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October 10, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-10

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 10, 1995

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JEAN TWENGE

THE ERASABLE PEN

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

r- --

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors

Simnfson defeegambled -
a won - on afool s logfr

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.
U sodappdoint interim academic officer

W hat would become ofa university with
V neither a president nor a provost? The
University likely will not have the chance to
discover the results in the near future. Due to
the resignation of University President James
J. Duderstadt, the provost search committee
ceased its seven-month recruitment process
to settle on interim Provost J. Bernard Machen
as a more permanent choice. Under the cir-

gental approval tomorrow - with
Duderstadt's full confidence and a solid,
reputation burnished by a leadership role in
extending benefits to gay couples.
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) raised
objections this summer in discussing
Machen's interim appointment. Baker
claimed that Machen, who chaired a commit-
tee on Regental Bylaw 14.06, provided inad-

A week ago today, America was united.
So many people tuned in to hear the
verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial last Tuesday
that electric companies reported a huge power
drain shortly before 1 p.m. By one measure,
90 percent of Americans watched the cover-
age on television.
We were not, however, united in our
opinions afterward. More than any other
event in recent history, the Simpson trial has
laid bare the divisions in American society:
the gulf between male and female, between
black and white, rich and poor, educated and
uneducated.
The jurors who have spoken publicly so
far claim that race had very little to do with
their verdict. They acquitted on the evi-
dence, they said: The gloves didn't fit, and
the police could have planted clues. To the
Simpson jury, this was enough "reasonable
doubt" to acquit.
Given the overwhelming evidence
against Simpson, this is a simple-minded
argument. However, it is not necessarily
surprising. The court was required to choose
an impartial jury; since the case was so
widely publicized, the only people who
hadn't heard or read much about the trial
were isolated, fairly uneducated people who
didn't read newspapers or watch news on
television.
This, more than anything else, was the
prosecution's downfall. A CBS news poll
showed that 43 percent of people who didn't
finish high school thought Simpson was
guilty. In contrast, 65 percent of college
graduates thought he was guilty.
Of the 12 members of the jury, only two
were college graduates. Although college

doesn't make people smarter, it encourages
them to question things and sort through the
details of an argument, something the
Simpson jury didn't do. Instead of trusting
the DNA evidence, something they couldn't
see, or hear, or easily understand, the jury
relied on sight alone: The gloves didn't fit.
As the expert witnesses testified, contami-
nation could not have altered the actual
DNA of the samples, but somehow this
didn't get through. Neither did the idea that
the evidence was clear even without the
gloves. The argument wasn't as straightfor-
ward as the defense made it out to be: It's
entirely possible that the police were incom-
petent racists and 0. J. was guilty. The two
are not incompatible.
The police conspiracy idea is similar. It's
easy to believe that one racist cop like Mark
Fuhrman could have planted evidence; how-
ever, a conspiracy including everything from
the footprints to the blood evidence would
have involved hundreds of people. It just
doesn't make sense.
The trial illustrated more than just the
gap between the educated and uneducated; it
also shows that the gender gap is alive and
well. Simpson's defense never denied that
O.J. beat Nicole. In his closing arguments,
Johnnie Cochran Jr. admitted to Simpson's
past history of domestic abuse but then ar-
gued that "None of us is perfect." His dis-
missal of wife beating as a petty flaw must
have reached the jury; the first jurors to
comment all said they did not consider the
abuse relevant. Like the rest of us, they saw
the horrifying pictures of Nicole's beaten,
swollen face; they heard her anguished calls
to 911. Yet even this jury of 10 women and

two men did not believe that domestic vio-
lence fed a vicious cycle that ended in mur-
der. The statistics argue otherwise: Most
women who are murdered are killed by their
husbands or boyfriends. O.J. Simpson isjust
the latest in the long line of wife-beaters who
have escaped punishment.
O.J.'s wealth also separated him from
the rest of America. If he had been any other
black man - or any other man, period - he
would already be on Death Row. His afflu-
ence bought him a defense most accused
murderers could never afford. Once again,
America has learned the lesson that justice
can be bought.
Racial questions have been central in this
trial, and the news media made much of the
fact that most whites thought O.J. was guilty,
while most blacks were equally confident
that he was innocent. The jury maintains that
race did not play a part in their verdict, even
though Johnnie Cochran Jr. wanted it to. His
argument that only the jury could end the
LAPD's racism was ludicrous: Acquitting a>
guilty man is no way of restoring justice.
The suggestion that Simpson should be set
free because the justice system has often
hurt blacks is equally irrational. Setting a'
guilty man free on account of his race is the
worst form ofaffirmative action, and Cochran
never should have made the argument.
As it turns out, he didn't need to; the jiiy
had their own ideas. At least, in the end, the
jury was educated enough to dismigs
Cochran's argument for what itwas: ashame
less appeal to America's racial fears that had
no place in the courtroom.
-.Jean Twenge can be reached over e-
mail atjeant@umich.edu>

cumstances, the committee could not
have made a better decision.
The absence of a permanent pro-
vost would complicate the presiden-
tial search. It would have been frivo-
lous to search for the provost - the
University' stop academic officer and
president's direct subordinate -
when the office of the president
would soon have been vacant. The
selection committee could not specu-

:: '2
r Y ''"'
Machen

equate answers to his questions about
the non-discrimination clause. More
to the point, however, Baker was
attacking the bylaw itself, especially
its application to same-sex couples
in family housing or to insurance
benefits. His worry comes from a
different agenda, not Machen's
qualifications. Baker's theatrics are
an obvious smokescreen and the
committee disregarded them.

late who would be best for either position or
for the goals of the administration with the
University's leadership in drastic flux.
If the Board of Regents approves
Duderstadt's recommendation tonight,
Machen will serve a two-year term retroac-
tive to September, when he was appointed
interim provost. The committee wisely chose
the two-year period to allow time for the
presidential search to be completed - and
the new president to become acclimated to
the University-before changing the lineup.
Two years is a sufficient amount oftime to
evaluate Machen's performance. Perhaps he
will decide he wants the job and will prove he
is capable of handling it. The just-scuttled
search yielded five finalists, none of whom
are University employees. One finalist with-
drew after Duderstadt's resignation was an-
nounced, underscoring the natural reluctance
to take a job at a leaderless institution.
Maybe Machen is not right for the perma-
nent job. But two years is plenty of time for
him to demonstrate his abilities and evaluate
his feelings about the position. He takes the
two-year commitment - contingent on re-

Machen's former position as Dental
School dean and professor since 1989 adds to
the stability of this appointment. During the
transition, the University must have a sec-
ond-in-command familiarwith its innerwork-
ings. Machen's experience at the University
gives him an inside track.
Furthermore, the provost's office is often
a stepping stone for future presidents. Re-
gardless of Machen's intentions, an inexpe-
rienced provost would be highly undesirable
in the absence of a president - there is a
distinct possibility that the provost would be
appointed as interim president if Duderstadt
is not replaced in time.
The provost is intimately involved in se-
lecting deans for University academic units
- an especially important part of the job
now, with many vacancies in those positions.
The provost's steady hand is needed to guide
these searches to a successful conclusion.
By all measures, the committee made an
excellent decision. The president of the Uni-
versity has resigned - but the cube still
spins away in front of the Fleming Adminis-
tration Building, steady on its axis.

MATT WIMSATT
i-lk
I/
, if
/ N 1 "

MOOKIE ' SDILEMM A
s o/
TOP TELLLING
SE ftu8BsRS.."

NOTABLE QuoTABiu
"The beautiful day.
probably drew
them out."
- Duska Bericevic, a doctor
in Bosnia, explaining why
children in a refugee camp
near Tuzla came outdoor.-
Twenty children were
wounded - many seriously -
in an artillery attack blamed
on Ser

IF YOU WIOULD
'piE'% TT EY CANNOT

sl

Like an arrow
Search for president must be fast and focused'

VIEWPOINT
Why did the 'U' lay Entree Plus to rest?

n the wake of University President James
J. Duderstadt's sudden resignation, the
Board of Regents will begin the search for a
new president in the coming weeks. Although
Duderstadt's term of office will not officially
end until June 30, 1996, the regents have no
excuse to dawdle in conducting the presiden-
tial search.
Thoroughness is key to a successful search.
It is vital that the search committee considers
all qualified, interested candidates -regard-
less of politics. Students and faculty, as well
as the regents, must influence the final pick.
As financial supporters and members of the
University community, these groups have a
right and an obligation to decide which can-
didate would contribute the most to that com-
munity. Accordingly, regents have statedtheir
intent to involve student and faculty opinions
in the search committee.
Although a participative, careful search
must be the foremost goal of the search
committee, speed weighs heavily. J. Bernard
Machen is expected to be appointed as the
new provost today - with that decision out
of the way, the regents have no excuse in
diverting their efforts. Every ounce of energy
now must be devoted to finding a president.
Some regents do not comprehend the ob-
vious need for haste. Regent Andrea Fischer
How TO CONTACT THEM

Newman (R-Ann Arbor) said, "It would be
stupid to rush the process. We can always
appoint an interim."
Appointing an interim president to avoid
conducting a speedy search is a wholly un-
satisfactory solution. A temporary president
would lack motivation to institute new pro-
grams to move the University forward.
Machen's appointment would add consis-
tency to the administration - pulling him
out of the provost's office and into the presi-
dency would only switch the location of the
instability.
Allowing top administrative posts to lapse
harms both external and internal University
relations. The president sets the tone for the
goals and objectives of the University. Just
as Duderstadt focused on diversity, technol-
ogy and expansion, new leadership will bring
new direction, new initiatives and a new
focus. A lack of vision will result in stagna-
tion within the University. A speedy search
for a new president is necessary to rid the
University of the negative consequences of
an empty office.
An interim serves at best as a caretaker
while the University is held in limbo. The
Board of Regents should form a comprehen-
sive committee and conduct a thorough,
timely search for new leadership.

By Jeff Keating
What a mess! After student
clamoring about the need to ex-
pand Entree Plus (theold student
debit card), the University decided
to make some changes.
Big changes. My Entree Plus
was scuttled in favor of Mcard,
leaving me thoroughly dis-
gusted.
First of all, the new Mcard
offers nothing you can't get else-
where. For instance, most major
banks offer a free or minimal
charge debit card linked to a
checking account accepted any-
where credit cards are. You can
use thisbank debit card every-
where Mcard is taken and at about
20 million other locations around
the world. Why would I want to
link my checking account to a
debit card that I can use only
around campus? If I wanted a
Keating is an LSA senior
and a member of the Daily
editorial page staff

debit card to use back home, 1
would need a second card, which
makes the Mcard redundant.
Another problem with the
Mcard is that if you want to use it,
it locks you into one firm. If I
want the convenience of having
my banking account linked with
my student ID, I would have to
switch to First of America. Why
would I give up the right to shop
around for the bank with the best
rates and service (which isn't First
of America) just so I could carry
one fewer card? If I wanted to use
the Mcard as an AT&T calling
card, I could do that too. How-
ever, if I can get better rates using
an MCI or Sprint calling card, I'd
much rather do that. No student
should be coerced into using one
company simply for the right of
using the Mcard.
Then there's cash chip. Not a
bad idea. It allows someone who
doesn't bank with First of
America to put a few bucks on
their card. And it's handy for small

items like vending machines,
laundry and photocopying. How-
ever, it's small change and not
much of an option. For anything
over five or 10 bucks, I would just
rather carry cash. Why would I
want to lock up my only 20 on
cash chip?
But then there was Entree Plus.
For all the red tape one encoun-
ters around this place, Entree Plus
was almost too easy. It was basi-
cally a campus credit card. If one
were short on cash, all one had to
do was walk down to the Entree
Plus office, request the money
and voila! It was there instanta-
neously, you couldn't be denied,
and you paid no interest. It made
it easy to put school-related ex-
penses (books, food and occa-
sional souvenirs) together with
tuition and fees on the same bill.
But the real secret behind Entree
Plus is that since the tuition bill
goes home, most users never had
to pay for Entree Plus themselves.
In fact, one could reasonably say

thatthe biggestreason EntrePlus
was so successful was precisely
because it was tacked onto the
tuition bill.
While it's true that a few un-
suspecting parents may have got-
ten bilked for a few hundred dol-
lars each year by their unscrupu-
lous kids, Entree Plus was rela-
tivelysafe. There wasn'ttoo mu
you could purchase that woul
break the bank -there's only s
many times one can willingly g
to Wendy's and I can see little
reason one would want to go on
textbook shopping spree.
When students asked for a
expansion of Entree Plus, it wa
with the understanding that the
bill would still go home with th
tuition statement. The new Mca
offers me nothing; ending Entr
Plus deprives me of a valuabl,
program that I used often. I
Mcard is here to stay, which I car
live with, at the very leasth
University should bring bac
Entree Plus.

LETTER
Defenders of privilege rally around the Republican Contract

To the Daily:
As the University of Michi-
gan campus prepares for the Oct.
12 National Day of Action to
Defend Affirmative Action, and
as we see the direct lending loan
program killed and $10 billion
worth of student loans axed by a
Congress which "just can't af-
ford these programs" although it
snends hundreds of billions of

making the law of the Old Testa-
ment the law of the land, was able
to read and respond intelligently
to an argument a 10th as well as
he can red-bait and think up stu-
pidnames, responding to his com-
ments might be a challenge.
The most obvious stupidity in
the letter ("Contract foes mis-
guided," 9/22/95) involved
Mark's claim that the $500 per

ment, Newt and his Michigan
buddy Mark, defenders ofthe rich
as they are, seem to fail to under-
stand concepts ofneed and wealth.
You see, rich people have a lot of
money, so they don't need a tax
cut. Rich people should pay more
taxes than poor and middle-class
people, because they have enough
money to take care of their needs
while the poor and middle classes

of Action to Defend Affirmativ
Action. The Alliance to Defenr
Affirmative Action, a local coali
tion of groups fighting the racis
attacks on one of the most impor
tant gains ofthe civil rightsmove
ment, is organizing local actions
for Oct. 12. At 11:15 a.m. al
University of Michigan student
are urged to walk out of class an:
assemli n the Dial There wit

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