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September 23, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-23

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, September 23, 1988

The Michigan Daily

A

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. I C No.12 420 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.

OMA report is cosmetic

Watching
THE WOMEN'S CRISIS Center, the
Washtenaw County Assault Crisis
Center and the Sexual Assault Preven-
tion and Awareness Center are cur-
rently beginning a program called
Court Watch which will help women
face hostility in the courts. Court Watch
is, part of the Court Action Program
(CAP) which has been in existence for
about one year and was designed to
help provide support and information
to .women who are prosecuting rape
and sexual harassment cases.
. Court Watch was established as a
means of helping women understand
what they will experience should they
attempt to prosecute charges of criminal
sexual conduct. The program will ob-
serve preliminary hearings and trials in
order to gather information on criminal
sexual conduct cases.
Recording information on jury selec-
tion, defense tactics, prosecution tactics
and judges would allow women to
make informed decisions about them-
selves and their cases.
There is a power dynamic in society
which prevents women from reporting
tape and prevents them from pressing
charges. Statistics estimate that only 10
ercent of the rapes that occur are actu-
ally reported and of that .10 percent.
only 2 percent result in convictions.
-.Men's power over women is ex-
pressed in many ways. It is expressed
tfrough sexism and violence in adver-
tuing; it is expressed through sexist
language and sexist jokes; it is ex-
ptessed through discrimination in hir-
irg and pay; it is expressed through
iqpe. When men rape women they are
iot doing it for sex. Rape is an act of
Violence which men use for power and
ejntrol over women.
'This power is used to prevent
women from reporting rape and it is
used to prevent women from taking
Oteir cases to court. When a woman is
w Give teens
EVERY YEAR, thousands of teens
ebnverge on Washtenaw County as
first year college students. And every
kear, hundreds of other teens in
Washtenaw County run away from
bme or get kicked out by their par-
ehts.
Since Ozone House is the only crisis
*agency for runaway and homeless
youth in the area, many of them come
to Ann Arbor in hope of finding a job
and a place to live. Some of them, with
Ozone House's financial assistance, are
able to get apartments.
Some of them, when confronted with
exorbitant rents and lack of affordable
:housing, go home. Many of them, un-
able or unwilling to go home, end up
on the streets. They sell drugs. They
become prostitutes. They do what they
need to survive.
Even those assisted by Ozone are
often left for a few nights or a few
weeks with no place to stay. In an ef-
fort to respond to the need for transi-
tional housing for homeless teens, a
ogroup of students and community
:members have formed the Youth
Housing Coalition (YHC). YHC
members find teens aged 17-19 who
have been referred to them by Ozone
House couches or floors to sleep on
for a night or two.
T These desperate, stop-gap measures
are made necessary in no small part by

the complete inattention of federal and
local government to the issue of home-
lessness. Federal funding for housing
assistance through the Department of
Housing and Urban Development has
dropped by 75 percent since 1981.
The state, the city and the University
are all responsible for creating a hous-
ing market in which lower income peo-
ple must struggle to survive. Yet none
has acted effectively to fill the gap.
Every year, more and more poor
,people are squeezed out of Ann Ar-

the courts
raped she is made to feel responsible
for it. She is made to feel that somehow
she got what she was asking for, or
that somehow she deserved to be
raped. If a woman wears a short skirt,
or walks alone at night, and is raped, it
is her fault. These are the very tactics
women are forced to deal with in the
courtroom.
A woman who attempts to prosecute
a man for rape is committing herself to
tremendous scrutiny of her private life.
Defense attorneys use humiliating and
degrading tactics to win their cases.
They question a woman's sexual his-
tory, her sexual drive, her attire. And if
a woman has been drinking she has
essentially given up her right to her
own body.
Women are not allowed the same
rights as men. Men are allowed to walk
alone at night; men are allowed to get
drunk; men are allowed to choose what
they wear. Most importantly, men are
allowed the right to their own bodies.
All of these basic rights are allowed
men and not women. And if a woman
attempts to take one of those basic
rights, if a women attempts to choose
her behavior and a man rapes a woman
it is her fault.
Through watching the courts women
will empower themselves to know
what they will face when they enter a
courtroom. This is very important and
will help women have the strength to
go through potentially lengthy and
devastating trials. It is also an effective
way of informing the public to the truth
of what happens in criminal sexual
conduct cases, that often women are
made to go on trial.
Volunteers will be trained in the
Court Watch program beginning Octo-
ber 8th. The job requires energy and
commitment but is one which is worthy
of tremendous support. For more in-
formation people can call 761-9475.
.5 shelter
bor's housing market. Nearly a quarter
of Ann Arbor renters now spend more
than 40 percent of their income on rent.
The University brings 40,000 stu-
dents to Ann Arbor and provides
housing for only a third of them. Those
left without housing place a huge de-
mand on the market and drive rents up.
As tuition goes up and, in turn, the av-
erage income of students who are ac-
cepted increases, students are able to
pay even more, and rents skyrocket.
In addition, the University adminis-
tration has moved to decrease the sup-
ply of affordable housing. Married
student housing at University Terrace
was torn down to make way for hospi-
tal expansion, and an entire wing of
West Quad was converted into offices
and hotel rooms.
Worse yet, the kind of construction
the University is engaged in does not
reflect the real needs of the majority of
. students. Projects such as the creation
of the Executive Residence across from
East Quad and a new chemistry build-
ing do nothing to alleviate the housing
crunch.
Obviously, giving a homeless teen a
place to sleep on the floor once a week
will not change the root of the
problem. There are 180,000 teens
roaming the streets, and the only way
to assure everyone their right to shelter
is for federal, state and local funds to
be allocated for the construction of

affordable housing.
However, homelessness is not a dis-
tant and intangible problem that can be
relegated to the government to solve.
Students who have access to shelter
must take responsibility for their peers
who do not, and joining YHC is one
way to take immediate and direct ac-
tion, to save someone from a night on
the street.
To find out more about the
Youth Housing Coalition, call
t)innp ncp nt 61-'7ITV.

By Kimberly Smith
The emerging University commitment
is to fundamental institutional change that
eliminates all barriers to the full
participation of minorities in the life of
our University.
Annual Report on Minority Affairs, p.4
Although the University's stated goal is
for "fundamental institutional change,"
this notion cannot be confused with the
minimal progress that has been made.
The Annual Report on Minority Affairs
presented by the Office of the President,
the Office of the Provost and the Vice-
President for Academic Affairs, and the
Office of the Vice-Provost for Minority
Affairs outlines the programs available on
campus for minority students and dis-
cusses the University's 6-point plan. This
plan, which was a response to student
protest, barely begins to address the con-
cerns of students since it was dictated not
by what students need or want, but by, for
the most part, what was the least difficult
for the University to give up. The Office
of Minority Affairs (OMA) is the most
substantial of the initiatives and it has
provided invaluable resources for minority
students, but the OMA is limited in its
Kimberly Smith is a member of the
United Coalition Against Racism.

power to alone make a "fundamental
institutional change." The issues of finan-
cial aid and increased enrollment for mi-
nority students are being slighted in favor
of cosmetic programs and rhetoric which
make it seem as if the University is
changing.
For example, statistics which state that
as many students from families with an-
nual income below $20,000 are admitted
as those from families with annual income
above $70,000 suggest that the University
is not elitist and serves all communities
equally. However, since there are approx-
imately five times as many families under
$20,000 as there are families over $70,000
in the state of Michigan, the University is
clearly manipulating statistical facts for its
purposes.
In addition, the University compares its
Black enrollment to that of "Peer Institu-
tions" like Princeton and the University of
Chicago and ranks itself first among nine
others in number of Black students.
However, it fails to mention that Prince-
ton, whose Black enrollment is approxi-
mately 300 students, has a overall student
population of less than 9,000; compared
to Michigan, whose Black enrollment is
approximately 1600 students and whose
overall student population is approxi-
mately 35,000.
In essence, it is clear from the report
that no comprehensive plan, which will

increase Black and minority enrollment to
percentages comparable to the population,
has been implemented. In addition, Black
and minority students continue, despite the
claims of the University administration, to
leave the University of Michigan for fi-
nancial reasons.
The notion of "fundamental institutional
change" is one that the administration uses
very freely, but their notion is very differ-
ent than ours. Their notion of
"fundamental institutional change" is to
become more "diverse" while maintaining
racist, sexist, elitist and exclusionary
policies. Our notion of "fundamental
institutional change" is to allow equal ac-
cess to the University not determined by
race, sex, or class, and to create a campus
environment that is hospitable to people
from a wide range of social and financial
backgrounds. These two interpretations are
clearly very far apart. The new president,
James Duderstadt, has conceded that any
current changes in the University are as a
result of challenges put forth by students.
In his address to minority first-year stu-
dents he asked that we continue to chal-
lenge the University. UCAR will continue
to put forth the challenge and demand for
"Education as a Right and not a
Privilege." This is fundamental change.
What will it take for the University to
meet the challenge?

I
4
4
*1

MSA is

sensitive

to

women

By Robert Bell
I am writing this in response to the edi-
toal " MSA insensitive to women"
(Daily, 9/20/88) written by Nikita Buck-
hoy and Liz Paige. I found the letter
upsetting in both a personal and a profes-
sional sense. My purpose in writing this
letter is not to engage in personal attacks
or to belittle the efforts of other organiza-
tions. Rather, I intend to provide a concise
explanation of the debate over the
distribution of douches at Festifall, and I
intend to correct any misinformation re-
garding MSA and its sensitivity to
women's issues.
As a student leader, one of the most
important things that I have learned is that
you can't please all of the people all of the
time, and often difficult decisions cannot
be made without leaving some individuals
dissatisfied. That is the nature of democ-
racy. As a result, it is critical that those
Robert Bell is Chair of the MSA
Communications Committee

with the power to make decisions do so
only after proper consultation and analysis
of the problem.'
When Michael Phillips and I were ap-
proached by Ms. Buckhoy and Ms. Paige,
they told us that MSA's dispersement of
female gift packs which contained douches
at Festifall was offensive to women be-
cause "in effect by giving them out we
(were) saying that women ought to use
douches." Mike and I disagreed initially,
arguing that every woman ought to be
given the opportunity to make her own
decision: if she wished to use the douche
she could keep it, and if she found it of-
fensive she could dispose of it. Neverthe-
less, they ordered us to remove the
douches, and when we said that that was
physically impossible in time for Festi-
fall, they stormed out of the office.
Mike and I, however, were not satisfied
that the issue had been resolved. We then
consulted many women on the issue, and
after further consultation and thought, we

concluded that because dispersing the
douches might be offensive to some
women, they ought not be distributed.
It never has and never will be the intent
of this MSA to offend anyone on the basis
'of their race, sex, color, creed, national
origin, or sexual preference.
Michael assembled a staff, and the
douches were removed in time for Festi-
fall.
Why, then, did they write such a bitter
letter? I believe they were upset that we
did not instantaneously concede to their
demands and remove the douches. No per-
son or organization can storm into our of-
fices, shout their demands, and expect to
have their demands immediately met. As
student leaders, to agree to such a course
of action would be irresponsible and un-
professional. All decisions must be care-
fully thought out, giving consideration to
the parties involved, and to the student
body as a whole. Any other process would
be unethical, to say the least.

'4

Continue- SDJ research at U

4

By Daniel Rosenberg
SDI research will decide the future of
United States nuclear policy. It will decide
if the U.S. should continue the doctrine of
Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) or
whether to change to a doctrine of missile
defenses.
Specifically, research will determine
what kinds of defensive systems are the
most feasible and stabilizing. Research
will allow us to decide if a land-based de-
fensive system could be developed and/or
even a space-based system ("Star Wars").
It will enable the U.S. to make a decision
whether to change its immoral defense
policy of M.A.D. This policy states that
if the Soviet Union launches an attack on
the United States (or Western Europe), the
appropriate response should be to launch a
full-scale attack on the Soviets (to kill as
many Russians as possible).
Opponents of the defensive doctrine are
irrational in suggesting that a program
(new missile, laser, computer, and com-
munications technologies) should not be
studied because the funding is coming
from the Strategic Defense Initiative Of-
fice. It is just as irrational to oppose re-
Daniel Rosenberg is a senior in LSA.

search at the Institute of Social Research
into the effectiveness of the welfare sys-
tem because the funding is coming from
the U.S. Government.
One would not argue against the funding
of such research, even if one disagrees
with the current welfare system. This re-
search provides future decision makers
with the facts they need to make more.
knowledgeable decisions in this area.
Similarly, research at the University of
Michigan for the SDI program will pro-
vide future defense planners more
information to decide between the nuclear
policies of M.A.D. and missile defenses.
SDI research at the University is work-
ing to develop computer systems that are
able to make rapid decisions on nature of
objects in space. Research at the Univer-
sity is looking into new laser technolo-
gies. These lasers could be applied both to
disrupt guidance systems of missiles and
to disrupt the cancers of patients with lung
disease.
It is absurd to argue that research should
be halted of the military could apply such
research in the future. This argument could
be made to prevent the development of
impenetrable metals as these could be ap-
plied to make better tanks. It says that re-
search into fiber optics should be discon-

tinued as the military could make use of
such knowledge in building better com-
munications systems.
Government, industry, and universities
all play important roles in working to-
gether to add to our body of knowledge.
To remove one would seriously damage
the future of all research. Each of the
components strengthens the other two. It
would be a serious mistake to halt research
in academia or industry because of possi-
ble military uses in the future. This rea-
soning is indeed an infringement on aca-
demic freedom.
If one disagrees with current nuclear
policy, one should not oppose research
into technologies that could be used in fu-
ture military systems. Rather, one should
oppose development of such systems.
One should not seek to diminish Ein-
stein's achievements because his theories
as to the relationship between mass and
energy has led to the development of
atomic weapons. This implies that we
still live in the Garden of Eden, and should
not be allowed to feed on the apple from
the Tree of Knowledge. However, we have
tasted the apple, and have indeed left the
garden, and must therefore act responsibly
in applying this newfound knowledge.

I

I Leters o th edior .
e 2: ses~sssrtse: ..... :ss:s:s mm ......iii:..l

Authors
belittle cry
*~~-~.cI ''. w

all feminists, like myself, who
work to better women's lives
by fighting real battles.
Women today face an ever-
broadening wage gap compared
to a nlar... n a n.n by man.

ing of innocuous care packages
a "fuck up."
Care packages are merely a
service providing students with
frequently needed or desired

tacks in the name of feminism.
It is they, who act solely upon
emotion, who shorten the
strides made by those of us
who employ emotion and
intell~ct. t is gthe'v. conse-

1 1

S

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