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January 22, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-22

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OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 80 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
Allother cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Speaking of tongues

Thursday, January 22, 1987

The Michigan Daily

Greeks and harassment

FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS
in the United States have failed
miserably. Despite high school
language programs and language
requirements at major universities
offering liberal arts degrees, the
citizens of the United States remain
far behind those of other countries
in understanding foreign cultures,
histories, political and economic
systems.
Rather than continuing to cover
up fundamental weaknesses in
foreign language programs in the
United States, universities should
abolish the traditional language
requirement, forcing language
programs to attract students on
their own. In place of the language,
requirement, there should be an
area studies requirement which
would give students a chance to
cultivate their natural curiousity in
foreign cultures.
The Daily (1/15/87) has already
pointed out that current proposals
to extend language programs will
do little to alleviate the problem of
"cultural imperialism," as one
reader phrased it. In fact, extending
language requirements to prop up
fundamentally weak programs is
counterproductive by providing an
illusion of progress.
If foreign language departments
were serious about bolstering their
programs they would stress the
carrot instead of the stick. They
would seek high r pay for student
teaching, emphasze'possible career
rewards for language learning and
abolish the situation in which a
teacher is required to teach large
groups of requirement fillers -
students who are unenthusiastic or
even resentful. Although language
lends itself to rote learning and a
disciplinarian mentality among
teachers, it is unfortunate that
language departments perpetually .
find themselves so desperate for
students that they seek to gain
captive audiences.

As it stands, language programs
serve to reinforce parochialism.
Students fresh from high school
are naturally encouraged by their
counselors to continue their study
of the language they took in high
school. Viewed as a requirement
by student and counselor alike,
language is merely something first
and second year undergraduates
take without any true under -
standing of why.
Students will naturally take
courses in languages that their
parochial backgrounds made them
competent and familiar with. If
students were required to take area
studies classes before they took
language classes, they might have a
basis for picking a language. The
University has relatively strong
programs in African and Asian
studies. If students had the chance
to learn about these areas, they.
might opt to study languages from
them. By relying on high schools
to provide students with motivation
for studying foreign language,
universities assure that few
students will opt to take an African,
Asian or indigenous Latin Amer -
ican language.
Currently, the bulk of language
instruction involves rote learning
that teaches students nothing about
foreign cultures. It is illogical to
expect this kind of learning to lead
to cultural appreciation; quite the
contrary, it repels students, causing
language departments to seek
language requirements.
Students must become interested
in foreign countries before they
commit themselves to learning their
languages. If language require -
ments were abolished, foreign
language programs would have to
stand on their own. The day this
happens, language departments and
universities will come up with
innovative methods of luring
students out of their ethnocentric
shells.

By Kristin Pope
With the new conservatism of the
1980s, the Greek systems on college
campuses are growing in number with
membership over 250,000, a record high
("Return to Brotherhood," Ms, September
1985). While college students are
returning to the 1950s emphasis on
traditional values and lifestyles, aversion
to experimentation and alternate
lifestyles, and an emphasis on material
gain, they are finding the structure,
ceremony, ritual, and formality that is
stressed by fraternities and sororities to be
a haven. But while many students are
becoming involved in a Greek system
that resembles the Greek system of the
1950s, a large percentage of the women
of the 1980s are not like those of the
1950s. The women of today are
competing with men for grades and jobs.
are demanding the same rights to sexual
activity, and many of today's women,
when induced to drink too much and
finding herself in bed with one or more
strange men, will not consider herself
loose as would a woman of the 50s. She
will consider herself raped.
The sexual harrassment and assault
commited by fraternities isanotsoften
publicized, partly due to the stigma
associated to reporting a rape, the
uncooperative legal system, and the
blaming of the victim that often occurs.
And when the Greek system is involved,
the woman must also face the fraternity
as well as her sorority sisters.
"Fraternities are sporting clubs, and their
game is women." This quote form Carol
Bellini-Sharp, associate professor at
Hamilton College in upstate New York
("Return to Brotherhood, Ms, September
1985), suggests the attitude towards
women that is instilled in fraternity men.
Fraternities allow young men to hide
their fear of women in a setting that
rewards them for their expressions of
sexism. According to research done by
Julie K. Ehrhart and Bernice R. Sadler in
their report, "Campus Gang Rape, Party
Games?," fraternity members are often
more likely to seek attention, feel that
Pope is an LSA junior.

fate and chance control their lives, and
don't always feel repsonsible for their
actions. It is easy to see why young men
would seek solace from the competition
of women in the male world of the
fraternity, avoiding settings in which
they share equal status with women.
In the summer of 1985, a woman
living in Acacia fraternity as a subletter
was repeatedly harassed by a fraternity
member. He would threaten to sexually
attack her from outside her bedroom
window. He entered her room and made
attempts to touch her. The woman
contacted the Ann Arbor police and was
told that there was nothing that they
could do. She persisted and made several
attempts to file charges, but was refused.
The lack of attention by the Ann Arbor
police is outrageous. The woman's
safety was jeopordized by their lack of
support. The woman was made to feel
helpless as well as responsible for the
situation. No action was taken by the
fraternity to reprimand the man for his
actions nor was any action taken to stop
his behavior.
Fraternity parties are often places for
sexual assault and harrassmnent. There
have been instances were fraternity
members have followed women home
after parties and verbally or physically
assaulted them. A sorority woman
recently told me about a situation in
which a woman had two dates to a Greek
social function. After drinking too much
and passing out, she awoke the next
morning with bruises and scracthes. The
woman pressed charges against the two
men, accusing them of rape, however the
case was dismissed. The woman I spoke
to said that the woman was obviously
mistaken becausewno fraternity men she
know would do such a thing. The Greek
system is careful to protect its members
as well as its reputation.
Recently, I gained access to a fraternity
newsletter, the Phi Epsilon Owl
Droppings. The September issue
described such events as the "get-drunk-
and-fuck-party with AOPi's," suggested
the semester would bring, "drunken
stupidity, women chasing, and all around
(sic) silliness"and contained a quote that
exemplifies the sexist view of women
rampant in fraternities:
'All I want to do tonight is get drunk
and get laid, and I am already drunk.'

-some queen of virtue in D.B.'s
room
While these few examples may seem
meager and all in fun to many University
students, the underlying sexism presents a
real threat to University women. By the
fraternities characterization of women as
solely sexual objects, they condone the
sexual harrassment and assualts that
occur.
Recently a woman freshman at the
University of Michigan was gang raped at
a party. She was assaulted by four men,
and has filed a report, but no charges have
been pressed.A short two sentence
paragraph reported this incident in the
police beat of the November 27 issue of
the Ann Arbor News . This form of.
sexual assault happens at many fraternity
parties on college campuses. They
ussually occur between a young woman
who is too drunk or drugged to give,
consent, and from as many as two to
eleven men. In defense of a gang rape
that occurred at the Pi Lamnda Phi
fraternity at the University of Florida, a,
Pi Lamnda Phi member Robert
Rosenwasser replied, "The so-called rape,
which has been typed across the
headlines, is truly a travesty of a not-so-
uncommon event; a train, by a group of
guys and a willing girl." This "willing
girl" is often a female college student too
drunk or drugged to give her consent.
Which is considered rape in many states
("Return to Brotherhood," Ms, September
1985).
There are some fraternities that are
making an effort to raise the
consciousness of their members on the
issues of sexual assualt. The Pi Kappa
Phi fraternity has urged local chapters to
adopt a strong stance against suxual
abuse. However, I personally feel that
this is not enough. I fell that the Greek
system should be abolished, as it has
been at Amherst College. But with the
recent growth of the Greek population,
this seems unlikely. Therefore, I feel that
it is the responsibility of the members of
the Greek system to take a stand against
sexual assualt and harrassment. This
includes sororities as well as fraternities.
Through education and concern, the Greek
system may be able to curb the number-
of sexual assualts happening on the
college campuses.

Wasserman
W E A H Ac WI TE H'TAEAD OF E To AN 00TSI0ER, IT LOOVS LIVE YoU'V TATs RT0 - ItS SAFETY TO MA EIT Mo RE
FOOD STAMP PRORAM UNDER EA&AN WRAPPED TRE O&RAM IN A LOT OF REALLY A SAF TY SEAL SEA- CRLED RS6ISTANT
Letters.
Life is hard and then you die

Choose choice
"I will choose what enters me, what becomes.
flesh of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives."-Marge Piercy

THERE ARE THOSE in this city
who allow women this individual
choice. There are those who would
deny it. Today, at noon, they meet
on the diag. Where will you stand?
College is, for those who dare, a
time to examine and re-examine, to
begin to think critically. Between
the day-we move into the dorm and
the day we put on the gown, we
make crucial decisions. We
question sex and sexuality. We
question our society and we
question our place within it. The
questions, more than the answers,
are the result of our exercise of that
right most basic to a democratic
community: individual choice.
For more than half of all
Americans, however, that basic
right is threatened. After twenty
years of open struggle for equality,
American women may again be
robbed of the ability to control their
lives. So-called "Right to Lifers"
would have women thrown back
into the millennia where their
bodies were simply the instruments
of reproduction. Without control of
their own fertility, women are often
slaves to the needs of children and
the whims of men.
Access to safe, effective birth
control including abortion is crucial
to the reproductive freedom of
every woman, regardless of her
age or income. Young, poor
women who become pregnant
deserve as many options as those
more privileged. Medicaid abor-
tions, currently under fire in the
state of Michigan, are critical if

women are to break the cycle of
poverty. A young mother, strug-
gling to support her children and
finish school, cannot afford
another child. Those who would
condemn her for an abortion might
scream even louder if she quit
school and brought another human
being into a welfare existence.
Undernourished children,
abused children, homeless children
walk the streets of our cities.
Unlike the underdeveloped fetus,
we can be sure that these children
are human life, that they feel pain.
We can be certain that their deaths
are morally wrong.
Yet, reactionary groups spend
millions of dollars to protect the
rights of a clump of cells. Most
often, these are the same people
who support President Reagan's
massive cuts in social programs.
Somehow, the "life" that is unborn
is more sacred than the life that is
already here.
Today, in Ann Arbor and around
the country, people will meet to
commemorate the fourteenth
anniversary of the U.S. Supreme
Court's Roe v. Wade decision. On
this day in 1973, the Court decreed
the constitutional right to privacy
extends to a woman's right to safe,
legal abortion.
At 11:30 am, pro-choice activists
will start begin their march at
Regents' Plaza. They expect to
encounter anti-abortionists in the
Diag at noon. At 6:45 p.m.,
women will gather at the Federal
Building to share their experiences.

To The Daily:
"The world in which we live is
peopled by people who
fuck, shit, screw everybody,
don't care, swear
do things without a care, are
seen everywhere
and write about each other
the world in which we live is
peopled by people who
can't afford to eat, can't make
ends meet
got nowhere to sleep, can't feel
the heat
can't get out
can't find a voice to scream it
out"
More truthful words have
never been spoken. In my
opinion, at this moment in
time, the 20th century, 8th
decade, 7th year, 6th day, 4th
hour, 13th minute, 30th
second, the rock duet of Jack
Huges and Nick Feldman,
a.k.a. Wang Chung,
undoubtedly have described the
state of affairs of our society
and some of the problems
which exist in it.
Realistically, no one can
mention all of the problems
which exists, because, some
problems we do not consider to
be problems. But then there
are those problems which stick
out a mile long. For example,
the political wrong doings of
every nation on the planet
Earth. Human rights viola-
tions exist everywhere on the
globe, no country, no govern-
ment has not broken many
human rights laws in
conducting its foreign and

domestic policies.
How can it be that,
governments pump trillions
and trillions of dollars, or what
ever they spend, into their
defense budgets while people
starve and are homeless within
their borders? How can it be
that, one country unilateraly
attempts to orchestrate control
over an entire region of the
globe, close to or far from their
borders? How can it be that, a
university administration
would think of implementing
academic sanctions for non-
academic conduct on a student
body?
Economically, corporations
have reached a plateau which is
unmatched at any time in
history. A quick glance at the
Dow Jones highlights this fact.
But, the problem is that , as
profits continue to soar, as
pocket books get heavier for
some stock holders, a lot of
people on the bottom of the
economic scale suffer more.
The inequality, the dis -
crimination, and the suffering,
which exist in society today are
directly related to the fact that
government, business, and
some individuals, have no
conscious. Yes it is true that
government has instituted
social policies to assist the
needy, and business does share
in the profits with society.
But, in many peoples opinion,
if government put more into
solving social problems, many
social, economic, and political,
problems would be solved.
Also if business gave more to

their employees and the
neighborhoods in which they
exist, the economic woes of
many would be lightened.
But; maybe the worst
problem of all is the fact that
many of us don't give a damn!
"So what," "who cares," "not
me," "I'm busy," "I have a
headache," everybody has an
excuse or reason for not getting
involved. "Don't rock the
boat," "leave well enough
alone," "take it slow". I ask
you WHY ARE WE
ATTENDING COLLEGE?
Are we here to just increase our
earning potential? Are we here
to just find our niche in
society, to fit into the main
stream?
Hopefully our generation
will not be like all the past

generations, you know what I
mean? You know, all the
potential, all the opportunities,
all the reason in the world to
do something right. But, all
they did and are doing, is what
was done before them.
Therefore, our world, our
country, our school is in
serious trouble.
If our generation is to keep
from making the same
mistakes, we must at least try
to solve the problems which
exist today, or the world in
which we live tomorrow will
contain even more problems
than today's.
-Michael Phillips
Michigan Student
Assembly Representative
January 13

Impeach Reagan and company

To The Daily:
The following is the text of
a petition being circulated by
the Impeach Reagan
Campaign:
To the Honorable Speaker
of the House:
We, the undersigned, are
writing to express our concern
over the recent illegal actions
of the Reagan Administration.
The misappropriation of public
monies in order to supply arms
to Iran and the contras is
shocking and totally un -
acceptable. Accordingly, we

are urging you to make it your
first priority in the new
Congress to draft articles of
impeachment against Ronald
Reagan, George Bush, and
other responsible parties.
You can contact the Impeach
Reagan Campaign at the
Eugene V. Debs Cooperative,
909 E. University, Ann Arbor,
MI 48104.
-The Eugene V. Debs
Cooperative
January 20

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