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February 09, 1982 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-02-09

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Page 4 Tuesday, February 9, 1982 The Michigan Daily

Thoughts of a former sorority member


I usually don't like to belabor issues that I've:
raised in past columns, but today I'm going to
make an exception.
Last week, the Daily received a letter from a.
woman who had decided to resign from her
sorority. It was a very interesting letter, I think
you'll agree. Certainly the Daily has not


only if the identity of the author is known to the
It's a good policy, really. The editors feel that
the Daily's readers have a right to know who is
saying what. But every once in a while it means
swallowing hard and throwing out a really good
I JUST couldn't let that happen this time. So
I'm publishing the letter here. I must tell you
that because it's unsigned, there is of course a
possibility that the letter is a fake. But it sure
doesn't read like a fake, and I'm hoping its
author will call me to confirm its veracity.
In the meantime, read on and decide for
"I'm writing this letter in reply to Howard
Witt's criticism of Greeks. Last year Irushed,
pledged, and was initiated into a sorority. I had
heard all the terrible things about Greeks but,
had decided to give them the benefit of the
"In fact, I met a lot of interesting, friendly
women during rush, which is why I decided to
join a house. However, now I'm having severe
second thoughts. Witt's article made me think
even more about this controversial group of

"MANY THINGS are coming to my attention
this year that make me want to caution any
person thinking about rushing to think again.
Unless you're a totally immatgre person,
Greek life is not for you.
"A perfect example of a 'fun' event spon-
sored by a Greek organization can be found in
Delta Gamma's 'anchor splash,' which was
held two weeks ago in Angell Hall. I left after 20
minutes of that disgusting display, which was
so thoughtfully done for charity. I was so
ashamed of being in that group that I rushed
out of Angell Hall wishing I had never been af-
filiated with Greeks and all they represent.
"In case you weren't lucky enough to have
been there, I'll tell you a little about it. Any
fraternity could enter a member to run for the
title of 'Mr. Anchor Splash.' The contestant was
required to dress up like a typical Delta Gam-
ma member, answer a question, and par-
ticipate in a bathing suit contest (I didn't stay
long enough for that part).
"THE FIRST question presented to the first
fraternity man by a DG moderator set the tone
for the evening: 'Many fraternity men think of
sexual intercourse as just another athletic ac-
tivity. When you're intimate with a woman,.

what sport are you playing?' And then the DG
said 'Let me repeat the question,' which she
proceeded to do.
"It was also interesting to see what was con-
sidered 'typical' attire for a Delta Gamma
member. One contestant walked up on stage
with a mattress tied to his back. Good for you,
DG's-ydu're setting a great example for
"Of course, during this time the audience
was yelling out crude remarks. When one par-
ticipant went up on stage wearing a flannel
night gown with a basketball strategically
placed against his stomach, someone yelled
out, 'Why didn't you try a hanger?' at which
point I decided it was time to leave. I walked
out to the sound of Greek men and women alike.
laughing at the comment.
"I'M TURNING IN my resignation to my
house today (February 3). There are people
there that I care about who I know would have
had nothing to do with that particular group of
Greeks at the anchor splash contest. But as
long as I know that that group represented the
majority of the Greeks-for whom I have ab-
solutely no respect-I can't and won't be a part
of it."

The letter was signed "A New God Damned
Independent." w
About a dozen fraternity and sorority mem
bers called me last week to complain about my-
column excerpting passages from The Forum-,
a Greek newsletter. One woman from Alpha"-
Phi was especially appalled that I frequently .
criticize groups to which I don't belong. (Whig"
means, I suppose, that I ought to join the'KU t
Klux Klan before I condemn it.)
In fact, three years ago I rushed and pledged
a fraternity, participating in its activities for'a
little over three months. I decided not to joi
the night a few of my would-be "brothers!~
stripped a visiting fraternity official and tied
him to a tree in the bitter December cold.
Of course, three months as a pledge does not
an experienced Greek make. I'm the first to
admit that I'm pretty much an outsider.
But not the new God Damned Independent.'
Certainly she knew what Greek life was all
And she decided to quit.
Witt's column appears every Tuesday.

received anything like it in the four years I've
been working here.
Unfortunately, the author of the letter failed
to sign her name or provide any means of iden-
tification. That meant the letter was destined
for the reject file-the Daily has a policy
prohibiting the publication of unsigned letters
except in extreme circumstances, and then

+. 6~j

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan


By Robert Lence

8" ,

Vol. XCII, No. 107

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

1- Ir


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I Ke.

Education for the few



4f1.41Z -o. BU's" TE,
014 No. ..
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STATE universities traditionally
have been a place where students
from a broad social spectrum find the
opportunity to receive an education.
But current college enrollment levels
sadly imply that such opportunities
may decline sharply in the future.
A recent survey shows that state
universities across the country, reac-
ting to sagging government support,
have steadily decreased their
enrollment. As this support dwindles,
these institutions have been forced to
admit fewer and fewer students, while
raising admissions standards.
Some educators praise enrollment
cutbacks as a positive step toward in-
creasing the quality of the educational
institutions. Others warn that restric-
ting enrollment will limit access for
students from economically and
socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
The hazards of limited access,
however, should carry the most
weight. Current federal and state
budget cutbacks to education center
around student financial aid
programs. Slashing a student's finan-
cial aid is a sure way to weed
economically strapped scholars out of
our colleges. In addition, due to clim-
bing tuition costs at private colleges,
state universities may now receive in-
creased applications from upper and
middle class students, thus competing

with and possibly forcing out lower
income applicants.
Limited access may soon hit home at
the University. President Shapiro has
speculated recently that economic
burdens may push the University
toward increased class elitism.
Shapiro offered the disheartening
prediction that soon "only peopleawho
can afford it will be able to come" to
the University.
Elitism at state universities presents
a two-fold question. Academic elitism,
or setting high academic standards for
students, can prove a useful way to en-
sure quality. But the current
enrollment cuts seem disturbingly
linked to an elitism that restricts entry
into college to those who can pay the
Social elitism violates the respon-
sibility of a state university to serve a
diverse student body. Such elitism also
fosters and perpetuates class barriers
that remain apparent in American
society-barriers that can be broken
down through a broad-based
educational system.
If, through a low priority status,
federal and state governments con-
tinue to forego higher education needs,
the consequences will be alarming.
The nation as a whole will suffer if
budget contingencies lay waste to the
potential and promise that these
universities offer America's youth.

..-, , , , .

. . - i i .._





L bertar
To the Daily:
My compliments to Dan
Aronoff for his outstanding ar-
ticle "Screwing the poor: Right
and Left" in the Daily of Feb. 3.
He brings out the point that
politics and the poor just do not
mix. He also says that both the
Right and the Left have personal
political motives behind their so
called help for the poor. Mly only
complaint is that Aronoff is
making it seem like there are
only two positions, on the issue:
Right and Left. Recent studies
have shown that there are more.
In the last few months, many
major research and educational
institutes have shown that there
are four major political groups in
the United States. These include
the Right and Left as we know
them, and two others: the
populists and the libertarians.
The populists favortgovernment
intervention in both economic
and personal areas, while the
libertarians favor no intervention
in either.
Of these four, only the liber-
tarians (i.e., the Libertarian Par-
ty) offer a solution whereby the

ians offer chartablesolution
poor neither are scapegoats or gain a large measure of self- work." Their goal is not to send a
decoys, and no elected official or respect and self-esteem in not monthly check to cover rent or to
bureaucrat keeps his job by having to pander to politicians buy a new car, it is to get the
pretending to care for the poor and in being free to choose if they people working again. This is
while really padding his own wish to receive financial why there are almost no Mor-
pocket. The solution is to get assistance. mons on welfare.
government out of the welfare In the last hundred years Only through private charity
business and turn it over to many private charity groups organizations can the poor be ef-
private enterprise. have existed and worked well. fectively helped through tem-
Among the advantages to such The best example is the Mormon porary difficulties and, be led to
a system is incentive. Church. The Mormons have their find new work as soon as
Private profit-making charities own charity system for church possible, while at no time losing
would have to be efficient in or- members, and its primary fun- the all-important self-respect.
der to stay in business. They ction is to "place in gainful em- -Steve Horwitz
wouldn't have a printing press to ployment those who are able to February 8
churn out the money they need,
like the government does now. GE less than beneficial
Second, the competition bet-
ween charities would also force
them to be efficient and per- To the Daily: cerned about whether or not such
sonable, unlike most government Last fall, the Graduate Em- employment violates the con-
workers who don't know or care ployees Organizations, an ditionsof their visas.
about their clientele. Third,.they organization claiming 100 mem- Well done, GEO. It is doubtful
would have good reason to not bers which purporteduto that this university, which -s
keep people on the dole for long, represent the 1600 graduate unable to provide faculty with
periods of time, because that teaching and research assistan- cost-of-livingrraises will be able
means losses for the company. ts at the University of Michigan, to give such to assistants, much
Therefore, they would probably "won" the fight in getting those less make up this effective pay
be very efficient in finding new assistants declared employees of cut imposed by the union's ac-
jobs for the unemployed or poor, the University. tions. Thus representation by
unlike the government is now r Last week, those employees GEO will likely have an adverse
Most importantly, the poor would received the first benefits of GEO effect upon its member' finan-



MUSKET lacks fair play

To the Daily:
You have no doubt heard of
MUSKET, the student musical
organization that is a branch of
UAC. They are a group that urges
students to audition for past
Broadway shows, with Diag ban-
ners and school-wide posters..
They recently presented highly
successful productions of Grease,
Godspell, and Fiddler on the
Roof. Well, if you've considered
auditioning for a MUSKET show,
you should be forewarned that
the odds will be stacked against
you. MUSKET, under the leader-
ship of Craig Brennan, has shown
a predilection to casting non-
students in its shows. These non-
students have not been getting
small chorus parts, but rather
lead roles. Tevye (Joshua Peck)
in last term's Fiddler as well as
Jesus (Jon Zimmerman) and
Judas (Loren Hecht) in the
,,iant Jieu Christ Snperstar.

quoted in the Grease program as
saying "MUSKET is a theater
organization comprised entirely
of students, a unique feature of
UAC." He goes on to say that,
"hopefully, MUSKET will be ableJ
to maintain its tradition of
providing students with a
showcase for their talents,
whatever the future holds." The
future has not held up.
MUSKET, as a division of
UAC, owes its existence to the
student body. Its huge budget
(several thousand dollars per
show) is derived from student
tuition. Non-students do not sup-
port MUSKET and have no right
to be considered for its produc-
I feel that MUSKET should be
held responsible for its actions.
Just as college athletic teams are
reprimanded for the use of
ineligible players, college
theater groups should be
ronrimnndpd f n the a"tinc nf

representation: a 1o percent to t5
percent reduction in take-home
pay. Apparently, GEO forgot that
employees have to pay federal
and state taxes on their income,
whereas the educational grants
which used to be the University's
compensation were non-taxable.
Further, those assistants atten-
ding the University while under,
student visas must now be con-

Such callous disregard for
those it supposedlyrepresents
can only make, this teaching
assistant wonder if GEO is the
right group to represent
graduate teaching and resear-
ch assistants at the University of
-Benjamin Bates
February 5

Fresh airfor freedom

To the Daily:
Mark Gindin, where have you
been all my life? Your column of
Feb. 5 "Of Students and
Liberalism" was an incredible
blast of fresh air. How nice to
hear something other than the
stale liberal rhetoric that is con-
tinually espoused by the Daily
editorial staff.
Now is the time for Americans
to reassert the commitment to
freedom made by our founding
fathers. This nation never (until
the last forty years) guaranteed
anyone a free ride-it only made

would usurp our most precious
freedom in the name of equality,
As Justice Louis Brandeis said
in 1928, "Experience should teach
us to be most on our guard' to
protect liberty' when the gover-
nment's purposes are beneficial.
Men born to freedom are
naturally alert to repel invasion
of their liberty by evil-minded
rulers. The greater dangers "to
liberty lurk in insidious en-
croachment by men of zeal, well-
meaning but without understan-
I'll look forward to reading

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