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October 11, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-11

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OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 11,1989

The Michigan Daily

Sb£kbiau aiI
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

OMA

Vol. C, No. 25

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.

MSA gets it wron-;

CCF gets recognition

CONSERVATIVE ELEMENTS on the
Michigan Student Assembly (MSA)
scored one of their first significant
victories last week, when they won the
renewed recognition of the Cornerstone
Christian Fellowship, a religious group
'which discriminates against lesbians
and gay men.
The group was de-recognized last
year after its sponsorship of an offen-
sive, homophobic singer spurred in-
vestigation into its rules for member-
ship. The group forbids the member-
.Ship of lesbians and gay men, unless
they "reform." This violates MSA's
rules, which deny recognition to
groups which discriminate on the basis
Of, among other things, sexual orienta-
tion.
The Cornerstone Christian
Fellowship as a group promotes and
publicizes offensive, homophobic
causes in the name of religion. Student
government support of such a group is
inappropriate and irresponsible.
Proponents of re-recognition argued
that the ban against lesbians and gay
men was a religious decision, a stance
which the group has the right to main-
tain. The organization does have a right
to maintain this position, but in doing
so it loses the privilege of MSA sup-
port. By MSA's dangerous reasoning,
bypassing its own rules, it has set a
precedent by which the Ku Klux Klan
must be recognized as a valid student
organization.
The decision was also apparently
based on the majority's view that MSA

recognition is a right, not a privilege.
But critics of the CCF have rightly ar-
gued that de-recognition by MSA does
not prohibit the group from existing on
campus, it only takes away the privi-
lege of access to resources provided
through MSA, like display space and
funding by the student body. MSA
must retain the right to restrict support
to groups which maintain discrimina-
tory practices, and that is why the cur-
rent rules exist.
Discriminating against lesbians and
gay men is not the same as discriminat-
ing against people on the basis of ide-
ology - such as limiting membership
of an organization to the followers of a
certain political party. Lesbians and gay
men may be members of any religion,
followers of any faith, adherents to any
ideology. Sexual orientation may be
suppressed or denied, but it may not
necessarily be altered at will. The belief
that lesbians and gay men can "reform"
if they chose to is itself hateful and dis-
criminatory, reflecting the deeply em-
bedded homophobia which permeates
our society and popular culture.
In deciding to recognize the
Cornerstone Christian Fellowship,
MSA has contributed to this climate of
fear and hatred. The action may still be
blocked, however, if the decision is
judged to have violated MSA's own
rules by the Central Student Judiciary.
A favorable decision by the CSJ will
work to undo some of the damage
caused by the ignorance and misjudg-
ment which contributed to MSA's de-
cision.

By B.J. Feng, Wei Ling,
Susan Rhee and Rubina Yeh
The following letter was originally ad-
dressed to the Office of Minority Affairs.
On the evening of October 2 your office
(OMA) sponsored a symposium titled,
"Achieving Unity in A Multicultural
Community." The organizers of the event
noted that attendance was very poor.
Participants interviewed in the correspond-
ing Daily article of (10/3/89) expressed
dismay at the lack of Asian American par-
ticipation. Cheryl Tilles, a program assis-
tant who helped plan the event, blames
sickness, and midterms for the low
turnout.
Hey, we already knew there wouldn't be
many Asian-Americans present. After all,
they are generally apathetic, and really
only care about their grades and their
BMWs, right? Minority symposiums etc.
don't interest them, right? WRONG!
WRONG! WRONG!
In a point of fact, many Asian-American
students who would have attended the
symposium were never made aware of the
event. It shouldn't have been a surprise
there were so few Asian Americans at
OMA's little function. The University of
Michigan Asian Student Coalition,

'The University of Michigan Asian Student Coalition, a
politically active Asian-American student group on cam-
pus, was never invited to or even informed of this sym-
posium.'

iouldn't
(UMASC), a politically active Asian-
American student group on campus, was
never invited to or even informed of this
symposium. We found out about the
symposium second hand (and a mere 30
minutes before it began). In our book, that
doesn't constitute very good communica-
tion. Pam Motoike, a member of the staff
at counseling services, was quoted in the
Daily as saying, "It really hits to the heart
of the problem when all students of color
don't attend these kind of events." We

wonder
call would have been sufficient to spread
the information about the symposium to
over 40 interested and concerned Asian-
American students. For the rest of you
Asian-
American students out there, this is
your university as much as it is anyone
else's. It's your responsibility to make it
as good as it can be.
As for the Office of Minority Affairs,
instead of sitting there "puzzled" by the

a6

agree with Pamela, but it also hurts to the
heart when the administration doesn't even
bother to tell us about these events.
This type of unintentional exclusion of
Asian-Americans from "minority" pro-
grams and events occurs all too often in
University planning. Members of the
OMA staff as well as most of the other
administration offices concerned with mi-
nority events know most, if not all, of the
major Asian-American student organiza-
tions on campus. Would it be too much to
ask that we be notified of such important
meetings seven days in advance - an en-
tire week? For UMASC, a simple phone

lack of Asian-American participants, you
should improve your contacts with Asian-
American student groups, who are in
touch with a significant portion of the
Asian-American student community. What
a novel idea! To make life a bit easier for
you folks at the Office of Minority Affairs*
(and at the Office of Affirmative Action),
we are sending you a list of Asian-
American student leaders. We want to be
involved. We want to make the University
a better place for everyone regardless of
color. Next time you plan a similar func-
tion drop us a line, and don't be too sur-
prised when we come.

Letters t o the e ditor

F---- ----

10

Rape is not sex

IN A recent Florida case a rape defen-
dant was acquitted because, as the jury
determined, the clothes the woman was
,wearing indicated that she wanted to be
,raped. Juror Roy Diamond was quoted
by the Associated Press: "She asked
for it. The way she was dressed with
that skirt you could see everything. She
was advertising for sex."
This decision, and the comments by
the juror, reflect many of the most dan-
gcrous, pervasive, and wrong ideas
,about women and rape.
That women ask for it is one of the
most common myths about rape. If a
woman chooses to get drunk, chooses
e wear a short skirt, or chooses to in-
vite a man into her home, she has not
-given up her right to make decisions
about her body. She has not asked to
be raped. Those who blame women for
rape seek to deny women the right to
choose.
And rape is not sex.
Rape is an act of violence intended to
control, disempower and humiliate. To
say that a woman "was advertising for
"sex" does not mean that she was ad-
-vertising for rape. If a woman wears a
miniskirt, a tank top or a bikini she is
not asking to be raped. It is a woman's
right to choose what she will wear.
*Women in our society are faced with

a double standard about their sexual
selves. If they choose not to have sex
with a man they are "frigid" or "a
tease." But if women like sex, or have
sex with several people, they are
"sluts" or "whores." It is not acceptable
for women to be sexually active, or
even to enjoy sex, so, in our society,
these women relinquish control over
their bodies. In many countries it is not
illegal to rape a woman who is a prosti-
tute.
Women's bodies are objectified and
commodified for the ownership of men
in our culture. When a woman gets
married she becomes the property of
her husband. In most states, marital
rape is legal.
We live in a rape culture which en-
courages and promotes violence against
women. The message sent to men is
that women are objects for their sexual
gratification, and the message sent to
women is that they really have little al-
ternative to that role if they are to be
considered "normal." Women are
caught in a no-win situation where they
are told that they must appeal to men.
But if they "go too far," and "look too
sexy," they give up all rights to their
own bodies.
Rape is not sex, and no really does
mean no.

Support
child
visitation
To the Daily:
700,000 to 750,000 women
are admitted to local jails in the
United States during a single
year. Of these women, 47% to
80% have children under the
age of twelve. Approximately
80% of these children witness
the arrests of their mothers.
And after the arrest many
children go months or even
years without seeing their
mothers. Many times this
separation causes irreversible
damage to the relationships
between mothers and their
children.
A program is beginning at
the Washtenaw County Jail
that will, it is hoped, intervene
in the separation process and
enable children to visit with
their mothers in a supportive
setting. The Children's
Visitation Program will allow
mothers and children to visit
together in a huge room filled
with educational toys. During
these visits children are free to
move around the room and play
with other children, something
that is not allowed during
regular contact visits.
This type of program is a
necessity for both mothers and
children. Children often count
off days on their calendars until
they can see their mothers
again. And the women on the
"inside" committee of the
Children's Visitation Program
make program decisions,
something which is unheard-of
in jail or prison, yet is vital to
the women's self-esteem.
But to make this program a
reality, we need a commitment
from people in the community
who will drive or escort
children on these "special"
visits. Drivers are needed for
two Saturdays a month to pick
up and drop off children at the
county jail. Escorts are also
needed to ride in the cars with
the drivers and children.
An organizational meeting
for the Children's Visitation
Program will be held on
Wednesday, October 11 at 8:30
pm in the Women's Studies
Lounge (2nd floor West
Engineering Building). If you
cannot attend the meeting or
just want more information,
nlancea rnll Tali.- nr XIrnr.Rnt

trees in my father's homeland
for every negative reference to
Israel appearing in the Daily. It
is too bad that the Daily will
never print enoug negative ref-
erences to replace my family's
confiscated orange groves or
the razed olive trees on the
West Bank. I smile still.
Someday my Jewish cousins
and I will relax in the comfort-
able shade of the "Michigan
Daily" trees in southwest
Jerusalem, laughing at the un-
witting generosity of those
who thought only one people
had roots in the Holy Land.
-Jamal E-Hindi
October 2, 1989
Recycle
UM: tip of
big iceberg
To the Daily:
Although the Daily recog-
nizes only a small effort in re-
cycling by the University
("Recycle the Red Tape,"
10/6/89), that effort is the tip
of a $350,000 iceberg which
will dramatically increase each
year. It is understandable that a
busy student living in off-cam-
pus housing would overlook
the less visible progress which
has been made: the 20 months
and $40,000 spent on the plan-
ning, the inclusion of student
input in the planning process
(primarily Recycle UM); the
current recycling of all food
service cardboard in the resi-
dence halls (10,000 students);
the current newspaper and pizza
box program in the residence
halls; the near-future plans to
institutionalize recycling of
family housing waste (5,000
students), computer paper, and
office paper. Indeed, the
University has the best pro-
gram of the Big Ten schools.
We know this because we ana-
lyzed their programs (as well as
others) to plan for ours.
Recycle UM is currently
promoting recycling and im-
proving implementation of the
University's program through
the efforts of over a 100 volun-
teers working on the following
committees: residence halls,
academic buildings, fraternities
and sororities, procurement of
recycled products, environmen-
tal education, off-campus hous-
ing, and the Daily.
The Daily's enthusiastic

grams due to lower prices for
their recycled newsprint. Will
we have to shut down our
newsprint recycling because the
Daily and the Ann Arbor News
pass up opportunities to switch
to recycled newsprint? Such a
switch would support the same
recycled paper processing mill
which buys our recycled
newsprint. Recycle UM asks
the Daily to explore switching
to recycled newsprint, to con-
duct trial runs on recycled
newsprint, to develop a time-
line for phasing in recycled
newsprint. Furthermore, the
Daily could print in a small
box of every issue "Please re-
cycle this paper" and have a
weekly recycling column.
Although recycling "is
easy", institutionalizing recy-
cling "is not." If you want to
help make recycling institu-
tional at the University, get
involved with Recycle UM.
Leave me a message in my
student mail folder at the
School of Natural Resources or
participate in our computer
conference (UB sys):
"snr:recycle"
-Jim Hartman
October 9
Slur angers
M S
MSU
students
To the Daily:
I am a Michigan State Uni-
versity student who, along
with the other 40,000 plus stu-
dents in East Lansing, was
made aware of a photo and cap-
tion run by The Michigan
Daily asking University of
Michigan students when MSU
students learned how to read.
I lived in Ann Arbor for four
years before coming to Michi-
gan State, during that time I at-
tended and worked at athletic
camps at the University of
Michigan, along with various
other jobs for the athletic de-
partment, and they were great
experiences. In fact, Ann Arbor
is a great town and the Univer-
sity is obviously no exception
as it is regarded as one of the
country's finest learning insti-
tutions.
Everyone knows that U of M
is a great school, you have a
lot to be proud of and you cer-
tainly have nothing to prove to
anybody. So if you want to
brag that's fine, you have the

Michigan, then his sense of
pride in being a Spartan has
grown. I for one, agree whole-
heartedly with him!
-Kristi L. Gilbert
October 5
In defense*
of 'McU'
To the Daily:
No matter how late the paper
may be, I nonetheless feel
compelled to write. I must say
I was absolutely incensed after
reading "Welcome to McUni-
versity" by "Anonymous" in
the Daily of 14 September.
The nameless author claims
that at Michigan,
"undergraduates figure primar-
ily as revenue enhancers...Your
intellectual development while
here will be fostered only to
the extent that it is cost effec-
tive to the University." S/he
asserts that the U of M "is a
giant corporation, a kind of
McUniversity, whose aim it is
to process you into a finished
product for the labor market, in
hopes that you will one day be
able to make large donations to
the University."
I graduated from Michigan in
1981, and in my four wonder-
ful years there, I met hundreds,
yes hundreds, of students who
were attending free of charge, atO
the University's expense.
These fine students were not
"revenue enhancers" or "cost ef-
fective for the University."
They were simply getting an
excellent education.
The accomplishments of the
students, alumni, and faculty of
the University of Michigan are
known literally in every coun-*
try of the world. Whether
"Anonymous" likes it or not,
Michigan students have indeed,
as s/he suggests sarcastically,
"entered the hallowed halls of
an institution dedicated to
teaching you deep ways of
thinking about and dealing
with life." Why do I get the
feeling that "Anonymous" is a*
lousy TA and a lousy scholar?
S/he complains about having
too little time to be a good
TA, yet s/he sits down to pen
an 800-word absurdity for the
Daily. Having realized his/her
intellectual mediocrity,
"Anonymous" has, perhaps un-
derstandably, become bitter.
To call the University "a
kind of McUniversity" is an 6

Today is National Coming Out Day
So...
Come out to the Diag or come out on the Diag
The Lesbian and Gay Men's Rights Organizing Com-
mittee encourage students to attend a rally at noon on
the Diag to celebrate the event. Wear stripes if you're

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