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November 15, 1990 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-15

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0

Page 4 -The

Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 15, 1990

G1be £i43can iBailj
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

NOAH FINKEL
Editor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
Opinion Editor

Administration defends campus cops

Unsigned editorials represent a mnajority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Join the fikghtd
Students should speak out against deputization

By Shirley Clarkson
Your letter of Oct. 30 expressing con-
cern about a campus police force has been
received and noted. While we appreciated
your position, we would also point out
that a scientifically designed survey of
campus opinion conducted by the Institute
for Social Research revealed both deep
concern about campus safety and broad
support for additional law enforcement of-
ficers.
Our subsequent interactions with a
broad array of constituent groups bear out
the survey findings. For over a year now,
the issue of campus safety has been
broadly studied, discussed, and debated. We
have had a report from respected members
of the community recommending a wide
array of actions, the majority of which we
are trying to implement as soon as possi-
ble. An account of these actions and plans
is contained in a recent article in the Uni-
versity Record (10/22/90). An update will
be published shortly.
The creation of a campus police force
is only one among many actions that will
help us achieve our safety goals. We know
that one of the most effective ways to im-
Clarkson is the University's Executive
Assistant to the President. This piece was
sent in response to a letter sent by Michi-
gan Student Assembly President Jennifer
Van Valey, Rackham Student Govern-
ment President Tracey Ore, and Gradu-
ate Employees Organization President
Chris Roberson, and has been somewhat
edited for space.

prove campus security will be through ed-
ucation about prevention for all members
of the community.
However, in creating a campus police
force, our actions are hardly unique. Every
other public university in the State of
Michigan has its own police force and so
do almost all other universities in the
country. The explanation for this fact is
that universities have unique needs and
concerns which can best be addressed by
specially selected and educated security
personnel who are sensitive to human rela-
tions, who answer to the university com-
munity, and who operate within its poli-
cies and authority.
Our actions are not intended in any way
to curb dissent, which is protected by
proud Michigan tradition and by the Re-
gentally-approved guidelines of the Civil
Liberties Board. In addition, I want to
make clear that our planning is being done
in close cooperation with Ann Arbor po-
lice and other city authorities.
Proceeding with deliberate caution, we
have added eight officers since June who
are now undergoing a ten-week course of
rigorous training and education to prepare
them to be responsive to the special sensi-
tivities and values of the University com-
munity.
This training includes instruction by
the staff of our Office of Minority Affairs,
Office of Affirmative Action, Sexual As-
sault and Prevention Center, and the Gay
Male and Lesbian Program Office, among
others.

We agree with you that communication
on this issue is important, and I think we
agree that the administration has not done
well at explaining its actions. But students
have been and will continue to be involved
in security policy development, planning,
oversight, and extensive education pro-
grams aimed at crime prevention.
We continue to hope that our elected
student governments will want to be a
constructive part of this process along
with other student organizations, residen-
tial housing representatives, Greeks, and
others to achieve the broadest possible in-0
volvement of the entire campus.
In this connection, I would like to
point out that we have tried repeatedly to
engage the MSA leadership in discussion
of this and many other issues of mutual
concern.
For example, over the past two
months, we have made frequent call and
sent messages to President Jennifer Van
Valey to arrange our regular monthly
meetings with her, members of her admin-
istration, and President Duderstadt and to
initiate other formal and informal interac-
tions between the University Administra-
tion and student government. Regrettably,
we have received no response at all.
Therefore, your peremptory demand for
forums and interactions within the next
two weeks is puzzling. The tone of your
letter and the timing you propose does at
least raise the question of whether your*
demands are linked to partisan strategies in
connection with the MSA elections on
Nov. 14 and 15.

Engineering senior Shana Milkie cheers;
"U of M doesn't need armed cops," she
officers without gus.
STUDENTS INTEND TO SEND A LOUD
message to the University's Board of
Regents today, with a protest at 1 p.m. on
Regents' Plaza. The protest, sponsored by
the Student Rights Commission of the
Michigan Student Assembly, will coincide
with the monthly Regent's meeting in the
Fleming Building.
Every student has seen "No Cops! No
.uns! No Code!" scribbled in chalk all
over campus, but few fully understand the
issues involved, and the motivation behind
the administration's push for a code of
inon-academic conduct, and a deputized
.campus police force.
The power to regulate students' non-
-academic lives has over time shifted from
the student body to the administration.
Y'The administration, in recent years, has
turned a deaf ear to students in the formu-
lation of University policy.
The only direct student input in creat-
ing University policy was taken away last
December, when the regents disbanded the
University Council. Comprised of student,
faculty and administrative representatives,
the University Council w'as established to
formulate a set of rules governing stu-
dents' actions outsider the classroom,
specifically protest activities.
Because student representatives were on
equal footing with other council members,
they were able to stall administrative ef-
forts to institute a non-academic code of
conduct.

JOSE JUAREZ/Daily
at the Sept. 19 Regents' Plaza rally.
said, "but compassionate security
Now the council is gone, and the ad-
ministration has the ability to construct
and implement a code without the stu-
dents' input, and, more importantly, with-
out student knowledge of their efforts.
They have taken advantage of these abili-
ties.
The Free Speech and Protest Policy,
the Interim Drug and Alcohol Policy and
the policy regulating union activities at-
tendance have all been implemented since
the demise of the council.
As the administration has increased its
control over students' behavior through
these policies, officials have realized they
need some mechanism to enforce the rules.
The regents' move to deputize University
security officers provides this mechanism.
Society has saddled our government
with the responsibilities of creating and
enforcing the laws that govern our behav-
ior. However, we have always made sure
that these laws do not exceed the limits of
necessity, and do not infringe on our
rights to free speech, privacy, and a fair
trial.
The University's efforts to encroach
upon students' lives outside the classroom
violates these basic civil rights, and stu-
dents must stand against these violations.
Students have an opportunity today to
be heard by the administration. All stu-
dents are encouraged to attend the rally and
to demand the rights they are due as stu-
dents at this university and as citizens of
this nation.

Students analyze the ISR report

By Mark Buchan
President James Duderstadt has recently
been touring classrooms answering ques-
tions about deputization. Under the guise
of employing scientifically derived data,
Duderstadt has systematically misrepre-
sented the findings of the much-touted (but
rarely read?) Institute for Social Research
(ISR) study on "Perceptions of Safety and
Security."
Talking at East Quad recently, Duder-
stadt claimed this study found that "two-
thirds" of the campus community sup-
ported an armed deputized police force.
This is a woeful and, we are forced to con-
clude, deliberate lie. In light of the admin-
istration's cavalier use of the report, a ra-
tional analysis of the study's findings is
needed. A
The ISR survey questioned 1200
members of the university community -
300 each from faculty, staff, graduate and
undergraduate students - on issues related
to campus safety. Initially, the partici-
pants were barraged with questions about
how safe they felt on campus. They were
then asked to respond to a "list of [ten]
possible actions that could be taken to
improve the safety and security on cam-
pus."
The three actions most selected
were: expanding escort service programs,
increasing outdoor lighting and counseling
programs related to acquaintance rape - all
Buchan is a graduate student in classical
studies and a member of the Michigan
Student Assembly's Student Rights Com-
mission.

which received a 90% approval rating. The
issue of increased security is more com-
plex. When asked if there should be "more
visible security personnel on campus
grounds and in buildings," 80 percent
agreed that there should be. But when then
asked if the Department of Public Safety
should be expanded "to include police offi-
cers with the power to make arrests," the
approval rating dramatically dropped to 56
percent, 9th out of the 10 suggested pro-
posals; only limiting access to university
buildings ranked lower.
The survey showed that a dramatic
number of people were worried about dep-
utizing security officers. It also showed
that deputization was the second lowest
priority of people surveyed. The next logi-
cal question that should have been asked
was whether these officers should be
armed; given the uneasiness shown over
even deputizing them, it is more than
likely that even fewer people would have
favored actually arming the security offi-
cers.
If the administration had used the
survey responsibly, it would have imme-
diately acted upon the mandate to increase
lighting, escort and educational services.
The tenuous majority in favor of deputiz-
ing a presumably unarmed police force
shows that this issue warrants much fur-
ther investigation and discussion among
the entire university community. This has
long been the position of the MSA's Stu-
dent Rights Commission: to increase
funding of educational, lighting and escort

programs, and to hold public forums on
the issue of deputizing cops.
The administration has acted somewhat
differently. They initially ignored the most
popular actions, but in response to student
pressure, and the ensuing bad publicity,
they implemented some of these programs
- albeit in a very limited way. However,
they also began immediate plans for a 24-
person armed security force, and declared
all discussion on the issue of deputization
closed.
Neither the ISR report, nor the
recommendations of the task force do not
excuse these actions - let alone spending
vast resources on such a controversial pro-
ject.
The Students Rights Commission in
no way endorses the findings of the ISR
report, nor its methodology. One glaring
inadequacy was its failure to ask people's
concerns on police harassment; if they had
asked dozens of questions about police
brutality before suggesting the implemen-
tation of campus safety measures, it is
probable that even fewer would have sup-
ported armed cops.
However, it is clear that administration
officials have deliberately distorted and
downright lied about the findings of their
own survey and task force. They have
treated the issue of campus safety in a irre-@
sponsible and prejudiced manner. It is a
chilling fact that armed cops will be not
be accountable to the students they harass,
but to the same, deceitful administration
bureaucrats.

Y9
/ W I
° CDC / 1'

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