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December 09, 1988 - Image 24

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-09
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w w w w - - - -~

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Frustrated
Latino
students

continue

to

seek

' U,

recognition
By Elsa Barboza and Anne Martinez

Martinez and University counsel Dan Sharphorn discuss arranging a
meeting with Duderstadt.

O ne Year Later .. .Commitment to Leadership: The
Annual Report on Minority Affairs,1987-88 pro-
duced by the Office of the President, the Office of
the Provost and Vice President for Academic Af-
fairs, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Mi-
nority Affairs can be seen as one of the most recent illustrations
of the institutional racism that plagues the University campus.
This report, which has been used as a tool for the recruitment of
prospective minority students inaccurately portrays many ele-
ments of minority student life at the University. The fact that the
report was compiled in ten days, and the plethora of fallacies and
misrepresentations it contains, too clearly illustrates to us the
attitude the administration has continued to take in approaching
minority student issues.
Since the Report was issued in late August, many concerns
have been raised as to the inaccurate information, the misuse
and manipulation of statistics, and the actual fabrication of
events and University programs geared to minority students.
Most recently we, as part of a group of concerned Latino stu-
dents, demanded that the report be recalled, citing numerous
errors in the information, or rather the lack of information, on
Latinos at the University. Wishing to discuss our concerns
with President James Duderstadt, we've met with an entourage
of University officials, who, it appears to us, insulate Duder-
stadt from issues and people that challenge the status quo. Af-
ter following the established guidelines for meeting with Dud-
erstadt and receiving no response, we were forced to take group
action and stage a sit-in at the Fleming Administration build-
ing to secure a meeting with him. Latino students wishing to
see the Duderstadt met with brute tactics at the hands of Public
Safety deputies Leo Heatley and Robert Pifer. Students wish-
ing to voice concerns affecting minorities are consistently re-
ferred to Charles Moody, vice "scapegoat" for minority affairs,
to be pacified. Persons identified to "represent" Duderstadt in
his absence are ignorant of the issues at hand and hence unable
to provide any assistance. For example, during a meeting with
Barboza is a senior in Latino Studies and sociology; Martinez
is a senior in Latino Studies and anthropology. They are both
members of Socially Active Latino Student Association.

Robin Jacoby, assistant to the president, Jacoby said she knew
nothing about our concerns. As Latino students, we have
found that the Fleming Administration building, more than
anywhere else on campus, provides the grounds for breeding
the bacteria of racism, ignorance, and intolerance.
The burden of addressing and correcting the ills of this Uni-
versity are consistently dropped in the laps of students.
Though our mission here is to be students - and recruiters,
watchdogs, researchers, and administrators are being paid to
"diversify" the University - minority students most fre-
quently have had to take on those staff and administrative du-
ties in addition to their student ones. In terms of correcting the
Annual Report on Minority Affairs, the President indicated
that an errata sheet would be inserted into future issues, but
that the errata sheet had to be compiled by the students not by
administration officials. If the officials responsible for
compiling the report do not start taking effective action to
correct this report, do not start finding out about the real
conditions of minorities at the University, how can they accu-
rately do this in future reports. Any student who produced a
report of such distinctly poor quality would be failed; the fac-
ulty at this institution take the use of incorrect resources, the
misuse of statistics, and lies very seriously. This is probably
even grounds for expulsion from the University.
On June 1, 1987 Charles D. Moody was appointed to the
position of vice provost for minority affairs. This was part of
the Six-Point Plan that former President Shapiro undertook in
the wake of student pressure to address minority issues in
1987. The Plan was the administration's pick of the United
Coalition Against Racism's (UCAR) twelve demands. Point
One reads: Appoint a vice provost with responsibility for mi-
nority affairs, and Shapiro appointed Moody. As vice provost
for minority affairs, Moody has done nothing for Latinos. In
fact, the administration set him up as its scapegoat for
minority affairs. From our experience, his job is to pacify the
students, to pull them aside individually to dilute their con-
cerns and even offer them jobs. The establishment of the Of-
fice of Minority Affairs has not provided Latinos with the vital
leadership and support that the administration has promised us.
This band-aid, cure-all method that has been applied to minor-
ity issues, can only detract from Duderstadt's Michigan Man-
date. The Mandate is what Duderstadt has proclaimed as the

Photos by Jessica Greene
"roadmap" for the University to use, in his words, "to develop
effective models of multicultural, pluralistic communities" for
the 21st Century. As we rapidly approach the forecasted change
in demographics in which Latinos and Blacks will outnumber
whites, the University structure increasingly approaches a
condition of apartheid, where white males will "govern" the oh
so diverse population. We cannot wait til 1999 for the imple-
mentation of the Michigan Mandate. If the administration can-
not deal with the ethnic diversity that already exists here, how
will it ever achieve a multicultural and diverse environment in
the year 2000?
All Duderstadt is giving us is rhetorical recognition.
Duderstadt holds the Michigan Mandate high as one of his
main priorities. On paper, he has made a commitment to us,
but the reality we see consists of the continued exclusion of
Latinos from decision-making and hiring processes, from key
administrative positions, and from the Michigan Mandate it-
self. When the subject of Latino Studies and Latino faculty
came up during the summit we won with Duderstadt after the
sit-in, he told us we would have to discuss it with "the appro-
priate deans," meaning of course, for LSA, Dean Peter Steiner.
Last year student groups called for Steiner to resign, saying
that he was racist. The best news for Latinos in eight years, is
that Steiner has "chosen" not to complete his five year term.
We, the students, have to recruit minority faculty and stu-
dents for LSA; we have to invite Latino scholars to visit
Michigan; we have to initiate cultural programming, and beg
University departments for funding. The only support for
Latino students is other Latino students. And recent history
has shown, approximately 50% of us will not complete degree
programs at the University due to the deplorable conditions
that are forced upon us. Because the handful of Latino faculty
and staff are overburdened with the heavy weight of tokenism,
they are not in a position to assert their leadership and
mentoring abilities. We've done the job of many vice
provosts, researchers and Hispanic representatives, and we're
not even getting paid for it.
Although the University claims that there are some 30
Latino faculty members, most of them are not the underrepre-
sented Latinos from the United States. They are primarily
Latin Americans or Spaniards, who have not lived their entire
lives as victims of the cultural oppression that is ever-present

in the United States. There is one Puerto Rican and one Cuban
faculty member, but there are no Chicano (Mexican American)
faculty members. Complete statistics on the University's
Latino Community are impossible to obtain, since Affirma-
tive Action does not find our existence worthy of documenta-
tion. The office categorizes the minority community as
'Blacks" and "Other minorities." We have demanded that a
study be done on Latino sub-group identification (i.e. Chi-
cano/Mexican-American, Boricua/Puerto Rican, Chilean,
Spanish, etc.) of all Latino students and faculty and staff
members and at the University for the purpose of setting fac-
ulty, staff, and administrative goals on the basis of student
sub-group populations. During our meeting with Duderstadt,
he claimed that such a study is currently being worked on,-
though, as usual, no one has contacted any Latinos for input
- which would be central to a self-identification study.
One of the few Latino assistant professors at the University,
Silvia Pedraza-Bailey, is the director of the Latino Studies
Program and is also an assistant professor in the Sociology
department. She is the only faculty member in the Latino
Studies Program. The vast majority of Latino Studies courses
are taught by graduate students and part-time lecturers, many of
whom are not even Latinos. The easiest way to recruit Latino
faculty would be to do it through the Latino Studies program.
Besides dramatically increasing the Latino faculty percentages,
building up the Latino Studies Program would send the na-
tional Latino community a message that the University is fi-
nally getting serious about Latino concerns. In 1984, after
several years of struggle for a academic program about Latinos
in the U.S., the Latino Studies Program was born. A year
later, the University started to undo the Program. In 1985,
Latino Studies was "granted" a three-year probationary period
as a program in LSA. In 1986, the Latino Studies director po-
sition was changed from one assistant professor to half an as-
sistant professor. Assistant professor John Chivez formerly
held the post full-time, but Pedraza-Bailey was installed as a
joint appointee.
There is also rampant misuse of percentages to cover up the
lack of support andresources for Latinos. Let's imagine there
are 10 Latino students at the University. By bringing 5 new
students in, the University has miraculously had a 50% in-
crease in Latino enrollment. Though without a doubt this is
an impressive figure, the horrifying reality of the raw numbers
tells the real story. These percentages do not reflect the reality
of the University's embarrassing failure in recruiting and re-
taining minority students.
In terms of faculty recruitment, the only Latinos that are
coming to the University are coming under the auspices of the
King/Chavez/Parks Visiting Professorship Program. These
professors come to the University for approximately 1-3 days.
Activities are planned so students, staff and faculty can meet
with the visiting scholar. If we want to meet these Latino role
models, we have to rearrange our schedules during the visit.
Otherwise, we miss out. When the scholars leave we experi-
ence the disappointment of the lack of role models, and "we
hold onto their sleeves of their shirts" because of the realiza-
tion of the lack of Latino professors at the University. The
University is teasing the minority students with this "Weekend
Scholars Program." The University is using the
King/Chivez/Parks Program to replace rather than supplement
Latino scholars.
One of the newest programs the University rants and raves
about is the Target of Opportunity Program. The Target pro-
vides "new appointments of senior minority faculty." The
University reports that "in the 1987-88 academic year, roughly
$1,000,000 in base funds has been set aside for this recruiting
effort and already fourteen new minority faculty have been
hired." Well, the number is up to 19 now and this "minority
faculty" that they are talking about are all Black faculty. We
laud the University's success in bringing more Black faculty
here, however, Black faculty do not fulfill the needs of Latino
and other minority students. Several minority student
organizations have questioned the "success" of Target of Op-
portunity. When we approached those in charge they respond
with different reasons why Latino, Native-American, and
Asian-American potential candidates have not been hired
through this program. The Target of Opportunity Program has
no guidelines and that may explain the reason why we receive
conflicting answers, if any, from Mary Ann Swain, director o
Affirmative Action. When she spoke with the Asian-Americar
community a few weeks ago, she refused to talk abou
individual cases in which Latino or Asian faculty were no
hired. She refused to talk about how the funding is distributed

what the guidelines for Target of Opportunity are, and who has
to initiate what to hire someone through this godsend.
The administration claims to have offered three Latinos po-
sitions at the University but they say that these Latino schol-
ars declined. The Latino community has not been included in
any of these efforts. One case in which several Latinos were
involved in targeting Latino scholars ended when the Univer-
sity refused to acknowledge the candidate as an appropriate re-
cipient for Target funding. The ethnicity of this candidate was

in question due to the fact that she is Jewish, as well as
Latina. The Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Ap-
pointments went so far as to construct a geneaology of the
candidate to clarify her ethnicity. Though this candidate was
"not Hispanic enough" for Target funding, she was still in-
cluded in Latino faculty figures as a visiting professor. It is
clear to us that the University lacks awareness of the many
groups that fall under the category "Hispanic." Administrators
are oblivious to the racial and cultural diversity of Latin
America. It is incomprehensible to us that people making de-

Americans. Our more recent
Americans have in fact been
ing funding, because they are
However, the University feel
total minority enrollment fig
these decisions are not quali
mine the ethnicity of Latinos
These problems cannot be
minorities are incorporated it
course of the University for t

Administrators are oblivious to the ra
cultural diversity of Latin America. Ii
incomprehensible to us that people m
decisions like hiring Hispanics, have
understanding of what the term mea

cisions like hiring Hispanics
the term means.
Somehow, Latino scholars
Target. The double standards
the Target of Opportunity fur
ous structure of the Prograr
Dean for Academic Appointr
Target was solely for hiring
fice disclosed that Target fund
then Native Americans, follo

Robin Jacoby, assistant to the president, meets with students to discuss their

PAGE 8 WEEKEND/DECEMBER 9, 1988 W

WEEKEND/DECEMBER 9, 1988

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