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February 10, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-10

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, February 10, 1993

I E fr 41Vo ttn 11) ttt1ld

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

4 {

Josii DuBow
Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors

WAt-i.E7 z oo s ' -

a _

Et4 &iNVEE.REF¢FogATri-E-ri c S'UPEf?VoRIT.Y,
'Tri-E SH o65 ~HAVE 17-ALL ° -
,- BUJ\ a H i3A5KETf ,ALL.
t IOUR-rr .

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.


West Quad sign

is legal

EXT TIME YOU'RE at the intersection of
Thompson Street and Madison Street,
glance up at the second floor of West Quad.
e note of the sign that reads "Pussie Rd."
Offended? You're not alone.
This sign, displayed by two male West Quad
residents, hacaused quite a furor. Many students,
male and female, have noted the sign offends them.
One student in particular,
Mechele de Avila, a 1
School of Social Work
graduatestudent,has taken
several steps to compel its
removal. Her latest effort
has been to circulate a pe-
tition urgingthesetwomen
The strong temptation H4' C
for students and for out-
side observers is to turn
this sign into a free speech
issue. It has all the classic elements: a sign in
someone's "private" space which is also openly
visible tothepublic, an offensive form of expression,
a substantial number of people who take offense.
Nobody is denying the students' right to free
speech. The First Amendment has been interpreted
to guarantee individual freedom of expression, how-
ever offensive.
Although there may be exceptions to this inter-
pretation, this particular incident, the exhibition of a
sign, does not qualify. University officials and the
Directorof the Sexual AssaultPrevention andAware-

l but offensive
ness Center Debi Cain have all acknowledged there
is no legal basis to force the students to remove the
However, beyond the knee-jerk free speech argu-
ments, lies the real substance o this debate. The sign
displayed by the students is obnoxious, in poor taste
and contributes to a hostile environment for women
at the University. The students claim they are "not
trying to offend anyone" and
What these young men
need to realize, however, is
that a joke for them is not a
joke for others. Many women
f see this sign as symbolic to
society's attitude toward
women. They see it as depict-
ing women as second-class
citizens, worthy only to be ob-
jectified by men.
Some may wonder how a
sign can say so much to so
many women. There is the tendency to say women
may be overreacting.
However, ifthesign said "HymieRd.," or"Nigger
Rd.," would Jews or African Americans who com-
plained be "reading too much into it?"What these
students -and those who side with them - should
recognize is that this sign is no less offensive to
women than racial and ethnic slurs are to Jews,
African Americans and people of other ethnicities.
Those individuals who cannot see the analogy are
advocating a double standard: racism and bigotry are
intolerable, but sexism is all right.

EASKFET'6ALL? WFE LLYEAH ©OO, co/n. <' s Yov CH AsE ' IDownq
,T7HAF T oo, t SSs... Go-T NEW S ocS. THE B ocC
i GU'T 5(v) OFF:'
E ditors note: Unfortunately, Sexual assault has become an issue of statistics. We often see so
many numnbers, we forget human beings are involved. It is for this reason that the Daily, with the
cooperation from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPACQ, will dedicate
this space every Wednesday to sexual assault survivors. Some pieces will be signed. Others will
not.All of them present real situations from survivors who respond in their own way to assault.
H Editr nte noruayeulasuthsbcm niseo statistics,.aW bftenvseehso

It happened several years ago and most
of the time I don't even think about it
anymore. But it changed me forever.
I was a sophomore and he was a senior.
I knew him mostly through other people,
including my boyfriend. I went to his house
to buy some marijuana. We talked for a

happened. When I did think aboutit I would
replay in my mind overand overagain what
I might have said or done that would have
caused this to happen to me.
Though I worked hard to avoid it, I still
hadtoseehim on campus. Onceheeven had
the nerve to suggest we go out. Later, I

I wonder how many there were before me and
after me. How many lives did this jerk change

The time for talking heads is over

AST MONDAY NIGHT the Ann Arbor City
Council snubbed two city housing resolu-
ons that would have substantially increased
tenant self-management. Bipartisan support forReso-
lutionsD-2andD-12,sponsoredby Councilmembers
Peter Nicolas (D-4th Ward), Kurt Zimmer (D-4th
Ward), Bob Eckstein (D-5th Ward) and Peter Fink
(R-2nd Ward), could not withstand the orchestrated
opposition from Mayor Liz Brater and her political
The move, which would have transferred the day-
to-day operations of public housing units from the
city-supported resident managers to the tenants them-
selves, was thwarted by Brater's unfortunate wish to
maintain direct control over the Housing Commis-
sion, its appointees and its policies.
The initiative toward tenant self-ownership and
self-sufficiency was watered down by the politic-
obsessed councilmembers whoput more value in the
upcoming April elections than in the more pressing,
immediate needs of the city's disadvantaged resi-
dents. The council needs to allow substantially more
tenant participation in the oversight of the Housing
Commission. The council's Democratic majority
must put such senseless political bickering aside and
act soon to fulfill the objectives of the activist pro-
tenant movement.
Resolutions D-2 and D-12 sought to attain full
tenant management by mandating the board appoint
a senior housing resident elected by the tenants and
a Resident of Family Housing. The resolutions also
would have required the mayor, city council and the
Housing Commission to organize and assist tenant
elections. Legislative measures such as these would

positively increase direct tenant representation on
the commission and in the decision-making process.
It is true that the state law does not give the council
jurisdiction to tell the housing authority what to do;
city resolutions cannot direct or redirect the commis-
sion to do anything. However, the mayor and council
would not be bound to select the candidate supported
by the tenants and would not have to accept the
recommendations of tenant-empowerment organi-
zations. This eases the legal impediment to the two
resolutions, cited by Brater and her allies as the main
rationale in tabling D-2 and in rewording D-12 to
"encourage," rather than "direct" the Housing Com-
mission to promote the gradual move toward tenant
The current dilemma for the low-income tenants
is startling. Tenants have very little representation on
the Housing Commission, they cannot effectively
influence policy and operations, and tenants continu-
ously find the commission to be unreceptive to their
demands for real change.
The tenants deserve a greater independence from
the city bureaucracy to take control of their own lives
and manage their own future. "Givepeople in public
housing a say in their own housing and own environ-
ment,"pronounced Councilmember Zimmer. This is
not an issue to be brushed under the carpet and
The time for talking heads is over. The process
needs to become much more attentive to tenants'
concerns. Mostofthe councilmembers acknowledge
support, in principle, for the ideal of tenant self-
management. But the housing problem is notan issue
of principle, it is a harsh reality.

while about other people, classes and just
things in general. As I got up to leave, he
commented on how he thought I looked
great in my jeans.
From this point on, I am only able to
remember things in snatches. I remember
him dragging me from the living room
toward his bedroom. I remember clinging
to the frame of his bedroom door as I
pleaded with him to let me go. I remember
him being on top of me and feeling abso-
lutely numb and unable to grasp what was
happening to me.
The next thing I remember is me hurry-
ing to get out of there while he was saying,
"let's get together again."
As I walked back to my dorm I felt so
dirty. All I could think about was taking a
shower. When I gotback to my room I took
a shower and tried to block what happened
from my mind.
I did block it from my mind. I didn't tell
- anyone, not my roommate, not my boy-
friend, not my friends, not my family. I just
wanted to forget and to pretend it never

heard rumors about how he treated women
and I knew what that meant.
The year I graduated I saw and ad in the
newspaper asking for volunteers for a local
rape crisis center. When I began going
through their volunteer training program I
finally came to terms with what had hap-
pened to me ... I was raped. Believe it or
not, it took me three years to realize that.
And even then I didn't talk about it.
As time has passed I have mentioned it
to a few people but very few people. As I
hear the high statistics on the number of
women who are sexually assaulted and how
the credibility of those statistics are ques-
tioned, I think about how many women
there are like me. Women who are raped
carry that with them always but silently.
I heard that he had become ahigh school
teacher and that about a year ago he was
arrested for raping and beating up a sixteen-
year-old high school girl.
I wonder how many there were before
me and after me. How many lives did this
jerk change forever?

When I think of the sixteen-year-old I
wish that I had stopped him and I feel guilty
that I didn't. But the truth is I was so
emotionally devastated and fragile at that
time that I couldn't have dealt with pros-
ecuting him. Who would have believed me
anyway? He was a popular athlete who
seemed like a regular guy. And I would
have to tell the police I went to buy mari-
juana. Mywordagainsthis. Solikesomany
others, he walked away from it and did it
I know there are many of us out here
quietly living our lives as someone who
survived rape. Just because we don't talk
about it all the time doesn't mean we don't
exist. When you hear the scary rape statis-
tics ... believe them. I do.
IN 1993:12
involving penetration: 7
no penetration: 2
Acquintance: 9
Stranger: 0
On Campus: 0
Reported to police: 2
Additional information not
available for some reports

Lifting ban could cause conflict

State should attack causes, not effects

To the Daily:
I'm responding to your
editorial "Clinton must
continue to push agenda," (2/
4 /93). After reading it, I was
appalled at the ignorance and
'hyper' optimism among your
opinion staff concerning the
issue of lifting the ban on
gays in the armed forces.
The author writes off
opposition to the ban's lifting
as based on "biased logic,"
"falsehoods," and "vicious
bigotry," and subscribes to the
outrageous belief that gays
won't rouse any conflict if
they join the ranks.
U.S. Army General Colin
Powell knows that morale,
order and discipline are vital
to the efficient operation of
the military. Disrupt them and

you could compromise our
national security, the most
serious of consequences.
People in the service live in
close quarters (e.g. barracks,
ships, subs) and as a result are
stripped of much of their
Lifting the ban all of a
sudden forces them to eat,
work, bathe, and sleep with
homosexuals - a situation
that we citizens can easily
avoid. This may cause anxiety
and animosity among soldiers,
which can lead to conflict
among them.
It is this conflict that
disrupts discipline and morale,
and is what General Powell
really fears about lifting the
ban, not "myths and false
stereotypes" about gays that

the author claims he does.
Since the military hasn't
allowed gays for 50 years, its
society tends to uphold
intolerance of them. Inevitable
internal conflict is the primary
reason the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, Congress, and the
Pentagon oppose lifting the
Breaking down intolerance
in the military may seem
appealing to liberals such as
you on the staff, but it took 20
years to get American citizens
to put up with gays. It's silly
to conceive that you could
transform the military
environment in a matter of
Michael Wheaton,
Engineering first-year

IF GOY. JOHN Engler has his way, Michigan's
Legilature will soon enact a crime package that
wl eat away at civil liberties protections against
illegal search and seizure. The legislature must rec-
ognize the flaws in the bill and turn back Engler's
One of the main problems with the package is its
proposal to increase mandatory sentencing. This is a
typical Republican response to rising crime rates but
it is an all-too-simple approach to a complex prob-
lem. Mandatory sentencing does not allow judges to
consider mitigating factors when determining an
appropriate sentence and it assumes that justice is
best served by giving all criminals who commit the
same crimes the same punishments. However, dif-
ferent criminals will respond most effectively to
different punishments and the same sentence may
not be warranted for the same crime in all cases.
One of the primary strengths of our legal system
is its ability to adminster justice on a case-by-case
basis and to punish individuals who commit crimes
as individuals rather than as members of a category
of criminals who commit the same crime. More
mandatory sentencing would whittle away at these
In addition, mandatory sentencing often trans-
lates into hysterical reactions to social problems such
as drng ahe. Mandatory entencing for nossession

another legal challenge.
This underscores the importance of defeating the
package. Allowing the use of illegally seized evi-
dence would effectively neutralize Fourth Amend-
ment protections in the federal constitution against
government search and seizure. No protection against
unreasonable search and seizure would exist if the
state could use illegally obtained evidence to pros-
ecute citizens. The 1961 Supreme Court decision in
Mapp v. Ohio has supported the Fourth Amendment.
To get rid of the exclusionary rule, as Engler intends,
would be to remove the Fourth Amendment from the
Bill of Rights.
Perhaps the most dangerous part of the crime
package is the nationally-implemented "Three and
Out" proposal. This would requirelife imprisonment
for anyone convicted of three "violent" felonies.
Once again, Engler would use blanket solutions to
punish individuals. Anyone who looks at the state's
prison system, which is bulging at the seams while
the crime rate continues to grow, can see that locking
up more people is not the answer.
Unfortunately, Engler's proposal will probably
breeze through the HouseJudiciary Committee. Under
the House's power-sharing plan (enacted because of
the 55-55 split), Rep. Tom Mathieu (D-Grand Rap-
ids) who has never served on the Judiciary Committe
and is not an attornev. will head the committee when

rules seem
To the Daily:
According to the Daily,
"University officials said last
week they are not planning to
take any disciplinary action
against Byron Doneen, an
associate biology professor
who was charged Wednesday
with indecent exposure and
obscene conduct."('"U' keeps
quiet on alleged flasher" 2/8/
This alleged conduct took
place in the Grad library. If
this were a student, and not a
professor, the new Code
would be applied so quickly it
would make this guy's head
spin. He would be suspended
- at a minimum.
During the open Code
meetings, Maureen Hartford
assured students that the
faculty, while not falling
under the Code, had proce-
dures in place (the Standard
Practices Guide) that could be
applied in situations where the
Code would apply to students.
Why then is nothing being
done? Why do professors
have the nresumption of

Students can voice opinions

To the Daily:
I read with great apprecia-
tion your editorial "Alcohol
punishment doesn't fit
crime," (1/25/93). Your
analysis of the efforts of
Michigan's lawmakers to take
away the driver's license of
underage drinkers for merely


Last year the Michigan
Collegiate Coalition (MCC)
was successful in helping
these bills die in committee.
This year, however, the
legislation will be re-
introduced with a new fervor
by Sen. Vernon Ehlers (R-
Grand Rapids) and the strong

issues, including skyrocketing
tuition, sexual assault on
campus, and amendments to
the Open Meetings Act for
university presidential
searches, that will be dis-
cussed in-depth. On Monday
March 22 we will present our
opinions in person to our


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