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September 28, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


TitAi r A

Local
lawmakers:
Keep eye
on Lansing
By Ronnie G assberg
Daily Staff Reporter
Two state Democratic lawmakers told
a group of students yesterday not to ig-
nore Lansing politics while turning their
attention to proposed federal cuts.
"Everything they're doing in Wash-
ington is also happening in Lansing," said
state Rep. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor). "At
least in Washington, we hope that Presi,
dent Clinton will veto some of the abys-
mal stuff they're doing."
The state House, Senate and
governor's office are all controlled by
the Republican party.
Brater, along with state Sen. Alma
Wheeler Smith (D-South Lyon), spoke
to a meeting of the College Democrats
last night and criticized legislation that
would weaken state environmental laws.
One bill would permit exposure to
toxins that would cause cancer in one of
100,000 - down from the current level
of one in 1 million.
"When we access risk for cancer, we
do it based on the average 70-kilo white
male," said Brater, a former mayor of
Ann Arbor.
Smith asserted that Republicans -
with only a two-vote margin in the
House - are pushing through legisla-
tion in case they lose control.
"We're doing things fast because
they're not sure they're going to have a
majority in '96," Smith said.
Voters elected Brater and Smith to
office last November.
Smith also said that while reductions
in financial aid are at the federal level,
thecuts wouldhave alocal impact. "We
will further see a division between the
haves and the have-nots. We are losing
the middle class," she said.
Peter Harbage, co-chair of the College
Democrats, said students should concen-
trate on state and federal government.
"It seems that we're more focused on
the federal government because of the
student loan programs," Harbage said.
"The environment, I think, is the key
thing on the state level. I think that's
something we really need to focus on."

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 28, 1995 - 5A
Alcohol polic
a works, offi ssay

ELIZABETH LIPPMAN/Daily
Prop shop
Cindi Blank, a first-year graduate student In set design, sands down a PVC pipe in the Power Center's prop shop.U
Rally speakers call state dru law unjust

By Will Weissert
For the Daily
After one year in existence, the
University's Policy on Alcohol and
Other Drugs has been extremely suc-
cessful because it seems to please ev-
eryone, University officials say.
Instead of condemning drinking and
using drugs outright, the policy trusts stu-
dents to make responsible decisions, said
Associate Dean ofStudents Delores Sloan.
"We're not into abstinence," Sloan
said. "But we want people to know that
drinking too much and doing other drugs
can lead to serious problems."
The Division of Student Affairs
started work on the policy in May 1993
with the intent to "create a set of rules
that indicated that we wanted our stu-
dents to be aware of the effects of alco-
hol," Sloan said.
When the policy was implemented,
Sloan said officials in Student Affairs
felt that sufficient sanctions were .al-
ready provided in the University's
broader code of non-academic conduct
and saw no need to provide additional
sanctions against students.
Sloan said the policy contains "more
principles and values than consequences.
We didn't want to say if you get caught
drinking then this or that happens.''
The policy dictates that students
found drinking illegally or using illegal
drugs on or within 30 miles of campus
are to appear before the University ju-
dicial system. The judicial system is
then in charge of deciding appropriate
sanctions for each individual case.
The policy has very little jurisdiction
over events on many parts ofcampus. For
example, ifa student is caught drinking or
using drugs in a residence hall , Univer-

sity Housing rules apply, not the policy.
The policy also does not cover activi-
ties within fraternity or sorority houses.
Interfraternity Council Coordinator
Terry Landes said the Greek system has-
its own policy, which has been in place
for nearly five years.
Landes explained that the Greek
system's policy concentrates on organiza-
tions as a whole, unlike the University's
policy, which concentrates more on indi-
viduals. Among other things, the Greek
housing policy outlaws the possession of
an alcohol container larger than two liters
(such as a keg) in any Greek house on
campus and contains sanctions against:
houses violating Greek system rules.
Concerning jurisdiction, Sloan said,
"I don't want our policy to sound like
only a general cover with no power.
Our goal was only to educate students
and increase awareness."
Sloan said Student Affairs has nat
received any major complaints frd!i
either student groups or faculty orgai-,
nations since the policy became effec-
tive, nor had the committee needed to
make any major changes in the policy.
Sloan said it has been so effectiye
that other colleges and universitieshWVe
obtained copies of it to use as a model
when drafting their own policies.
Some question whether a policy that
does little more than provide informa-
tion be effective against the abuse'of
alcohol and other drugs.
"I think the policy should be very
specific about all aspects of drugs aInd
alcohol," said LSA first-year student
Rebecca Jacobs."It has to have specific
guidelines so people won't interpret it
the wrong way."

LANSING (AP) - Linda Fannon
says her son was never in trouble until
he was tempted by $32,000 shown to
him by an undercover agent. Now, he's
spending the rest of his life in prison as
a drug king pin under Michigan's man-
datory drug laws.
"It's unconstitutional and it's unjust..
People deserve to have a second chance,"
said Fannon of Westland as she held a
sign that read, "Free Gary Fannon Now"
at a Capitol rally yesterday.
Fannon urged repeal of a Michigan
law setting a mandatory sentence of life
in prison with no parole for anyone
convicted of delivering or conspiring to
deliver a mixture of at least 650 grams
containing heroin or cocaine. That
amounts to about 1.4 pounds.
One lawmaker influential in crime-
related legislation promised the penalty
would get scrutiny from the Senate Ju-
diciary Committee before the end of the
year.
"I do think it deserves debate," said
committee chairman Sen. William Van
Regenmorter (R-Jenison).
"I also think it is a very serious crime."
Van Regenmorter said his panel is

the first to ever hold hearings on the law
and is seeking to determine whether the
measure is snaring major drug dealers.
"But in all of this, I think we have to
take a look at what is in the best inter-
ests of public protection. Is life without
parole, our penalty for first-degree
murder, a just penalty for this crime?"
he said.
Van Regenmorter said he has formed
no opinion on that question yet and
could not predict whether any changes
will be made.
The Michigan law, passed in 1978,
has put about 200 people behind bars as
of January, according to the Michigan

Department of Corrections.
But Fannon said too many of them
are first-time offenders like her son,
who was 18 when he was arrested eight
years ago.
"If he'd have murdered somebody,
he would be home by now," she said.
She called the measure an ineffective
way of tackling the drug problem.
"We did not get millions of people to
stop smokingby putting them in prison.
We didn't get people to stop driving
drunk by putting them in prison for-
ever. We can't stop the drug problem by
putting people in prison forever," she
said.

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