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October 11, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-11

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4

OPINION

The Michigan Doiy
Lu

Rage 4

Thursday, October 11, 1984

I

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4

Etudntahe n t Mcig
Edited and managed by students at The U niversity of Michigan

A Nite

By Allison Salerno

Ride nightmare
muttered, handing me fifty cents back. I told talked to his dispatcher. "I'm a
him I had not heard what he said. He there ain't no one here and I've
laughed sarcastically. "Whatever you the back seat screaming down m
want." He then pulled out eight singles, coun- "The girl from Taubman?"
ting them twice with a deliberate slowness, "Yeah."
then handing them to me. I gave him my ad-

..

14

Vol. XCV, No. 31

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

L

A SERIES ON THE PROPOSED CODE

III: A variety of injustices
and illegalities

T HE PROPOSED CODE FOR
non-academic conduct is un-
necessary and contrary to our belief
that students should have the right to
lead their own lives free from Univer-
sity interference. Its deficiencies,
however, go far beyond that.
The code itself is riddled with in-
justices and ambiguities that render it
dangerous, and almost ridiculous, as a
legal document. Where it outlines the
proposed judicial system especially,
there is hardly a provision that is not
;lgally or ideologically flawed. Line
y line criticisms of the entire code
can, and have, been made. While this
s not an appropriate forum for an
exhaustive examination of the code's
Jegalities, a brief outline of some of the
more blatant injustices is called for.
In an attempt to streamline the
udicial system, the University has
hacrificed many individual freedoms
uaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
ue process is not guaranteed.
The system would deny the accused
the right to a jury of one's peers. The
hearing officers to whom the plaintiff
would be initially answerable are ap-
pointed by the University president
and would be a faculty member, ad-
ministrator, or University policy ad-
visor. The student would then face a
hearing board that holds the power of
suspension and expulsion. This board
would not be composed entirely, or
even predominately, of students. Two
students would be included on the
board and would be selected by the
president from a list provided by the
Michigan Student Assembly. Whether
or not these students would be un-
biased is an open question.
Regardless, the judging and senten-
cing body would not be composed of the
plaintiff's peers. And indeed, would
not necessarily be composed of those
concerned only with a just procedure.
Different ends than a fair trial would
be served by a board concerned with
expediency.
The judicial system also denies the
right to an attorney. In reference to an
attorney's allowed role, the code
reads, "except for advising the
respondent or claimant, the advisor
may participate in the hearing only at
the discretion of the hearing officer."
The administration's hand-picked of-
ficer, then, has the right to refuse the
board and plaintiff the argument of the
plaintiff's legal representative. This is
blatantly unfair and enlarges even fur-
ther the hearing officer's power to af-
fect the outcome of the proceedings.
In addition, the hearing officer will
be able to accept as evidence "all mat-
ter.... that reasonable persons would
accept as having probative value in the
conduct of their affairs." But who
shall define what a "reasonable" per-
son would accept, and should a
reasonable person's judgement
L nrncaai1v hp anvid enugh? Rgar-

On Monday, October 8 my study partner
and I studied at the Taubman Medical
Library until 11:30 p.m. We had become
thoroughly involved in our work. While I had
not planned to stay so late, I knew I had
brought my wallet and thus could pay for a
cab ride home. My walk home is only five
blocks, but includes the long hill of Catherine
Street. I had seen that street covered with red
dots on the map of Ann Arbor at the UGLi; dots
signifying sexual assaults or attempted ones.
I did not feel comfortable walking that road
alone so late at night.
About 11:40 I phoned the Nite-Ride. A
sleepy and rather irritated voice answered. I
told the dispatcher I needed a ride from the
medical library to my apartment. He told me
my ride would arrive in fifteen minutes.
About midnight I was still standing outside
Taubman, waiting. The library had emptied
of students and employees. It was dark inside
the building. Except for a few street lights
and the moon, it was dark outside too. A few
men jogged past. I watched the 12 o'clock
Bursley/Baits bus drive by. Then the North-
wood bus. Some nurses walked hurridly past
the end of a shift at the hospital. It was late.
I CROSSED the street to the pay phone and
called Nite-Ride. "I called over twenty
minutes ago for a ride. You said someone
could pick me up at Taubman is fifteen
minutes. Can you please tell me when my
ride is coming? I'm not in a safe place."
"I have no way of knowing."
"I called because it's not safe for me to
walk home. I'm not in a safe place now. The
library is closed."
"I HAVE no way of knowing when your ride
is coming."
"Well, would it be in two minutes, in twenty
minutes? Could you at least tell me that?"
"I have no way of knowing."
"PLEASE try to find out. I'm not in a safe
place here."
The dispatcher put me on hold for about
half a minute. "From where he is now he
should be there in five to seven minutes."
"Thank you."
I WAITED about that time and the Nite-
Ride came. The driver said "a dollar fifty." I
told him I had only this ten, no change left. He

t Markley and
e got a lady in
ny neck."

i

I- II

was cheap.
safe.'

It was not

should therefore not be good enough.
The judicial system leaves far too
much room for the hearing officer's
personal discretion. Justice would not
necessarily be served. That kind of
leeway should not be allowed to exist.
The proposed judicial system is am-
biguous, provides the hearing officer
with too much power to influence the
proceedings, and allows for pronoun-
cements of guilt that would not be ac-
cepted by the courts. The individual's
rights would be sacrificed to the
University's desire for expediency.
Some of the more frightening
provisions of the code are those which
would stifle dissent. The University has
included in the code an article making it
punishable to "intentionally and
significantly interfere with a normal
University or University sponsored ac-
tivity." The terms "intentionally" and
"significantly" are far too ambiguous
and could be used to crack down on
meaningful protest.
It is our belief that the right and
ability to protest should not be hin-
dered. Protest is a meaningful and
desirable aspect of life on this campus
and sit-ins and diag demonstrations
are not real obstructions of University
activity regardless of whether they are
intentional or significant. The Univer-
sity argues that this provision is
peripheral and not likely to be used.
But why does it exist if it isn't going to
be enforced? The University feels it
has to crack down on
"'misbehavior"~-as evidenced by the
entire code-so there is no reason to
believe that the University would not
use the provision. If it is enforced it
could be used to stifle legitimate
protest.
Other weaknesses of the code include
its placing of the student in a kind of
double jeopardy-a plaintiff could be
tried and punished by two different
courts-and that it applies only to
students ; not to faculty, staff, or the
administration itself. If the ad-
ministration sees the code as so impor-
tant, why is it not extended to include
all members of the University com-
munity?
Most disturbing, however, is the
power given the administration to
amend the code. In order to approve
new articles, all that is required of the
University is that it listen to the "ad-
vice" of MSA and the faculty senate.
In other words, once the code passes,
the administration can add whatever
else it wants without any student or
faculty approval. This must be
remembered throughout any
negotiations that might take place in-
volving the code: anything that is
gained now may be taken away once
the University gets the code passed.
The University is moving to extend
its power over students at the expense
P _ -- l --na-1 _nr- - -- 2 --l - -

dress. He sighed, turned on his radio and told

the dispatcher our location. He scribbled
something on his clipboard.
He started the cab. Instead of heading
straight down Catherine, the quickest route to
my apartment, he began turning left.
"It's quickest if you just head down
Catherine."
"I KNOW where I'm going!" he shouted.
"It's the most direct route." I said, won-
dering where in the world he was driving.
"I know where I'm going!" he snarled, now
turning left again.
"WHERE are you going?" I asked.
"What do you think this is, a cab or
something? This is a Nite-Ride, for God's
sake."
"Please tell me where you are going." I
said firmly.
"You haven't answered my question!" he
shouted. "What did you think this was? A cab
or something? This is a Nite-Ride."
"I'm not familiar with this service. I think it
would be courteous for you to tell me where
you are driving."
"To Markley. And I think it would be only
courteous of you to tell me-what did you
think this was-a cab or something?"
I DIDN'T answer. He drove to Markley and

'The primary function of
Nite-Ride is to provide
cheap, safe, relatively ef-
ficient transportation for
women in the University
community. . . . My ex-
perience with Nite-Ride

THE DRIVER turned to me and said "Yod
must have had a bad day today." I didn't an"E
swer. "Either that" he said "or you've got
some kind of a bad attitude." I didn't answer"
We waited at Markley for about five
minutes. He spoke to his dispatcher who gave
him the okay to "take that girl from Taubmai
wherever."
He drove on to Catherine, accelerating
before each stop sign and red light. He finally
drove down my street. I explained to hii
where I lived. He drove past my building, to
the opposite side of the street, and stopped. y
"You've driven past my building. It's baee
there," I said, pointing up a half-block. He:
laughed. "Wherever," he said.
I could not take my money back. And a contr
frontation would not have improved the
situation. In my exasperation and anger,;r±
walked out of the cab, leaving its back door?
open. As I ran the half-block in the darkness;
the driver shouted his last word to me, "Bit,
ch t
The primary function of Nite-Ride is to
provide cheap, safe, relatively efficient tra.;
sportation for women in the University con ,
munity. Nite-Ride is a service for those who,
cannot afford to own a car. My experience,
with Nite-Ride was cheap. It was not safe(,
The service was thoroughly inefficient; it
took Nite-Ride forty-five minutes to transport
me five blocks. In addition, both dispatchr
and driver responded antagonistically, if n&',
hostilely, to my inquiries. 1
I would not be comfortable using this ser
vice again. As a student at this UniversityP_
have to now concern myself not only with
walking home from the library, but withwmy
comfort and safety on Nite-Ride as well.
It is hard sometimes, being a woman.

Salerno is an LSA senior.

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ow

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Daily insensitive to alcohol problem&

To the Daily:
The front page of the Daily on
October 5 showed a picture of
smiling women atop a fraternity
house.tThe caption:"Sororities
compete in beer chugging and
other contests to benefit the
special olympics." A number of
questions come to mind. Out of
all the contests and events for
"Derby Days," why did the Daily
choose only "beer-chugging" to
advertise? Surely there were
nthcr entp-k of interest? And

stereotype of the Greek system
that is increasingly out-dated. It
also shows a lack of sensitivity
for the 10 percent (or more) of the
population who are alchoholics,
the many students who come
from families where alcohol
abuse is a serious problem, and
the too many students who are
struggling with alcohol problems
in an environment that is all too
BLOOM COUNTY

often unsympathetic to those who
choose not to drink.
I would like to ask the following
additional questions: for the
sponsoring fraternity of Sigma
Chi - why was that event
necessary for a good time? To
the women participating - are
you satisfied with the image that
gives of women in sororities?To
the Panhellenic Council - I hope

that you continue your,
educational efforts, they are
badly needed. And to thel
Michigan Daily, perhaps you
would consider an educational
program for your staff: there are
many resources on campus who
would be glad to assist you.
-Susan Gold
October 9
by Berke Breathed:

"YOU'RE" 9R' fOINr6 "/bVP?

I 50 7W CANPIt7

_
i

~- F 7

' 5-

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