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October 30, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-30

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AA - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 30, 1995

tin tti1



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

Editor in chief
Editorial Page Editors

On Detroit's streets tornkkt:"
W~y illtlejires burn?'

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.
Kangaroo court
New code ignores necessary legal protections

T he new Code of Student Conduct claims
as intrinsic values student rights and
constitutional protections. Yet the reality is
that the proposed code falls far short of what
the regents demanded from Vice President
for Student Affairs Maureen A. Hartford: a
less legalistic document that supports stu-
dent rights. On the contrary, the code estab-
lishes another pseudo-legal process that side-
steps existing judicial law and gives the ad-
ministration unspecified powers of counsel,
judge and jury.
Among the numerous flaws in the code's
ambiguous wording is an egregious disre-
gard for due process. The code proclaims that
"students at the University have the same
rights and protections under the Constitu-
tions of the United States and the State of
Michigan as other citizens." It goes on to
affirm that "students have the right to be
protected against capricious decision mak-
ing by the University ... accordingly, this
code will not deprive students of the appro-
priate due process protections to which they
are entitled." Yet the code later tramples on
the due-process protections it promises. The
procedures section reminds students that:
"The resolution and appeal processes are
administrative functions and are not subject
to the same rules of civil or criminal proceed-
ings." In other words, students are protected
by the Constitution - everywhere but in
code proceedings. "Due process" is no longer
determined by judicial precedent, but by ad-
ministrators and code writers.
Students charged under the code may be
deprived of housing or the right to an educa-
tion while the cumbersome hearing process
is under way - a "punishment before the
verdict" mentality. The criminal court sys-

tem, in contrast, guarantees a pre-trial hear-
ing to determine whether the accused should
be held in prison. Furthermore, just as in the
original code, students lack the right to legal
representation at the hearings during media-
tion or arbitration.
Appalling violations of due process con-
tinue in the section on appeals. To fulfill the
code's "educational" mission - akin to
spanking a child to "educate" him or her -
"An appeals process ... is available to each
party." This provision leaves students vul-
nerable even after an acquittal - a striking
contrast to criminal courts. Under the code,
the resolution coordinator and University
administration have the power to sidestep the
University's own judicial process should they
deem the outcome unfavorable. The appeals
process states vaguely that appeals may be
filed if: "Evidence clearly does not support
the findings, insufficient or excessive sanc-
tions relative to the violation." This clause
gives the University power to disregard the
outcome of the process if it feels the punish-
ment does not fit the crime. In a criminal
court, by contrast, appeals may only be trig-
gered by technical flaws in the trial itself.
While state and federal requirements
mandate a code, there is no justification for
the University to establish its own quasi-
legal system, stripped ofthe protections guar-
anteed by the U.S. and Michigan constitu-
tions. The new code piously claims to uphold
the Constitution while actually subverting it.
It is imperative that students continue to
make their voices heard so that the Univer-
sity Board of Regents will force Hartford
back to the table to find a code that does just
what it claims to do: protect students' consti-
tutional rights.

T oday is Oct. 30, another Monday in
a string of bright fall days in Ann Arbor.
It is the day before Halloween, which means
costume parties, candy and caramel apples.
And ifyou live in Detroit, it means Devil's
The grim tradition began in 1984, when
-for some unexplained reason - a few
Detroit citizens decided the night before
Halloween was a good time to set aban-
doned houses on fire. Two hundred ninety-
seven buildings burned that night, a kind of
twisted tribute to the power of matches and
dead wood.
In the years since, Detroit's schools, po-
lice and city administration have engineered
an all-out public relations campaign to stop
the arson. They have been somewhat suc-
cessful - 1991-93 saw about 65 fires each
year, though last year the number skyrock-
eted to 182 after what many deemed inad-
equate preparation by new Mayor Dennis
This all seems pretty remote to us in Ann
Arbor, on a campus whose greatest aesthetic
problem is the orange fence protecting us
from construction. It also seems remote to
the people in Southfield and Inkster and
Sterling Heights, except when they pick up
their newspapers the next morning and shake
their heads over yet another depressing De-
troit story.
It seems remote to me, now. And in a way
that frightens me. I spent the first 18 years of
my life in Detroit, and I have spent the past
three explaining that fact to acquaintances

who didn'tthink there were any white peopte
left in the city. Or, for that matter, any people
at all.
I always tell people I'm proud of where
I'm from. And I am. But the first time I went
home, my first year here, I drove across the
city to see a friend. I drove past some of
those abandoned houses, the ones that could
be fodder for tonight's celebrants. And I
looked around me with a new perspective -
the perspective of one who lives someplace
else. I didn't think that co'ld ever be me, but
it is.
More and more people live someplace
else these days. What began as a trickle to
suburbia after World War II became a flood
after the 1967 riot. Even my parents, die-
hard city backers, joined the exodus the year
after I graduated high school. Pack the boxes
and load up the van. And turn the lights out
behind you.
If you listen to those who move away,
they all have good reasons. Better schools.
Less crime. Cleaner neighborhoods. There
are lots of things the suburbs offer that
Detroit does not. It might not be so bad, if all
people took with them when they left was
their possessions. But we take more than
that. We take our involvement.
It's human nature, after all. We are al-
ways more interested in what directly af-
fects us, and Detroit's burned-out buildings
and schools with metal detectors don't seem
to fit that bill. You can do just about anything
in the suburbs, from shop to see movies to
attend synagogue. What's over there for us

anyway? A losing baseball team?
What's there for us? People are there.
The middle-class teen-agers who will be
running the world, right along us, 20 years
from now. The people on welfare, about
whom conservatives like to howl but hate to
deal with on a personal level. It's easy to
blame Detroit's residents for its decline:
They should care more about their city. They
shouldn't do drugs. They shouldn't set fires.
What about us? Where is our responsi-
bility here? It lies in our personal choices.
Individuals alone cannot save Detroit -the
city is crying out for economic revitaliza-
tion, from empowerment zones to casinos to
a better Tiger Stadium. But economic efforts
cannot take hold unless people are willing to
grab onto them.
We who reap the benefits of the Univer-
sity of Michigan too often fqrget the city that
put Michigan on the map. A few days ago,
someone commented to me what a shame it
was that this great area had such a pit at its
center. Yes, it is a shame. But our responsi-
bility does not stop with acknowledging
that. We who will soon emerge from our
education thriving members of the middle
class are the ones with much of the power to
turn Detroit around. Through our education,
through our money, through our caring.
The city cries out for us. We can answer
that cry. Or we can let the fire illuminate the
streets, as we turn out the lights and drive
- Julie Becker can be reached over e-
mail at jhb@umich.edu.




'Tom~my iSEFTs


E 1 T' ER

1 don't care
where you are,
who you are, what
your politics are,
people want to
balance the
- Senate Majority
Leader Bob Dole (R-
Kan.), on the Senate's
passage of the federal
budget Saturday

Halfway there
State tuition plan a shadow of its former self

Michigan's prepaid college tuition plan
will reopen next month, offering con-
tracts for the first time in five years. The
Michigan Education Trust board agreed last
week to offer MET contracts at prices about
double those offered in 1990, the last enroll-
ment period of the original program. How-
ever, these new price levels - and other
aspects of the new program - will place
MET out ofthe reach of many it was intended
to benefit.
MET was created in 1988 by then-Gov.
James Blanchard as a state-guaranteed hedge
against tuition inflation. The main attraction
ofthe program was the tuition guarantee: The
plan would cover the full tuition and fees at
any state university, no matter the cost. Dur-
ing its last enrollment period, costs for a four-
year plan ranged from approximately $6,500
to $9,000, depending on the age of the child
Additionally, the plan offered an install-
ment plan, so that someone enrolling in the
program would not have to come up with the
full cost immediately. The program was in-
tended to help working- and middle-class
parents fund their children's education. With
its tax break - parents were exempted from
taxes on the invested money - and tuition
guarantee, the old MET helped thousands
fund their education safely and affordably.
Gov. John Engler ended the program,
calling it underfunded, when he took office
in 1991--after more than 55,000 people had
purchased contracts. However, the recent
resolution of tax problems with the fund's

investments put funding fears to rest, clear-
ing the way for reopening the program.
The new MET contracts now cost $19,808
for four years of tuition at any Michigan
public university. Tuition benefits at state
universities other than the University of
Michigan or Michigan State University would
be $15,060. Unlike the previous MET pro-
gram, where the price of enrolling a child
declined with the child's age, the price is now
the same regardless of how old the child is.
The revamped program does not offer an
installment plan through the state. To foot
the extravagant bill, contract purchasers must
get loans on their own. And the state does not
guarantee full payment of tuition like the old
program: If the fund falls short, whatever
money remains in the fund would be returned
to contract purchasers, destroying their plans
for college payment.
There is virtually no way a working-class
family can pay for the MET - essentially
defeating the program's goal. In addition, the
central purpose of the plan, the tuition guar-
antee, has been abandoned. Most families
cannot afford the risk of their investment not
covering tuition costs.
The new, overpriced MET contracts pro-
hibit working- and middle-class families from
participating in the program. The new MET
will not address the problem it was meant to
solve: an affordable and guaranteed method
of funding education. While the MET board
deserves applause for reopening the pro-
gram, the state must give serious consider-
ation to meeting the original goals of MET.

Dial-in critics
To the Daily:
There has been much said
lately about the new ITD dial-in
charging. As a consultant at ITD,
I want to defend my employer on
this point.
My response is mostly to the
editorial "Syntax error" in the
Daily on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
There is a lot of misinformation
in that editorial. Although opin-
ions should be written freely, edi-
torials, especially those written
by the Daily staff, should be sure
their opinions are based upon the
"Syntax error" says, "While
the new fee is not exorbitant, it
sends a message: Now that
Ethernet is here, dial-in services
are being downgraded ...." This
is flatly wrong. The Information
Technology Division has greatly
expanded dial-in access over the
summer, allowing more lines,
more modems and faster modems.
Still more modems are being
added. There used to be only pub-
lic lines, where anyone and his
brother within the Ann Arbor area
could dial in; now ITD has set up
two "private" lines which are for
University students only.
"Syntax error" later says, ". .
dial-in systems should be main-
tained and strengthened ... there
is a need for new projects, such as
the addition of new ports and serv-
ers for dial-in use ..." ITD is
indeed doing this.
In the same issue, there was a
letter from a junior, Ali Asad
Lotia, ("ITD dialin policy unfair")
that also complained about the
ITD dial-in policy. I thank him
for being more informed than the
authors of the Daily editorial. In
that letter he says, "The introduc-

private modem pools. It has to
pay for the phone lines, upgrade
the modems and pay someone
full-time to make sure the system
is kept running. Another extra
expense to ITD.
Now, each student is given
$11.50 each month to spend on
computing needs, like e-mail,
printing, etc. If that money is not
used, it just sits there; ITD cannot
use it unless the student is billed,
and the student cannot use it ex-
cept to spend on "computing re-
sources." The choice is either ask
for more money from the Univer-
sity to pay for and upgrade the
modem pools (charging every-
one more tuition, even those who
paid the extra to use Ethernet or
don't dial in at all), lower the
quality/quantity of services to
everyone on campus to get money
to pay for it (again, punishing
everyone, even if they do not use
dial-in access) or charge the
people who do use it, so they help
pay for the expenses, upkeep and
increase in services. Which makes
more sense?
Also, the $4.40 charge is
merely a minimum; it does not
limit students to 40 hours per
month. If a student is online 45
hours per month, ITD will charge
him or her for the extra five hours
over the $4.40, in the same way
printing is charged for. Finally,
both the editorial and the letter
said that dial-in services were tra-
ditionally free. This is not true.
Back when the University was on
MTS, students were charged MTS
dollars for dial-in access. When
they upgraded to UMCE, they
couldn't charge initially because
the system was not set up to do so.
There were a few years in
between that students got some-
thing for nothing, and now it is
back to the way it was.

had been preaching on the Diag
Thursday afternoon, and made
no distinction between my photo
and that of the other extremists.
More importantly, the photo that
they chose to print shows me with
my finger in the air, as if"preach-
ing" to the crowd. To further en-
hance the effect of the bold, red
headline, the picture ofme was in
full color, center page, above the
fold. Clearly I am being depicted
as a member of this cult. One
might easily derive from the pri-
ority this photo was given that I
was among the leaders of this
hate-mongering cult. Unfortu-
nately, nothing could be further
from the truth! Anyone who was
on the Diag that afternoon can tell
you that I was vehemently attack-
ing the ridiculous assertions Paul
Stamm and his companions were
making. I challenged Stamm's
lies about AIDS, gays and women.
Anyone who was a witness that
day can attest that I put a lot of
energy into exposing him as a
fraud, hypocrite and bigot. You
can imagine my distress when I
saw myself clearly depicted as an
important figure in the "preach-
ing" that was done that day.
I hold no animosity toward
the Daily, or any of the staff who
may have been responsible for
the error. This is a student publi-
cation, and as a student, I too
have made some egregious mis-
takes. Yet this particular mistake
has potentially devastating effects
that must somehow be undone. I
value in the extreme my credibil-
ity and status as a serious student
at this University, and am con-
cerned in the extreme that with-
out some kind of highly visible
clarification my credibility could
be jeopardized. I also have plans
for work in the public sector, and
given the trends in today's politi-
cal world, a misunderstanding of

mongering religious extremist!
For this reason I have asked that
the Daily print this letter, so that
my picture might at least be asso-
ciated with views that are my
Now, let me briefly speak of
the Duel on the Diag. I strongly
endorse the First Amendment, and
respect Mr. Stamm's prima facie.
right to speak his mind on the,
Diag. I would argue strongly on
behalf of his basic right to preach
his peculiar brand of religion, and'
would expect nothing less from
this University. However, I be-
lieve that the fundamental right
to freedom of expression carries
with it a responsibility to the pol-
ity which grants that right. In pr-
der to avoid a lengthy constitu-
tional argument about rights,
however, I will concede that
Stamm was within his rights to be
on the Diag. As soon as I grant
him this right, he will likely claim
that his religious beliefs impose
upon him a moral obligation to
warn the nonbelievers ofthe world
about the error of life as a sinner.
Armed with the constitutional
right to speak, and the moral im-
perative to warn the wicked,
many a street preacher has been
granted access and audience on
the Diag, and Stamm should not,
in general, be denied the same
access. However if the speech is
barely disguised hate speech, cast-
ing insult and disparagement upon
whole groups of people, I find it
unacceptable and intolerable.
We, the citizens of the Uni-
versity community, have a re-
sponsibility to do as I have done,
and will continue to do. Chal-
lenge Stamm's prejudice, bigotry
and hatred wherever you see it.
I am not anti-Christian, and
do not wish to challenge Chris-
tianity. However I am vehemently
opposed to those who attempt to

Gov. John Engler
P.O. Rox 30013

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