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October 05, 1990 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-05

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 5, 1990
hie fIdtolm a afolu
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

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NOAH FINKEL
Editor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of t he Daily' s E ditorial Board. A ll other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
DFromge
Dark Ageks?

Fraternities perpetuate
* TWO YEARS AGO PLEDGES
from a fraternity ran naked through a
sorority house asking women to sign
their bare buttocks. One man broke into
a sleeping woman's room and jumped
on her. Pledges in another fraternity
roamed the halls of West Quad asking
women for breast prints in peanut but-
ter.
At a fraternity party last year, the
men in the house posted a sign reading
"SAP applies tonight." This term was
defined as "Stick Any Pig" - have sex
with any "ugly" woman.
During last year's Take Back the
Night March, men on the porch of one
fraternity chanted "date rape" as the
women were passing.
Last week, a group of men ran
through East Quad yelling the name of
a fraternity. They tore things off doors,
punched in the glass of a fire extin-
guisher, and chanted "where are the
dykes, we want the dykes."
The fraternity whose name the men
were chanting has denied that any of
its members were in the dorm that
pight. But regardless of whether they
were even members of a fraternity, the
ractice of running through the dorms
psearching for pledges is most often as-
osociated with fraternities and occurs on
a biannual basis. This tong-standing
practice provided a cover for the men
who rampaged through East Quad and
terrorized the women who live there.
When questioned about last week's
incident, the InterFraternity Council
(IFC) responded by saying that the ac-
tions of the men involved were
"individual" acts that were "not repre-
sentative" of the Greek system.
Though it may indeed be individuals
who are terrorizing women in dorms,
sororities, and on the streets, all too
.often these individuals are members of
,the same institutions: fraternities. When
violence against women is repeatedly
committed by men who are a part of the
same system, one needs to examine
*what it is about this system itself that
encourages so many of its "in-
:dividuals" to continually commit the
same actions.
# Fraternities regularly sponsor activi-
ties that foster perceptions of women as
%sexual objects. Some are as blatant as
the the scoreboards which tally up sex-
.ual encounters. Others are more subtle,
encouraging men to view women as
playthings designed only for their plea-
.sure.
k This objectification is visible in
<,many aspects of fraternity life. By
posting a sign that says "Stick Any Pig
,applies tonight" in a fraternity house,
men equate women with animals,
thereby relieving themselves of the
S.'romesessi

violence against women
responsibility to treat women as human
beings and respect their feelings.
The advertisements fraternities run
to recruit new members provide an-
other example of this objectification.
Last year, one fraternity won the Sex-
ual Assault Prevention and Awareness
Center's (SAPAC) sexism-in-advertis-
ing contest with an ad that said "So she
hands me her number last night and she
says 'give me a ring.' But who was
she, the blond, the redhead, or the one
with the sexy voice? God, what a
voice."
Fraternities also promote machismo,
viewing sexual activity as a measure of
one's manhood. By creating an atmo-
sphere that condones the objectification
of women, men are consistently called
upon to prove themselves to their
brothers.
Fratemities too often are also the site
of gang rape. Between 1986 and 1987,
50 gang rapes were documented in
fraternities on campuses across the
United States. This is widely consid-
ered a very low representation of the
actual number, because many women
fear reporting sexual abuse.
In response to criticisms, fraternity
members and the IFC claim that the
system is being reformed. But this is
not true. Fraternities are neither leading
nor actively contributing to the struggle
against sexism, but instead making to-
ken attempts to appease people who
refuse to ignore their repeated abuses.
One example of this tokenism is the
Greek Sexual Awareness Day that one
fraternity sponsored last year. Though
this fraternity would like us to believe
that it held this event on its own initia-
tive, it was actually pulled together be-
grudgingly following pressure applied
by a man who, walking through the
Diag, heard the members of the frater-
nity singing a song that was grossly
degrading to women.
The man wrote a letter to the frater-
nity, the president of the IFC, and
SAPAC Director Julie $teiner,
demanding an apology and insisting
that action be taken to educate the men
involved. Yet only members of little
more than half of the University's 38
fraternities were even represented at
this event. That so few men would take
advantage of this educational oppor-
tunity indicates that many in the fra-
ternities are oblivious to the problems
they are perpetuating.
If the fraternities want to continue to
exist in a world increasingly intolerant
of violence against women, they must
implement drastic changes in both the
philosophy and the practice of their
houses. Until that time, fraternities will
continue to promote an atmosphere
conducive to the terrorization and sex-
ual assault of women.

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Faculty group opposes existing 'diversity' proposals

By Elizabeth Anderson
This month, the LSA faculty will con-
sider whether to establish a graduation re-
quirement on diversity. Concerned Faculty
supports a strong and effective graduation
requirement in the study of race, racism
and ethnicity.
While the Faculty Proposal is superior
to any of the three Curriculum Committee
Proposals (A, B and C), Concei.ed Fac-
ulty as a group cannot endorse any of the
present proposals because they fail to meet
basic content, implementation, or partici-
patory goals.
We support a graduation requirement
which:
is intellectually rigorous;
e is overseen by people with relevant
expertise and experience;
will have a serious impact on educa-
tion in the college, by promoting faculty
initiatives in developing new courses and
stimulating the recruitment of faculty of
color;
actively engages the participation of
students, especially students of color, in
all stages of drafting, oversight, and im-
plementation.
Neither Proposal A nor the Faculty
Proposal fully lives up to these standards.
But of the two, Proposal A is weaker
across the board; it lacks any requirement
to analyze the concepts of race, racism and
ethnicity.
Issues relating to these concepts are
very complex and require serious, inten-
sive study. Yet Proposal A permits
courses to qualify which treat the issues of
race and racism merely as side issues in
Anderson, a professor of philosophy, is a
member of Concerned Faculty. This
Viewpoint was signed by Anne Marie
Coleman, Don Coleman, Audrey Gomon,
Stephen Sumida, Alan Wald, and Tom
Weisskopf, who are also members of the
group.

the study of substantially different content,
or which adopt a "race-relations" perspec-
tive that treats the social category of race
uncritically.
Studies of race and racism run the risk
of portraying those oppressed by racism
merely as passive victims. In failing to re-
quire any study of the history, culture, and
literature of people of color, or of their re-
sistance to injustice and oppression, Pro-
posal A does nothing to avoid this risk. It
leaves implementation and oversight of
the requirement to the Curriculum Com-
mittee, which (owing to the matter of its
election) may often lack the expertise to
guarantee that qualifying courses meet
even the minimum intellectual standards
of Proposal A.
It also appears designed to minimize
,initiative and change in present course of-

a more intellectually serious approach to
the study of race, racism and ethnicity, by
calling for courses to offer a critical analy-
sis of these concepts and to devote sub-
stantial attention to the required content.
Its provisions for oversight include the
participation of people with expertise and
experience in dealing with issues of ra*
racism and ethnicity, so as to ensure that
qualifying courses meet serious scholarly
standards. It encourages faculty initiatives
in developing new courses, which can take
advantage of expertise of those reviewing
course proposals.
Nevertheless, we are disappointed in
the Faculty Proposal. It did not involve
the participation of students of color, or
indeed any students, while it was bei
drafted. The Faculty Proposal, like PM
posal A, requires as part of its content the

We would urge faculty determined to vote for some
requirement to vote for the Faculty Proposal.

ferings or in the faculty teaching these
courses. It holds out little likelihood of
providing more than a marginal improve-
ment over student's present knowledge of
these vital issues. And it does not provide
for students of color to participate in over-
sight and implementation.
Proposals B and C, which would per-
mit courses to qualify for the requirement
which ignore entirely the concept of race
and the history racial discrimination and
oppression, clearly lack sufficient content
to address the concerns that have brought
discussion of graduation requirements to
the faculty. It is questionable whether
Proposal B, the least specific proposal,
would have any noticeable effect on under-
graduate education at the University.
The Faculty Proposal is superior to
Proposal A in several respects. It requires

study of "racial and ethnic intolerance and
resulting inequality." This wording s
gests only one, controversial model
how racism and inequality are casually
connected - namely, that bigotry causes
inequality.
The Faculty Proposal, like Proposal A,
also fails to require the study of the cul-
tural activities and historical struggles of
people of color. And it permits students to
study racism in other countries without re-
flecting on the presence and effects o
racism in the United States..6
For these reasons, we cannot as a
group endorse the Faculty Proposal. How-
ever, is merits are sufficiently greater than
Proposals A, B, or C that we would urge
faculty determined to vote for some re-
quirement to vote for the Faculty Pro-
posal.

Don't blame homelessness on

less

Help alter the city's priorities before it's too late

SUSAN (NOT HER REAL NAME) IS
r more than 60 years old and is a long-
time Ann Arbor resident. She formerly
worked for the city, and is currently
employed by the University, -as a
worker in food services. Susan has
been homeless off and on for the last
seven years. And now, the city of Ann
Arbor wants to make her homeless
again.
Susan is the resident of Day One, an
abandoned downtown home that was
squatted by the Homeless Action
Committee (HAC) in November, 1989.
The city plans to tear down Day One in
order to make room for a city-financed
parking structure behind Kline's De-
partment store.
Last week, a city attorney sent a let-
ter to Susan explaining that the city
s would begin eviction proceedings
against her if she does not move out of
her home by Nov. 1.

last eight years.
Tomorrow, Ann Arbor residents
will gather at the site of the proposed
parking structure to demand a reversal
of this policy - that the city cancel the
$9 million parking structure project and
spend the funds to finance the con-
struction of housing that is affordable
to people with low incomes.
The city's low-income housing
shortage is the primary reason that
1,500 Ann Arbor residents are home-
less. And because low-income housing
cannot be constructed for profit, people
with low-incomes will remain con-
demned to live in homelessness, or
constantly on the edge of it, until the
public sector subsidizes the construc-
tion of housing that they can afford.
Time is running out. If the city
council does not reverse its decision, it
is doubtful that the Downtown Devel-
opment Authority will be able to gen-

Ross George Heine
On a cold winter day in January, I
walked down the lonely streets of Ann Ar-
bor. Cold, tired, hungry, and nowhere to
sleep at night, the idea of me being home-
less was out of the question, but suddenly
homelessness hit home. It was me this
time that was homeless instead of the
other person.
The physiological effect of being
homeless is the farthest thing from most
people's minds. The state of confusion and
disbelief is the first emotion that they feel,
then desperation and panic comes into
their life.
They begin asking themselves ques-
tions like, Why did this happen to me,
Where do I go for help, and how do I get
out of this problem? Their lives are in to-
tal shambles. They have lost everything
that they have worked so hard for. They
begin to think that they have failed in life,
and it is their own fault that they are
homeless, and on the streets.
Their world has crumbled beneath
Heine is an Ann Arbor resident

them, and all their close friends ignore
them now. The same people they used to
have over for dinner are laughing and
pointing their fingers and making cruel
comments about them, such as "Look at
those dirty bums. They're lazy, shiftless
people and drunkards and drug addicts, and
would rather go on welfare than work,
rather be on the streets than find a place to
live."

Our government has eyes, but they do
not see the pain on the homeless popula-
tion's faces!
Our government has ears, but they do

the homeless,
has no concept of what it is like to be on
the streets and homeless. Our government
has never had to eat out of garbage cans or
hunt in garbage for bottles and cans to get
enough funds to meet their day to day
needs to survive in this city.

l

The same people they used to have over for dinner
are laughing and pointing their fingers and making
cruel comments about them.

AI

When homeless people hear these
comments about them, they get angry, and
it destroys their dignity, self esteem, and
their motivation to get off the streets.
With a sense of failure and disappointment
in themselves, they begin to drink and do
drugs to set aside the pain that they feel
about being homeless.
Our local, state, and federal government

not listen to the cries of hunger and dis-
may that plague the country!
Our government has tools to buildraf-
fordable housing, but it will not use the4
In our Constitution, it reads "life, lib-
erty, and the pursuit of happiness." With
no food, clothing, medical assistance that
is affordable, and decent housing, a person
cannot be happy!

Celebrate the National
School Yearhook Week

ganEnsian is not just a graduate's year-
,drn kuiwr t..pac. nte hashis individ.

pus.
And tiats not all. Our office is filled

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