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March 27, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-27

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a

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, March 27, 1984

The Michigan Daily

1a

Conduct code

no good to

NO CODE!

By Eric Schnaufer
and Andrew Boyd
NO CODE! is a slogan, a campus-
wide movement, a comprehensive
critique of the code, and a student
organization. The following is an
outline of the organization's critique of
the proposed student code of
nonacademic conduct and proposed
{University judicial system, informally
known as "the code." NO CODE! has
three major areas of concern: 1) con-
tent and amendment procedure, 2) ap-
proval and revision, and 3) rationale
and justification. The conclusions of
this critique are that the current
proposed code must be rejected in its
entirety and that, if there is to be a
student-only code, students must write,
revise, and approve this new code.
NO CODE! encourages each and
every student to read the actual code -
available at the Office of Student Ser-
vices, 3000 Michigan Union. We are
confident that if students read the code
they will reject it.
Content and amendment procedure
There are no guarantees of students'
basic rights and liberties in the code.
There is nothing in the code which
prohibits the use of improperly ob-
tained evidence in a hearing procedure.
The code explicitly limits students'
right to legal counsel. The code softens
the criteria of guilt from 'beyond a
reasonable doubt' to 'clear and convin-
cing' evidence and from a unanimous to
a majority verdict. The code jeopar-
dizes legitimate civil disobedience, a
right that can be defended in any
federal, state, or local court. The code
eliminates the right to a jury of one's
peers.
In fact, the code gives the University
administration grand jury power. Un-

der the proposed code, any student or
"eligible" student must appear before
a University tribunal. He or she must
then give administrators whatever in-
formation they request for an "official"
University purpose. While this student
may not be formally charged at this
time, the information provided may
later be used against this person. So
much for the Fifth Amendment!
The code's jurisdiction is doubly
problematic. First, the code only ap-
plies to students in violation of Regents'
Bylaw 7.02. However,President Harold
Shapiro has stated that faculty mem-
bers may find themselves under a
similar code soon enough. The second
problem with the code's jurisdiction is
that it applies to fraternities, co-
operatives, and sororities. The Univer-
sity has no right to interfere in the
private lives of students living in these
non-University houses.
The code sometimes conflicts and of-
ten overlaps with the existing criminal
and civil judicial system. The code ex-
pressly states that the University may
try a student in its court even while
local, state, or federal action is being
taken. The University does not want to
graduate students who it finds un-
desirable. In' addition to selling
educational credentials, the University
wants to sell moral credentials. Since
neither a criminal nor a civil court can
mete out academic penalties for
nonacademic behavior, the University
has set up its own court system.
The code's amendment procedure
eliminates students' rights just as the
substance of the code does. Once the
code is approved, the regents have the
power to unilaterally amend it. If, for
example, co-ops are removed from the
code's jurisdiction to placate co-op
members, co-ops could again be added
to its jurisdiction at the regents' whim.
President Shapiro, moreover, has the
power to add at any time any

prohibitions he likes to the code. NO
CODE! demands that MSA have the
power to approve any amendments to
any student-only code.
Approval and revision
Currently, MSA, the Senate Assem-
bly, and the regents must approve the
code under bylaw 7.02. Even before the
University encountered strong student
opposition to the code, it proposed to
remove all student and faculty control
over approval of the code. Over a year

Bylaw 2.01 he has the sole prerogative to
provide for health, diligence, and order
among the students. We at NO CODE!
believe that it would be the gravest
affront to the democratic functioning of
the University and to students' rights if
7.02 is changed, suspended, or deleted.
NO CODE! demands that 7.02 be frozen
as it presently stands, (i.e. that MSA
and the Senate Assembly have a right
to approve, reject, or renegotiate the
code and that the code apply equally to

been as closed and undemocratic as the
code's approval process will be once the
regents tamper with 7.02. NO CODE!
encourages students to read successive
versions of the code to see that the
University has not compromised on any
key section of the code to which studen-
ts have objected. Student "input" into
the code has so far consisted of a
solicitation of ideas from various
student leaders. Needless to say, the
input from these students was largely
ignored. The University ignores
student input because it wants just
those sections which the students find
so objectionable. Hence, if there is to
be a student only code, NO CODE!
demands that students control the
revision of the code. It should be turned
over to MSA and the widest array of
student groups and eventually be put to
a vote of the student body.
Currently, President Shapiro and the
executive officers wholly control the
revision of the code. We are not so
naive as to believe they will relinquish
their power over it, especially over the
amendment sections. Thus, though
NO CODE! believes the entire code
must be stopped, students expressing
particular concerns about the content
of the code should also ask for the in-
clusion of MSA approval in the amen-
Ament sections of the code.
Rationale and Justification
Administrators have two basic
arguments for the new code. First,
other "peer" institutions have similar
codes. This begs the question of the
justice and fairness of the code. The
code must be considered on its own
merits. Just because another univer-
sity has a bad code does not mean the
University should too.
The second argument is that the
University is ill-equipped to' deal with
students who present a danger to othep
students in the University community:

If this was the main reason for the code,
then 75 percent of the code's
prohibitions could be eliminated. The
code prohibits everything from
heckling, to lying, to being in the UGLI
afterhours. Most of the code haA
nothing to do with the safety and well
being of students. It has more to do
with the University's desire to, control
student life outside as well as inside the
classroom.
The University already has effective
and judicious means of dealing with
dangerous individuals: stringent dorm
leases, civil injunctions, criminal san-
ctions, the present Rules of the Univer6
sity Community, and Regents' Bylaw
2.01. President Shapiro wrote to the
regents that "the proposed code and
judicial system do not provide the
University with anything it does not
already have under the existing rules of
the University community and judicial
system." Nor does the proposed code
promise swift results; there are sub-
stantial delays in the various stages of
the adjudication procedure. The code
does promise efficient results, if et
ficient means the results the University
wants when all is said and done. What
the University wants to do is purge the
University community of those it finds
undesireable without protection either
of the victims' or victimizers' rights.
NO CODE! demands that the code be
scrapped. If there is to be a new code, it
must protect the rights and liberties of
all students, including victims and vi4
timizers. It must be democratically
approved, revised, and adjudicated.
NO CODE!
This article is endorsed by mem-
bers of NO CODE!.

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
NO CODE! is a student organization that is opposed to the University's
proposed code of non-academic conduct.

ago the University made plans to disen-
franchise the student body and faculty
through a revision of 7.02. There is a
strong possibility that these plans will
be carried through, perhaps as early as
the April regents' meeting. President
Shapiro claims the right to recommend
such changes because, under Regents'

all members of the University com-
munity). It does not matter that
President Shapiro claims absolute
control over student conduct un-
der Bylaw 2.01; students and faculty
have a right to determine which of their
behavior is acceptable or unacceptable.
The code's revision process is and has

&wI aigan I al'j
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Administration should abide by vote

Vol. XCIV-No. 140

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

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

Is anyone listening?

I T'S AWFUL to suddenly realize that
the person you're talking to is only
nodding and saying "uh huh," not
listening to a single word you say.
Being ignored outright is annoying, but
a feigned sense of interest patronizes
in a much more painful way.
The regents and administration are
patronizing the student body. They
look everyone in the eye and say that
they are willing to listen - they even
give an individual the opportunity to
speak to them for five minutes once a
month at .the regents' meeting.
Perhaps most importantly, the
regental bylaws state that no new
provision will be ratified without the
approval of the Michigan Student
Assembly. But when it comes right
down to it, the student voice goes in one
ear and out the other.
The student community has made it
perfectly clear that it does not support
the proposed student code of non-
academic conduct. Student leaders,
including the presidents of the Inter-
fraternity Council, Panhellenic
Association, most school governments,
all of the candidates for next year's
MSA, and the current assembly have
uniformly rejected the code. The
administration, however, has selective
hearing.
It is easy to listen when you like what
you hear. University President Harold
Shapiro's problem is that he doesn't
like the sound of all this student
disapproval. In order to be able to
ignore the noise, he is considering the
removal of the student body's right to
approve the code before it can be
enforced. Shapiro in a memorandum

to the regents said that: "it may be
necessary either to amend Regents'
Bylaw 7.02 to take away the Michigan
Student Assembly's ratification
authority or to revoke it." At that point
all of the disapproval in the world
won't matter, the fact is that the code
will pass.
That would solve a big problem for
Shapiro. He and the regents would have
their code and eventually all of the
fuss would die down - futility has that
effect on people. But it would create
another problem. It would force a
questioning of the role the
administration feels students play at
this University. Do students have a
legitimate voice concerning their
experience here, or are they to be
coddled and ignored for four years?
An opportunity to voice disapproval of
the code and the administration's
attitude toward the student voice will
be provided by two questions on today
and tomorrow's MSA ballot - one
question asks if the University should
support a code, and the other asks if
the code should be supported without
first putting it to a student vote.
The message most certainly will be
that the student body does not want a
code and that the issue should be put to
a vote. Unfortunately, the
administration won't really care. As
Vice President for Student Services
Henry Johnson said, "The bottom line
is that the regents will approve (the
code) one way or the other.''
It is time to wise up and realize that
no one is listening to the students.
Students and the administration
cannot communicate on a common
level. It's all too clear who is on top.

To the Daily:
The recent move by the regents
to propose abolishing bylaw .02
is one of the most disturbing
manifestations of paternalism
which exists on this campus. I
question the implications of such
a move. Do the regents feel that a
University is a place where there
should be a free exchange of in-
tellectual dialogue or do they feel
that this exchange is one-sided,
excluding the students. I per-
sonally see the request to change
the bylaw as a means of implying
that students are not responsible
members of the University com-
munity at large. The proposed
change also indicates that the
faculty will be removed from the
process. That leaves the policy
process only to the ad-
ministration. How many classes
do they take?
President Shapiro stated in his
letter that the Michigan Student
Assembly had no intention of par-
Mudslinging
t To the Daily:
Like a true Democrat, Andrew
Hartman has decided to spice up
the 1984 MSA elections by
'slinging a little mud. 'LMNOP
most qualified to lead MSA,"
(Daily, March 23). Unlike the
barbs flying in the national
primary, Hartman's charges are
unsubstantiated and usually
wrong. The candidates, while
some are less experienced than
others, are all sincere and none
suffer from any lack of integrity.
I share none of Hartman's con-
cerns about the future of the
student body regardless of who
wins.
Unfortunately for the LMNOP
candidates, Hartman's letter
detracts from that party's
credibility. Candidates who slan-
der their opponents are generally
perceived worse and their image
of honesty and integrity suffers
badly. Furthermore, Hartman
should realize that after the elec-
tion, each party will have
representation on the assembly.
By fostering hostileaattitudes
among candidates, Hartman is
hindering the performance of
next year's assembly, par-
ticularly if LMNOP candidate
Dlrewl Pit-vin wxins

ticipating in the revision process
of the code and thus finds it
necessary to change the approval
process. This is an interesting
comment, considering that at the
time he wrote the letter, the
current MSA had not yet taken a
vote on the issue. In fact, the
assembly has put the issue out to
a student referendum. It will ap-
pear on the MSA election ballot,
thus forcing MSA to abide by the
decision for the following year. If
the president finds it necessary to
force the passing of the code
above the students heads, I do
hope that he does not disqualify

the students from participating in
some revision process, a formal
one, I may add.
Essentially the students have
no power on this campus. The
committees which I appoint
students to are only advisory, in
most circumstances. Even when
there is some policy process in-
volved, the students are over-
whelmingly in the minority. The
University Council proposed the
code which was formulated with
student input. I wonder how
much time the students took to
get out and ask other students
their opinions. I think that the

administration should abide by
the student referendum because
it will hopefully represent a
broad opinion on the issue. -
The one place where the
students did have some power
was in the approval process of th
code. The -proposed change A
bylaw 7.02 will take away this
power. I regret this fact and hope
that the regents will take a little
more time to think about the im-
plications of such a move.
- Susan Povich
March20
Povich is MSA 's Vice
President of Personnel.

Students should examine issues

4

To the Daily:
I find it apalling that some of
the candidates in the MSA elec-
tions are playing .on voter
ignorance to further their own
political goals. When preparing
our platform, we did extensive
research into campus issues and
existing campus services. Ap-
parently, not all the parties did.
YOU, with presidential can-
didate Ron Senkowski, proposes
19 items in their tri-fold flyer. Of
these 19, five already exist (i.e.
alumni network, minorities in the
recruitment process to boost
minority enrollment), two have
better systems in existence (AD-
VICE station at CRISP and
bulletin boards in the UGLi) and
two have no rational reason for
existing (credit evaluation and
the referral system). Con-
sidering the above, one must
question the campus knowledge
of Senkowski and his YOU ticket.
Additionally, the LMNOP party
and Drew Plevm, its presidential
BLOOM COUNTY

candidate, suffer from the same
syndrome. Plevin was unable to
answer a student question in the
presidential debate asking why
many of his proposals are not
new, but.instead are already un-
der consideration or in existence.
Examples of these include the
"Student Bill of Rights" (curren-
tly being considered in the
college of LSA by the Joint
Student-Faculty Policy Commit-
tee), active recruitment of
minorities, and all of LMNOP's
''proposals'' regarding the

student career planning services.
Students should look closely at
the issue stands of all candidates
involved. : . do some of these
"new ideas" already exist? If so,
ask yourself why the need for this
attempted deception. Also ask
yourself if these people lie to you
during the campaign, what will
they do in office?
-Jim Fieg
March 23

Frego is
candidate on

the presidential
the RAP ticket.

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.

by Berke Breathed

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