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November 08, 1989 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-08

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OPINION
Page4 Wednesday, November 8, 1989

The Michigan Daily'

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A letter to Pres.

Duderstadt

4,

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. C, No. 46

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
1 cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
: f the Daily.
.Where racism is born

RO CTOBER 3, over 300 Latino and
Bik students at Eastern District High
School in Brooklyn, New York,
stopped classes and protested for the
renyal of a teacher they accused of
making overtly racist remarks during
social studies classes. When the stu-
dents left the school after early dis-
missal, they were met by about 100 riot
police wielding clubs. The police
started beating students in the street;
four' were arrested, and three were
treated for injuries at the hospital.
Students at Eastern District High,
made up of 74 percent Latino and 22
percent African-American students,
weire upset by teacher Jeffrey Gold-
stein's saying that "Blacks and Latinos
don't care about education;" that Blacks
and, Latinos are inferior to whites and
will. eventually "die out;" that "South
African Blacks could not govern
thetnselves;" and that the apartheid
regime was "superior to other African
governments."
Having teachers such as these in the
school system contributes to the high
school student drop out rate. In New
York City one-third of Latino students
and. cne-fourth of African American
students drop out of high school each
year
fDisempowerment of people of color
in' the schools is not uncommon.
Eastern District's superintendent
William Rogers named an intermediate
school for his role model and hero,
Job Wayne, and also once allowed
Haidic Jews to build a wall inside a
pulic school to segregate their children
frqin Latino pupils. These moves
angered the overwhelmingly Black and
Latino population of the district, and
drew furious protest from the
community.

Students are organizing, however,
and making demands that should sound
familiar to us at the University and
other institutions of higher education.
They are asking for more Latino and
Black teachers, more classes on Black
and Latino history and culture, more
and newer books, and sympathetic
teachers, as advisors, to press for their
demands.
It does not take much digging to un-
cover the roots of institutional racism in
education. They lie in the elementary,
intermediate and high schools - where
because of unequal distribution of
funding, students in poor neighbor-
hoods are further victimized by inade-
quate funds for their schools - and
grow to fruition at institutions like the
University of Michigan, where poor
students and students of color are dis-
proportionately excluded.
Latino, Black and poor inner city
youth are constantly bombarded with
the racist messages espousing their in-
feriority from teachers like Jeffrey
Goldstein. Unfortunately, people in
higher education continue to perpetuate
these myths - exemplified by former
LSA Dean Peter Steiner's remark that
the University "should not be the type
of institution to which minorities would
naturally flock."
To combat the attitudinal racism sup-
ported by educational institutions, it is
necessary to teach people that racism
indeed exists; and to overcome it by
empowering students, parents, and
teachers to speak and act out against
such atrocities when they occur.
It is necessary to reteach the "Jeffrey
Goldsteins" on this campus before they
have further opportunity to perpetuate
these myths - for the future is at
stake.

by Melanie Welch
Please treat this letter as a formal com-
plaint about the administration of scholar-
ship funds by the College of LS&A and
other colleges in the University of Michi-
gan. The LS&A fund, which exceeds
$250,000, is entirely controlled in prac-,
tice by three white male professors and has
been for at least the past ten years These
white male professors have complete dis-
cretion about the criteria they use for re-
warding the LS&A scholarships and the
students they choose with these criteria.
Students who want to challenge this
committee, as I do, are told that the only
possible appeal is to this committee itself
and that even the Dean of LS&A has no
power to overrule their decisions.
The criteria the LS&A scholarship com-
mittee uses are likely to exclude many
women and minority students who are
very much in need of financial assistance
to be able to continue attending the Uni-
versity. They have chosen to call these
scholarships "merit" scholarships and to
define "merit" very narrowly - to include
only students who have a 3.6 or higher
grade point average (GPA) or higher for all
previous course work, regardless of any
circumstances preventing a student from
being graded this way by a predominantly
white male faculty.
It is also questionable whether GPAs
measure the kind of merit desirable in a
college student or whether they measure a
student's abilities at rote memorization,
regurgitating professors' and authors'
ideas, and conformity to Eurocentric, ra-
cial, class, and gender biases presented in
most courses. These abilities are not com-
patible with higher level thinking skills or
creativity. As I am sure you know, there

"The criteria the LS&A scholarship committee uses
are likely to exclude many women and minority
students who are very much in need of financial
assistance to be able to continue attending the Uni-
versity.

has been credible research in this country
which demonstrates a causal relationship
between high family income and high stu-
dent grades.
There is also an obvious correlation be-
tween grades and the amount of time a
student devotes to studying. Students who
have dependent children to care for and stu-

versity professor. I'm sure the three white
male professors on the LS&A scholarship
committee feel a lot of sympathy for their
peers with children in college, but I con-
sider this to be financial aid for the upper
middle classes who are the most privileged
members of our society. I'm sure they;p0
consider themselves to have "financial

dents who must work while going to
school are not able to spend as much time
studying as other students and are, there-
fore less likely to attain or maintain a 3.6
GPA.
Yet these students are most likely to be
the students most in need of financial as-
sistance from LS&A. A disproportionate
percentage of these same students with
low income and/or dependent children and
limited time available for attaining high
grades are women and minority students.
The LS&A scholarship committee
"considers" financial aid information, but
only for students who have a 3.6 GPA.
They find so few students that they define
as "financially needy" within this group
that they do not even award all the money
they have each year, and they claim to be
able to raise additional money, but they
refuse to use any of the excess money to
help students with less than a 3.6 GPA.
Their definition of financial need for
these elite students is, at the same time,
quite broad. I know of one white male stu-
dent who received his maximum amount
of scholarship money, and I know he is an
out-of-state student whose father is a uni-

need," but it hardly compares with the
poverty and lack of opportunity our soci-
ety forces on single mothers and racial
minorities.
I'm requesting that you step in and take
responsibility for how the LS&A and!
other colleges are spending millions of
dollars they receive from the University
for scholarships. I've been told that other
colleges don't even consider financial need
at all. Many people would see this use of
limited resources as a contradiction of the
Michigan Mandate. There are other, more
equitable, and more valid definitions of
"merit" that could be employed; but as
long as the colleges continue to have total"
discretion on how this money is spent,
they are not likely to change their poli-
cies.
I look forward to talking to you person-
ally in the near future about many other
policies at the University of Michigan that
make it difficult, and often impossible, for,
single parents to be University students.
Melanie Welch is an LS&A student
working on her second BA.

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A chance for peace

hNkHE past month the Soviet Union
his'iade several startling revelations.
The "evil empire" has denounced the
1939 Stalin-Hitler Pact; apologized for
ids military occupation of Afghanistan;
declared Eastern Europe's right to self-
determination; acknowledged violations
oT ihe 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
treaty; taken the initiative on the Inter-
i tediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
and in the arms talks in Wyoming; and
decided to remove nuclear submarines
from the Baltic Sea.
By acknowledging their mistakes -
ahd crimes - the Soviets are working
to shift the foundations of East-West
relations. The United States, however,
has not yet attempted any parallel re-
evaluation of its policy. The Bush
Administration continues to use Cold
War myths to justify its involvement in
Central America and reluctance to limit
arms. In every substantial way it re-
fuses to act on the president's own
admission that recent changes in the
Soviet Union provide the best oppor-
tunity for peace since World War II.
The myth of deterrence provides the

rationale for the U.S. Government's
continuing production of nuclear
weapons. As the thinking runs, arms
reduction would destabilize the global
balance and increase the risk of nuclear
war - because the Soviets would act
on their apparent advantage. But the
Soviets have unilaterally disarmed
when the U.S. has asked - the subs
in the Baltic - and, in Wyoming, they
reluctantly allowed the Bush Adminis-
tration to go ahead with the Star Wars
scheme.
At the same time, the U.S. continues
building and testing new missiles in
violation of the ABM Treaty. The New
York Times even reports that the Pen-
tagon has begun secret research on a
new chemical weapon. Deterrence has
never deterred the U.S. from stockpil-
ing its own munitions.
Soviet arms reduction is not a bluff.
As they take steps towards a policy of
non-intervention and diplomacy with-
out extortion, the U.S. looks more and
more like a lonely champion of out-
moded militarism. When Gorbachev
and Bush meet-at sea in December, the
president will have to have a new plan.

The Board
and the
Daily's
babysitter
To the Daily:
On October 3 the Daily
published an opinion piece de-
scribing some improprieties at
the Board for Student Publica-
tions, an institution of ques-
tionable legitimacy which con-
trols the finances of the Daily.
In this article I described how
the chair of the Board, Prof.
Amnon Rosenthal, together
with the Secretary, Nancy Mc-
Glothlin, had maneuvered since
April to prevent student
representation on the Board. At
the September board meeting
Rosenthal simply ruled that I,
who was appointed by the
Michigan Student Assembly as
a graduate student representa-
tive, was not a Board member.
When it became clear that
student representation could no
longer be denied, Rosenthal and
McGlothlin took the un-
precedented step of deciding not
to meet in October. The next
meeting is scheduled for
November 15; but I'll believe
it when I see it. At the end of
November, elections for new
student reps will be held, and it
looks like Rosenthal and Mc-
Glothlin are hoping to get
some new students on the
Board who won't ask embar-
rassingly naive questions at
meetings.
And there are a number of
such questions that could be
asked. For instance, most
Board members don't know it
because it's somehow not
itemized in the budget that the
Board approves, but Mc-
Glouglin's salary is a hefty
$40,500. That's about a third
of the net revenue taken in by
the student publications in
1988, and well beyond the
normal pay for a job with
commensurate skills and re-
sponsibilities at the Univer-
sity. Daily staffers have in the
past often wondered if there
was a political element to this
salary, given the Board's power
over the newspaper, and Mc-

Daily funds to pay for MSA
elections.is highly unethical in
any case, and in this instance
there was no approval (or even
discussion) of such funding at
any Board meeting.
These and other impropri-
eties will be discussed at the
November 15 meeting - if
there is one.
-Mark Weisbrot
November 1
John Gacy
and Bozo
To the Daily:
O.K., I get it; you're
cartoons aren't funny so the
editorial staff at the Daily has
decided to try its hand at
comedy? Congratulations, you
succeeded! "Throw Away the
Locks" (Daily 11/3) was a riot,
a scream, a joke, right? I mean,
you really don't intend us "to
demand that prisoners be re-
leased to relieve the overcrow-
ing," right? And John Gacy
isn't going to replace Bozo,
right? Very funny guys and
gals, but be careful, some peo-
ple might not appreciate the
humor; especially those vic-
tims of that cheerful lot in
Jackson or up in Marquette.
-Tom Fizsimmons
Fun-lovin'
To the Daily:
You might have noticed a
new strucure on the Diag today
- that is, if it was allowed to
stay long enough to be noticed.
Can you guess what we're talk-
ing about? That's right, there's
a .big ol' cage sitting right
there in front of that bastion of
knowledge, the Graduate Li-
brary. Did you ask yourself
who, why, and what the hell?
Well, whether you want to
know or not, we're here to tell
you. We're the Brazen Hussies,
a bunch of fun-lovin' gals who
are pissed off about a few
things. It seems that there are
times when us ladies aren't
taken too seriously around this
university. In fact, we've no-
ticed that we're not the only
ones who have this problem.
'Seems like anybody who's not
a straight white guy who's
thinkin' about gettin' aheas

hussies, so we wanted to make
it a game. We're gonna let you
figure it out! That way you can
have a good time too.
Hey girls, did you check out
the calorie counter and scale? .
Look familiar? Thin Thin!!!
Then there's the Cosmo- what
would we do without it? We
sure wouldn't be able to catch
us a man without all those
valuable beauty tips -
"removal of the second ribs ac-
centuates the natural tilt of
your breasts." Love it! Of
course, we had to include some
of those wonderful products
that make us feel good about
ourselves. Amazing how a
simple implement like a razor
can lift our spirits - we love
to have men touch our
smoothly shaven legs - soft
as a baby's bottom. What
about that feminine hygiene
spray? Don't leave home
without it, you never know
when you'll need to feel your
freshest! Panty hose, high
heels, make up - we don't
know about you, but we just
don't feel right if we're not
decorated and bound up like
sausages!
Of course, we can't forget
about you guys! We put some
true titilation in our cage for
you. Those Playboys keep us

on our toes for sure- we just
can't compete! What about
those beer posters- FULL TILT
FLAVOR- wow! We know
what you like, we see it all
over your dorm and frat rooms!
Why do we want to put all that
succulent beauty in a cage?
Come on, you tell us!
What about those sports
icons? The football player? The
hockey puck? What are those
doing in the cage? Hell, we
don't know, they're just sym-
bols of good clean fun after all,
just multi-million dollar sports
that train boys how to be real
men - go get'um tiger, right?
Wait, we're not finished yet,
there's more! Did you check
out those frat letters and beer
cans - any connections come
to mind? Remember that drunk
sorority chick who was raped at
that frat pary not too long ago?
Oh, below the belt. ..did that
piss you guys off? Think about
it.
Isn't that all hysterical? We
can't stop laughing now, or
else we might just start to cry!.
We '11 be back though - with
more fun-lovin' hussy pranks.
But don't expect us to be polit-
ically correct, us gals just want
to have fun!
-The Brazen Hussies

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