The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 10, 1992- Page 7
by Scott Roush
Minority input absent
at SODC conference
The 17th Annual Multicultural
Arts Festival at East Quad this
weekend featured a variety of
events ranging from a free smor-
gasbord of ethnic foods to a discus-
sion of Native American team lo-
gos in sports.
Michigan Supreme Court Jus-
tice Conrad Mallett spoke about
the role of ethnicity in education
Thursday night. Mallett said he be-
lieves the American education sys-
tem has failed to recognize the
emergence of a global economy.
Mallett said he wants to "make
sure African Americans and Amer-
icans can participate in a global
economy." He added that ethnicity
is relevant to the self-esteem of a
If the discussion of ethnicity in
the educational system makes stu-
dents more qualified in the global
economy then it is better for the
student, Mallett said, but he
stressed that ethnicity should not
be taught as a separate class.
Friday night's activities focused
on ethnic dancing performed by
University dance troupes.
Los Hijos opened with tradi-
tional Mexican Arperican dancing,
and a group of Native Americans
performed several types of dances.
The show finished with a perfor-
mance by a Socially Active Latino
Students' Association dance
by Caroline Shin
Participants and leaders in Sat-
urday's Student Organization De-
velopment Center (SODC) leader-
ship conference said they were dis-
appointed by the low level of mi-
nority input, but were pleased with
the overall turnout.
Keynote speaker Jatrice Martel
Gaiter, vice president of Michigan's
Partnership for New Education,
noted in particular the small num-
ber of Black males in attendance at
Gaiter said the lack of Black
male involvement in the community
is a recurring dynamic.
But Gaiter also said she was
pleased with the students who did
attend. "They were one of the most
diverse groups of students I've ad-
LSA junior Mylitta Chaplain, a
Resident Advisor at Stockwell and
one of the conference facilitators,
agreed there is a lack of minorities
in leadership positions.
Chaplain added she was glad that
Gaiter brought up an issue that is
often ignored. "Many times we for-
get about the human aspects when
we lead," Chaplain said.
Gaiter spoke about how the
"power equation" of white males in
leadership positions needs to be
shifted so that minorities will also
have access to high-ranking posi-
Power is the key to building the
community, Gaiter said. "Diversity
is not so important. More than di-
versity, it's who holds the power."
She also said "leaders must first
be able to face your own inadequa-
and I would encourage more student
organizations to send their execu-
tive board members to such a con-
ference," Trass said.
Both Trass and Chaplain said
they were enthusiastic about the
openness and awareness of the con-
ference participants during the
homebase group sessions.
Conference coordinators LSA
'Diversity is not so important. More than
diversity, it's who holds the power.'
- Jatrice Martel Gaiter
Vice President of Michigan's Partnership for New
MOLLY .IVE. SI., lly
A member of Los Hijios de Astlan performs a traditional Mexican dance
during the Multicultural Weekend at the East Quad Auditorium.
cies and to take risks so that you can
lead people to something different
Gaiter stressed the importance
of learning about other cultures, not
assimilating, but building a
"mosaic" of different groups. "As
people move out into the real
world, they should learn how to
build relations with others. That is
part of the educational experience."
Chaplain and LSA junior Erika
Trass, a member of the Black Stu-
dent Union (BSU), agreed that
Gaiter was an excellent speaker.
"SODC is an excellent resource
senior Charlie Schlegal and Lisa
Jones, a graduate student at Bowling
Green University in Ohio, said they
hope to combine next year's events
and hold them in conjunction with
other groups such as the BSU and
the Inter-fraternity and Panhellenic
"All of these organizations
have similar conferences so it would
be great if we could consolidate so
that we could draw the bigger con-
ference and even better speakers,"
About 75-80 students registered
for the conference.
A panel discussion debating the
use of Native American names as
team logos in sports topped the
agenda Saturday afternoon.
The Black Greek Association
and Mexican American and Asian
American fraternities participated in
another discussion about fraternities
outside of the Interfraternity
Council (IFC). Programming chair
Telaekah Brooks said the purpose of
the meeting was to "give students
alternatives to the IFC."
Following the discussions, stu-
dents were invited to attend a free
buffet featuring various ethnic
food. More than a hundred people
sampled the cuisine which included
Indian, Mexican and Chinese
Kuumba, a Black student theater
group, performed a play titled
"Images in Identity." The soap-
opera style play was set in a fic-
tional university where Blacks
faced problems similar to ones in
Abeng, the East Quad Minority
Council, sponsored the festival.
RC sophomore Denise Leuthner,
the head of Abeng, said the goal of
the organization is to "try to in-
crease awareness about minori-
Bush defends tax cut
WASHINGTON (AP) - While
President Bush and congressional
Democrats bicker over the fairness
of a capital gains tax cut, the ex-
perts are just as far apart on whether
such a reduction would trigger an
Both issues will be on the table
Wednesday when the House Ways
and Means Committee begins writ-
ing a Democratic alternative to
Bush's tax cut program. How the
capital gains questions are settled
could determine if the tax burden on
families will be reduced.
At stake are proposals to give a
tax credit of up to $5,000 to home-
buyers who haven't owned a home
for at least three years; a $500-a-
child increase in the $2,300 tax ex-
emption; expanded Individual Re-
tirement Accounts; a temporary
credit of up to $400 a couple to par-
tially offset Social Security taxes;
and incentives to encourage invest-
The president has stated his posi-
tion on capital gains so often that
critics joke that he sees it as the cure
for everything but a toothache.
"A cut in the capital gains tax
increases jobs and helps just about
everyone in our country," Bush said.
The Daily encourages its readers to voice their opinions. All letters should be 150 words or less. All op-ed
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