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September 15, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-15

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, September 15, 1989

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C. NO. 7 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.
Pay at the door
THE UNVERSITYadministration has lead to the acceptance of more poor
Ti UNIerSetiT.students and people of color.
a habit of perpetuating certain myths "Students do not choose the
about the nature of the University. One University on the basis of their family
of them was repeated recently byT
Harvey P. Grotrian, director of finan- income. There seems to be rather equal
cial aid, as quoted in the Ann Arbor opportunities based on factors other
News than economic, Grotrian said.
"We don't find just the rich and we Ironically, Grotrian is right: it is the
don't find just the poor attending our University which uses income level as
school. We're just the middle, across the criteria for selection - students
all income levels." from low-income families never get the
The University of Michigan is a pub- chance to choose. Many students who
lic school, but who is the public it score poorly on standard tests will
serves? never apply, many more are are steered
The most expensive public away from college-track courses in
University in the United States, the high school, and never take the tests.
University is home to a disproportion- The figures Grotrian based his state-
ate number of upper-middle and upper ment on reflect the number of students
class students. This is a result not only who decide to attend the University
of the high price of an education here, after being accepted. He ignores the
but also of admissions policies which total make-up of the student body.
favor students from more affluent Look at the numbers: while 40.5 per-
backgrounds. cent of households in the U.S. have
annual incomes of $20,000 or less,
The University relies on standardized only 10 percent of University under-
tests which have consistently been graduate's families fall into that cate-
shown to measure family income more gory.
accurately than they do a students abil- This University is not open. If the
ity to perform in college. Studies have University wants to live up to
sh9wn that high school grades, as a Grotrian's claims, it should lower tu-
criteria for admission, would better itionsand drop standardized tests as
predict college performance, and would admissions criteria.

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Parental Income
Distribution
for University of
Michigan, Ann
Arbor Undergrads

$30,000
20,000
10,000

SAT scores compared
to parents'mean income
- -- i Tf 1

0
<3
U

20,000 or less
21,000-40,999
41,000-60,999
61,000-80,999
81,000-99,000
100,000 and up

0 250 350 450 550 650 750
sat score

40.5%

Income Distribution
for U.S. Households

0
0

$ 20,000 or less
$ 21,000 -49,999

$ 50,000

or more

The pie graphs indicate the disparity
between family income distribution
in the United States and that of the
families of University undergradu-
ates. Skyrocketing tuition and
class-biased admissions policies
make the University inaccessible to
the majority of people it purports
to serve.
The line graph demonstrates the
correlation between family income
level and Scholastic Aptitude Test
(SAT) scores. Although they have
been proven to favor rich white
men, SATs and other standardized
tests are important factors in deter-
mining admission to the
University.

.

From the eye of the hurricane

What's
SEVERAL FRATERNITIES have made
the news recently for their "reform"
programs designed to address what
have been described as "problems"
with alcohol abuse and pledge and
hazing practices. Two campus fraterni-
ties, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Beta
Tau, have plans to eliminate their
pledge programs.
According to a TKE press release,
hazing has led to the deaths of about 55
fraternity pledges in the past decade.
According to ZBT chapter president
Adam Dishell, "I loved pledging...a lot
of us were upset when this happened,
but we realize its time to grow up."
Though it's nice to see that some fra-
ternity members might be starting to
realize that what they have always seen
as fun might actually be disgusting,
and often criminal behavior, these steps
are token at best, and represent futile
attempts to reform an institution which
is fundamentally unreformable.
As evidenced by advertising slogans
like "membership has its privileges"
and "be a winner," frats thrive on the
idea that the more exclusive the better.
To be exclusive means to exclude peo-
ple. Because of the particular history of
both colleges and fraternities, this ex-
clusion has been based in very specific
ways along class, gender and race

the rush?
lines. Fraternities were created by and
for white men.
Continuing tradition, as described by
fraternity men, is one of the most im-
portant components of brotherhood.
Yet a closer look at the charter of one
fraternity makes clear what that tradi-
tion is.
Until World War Two, the parts of
the charter describing membership cri-
teria specified "men of full Aryan
blood." As a result of Hitler's use of
the word Aryan, and the context in
which he used it, the requirements
were amended to read "white Christian
men." But in the 1950s, when fraterni-
ties first were challenged as racist and
anti-semitic institutions, the require-
ments were again amended. To this day
they read "men in keeping with the
traditions of the institution." And since
tradition is so vital to the continuation
of frats, any real deviation from the
tradition of full Aryan blood will be
cosmetic at best.
The specific racist, sexist and classist
history of fraternities make institutional
reform impossible. As,long as they
exist in order to be exclusive and in
order to continue their traditions they
will perpetuate that history.
If you want to work for change,
don't waste your time in a frat.

By Jeff Gerhart
In the fall of 1988 the Atlantic Coast of
Nicaragua was nearly completely destroyed
by a hurricane. The incredible destruction
was a sever blow to Nicaragua, a country
already in sever economic crisis due to the
U.S.-sponsored war and embargo against
it. Despite this, the Nicaraguan people and
international aid groups joined together to
send emergency aid to the Atlantic Coast
to help reconstruct the region. In the pro-
cess, many people first learned of the pre-
dominantly black, Carribean-based culture
of Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast. The hurri-
cane has helped Nicaraguans of different
ethnic backgrounds, including Hispanics,
Afro-Nicaraguans, and Miskito Indians,
become aware of the different concerns
each has within the revolutionary process
in Nicaragua.
Music has been a vitally important cul-
tural bridge between the Atlantic and
Pacific regions of the country, which have
been divided by history and geography, by
war and economic hardship at the hands of
the U.S. government. But since the 1979
revolution these regions have been united
for the first time in over 300 years. The
new spirit of this vital region is exempli-
fied by the reggae band Soul Vibrations,
who will be performing in Ann Arbor this
weekend.
The music of Soul Vibrations is a spe-
cific expression of Afro-Nicaraguan youth
who are active in the revolutionary pro-
cess. Their music builds awareness of a
Black culture within Nicaragua which has

been manipulated by foreign intervention,
and shares their vision of true cultural au-
tonomy for Atlantic Coast communities
with all Nicaraguans. Now U.S. audiences
are learning from them as well.
For Africans throughout the world, reg-
From the
Atlantic
Coast comes
Soul
Vibrations,
an Afro-
Nicaraguan
Reggae
Band.
gae music has become a voice of political
struggle and cultural aspirations. The
Black youth of Nicaragua identify strongly
with the African continent; through the
music of international reggae artists such
as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny
Wailer, they have begun to learn about
popular struggles against imperialism and

apartheid, and to appreciate their own her-
itage. The music of Soul Vibrations is an
important vehicle for the expression of
their ideas, and for the forging their own
Afro-Nicaraguan cultural identity.
Soul Vibrations will host a Salvadoran
dinner tonight at 6:30 pm at the Friend
- Iw

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Meeting House at 1416 Hill St. Following
the dinner, Phillip Ellis, a member of the
band, will speak on the autonomy process
on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast. The
group's concert will be held Saturday
night at 9pm in the Union Ballroom.
Jeff Gerhart is a member of the Latin
American Solidarity Committee.

Wasserman

'THE ?OLL$
NAVE CL050.-
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,.. AND RE~TURNS SH1OW SOME
stints AMAN6& lNK4lW VOMERS

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VLL O~ve THlE LACK .TALLY.

A ScOONAS TV Mog tlEUS
PaoPtu VRE.~PORT 1W Id

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Letters to the Editor ,

Remember
Dow kills
To the workers in the
Chemistry Extension
Building:
We apologize.for any incon-

have accomplished:
Scarred our planet with land-
fills full of styrofoam.
Polluted hundreds of square
miles in Michigan with dioxin.
Mutated people around the
world through their production
of agent orange.
Killed thousands by produc-
ing nnn'

respect for Thomas
Monaghan's views, you aren't
even giving him the benefit of
running his company the best
way he sees fit. If Mr.
Monaghan deems it not
necessary to have unions then
as sole stock holder he
shouldn't have them.

ever he likes with the money
he earns. I wouldn't want
someone telling me where to
spend my money.
4. He can build houses wher-
ever he likes to. They may be
expensive, but who cares?
5. He can support any politi-
cal movement he desires with-

0

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