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March 22, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-22

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a6

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, March 22, 1984

The Michigan Daily

Non-discrimination policy

takes effect

Members of the group Lesbian
and Gay Rights on Campus com-
posed this article.
The presidential statement on sexual
orientation, which, becomes official
today, is not the end of lesbian/gay
discrimination on this campus. It is the
beginning of the end.
Lesbians and gay men t'the Univer-
sity - students, faculty, and staff mem-
bers - now have a powerful new tool to
protect our basic civil rights, and we in-
tend to use it.
THE avalanche of publicity in recent
weeks about the sexual orientation non-
discrimination statement has left a
trail'of confusion. There are also some
aspects of the statement's implemen-
tation which are still being negotiated.
However, here are some clear points
about the new lesbian/gay rights policy
which is now in effect throughout the
University.
President Shapiro's statement says
explicitly that, as a matter of policy, an
individual's sexual orientation will be
treated in the same manner as a per-
son's race, sex, religion, or national
origin. These characteristics, now in-
cluding sexual orientation, are con-
sidered by the University to be
"irrelevant and have no connection
with academic abilities or job perfor-
mance."

This ,explicit statement was
LaGROC's (Lesbians and Gay Rights
on Campus) strongest demand in our
deliberations with the University over
the last 15 months. Two months ago we
were sent a statement draft which con-
tained no such explicit wording.
LaGROC responded with alternative
language to make the statement ab-
solutely clear. The wording LaGROC
proposed was incorporated in full into
the policy today.
THE NEW lesbian/gay rights policy
begins with the words: "The University
of Michigan believes that educational
and employment decisions should be
based on an individual's abilities and
qualifications . . . '' This protection af-
forded lesbians and gay men by the
presidential statement now applies in
all educational programs sponsored by
the University and all jobs where the
University is the employer.
The policy specifically exempts "the
University's relationships with outside
organizations, including the federal
government, the military and ROTC."
LaGROC regrets the exemption given
to these groups.
However, this exclusion should not
cloud what has been included. As of
today, the several thousand people on
the University payroll have a new em-
ployment right: all University em-
ployees - faculty or staff £ may now

grieve any claim of discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation.
IF EMPLOYEES feel they are being
denied a promotion, pay increase or
benefit, or are being mistreated in
other ways because of their sexual
orientation, faculty and staff members
are now guaranteed that their super-
visors can be disciplined and their
grievances redressed.
University students now have similar

ployee, or other University official uses
a student's sexual orientation to deny
anything to which that student would
generally be entitled, such
discrimination can now be reversed
through specific procedures.
THOSE PROCEDURES are outlined
in the new gay rights policy as follows:'
"Any University of Michigan employee
having a complaint of discrimination
because of sexual orientation should

'If employees feel they are being denied a
promotion, pay increase or benefit, or are
being mistreated in other ways because of
their sexual orientation, faculty and staff
R members are now guaranteed that their
supervisors can be disciplined and their
grievances redressed.'

Representatives of lesbian and gay
groups on campus have begun meeting
this week with University officials to
design ways to detail and publicize
these grievance procedures as well as
the existence of the gay rights policy
itself. We will propose educational
literature and programs which also
examine the general nature of
prejudice against lesbians and gay men
on campus.
Two University offices are cited in
the policy as places where a student or
employee may go for counseling or ad-
vice about discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation: the office of Af-
firmative Action and the Human
Sexuality Office. The latter office was
included in the presidential statement
at LaGROC's specific request, as the
human sexuality office (Lesbian and
Gay Male Advocates) has been a place
where lesbians and gay men on campus
have found assistance for the past 13
years.
LAGROC originally proposed that the
University regents amend their bylaw
on non-discrimination to include sexual
orientation. While the presidential
statement issued today does not have
the same scope as a bylaw change, the
new lesbian/gay rights policy has a
powerful precedent at the University.
Several years ago a presidential
policy statement was issued on the sub-

ject of sexual harassment. Today's
statement on sexual orientation non-
discrimination was modeled on the
sexual harassment policy and, in fact,
the language about enforcement is
identical in both statements.
There can be no doubt that the sexual
harassment policy was written to be en-
forced: that policy recently resulted in
one of the most drastic actions the
University can take, theremoval of a
tenured faculty member. The polic
statement on sexual orientation non-
discrimination has the same University
status as the one on sexual harassment.
President Shapiro includes in his
statement today these words: "Such a
policy ensures that only relevant fac-
tors are considered and that equitable
and consistent standards of conduct
and performance are applied."
This is the heart of what LaGROC,
QuAC and many other lesbian and gay
groups before them have been deman-
ding: people should be treated equally
regardless of their sexual orientation.
However, we are under no illusion
that today's statement, or any other
University document, alone will secure
our rights. We intend to see lesbian/gay
discrimination ended once and for all at
this University. The presidential policy
statement now in effect gives us one
more means to struggle for such
justice.

protections in all of their courses, in
jobs they may hold on campus, and in
any program which is operated by the
University. This includes the residence
halls, other student services, and all
University facilities.
If a professor, academic advisor,
supervisor, counselor, housing em-

notify her/his immediate supervisor or
the staff and human relations office in
the appropriate personnel service cen-
ter. A student should notify the affir-
mative action coordinator in his or her
school or college, or the ombudsperson
in the office of the vice president for
student services.

Stewart

&hE Midtbgau 1Bat~ii
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 136

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Truth in advertising

URING THE past few weeks,
President Reagan has been riding
wave of favorable public sentiment.
The messly little "redeployment" in
Lebanon is a thing of the past, the
public doesn't seem to mind the deficit
that much, unemployment is down,
and the Democratic. presidential con-
tenders have been tearing each other
apart, leaving Reagan unscathed.
Times are good at the White House,
and opinion polls reveal broad-based
support for the president, if not for his
specific policies.
There is one group, however, that
seems to know something the rest of
the country doesn't - the advertising
industry. Just when things are going so
well for the president, his reelection
campaign finds itself without an ad-
vertiser willing to promote him for
November. Not one ad agency will take
the contract, and their reluctance is at
first kind of difficult to explain.
It's not that an agency can't turn a
profit on the deal - actually, the $25
million contract could mean as much
as $3 million, in profit for the adver-
tisers. And it's not that it would be
a boring assignment - imagine
working in the exclusive, high-class
atmosphere ,of the Oval .Office with
some of the most powerful people in
the world. It seems as though any ad-
vertising executive worth his pinstripe
wouldjump at the chance. It's not even
that the assignment would be too dif-
ficult - the president has a
charismatic video personality,_plenty

of acting experience, and is rumored to
be very easy to work with.
So why are the agencies all politely
declining? Could it be that the adver-
tisers who normally try to lead public
opinion, are now reflecting a subtle
public dissatisfaction with the Reagan
presidency? Perhaps the grass roots of
popular disapproval are sprouting in
the concrete canyons of New York
City.
Many advertisers, in fact, said that
they feared that their staff would quit
rather than work for a politician they
disagree with. Evidently, unem-
ployment isn't as bad as a guilty con-
science. Another worry is that the
president would be able to pay'off
his debts. With the kind of federal
deficit Reagan has piled up, one can
imagine how he might deal with a $25
million advertising bill ("The checkis
in the mail"). The greatest fear,
however, is of violating "truth in ad-
vertising" laws. An advertiser would
want to be able to portray Reagan as
being in favor of strong social
programs, intelligent diplomacy, and
fiscal responsibility. But the hungry,
Lebanon, and the deficit would render
any such commercial patently false.
It's no .wonder no one wants to touch
his contract.
Maybe Reagan should look beyond
the opinion polls. If he can't even buy
an advertising contract, maybe a lot of
other people aren't ready to buy
another four years.

E

" LISTEN, BUDDY - I DON'T DO POLITICAL CAMLPAIGNS,
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Faculty should support guidelines

- N - NX

To the Daily:
What are the responsibilites of
faculty members toward studen-
ts? We would hope that everyone
would believe that the purpose of
faculty would be to promote the
educational development of stud-
ents, and that all faculty would
strive to reach this goal. This, un-
fortunately, does not seem to be
the case.
The Joint Student-Faculty
Policy Committee (JSFPC), a
committee composed of six
students and six, faculty mem-
bers who address issues within
LSA, have suggested a set of
guidelines for the faculty to ensure
quality teaching. The JSFPC
presented these guidelines at the
Governing Faculty meeting
several months ago, and to our
astonishment, the faculty has
repeatedly rejected even watered
down versions of these
guidelines. These recommen-
dations include the ensurement of
the following:
- Adequate counseling
- Available waitlist policies
- English proficiency for in-
structors
- Distribution of syllabi and
exam schedules
- Statement of evaluation for

has expressed opposition to these
basic student needs.
The faculty who have drafted
these guidelines, and others who
support the guidelines, are un-
derstandably surprised at some
of the arguments in opposition.
Philosophy professor Carl Cohen,
though in favor of improving the
quality of education; has stated
that the proposal is "an invitation
to litigiousness," (Daily, March
9). A desire to avoid lawsuits over
teaching methods probably is a
legitimate concern of faculty,
however, in this instance, the
fear isaunfounded. The guidelines
when accepted would only be an
"urging" rather than a man-
datory code.
Eric Rabkin, Interim Chair-
man of the English department,
has voiced other opposing
viewpoints. Rabkin feels the
suggestions place an unrealistic
burden on departments, and do
not allow for individual differen-
ces in teaching style (Daily,
March 1). The proposed
guidelines will in no way hinder
anyone's teaching style, rather, it
would ensure that a higher level
of student-instructor interaction
is maintained, and in this way:
BLOOM COUNTY

improve the quality of education.
The proposed guidelines should
not serve as a threat to any
professor's ego, they should,
however, be universally accepted
as the status quo. These
guidelines, far from radical, are
only a symbol of the ideal notion
of what the function of an
academic institution should be.
The guidelines, if accepted,
would promote direct student-
faculty interaction, give students
a clear indication of course ex-
pectations, and in general, allow
students to receive their money's
worth from the country's most

expensive, and most prestigious
public institution. Receiving a
quality education is made more
difficult without the cooperation
of the faculty. The proposed
guidelines, drafted in a joint
faculty-student effort, are an ex-
cellent opportunity for the faculty
to show a commitment to
education.

- Larry Bottinick
Jimmy Rosenberg
Michelle Tear 4
March 19.
This letter was endorsed by
the members of LSA student
gnovernment

6" .
Machiavellian administration

4

To the Daily:
Harold Shapiro is contem-
plating various ways to pass the
code by suspending the Michigan
Student Assembly's right to vote.
That's very interesting. Just
think how easy things could be for
Ronald Reagan if he didn't have
to deal with any unsympathetic
members of Congress! Think how
easy life would be if your vote
was the only vote that counted!
Unfortunately, that kind of ap-
proach has nothing to do with

democracy. It sounds a great
deal like the Machiavellian ap-
proach - fascism at its best!
There is nothing worse than a
pretense of democracy. Either
have one or don't - but we can't
decide what kind of government
to have on the basis of our feeling
towards specific issues. Either
MSA votes on the code, or there is
no purpose in pretending that
University students have a voice".
at this University. - Julie Boesky
March 20
by Berke Breathed

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