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April 19, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 19, 1990

cWig ftligan ai1t
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

A harassment policy is not a code


763 0379
764 0552
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764 0552
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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.

Soviet Jews
Decades later, the persecution still continues

Union has been prevalent for centuries.
With every rise of Russian nationalism,
the Jews in that country have been per-
secuted. After the pogroms of the late
19th Century and early 20th Century
and the devastating effects of the Holo-
caust on world-wide Jewry, it seemed
that wide-spread antisemitism was a
thing of the past.
But in the past several months, there
has been an increase in anti-Jewish in-
cidents and threats for a return to the
days of the pogroms in the Soviet
Union. On Jan. 18, a meeting in
Moscow was interrupted by a group
campaigning for local elections which
proclaimed "Yids, get out to your Is-
rael!" Throughout the country, more
than 50 Jewish cemeteries have been
desecrated. Antisemitic leaflets have
been distributed along with campaign
materials for local elections.
Most disturbing of all, however, is
that an ultra-nationalist group, Pamyat
(which means "Memory"), has called
for a massacre of all Soviet Jews on
May 5. Previously, there had been lo-
calized calls for violence, but the recent
threat is indicative of the direness of the
situation for Jews living in the Soviet
Despite the violence, Soviet officials
have been silent. In particular, Gor-
bachev's silence is disturbing in light
of the changes taking place in his
country. It is important that he send a
message to the world that he will not
tolerate antisemitism coupled with ris-
ing nationalism.
Soviet Jews are feeling the threat.
Of the 1.5 million Jews currently living

in the USSR, between 500,000 and
750,000 have already applied for exit
visas. There is an additional problem of
people who haven't identified them-
selves as Jewish for several decades
rushing to prove their Jewish ancestry
in order to obtain the scarce visas.
Jewish organizations world-wide
have been scrambling to pool resources
to help Jews get out of the Soviet
Union and resettle elsewhere, both in
America and Israel. Jews have been
leaving Russia by the thousands every
month, with a staggering 12,000 in
March. This exodus has been made
difficult due to limited finances and re-
cent restrictions placed on Soviet im-
migration to America.
Several groups on campus have
taken interest in the plight of the Soviet
Jews. United Jewish Appeal and Stu-
dent Struggle for Soviet Jewry have
sponsored events to help raise aware-
ness and money.
Students Fighting Anti-Semitism
has organized a rally that will take place
on the Diag today at noon. Several
speakers will inform the crowd of the
dangers that exist for Jews in the Soviet
Union and the importance of facilitating
their emigration out of the country.
It is ludicrous to think that a group
of people doesn't have the right to live
where they choose without fear. It was
thought that the wide-scale persecution
of the Jews ended with Hitler's Third
Reich. However, the hatred continues
and the threats are serious.
Come to the rally and lend your
support and show your solidarity with
the Jews of the Soviet Union.

By Jeff Gauthier and
Lisa Schwartzman
The recent proliferation of proposals
from the administration, ranging from new
protest policies on the Diag to a compre-
hensive code of student conduct, has done
much to confuse the discussion of a re-
vised Policy on Discriminatory Harass-
ment. Too often, legitimate concerns re-
garding a code's arbitrary extension of con-
trol over the students of the University is
simply conflated with opposition to a ha-
rassment policy. Amid such confusion, it
is more important than ever to mark off
the distinctions between an effective Uni-
versity-wide Policy on Discriminatory Ha-
rassment and the various proposed codes of
student conduct.
In the first place, harassment must not
be protected behavior. Harassment is ver-
bal or physical conduct which interferes
with an individual's education or work on
the basis of her or his membership in a
historically oppressed group. As such, it
is essential to the maintenance of a free
and open educational and work climate on
the campus that such conduct be elimi-
nated. Clearly this goal is importantly dif-
ferent from that of codes, which aim to
regulate student behavior outside the class-
An effective harassment policy would
create a mechanism to protect interests of
those students whose rights have been sys-
tematically denied. The code's composi-
tion of academic sanctions on students for
actions such as getting drunk at a party or
engaging in a protest, on the other hand,
would tend only to stifle expression on
campus and, as critics have correctly ob-
served, curtail student rights. It is the pro-
tection of these fragile rights that underlies
both opposition to the codes and the call
for a policy on harassment.
Secondly, the protection of rights em-
bodied in an effective policy could not be
adequately enforced by a code of student
conduct inasmuch as the sources of ha-
rassment extend beyond students. In fact,
administrators and faculty, with their
Gauthier is a Rackham Graduate Student
in the Dept. of Philosophy. Schwartzman
is an LSA junior majoring in Women's
Studies. Both serve on the Michigan
Student Assembly.

From the point of view of those in power, any
"restriction" may appear to be an impediment to
freedom. From the point of view of those who are
members of historically disempowered groups, to
restrict acts which have played a part in socially
defining them as less than human beings can be a
genuine source of liberation.

power over students, are in a position to
commit some of the most serious acts of
harassment. Some of the most publicized
and damaging instances of racial and sex-
ual harassment in recent years have come
from this part of the University.
Accordingly, any policy addressing ha-
rassment must extend to all persons in the
community, affording those students who
are the victims of harassment the opportu-
nity to confront their oppressors, regard-
less of their status within the University.
Moreover, it is essential to the effective-
ness of such a policy that those students
who are the victims and potential victims
of such oppression (e.g. people of color,
women, lesbians and gay men, handi-
capped persons) have a major role in its
formulation and implementation.

increased enrollment of minority students,
and the development of a mandatory class0
on racism. Without those additional initia-
tives, a harassment policy would be little
more than a disingenuous attempt to avoid
taking on the real issues. Needless to say,
such attempts are entirely consistent with
the administration's past and present reluc-
tance to implement real changes.
Nevertheless, some will object that any
policy involving restrictions on student
behavior is a dangerous threat to the rights*
of students. Such an objection assumes, of
course, that the present situation is one in
which basic rights and liberties of students
are protected. For those who are members
of disempowered groups, however, for
whom the allegedly "unrestricted" climate
of our society has meant living with ha-

Thirdly, in contrast to the emphases on
punishment and containment on a restric-
tive code, an effective harassment policy
must focus upon education and change in
basic attitudes on the campus. Given the
pervasiveness of racism, sexism, homo-
phobia, and other historical forms of op-
pression in our society, many actions not
consciously intended as harassment may
have that effect. In such cases, it is critical
that those who may have unwittingly en-
gaged in this behavior come to an under-
standing of the nature of their action. This
understanding will be enhanced to the ex-
tent that students who are the members of
historically-subordinated groups are in-
volved in the implementation of the pol-
icy. Clearly, it is the victims of oppres-
sion who have the greatest insight into the
nature of harassment.
Of course, if it is to fulfill these wider
educational aims, a policy must be part of
a broader approach to the problems of his-
torically disempowered groups on campus.
As critics have consistently held, this ap-
proach must include increased hiring and
retention of women and minority faculty,

rassment and discrimination, these rights
and liberties remain, at best, the object of
hope. The possibility of a dangerous loss
of freedom has little meaning when the
present situation is so far from being free.
Students from many different political
perspectives have justifiably rejected pro-
posals by the administration for restrictive
codes of student conduct. To view a dis-
criminatory harassment policy as such a
restrictive code, however, is nothing less
than to reject the point of view of those
whose rights and freedom would be pro-
tected under such a policy.
From the point of view of those in
power, any "restriction" may appear to be@
an impediment to freedom. From the point
of view of those who are members of his-
torically disempowered groups, however,
to restrict acts which have played a part in
socially defining them as less than human
beings can be a genuine source of libera-
tion. Taking the voices of historically op-
pressed peoples seriously demands that we
as a community express our intolerance
toward practices which have served to si-
lence those voices.

Hash Bash sends an Complete the ioop

ihilt.*ere- uA h/ /VCpp$+G w l& y

irresponsible message
To the Daily:
I was thrilled and surprised to find
"There is not a need for a hash bash" in
the Daily on April 9. I am so tired of
listening to people extolling the virtues of
getting high.
I feel very strongly about what kind of
an image these thoughtless people portray
to the school children of the community.
What kind of a mixed message are these
kids getting?
In school, they are taught that drugs are
bad and can ruin your life, but in town
they see University students strutting
around in t-shirts which brag about how
many of us are getting stoned!
In addition, many people outside of
Ann Arbor associate it and the University
with the hash bash and marijuana use. I.
really resent being thought of as someone
who would want to go to a school where
this is accepted, if not condoned.
I think that David Leitner and I speak
for a larger number of students than many
might think when we say, - let's do
away with appalling lack of thinking and
responsible behavior which is represented
by the "Hash Bash."
Leslie Otto Theiss
School of Education senior

To the Daily:
In his letter about using recycled paper
(4/16/90), Kenneth Clark made some very
good points about the necessity of creating
a market for recycled newsprint and of lim-
iting our consumption of paper products
overall. However, we feel a couple of
comments should be made about his state-
ments on flyers.
First of all, colored paper is recyclable.
The glossy stock in magazines and some
posters is not, but ordinary xerox and
printer's paper like that used by the major-
ity of groups on this campus are. For
anyone who would like to recycle colored
flyer paper, there is a collection box on
the first floor of that Dana building
(School of Natural Resources).
Second, all Earth Week flyers were
printed on recycled paper. The brown
programs did not contain such a statement
due to a design oversight, and the Earth
Week Committee did not mean to mislead
The necessity of completing the loop
and printing on recycled paper should be
an absolute given with any environmental
group and it was our mistake not to high-
light that in our programs.
Emily Topp and
Penelope Stenger
Earth Day 1990 Media Committee

RtotIAG ovYtID!. A. t[N!
You9. USDEtIM j



Sticking around this summer?
Come write for the Daily Opinion Staff
For more info call:
Stephen Henderson at 764-0552


(2 -1

fix. ED


Regardless of our differences,

we are all part of humanity

By Yael Citro
In the sense that we are all part of hu-
manity, we are one and should identify as
such. However, within humanity there are
many different groups. No group is better
than the rest, just different. It is our differ-
ences that make us unique, that make life
worth living. However, when we are dif-
ferent to the exclusion of others we get
into trouble. When we become exclusive
and feel superior, our society becomes a
daniroul nae to live.

treme people try to motivate us by pulling
us away from humanity. There are certain
boundaries that, as part of humanity, we
should not cross. Minorities stepping on
minorities, or any group stepping on any
other group is inexcusable. Until we iden-
tify with humanity at large there will al-
ways be people who cross these bound-
aries. Until we truly recognize each other
as equal in every respect, there will al-
ways be people who will follow other
nenne in crosine the hondarv


it's feelings of discrimination, past and
present, when they say that their history
has been erased, it is not for anyone to say
whether or not this is so. Humanity
should support the Black community in
their efforts to discover their history and
not cut down every Black leader who
"rocks the boat." Humanity must recog-
nize the difference between being "Pro-
Black" and "Anti-White" or "Anti-
How can a non-Black know what a

feel that way. Don't say to a Black person,
"Your history has not been erased and your
situation is better than it was 20 years ago
so appreciate progress and move on." In-
stead, say, "I am not Black and I can't pre-
tend that I know what it is like to be
Black, but I have felt pain. I know that the
reasons for our pains are different, but pain
is pain. What can I do to alleviate yours?"
Don't say to a Jew, "The Holocaust is
over, I wish you would just forget about
it" Tnstead resnect the fact that the Jewish

secuted for his or her ethnicity, sees the
world in terms of ethnic groups. It is these
different perceptions of suffering, which
are often exclusive, that cause us all not to
recognize others' pain, because it is not
"the same as ours." If we could all only
see how similar our pains really are,
maybe we would all be a little more
ashamed and a lot more united.
We should all find out who we are,
ci nnA, r hictnra nd di-,rver nn indi-

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