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March 08, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-08

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OPINION
Page 4 Friday, March 8, 1985 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Punch and Judy in school

Vol. XCV, No. 123

420 Maynard St.
Ann ,Arbor, M! 48109

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

Watching the administration

A NNE RYAN, chairman of MSA's
women issues committee, ad-
dressed the University Council yester-
day. Her comments to the council on
campus rape and the proposed "Rules
of the University Community" could
not have been more timely or more
correct:
Ryan recommended the University
Council, a committee set up to review
University policy, take steps to insure
women's safety on campus-steps not
addressed in the University's proposed
code of conduct for students. Although
she directed her comments
specifically at the problem of women's
safety, Ryan's criticisms of . the
University's approach to this problem
bring to light the uselessness and inef-
fectiveness of a new set of student
rules. Not only does this approach put
the unnecessary burden of a code of
"unacceptable conduct" on students,
but it fails to solve the problems it ad-
dresses.
"The Code does not provide lights. It
does not provide educational
workshops or the preventive help we
so desperately need," Ryan said. This
is true. The University's approach
provides none of the mechanisms
necessary to insure a safer campus. In
fact, the only thing the proposed plan
does provide is a means to expell or
otherwise punish students after an of-
fense is committed. Deterrence by the
threat of stiff punishment is not the an-
swer. Not only will it not work, but
there are more positive ap-

proaches-such as those suggested to
the University Council-that will bet-
ter address the problems that face the
University community.
"The University does not demon-
strate concern for women's safety by
advocating the implementation of the
code," Ryan said. "The University,
however, would show their concern by
activating preventive programs such
as improved lighting, nighttime tran-
sportation, and counseling services."
Acting Chairperson Lee Winkelman
also pointed to a frightening ambiguity
in the proposed plan. The current draft
states that anyone involved in an in-
fraction can call for a University in-
vestigation and a hearing. "The con-
cern was that victims would be forced
to testify," he said. The shield laws set
up by the state to protect rape victims
from incriminating testimony would
likely protect them in a University
hearing also, but victims of sexual
assault should not be put under the fur-
ther duress and embarrasment of a
separate University hearing. This
won't solve the problem either.
It is comforting to know that groups
like the Women Issues Committee and
the University Council are keeping
watch over the policies of the Univer-
sity administration. But at the same
time, it is unfortunate that the ad-
ministration did not have the foresight
to develop effective solutions to cam-
pus problems in the first place, instead
of merely developing a policy to fur-
ther police students into "accept-
table" members of the community.

By Robert Honigman
Second in a series
At the University of Michigan, the daughter
of a Detroit industrialist showed up in tears at
the campus psychological clinic. "She was
under tremendous pressure to be deflowered,
and by God she was," reported Professor
Joseph Adelson, the clinic's director. - Cam-
pus Shock, 1979
* * * *
Yesterday I looked at the factors in the
university which contribute to physical and
social isolation. Yet there may be other in-
fluences which contribute to a climate of date
rape on a university campus.
I am here referring to what may be called
the "Punch and Judy effect." Rape is a crime
not just of sex, but of sadistic violence. It is in-
tended to victimize and humiliate the victim.
In a prison environment, for example, weaker
inmates are raped because the harsh
authoritarian nature of the prison is per-
ceived as emasculating by the inmates. They
are treated as objects by the institution and
feel degraded and humiliated by its policies
and procedures. In Punch and Judy shows, a
puppet hits Judy with a large paddle and she
in turn hits someone else. The audience
laughs because this mirrors real life in
hierarchical societies and organizations. The
superior assaults and degrades his or her
subordinate. The subordinate accepts this
treatment smilingly and then turns around
and humiliates and assaults the person below
them.
The question is - does a Punch and Judy ef-
fect exist in the university?
There are many aspects of the student-
university relationship which are
emasculating. Economically, students are
dependent upon the kindness of others - tax-
payers and parents - for long years.
Although the university is pictured as a half-
way place between childhood and adulthood,
in many respects students are worse off than
children, since the university - insofar as it
acts as a parent - is distant and impersonal,
a bureaucracy, rather than one's own parents
with whom one has some bargaining power.
The individual in the univeristy has no
power to persuade the institution to recognize
Honigman is an attorney in Sterling Heights.

or respond to his or her special situation or
needs.
The student is also worse off than an adult.
Not only is the student largely powerless in
the university, but the student is expected to
work hard day after day for paper grades
rather than real income. The university
seems to combine the worst aspects of
childhood with those of adulthood. There is a
long grinding apprenticeship under thedirec-
tion of faculty who pay little or no attention to
the student, and since the university's
academic structure is authoritarian and
hierarchical, the student must cooperate fully
with those in authority as the price of mem-
bership and promotion within the
organization.
Moreover, the university seems to be run as
if it were an academic boot camp - that is, as
if some of the isolation and pressures on
students are deliberately designed to
brutalize and toughen students up or else
wash them out. But what motive would the
university have for making the average un-
dergraduate's life more difficult and harsh?
The answer seems to be that the university
as an institution has no choice, except to do
exactly that. There are two large shifts of
funds in higher education - one is the shift of
funds out of undergraduate education and into
graduate programs, and the other is a shift
out of education altogether and into research.
Contrary to popular opinion, sponsored
research does not return a 'profit' to its host
university - mainly because sponsors fail to
pay the full cost of overhead or indirect ex-
penses. Both graduate education and resear-
ch are heavily subsidized because they are
high prestige programs which lift a university
out of the ordinary. Undergraduate education
is used as a resource - it brings in more
revenue than it costs - so undergraduate
education at major universities is often strip-
ped to the bone and financially impoverished.
The problem for the institution then
becomes - how can you motivate students?
How can you persuade young, alive, and active
people to chain themselves to boring books
and dull undergraduate classes for four
years? How do you secure their cooperation
in the university enterprise? There are no
warm personal contacts with the faculty to
stimulate or encourage intellectual develop-.
ment. There is no great entertainment value
in courses tailored to faculty and departmen-
tal interests rather than students'. Some way

has to be found to motivate students and to
conceal from students and parents alike that
undergraduate education is an empty ex-
perience.
So the university has no choice but to fall
back on the carrot and the stick. The carrot is
greed, pure and simple. The university
glamorizes career success; makes it seem
achievable if only students will conform to
the university's demands; makes it seem to
be the only criteria by which a student should
judge himself or herself. "We are the path-
way to personal, financial and social success
- if only you are willing to pay the price," the
university seems to say. The success and
glamor of the university reinforce this
message. That is the carrot.
The stick is the brutality of the university
environment, which like a boot camp, breaks
down student self-confidence and encourages
institutional dependency. "Why not bury
yourself in books if you are lonely? Why not
surrender to the institution's demands and
save your strength when you can't change
anything? Let the institution be your mother
and father rather than searching for a per-
sonal development through human relations
with others. It's all in books anyways."
In such an environment, the Punch and
Judy effect operates on many more levels
than merely date-rape. In effect, the univer-
sity becomes a prison or a para-military
organization. The institution as a whole
becomes successful and powerful, and each
individual within is asked to sacrifice his or
her good to the purposes and goals of the all-
wise and all-powerful institution.
I am not here suggesting that the people
who run the university are in any way brutal
or unkind as individuals. What I wish to
suggest is that the way we govern our upiver-
sities - as authoritarian organizations,
where those at the top claim to always know
what is best, and where the good of the in-
stitution is always placed ahead of the good of
the individual - is unhealthy, and that such
institutions can only operate in a climate of
fear and greed.
Until we replace coercion and bribery with
informed consent and democratic safeguar-
ds, both the physical act of rape and the in-
tangible psychic rape of the powerless and the
vulnerable will continue.
Tomorrow: "Separate realities in college"

A

Wasserman

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R~OME OF TomozRoW-- pkAN 8K~ OLS 1N TES
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4

A quiet problem

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I N THE MIDST of President
Reagan's budget cuts, the upcoming
arms talks with the Soviet Union, and
the turmoil in Nicaragua, the famine in
Africa is slowly being forgotten.
The famine threatens large numbers
of people in over a dozen different
African countries and over 6 million
people in Ethiopia alone. While the
famine remained in the news, Ethiopia
became the focus of international aid
efforts but the famine is a continent-
wide problem.
Recent reports out of Sudan indicate
tha perhaps as many as 5 million
people-one third of the
population-face starvation. The
problem is aggravated by the large
numbers of Ethiopian refugees
streaming into the country and putting
additional demands on the already in-
sufficient relief supplies.
All around the world, particularly in
the U.S., private citizens have respon-
ded to the crisis with food and financial
assistance. Although well-intentioned,
thoseefforts are not always what is
truly needed.
Relief officials in Ethiopia claim that
the government there is not fulfilling.
its pledge to grant highest priority in

its shipyards to food shipments. Fur-
ther, some Ethiopians claim that the
government is selectively neglecting
certain rebel provinces.
In order to make such relief more ef-
fective, the U.S. government should
pressure the Ethiopians to fulfill their
promise to relieve the famine for all its
citizens. In addition, citizens donating
to the relief cause must educate them-
selves to the uses of their charity,
because some organizations are more
effective than others.
Finally, the African government
must learn from the disaster. Proper
irrigation, development of crops more
suitable for the environment, and
erosion control might have lessened
the effects of the famine had they been
implemented following the last great
famine in the early 1970s. Governmen-
ts and citizens around the world will
have to ensure that those steps are
taken.
Concern and contributions are as
important today as they were last year,
particularly because the issue is being
given less attention. That concern,
however,smust be mixed with self-
education if it is to be as effective as it
must be to halt the starvation facing
the millions of Africans.

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Letters

!4

PIR GIM 's loss not students

+K>
U ,,
' ..

Co~lege Press Servce y
/7;
or,"'

To the Daily :
"A Victory for Students." That
was the title of the February 19
editorial in the Daily pertaining
to the outcome of the PIRGIM
funding extension 'request at the
February 16 Regents meeting. I
still fail to see how the Daily
editorial board can write such an
editorial and title it thus.
A victory for students? As a
concerned student and one who
signed PIRGIM's petition sup-
porting their proposal, I certainly
do not feel victorious. And I know
I'm not alone. Living in a time
where more needs to be done and
1PC ish~isr nnPPcuime a

breed of student groups,
dedicated to such important
causes. I, for -one, will miss
having the convenience of sup-
porting PIRGIM through the
registration process. I will be
willing to walk the four flights of
stairs to the PIRGIM office to
contribute, but how many others
who normally contribute through
the SVF will?
I can't state enough my disap-
pointment at the lack of concern
BLOOM COUNTY
I 11 EY4~e~i6! / I M/

continually shown by University
students, including those on the
Daily editorial board. I can ac-
cept people not having the time or
ambition to join the PIRGIM
folks in their issue work and I can
tolerate those who don't con-
tribute when they register, but I

victory
can neither accept nor tolerate
those who interfere with the
working, including fundraising,
of such . a worthwhile and
necessary organization as
PIRGIM.
-John K. Corser
February 19

Unsigned editorials appearing on the left side of
this page represent a majority opinion of the Daily's
Editorial Board.
by Berke Breathed

U U

I DRUNK ?i

,,.A -) A --l

WR~ ME, x w7IN6
V~ YX 5M~F/' 77

GOOK! WALL

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