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The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, October 16, 1987, Page 8, Image 8

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8 The Daily Tar Heel Friday, October 16, 1987 latin 95th year of editorial freedom The danger of University offi- -cials and students have reason to pat themselves on the board opinion back after being ranked 11th by U.S. News and World Report among research institutions across the country. The honor is significant, raising the University's status as one of the premier public schools in the nation. Yet satisfaction at this high level of accomplishment should not blind administrators to the areas of the University that still need improvement. It may be easy for UNC educators to bask in the glow of a national ranking, yet complacency can have negative results. In 1985, the same poll rated UNC 9th. Although some dis miss the ratings as biased or arbitrary, they do reflect the opinions of 764 college presidents. Those who rest on their laurels may lose them. To counteract this natural tendency, the University should take the opportunity to address the prob lems that existed in 1985 and persist in 1987. Due in part to the high ranking two years ago, applications to UNC have skyrocketed. However, the Admis sions Office remains understaffed and ; overcrowded in its quarters in the Monogram Building. The staff has inadequate time to review applica Legislating pseudo-morality t -.The role morality should play in the legislative process is truly ambiguous. Making laws is often a matter of putting reality ahead of ideals, of pragmatic compromise in place of ideological formulations. Those legis lators who hold fast to their beliefs often sacrifice effectiveness in the pursuit of their goals. North Carolina's Jesse Helms has been characterized as "Senator No," because he seems less interested in working for the passage of laws of which he approves than he does in fighting against legislation with which he disagrees. Given Helms' hidebound conservatism and highly moralistic outlook on the role of government, it should come as no surprise that he finds himself in conflict with the majority on a regular basis. Helms is a populist and a dema gogue, though, and is blessed with a keen eye for those battles he can win. Earlier this week, he led a campaign that resulted in the passage of a Senate bill that would clean up federally financed AIDS educational materials. The bill, which would ensure that such materials would have to emphasize sexual abstinence without promoting homosexuality or drug use, passed 94 2. During the floor debate, Helms hammered upon the existence of sexually explicit comic books distrib uted by a health crisis center that The Daily Editorial Writers: Jim Greenhill, Mike Mackay, Brian McCuskey and Jon Rust. Editorial Assistants: Julia Coon and Sharon Kebschull. Assistant Managing Editors: Cara Bonnett, Melissa Daniels, Peter Lineberry and Mandy Spence. News: Kari Barlow, Jeanna Baxter, Lydian Bernhardt, Matt Bivens, Brenda Campbell, Staci Cox, Meg Craddock, Sandy Dimsdale, Carrie Dove, Laurie Duncan, Mark Folk, Gerda Gallop, Alissa Grice, Lindsay Hayes, Kyle Hudson, Michael Jackson, Kelly Johnson, Michael Jordan, Helen Jones, Susan Kauffman, Sharon Kebschull, Hunter Lambeth, Will Lingo, Barbara Linn, Brian Long, Mitra Lotfi, Lynne McClintock, Brian McCollum, Leigh Ann McDonald, Justin McGuire, Stephanie Marshall, Laurie Martin, Myrna Miller, Smithson Mills, Lee Ann Necessary, Rebecca Nesbit, Susan Odenkirchen, Cheryl Pond, Amy Powell, Charla Price, Andrea Shaw, Mandy Spence, William Taggart, Clay Thorp, Nicki Weisensee and Amy Winslow. Brian Longr assistant business editor. Kimberly Edens and Kristen Gardner, assistant university editors. Sports: Mike Berardino, Patton McDowell and Chris Spenccrassistant sports editors. Robert D'Arruda, Steve Giles, Dave Glenn, Dave Hall, Clay Hodges, Brendan Mathews, Jim Muse, Andy Podolsky, and Langston Wertz. Features: Hannah Drum, Carole Ferguson, Laura Jenkins, Corin Ortlam, Lynn Phillips, Leigh Pressley, Karen Stegman, Kathy Wilson and Julie Woods. Arts: James Burrus, Scott Cowen, Stephanie Dean, Kim Donehower, David Hester, Julie Olson, Beth Rhea, Kelly Rhodes, Alston Russell and Richard Smith. Photography: Tony Deifeil, David Minton, Matthew Plyler and Julie Stovall. Copy Editors: Karen Bell, Cara Bonnett, Carrie Burgin, Julia Coon, Whitney Cork, Laurie Duncan, Bert Hackney, Lisa l-orent7, Toby Moore, Rachel Stiffler and Kaarin Tisue. Cartoonists: Jeff Christian, Bill Cokas, Greg Humphreys and Trip Park. Campus Calendar: Mindelle Rosenberg. Business and Advertising: Anne Fulcher, general manager; Patricia Glance, advtnising director; Joan Worth, advertising coordinator; Peggy Smith, advertising manager; Sheila Baker, business manager; Michael Benfield, Lisa Chorebanian, Ashley Hinton, Keltic McFlhaney, Chrissy Mennitt, Stacey Mont ford, Lesley Renwrick, Julie Settle, Dave Slovensky, Dean Thompson, Amanda Tilley and Wendy Wenger, advertising rtp-esentatives; Stephanie Chesson, classified advertising representative; and Kris Carlson, secretary. Distribution Tucker Stevens, manager; Delivery Leon Morton, manager; Billy Owens, assistant. Production: Bill Leslie and Stacy Wynn. Rita Galloway, Leslie Humphrey, Stephanie Locklear and Tammy Sheldon production assistants. Printing: The Chapel Hill Newspaper JILL GERBER, Editor DEIRDRE FALLON, Managing Editor SALLY PEARSALL, Neut Editor JEAN LUTES, University Editor DONNA LEINWAND, State and National Editor JEANNIE FARIS, City Editor James Surowiecki, sports Editor FELISA NEURINGER, Business Editor JULIE BRASWELL, Features Editor Elizabeth Ellen, Arts Editor Charlotte Cannon, Photography Editor CATHY McHUGH, Omnibus Editor complacency tions, much less to interview prospec tive students. A priority of a nationally ranked institution should be recruiting the best students possible. Yet UNC waits for outstanding high school seniors to apply rather than encouraging them, sometimes losing the state's top students to other schools. Developing cultural awareness programs like the planned Black Cultural Center would demonstrate UNC's broad appeal to students from all backgrounds. To preserve its reputation as an academic stronghold, the University should strike a balance between conducting research and teaching. A professor's name in a scholarly journal means less than his ability to inspire active debate among his students. But any endeavor to attract and keep good faculty is destined to fail without competitive salaries and benefits. As Chancellor Christopher Fordham has told the Board of Trustees, improving faculty benefits is vital to keeping the University at the top. Losing good faculty to better-paid positions detracts from the Universi ty's reputation. A national honor should do more than put self-satisfied smiles on the faces of administrators it should be an incentive to work harder. An institution that is not moving forward may be moving backward. receives federal money. The, comic books depicted sexual acts between two gay men, and were designed to promote the use of condoms. His essential argument was that the federal government should not be paying for material that advocates such practices, which he deemed "perverted." The power Helms wielded, of course, was that of public opinion. Few senators on the floor could believe that their constituents would look favorably on a vote against the bill. The overwhelming victory, then, was to be expected. Helms also no doubt expected a flurry of criticism on editorial pages across America. But that expectation does not lessen the disaster that is Helms' measure. The removal of the word "condone" from the bill means that AIDS edu cation will not be seriously impaired. But at a time when the disease is raging untouched, any attack on the effort to educate the public is abhorrent. More importantly, Helms' callous manipulation of the situation by oversimplification and distortion represents a corruption of the ideals of law-making. No matter what the senator says, the bill is not based on legislative morality, but on shameless vote-gathering. The irony is that "Senator No" has seen fit to say yes to a bill that-serves no purpose but agitating the public and wasting the Senate's time. James Surowiecki Tar Heel Gay 9 lesbians seek equal he events of Oct. 1 1 to Oct. 13, 1987, will eventually be known as a landmark social protest in the history of this nation and the largest such protest in 25 years. Oct. 11, 1987, marked the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, a collective of strength, urgency and resolve. Lesbians and gay men were in Washington to seek relief from the systematic oppression by our courts and legal system. "For love and for life, we're not going back," was the theme and message we took to the nation's capital, and we meant it. On Oct. 13, the civil disobedience action at the Supreme Court resulted in over 600 arrests, while several thousand stood in support of the demonstrators. It was one of the largest civil disobedience actions ever to occur at the court. Meanwhile, police wore surgical gloves supposedly to protect themselves from protesters who might have AIDS. The march garnered support from hundreds of thousands of lesbians, gay men, their friends and their families. The initial count at 2:30 p.m. on that chilly Sunday afternoon was put at 200,000. By 4 p.m., estimates had jumped to over 600,000 people. I was there. I was with my friends, my demands and most of all, I was there with Protest directed at alumni To the editor: Not every protest is perfect. Not every protest is meant to satisfy each and every person. Yet, I feel that the demonstra tion in Memorial Hall on University Day was totally justified, and I back it entirely. Why Memorial Hall? The people whom Action Against Apartheid were trying to address on this day were alumni who were unaware of UNC's position concerning its invest ments in companies that are in South Africa. Many of the alumni do not realize that UNC is only divesting less than half of its money in these compan ies. It is extremely important that as many people as possible know about this. I personally do not believe in doing things halfway and I will not stop fighting this University until it calls for total divestment. The location of the demonstration was, therefore, not meant to attract press or call attention to us as members of AAA but to educate people on UNC's investments. To address AAA's apparent lack of taste, I am sure that many Board of Endowment members and conservatives would consider it very tasteful if protesters marched in the Union bathroom crying for total divestment. The point is that a protest is always going to offend someone, even if it may only be a KKK member or a neo-fascist. I, as one of the alleged protesters, am totally appalled at many people's obvious lack of interest in South Africa and her people. Of course, it is everyone's right to place his interests wherever he pleases, even if it means idolizing alumni and ignoring anguished cries for freedom in South Africa. JOEY TEMPLETON Sophomore Drama Political Science Ignorance breeds prejudice To the editor: I write to respond to a claim in Jon Rust's editorial on AIDS and the gay community ("AIDS issue overwhelms Student Congress proposal hardly frivolous To the editor: 1 am writing in reference to your Oct. 14 editorial entitled "Building a paper bureaucracy." This editorial was ill conceived and poorly executed. It contains important misrepresentations and misun derstandings which lead to erroneous conclusions. Let us begin at the beginning. The first paragraph disparagingly implies that this resolution was some type of frivolous research which had no purpose other than a purely political one. It was not. This resolution was a request for action. It was a request, and not a command, simply because the Student Congress has not the power to compel the action we desire. If the resolution was a cry for help, as an anonymous congress member put it, there is no basis for the editorial's assertion that the cry was directed inward. In fact, a cursory inspection of. the document should clearly reveal that it was directed to the University administration. And it gets worse. By the sixth para graph, the author has turned the comments IReadeirs' Foirunm Mark Donahue Guest Writer rny vengeance. I was there to tell my government that 1 would no longer allow it to treat my capacity to love as a crime. I was there to demand an end to the government-sanctioned discrimination against gay and lesbian marriages and parents, especially in the denial of our childhood visitation rights. I was there to demand an end to Ronald Reagan's foot dragging on the AIDS crisis, which was never solely a gay infliction, but had taken a dramatic toll on the lives of gay men in six short years. I had watched this government, with the God-given exception of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, adopt a blame-the-victim stance with the AIDS crisis. Our lesbian sisters had also felt gay men's pain and knew that the suffering had to stop. Our sisters were there to voice their concern. I was there to support them as well. I was there to demand an end to sexism and to racism in this country and to apartheid in South Africa. I was there to scream, "Stop the violence against my sisters and brothers! Stop firing us with no justifiable l Nf WET, T rally," Oct. 13) that I deem outrageous and in need of rebuttal. Rust states, "No matter how they try, gays cannot assuage the homopho bia already prevalent in society." Is he forecasting or worse, advocating a closed minded reaction to the gay community and, in particular, its predicament regarding AIDS? How closed can a per son's thinking be? Rust's claim that gays are incapable of reducing some citizens' fearful response to homosexuality is clearly an absurd and inaccurate state ment. As far as I can tell, just the opposite is true. I am not a homosexual; I have worked with many gay men and women in my profession, and these collaborations over the past seven years have been by far the most important factor in my being comfortable with people regardless of their or my sexual preference. I have found that the more gays I meet and work with, the more their sexual preference really ceases to be an issue or any imped iment to getting the job done and enjoying one another's company. I trust that I am not the only one for whom this is the case. Gays can, have, and I trust, will continue to engage in dialogue that seeks to break down the barriers of sexual preference. To declare their constructive work and that of non-gays as well hopeless is to deny both the achieve ments and the future possibil ities for gay and non-gay people to reduce the fear and ignor ance of the population at large regarding sexual preference and .the urgent AIDS issue. We do not need gloomy forecasts of no progress. We do need to address the AIDS issue directly, but with hard facts and with thL ill participation of all concerned. It is my hope that as we learn more about AIDS, the praiseworthy work of the gay community will not only impact the medical situation but also resolve some of the "homophobia" a fancy word for ignorance around us. JONATHAN MILLER Graduate Music Fight all forms of racism To the editor: I want to express my concern over the recent incidents of racism that have occurred at the School of Business Admin istration. It is very sad that such ignorance and prejudice abound at this institution of higher learning. As ugly as prejudice is, I applaud Lynne Gerber for making us fully aware that it does exist on this campus. The incident serves to show that the battle against racism is far from over. And it is not only this type of blatant prejudice that must be fought, but also the more subtle forms that occur more frequently. Hopefully, with this realiza tion, although many already know it firsthand, we will become more active in trying of one representative into the unified body of congressional opinion. In fact, only one representative discussed the issue with the author prior to publication (excluding the comments of congress members on the outcome of the meeting with Dean Donald Boulton). And as a member of that congress, I have no difficulty asserting that she most definitely does not speak for its membership in general. And indeed, it is here that we reach the crux of the problem. The DTH does not, has not and probably will never understand the way student government works. The DTH has failed to understand that in order for the speaker of the congress to speak for the congress it is necessary for him to have before him one of those resolutions passed by the congress that the author calls "nothing more than a postur ing device." Without it, the speaker wields no more authority than ony other student at this University. While the editorial was kind enough to mention the meeting of student leaders with Boulton, it failed to note that this - treatment cause! Stop throwing us out of our dwellings simply because of who we love! This is our country, too, and we won't let this happen. We are 25 million taxpayers, and we are not begging. We are demanding!" Some have ventured that the success of the march was solely due to the impact of AIDS on the male gay community, and that the force which was demonstrated in Washington could never be galvanized again without the AIDS factor. I assure you that this country will one day learn of the folly of that myth. Gay men and lesbians intend to make this country live up to its democratic premises, as guaran teed us in the Constitution. We are a gentle, angry people. We desire to be allowed to live our lives with peace and dignity. We desire equal treatment under the law and by our fellow citizens. We desire life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those who would deny us this have little more than totalitarianism in their very souls. We are gay, we are proud and we are at UNC and around the state, the nation and the world. We are here to stay. Long live the dream. Mark Donahue is a senior political science major from Indian Trail. to overcome it. VALERIE HALL Junior ' Interdisciplinary Studies Troll's patrons abuse Phi Mu's To the editor: I am a waiter at the Phi Mu house, and recently the sorority has been victim of a series of crimes. On a consistent basis, members have discovered either in the middle of the night or the next morning that some one has thrown a rock through one of their windows. Having to replace these windows can become very expensive. Another problem has been automobile break-ins. Phi Mu is located behind Troll's, and its members' cars are there for when a person has had too much to drink and feels like having a little fun. In addition, the house's parking lot is dark, and there are some trees block ing sight from the street. I realize that it is nearly impos sible to apprehend anybody, but it might be reassuring to know that police officers are patrolling more often who knows, the police might catch the culprit! I would also take a guess and say that this situation is not limited to the Phi Mu's. People probably think that it is not as big a problem as it is. I'm sure the Greek system would appre ciate attention to the problem. NICKY HOLT Sophomore Criminal Justice was part and parcel of the execution of the resolution. The meeting was requested by the speaker following the resolution's passage in congress last week, the meeting was held and progress was made. This would seem to place the author's conclu sion that the resolution was "only a piece of paper" on a somewhat mushy founda tion. After all, the DTH itself, in the sense the author seems to intend, is only a piece of paper. This editorial contains gross misrepres entations of the opinions and attitudes of the congress. The writer's conclusions themselves are in most instances backed up by little more than hot air. The author maintains that the editorial is something of a response to what he perceives as frivolous political rhetoric. I submit to you that he has engaged in a little frivolous journalistic rhetoric of his own. i NEIL RIEMANN Junior Political Science Mathematics 0 m'mm jm jm

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