Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, April 12, 1989, Page 10, Image 10

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

10The Daily Tar Heel Wednesday, April 12, 1989 97i year of editorial freedom Sharon Kebschull, Editor William Taggart, Managing Editor LOUIS BlSSETTE, Editorial Page Editor MARY Jo DUNNINGTON, Editorial Page Editor JUSTIN McGlJIRE, University Editor JENNY Q.ONINGER, University Editor TAMMY BLACKARD, State and National Editor CHARLES BrITTAIN, City Editor ERIK DALE FlIPPO, Business Editor DAVE GLENN, Sports Editor CARA BoNNETT, Arts and Features Editor JAMES BENTON, Omnibus Editor JULIA COON, News Editor TAWlDSVROmi.CKl, Photography Editor Kelly Thompson, Design Editor When a majority is a minority Stephanie Bass, a former aide to former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt, recalled a strategy meeting during Hunt's 1984 Senate campaign, in which the governor turned to Bass the only woman in the room and asked, "What do women think?" This quote represents the attitude of many male politicians toward women in politics, and women are tired of it. They are especially tired of being treated like a special interest group in North Carolina, because women are a majority of the popu lation in this state. This is why women in the state legislature, primarily Democrats, are so vocally protesting their low status in the party. When state party Chair man Lawrence Davis suggested earlier this year that the party reconsider its stance on abortion, more than 50 women marched to state party head quarters to show their disagreement. And last Saturday, they urged that the party's executive council ensure that women are on statewide tickets in 1990 and 1992. North Carolina is one of only three states in this country that has never elected a woman to a statewide executive office or to a full term in Congress. Even Virginia, that last great bastion of white male supremacy, elected a black man as lieutenant governor and a white woman as attorney general in 1986. The state Democratic Party must bear the brunt of the conflict because the current dearth of women office holders is largely its responsibility. Republican women, oddly enough, have a better chance of being nom inated for statewide office than Demo crats because their party is the chal lenger and has less to lose by putting female candidates on the ticket. Several female candidates from both parties have run successful campaigns for seats in the state legislature, but not for statewide offices. For women to be able to run and win, they must first run and lose. But each party's hold on the state is so tenuous right now that neither is willing to offer seats to women candidates sacrificial lambs, if you will to lose for the greater good. But they must. It is entirely possible that there are more than a few men and women living in this state-who believe women have no place in politics that they only belong at home in the proverbial kitchen. Those people are wrong. There can be no doubt about it. Perhaps these sexist beliefs can only be expected from a state that is represented by Jesse Helms, a state where it is still legal for a man to rape his wife. But it's hard to believe that a state with a female majority is unable even to take a stab at fairly repres enting that majority among its elected officials. Both parties must accept their obligation to change this, and change it by 1990 the next election. Kimberly Edens Dealing with a sticky subject Telling UNC cashiers where to park it The state Senate Judiciary Commit tee passed a bill which would give lawmakers the power to ban bumper stickers they consider indecent. When the bill comes before the full Senate, it must be opposed because it would blatantly infringe on North Carolin ians' right to free speech. Sen. Aaron Plyler, D-Union, wants all profanity removed from bumper stickers, saying they are in bad taste and can adversely influence minors. The bill would ban stickers containing "indecent words describing sexual acts, excretory functions, or parts of the human body or a visual depiction which is harmful to minors." Senate leaders have said the bill will probably pass because the public feels strongly about it. There are undoubtedly many bumper stickers which are offensive and obnoxious, and it would be nice if people would exercise good taste when displaying bumper stickers. But the bill clearly violates First Amend ment rights and sets a dangerous precedent. The state has no right to legislate taste or decide what slogans on bumper stickers are harmful to minors. Suggested amendments to the bill include judging obscenity based on "prevailing community standards" among adults, but who determines what the prevailing standards are? In this age of Rambo and violent television, bumper stickers are not likely to seriously affect minors. And impressionable children will not read an indecent bumper sticker outside the presence of an adult, since most stickers are seen while in the car. If questions arise, parents should be able to answer them. If the bill passes, the legislature would have the jurisdiction to deter mine what is in good taste and what is decent. Under these conditions, bumper stickers which simply express radical ideas or criticisms of the government could be banned because they were deemed harmful to minors. The law could also likely be extended to censor items such as T-shirts and hats. States would have a hard time deciding where the intervention would stop. Censorship may seem innocuous, but its implications can be huge. Unfortunately, people will choose to display "indecent" expressions in public, and even if it seems unpleasant, the right to free speech must be protected, even in extreme cases. Chris Landgraff . The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Writers: Kimberly Edcns, Chris Landgraff and David Stames. Assistant Editors: Jessica Yates, arts; Jessica Lanning, city; Myrna Miller, features; Staci Cox, managing; Anne Isenhower and Steve Wilson, news; Ellen Thornton .Omnibus; Andrew Podolsky, Jay Reed and Jamie Rosenberg, sports; Karen Dunn, state and national; James Burroughs and Amy Wajda, university. News: Craig Allen, Kari Barlow, Maria Batista, Crystal Bernstein, Victor Blue, Sarah Cagle, Brenda Campbell, James Coblin, LD. Curie, JoAnna Davis, Blake Dickinson, Jeff Eckard, Karen Entriken, Deirdre Fallon, Mark Folk, Lynn Goswick, Jada K. Harris, Joey Hill, Susan Holdsclaw, Jennifer Johnston, Jason Kelly, Lloyd Lagos, Tracy Lawson, Rheta Logan, Dana Clinton Lumsdcn, Jeff Lutrell, Kimberly Maxwell, Helle Nielsen, Glenn O'Neal, Simone Pam, Tom Parks, Jannetie Pippin, Elizabeth Sherrod, Sonserae Smith, Will Spears, Larry Stone, Laura Taylor, Kelly Thompson, Kathryne Tovo, Stephanie von Isenburg, Gertie Walker, Sandy Wall, Sherry Waters, Chuck Williams, Fred Williams, Jennifer Wing, Katie Wolfe, Nancy Wykle and Faith Wynn. Sports: Mike Berardino, senior writer. Neil Amato, Mark Anderson, Jason Bates, John Bland, Christina Frohock, Scott Gold, Doug Hoogervorst, David Kupstas, Bethany Litton, Bobby McCroskey, Natalie Sekicky, Dave Surowiecki and Eric Wagnon. Arts and Features: Kelly Rhodes, senior writer. Cheryl Alien, Lisa Antonucci, Randy Basinger, Clark Benbow, Adam Benolett, Roderick Cameron, Ashley Campbell, Pam Emerson, Diana Florence. Laura Francis, Jacki Greenberg, Andrew Lawler, Elizabeth Murray, Julie Olson, Lynn Phillips, Leigh Pressley, Kim Stallings and Anna Turnage. Photography: Thomas Clark, Evan Eile, Chuck Ellison, Steven Exum, Regina Holder, Sheila Johnston, Tracey Langhome, David Minton and Todd Scott. Copy Editors: Karen BeU, B Buckberry, Michelle Casale, Joy Golden, Bert Hackney, Kathleen Hand, Angela Hill, Susan Holdsclaw, Karen Jackson, Janet McGirt, Angelia Poteat and Clare Wcickert. Editorial Assistants: Mark Chilton. Amy Dickinson, letter typist. Design Assistants: Kim Avetta, Mclanie Black, Del Lancaster, Nicole Luter, Bill Phillips and Susan Wallace. Cartoonists: Jeff Christian, Adam Cohen, Pete Corson, Bryan Donnell, Trey Entwistle, David Estoye, Greg Humphreys and Mike Sutton. Business and Advertising: Kevin Schwartz, director; Patricia Glance, advertising director; Joan Worth, classified manager; Stephanie Chesson, assistant classified manager; Chrissy Mennitt, advertising manager; Sabrina Goodson, business manager; Dawn Dunning, Beth Harding, Sarah Hoskins, Amy McGuirt, Maureen Mclntyre, Denise Neely, Tina Perry, Pam Strickland, Amanda Tilley and Joye Wiley, display advertising representatives; Leisa Hawley, creative director; Dan Raasch, marketing director; Genevieve Halkelt, Camille Philyaw, Tammy Sheldon and Angela Spivey, classified advertising representatives; Jeff Carlson, office manager and Allison Ashworth, secretary. Subscriptions: Ken Murphy, manager. Distribution: David Econopouly, manager; Newton Carpenter, assistant. Production: Bill Leslie and Stacy Wynn, managers; Tammy Sheldon, assistant manager; Anita Bentley, Stephanie Locklear and Leslie Sapp, assistants. Printing: The Village Companies. riirst of all, I'd like to know who peed H in the Fruit Loops of the folks in JJL charge of UNC parking this week. Did anybody see what I saw Monday? Legions upon legions of tow trucks descended upon the town like the ancient armies of Rome, thousands of guys in polyester jumpsuits with the name Elmo embroidered on the front pocket on a college Children's Crusade to convert the heathens to the eternal truth of UNC parking regulations. And of course, all their trusty devil's apprentices, the student parking lot lizards in their day-glo orange Red Lobster bibs, were out in full force flocking like flourescent ants that carry twice their body weight in carbon parking tickets a banner day for the forces of good over evil! Ironically, Monday was one of the few days this year when I didn't get a ticket, but that was probably because the chal lenge for them was gone. Either that, or they were still awash in the glow of the stunt they pulled last week when I parked in a "State Owned Service Vehicles Only until 7:00" spot at 6:50. 1 had put my hazard lights on since I was only going to be a few minutes, and since I knew how anal those parking lot lizards can be but they had completely outdone themselves when I returned. Some hodad wearing the bib was crouched over my Volkswagen, furiously writing on his carbon clipboard like he was composing my automotive requiem, cackling with fire in his eyes. "Now wait a minute," I said. "I was only gone for three minutes and I had my blinkers on." "Tell it to th' judge," he said. God, I hate it when people say that. "Look, I realize that this is your job and all, and I'm sure that you pay for your meal plan and your botany textbook with all the money you rake in from making other people's lives miserable, but it is a scant few minutes away from seven o'clock, and I think you could spare ..." "Th tow truck's already comin'." "'What? Have you got a Cellular One on your bicycle, for god's sake?" MYer parked in a North Carolina Official Space," he announced pompously. "By law, I have to keep you from obstructin' state officials." ' "What, in case Jim Martin has to use the Union potty real bad?" Ian Williams Wednesday's Child "Plus," he went on, unamused, "you are what we call a Repeat Offender. So you're just gonna have to wait here for the tow trucks to come." "Yeah, right. And could you drive bamboo shoots underneath my fingernails while I'm waiting too? Forget it!" So, before I left, he kindly explained to me how I was going to get a citation for being a repeat offender and for the tow truck no matter what; which basically means I got hosed thrice I got a ticket, a ticket for getting a ticket, and I paid for a tow truck that existed only hypo thetically. And ya know, I sure learned my lesson, and gosh if I'm not liable to think twice about messing with that megalith of power and entertainment that all the kids at home call the UNC parking department. Ha! What is it about this school that encourages that kind of petty bureaucracy? Are we students such bad little brats that we are going to have to sit at an emotional kiddie table for the rest of our college existence? The worst example of this sort of feudal oppression is made painfully obvious in the wild preregistration process on the savannahs of Chapel Hill. It seems you can't take a whiz during preregistration unless the College of Arts and Sciences approves it, and even then they'll act like they're doing you a favor by even getting your folder. I stood in the rain, and then I stood in the humid, slime-soaked stairwell of Hanes Hall awaiting my redemption at the pearly gates of the "Cashier Clearance" table for an hour and a half like a Dickens character begging for gruel. When I finally got to the front of the line, the lady filled me with interpersonal joy and warmth by calling me by my social security number. "It seems you owe the cashier a little money," she said in a voice that sounded like a chain saw going through a metal pipe, "You're going to have to go to Bynum and get this straightened out." "You mean I just waited in line to find out I have to wait in line?" "Well," she tittered, "if you want to put it that way ..." So I slogged across the quad to BynunY through the drizzly tundra that has been this Carolina spring, and as I opened the doors to the cashier building, I was surrounded by the sights and moans of what looked like a L.L. Bean leper colony. Hundreds of kids with raingear dragging from their waists formed a single file line that wound its way in a labyrinth up and down staircases, around corridors and through janitorial spaces. All of the people looked at me with hollow-eyed despair, too drained to speak, mustering up the strength to advance six inches every five minutes. I found my spot at the end of the line, under a shelf holding a vat of ammonia in a work closet on the second floor. An hour and three-quarters later, I was reading the subscription information in my Psychology Today magazine for the fifth time, when suddenly I advanced my next few inches and actually saw the light of my financial Messiah Bynum basement, Carolina cash central! With the last of my strength, I stumbled into the office where there were two, count 'em, two cashiers serving the financial obligations of 22,000 students. Walking up to Agnes, I called myself by my social security number. "Ah yes, Mr. Williams, that will be five dollars." My mouth hung open. I started to shake. "Fi . . . five dollars?" "That's right," she gently intoned. "'Five dollars? Do you mean to tell me I have waited all afternoon to pay UNC the amount of a kiddie meal at Shoney's? I can 't graduate unless I give UNC enough to send Dean Boulton to a movie?" "Well," she smiled, "if you put it that way ..." "Just tell me," I said , "please tell me what is that I'm paying for." "Let's see five dollars . . . UNC parking. It seems you stopped your car in a No Parking spot in front of a State Owned Service Vehicle Only space." I aged three years that day. Ian Williams is a music and psychology major from Los Angeles who got a ticket while typing this damn column into the computer. Readers9 Foram Letter proved cartoon's point To the editor: I am writing to comment on Tanya Person's response ("Comic strip in poor taste," April 7) to the April 3 comic strip "Herschel," in which he labors over a potential strip about black sororities. Ms. Person proceeded to blast the strip's author, Adam Cohen, claiming that he "indirectly" ridiculed the black Greek sys tem, especially black sororities. Not only did she misunder stand Mr. Cohen's comic strip, but she also blew it entirely out of proportion. If you would come out from behind your defensive wall, Ms. Person, you might realize that Mr. Cohen was only trying to make a non-specific statement: when a DTH cartoonist or editorialist simply mentions any campus organization, (s)he will undoubtedly see a negative response shortly thereafter. The comic strip would have meant the same if he had mentioned white sororities, the marching band, or the men's water polo club (now I'll probably get a letter from one of each). Thus, by writing your unnecessary letter, you even helped to prove Mr. Cohen's point. He prob ably appreciates that. Please don't misunderstand me, also. I do not oppose any particular campus group - or organization, including some thing "so sacred as Greekdom" (nice word coinage), which Ms. Person glorifies and defends to the death. But I wonder how it can be so sacred if she feels obligated to defend it so vehe mently. Her letter alone sug gests that this .Greek system may not be as sacred as she thinks. Then again, no topic is sacred as far as I'm concerned. So thanks, Ms. Person, for submitting your letter. In doing so, you made Mr. Cohen's comic strip funnier than it was in the first place. Yes, that's right, I was laughing, and I'm sure a lot of other people were, too. CHRIS BOWMAN Junior Psychology pre-dental . These locks not key to safety To the editor: After learning in an April 7 Daily Tar Heel article of the housing department's tentative plans to install keyed bathroom locks in dorms all over campus, we'd like to encourage director Wayne Kuncl not to waste the money. As residents of STOW, we I' are particularly affected by the new locks recently placed on our bathroom doors to "increase the level of safety," according to Kuncl. We agree wholeheartedly that STOW residents need better security, but locking our bathrooms is not the way to achieve it. It's true that a majority of females in STOW supported the idea before fall break. But the show of hands was taken at the end of long, mandatory security meetings, which fright ened many residents with hor ror stories about dorm crimes around the United States. We agree that sometimes we need to be scared for our own good. But most dorm crimes are thefts from a person's room. The point of the seminars was to encourage residents not to prop open doors to the build ings or to leave their rooms unlocked so that strangers might enter. Keying the bathroom doors has little to do with this. In addition, the doors may have locks on them, but they are not used very often. Res idents find fiddling with a key to use the bathroom so incon venient that someone nearly always props the door open. We dont know the cost of keying STOW's bathroom doors, but money which pays for something so seldom used is not wisely spent. Does this remind anyone of our peepholes? Now, we are not attempting . to discourage the housing department from trying other . means to increase security. Resident safety is a very real need, especially for STOW, with its location in the corner of campus. But please don't waste the money locking bathrooms all over campus. Start with securing the outside of the buildings. Lock the strangers out of our dorms, not residents out of our bathrooms! ASHLEY ARMSTRONG Sophomore English speech communication . LOR I RAY Sophomore Physical therapy Letters policy B All letters must be signed by the author(s), with a limit of two signatures per letter. fl Place letters in the box marked "Letters to the Editor" outside the DTH office in the Student Union. f,w r V ANYMORE WORD Ohi HOW THOSE FUSION )

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina