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October 19, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-19

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- 4

Page 4
Ghe f , C t,6,a n :43 tt
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. XCI, No. 4042ManrSt
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
The hazing punishments

Sunday, October 19, 1984

The Michigan Daily


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T WO YEARS AGO at the annual
Michigan hockey team banquet,
an equipment manager presented a
mock award to one of the upper-
classman players. The award was a
bag of hair-"Something left over
from your freshman year," the player
was told. The audience, consisting of
players, their families, coaches, and
athletic department administrators,
The hair-whether it was genuine or
just a wig-represented the body
shaving the player had received as a
freshman team member. It stood for
the hazing that he and all other
Michigan hockey players had been
And it clearly indicated-because it
was the subject of humor at a team
banquet-that many people associated
with the Michigan hockey team have
known about the hazing of freshman
players for at least a few years. And
have done nothing about it.
Now it has been learned that Athletic
Director Don Canham-who on
Tuesday sounded as if he had never
heard of any hazing incidents in
Michigan athletics-has punished the
hockey team for last Sunday night's
hazing of several freshman players,
one of whom was brought sick, naked,
shaved, and freezing back to his dorm.
The problem is, Canham's punish-
ments are both inappropriate and
Canham.has prohibiterl all hockey
team members from entering any
local bars for the rest of the season
(the inappropriate part) and suspen-
ded three team leaders from par-
ticipating in this weekend's series
against Bowling Green University (the
inadequate part).
Although the athletic director may
have the practical authority to prevent
players from visiting bars-he- can
control virtually every aspect of the
athletes' lives merely by threatening
them with expulsion from Michigan
teams-he does not have the moral
authority to do so. University-imposed
punishments should proscribe only
University-related activities; they
should not apply to the private lives of
any students.
(It should be noted that the stay-out-
of-the-bars order differs from rules
governing social life that athletes
agree to abide by when they are part of
a team: The former is an example of
ex post facto manipulation; the latter,
of mutual consent.)
The suspension of three players is lit-

tle more than a token punishment,
designed more to mollify the public
than to drive home a message to the
team. Nearly fifteen players (about
half the team) participatead in last
week's hazing; to single out three for
punishment is woefully inadequate and
disgustingly expedient.
Canham wouldn't suspend all fifteen
guilty players because that would
have meant forfeiting. the Bowling
Green games; he opted for the finan-
cially efficient decision instead.
We believe the Michigan hockey
team should be required to forfeit the
next home game series as the only ap-
propriate punishment for an act that
Canham himself called "a serious
matter" that "will not be tolerated by
this University."
Nearly half the hockey team is guilty
of direct participation in the hazings.
The rest are guilty because they have
known about the tradition of freshman
hazings-indeed, all have been victims
themselves-and have never spoken
out about it.
Clearly, all should be punished in a
manner that will really hurt-it will
take the drastic action of several for-
feitures to crack the vicious hazing
If Canham is truly serious when he
says, "It will not happen again, I can
assure everyone of that," then he must
go beyond punishing this year's hockey
team. He must establish a clear hazing
policy that prohibits hazing of mem-
bers of any Michigan athletic team.
That policy could most effectively
use peer pressure-which played a
large part in preserving the hazing
tradition-to prevent any future
assaults. One simple rule would do it:'
If any member of any team par-
ticipates ineany hazing activities, his or
her entire team must forfeit a
significantly record-damaging number
of games.
Some may argue that such game for-
feitures are unfair to fans and opposing
teams, as well as being economically
unsound. But do not those arguments
forget what collegiate athletics are
supposed to be about? When we've
reached a point where ticket sales and
win-loss records are more important
than correcting a brutal, inhuman
tradition, we are in a sad position in-
Don Canham and the' University
have a tremendous opportunity to
prove to the world that some scruples
are more important than revenues. We
hope they are brave enough to 'em-
brace it.

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Free speech, free screaming

From The Michigan Daily, January 25, 1977:
To the Daily:
I attended the Andrei Amalrik lecture
on January 17, and I just read about Tom
Hayden's (more recent) lecture in the
Daily. On both occasions, members of
Trotskyist groups on campus disrupted
(he proceedings by using the hall as a
forum for their own opinions. Ihave writ-
ten to express my dismay with this
I freely admit that I am not a Com-
munist, and thus, perhaps I am unfairly
predisposed ... (But) most of the mem-
bers of Amairik's audience came solely to
listen to the man explain his theories and
It was undemocratic of the Trotskyists,
to use their favorite epithet, to deny the
audience that right by launching
boisterously into five-minute lectures of
their own...

By Joshua Peck

Group, according to their signs. I'm told that
members of the Washtenaw Committee
Against Registration for the Draft took part in
the disruptions as well, and I imagine that the
perennial loudmouths of the local Spartacus
Youth League chapter were out in force too.
But the point is not the specific goals of the
groups in question; it is the general practice
of disrupting lectures and their consenting
In analyzing the problem, it might help to
look at the fringe groups' own justification for
their persistent obnoxiousness.
distinguished co-editor and I went to a Spar-
tacus Youth League happening at (where
else?) East Quad. I had planned to play sullen
observer there, not wanting to get tangled up
in any niggling debates about the merits of
Marxism-Leninism over Trotskyism-
Maoism. But when the assembled radicals
started discussing their growing concern
about the re-emergence of the KKK and Nazi
movements, my ears perked. It sounded like
they were getting close to assailing their op-
ponents' First Amendment rights. They
proceeded to do just that.
The principle under which the SYL operates
is that freedom of speech is a fine idea, so long
as it is not abused. Sounds all right, until the
SYL defines "abuse": Any speaker who by
SYL standards is a "criminal" does not have
the right to express himself freely. That rules
out representatives of the U.S. government,
to name just a few, being granted a forum.
Any speaker or demonstrator who ad-
vocates violence against the wrong targets is
not afforded First Amendment protection
either, say the Sparties. That eliminates the
Klan and Nazis. It is, of course, possible to
advocate violence and still to win the ap-w
proval (and even the accolades) of the SYL,
so long as the people the speaker wants to
punch out are the "proper" victims: factory
owners, running dogs for the imperialist
state, landlords. You know the sort.
'I'M NOT SURE how widespread this
mangling of the First Amendment is among
leftist factions, but evidence that many
adhere to it is abundant. All you need to do to
witness the principle in action is attend an
array of talks by political speakers. Over the
last few years, you could have heard ob-
trusive heckling by diverse groups during
speeches by numerous Soviet dissidents, for-
mer U.S. Ambassador to Iran William
Sullivan, Israeli Cabinet member Yigal Allon,
Gerald Ford, Carl Pursell, and so on. All these
gentlemen, and, no doubt, many others, were
pronounced unworthy of First Amendment
protection, and were therefore forced to shout
angrily at the few hecklers while the many

who came' to listen waited, patiently or
When I have pressed chronic interrupters
on the First Amendment issue, pointing out,
that freedom of speech is guaranteed to all,
comers, not only to those whom society or its,
subsets find acceptable, I have been
dismissed as a "bourgeois" thinker, hateful.
because I cling to archaic abstract values',
while (I can hear the shrill voices now) "your
brothers are dying in the streets."
AM I AS insensitive to suffering as all that?
Or are First Amendment rights more impor-'
tant to freedom-even economic
freedom-the Sparties would concede?
I do believe thatthe First Amendment is
more important than any momentary con-
cerns that, say,. Klan rhetoric might reach
overly gullible listeners. Yes, it's difficult to
find it within myself to insist that even
morons like the Klan leadership, or Moonies
or Ronald Reagan should be able to spread@
their foolishness unimpeded, but I think strict
adherence to freedom of speech still has far
more benefits than it does drawbacks-and,
not just for idealistic reasons.
If even a small contingent of civil liberty
lovers consistently press for the free airing of
all viewpoints, no matter how objectionable,
we may someday see a tyrant overthrown In
a revolution incited by one lonely, perceptive
visionary. If we allow First Amendment or-
thodoxy to fade, that visionary may find
him/herself without a precedent for deman
ding a forum. That is why I was the first Jew@
on my block to congratulate the American
Civil Liberties Union when that heavily
Jewish organization took the Nazis' part in
the Skokie Illinois controversy two years ago.
That's pragmatics, not ideals.
THE PROBLEM IN contending with vocal
leftists at political rallies and such is that
using the instrumentalities of law to shut
them up-a technique which occasionally has
been used-furthers the anti-First Amei-
dment cause. Legally, it ought to be the com-
munist dissenters' right to disrupt any speech
they want, so long as their methods are stric-
tly vocal. I would be forced to defend the
SYL's freedom to interrupt Ed Muskie or
anyone else, if it came down to a court battle
or even a detached political discussion.
But dammit, I do so wish they'd have let
Muskie's admirers hear him out. To doso
would have helped Ann Arbor become the
open marketplace of ideas we're always
talking about. And that is what most of
us-even the extreme left, somewhere down
deep-would really like to see.
Joshua Peck is the co-editor of the
Daily 's Opinion page. His column
appears every Sunday.

If and when the Trotskyists become
popular enough to attract listeners to their
own lectures in large numbers, I will raise
no questions. Until then, I insist and
demand that they leave the rest of us.
That crudely written missive is the first
thing I ever had published in the Daily. In-
terestingly, the problem it addresses is still a
pressing problem on campus, even these
three years later.
SURE AS MOSQUITOES in August (not a
bad metaphor, at that), 45 members of
various political groups, most of which are
probably somewhat left of Perry Bullard,
made it nearly impossible for Ann Arborites
and interested out-of -towners to hear the
speeches of Secretary of State Ed Muskie and
others who spoke at the 20th Anniversary
Peace Corps celebration last Tuesday in front
of the Michigan Union.
The particular people doing the shouting
and chanting on Tuesday were members of
something called the Revolutionary Workers

The icers should press the charges

To the Daily:
With all respect for Bert Hor-
nback and Leo McNamara, both
of whom I know and admire, I
must disagree with their letter in
Friday's Daily (October 17). Not
point by point, but in tone. And
my disagreement is not
specifically with them but with
the general opprobrium being
cast currently at the Michigan
hockey team by people who, for
the most part, know neither the
players nor the history of the
I have had the privilege of
being friends with Michigan
hockey players for several years.
They sit on my desk in the LSA
academic counseling office; they
nme to my hno eand T

lasts a few hours, and afterwards
the freshmen are part of that
close-knit group of friends.
Sophomores live, by choice, with
juniors and seniors who initiated
them the year before.
I am not defending initiation in
principle; -having suffered it
twice myself I know how un-
pleasant it is. My own belief is
that initiation is an unnecessary
holdover from days long past. In
the case of the hockey team, I've
been told it is a continuation of an
English public school custom
brought over by the Canadians.
I'm not in favor of it, but I under-
stand why they do it and know
there is no lasting resentment af-
My strnncxscfviaun,1 i, ifn,.

exaggerated version in the Free
Press, a paper often unfriendly to
the University. That, of course, is
the version that has been widely
disseminated and has caused
people to feel anger and contempt
for the Michigan hockey team. So
Where dide
To the Daily:
There are more students per
capita in the Second
Congressional District than
anywhere in the United States.
The University of Michigan in the
1960s was considered
revolutionary and set many tren-
ds for the rebellion against "the


a group of intelligent, friendy,
talented young men are made to
look like Nazi storm troopers.
Press charges? Perhaps the
hockey team should press libel
charges. -Isabel Reade
October 18
ctivism go?
those tax cuts which will not take
valued dollars from students
and/or faculty, and will fight:
hard for legislation which is
salient to University students.
Students cannot fall into the,
comfortable role of apathetic
onlooker because if we are the
most liberal, the most informed;


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