100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

September 08, 1986 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, September 8, 1986

The Michigan DailyA

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Get involved with FSACC

VoI.,XCVII, No.3

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Why rush?

T here's no hurry to rush a
sorority or fraternity, though often
there seems to be enormous
pressure to do so. On the contrary,
joining a house is a big
commitment that requires serious
consideration. First year students
especially need time to test their
independence, explore a variety of
activities and grapple with
personal and political questions as
individuals. Once they join a
large homogeneous group, it
becomes increasingly difficult to
figure out a distinct set of goals and
priorities.
Many first year students have.
never lived away from home.
They may have grown up in a
small town or a big city; they may
have lead a relatively sheltered or
sophisticated adolescence. No
matter what one's previous
background, the first year at
college is one of tremendous
growth and self discovery. There
is an abundance of resources here
to take advantage of, people to meet,
ideas to explore; but sometimes the
University is an unfriendly place.
Administrators don't seem to care;
professors are intimidating; coun-
selors don't have the answers;
friends and family live miles
away. The University is con-
stantly demanding and not
usually giving. Many students
feel overwhelmed, lost,or pan-
icked by the amount of work and
lack of individual attention. In
such an environment, fraternities
and sororities are appealing. As
an ideal, those bonds of brotherhood
and sisterhood are strong.
Everyone needs support and the
Greek system ( now 20 percent of
campus ) provides a reasonably
sized community. Greeks in
separate houses help each other
with homework; they party
together, and even wear the same
letters on sweatshirts. It is like an
exclusive club and one is struck
with the camaraderie and high
spirits that characterize the Greek
system.
That spirit, however, doesn't
always transfer to other houses.
For both men and women,
fraternities and sororities, like the
rest of society, reward
stereotypical sex role behavior

which breaks down
communication and understand-
ing between people. It's true that
Greeks participate in community
service, charitable organizations,
and a myriad of individual. issues.
But the system as an institution
separates people according to sex,
race, social status, and religion. It
further demands a level of
"acceptable social behavior" that
often doesn't leave room for
experimentation or self-reflection.
The resurgence of fraternities
and sororities reflects the current
emphasis of traditional values
and conservative respectability.
Accepting the status quo rather
than questioning it is a common
symptom of society's economic
and social ills. Not since the years
before the Depression has there
been such encouragement of
ostentatious consumerism in the
face of severe poverty. This kind
of excessive consumption of
luxury goods is prevalent outside of
the Greek system as well as in it.
In addition, people everywhere
divide themselves into groups in
which they feel comfortable.
Choosing friends is an intensely
personal process; weighing
priorities is necessary for forming
realistic opinions about Greek life
and your role in it.
At the same time, it is crucial to
allow oneself the space and time to
develop that analytical eyetbefore
rushing into a situation that may
prove regrettable. Generally,
prospective students visit at least a
few schools before applying, attend-
different courses before choosing a
major, check out a variety of
student and political groups before
joining one, go to a number of
churches or temples before feeling
comfortable in one of them. In the
same way that you have thought
through the value of education,
politics, and religion, it is
imperative to assess the Greek
system critically.
Rush encourages people to
compare particular houses, rather
than to criticize the system itself. It
is the institution, however, and not
the people who are a part of it, that
should be carefully evaluated
before signing up. So slow down
and keep your options open.
There's no hurry.

By Barbara Ransby
The Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee
(FSACC) would like to
welcome all new students -to
Ann Arbor and welcome back
all of our old friends from
last year. We would also
like to update all of you on the
recent developments in South
Africa, some of the tentative
plans FSACC has made for
the upcoming school year,
and to invite your
,participation and input.
As most of you know, a new
state of emergency was
instituted in South Africa in
June. Since that time
hundreds of anti-Apartheid
protesters have been killed or
injured by the South African
police and more than 8,000
have been arrested and held
secretly by the authorities for
speaking out against that
immoral system. In other
words, the bloodshed,
violence and injustice have
continued to escalate over the
summer, despite a handful of
shallow, yet well-publicized
"reforms." At the same time,
unfortunately, our own
government persists in a
policy of so-called
constructive engagement
which, in fact, constitutes a
policy of friendly
collaboration with the fascist
regime in Pretoria. In the
same vein, our University
has been less than responsive
Ransby is a spokesperson
for the Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee.

to proposals and demands by
students andfaculty urging it
to take a more resolute stand
against Apartheid.
Last year, however, the Free
South Africa movement did
have an impact at the
University. We helped to
educate the campus
community about the issue of
Apartheid and racism, and
launched campaigns to press
the University to make its
stated opposition to apartheid
more concretenby honoring
South African leader Nelson
Mandela, divesting the
remaining funds it has
invested in companies doing
business in South Africa, and
being more responsive to the
voice of the Minority
community on campus. More
specifically, last year we
hosted a three day teach-in/
conference on Apartheid,
held numerous rallies and a
march of over 500,
coordinated a petition drive
supporting the Mandela
degree and collected 2,000
signatures, built an anti-
Apartheid shanty on the Diag,
and* hosteda number of
prominent speakers from
around the country. We have
also sent student
representatives to regional
and national anti-Apartheid
meetings. These and many
other activities involved'
hundreds of students in the
Free South Africa movement
and kept the issue alive on
this campus.
We intend to be even more
active and visible during the
upcoming year. We plan to

launch four major
campaigns to combat racism
and support the struggle for
freedom in South Africa:
" Campaign to get. the
University to give an
honorary degree to Nelson
Mandela in May, 1987. By
1987 Mandela will have spent
a quarter of a century behind
bars for opposing Apartheid.
The University can at least
make a statement of
sympathy and support by
honoring him.
+ Five point Anti-Racist
Agenda and petition drive.
We plan to, in conjunction
with Minority and
progressive groups, identify
and prioritize five proposals
for combating racism at the
University.
" Plans for the second
annual Ann Arbor Freedom
March against Racism and
Apartheid will be a broad-
based coalition-effort uniting
campus and community
activists.
" Material Aid Drive to
collect supplies for the
Solomon Mahlangu School
for South African refugees in
Tanzania, and possibly send
a delegation there next year.
We strongly urge all
students concerned with
human rights and opposed to
racism and injustice to join
FSACC and get involved in
the movement for a Free
South Africa.
We would like for those of
you who were active last year
to ' reactivate' your,
membership and we would
like to extend a special

invitation to new students.
For _ those of you entering
college for the first time, your
college experience will be
incomplete if all you do for
the next four years is read
textbooks and fulfill
assignments. All of us have
an obligation to not -only
understand the world around
us, but to do all we can to
make it a better place as well.
We hope to see you at our
meetings or our upcoming
activities on the Diag.
Upcoming events include:
September 8, 7 p.m., planning
meeting in room 111 West
Engineering building,
September 15, 8 p.m.; mass
meeting with speakers in
Rackham amphitheater;
September 26, 8 p.m.,
rededication of shanty or the
Diag with entertainment and I
speeches; October 10, noon,
anti-Apartheid rally in
solidarity with political
prisoners including' a
"Break the Chains"
ceremony; October 10 and 11,
Conference with the Latin
American Solidarity
Committee, N29, NJA on
South Africa, Central,
America and the Middle
East, featuring Professor
Manning Marable and
journalist Alexander
Cockburn.
For more information, call
769-8549 or 971-7994.

Amandla!
In solidarity
justice,

for social

LETTERS:

Peace is both persponal and political

To the Daily:
It's exciting to be back in
Ann Arbor. I left in February
to join what was then known
as PRO Peace, the Great
Peace March. The original
idea was to have 5000 people
walk across the country in a
mobile city with all the
comforts of home, plus
celebrity visits. When that
organization went bankrupt,
after the initial shock, many
of us were relieved. Now we
could really work for peace
and create our own walk, not
a high-tech, made for tv.
march. But creating our own
march community has been
no easy task. It's not as hard
on the feet as the daily 15-20.
miles, but much more
stressful than putting one foot
.in front of the other.

Since March 1 in Los
Angeles, we've walked
across the Mojave Desert, the
Rocky Mountains through
Loveland Pass and the Great
Plains. I have met people all
across the country who are
aware of the threat of nuclear
arms and are empowering
themselves to make changes.
We talk to people in cafes,
school's, laundromats,
churches, in their homes, on
military bases, and in the
fields, parks, campuses and
parking lots where 'we make
camp each night. Today, the
March reaches Toledo, Ohio.
About 40 women from the
Great Peace March
Wimmin's Collective are
here for the weekend to bring
the march to Ann Arbor. On
Sunday we will return to the

march and continue walking
to reach Washington D.C. on
November 15.
The Wimmin's Collective
was formed as a feminist
support group in the male
dominated Peace March. We
are the voice of the march
which connects violence
against women with the
violence of the arms race
and the culture which
produces both. We have also
begun, as a group, to confront
men on the March who
sexually abuse women. One
man recently chose to leave
the March and seek help after
two women he assaulted
confronted him. It was a
powerful moment, for the
survivors, for the women who
stood with them, for the man
himself, and for the March.
We CAN have non-violent
change; it is a continuing
process.
I have been lucky enough to
watch change at other times
-on the March. When we
began walking in L.A., the
California Highway Patrol
escorted us. They started out
stern and stoic, not cracking
a smile. But at every corner
the marchers would walk by
and say hello and thank them
for their work. Slowly the
officers' defenses broke
down. They started smiling
and responding and
eventually got to know us.
When we reached the Nevada
border, we had a farewell
party. It was amazing to see
the "boys in blue" and the

"peaceniks" smiling and
talking and hugging each
other.
The change in the police, in
the recovering abuser, andin
the women who went from
victims to survivors is what
the march is all about to me.
We are walking in protest. of
the greatest violence in our
world, nuclear weapons.,I
ask world governments to
give up their deadly talisman
of power is asking for a
radical change in outlook. It
has to start in each of us, in
the way we look at each other
an 'choose to lead our lives.
It means acknowledging the
violence in ourselves and the
oppression we put on others.
We all have the ability i to
destroy the world and to save
it. I met a woman who skid
she never 'worked for peace
and wished she could be :on
the Peace March. She then
told how, as a hospital
worker, she refused to be
involved in emergency1
plans for after a nuclear
attack. She saw the madness
in expecting a "day after"
and brought this home to her
co-workers. You can write to
your congressperson or go to a
rally or even walk across' the
country. But it is the day:to
day work of change that
makes all the difference. For
all of us.

A

rVfj9

CIE Rfb Y

]ICLA& ACCIDENfTf

^

C)PN.

17

'p c41Y[IJHAPPEzI
"1RE

i

-- CANT HAFK

-Marjorie'

Winklemaon
Septembers~

- T) ?=.",

J

r

WP P0 nrmrniraD rmir rail rlrc to ica tis U

x :

'a

0

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan