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May 29, 1975 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-29

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, May 29, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
Old debt won't go away
gINCE COLUMBUS LANDED on this continent's shores
480 years ago, Native Americans have been one of
the least understood and most mistreated groups. Most
White Americans have never taken the time to try to
understand the cultural needs and background of Native
Americans; general neglect and ignorance have eroded
the values and traditions which this country's original
inhabitants follow.
The European system of get what you can, while
you can was a concept which the American natives were
unprepared -to deal-with. Native Americans dealt with
white society on faith, assuming that white society was
honorable enough to keep their promises.
The land on which the University built the Ann Ar-
bor campus was obtained from Native Americans. The
treaty agreed to exchange the land for the free educa-
tion of the children of three regional tribes.
Native American groups have recently demanded
the promised opportunities for advanced education and
have placed a renewed emphasis on the value of their
culture.
In addressing the Regents recently, one Native
American spokeswoman charged, "You are insensitive
to the fact that we are another nation, another culture."
It is the job of the University to provide for the edu-
cational and cultural needs of all its students. The Uni-
versity has established and supported cultural centers
for other minority student groups, and should make every
effort to establish a cultural center for Native American
students in proportion to that minority's enrollment and
to campus interest in native culture; the existing Native
American Studies Program should be made more visible.
These actions would help preserve -the culture of and in-
crease understanding of Native Americans, who have
been ignored for centuries.
Our society has chosen to ignore' the needs and pro-
mises made to the Native Americans for too long, and
an unpaid debt of a hundred years collects a lot of in-
terest.
Spring Term News Staff
JEFF SORENSEN
Editor
PAUL HASKNS
EditoralatDirector

Letters:s-
Place for closed classes at 'U'

To The Daily:
WE FEEL that your editorinal
of 14 May, "The Flip Side of
Sex Bias," and the editorial
note printed following the read-
ers' letters on that topic r'hich
appeared 16 May, require a re-
sponse from this discussion
group of women educators.
Not being parties to the par-
ticular case in question, we
should like to broach the issue
ignored in your editorial and the
succeeding note; i.e., why would
a concerned teacher regard a
single-sex class as a more ef-
fective learning situation?
All of us have participated in
the feminist movement, though
in various settings, some aca-
demic and some political. We
,regard this exposure as a very
nositive contribution to o u r
development as educators and
scholars. The GEO is for us
perhaps the least sexist of the
mixed-sex organizations we
have been involved in. Yet still
we feel the need of the, oppor-
tunity to discuss our ideas in the
freedom of an all-woman group,
using our own ways of inter act-
ing, our own ways pf directing
discussions, and our own ways
of expressing ourselves to the
union as a whole and to other
groups. This applies not only to
"women-oriented" issues, bo to
all general discussion topics.
FROM OUR own experiences
in teaching and meeting w i t h
students it is obvious to us that
many female students do have
difficulty asserting themselves
and in getting their personal

educational needs met in the
traditional academic context.
Frequently the women who
rarely speaks up in the mixed
sex class will open a) in an
all-woman section to reveal
keen interest and insig'st into
course material. This behavior
can be accounted for in part by
individuals' lack of assersive-
ness, but is so generalized a be-
havior pattern in females as to
be also obviously a result of
the sexually determined soci J--
ization processes which we have
undergone.
Women are sytenatically
taght to be deferential, es.ec-
ially to men, and especially in
academic contexts, to be pas-
sive listeners, to be falljw3ts
rather than creative thinkers,.
and above all, never to compete
with men. By contrast, men
have generally been taught to
be aggressive for the sake of
being aggressive, to make points
at the expense of intellectual
dialogue, and to expect to re-
ceive deference and attention
from women.
THE POSITIVE side of fe-
male socialization - learrirg
to listen and respond to others .--
is disadvantageous in any situa-
tion in which there is a differ-,
ential in power between the par-
ticipants. This includes all of
the "normal" male-oriented con-
texts in our society, in this case,
classrooms.
When the burden of f'nction-
ing in this environment is re-
moved, teachers can enpioy a
methodology which makes use

of the more highly developed
interpersonal skills of women
to' enrich the learning exper-
ience. The supportive e-svirn-
ment thus created encourages
women to articulate their ideas
more assertively, and enables
them to develop skills which are
necessary to success in the aca-
demic situation.
The all-women class helps
overcome the discrimnatior
that they have suffered due tn
their sex. Because women have
been systematically discouraged
from using their minds, , from
excelling academically, we
have unequal opportunity in ed-
ucation, caused not by the limits
on the avenues open to men but
rather by both objectve and
the psychological stumb ing
blocks placed in womens' paths.
ALL-WOMAN classes can be
a form of academic affirmati re
action, one way of helping w)-
men overcome the discrimina-
tion they have suffered at the
hands of our society and its ed-
ucational system.
We take this question of ac-i-
demic skills-related affirmative
action very seriously. Our or
educational rights and needs
should not be submerged by a
male's anguished cries of re-
verse discrimination. Discussion
of equal oportunity in education
must rest on thorough and open-
minded analysis of all possible
alternatives rather than f I a'
condemnation of deviation from
the status quo.
-GEO Feminist Caucus
May 1
Jerry
a solid lock on the monoton: of
the year award.
FORD IS playing a dangerous
game. Ile chastises Congress for
being lax in passing energy pol-
icy. Yet he himself refuses to
even mention both sides of the
argument when addressing the
American public. Strong lead-
ership is one thing, but stripping
the nation's elected representa-
tives of the power they've been
endowed with by the public is
quite another. If that's the case,
steps should be taken to curb
the President's authority before
he declares such action unco-
stitutional.
Paul Haskins is the Daily
Editorial Director.

The many faces ol

By PAUL HASKINS
WHEN JERRY FORD came
into power last August,
despite all the predictions to the
contrary, it was a tittle too
hard to grasp the fact that he
would lead the country down a
path so conservative, so devoid
of progressive vision or nopular
interest that it would have done
his benefactor proud.
All the people in a position to
know said he was Nixon's man,
that despite his affable, inform-,
al disposition he would continue
to support the dead-end-tenuts of
the Nixon doctrine at the ex-
pense of the mushrooming social
problems that desperately need-
ed attention on the home reint.

But for many people, it was
just too easy to believe that a
President you could call Jerry
who wasn't afraid to laugh at
himself and his shortcomnings
would take up the torch of hu-
man equity so long abandoned
by his predecessors.
A man of the people. 'layts
what he was.
I could never quite understand
why the editorial cartoonists
chose to depict Ford as a post-
lobotomy sort you'd put about
half-way on the evolutionary
chart of the primates. The rea-
sons for the caricature a l l
came clear last night though,
when Ford presented his en-
ergy edict to the nation and put

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