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September 26, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-26

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Page 4 --The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, September 26, 1990
Ui1r Sidizrn BrnIg
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

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.

Pu' 6LC l

Doing no good
'U' officials perpetuate homophobia on campus
"Just as all of us are diminished by racism, all of us are diminished by homophobia."

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against homophobia does not rest solely
in the hands of organizations like ACT-
UP, or students and faculty affected by
these attitudes. The University ad-
ministration must play its part as well.
Unfortunatelyinstead ofdenouncing
many homophobic incidents, the
administration has remained unre-
sponsive. In doing so, it has promoted
an atmosphere of intolerance.
This year there
have been a number
of homophobic at-
tacks on campus. A
gay man riding his
bicycle through the '
Diag encountered a
group of people
who tried to push
him offhis bike as
they repeatedly
yelled' "fagot." Inr
EastQuad, an area
of campus con-
sidered to be pro-
gressive, quotes
such as "I want to
kill all faggots"
were found written-
on the graffiti board
outside of its Ben-
zin er Libraryc
On theĀ° black-
boards in Mason B
and Angell Halls, an ake wants t'
announcement ande a
read: "Homosex-
uals are not people but abominations. If
you feel this same way be at the meeting
Aud. C Angell Hal, Monday (Sept.
These attacks by students against
their peers are intolerable. However, at
a university where the administration
does little to denounce homophobia, it
is not surprising that students mirror
these ignorant and intolerant views.
We, as students, are provided with
role models such as President James
Duderstadt and Regent Deane Baker.
They are examples of an administration
that provides lip service to anti-
discriminatory policies, and then takes
no steps to institutionalize such policies.
Wat are the administration s recent
At this year's Convocation ceremony,
all references to Rackham Student
Government President Tracey Ore's
work with bisexual, lesbian and gay
organizations were deleted from the
program. By censoring Ore, the

- ACT-UP member Patrice Maurer
administration is inherently telling both
students and faculty what is and what is
not accepted at this university.
In keeping with the administration's
actions against Ore, President
Duderstadt has dealt with the issue by
ignoring it. He refuses to acknowledge
the presence of bisexuals, lesbians, and
gay men and the persecution they face
on this campus. It is no wonder that
many students are apathetic about the
lives and culture of
" y these students,
faculty and staff.
Regent Baker,
on the other hand,
readily expresses
his opinions on this
matter. He has
been quoted in the
Ann Arbor News
and The New York
Times for his
belittling criticism
of homosexuals.
a Atone point, Baker
suggested that
"neutral" coun-
at the Lesbian and
Gay Male Pro-
s rams Office
LGMPO) in order
to "bring [them]
.n gback to the other
rgo the ther side."
This statement

'U' not committed to rights of lesbians and gay men

By Linda Kurtz
On Aug. 6, 1990, the Lesbian and Gay
men's Rights Organizing Committee
(LaGROC) sent a letter to President Dud-
erstadt. Letters with similar content were ,
sent to the regents, the Office of Affirma-
tive Action, and the Office of the Vice
President for Student Services.-
The letter called upon Duderstadt to
"demonstrate your commitment to a di-
verse university community" by doing the
1. Publicly censuring Regent Deane
Baker for the comments he made;
2. Stating his confidence in the neutral-
ity of the counseling efforts of Billie Ed-
wards and Jim Toy and continuing his
commitment to funding the Lesbian and
Gay Male Programming Office (LGMPO) {
in its current form;
3. Stating that lesbian, gay male, and
bisexual students are welcome at this uni-
versity and that their sexual orientation
orientation and lifestyle contribute in a
Kurtz is a member of the Lesbian and Gay
men's Rights Organizing Committee

positive way to a diverse campus;
4. Stating his support for and working
to include "sexual orientation" in the Uni-
versity's non-discrimination bylaw
(14.06); and
5. Increasing the funding for the
LGMPO so that it can more fully provide
counseling and related services to lesbian
and gay male students; and can expand the
educational services it provides to the Uni-
versity community at large, services
which, not incidentally, foster an atmo-
sphere of respect and tolerance for differ-

sentiment on campus.
His office and other offices on campus
attempt to silence us, calm us, or state
that they are unable to do anything. Ap-
parently, not one office on campus can
deal publicly with our concerns! We know
this is untrue.
It is time that Duderstadt and the re-
gents live up to the Michigan Mandate an
take the actions outlined in the letter.
These actions will make the University a
safer, more nurturing, less discriminatory
environment for lesbians and gay men. We
urge all of you to make your views on



President Duderstadt has yet to respond in any useful
fashion to what are a responsible and constructive set
of actions which will mitigate both the anti-gay
remarks of Regent Baker and the prevailing anti-gay
sentiment on campus.

shows Baker's
misconceptions about homosexuality.
He, like many otherfaculty and students,
needs to be better informed.
Bisexuals, lesbians, and gay men
have long demanded inclusion in the
regental by-laws protecting the
University community from dis-
crimination. They deserve the same
protection afforded to other mar-
ginalized groups.
Based on the Presidential Policy
Statement of 1986, discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation at the
University is unacceptable. So why has
this not been put into effect, orembodied
in University laws?
Under the regental bylaws, there is
no protection for those who test HIV
positive, nor has the term "sexual
orientation" been included in the
Michigan Mandate.
The University's policies must reflect
a concern for, and a dedication to,
fighting homophobia in all of its forms.
The time for such action is long overdue.

President Duderstadt has yet to respond
in any useful fashion to what are a respon-
sible and constructive set of actions which
will mitigate both the anti-gay remarks of
Regent Baker and the prevailing anti-gay

this matter known by sending a message
to the president on MTS.
It is time the administration took re-
sponsibility for anti-gay discrimination
and feeling on campus.

University should account for 'McCarthy era' dismissals a

By Mary Crichton
In mid-August, when many members
of the University community were out of
town, it came to the attention of the Uni-
versity of Michigan Chapter of the Ameri-
can Association of University Professors
(AAUP) that a resolution in behalf of
Chandler Davis had been passed unani-
mously by the Council of the America
Mathematical Society at its meeting on
Aug. 7 in Columbus, Ohio.

nod in the 1950s).
As AAUP Chapter President, I am
gratified by this gesture on the part of a
distinguished national scholarly society.
It is appropriate that the Council,
speaking for an organization of
mathematicians, refers specifically to
Professor Davis, but its action can also be
seen as support in principle for the effort
in behalf of Professors Davis, Markert and
Nickerson .that was initiated by our

rJudiciary Committee should deny confirmation

The University of Michigan was not alone in falling
short of its own ideals during that time of political
hysteria and confusion.

and most recently the City University of
New York in a related though not strictly
parallel context) have in some significant
way made amends to former faculty
members injured during those years.
The past Chair of SACUA, Professor
Gayl Ness, eloquently appealed for action
in our own "McCarthy era" cases at two
meetings of the Board of Regents la
spring. The ball is now in the court of th
While we can understand that they have
many other items on their agenda, and that
this is a sensitive issue for them, we
strongly urge the regents to bring this
matter to an honorable conclusion without
undue further delay.
Justifiably eager to be number one in
many areas, the University can now at
best be number five in this area.
By virtue of its prestige as a major
public university, it still has the
opportunity to offset this chronological
lag by setting a noble example of atoning
or a past wrong and reaffirming its
allegiance to the ideal of academic

Chief of Staff John Sununu formally
introduced Supreme Court nominee
David Souter to the U.S. public in
August, there was little doubt where this
tobscure New Ham pshire wurist stood on
the major issues that wi undoubtedly
come before the Court in the near future.
While it is true that Souter has said
virtually nothing in the last few weeks
about the major issues he likely will
face ifconfirmed by the Senate, it seems
ludicrous to suggest - as many of his
supporters have - that Souter's
opinions concerning the rights of women
and minorities do not coincide with the
conservative men who nominated him.
All attempts by the Bush ad-
ministration to veil this nominee's views
- particularly on the issue of repro-
ductive rights - are disingenuous and
represent a transparent ploy to assuage
the fears (and quiet the organized
opposition) of women and other op-
pressed groups, whose rights and lives
will be advesly affected by Souter's
Sununu, an old friend of Souter and
the main force behind his nominmation,
is virulently anti-choice, as is President
Bush, who ran on an anti-choice platform
in 1988. Sununu, the former governor
of New Hampshire, never would have
favored Souter's rise to New Hampshire
Attorney General or the state's Supreme
Court without knowledge of his views

on reproductive rights.
Even a superficial perusal of Souter's
past decisions as a state judge, as well as
statements he made during that period,
reveals a picture of jurist whose con-
servative viewpoints are completely con-
sistent with his cohorts in Washington:
In 1987, Souter concurred with the
New Hampshire Supreme Court when
it held that "a healthy environment for
children should exclude homosexuals
from participating in government
sanctioned programs of adoption, foster
care, and day care."
In the 1970s, Souter vigoursly
defended New Hampshire Governor
Meldrim Thomson's proclamation that
flags fly at half mast on Good Friday to
show that the state appreciates"the moral
grandeur and strength of Christianity as
the bulwark against the forces of des-
tructive ideologies."
Souter has opposed affirmative
action legislation and gone on record as
saying that racism is not a problem in
New Hampshire.
Souter has ruled that rape victims
sexual history is pertinent in sexual
assault trials.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's
failure during the confirmation hearings
to press Souter on issues he will un-
doubtedly face results in their affir-
mation of the Bush administration's anti-
woman, anti-gay agenda. At a time when
women's reproductive rights and auton-
omy are continually being threatend
and repealed from Michigan to

It reads: "The Council suggests to the
University of Michigan that it acknowl-
edge the injustice of its treatment of
Chandler Davis and his dismissal during
the same period" (i.e., the "McCarthy" pe-
Crichton is President of the University
Chapter of the American Association of
University Professors (AA UP).

Chapter and is being continued by the
Senate Advisory Committee on University
Affairs (SACUA) with the strong
endorsement of the Senate Assembly.
The University of Michigan was not
alone in falling short of its own ideals
during that time of political hysteria and
confusion. Several other institutions,
however (three previously unknown to us,

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