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March 19, 1988 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-19
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OPINION
Page 2 Saturday, March 19, 1988 The Michigan Daily

Code

will go into

The Michigan Daily - Satu
effect li
Excerpts froi
approved coi

f.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVIII, No. 113A

420 Maynard St.

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.

Strategic Defeat

ONLY TWO WEEKS after the pre-
sentation of his initial proposal, In-
terim University President Robben
Fleming forced a conduct code -
in the guise of a discriminatory acts
policy - down students' throats at
the Regents meeting held the
morning of March 18.
With no student unity around an
alternative solution to discrimina-
tory acts, Fleming succeeded in di-
viding the students between the ex-
plicit need to deal with discrimina-
tion and the struggle against ad-
ministrative power. It was impossi-
ble for a student power coalition to
succeed when some student groups
chose to ally with the administration
in supporting the Fleming code.
This is a strategic defeat. Because
it was not in the interest of some
student groups to join the progres-
sive alliance against the administra-
tion, student-worker opposition to.
the increase in administrative power
was broken, not on the basis of
worker-student apathy, but over le-
gitimate differences.
Fleming claims his code will deal
with discrimination including acts
of speech, but he ignores the most
powerful actors. Regent Deane
Baker has openly attacked the gay,
lesbian and Black communities and
Fleming attempted to stop an aca-
demic conference considering gay
and lesbian rights in 1970. L S A
Dean Peter Steiner has openly at-
tacked Black students in his state-
ments representing the college.
Fleming's code does not apply to
anti-gay/lesbian, sexist and racist
administrators and managers, im-
plying that students are responsible
for all the harassment on campus.
Rather than address the demands
of UCAR, LaGROC, AFSCME
and others demands, to restructure
and change the policies of the Uni-
versity administration, Fleming and
the majority of the regents diverted
attention toward student attitudes.
Fleming's code is racist, sexist
and anti-lesbian/gay repression. If
the administration were serious

about fighting discrimination it
would publicly investigate the racist
attacks against students, the habitual
attacks against workers, and the
threats to the gay community. The
Regents would also amend their
definition of discrimination to in-
clude sexual orientation. Both the
institution responsible for the im-
plementation of the policy and the
people who will administer it, have
proven their inability to be respon-
sive to the needs of diversity and
equality.
Fleming scorned student "input
and opposition. In voting for his
code, the Regents violated their
own bylaw (7.02) which guarantees
students' right to approve or reject a
code.
Fleming's code defines racism,
sexism and homophobia so poorly
that it applies to Black, female and
gay/lesbian demonstrators who
struggle for their-just demands. In
no way will a definition which in-
cludes reverse racism protect the
oppressed communities on campus.
Under Fleming's code, all hear-
ings are secret and controlled by
administrators. This completely de-
feats any the benefits of drawing the
problems into the public eye for
solutions to be discussed.
Fleming's code does not "protect"
anyone. It grants total power to the
administration to suppress any view
which it terms discriminatory ha-
rassment.
Before the prospective student
ever sits on a hearing panel the stu-
dent is forced to go through almost
17 steps many through administra-
tors in order to participate. The ad-
ministrator will determine how
sever the crime is, what the range of
penalties can be, whether or not a
student can receive council, and
what areas of the campus are
"public forums" in the domain of
free speech.
The code is repression, not pro-
tection..

Regents voting summary
Regent Baker: Voted against policy. Criticized the risk to free speech in the docu-
ment, while also advocating a code for protest behavior. Said the policy was not com-
prehensive enough, specifically that all forms of harassment were not addressed.
Regent Smith: Voted against policy. Harshly criticized the vagueness of document.
Suggested the administration was rushing proposal through without any student input.
Also criticized at some length the lack of due process or justice in document. Proposed to
postpone vote on document until next month. Referred to policy as censorship, and
worried that students' opinions will be stifled. Criticized lack of trust in students by the
administration.
Regent Roach: Voted for policy. Presented amendment to limit punishable acts to
those with a "reasonably foreseeable" effect on a complainant. Implied Regents should be
included in a policy. Said protest behavior needs to be codified. Condemned MSA and the
Daily for stalling, by opposing any restrictive policy that threatens free speech.
Regent Nielsen: Severely criticized the document as being too limited to the types of
behavior it forbade, calling for a complete non-academic behavior policy. Also criticized
vagueness of document. Proposed that the policy be in effect only until the last day of
1989, to be reevaluated at that time..
Regent Waters: Voted for policy. Said absolutely nothing the entire meeting.
Regent Power: Voted for policy. Wants more codification and harsher penalties.
Regent Brown: Voted for policy. Suggested giving MSA and other groups more time
to respond to document.
President Fleming: Introduced policy and urged the Regents to adopt it. Offered a 30
day "Sunset period," in which the policy could recieve input from the University
community, despite the fact that it was approved.
Zinn
STT
~S r

Doily Photo by ROBIN LZNA
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor), second from left, discusses Interim University President
Robben Fleming's code 'at the regents' meeting yesterday. The policy passed by a vote of 5-
2 with Baker and Regent Veronica Smith (R-Grosse Ile) dissenting. Pictured, from left, are
Regents Thomas Roach (D-Detroit), Baker, Paul Brown (D-Petoskey), .and Fleming.

R egents
Continued from Page .1
Most of the regents, however,
said the policy would deal with
obvious cases of harassment without
restricting free speech. "We're
plainly talking about harassment
here," said Regent Philip Power (D-
Ann Arbor). "Certain kinds o f
behavior are unacceptable."
The policy will set up a hearing
panel, consisting of four students
and a faculty member, to review.
cases and administer sanctions.
Punishments would range from
expulsion or suspension to a
mandatory class. A student would be
able to appeal the case to another
panel of one student and one faculty
member.
Fleming proposed a first draft of
the policy last January and released a

revised version two weeks ago.
MSA and other student groups
have said there has been insufficient
time to submit an alternative
proposal to the revised policy
because Fleming only allowed two
weeks to respond.
Following up on MSA's
concerns, Smith yesterday proposed
to table the vote until next month.
None of the regents, however,
seconded her motion.
Instead, the regents agreed to
consider any suggested revisions at
their meeting next month. But
Smith said, "Once this document is
approved, you know and I know that
it will stay in that form, with maybe
a word changed."
MSA, among others, has argued
that the policy should go before the
University Council, a nine-member
committee of students, faculty
members, and administrators charged
by regental bylaw 7.02 to discuss

changes in student behavior rules.
Fleming and other administrators,
however, have criticized the
University Council because dissent
among its members has slowed its
progress.
The board also decided that an ad
hoc committee be formed to review
the policy's effectiveness and report
to the regents late next year. The
policy would expire on Dec. 31,,
.1989, unless the regents vote to
continue it.
Throughout the five-year code
debate,'administrators have argued
that student behavior rules are needed
to protect the community's safety.
But many students, led by MSA,
have insisted that academic sanctions
are inappropriate methods of
controlling student behavior..
- Daily News Staffers Andrew
Mills and David Schwartz
contributed to this report.

Editors Note: Presented below are the the
structural mechanisms of the document for
passed by the University's Board of whI
Regents as presented by Interim Pres- col
ident Robben Fleming. Due to spac- the
ing limitations the preamble, specific pro
sanctions, the Living at Michigan
Credo, and the formal mechanisms for Re
adjudication are excluded.
str
PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION AND of
DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT wi
A. Behavior in public for- tio
ums res
Places such as the Diag, Regents' ces
Plaza and the Michigan Daily are ded- pl
icated public forums which lend them- ab
selves to facilitating the free ex- ma
change of ideas... The broadest range
of speech and expression will be tol- Di
erated in these areas. Nevertheless,
physical violence and destruction of con
property which results from discrimi- pl
nation or discriminatory harassment aga
is misconduct and subject to disci- id
pline. Areas which constitute dedi- so
cated public forums under this policy con
will be determined on a case-by-case tra
basis by the Office of General Coun- be
sel. Pre
B. Behavior in educational "A
and academic centers rec
Educational and academic centers, fo
such as classroom buildings, libraries, nor
research laboratories, recreational and De
study centers, etc., are the locus of pr
the University's educational mission. tic
Accordingly, the University has a ten
more compelling interest in assuring a
an environment in which learning mi
may thrive... The following types of de
behavior are misconduct and subject ma
to discipline if they occur in educa-
tional or academic centers:
1. Any behavior, verbal or phys- Pan
ical, that stigmatizes or victimizes an
individual in the basis of race, eth- fou
nicity, religion, sex, sexual orien- me
tation, creed, national origin, ances- Ad
try, age, marital status, handicap or plai
Vietnam-era veteran status.... a 1
2. Sexual advances, requests for igi
sexual favors, and verbal or physical Th
conduct that stigmatizes or victimizes sch
an individual on the basis .of 'sex or Phi
sexual orientation where such behav-
ior.... the.
IDENTIFYING DISCRIMINATORY tha
BEHAVIOR
Not every act that might be offen-
sive to an individual or a group nec- an
essarily will be considered a violation ex
of this policy. Whether a specific act pro
violates the policy will be determined sh
on a case-by-case basis with proper min
regard for all of the circumstances. ser
Due consideration must be given to cu
the protection of individual rights, pa
freedom of speech, academic freedom te
and advocacy. The Office of the Gen wi
eral Counsel will rule on any claim an
that conduct which is the subject of a the
formal hearing is constitutionally wi
protected by the first amendment. sw
RESPONDING TO DISCRIMINATORY sid
BEHAVIOR AMONG STUDENTS all,
Informational . posters and ac
brochures will be developed indicating
the counseling resources available and

Disconcerting meeting

COMMENTS AND ACTIONS during
two days of public meetings of the Uni-
versity Board of Regents disturbingly
displayed unfortunate but obvious in-
tentions on the part of the administration
in regard to President Robben
Fleming's discriminatory harassment
policy. The policy is a broadening of
administrative control, and in truth does
not address the problem of harassment.
B road control over student behavior
is the object of the policy; as was evi-
dent in the regent's meetings. The focus
wa.s not on the harassment policy as a
distinct entity, but only as a first step to
a larger, broader control over student
behavior. Two regents in particular,
Neal Nielsen and Thomas Roach, ex-
pressed a strong desire to expand the
harassment policy to areas such as
protest and were opposed only by Re-
gents Veronica Smith and Deane Baker.
In addition, a number of regents, in-
cluding Nielsen, Baker, Roach, and
Paul Brown, explicitly referred to the
policy as a code of non-academic con-
duct and continued to bring up old code
discussions which are supposedly ir-
relevant to a policy on discrimination.
Smith was ignored by all the male
regents,.except Baker who interrupted

her. This sexist behavior demonstrates
the regents inability to create a policy to
deal with sexist antagonism. Further
proof lies in the fact that Smith's motion
merely to discuss the possibility of an
alternative product from students, was
not even given a seconding motion. The
opinion of the only woman present on
the board should have been valued not
disregarded.
Smith realized the authoritarian atti-
tude of her colleagues: "Once this doc-
ument is approved, you know and I
know that it will stay in that form, with
maybe a word changed."
Further, dissenting voices from out-
side the board were also stifled when the
Bargaining Chair for the AFSCME local
1583 union, Judy Levy, was cut off
while speaking about the administration
and management's insensitivity to the
harassment of workers. The regents
even left the meeting to protest student
clapping,
The regents will only allow amend-
ments to the code rather than discussion
of the best way to solve the legitimate
problem of sexism, homophobic, and
racial harassment. This proves they do
not value student opinion or the effort to
find a real solution.

.,.

Students
Continued from Page 1
within two weeks. The elections will be held March 22
and 23.
"We're taking our time," Phillips said, noting that
the policy does not take effect for over a month.
Former Student Rights Committee Chair and law
student Eric Schnaufer, a long time code opponent, said
people are considering building takeovers, student
organization, and "agitation," including picketing,
protesting, and lobbying.
Schnaufer said there was no plan to pack the
meeting yesterday morning with students to protest the
policy.
The plan was, he said, "to .give the regents the
benefit of the doubt today and hope they wouldn't pass
it. Since they did pass it, there will be mass protest."
But other students supported the policy in principle,
while maintaing some reservations. "We would have
liked for the regents to.have. voted to wait until the

April meeting to. formally adopt a formal racial and
sexual harassment policy," Charles Wynder, a 2nd-year
law student and member of the Black Law Students'
Alliance (BALSA), said yesterday.
Wynder said students did not have enought time to
present counter-proposals and that BALSA plans to use
the thirty days allotted by the regents for student input
on the policy to propose revisions. "We're trying to
take a non-protest posture and be as constructive as
possible," he said.
Michael Nelson, president of the University chapter
of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored .People said the NAACP plans to work on
suggesting revisions as well, but is "happy with the
fact that a policy was proposed."
Representatives of the Black Student Union could
not be reached for comment yesterday and United
Coalition Against Racism (UCAR) steering committee
member Pam Nadasen said the group did not yet have
an official statement on the vote. Both groups have
said they support a policy against racial harassment in
principle, but not the one proposed by Fleming.

r

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