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November 14, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-14

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Breyand mild;
Hig: 8,Low:40.
TOMORROW
Rain likely;
High: 52, Low: 36.

1 £V.01

Dl
Hagy brings
Virginia to
Rackham.
See ARTS
Page 5.

One hundred and one years of editorial freedom

Vol. CII, No. 34

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Thursday, November 14, 1991

Copyngnt 0fl9

New 'U' policy aims to prevent sexual harassment

by Lynne Cohn
Daily Staff Reporter
Prof. Anita Hill's claims that
Supreme Court Justice Clarence
Thomas sexually harassed her has
focused attention on the issue of
sexual harassment around the
country.
At the University, it's no
different.
Kay Dawson, assistant to the
provost for academic affairs, was
the principal drafter of the Univer-
sity's most recent policy regarding
sexual harassment, issued Nov. 1.
The new policy treats sexual ha-
rassment from the viewpoint of the
victim and stresses that a person's

actions may not be intended to ha-
rass someone but may be construed
as harassing nonetheless.
The new policy includes a section
dealing with consensual relation-
ships, a topic not mentioned in pre-
vious policies. It states, "Romantic
and sexual relationships between
supervisor and employee or between
faculty or other staff and student
are not expressly prohibited by
University policy." But the policy
also says that even in cases where
there is mutual consent, "the valid-
ity of the consent" can still be open
to question.
The new policy also details the
steps necessary to report an incident

of sexual harassment.
Dawson said the University did
not have a central reporting re-
quirement until 1987 and since then,
Policies at the University
there has been a lack of organization
in reporting.
"We know there are lots of inci-
dents and lots are handled," Dawson
said. "But we've had few lawsuits
- very, very few."

Dawson said the new policy ap-
plies to employee or student inter-
action where one person holds an au-
thoritative position over the other.
"Sexual harassment is difficult
to define," Dawson said. "Sexual
behavior is really personal behavior
- very intimate between individu-
als. In the employment context, it is
abuse of trust, abuse of authority."
Sexual harassment is discrimina-
tion on the basis of sex. Dawson said
individuals who are on an equal
footing can discriminate against
each other in their actions or words,
but such discrimination is not regu-
lated by the government.
Dawson said there are two kinds

of sexual harassment:
"quid pro quo" - where an
instructor could demand sexual fa-
vors from a student in exchange for
a higher grade; and,
hostile environment sexual
harassment - where somebody
makes the work environment un-
comfortable to the point that some-
one else is unable to perform his or
her job.
"The University can regulate
what employees do to their stu-
dents," Dawson said. "A faculty
person, as an employee of a public
university, is an agent of the
university."
In December of last year, the

University's political science de-
partment drafted a sexual harass-
ment policy separate from the Uni-
versity's policy to govern depart-
mental behavior. It was the first
University department to take such
a step.
"We felt we needed a policy for
the department and a mechanism so
that anybody who might have a
complaint would know where to
turn," said department chair Arlene
Saxonhouse.
The policy spells out what steps
to take if someone is in a harassing
situation, but it does not stipulate
possible punishments. Saxonhouse
See HARASSMENT, Page 2

'U' students
standing on
both sides of
PC fence
by Tami Pollak
Daily Staff Reporter
As soon as word of this weekend's "PC Frame-Up"
conference hit campus, so did an outpouring of PC
sneers.
"So, are they going to be serving dolphin-free tuna
for lunch?"
"Are there going to be any womyn on the panyl?"
"Shouldn't they really be chalking the conference
advertisements - these fliers are so environmentally
unsound."
But along with the sneers came some honest in-
quiries.
When first-year Engineering student Kristin Mee-
han was asked what PC stood for, she answered
"personal computer" as did many other first-year stu-
dents.
And when she asked what else it meant, she realized
she had heard the term "political correctness" used
before.
"I think it just was used kind of to make fun of gays
and lesbians," Meehan said. "I'm not sure, but I know
I've heard it."
It is exactly this sort of attitude that has prompted
scholars, journalists, students, and self-declared ac-
tivists from around to the country to meet this week-
end at the University to discuss political correctness
and all the inferences, innuendos, and infuriation that
accompanies the term.
Most students agree that the term PC, as it is being
addressed in this weekend's conference, came into popu-
lar use last year to stereotype progressive ideas on
campus about issues such as racism, sexism and homo-
phobia.
LSA senior John Miller, editor of The Michigan
Review, defined PC as, "an orthodoxy on American
campuses that refuses to tolerate dissent ... that is un-
healthy for a campus that should have full and free aca-
demic discourse." He pointed to the Baker-Mandela
center as an embodiment of political correctness.
The push for campus-wide speech codes and diver-
sity requirements - which have become popular topics
of debate across the country - have been grouped to-
gether and called a movement by the national media.
And while many political liberals originally re-
acted to the PC label as simple name-calling by conser-
vatives, some say the label has carried with it some po-
tentially damaging ramifications.
"What PC does is it stereotypes a whole set of is-
See PC, Page 2

Gov 't to fund
education for
Hispanics
by Stefanie Vines intervention as a means of better e
Daily Government Reporter ucating Hispanic students."

a-

As part of the Higher Education
Act, the Senate Labor and Human
Resources committee voted last
week to approve $45 million in
funding to colleges where Hispanics
constitute at least ore-quarter of
the undergraduate population.
Approximately 4 percent of the
undergraduate population at the
University is Hispanic.
The aid came as a result of in-
creasing feelings of inequity in
comparison to other minorities,
such as Blacks, Hispanic leaders said.
An estimated 115 colleges and
universities are eligible for the aid,
according to the Hispanic Associa-
tion of Colleges and Universities
(HACU).
Rafael Magallan, director of
HACU's Washington office, said
the initiative is long overdue.
"Historically Hispanic colleges
have had no special aid. We have over
650,000 Hispanic students enrolled
in higher education nationally, but
no provisions have been made for
them," he said.
Denise Delarosa, an education an-
alyst for the Spanish civil rights
group La Raza, said increasing aid to
Black colleges and universities was
one factor in the aid request.
"There is a lot of evidence which
suggests that there are a lot of His-
panics at schools that don't have
programs for them, but there are
specifically Black colleges that have
programs to support Black stu-
dents," she said.
Magallan cited Howard Univer-
sity in Washington, D.C. as an ex-
ample of a Black university which
received federal aid.
"At Howard University they re-
ceive appropriations from Congress
each year, but we have nothing com-
parable to this," he said. "We kept
coming back to the need for federal

Despite the aid, some Hispanic
leaders are skeptical about the
treatment of Hispanic students at
the University.
Carlos Acevedo, a member of the
Office of Minority Affairs Advi-
sory Council and a financial aid of-
ficer, said the initiative sends a mes-
sage to University administrators.
"I hope the Congress actions
convey a message to the University
about the priority that the federal
government put in the education of
'We have over
650,000 Hispanic
students enrolled in
higher education
nationally, but no
provisions have been
made for them'
- Rafael Magallan
HACU director
Latinos by agreeing to this fund-
ing," he said. "I also hope it conveys
the message that the federal gov-
ernment sees Latinos as adversely
affected by the funding trends in
higher education and of the need to
continue and increase institutional
efforts on behalf of Latino
students."
Tanya Escobcdo, co-chair of the
Socially Active Latino Students'
Association, said she is upset with
the lack of aid for Hispanic students
at the University.
"Last year 3.3 percent of the un-
dergraduate population was His-
panic. The University claims that
they recruit a lot of Hispanic-Amer-
ican students, but I don't think they
do," she said.
But Magallan said Hispanic re-
See HISPANIC, Page 2
Dems get
approval
on jobless
benefits
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
House Ways and Means Committee
rushed a $5.2 billion plan to extend
jobless benefits for up to three mil-
lion victims of the recession to the
House floor yesterday after
President Bush vowed to sign it.
The measure, which would add
up to 20 weeks of coverage for peo-
ple who have exhausted the standard
26 weeks of benefits, goes to the
House floor today and could be con-

Truth and Dare
RC junior Ali Johnson strikes a pose as he models in the Girbaud fashion
show yesterday on the stops of the Graduate Library. The show was
sponsored by Hudson's and Cafe Fino, which gave out free cider and hot
chocolate, and organized by UAC.

IFC pres. makes fraternal stand on ideals <l|

I im -- -

by David Wartowski
Daily Staff Reporter
"If there's one thing that makes
me tick, it's Bob Dylan's lyrics,"
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
President Matt Commers said af-
ter a considerable amount of
thought. "I admire the broad, fresh
look he takes at political and social
issues - taking everything for its
own merit, instead of following a
general formula to decide every-
thing."
Commers, an LSA senior, has
hoped to follow the same approach
in the political and social issues
that he has faced this term as leader
of the campus' fraternity
community.
Michigamua -regarded as a se-
cret society of male University

with this," Commers said.
He said the hazing process in-
volved reading from a piece of pa-
per on his hands and knees in the
cold while having food poured
onto him.
Although Michigamua's mem-
bers are supposedly chosen for
their outstanding leadership
within the Michigan community,
Commers said these people tend

"It shows a strength of charac-
ter to decline the invitation," said
Panhellenic Association President
Katy Kendall, "because most con-
sider it an honor to be a part of it."
Commers said that his decision
to decline Michigamua's invitation
is not his only radical position con-
cerning the goals of fraternal orga-
nizations.
First, he sees a need to follow

for women to incorporate their
collective psychologies into the
political and organization aspects
of the Greek organization."
In addition to including women
into fraternities, Commers also
said he sees a need for more diver-
sity. This includes "encouraging a
more diverse rush" and increasing
communications between the IFC
and the Black Greek Association
(BGA).
Commers has already begun to
open relations with the BGA by
meeting with President James
Green to "find common goals." He
says this was a big step:
"Compared to the state we were in
last term - that's progress."
Commers has also had to bridge
a gap with the Ann Arbor
mrm m u imi

'if there is one thing that I consider more
detrimental than not having a more
comprehensive alcohol policy, it's a lack of
democracy within the system'
- Matt Commers
lFC president

Commers

tration at an individual, they need
to realize who is actually imple-
menting the decision... (Matt) is
simply the facilitator."
For this reason, Commers' job
is not widely envied.
"I feel sorry for him," said
Bruce Namerow, a candidate for

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