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January 23, 1987 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-23

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

I

Students fast for
two Soviet citizens

The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 23, 1987 - Page 5
New smoking law
causes confusion

(Continued from Page 1)
of Yuri's illness, but "as a symbolic
gesture, we decided to go on a
hunger strike ourselves."
JERRY WISH, co-chair-
person, said "The reason we're doing
the hunger strike is more than
symbolic - it's pragmatic. It's
symbolic in that it is a great show
of strength for the group.
' "But it's also pragmatic in that
when Yuri and Nelli get into the
news, people write letters to
'ecretary Gorbachev or President
Reagan. They drum up support.
When they have that support, they
have a much better chance of getting
Out."
The hunger strike began on
November 18, 1986, and would
"continue until the day Yuri and
Nelli are released," Wish said.
"WE ALL wrote individual
letters to the family and told them
we would hold a hunger strike," said
Lisa Barnett, a member and LSA
sophomore. "It's our way of
honoring them."
The organization was established
in September 1985 by eight
students who returned from a trip to
Russia where they met with several
refuseniks. In an effort to help the
Jews obtain exit visas, the group
wpressures government officials
through letter writing campaigns
and soliciting media coverage.
- The goal of the organization,
according to Rubanenko, is to
increase the visibility of Soviet
Jews in hope that the Soviet
government will allow Jews to
emigrate.
THE Shpeizman's first requested
an exit visa in October1977, but,
according to a memo published by
the Soviet Jewry Education and
Information Center in Israel, were
denied because Yuri's brother was
"in possession of state secrets."
; The Shpeizman's were last
denied their visa on October 13,
1,986, because "Permission to
emigrate to Israel is against the state
interest of the Soviet Union,"
according to the memo.
. The group decided to sponsor the
S peizmans because Rubanenko
knew the family. "When I went to
the Soviet Union last April, I
visited several refusenik families,
one of which was the Shpeizman's.
Treally liked them. Later on in the
fear I was in Israel and visited their
daughter. I felt this would be a good
family to adopt."
RUBANENKO said adopting
a family "helps members of the
6rganization focus-in and know a
.name. They can identify with a
family. They know in detail who
they're dealing with."

But he added that it is possible to
help individuals without affecting
the political structure. "The Soviet
Union is somewhat concerned with
its public perception and it doesn't
look good to deny access to
families."
SOVIET embassy officials in
Washington could not be reached for
comment.
The organization not only
pressures the Soviet government,
Rubanenko said. "If we keep
sending letters to Reagan, he will
see the Shpeizman name coming up
and coming up. Eventually, he is
going to realize there's somebody
out there who is pulling for this
family and he better get to work on
that particular name."
Although Wish feels a hunger
strike is an effective way to call
attention to the refuseniks, he said
he doubts the group will use it
again in the near future.
"Because this is such a unique
event it could have a major impact
on this specific case. But if we have
a hunger strike for everyone, it
could trivialize other cases. People
would begin to say, 'who cares?"'
Wish stressed that the group is
not restricted to Jewish students,
saying that the issues are human
ones, not religious.
"No one wants to see a
Holocaust in the Soviet Union," he
said.

By LEAH REX
New stickers mandating
"Smoking in Designated Areas
Only" seem to be fairly innocuous,
but the new state smoking policy is
confusing and annoying for some
University students and staff.
Although the stickers may lead
some people to believe there are
smoking areas in every University
building there are not, according to
James Thiry, the University's
personnel director. The law has
been in effect since Jan 1.
"I don't really know where the
areas for smoking are," said
Marguerite Roulet, a first-year
graduate student in anthropology.
In addition, smoking locations
are inconsistent from building to
building. The department heads in
each campus building decide if a
building will have a smoking area
and where it will be located.
Smokers seem to acknowledge
the non-smoker's right to a smoke-
free environment but wish that their
own rights had been given more
consideration.

"I completely appreciate people's
desire to have a smoke-free
atmosphere because I was an avid
non-smoker for years and years,"
said Tom Wilkinson, an LSA
senior. He added that the new policy;
makes it difficult for him to find a
place to smoke while studying.
Non-smokers seem to favor the
new policy. LSA freshman Teresa
DeCastro said, "If (smoking is)
restricted, I'm for it."
Students seem to be adapting to
the new policy without trauma, its
execution has not been as smooth
for staff and faculty.
Dave Foulke, assistant director
of Housing Administrative Offices
said, "The departments in (the
Student Activities Building)
recommendation was that smoking
be allowed in the West Stairwell.
We put some surplus furniture out
there (for the smokers) and it's all
been stolen."
And while stolen furniture is
unlikely to be a major problem
with the smoking policy,
enforcement of the new rule may
be.

Commits Suicide Associated Press
Pennsylvania's State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer warns about two dozen
people at a news conference yesterday to "Stay away, this thing will hurt
someone." He then shot himself in the mouth and died instantly. Dwyer
was convicted last month of conspiring to accept a bribe for a computer
firm's contract. He was going to lose his job immediatly after he was
sentenced today.

UM News in
The Daily
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