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March 07, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-07

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I

OPINION

I

Page 4

Thursday, March 7, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Rape springs from ionelm ess

Vol. XCV, No. 122

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Missiles and rhetoric

N THE NAME of peace, President
Reagan has spent last week lobbying
for support of one of the most destruc-
tive weapons systems in history.
The MX missile system comes up for
a funding vote sometime within the
next week and a half and with both
houses of Congress undecided Reagan
has been on a public relations ram-
page. Claiming that a termination of
funds for the missile system will come
across to the Russians as a sign of
unilateral disarmament, he argues
that the upcoming arms talks would be
jeopardized if the Russians perceive
the U.S. as willing to reduce weapons
systems without negotiations.
Therefore, he contends, the U.S. must
build so that it can reduce.
Reagan's logic is frighteningly
twisted, however. It is not simply the
threat of the MX missile system which
has brought the Russians to the
bargaining table, but the full threat of
the U.S. arsenal. The recently updated
Minutemen missiles, which the MX
would replace, represent a significant
threat to the Soviets. If they were used
as a bargaining chip instead, they
would save the U.S. the remaining $11
billion called for in the MX system.
Furthermore, the MX system is a
particularly destabilizing one which
should be avoided. Each of the 100

planned MX missiles would carry a
payload of 10 to 12 nuclear warheads
with different targets. In addition to
being incomprehensibly destructive,
such a system makes a particularly
vulnerable target. If one enemy
missile were to strike an MX, it would
take out the equivalent of 10 missiles.
Such a ratio makes the prospect of an
enemy first strike more feasible and
further destabilizes nuclear relations.
Fortunately, the mere fact that
Reagan feels he must campaign so
fiercely for the system is inspiring.
Last year, when Congress narrowly
voted to continue funding the system, it
demonstrated a willingness to oppose
the system in the future. This year,
with sufficient pressure, Congress
might do so. Significant lobbying at-
tempts are already under way by such
groups as Common Cause and the
League of Women Voters, but with
many Senators and Representatives
expressing an unwillingness to under-
cut Reagan, even more pressure is
needed.
Last year, Rep. Carl Pursell
changed his stance on the system, in
part because of the large number of
letters he received opposing it. This
year, with the situation equally
critical, letters to Congressmen will be
important once again. Public outrage
is the only antidote for Reagan's logic.

By Robert Honigman
First in a series
"A young lady knows what is expected of her
if she accepts an invitation to an apartment
party."-University Prof. Robert T. Black-
burn, Interviews with Pilot Program Fresh-
men, 1968.
Date rape is a serious problem on univer-
sity campuses. When a certain proportion of
young men in an elite population commit rape
we might wonder whether this is a normal
phenomenon-a kind of statistical "White
noise," which says that in any given
population of sophisticated males, a certain
proportion will commit rape, or whether it's a
driven noise that rises and falls in response to
local conditions.
In recent decades, there's been a noticeable
increase in the incidence of rape on campus.
Herbert Hendrin, a psychiatrist on the faculty
of Columbia, spent six years under a grant
from the National Institute of Mental Health
interviewing in depth both normal and distur-
bed college students. He reported in 1975 that
there is a "pitch of anger between the sexes,"
and "a general cynicism, disillusionment,
and bitterness that one rarely found among
the young 20 years ago."
Maybe date-rape is a symptom of the
breakdown of the family. But it's too easy to
blame the circumstances of university life on
"outside" social forces. The university is not
a passive subject of society's influence. By
definition, it is a molder of personality and a
shaper of lives-enriching communities,
nations and civilization itself. Virtually half
of all young people will attend college at some
point in their lives, and society's leaders are
already drawn from the ranks of university
graduates. In other words, the university in-
teracts with society and influences its moral
standards to a significant degree. If we are
becoming a nation of loners, crippled per-
sonalities and frightened people, perhaps it is
because nothing taught us how to love one
another or form deep relationships at any
stage in our lives-including the university.
Honigman is an attorney in Sterling
Heights. Tomorrow: "Punch and Judy
in School. "

The ages of 18 to 22 are great formative
years in the life of an individual. Mate selec-
tion usually occurs during this period but
even if deferred, powerful biological
pressures make this a critical period of
gaining individual self-confidence and
maturity in dealingswith members of the op-
posite sex. It's easy to laugh at the sexual
comedy-but when marriages break up in
mid-life and people drift into old age looking
for someone to resurrect their sense of self-
worth, the comedy turns to tragedy. If the
break-up of the family is a real problem in-
modern society, surely the.university should
do its best to promote an atmosphere of warm
and stable social relationships during college
years. A
A physical environment can assist or retard
sexual maturation in rather obvious ways. If
men and women live in close proximity to
each other with leisure time and common ac-
tivities, then informal friendships can
develop between the sexes that reduce fear
and stereotyping. A friendly environment
can help personalities blossom through feed-
back and confidence-developing achievemen-
ts. Men, for example, may learn that women
value warmth, a sense of humor, sensitivity,
and tenderness rather than physical strength
and stoic endurance. They may also learn to
value women as individuals irrespective of
their physical appearance.
But the actual physical environment of the
university discourages this kind of informal
contact and exchange between students. The
great majorityof students live in off-campus
housing scattered over a wide geographical
area. Off-campus housing,is designed for
private living and lacks communal facilities
that housing designed specifically for studen-
ts might provide. Moreover, transportation
and parking problems add greatly to the sen-
se of isolation and remoteness from campus.
Although on the whole, the fraternity and
sorority system add a wholesome social
dimension to campus life, when a fraternity
goes bad it really goes bad. The Greek
system seems to reinforce stereotyping and
established social patterns rather than in-
troducing people to new kinds of friends and
relationships. The Greek system also absorbs
the socially active student leaving behind the

shy and awkward student without social
membership or leadership-so in a sense the
rich get richer and the poor get poorer, which
reinforces a fear of loneliness and failure on
the part of everybody.
Classes too have elements that prevent in-
formal relations from developing. For the
most part classes are passive experiences
where students seldom interact, and often
students must forego social activities and
events in order to meet the burden of
academic pressures.
Thus, students are isolated by both the
physical and the social isolation of campus
life breeds a climate in which not only date
rape can flourish, but other kinds of
desperate behaviour-bulimia, anorexia
alcoholism, and emotional breakdown.
Moreover, these may only be some of the
visible symptoms of loneliness. The deeper
symptoms may be buried in otherwise well-
adjusted personalities and not surface until
much later in life when marriages break
down, career choices fall apart, and the in-
dividual discovers no reservoir of memories
or experience to reassure self-worth and
human dignity.
But why should physical and social isolation
exist in a university? Is there something else
hidden in the environment?
The people who run the university are no
doubt kind and gentle; but the pressures on
students seem to be deliberate, and there's a
reluctance on the part of both faculty and
administrators to acknowledge the existence
of student unhappiness. In a strange way, the
university seems to feed on the loneliness and
unhappiness of students. It numbs them to an
unawareness of their own loneliness and
isolation. It encapsulates them in a cocoon of
private concerns and fears. It freezes their
feelings and prospers while students grow
poorer.
There's a winner-loser mentality in the
university-a hail to the victor and to hell
with the vanquished. Perhaps what produces
visible greatness in the competitive at-
mosphere of academic achievement, resear-
ch, and athletics is useless in other areas of
human relations where feelings are grown
and love and compassion are nurtured.
Perhaps thepursuit of excellence is poisonous
to the human spirit.

Wasserman

Word of honor?

T41At Y/OUVOTE "YES" O NTE U X OF OUR ARM; ThLvS \NJA 'NOIET t1MISL .
CAP

w~~~~~~P-'LCNIS H AK
AkSGIIS
Ol4

W HEREAS, the University admini-
stration has less than 10 percent
enrollment of black students, despite a
commitment made 15 years ago to
reach that percentage, and;
WHEREAS, this week the Michigan
Student Assembly passed a resolution
strongly condemning the ineffec-
tiveness of the administration and
its failure to significantly increase
the minority student population;
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that
the University take heed of MSA's
resolution and strive to develop an en-
vironment of diversity and equal op-
portunity that will benefit the majority
as well as the minority of University
students.
In 1970, as a result of pressures
brought to bear on the University ad-
ministration by the Black Action
Movement, the nature of the relation-
ship between University students and
officials began to change. Students
came to the administration with
proposals which would benefit the
University community, and the ad-
ministration agreed and subsequently
promised to honor those porposals. It
is unfortunate that this relationship no
longer exists.
BAM, and. the vast number of
students and faculty members who
supported its cause, called for com-
mitment to minority recruitment,
enrollment, and retention. The
University responded with an offer to
bring black student enrollment up to 10
percent of the student body. Yet
today-15 years after their commen-
dable promise-the 10 percent figure
has not been realized. It was because
of this failure that MSA passed its
resolution comdemning the ineffec-
tiveness of the University ad-
ministration.
AN!1. r, _ _..t -inr ol^ 91t .t CL

report on minority enrollment
prepared by Associate Vice President
for Academic Affairs Niara
Sudarkasa. Although MSA and the
Daily have twice requested a copy of
the report under the Freedom of In-
formation Act, those requests have
been denied by University officials.
The reason for this denial is clear: As
any report on minority enrollment
would have to suggest, the University
has made little or no efforts to
facilitate increased minority
enrollment. The administration has
already told the University community
a great deal about content of
Sudarkasa's report by merely con-
cealing it.
From 1983 to 1984, black enrollment
rose from 4.9 percent to 5.2 percent.
According to MSA Minority Resear-
cher Roderick Linzie, however, 1984
was the first year since 1979 that did
not produce a decline in minority
enrollment. The University must
eventually come to terms with this
problem, and after 15 years of
inadequate efforts, their grace period
is over.
MSA's resolution is commendable.
Not only does it condemn the negligen-
ce of the University administration,
but it takes steps to solve the problem
of minority recruitment. The
resolution calls for a University-wide
commission to study realistic goals
and effective mechanisms of minority
recruitment, retention, and
graduation. The administration would
do well to follow MSA's example.
The relationship between University
officials and students may be
changing, but one element of that
relationship has withstood the course
of time: When the University makes a
promise to students, students expect it
In hp kpnt

Letters

MSA not hypocrtical with

Consider

4

To the Daily:
In response to Steve Horwitz's
letter to the editor February 21,
"MSA decision hypocritical," the
members of the Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) are
neither hypocritical nor victims
of short memories. The com-
parison mademby Horwitz concer-
ning two separate and unrelated
incidents, Consider and Proposal
C, is absurd and ludicrous. I
would like to remind Horwitz of
the facts surrounding both cases.
The Proposal C incident, during
last November's Presidential
elections, attempted to pass off a
small group's endorsement of
Proposal C as MSA's endor-
sement-a blatant lie. Andrew
Boyd, on the other hand, did not
attempt to pass off his views as
being a part of Consider's view.
Boyd did succeed in physically
inserting his position paper inside
of the Consider issue. Only then
did he use Consider's name as a
reference to the magazine, not to
pass of his views as Consider's
views. I do however applaud
Horwitz in his endorsement of the
concept that the slighted
organization has the right to
respond to any misuse and
misrepresentation of their in-
dividual name, purpose or
product.
I am a member of MSA and
therefore I have every right to
protect the name of MSA against
unscrupulous methods to endorse
a proposal contrary to MSA's
wishes. Therefore, during the
November elections, I was
iustifiably "up in arms" because

condemning the people who litter,
or the people who don't return
library books on time? I should
hope not. However, when
someone wrongs MSA's name
and reputation, MSA will ap-

propriately respond. When
someone wrongs Consider's
name and reputation, Consider
can respond. The Michigan
Student Assembly did not in any
way attempt to stop Consider

from their actions to respond, nor
would we ever.
-Steven S. Kaplan
" February 26

Kaplan
MSA.

is vice-president o

Campus liquor debate a waste of time

4

To the Daily:
Your editorial, "Student
Criticisms," (February21) on
the state legislature's con-
sideration of a ban on alcohol
promotion on college campuses,
could not have been more percep-
tive.
Our lawmakers have shown us
that they don't have enough im-
portant things to worry about,
and are thus concerning them-
selves once again with an issue
that is beyond their jurisdiction,
a slap on individual rights and
freedoms, and ridiculously
illogical to begin with.
It is an abuse of a student's
freedom to decide their morals
for them, and it is a restriction on
a newspaper's right to determine
its own advertising content
policy, to say that beer
distributors cannot promote their
product on campus. The
legislature has strayed far from
its legal territory in even con-
sidering this matter.
Nothing makes this issue more
disgusting than its complete lack
of reasoning, regardless of rights
BLOOM COUNTY

and liberties. It is absurd to think
for one second that because a
student sees an ad for, say,
BrandX beer, that that student
suddenly rushes out to purchase
large quantities of Brand X beer.
When he is at a party store, gran-
ted, he might be more inclined to
choose Brand X over Brand Y is
he has been witness to more
Brand X advertising than Brand
Y advertising, but even that is
theoretical at best.
I do not advocate abusive
alcohol consumption, nor do I
deny that a problem exists. I do
not believethatmI am alone
amongst student media leaders
in this thought, nor do I think beer
distributors are totally blind to

this fact. On the Dearborn cam-
pus, Action Distributing Com-
pany (a Miller brand distributor):
is sponsoring a free seminar and
information day on student
alcoholism. This will not wipe out
student alcoholism either, but cer-
tainly this small step is a more
positive move, in the right direc-
tion, than the proposed
legislation currently taking our
lawmakers' time up in Lansing.
-Steve Wask
February 2!
Wasko is the Senioi
Managing Editor of Th
Michigan Journal, Dearborr
campus'student newspaper.

'4
should be typed, triple-

Letters to the Daily
spaced, and signed by

should be typed, triple-
the individual authors.

Names will be withheld only in unusual circum-
stances. Letters may be edited for clarity, gram-
mar, and spelling.

by Berke Breathed

~ 'SSE HELMS'MED/A

/1~M MPA1I -- 1 br1

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IIA'fJI INf W -

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