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September 07, 1989 - Image 30

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-07

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Page 6 - The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 7, 1989
Palestinian Solidarity: the
issue ignites the 'U' as the
Israeli occupation continues
by the Palestinian
Solidarity Committee

The Palestine Solidarity Com-
mittee is a national activist or-
ganization working primarily for
Palestinian human rights and self-de-
termination. PSC's Ann Arbor chap-
ter is composed of about twenty
members consisting of both students
and community members.
Our main objectives are to help
educate the campus and the commu-
nity about the historical injustices
committed against the Palestinian
people as well as providing informa-
tion concerning the current situation
of repression which Palestinians are
resisting today. The PSC believes
that the struggles of all oppressed
peoples are interrelated and thus,
works to generate support for initia-
tives that will ultimately provide
justice for all peoples whether they
be in Southern Africa, Central
America, or China.
Our committee is dedicated to
stopping U.S intervention in the
Middle East and ending the U.S.'s
funding of Israel's brutal occupation
of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip,
and southern Lebanon. In addition,
we educate Americans on the need to
support the Palestine Liberation
Organization, the sole legitimate
representative of the the Palestinian
people. We also educate the commu-

nity on the discriminatory nature of
Israeli society and expose the ways
in which Israel not only subjugates
and represses Palestinians and Leb-
anese, but also Black Southern
Africans, Salvadorans, and Guat-
emalans.
This year was particularly excit-
ing for PSC. In December, we cele-
brated the one year anniversary of the
intifada - the popular uprising of
the Palestinian people. Since
December 1987, Palestinians have
mobilized in a united effort to end
the Israeli military occupation of
their historic homeland. Working
closely with other progressive
groups, PSC organized a demonstra-
tion and march in solidarity with the
more than 700 Palestinians who
have been killed by the Israeli Army
in the last 20 months. Another
march in November celebrated the
announcement of the newly declared
Palestinian State.
During the previous academic
year, PSC's other activities included
erecting a wooden shanty on the diag
to represent the wretched conditions
of subjugation which Palestinians
have been forced to live under the
last forty one years. The shanty
symbolizes the Palestinian people's
will to stay on the land they have

lived on for hundreds of years as well
as their perseverance in their contin-
ued fight to be free.
In addition, PSC has also
brought to campus several nationally
and internationally renowned authori-
ties to speak on the question of
Palestine. Some of those featured in-
cluded Dr. Ali A. Mazrui, discussing
the special military and economic re-
lationship between Israel and South
Africa; Dr. Norman Finklestien on
Zionism and the manifestations of
the Israeli military occupation; and
Jane Hunter speaking on Israel's
role in arming such brutal regimes
as the white minority government in
South Africa as well as dictatorial
regimes in Central America and Iran.
This September the PSC is
bringing Israeli human rights ac-
tivist Dr. Israel Shahak to speak on
the current conditions of Israeli oc-
cupation and his perceptions of the
growing movement within Israel to
adopt harsher methods against the
Palestinian people. In addition, a
student delegation to Palestine,
which the PSC has organized for
this August, will return to campus
to speak about their experiences dur-
ing their three week stay. Keep your
eyes open for other events, speakers,
and demonstrations.

JESSICA GREENE/ Daily.
question "What kills?"

Members of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee chant the answer "U.S. Dollars" to the
at a PSC protest of a Jewish National Fund dinner last spring at the Campus Inn.

Israel's attempts to erase the
Palestinians and usurp their land will
continue. As the uprising enters its
twentieth month, it is quite apparent
that the brutality of Israeli leaders
has no bounds. Palestinians have
been savagely beaten, burned to
death, and even buried alive by the
Israeli army and Jewish settlers
commit atrocities on a daily basis
with impunity. There is no freedom
of speech or expression for
Palestinians living under occupation
and any attempts to protest non-vio-
lently are quickly put down - often
violently.

Because the Israeli government
knows education is so important to
Palestinians, schools are frequently
closed for several months at a time.
Palestinian nationalist poetry and
literature is outlawed, Palestinian
papers are censored, and the
Palestinian theatre has been driven
underground.
The violence, torture, and cultural
repression perpetrated against the
Palestinian people necessitates an
unwavering show of solidarity
among all Americans. Only when
Americans - who provide Israel
with four billion dollars annually -

join in the effort to liberate the
Palestinians from the chains of oc-
cupation will Palestine be free. Only
then will Palestinian children experi-
ence what their parents and grandpar-
ents have been denied - a society
where they can make the decisions
that effect their lives.
If you are interested in joining
the PSC please look for announce-
ments this fall regarding our meeting
times and places. We welcome all
who want to see the Palestinian
people given their rightful freedom.f

Disabled Student Services has a new look to better serve the 'U'

by Marguerite Mason
Disabled Student Services
Life at the University of Mich-
igan is filled with opportunities.
All a student needs to do is scan the
List in the Michigan Daily, access
any computer terminal with a UM-
CIC command, or phone the Cam-
pus Information Center to see
hundreds of options.
But it isn't that way if you're a
student with a handicapping charac-
teristic.
Two years ago at the University,
there wasn't a Director, there wasn't
a Secretary, there wasn't reliable
transportation, nor advocacy or ac-
cess. Only 45 students with disabili-
ties were attempting to cope with
University life under these condi-
tions.
Now, a full-time staff of four,
and part-time staff of five, provide
comprehensive services for over 125
undergraduate and graduate students.
The entire theme is "new".
One disabled student, Bob, said:
"The services that I needed were
simply not available. As a result, I
nearly flunked the first semester.

New office, buses, and programs make the University

a more attractive place for the disabled

w

Then with a scholarship, advocacy
with instructors for increased time
lines and a reduced course load, I
have just completed my undergradu-
ate degree with a 3.5 average. I
never would have survived, were it
not for Disabled Student Services."
Bob's disability is one of the
most difficult to accommodate in the
world of higher education; a learning
disability. In his case, he can't read.
When he reads, a sentence will look
like this: "Inbeqenbence is also
comsidered a vicic virtue,m for self-
relaicne menas pulling your own
thgiew."
One new feature at DSS is the
updated transportation system. Two
new buses have been put into ser-
vice. Before, a 12 year-old bus pur-
chased from Wayne State University
limped along with quarters support-
ing the wheelchair lift, and fumes
clearing out many student's sinuses.
"Now I can get to and from
classes with ease," reported one fre-
quently stranded wheelchair user. "I
often would attempt the snow drifts,

rather than endure the fright of that
bus."
"I can't go to evening classes,
club meetings, or the libraries be-
cause I can't get a night ride. The
'Nite Owl' can't accommodate a
wheelchair." The 8am - 5pm ride
schedule limits this mobility im-
paired graduate student. "Basically, I
never leave my dorm after dinner."
DSS is working on this problem.
A proposal has been submitted for
expanding the service hours for
buses. "We want to provide equitable
service. Most students can hop on a
bus until 3:00am. It won't be long
before everyone can," said Julie
Biernat, DSS administrative assis-
tant.
Some people talk with their
hands, others let their hands talk.
Interpreter services is another new
for the University. Two years ago,
there was only one first-year student
in need of sign language. Today
there are seven students seeking the
skills of Joni Smith, interpreter co-
ordinator, and many enrolled in her

classes.
"In the past year, more than
three hundred people have signed up
for my UAC course in sign lan-
guage. Many students have expressed
an interest in advancing their knowl-
edge in the field, and having this
language fully recognized as a for-
eign language requirement.
"Michigan State University and
many other Universities nationwide
already do so. As of Fall 1987, sign
language is accepted as a foreign
language fulfillment at the high
school level," Smith said. Michigan
is behind the times.
Shelia Marquardt, one of the
seven students, said about the ser-
vice, "I think it speaks highly of the
University and the Office of Disabled
Student Services that they permit
students with hearing impairments
to have sign language instructors and
interpreters free of charge."
"It's like, if they can't see your
disability, you must be lying," said
a junior with endometriosis. "Five
days a month I am in sheer agony,

unable to attend class. DSS arranged
for classes to be taped and notes to
be taken so that I could keep up.
They're great!"
Other students with hidden dis-
abilities have needed similar accom-
modations and now have their own
support group. People with arthritis,
cystic fibrosis, diabetes, heart dis-
ease, AIDS, psychiatric disorders,
and learning disabilities, are meeting
weekly to share valuable experiences
and information.
"My first experience with DSS
three years ago was a 5 minute con-
versation with a clerical worker in a
tiny office that I could barely ma-
neuver in. I left discouraged, ques-
tioning that if the office reflected the
University's support of students with
disabilities, then what was I doing
here? In three years, the services
have greatly expanded and DSS has a
national reputation," commented an
LS&A senior.
The office recently moved from a
tiny space in the basement of the
Michigan Union to a ground floor

location in Haven Hall.
"DSS does a fine job," says grad-
uate student Maxwell Edison. "They
are excellent advocates, giving hand-
icapped individuals the proper respect
they deserve in the work area and in
receiving their education. They also
provided volunteer readers, helped me
find classrooms in buildings, and
even gave me tips on nightly enter-*
tainment and happenings on cam-
pus."
Eddie Costrini, a PhD candidate
in the School of Pharmacy, summa-
rized what DSS is all about: "With-
out the efforts of Dar, Julie and the
Office of Disabled Student Services,
it would be impossible for me to
attend this University.
"They have been solely responsi
ble for the re-aligning of the think-
ing of the University. There is equ-
ity and relief of prejudice towards
disabled students through knowledge
and education. Isn't that what a Uni-
versity is all about?"

0

Snapshots of a rally
These photos are from a rally entitled "Black is Back" held by the Black
Student Union last winter. The BSU represents the University's Black
student body.

The
Nort Campus F

~Mart 0

oo

is now reopened and completely restocked.

Check us out for:
. Snacks
"Pop
. Milk

. Breakfast items
" Wines and Coolers
. Package Liquor

Waial-lit Rarer Qnckiimla

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