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October 23, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

P.age 4 -The Michigan Daily- Friday, October 23, 1992

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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Unsigned editorials represent a mawjority 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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Code still1 favors the compl aintant

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The right to counsel is a fundamental right of the
accused. Recognizing this, the administra-
tion has afforded both the complaintant and the
accus d the right "to be advised by an advisor or
attorney for consultation purposes during the hear-
ing," in its "Statement of Students Rights and
Responsibilities." But a problem still remains.
Third parties, such as administrators, can bring
forward cases for reluctant victims. Moreover, the
judicial advisor - an administrator in the Office
of Student Affairs - will assist complaintants in
assembling their case. Thus, the complaintants are
provided special assistance with the prosecution
of their cases, while the defendants are left vulner-
able, with only counsel acting in an advisory
capacity. The University needs to reconcile the
different rights of the complaintant and the ac-
cused and level the playing field of its judicial
Vice President for Academic Affairs Maureen
Hartford has denied such a problem exists. She has
refused repeated requests by students to modify
this facet of the code, either by allowing full
representation by counsel to both parties, or by
denying the right of the complaintant have a third
party bring their case forward.
"The University is going to reserve the right to
bring the case forward, even if the victim doesn't
want to, but that does not mean the University is
going to be acting as a prosecutor," said Daniel
Sharphorn, assistant general counsel to the Uni-
As Sharphorn rightly points out, in some cases,
such as murder, the victim is never present. Butthe
administration wants to reserve the right to initiate
cases on behalf of reluctant victims, especially
when special circumstances regarding cases like
sexual assault have intimidated them from press-
ing charges.
Theproblem is, in these instances, the
complaintant would be afforded special rights.
Sharphorn may be correct when he asserts that the

judiciary is not designed to allow an actual pros-
ecution in any case. It is the student judiciary that
is designed to be the investigating panel. But when
the complaintant is not present, the administration
would, in effect, be representing that student. In
this case, an administrator could ask questions,
present evidence, and confront witnesses. That
sounds a lot like a prosecution.
With each revision, the code becomes slightly
better. But here, a fundamental problem still exists.
With a judicial advisor gathering evidence against
the accused, a judicial panel interrogating them,
and, at least in some instances, the administration
interrogating them, the accused would be sub-
jected to a three-pronged attack. Meanwhile, de-
fendants' own counsel would be muted, and their
right to defend themselves infringed.
The administration argues that the last thing it
wants to do is create an entire legal system, com-
plete with prosecutors and defense attorneys. But it
was the administration that opened this can of
worms by initiating a student judiciary in the first
place. The reality is this: the University has created
a legal system, and it should do everything it can to
make it a fair one.

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Read it, know it, join the debate
Affirmative Action0:Does it help or hurt?
The penalty of preference



MSA right, despite ROTC wronigs

T he Michigan Student Assembly. agreed
Tuesday, after considerable debate, to give
$250 dollars to the 390th Cadet Group, despite its
ties to the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC),
for a banquet. The Cadet Group, it should be noted,
is not an organization commissioned by the ROTC,
although the members happen to be of the ROTC.
The distinction is important, because non-ROTC
and homosexual - students are not banned
from its functions. MSA was right to adhere to the
spirit of the Assembly's three-year-old automatic
student group recognition policy.
This policy, proposed by members of the Con-
servative Coalition, was a reaction to MSA's ten-
dency to fund only the student groups that sup-
ported MSA's political agenda. Before automatic
student group recognition, MSA wantonly stig-
matized campus organizations thatespoused view-
points offensive to Assembly members - a clear
attempt to exclude viewpoints from the University's
political discourse. The automatic student group
recognition policy, once passed, prevented MSA
from denying money to groups on the basis of
ideology. A refusal of funds to the 390th Cadet
Organization, a recognized student group, would
clearly have been in bad faith.
This is not to say that students should praise the
University for its support of the actual ROTC
program. While ROTC does not have any specific
policies banning homosexuals, the ability to be-
come a commissioned officer - which, inciden-
tally, is the whole purpose behind ROTC - is
currently impossible for homosexuals. Students,

MSA and community members should actively
protest any organization harboring such blatant
prejudicial attitudes, as ROTC does against homo-
Although homosexual discrimination in the
military is primarily a Pentagon policy, the Univer-
sity has options available, other than waiting for
the federal government to alter existing policies.
The best of these options would be to remove the
ROTC division from the campus, but the Univer-
sity has thus far shown neither the integrity nor the
nerve to take such a step.
Still, the University often sponsors speakers
espousing offensive viewpoints. For MSAto single
out all ROTC-affiliated groups would set the As-
sembly down a slippery slope toward its earlier
ideological litmus tests.
However, when one reviews the close 14 to 13
vote - essentially along party lines - it is evident
that many members of MSA are not able to make
that distinction. Arguments over ROTC policies
were debated as if such policies should have had an
effect on the final decision. Even representatives
arguing on the Cadet Group's behalf spent more
time discussing ROTC's social ideology than the
merits of the Cadet Group as a student organiza-
If MSA would like to maintain its credibility,
future decisions involving policy should not have
to rely on the sheer luck of a one-vote margin. MSA
has already made the choice to be impartial to a
group's ideology, and should abide by that deci-

by Carl Cohen
Race preference for certain mi-
norities - in law schools and medi-
cal schools, in undergraduate colleges
and in employment - is now wide-
spread. Many are admitted or ap-
pointed who, had they been white
with the same credentials, probably
would not even have been seriously
considered.Such preferences impose
heavy and unfair burdens upon mi-
nority group members; they make a
stigma of the race of those to whom
the preferences are given. Seeking to
do good, race preference does great
Doctors, lawyers, students, pro-
fessors are all constantly being evalu-
ated. How well one performs in pro-
fessional and academic roles cannot
be hidden; inferior skills cannot be
replaced by ethnic membership. Fa-
vor given to minorities on grounds of
race, affirmative action that seeks to
effect with race preference what only
intellect can achieve, creates a link
between minority status and inferior
It is outrageous to conclude that
racial groups are inferior; but the pain-
ful fact is that such inferiority is widely
inferred from the inevitable associa-
tion of inferior performance with the
group preferences given. Good inten-
tions in the form of race preferences
have cruelly and very unfairly dam-
aged the intellectual reputation of
Blacks and other minorities.
Suppose that in admitting under-
graduates or professional school stu-
dents height were made a critical con-
sideration. Suppose preferences were
commonly given to short applicants,
to overcome the disadvantage short
stature imposes. That would be ab-
surd, but suppose it. Then some who
were admitted chiefly because they
were short (although they did satisfy
Cohen is a professor of Philoso-
phy in both the Residential College
and the Medical School.

minimal qualifications, of course)
would prove as a group to be weaker
students, not so well suited for their
academic or professional studies as
their peers who were selected on
grounds related to the scholastic en-
Withremedial instruction, patient
tutoring and some wincing the weaker
shorts are pushed through to gradua-
tion somehow - whereupon well-
meaning administrators express pride
and satisfaction in the increased num-
bers of shorts admitted and gradu-

Some of the most talented gradu-
ates and professionals would still be
short; obviously there is no conflict
between shortness and intellectual
excellence. But where shortness had
been systematically introduced, in-
evitably diluting the importance of
intellectual excellence in selection,
everyone would very soon learn to be
suspicious of the credentials of no-
ticeably short students or doctors or
lawyers - although expressing such
suspicions publicly would bethought
unseemly. We could in this way
greatly magnify the handicap of short
The individual talls displaced by
such preferences would harbor justi-
fiable resentment. But shorts as a
group would be those who suffer
most. Poorly prepared shorts, even
unqualified shorts who would not
otherwise have been admitted would
not fail to recognize their own rela-
tive unsuitability for the roles into
which they had been thrust. The bur-
den upon them will be heavy. Many
tall colleagues and classmates, who
knew or reasonably presumed the
part that shortness had played in their
selection, would resent them and be

in fact imposed upon Blacks, and oth-
ers. Had we set out deliberately to
damage the members of racial minori-
ties permanently we could hardly have
designed a device more fiendishly
effective than race preference.
Color has no more relation to in-
tellectual excellence than height. Some
minority students and professionals,
as rational persons would expect, rank
among the very best. But persons pre-
ferred for university admission on
grounds of race or ethnicity will often
exhibit performance that is embar-
rassingly inferior.
This is certainly not because of
their group membership, of course -
any more than shortness would be the
cause of inferior performance had pref-
erence been given to shorts. Short
persons of genuine talent are fortu-
nate that we have not chosen short-
ness to prefer. Black and brown per-
sons of talent must bear the great
misfortune that a group characteristic,
intellectually irrelevant but in them
physically prominent, has once again
been made their onus. By condescend-
ing to give preference by :race, we
have turned affirmative action on its

silently scornful of them. All shorts,
whatever the level of their true talent,
would be under an inescapable intel-
lectual cloud created by - could it
be? - their height!
Even when shorts perform ex-
tremely well it will be imagined, and
by many believed, that they have been
given favor because they were short.
Referred to behind their backs as "short
candidates," sought out as token shorts,
or as the best available short, and so
on, they would be forever suspect
because of their height.
This is the unfair burden we have

Had we set out deliberately to damage the
members of racial minorities permanently we
could hardly have designed a device more
fiendishly effective than race preference.

"The University of Michigan, as an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, complies with federal and
state laws prohibiting discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is the policy of the University of Michigan that no person on the basis of race, sex,
color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, handicap, or Vietnam-ear veteran status, shall be
discriminated against in employment, educational programs and activities, or admissions."
Ensuring a diverse pool of well-qualified people

Bush conceals coddling of Iraq

A s recently as the last presidential debate, Presi-
dent George Bush denounced any claims that
the United States aided Saddam Hussein in build-
ing the Iraqi war machine and facilitating Saddam's
ongoing effort to build nuclear weapons. "The
nuclear capability has been searched by the United
Nations," Bush argued, "and there hasn't been one
single scintilla of evidence that there's any U.S.
technology involved in it." But the former head of
U.N. nuclear inspection team in Iraq said, "U.S.-
manufactured equipment and nuclear technology
were found as components of Iraq's nuclear pro-
gram." However, the president, clearly conscious
of the coming election, continues distort the truth
of his past Iraqi policy.
Tlie president's earlier position was that the
United States did nothing to strengthen the Iraqi
army. Learning of the U.N. team's discovery, the
president and his spokespersons altered their posi-

were far less scrupulous in shipping weaponry to
Iraq. But the question remains: did the U.S. gov-
ernment knowingly allow the American firm to
complete an illegal deal with Saddam? Maybe so;
the executive branch is already implicated in a
complex web of illegal activities involving Iraq.
The White House's insistence that the United
States aided Iraq only marginally has turned out be.
patently false. Virtually the entire U.S. government
- the CIA, the Departments of Agriculture, Trea-
sury, Commerce and others - helped create the
military monster which Bushclaims so much credit
for slaying.
The intense effort to keep Saddam armed to the
teeth was initially designed to keep the fundamen-
talist Muslims from winning the decade-old Iraq-
Iran war. This has been Bush's primary excuse for
his coddling of Saddam. However, Washington's
pro-Iraq tilt continued long after the war ended.

by Jimmy Myers
I believe that affirmative action in
employment has been and continues
to be beneficial to women and people
of color who are members of the four
federally protected groups: Black,
Hispanic, Native American and Asian.
Overthepast 20 years, ithasresulted
in a sizable increase in the number of
women andpeopleof color employed
at the University in faculty and pro-
fessional/administrative positions,
and a similar increase in the number
of clerical/technical workers of color.
The result has been a far greater
diversity of backgrounds, viewpoints
and strengths than was possible back
in the days when professional em-
ployees and faculty members were
almost exclusively white men and

determine what the "availability" of
women and people of color is for
each of about 100 University-job
groups (e.g. data processing profes-
sionals, secretaries, student services
Affirmative action at
the University of
Michigan does not
mean quotas, hiring
unqualified individuals
or reverse
professionals, etc.). Some of the fac-
tors we use for this analysis are:
U.S. Census data for the appro-
priate local, regional or national la-
bor market, information on. recent
graduates of appropriate educational
nriarame aid 4n,.rm.nn n an . .

compute a "model staff' of women
and people of color foreach jobgroup.
The model staffs are then compared to
the actual staffs in University job
groups, and job groups in which there
are lower percentages of people of
color and/or women than would be
expected from the availability data
are designated as "underutilized."
When openings occur in these job
groups, the University has an obliga-
tion to take affirmative action, that is,
to vigorously recruit individuals in
the underutilized category and ensure
that they are treated fairly in the selec-
tion process.
At the end of the selection pro-
cess, the most qualified person in the
pool is hired. Sometimes this indi-
vidual is a women or person of color,
sometimes he of she is not. The main
thin a is that the nwan hired is the nne


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