Issuu on Google+


BINGHAMTON REVIEW November, 1995

Volume 9, Number 3

Departments Editorial: The Women's Center is a mockery of itself and the Harpur College Council controversy is a mockel)' of students AI Campus Prcsswatch presses on, We swear on a stack of Bibles

":il: we don't hate Pipe Dream nearly as much as onc might think 6T>6T>

aa

Gordon Sharpless searches for virtual cable TV and a wa)~vard moose in "Sharper Image"

Start your day with a supersized scrving of O.J. in this month 's Quibbles & Bits

Features Amy L. Gardner takes a walk with the womyn of the night in their vain attempt to take back thc mainstream Ed A1tabet attends the Men 's Forum while Amy marches and finds there's little to be hopeful for in that arca Sookie Tawdry shows why sex1lal harassment charges have more to do with politics than criminal action

JlJl

Nathan Wurtzel reports on how the mai nstream fell apart in an a!tempt to foil a bus trip to the Million Man March Christopher S, Schwegel reveals yet another eallous waste of student fees-a Pipe DreG/II editor who isn 't a student

JliiJ)

Joshua Trapani exhaustively explains why the SA and HCC can 't manage to hold a fair election M. Ellen Goldfarb reports on a compromise made by the committee implementing the diversity requirement

Jl~

Joe Martin earves into the redistributionist methods of left-wing economists A second helping of Dawn M'Kibbin 's Keilka : He teaches his friends about tolerance Cover photograph : Nathan Wurtzel

Next Issue • New Year 's predictions from the staff • A student rails against PDA in the library Available on December 6, 1995


November. 1995

Editorial

The Women's Center is Bad for Women

I

mmediately after the "Take Back the Night" march. a representative of the Womcn's (or is it Womyn 's) Center called Bingham/on Review to cxpress the hope that wc wouldn 't mock thcm in our

coverage.

Well. one thing we can say about the Women 's Center is that they are always good for a laugh. A few days prior to this call. the organization supposedly devoted to the elimination of sexism made a point of barring malcs from the highlight of their event. They didn 't merely ask males to stay away. mind you-they instituted direct and hostile exclusion of the entire sex. T hc upshot is that the people who most needed to participate in the event-those who the women reasonably asked to changc their behavior. were left behind with no lesson learned. The sad fact is that there isn 't much to laugh at once you push aside the infanti le behavior and melodramatic theatJics exhibited by the radical feminists who serve as the leaders of the Women's Center. Women (and men) on campus do need strong leadership and naturally turn to loudest and most vehement of political personalities in an attempt to find support. What they receive in turn from the Women's Center is extreme leftist politics which threaten to eliminate most of the gains women have achieved in this century. At this point, the reader might ask : "What's so extreme about opposing rape and violence against women? Are these not morally correct sentiments?" By way of answer. "nothing" and "of course they are," but the Women's Center seems more interested in the political power it can siphon from women who arc violated rather than in the welfare of the women themselves. Consider a few snapshots from the march: A woman brought two small boys along to carry worded signs, exploiting the chi ldren for political gains. A leading professor urged women to es-

chc\y treatment for trauma incurred from violcnce. intimating that crime-fighting agencies and support groups arc somehow conspiring against women. A second leading professor delivering the keynote address oratcd a prolonged account relating the idea that women arc captive in a perpetual cycle of victimhood. Meanwhile. a group of eight. count 'em, eight men held a cute little forum where two facilitators who admitted they were planted by the Women 's Center leadership suggested that if we just get rid of religion and marriage, everything would be wonderful. This type of political extremi sm is foolish. repugnant, and no doubt contTibutes to thc fact that a march dedicated to the opposition of behavior 99% of society finds odious can only draw 3%

of women on campus. Not to mention a fraction of one percent of men, who arc clearly not welcome unless they arc Sensitive, New Age types. Why can 't the Women's Center promote the strength and character of women rather than wallow in the trough of victim hood? Leaders likc Margaret Thatcher, the most powerful woman in world history to date, arc ignored by radical gender feminists. So are Mother Teresa. BU alumnus Camille Paglia, and others with any trace of sympathy for the mainstream woman. Elevated are paranoid deconstructionists like Kate Millett, anachronistic socialists like Bella Abzug, and free-speech prohibitionists like Catharine MacKinnon. In thc long run. advocacy of political and economic systems relying on government coercion. redistribution. and regulation will render indi\~dual men and women less powerful than ever. That's the type of equality we don 't need. The Revi ew will continue to poke fun at the Women's Center as a means of exposing the folly of their political extremism . Furthermore, we see no way that we can make a greater mockcry of their purposc than they already have.

Binghamton Review

3


4

Binghamton Review

November, 1995

Campus Presswateh

Pipe Dream September 29, 1995

The Student Advocate October 26, 1995

As correclly predicled by alerl reader Richard Haviland, Ihe inane Perspeclive by Fernando Tingug has landed in Ihis issue. Walch how TIngug bolh disavows knowledge o/Ihe Abu Jamal case

Many people Ihink A lyson Heegan is the bestjournalisl on campus, which is

and later renders an opinion ...

ing Ihis edilorial ...

"I will not elaborate on Buckland's knowledge of Mumia Abu Jamal 's case because I am not informed of his situation. However, he made a condescending statement about political prisoners. [His) notion of a political prisoner is one-sided because [he) only mentioned leaders who practiced non-violent resistance to a brutal and oppressive system and apparatus .. "Buckland wrote, 'Politics have DOU1ing to do with it in my opinion. ' He referred to the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. But he can not claim that politics have nothing to do with Jamal 's case, because the lives of people of color and underprivileged whites, politics greatly affect

"Let 's be honest- our campus needs more than the security that mere guards can provide. It is more than fair to say that everyone would like to have a safe campus. But do we need armed police officers? Probably not. "This leads to an impasse. Which do we chose [sic]? Public Safety seems to be doing a fine job on campus right now. Why can ' t things remain as they are?"

our lives,"

Asian Outlook October, 1995

why we're convinced thaI her brain was

taken over by aliens/rom OilIer space, or p erhaps by Doug Eoellner, when writ-

Pipe Dream October 13 , 1995 Pipe Dream October 10, 1995 Whal does Pipe Dream~' E-Board consider Ihe mosl pressing issue o/Ihe day? The slale budgel? Polilical correctness? The Pope s visit ? Howaboullhe hal dog carl? ..

We ge~eral/y do nol come 10 Ihe aid 0/ Madame Hil/a~y Clinlon, bullhis arlicle by Ar; Ngaseo, who is apparenlly weI/trained in pas/modern screed, isjust 100 much 10 lake quielly. ..

"'If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women 's rights and women 's rights,' Mrs. Clinton declares with a self-convinced expression ... "But in the frenzy of Mrs. Clinton's good intentions, one has to ask which 'humans,' or more precisely, which ' women' are being referred to in these discussions of ' universal human rights?' Are there even such homogenous categories like 'woman' and ' human' ? .. "We need to identify the hegemonic underpinnings of suspect equations like mainstream American values and women 's rights."

"Although it 's nice to be able to buy a soda or a quick lunch outside at Marriott's new dining carts, we wonder what precedent this sets for on-campus vendors. The company has a food-sales monopoly contract with the university, but should this allow the corporation to sell food wherever on campus it desires? "We don't think so. If Marriott gets to sell things outside, then other vendors should be able [to do so) as well. After all, if you ' re a vegetarian, you can 't even pick up lunch at ODe of these stands ... "Furthermore, we' d rather that the quads not turn into bazaars where a myriad of merchants lambaste passing students into buying their wares. After all, walking to class should not liken to the experience of a Manhattan street or a square in Tiawanna [sic]."

Controversy surrounding the bus trip 10 Ihe Mil/ion Man March had reached Ih e pOinl where Pille Dream's E-Board had 10 lake a sland. Th ey could hm'e chosen: I) 10 supporllhe bus trip; or. 2) 10 oppose Ihe bus trip. Readers /0miliar wilh Pipe Dream should nol be sllrprised 10 learn Ihal Ihey chose: 3) 10 cravenly skirllhe issue by asking/or more Perspectives ...

" After a quick scan of the headlines, something about today's Perspectives pages should attract your attention: Three of the four submissions address the same topic. Moreover, upon reading the text, you will find that the authors share basically the same stance. "This breakdown in the marketplace of opinions is occurring both on campus and nationwide, and its results are ironically also manifest in today's pages. Because we no longer choose to communicate, the debates we might have had and resolved- about race, gender, religion or sex1lal orientation and prejudice-have been passed over in favor of segregated harangues filled with messages of fear and overtones of violence."


November, 1995

Cover Story

Binghamton Review

5

Take Back the Politics By Amy L. Gardner

E

ach year. women gather together

anywhere on campus without being

in the University Union for the

afraid. Friends escorted me wherever I needed to go. day or night. I didn't know what to e~-pcct from the marell. but I was disappointed. I felt exeluded. The purpose of the march was distorted by other

annual "Take Back the Night" march. sponsored by the Women's Center. The stated purpose of this march is to protest viole nce agai nst women. and

to show solidarity among women. Thc message of the march is that women should not have to fear being attac ked or raped while walking alone at night. The march brought out women fro m all walks of life. There were women of all ages. cultures. and political perspectives. It really was a showing of women 's solidarity. I fclt compelled as a woman and a victim to attend 'Take Back the Nig ht" this year. I know what it is like to be afraid. My life was threatened and I was stalked by an ex-boyfriend. I could not walk

issues. My exclusion began from the opening address by Professor Juanita Diaz of the Department of Sociology. She made it seem as if all women were victims every second of their lives and cannot escape it. Abuse of women occurs every day. but this victim status .llOuld not be accepted. This idea of victim status seems to permeate "Take Back the N ig ht " marches across the co untry. Ka tie Roiphe says in her book . The J\ /orning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus. "The marchers seem to ac-

cept. even embrace, the mantle of victim status .. .The march elaborates on just how vulnerable women arc. ,. As we marched around campus, there was a great amount of chanting. Some of these chants furtiler alienated me from the marchers and probably provoked anger in men across the campus. There was nothing wrong with chants such as : "Women Unite, Take Back the Night." In fact, that is the signature chant of "Take Back the Night" marchers across the country. The problem was with chants like: "Hey hey, ho hoi This sexist sh_ t has got to go." and "We won't go back, we won 't submit. we won't take this sexist sh_t!" The use of profanity was unnecessary. The phrasing of these chants delivered the message that all men are pigs. That is not the message

Abollt 180 1I'Olllen gath ered in th e Union for "Take /Jack the Night " this year


6

November, 1995

Cover Story

Binghamton Review

that should be conveycd if we' re trying to stop violence against women. Thosc chants are only going to provoke men and destroy the credibility of the march. The chant "We will not be silenced" emerged constanUy. Katie Roiphe says, "The fashionable cloak of silence is more about style than content. " These women were not being silenced. Their voices were heard loud and clear throughout the campus. According to Roiphe, "Having been silenced on today's campus is the ultimate source of authority. " Power comes from claims of being silenced. The most disturbing event of the march was when I noticed two little boys carrying signs. Their mother or guardian had apparenUy c""ploited them for this march . One of the signs read " Wome n Need, Demand Equality." Those two lillie boys didn 't know what was on the signs--Qr understand what they meant. The boys had nothing 10 do with the march. They should have been

left at home. The campus didn ' t appea r to put much credibility in the march anyway. In Dickinson, students called "Shut up! " and "Go Home! " from their windows. While we were in Newing. a girl had a conversation from her wi ndO\\' with a

guy in the quad about a trip to Wal-Mart. As we entered CIW. Nirva na's "Rape Me" was blasted from stereos. This also happened in Hinman. TIle iron), is "Rape Me" is about a male rapist being raped in prison. Girls who saw the marchers

would run in the other direction so they wouldn 't get caught in it. Nathan Wurtzel , editor of Binghalllion Review, tried to follow the march and

take pictures. Two of the organ izers of the march told him he eould not go. They didn 't ask him not to participate- they ordered him not to. He agreed to not go. When asked why, he said, " I agreed because I respected the mainstream marchers who were opposing rape and vio-

len ee. Caus in g a scene would have

played into the ha nds of the politically extreme march organizers." He had a right to march if he wanted to. This is a free count ry and a free ca mpus. All he wantcd was to take somc pictures. There is such a thing as freedom of the press. gua ranteed by the First Amcndmcnt. The organizers allowed the cameraman from Channel 12 to follow the march. however. As you can sec, we managed to get pictures anyway. A speak-out followed the march. The speak-out was advertised as a chance for people to getup and share thcir personal accounts of abuse. Most of the speakers did so, but some took the occasion to advance extremist ideology. Professor Maria Lugones of LACAS spoke about how women should not use thc court system. shelters, and rape crisis clinics, because they "divide" women. That is the last U,i ng womcn should be told to do. Violence is not going to stop if men

I & Gourmet Pizzas

All You Can Eat Nites

Pasta Dinners

Subs & Burgers

Jumbo Wings

Gyros

14 Main Street·Johnson City·At the Arch ~~----I-------I------ - T-------r-----~~

,

Large Cheese Pizza

$5 79 Expires 11·30-9:5

, , ,

I , ,,

00

$2- Off Any Large Gourmet Pizza E:(pi r~'1i

11·30-9$

'

,

I , , $9£'!

I

I

,,

,

,Large. Cheese, , Pizza , Large , 1 Dozen , Stromboli .Wings 2 Liters Soda ,1 Liter Soda , $7<§ Expin:$ 11·30-95

, PARTY PAC , 2 Large 'Cheese Pizzas '2 Dozen \I\I"~I"'IC Large Salad , 2 Liters Soda

-

' $ 1 59Q

Ex pi~s

11·30-9.'i

E.'~ p; n;s

11· 30-9.'i


Cover Story

November. 1995

Bingham/on Review

aren't punished for what the)' do. The clinics and shelters arc there to help. The)' bring together women who share a common bond. so thc)' will not fcel alone. I wish the march had been more true

to its purpose. because then it would have becn some thing I would have gladly participated in. About 200 womcn participated. a tin)' fraction of the 6,000 women on thi s ca mpus. The organizers

should be asking thcmselves "WhyT There was nothing inherently wrong

with the march. The majority ofwomcn were there to express their concern and protest violence against women. For

those womcn. I am sorry that politica l agendas seemed to get in thc way of the true purpose . Viole nce against women should be ncither tolerated nor accepted.

(Feathered American)

. Eat onlyyapls; cranberry sauce, & stuffing .

Y'

.'

. .......

'"':' The M~Kiewicz Family ~

Amy L. (;ardn er is ajllnior majoring in philosophy, POlitiC,I', ane//ml(

,

• ,:

...

:i'"

'.

Spectra.Net offers MORE FOR LESS!!! <) \'

~\

a

....

~,r-~ ~

• • • • • •

•••••••••• ---_ •• - ·'1

._ • • • • •

I ••

• •

Unlimited Usage (Flat Rate) No Hourly Charges Thousands of Downloadable Shareware Programs Over 13,000 Discussion Groups Access More Infonnation No Additional Cost for Unlimited e-mail Fastest Modem Connection Available (28,800 BPS) Your Choice of Graphical or Text Based Internet Interface No Telephone Charges 10% Discount for Binghamton University Students!

To find out how easy it is to get connected to the Internet call Spectra.Net at 798-7300 139 Grand Ave"johnson City, NY 13790' Tel (607) 798-7300' Fax (607) 79&-7771 ••·mail

7


November. I ~95

Analysis

Bingham/on Review

8

To Be a Man at "Take Back the Night" By Ed Altabet

T;

he annual Women ' s Center "Take Back tile Night" march was held recently. The march is a symbolic statement that women should not be afraid to walk at night. A counter part to this march was the Men's Forum, which I listened in on. Men were not allowed to march with the women, because women nceded to do this alone, the leader ofthe men's groups e." ,lained to me. Men marching with women hindered the solidarity. a gentleman at the discussion explained, and he then said it was about women'5 cmpowennenl. About eight men sat in on this discussion including myself. It was by far the most useless discussion I have ever heard. I would like to convey some of the thoughts that were expressed at this discussion, although absolutely nothing of substance was sa id. At one point. another gentleman commented that the problem was the whole '·system." Religion. education. and family arc the reaso ns why we still have a sexist society, he said. Upon hearing this, I was forced to ask, " Are you sug-

gesling that these institutions be done away with. and that a womens' right to choose what religion or whether or not she wants a family be denied?"' The answer was classic. ··Yes. the institutions are the problem and should be changed." Of course, this still ignored the fact that women wou ld not have the freedom to choose. The discussion finally concluded with an interesling thought. The leaders of the discussion sugges ted that we were really accomplishing nothing (which came as no surprise to me) and that what really needed to happen was for rapi sts. abusive husbands. muggers. and the like to have these kinds of discussions. I'm still quite bamed as to what this would accomplish but. I did not press the issue any further. One further comment on the reality of abuse should be noted. though. There is considerable abuse against men by women. which was ignored at the discussion and the rally. Wendy McElroy of Liber!y notes. '·studies ... leave out data on women abusing I11cn .... because it is

politically incorrect. '· In fact. women commit spousal homicide as frequently as men and that has been true for the past two decades . The 11th World Congress of Sociology stated that whi le male-on-female violence is declining. female-on-male violence is increasing. If this comes as a shock to people. it sho uld. That 's because the individuals participating in 'Take Back the Nig ht" begin all their thoughts with the mentality that women arc victims and arc incapable of violence. Of course. the truth is contrary to this. While I said the men 's discussion was useless. perhaps what really needs to be do ne is for men to march with the women and have a joint discussion . Since women 's fears are somewhat overblown and exaggerated and the abuse against men is increasing. someone needs to speak out on the men 's behalf in the doubtful case anybody wants to hear it or even ca res to begin with. Ed A ltab el is a sophomore majoring in economics and philosophy.

Your University Bookstore ,

• Offers the largest selection of new and used textbooks ... • Stocks apparel from Champion, Gear, MV Sport & The Game, to name a few... • Has a large selection of Academically Priced Software ... • And is conveniently located on the ground floor of the Library. • WE BUY BACK BOOKS EVERYDAY, ALL YEAR LONG • Call us at 777-2745 if you have any questions

..

" ,A. \', Staff Meetings Every: Thursday 7:30 P.M UU-103 Writers, ~rtj'sts, Phot0graphers, ' and Salespeople Needea ~ .

All are welcome to join!

• -.J. ";'..l'

>•


November, 1995

Analysis

Bingham/on Review

9

Sexual Harassment: Fact or Affliction? By Sookle Tawdry

W:

,at docs the term "sexual ha rassment" mean to you? I al ways thought it applied to

situations in which a person in an au-

thority position, such as a professor or an employer. either coerces or threatens a subordinate with se~1Jal demands, implying that if slhe doesn ' t succumb, a penalty will ensue. In the university setting, this would consist of a professor propositioning a student, and if rejected, punishing the student with a poor grade or humiliation of another ilk . According to the Professional Ethics Committee at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, the above situation comprises only a marginal percentage of sexual harassment situations. Anything from a suggestive remark to a pat on the rear end is grounds for accusation; in fact, if a teacher makes a sexually offensive remark in class to 200 students, this teacher may be led liable! How did this censorship-friendly policy come to be? According to Cornell law professor Jeremy Rabkin, the sexual harassment " ethic" stems from a " totalizing ideology" which reduces everything to one big statement. An example of this would be Marxist class theory, which claims that if we just abolish private property, everything will be O.K. Feminist theory at Cornell, says Rabkin, is of a similar absolutist nature~

men oppress women, therefore

sex is about power relations. So flirting, joking, or even thinking about sex with an underling is motivated by the need for men to oppress women and to assert their power. According to a statistic provided by Cornell law professor Andrea Perry, 42 percent of college women will be

"raped" before they graduate. This staggering figure was drawn from a survey containing the following questions: "Have you ever had sex when you didn 't want to?" and "Have you ever felt bad about having sex?" Sure-but whose responsibility is that? There is a vast distinction between being forced into sexual activity and having sex when you aren 't rc-

ally in the mood. "Well, I had a headache, but I did it

" Is there a file about me?" they can 't even tell you! Professor Rabkin points out the inanity of this precept: " If you ask the FBI if there is a file about you, they arc obligated to tell you most everything, even if you are a serial murderer, " Supposedly, se)mal harassment is such a serious offense that accusations must be anonymous for the protection of the accuser. Moreover, the accused is not allowed to be present while the accusers explain themselves in a hearing in front of four or five faculty members, for it would be "too uncomfortable." Apparently, women are too vul-

anyway." Is this rape? And if it isn 't, it must then be shown that women arc oppressed. Hence, the se~1Jal harassment policy was born. The more appalling facts lie in the legal procedures. At Cornell, there exist the "locked files"-reeords of all accusations, regardJess of merit, which arc kept for eternity even if no proof exists to back them up. Only the Senior Sexual Harassment Counselors are allowed access to these files. If you go ask them,

nerable and weak to stand up to someone who has done them harm. (Whatever happened to the feminist claim that women are tough enough to be fighter pilots and Marines?) The accusations made against Cornell psychology professor James Maas provided the perfect opportunity for feminists to broadcast to the world how oppressive even the most popular of male professors could be. Maas has taught more than 40,000 students in his 31year career at Cornell. He has been bestowed with honors such as the Clark Disti nguished Teaching Award at Cornell as well as the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Teaching Award. His introductory psychology course is held in a concert hall to accommodate 1,700 students each fall . Despite his vast popularity with male and female students alike, Maas was accused by four female former student members of the film crew which works


10

Binghamton Review

on his television specials for "inappropriate" remarks and actions. One claim was, "He made me uncomfortable by giving me expensive gifts." while another was, " He grabbed my breast. " Maas apparently admitted to kissing the girls on occasion and to giving them gifts. but he claimed that these events always took place in front of other people, even his wife. Funny, too, that no accusations were made at the time, but only after two of the accusers had graduated. One even sent him a gushing thank-you letter upon graduation I

November, 1995

Analysis As a consequence, Maas despite all of his vast contributions to the field of psychology, now has a highly damaged reputation and career as a result of unproven allegations. Feminists are determined, at all costs. to stick to the notion that saying or doing something to make a female uncomfortable is worthy of extreme punishment. They must drive home the notion that sc:\."ual harassment is really serious! The scary part is the government encourages tllis. providing guidelines that are broad and vague enough to allow the destruction of a prolific and serviceable career.

The deleterious repercussions of 607 724-9&09 the Maas case is, in Nightly 81-8:1 Sial.. SI. the end, considerBinghamlon Specials ably injurious to female students. The feminists ' efforts are subverted; if a professor is nervous and looking Pizza & over his shoulder every time a woman comes into his office for fear that he will be the ....- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -.....nextaccused, doesit

not follow that he will treat female students differently? Whatever happened to the notion that the world would be a better place if only men and women were treated equally? As Professor Rabkin says. male professors are now hesitant to take on female advisees, independent studies, or teaching assistants out of paranoia, thus depriving women of opportunities to work under the guidance of distinguished scholars such as Maas. I feel that I have the right to say the following, as I myself have been the "victim" of what would pass as sexual harassment: women need to learn how to deal with men on a human level. Men are not monsters. It's true that se~'Ual harassment exists ; but if a man simply thinks you 're se~'Y, it doesn 't have to be taken as an insult to your person. If it offends you, learn to say "back off." Instead of reinforcing the stereotype that women are indeed the weaker sex, we need to prove that we can defend ourselves in this big, scary world.

Sookie Tawdry, as those familiar with Threepenny Opera may have already guessed, is a pseudonym. The author wished not to be identified, fearing reprisals. She is a sophomore majoring in p~ychology.


November. 1995

Million Man March

Binghamton Review

11

Fund Talks Obscure Moral Indignation By Nathan Wurtzel

a

ce upon a time. the very idea degree that the bus lell unhindered a few Golant shunned that argument. saying f a student organization en hours later. "it '5 a sad day when Farrakhan is conthusiastically attending an The source of funding may not have sidered cultural or educational. The event organized by an anti-Semitic per- been important. said SA President Doug march was nothing more than a propasonality was unthinkable. Not anymore. Boettner later, asserting he "doubted ganda evcnt intended to lend support In the late hours of Sunday, October 15. whether we could have stopped the bus and legitimacy to Louis Farrakhan." Indeed. it did appear that Farrakhan a chartered bus carrying four dozen stu- even if the money was not fundraised." . dents headed to Washington D.C. and Boettner cited the Board of Trustees gained some amount of mainstream apLouis Farrakhan's Million Man March. Guidelines, which allows mandatory provalthrough the Million Man March. It was initially thought that funding student funds to be disbursed for "pro- Between 400.000 and 800,000 people for the bus had been drawn directly from grams of cultural and educational en- attended, depending on whose count is considered legitimate. The speakers, student activity fees. Austin Graff, ajun- richment. '" Academic Vice President Jeffrey including Farrakhan, tactically put on ior double-majoring in political science and philosophy. politics. and law. became concerned upon hearing of the trip and sought information from Student 1i Association Financial Vice President ~ Erik Kopelman, who told Graff that stu- ~ dent money had been used. i "I should have looked in the books more carefully," said Kopelman. After several days of frantic fact-checking , Kopelman finally determined that the bus had been funded through events held by the Black Student Union and the Caribbean Student Association. He blamed the confusion on the lack of an on-line system that could instantly update a student group's financial health. Meanwhile, a firestorm ignited on campus. The Jewish Student Union released a statement condemning the SA's approval of the trip, noting it was " unacceptable and deplorable to support the efforts ofFarrakhan ... in any way, shape or form. " In conjunction with Binghamton Review, the JSU held a press conference the day the bus left for the march during which several student leaders spoke in opposition to the evenl. That afternoon, the SA Executive Board held a forum where several positions were clarified. Kopelman infonned the gathering that the funds had been "privately" raised and could therefore be used for any purpose deemed worthy by SA Financial "ice President Erik ,,"opelmon student groups. This fact apparently mollified all concerned to enough of a


12

Binghamton Review

the ir version of kinder. gentler rhetoric and the attendees themselves engaged in what is universally considered as the most peaceful conduct in the history of

like events. However, the public did not witness events sponsored by the Nation of Islam the day before the march. At the same moment the JSU was speaking out against the ma rch in Binghamton, Quanell X, a Nation of Islam member from Houston, declared " Jews can go straight to hell," in front of a cheering crowd at the "Black Holocaust Nationhood Conference" held in the nation 's capital. Later, Steve Cokely exhorted

Million M an M arch blacks to instigate whitc-on-white violence and academic Ashra Kweisi referred to the Twelve Apostles as "a whole lot of white faggot boys." This is more indicative of what many Jewish students consider to be the true face of the Nation of Islam. In this context, they wonder why their peers would wish to follow such leadership. More than one echoed sophomore Adam Rosen's thoughtthal it was "disgusting and abhorrent for... my fellow classmates to have participated in an evenL. which helped to legitimize an anti-Semite and bigot like Farrakhan.路' "One would think," said sophomore

Michael Verllllll, Presidenl o/ Ih e Jewish Siudeni Union

November, 1995

accounting major Joe Hury, "that on a campus so intimately linked to the tide of political correctness, there might be an uproar over the idea of sending a group of students to a rally dedicated to the exclusion of people ... cspecially those who it is politically correct to hate." Rachel Izower, a junior double-majoring in economics itnd political science, simply eXl'ressed disappointment that a "better role model" couldn 't have run a "Million Person March" where "all people" could have come together. " I think it 's wonderful when men march with the National Organization of Women," she added. It would be instructive for organizers of the trip to explain their moral rea.~ sons for attending the event, but Katrina '" Huffman, President of the Black Student ~ Union, and Nicole Morgan, President of 5 the Caribbean Student Association, did not return repeated phone calls requesting information for this article. In addition, sophomore Barry Hakim reports overhearing Huffman telling a confederate at the press conference that Jewish students opposing the march "need Jesus and they know it. " In this light, it becomes plausible that opposition to the trip may have centered inappropriately on the sources of funding when a more effective means of persuasion may have focused on the alarming sympathy campus multicultural leaders seem to possess for anti-Semitic rhetoric. This is a job seemingly suited for the ICA, but Michael Vermut, President of the JSU, and Rosen, the JSU's cultural education coordinator, both stopped short of approaching the subject in that forum or condemning the other groups for their inaction. Vermut and Rosen confirmed that the JSU is concerned with the rhetorieal climate and said the JSU plans to educate students about Farrakhan and the Nation oflslam. That's fine, said Graff, "I wish they'd [the JSUj keep the pressure on so nothing like this ever happens again."

NOlhon Wllrlze' is Ih e Review s edilorin-chief


November. 1995

News

Binghamton Review

13

Pipe Dream Editor Not a Student By Christopher S. Schwegel

S

tudent Association organizations are designed to enrich students lives by providing an avenue through which students may pursue their interests. These organizations are an enormous resource for students. If an organization pays a stipend to a non-student because they can do a better job without the burden of a class loa~ then the number of opportunities for students will decrease. Since SA organizations are the primary source of non-academic education and growth here at Binghamton University, allowing non-students into stipended. decision making positions is a serious threat to the opportunities available to students. Kenneth S. Garson, Pipe Dream s managing editor, said that he has been at Binghamton University since 1990. This semester, however, he said that he is "not registered for any classes." Wanda Barbara, from the registrar's office, said, "Kenneth S. Garson is not registered this semester. He is not an officially registered student, we do not show that payment and registration have taken place this semester." Lisa Danish, Pipe Dream s editor-inchief, selected Garson as managing editor at the end of last semester. Danish said that she was under the impression that Garson would be enrolled in classes this semester. She added that because Garson is not a student he has more time for other interests. "The benefit to the paper outweighs the fact that he is not student," she said If this is to be considered true then it establishes a dangerous precedent. As managing editor of Pipe Dream, Garson operates as second-in-command to Lisa Danish. As a member of Pipe Dream's Editorial Board, Garson has input regarding both the content and opinion. "I manage the entire staffwith the editor-in-chief. The two of us over-

a

see the operation of the paper." Garson also apply. Erik Kopelman. SA finansaid. When asked how involved he was cial vice president, said he felt it was at Pipe Dream~ Garson said he was very unfair for a non-student to hold such a involved and "a very big part of putting position. "The preference of the jobs the paper together." should go to undergraduates~" he said. Although not himself a student~ Dave Siegel. SA executive vice presiGarson clearly exerts considerable in- dent~ concurred with this point. He said fluence on a student newspaper. Having that any person who wishes to be ina non-student officer also creates an in- volved in an organization may do so~ but creased risk to the student body. Since only students may take stipended posiPipe Dream is directly accountable to tions and leadership roles. He added that the SA, it is the registered students at the role of non-students should be limBinghamton University who are respon- ited. sible for all of its actions. An unregisDean of Students Dave Anderson tered officer simply is not responsible agreed. He said, "The SA should and or accountable for his actions within the has drawn a clear line as to the level that a non-student can participate." organization. Article II, section I of the Student As- Anderson added that while the SA was sociation Constitution states that "(a]1I pretty flexible regarding non-student registered undergraduates at [Bingham- involvement in various organizations, ton University] are members of the Stu- there were restrictions for non-students. dent Association." Members of the SA There are certain cases where it is necare entitled to all that the SA provides. essary and proper to hire non-students Those who are not students and do not to do jobs for the SA said Don Pauke~ pay an activity fee should not be able to University Comptroller. Administrative profit at the expense of Binghamton Uni- Assistants are an example of this. Some organizations require dedicated employversity students. David Hagerbaumer. director of Cam- ees to handle office tasks during busipus Activities and Orientation~ said, "It ness hours on a full time basis. Paukett said that in other cases, such would be my advice to the Student Association and the Student Assembly that as Harpur's Ferry~ there is a lack of parall officers of student organizations, as ticipation by tbe student body. In this well as their stipended positions, be stuP---------~--------------~--~~~~--~~ dents." Are you paying downstate rates instead of local rates? Members of the SA Executive Board said that they agreed with \ou're in good hands. Hagerbaumer. They said that Edward M. Valdes non-students Account Agent should not 1903 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850 take a position when qualified students ...._ _ _ _ _ _.....7_8...6_-8...00 ...0_________....

Allstate


14

News

Binghamton Review

situation non-students participate as volunteers and give a very important sen'ice to the community. They do not recei\'e stipends. If a non-student makes use of a\'ailable resources within the campus community. then they have benefited from that experience. There is no need for further compensation. Each student registered at Binghamton University must pay an activity fee which helps provide these resources. The current fee for an undergraduate is $62.50 per semester and is approved through a student-body referendum. The activity fee is allocated by the SA to all of its activities and funded organizations. The stipends that Pipe Dream members receive are approved by the SA. This semester alone. Garson stands to

'- ',':'

.

..

",'

.

".:'

,~

.".'

..

November. 1995

receive $700 for his services at Pipe Dream. His stipend is derived. in part.

university's undergraduates. The members of Pipe Dream work hard to put their issues together. For many of them this campus newspaper provides essential experience that serves as a stepping stone for future endeavors. When asked how his previous education and Pipe Dream were related, Garson responded that they were not connected. He added that Pipe Dream "reflects nothing" of his academic goals. "I have a lot of possible goals and directions. I don't believe people should limit themselves," Garson said. He added. "people should try to pursue everything they like." While this is true, non-students should not do this at the e~-pense of the Binghamton University student body. Each student explores their goals and uses their abilities to improve their college experience. It is important that the leadership of the SA and its groups to be comprised of students. When this is not the case the interests of students can be no longer be fairly represented. Only by preserving these opportunities for students can the SA maintain the integrity of its objectives and the overall quality of student life.

from each student's activity fee. Garson is receiving student money even though he is not a student. Oven\·helmingly. members of the SA Executive Board agreed that under no circumstance should a non-student receive a stipend for a position in an SA funded or chartered organization. .• A non-student shouldn't receive monetary compensation." Kopelman said. "Money spent by the SA should be used for the SA and its members." said Andy Hollander. SA vice-president for University Programming. Paukett said that non-student involvement in student organizations should be limited. Paukeu said he felt non-students should not play any role in the decision making process of funded organi7.ations. "Only students may have voting privileges." Paukett said. Garson is directly violating the SA Constitution. Article II section 2,E. states that only members of the SA may have voting rights \\-ithin the SA "organizations to which they belong." Allo\\ing non-students to be in a position to ~ke decisions poses several problems. Non-students cannot be ex- Christopher Schwegel is a junior mapected to operate in the interests of the joring in computer science.

If you would like to advertise in

BING HAMTONR EVI EW ~libraiy. ... . ··:·~::/'·H~<>;~~!>~.t~::\. '·-·i ~_:::.;.::

2.;~F~;~·~;'i\;'r'",

Call Lee at 777-2846

something ...ce:·~...tJ~~.~ ;'. ",.,....;:~.:. '-.: .::.;., , .' ,;. -. -: ..._ .. .t '." --,' ":.':. "".. '. ~

~.

~

~

1. Bill CIfuton.~:~ld.ii'th@· 1:

'" .,

",,;',':

Special discounts available


November. 1995

News

Binghamton Review

15

HCC Elections Thrown Into Chaos By Joshua Trapani

l1

e process of trying to elect stu dent representatives continues. At the present rate. we can be assured of a truly representative Student Assembly and student delegation to the Harpur College Council by sometime next summer. In theory, it should be quite easy to hold a fair democratic election. Yet in practice it seems impossible, at least at this school. This year there is an Elections Committee made up of concerned students who would like to see fair elections take place in accordance with the S.A. Constitution. In late September. this committee decided to run the S.A. and some HCC elections in mid-October. The members of the committee felt that this would allow them to supervise the elections, thus ensuring they were fair. Everything seemed as though it would run smoothly. Fairness seemed more than an even trade-off for having to rerun some of the elections, and many people allowed thems~lves to be cautiously optimistic about the outcome of the elections. How naive. One of the election rules forbids distributing campaign flyers within 100 feet of the polling site. On the first day of elections (October 11), a pollsitter reported seeing Liz Thompson and Felipe Ayala handing out campaign literature inside the Union. He reported this to the elections committee, who were almost immediately served with an additional grievance from candidate Yusef Daughtrey, who claimed that the elections should be invalidated because there was no line for a write-in candidate on the ballot. The elections committee met to discuss these issues on October 12. They spent almost that entire day (more than ten hours) deliberating, and finally announced their decision. They said first of all that the only elections affected would be the OCC elections. The com-

mittee decided to invalidate the S.A. elections because a write-in line had been left off the ballot. as per Daughtrey's grievance. However, other parts of his grievance were factually incorrect. But the rules ofHCC elections do not require a write-in line. The committee decided to disqualify those candidates whose names appeared on the flyer handed out. In Pipe Dream on October 13, Yusef Daughtrey is quoted as saying that none of the people listed on the flyer in question were handing out fly-

ers at the time ofthe poll-sitting. Nonetheless. the flyer exists. and copies were made. It urges students to "ensure the voices of all underrepresented peoples are heard! !r' and implores them to Yote for the following candidates: Jessica Flore$. Felipe Ayala, Yumeris Morel. Yusef Daughtrey. Rafael Landron. Paul Karow, Lizette Aguilar. Patty Minaya. and Josh Waterston (spelled "Waterson" on the flyer), and to write-in Eric Ansejo. Liz Thompson. and Jeffrey Stevens. It is also labelled "S.A. Chartered" on the bottom left. as though campaign flyers

VOTE FOR YOUR VOICE ace SA AND IHICC 0 F F

C A M

P U S

R.EPS JJESIICA O:D.ORIEI U:ED..IPE A." AD.A YlUMERIS MORIEL YlUIEF DAUGHVREY RAFAEL B.ANDROINI IP AUL KAROW D.IZETTE AGUIO"AR PATVY MINAYA .DOSH W A VERSON WRDTlE-DNS ERIC ANIEJJO ILIZ THOMPSON JJEFFERY SVEYIEINII

S T U

D E N

T S

ENSURE THE VOICES OF ALL UNDERREPRESENTED PEOPLES ARE BEARD!!! This flyer was illegal(y circulated on October 12


16

Binghamton Review

for specific ~ndidates are chartered by the S.A.! S.A. elections for OCC were to be run again. this time on November 13 and 14. Given this schedule, the assembly as a whole cannot meet until November 21. The S.A Committees cannot possibly start meeting before the 27th. And the Assembly itself. at best. can meet four times this semester. With breaks for Thanksgi,ing and finals~ and given the fact that the first meeting has to be introductory in nature. that gives them time for one real meeting. Since it takes two meetings to pass a resolution, we can be virtually assured that no business "ill pass the Assembly this semester. Given all that the Assembly generally accomplishes in the fall semester (such as tl)ing to impeach its E-board members, or arguing over whether or not to support arming Public Safety officers for three months. although it is the administration that has final say). perhaps it would be best not to comment on whether the absence of an Assembly is a bad or a good thing. Some of the S.A's committees, however~ are vital to the proper functioning of student groups. The Finance Committee distributes the $10,000 discretionary fund-often very important for new groups or those struggling because they missed the budgetary deadline last year. The Rules Committee charters new groups. It is unfortunate that innocent student groups must suffer because some people can't follow the rules. Perhaps adhoc committees should be established. Harpur College Council elections were not invalidated, and with the candidates whose names appeared on the illegal flyer disqualified from running, winners were announced. These winners have since been approved by Dean Brehm. and the HCe has met twice already. However, an interesting event occurred on Thursday nigh~ October 26~ when the S.A. J-Board voted to invalidate the OCC Harpur College Council elections because of the lack of a write-in line on the ballot. First of all, it is debatable whether or not the S.A. Judicial Board exists at all this year. The JBoard typically consists of nine students, appointed by the S.A President and approved by the Student Assembly. There

News has been no Assembly~ no appointments, and the people who made this decision (in response to a velY lengthy grievance filed by VPMA Yumeris Morel andotbers) are simply the left-overs from last year's JBoard They will still serve this year, but there weren't enough of them at the meeting to make the necessaty quorum. Further~ it is extremely questionable whether the S.A J-Board has any jurisdiction over HCC elections. In addition, two of the five J-Board members who voted-Katrina Huffman and Todd Cavaluzzi-have conflicts of interest. Todd Cavaluzzi was himselfan oce candidate for HCC~ and Huffinan lives with Morel! Even more, it may now be up to Dean Brehm whether or not to invalidate the elections. Surely she \\111 not do so, since HCC's efficiency as an administrative body will be crippled by the delay. J-Board also neglected to follow S.A. rules. No one on the elections committee and none ofthe candidates were informed of the meeting or invited to speak. In fa~ the only speakers were Morel, Daughtrey, and Flores. Academic Vice President Jeft' Golant prepared a response to the grievance, but was not allowed to submit it because Huffman said he was "late." In addition, the J-Board was not allowed to question him. At the very least. if the J-Board's decision stands and HeC elections must be rerun, the people whose names appeared on the illegal campaign flyer should still be disqualified from running. The article in Pipe ~am reporting the J-Board's "decision" had some amusing but instructive quotes from the participants. Katrina Huffman. pro temp chair of the J-Board, was quoted as saying that she had no conflict of interest in the case because "common sense... has nothing to do with it" Hmrnmm. Jessica Flores, also party to the grievance, labelled the elections process "unconstitutionaL unprofessional, and incorrect." Do you think Flores (who is incidentally also the president of LASU) would say the same thing about illegal campaign flyers? After all, her name was on top. So here we are, halfway through the semester, and this is the state of things. Why?

November, 1995

Petty politics. Unfair play. On both sides. People have been talking about petty politics and student elections since the beginning of the year. Maybe petty politics are just an inherent part of the SA How could petty politics be minimized? A few suggestions: First, our S.A. E-Board members need to stand up for themselves. There are going to be bullies on both sides threatening impeachment. But let's face it, impeachment is highly unlikely for anyone. After last year, most people have had their fill of it. If the S.A. E-Board wants to see fair elections, they need to use their powerful positions to make fair elections happen. Fair elections will never occur magically. Secondly. our rules need to be consistent, and people who break them need to be punished. Both sides have been guilty of employing a double-standard in order to further their own interests. Thirdly, the elections committee needs to unify. This is not to say that they all must be in agreement all the time, but there is some inner strife occurring in the committee. The committee needs to rid itself of people who seem to have a vested interest in the outcome of the elections (on either side) and establish a set of concrete and foolproof guidelines in order to make grievances and thus subsequent invalidations difficult, if not impossible. Infonnational signs must be made big and specific, perhaps conforming to some central guidelines specifying things such as paper size, color, and poster numbers and content. Publicity campaigns must be persistent to the point ofbeing annoying, until we are all ready to retch from seeing so many of those big, specific signs. Communication between members of the committee must be excellent. They should make it their job to write a "how-to" book on running elections. Perhaps this sounds silly and ridiculous, but in the current climate at this school, it may be the only way to do it right. And in the current divisive S.A, they're the only people who may be able to fix things. Wish them luck.

Joshua Trapani is a senior majoring in geology. He is the Review s copy editor.


November. 1995

News

Binghamton Review

17

Parties Compromise on WR2 By M. Ellen Goldfarb

U

te last semester. the Harpur Col lege Council passed a diversity re irement known as Weiss-Ross II. This represented the culmination of a heated debate which had occurred on HCC's floor for most of that year. In an earlier session HCC passed a different requirement which affected the freshmen class which entered the university in 1993. This requirement was substantially different from a proposal which came from the ad-hoc Diversity Task Force. Most of the opposition to this proposal was based on the belief that the orientation of this requirement was too political and compromised academic freedom. This proposal. which came to be known as Diversity Two, was never accepted. The requirement which actually took effect, Diversity Three, was accepted by HCC. This definition of diversity was regarded by the more moderate members of the college faculty as more appropriate. However~ the proponents of Diversity 1\vo were unwilling to allow the more moderate diversity requirement to stand. The week before finals of Spring 1994. a moderately-sized contingent of radical students and faculty staged a demonstration in Provost Swain's office. The aim of the demonstration was to force Swain to overrule the Harpur College Council and impose Diversity 1\vo. Ultimately, a compromise was reached between the demonstrators and the administration. This compromise involved an arrangement which would permit HCC to reconsider the Diversity 1\vo proposal during the 1994-95 session. Early in that session, then-Student Association Vice President for Multicultural Affairs Yusef Daughtrey and Professor Kelvin Santiago of the Department of Sociology put forward a motion which called for a 44 moratorium" on the current diversity requirement. This motion was passed. and the stu-

dents who had previously been affected by the Diversity requirement became pennanently exempt. Naturally. this action succeeded in placating the dissent expressed by much of the moderate portion of the student body. Next. the debate on the merits of the of the Diversity 1\vo proposal was reopened. After several weeks of exhausting and at times humorous discussion. Profes sor Donald Weiss from the Department of Philosophy offered a compromise motion which was coauthored by colleague Steven Ross. After several more weeks of exhausting. but less humorous debate. a revised version of this motion was adopted and passed. The current diversity requirement is referred to as WR2, named after Professor Weiss. and Professor Ross. WR2 was passed because it was regarded as an acceptable compromise by most ofthe parties involved. It still contained language about "inequalities of power" and '"the nature of oppression." However. it was explicitly stated in the language of the motion that "various issues concerning the nature. causation. and social construction of such inequalities and forms of dominance may be approached and addressed from a wide diversity of theoretical and political prospective." It was felt that this language adequately assuaged concerns about academic freedom and over politicization of the Harpur College curriculum. WR2 required that a fixed number of seats on the implementation committee be awarded to both faculty in interdisciplinary programs, as well as students who are members of ICA groups and were recommended by the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs. It was also provided for in the motion that a committee would be appointed by the Dean Brehm and would be "charged with preparing guidelines for its implementation.'路 as well as maximizing this

requirement's compatibility with the currently challenged General Education program. This committee convened early in the Fall 1995 semester and was required to report to HCC with its recommendations by November I. 1995. The first item on the committee's agenda was to determine whether or not a standing committee should detennine ~\hat courses qualified for the requirement. The alternative would have been along the lines of the current system used for designating courses which satisfy the All College Writing Requirement. Under this model. the professor has complete autonomy in choosing whether or not his or her course should count towards the requirement. From this discussion. a consensus emerged that the some committee structure was necessary. Graduate student Jesse Benjamin proposed that a standing committee of the Harpur College Council be empowered to approve courses satisfying the Diversity Requirement. Benjamin also offered suggestions on how this committee should be constituted. His recommendation included the idea that six interdisciplinary programs be permanently represented on this committee. Benjamin also put forward a more controversial suggestion which held that "we explicitly exclude vehement outspoken critics of this requirement.'路 Claiming that this suggestion was not aimed at censoring those who disagree with him. Benjamin maintained that it was necessary to "limit this requirement's implementation to those who believe in it.'路 Benjamin justified this suggestion simply by stating that "it has already gone through the long process of acceptance at HCC." Ultimately. Benjamin's idea was abandoned. An amended motion. authored by Professor Allen Arkush of the Judaic Studies Department. was passed at an implementation committee


18

meeting held Wednesday. October 25 . The motion recommended to HCC that additional members be added to the Harpur College Council Curriculum Commince when it co nsi ders diversity classes. This additional membership includes two facull)' members from interdisciplinary departments or programs and one additional student member. This student \\ill be appointed by the Student Association Academic VicePresident " in consullation with the Student Association Vice-President for Multi cullural Affairs." T he commillee also recommended that th is student be

NOI路ember. 1995

News

/Jillgham/ol1 Review

a member of the ICA. Austin GrafT. a student member ofthe implementation committee. said .. It was my impression that Jesse Benjamin was allempting to force his view of diversity and to restrict academic freedom ." Graff went on to explain that Jesse Benjamin stated in the most recent implementation commillee meeting. "I am not a big defender of academic freedom ." When asked how he felt about what the commillee had done Josh Zylbershlag. a student member of the implementation commillee. replied. " I fell that the work of the commillee was

r---------------------,

10% Off With. This Ad

I I. I I Full Service Florist I 13oulonicrcs I Cors3gcs I Balloon s I Wire Service I Delil'ery to SUNY I & Tri-Cities Arc.t :

Special Holiday Arrangement s Available

PAT VAN TUYL

L _ _ _\~I!!! 7.a .

<' ...' .

,. ~',

','

.

.-,

.... ~

\ '~I.~' ~~ ~02L798. 1 ~ _(800)~.72B7_ _ _

I I I I I I I I I I : .J

generall y positive. However. I am disappointed that a motion requ iri ng a supcrmajority vote in the expanded curriculum commillee faced opposition from many members of the committee. This motion wou ld have mandated the need for morc than a simple majority in order to rule that a course did not mcct the guidelines for a Diversity course'" Zylbershlag went on to say that " I. unlike others. have sOl11e trust in the academic abilities of our university facully. Therefore. if a professor feels that his or her course is a diversity course I believe that morc then a simplc majority should be required to defeat ie' Student Association Academic VicePresident Jeffrey Golant said that "the implementation committee has proven that compromise is possible. even on an issue as dh'isivc as the diversity contra路 versy. He went on to agree with Zylbcrshlag that a supcnllajority was the best way to rejcct a proposed diversity course. Golant said. '" I am disappointed with the commillee's failure to accept this suggestion '"

M. mIen Goldjilrb is a pseudonym. 11,. alilhor did not wish to be idefl ll}ied as a Reriew con lrih lllOl: She is ajlln ior ilia路 joring in English.


November. 1995

Essay

Bi nghal1lton Review

19

The Myth of Hyper-Egalitarianism By Joe Martin The idea that equality between individuals should not be limited to equality under the law is hyper-egalitarianism. In its most radical form, it demands equality of outcomes on all social factors~ such as income and intelligence, and on all social dimensions such as race and sex. Additionally, hyper-egalitarianism holds that any inequality that emerges along these factors and dimensions is unquestionably due to some repressive "ism." such as racism. sexism~ classism, etc., that runs rampant in the diabolical American psyche. Consider the following annual income distribution scenarios between 10 people: ·Scenario I: ten people earning $35,000. ·Scenario 2: five people earning $10,000, five people earning $20,000. ·Scenario 3: five people earning $50,000, five people earning $75,000. We would all agree that Scenario I is more desirable than Scenario 2. But many people-from here on out called hyper-egalitarians-would deem Scenario 1 as being more desirable than Scenario 3. After all, everyone is equal, right? But take a closer look. In Scenario 3, everybody is better off financially than in scenario 1. But there are die-hard hyper-egalitarians who will still claim that scenario 1 is better than scenario This reveals a very important, though previously unconscious, hyper-egalitarian assumption: it simply does not matter how Iowa person's income is, it simply must be equal to everybody else ·s. To the hyper-egalitarian, equality has primacy over prosperity. Remember this the next time you hear members of the democratic left lament about the inequity of income distribution in the U.S. It may very well be more desirable than many distributions of income they would recommend. But the reasonable among us with a

3'

well-meaning tinge of hyper-egalitarian sensibilities might suggest the following: "With regards to Scenario 3~ just for the sake of argument. why don't we take $12~500 away from those earning $75,000 and give it to those who earn $50.000, creating.an equitable distribution of income at $62.500 for each of the 1 people?" Aside from supply-side arguments against such a coercive redistribution of wealth (that's another article), it violates the only tried and true egalitarian ideal. This ideal is so fundamental to American civilization that it is inscribed above the doors of the Supreme Court building: "equality under the law." Ideally, the protection of each individual's right to life. liberty, and property is equally guaranteed by the government. In the proposed state of affairs above, the law treats people unequally, albeit in order achieve income equality. This illustrates a second important point: any equality that is fleshed out through legislation above and beyond that of political equality ends up violating political equality. This point is not confined to the hypothetical. Notice the federal government's progressive tax policy. For a married couple filing jointly in 1995: ·under $39,000 .............. 15% ·$39,000-$94,250........... $5,850 plus 28% of amount over $39,000 $94,250-$143,600 ......... $21,320 plus 31 % of amount over $94,250 ·$143,600-$256,500 ........ $36,618.50 plus 36% of amount over $143,600 ·$256,500 and up ............ $77,262.50 plus 39.6% of amount over $256,500 Different tax brackets mean different ways of treating people on the basis of income-by law. Is this what our representatives mean by equality under the law? The inconsistency is obvious. (Thank God for House majority leader Dick Armey: his proposal for a 17 per-

°

cent flat tax is a breath of fresh air in regards to the inequity. not to mention the complexity. of the current tax code.) Also take notice to entitlement spend~ . ing. The $676 billion in federal social welfare eX'PCnditures in 1991 accounts for a whopping 51.4% of federal appropriations. Some people are guaranteed' . social welfare benefits by law. some people aren't. perhaps on the basis of "means-testing" or some other such criteria. This is another glaring example of how the federal government, as a ' matter of policy. repeatedly and blatantly , violates the principle of equality under the law. It is ironic that the inscription in stone on the Supreme Court building is only a few hundred yards away from the rear, of the Capitol. It seems our congres- . sional representatives have been using the front door since the New Deal. If the reader is committed, in principle. to equality under the law. yet his or her humanitarian sensibilities lead him or her to support progressive taxation and entitlement spending. he or she should be experiencing a substantial . amount of cognitive dissonance. This is actually good news. Though uncomfortable, cognitive dissonance spurs progress and the resolution of inconsistencies. It can also be evaded however. so I ask the reader to face it squarely and resolve it in his or her own mind. At the very least, I hope I made the reader think twice. In conclusion, economic hyperegalitarianism is intellectually bankrupt for two reasons: I) it holds income equality rather than prosperity as it's call to arms, and 2) it backfires by violating the most fundamental principle of egalitarianism: equality under the law. .Joe Alar/in is a graduate student I1Ia- . joring in .~stem.v science.


211

November. 1995

Keilka

IJillghmlltol1 N eVleu '

Poison in the Forest By Dawn MCKibbin arC! the cO/tUnl/ill.': n(/vt'nlllres "路:l'i/kn Xn ,\路targixyn. (I yOllng 111(111

'/JUtS(' (~I

whose parellts \vere hred willi mallY

strange obi/iltes under the

J1ea,.~\,

70

years (~I Ihe Oligorc;"y in th e] lsi cell Im:r. J..:eillm is (/11 "alfered h1l11l011" hy species (111(/ aJree lIIall by Inu ; although polili cimls dOll

Y aht '(~vs

interpret Ihe

Inlt'~路

mnde hy Ihe /imnc/ers of the Secom/ Republic lite wny Ihose hrmJe. (:YI1;call1lell alld lwmen in/em/ell. flecallse I ~r lhi., .

A:eilkn laced an uphill hallIe 10

the Imi\ler.\'i~1/ (!t his choice and s!l/C(r what he' wish ed. Once there. he

dooma~'

to his room. and oITered to help as well. but he wen t unheard at first because Isaia h Black had started mocking K 'Jana for being a sellout and all so rts of other nast)' things. Keilka couldn't toke the insults to his roommate lying down. He ca lled Isaiah something that referred. to put it polite l ~. to the act of sexual intercoursc. On l ~' afier Keilka had said those words did he fervently wish he had held his temper and his tong ue. Isaiah and Christian. ne,'er on good

~o /0

term s. agreed for once and muttered

./iJl/lU/ fllallllllike whal hl! (1m/ mal1yothC!rs wish (0 heli eve', nol 0/1 of the issues /i'oll/ Ih e I''irs l RCl'lIhli c have heel1

something on the order of. "Shut up. Mr. Superior." This happened to be a sui tewide nickname that Ke ilka particularly detested. Upo n utteri ng those words in

sellled. ..

K

Cilkn wa sn't sure how it had started. but it probably had something to do with th e extreme stress of his first experience with mid-terms. All he knew was that he had been rc.1ding his e-mail and staring out th e window at the afternoon sun on th e last of the falling yellow leayes in the Nature Preserve. Then he heard his suitemates Sawa Minemade and Christian Wright arguing over Sawa's car. He had the best intentions of going out into the liYing room to stop the shouting match . but he did not want to lose his train of thought. In th e backg round he could hea r Christian mock ing Sawa about his inability to fix his car- a Japanese car no less. Sawa retorted that he was American and lhat his ethnic heritage gave him no special lock on technical ability. At that point. Keilka could hear his roommate. K 'Jana Crusher Powell. an already

\'cry promising aerospace and computer science major. oITer to take a look at the abused. ailing vehicle. B)' then. Kei lka was sta nding in the

ncar unison . the two plunged into a new

round of bickering and name-calling among t hemsclves. but not before their sixth suit emate. Marty Steibel. who might have lacked in stature. but not fighting spirit. jumped into the dispute. Soon the situation degenerated into a loud round robin of insults among the six young men. Keilka couldn 't rcally remember what exactly had made Sawa snap. but finally the oldest freshman gave up on talking to Christian and walloped him as he often so richly deserved. (In Keilka's opinion. Christian was a loud. obnoxious. ig-

norant. self-righteous lout. Keilka had wanted to do what Sawa had done for severa l weeks now.) The owner of the second punch was still a mystery to Kei Ika. but the room quickly erupted in a brawl which soon spi lled out into the hallway. The loose alliances between the you ng men were forgotten in the frenzy of the battIe. and it soon became a sixcornered fight. Someone in another room finall y reali zed that thi s was not just "The Balkans:' as their room had been named by a 20th Century history major on their

noor with a sense of humor and foresig ht. playing football. but a release of pent-up tensio ns and a real fight. They went to get the R.A. Keilka might have thought Ryan McVeety was a naky feel -gooder, but when it came down to it. he stopped the violence with the sense of mission of a U.N. peacekeeper and the tactics of an Old West sheriff. Once the fighting was quelled and a hostile peace prevailed. the boys were sent. in a rather unorthodox strategy. to spend the night on the lounge couches on different noors as a punishment. They were also told not to go back to the room without Ryan's supcn'ision on pain of being sent before the J-Board. None of the suitemates liked this idea, but then. that was the point. after all. This was the reaso n for the meeting that Keilka. along with the rest of his suitemates. had to attend. Ryan. however. instead of just sitting them in a classroom and lecturing at them. decided to take them into the nearby woods to resolve their diITerences. If things nared up agai n. at least the furniture would not be in danger. So they all sat there on downed logs

nursing bruises and swollen eyes and


November, 1995

sore limbs. Even Keilka had managed to acquire a long, red scrape mark across one cheek. They glared at each other because no one wanted to be there in the dank. leaf-strewn forest listening to Ryan's harangues about tolerance and sharing their feelings. What they really wanted to tell each other was to grow up and get a life. Then Christian started whining~ and it was Sawa's tum to jump down his throat. KeUka sat observing. He did not want to be here, but was happy that he had at least learned to pull his punches. Now he would learn to hold his tongue. He just wondered how long this would last as he watched Ryan become a manipulator and an instigator. Soon real tensions boiled to the surface, especially between Christian and Isaiah, and their arguing became increasingly louder without accomplishing much. Yes, they'd gotten a good deal off their chests, but so what? In Keilka's opinion, Ryan seemed to have no real plan to make them shut up and settle their problems. Eventually, Keilka tuned out the whole deal. "You're sneering again," whispered K' Jana, who was sitting next to him on the clammy log. "So?" Keilka answered back incorrigibly. He knew sneering was a bad habit that made him seem condescending, but at present, he didn't care. After drifting for several more minutes, Keilka thought he heard an unusual noise over the braying of human voices. He wasn't sure, so he focused all of his attention on the rocky, leaf strewn area several feet to the side of him. "Did you hear that?" he whispered to K'Jana. "No," K'Jana returned as catty as Keilka had been before, "I'm not superior like you." Keilka bared his small, sharp teeth and elongated canines (another bad habit he wished to break) in annoyance at his roommate. He concentrated even harder now, and could make out rustling, clicking, rattling noises above the human voices. Suddenly he shot up, and with long,

KeUka

Binghamton Review

quick steps covered the distance to the base of a great oak tree. He thrust an agile arm down into the leaves that covered small slabs of rock and saw his fingers close around brown scales. He was dimly aware that the human buzz had ceased and that Isaiah and Christian, who had been standing toe-to-toe arguing, had sat down next to one another as he held the aggravated~ wriggling animal up for inspection. The timber rattler, a rare and reclusive native of the local woods. shook its tail and writhed in great agitation, but the strong fingers that encircled it would not let go. In desperation, it struck at Keilka's arm, but its lithe captor swayed away in response to the hostile, undulating movements. The snake tried to bite in self-defense yet again, and this time, its fangs sunk into Keilka's arm. He quickly brushed the awkwardly large head away before the snake could inject much poison and held on tightly to its scaly body. In confusion that the strike had not gained it freedom from its unusual captor, the snake rattled louder. Keilka had a firm grasp on the animal and had begun to examine it more closely even as he carefully approached the six others. All were ashen with fear, though some, like little boys, put on their bravest faces so as not to show their rivals that their insides had turned to jelly at .the proximity of certain danger and possible death. Keilka, despite the blood trickling down his arm, held the creature curiously and played with it the way a child might handle a captured garter snake. "Weird!" was about the only thing the others could manage to say because the snake had stopped its posturblg and became rather calm, and the bite seemed to have absolutely no effect on Keilka. Even after five minutes, the two bloody holes showed not even the slightest trace ofswelling. KeUka turned the snake over and muttered, " Hmm ... are you a guy or a gal? A fellow, I'd guess, but there's no way to tell for sure out here." Most of the suitemates had known about Keilka's interest in snakes, but had

never been prepared for this. Keilka walked still closer to the group until he stood in the center of all his suitemates. "What are you doing. are you crazy?" they shouted hysterically. "Don't you trust me?" Keilka asked. "Are you scared? He won't hurt you now that he's with me. Haven't you ever been curious?" Christian and Isaiah looked at each other. Both wanted to shake their heads no, but pride wouldn't let them. Keilka grasped the snake behind the head with his right hand so it would not bite them, and held out the rest of the body to the young men with his other. "Don't you trust me? Don't scare him, or make any sudden movements. Just the two of you reach out gently... and slowly... that it. .. " Keilka said encouragingly. Both of the young men put their hands out cautiously toward the scaly hide with their eyes wide at the sight of the bloody hand and rattling tail. Although it was abundantly clear that neither liked even harmless snakes, both had to put their faith in the other not to panic. If one did, it would scare the animal. Keilka would lose what ever sort of weird control he exercised over it and an angry poisonous reptile would fall into one of their laps. The animal did not submit to their cold fingers quietly, and began to rattle its warning once more. Keilka told it to shush, and it did to some degree as the men slowly withdrew their hands. Both took a deep breath and shivered at the experience when Keilka and the snake moved on to the others. Once Isaiah and Christian had touched the creature without incident, the others were more confident that they could do so as well. Slowly conversation started once more, and Keilka sat apart holding his find in his hands. Something had snapped, and they began to talk to each other for once. Peace had not been achieved when Keilka came back from setting the snake free in the woods. but they were no longer at war.

21

Dawn AfcKibbin lives in Jackson, '(\l0mingo


22

Binghamton Review

November,

Column

199~

A Man, His Cable TV, and a Moose?

B

on't o\\n a couch. That is because 1 don't own a television. It's hard to .ssociate the two. When] did have both of these items, my dog was often the only one to watch TV This devotion to my television was rewarded in kind by its decision to quit on me. I made the logical decision and tossed the thing into a dumpster somewhere in Rappahannock County. Virginia. It was soon followed by the couch-the fragments of cushions conformed more to the figure of a Rottweiler than a human rear end. Adjusting to this new lifestyle was not easy. Not only did my dog have to grow accustomed to lying on the floor. but she also had to seek out new interests. such as looking out the window. As for me~ 1 had already found that staring out the window provided the same level of mental stimulation as television did. Not surprisingly. the local cable company calls regularly. "Mr. Sharpless. this day only for you our special customer we are offering a limited time only not to be offered again no refunds no exchanges introductory special one size fits all store credit only come on down everything must go for new subscribers only designed especially for you. Mr. Sharpman ..... 路'Sharpless.., "Yes. of course, excuse me. Mr. Sharp... Sharpless. our special. may I tell you about it?" ''I'll take it." "Excuse me?" ''I'll take it-all of it." "Sir. you want everything?" '"Everything. " "You'd like CNN. ESPN. C-SPAN. SPIC-N-SPAN. ABC, DO-RE-MI. CBS, All B.S .. NBC, NBA. NRA, NAACP. A & E. A & P. TBS. TNT, TLC. T & A. S & M. VH-l. MTv. Auntie Em Tv. The Disney Channel. The Discovery ChanneL The Disaster Channel, The Culturally Disadvantaged Channel. The Shopping Channel. The Spending Channel.

The Debt Collection Channel, The Bankruptcy ChanneL ... "I want it." "And the OJ. Channel?" "Yes, and the Ito Channel." '"Mr. Sharpless~ there is no Ito ChanneL"

Sharper Image

Gordon Sharpless "There will be. Give it to me." "Would you like the University Channel? Turn it on and it tells you what to think:' "Lemme think ... ,. "And the latest in family programming, the Family Values Channel-turn it on and it tells you what to think." "Sounds just like the University Channel. What's the difference?" "If you disagree "1th the Family Values Channel, it beats you over the head and tells you it's good for you. If you disagree with the University Channel, it beats you over the head and tells you it's good for someone else." "Can I pass on those last ones?" "I'm sorry, sir, they are required channels. It's part of the new Diversity in Broadcasting Act that was initiated with the reforms of the cable industry."

"The reforms designed to lower my monthly bill?" "That is correct." "Which will be... " "$1.274,28 ...

"Okay. I'll pay it." "When may we send someone to conduct the installation to your television?" "My what?" "Your television, sir. We need to send someone to hook your television to our service." "I don't own a television." "Sir, when one orders cable telC\;sion, it is generally assumed that this individual has a television." "Jsn't there virtual television?" "No sir~ television is reality." "McBummer. " With Beavis and Kathie Lee removed from my Iife~ I have recently taken up meditation. Or medication. I get them confused. Anyway, I'm in the Nature Preserve (we really have one), with my favorite news source~ The Weekly World News (as good as Dan Rather, I always say). I pause to reflect, or inject (I get them confused), and catch a glimpse of the local moose ... [Editor s Note: At this point, we feel it necessary to terminate this column. We anticipated a thoughtful treatise portraying the evils of television, with unique insights that might prompt us all to explore intellectual matters beneficial to ourselves and society. We did not expect to find Mr. Sharpless in the Nature Preserve looking for moose. Look for our December issue when Gordon Sharpless presents the highlights of his open forum of debate on the important issues we face today; titled: An Open Forum of Debate on the Important Issues We Face Today.] Gordon Sharpless, when not lookingfor moose, is a graduate student in Art History who has been researching the image oflhe remote control in ancient art.


November. 1995

4!nibbles & Bits

Self-Hatred Howard University political science professor Ronald Wallers. a black man. does not support Gen. Colin PoweIrs possible candidacy because. "He IPowell I supports the m)1h that black people can get ahead on their own." Heaven forbid such thoughts! IHllman Even ts. November 3. 1995]

... Big Lies Another missive from Clinton asserted that Newt Gingrich and company were behind the curve on reforming Medicare-he'd purportedly I..1lked about the tmst fund for two years. A Nexis sea rch of "Clinton" and " Medicare tmst fund" yielded no quotes . Nice try. Mr. President. [National Reviell'. October 9. 19951

Go, Big Green! Dartmouth College refmed to recognize a student magazine. Snapshots o/Color. which excludes whites from membership. Co-editor Jennifer Daniel says that the magazine is not di sc riminating by limiting membership. Can 't wait to see the lirst issue. [Camplls Report. September. 19951

Stupid Government Trick The U.S. Forest Service has reportedly been pressuring transportation officials to paint neWly-exposed rocks nca r highways to make the m look as if they are aged. Someone had better c heck the origins of the so-called Painted Desert. [Reason. November, 19951

It Could Happen to You A couple in Jackson, WY. returned home to lind a half-naked woman passed out on their living room flOaT. The woman had come in through a garage window. used the phone, and drank a bottle of vodka. No word on Sen. Kennedy 's whereabouts at the time. [Jackson Hole Guide, October 4 , 1995] This is Too Much for Words A Phoenix, Arizona. school district has been sued for using a computer game called " Freedom" in which players arc illiterate slaves escaping the South. What 's nex1. " Concentration Camp" " [Camp"s Report, October, 1995J We Live for These An anger-management counselor in Hawaii lost his temper and punched a man who arrived at a class drunk. The man was declared brain dead. The counselor faces murder charges. [Press & Sun -Blliletin, October 15 , 1995J Little Lies ... President Clinton recently said: " I think [IJ had underestimated the importance of the presidency, even though I had read all the books and seen it alLin my lifetime." Victims of his tax hikes might suggest he read a bit more. [The WeekiI' Standard, October 9, 19951

This is a Joke, Right? Former President Jimmy Carter has not been deterred by the poor sales of his book of poems. He and fortner nightmare First Daughter Amy are releasing a new children's book. 7"e Lillie Baby Snoogle-Fleej er . Better reserve your copy early. IThe American Enterprise. November I December, 1995J Stiff Resistance Students at Harvard Universi ty recently celebrated a " Take Back the Penis" Rally. I U. October. 19951

Ringhmnlot1 Review

Great Moments in

23

Di\'crsit~'

Animal-rights supporters and homose~'ual activists rece ntly clashed at a gay rodeo. I Washington limes l1'eek~v. October 9-15. 1995 1 The Verdict, Pal't I On Larl~V King Live. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro said Ron Goldman was "an innocent bystander. " How would he know" I.\'ell'",路eek. October 16. 1995] The Verdict, Part 2 Seen on Wall Street: What did 0.1. say to Johnnie Cochran immediately after the verdict was read') "Can I have m)' gloves back nowT INational Review. October 23. 19951 The Verdict, Part 3 Seen at the Million Man March : " Elect Farrakhan-Simpson." We could call them "Screed and Bleed". [H't1shingtol1 1Imes WeekiI'. September 23-29.19951 The Verdict, Part 4 A New Hampshire woman was hospitali zed following the acquittal announcement when her boyfriend jumped on her neck during a light about the trial. Guess we've all lea rned a lesson from this ordeal, huh? IPress & 811n Bulletin , October 5.19951


...

~,.,

\

BINGHAMTON REVIEW Binghamton University P.O. Box 6000 Binghamton, N.Y. 13902-6000

NonprofIt Org. u.s. Postage PAID Permit 61 BiIlghamton. NY


November 1995 - Binghamton review