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September 22, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-22

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, September 22, 1992

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764 - 0552

Opinion Editors


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.
FoIx's flip-flop coul sink students

In an Opinion piece written for the Daily, MSA
Ipresident Ede Fox conceded that "Over the past
few months I have gone from being supportive of
this code to being ambivalent." This is a serious
understatement. Over the past few months, Fox
has been at times both the strongest advocate and
opponent of the code, sometimes simultaneously.
In dealing with the code, a serious issue that
demands the most adept leadership, Fox has been
a study in waffling and indecision.
Her original position regarding the code was
one of disregard for legal rights, confusion as to
what a code really does, and paranoia of the
motives behind a sinister administration.
She wrote in her platform:
"While many students find speech codes an
infringement of their right to speak freely, offen-
sive, abusive language is an infringement of other
student's right to live comfortably and feel safe on
this campus. Considering the administration's his-
tory, they could not be trusted to design and en-
force effective speech codes. I would therefore
advocate speech codes designed and enforced by
a representative group of students."
Fox desired a strong speech code to silence
offensive speech, but felt that the administration
could not be trusted to enforce it strictly enough.
She completely repudiated considerations of free
speech and staked out a position beyond even that
of the administration - supporting a code with
even more onerous restrictions on expression than
the Fleming Building dared propose.
But the woman who so adamantly supported
speech codes seemed vehemently opposed to any
restrictive codes of conduct in an article that ap-
peared in U. The National College Magazine, an
advertising supplement that appears in the Daily.

"The nature of the administration has been quite
repressive, so I think any kind of rules about non-
academic conduct will not be received well," she
said. "We all fear the possibility that they would
come after us for having different ideas ... It's
really society that teaches people to attack others in
speech," she continued. "Having a code won't get
rid of it."
While this second position represents progress,
she seems to be groping, Bush-like, for apolitically
acceptable middle ground. It is curious that Fox
feels the administration would "come after us" for
having different ideas, when those ideas are the
very ones she found violating students' rights to
"live comfortably." She wants the administration
to crack down on speech offensive to her, but fears
that this power could also be used against her.
Fox's most recent flip-flop in the Daily's Issues
Forum is perhaps the most disheartening, because
her position regarding the code has become so
tangential, so off-the-wall, that it has no real baring
on the issue, and was likely taken with little seri-
ousness. Here Fox claimed that the issue wasn't
speech codes, but racism. "A code will not get rid
of racism on this campus or in the country, only
education will." She goes on to suggest that the
University endow a newspaper to deal with race
issues to solve the problem.
Fox seems to be trapped in a debate left over
from 1989. The issue is no longer speech codes -
those were ruled unconstitutional. The issue is a
conduct code, and one that the administration hopes
to impose in order to regulate student behavior and
stem harassment. Until Fox gets a firm hold on this
concept, and inserts some consistency into her
statements, students have no hope for leadership,
and no hope of avoiding a harmful code.

"72CCOMEAAeIN. t§1"
L E L R .~*.. ....* ... . *..* .Y... . .


Stalking law aids victims, students

Joke went too far
To the Daily:
I followed the logic of (but
not necessarily agreed with) your
editorial ("Bury the draft issue,"
9/16/92), until I came upon this
line: "While it is true that Bush
acted heroically in single-
handedly crashing his plane into
the Pacific and killing his crew
while flying his-first mission... "
The writer of this editorial
was really pulling at straws to
come up with what appears to be
a joke. I would like to see the
writer say this face to face to any
war veteran who was shot down,
injured or saw his fellow soldiers
get killed.
I find it amazing that a paper
which claims to be sensitive to
the feelings of special groups
would take responsibility for such
an editorial. But then I remind
myself, it's just the Daily.
Michael Kamprath
Rackham graduate student
Fix football schedule
To the Daily:
It never ceases to amaze me
how the Michigan football team
always gets bamboozled into
opening the season with Notre
Dame, and in most cases, we lose.
The Irish always get a "warm-up"
contest before the big clash with
the Wolverines.
With one game under our belt,
there is no doubt in my mind that
a crisper Michigan team would
have won Saturday's classic. As it
was on Saturday, We were
obviously the better team, but a
couple of crucial miscues cost us a
clear-cut shot at a national athletic
I hope our athletic director will
insist upon opening with a cream
puff in the future. The opponent in
not important. The game experi-
ence is.
Benjamin Padnos
LSA first-year student

To the Daily:
This letter is regarding the
freak, geek, jock or 21st century
leader article written by Joey
Barker (9/10/92).
While the article was obvi-
ously meant to be humorous, the
portion about the Residential
College seems to be an attack on
the institution.
The Residential College
presents different ideas about
education and encourages its
students to learn for the sake of
knowledge and not for a grade.
Nowhere is this more apparent
than in the intensive language
The intensive language
program challenges its students
to master a foreign tongue to the
point of proficiency instead of
drudging through four semesters

RC offers intense program

meaninglessly. While this
program is difficult, it is far from
torturous and gives the reward of
being able to speak, read, write
and comprehend a foreign
Furthermore, while there is no,
math requirement to graduate
from the Residential College,
several math courses are offered
there, including sections of Math
115 and Math 116 in addition to
Math For Poets.
It is quite a sweeping gener-
alization for the author to say that
RC students can not perform
As a RC student who is
majoring in mathematics, I find
this assumption absurd.
Harry Edwards

Cain deserves SAPAC position

This month, the Michigan legislature will send
a long-overdue, comprehensive package of
anti-stalking measures to Gov. Engler. This bipar-
tisan effort will finally offer relief and protection,
where there has only been negligence and callous-
ness. Before now, the police had few ways to deal
with stalking accusations, leaving women through-
out the state vulnerable, frightened, and some-
times physically hurt or dead.
The Michigan legislature began work on stalk-
ing legislation last spring, reacting to a swift rise in
the number of reported stalking incidents. Some
28 states have already passed similar legislation.
The measure creates the new crime of stalking,
defined as malicious harassment, repeated
unconsented contact with the victim, and contact-
ing the victim by phone or by mail.
Excluded are people with legitimate purpose,
such as a private detective, and conduct protected
under the U.S. Constitution.
There arejustifiable concerns about over-broad
language included in the bill. The language was
constructed with few guidelines or precedents;.
there is no clear standard in forming anti-stalking
laws. Under the law, an ex-boyfriend may be
charged with stalking if he mails a letter to his
disinterested former girlfriend. So, while the bill
may be ambiguous now, members should narrow
the language of the bill during conference to pro-
tect civil liberties.
A companion bill would create the additional
crime of "aggravated stalking," a felony, defined
as violating a stay-away order, a condition of
probation, or making a credible threat to kill or
inflict serious bodily injury upon a victim or a
member of the victim's family. This bill goes to the
heart of the problem, setting out tough penalties
for those who continue to threaten a stalking

The bill also indirectly benefits students at the
University. The best argument the administration
has made for the latest code of nonacademic con-
duct is that the legal system does not provide
adequet protection for victims of stalking, even
though this benefit is dwarfed by the many nega-
tive ramifications of the code. Now the strongest
justification for a code has been pulled out from the
administration's feet. This bill--which has been in
the works for over a year - will provide University
victims with recourse, without having to resort to
University action.
Michigan's proposed stalking penalties will be
the toughest in the nation. Finally, those victims
who have always been told that nothing can be
done have somewhere to turn.

To the Daily:
Colin Leach's recent cam-
paign to oppose the appointment
of Ms. Deborah Cain as the new
Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center (SAPAC)
director is an exercise in fascism.
As with groups like ACT-UP,
these people routinely use the
entirety of their misguided
resources to attack as racist,
homophobic or sexist anything
that does not fit into their
political (personal) agenda.
The problem with these
actions is that guilty liberals on
campus join the bandwagon and
start labelling the University as
racist, homophobic and sexist
just because people like Leach
have done so.

Mr. Leach even went so far as
to have published in the Ann
Arbor News that students will
now feel uncomfortable using
SAPAC just because of some
routine bureaucratic decision.
The allegations are unfounded
and Mr. Leach is just exploiting
with people's fears and anxiety,
to stir up the campus unnecessar-
ily, in order to run for student
council or other such personal
power play.
Ms. Cain is a worthy candi-
date and SAPAC should continue
to be trusted by the University
community- despite what Mr.
Leach and the fascists promul-
Michael Monkman
1992 University graduate


The Daily encourages it's readers to voice their opinions. All op-ed
pieces should be no more than 3,000 characters. All letters should be
no more than 150 words or less. Submissions should be typed, and sent
to: the Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Arab Americans suffer racist attacks


Deja vu at EMI
In an attempt to curb the increasing number of
violentoutbreaks occurring on campus, Eastern
Michigan University (EMU) has enforced a new
party policy banning non-EMU students from on-
campus parties. People wishing to hold parties are
also obliged to sell tickets in advance in order to
cap the number of people attending. Admittedly,
this new policy may reduce the number of violent
incidents on campus, but denying Ypsilanti resi-
dents free access to public property is neither fair,
nor proper.
Many students, including Vice President of the
Black Greek Council (BGC) Marcus Gowins and
Student Body Vice President Michael Sharum,
favor the policy. Compared to last year's all-out
party ban, this new policy seems like a blessing.

mined limits would have to pay for all damages
done, perhaps even sacrificing the privilege of
holding parties on university grounds. This method.
would be just as effective, without having to strip
away the rights of the students or residents.
All this should appear familiar to University
students. Eastern's policy bears a striking resem-
blance to Michigan's own Union policy. From 8:30
p.m. Thursday through Saturday, guards are sta-
tioned at the Union doors to prevent people not
affiliated with the University from entering the
building, unless they are accompanied by a stu-
dent. Students with more than two friends are
asked to riot elsewhere. The University adminis-
tration, like EMU's administration, does not recog-
nize that the Union is a public building built from

Remember the yellow ribbons?
With yellow ribbons, the U.S. pub-
lic pledged to support citizens serv-
ing in the Gulf War. Even anti-war
rallies stressed that soldiers could
not be blamed
for the war
waged by I
their govern-
ment. The
abuse directed
at Vietnam
would not be repeated.
But another group of U.S. citi-
zens and residents was anything but
safe. Arab Americans became
scapegoats for the deeds of one Arab
dictator. They suffered death threats,
bombings, assaults, shootings, ar-
son and other terrorism at the hands
of their fellow citizens.
Did the U.S. government re-
spond with swift justice to protect
all law-abiding persons subject to
harassment and violence? No.
Rather, the FBI set the standard
for harassment by interrogating
hundreds of Arab-American busi-
ness and community leaders re-
garding their political views and
knowledge of povsible terrorist
threats in the United States.

Americans. Still, the Bureau's role
in fostering the stigmatization of
Arab Americans during the war
cannot be ignored. The in-
terrogations left the impression that
Arab Americans are, by virtue of
their ethnicity, a threat to the public
Nor was this the first time Arab
Americans had been singled out by
the federal government for treat-
ment as "suspicious elements." In
1987, an L.A. court revealed a Jus-
tice Department contingency plan
for the mass arrest and internment
of U.S. residents of Middle Eastern
Japanese Americans, dj k vu?
Remember, U.S. intervention in
the Gulf was sold to the American
public as a mission to protect the
human rights of (Arab) Kuwaitis.
The fact that the war effort endan-
gered the Arab community at home
is sad and ironic.
But the government is not the
only institution which dehuman-
izes Arab Americans, leaving them
vulnerable to attacks. For years, the
popular media has promoted and
profited from stereotyping Arabs.
For years, the animated
children'sChristmas program "The

lized Arab characters to teach chil-
dren about "danger." The American
Arab Anti-Discrimination Commit-
tee, a Washington-based service
organization founded in 1980, met
with Sesame Street's producers to
protest the segment's racism. They
agreed to retire the segment.
But not all valid complaints of
anti-Arab defamation result in such
success. The meritless 1990 movie
"Navy SEALS," which depicted the
U.S.militaryinvading an Arab coun-
try, did poorly at the box office until
Saddam's August 2 attack on Ku-
wait. Despite such blatant bigotry as
calling Arabs "rags," the film's rev-
enues picked up dramatically as the
possibility of U.S. involvement in-
creased. Then there was the com-
ment I overheard in East Quad:
"What do they mean? Let the Arabs
solve their own problems? Like the
Arabs have ever worked things out
on their own."
I wish everyone with such hate-
fuland ignorant views of Arabs could
have spent one evening in my late
grandmother's kitchen, feted with
her hot spinach pies and her warm
hospitality, extended even to strang-
ers. I wish everyone could know and
respect Arab Americans as we are:

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