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January 27, 1987 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-27

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Tuesday, January 27, 1987

Page 4

The Michigan Doily

Tuesday, January 27, 1987 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 83 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and lettefs do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Greek pluses exceed minuses.

Marching for freedom

Forsythe County, Georgia last
weekend demonstrated the
willingness of open-minded
Americans to stand up against racial
adversity and prejudice and advocate
an unsegregated and peaceful nation.
The march came amid the recent wave
of racial violence that has plagued the
pages of printed media in the United
The need for the march serves as a
reminder that racial problems and
racial related violence have not
disappeared from American society.
The march was organized in response
to incidents in a similar demonstration
one week before.
The earlier march, for which last
weekend's demonstration was
organized, celebrated the anniversary
of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr.
A large contingent of white Forsythe
County residents broke up the march
before it could begin by throwing
rocks and bottles at the marchers. The
Klu Klux Klan and other white
supremacy groups organized and
instigated the counter-demonstration
against the civil rights supporters.
Although only a few injuries were
reported, the incident is abhorrent and
Saturday's march was an uplifting
and inspiring step for civil rights
activism. Although organizers pre -
dicted only 2,000 people, roughly

20,000 people from all over the
country gathered together in Forsythe
County protesting against "fear and
It was the largest civil rights
demonstration in almost eighteen
years and showed that the movement
to supress prejudice in this nation is
still very much alive. The
demonstration participants were
diverse and strongly multiracial, vast
numbers of non-blacks showed their
disgust with racism along side their
black brothers and sisters.
Despite a weeklong barrage of
threats by white supremacy groups,
including the Klu Klux Klan and the
National Association for the
Advancement of White People, the
march proceeded without violence.
However, the mere turnout of counter
protesters, numbering nearly one.
thousand, indicates that racism lives
on in its most blatant and open forms.
Forsythe County is a long way
from Ann Arbor but that in no way
means racism is dead at the'
University. While the forms are more
subtle and occur less frequently, it
still plagues our immediate
The famous words "I have a
dream" means nothing without
support from everyone, black or
white, rich or poor. Students must
take the responsillity,of conquering
racism both at mh University and on a
larger scale.

By Michael Lustig
I am trying to remain calm as I write in
response to Kristin Pope's article, "Greeks
and harassment" (Daily, 1/22), but I'm
finding that it's tough to do. She offended
me as a member of a fraternity and as a man.
Pope uses sporadic incidents of sexual
assault and harassment of women as the
basis of her condemnation of the Greek
system as a whole. I am not going to deny
that sexual harassment of women does not
occur at fraternity parties, nor am I going to
assert that all members of the Greek system
have halos above their heads, but Pope chose
only to look as common negative
perceptions of the Greek system, and not the
Charity is an essential part of every
fraternity and sorority. My fraternity, Tau
Epsilon Phi, has adopted City of Hope as its
charity, and fundraisers are designed to
benefit it. We do not exclusively work for
City of Hope either. Last year we helped the
Red Cross by passing out flyers for their
CPR classes, and over 400 people attended
those classes. The largest charity effort here
at the University of Michigan in the Greek
system is Greek Week, where fraternities and
sororities team up and compete in a variety
of contests. The games raised $30,000 last
year, according to Greek Week co-
chairperson Amy Nick. Some of that money
went to the Huron Harvest Food Bank and
the Washtenaw Area Council for Children,
she said. Several other events were sponsored
by individual fraternities or sororities and
they chose which charity benefitted from
their fun.
One solution that Pope offers is that "the
Greek system should be abolished, as it has
been at Amherst College." She realizes this
solution is unfeasible because of "the recent
growth of the Greek population." But if
Pope looked at the absurdity of comparing
the University of Michigan with Amherst
College she would see other reasons why the
Greek system cannot be abolished here.
Amherst College is a small college in
rural Massachusetts with a total enrollment
Lustig is a Daily staff writer.

of about 1,540. To put that in some kind of
local perspective, about that many people
live in the Bursley residence hall. Freshmen
at Amherst also do not have to contend with
introductory psychology and political science
classes, for example, of 500, nor are they
faced with 100 opportunities when choosing
a freshman English class. It is very easy for
freshmen here to become overwhelmed by
the sheer immensity of the University.
This part of fraternity and sorority life
Pope completely neglects. A fraternity or
sorority can save someone from being
swallowed up by the University by giving
him or her something to which he or she
belongs. Fraternities are not only places that
"allow young men to hide their fear of
women in a setting that rewards them for
their expressions of sexism," as Pope so
describes them. I do not regret at all my
decision to join a fraternity and do not see
any negatives involved, except when I read
things like Pope has written, which
condemns all for the crimes of the few. In
the past year, I have met and become friends
with people with whom I would never have
believed I could be friends. My fraternity
brothers are from different regional, social,
religious, and ethnic backgrounds. They have
different political views, many with which I
do not agree. They are English majors,
business majors, engineering majors. Yet I
consider them all my friends. Could I have
found friends like I have without joining a
fraternity? I could have, and I did, and I
remain as close to those friends as I have
been. Just because I am a member of a
fraternity doesn't mean I think, live, and
breathe fraternity. It is just one part of my
Many of the incidents of sexual assault
Pope mentions occurred at fraternity parties.
She says, "Many of today's women, when
induced to drink too much, and finding
herself in bed with one or more men... will
consider herself raped." I do not want to
sound callous with these next comments,
but do these women have self-control? Do
they know how much they can drink before
they reach their tolerance levels? Or are they
so controlled by peer pressure that they can
allow men to "induce" them to continue

drinking? Pope quotes a newsletter of Phi
Epsilon fraternity (which is not at the
University of Michigan) which describes a
"get-drunk-and-fuck-party with AOPi's." If
all that happens at these parties is that
women are plied with alcohol by
manipulative sex-minded men who only
want to take advantage of them, why would
the AOPi's accept an invitation to such a
I commend Pope with realizing that her
first proposed solution, abolishing the Greek
system, is impossible. Her other solutions
do have merit. All fraternities and sororities
should get themselves educated on what
constitutes sexual assault and harassment. If
it can be done within chapters, that is fine,
but having outside help would be better. The
University's Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center has programs on date and
acquaintence rape and has done workshops in
fraternities and sororities. Jennifer Akfirat,
who works at the center, said the Greek
system has been "receptive" to the programs,
which are largely student-run. Alcohol
awareness programs should also be instituted
and the role of alcohol be de-emphasized.
This is already occurring in some places.
Tau Epsilon Phi has a national policy of dry
rush, which we have followed here. Ann
Arbor residents have complained loudly
about open parties at fraternity houses, and
the size and frequency of open parties will
probably decrease because of it. Many
fraternities which held open parties at the
beginning of the semester checked for
identification at the door.
There are drawbacks to the Greek system,
as I think .many people, Greek and non-
Greek, would admit. But as always, the
minuses are recognized more than the pluses.
Rushing a fraternity or sorority is not for
everyone, but it is something that should be
thought about. Evaluate yourselves and your
expectations of the Greek system. Go
through rush; all you have to lose is some
time. If you decide it isn't for you that is
your choice to make. But don't just rule out
the Greek system. Only you can really


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Duderstadt's plan to improve under -
graduate life has a good premise.
Undergraduate life needs improve -
ment. Unfortunately, the premise is
most of what's good about
Duderstadt's plan.
Most disturbing is the method by
which Duderstadt has gone about
'developing his plan. He selected Paul
Josephson, former MSA president, to
find twelve campus leaders to
comprise the Student Caucus on
Strategic Planning. Josephson, who
as president repeatedly opposed the
administration, jumped at this
opportunity to wield influence on
campus. Undergraduate students had
no voice in determining the members
of the caucus to improve their lives.
The students chosen by Josephson
are prominent leaders of major
organizations and cannot be
considered lackeys of the
administration. However, the
majority of undergraduates are not
represented on the caucus.
If Duderstadt really wanted campus
representatives, MSA would have
been the place to start. Msa
traditionally selects the student
representatives on important campus
bodies such as the University
Council. MSA is the only elected

body representing all students on
Many students justifiably question
the representativeness of MSA, based
on the low turnouts in MSA elections;
this objection is merely an argument
for students to become more involved
in campus goverment, not to take
away MSA's power. It is
understandable that current MSA
president Kurt Muenchow would not
want to be part of a caucus whose
members were not chosen by MSA.
This is not to say that $1 million
dollars isn't needed to improve
undergraduate life. Scholarships and
other forms of aid to disadvantaged
students, minority or otherwise, are
needed. The University has never
achieved its goal of ten percent
minority enrollment. Any student
who is currently looking for off-
campus housing could tell Duderstadt
that it's time the University built a
residence hall. More faculty could be
hired to reduce class size. These ideas
and others of concern to the average
student should be considered by
Duderstadt and the caucus.
If Duderstadt's plan is to divide the
student voice and to gain himself
positive publicity, then he has
succeeded. If his plan is to improve
life on campus, then he's
implementing it the wrong way.

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Pope is misinformed but imaginative

To The Daily:
As the founding president of
a sorority on this campus I am
writing in response to Kristin
Pope's article "Greek
Harrassment" (1/22/87). I am
disappointed and irritated by the
bad publicity imposed upon
Greeks by the insinuations
proposed in this article.
Ms. Pope appears to have a
cross to bear as she blatantly
accuses fraternities nationwide
ofu dt r- anana n. c

pinning her to the floor? Or did
they insert a joint between her
lips and threaten her if she
didn't inhale? I doubt it.
Eighteen to twenty-one year
ojds are legally considered to be
adults. They are expected to be
responsible, able to determine
their own limits and most
importantly they are expected
to be able to speak up and say
I do not deny the fact that
frtrnt. ch vn1:. ,..<,+

greater crime. Anyone who
makes a blanket statement that
the Greek System protects or
condones members who
commit rape is sorely
misinformed. As for abolishing
the Greek system in order to

prevent or stop rape - let it
suffice to day that the idea
lacks a little more than
-Julia Barron
January 23

Help us to offer a more diverse, representative viewpoint.
The Daily is looking for minority and women writers. If
vnu' re interestpd .stnn in Th> flaily unwtairs in ti

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The Daily welcomes letters from its
readers. Bringing in letters on personal

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