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September 28, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-28

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, September 28, 1992

E.ditor in C lief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

MATTHIEW I). RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL.('ITR(
GEOFFREY IARLE
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.
An alternative to the Fleming code

C2NLER<TANi YOUR PO8BLEMvS.
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Federal law requires thatthe University of Michi-
gan have a comprehensive code of nonaca-
demic conduct, or so says Vice President for Stu-
dent Affairs Maureen Hartford. Using this justifi-
cation, the administration has declared most pro-
visions in its Statement of Students' Rights and
Responsibilities "non-negotiable," because the
University cannot violate federal law. (Actually, it
would not "violate the law," but risk losing federal
funding.)
This argument is only partially correct. Amend-
ments to the Higher Education Act mandate that
the University implement a policy to control on-
campus sexual assault and harassment only. The
Drug and Alcohol-Free Schools Act requires that
the University have a policy dealing with alcohol
and drug abuse. This is a non-factor, however,
because the University already has such a policy.
So to fulfill federal requirements, the Univer-
sity does not need a code anything like the one the
administration has proposed. It only needs a sexual
assault policy. But working from the false premise
that a comprehensive code is non-negotiable, the
administration has been receptive to only the most
peripheral changes in its code. What will be left,
after a bit of tinkering, is a code that gives the
administration enormous control over students'
behavior outside the classroom.
If the impetus for the code truly comes from
students, as the administration maintains, then
students should be given a real choice. The admin-
istration should start by putting two proposals up
to a campus-wide vote. One choice would be the
comprehensive code advocated by the Fleming
Building. The other choice would be a policy
dealing only with sexual assault, since this is all
that the law requires. Here is a preferable alterna-
tive policy:
The one benefit of the code is that it protects
victims of assault or harassment until the courts
can take action. As it stands, many victims may be
placed in the uncomfortable or even dangerous
situation of having to continually encounter an
accused rapist or harasser in class or on campus
before the case goes to court. Rather than usurp the

legal system completely, our policy's primary re-
sponsibility would be to protect the alleged victim
until the accused's guilt or innocence can be fairly
determined in a court of law.
Victims of sexual harassment or assault would
appear before a student judiciary. The jury's pur-
pose is not to determine guilt or innocence of a
crime, but whether or not the alleged victim is in
danger of further harassment, rape, or injury. If all
six jurors find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that
there is a possibility of a second offense, they will
impose a restraining order on the accused. This
may entail preventing the accused from attending
classes with the victim, and will protect the victim
from further harassment. If the restraining order is
violated, the judiciary can expel the offender.
The restraining order should last until a
verdict is rendered in a court of law, whereupon the
sanction will be terminated. If the victim chooses
not to press charges, the order will last up to one
semester.
When standing before the student jury, both
the accuser and the accused may be represented by
attorneys, serving the same function they would in
a court of law. This may require expanded funding
of Student Legal Services for those who cannot
afford to retain counsel.
This proposal differs drastically from the State-
ment of Students' Rights and Responsibilities. It
covers only sexual assault, rather than many forms
of nonacademic conduct.
It also contains more safeguards for therights of
the accused, including: unanimity among the ju-
rors when deciding potential danger; the standard
of "more likely than not" will be replaced by
"beyond a reasonable doubt;" the rights of both
parties for unrestricted access and use of counsel
would be protected.
University administrators claim that the code
has broad student support and protects student
interests. Let them prove it by giving the final
decision to the students. The administration should
give the students a real choice - one between a
minimalist and a comprehensive version of the
code.

H ERS _

Daily report ignores
Asian Americans
To the Daily:
In "Mandate report shows
increase in minority students on
campus" (9/18/92), the Daily
reports the increased numbers of
students of color. It then details
the increases for each of the
African-American, Hispanic/
Latino, and Native American
populations. Strangely, however,
the figures for Asian-American
students are absent (rising 49.6
percent to 2,697 students, or 8.2
percent of the student body).
Does the Daily feel that the
increases in the largest minority
group on campus are not in
accord with the Michigan
Mandate? Are we in the Asian-
American student community to
believe that we are not beneficial
to the diversity of the University?
The article is a classic ex-
ample of the marginalization of
Asian Americans, and of minori-
ties in general. The Daily owes
both the Asian-American student
community and the University an
explanation and an apology for its
inappropriate selectivity in
reporting.
Al Chan
LSA senior
Degar Ho
LSA sophomore
Winfield free agent
To the Daily:
The Associated Press article
about Dave Winfield ("Milestone
looms for Winfield," 9/22/92)
read that he was let go at the end
of last year by the California
Angels. Actually, Winfield was a
hot free agent pursued by many
teams, including the Angels. He
signed a contract with the Toronto
Blue Jays.
Loren Shevitz
RC senior
Editors' note: In Noah Finkel's let-
ter to the Editor (9/24/92) his com-
plaint was that students would be
able to volunteer for the judiciay
panel, not that students will be ran-
domly chosen.

Greek brats noisy, obnoxious

0

To the Daily:
Why is it that the members of
the Greek system on this campus
seem to be able to enjoy them-
selves only when they are
irritating the rest of us?
I am, of course, referring to
the day every year when the
sororities offer bids to their
perspective pledges and feel
compelled to ride around campus
in their Volkswagen Cabriolet
convertibles and Isuzu Troopers
honking their horns. This is about
the most obnoxious thing I have
ever experienced. Although it is
impossible not to share in the joy
of these women who are about to
embark on a four-year odyssey of
fake friendships, Stairmaster, and
holding sorority bonding sessions
during Psych 172 lectures, I have
to wonder why they feel it
necessary to create a general
nuisance every year just because

B uffy got into Kappa Kappa
Gucchi. I know that it is a big day
for them, but the amount of noise
they make disrupts the normal
course of life on campus and in
the North Burns Park neighbor-
hood where I live, making it
impossible to study or relax.
And whatever happened to
Ann Arbor's famous noise
ordinance, invoked whenever a
person who is not from the same
white upper-middle class back-
ground that produced these
women drives through town
playing their stereo a little too
loud. I think that there is a little bit
of a double standard here.
We should make these over-
privileged Greek brats live by the
same rules that everybody else
does.
Jim Chapman
LSA senior

Math TAs given a bum rap

Party policy not worth discussion

According to University Activities Council
President Jason Hackner, the administration
is considering enacting a policy limiting social
events held in University facilities to Friday and
Saturday evenings. Additional restrictions would
ban parties on final-exam study days; only "educa-
tional" and "cultural" events would be allowed.
The administration insists that the policy is not
on its agenda. Director of Communications and
Planning Shirley Clarkson said, "(Vice President
for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford) is not ac-
tively discussing (the policy) at this time." Still,
Hartford should be warned, that if such a policy
were discussed in the future, it should be discarded
as unacceptable; University facilities like the Union
should remain open for any student function
throughout the week.
Many administrators, notably Associate Vice
President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Royster Harper, worry that the University has
become a "party school." In a series of articles that
ran this summer, the Detroit News insisted that the
university students are far more concerned with
gettingtdrunk than getting As. The policy proposal
seems to be a result of bad press.
The groupthink that is behind the suggested
policy supposes that students from all over the
state - and indeed all over the country - have
come to Ann Arbor to experience a party only
Michigan can give. Maybe Michigan State, with
its party-school reputation, will one day be strug-
gling to keep its students within the confines of
East Lansing in fear of a southern migration to Ann
Arbor.
In all seriousness, however, there is a sense of
paternalism implicit in the proposal. Administra-
tors don't seem to believe that students have the
ability to decide what is good for themselves.
Consequently, control over a student's social life
seems only a reasonable course of action.

Also disconcerting about this would-be policy
is that it has been discussed behind closed doors.
Whether this policy is on the administration's
agenda or not, as Clarkson asserts, students should
be involved in the process. The administration
should not impose any restrictions on student ac-
tivities unless those restrictions are crafted by
students.
In the meantime, the competition between the
University and Eastern MichiganUniversity (EMU)
over the erosion of student rights continues. First,
the University rules that non-students are not al-
lowed in the Union on weekends unless accompa-
nied by a student with valid ID. Then EMU rules
that non-students are not allowed in on-campus
parties at all. Now, the University may restrict the
type of events students are allowed to hold during
the week.
The policy may not be on anyone's agenda
today, but the administration has shown no reluc-
tance to institute such policies in the past.
DROP THAT
-B-~R

To the Daily:
Every year it seems that a new
bevy of whiners emerges from
the depths of LSA to complain of
poor teaching in the Mathematics
department, and more often, they
blame the teaching assistants. The
majority of Math TAs, it is
alleged, are inexperienced, unable
to speak English and not properly
trained to teach undergraduates.
Academic advisors and even
faculty members from other
departments have taken part in
these perennial tirades. I'd like to
point out a few facts from last
Spring's issue of Advice, the
course evaluations for fall of '91.
According to these evalua-
tions filled out by students, TAs
as a whole have once again
outscored faculty members for
teaching in most of the lower
level math courses. In Calculus
115, for example, TAs scored the
average faculty rating of 3.7 on
the "instructor overall" category,
16 percent higher that the average
faculty rating of 3.2. In Calculus
116, TAs had an average rating of
4.0, higher than every single
faculty score except one. If TAs

lack teaching experience, it is
evident in other factors, such as
their high levels of energy and
commitment, more than compen-
sate in the classroom.
This is not to knock faculty
teaching, nor to suggest that TAs
themselves couldn't stand some
improvement. Both suffer from
high demands on their time from
the administration whose other
priorities often leave undergradu-
ate teaching far behind. And in the
end student evaluations are not, by
any means, the best form of
assessment for teaching quality. It
does suggest, however, that TAs
too easily have become increas-
ingly concerned about the bottom
line at the expense of the vitality
of the education process.
I hope that members of the
University community will begin
to think twice before indiscrimi-
nately blaming TAs for educa-
tional shortcomings that clearly
run far deeper than the nearest
graduate student.
Douglas T. Shapiro
Mathematics teaching
assistant

"

COMIIVTJNIT'Y INSIGHAT
Rosh Hashana: Students' dilemma

0
e
4
U
0

by Leona Shaw
My stomach rumbles as sump-
tuous smells of honey cake drift
from the kitchen into my room. I
feel a pang of frustration as I wish I
could enjoy Rosh Hashana with my
family downstairs, rather than sit in
my room studying hysterically.
Once again, the panicked time of
year of juggling classes and reli-
gious obligations has arrived.
Rosh Hashana (literally "head
of the year") is the Jewish New
Year. It is supposed to be a time of
deep meditation. Friends wish each
other a "sweet new year" and eat
sweet foods such as honey. How-
ever, throughout my life, I have
found it hard to fully savor the tra-
ditional apples and honey, knowing
that the festival is an obstacle in my
secular life.
I first experienced the problem-
atic side effects of Rosh Hashana in
England. I lived in England until I
was 12 and my family was fairly
religious. Every year, I would take

parents tried to withdraw me from
the indoctrinating, yet mandatory,
religious education classes, the
school foughtback. They could not
comprehend why my parents did
not want me to learn how to be a
good Christian. At one point, four
older Jewish girls were told by the
religious education teacher to try to
persuade me to participate in the
class. At the age of 10, I was
approached by four 18 year old

a special meal plan for those Mus-
lims observing Ramadan. I have to
point out these benefits to my Jew-
ish friends who complain aboutmiss-
ing so many classes in which pro-
fessors make it difficult to make up
the work. I only perceive the reli-
gious tolerances since I am used to a
different culture's attitude.
Yet I cannot blame my friends
for complaining since this is a coun-
try that stresses separation of church

"

No excuse for not voting

However, throughout my life, I have found it
hard to fully savor the traditional apples and
honey, knowing that the festival is an
obstacle in my secular life.

Despite the great amount of political activity on
college campuses, student-age voters have
among the lowest voter turnout rates of the entire
American population. The 1992 election, how-
ever, is not an election to dismiss or ignore.
Young people often grumble that "all politi-
cians are the same," and therefore do not vote.

support "the lesser of two evils." This is nonsense.
In such a huge, diverse country, virtually nobody is
going to be perfectly content with any one candi-
date.
Politics entails compromise. We live in a de-
mocracy, not a utopia. The most valid excuse given
for not voting is the inconvenience of registering

Jewish girls who backed me into a
corner and confronted me. Why
was I different? After all, they were
Jewish too. I was speechless; too
young to respond that we should
have the right to choose our reli-
gious standards without conflict-
ing with school requirements.
Since moving to the United

and state, combined with tolerance
of all religions. It should be natural
that professors would try to help
those who have to miss classes for
the holidays. It is possible for pro-
fessors to help students with this
problem.
For example, one of my profes-
sors is taping his class during Rosh

01

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