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December 05, 1989 - Image 4

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, December 5, 1989

The Michigan Daily 4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 63 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.
Duderstadt hi~des again

University administration attempts to restrict students' speech:

O VER THE LAST two weeks, the
University administration has re-
sponded to the demands of two student
groups - the Latin American Solidar-
ity Committee (LASC) and the Lesbian
and Gay Rights Organizing Committee
(LaGROC). In both cases, the re-
sponse lacked any substance and re-
flected the administration's disrespect
for student concerns.
On November 17, more than 300
students lead by LASC marched
through the streets of Ann Arbor in
protest of the Salvadoran government's
massacre of six Jesuit priests, their
cook and her daughter. One of the
priests was the rector of the University
of Central America, a position equiva-
lent to President Duderstadt's at this
university.
Now, if Duderstadt had been tied up,
blindfolded and taken out behind the
Fleming Administration Building and
shot by a U.S. government death
squad, probably Duderstadt (or his re-
-placement) would think students justi-
-fied in demanding a response from
4ihose responsible for such an action.
And since U.S. tax dollars pay for
the aid to El Salvador which makes
possible the government's violence,
:and since the Department of Defense-
'funded weapons research at this and
-ther U.S. universities create the tech-
nology which the U.S. and Salvadoran
governments use to murder Salvado-
-rans like the rector, there is in fact a
every clear line of responsibility from
*this country and this university to El
Salvador and the University of Central
America.

versity, when it is the University of El
Salvador with whom we share that re-
lationship. But then, a University
president who refuses even to meet
with students cannot be expected to
know enough about student activities
and concerns to be aware of such basic
facts.
LaGROC demands rejected
It takes 300 students on the street and
150 in his office to force Duderstadt to
attempt the appearance of responding to
student concerns. Anxious to avoid
another protest at which he might actu-
ally have to confront students face to
face, Duderstadt made his empty ges-
ture the first working day after the
LASC protest.
Members of LaGROC, who confined
themselves to a Diag rally as the forum
for presenting their demands, had to

Resist th
In July1988, the University Board ofI
Regents adopted a policy designed to gov-
ern the rules for protest and free speech
on campus. At the next Regents meeting,
the University Council will present the
guidelines for the implementaion of this
policy which it has drawn up. This is the
first in a series of articles commenting on
the impact the implementation of such a
policy will have on the University com-
munity. The Daily encourages its readers
to submit their thoughts on the subject to
the Opinion page.
By Jonathan Rose
The University's Speech and Protest
Policy guidelines and hearing procedures
come with a lot of hype about principles
of free expression.
In the same way, the most repressive
regimes in the world boast that their
constitutions promote civil liberties.
Vagueness in standards is a great
weapon allowing tyrannical interpretation
of law. The substantive guidelines are re-
plete with vagueness.
A vague law is interpreted by the power
structure that is. The power structure at
the University is the self-interested non-
democratic administration.
The document explicitly permits Uni-
versity private police to interfere with the
progress of an event or protest, and to cor-
don off events separating the protester
from the locus of the event provided, pre-
sumably in the opinion of the private po-
lice, the protest is not thus "rendered inef-
fectual." What constitutes rendering a
protest ineffectual is an issue of signifi-
cant debate, and not one that should be de-
termined by the University police. Allow-
ing the University's private police to de-
termine that the protesters to University
policy can be effective enough if their
signs are seen by local passersby but not
the TV crews, only serves the private
censoring interest and not the public edu-
cating interest.
The speech and protest guidelines are to
be enforced by a Code denominated
"Hearing Procedures for Resolving Com-
plaints of Violations of the Policy on
Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expres-
sion." These procedures were submitted for
comment by a committee (U Council)
struggling for its existence against admin-
istration threat that if it does not produce
goods acceptable to the administration it
will be disbanded. A committee working
under this coercion is not blessed. It is
twice cursed, first by the fact that it is re-
quested to write a repressive law and sec-
ond, by the fact that it is implicitly told
that if it fails, an even more repressive one
will be written by others. Given that
thankless task, the U Council, on which
sits some good and civil libertarian peo-
ple, wrote a repressive law.
It is not easy and may be nearly impos-
sible to write an administrative Code that
is "good." An administrative Code by def-
inition is a law procedure that is not
democratically controlled. Thus it is not
government of, by, and for the people, but
is government by an elite (the administra-
tors) for themselves, and it governs the
people. While universities traditionally
judge and punish academic conduct non-
democratically, the same is not true of
academic conduct, nor is there any cause
for codes of nonacademic conduct. The
public, both victim and accused, are better
served by the legal system and the infor-
mal settlement of disputes that is done in
backdrop of the democratic legal system.
The guidelines purport to guarantee the

right of the protestor and the speaker to
exist in a kind of democratic harmony, and
the goal is so gently appealing that I be-
lieve some of the drafters actually believed
that they were carrying it out.
They aren't. The document allows for

protest
protest and heckling provided the protest
isn't "undue" interference, with no stan-
dards. What is "undue" is interpreted by a
University "representative," which could
be the administration's private police. The
guidelines permit "heckling and display of
signs so long as such activities are consis-
tent with the continuation of a speech or
performance." What if the speaker is, sub-
jectively, unreasonably offended and says
"remove the protesters or I cannot con-
tinue." There is no standard.
The document also permits protest out-
side the hall in "appropriate ways" without
definition. It goes on to permit the Uni-
versity to prosecute the protester by law or
"other formal action" (presumably a
CODE hearing).
Here are some of the specific problems
with the administrative hearings for the
speech and protest guidelines.
1) Nonunanimous verdict.
The movie "12 Angry Men" starring
Henry Fonda eloquently demonstrated the
importance of the unanimous verdict. The
entire movie showed the deliberation of a
jury. Consensus decision making requires
a quality of analysis that assures the turn-
ing of every stone to determine the facts
accurately. In a free society important
rights are protected by unanimous verdict.
If a person isn't guilty enough to convince
the whole jury, there is enough doubt to
require more deliberation and if still not,
mistrial or acquittal. Majority verdicts, as
found in the Codes but not the criminal

policy
punishable in civil court by fines and
community service hours.
8) Vagueness of "egregious" viola-
tions.
The policy provides for more severe
penalty for "egregious" violations, not de-
fined.
9) Double jeopardy.
The policy allows for multiple trials
under the policy, and for trials under the
policy and also in regular court, subjecting
the accused to double or multiple jeopardy.
10) Lack of peremptory challenge to
jurors.
In a regular court trial, the parties can
challenge jurors for "cause" and can chal-
lenge "peremptorily," without cause, ex-
cusing a limited number of jurors. This
right, absent under the CODE, is impor-
tant, because the mere attempt to chal-
lenge (remove) a juror for cause, if unsuc-
cessful, angers the juror, who in some
cases should then be excused peremptorily.
11) Weak standard of proof.
When important rights are affected a
criminal standard of proof (beyond reason-
able doubt) should be employed. Coupling
a weak standard of proof with nonunani-
mous verdicts is especially weak.
12) No requirement of notice of
rights to appeal.
While there is an appeal right, there is
no requirement of notice about the rights.
The appeal, like the original process, is
one containing defective procedural protec-
tions.

'These procedures were submitted for comment by
a committee (U Council) struggling for its existence
against administration threat that if it does not
produce goods acceptable to the administration it
will be disbanded.... Given that thankless task, the U

Council, on which sits some good and
libertarian people, wrote a repressive law.'

civil

*

'qm

i"
4b

LASC demands ignored

When 150 students walked into
Duderstadt's office to demand that he
make a statement condemning the re-
cent murders and the U.S. aid that
;supports the Salvadoran death-squad
government, he refused to meet with
them. Claiming that a meeting of more
than 10 students would "turn into a cir-
:cus," Duderstadt remained safely inac-
cessible and conveniently avoided a
forum in which he could be forced to
account for his actions - or lack
thereof.
On November 20, an open letter to
Duderstadt from the 150 students re-
peating their demand, along with a
separate letter from 10 faculty members
urging him to make a statement, ap-
peared in the Daily. With student and
faculty pressure on him mounting,
Duderstadt was forced to respond. He
wrote a letter to the acting rector of the
University of Central America, ex-
pressing his regret for the "senseless
spiral of violence enveloping your
country."
The content of the letter was mean-
ingless, and Duderstadt's attempt to
pass it off as a gesture of solidarity was
hollow and insincere. The violence in
El Salvador is in no way "senseless."
To refer to it that way - especially in a
letter to a man whose colleagues, ac-
cording to numerous news agencies
and eye-witnesses, have just been
murdered by Salvadoran government
death squads -- is callous and insult-
ing.
Duderstadt ignored the student de-
mand that he acknowledge the United
States' responsibility in funding the
Salvadoran government's violence. In
addition, he made the embarrassing
error of referring to the University of
Central America as U-M's sister uni-

LaGROC presented its demands to the
University on October 11. It took
President Duderstadt a month to
formulate a response: he referred them
to a committee.
wait over a month for the pretense of a
response they eventually received.
The University administration proved
equally inaccessible and unresponsive
to students concerned about lesbian and
gay men's rights as it did to those an-
gry about the U.S. war in El Salvador.
Duderstadt met none of LaGROC's
nine demands. Nor did he bother to
offer any sort of personal response or
expression of support. He referred the
demands to the Office of Affirmative
Action, which in turn referred La-
GROC to various other University of-
fices for some of the demands, while
rejecting others altogether.
The University administration as-
sured LaGROC that it is "firmly
committed to the protection of'lesbians
and gay men. To make such a claim
while refusing to include sexual orien-
tation in Bylaw 14.02, the University's
anti-discrimination clause, while refus-
ing to create a lounge where gay men
and lesbians can meet, while refusing
to include an openly gay member on
the AIDS task force or to agree that
Coming Out Day is worthy of official
University recognition, is hypocritical
and insulting.
The University administration's
weak attempts to appease the members
of LASC and LaGROC, and those who
support them, have not worked: both
LASC and LaGROC are planning new
actions. Students can learn from the
administration's most recent display of
complacence in the face of urgent stu-
dent concerns. Students will have to
organize and unify to aggressively
confront the University administration
if they are to affect meaningful change
on this campus.

law, allow for cursory quick debate and re-
sultant errors.
2) Lack of right to public trial at op-
tion of defense.
A public trial protects all of the ac-
cused's other rights. The private, secret
trial breeds abuse that cannot stand
scrutiny of the onlooker. The University
wants its CODE hearings in secret. Secret
trials are abhorred by free societies.
3) Lack of right of subpoena of favor-
able, reluctant witnesses.
A witness favoring the defense who
"doesn't want to get involved" should be
accessible to the defense, but isn't under
the administrative Codes, because there is
no power of subpoena. This is a fatal flaw
not found in the civil courts, where sub-
poenas are readily obtained.
4) Lack of right to a lawyer partici-
pating in the hearing.
An accused must be afforded the right to
counsel, even free counsel, if important
rights are at stake. The CODE procedures
deny this right.
5) Involvement of the Department
of Public Safety.
The private police are nondemocrati-
cally controlled police. Over the vehement
objection of students these police have
started to become deputized and armed.
They work not for the democracy but for
the administrative bosses.
6) Right of the President of the Uni-
versity to overrule MSA panel selec-
tion.
MSA nominates a person for a jury
panel and the President appoints, but re-
tains the right to refuse to appoint, thus to
influence the composition of the jury
pool.
7)Possibility of suspension following
University trial.
In spite of the weaknesses in the due
process, very important rights are at
stake. A student can be removed from the
University for acts of protest formerly

13) No effective way to exclude evi-
dence illegally seized. This is not a
mere "technicality." In one trial of a Uni-
versity student in the seventies for posses-
sion of a device capable of cheating the
phone company on toll charges, the case
was dismissed on motion of the prosecu-
tor, because the University housing offi-
cial admitted obtaining coerced consent to
search the dorm room and find the device
The prosecutor himself found that the
right to be protected from unreasonable
searches of your home was violated by the
University in the dormitory. The Fourth
Amendment protection against unreason-
able search and seizure is protection
against random police state, and the pro-
tection is secured by the "exclusionary
rule," keeping out illegally seized evi-
dence. The Codes do not have an adequate
way to effect the exclusion of illegally
seized evidence or other improper prejudi-
cial evidence.
Perhaps the most insidious example
demonstrating the University's intent to
control speech is the suggestion under the
speech and protest guidelines that there be
"dedicated public forums" where free
speech is freer than in places not so dedi-
cated. The flipside of the coin is that the
University gets to control where speech is
free and not free, a right of control hitherto0
unknown. Once this ominous right of
control were in place, the University could
narrow and restrict by time and place and
content the dedicated (by them) public fo-
rums. Much the way a person toilet trains
a puppy, first by putting newspaper all
over the floor, then gradually restricting
the place where the puppy poops by mak-
ing he covered area (the dedicated forum)
smaller, then finally carrying the newspa-g
per outside to teach the puppy that no fo-
rum in the house is so dedicated anymore.
Jonathan Rose is a University alumnus
and a former director of Student Legal
Services.

Conservative Coalition Reply

By Gene Kavnatsky
For the second semester in a row Corey
Dolgon, a Rackham Representative to the
Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) has
written an article on the election day criti-
cizing Conservative Coalition. We in the
Coalition find it extremely unethical for
Dolgon and the Daily to publish such an
article without giving us any chance to re-
spond to the allegations made before the
elections were over. What makes things
even worse is that allegations made

vador and the Occupied Territories of
Palestine, respectively, were kept very
quiet. We have taken a strong stand
against all such trips and envision spend-
ing that money on activities like working
on University reimbursing dorm residents
for unused meals, working on improving
training for Teaching Assistants, improv-
ing North Campus bus service, and most
importantly actively publicizing all MSA
activities to the student body.
Corey Dolgon made many accusations

University active recruitment of quality
minority students and of its elimination of
all gender-specific language. We are in
strong support for elimination of all types
of discrimination coming from the Uni-
versity administration and faculty. Fur-
thermore, we have never cut any funds
from the BMC. Considering that the
Coalition comprises less than a third of the
Assembly, cutting any funds of that nature
for us is not possible under the MSA con-
stitution.

',~

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