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November 20, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-20

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, November 20, 1984

The Michigan Daily

.

4

Nov. code d

By Eric Schnaufer
and Lee Winkleman
Last Thursday, the University ad-
ministration released still another ver-
sion of the proposed student code of
non-academic conduct (the code) and
proposed University judicial system
(the system). The changes from the
March 5 code and system to the new
Rules of the University Community, as
the code is now called, and system still
do not represent a significant
recognition of student rights. The new
rules and system either ignore or
deflect students' fundamental objec-
tions to the code. The administration
has not relinquished its arbitrary
authority over student life, not insured
that students' due process rights will
not be violated, not guaranteed studen-
ts' right to dissent, and not recognized
students' right to approve or reject both
the new rules and system. Unless these
basic objections are addressed, studen-
ts should not accept any code and con-
comitant judicial procedures. Students
should not acquiesce to administrative
intimidation and compromise their
basic civil liberties and rights.
In examining the new code, at least
six questions must be answered. What
changes were made? Did the ad-
ministration have the authority to
make those changes? Why were those
changes made? Are those specific
changes significant? What objec-
tionable provisions remain? How bad
are the new rules and system?
The new rules and system are essen-
tially the same as all previous drafts of
the code and system. Compare them.
yourself. Before examining them, it is
crucial to reemphasize that the code
and system have been revised many
times in the past. In each case, the ad-
ministration promoted a draft of the
code and system as the fairest, most
judicious, and most effective it was
capable of writing. Yet, after each suc-
cessive "revision" the administration
conceded that its efforts were unaccep-
table. Moreover, after each revision,
the administration went to the
Michigan Student Assembly to ask for
MSA's endorsement of the draft. When
successive MSAs rejected successive
versions of the code, the administration
tried to depict those MSAs as

unreasonable or intransigent. The ad-
ministration did not realize that the
student governments were intelligent
enough to recognize that the changes
were either insubstantial or tactical.
Although the proposed code and system
have been revised many times, the ad-
ministration has not relinquished any of
its assumed arbitrary power over
students' non-academic life.
The Nov. 15 version of the code and
system is not different and could not be
expected to be different. In fact, the
most noticeable change is the code's new
name. President Shapiro has recently
admitted that the new rules and system
were not written to protect students or
other members of the University com-
munity. They are instead intended to
protect the integrity of the University
as an institution. It seems that the ad-
ministration has no purpose for rules of
conduct and judicial procedures that
are either useful or acceptable to
students. The administration does not
acknowledge that laws and judicial
procedures are intended to limit the
arbitrary authority of those in power,
not legitimate such authority.
Hence, renaming the code and
system is little more than a simple
renaming. The new name is merely a
clever bureaucratic maneuver
designed to confuse members of the
University community and to give the
false impression that the ad-
ministration has actually conceded
something or compromised its inten-
tions. So what are the changes?
(1) The new rules apply to faculty and
administrators. This may amount to no
more than equal repression for all. It is
also important to note that members of
the University community will not be
judged in the same manner. Faculty
and staff do not have to suffer under the
arbitrary discretion and ad hoc
procedures of the students' new system
but instead will be judged in their own
system. The University administration
intends now, as it always has, to treat
students differently, that is more
severely, than faculty or staff.
Consider, for instance, the new rules'
prohibition on furnishing false infor-
mation. Our experience with ad-
ministrators is that they have difficulty
finding information in their files and
accurately depicting information which
they can find. Under the new rules
students might be able to charge such

raft ignores
administrators with a violation. But, is only the regents' approval, m
it reasonable to expect that an ad- made "pursuant to the
ministrator will be punished for his or bylaws". This sounds good
her deceit? Most likely, the ad- hollow. The code and the sys
ministration will take judicial notice of the regents unilateral authoril
the status of the accused and dismiss amendments. The new r
the case for lack of evidence. After all, system say only that som
students do not know what the fact of bylaw will be used to make an
the matter is. ts. Yet, the question was neve

student rights

ust now be
regents'
but rings
stem gave
ty to make
ules and
e regental
mendmen-
er whether

(2) Students are now allowed juries of
their peers. The right to a peer jury
might be nice if there was also a right
to a jury trial. In the new system,
students have a right to a jury trial only
if the sanction is suspension for one
semester or greater. In other words,
you may lose half a semester's out-of-
state tuition, be forced to withdraw
from all of your classes, and not have a
jury trial. Thus, a right to a jury by

amendments would be made according
to a bylaw. The dispute is over which
specific bylaw will be used for amen-
dments. MSA contends that bylaw 7.02
(or its equivalent) which gives MSA the
power to approve amendments is the
only acceptable bylaw for amending
the code and system. The ad-
ministration, on the other hand, argues
that bylaw 7.02 only applies to the code
or new rules and not to the system. If
the administration is right-which we

'Students should not acquiesce to ad-
ministrative intimidation and compromise
their basic civil liberties and rights.'

whether fair and judicious procedures
can be implemented. One cannot
assume that proposed procedures will
be acceptable to the University com-
munity.
Second, it remains the case that a
student may be punished and even
suspended for political activities. In the
new rules, moreover, there is no prac-
tical difference between suspension and
expulsion. No matter how judiciously
political trials could be held, the ad-
ministration can still use the threat of
initiating such proceedings to
discourage dissent. There might also be
problems determining which activities
should receive 'special' treatment and
if it is fair that certain persons might
receive greater due process protection
based on the nature of their act.
Third, in proposing the CLB draft
procedures for incidents involving
political freedoms, the administration
is not respecting regents' bylaw 7.02
which gives the University Council the
responsibility for such proposals. The
administration has improperly usurped
the authority of a regentally authorized
committee. This is particularly ironic
given that the University Council was
created to deal with disruptive political
activity. The 1968 "Report on the Com-
mission on the Role of Students in
Decision Making" states that the
University Council should formulate
rules governing activities such as sit-
ins (p. 14).
(6) The rules extend jurisidiction
over fraternities, sororities, co-ops, and
other "University affiliated" housing
only in cases of physical harm, arson,
and hazing. In restricting the jurisdic-
tion of the rules over these autonomous
groups, the administration steps in the
right direction. Nonetheless, Greeks
and co-opers should not be included at
all. If someone presents a danger to a
student in a fraternity, sorority, or co-
op, the proper thing to do is call the
police, not President Shapiro. In ad-
dition, there is 'no guarantee that the
jurisdiction over these off-campus
houses will not be extended whenever
the administration wants (See (4)
above). Another way the ad-
ministration can circumvent this
change is to contend that a fraternity,
sorority, or co-op party comes under
the rules because it is a "University ac-
tivity". This is likely since those houses

are . University recognized
organizations. Lastly, the wording of
this section still leaves the extent that
off-campus housing is covered by the
rules to the administration's discretion.
(7) Student journalists are exempt
when acting within the scope of their
journalistic activities. This is not only a
major improvement from the code but
also an attempt to moderate the Daily's
opposition to the code and system. The
reason this addition to the code is
significant is that the administration
does not appreciate the Daily's stance
on many University issues. Maybe the
administration will give an immunity to
MSA representatives next! There is one
problem though. If the rules are to ap-
ply to faculty and staff, why are only
"student" journalists extempted?
Probably because the new rules were
not and are not intended to be used
against faculty and staff.
The above is not an exhaustive ac-
count of the changes in the March 5
code and system. Even if the actual
changes were more significant than w4
know they are, most of the ad-
ministration's code and system, as was
expected, survived the latest revision
intact. The administration retains con-
trol over the hearing procedures which
are themselves ad hoc. The hearing
procedures are biased towards the con-
viction of students. Students' right to
full representation by legal counsel is
still unrecognized. The prosecutor and
judge are the same person. The ad-
ministration can interfere with a'
hearing board's deliberations. Many
crucial terms or provisions are still
vague, undefined, or ambiguous. The
hearings can be secret when the ad-
ministration wishes them to be. The
administration will still proceed again-
st a student in a criminal and/or civil
court and in the system.
There are many more difficulties
with the new rules and system. Studen-
ts have not come close to insuring that
the code and system do not violate their'
rights and freedoms. The new rules and
system are wholly unacceptable.
Another round in the code battle is
waiting to be fought.
Schnaufer is chairman of the
Michigan Student Assembly's code
committee. Winkleman is MSA 's
code researcher.

one's peers is gratuitous without a con-
comitant right to a jury trial.
Relatedly, jury trials will reach
guilty verdicts when either two of three
or four out of five students agree. The
administration is obviously not convin-
ced that it can convince all of its hand-
picked students that a given student is
guilty. The students are 'hand-picked'
by President Shapiro to serve on
hearing boards.
(3) There will be no notation of san-
ction or violation on a student's
academic transcript. Students forced
the administration to make this change.
The administration claims that it was a
"mistake" to have a provision for such
notation in the code in the first place. It
is sad that students must fight the ad-
ministration for two years to correct
errors due to its own incompetence.
(4) An endments, instead of needing

think it is not-or if the administration
has the power-which we fear it
does-it can amend the system through
administrative fiat. In other words, all
the changes in the system that the ad-
ministration is making so much noise
about (e.g. (2) above) are as temporary
as it wishes them to be.
(5) The administration has charged
the Civil Liberties Board (CLB) with
developing procedures for violations of
the new rules' limitation of certain
political freedoms. The administration
made this change because it realized
that the University community did not
trust the administration to write fair
procedures for political cases. Although
this change is conceptually acceptable,
three issues remain.

First, the desirability
political freedoms at all

of limiting
depends on

.1

LETTERS TO

THE DAILY

t ae dtaniichig ant
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Free speech doesn't stand by itself

Vol. XCV, No. 65

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Acode is a code - co

IT'S NOW called the "Rules for the
University Community," but a code
by any other name still stinks.
The administration's latest attempt
to produce a legitimate code of conduct
has failed like its many predecessors.
Cosmetic changes have been made,
but the basic substance of the code is,
and will remain, unacceptable.
"Revision #1", as the latest draft has
been labeled, promises to be followed
by numbers two, three, and four, in an
endless succession of minor ap-
peasements that won't get to the heart
of the problem. The very idea of a
University non-academic code of con-
duct is flawed.
Numerous additions and alterations
have been made to the code but its fun-
damental injustices remain. While the
accused is now allowed a jury of peers
and access to counsel in some cases,
great problems remain in the judicial
system. A defendant may be found in-
nocent in a civil court and yet still be
found guilty by the University.
The hearing board and
officer retain the ability to
use faulty evidence. The code allows
for this saying, "rules of evidence
common in courts of law shall not be
mandatory." And most disturbing, the
hearing officer and board need only
feel that there is "clear and convin-
ein" vi" liInee nf iuilt rather thain

courts. That is, unless the University
feels that the courts did not go far
enough. Essentially, this
provision is no different
from the original version which
allowed for double punishment.
A particularly ambigious section of
the new code requires that amendmen-
ts to it be approved "pursuant to the
Regents' Bylaws." That does not nec-
essarily mean that amendments will
be subject to bylaw 7.02 which gives
the Michigan Student Assembly veto
power, it simply means that the ad-
ministration will make amendments
subject to whatever bylaw they take as
appropriate. The regents and ad-
ministration made clear that an im-
plementation of the old code was not
contingent upon an MSA vote, so it is
unlikely that MSA's approval will be
required either in the implementation
or modification of this code. Many
questions surround this section of the
code. The administration does not
deserve the benefit of the doubt.
The code is unjust in the most basic
sense. It seeks to control the actions of
students without an adequate regard
for their legal rights. The code is also
unnecessary. The statutes, jucidiary,
and enforcement agencies of local,
state, and federal governments

To the Daily:
I would like to respond to the
letter by Ruth Milkman "Free
speech double standard" (Daily,
November 17) and to the com-
ments by several of the regents
that those who were involved in
not allowing the CIA to make its .
presentation on campus should
be censured for violating the
right of freedom of speech,
"Regents criticize CIA protesters
" (Daily, November 17). The
assumption behind this line of
reasoning is that the right to free
speech somehow stands by itself,
more powerful, compelling and
important than other rights.
Milkman says that whether or
not the CIA is against free speech
is irrelevant, but I have to
disagree. The CIA has a long and
proud history of subverting all
forms of free speech, as is exem-
plified by their role in the over-
throw of elected governments.
This is not a matter of conjecture,
but is rather a matter of well-
established, and often admitted,
facts. Yet despite the exhaustive
list of evidence, the CIA con-
tinues its deadly and immoral ac-
tivites. Witness the recent mining
of the Nicaraguan harbor and the
"freedom-fighters" manual that
calls for the "neutralization" of
Sandinista officials.
The major reason that the CIA
has been able to operate with im-
punity is, in fact, a certain lack of
freedom of speech that we not
only tolerate, but encourage, in
our society. Whereas it may be
true that anyone is free to say
whatever she/he wishes about
Correction
The new draft of the proposed
code for non-academic conduct
allows the accused to be
represented by an attorney
before a five member hearing

the CIA, it is not true that anyone
can be heard. People who would
like to see the CIA punished for
its systematic abuse of human
rights do not have access to the
media by which most people are
informed and influenced. These
same people do not have access
to the large sums of money
required to visit every
prestigious university, or to place
advertisements on TV, radio, or
newspapers. Increasingly, as the
media becomes more and more
the property of large cor-
porations, the mainstream press
cannot be counted on to tell the
truth about issues like these, sin-
ce their owners have similar in-
terests to those interests
promulgated and protected by
the activity of the CIA.
This brings up a very impor-
tant point which is too often
overlooked in our society-lack of
economic democracy subverts
political democracy. So while it is
true that we are all politically
free to say what we feel, the lack
of economic equality among in-
terest groups guarantees that
certain ideas will be more equal,
and will receive more press
coverage. The press, no matter
how hard it tries, can never be
ideologically neutral. For-
BLOOM COUNTY
11:30p4m W
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.
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tunately, The Daily has realized
this and thus commendably sup-
ported the anti-CIA action.
Lastly, I would like to present
to Milkman and the regents the
following scenario. Imagine that
many of your friends or family
had been the victims of heinous
crimes. Further, imagine that
culpability was well-established;
the guilty parties having often
admitted it themselves. They
have shown no sign of ceasing
their activities, nor have they
ever been punished. In fact, they
seem to operate with the offical
blessings of their society. They
are now coming to your town to
find people who want to help
them commit similar crimes.

Would you let them have their
meeting? Would you welcome a
Mafia recruiter to Ann Arbor?
Would you not feel that other
rights, such as the right of
everyone to see these people
brough to justice, were more im-
portant to protect than the right
of freedom of speech. Rights are
relative! The patriots who foun-
ded this country understood this
concept when they authored a
document that begins "When in
the Course of human events..."

4

-Hugh McGuinnes
November 19

McGuinness is a graduate
student in biological sciences.

4

Unsigned editorials ap-
pearing on the left side
of this page represent a
majority opinion of the
Daily's Editorial Board.

.4

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