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September 16, 1988 - Image 21

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-16
Note:
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STORY'
Continued from Page 11
Fleming makes clear in his
memo to the regents of July 12 that
the intent of deputization is to
"vastly improve our capability to
deal with disruptive acts." The use
of deputized security officers to
terminate disruptive acts is pre-
sented as an alternative to relying
on city police forces, which,
according to the memo, necessitates
"resorting to the civil or criminal
law."
But in an interview with the
Daily on August 31, Sheriff Ronald

Schebil said that he knew nothing
about these expedient reasons for
deputization, nor had he seen this
memo to the regents, nor was he
aware of Fleming's desire to avoid
the use of city police in protest sit-
uations. "[Fleming and the regents]
have just basically requested that
these two individuals be deputized
in a limited fashion to exercise po-
lice authority."
Sheriff Schebil said that he was
told - and that he believed - that
the request for deputization reflected
a genuine need for stepping up
"basic police powers" which would
serve to protect the safety of stu-
dents on campus. "This is not an
unusual request... Their primary

job is going to be to protect life
and property. And that's you. It
makes you feel safe. I don't think
that the University's doing this to
make it tougher for public opinion
or public expression."
Schebil was also not aware that
25 student groups had formed a
campaign in opposition to
deputization on the grounds that
University employees vested with
the powers of arrest threaten rather
than protect student rights. "I need
to hear one voice from the Univer-
sity of Michigan about what the
request is. And at this point I have
a request for limited deputization of
these people."
The Ann Arbor City Council,

which oversees the Ann Arbor po-
lice, has not yet officially discussed
the issue of deputization, but two
council members, Ann Marie
Coleman (D-First Ward) and Jeff
Epton (D-Third Ward), have already
expressed their disapproval. Neither
believes the University ad-
ministration has been forthright in
its stated reasons for needing depu-
tized officers.
Referring to Fleming's memo of
July 12, Epton said, "This is so
dishonest, so disingenuous. It
would be appalling if it were not
typical. The University is not
equipped to protect the rights of free
speech. The fact that Fleming says
the University can do a better job
[than city law enforcement] at
protecting the rights of individuals
amounts to either stupidity or lies."
Citing cases where students have
been abused by campus security and
the police, Epton claimed that the
University is in fact directly and
indirectly engaged in acts of hostil-
ity against student protesters. "The
fact is the University has done
nothing to promote political speech
and open academic inquiry. But if
they have had a change of heart," he
continued, "it is a bizarre first step
to create a police agency to protect
that."
Epton said he vehemently dis-
agreed with Schebil's contention
that deputization is designed to
protect students. "The University
hasn't stepped up protection of stu-
dents. The University has stood by
while students have been abused by
police and campus security."
Like Epton, Ann Coleman sus-
pects the official reasons for
deputization are not what they
seem. As a campus minister and
member of Guild House, Coleman
has joined the Campaign for a
Democratic Campus in their de-
mand to rescind deputization.
Coleman observed that too many
things about it just don't add up.
"I'm just not clear what's going on
and why this is happening. I'm not
convinced that two deputies make
that much difference [in protest sit-
uations]. Either they will have to
deputize more people - which
would be terrible - or they will
have to call in other forces any-
way."
Whatever the real or ostensible
reasons for its implementation,
deputization betrays the mission of
the University, according to Cole-
man. "The University teaches not
only by what it says, but by what
it does. Deputization tells people
this is a police institution. It's a
matter of separation. The Univer-
sity is about the business of educa-
tion. It seems to me tragic that the
University would get into the area
of police force."
Accountable to
Whom?
Partisans on both sides of the
deputization controversy seem to
agree that extending the powers of
arrest to University employees irre-

vocably changes the issue of ac-
countability during a law enforce-
ment situation. But there is little
consensus as to exactly what these
changes will be.
The University administration
firmly believes deputization en-
hances accountability. In the July
12 memo, Fleming emphasized that
the central problem with calling in
the Ann Arbor police to terminate
disruptive student protests is that
they are not directly accountable to
the University. "Once we ask the
police to intervene, we no longer
have any direct control over how
the situation is handled."
But if brutality or excessive force
is used against a student protester or
some other abuse of rights occurs,
to whom are the deputies - who
are also employees of the Univer-
sity - answerable? The question is
not purely academic. In a highly
publicized incident last November,
University graduate student Harold
Marcuse was struck and kicked in
the groin by Public Safety officer
Robert Patrick at a protest against
the CIA. A suit against Patrick is
still pending. During that same
demonstration, Heatley (now depu-
tized) blocked access to a doorway
with his body and challenged stu-
dent protesters to assault him.
Sheriff Schebil gave two re-
sponses to the question of ac-
countability. First, he said, the let-
ter of agreement with the Board of
Regents ensures that Washtenaw
County is exempt from liability in
the event that wrongful acts are
committed by any University offi-
cers he deputizes. "Basically, it is a
reassurance of agreement that the
University is going to assume lia-
bility and responsibility for the acts
of these individuals."
Second, Schebil continued, stu-
dents should be reassured that it is
the statutory right of the sheriff to
withdraw the powers of deputization
at any time for any reason. "If any
abuses by University deputies do
occur, you can be sure I will with-
draw the powers of deputization
immediately."
Such promises are little comfort
to members of the Campaign fo a
Democratic Campus (CDC) and
other student activists who wish to
avoid becoming the next Weekend
cover photo (or worse) even if it
would prompt the sheriff to strip
the deputies of their powers. CDC
points out that accountability is a
two-edged sword: a police force
which answers only to the Univer-
sity administration also allows the
administration direct control over
all aspects of the arresting officers.
A position paper issued recently
by CDC on student rights empha-
sizes the selectivity of arrest that
such accountability affords the
University administration: "Depu-
tized security can arrest any
particular students that the admin-
istration wants arrested... This
obviously strengthens their coercive
potential over protest."
City Council members Epton and
See COVER STORY, Page 19

death for God, wrought by Scorsese
with tragic intensity, emphasizes the
individual choice that makes personal
belief meaningful and strong enough
to sustain exposure to conflicting
opinions. Since Christ must
overcome temptation in order to attain
divinity, every act becomes a
triumphant struggle, an example to
man. Grace must be struggled for as
well; a prize of faith cannot be inher-
ited and protected by ignorance - it
must be won through difficult
contemplation.
But the protests of the already con-
verted may have unwittingly furthered
their own cause of enlisting new
converts to spirituality, for the
controversy will attract the people
"who don't have a formal religious
affiliation, or who have turned away
from the Church" - in Martin
Scorsese's own words, those for
whom this film was truly made.
"Most of us don't even understand
calculus," says the director. "How can
we say there is no God? How can we
be so sure of anything?" Indeed, the
blasphemous metaphor of The Last
Temptation of Christ may the
medium to inspire the cynical minds
of our day to take on such questions.
But really, the question of whether

any of this actually happened is not su
the issue. At its most powerful, cin- stc
ema - like faith - can create a new, Jes
illuminating image of life that mi
becomes reality because people be-
lieve it to be so. Existing or not, lea
once it becomes truth in the mind it *f
generates the power to make dreams m
real. "I created the truth out of what to]
people believed, what they needed," ap
explains Paul (Harry Dean Stanton), PO
cornerstone of the new Church, upon thi
meeting the aged, dream-sequence Je- wi
I
I
I
I
at the Heidelberg
Reservations
995-8888
I Comedy Improvisatic

- - - - >- - .:
Willem Dafoe as Jesus.
CHRIST
Continued from Page 5

the theological blasphemy - at its
most intense in the crucifixion
scene's notorious dream sequence
from which the film and book take
their name.
It is this part - where Christ, near
death on the cross, is tempted by a
vision of mortal life without painful

sacrifice - that has inevitably drawn
so much fire from those who believe
in the literal interpretation of the
Bible as true history and not
metaphor, although the film states its
fictional intention in a clear dis-
claimer. But it is the message of this
very sequence itself, at the crux of the
film's theology, that illustrates why
this one religious film should be seen
and considered by all.
Jesus' tortuous choice to accept

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