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September 04, 1986 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-04

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- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1986 - Page 5


Students need more

. -

political p
A report in the mid-1960s on the role
of students in University decision-
making said, "college is not a prepar-
tion for life. It's life itself." This
above all else reflects the importance
of students having influence on the
policies of this institution. Not token,
rubber-stamping power, but the ac-
tual ability to make decisions.
A university is life itself, and
students do not need to be sheltered.
The issues heard on the Diag are not
training wheel issues before entering
the "real world." They are real
Blacks are really dying in South
Africa and the University's invest-
ments really do help support the
apartheid regime. A courageous man
named Nelson Mandela is wasting in
prison, and an honorary degree from
the University may expedite his
release. Research done by University.
faculty for the Department of Defense
really produces weapons and the very
real potential of death.
So what better time to begin con-

ower at


An intellectual vitality
does not exist behind
closed doors.

fronting the hard realities and moral
dilemmas of modern society?
The first and foremost obstacle
socially-concerned students face in
this University, is the secrecy that
shrouds much of its policy-making
The University's executive officers
disappear behind closed doors every
Tuesday afternoon to discuss tuition
levels, program cuts, honorary:
degrees - issues of more than super-
ficial interest to many students.
The honorary degree policy is so
hush-hush that a large group of
students who worked on urging the
University to give Mandela an
honorary degree did not find out he
Was ineligible until seven months af-
ter their campaign began. The policy
is so secret that members of the
Board of Regents never thought to tell
the students of Mendela's ineligibility
even when students spoke to them at
the board's meetings.
In fact, it took a sit-in before ad-
ministrators decided to discuss the
matter with students. Administrators
are fond of talking about academic
freedom, especially when conser-
vative speakers are met with protests
or when students disrupt military
research on campus. But they hide
behind closed doors when setting
And then there is democracy.
Students study it. We are told by
speakers how wonderful it is. Yet, the
University is hardly a democracy.

The University president has the
power to overrule any University
rule, including the guarantee that the
Michigan Student Assembly ratify
any codes of conduct that have noth-
ing to do with academics.
Students' main channel to ad-
ministrators are the five minutes a
limited number of speakers are
allowed to have once a month at
regents' meetings. These speakers
are often greeted with blank ex-
pressions, and rustlings of paper by
The only way it seems that students
can raise an issue through campus is
through political protests. It was not
until a group of students sat-in on Vice
President Henry Johnson's office last
year that the University began acting
to prevent rape on campus.
What kind of democracy requires
its citizens to hold sit-ins to learn in-
formation; to sit in the cold of night to
protect a shanty because security
won't protect one wooden piece of
political expression in the middle of
And while students may not have to
get arrested to raise issues, what kind
of democracy perpetuates the
frustration and the feeling that only
going to jail will bring about change?
The 1968 report on decision-making
stated, "A University should be the
center for creativity and innovation,
criticism and challenge, debate and
dissent. The vigorous assertion of
dissatisfaction and demands for
change, and efforts to influence both
the internal policy of the University
and its posture and role in the larger
society are indicative of an intellec-
tual vitality that should be welcomed
and fostered."
Unfortunately, this is not true of the
University. An intellectual vitality
does not exist behind closed doors.
One step forward would be to put a
student on the Board of Regents. It
would only be one person to represent
student interests, but one more voice
in policy-making than students now
Another step in the right direction
would be to re-evaluate the regents'
reaction to the three reports on
students in decision-making done in
the 1960s. There is no set policy to
guarantee students input, although
the regents were kind enough to say
student participation is a good thing
in one of their bylaws.
Without a set policy, the University
has a system of in loco parentis
democracy, where administrators
can grant student participation when
it serves them, yet restrict input when
it does not.
Most importantly, students of this
University should not remain passive
in a soporific preparation for life
This is life.
Murakami is the editor of the
Daily's New Student Edition, and
has covered the University's ad-

SF 8e


esearch priorities mlaced



Military research frightens me.
Not for all the conventional reasons,
like the fear of dying. The problem is
within the debate over military
research at this University. The main
actors in the controversy seem to
have lost sight of the underlying
issues and are more and more turning
to personality attacks and side issues.
The result is a once important debate
becoming an unhealthy verbal and
written brawl.
The University administration
shares part of the blame for the
deterioration of the research debate.
The rights of researchers have become
the overriding concern, to the ex-
clusion of any ethical considerations
about the applications of military
There is currently a University rule
that forbids any classified research
that could potentially harm human
beings. A few years ago, the faculty
senate and the Michigan Student
Assembly favored an extension of this.
rule to all research at the University,
but the regents struck the idea down
in the name of academic freedom.
A committee which recently
suggested changes in the classified
rules, while it recommended a near
ban on classified research, com-
pletely left out any reference to hum-

an life. While the committee sought to
keep the guidelines simple, and any
moral statement is subject to many
different interpretations, inconvience
is no justification for a research policy

research, but neither should they inter-
pret every research project in
physics, chemistry or engineering as
"military researach."
Also disturbing is the deterioration

Inconvenience is no justification for a
research policy with no ethical basis.

every time the word "defense" comes
in relation to a contract.
Unfortunately, the air of hostility
that pervades the, debate makes it
harder for the facts about certain
projects to be clear. One University
researcher, working on a project for
the Strategic Defense Initiative, wa's
so afraid of being harrassed by
protesters that he refused to have hiss
name used in print. A few days later
at a protest against recruiting by
Lawrence Livermore Labs, a
protestor insisted it was the activist*T
who were being harrassed.
Military research is one of th®;
most important issues facing the
University. It requires looking at thwn
roles of the University and scientists,
in society, the ethical restraints on)
freedom and the acquisition and use l
of research funds. Without a construc,
tive dialogue, however, the
nilitarized, defense-dependent,
nightmare of the activists,
may become a reality. Or, as thed
scientists fear, the University may
become a highly-restrictive research,
environment where the pursuit of i
science is dictated by a specific
political agenda. Both of these visionsk
are pretty frightening.
- Earle is Associate editor of theI
New Student Edition and hdg
covered research for the Daily. r

with no ethical basis. What the com-
mittee. has proposed is a set of
guidelines which governs all Univer-
sity research, but -the question
"Should the University be involved in
weapons research?" is ignored. Yet is
is just as important a question as the
freedom of any single researcher.
But perhaps the administration's
obsession with academic freedom is a
position forced on them by activists.
In their zeal to head off any project
that could conceivably have military
applications, the activists ignore both
the possible non-military benefits of
the research and the freedom of the
scientists to inquire. The University
should not take part in weapons

of the debate into personal ac-
cusations among some of the key
people in the controversy.
Administrators were accused of
lying when they predicted the Univer-
sity Research Initiative would not
significantly increase the defense-
sponsored research at the University.
The idea that Vice president for
Research Linda Wilson and her staff
were lying is ridiculous - there's no
way anyone could have predicted the
large URI award the University even-
tually received. The failure by the ac-
tivists to understand the nature of the
program is even more disturbing.
There's no way to debate military
research intelligently if people panic

Students should be wary of

'acquaintance rape'

It was late on a Thursday eneving
when Karen and her friend Debbie
ran into Kevin at the U-Club.
"I hadn't seen him [Kevin] in a few
months, so Debbie and I walked over
to say hello and see how he was
doing . . he lived down the hall from
me in the dorm last year.
"Debbie and I ended up spending a
couple of hours talking to him. He
bought us a few drinks . .. We had a
good time. It was all very in-
nocent . .. It turned out that Kevin
went to high school with my room-
mate Carolyn. He told me a bunch of
funny stories about her . .. What a
coincidence, huh?"
At around 1:00 a.m., they all left
together. Since Kevin lived in the
same general direction as Debbie and
Karen, he offered to walk them home.
"He said, 'I couldn't let anything
happen to you two lovely ladies, could
I?' "
"Debbie's apartment was on the
way to mine, so we dropped her off
first. Kevin asked me if I had seen
any of the old gang from the dorm and
he asked how Carolyn was since he hadn't
seen her in a while-really. Just a lot

of small talk. . . When we got to my
apartment, he asked if he could come
in to say hello to Carolyn. I said
sure, why not?" After all, we were
pretty good friends. Besides, he was
friends with my roommate. It seemed
like no big deal ... When we got in-
side, I found a note from Carolyn
saying she had gone to Charlie's for a
drink with a couple of friends."
"Since Kevin was already inside, I
figured I'd offer him something to
drink before he headed home... We
talked for a while, and he flirted a lit-
tle, but I ignored it. Actually, I kind of
enjoyed it'. . . I got up to put the
glasses in the sink, and as I was rin-
sing them Kevin came up behind me
and started kissing me on my
neck .. . He told me how much he
liked me; how he had always liked
me, and how beautiful he thought I
Was. I told him to stop, but I didn't
feel the same way he did. . . I tried to
push him away but he yanked me
around and started groping and
kissing me. I tried to pull away but I
couldn't ... I told him to stop it and
leave me alone. I said I wasn't that
'kind of girl.' What a dumb thing to
say. He wouldn't let me go ... I

didn't know what to do.. . I yelled,
'Get away from me!' but his grip only
tightened. I panicked ... I
froze . . . I couldn't move! All I could
think was: I can't believe this is hap-
pening to me. What did I say. . . or
do? Please leave me alone! Let me
go!' I couldn't break his grip. He pin-
ned me to the floor. I was trap-
ped ... 'Stop it! Leave me alone!
Why are you doing this to me?' He
told me he wasn't going to stop and
that I wanted it as much as he did
That's not true!' "
A woman is raped every two and a
half minutes in the United States. The
F.B.I. estimates that one out of every
three women and one out of every ten
men will be sexually assaulted in his
or her lifetime.
Rape happens at the University of
Michigan. It happens at parties, in
dorm rooms, apartments, houses, co-
ops, fraternities, University
buildings, sidewalks, alleys, and cars.
In 1984, 31 rapes and 7 attempted
rapes were reported to Ann Arbor city
police. However, the F.B.I. estimates
that over 90% of all rapes and attem-
pted rapes go unreported. That
means there were approximately 279
rapes and 63 attempted rapes in Ann
Arbor in 1984.
Only one-fifth of all sexual assaults
>ccur outdoors. An estimated 60 per-
cent of sexual assaults take place in a
home - either the victim's/sur-
vivor's or the rapist's, and the

first or second date. However,
nearly one-half of these women did
not identify their experience as rape
even though it clearly fit the legal
definition of rape. Nearly 90 percent
of these women told no one about
what happened. Although it is easiertp
. . . the majority of
rapes are not com-
mitted by psycho-
paths in trench
coats who leap out
of bushes.
conceptualize sexual assault in terms
of stranger rape, in fact the majority
of sexual assaults are not committed
by psychopaths in trench coats who
leap out of bushes.
In the state of Michigan any sexual
activity involving a person who does
not consent is a form of sexual
assault. This includes contact as well
as penetration. Mistakenly, many
date and acquaintance rape survivors
do not realize they have been sexually
assaulted. The reality of the crime is

"The thing I can't get over is the
guilt. How could a man I know, a
friend of mine, rape me unless I said
or did something that led him on? I
trusted him."
All of us must realize that women
are not to blame for what happened.
Our society does not blame the victim
of a robbery or a murder for causing
the incident to occur, nor should we
blame the survivor of a sexual
For Karen and other sexual assault
survivors, the worst part of the ordeal
is not always the actual assault, but
the insensitive responses from friends
and family members and the
devastating feelings of guilt and
shame afterward. "I told one guy
about it just after it happened. He told
me it was no big deal because I knew
him [Kevin], and that I must have
said something that gave him the
wrong impression." Somehow it
becomes the woman's fault if she is
All of us are taught to believe
sexual assault is the woman's fault.
Men are taught to believe they can get
what they want if only they try hard
enough - even when it comes to sex
- regardless of how the woman feels.
Women are taught to take care of
other people's needs and to be nice
and get people to like them - even
when it comes to sex - saying "no" is
often thought to be a bad thing. The
media reinforces these same

assaulted. They are the victims/sur-
vivors, not the perpetrators of the
Rape is not exclusively a woman's
problem; it is a societal problem and
must be treated as such. Everyone,
men as well-as women, must be made.,
aware of the prevalence of strangeFr,-
rape and date and acquaintance rape;
in our society, how to confront thy
problem, and how to prevent it. We as,,
a culture must take responsibilityh
for doing away with the stereotype4
that perpetuate the inequities and, i
unequal expectations that exist in or#
der to ever do away with the problem..
When becoming involved in a2
relationship or just interacting with
people you know here are some things l
to think about. Always communicate
your feelings openly. Communicate:'
your intent and your expectationsx-,
clearly. Find out the other person's,
expectations. Be respectful of othersi4
Do only what you feel comfortable*
doing. It's o.k. to say no. Say no when;
you mean no. Take no as an answer,.
Be conscious of sex-role stereotypes)
and how they affect you. Be alert tew
your environment and the behavior of
others. Never force your desires upon
someone else. Be conscious that rape-
does happen, even with people who
have known each other for a long
The characters in the above story
are fictional, but the occurrence of
date and acquaintance rape is very

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