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April 19, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-04-19

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OPINIoN
Page 4 Friday, April 19, 1985 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Initiation with the braves

Vol. XCV, No. 159

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

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

Economic pressure

A nnouncing in advance his op-
position to any economic san-
ctions against the apartheid regime of
South Africa, Secretary of State
George Shultz declared on Wednesday,
"The only course (for dealing with
South Africa) consistent with
American values is to engage our-
selves as a force for constructive,
peaceful change."
He is, of course, mistaken that "con-
structive engagement" is an effective
means of pressuring the South African
government to repeal its racist
policies, as the current worsening
situation indicates.
Blacks will eventually gain their
rights in South Africa. They comprise
the vast majority of the population and
have been working to win their rights
for more than a century. With last
month's banning of the National
Defense Front, the largest black
nationalistic organization since the
African National Congress was
outlawed in 1960, the situation is
precariously close to exploding. The
question is no longer one of whether the
apartheid government will remain in
power, but how long it will remain in
power, and how the black majority will
claim its rights.
Many in South Africa claim that the
apartheid system has lasted so long,
and has built up such hostilities bet-
ween the races, that there is no longer
any alternative to revolution.
It does seem, however, that there is
still some slim chance that change can
come through evolution of the present

system. Since evolutionary change
would avoid the death and destruction
caused by revolution, the United States
should do all it can to pressure the
South African government to work for
change.
And "constructive engagement" is
simply not enough.
The most effective means the United
States has to put pressure on South
Africa is to apply economic sanctions.
In spite of Shultz' warning, several
Congressmen have already submitted
bills that would bring about these san-
ctions. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-
Mass.) and Sen. Lowell Weicker
(R.-Conn.) are among several spon-
sors of a bill that would deny bank
lonas to South Africa, ban imports of
South African gold coins, prohibit new
investments in South Africa, and
prevent all computer sales to the South
African government.
Shultz claims that economic san-
ctions will weaken U.S. influence in
South Africa. That influence is useless,
however, unless it is used to work for
the rights of South African citizens.
With the Reagan administration set
against economic sanctions, and the
bipartisan Senate bill already submit-
ted, there is sure to be heavy fighting
in Congress over the sanctions. That.
fighting may be just a prelude,
however, to the fighting that will occur
in South Africa if the U.S. government
is unable to convince the South African
government to grant full rights to the
black population.

By Bill Spindle
Last Monday night the Fighting Braves of
Michigamua rolled up to a corner near the
Union in a U-Haul truck and loaded 25 Young
Bucks into the back. Dressed in war paint and
beating drums, they began "tapping night,"
the longest night of the year, the date of the
secret society's annual moonlight initiation
ritual.
Forthe next four hours 25 men who were
chosen because of their prominant standing
among junior students were driven about
town by another 30 or so seniors who are sup-
posedly the leaders of this year's graduating
class. The initiates were asked to kiss a tree,
an especially sacred tree one would assume.
They had their backs and faces painted
Native American-red with brick dust. They
did a few sit-ups-while sitting in five or six
inches of the Huron River, which tends to run
fairly cold this time of year. They had ice-
water poured over their backs. It was a rather
warm night for April, about 50 degrees, but
that didn't stop many of them from getting
damn cold and neither did the campfire which
the Young Braves intermittently were
allowed to warm themselves at, according to
several who were there. At least one was con-
cerned about hypothermia (by the way,
you're not supposed to know any of this, it's
all part of a secret ritual). But when the U-
Haul rolled into the Union about 2:30 a.m., all
25 were one step closer to joining the tribe, the
mighty Michigamua tribe of senior men
From what I hear, all each has to do now is
find a squaw for the tribe's semi-formal and
meet her there-barefoot, with his socks in
his mouth, the last part of the initiation.
All in all it was a good night of hazing,
maybe not even thatamuch different than the
"hell weeks" many fraternaties put their
Spindle, an LSA senior, is a former
Daily editor in chief.

pledges through or the rigamarole one has to
go through to join many elite groups. Nobody
froze to death, nobody got hurt, nobody even
complained publicly, although a few grum-
bled in private. Another secret brotherhood
was formed, and that was that. Forget that it may
very well be a violation of the University's
hazing policy and possibly even of state law.
No blood, no foul.
Perhaps you have heard of the tribe, best
known for its major contribution to building the
Michigan Union in 1919 and more recently for
pissing out the fifth floor windows of that
same building during their meetings. Union
Director Frank Cianciola apparently put a
stop to that practice several years ago.
Those two occurrences, in fact, typify the
riches-to-rags history of Michigamua, a once-
respected and powerful service organization
now better known for its rowdy beer drinking
and table-banging Monday night meetings.
Established in 1902 by a group of Literary
College seniors, Michigamua vowed "to
foster a spirit of loyalty for our Alma Mater
and promote good class fellowship," accor-
ding to its charter document.
And as it drew members from nearly every
campus group, that promise was kept for many
years. The group became a creative center of
behind-the-scenes action, graduating leaders
that not only made Michigamua look good but
also the whole University. Gerald (or "Flip-
pem Back," in tribe nomenclature) Ford is a
member. So is Don "Skywalker" Canham and
was Bob "Running Nose" Ufer. Michigamua
made real contributions to the quality of
student and University life.
In recent years the group's reputation has
tailed off, but it still attracts a fair number of
student leaders. And this is why Monday's
initiation is so distressing. Michigamua is not
just any campus group, it's a group of student
leaders. Two members of the Michigan
Student Assembly, a Michigan Daily editor,
and senior members from next year's football
and basketball teams were all along for Mon-
day's ride, either as Young Bucks or Fighting

Braves.
These people aresupposed to be preventing
this type of thing, not' participating in it. The
University community officially condemns
hazing practices as requirements for joining
any organization, defining hazing as "willful;
acts, with or without the consent of the in-
dividual involved," including kidnapping,,
physical injury, humiliation, mandatory ser-
vitude, abandonment or intentionally placing
a person at risk of severe mental or emotional
harm.
MSA helped write this policy. The Daily
gave it strong endorsement. The basketball
and football teams are bound by it. And
Michigamua's initiation certainly resembles
some of the acts described within it.
Five days have passed and the public has
heard nothing of the* incident. MSA has no
plans to look into it, nor does the Daily.
You had to turn past four pages today just to
read about it from an unknown LSA senior
who obviously carries far less credibility than
either of these two organizations.
But certainly it could be worse, someone
could have been hurt and actually wanted to
complain publicly. He could have appealed to
MSA-and then looked around the chambers
to find people who were there Monday. He
could have gone to the Daily, the independent
student voice-and found that the person
editing the story was also there. He might
give up at that point.
That didn't happen this time, but wh4t
about when it does? What happens when
someone wants to complain about a similar
incident; whether it involves Michigamua or
not? Can he expect MSA or the Daily or any
other organization with its leaders in
Michigamua to back him up? Can the public
expect these organizations to deal with hazing.
openly?
It's really a shame, if you think about it:
an organization which once did so much for
the University community, now seemingly
working against its interests.

The price of 'hotel dorms'

oftersdec al iscm

Environmental first aid

T his week in Crisler Arena and on
North Campus Commons,
chemical companies, health depar-
tments and other experts met to ex-
change ideas about implementing
locally based hazardous waste
awareness programs, and hazardous
waste collection sites. The Great Lakes
Regional Household Hazardous Waste
Disposal Conference was open to
students and other concerned citizens
who realize that this underpublicized
program is significant to the preser-
vation of the environment.
The Wastenaw County Health
Department sponsors hazardous waste
collection days, but the disposal of
hazardous waste by individual
homeowners represents only one part
of a serious individual effort to take
responsibility for the conservation and
protection of natural resources.
Ann Arbor overflows with opportunities
to get involved in the protection of the
environment. The Ecology Center this
year extended its services to include.
curbside pickup of recyclables that
coincide with trash collection days.
Food Co-ops are particularly con-
scious. Packaging is minimal and
stocked products are generally

manufactured, grown, or processed
through environmentally sound
procedures. Shopping at or joining one
of the city's Food Co-Ops help to sup-
,port alternate methods of production
and promotion and encourages their
continuation.
The passage of Proposal A,
Weatherization as Responsible Main-
tenance, in the recent elections
suggests a willingness on the part of
the Ann Arbor community to weigh
environmental costs with economical
considerations in an effort to conserve
energy. The bottle bill in this city is
another example of responsible action
that discourages unnecessary waste by
providing a practical, workable alter-
native.
Awareness promotion by the Great
Lakes Conference and other
organizations is a basic and necessary
aim. Knowledge of an existing problem
hopefully leads to responsible action
that will affect change. By learning
how to dispose of lawn chemicals and
other potentially hazardous garbage,
and by taking time to recycle, and con-
sider the effects of personal actions
on the environment, every person.
contributes to the quality of life in Ann
Arbor.

By Robert D.
Honigman
Second in a series of three
In response to the increased
enrollments of the early '60s,
many institutions borrowed
millions of dollars to construct
modern complexes and high
rise halls, some housing as
many as 3,800 students under
one roof. In designing these
facilities, architects placed
relatively little emphasis on the
user behavior of student oc-
cupants, especially with regard
to their individual needs and
interaction patterns. Con-
sequently, by the late '60s,
students fled the new struc-
tures unless constrained by
residence regulations or higher -
housing costs in the local
community. Reasons for
student dissatisfaction were
numerous and included lack of
privacy and opportunities for
solitude, roommate conflicts,
inability to control personal
space, enforced sociability,
and the absence of oppor-
tunities to change the in-
stitutional atmosphere
through a process of per-
sonalization.
- Charles C. Schroeder,
Journal of College Student
Personnel, September, 1976
The hotel-like dorm populates
most major campuses. The
University's prime example is
South Quad with its perennial
son problems and rowdyism, but
Markley and the two North Cam-
pus dorms are not small scale
either. The philosophy of the
hotel-like dorm is very simple -
pack as many students as
possible into as little space as
possible to save money. The
hotel-like dorm represents the
triumph of administrative ex-
pediency over education. To meet
the post-war baby boom, univer-
sities around the country expan-
ded as rapidly as possible, and to
find accommodations for in-
coming freshmen, the hotel-like
dorm was born.
At the University, the post-war
baby boom meant abandoning
The Michigan House Plan, an

that a residential community lay
at the heart of undergraduate
education.
World War II provided convin-
cing evidence that the German
university - after which
America's research and
graduate universities were pat-
terned - failed to educate its
students in democratic or even
human values and ideals. But as
the memory of the War faded, so
did the Michigan House Plan.
The "baby-boom" is over, but
the hotel-like dorms remain, and
will probably dominate student
housing for another 30 to 40 years.
Sadly, the price students pay for
these dorms is more than just the
discomfort of freshmen and other
students who live in them. The
University has always been
afraid that if off-campus housing
became too attractive, it would
drain off students from existing
dorms. As a result, the Univer-
sity has little motive to remedy
some of the long-standing com-
plaints about off-campus housing
- high prices, poor quality, and
inadequate transportation and
parking. It wants to keep its dor-
ms full. Thus, all students, not
just those who live in the hotel-
dorms, find the University un-
cooperative and unresponsive to
their housing needs.
Since the student population is
not expected to increase substan-
tially in the coming decade and
no new housing is planned, the
only solution to the problem of the
hotel-like dorm is to consider
ways of converting them to a
more useful status.
The following ideas are not in-
tended as final recommen-
dations, but only as potential
programs which merit some con-
sideration.
Some of the most serious defec-
ts of the hotel-dorm are not
inherent in its physical structure
- these are the problems of high
turn-over, the pre-paid food
system, and parking.
Most residence halls on main
campus have a freshman
population of over 50 percent,
with the result that the quality of
life within these dorms is fixed on
a juvenile level. A large number
of these freshmen are just
passing through - they join the
Greek system or make plans to
move to off-campus housing -
with the result that the social life
BLIOOM COUNTY

of the residence halls
posed of older students

is com-
trying to

enjoy the. relative peace and
stability of on-campus housing
and a large transient population
just passing through. Serious
consideration should begiven to
setting aside certain residence
halls exclusively for freshmen
and allowing the remaining halls
to serve those who desire a long
term residence in University
housing.
Harvard has successfully used
an all-freshmen dorm for over a
quarter of a century as part of a
well-thought out and highly
respected House Plan. Since non-
freshmen residence halls will
need less advisors, extra ad-
visors can be assigned to fresh-
man dorms to take the place of
missing upperclassmen.
A second proposal is for a pay-
as-you eat food system for non-
freshmen level residence halls -
at least on a modified basis. It's
demeaning to always be
penalized for failure to attend a
meal or to be chained to a food
system that has never been more
than barely adequate, and while
it is. administratively, convenient
to run a pre-paid food system, a
food system should serve people,
not people serve the system.
A third proposal involved
parking. The City of Ann Arbor
presently gives out more than
50,000 parking tickets a month,
bringing in a revenue of over a
quarter of a million dollars a
month - and I'm sure students
pay a large share of this as defac-
to parking fees.
Presently, however, University
housing officials say that new
parking facilities near main
campus would be too expensive
and that parking is not a high
priority matter compared to
other needs, such as insulating
dormitories, renovating older
facilities, etc., but here I think,
an argument can be made that
the question of priorities should
not be made on the basis of sound
business judgment (i.e., cost ef-
fectiveness).
Parking is an integral part of a
residential as opposed to a com-
muter university. No one would
dream of building a first class
shopping center and then stinting
on parking because it would ruin
the effectiveness of the center.
But what's the sense of having a

world class university if students.
who live off campus come as in-
frequently as possible, and for as
short a time as possible, to main
campus?
The problem with ad-
ministrative values is that you
can buy a cheap shirt, or a cheap
pair of shoes for someone and tell
them you are saving them money
- but you may in fact be con-
veying another message, that
they:. are not worth spending
much money on. When the
University wanted a new ad-
ministrative building it built one
with University bonds repaid out
of student fees. The ability of
students to pay is apparently not
a problem if a goal is important
enough.
A last proposal combines some
of the earlier ones into a single
program. Post-freshmen
residence halls can serve not
merely as residences, but also as
on-campus social clubs (e.g.,
dining clubs) for off-campus
students. If each post-freshman
residence hall provided special
parking for non-resident students
adjoining the dorm, with free
parking going to first year alum-
ni of the house, the effect migh*
be rather like a fraternity house
where not all members need live'
in the residence to enjoy social
opportunities and group mem-
bership.
In addition, by providing
parking to non-residents (but no
residents), dorm-dwellers would
be encouraged to move out of the
dorms as soon as they had a net-
work of friends and an off-
campus place to go. Nor is there
any reason why fraternity an*
sorority members who live off-
campus - for a reasonable fee -
shouldn't also have dual mem-
bership in these residence hall
dining-associations with parking
privileges. The idea would be to
integrate all students into a social
network, without restricting their
freedom.
These are some of the ide*
that could transorm even the
hotel-like dorm into an in-
tegrative force in University life.
Tomorrow: Impersonal living
conditions.
by Berke Breathed

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