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October 06, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 6, 1995

be Bidligtan &iilg

BRENT MCINTOSH

McINrros CLASSICS

420 Maynard MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by JULIE BECKER
students at the JAMES M. NASH
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless 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.

[[h ere' that manual? Notes
from the computig world

, ,, :

Afirmat=.iv
State bill would gut '1
L ast July, in the wake of political wran-
gling over the California University
system's affirmative action programs, Uni-
versity President James J. Duderstadt warned
that he would rather resign than see either of
his affirmative-action programs-the Michi-
gan Mandate designed for minorities and the
Michigan Agenda for Women - dismantled.
Judging by what is happening in Lansing,
Duderstadt's resignation may have been pro-
phetic.
Ifeither oftwo proposals before the Michi-
gan Legislature pass, both the Mandate and
Agenda for Women would be destroyed,
forcing a halt to the University's commit-
ment to affirmative action in admissions and
faculty hiring. Currently under discussion in
committee in the state House, Joint Resolu-
tion L would amend the state Constitution to
end "preferential treatment" of minorities
and women in employment, education and
public contracting. If legislators want to avoid
the hassle of a constitutional amendment,
they could approve the same motion in the
form of House Bill 4972.
Both resolutions signal a painful irony in
Duderstadt's resignation and a perilouscoutse
for proponents of affirmative action. Almost
immediately after taking office in 1988,
Duderstadt designed the Michigan Mandate,
a blueprint for diversity in admissions and
Miring of faculty at the University. He fol-
lowed this with the creation of the Michigan
Agenda for Women in 1994, aimed at im-
proving the representation of and climate for
women at the University. Since adopting the
Mandate, the proportion of minorities en-
rolled at the University has increased to an
all-time high of 24 percent in 1994, and
programs for women have also begun to be
implemented.
While regents at the University of Cali-
fornia bowed to political pressures and aban-

,e reaction
U diversity programs
doned affirmative action, Duderstadt and the
Board of Regents have stood their ground
against such politicking. The Mandate and
the Agenda, although young, have made
marked progress and have created further
programs and donations, grants and endow-
ments to the University to continue their
growth. Duderstadt's programs, the water-
mark of his tenure, must be allowed to stay in
place - because much work remains to be
done.
Passage of either Joint Resolution L or
Bill 4972 would reverse all of the substantial
gains that have been made by the Mandate
and the Agenda. Theodore Spencer, the
University's director of undergraduate ad-
missions, told The Ann Arbor News that
without efforts to promote diversity, "We
would probably lose 30-40 percent of our
Hispanics and 60-70 percent of our African
American students." The recent effort to hire
and promote women faculty would have to
be abandoned.
Ridding the University of its affirmative
action programs would deprive the school of
some of its most valuable resources. The
many different perspectives represented at
the University make for a truly rounded edu-
cation. Programs like the Michigan Mandate
and Agenda for Women help speed up the
process of inclusion in a society historically
bent on exclusion.
Any bill in the state Legislature designed
to trample on University autonomy is an
egregious abuse of political power. The state
Legislature is wrong to target successful pro-
grams that add to the quality of life at the
University simply for short-term poltical gain.
Any efforts to alter progressive University
initiatives must be stopped in committee by
sensible legislators, before politicians hos-
tile to education are allowed to destroy the
University's commitment to diversity.

O.J. Simpson.
Well, now that that's out of the way,
we can get down to the important stuff in this
week's column: information technology.
Everybody seems to be jumping on the
IT bandwagon these days.
The White House is on-line. You can
take a virtual walk through the home of the
chief. (I tried it. Sorry, guys - no Chelsea
Clinton.)
Newt Gingrich takes breaks from de-
stroying America's educational system to
quote Alvin Toffler and talk about the third-
wave society. (Uh, Newt, how are kids ever
going to read Toffler if you take away the
funding that allows them to learn to read in
the first place?)
Just about every magazine and newspa-
per in the known world is on-line. (Including
this one - if you want to read the Daily,
you'll have to check us out at http://
www.pub.umich.edu/daily/index.html. Oh,
or just read the paper you're holding. Un-
less, of course, you're already reading this
over the Web, in which case ... well, what-
ever.)
Everybody's got e-mail. Everybody.
From prince@dont.ever.call.me.that to
unabomber@intellectual.psycho.org, there's
no one you can't reach over e-mail. (Assum-
ing you can find their address - which you
can inevitably do for the city councillors of
Wellington, New Zealand, but can't do for
your next-door neighbor to save the life of
your three goldfish.)
The University fosters this. They give
you a unigname at Orientation, teach you
where every computing site on campus is,
and threaten to tattoo your unigname on
your forehead if you - God forbid! - ever
forget your password.
You do not exist as a person with a name

at Michigan, but you certainly are a 10-digit
number and a uniqname. Rumor has it that
graduation next year will be done by
unigname: "Now LSA art history:
aardvark@umich.edu ...
aaronk@umich.edu ..."
Never mind that you can't actually ac-
cess a computer here without either waiting
an average of 2 hours and 39 minutes, or
showing up at 4 a.m. The University makes
sure that every single student action requires
a computer - and then they don't increase
the number of computers on campus suffi-
ciently to allow convenient access.
For example, I went to Angell Hall a
couple days ago to check my e-mail in an
hour between classes. The take-a-number
system was in effect The guy behind the
counter was calling o t 29; my number was
4n x 104. 1 took this as a bad sign and went
to Taco Bell.
When it comes to information technol-
ogy, there are two kinds of people: book
people and experiment people. I am the
latter.
Book types can tell you the key combo
that produces absolutely unnecessary mac-
ros on all the old versions of Lotus 1-2-3;
they can't find their way around a new
program for anything.
Experiment types can figure anything
out when it comes to computers - except
how to print the homework they needed to
turn in five minutes ago. Then we're lost.
And we have a nasty habit of erasing essen-
tial system files when we're earnestly trying
to clean up-our hard drives.
No matter which kind you are, comput-
ers inevitably frustrate you.
They can always discover new and unique
ways to throw you off--from running out of
toner when all the stores are closed and your

dissertation is due at 9 a.m., to confronting
you with the obscure "Error #324A: Consult
Manual." You threw the manual away three
years ago, like the rest of us; we all leave the
mattress tags on, but toss the manual. Even
if you could find the manual, it would in-
struct you to call the company. Odds are
about even that the company is either out of
business or has "never heard of that particu-
lar error."
The chance that the campus computing
staff can fix the problem is inversely propor-
tional to the importance to the project im-
peded. If you're just surfing the 'Net or
playing SimCity, they can almost always fix
the problem with a quick "What are you, the
village idiot? Just pull down the chooser
command, click on Appleshare, blah, blah,
blah ..."
If it's the key to graduating that is at risk,
though, there is little to no chance that any
computer analyst in the world can solve your
dilemma, including the manufacturer of the
very machine over which you're slaving.
Youjust have to try everything. I always
start with obscure tribal rituals and work
back toward the logical response: Comput-
sers reward irrationality. When mine goes
down, I often supplicate to pagan gods for
rain, then offer to sacrifice the monitor.
That's a sure solution.
The systems analyst at the Daily, a man
who knows more about computers than Bill
Gates, firmly believes that muttering foul
language at our network will solve most
problems. (He is often right - if only he
were so skilled at playing shortstop.)
I wonder if he can figure out how to save
this column before the network crashes.
- Brent McIntosh, like everyone else
in the universe, can be reached over e-
mail. His address is mctosh@umich.edu.

,

L ASSER SHARP AS TOAST
,TN4MY PAY, HER& WA5 NO
"5E6A CHANNEL" ~ HADTO
SOP VEAV 'ro 1E AS 'PALEU
SANP UNP Opufc'nty AS yoL)/
**
- r t A

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'Everywhere I go
I'm asked If I
think the
university stifles
writers. My opin-
ion Is that they
don't stifle
enough of them.'
- Flannery O'Connor

Robin Hood in reverse
Tax cuts would help the wrong people

LETTERS

L ast weekend, Senate Majority Leader
Bob Dole (R-Kan.) announced that Sen-
ate Republicans might not go along with the
full $245 billion tax cut that was proposed in
the budget reconciliation conference bill last
spring. While this announcement is a step in
the right direction toward a sensible federal
budget, the nation would be better served if
Congress scrapped even more of this reck-
less proposal.
Arguments against such a tax cut at this
particular moment are plentiful. From the
beginning of its term, the 104th Congress has
een cutting federal spending programs en
,masse in an effort to reduce the federal bud-
get deficit. From large entitlement programs
such as Medicare, Aid to Families with De-
pendent Children and federal student loan
programs to smaller but effective measures
such as Americorps, the Legal Services Cor-
poration and the earned-income tax credit,
rfew programs have escaped the budget ax.
,These cuts will disproportionately affect the
nation's poor. The holes in America's safety
net are about to get larger.
Given this context, it is regrettable that -
according to the Democratic Policy Commit-
tee -the majority of the Republican tax cuts
-will benefit Americans with incomes ex-
ceeding $100,000 per year. Congress is wrong
and irresponsible to finance tax cuts that will
HOW TO CONTACT THEM

benefit people who already live comfortably
at the expense of those who cannot support
their children, pay their medical expenses or
finance their college educations.
While Dole's decision is an admirable
step, it is for the wrong reasons. Essentially,
his statement was a concession to the Senate's
more moderate Republicans who realize the
devastating effect such an enormous tax cut
will create in the midst of intensive budget
reductions. As a front-runner for the Repub-
lican presidential nomination, Dole has been
ultra-conscious in his efforts not to'offend
the more extreme right wing of his party.
Thus, Sunday's announcement was not de-
livered with much enthusiasm or conviction.
Moderate Republicans and Senate Demo-
crats will have to fight tooth and nail to get
significant change in the tax-cut proposal.
Unfortunately, this more moderate coali-
tion can expect no help from the House of
Representatives. The tax cut is the crown
jewel of the Contract With America that has
been rammed through Congress by House
Speaker Gingrich (R-Ga.) and his impres-
sionable GOP neophytes. Most ofthese first-
termers were elected on this set of populist
yet unrealistic promises. It does not bode
well for America's future when such dema-
goguery dominates politics. Capitol Hill
should think twice before acting so rashly.

'U' tramples
on artistic
expression
To the Daily:
The recent University actions
concerning Stephanie Sailor's art
exhibit at North Campus are not
only non-conducive to the
University's supposed support of
liberal education, but are an ab-
horrent moral action toward art
and political expression.
It is a tragedy and a serious
infraction on free speech that the
University decided to erect barri-
cades surrounding the exhibit.
Sailor was never informed of this
action, and was never given the
opportunity to take down the dis-
play rather than have it shown
with barriers present. This was
the least the University could do.
Does this constitute censor-
ship? Certainly -the University
has exercised power to alter the
presentation ofan artistic exhibit.
While one may still view the ex-
hibit, the barriers significantly
alter the lighting and setting of
the expression, thus altering the
exhibit itself.
Claiming that people should
have option to view expression of
this nature, the University defends
this censorship. But this subjec-
tive stance is not justifiable. For
the University should not deter-
mine what is and what is not "ob-
jectionable" expression - that
judgment should ultimately be left
to the viewer-and if the viewer
has a problem with the exhibit, he
may voice his opinion. Besides, it

Those who think the University
is a truly liberal institution should
examine what the University has
done to censor an individual-- a
University student, at that.
Gregory Parker
Co-chair, Students' Civil
Liberties Watch
LSA junior
Daily editorial
insensitive
To the Daily:
In your editorial "Second
choice" (9/21/95) you managed
to not only discredit the very real
issue of domestic violence, but
also miserably fail at the most
basic level of journalistic integ-
rity - that is, researching a sub-
ject fully before cranking out your
gut reaction.
To refresh your memory, the
editorial bemoaned the "nasty
campaign" against city adminis-
trator candidate Roger Crum by
City Councilmember Stephen
Hartwell (D-4th Ward). In the
editorial, you repeatedly claimed
that Hartwell unfairly targeted a
"smear campaign" against Crum
based on statements Crum "re-
portedly" made in an interview
about beating his wife. Your po-
sition was that these "unfounded
accusations" unjustly pushed
Crum out of the running.
Let me draw to your attention
some intriguing passages from a
statement to city officials from
the poor Mr. Crum himself. Crum
begins by addressing the concern
regarding his statement in the in-
& ..: - 1M' t ewc"- - o n L-

personal or professional credibil-
ity, (he) will withdraw from fur-
ther consideration at this time."
How can a man who has admitted
his wrongs and realized their con-
sequences be the victim of a
"nasty" smear campaign?
As students at the University
and members of the Daily edito-
rial staff, you of all people should
know the importance of doing
your homework. Unfortunately,
you failed to investigate the story
thoroughly and showed an igno-
rance of facts in your editorial.
Now, I suppose you may have
been strapped for time in the pro-
duction of the editorial, or per-
haps every member of your edi-
torial staff is a little rusty in the
area of research - you can prob-
ably offer a variety of excuses for
the pseudo-factuality of your
piece. However, there is no ex-
cuse for your mistreatment of the
issue of domestic violence. The
editorial claims that Crum made
the statement about beating his
wife "apparently in jest"- as if
domestic violence is something
to laugh about? Domestic vio-
lence is not a joke. Every 15 sec-
onds a woman is battered in the
United States. Domestic violence
is the greatest single cause of
injury to American women -
causing more injuries than car
accidents, rapes and muggings
combined. I do not think these
women are laughing.
Whether Crum's statement
was a pathetic attempt at humor
or a reflection of his actual
thoughts and actions is at this
point irrelevant. A statement such
as Roger Crum's, whether made
by a kid in vour history class,

Graduate
journalism
should stay
To the Daily:
Informed that the University
was ending its graduate journal-
ism program, Charles Gibson
cheered "Good for you."
How ironic.
The "Good Morning,
America" co-host had just gotten
through attacking communica-
tions research and praising the
school-of-hard-knocks approach
to his craft. But the program at
Michigan was killed precisely
because it was too practical and
didn't do enough research.
The program - consistently
rated in the top 10 nationally -
gave students the working skills
to get a job and succeed in a
profession. Five of the nine
courses were hands-on reporting
and writing, one covered press
law and two allowed students to
concentrate on a field, like edu-
cation or political science or area
studies, they wanted to cover.
Only one could be described as a
theory course.
Our recent graduates got jobs
at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the
Chicago Tribune and CNN as well
as the Ann Arbor News and Lan-
sing State Journal. One of last
year's graduates-was immediately
hired by the news division of
Gibson's network, ABC; because
of the training here, she bypassed
the five-year apprenticeship that
the national organization nor-
mally demands.

State Rep. Eric Bush (R-Battle Creek) State Rep. Roland Jersevic (R-Saginaw)
131 Francis Dr3737 Mannion Rd.
Battle Creek, MI 49015 Saginaw, MI 48603

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