Ninety-eight years of editorial freedom
Vol. XCVIII, No. 41
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Thursday, November 5, 1987
Copyright 1987, The Michigan Daily
. .. .
By STEVEN TUCH
The Engineering Council met
with representatives of the Michigan
Student Assembly last night to
discuss a scavenger hunt last winter
that many called racist.
MSA President Ken Weine and
Vice President Wendy Sharp
participated in an open discussion in
which many members of the council
asked for direct discussions o n
racism instead of punishment.
Council members wanted the
three involved engineering societies
to meet with members of the United
Coalition Against Racism and the
Free South Africa Coordinating
Committee, two groups that pressed
for sanctions against the societies
Weine said that if the groups
educated themselves about racism in
such a meeting, they would be more
likely to regain their student
organization status and money. He
said he would contact UCAR and
FSACC to arrange a meeting.
The scavenger- hunt prompted
MSA to refuse the g r o u p s'
recognition for 1987-88 and a cut off
their University funds last month.
During its spring road rally, the
American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME), the Society of
Automotive Engineers (SAE), and
Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical
engineering honor society, included
among the items to be collected
pieces of the shanty, UCAR and
Black Action Movement III posters,
and had the participants sign a
petition calling for the removal of
"Penalizing doesn't seem
appropriate because it would be
penalizing people who weren't even
members when the event took
place," said Brian Stever, president
of Pi Tau Sigma.
"I would be enthusiastic about
learning more about racism,
increasing my sensitivity to it, and
learning how to combat it," he
Members of the engineering
societies do not want to be labeled as
"It was one stupid incident on top
of years of a fantastic reputation,"
said Kent Kimerer, a College of
"Students of the engineering
college want to solve this problem,
said Brian Long, a graduate student.
"There is a general feeling that what
we did was wrong."
"I will be very delighted if these
social organizations can work things
out in a positive way," said
engineering Dean Charles Vest. "My
hope is that we find a way to turn
(this incident) into positive action."
Actors for the student theater group, Musket, perform the '60s play Hair on the Diag yesterday. The love-rock musical will be performed
at the Power Center tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Abortionfunding ban delayed
LANSING (AP) - A ban on
state-funded abortions for poor
women won't begin until next
spring, the Michigan Supreme Court
ruled yesterday, providing pro-choice
activists with what they described as
a "short-term victory."
The 5-1 opinion delays until
about April 1 the start of a ban on
state-funding for abortions, unless a
woman's life is in danger.
The veto-proof ban was put
before the legislature in June after a
Michigan Right to Life petition.
drive netted more than 400,000
signatures. Both chambers approved
the legislation, but didn't take a
separate vote (n putting it into effect
Under the Michigan Constitution,
a second two-thirds vote is required
in both chambers to put a law into
effect immediately. Without that
See STATE, Page 3
By EVE BECKER
University professors are finding that compute
terminals can take over where classroom discussion
Confer, the womputer conferencing system used by
the University, has been around since 1975, bu
widespread computer conferencing only began in the las
two or three years.
Although computing center staff members say
system use has soared, there are no figures about how
many classes actually use Confer.
One professor who actively encourages the use o
conferencing in classes is Prof. Jack Walker, chair o
the political science department. His graduate students
use conferencing to discuss their short papers and
r students in his undergraduate seminar use conferencing
r to discuss readings for the week.
"Every student gets to see what the other students are
Y saying," Walker said. "It provides communication
t between the professor and the student individually."
t Conferencing, he said, has a democratizing effect. "A
sophomore standing in front of a professor may be a
y little too reverent. When it's just the sophomore and me
v (on Confer) they tend to be a little more outspoken,
which is to be encouraged," Walker said.
f Walker is pushing Confer's use in the department as
f well, and is setting up a political science conference
s where faculty and students can discuss adding courses or
changing requirements for undergraduate or graduate
Confer works off the Michigan Terminal System
(MTS), and allows people to interact through
conferences, messages, notes, and files. For instance, in
large classes Confer is used almost as another
discussion section, a way to stay in touch with students
when personal contact with everyone isn't possible.
Often a teacher will use Confer as a chance to reach
students who do not like speaking in class. Because
students can take time to compose and edit an answer,
they may be more. at ease with expressing their
Computer conferencing is used extensively in some
English composition classes and creative writing
classes. More than 30 sections of English 125,
Introductory Composition, use Confer. Students
conduct "peer editing" - signing on at least once a
week to comment on a classmate's essay.
But the Confer system can be used in less
conventional ways. In some political science classes,
students become key actors in a political conflict.
Students use the system to debate policies, send
messages, and propose treaties or bills.
LSA senior Ed McGlinn took on the role of an
Egyptian private envoy for his Political Science 472,
International Security Affairs, class. He often spent 10
See COMPUTER, Page 2
By LISA MAGNINO
Last night at Hill Auditorium
John Irving entertained the audience
with a reading from his upcoming
novel, A Prayer for Owen Meane.
Irving told the audience, "I just
finished the first draft and can only
think about the last chapter... which
created a problem for me. I only
want to read from about page 711
He gave a synopsis of the novel
up to that point and said, "I'm not
yet sure how I feel about the novel,
but I am terribly proud of the
Irving then gave the story's fo-
cus: "This is a miracle novel - it's
about religious miracles people be-
lieve in, the people who believe in
them, and the people that don't be-
lieve in them."
Owen, the main character, is a
RePasteurYLVO C LAUDE
Deputization bill to
die, says ii
By DAVID WEBSTER
After meeting with state legisla-
tors yesterday, members of the
Michigan Student Assembly are
predicting the demise of a bill that
would allow the University to depu-
tize its public safety officers.
Three members of the House of
Representatives' Colleges and Uni-
versities Committee told a contin-
gent from MSA in Lansing that they
are committed to defeating the bill,
said Michael Phillips, chair of
MSA's Student Rights Committee.
"We have confirmed three
(representatives) as being against the
bill," Phillips said.
The three representatives opposed
to the bill are H. Lynn Johndahl (D-
East Lansing), Judith Miller (R-
Birmingham), and Joseph Young (D-
Detroit), Phillips said. He expects
all five of the Democrats on the
eight person committee to eventu-
ally come out against the bill.
However, at least one Democrat
is still undecided. Burton Leland (D-
Detroit), chair of the Colleges and
Universities Committee, said he is
See BILL, Page 5
... predicts demise of bill
By ELIZABETH ATKINS But Goodman told the standing-
Superwoman is a myth, Pulitzer room only Rackham Auditorium
Prize winning columnist Ellen crowd that women become the
Goodman said last night. Most "Superdrudge" when guilt overcomes
women cannot live up to the modern them because they cannot live up to
stereotype of the working woman the "Superwoman" myth.
- .-A -- A - -..----- a - Aa ------ Q P a o l n., riar..l 1,fnarflhae ht n
The proposed campus police
deputization demonstrates secur-
ity's conflicting priorities without
any evidence of decreasing crime.
OPINION, Page 4
The Brecht Company's first play
of the season, Embracing the
Butcher, opens this weekend.
ARTS, Page 7