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October 19, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-19

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, October 19, 1987

The Michigan Daily

I

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS
Stop sexism in

1

Vol. XCVIII, No. 28

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Ac

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

To the Daily:
The Lawyer's Committee of
the Washtenaw County Branch
of the American Civil Liberties
Union has asked me to contact
Harold Shapiro about gender-
based discrimination against
the women cheerleaders of the
University of Michigan.
The University rule appears to
be that male cheerleaders may
travel to away football games
but women cheerleaders are de-
nied this opportunity because
of their gender. The article in

the Ann Arbor News o f
September 30, 1987 seems to
reflect an attempted justifica-
tion of this sex-based exclusion
on the basis of "tradition."
For decades tradition justified
depriving women of the vote,
the right to control property,
the opportunity to serve on ju-
ries, and the custody of their
children. More recently it was
used to justify their exclusion
from a University medical
honorary society (The Galens),
the prohibition against their

Gun store
HE ANN ARBOR City Council is
considering an ordinance to restrict
gun stores. When the issue comes
to a second reading tonight, the
council should approve zoning re-
strictions removing firearm stores
from residential neighborhood.
The change proposed by coun-
cilmember Dave DeVarti would
lihit gun stores to commercial areas
zoned C3. Malls and shopping
centers on the outskirts of the city
a generally the only sections
mpch fall under this classification.
eVarti's ordinance also pro-
h its:gun displays visible from the
seet and requires gun store owners
to install adequate security systems
to prevent theft. Before approving a
new gun store, the planning com-
mission would be required to hold a
public hearing.
The controversy which provoked
this legislation began last summer.
The Ann Arbor Rod and Gun
Company opened a store on Pack-
ard St. in a residential section of
Ann Arbor. Neighbors Against Gun
Store (NAGS) was formed to
protest the store.
The residents' opposition to the
availability of firearms in their
neighborhood is legitimate. Less
than a year before, a student at the
local junior high was shot during
the school day. The neighbors are
concerned about the effect on their
children of constant exposure to a
gun store.
They were also opposed to the
notion that the store could open
with no community input. The
public hearing requirement in De-
Varti's ordinance would correct that
deficiency.
Opponents of the ordinance call it
a first step to gun control and argue.

ordinance

ente
Mict
clus
ban
had
of th
Un
stitul
disc
whe
shoA
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cheerleading
ring the front door of the any kind from denying an indi-
higan Union, and their ex- vidual because of his or her sex
ion from the University "the full and equal enjoyment
d. Happily, these customs of the....privileges, advantages,
disappeared before the end or accommodations" it affords
he 70's. M.S.A. 3.548(302)(a).
der the United States Con- It seems clear to us that so
ition, public bodies may long as women are excluded
riminate by gender only from its travelling cheerleading
re such a practice can be squad, the University is violat-
wn to have a significant re- ing both federal and state law.
unship to an important We ask that this practice be
ernmental objective. What immediately abandoned and that
ortant objective is served female cheerleaders be afforded
the exclusion of women the same opportunities to par-
i the travelling cheerleading ticipate in the travelling cheer-
d? leading squad as male cheer-
e state law is even stronger. leaders have. The selection of
rohibits discrimination that squad should no longer be
ainst an individual in the basedon a sexist tradition.
utilization of or benefit -Jean Ledwith King
n...the... activities...s Chair
vided by [a university] Washtenaw County
ause of sex" M.S.A. Branch
8(402)(a). It also prohibits American Civil Liber-
ducational institution'of ties Union of Michigan
Band should march too

t I

that it would have no positive effect
on public safety.
While the ordinance is clearly not
gun control because it states where
one can buy a gun but not who can
own a gun, it would put an
upper boundary on the number of
gun stores. There are not many C3
areas in Ann Arbor and most are
unlikely to attract gun stores.
By making gun buyers go out of
their way, it should reduce impulse
purchases.
An alternative to DeVarti's pro-
posal, by councilmember Jerry
Schleicher (R-Fourth Ward), would
eliminate the public hearing and
only require that gun stores locate
500 feet from areas zoned residen-
tial.
Schleicher's ordinance is much
less restrictive than DeVarti's and
would allow gun stores on campus
because dorms are zoned as public
land, not as residential neighbo-
hoods. Under Schleicher's pro-
posal, a gun store could open on the
corner formerly occupied by
Kresge's.
By eliminating the public hear-
ing, Schleicher would deny resi-
dents a chance to inform the plan-
ning commission of local sentiment
which should be important in the
commission's considerations.
Zoning in the past has been
abused. In this case, however, a le-
gitimate public health issue is at
stake. Though handgun control
should remain a long term goal,
DeVarti's ordinance would make
Ann Arbor a more pleasant place to
live and possibly a safer one.

Military censors press

To the Daily:
The Daily correctly criticizes
media in the United States for
their incomplete and biased
coverage of the Gulf War be-
tween Iran and numerous
Middle Eastern nations and the
United States. (Daily,
10/12/87) Yet the Daily could
also have mentioned that the
United States government cen-
sors many reports originating
from the Persian Gulf region.
Currently, the Department of
Defense and the United States
Navy in particular routinely
edit and suppress news stories

about the Gulf War. One of
the things censored is which
nations are fighting with Iraq
and the United States against
Iran.
Unfortunately, neither the
Daily or other US media label
censored news reports as such.
As a result, most citizens in
this country have no reason to
suspect that what they read in
the paper or see on the
evening news are subject to
pre-publication review.
-Eric Schnaufer
October 12

4

Pantree regrets bigotry

To the Daily:
We, the management of the
Pantree Cafe, would like to
make the following statement
regarding the incident that took
place in our restaurant on
August 25, 1987.
We regret that nothing more
could be done to prevent or
diffuse the situation.
We realize that incidents like
these have an effect on the
entire Lesbian/Gay community
and that many of its members
are concerned about their safety
and for the safety of all
members of the Ann Arbor
community.
We do not condone or
support violent, abusive. or
bigoted behavior on or around
our premises or elsewhere.
We do not now, nor have we
ever had, a company policy
that discriminates against
persons on the basis of race,

color, gender, religion, national
origin, sexual preference,
educational association or
marital status. We do not now,
nor have we ever, practiced
such a discriminatory policy.
This policy is included in our
employee manual and i s
reiterated during the training
period for new employees.
We have taken what we feel
to be the necessary steps to
'insure that this incident is not
repeated. These steps include
but are not necessarily limited
to: 1)increased communication
with the Ann Arbor Police
Department; 2)the presence of
security guards in the restaurant
during late night peak-volume
hours; 3)state certification of
management on techniques of
alcohol management.
-Brooks Stair
October 9

To the Daily:
This year I returned to Ann
Arbor for the Wisconsin game.
The first half of cheering was
unmitigated delight. At half-
time, as our band grouped
along the sidelines, the past
days of fame and glory of the
Michigan Marching Band
stirred in my memory. My
mind's eye conjured up visions
of theose magnificent musical
magicians, who, when the
announcer signaled the charge,
"Michigan Band, Take The
Field!!", did just that. In
quickstep, it stormed the green
from the sideline, playing all
the while it executed precision
formations and amazed the fans
with clever and complex
dances. During those dis-
appointing football years be-
tween Chrisler and Schem-
bechler often it was the band
that was our major pride in
autumn Saturdays, and it never
let us down. Some other
college bands tried the quick
cadence, but they rarely
attempted to play while they
marched at fast pace. Our
band's dance routines revolu-
tionized marching band perfor-
mance across the nation, with
the Michigan Band being
recognized as "the leader, and
best."
Undertsand my shock, then
when my reverie was inter-
rupted as the Michigan
"strollers" came silently into
motionless formation on the
field. They. played " T h e

Victors" in accompaniment of
a phalanx that, also in silence,
snaked onto the field in a fast
"shuffle." Worse horror of
horrors, in what apparently was
the well-dressed band's big
moment, it put down its
instruments so it could wave
flags in a routine more befit-
ting a high school pompom
brigade. During this interlude,
at least the percussion section
played in style and expertise
reminiscent of the old days.
The show ended with the band
doing a rather pretty ballad, but
at funeral dirge crawl.
The quality of the band's
music apparently has not
deteriorated, at least in the
judgment of my fond but
inexpert ear, and it still brings
a tear when I hear the band play
during the game and afterward.
But playing and marching
ought not to be mutually
exclusive, especially for our:
marching band. Iknowthatto
play while in knees-to-chest
quickmarch is extremely
difficult, and risky to lips and
teeth; perhaps such perfor-
mance (alas) is best left to
times past. Rut I fervently
hope that to play while
marching (and, yea, perhaps k
even in dance step) is not a
skill entirely lost to the
Michigan Marching Band.
Let's see it happen once again
when the announcer cries,
"Michigan Band, TAKE the
field!"

Question authority

Condemn the code

TWO WEEKS AGO, the Michigan
Student Assembly failed to pass a
resolution proposed by LSA
representative Mike Phillips calling
on University President Harold
Shapiro to publicly reiterate his
position on a code of non-academic
conduct. MSA should pass a new
resolution against the code at its
upcoming meeting.
The code would set up a
procedure for the administration to
regulate activities of students
outside the classroom, providing
academic sanctions for violators.
The University administration has
used recent campus outcries about
racial attacks, homophobia and
crimes against women, as
justifications for implementing a
"code of nonacademic conduct."
These are crucial issues affecting
the campus, but a code is not the
answer.
It would be especially ironic for
the administration to implement a
code dealing with acts of racism,
sexism, classism and homophobia
before creating a mandatory class to
educate the student body about
these problems. Universities are

eliminate administrative
responsibility while still exercising
control over the students.
MSA must not allow Shapiro to
force students into a compromise
and stand firm against the
administration on the issue of the
code. Even beyond that, MSA
needs to publicly announce that it
will never accept any code of non-
academic conduct from the
University, and urge Shapiro to
have enough guts to use the power
he already has to punish students.
By not addressing the code
directly and rather slipping it in
whenever issues like rape in
fraternities raise tensions on
campus, Shapiro may never have to
directly address the problem. Using
such a tactic is crafty but unfair.
Shapiro should keep his mouth
closed about the code entirely
unless he is going to address all the
problems of a code, like how it will
be used to deal with student
activism. Shapiro wanted to
implement a code to deal with some
of the racist incidents on campus
last year, but failed to mention that

To the Daily:
Not long ago, the opinion
page displayed editorials and
letters on the merit and ethics
of funding PIRGIM. Much
time and energy went into that
debate. When the dust finally
settled, MSA had voted to
grant operating funds for
PIRGIM's on-campus pro-
gram. So now the ball is in
PIRGIM's court, right?
Several years ago, Ralph
Nader came up with the idea of
a public interest research group
established, directed a n d
supported by students. It's a
design to provide students
(individuals who generally have
free and a critical minds) with
an avenue to address university
and community issues, in an
in-depth, hands-on manner. A
design to inject fresh irreverent
minds into society's arena.
To accomplish this end, a
PIRG needsa professional staff
to provide cohesion and
continuity. However, without
students as the driving force, a
PIRG becomes merely a con-
duit for white collar salaries.
So, perhaps the ball's in our
court to make them earn it.
PIRGIM is finally holding a
mass meeting tonight at 8:00
P.M. in the Wedge Room of
West Quad. I don't know what
their agenda includes, but I

3) The Daily says the
University is dropping possible
carcinogens on North Campus
for the sake of green lawns --
what else are they unleashing
on us?
4) How safe is our drinking
water -- what's happening at
known and suspected ground-
water contamination sites in
and around Ann Arbor? What
are the University, state and
local authorities doing about
them?
I couldn't begin to take
these on by myself.
Hopefully, some of you have
enough energy left after
questioning each other to join
me tonight to begin
questioning authority.
-Susan Grossberg
October 14

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-George

B. Trubow
October 7

The Daily welcomes letters from its*
readers. Bringing in letters on personal
computer disk is the fastest way to publish
a letter in the Daily. Readers who can not
bring their letters in on disk should include
their phone numbers for verification.Call
747-2814 for details.

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