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April 17, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-04-17

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OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, April 17, 1985 The Michigan Daily

1iJe fMidcigan ai1l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Rape awareness is key for safety

Vol. XCV, No. 157

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Peace studies delayed

MIDST ALL of the controversy
surrounding the Reagan ad-
ministration's defense spending, very
little has been noted about the other
side of the coin: spending for the
proposed Institute for Peace Studies.
The reason for such little notice is
simply that nothing has happened. Ac-
cording to legislation for the Institute
which was passed last fall, President
Reagan must deliver his appointments
to the Institute's governing board
before Saturday. He has yet to do so in
the three months of his second term.
Delays in making the board appoin-
tments cripple the Institute's ability to
function. Without a duly constituted
board, the Institute cannot begin to
evaluate grant proposals or hire staff
members. Reagan has already
delayed the appointments for as long
as the original legislation permits, but
indications are that he will delay them
further in violation of the law.
As of vesterday afternoon, the
National Security Council had not yet
made a policy decision on whether to
appoint the board members by Satur-
day. On the same day, the ad-
ministration submitted a series of
ammendments to the legislation which
will not make it to the floor of Congress
for at least a month.
It seems very unlikely that the ad-
ministration will make its appointmen-
ts before its ammendments are acted
upon because some of the ammen-
dments call for structural changes in
the board.
Where the board was originally to
consist of four ex-officio members and
ten at large members, the Reagan ad-

ministration ammendments call for an
additional ex-officio position.
Also, the current legislation does not
permit one political party to hold more
than eight of the positions at one time.
Under the Reagan administration
amendments the five ex-officio mem-
bers would be excluded from party
considerations and neither party would
be able to control more than five of the
at large positions.
Of course, the Reagan ammendmen-
ts would permit all five ex-officio ap-
pointees to come from the same party,
giving one party, presumably the
Republicans, an advantage of 10 to
five. The original provision existed to
insure that the Institute would not
become a partisan concern, but if the
Reagan ammendments are approved
it would then become one.
The greater concern for the moment,
however, is whether the Reagan ad-
ministration will delay the appoin-
tments. If they do, and it appears likely
that they will, they threaten to post-
pone any action by the Institute for the
coming year. Such a loss could even-
tually serve to discredit the Institute
when it comes up for funding four
years from now.
The Reagan administration's most
effective tool in successfully stalling
the program has been the lack of
publicity. In order to pressure it into
making the appointments as soon as
possible, concerned citizens should
write to either the White House or to
Rep. Carl Pursell, who is Michigan's
highest ranking Republican. The
longer the delays continue, the less ef-
fective the Institute for Peace will be.

By Ann Marie Bazylewicz
Rape, by definition, is any sexual activity
involving a person who does not willingly con-
sent to it. It is estimated that a woman is for-
cibly raped, outside of marriage, in the
United States nearly every second of every
day. Within the next year, between 300,000
and 600,000 women will be raped.
Contrary to popular belief, only 20 percent
to 40 percent of all rapes are committed by
strangers; most are social rapes, where the
rape victim knows the assailant. Despite the
alarming number of rapes, probably no more
than 10 percent to 15 percent are reported to
authorities.
Often, the victims don't think that people
will believe them because there aren't always
physical traces of the violent act. But people
will most likely believe the person assaulted,
and there are laws provided to protect them.
Rapes should be reported immediately, for
the victim's own sake. The violated person
needs to be thoroughly checked out for
pregnancy, venereal disease, and evidence
against the perpetrator. Also, because such a
small number of rapes are reported, less than
5 percent of the men committing rapes out-
side of marriage will go to prison.
These statistics are scary! But what is
Bazylewicz is an LSA freshman.

even more frightening is the fact that many
people are not even aware of the seriousness
of this violent crime. If we, the public, are to
fight this growing epidemic, the first step will
have to be developing an awareness to the
situation.
Obliviance to this severe epidemic also ap-
plies to college campuses nationwide. I feel
that the media, especially here on campus, is
partially to blame for the public's ignorance
to the situation. If the occurrances of rape on
campus were brought to the attention of the,
student body, students (females in par-
ticular) would realize that they cannot
assume safety because they are on campus.
Our campus happens to be in a city which is
often referred to as "Rape Capital" in the
United States. But how often do we see
females walking alone in the dark to the
library, to another dorm, to a party, etc. Quite
frequently, and that is unfortunate.
While is is true that many ignore the facts
and walk alone, too many are unaware of the
dangerous situation they are placing them-
selve in. Students don't hear about the crimes
that have been committed along the very
paths they will walk tonight. If these instan-
ces were brought forward to the public, it
may make a female think twice before she
journeys alone.
As students, we have heard stories of at-
tacks on campus, but those are merely
stories. There are never documented facts

given out for public knowledge, so we are
never quite sure if these are rumors or facts.
People will not take precautions because they
feel that they will be safe "this one time." or
they have the attitude that the tragedy will
never happen to them.
Still others feel that is is an inconvenience
for another person to have to walk them
across campus. If women do not want to in-
convenience others, there are services
available to them. Nite Owl, escort services
through dorms, or even campus security will
come to the rescue of any soul stranded alone.
We need to make those traveling alone aware
of the risks, so they will take precautions
when walking on campus.
The media cannot be the only ones blamed
for their silence, however. In my introductory
psychology class, a lecture with a film and*
discussion period were focussed on the topic
of rape. These lectures brought up many facts
and dispelled many myths about rape.
But when my TA tried to apply these facts
to our own campus and get some statistics
from the school officials, she ran up against a
brick wall. No information could be given out,
not one number.
Why all the secrecy? Granted, names and
other personal information should be kept
confidential, and we, as human beings, should
not glorify tragedies. But if the basic
statistics about the rapes on campus were
divulged, they could aid in the primary efforts
of prevention-awareness. I could save lives.

Bering

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NEXT WEEK, Carl Pursell and
other representatives will vote on
whether to restore United States aid to
the Contras in Nicaragua. Last year
when the bill was presented, Congress
voted against sending United States'
support to the Nicaraguan rebels. But
President Reagan has reintroduced
the bill, asserting that a vote against
the bill is "a vote against peace".
The professed aim of the aid to the
Contras is to overthrow the Sandinista
government. Reagan claims the San-
dinistas are an expansionist state
seeking to establish totalitarian con-
trol over as large an area as possible.
Reports from the area do not,
however, support his claim. Although
the Sandinista government has been
guilty of some violations of human
rights, as with the Moskito Indians
whom they formerly persecuted, they
have nonetheless allowed many
wealthy capitalist families to remain
in control of their wealth. Were they
the totalitarian country that Reagan
labels them, they would undoubtedly
have already used their control of the
military to seize any such holdings.
Also, the Nicaraguan army is simply
not equipped to engage in an offensive
war. They have almost no
sophisticated airplanes, and the tanks
they do have are not fully effective on
the rough terrain. Furthermore, the
Nicaraguans are in desperate need of
gasoline and would have a great deal of
difficulty obtaining the necessary fuel
for an invasion of Honduras or El
Salvador.
The other side of the issue is the use
to which the Contras would put any aid
which they received from the United

States. The Reagan proposal earmarks
$14 million in aid, none of which could
be used for military purposes for 60
days.
The Contras, however, hold no
territory within Nicaragua and
therefore have no use for aid other
than to maintain themselves as an ar-
my. They could of course use
American funds for food, medical sup-
plies, and clothes, but they would then
be freeing up other money for military
purposes.
The Contras have engaged in a series
of terrorist attacks on the Nicaraguan
countryside for most of the last five
years. They have frequently been ac-
cused of violating human rights by
non-aligned human rights
organizations.
Reagan claims that the Sandinista
government must be halted, he
believes that military support of the
Contras is the best way to achieve this
end. Military force, in the form of aid
to the Contras, is not an acceptable
means, however, in light of the confir-
med abuses on the part of the Contras.
If Reagan is truly concerned about
the citizens of Nicaragua, his best
means of helping them is not to over-
throw the democratically elected San-
dinista government by supporting the
Contras with military aid, but rather to
work at establishing trade relations
with the Sandinista government.
United States' recognition of
Nicaragua as an independent, largely
democratic nation would further help
its citizens to develop their country
without having to contend with the
hardships of war, and would encourage
the Sandinistas to guarantee human
rights to all Nicaraguans.

L +

Letters
RHA contract misconstrued in Daily.

To the Daily:
I am extremely appalled ' and
completely disgusted by the
inability of this newspaper (and I
use the term loosely) to ac-
curately convey the opinions of
those they interview. The press
can be a powerful tool. Unfor-
tunately in the hands of incom-
petents it as well becomes a very
dangerous tool. Until the reporters
of this paper make an effort to
correctly convey the thoughts of
those they interview, the Daily
will be no more than a slander
sheet. Indeed a slander sheet
made all the more acceptable by
the fact that it pretends to be a
student newspaper.
The source of my frustration
and disgust lays in the April 5
front page article regarding van-
dalism in the resident halls. ("Of-
ficials question RHA proposal for
fine policy"). I spent 30 minutes
.discussing the RHA proposal
regarding vandalism with a
Daily reporter. At that time I at-
tempted to elucidate options,
other than fines, that could be
employed when dealing with
vandalism. One such option I
referred to was a behavioral
contract, a written agreement
between a.resident and their

The position I expressed at that
time is the position I still hold.
Unfortunately this was not the
position conveyed in the article.
The word contract was sub-
stituted by the word code, a word
that invokes fear and anger in
many students, including myself,
Whether this substituion was
made out of a malicious attempt
to sensationalize the issue at my
expense or out of benign incom-
petence I do not know. Either
motivation is unacceptable.
I specifically cited the dif-
ference between a behavioral
code and a behavioral contract
to the reporter. If he was unable
to understand my explanation, a
common dictionary could have
enlightened him. Behavioral
codes connote a very negative
image with good reason. Codes
often embody a disproportionate
amount of power in those who
create them and remove power
from those who must follow
them. Such power imbalances
BLOOM COUNTY

are unacceptable for they increae
the likelihood of power being
abused and the abuse of power is
neveracceptable, be it the power
of the Regents or the power of the
press. Misquoting people in 'such
a way as to completely distort
their views is a gross abuse of
power.
I recommend that the Daily
recognize that the power of the

press comes with the respon-
sibility to accurately present the
facts.
That responsibility was not met
in the April 5 article. I certainly
hope that tois responsibility's
importance is realized by your
staff in the future.
-Cynthia J. Buckley
April@

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- 0
mar, and spelling.

by Berke Breathed

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