HOW TO CONTACT THEM
To voice your concerns about student aid to Congress
1-800-574-4A I D

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