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October 23, 1992 - Image 7

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

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 23, 1992- Page 7


Puerto Rican group
helps bring musical
heritage to campus

New radio show
to help tenants


by Pete Matthews
When 2nd year linguistics stu-
dent and Puerto Rican Solidarity
Organization (PRSO) member
Marta Cruz heard Taller
Campesino's performance in
Chicago this summer, she and other
PRSO members wanted to bring the
group to Ann Arbor.
Cruz said an Ann Arbor appear-
ance by the group would provide
"an opportunity to expose the
community to our rich musical her-
itage and our children to our roots
and to help them define their
The group agreed to visit the U-
M campus the next time they were
nearby. After flying to Chicago
from Puerto Rico and performing
last Saturday, Taller Campesino
rented a van and drove to Ann
Sunday, the group gave a work-
shop on traditional Puerto Rican
music, followed by a free concert
performed before a standing-room-
only crowd in Angell Hall.
Sunday's visit - sponsored by
PRSO - was funded by several
sources, including the School of
Music, which sent four classes to
the workshop.
Puerto Rico, since the U.S. in-
vasion in 1898, has been deluged
with American culture. Although
the U.S. government made many
concerted efforts to assimilate the
Puerto Rican people - including a
nearly forty-year prohibition on the
use of Spanish in the classroom -
there has been intense cultural resis-
tance and even a resurgence in tra-
ditional culture. In some U.S. cities
- notably New York and Chicago

- Puerto Rican music, theater and
cuisine has flourished.
PRSO - pronounced "preso,"
which is Spanish for "prisoner" -
emphasizes the plight of Puerto
Rican militants held in U.S. jails.
The group defines itself as a "non-
partisan political organization" that
"supports the struggles which ad-
vance the self-determination and
independence of Puerto Rico."
"There are, many reports of psy-
chological and physical abuse,"
said Gerardo Gomez, a PRSO
'We want both
North and Latin
Americans to know
we are Puerto Ricans
and our traditional
culture is alive and
not yet Americanized.'
- Arturo Santiago
member and fourth year graduate
student in Pharmaceutics. Currently
there are 14 prisoners, six of whom
are women, who PRSO believes de-
serve the status of "political prison-
ers." Gomez claims the United
States refuses them this status as it
"would fortify the independence
PRSO members say they are
also concerned about how culture
can be a medium of political
Taller Campesino performed
before a mixed crowd including
many families. The group plays tra-
ditional music of the jibero style.

by Tim Greimel
If your landlord is causing you
trouble, student radio station
WCBN-FM has a new program for
"Tenant Talk," aired on 88.3 FM
from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays, is
sponsored by the Ann Arbor Tenants
Union (AATU).
The goal of the show is the
"distribution of Tenant Union infor-
mation to more people," said Pat
Lesko, co-host of the show and
AATU volunteer.
The first half of the "Tenant
Talk" format involves Lesko dis-
cussing facts about topics such as
heat and repairs, withholding rent,
privacy, sexual harassment by land-
lords, and organizing tenants.
The second part consists of lis-
teners calling in to the station to ask
the host questions or to just let off
steam about their latest landlord
Monday will mark the fourth',
broadcast of the show.

Jeri Schneider, AATU director,
said, "We've talked about doing (the
show) quite a few times in the past
couple years." Only recently, how-
ever, were people willing to host the
Pat Lesko said she has received
positive feedback on the show so far.
"Most people I've talked to say it's a
good show and people should hear
"People are afraid to approach
the landlord about their rights ... they
have more rights than they think,"
she added.
Those involved with the show
say the AATU tries to match the
show's subject matter with the time
of year. For example, security de-
posits were talked about at the end
of summer.
Sometimes the hosts refer listen-
ers to Student Legal Services for
"sticky questions," Lesko said.

People wear traditional "vejigante" costumes during a parade in
Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The jiberos are mountain peasants
of mostly Spanish descent. Jibero
instrumentation includes guitars,
the guitar-like cuatro, guiros (made
from dried gourds), congas and
bongo drums, a flute, and a vocalist
-the trovador.
Taller Campesino's trovador,
Arturo Santiago, challenged the au-
dience to "see if you can listen to
this music without moving your
head." Self-consciousness didn't
stop the bobbing and swaying.
"It's fantastic to see North
Americans so receptive to our mu-

sic," Santiago said. "We want both
North and Latin Americans to know
we are Puerto Ricans and our tradi-
tional culture is alive and not yet
Luisa Loubriel, a graduate stu-
dent in the School of Natural
Resources, said, "This event en-
ables us to let other students know
who we are ... to experience our
real feelings and pride."
Francisco Calderon, a graduate
student in Crop and Soil Sciences,
said he "felt at home sometimes"
during the performance.

Continued from page 1
Kitel cited as an additional prob-
lem the difficulty doctors have in de-
termining the actual dosage taken by
patients smoking marijuana in
cigarette form. "Medicine tries to be
more precise," he said.
The Bush administration, advised
by scientists at the National Institute
of Health, determined other drugs
were at least as effective, if not bet-
ter than the use of marijuana, Kitel
Marinol-megace is such a drug.
Megace, a synthetic hormone ap-
proved by the Federal Drug
Administration for cancer treatment,
causes an increase in appetite that
works against the HIV wasting syn-
drome, Kitel said.
But Marinol - a drug that uses
a synthetic form of the active ingre-
dient in marijuana, THC - only
makes the patient tired, Ostrow said.

Some U-M student groups are
pushing for the government autho-
rization of marijuana for use by
AIDS patients.
Adam Brook, president of the
campus chapter of the National
Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws (NORML), labeled
synthetic marinol the "yawn drug,"
adding that it has been used for
years, but is ineffective. NORML
does not advocate the use of any
drugs, but favors a system of gov-
ernment regulation and control
which would enable marijuana to be
legally attained.
Pattrice Maurer, a member of the
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power
(ACT-UP), said the government's
decision to end its medicinal mari-
juana program "was a misguided
move which will result in much un-
necessary suffering for people with
Dismayed by the Bush adminis-
tration's decision, some AIDS ac-

tivists said they are optimistic that a
Clinton administration could bring
Woods said that the Clinton cam-
paign recognizes the needs of the
'AIDS is more than a
political issue, it's a
human issue, a
violation of peoples'
civil rights,'
- Steven Woods
MAPP educator
AIDS epidemic and has made AIDS
funding a priority of its party
A coordinator for the Clinton-
Gore AIDS Plan said its policy ad-
vocates increased funding for new
initiatives in research, prevention
and treatment, speeding-up the FDA
approval process of new treatments,
and fully funding the Ryan White

The Ryan White CARE Act, es-
tablished in honor of the Indiana
hemophiliac who died of AIDS, is
presently only at one-third of its
$800 million endowment.
Kitel said that the Ryan White
CARE Act funding is still in con-
gressional committees.
Woods added that The Names
Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, com-
posed of over 21,000 panels, has not
been officially viewed by President
Bush or former President Reagan,
although it stands at the base of the
Washington Monument.
The quilt, which Woods dubbed a
"mobile cemetery," commemorates
Americans who have died of AIDS.
"AIDS is more than a political is-
sue, it's a human issue, a violation of
peoples' civil rights," Woods added.
Woods said frustration runs deep
after years of inadequate funding,
and that he is hoping for a "president
that gives a damn."

- ---Eq




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