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February 16, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-02-16

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, February 16, 1984

The Michigan Daily

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Don't just roll

over and play

By Mike Buhler
That's onesmall step for man; one
giant leap for mankind.
- Neil A. Armstrong
July 20, 1969

These memorable words were ut-
tered from the surface of the moon at
the close of one of. our most radical
decades. The '60s were a time of social
upheaval, of question, 'concern, action,
and change. Through amendments to
the Constitution, and by Acts of
Congress, a commitment was made to
total equality under the law. And
pressuring - and prodding were
visionaries like Dr. Martin Luther
King, President Robert Kennedy, Abbie
Hoffman, Tom Hayden, and Eldridge
Cleaver. Each of these men had a vision
of his own, and a group of followers
committed to a special change in the
:society at the time. Most of America
seemed also to support these men,
because their action precipitated the
.changes in the law and attitudes which
followed in their wake: The ban of Poll
Taxes, Civil Rights Act of 1964, with-
drawl of troops from Vietnam, lowering
:of the Voting Age, and even the Credit
Acts and pardoning of the Draft

Dodgers in the '70s and relaxed at-
titudes toward drugs and brassieres.
The University was a very big part of
some'of these changes. Protests and
demonstrations here changed local
policy as well. One of the biggest rights
students of the Vietnam era won for us
all is the establishment of, privacy.
Then there was a, recognition that
students were separate from their
parents, and entitled to their own
decisions, achievements and mistakes.
The lowering of the voting age - effec-
tively declaring 18-year-olds to be legal
adults - emphasized and strengthened
the policy.
Suddenly our adulthood is !coming
under fire, as those of rank in the
University ponder the enactment of a
non-academic code of conduct. The im-
plementation of such a device has merit
when applied to arsonists and rapists.
The University could quickly remove
them from campus, but so can the
police. High crimes are already under
the governance of the city and state
law, and the code would only duplicate
these statutes.Thus, the code would only
be useful to the University when ap-
plied to misdemeanor offences.
Something as innocuous as a demon-
stration could suddenly become
loitering, and cause for censure.
FROM DORMS to the Diag, hundreds

heightened air of decorum; they should
avoid molesting others and their
property. But the code seeks to go
beyond disciplining students while they
are in school and ventures into the off
campus sanctuaries of student
organizations, including the Greek
system, Co-Ops, and privately owned
and organized groups with student
members. Doesn't that put
everyone under the watchful eye of
the regents?
It comes down to in loco parentis ver-
sus self-determination. So much work
was done by our predecessors to win for
us the rights students now enjoy. They
made waves a few years ago, and the
tide is turning and could rush back. Our
older brothers and sisters brought
students to the Ann Arbor City Council,
and fines of $5 for pot and alcohol
violations, liberties that allow for
protective experimentation and
exhoneration from a parental eye.
Enactment of the code, although it does
have merit in concept,, could be
devastating in application. If it is to be
used only in certain, extraordinary
cases, the language should read that
way, and not seek to literally get us
'where we live.
October 15, 1969, there was a national
protest for a moratorium on the war in
Vietnam. Classes at the University shut

lead
down, and 20,000 students capped the
day of demonstration with a nighttime
rally at the Stadium. A demonstration
can be peaceful, and what it does' is
demonstrate that a large group
shares a certain opinion about
something. If you feel that the code is
not something you or your siblings
should have to live with, why just mull
over it or leave it up to a concerned few
to approach the regents?
What we need is a good demon-
stration. Currently, we are allowed to
gather on the Diag between-12 and 1,
hook up loudspeakers, and hold a
protest. Why doesn't MSA, in conjun-
ction with RIHA, IFC, ICC, Panhel, and
the college governments organize a
demonstration, book Tom Hayden and
anyone else they choose, and stage a
rally on the Diag? Can't we all afford to
miss a class one of these sunny days,
gather in mass, and show that we
care, with numbers, and not just wor-
ds? Let's take another step in the direc-
tion our predecessors did, and plant
ourselves in the Diag - for just ohe
hour - and show the administration
that the code, as it now stands, is
something we could live without.
Buhler is a regular contributor to
the Opinion Page.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Historical Library
A good demonstration of concern, like this one in '69, may be the best thing
for showing the regents that students are mad as hell about the proposed
code of non-academic conduct - and that they aren't going to take it any
more..

of possible infractions of such a code
can occur - more than the University
could handle with any evenhandedness.
The code would then become a device of
selective enforcement - a very subjec-
tive tool - and one that can potentially

be used against administratively un-
desirable upstart students.
The University, with the code, wants
jurisdiction over its students. When
they are in classrooms and dorms,
students should behave with a certain

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Laban

Vol. XCIV-No. 114

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

DAILY'

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

UNIVERSITY President Harold
Shapiro is taking belated steps
toward a policy that would prohibit the
University from discriminating on the
basis of an individual's sexual'
preference. But as important as these
steps are, they are not enough.
Since 1982, members of the gay and
lesbian community have been calling
for an official University anti-
discrimination policy. It is only now,
however, that, Shapiro is getting
around to drawing up a statement from
the administration.
All of this dragging of feet comes
largely as a result of the homosexual
community's complacency. Gays and
lesbians make up a silent minority on
this campus whose views need to be
heard more loudly than they now are.
The administration has gotten away
unchallenged by the very legitimate
concerns of this group - specifically
on the issue of discrimination.
Recent attempts on the part of the
Michigan Student Assembly to inform
the gay community that they are being
represented and that their views are
important are, apart from being a
commendable effort on the part of
MSA, indicative of the gay com-
am!!maxs ell-

munity's reticence and lack of contact
with student government.
More is needed than just a policy
statement from the administration. An
amendment to the University's,
bylaws should be approved guaran-
teeing against discrimination on the
grounds of sexual preference - the
University already guarantees against
discrimination on the grounds of age,
sex, and religion.
The only conceivable reason Shapiro
would be hesitant to press the regents
for such an amendment, is that he
fears such a policy would interfere
with military recruitment which
openly discriminates on the basis of
sexual preference. Those worries,
however, should not stand in the way of
rights that need to be unconditionally
granted to homosexuals by the Univer-
sity.
It is the responsiblity of President
Shapiro and the regents to establish
protection against discrimination
toward this significant segment of the
community. It is also the responsibility
of campus gays and lesbians, and all
those concerned, to let it be known that
they will stand for nothing less.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Conduct code deserves more criticism

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To the Daily:
I am becoming increasingly
aware of a difference of opinion
between the Daily and myself, as
well as the other Michigan
Student Assembly represen-
tatives, concerning the proposed
code of non-academic conduct.
The Assembly is taking great ef-
forts to objectively inform the
student body of the code and its
content, in spite of our open
criticism. The Daily, while
claiming impartiality, has con-
tinually obscured and
misrepresented the facts concer-
ning this new proposal.
I discussed these concerns with
editors Bill Spindle and Barbara
Misle last Wednesday when Daily
accounts implicated the Assem-
bly as being opposed to punish-
ment for sexual attacks,
thievery, vandalism, and arson.
Spindle responded that the article
had simply been carelessly
rewritten. I am not so easily con-
vinced about articles in Friday's
edition, where I found blatant
examples of intentional misin-
formation.
The code proposal published in
Friday's Daily quietly omitted
a. Tr nnl-lfC o1 f Ithe nonnrnnna m

pletely ignored by the Daily) is
much stronger.
The major complaint against
the proposed system is the broad
range of powers given to the vice
president of student services or
his chosen representative.
Drawing an analogy between a
code violation hearing and a civil
court case, the roles of in-
vestigator, plaintiff, judge, and
jury foreman are all filled by a
single appointee (non-student) of
the vice president. Furthermore,
the vice president has the sole
decision on appeal cases and ap-
plications for readmission
following suspension. Contrast
this proposal with the current
system where these roles are
filled by another student and a
committee of other students.
Finally, the proposal system has
several features distinctly dif-
ferent from the American
judicial system. First, the ad-
ministrative appointee has broad
powers to decide the ad-
missability of evidence and
BLOOM COUNTY

testimony. Second, the accused
does not have the right to attor-
ney or counsel.
Why, with two superior
systems (the current University
judicial system and the
American system) to model, does
the proposed system lack the
fundamental features required of
a fair judicial system? I can only
conclude that the University Ad-
ministration is less interested in
a fair judiciary system than in a
convenient vehicle for harassing
dissidents. The Michigan Student
Assembly recognizes these in-
congruities and the ad-
ministration has failed to offer
satisfactory explanations for
them. The Assembly therefore
recommends that the entire
proposal, the conduct code as
well as the judiciary system, be
rejected.
Apparently, the Daily feels
otherwise. I observe a glaring
hypocrisy: In the past five years
I have been a student here, I have
witnessed several, occasions

where the administration 'has
censured the Daily for,
questionable practices. In
response, the Daily has proudly
proclaimed that as an indepen-
'dent student rpublication, it is
above this form of reproach. Is
the Daily repenting its liberal
past and accepting the cloak of
administrative censorship? Or do
you plan to maintain your right to
free expression after having
denied that right to others?
I am saddened to see the Daily
taking this position on the code of
non-academic conduct and hope
that neither of us will seriously
regret it. Incidentally, please in-
form your readers that further
information regarding the
proposal is available in the
Michigan Student Assembly of-
fices.
-- James Schueler
Engineering Sch. Representative
Michigan Student Assembly
February 11
by Berke Breathed

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