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April 17, 1982 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-04-17

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Mentally disabled benefit

The Michigan Daily-Saturday, April 17, 1982-Page 11
from alternate care

(Continued from Page 2)
Alton said that he has had asthma at-
tacks and was taken immediately to the
The state departments thought these
needs would be too hard to meet outside
of an institution, said Minder. But he
said the programs have been quite suc-
cessful because of the professional staff
and that he hopes to eventually phase
out mental institutions altogether.
MINDER SAID, however, that his
agency does run into community
resistance when it first tries to open a
home, especially the ones for the men-
tally ill and the juvenile delinquents.
"The community does get upset at first,
but once we are in the neighborhood
things calm down and we settle right
in," said Minder.
"People have a lot of misconceptions

about the mentally ill, and they have
legitimate fears in light of the infor-
mation they have. Most of it they get
from television and it isn't very in-
depth. Newscasts will say 'Former
mental patient kills family of five,' but
they never talk about the thousands of
patients who recover and lead normal
"What is really ridiculous though, is
that over 90 percent of mental patients
voluntarily committed themselves and
can leave the institution at any time
and move in next door to anyone. Isn't it
better to give them a transition
period?" said Minder. The mentally ill
adults live in the community homes un-
til they are ready to live on their own,
he said.
MANY PEOPLE confuse these

homes and the state's care and custody
homes which' have been around for
many years, Minder said. The care and
custody homes house borderline men-
tally retarded and mentally ill, but
provide only food and shelter with no
Minder explained that the Depar-
tment of Corrections has also given a
bad name to group homes because of
their poorly run prison inmate homes.
Leslie Morris, a City Council member,
said that after the murder of an Ann
Arbor taxi driver by a prisoner from a
group home in Ypsilanti in December of
1980, the Council investigated some of
these homes and found that the depar-
tment was falling apart and the
homes were very poorly run.
"You can't generalize about group

homes. There are so many different
kinds and they are run by different
agencies. We have some very excellent
ones in this area and we've had some
bad ones. The bad ones have been
closed down," Morris said. "Ann AR-
borhas been very receptive to group
homes when they are well runsand
supervised, said Mayor Louis
program, a course offered in the
Psychology department for credit, has
volunteers who work at some of MHS's
homes for the mentally ill. The volun-
teers plan and implement social ac-
tivities for the clients and provide them
with social interaction, explained
Vivian Kemeny, the Coordinator of
Mental health Settings in Outreach.

"We aren't expected to be therapists,
but to interact with the clients," she
"People are very ignorant .about the
mentally ill. The vast majority are not
violent and the whole conception of the
'raving lunatic' is wrong. They are very
calm and measured," said Kemeny.
"I don't understand why people ob-
ject to them living in community
homes. I've never heard of any clients
causing problems in the neigh-
borhood," she said. "I hope people's
conceptions will change because I think
the whole idea is very good. I've worked
in an institution before and the com-
munity homes are much more per-
sonalized. The institutions are like
warehouses and the patients rarely get
to see.a doctor. I think the homes are

necessary, expecially now with all of
the budget cuts," said Kemeny.
The future for new community
homes, however,. doesn't look very
hopeful, Minder said. "We need to be
able to build new homes that are
barrier-free because the population
that is coming out of the institutions
now is the physically handicapped.
We can't get anyone to invest in the
homes though because the state
legislature passed a law requiring that
investors can make only 12 percent on
their investment, and when they can
make 15 or 16 percent on money market
certificates and other investments, why
should they build homes for us?" said
Minder. MHS leases their homes
from investor, he ex-

(Continued from Page 1)
For instance, if a student complains
that a professor has given an unfair
grade, a grievance panel can listen to
both sides and, if it finds the student is
in the right, it can alter the grade.
As Weisskopf pointed out, "sexual
harassment cases don't lend them-
selves to a simple redress ... In some
situations, you can't undo something
that's been done wrong.
"I THINK there's reason to believe
sexual harassment is a fairly
widespread problem on campus, as it is
everywhere, and the'vast majority of
cases don't go very far," Weisskopf
Sexual harassment is legally defined
as unsolicited, non-reciprocal physical
or verbal contact which is demeaning,
abusive, or otherwise inappropriate to
employment or education relation-
It is also the threat or implication
tat lack of submission to social or
Sexual intercourse or contact will ad-
versely affect a person's opportunity
for employment, education, member-
ni'p, or compensation.
Q"YOU'RE TAKING a risk of an-
YGgonizing someone who hai some kind
of power over you (if you file a com-
plaint),'' Weisskopf said. And, he said,
Ocause the burden of proof rests on the
sl udent filing the complaint, "potential
emplainants are reluctant to press it.
'It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort,
Aid a lot of mental energy. It can be a
h daining experience to press a case like
Weisskopf said he thinks the Univer-
ts Y should establish a standing com-
ittee with a mandate to enforce cer-
in standards of conduct for staff and
THE INITIATIVE for such a commit-
tee, Weisskopf supposed, would have to
come from the University president's
Sexual harassment cases, according
to.Weisskopf, should be dealt with not
as a private dispute between two in-
dividuals, but as a matter of University
policy on staff and faculty behavior.
,The -committee which Weisskopf en-
visions would have the advantage of
building up a certain pool of experience
and knowledge, and could investigate
patterns of behavior over time. It would
also have some guidelines for
disciplinary action-a factor which was
absent from the committee which
heard the University's only sexual
harassment case so far.
"ONE OF THE issues that must be
considered in designing a policy in
general is, 'What can you do about it?"'
Weisskopf explained. The way things
stand now, he said, if sexual
harassment definitely has occurred,
the panel has a choice of doing nothing,
or bringing action for dismissal.
In an attempt to generate faculty
feedback on sexual harassment
grievances, University Affirmative Ac-
tion Director Virginia Nordby met
several months ago with a key faculty
group, the Senate Advisory Committee
on University Affairs. Nordby
suggested that the University Council,
which sets University conduct codes,
design specific sexual harassment
grievance procedures. No Action has
been taken, according to Nordby.
The Office of Affirmative Action has
been staging a campus-wide campaign
to make the University community
more aware of the problem. It has con-
ducted training workshops in dorms
and offices on request.
"WE IDENTIFY the problem, tell
them where to go for help, and explain
the legalities," said Pat Yeghissian, a

workshop member.
Affirmative action counselors say
I there are several things which students
can do to build a strong case if they
believe they are being sexually
harassed. They should keep a journal of
the incidents and the dates on which
they occurred; clearly show disap-
proval of the harasser's behavior and
talk with other people about the matter.

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