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December 12, 1990 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-12

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 12, 1990 - Page 5

University in Ecuador is a world of contrast for U.S. students

By Tara Gruzen
QUITO, Ecuador - Quito,
uador is filled with students lying
in- the sun wearing Levis, Birken-
stocks, and politically correct t-
shirts. The nearby vegetarian restau-
rant, although three times more ex-
pensive than the campus cafeteria,
s without a free table. A literature
,teacher assigns a book to read and
within hours, the bookstores are
sold out. International travel plans
for Christmas break are the most
prevalent conversation among stu-
dents. University of Michigan at
Ann Arbor. Pontificia Universidad
Catolica del Ecuador -for the U.S.
Many students don't study for
their exams because they can't af-
rd to buy the books for their
classes. Professors don't show up
."ara Gruzen is a University of
kichigan junior attending school
in Ecuador.
/ 'd

to lecture a good percentage of the
time because they teach only as a
supplement to their primary occu-
pation. Most students don't partici-
pate in the school's extracurricular
clubs because they don't have the
money to pay the entrance fees.
Pontificia Universidad Catolica del
Ecuador - for the Ecuadorean
An indigenous woman boards a
crowded city bus with her newborn
baby strapped onto her back and her
three other small children at her
side. The woman is carrying a bas-
ket full of bread which she hopes to
sell to passersby on the street. The
children are dressed in intricate tradi-
tional clothing yet appeal not to
have bathed in seven days, most
probably from lack of sufficient wa-
ter supply in their neighborhood.
The smallest child, who is without
shoes, looks with wide eyes at the
people who tower over him on the
bus. Quito, Ecuador -for the ma-

jority of indigenous people who
have moved to the city.
Within the boundaries of one
city block exist, among many
others, these three distinctly sepa-
rate worlds. While U.S. students
enjoy a life of academic relocation
and a clearly defined economic ad-
vantage; the majority of Ecuadorean
students must constantly make sac-
rifices to study, and the indigenous
people of Quito spend their days
struggling to fulfill their basic sub-
sistence needs.
Although there is a certain de-
gree of necessary interaction be-
tween the different groups, the real-
ity of each is so alien to the others
that relationships on a personal
level are most often extremely lim-
A U.S. student stops to get a
shoeshine from a nine year-old
indigenous boy on the street
corner; an Ecuadorean student
asks a U.S. classmate for help on

her English homework; and an
indigenous woman works as a maid
in the house of a typical Mestizo
Ecuadorean family.
The most prominent feature of
these relationships is that they are
not based on equality but rather
subordination of some type. The
indigenous population of Ecuador,
which has been exploited time after
time since the colonization of the
country by Spain, has been forced
into the lowest social strata of
Ecuador. Faced with the growing
presence of foreign control over
their fertile lands, most commonly
in the form of multinational corpo-
rations, more and more indigenous
families have had no other option
than to move to the city.
Though the cities of Ecuador
may be a paradise for the U.S. stu-
dent who can buy lunch for two
people for less than one U.S. dol-
lar, they are completely the oppo-
site for most indigenous families.

Not only has the indigenous
population been forced to surrender
their land, but possibly even more
importantly, they must live in a
society which for the most part
negates their culture and heritage
while simultaneously emulating
many ways of North American So-
ciety. Rather than learn Quechuan
- the most prevalent indigenous
language of Ecuador - Ecuadorean
students are required to learn
English, a language which for the
majority of the population is com-
pletely useless. The few indigenous
people who have the opportunity to
study must be fluent in Spanish be-
cause bilingual Spanish-Quechuan
schools are almost non-existent.
Although the indigenous popu-
lation of the country has been suc-
cessful on many occasions in gain-
ing the demands it has fought for,
the desire of the Ecuadorean gov-
ernment to create an Ecuadorean na-
tionality, with one solo culture,

constantly stands in its path.
Confronted with a growing na-
tional debt, increasing inflation
rates and numerous other internal
dilemmas, the government is eager
to dispel any separation within the
country which might jeopardize re-
lations with the outside world,
most importantly the United States.
Thus, the political leaders of
Ecuador eagerly welcome visitors
from abroad, who bring a constant
flow of money into the country,
while doing all they can to quell the
growing resentment among the
Ecuadorean indigenous population.
And the U.S. student at Pontifi-
cia Universidad Catolica del
Ecuador can't believe she bought a
wool sweater for the equivalent of
only ten U.S. dollars.
And the indigenous woman who
spent days knitting the sweater
hopes that money will be enough to
feed her children for the week.

sU' responds to computer controversy

To the Daily:
Students' thoughts have been
1ery important as we've consid-
Dred the Campus Computing Site
hours for Winter semester. The at-
tached memo from Deborah (Deb)
YMasten, Associate Director of In-
fktructional Technology for
"Campus Computing Sites, makes it
cear that we're going to provide
the 24-hour access ypu need, right
"from the beginning of the semester.
- Deb would be happy to hear
from you if you have further
thoughts regarding the operations
wand schedule for our computing
"To: Students, Faculty, and Staff
VFrom: Deborah Masten
Subject: Computing Site Schedules
We have reviewed Winter term
schedules for all of the sites and
*have established the following:
There will be no changes to
the hours of three of the largest
domputing sites: Angell Hall,
North University Building (NUBS)
and Michigan Union (UNYN).
"'Fhese facilities will continue to be
open basically 24 hours a day,
-seven days a week, as they have
4teen this term.

Extended hours for all other
sites will be added the last five
weeks of the Winter semester, as
compared to the last seven weeks of
the Fall semester. We will be
watching the usage and if extended
hours are needed earlier in the term,
we will add them.
Some of the smaller sites
will have somewhat reduced hours,
but only at those times and sites
where utilization is low.,
We keep ongoing statistics on
how much the sites are used at var-
ious times of the day and days of
the week. We use this information
to adjust the hours at various sites.
Our review of the usage statis-
tics for the fall show a change in
usage over the previous year, in
part due to the opening of an new
site at North Campus Commons.
To adjust for this we have made
some changes in the hours at vari-
ous sites as indicated in the sched-
ules posted at each site.
You can. Call 763-0379.

Hours are only being reduced at
those times and sites where student
use in the past has been low. For
example, the North Campus Com-
mons site will be opening at 8
a.m. on weekdays instead of 7 a.m.
because of the low use of the site
from 7-8 a.m. in the Fall term. The
greatest change will be at the 611
Church St. site, which will reduce
weekend hours and will be open
from 12 noon until midnight on
Saturday and Sunday.
More detailed information will
be available at any of the sites. We
will continue to monitor the use of
all the public computing sites and
work to respond to your need for
access to the computers. Your
comments and suggestions are al-
ways welcome. Please don't hesi-
tate to contact me
(DebMasten@UM), or submit
ideas to our suggestion box
(ITD.Suggestion Box).
Douglas E. Van Houweling
Vice Provost for
Information Technology

Constitution protects all of us

To the Daily:
I cannot believe how short-
sighted and narrow-minded Michael
Corbin is in his letter "Gay dis-
crimination is right for U.S. forces"
Corbin seems to believe that the
writers of the Constitution intended
that document not to provide free-
dom for people to pursue their own
idea of happiness, but to define the
correct behavior and beliefs for
American citizens to live by. I am
saddened that our school systems no
longer tell the story of our country
being built as a haven for freedom.
Does no one remember the Dec-
laration of Independence? "Life, lib-
erty, and the pursuit of happiness"
was what our founders felt was
right. The Constitution was not
written to deny rights to specific
groups, but to create a culture in
which differences could be pro-

The Constitution does not men-
tion women or people of color
specifically, either. These minori-
ties gained protection many years
after the Constitution was written.
They were granted true citizenship
(or some approximation of it) only
after a long struggle for acceptance.
Our history is poisoned by ha-
tred and bigotry, fear of the differ-
ent. If homosexuals should be kept
out of the armed service, it is to
protect them from the narrow-
minded, violent individuals who so
dominate that institution.
Maybe it is true that minorities
don't have what is takes to be a
soldier. It would be nice to know
they don't have the hate needed to
kill another person just because
they are different, or defined by the
government as the "enemy."
Laura Woody
Natural Resources junior

Tell our readers
what you think.
Write to the
Michigan Daily at
420 Maynard
Street, or send
your letters via
MTS to
"Michigan Daily."



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