Page 6B - The Michigan Daily-- Thursday, September 4, 1986
Groups try to raise rape awareness
By MELISSA BIRKS
When 50 students, alumni, and local
residents disrupted a top University
administrator's office last year with a
sit-in, it marked the first militant ac-
tion taken by those concerned with
rape on campus.
The protests at the University's Vice
Piesident for Student Services Henry
Jdhnson's office also triggered more
visible steps by the University against
The sit-in itself was triggered when
a Metropolitan Detroit magazine ar-
ticle about rape on college campuses
enraged many around campus. John-
son was quoted in the article saying
that rape is a "red flag" word that
should be kept quiet.
,The protestors presented Johnson
with a list of demands - which he
signed at the end of the sit-in - for
better lighting on campus, emergency
telephones, and most significantly,
the creation of a rape counseling and
-During the sit-in, some women told
Johnson that they had been sexually
assaulted and had no place to go for
help at the University. .
There had been concern even before
the protest, but no one had actively
pursued the issue.
"The fact that you can look back in
the files ten years ago and see studen-
ts working on the same issues with
few major achievements shows that a
different tactic needed to be used,"
said LSA senior Jen Faigel, who
helped organize the protest and later
became chair of the Michigan Student
Assembly's Women's Issues Commit-
tee. "The Metro Detroit article
provided the rationale for the new tac-
tic," Faigel said.
MSA's Women's Issues Committee,
for instance, had worked on im-
proving the campus' Nite Owl bus
service. They made some progress by
getting a light put on top of the van to
distinguish it from other vans. and by
making service more frequent.
In addition, a group of faculty
members from housing, health ser-
vices, and the affirmitive action office
held a conference exploring why a
high number of students are victims
of date or acquaintence rape. They
submitted a proposal for a rape crisis
center around the same time the sit-in
The University has also begun in-
stalling emergency phones this sum-
mer which connect with campus
security when the receiver is taken off
the hook. The phones were installed
arounod campus at the recommen-
dation of the Campus Security Com-
mittee - a panel of students, faculty
members, and administrators formed
by the University to find ways to
reduce campus crime.
The committee has also proposed
that an additional Nite Owl van run
during peak hours in the fall and win-
ter when overcrowding is a problem.
It also called for the van services to be
continued during the spring and
The van service currently does not
run during those months, even though
the number of sexual assaults doubles
during that time, according to the Ann
Arbor Assault Crisis Center.
Leo Heatley, director of campus
security and a member of the Campus
Security Committee, said he is op-
timistic about implementing the im-
provements. Expanding Nite Owl
service to the spring and summer
terms, however, would cost $20,000.
Such improvements as expanding
Night Owl, and -improving lighting
around campus, however, will not
eliminate the rape problem on cam-
"Better lighting, emergency
phones, and a better Night Owl are not
going to stop sexual assaults," Steiner
said, "That myth that what we have to
do is watch out for the dark stranger
is the hardest to break."
A problem, she said, is making vic-
tims of date rape - or rape when the
victim knows the rapist - aware that
those are crimes as are rapes that oc-
cur in stereotypical darkened streets.
A national survey, in fact, found that
60 percent of rape victims knew their
assailants, and a campus survey
found that figure to be 90 percent at
Steiner said that while there have
only been four rapes reported this
year, she has counseled five sexual
assault victims since the rape crisis
center opened in February.
Daily Photo by STU WEIDENBACH
Students crowd into the University's Vice President for Student Relations
Henry Johnson's (with pen in hand) office in 1985, demanding action
against campus rape.
'U' students have long history of campus activism
(Continued from Page 3)
On April 17, 1965, SDS organized the
first of many anti-war rallies in
Washington, D.C. The demonstration
attracted 25,000 participants, a tur-
nout which astonished both SDS and
observers nation-wide. SDS also for-
med support groups for draft
The University faculty also took a
role in the anti-war movement. In
March of 1965, 250 faculty members,
including current University
President Harold Shapiro, sponsored
a .teach-in about the war to educate
the public about U.S. involvement and
pressure the government to end it.
Three thousand students crowded the
Angell Hall auditoriums for the all-
night forum, which featured expert
speakers from around the country.
The success of the teach-in prompted
other universities to hold similar
marathon sessions that year. Teach-
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ins were later adopted by many other
campus groups to discuss causes such
as abortion and ecology.
Faculty members continued to sup-
port anti-war efforts on campus. In
1970, 80 faculty members threatened
to strike if the University expelled
SDS from campus or revoked scholar-
ships of student protesters.
The preoccupation with Vietnam
gave an enormous boost in member-
ship to SDS. Gitlin said there were
twelve chapters in the country in mid
1964, only half of which were active.
By December 1966 there were 265 SDS
Students discovered through their
own research that the University was
contributing to the war effort through
weapons research on campus. Op-
position to military-related research
began in the '60s and has continued
until now. In recent years student
protestors have held sit-ins at the of-
fices of several University faculty
members who perform research sup-
ported by the Department of Defense..
In the late '60s and early'70s,
student demonstrators targeted
recruiters from the military and
companies who were supporting the
war effort. After a lull in SDS ac-
tivities in the late '60s, SDS came back
into the spotlight in 1970 as the major
instigator of a series of brash demon-
strations against these recruiters.
Protests against recruiters from the
CIA and companies which manufac-
ture weapons are still common.
SDS often blocked recruiters from
leaving the Career Planning and
Placement Center, where interviews
were held. They dumped dead fish on
a recruiter from Allied Chemical Co.
and sprayed his office with one of his
company's products, the chemical
DDT. During one protest, a Navy
recruiter was drenched with black
Environmental concerns were also
a major focus. A student group called
Environmental Action for Survival
(ENACT), held a five-day environ-
mental teach-in in 1970, featuring
several well known ecologists and
national leaders. ENACT members
sentenced a 1959 Ford to death for air
pollution, and held a public execution
by hacking it to death on the Diag.
They also littered the lawn of a local
Coca Cola bottler with empty pop cans
to support efforts for a returnable bot-
Students of the '60s also sought
reforms in University policies, and
rejected the University's pater-
By 1967, rules restricting dormitory
residents from allowing vistors of the
opposite sex, and nighttime curfews
for women were abolished.
After three years of battling with
the regents, students also won the
right to form a University-run
bookstore, now called the University
Cellarm in 1969.
That same year, students took con-
trol of their off-campus housing
situation. More than 1000 students
formed a tenant's union and held a
rent strike to pressure landlords to
lower rents. Since then, the Ann Arbor
Tenant's Union has been helping
students cope with off-campus
housing problems by providing legal
advice and pressuring the city to
provide thorough housing inspection.
One of the most remarkable in-
cidents in campus history was the
Black Action Movement (BAM) strike
in March 1970. For ten days black
University students and many white
students and faculty members
boycotted classes to pressure the ad-
ministration to increase black
enrollment to ten percent.
The administration agreed to in-
crease black enrollemnt from less
than four percent in 1970 to ten per-
cent by 1973. But the goal was never
reached, and minority enrollment is
still a concern.
Campus activism waned in the mid
and late '70s but certain issues, such
as apartheid and the U.S. support for
the Shah of Iran, did stir student op-
Sociology Prof. Aldon Morris said
the '70s brought "low-keyed ac-
"The creation of the women's
studies and black studies (depar-
tments) - that was all part of the ac-
tivism itself. It's not as pronounced as.
taking over a building. But getting
more women in faculty positions and
so on is all part of the women's
movement," he said.
Morris said today's demonstrations
reflect both stylistical and
philosophical roots in the '60s
protests, particularly objections to
U.S. interventions -in third world
Morris said the '60s radicals
"raised objections about the role of
the U.S. in Southeast Asia. The same'
thing is being raised about the role of
the U.S. in Nicaragua, and in South
Morris said he sees in the current
anti-apartheid crusade the bond bet-
ween while students and the civil
rights movement that was evident
during the BAM strike.
Last spring many University
students and faculty members attet-
ded an alternativercommencement
ceremony to * honor jailed South
African dissident Nelson Mandela,
whom the regents refused to grant an
honorary degree. About half the par-
ticipants were white.
Morris said the administration has
learned to be more diplomatic with
protestors since the '66s. Now ad-
ministrators often delay issues rather
than confront student opposition
directly he said.
"Take a look at the Mandela degree
issue. They didn't say, 'We don't want
to give him a degree'. They probably
would have said that in the '60s. In-
stead they said 'Let's study the
The University is still considered a
center for activism, but it has not
gone untouched by the conservative
tide of the nation. Many students
today fear campus protestsbmay
make the University look bad to
potential employers, particularly
those who recruit on campus.
"Morris said, "Activism is nothing
that takes place outside of a larger
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Survey says protests may return'
/ ' O..lll
By PHILIP LEVY
The student activism that raged through the 1960s is not
dead, it is merely lying in wait for the right conditions to
return, according to a political science class' survey of
University students last winter.
In apparent contradiction to the media's recent lament
that college students are politically apathetic, political
science Prof. Samual Eldersveld said, "There is more
than meets the eye. There is a lot of potential."
However, Eldersveld said that at the moment, "there is
no evidence that this is an explosive campus. There are
sparks, but no conflagration yet."
Code could spark action
One spark is the proposed code of non-academic con-
duct, especially if the University passes a code without
student approval, the study said.
"On the code, (students) would really get out to
protest," Eldersveld said, "or at least they say they would
One question on the survey, in fact, asked, "Suppose the
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University imposed a new set of rules governing the con-
duct of students, and students did not haveta role in draf-
ting these rules, would you be inclined to be involved
then?" Between 85 to 88 percent of students surveyed said
Getting involved, however, could mean anything from
writing a letter to getting arrested in a sit-in.
Military research and the low black student enrollment
rate are other issues that could activate students, Elder-.
Issues must affect students
John McNabb, an LSA senior and a student in Elder-
sveld's American Political Parties Class that conducted
the survey, added that University students care about
national issues and issues that directly affect them.
He said that in the event of "war with Nicaragua or
reinstitution of the draft, you would see an increase in ac-
These issues, like the code, meet the first criteria for ac
tivating students, the study said. An issue must rouse
strong emotions among a variety of students.
A large number of students could become politically ac-
tive, the study added, if students are confident they can
accomplish something, and if a students' friends are also
"Students socialize each other into involvement. They
learn from each other, take cues from each other," Elder-
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