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January 11, 1988 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-11

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The Michigan Daily-Monday, January 11, 1988- Page 9
Text of 'Discriminatory Acts on the Part of Students'

..

(Continued frioPage 1)
Ths second reason why I do not
propose to consolidate the Regental
Bylaw and the Presidential Policy
Statement is that this is unnecessary
for the purposes of this paper.
w Every system for the enforcement
of rules must have three components:
(1) a channel through which com-
plaints can be filed; (2) a system for
ajudicating the merits of such com-
plaints; and (3) a system of sanc-
tions. At The University of Michigan
ve have in place all of these elements
as they apply to the faculty and staff
(a brief description of these proce-
dures is attached as an informational
appendix), as well as the unionized
employees through their collective
bargaining contracts. We do not have
-a recognized system for dealing with
student transgressions, except for
academic ones such as plagiarism.
There has been a long and largely
fruitless debate over a so-called "code"
for student, nonacademic misconduct.
In the course of that debate some
,groups have taken the position that
the University cannot exert internal
discipline over events which are not
"academic" in nature. That view is, I
believe, patently in error. Those who
believe it is not have recourse to the
courts to challenge actions which
they believe contravene the law.
Section 2.01 of the Regental By-
laws describes the duties of the Presi-
dent as follows:
"In addition to the duties and func-
tions otherwise provided for in these
Bylaws, the President of the Univer-
sity shall exercise such general pow-
ers not inconsistent with the applica-
,ble laws of the State of Michigan and
these Bylaws as are inherent in a
chief executive; including, without
t limitation, general oversight of the
teaching and research programs; the
libraries, museums, and other
supporting services; the general wel-
fare of the faculty and supporting
staffs; the business and financial wel-
fare of the University; and the main-
tenance of health, diligence, and order
among the students." (Emphasis
added).
Under the powers of the President,
as set forth in the above Bylaw, I
propose to establish a system for
handling complaints of .discriminatory
behavior on the part of students.
Some may argue that for the President
to take this step conflicts with he
provision of Section 7.02 of the Re-
gental Bylaws with respect to the
g work of the University Council. how-
ever, it is clear to me that Section
7.02 never was intended and, in fact,
does not abrogate the power of the
President to deal with student prob-
lems in individual cases.
Before outlining the system I pro-
pose, a few words ought to be said
about the problems inherent in em-
barking upon any anti-discrimination
disciplinary system.
Discriminatory behavior has been
a part of the human experience since
the beginning of time. It is not
unique to our nation, though we
sometimes seem to suppose that it is.
This does not justify such conduct,

but it does underscore the magnitude
of our task. Within the University,
students, faculty, staff, and the
administration have all stated their
opposition to discriminatory conduct.
Certainly it is antithetical to the cli-
mate which a university seeks to of-
fer. Yet we will not succeed in our
mission of eradicating discrimination
unless all of us are prepared to coop-
erate in making it clear to our peers
that such conduct is unacceptable.
Enforcement of our rules, espe-
cially in connection with the written
or spoken word, is complicated by our
constitutional rights of free speech.
And, in processing any grievance, we
must provide a fair procedure so that
the machinery will not founder be-
cause it did not provide procedural due

mission of the University that there
be a caring, respectful and understand-
ing social climate in the classrooms,
in residence halls and libraries and
everywhere on the entire campus. Ha-
rassment of anyone through word or
deed, or any other behavior which
discriminates on the basis of inap-
propriate criteria as stated in Section
14.06 of the Regental Bylaws, and as
further described in the Presidential
Policy Statement of March 21, 1984,
violates standards of conduct expected
of students at The University of
Michigan.

Enforcement

of

rules, especially in con-
nection with the written
or spoken word, is com-
plicated by our constitu-
tional rights of free
speech.

process. But just as an individual can-
not shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater
and then claim immunity from prose-
cution for causing a riot on the basis
of exercising his rights of free
speech, so a great many American
universities have taken the position
that students at a university cannot by
speaking or writing discriminatory
remarks which seriously offend many
individuals beyond the immediate vic-
tim and which, therefore, detract from
the necessary educational climate of a
campus, claim immunity from a cam-
pus disciplinary proceeding. I believe
that position to be valid.
We must recognize that in cases of
the kind we propose to make subject
to a disciplinary procedure, proof will
often be hard to obtain. If in the ex-
ercise of our best efforts we cannot
obtain satisfactory proof with respect
to any given culprit, we will not be
able to enforce our discipline. That is
why it is important that all of us co-
operate in ridding ourselves of this
blight upon the campus.
Finally, we are a university and our
primary mission is one of education.
While we must be prepared to suspend
or expel students for egregious con-
duct in the area of discrimination,
there must also be room for an appro-
priate apology, particularly when the
offense is the use of the written or
spoken word. If our penaltiesare per-
ceived as unfair they will do more
harm than good. And, in the last
analysis, we are trying to persuade
ourselves to be more tolerant, more
sensitive and to treat one another
with respect. We are unlikely to do
this simply through the imposition of
penalties.
My proposal for a way in which to
process student discrimination is as
follows:
1. THE OFFENSE
It is essential to the educational

2. THE COMPLAINT
A complaint against a student reg-
istered at The University of Michigan
which alleges violation of the stan-
dards of conduct described above shall
be filed in the place prescribed by the
school or college in which the student
is registered or pursuing a degree.
3. THE HEARING FORUM
Student discipline will be handled
in the schools and colleges. The
President will delegate his powers un-
der Sections 2.01 and 14.06 of the
Bylaws to the Deans of the various
schools and colleges, subject only to
an appeal to the President. The al-
leged infraction of the rules of con-
duct will be processed in the school
or college in which the student who is
charged with misconduct is registered
or pursuing a degree. The hearing will
be conducted according to the proce-
dures of the college, although some
general principles will be observed by
all the schools and colleges. Neces-
sary components of procedural due
process will be followed. Efforts will
be made to assure that any hearing
panels established contain representa-
tives of the race, gender, and status of
both the victim and the accused. Pan-
els might be constituted solely of
students or some combination of fac-
ulty, students and administrators.
4. DISCIPLINARY ACTION
A.A first offense which involves
harassment through words either spo-
ken or written, but which does not

involve physical contact or property
damage will result in a summons to
the Office of the Dean, If, after an in-
formal investigation and opportunity
to be heard, the Dean or his/her
representative concludes that the stu-
dent has committed an offense, he/she
shall be required to apologize to those
against whom the offense has been
committed, and a record of the inci-
dent shall be kept in the Dean's of-
fice, though it will not be shown on
the transcript of the student. In the
event of a refusal to apologize, the
student shall be placed on probation
for the balance of the term.
B. A first offense which involves
harassment through physical contact,
property damage or attempted bodily
harm, or a second or subsequent of-
fense for an individual who has used
spoken or written words to harass,
shall be submitted to a panel. If, after
a "due process" hearing, the panel
finds by a majority vote that the in-
dividual who is charged with the of-1
fense has committed the act, that in-
dividual shall be suspended from thel
University for one semester.
C. In the case of a physical assault
which does bodily harm, the person
charged with the offense, if proven
guilty before the panel, shall be sus-
pended for one year. Re-entry to the
University shall be allowed only on
petition and a hearing held by the
Dean or his/her representative.
D. The decision of the panel shall
be appealable to the President but
only on one of two grounds: (1) that
the evidence does not support the de-
cision; or (2) that the individual has
not had a fair hearing.
It is obvious that this proposed
procedure relies heavily on the will-
ingness of the University community
to stand behind its declaration of dis-
approval of discriminatory acts. En-
forcement of the rules will require the
cooperation of faculty, staff, students
and administrators. To the extent that
we are unwilling to accept responsi-
bility in this connection, the proce-
dure will be defective.
Even in the best of all possible

worlds, the disciplinary procedure will
have to be augmented by other steps.
Many of our constituents believe that
we need courses, seminars, orientation
sessions and other devices for better
educating all of us about the nature of
discrimination. In a University where
courses and seminars are taught within
the various schools and colleges, im-.
plementation of these ideas requires us
to work through them. Many schools
and colleges are already engaged in
experimental programs. I would pro-
pose to recommend formally to all
schools and colleges that they under-
take such efforts as soon as possible,
and that a way be found to involve all
of the students during the course of
the program. From this experience we
It is clear to me that
Section 7.02 was in-
tended and, in fact, does
not abrogate the power
of the president to deal
with student problems in-
dividual cases.
can learn how best to approach the
problem and then move to the things
which appear to be most effective.
The following is a draft of an ap-
pendix to the above proposal dated
Dec. 24, 1987 that outlines how Uni-
versity faculty and staff would be af-
fected by this policy:
University of Michigan Dis-
crimination Cases
Appendix
Procedures for Enforcement of Rules
which Apply to Faculty & Staff
A. Complaint Channels and
Adjudication
1. The university grievance proce-

dure entitles staff members to initiate
a grievance regarding problems aris-
ing from working relationships or
conditions, including discrimination
or harassment. The procedure con-
cludes with an appeal to the Univer-
sity Review Committee (URC) which
includes the administrative head of the
staff member's operating unit and,
when discrimination is alleged, a rep-
resentative of the Affirmative Action
Office. The URC provides a written
answer to the staff member
(Reference: Standard Practice Guide
201.8)
2. Each School, College or other
unit which employs instructional staff
members has a complaint appeal pro-
cedure. Complaints concerning any
aspect of employment including dis-
crimination or harassment mayi be
discussed with those who made the
decision and appealed in writing to a
review board, an appeal board, the
dean and the Vice President for Aca-
demic Affairs. Such complaints must
be responded to with a written deci-
sion. (Reference: Faculty Grievance
Procedure, memo from the The
Provost to the Deans & Directors
dated June 21, 1983)
3. If the final decision from these
procedures is unsatisfactory to the
staff member, the complaint may be
taken to court or to other appropriate
government agencies.

B. Sanctions
1. Staff members are expected to
maintain a standard of conduct whieh
does not interfere with or adversely
affect the orderly and efficient opera-
tion of the university. When this
standard is not observed; for example
by engaging in discriminatory con-
duct, the supervisor takes corrective
action which may include dischame.
(Reference: Standard Practice Guide
201.12)
2. Members of the teaching staff
may be demoted or dismissed for eiks-
conduct. (Reference: Regents $ylaws
5:09, 14:06.)

t
t
i

"You're what?!"

Haitian leaders claim

junta fixed
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)
Opposition leaders yesterday
accused the junta-appointed Electoral
.council of disqualifying eight
'Duvalierist presidential candidates to
make next Sunday's election appear
legitimate.
They said the junta led by Lt.
Gen. Henri Namphy was
maneuvering to clear the way for a
candidate of its choice. The eight
candidates had been associates of the
deposed Duvalier family dictatorship.
The government rescheduled the
election for president and National
Assembly after independently run
balloting Nov. 29 was aborted by a
terror campaign in Port-au-Prince.
Bands of thugs, in some cases aided
by soldiers, killed at least 34 people
at polling places.
"This is part of the (junta's)
maneuvers, they're trying to
legitimize the Jan. 17 elections,"
said Joachim Pierre, general secretary
of Sylvia Claude's Christian
Democratic Party.
Claude and the other three leading
presidential candidates are boycotting
next Sunday's election a n d
demanding the government's
resignation. They have widespread
1 I
I I

election
support.
"If they (junta members) are
going to step down on Feb. 7 like
they promised, it is obvious that
they will first choose their
replacement," Pierre said.
The Electoral Council, which re-
placed an independent body the junta
dissolved, announced late Saturday
that it had disqualified 11 presidential
candidates, including the eight
Duvalierists.
The same 11 had been disqualified
by the dissolved independent
Electoral Council.
Under Haiti's new constitution,
Duvalier associates may not run for
public office for 10 years. President
Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier,
whose father Francois came to power
in 1957, fled into French exile in
February 1986.
a,_-Welcomes
The Eleventh
Ann Arbor
Folk Festival
Saturday, January 30, 6 pm
Hill Auditorium
Holly Near & Ronnie Gilbert
Tomn Paxton
David Bromberg
Jonathan Edwards
Christine Lavin

. . .

i

MOLLY RINGWALD
RANDALL BATINKOFF

"F'

Fer iee
ItA about sticking around, no matter what.

,.,I

TRI-STAR PICTURES PRESENTS A JERRY BELSON PRODUCTION
A JOHN G. AVILDSEN FILM MOLLY RINGWALD
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