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September 04, 1980 - Image 109

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 4, 1980-Page 9-D

Special counseling
,assists minoritities

"Culture shock" is one of the grim
consequences many minority students
experience while attending a Univer-
sity primarily composed of middle
class white students. To counter this
problem, the University has set up
several minority support programs
which offer a number of services.
One of the oldest minority services at
the University is the Opportunity
Program. When the office opened in
1964, services were only provided for
minority students. In 1976, however, a
policy change opened its doors to all
"educationally disadvantaged" stu-
provided by the office, which is located
in Mason Hall, are academically orien-
ted. They include tutoring, academic'
skills development, and departmental
referral services, among others.
A special feature of the Opportunity
Program is the graduate students who
counsel undergraduates about
educational and career opportunities.
"For once at the University, we're
trying to look at what is educationally
best for students and guide them accor-
dingly," said Eunice Royster, Oppor-
tunity Program assistant director.
Junior Ronald Charles said the Op-
portunity Program offices were very
beneficial to him. He added his coun-
selors were more helpful than his LSA
counselor. "The counselors (at Oppor-
tunity) will talk about personal, social,
or academic problems," he noted.
"They don't tell you what to do."
THE OFFICE aids students recom-

mended by the admissions office and
also maintains a walk-in policy.
Unlike the Opportunity Program,
many other minority service programs
at the University resulted from the
Black Action Movement (BAM) in 1970.
Feeling frustrated and ostracized from
the University in general, BAM mem-
bers, who were largely comprised of
students from black student groups,
issued the Board of Regents a list of
demands including, among others,
tuition waivers for black students, in-
creased black enrollment, and funds for
minority services.
THE REGENTS presented a counter-
proposal to BAM, which, unsatisfied,
subsequently staged several demon-
strations highlighted by a nine-day
boycott of classes, in which many white
students also participated.
Eventually the Regents succumbed
to many of BAM's proposals, though the
tuition waiver request was not among
them. The University did agree to hike
black enrollment to 10 per cent by 1973-
74, but this goal was never reached (see
related story below).
A variety of Minority Support
Programs did evolve from the BAM
movement, however, though there is
some debate today over whether there
are too many services. MSA Vice-
President Virna Hobbs observed that
the large number of programs offered
to students can often be a deterrent, as
well as an asset. She said she would
rather see one or two quality supportive
services than the myriad of programs
offered now.
IN AGREEMENT with Hobbs,

University President Harold Shapiro
said the University should "give
serious consideration to a more cen-
tralized approach to minority concer-
ns" because "something may get lost in
the cracks."
Black Student Union member Sherrie
King said students should make a con-
certed effort to utilize the services. "I
don't think students are giving them-
selves a chance," she added.
One program that resulted from
BAM's efforts was the Minority Student
Services Office, located in room 2205 of
the Union. It provides both personal
and academic counseling, as well as
special programs including an annual
open house, a minority film festival,
and an ethnic theater festival. The of-
fice, which is directed by Richard
Garland, also features counselors for
Black, Nataive -American, Asian
American, and Hispanic students.
Another Minority support service
created in response to BAM was the
Coalition for the use of Learning Skills.
This program maintains two offices, a
counseling office in room 619 Haven
Hall and a skills development office in
room 1021 Angel Hall. The offices
primarily serves students enrolled in
the literary college and aids those who
wishto develop and improve basic
academic skills.
Another service provided for
minority students is an activity center
located at 1443 Washtenaw named for
black activist William Monroe Trotter.
It's used by several different groups in-
cluding the Black Student Union,
fraternities, sororities, and school and
college organizations.

Daily Photo by DAVID HARRIS
THE MINORITY SERVICES Office, located in the Michigan Union, welcomes University students to come in and discuss
their problems or needs.
Black enrollment down

Gay services available at 'U'

Incoming students often experience
feelings of alienation and loneliness as
a result of being in unfamiliar surroun-
But for gay students, feelings of
alienation and loneliness are amplified,
largely because they continue to be
perceived as outcasts. At the Univer-
sity however, there are several places
gay students can go to receive coun-
seling or find companionship.
THE HUMAN Sexuality Program of-
fice, located on the third floor of the
Union; provides a number of services
for gay women and men.
The office -s ves as an "information
and liaison center" for gay males and
females," explained Jim Toy, one of the
two Human Sexuality Program coor-
dinators. Toy's half of the office has ar-
ticles and books on human sexuality, in
addition to publications concerning the
local gay male community.
"I try to help people feel comfortable
with their sexual orientation and use it
to form positive and responsible
relationships with other people," said
Toy, (better known to the community
as the "Gay Male Advocate"). Toy ex-
plained that most of the people who
come in for counseling are either "gay,
bisexual, or uncertain about their
sexuality." Since there are not always
people in the office, Toy suggests
students call for an appointment first.
AMONG THE gay male groups men-
tioned by Toy were a Sunday Gay
Discussion Group, the Gay Liberation
Front, the Gay Academic Union, the
Metropolitan Christian Church,
Lutherans Concerned for Gay People,
the Gay Speakers' Service, and a gay
volleyball club. In addition, Toy men-
tioned two Ann Arbor establishments,
the Flame bar and the Ribaiyat disco,
as gathering-places for gay males and
In addition to being an information
center, Toy's office offers an
"educational outreach" program to
educate University students about gay
concerns. "Rap sessions" in various
dorms and "class raps" at the request
of certain classes are ways the office is
helping to educate the public, Toy said.
* Toy also mentioned the office's "ad-
vocacy program," which helps gays
learn what their rights are and how to
protect themselves from
THE OTHER half of the Human
Sexuality Program Office across the
hall assists gay women.
Program Coordinator Beth Doyle,
known as the "Lesbian Advocate" in
the gay community, says her office allso
offers counseling by appointments only,
as well as an "educational outreach"
program. "We speak to a lot of
Psychology 171 classes," she said.
"next year we will consolidate our
presentation for all the 171 sections."
Doyle mentioned several lesbian
groups in Ann Arbor: Oasis, a women's
music collective; Homegrown, a group
of women who sponsor events by local
lesbian musicians; the Leaping
Lesbian, a bi-monthly publication

discriminates against gays, especially
on issues of employment, housing, in
addition to personal and physical
"If lesbians are openly lesbian in
their employment situations, they are
likely to be fired in many cases," added
Toy said while there has clearly been
"a small change for the better (in
society's attitudes toward gay people),
students still run into problems -
roommate problems and negative
remarks in classes by faculty and
Doyle explained that lesbians suffer
from receiving less media attention
than gay males. "Since men in society
are emphasized more than women, gay
men are emphasized more than gay
women," she said. "People also tend to
view gay men as more of a threat to
their children and the family structure,
even though this is obviously not the
"MEMBERS OF the Ann Arbor gay
community feel there is some support
available to gays. "The gay community
as a whole is not unified," said one
unidentified gay male, a former

University student, "but there are
various segments within the com-
munity in which one can find support."
He said some social organizations
can be found on campus, while others
are oriented around nightsports such as
the Flame and the Rubaiyat.
"Ann Arbor is a lot better than most
small cities," he noted, "People in Ann
Arbor seem to be tolerant of gays, but
they are not always willing to talk about
gay people or show knowledge or sen-
sitivity about issues concerning gay
"It really-depends on where you are
- in some bars, around some.people,
%L.expe ance hostilities, but some
places are very supportive (of gays),"
observed one lesbian woman (who asked
not to be identified). "Sometimes at
dances and concerts there's a fairly
open environment, but it seems like you
have to make a connection to get
But according to Doyle, there is a
definite sense of community among
Ann Arbor gay people. "There is a
distinct lesbian sub-culture and gay
male sub-culture in this town - both
are thriving and active."

One of the Black Action Movement's
demands of the University in 1970 was
to effect ten per cent black enrollment
by 1973 (see related story above). That
figure was never reached and in recent
years black enrollment has significan-
tly dropped.
The reasons given for declines in
general minority enrollments range
from inadequate sources of financial
aid to not enough qualified minority
students applying. Whatever the
causes, overall minority enrollment at
the University has declined.
released to the University Regents last
February, overall minority enrollment
in the fall of 1979 was 10.3 per cent-a
decline in comparison with 1978 fall
enrollment of 10.4 per cent. The drop in
black enrollment, however, is even
more dramatic.
During the mid '70s, the University
boasted its highest black enrollment
ever, around 7.2 per cent. In 1977 that
figure was 7.0 per cent. In 1979 the
University experienced its lowest black
enrollment since the report was started
in 1972 of 6.1 per cent.
Administrators are dumbfounded as
to the reasons for declining black
enrollment, and are hard put for
solutions to this problem. "We have.tp
put more effort into the broad spec-
trum," University President Harold
Shapiro said. "We have to work har-
ERICKSON, associate director of un-
dergraduate admissions, his office tries
every method available to recruit
minority students, but added the office
is still selective with these students.
"There never are enough accepted ap-
plications," he said. "There are many,
many applicants who don't have

probability for success-it's not an open
Some people, however, are critical of
the University's recruitment attempts.
"We have gone through all the motions
of (minority) recruitment, but we have
not developed the pipelines from secon-
dary schools," said George Goodman,
director of the Opportunity Program.
He added that admission counselors
should establish a good rapport with
younger high school students, their
parents, and counselors. "You cannot
recruit students if you only work with
the seniors," he said.
In other areas, however, recruitment
efforts may have been successful. The
percentage of Asian students has in-
creased from 1.7 per cent in 1977 to 2.4
per cent in 1979.
University drop out at a rate much
quicker than white students. According
to the minority enrollment report, the
attrition rate for black students en-
tering in 1975 was over 50 per cent and
the Native American attrition rate was
even higher. Whites from the class of
1975 had an attrition rate of 29 per cent.
Although figures for students en-
tering in 1976 are not complete yet,
preliminary reports indicate the

minority attrition rate may be
Sherrie King, a member of the Black
Student Union cites money as one
reason for the attrition. "A lot of
students get here and can't afford it.
Most people I know left because of
money-they went to other schools,"
she said. "I don't think the students
aren't smart enough."
concurs with King. "They (minority
students) do not have enough economic
support from the University."
Charles assailed the University for
only recruiting in selected Detroit high
schools, such as Cass Tech and Mum-
ford. He said recruitment needs to be
concentrated in more schoold on the
city's east side. "They fail to go into
these schools and try to motivate these
students," he said. "They aren't trying
to recruit from less academically ad-
vantaged schools."
Charles said he came from a high
school in Detroit that is approximately
70 per cent black and 30 per cent white.
Unlike other black students, he said, he
was accustomed to going to school with
whites. One difference, however,
existed for him. "Instead of being in the
minority, I was in the majority," he

(frozen yogurt or ice cream with
blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
expires Sept. 30, 1980
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