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October 08, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-08

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily- Thursday, October 8, 1992

Gbe A icigau &iI1
Editor in Chief

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

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

___ /

01

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.
Questions about the code remain

.- -

r
t

The scores of students who embarrassed the
administration with their pointed criticism of
its vague and convoluted "Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities" have been at least
partially vindicated. The new draft of the State-
ment contains many of their suggestions, and is a
marked improvement over previous drafts. Unfor-
tunately, in its zealous attempt to implement a code
- albeit a better one - by mid-October, the
administration overlooked a few things, namely
that it does not need a code, and it already has one.
ACLU President David Schwartz and MSA
Rep. Robert Van Houweling, the two students
involved in the re-write who added the construc-
tive changes, were both encouraged by Vice Presi-
dent for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford's will-
ingness to take their suggestions. Perhaps the
administration has finally learned that students
can draft a cleaner code than its own lawyers.
And some of the code's most disturbing flaws
are gone. The new code pays more attention to due
process. The standard of evidence has been changed
from "more likely than not" to "clear and convinc-
ing evidence." Unanimity, not a majority, of the
student jurors is needed to sanction a student, and
jurors are selected at random at the beginning of
each year. This ought to be relieving to anyone
who heard Hartford's allusions to a "stratified
jury," a.k.a. quotas and gender distribution. How-
ever, the accused still does not have the right to
active representation by an attorney, and we ques-
tion why the University is so stalwart in opposing
this fundamental right.
While the old code gave the University the
authority to sanction students for non-academic
conduct committed literally everywhere in the
world, the new code sensibly enumerates the pun-
ishable offenses, and divides them up by location.
Some are punishable only ifcommitted on Univer-
sity property, while others apply off-campus. This
seems sensible: if the University wants to ban bad
or illegal behavior on its own property, that is its
business. Curiously though, all of the actions pro-
hibited in the Ann Arbor area are illegal anyway -
and they already lie in the State and City's jurisdic-
' tion. These are crimes like murder, arson and

forgery. It is unlikely that a University sanction
would be more of a deterrent than jail time, and the
University would do better to lay off than to try to
prosecute.
What is clearly the code's greatest fault, and the
one that will jeopardize the rights of the accused for
generations to come, is its unequal treatment of
certain stigmatized crimes. While serious crimes
like physical assault, battery and even murder are
only applicable if committed in Ann Arbor, sexual
assault, rape and harassment apply "regardless of
where they occur." Put bluntly, a student who
murders an entire family in Ohio may be free from
sanction, but a student who harasses a colleague in
Australia or Morocco is not. This is a clear and
absurd double standard.
The code as a whole is improved, but the criti-
cisms and the questions remain. Why does the
University want to be in the business of enforcing
the law? How can it be more fair than the U.S. legal
system? Why does it insist on crafting a broad code
instead of adopting a minimalist policy exclusive
to sexual assault and harassment, as the law de-
mands? If the administration is so concerned with
student input, why not put a series of proposals up
to a student vote?
And why is the University going through this
ordeal at all if its 1973 code, the "Rules of the
University Community," is still on the books?
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Vir-
ginia Nordby stated that "the Rules have not been
enforced for decades; (the administration) had many,
many problems ... in enforcing them." Executive
Director of University Relations Walter Harrison
agreed. "(The Rules) don't exist. They were never
enforced," he said. Vice President for Student
Affairs Maureen Hartford has asked University
General Counsel Elsa Cole to see if the existing
Rules "present a problem." Still, the administra-
tion must be aware that the original Rules were a
contract between administration, faculty and stu-
dents, while the new code - revised or not - will
be externally imposed upon the students.
The administration can put these questions to
rest by allowing the students to control their own
fate in a campus-wide referendum.

01

S::1

L,1ThI'IIIIS;

ICC misrepresented
To the Daily:
Your Opinion piece "Does the
ICC have your money?" (9/24/
92) was shockingly devoid of any
real-world perspective in the
matters of cooperative living and
the ICC's place in the Ann Arbor
market.
Throughout the editorial, false
comparisons to Ann-Arbor
landlords are made. In the ICC,
the landlords are the members of
the cooperative. Members set
their own rates, do their own
maintenance, and manage their
own property. Most pertinent to
the point of this article, if the
membership of the ICC wished to
return shares in May instead of
October, it could do so very
easily.
But not only was the ICC
founded, as clumsily stated in
your editorial, "with the intent of
offering cheap and affordable
housing" (sic), but also to
promote cooperative living. With
that goal comes the responsibility
of educating members about the
machinery, management and the
ideology of the cooperative.
True, the ICC could hire more
staff to take the place of indi-
vidual house treasurers which
would certainly be more efficient.
But the cost would be the
disempowerment of the member-
ship as well as that additional
price tag of staffing.
The most offensive aspect of
the editorial was its snide attitude
and, ultimately, emptiness. To
anyone remotely familiar with the
nature of cooperatives, the article
rings false and unknowledgeable.
If the Daily were more
professional, it would adequately
research a topic before publishing
an opinion piece.
Rod Schoonover
ICC President 1988-89,1991

Chapman responds to letters

To the Daily:
I was not planning to respond
to Cori Jakubiak's letter ("Letter
offends sorority women," 9/29/
92). Usually, I consider pieces
that ignore the issues and concen-
trate on armchair psychoanalysis
to be beneath contempt, but,
Jakubiak made a few unsubstanti-
ated accusations to which I would
like to respond.
She accused me of slander and
of being "anti-female." She did
not explain what exactly she
meant by either of these charges
and I am frankly at a loss as to
what parts of my letter prompted
them. Jakubiak, if you are going
to write things like this, you had
better give examples to back them
up.
As for your allegation of
sexism, I tried to point out in my
letter that the excessive noise
sorority members are allowed to

make on Bid Day - totally
inconsistent with Ann Arbor law
- is merely symptomatic of the
special privilege that the white
fraternities and sororities on this
campus enjoy.
Finally, having accused me of
being "anti-female," you go on to
charge that this means I must be
racist and homophobic as well.
These charges are self-evidently
silly, but I would like to ask you a
few questions. I-low many
African-American women are in
your sorority? Iow many of your
members are openly lesbian or
bisexual?
I am sorry Ms. Jakubiak, but
pointing out the flaws of the
Greek system does not make
someone arrogant, and it certainly
does not make me racist, sexist or
homophobic.
Jim Chapman
LSA senior

0

Greek coverage hypocritical

a,
.4
r -,
'C ;

Opinion Editor Yael Citro, a member of the three-student board to re-draft the code, did not participate
in the discussion or the writing of this editorial.

Militants infinge
STast week, a Planned Parenthood in Grand
Rapids, MI was sprayed by gunfire. Two
weeks earlier, this and another nearby women's
clinic were doused with butyric acid, a chemical
that smells of vomit. Though the Planned Parent-
hood doesn't even perform abortions, it became
one of the many clinics nationwide to fall victim to
a militant faction of the anti-abortion rights minor-
ity.
As these attacks become more prevalent, it is
becoming readily apparent that the forces of the
religious right and militant anti-abortion rights
activists can effectively nullify Roe v. Wade,
whether or not the Supreme Court ever overturns
it. With their blatant disregard for the law and the
lives of patients and doctors, these holier-than-
thou fanatics have far overstepped their legal right
to assembly and protest.
Abortion clinics are blockaded, women are
harassed, and doctors are threatened. In Wichita,
Kan. last year, Operation Rescue, a national anti-
aboriton rights organization, staged protests that
lasted six weeks and resulted in more than 2,600
arrests. Similarly, the reactionary Victim Souls of
the Unborn Christ Child, known as the Lambs of
Christ, travel the country targeting abortion clin-
ics. They stalk neighborhoods, threatening doc-
tors and their families, and chain themselves to

on right to. choose
automobiles and concrete blocks to impede police
efforts to stop them from blockading the "killing
centers."
As doctors are scared away from performing
abortions, many areas are left without anyone to
perform the procedure legally. According to Time
magazine, abortion has ceased to be available in 83
percent of U.S. counties; only one doctor performs
them in the entire state of South Dakota. This
places an extreme burden on poor women who
cannot make expensive trips to get an abortion. The
Supreme Court has ruled that the state cannot place
an undue burden on women seeking abortions, yet
a tiny extremist fringe has successfully done just
this.
Anti-abortion rights organizations havetheright
to voice dissent.
But in these cases, the dissent has gone so far as
to infringe on the rights of others. Pro-choice
lawyers have accurately compared Operation
Rescue's behavior to the massive opposition tech-
nique of racists who physically blocked school
entrances to prevent integration.
Now, as then, the battle to protect legal abortion
must be fought in both the courts and the clinics. It
is crucial that the anti-abortion rights tilt of our
national courts be reversed; however, a right which
cannot be practically utilized is of dubious value.

To the Daily:
I have never seen a positive
word in the Daily about any
Greek activity or accomplish-
ment. When the Greek system
raises money for charities, it is
grudgingly reported, but when a
tragedy or a scandal arises, the
Daily gleefully editorializes the
event as yet another piece of
evidence of the evil of fraternities
and sororities.
Perhaps what I object to most
is the hypocritical attitude that the
Daily perpetuates and yet seems
unaware of. The Daily has long
championed (and rightly so) the
idea that everyone must think of
everyone else as an individual,
with independent needs and
varying opinions. I believe in this
attitude.
How is it then, that the Daily

refuses to acknowledge that the
Greek system is made up of
thousands of individuals, each
with different ways of behaving,
thinking and feeling? How can the
Daily insinuate that all "fraternity
men" are date rapists and that all
"sorority women" are fluff
headed, thinking more about how
to spend Daddy's money than
about classes or other important
interests? I know that I am not
alone in my feelings. Many people
I have spoken with have expressed
the same feelings of frustration,
anger and confusion.
Perhaps if the Daily is not
willing to open its eyes to the
variety of the Greek system, it
should at least shut its mouth.
Olivia Lee
Gamma Phi Beta Sorority

VIEWPOINT
Bovine solution to higher education

0

GA cuts cause continued suffening

This is Michigan State week,
and I would normally devote this
column to spewing venom at our
agricultural counterpart to the North.
But this being the Opinion page, I
have decided instead to tackle a
more vexing topic: the University's
decline in academic quality.
According to the latest U.S.
News and World Report poll, the
University of Michigan is now
merely the 24th best University in
the country, down two spots from
last year. Harvard is listed as No.
one.
While some administrators and
faculty have expressed concern, I
would like
to point out
that this
poll was a iJONA HAN
grossly
misleading A
gauge of
our aca-
d e m i c
prowess for
two major reasons:
Michigan is actually rated No.
21 in the Associated Press poll.
Our football team could ab-
solutely maul Harvard's. There is a
good chance that the Harvard quar-
terback could not be identified after
the game without the use of his
dental records. So there's really no

University facilities to Friday and
Saturday nights. This is true. "They
said they were concerned Michi-
gan was getting a reputation as a
party school," said University Ac-
tivities Center President Jason
Hackner.
Now, I would like you to walk
up to a student from, say, oh...
Michigan State, and tell them that
the academic mission of our school
is being circumvented by parties.
He would probably look you
straight in the eye and say: "Huh?"
Then he would pass out, drunk.
Face it: the University of Michi-
gan has about as much of a reputa-
tion as a party center as post-revo-
lutionary Iran. But the administra-
tion is serious about this. If they
follow through and ban allcampus
parties except for Friday and Satur-
day, they'll have to enforce - par-
don the expression - a two-party-
system.
Already, it's getting harder to
hold parties. A couple of weeks
ago, my housemates and I had a
party which received anoise viola-
tion - after it had broken up. I had
the following actual conversation
with a police officer:
- HIM: We received a complaint
about a noisy party. I have to give
you a violation.
ME: But officer, as you can see,

complaints about police brutality?
As I was saying, this crackdown
on parties seems to be related to our
slide in the U.S. News and World
Report poll. And I say the problem
isn't with the University of Michi-
gan - the problem is that the poll is
slanted. Sure, if you evaluate uni-
versities based on useless criteria
like test scores, faculty-student ra-
tio and graduation rate, we might
not be able to compete with the Ivy
League.
But, I have devised an impartial
system to evaluate our nation's uni-
versities. My test will not consider
standardized test scores, which are
biased in favor of smart people.
This is a five-pronged test, be-
cause you usually only see the ad-
jective "pronged" in conjunction
with the number three, or some-
times two. I see no good reason why*
a test cannot have four or more
prongs.
Prong 1: Temperature differen-
tial, in degrees Fahrenheit, between
course-registration room and out-
doors in December.
Prong 2: Fifteen bonus points if
the university president can name
the artist who sang "Jenny/867-
5309." *
Prong 3: Number of Big Ten
football championships won, 1988-
91. (Schools which do not belong to

4year after Gov. John Engler slashed Michigan's
General Assistance (GA) welfare program, a
study conducted by Wayne State University's
(WSU) Center for Urban Studies reported that
46,000 former recipients -83 percent - are still
unemployed. Engler expressed his encouragement
that 17 percent found work, and is confident the
number will continue to grow. As long as Engler is
impressed by such a meager figure, the people of
Michigan cannot expect him to rectify his callous
policies.
With the economy still mired with high unem-
ployment and slow growth, these former GA cli-
ents can hardly compete with the 450,000 Michi-

abuse presents further problems. Employers, with
an already large stock of unskilled workers from
which to choose, have little incentive to hire such
potential liabilities.
The de-institutionalization of mental hospitals
and withdrawal of government support have forced
these victims into inescapable holes. Under GA,
they received more than money. They often re-
ceived an opportunity for a future. The Michigan
Opportunity and Skills Training (MOST) program
helped many GA clients get back onto the work
line. Now, past recipients are literally on their own.
Michigan is heading along the charity-for-none
track that Engler set in motion almost two years

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