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February 05, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-05

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, February 5, 1985 The Michigan Daily

I

I

ie atudets a nihig an
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Struggling for

civil rights

Vol. XCV, No. 104

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

A good step

I n a positive step toward affirming
student freedom, the University
Council last week agreed to take a new
approach to the controversial code of
non-academic conduct. Instead of sim-
ply revamping previous drafts of the
code, the influential panel will start off
by evaluating the problems a code is
supposed to address.
Previous attempts to develop a code
suffered from an overly ambitious
quest to solve all campus safety prob-
lems at once. The council, which was re-
surrected just a few months ago to give a
code more credibility with students, is
starting off on the right foot by trying
to find out what's broken before trying
to fix it.
Administration officials tried to
justify a comprehensive code by
recounting horror stories about alleged
criminals who are released on
probation pending trial, while the
University is unable to prevent their
return.
The council, with the advice of the
safety department, should first deter-
mine just how common such instances
are. There may well be a few isolated
cases like the ones the administration
describes, but it is still not the Univer-
sity's place to determine an accused
offender's guilt or innocence. The
criminal justice system is often slow
and. frustrating, but that doesn't give
the University the right to bypass the
system, especially when the ac-
cusations are very serious.
Previous drafts of the code covered
everything from illegally using

someone's library card to committing
a felony. The flaw was that the Univer-
sity didn't seriously consider alter-
native solutions to the
problems-possibly because they
didn't fully understand those
problems.
It seems that the University was in-
tent on coming up with a document to
solve all of its safety problems with one
blow.
Unfortunately, the safety problems
on campus - like rape, assault, and
arson - are too complex to be solved
by simply passing a code. Past attem-
pts have further muddied the situation
by trying to bring other, unrelated
problems - like lying to a University
official - under the scope of the same
code.
Before launching into a campaign to
develop a comprehensive code, the
council has to look at just how far the
University should intrude in students'
lives outside the classroom. One coun-
cil member suggested that a code
should extend beyond the confines of
the University and into private, off-
campus apartments-a frightening
prospect. Such a move would be a
dangerous step backward to in loco
parentis and a blow to student
freedom.
The University Council has taken a
step in the right direction. The first
step in addressing any problem is to
determine exactly what that problem
is. The administration has avoided the
question throughout the numerous
revisions of the code; now it's time to
find some answers.

In his unflagging committment to the
civil rights movement, Dick Gregory has
pushed the legacy of sixties activism into
the 1980s. A biting social critic and obser-
ver of blacks in American culture,
Gregory maintains a vision of world unity
and has been curiously described by the
FBI as "demented" and "dangerous -.
Gregory recently journeyed to Ethiopia
to assist in relief efforts in the famine
striken country. During a visit to the
University last week, Gregory addressed a
crowd at Rackham Auditorium and spoke
with staff writer Jody Becker about the
continuing struggle for civil rights in the
United States.
Dialogue

D: Jesse Jackson has been a highly visible
black leader in the eighties and especially in
his recent bid for the Democratic presidential
nomination. Do you think Jackson is suc-
cessfully leading the black people?
G: He always has been successful. When
Jesse ran for President of the United States,
he wasn't running as a black candidate. I
mean the things he said would solve the
problems with defense and solve the
problems with war. One of the most in-
teresting things is when we had that first
Presidential debate it was obvious out of all
those white men sitting there who was the
brightest. And if God had to sit and pick one of
those, it would have been Jesse. Jesse is not
only qualified to lead America, he could
govern the whole world.
D: You recently returned from Ethiopia.
Did you see American aid dollars working
towards famine relief?
G: Sure, the money is getting through. But
it's not only that, it's pressing the government
and pressing the church, pressing the large
institutions to do more. It's an em-
barassment... that one British rock star
whose 45 record (Bob Geldof's Do They
Really Know It's Christmas?) sold out in 12
hours. They hear that and they listen to that
and because of that a lot of aid is generated.
D: The South African policy of apartheid
has recently attracted a lot of attention in The
United States, especially with the demon-
strations at the South African embassy in
Washgington. Do you think the demon-
strations are a valuable forum for pressuring
the South African government?
G: I think it's a valuable forum for more
than just pressuring the South Africans, but to
say to all the freedom fighters that there is a
lot of us who are concerned about your cause,
and you might not have to die, you might not
have to kill if there is enough of us that's con-
cerned. People listen. In Poland that priest
was killed, and theynthought they could just
kill that priest and nothing would be said, but
world opinion was such that they had to indict
some of the top people. So world opinion does
make a difference. If we'd a took a gun in the
civil rights movement, that's what they wan-
ted. Cause they can match that with missiles.
But they cannot match us when we come out
and say. "I'm willing to die for what I believe
in. And if you choose to kill me, see what the
world says."

D: Do you think President Reagan is
serious in his intentions of pressing the South
African government for reform?
G: Oh, I think he has to be. He cannot let it
move to the level of corporate America get-
ting in trouble. And I think it gives this coun-
try and the administration a way out, because
now they can say we went along with you but
now this whole thing is tearing our society
apart and we've got to do something. So I
think it gives them a legitimate excuse to do
things they should have been doing all along.
D: Black student enrollment at the Univer-
sity of Michigan is below five percent. How do
you think the University could make itself
more attractive, or how do you think black
enrollment might be increased?
G: The black folks here and in the com-
munity have to bring the type of pressure and
organize the type of boycotts to ask black
athletes not to come here. And once you touch
that, things will begin to change, because
there is a whole lot of money made in the
sports department and if you raise enough
hell, there is enough schools they can go to
And the other schools in the conference would
use that to recruit against them.
D: You made some remarks during your
speech about black fraternities and sororities
not coming to the aid of Ethiopia in any
significant way. What methods do you see as
best for organizing black students on cam-
pus?
G: I think black fraternities and sororities
are fine, if they stop playing those crazy
games. They already have the institutions
already there. God, you think about black
fraternities and sororities; they could raise so
much money for Ethiopia it's incredible. The
United Negro College Fund shouldn't have to
worry about it. All these fraternities and
sororities should be able to keep that going...
and they are going to have to show leadership
in the black community. They've got to stop
playing and having a good time on the college
campus. They've got to be groomed to go
back into that community and make that
change.
Becker is a Daily staff writer.

Daily: Do you see the human rights
movement as having died out for all intents
and purposes in 1985?
Gregory: No, I think if the civil rights
movement has partly died out, it's becuase it
has led to the human rights movement. In '65,
nobody understood that women had rights
they weren't getting, or that elderly folks had
rights they weren't getting, or people on
welfare who have certain rights and deserve
a certain dignity. I believe the civil rights
movement has grown so broad; even the cor-
nerstone of the women's movement came af-
ter the civil rights legislation. I would say
when you look at the awareness it is in-
credible because of that movement.
D: What would you say the agenda should
be for the black community regarding civil
rights?
G : We need to change priorities to see to
it that we get our share of the jobs.

Letters
Abortion story slanted against choice

All in a name

THE NAME Siam conjures up im-
ages of sultans and flying carpets.
Thailand, on the other hand, is easily
confused with Taiwan and makes the
average American think about the
Vietnam War and refugee crisis. So
claimed Serm Phenjati, a Thai citizen
educated in the United States, in a let-
ter to the Bangkok Post.
Saying that Thailand was a name
imposed on the country by a military
government in the 1940s, Phenjati and
a growing number of others are calling
for a return to Siam as the country's
name.
In addition, the "Siamists" claim
that Thailand implies a country of only
Thai people, whereas there are a sub-
stantial number of Burmese, Khmer,
and Malay, descendants currently
living in the country.
The name Thailand was adopted as a
temporary measure in 1939 when the

absolute monarchy was overthrown,
and was permanently accepted in 1949.
the "Siamists" note that under the
current constitution, the monarch is
still referred to as the king of Siam.
There doesn't appear to be much
formal opposition to the proposal
within Thailand. Although changing a
country's name entails considerable
expense, the proposal may have found
a powerful ally within the government:
the Thai Foreign Ministry. the
ministry claims that it needs to per-
petuate the image that it is "an old
country with a long history" in order to
combat its current image as a crime
center.
The proposal to change Thailand's
name to Siam is little more than a
move to change the country's image,
but it represents a flexing of
traditional feelings on the part of a on-
ce glorious civilization. The change
should be supported.

To the Daily:
As members of the Women's
Collective, we were very offen-
ded by the treatment of abortion
in your magazine article, "Abor-
tion - A Local Dilemma"
(Weekend, February 1).
The entire article undermines
abortion, which is a very
significant emotional issue for all
women; it is not, as the article
suggests, a "local" issue. The ar-
ticle blames women for being
irresponsible; it ignores men's
responsibility for their actions; it
omits the issue of rape and in-
cest; and it neglects to point out
that the majority of college-aged
women cannot afford to support a
child. Also, the photos on the
cover are impersonal and in-
timidating, and the quotes selec-
ted for publication seem to
trivialize both the women and
the subject of the article itself.
The unrespresentative nature
of the article is also problematic.
The reasons the women in the ar-
ticle give for their decisions are
valid, but we don't believe most
women have babies out of
curiosity, nor can most women
support a child as freshmen in
college.
In regard to the "pro-life"
movement, we feel that any
organization whose tactics in-
clude physical and mental
terrorism via midnight phone
calls, pictures of dead fetuses,
direct intimidation at abortion
sites and the bombing of abortion
clinic - of which there have been
over 30 in the past year, an ap-
palling and quite frightening
statistic - is not worthy of being
associated with the word "life."
The seemingly ethical term
"right to life" contradicts the
reality that anti-abortion tactics
prevent women from controlling
their own bodies, their own
futures, their own lives. Pro-life,
in this case, means anti-choice
for women.
It is of significance that men
spearhead the anti-choice

thew Gutchess' idea of taking
responsibility for unwanted
pregnancies?
Finally, we take issue with his
assertion that Planned Paren-
thood convinces women to have
abortions; first, that he could
know this information first-hand
Daily should
To the Daily:
If it is true, as reported in The
Ann Arbor News, that The
Michigan Daily is enduring a
decline in circulation, adver-
tising, and income, maybe the
time has come' for some fun-
damental changes to occur. Such
changes could happen under the
guise of a marketing strategy
that would appeal to a more
diverse and larger selection or
readers.
The Daily could soften its stan-
ce as the vanguard of liberalism
at the University and begin
reporting, in a more objective
mannner, the truths which are
confronting today's students,
faculty, and world at large.
It would be quite possible for
the Daily to objectively approach
the new "conservative" attitudes
espoused by so many of today's
youths, without pandering to the
so called dubious morals and
shallow interests attributed to the
conservative stereotype.
Just as easily, the Daily could
BLOOM COUNTY

is highly unlikely; second, it is t
just plain false. Planned Paren-
thood conducts a series of
required counseling sessions, c
both one-on-one and in groups, tk
before an abortion can be per- d
formed. Planned Parenthood
gives women more of a choice
address new at
retreat from the idealistic morals
and utopian interests of today'st
liberals, without abandoning the
fundamentals of responsible
journalism. The survival of your
Misinterpreted
To the Daily:
In a personal conference,
Reporter Eric Mattson agreed
that remarks I made to him were
misinterpereted in an article in
Wednesday's paper (Daily,
"Daily to attend board meeting,"
January 30).
I did not say the Daily "should
suggest journalists other than
Urban Lehner" for the Board for

han does the anti-choice'i
novement.
This article, because of its anti-
hoice slant, only contributes to
he oppression women face every
ay. - Lisa Oram
February 5
titudes
newspaper depends on its ability
to change.
- Stephen E. Biegun
January 30
suggestion
Student Publications, but rather
that the paper should name up to
five additional professionals of
his high quality, as specified in
University regulations.
- Charles R. Eisendrath
January 31
Eisendrath is chairman of
the Board for Student
Publications.

Letters to the Daily should be typed, triple-
spaced, and signed by the individual authors.
Names will be withheld only in unusual circum-
stances. Letters may be edited for clarity, gram-
mar, and spelling.

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