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April 17, 1992 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-17

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Friday, April 17,1992
Jbe Midrin C haiig
Editor in Chief

IN~r4'S ITEM :A /1 C A1"vd7E FRaoi JOHMAS A"OPP11A1/S

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FOR. -&E N -E-rC-ri G.d

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0550

MATTHEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

'.

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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End of the age cap helps 'U'

Throughout history, the pedagogue has been
depicted as an aged figure, an individual who
passes on knowledge acquired by lifelong experi-
ence. Only in recent times has society felt com-
pelled to force elderly people into idleness, depriv-
ing the educational system of a valuable resource.
Fortunately, the Michigan legislature has sought to
reverse this trend by ending a law that placed a 70-
year age cap on University professors. The deci-
sion will allow a slew of qualified educators to
continue teaching.
Not only does this new law allow quality pro-
fessors, like the University's own professor of
History, Sidney Fine, to continue providing valu-
able opportunities for students, it fights the in-
creasing problem of ageism in this country. The
legislation shows that the government is finally
realizing that the elderly are not only contributing
members of society, but that they provide one of
the most important services imaginable -provid-
ing inspiration and education for future genera-
tions.
The Senate Advisory Committee on University
Affairs (SACUA) voiced objections to the new
law, saying that it may allow professors who are
too old to teach to remain on staff. In addition, it is
concerned that the law will not allow new ideas to
infiltrate the University in the form of new and
younger faculty members.

SACUA's logic displays disregard for the wis-
dom that comes with age. The fear that a few
incompetent professors will remain on staff is a
weak excuse to forbid all faculty over a certain age
to enrich the academic community. The fact is,
unlike some high-risk professions, teaching is one
that is not inhibited by old age. While new blood is
always refreshing, it does not justify nixing some
of the most qualified professors because of an
arbitrary figure established in Lansing.
In the words of SACUA member Peggie
Hollingsworth, "I think alot of the problems we're
seeing are because we have a system out of bal-
ance. The normal checks and balances are not in
place."It is preposterous to think that instructors
who retain their positions after the age of 70 will be
causing the stagnation of education. Their innova-
tive ideas and methods are the very criteria which
allow them to continue instructing.
Furthermore, informing senior citizens that their
skills are no longer necessary because of their age,
regardless of energy and commitment, can damage
self-esteem, thus neutralizing the usefulness of an
entire sector of society.
Needless to say, universities are responsible for
providing good education. The new legislation
allows schools like the University to better accom-
plish this by keeping some of its most qualified
teachers in the classroom.

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Faculty group comes out to fight

This week, a group comprised largely of Uni-
versity faculty formed the University of Michi-
gan Lesbian Gay Bisexual Faculty Alliance
(UMLGBA), and released the names of 16 of its
members. The group's goals are broad-based. They
range from curriculum development to recruit-
ment and services within the faculty to increasing
benefits and treatment of its members. In addition,
the Alliance plans to provide increased visibility of
its members and inform the University community
of its concerns. Its formation may throw new
weight to those who want to augment gay, lesbian
and bisexual rights on campus.
UMLGBA hopes to incorporate academic pro-
grams for gay/lesbian studies into the University
curriculum, through a gay and lesbian program.
Ultimately, it hopes to establish a more support-
ive atmosphere for all same-sex orientation mem-
bers in the University community.
The group's formation marks a new develop-
ment in the fight for gay rights on campus. That this
new portion of the University community has
joined in the fight may lend credibility and power
to the issue. The release of the names presents a

considerable risk to its members, but will surely
help to raise consciousness about the issues. It is
unfortunate that the current climate is keeping
some members from listing their names.
The new organization should also strengthen
the legtimacy of the gay-rights movement. The
regents can easily brush off ACT-UP members as
political radicals and malcontents. The regents,
however, will find it difficult dismissing the new
branch of the movement that UMLGBFA presents.
The Alliance may achieve success where stu-
dents alone have been failing for years. In the
struggle for gay rights, as with many campus
issues, a student/faculty alliance can be a powerful
one. While it is encouraging that the group has
formed to address issues that concern its members,
an alliance with related groups would only add
strength to its movement.
Unfortunately, no such coalition exists. Per-
haps with the addition of this new group and some
good organizing, gay-rights activists can convince
the University to add sexual orientation Regental
bylaw 14.06, whichprohibits discrimination against
other groups.

All men are not sex-
crazed beer drinkers
To the Daily:
Thanks for your exposd of
"male kind" ("What a piece of
work is man," 2/6/92) Guns and
toy soldiers, bottle upon bottle of
beer, scattered packages of
condoms - I never knew that
you had to be violent, drunk and
sex-crazed to be a guy. The photo
of a man reading Playboy, of
course, didn't look like he'd
bought it for the articles. Finding
out that most male movements
involve either sexist opposition to
women's rights or a habit of
grunting and weeping in the
woods was also a bummer. I'd
venture to guess that there might
be a few guys out there, feeling
that maybe, just maybe, the article
and graphics didn't show who
they really are. Too bad a more
complete picture of the gender
didn't seem so newsworthy.
Jonathan Harrison
RC sophomore
Need to come together
To the Daily:
I first want to make clear that
I and most of my family has
diligently tried to buy American
products for a long time - long
before it was the "cool" thing to
do.
While I must admit that I am
pleased by the recent "buy
American" frenzy, there is one
aspect of this that apalls me -
the incredible increase in racism
that has arisen against Japanese
Americans. Japanese Americans
are just as American as anyone
else. In times of trouble, Ameri-
cans need to pull together on their
common traits, rather than
making a group of scapegoats
based on ethnic heritage. If we
want to help our country we
should do so by continuing to buy

To the Daily:
On March 26, Michael Davis
addressed a previous letter. s
written by Vince Wilk. Mr. Davis 1
was quite disturbed by the letter,
feeling that it had radical over- 1
tones.
I agree with you, Mr. Davis
that William Kennedy Smith's
social status helped him to
receive his verdict of not guilty.
However, just as Smith's+
background of being a high
society, white male should not
have created such delusions of 7
grandeur to produce his acquittal,
Tyson's background of being a
Black male coming from nothing
should not have produced mere
sympathy to acquit him. Person- +
ally, I'd love to see the two+
sharing a cell, but that's besides
the point.
The point is, Mr. Davis, that
although our rape culture and our
system's inherent victim-

discrimination allowed Smith to
get off, justice prevailed to keep
Tyson locked up where he can no
longer be a threat to society.
Why should we discuss the
behavior of the woman Tyson
raped? She did nothing wrong that
night. Who cares if they kissed?
Haven't you ever kissed a woman
without expecting anything more?
I sure hope so. We don't know
exactly what she planned to do in
Tyson's hotel room that night, but
she definitely didn't go hoping to
be raped.
Racism is a dangerous element
in our society. Just as dangerous,
though, are elements of sexism.
For you, Mr. Davis, and all of the
others who condone and promote
our rape culture, I want to open
your eyes to one important fact:
Rape is the responsibility of the
rapist, not of his victim.
Michelle Meklir
LSA sophomore

Rape is responsibility of rapist

American products.
SPrejudice and discrimination
toward any group of fellow
Americans is not only senseless
and unreasonable, it undermines
the overall goal I believe we are
trying to attain - a better
America!
LeAnn Franke
LSA sophomore
Get a clue, get a life
To the Daily:
This is in response to Jeremy
Katz's letter (3/11/92): Jeremy,
you never cease to amaze me.
After your last gratuitous letter
"Cha-Ching," I suspected you
were kind of dumb. Then, you
berated a friend of mine, who
responded to your letter, and for
several minutes about how he was
"another engineering geek with
nothing better to do with his life
than to write letters to the Daily."
Also, suggesting to him to, "get
out a little more often," I realized

that you are kind of dumb.
Writing to let all the readers of the
Daily know that you hate Macauly
Culkin, makes me believe that you
are extremely dumb. Practice what
you preach Jeremy, and "get out a
little more often." Find a hobby.
Try crocheting.
Jethro McGillicuty
LSA junior
Interested in writing for
the Summer Daily?
The Daily is looking for
interested cartoonists,
columnists, and writers to
join summer opinion staff.
The first meeting will be
Thursday, April 30, at 6
p.m. Any questions? Call
764-0552 and ask for Dave
Shepardson.

Men can help take back the night

More than 1,400 women took to the streets of
Ann Arbor Saturday night to demonstrate
power and solidarity during the 13th annual Take
Back the Night rally. The march sponsored exclu-
sively for women is fighting for a day when women
can feel safe walking anywhere at night. The
women who participated in the rally demonstrated
courage and dedication to the cause of sexual
assault prevention. However, these women cannot
fight the battle alone, nor should they have to.
The women who marched returned to City Hall
to be met by a mere 25 men participating in the
simultaneous men's rally. The men's rally was
meant to address what men can do to combat
sexual assault and sexist attitudes on campus. The
number of men taking an active role in educating
other men about the issues of sexual assault and
sexism in society is slowly growing. There is a
great need to learn and understand the sexism
women face on a daily basis.
The men who stayed showed commitment and
conviction to sexual assault prevention and aware-
ness. However, a turnout of 25 is abysmal and
demonstrates a student body apathetic to sexual
assault prevention and clinging to sexist attitudes.
Men from the Interfraternity Council and the
Michigan Student Assembly who call themselves
"student leaders" and claim to be concerned about
eradicating sexual assault and harassment from the

campus community, could have taken this oppor-
tunity to organize and educate their constituents.
While the IFC's recent establishment of a commit-
tee to deal with sexual assault in the Greek System
is a positive first step, it alone will not curtail
problems of sexual assault and campus rape.
Men who are concerned about the issue of
sexual assault and campus rape should not hide
behind committees, commissions and bureaucracy,
waiting for the problem to go away. The men's
rally at Take Back the Night would have been a
perfect opportunity for these men to show that their
commitment to sexual assault prevention does not
consist just of hollow words.
While there may be complaints of the perceived
"male-bashing" that occurs during the Take Back
the Night rally, these people need to overcome
their fear of criticism to demonstrate support for a
cause that will affect one in three women and one
in 10 men.
Men and women need to challenge prevailing
sexist attitudes and take initiative to publicly pro-
test the institutionalized sexism which exists in the
University and the Ann Arbor community. The
rally provides both male and female sexual assault
survivors with an opportunity to share their expe-
riences. Everyone in the Ann Arbor community,
male and female, can learn from participating in
Take Back the Night.

Brater meeting masks tear gas issue

h.

"

r

by Geoffrey Earle
If Mayor Liz Brater wanted to
generate new solutions and forge
new bonds between different
sections of the community
regarding the latest South
University teargassing incident,
she failed. If she wanted to put on
a media show where serious
issues regarding serious police
error were dodged in favor debate
about how to keep students off the
streets, she did just fine.
Most of those attending the
meeting - Ann Arbor police,
South University merchants,
University officials and even
student leaders - betrayed their
student constituents in one way or
another. Police Chief Douglas
Smith offered a skewed account
of the evening's events, and
inflated the isolated incidents of
violence that supposedly man-
dated the gassing. Deputy Chief
Craig Roderick, who served as
tactical commander during the
incident, went to great lengths to
defend the police sweeps that only
heightened tensions, and have
proven ineffective in dispersing
large South University crowds.
He asserted without hesitation,
"You have to mobilize at a noint

a student crowd at night. Admit-
tedly, these merchants are right to
fear damage to their stores. But
they, of all people, should
recognize that the sweeps and
gassing only increased property
damage.
Moreover, they have a certain
obligation to stick up for their
customers when they are
wronged;instead, most mer-
chants applauded the police
actions and left students hanging
out to dry.
University officials were more
well-intentioned, but seemed
blind to key realities. Vice
President for Student Affairs
Maureen Hartford stressed
finding alternative places for
students to go after games.
Executive Director of University
Relations Walter Harrison
emphasized fighting student
alcohol abuse as another
solution.These are fine gestures,
but they are counterproductive.
Students will drink, and students
will continue to flock to South U.
at an exponential rate. The city
and University need to find a way
to deal with this situation; trying
to keep students off the streets is
sure to be a losing battle.

Smith and Roderick issued swift
rebuttals, and no one came to the
students' aid.
In her first public appearance
as Michigan Student Assembly
president, Ede Fox proved that her
campaign gave no more than lip-
service to the police problem.
Instead of voicing opposition to
the fact that hundreds of her
constituents were needlessly
gassed - she offered a bogus and
superficial solution. Fox proposed
some vague system of posting
warning signs announcing closing
times to keep students awayfrom
South U. after big games. Good
luck.
The biggest disappointment of
the entire affair, despite Brater's
rhetoric about coming together,
was that the real issues went
unaddressed.
No one was expecting this
meeting to solve the complex
problem of South University
conflicts. But it should have at
least taken a stab at the Ann Arbor
police's view that teargassing is
the crowd-control method of
choice, and that they are not
looking for alternative methods to
keep the streets - and the
students --safe.

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Nuts and Bolts
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by Judd Winick
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