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October 31, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-31

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0

OPINION
Tuesday, O ctober 31, 1989

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

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~Ib £kihau i:4aiIQ,
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 40 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.

20-

Minority Enrollment, Showing Group Breakdown, 1980-1989

IPA

University propaganda outdoes itself:
Off the Record

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The relationship of the University
Record to the University administration
is certainly no secret. The weekly,
University-supported publication is not
subtle in its support for administration
policy and practice. But a special
spread on the Michigan Mandate in last
week's issue, entitled "Highlights of
Progress: A Report to the University
Community," went beyond even the
usual, uncritical approach to University
affairs.
Since figures revealing a decline in
first-year enrollment for Black, His-
panic and Native American students
were first released this fall, the admin-
istration has been fighting an uphill
battle to convince the community that
the Michigan Mandate has in fact made
a difference on campus.
To further this effort last week, the
Record pitched in what it called "the
first of a series of reports to the Uni-
versity community on achievements,
progress, efforts, and in some cases,
challenges inherent in our ongoing ef-
fort to implement the Michigan Man-
date and build a stronger, better, and
more diverse University of the 21st
century" (emphasis added). Apparently
the series will not be discussing any of
the failures, pitfalls, shortcomings,
shortcuts, weaknesses or deceit which
mar that effort.
The Record's report certainly lives
up to its prearnible.
Deceptive words
In its general statistics, the report
notes that "This is the ninth consecutive
year that U-M minority enrollment has
increased." There is no mention of the
fact that Black and Native American en-
rollment have not followed that trend.
Black enrollment in fact spent seven
years falling, from 1976-83 (a period
which includes four years out of the
nine consecutive noted in the Record);
Black enrollment is still not as high as
it was in 1976. Native American en-
rollment never increased significantly
during that period, and is now lower
than it was in 1980.
The Record's creative use of lan-
guage to disguise reality is relentless. If
you thought that the opposite of an
"increase" was a "decrease," think
again. The report does note that first-
year enrollment of Black, Native
American and Hispanic students
"declined" this year. But it explains that
"Student retention in the upper levels as
well as more minority transfer students
explain how freshman minority enroll-
ment could decline while overall mi-
nority enrollment increased signifi-
cantly" (emphasis added). In the case
of Black students, that "decline" of
first-year students was 13 percent,
while the "significant increase" of
overall population was only 6.4 per-
cent.
Distorted images
But the most striking section of the
full-page report is the large bar-graph
which sprawls across the bottom. Enti-
tled, "A 10-year look at minority en-

rollment," it portrays the ever-increas-
ing enrollment slope of all four recog-
nized minority groups lumped together.
The visual impact is impressive. Within
each bar, the numbers of students in
each group for that year are listed, but
the percentages each group makes up
out of the total are not shown.
To spare Daily readers the trouble of
these computations, the same graph -
but with the group breakdowns in-
cluded - is presented here. This re-
veals that Asian enrollment (as a per-
centage of the total population) has
nearly tripled during this period and
Hispanic enrollment has doubled. But
Black enrollment dropped for four
years, thenslowly climbed to achieve
only an 18 percent increase. Native
American enrollment dropped 2 per-
cent.
Hiding the real questions
The University Record's deceptive
propaganda should not come as a sur-
prise to most students. The publication
was established in the early 1970s,
when student activism was at a peak
and the need to conjure up positive im-
ages was deemed important by the
administration.
Outside the realm of statistics manip-
ulations, however, the real questions of
accessibility to people of color and
people with less economic power are
veiled. Why, for example, should we
be expected to celebrate an increase in
Black enrollment, when the increase
comes not from higher recruitment of
high school students, but from transfer
students - an increase which looks
good for the University, but does
nothing to increase the number of col-
lege-educated Black people in society.
And what are the forces which con-
tributed to the rise and fall of Black
enrollment over the last 15 years?
Black enrollment peaked in 1976, after
years of intense activism on the part of
the Black Action Movement and other
groups, then dropped for seven years
as financial aid was slashed and ac-
tivism deceased.
While the University gloats over
miniscule gains in enrollment, the facts
deserve scrutiny. At the rate of increase
for real Black enrollment over the last
ten years, for example, it will take
more than 30 years to achieve a 12 per-
cent Black student population. Even at
the rate of growth achieved during
President Duderstadt's first year, 12
percent Black enrollment won't be
reached until 2002.
The constant barrage of deceptive
misinformation from the administration
and the University Record is calculated
to make any substantive analysis and
understanding of the forces which
shape the nature of the University's
student body nearly impossible. This
analysis is crucial to combatting the
structural and institutional obstacles
which prevent the University from be-
coming open and accessible to those it
claims to serve.

0 .*.
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Total University minority student population has risen consistently since 1980, but the breakdown shown here reveals that
growth has not been equally distributed across racial and ethnic groups.
. . ..
L:tt"% % ::o;th.E:%::C$;:%:i M

6

Daily's
humor in
bad taste
To the Daily:
Just a quick note to state a
couple of my opinions. First, I
have to tell you that the comic
strip "Full Moon over McDon-
alds" is really awful. I've read
it every day since it began, re-
serving judgement, keeping in
mind that it takes time for
things to blossom, but by now
it's clear to me that it isn't
funny or entertaining, has
nothing valuable to say, and
isn't improving with age.
Ditch it.
Second, regarding the flap
over the caption that was
derogatory towards Michigan
State University students.
When I first read the caption, it
struck me as a particularly ado-
lescent form of cut-down,
something one would say in
high school regarding a rival
high school. I just put it down
to someone's momentary lapse
of judgement.
But now it sounds like you
really want to defend this cap-
tion as humor, so it looks like
more than a lapse of judge-
ment, it looks like someone
really does think in ansadoles-
cent manner which is boorish,
provincial, and not appropriate
to the staff of the student
newspaper of a major univer-
sity. Come on, kids, the ma-
ture thing to do is just apolo-
gize for your lapse, it's no big
deal. If you stonewall on this it
will just get worse and you
have more important things to
worry about- racism, nuclear
war, hunger, the CIA, etc.
-Dalynn Park
October 11
The world
deserves
better TV
To the Daily:
The growing cry from Euro-
pean communities to impose
quotas against American televi-
sion shows deserves little
sympathy but merits a hearing.
As the 1992 economic inte-
gration approaches, many Eu-
ropean countries are looking
into different ways of blocking
out what is viewed as the
growing threat of American
cultural imperialism.
First there was a push to ban
At ..-.. ,....... _- .L .....i. -.

censorship and tampering with
a free market, and rightfully so.
But the menace of cultural
invasion, whether used as an
excuse or grounded in real
fears, should be scrutinized
more closely.
An editorial columnist in a
leading Chinese newspaper
once wrote of a conversation he
had with his five year old son.
His son asks him if "President
Reagan" is the president of the
Republic of China. The
columnist points this out as a
criticism of the slipshod man-
ner in which local journalists
translate CNN's foreign news
coverage. Pressed to fill up
news time, local journalists
forget to stipulate that it is the
"U.S." President Reagan.
Local media do not have the
resources for comprehensive
coverage of breaking news
events as their American coun-
terparts do. Chinese newspa-
pers routinely incorporate
translations of American publi-
cations like Time and The Wall
Street Journal. The impact of
TV news has more direct re-
sults. Even news of a dog on
skateboards in a small Ameri-
can town can spark new fads in
other parts of the world.
There is something almost
pathetic about this copying,
and foreign media, as well as
governments, should realize
that improving local programs
is the first and only step that
has to be taken.
Restrictions, on the other
hand, are not only hypocritical
but do nothing to improve the
quality of local shows. It's
time for the American people
to set a good example, and
move toward improving the
quality of world television.
Lanchen Pao
-October 15
Clarify the
clause
To The Daily:
In her letter, "Sexual orienta-
tion is not an ideology,"
(Daily, 10/30/89), Mary Las-
saline states that the current
MSA recognition clause, pro-
hibiting discrimination by
University organizations on the
basis of race, religion, ethnic
group, creed, sex, age, ances-
try, marital status, sexual ori-
entation or physical handicap,
is an appropriate ideal for our
campus to pursue.
I agree. However, the prob-
lem that Brian Taylor touched

basis of sex. Last year, the
United Coalition Against
Racism (UCAR) held a confer-
ence for people of color, during
which at least one meeting was
held where Anglo-Americans
were excluded (in order that
people of color might be able
to discuss the issue of racism
amongst themselves), thereby
technically discriminating on
the basis of ethnic group.
No one on this campus
(myself included) is calling for
the derecognition of the entire
Greek system or of UCAR -
and rightly so. Although such
groups are in technical viola-
tion of the discrimination
clause, MSA has decided that
these technical violations are
acceptable in light of the over-
all purposes of these groups.
So, MSA has interpreted the
clause in favor of these groups,
allowing them to be recog-
nized.
Cornerstone Christian Fel-
lowship (CCF) is accused of a
technical violation of the dis-
crimination clause as it per-
tains to CCF's membership
policies - an interesting accu-
sation considering that CCF
has no formal definition of
membership. Why are certain
students on this campus calling
for CCF's derecognition?
CCF's principal purpose is not
to preach that homosexuality is
sin; rather, its principal pur-
pose is to share its understand-
ing of Christianitywith the
University community. Why
enforce the clause strictly in
this case and loosely in other
cases?
Such a question is not
rhetorical. There are probably
many reasons why the discrim-
ination clause should be en-
forced differently for different
student groups. Student groups
on this campus have the right
to know what is expected of
them in terms of the discrimi-
nation clause, and to not be
subject to the interpretations of
the clause which seem to
change from year to year. Let's
decide on what we really mean
when we talk about the dis-
crimination clause and put it
into the All-Campus Compiled
Code.
-Jim Huggins
October 31
Offensive
comic strip
To the Daily:

dished out a healthy serving
two pages later (p. 6) with its
comic strip, "Nuts and Bolts,"
by Judd A. Winick.
This episode features a talk-
ing pig, named Oscar, who in-
sults one of the regular charac-
ters (my apologies to the Daily,
for not knowing his name) by
assuming that he is a Jew who
keeps Kosher, due to the size
of his nose. The violent reac-
tion of the character merits
Oscar's apology, "Oh pardon.
my presumption, I suppose,.
you have pelicans in your fam-
ily, right handsome?"
As a Jew, I am bewildered by'
the stereotype that Winick uses
in "humor" to represent me. As
a Jew who does not keep
kosher, I fear that I am guilty'
of not living up to the Daily's'
definition of what a Jew should
be. As a Jew with a large nose,
I am sorry that Oscar in, "Nuts
and Bolts," does not find me at-
tractive. Most of all, as a Jew
who is proud of his religion, I,
am disgusted that my faith is
being portrayed as a source of
insult and shame.
The Daily and Judd A..
Winick owe an apology to all,
Jews on campus. In fact, that
apology would fit nicely in the
place of,"Nuts and Bolts," in
tomorrow's issue.
-Paul J. Crystal-*
October 23
M

Kotcher
twice a
loser

'
e
ft

To the Daily:
I was humored by Glenn
Kotcher's assertion that he is a
"well-known campus political
figure" ("Kotcher calls it
quits," Daily 10/26).

0

Growth of Minority Groups in Relation to Total Student Population, 1980-1989

200
s
0

I-l"

172%

I do not feel that Kotcher is.
in the position to be so
pompous, nor do I feel that he
has the right to compare
himself to Zach Kittrie. While'
Zach won a seat on MSA
twice, receiving overwhelming; *
amounts of votes both times,
Kotcher has failed twice in his'
quest to become an MSA rep-:
resentative.
Kittrie is a "well-known po-
litical figure" because he truly
cares about every members of
the University community
(with the possible exception of
Kotcher himself). I suspect thatn 0

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