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January 28, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-01-28

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OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, January 28, 1986 The Michigan Daily

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0i'e Ahcbtgan 1ailu
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Student fights against code

I Vol. XCVI, No. 83

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Shameful Statistics

IGURES JUST released by
the Children's Defense Fund
show that the United States has
gained a distinction shared also by
the Soviet Union amongst the in-
dustrialized nations - a rising in-
fant mortality rate. Between 1982
and 1983, the mortality rate for
infants between one month and one
year of age increased by three per-
cent. (Detroit Free Press, January
17).
When the Soviet Union last
released its infant mortality
figures, the West seemed scan-
dalized. U.S. government
publications decried the failure of
the health care system under
Soviet oppression.
Infant mortality figures are in-
ternationally recognized as some
objective indicator of the well-
being of a country. Statistics that
consider all births and arrive at a
rate of infant mortality per
thousand births control for in-
dividual parental problems and
various accidents. It is impossible
to argue with an infant mortality
statistic where such a statistic is
collected so carefully as in the
United States. One can not blame
individual parents, doctors or the
state of technology if the infant
ortality of an entire nation is up.
Infant mortality reflects
primarily the state of nutrition and
iontrol of infectious diseases in
inost countries. Often large infant
Mortality figures make sense in a
gattern of hunger and disease.
f Black infant mortality in
Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago is
Subtle s(
he establishment of Martin
Luther King's birthday as a
ivtional holiday was a significant
riumph in itself; but here at the
Jniversity it was only a partial vic-
fery. Though civil rights legislation
ef the 1960s brought concrete
bhanges, many of the same
roblems still exist.
Racism may seem diluted these
Rays, but last week's Unity march
with low white turnout is indicative
if the larger reality of campus
segregation. The majority of
students are unaware that
imiinorities at the Unviersity must
e'oss tremendous barriers to feel
comfortable and accepted in an in-
sensitive environment.
:Students fail to internalize
Issue by examining their own con-
tribution to a minority student's
feelings of isolation. Groups on
kampus are insufficient to meet the
heeds of a diverse minority com-
Inunity, and the necessity of the

over 25 per 1000, a figure that is not
flattering in comparison with some
Latin American countries. Indeed,
Jamaica and Cuba have better in-
fant mortality rates.
Non-white infant mortality led
the way up in the United States,
where the gap between white and
black infant mortality is at its
highest in 40 years. That infant
mortality is so affected by race un-
derscores the fact that infant mor-
tality is affected primarily by in-
stitutional forces that regulate the
distribution of health care services
between rich and poor, black and
white and male and female.
The Right-to-life Movement has
popularized the notion that abor-
tion is murder. In contrast, in the
case where life has already started
it is not hyperbole to speak of the
institutional violence reflected in a
rising infant mortality rate. At-
tacks on social programs including
neo-natal care and basic nutrition
in a country where hunger sup-
posedly does not exist are not
usually considered murder, unfor-
tunately. Indeed, the violence is
not pre-meditated in each case. In-
stitutional violence is much more
insidious in that it occurs in the
shadows of Congressional
budgetary debates, the offices of
administrators and the boar-
drooms where major economic
decisions are made. No individual
is responsible and no smoking gun
will appear amongst the biggest
causes of death in the United
States. Rather, mass violence oc-
curs as a result of institutions too
often taken for granted.

By Joseph Kraus
A little while ago, Sports Illustrated ran a
story describing Mike Tyson as the next
great heavyweight boxer. I'm afraid, in so
doing, that they've overlooked a boxer
closer to home; one who could put fear into
any Rocky.-
That boxer's name is the Administrator-
which sounds more like a pro wrestler than
a boxer - but believe me he's no joke.
I've been fighting the Administrator for
some time now for the local championship
known as "the code," and even though I've
thrown everything I've got at him, I'm not
sure it's been enough.
I knew I was in trouble at the opening bell.
The ring announcer called out, "In this cor-
nah, the master of disaster, the phantom
target, the iron fist, undefeated since 1971
and still lookin' good...the Administrator.
He paused, looked again at his cue card,
and said, "And over here we got a student."
But I was cocky. This code thing was un-
fair, anybody could see that. It wasn't a
complex moral issue like military research
on campus or recruitment and retention of
minority students, this was a balls out con-*
frontation between justice and expediency.
The first round was basic boxing. The
Administrator punched and I counter-pun-
ched:
"You need a code so you won't go around
burning down buildings," the Administrator
lead with his right.
"But I didn't burn any buildings down.
The guy who did went to jail for it," I said,
dodging the blow with an easy move.
"Then you need a code so that students
can know what their responsibilities and
rights are in the University community," he
jabbed.
"Why do we need new rules to do that?" I
came in with my left, "Couldn't we as easily
collate existing governance, and by treating
students as adults, anticipate that they will
act responsibly charging them in civil court
when they don't?"
Kraus is the outgoing Opinion page
editor.

"The current rules of the University
Community are unenforcable," the Ad-
ministrator lunged back.
"When have they been unenforcable?" I
jabbed back, stalling for a quick moment.
But he looked shaken by the jab, and
didn't answer.
"You need a code to protect women on
campus," he came back with an awkward
swing.
I blocked it easily. "A code won't protect
women. You'll still have to take fundamen-
tal precautions such as ensuring sufficient
lighting on campus, offering educational
programs, extending Nite-Owl service, and
establishing a rape crisis center."
He looked stunned and tired. I figured I'd
try to close in and finish him off. But the bell
sounded to end the round.
Between rounds I watched him in his cor-
ner. He looked lifeless as his managers
crowded around him, one jabbing in the air
as he described the fight, the other slapping
him lightly on the cheeks.
I was feeling good.
The bell rang for the second, and im-
mediately I noticed he's changed his stance.
"Tell you what," he came at me, "We
won't touch fraternities, sororities, or co-
ops."
"But they'll still be affected by the code as
students who live in the University com-
munity," I countered.
"Then we'll make if affect faculty and
staff as well," he came again.
"But since they only work here, while we
live and work here, they will necessarily be
less affected by it," I feinted to my right.
"Then we'll allow you to be judged by a
jury of your peers," he jabbed.
"But how can I be judged by my peers if
the jury process affects only a small num-
ber of charges and if the jury is a hand chosen
by administrators?" I stepped aside and he
sprawled past me.
I settled into my stance, this time I was
going for the jugular...but the bell rang.
I came out swinging in the third.
"All of the evidence indicates the vast-
majority of students are opposed to the
code," I got him on the jaw.
"The code opens students up to
prosecution both by University and civil
courts. That's against the spirit of the Con-

stitution's double jeopardy clause," I landed
a body blow.
"The U.S. legal system ought to be protec-
tion enough for the University community,
I hit him with my right.
"And in rare instances, you could obtain
court orders to keep dangerous students off
campus," I hit him with the left to finish off
a solid combination.
I was sure I had him now, I figured it
would take just one more good hit.
"Look, over there," he pointed with his
glove. "It's the University Council. We'll
appoint them and let them decide what kind
of a code you'll have."
I turned, the mark of a rookie.
"We'll suspend by-law 7.02 and pass the
code without MSA approval," he landed one
below my belt.
I doubled over.
"We'll separate the judicial process from
the legal system, dividing opposition to the
code and skirting regental laws," he landed
a crushing uppercut.
My bloody mouthpiece fell to the canvas.
"We'll submit an interim code to the
regents since the University Council is
taking too long," he nailed me with a left
hook.
I couldn't move.
I saw him readying his haymaker punch.
"We make the rules around here. It doesn't
matter what you think. We have the right to
discipline students if we want to."
But just then the bell rang.
Invoking a time limit peculiar to the Ann
Arbor Boxing Authority, we agreed to finish
the match later. (You may be familiar with
the law, it's the same one that limits student
input at regents meetings to five minute
slots and insures that no meeting of the
Board for Student Publications will last a
moment longer than two hours.)
To be honest, I'm worried about my chan-
ces. After the first couple of rounds the
bookies started to give me decent odds, but
they're back down now.
I'm not sure how to defend myself from
here. I might try to make the University
Council maneuver work for myself, or I
might go back to the jabs that seemed to
work for a while.
But I do know one thing: I'm going to keep
an eye out for low blows.

6

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paratism

better support system must be ad-
dressed. People are comfortable
with people like themselves. That
gives the majority an incredible
advantage, and with it, the respon-
sibility of making an effort to un-
derstand the minority perspective.
The existence of an all black
Greek system, minority social and
cultural groups, and other support
structures are often used by the
majority to maintain their
illusions; that bridging racial
divisions is not their concern, and
is probably beyond their control.
They feel indigant for being ex-
cluded. Yet every day, minority
students have to deal with the sub-
tle separatism that excludes them
in dorms, classrooms, and clubs
around town.
Students must take the initiative
to reach out and recognize that if
they are not a part of the solution,
then they must be a part of the
problem.

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LETTERS:

King' message was spiritual

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To the Daily:
In the article "King's b-day ob-
servances vary" (1/17/86), a
Councilman from the town of
Selma, Alabama, where Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., led
voting rights protests in 1955, is
quoted as saying, "Dr. King was
to America what Jesus was to a
sinner, and that was a savior."
Perhaps this is a rather homely
way of putting it, but this coun-
cilman was perceiving a connec-
tion, or a reflection, which seems

who suffered from bigotry and
oppression. But let us not forget
the source of his vision, nor the
true object of his service. Let us
not forget that the Rev. Martin
Luther King, Jr. was a man of
faith, faith in God.
His vision of freedom, healing,
and peace was the vision of the
kingdom of God, proclaimed and
exemplified in the person of
Jesus Christ, to whom King's life
was ultimately dedicated. King's
"service to humanity" was most

Without doubt, King and the
black Americans for whom he
spoke experienced the prejudice,
hatred, and cruelty we must con-
fess are, and always have been,
horrifyingly commonplace
among humans. King could hope
for a better day only because he
placed his confidence in God, who
works through men and women to
heal and reconcile. It is only
through God that we can reach
for that nobility we are so eager
to grant ourselves.

honored as greater than his own.
-Debra Shreve
January 21.
Correction
Yesterday's article "Israel sets
own parameters" was printed
incorrectly. The sixth
paragraph should have read:
We question the legitimacy of
criticism regarding Israel and A

As the Daily celebrates its ninety
seventh year of editorial freedom,
the Opinion page is looking for
enthusiastic, politically diverse

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