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March 01, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-01

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, March 1, 1984

The Michigan Daily

Student lead
We the undersigned are leaders of the " Students as unequal citizens
various school and college governmen- A code for nonacademic behavior
ts. We are writing to express our objec- pertaining only to students is based on
tions to the proposed student code of the false premise that students should
nonacademic conduct. This code is a be treated differently from faculty and
direct assault on students' civil liber- staff on matters of general conduct.
ties and on the rights we have won for The introduction to the code itself
ourselves in the past. It represents a states, "The purpose of the Student
reversal of social progress in the United Code of Nonacademic Conduct is to help
States, which, over the past several protect the safety and well-being of the
decades, has expanded the rights of the campus community . . . The respon-
individual. sibility for maintaining such an en-
After serious discussion of the issues vironment is shared by all members of
raised by this code, we find it objec- the University community." Although
tionable and unacceptable. We urge the there should be separate rules for
University's rejection of it. separate relationships (i.e. students
Our objections are in the following are residents; faculty/staff are em-
categories: ployees),drules of this sort should be
" Double jeopardy generated and enforced by the mem-
First, it creates a judicial system bers affected. However, in matters of
which overlaps the existing civil general conduct, uniform rules are
criminalejustice system and enables the mThe dnsersits a pamf
University to isolate itself from society. munity; this code segregates a part of
this community. Let us continue to ex-
Is it appropriate for a university to yetcammuchfrLetdentsaswe do
separate itself in this manner? Even in from faculty and staff, no less and no
the light of all the inadequacies of more!
society's judicial system, shouldn't we - Civil liberties and due process denied
instead join our welfare with the While the code applies only to
welfare of the rest of society and work students, the hearing officer and/or
for reform? In addition, the code's board is primarily composed of faculty
existence specifically allows for double and administrators. This is a clear
jeopardy. Students, for committing one violation of the legal principle that an
offense, are punishable by both civil accused individual is- entitled to a trial
authorities and by the University ad- bya jury of his or her peers. If adopted,
ministration. ". . . A student may be ac- this aspect of the code will give studen-
countable to both civil authorities and ts the status of second class citizens.
to the University" for the same act, the The proposed code will violate the
code reads. In fact, ". . . disciplinary civil liberties of accused students in
action at the University will not be sub- various ways:
ject to challenge," simply because ".. .
a criminal charge involving the same a) formal rules of evidence do not
incident has been dismissed or reduced apply (e.g. in a court of law hear-
by a court of law." say is not admissible evidence; in

ers op
the proposed judicial system it
would be).
b) guilt is based on "clear and
convincing evidence" the code
reads. In a court of law it must be
based on evidence "beyond a
reasonable doubt."
c) the current code provides that
any person who files a complaint
may not "initiate or maintain
proceedings in a civil court .. .
against the same respondent on
account of the same act." The
proposed code does not include

pose c
non-academic conduct. However, the
University does not and cannot provide
the protections of civil liberties which
are standard in civil and criminal law.
This code places severe restrictions
on conduct. Prohibited conduct in-
cludes theft, sexual harassment, and
possession of fireworks. Unfortunately,
it also prohibits civil disobedience and
other forms of protest. This cannot be
tolerated at an institution of higher
education.
" Student rights denied/student privacy
invaded
The code does not sufficiently mat-

onduct code

4

'The University is a community; this code
segregates a part of this community. Let us
continue to expect as much from students
as we do from faculty and staff, no less and
no more !'

may be ". . . forbidden from running for
or holding office in any student
organization or team," the code reads.
We must not allow the University ad-
ministration to dictate who can and
cannot be officers in our organizations.
The University also seeks to extend
its jurisdiction to what are traditionally
considered non-University residences
such as sororities, fraternities, and co-
operatives. Are we to allow the Univer-
sity to regulate our lives in the privacy
of our own homes?
While we are critical of this
document, we recognize that there are
real safety concerns which must be ad-
dressed. Students, faculty, and staff
have a right to an environment where
they will not be harassed. Unfor-
tunately, this code is reactive when
what we need are more proactive
measures which would prevent violen-
ce before there is a victim. Preven-
tative measures may include increased
security, foot patrols, and increased
coordination with the Ann Arbor Police
Department. We also recommend that
counseling and public service be em-
phasized as corrective measures in lieu
of simply academic punishments. This
would show the University's commit-
ment to alleviating the pressures that
foster deviant behavior, instead of
merely punishing its community mem-
bers. In fact, the energy used in ad-
vocating or opposing this code could be
better used in developing creative
measures to prevent the inappropriate
behavior involved.

The proposed student code of
nonacademic conduct is abhorrent. It
symbolizes a regression to the days of
in loco parentis - whereby the
University acted as substitute parent.
This code is unacceptable at the
University of Michigan, for it displays.
disrepect toward the members of the
University community it is here to ser-
ve - the students.
This piece was composed by:
Matthew Harris, President Inter-
fraternity Council; Mary Rowland,
President Michigan Student Assem-
bly; Lawrence Stock, President
Engineering Council; Eric Berman,4
President LSA Student Gover-
nment; Maureen Schreiber,
President Nursing Council; Donna
Sopher, President Library Science
Student Organization; Vivian Mon-
tegomery, President Music School
Student Government; Sheila John-
son, President Law School Student
Senate; Nancy Hirsh, President
School of Natural Resources
Student Government; Sonia Nor-
dgren, President Panhellenic
Association; Anne Ryan, President
Public Health Student Association;
Jennifer Krause, President Art
School Steering Committee; School
of Education Student Government
and Architecture Student

this protection.
d) the hearing officer decides
whether or not an attorney may
participate.
e) the hearing board determines
the impartiality of any hearing
officer if objections are raised by
the accused.
Further, there are no established
qualifications for the hearing officer or
board members and their authority is
largely unchecked.
Obviously the University is seeking to
expand its jurisdiction over student

ch punishments to violations. Thus, the
hearing officer is allowed excessive
flexibility in assigning penalties. More
importantly, many of the sanctions are
academic in nature, up to and including
expulsion from the University. But the
types of misconduct specified in the
code are nonacademic and, therefore,
should not jeopardize one's academic
record.
The code also infringes on students'
rights to determine their own affairs.
One penalty provides that a student

Association.

4

I

Stewart

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 118

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

HART BURN,,,

"tom- uc 4

,.f';'1

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

Broadening the field

-I- e %\

VEN THOUGH Gary Hart won
the New Hampshire primary, the
real winners are the Democratic party
and the process of electoral politics.
With all deference to former Vice
President Walter Mondale, his
dethroning from a position of "invin-
cibility" will enrich the debate
surrounding the Democratic presiden-
tial nomination and liberate many
voters afraid of throwing away their
votes on those candidates not per-
ceived as viable.
The months of primaries and
caucuses are a time for the American
public to test the candidates and in-
dicate to party leadership the can-
didate they feel would best lead the
country for the next four years. It
should be a time of analysis and
debate, not an exercise in foregone
conclusions.
At this point in the campaign, every
candidate should be in a vulnerable
position in order to force them to define
their political positions clearly. A fron-
trunner perceived as being unbeatable
is all the more likely to remain aloof
and think about November instead of
welcoming the political examination
that these months require. The

strength of the Democratic candidate
in September and October will depend
largely upon the trials faced during the
earlier months of examination and
criticism. The Democratic party's
strongest candidate will be the one who
has won the toughest battles and
passed the closest scrutiny.
During one of the Iowa debates
George McGovern asked that the con-
stitutents not fear throwing away their
votes, but fear instead throwing away
their consciences. The New Hampshire
results indicate that the electorate was
able to ignore the polls and the predic-
tions of the media and vote its con-
science. Unhindered by fears that they
were voting for a candidate who was
not viable, the electorate turned the
tables on all of the predictions and
supported a candidate previously
thought to have little chance of victory.
Ultimately a candidate is viable not
because the opinion polls say so, but
because the voters say so.
New Hampshire dictated that there
is now more than one person in the
race for the Democratic presidential
nomination. And all those who stand to
gain something from that race - the
party, the candidates, and the
American public - are better off for it.

INDIGESTION,
SIR?

C-

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
A cal/for non-discrimination policy

To the Daily:
We, the members of the
Michigan Student Assembly,
wholeheartedly support a non-
discrimination policy based on
sexual orientation. Such a
statement in the form of a
presidential policy, would show
the University's commitment to
the equality of all people. It will
demonstrate that discrimination

against lesbians and gay men will
not be tolerated at the University.
Members of the Lesbian and
Gay Rights on Campus (LaGroc)
have set a deadline of Thursday,
March 1, 1984 to hear from
President Shapiro about this
issue. There has been a great
deal of time and energy devoted
to the development of such a
policy. It is time for President

Shapiro to put in to action his
previous promises and issue the
presidential policy requested.
Let the University make a
strong commitment to the
equality of all its members and
set an example for society as a
whole regarding such an impor-

tant issue. We should not have to
wait any longer.
- Mary Rowland
February 2&
Rowland is President of the
Michigan Student Assembly.

A tightening grip

Letters and columns represent the opinions of
the individual author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes of the Daily. Unsigned
editorials appearing on the left side of this page
represent a majority opinion of the Daily's
Editorial Board.

4

To the Daily:
A last New Year's resolution of
mine was to never mention
George Orwell during all of 1984.
That resolution must, alas, now
be broken. For what seems on
the state legislative horizon is too
much to keep silent about, to wit,
mandatory seatbelting. Even

Mandatory seatbelting would
give even Big Brother the creeps.
-S. Colman
Detroit
February 18
BLOOM COUNTY

by Berke Breathed

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