Ninety-eight years of editorial freedom
Vol. XCVIII, No. 127
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Thursday, April 7, 1988
Copyright 1988, The Michigan Daily
Gay Greeks endure
By JIM PONIEWOZIK
This story is the first in a two-part series.
Chris' fraternity is having its formal
:his weekend. Like most of his fraternity
brothers, he plans to attend, and to bring a
date. But Chris' date will likely turn more
heads than his brothers', because his date is
Chris, who asked that his last name be
withheld, is one of many students within
the Greek system who has to reconcile be-
ing gay with the heterosexually-oriented
fraternity environment. But unlike many of
them, Chris has "come out" (admitted his
homosexuality) to his brothers.
"(Coming out) wasn't a cakewalk; that's
for sure," Chris said. "I didn't feel
comfortable coming out to the house. No
one ever does."
CHRIS SAID he decided to come out
to the entire house when word of his ho-
mosexuality had leaked after he told two of
his fraternity brothers, who are also gay.
But he said his decision was also motivated
by a desire to end his double life.
"I finally decided, 'To hell with it, I'm
not going to hide this anymore. It's hypo-
critical,"' he said.
It was partly a result of Chris' experi-
ence of coming out to the members of his
house that he decided to form Gay Greeks,
an organization for gay and lesbian frater-
nity and sorority members.
The group is intended to provide support
for gays, who might easily feel alienated in
the fraternities, many of which emphasize
"traditional" male activities, including het-
erosexual relationships, Chris said.
"(THE GROUP WANTS) to get
people who are gay to feel comfortable
coming out," said Chris. "There are a lot of
people in houses who are gay and who
The organization, which held its first
meeting last month, is currently composed
of about 10 members. Chris said lesbians
are also welcome to join the group, but
they have thus far received no response
from sorority members.
Lesbian Advocate Billie Edwards of the
University Lesbian and Gay Male Pro-
grams Office said the group's name might
discourage lesbians from joining. "In Ann
Arbor, the language generally used is 'gay
and lesbian'... I don't think (the name 'Gay
Greeks') tells me that I am welcome as a
lesbian," she said.
Chris said the name was chosen because
it was shorter and therefore easier to re-
member and publicize than "Gay and Les-
bian Greeks," but stressed the group does
not intend to exclude females.
CHRIS, and other members of his
house, said the members have given mixed
reactions to his coming out. He said that
the majority of the members have been
supportive, but that others now treat him
with less respect.
"Some of them talk to me as though
my opinion isn't as worthy, or anything I
say can be discounted because I'm gay,"
Chris' roommate, "Bill," who asked not
to be identified, said that while Chris' ho-
mosexuality doesn't bother him personally,
it has changed several of his brothers' atti-
tudes toward Chris.
"They don't talk to him as much," Bill
said. "He eats in the room a lot now...
People joke with him (about being gay).
Sometimes I think it's just joking and
sometimes I think it's not."
BILL SAID he is "somewhat both-
ered" by the change in some of the mem-
bers' attitudes toward Chris, but added that
"I think I'm like that (toward Chris) in
some ways, too." He said he probably
would be bothered if Chris brought a lover
back to their room.
The president of Chris' house said he
doesn't believe most people's attitudes to-
ward Chris have changed. "I'm very proud
for the people in my house for not going
by stereotypes," he said.
But even he admitted that Chris' deci-
sion to bring a date to the formal has dis-
turbed many members. "There's quite a
controversy," he said. "I've heard the com-
ment, 'It's fine, as long as he's not sitting
at my table."'
Other Gay Greeks members have said
the reactions to their coming out have
ranged from support to harassment. One
member, Mark Chekal, said members of
his fraternity, Triangle, have ostracized him
since his coming out. He said he believes a
member was responsible for a threatening
message he found on his answering ma-
chine earlier this term.
See Gays, Page 5
PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP)
- Giant cargo planes loaded with
soldiers, arms and helicopters landed
almost hourly yesterday as the United
States completed deployment of
1,300 extra troops to Panama.
The country's Defense Forces
chief, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega
*appeared to be seesawing on whether
to accept mediation in Panama's pol-
Late Tuesday, the government
sent a communique to news organiza-
tions conditionally accepting a med-
iation offer by Monsignor Marcos
McGrath, the Roman Catholic arch-
bishop of Panama.
BUT THE statement linked any
talks to a "national dialogue" begun
Monday by Noriega's supporters.
The dialogue was boycotted by the
church and Noriega's opponents.
Within hours, the government's
press office withdrew the communi-
que without explanation.
The church said yesterday that
McGrath's offer to mediate between
the government and its opposition
was in no way linked to the "national
IT SAID it was still awaiting a
reply from the general, who is under
indictment in the United States on
drug trafficking charges, Noriega, the
chief of the 15,000-member Defense
Forces, is the power behind Pan-
ama's civilian government.
The opposition, which has been
seeking Noriega's ouster for more
than 10 months, planned a "march
against hunger" yesterday afternoon,
but it fizzled out in the face of a
heavy police presence.
The march was designed to protest
a deteriorating economic situation
that has left thousands of Panaman-
ians penniless. The church is feeding
about 10,000 families a day in the
Panama City area and says conditions
are worse in other parts of the coun-
PANAMANIANS began a run
on the banks in late February after
Noriega supporters removed President
Eric Arturo Delvalle from office, and
closed on March 4. The country's
economic crisis has been exacerbated
by the freezing of Panamanian depos-
its in U.S. banks and sanctions im-
posed by Washington.
The new soldiers arriving at
Howard Air Force Base, just outside
Panama City, included members of
an army aviation battalion from Fort
Ord, Calif., and military police and
security specialists from Fort Bragg,
N.C. and Fort Mead, Md.
They were ferried to Panama by a
fleet of C-141 Starlifter and C-5
Galaxy jet cargo planes. The aviat-
ors brought 26 helicopters, including
seven powerful AH-1 Cobra gun-
LT. COL. Rick Dodge, com-
mander of the 230-member force
from the 123rd Combat Aviation
Battalion of the 7th Light Infantry
Division, said he had not been told
how long he would be in Panama.
"Right now we're going a week at
a time," he said.
The new soldiers joined more than
10,500 American military personnel
already based in Latin American
country to protect the Panama Canal
until it is turned over to the Pan-
amanian government by treaty at the
turn of the century.
Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Raising the roof
Jim Hough, an employee of Home Service System, works on the roof of his boss' new home. Hough, from Howell, Mich., said the task was
part of his job, but also a favor for his boss.
By LIZ ROHAN
After two months of applications, interviews, and
mostly waiting, next year's resident advisors found out
this week that they were chosen for one of the 110
residence hall positions. And some of the 250 students
who applied for the positions found themselves
Many of the applicants - both those who were
chosen and those who were not - said the selection
process took too long.
"The best locations are gone and getting a house is
out of the question," said David Gold, an LSA
sophomore who did not arrange for fall housing in
anticipation of being an RA. "It cuts down on
alternatives. It seems it is possible to start the process
earlier so that those of us who didn't get a position
could find out when housing is still available."
University Housing Administration refused to
Each applicant had the option to sign a residence
hall lease in the mid-March residence hall room lottery.
If chosen to be RAs, their lease would automatically be
Some applicants knew they did not want to live in a
residence hall unless they were RAs, so they did not
sign a lease; nor did they sign a lease off-campus in
anticipation of getting an RA position.
LSA sophomore Jeff Cohen, who did not get an RA
position, does have a place to live in the fall but had
other criticisms of the application procedure, which he
called "a long, drawn out process."
Cohen said he repeatedly tried to contact Housing
Administration for explanations, but he said his calls
were not returned.
See RAs, Page 3
Bond may impede tenants' appeal
By ELISSA SARD
Solving Germany's pre-World War II social and
economic crises by practicing genocide followed the
same logic as building nuclear arsenals to prevent
nuclear war, according to Robert Lifton, who closed the
year-long Talking Meds Noon Lecture Series yesterday.
* Lifton's speech, titled "Beyond Genocide: Direction
of Hope," stressed learning from historical mistakes,
particularly the mass murder of Jews in Nazi Germany.
People should realize that "nuclear holocaust is still
only potential," he said.
The common theme Lifton used to tie the two
issues together is "trauma and cure." The Nazis under
Adolf Hitler claimed the Jews were the root of
Germany's "trauma," the poor social and economic
conditions in Germany prior to World War II.
Genocide - the "cure" proposed by Hitler - began
a . - -enlxi ti:n ;n1 ci i t
By PETER MOONEY
Two tenant activists who have
accused their landlord of breaking the
law by refusing to renew their lease
received a setback this week when
Circuit Court Judge Henry Conlin
refused to lower their $6,000 appeal
The bond - a set sum of money
proving that the litigants can afford
to lose their appeal - may prevent
the tenants from exercising their
right to appeal, the tenants' lawyer,
Jonathan Rose, said.
Leslie Riester and Martha Per-
kins, residents of Village Town-
houses, said McKinley Properties is
violating the Tenants' Rights Act by
retaliating against them for a rent
strike they helped organize last year.
The tenants said McKinley decided
not to renew their lease because of
"MACVTNIT'V WANTq to ant
the Michigan Tenants' Rights Act
- forbidding landlords from evicting
tenants who protest poor mainte-
nance - only applies during the life
of the tenants' current lease, not fol-
lowing the end of a lease period.
Rose said Alexander based his
judgment on the Frenchtown Mead-
ows case tried in Monroe, and he
wants to challenge this precedent. In
the earlier case, a circuit court judge
ruled that retaliatory eviction is ille-
gal only in the middle of a lease.
HE SAID THE BOND must
be lowered to facilitate their right to
an appeal. If the tenants do not meet
the bond, they retain their right to
appeal but may be evicted based on
the original court ruling.
McKinley's lawyer, Graydon El-
lis, responded that it would be inap-
propriate for Conlin to overrule the
original judge's determination of
Perkins said they refused to pay their
rent because of a missing roof over-
hang in the kitchen and a hole in the
exterior of their unit that needed re-
pair. The Pittsfield Village Tenants'
Union, which Riester and Perkins
helped to form, joined the rent strike
See Tenants, Page 2
PLO offices at the UN should not
be closed by the US Congress.
OPINION, Page 4
It's opening night for Gilbert and
Sullivan's The Gondol ers.
ARTS, Page 7
The fight to save Tiiwr stvainm11