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February 17, 1993 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-17

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"

Page 4--The Michigan Daily-- Wednesday, February 17,1993

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.bE LirbigauitiI

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

Josiz DUBow
Editor in Chief
YAEL M. CITRO
ERIN LIZA EINHORN
Opinion Editors

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.

STUDENT LEADERS
New board may fill in where MSA

1-
A/;HHH .AInOTrHIN~
AT THE UNivERS TY
OF M ICHI &A t4o
..HE Dc You ~',~t
0 Ru Y !ST
S~H ouL R S -~
-- "0
'al ss--tcanhapent anyonet 'c t o2
- r
r f
Perspetive-
Editors note: Unfortunately, sexual assault has become an issue of statistics. We often see so many
numbers, we forget human beings are involved. It is for this reason that the Daily dedicates 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
Sexalass!.ualt can happen to anyone

0

leaves off

E STUDENT LEADER Board (SLB), an
Trganization composed of leaders from
various groups to increase communication
between students and the administration, re-
cently received a great deal of criticism from
some members of the Michigan Student Assem-
bly. These members, feeling threatened by the
new group's recent formation were adamantly
opposed to the group's intentions. They ex-
pressed concern that the SLB's goals were too
similar to MSA's. In other words, assembly
members feared thenew group would havemore
credibility and be more effective than MSA has
ever been. MSA is holding the reins of power
tightly, claiming it can be the only legitimate
group that represents the student body.
MSA members, the self-declared sole repre-
sentatives of the student voice on campus, are
elected each semester by less than ten percent of
registered students. SLB, on the other hand,
while still a small organization, has the potential
to include a far more diverse sector ofthe student
body.
Instead of worrying about another organiza-
tion usurping their power, MSA representatives
would be better off concerning themselves with
their own agenda - which they have yet to
articulate. There are countless important Uni-
versity issues concerning students, the most
current being the restrictive Diag policy, the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibili-

ties, the Union access policy and deputization.
MSA should step forward and face these issues
while welcoming the SLB, and encouraging it to
help them better represent students.
The current situation for students on campus
is such that any organization set up to represent
students, no matter how inept it may be, canonly
improve student communication with the ad-
ministration. The SLB's organizers have as-
sured MSA that they have no intention of doing
MSA's job. However, they should seriously
consider stepping when MSA proves ineffec-
tive.
The SLB proposes to representabroaderbase
of students than MSA, including campus Greek
organizations and other academic and social
groups. Members of the SLB should be aware
that while they may be reaching a broader base
of students, many student interests will still be
underrepresented.
Working together, MSA and SLB may be
able to form an effective team. The SLB offers
broader representation, and MSA has valuable
experience in dealing with the cloak and dagger
tactics the administration employs with student
government. The current reluctance on MSA's
part to formally work with SLB is unfortunate.
Hopefully MSA will rise above its self-cen-
tered hysteria and not attempt to bury the orga-
nization- student government on campus needs
all of the help it can get.

*I

by Elaine Holmes
LSA senior
I'dreally like to say "hatsoff"to the staff
of The Michigan Daily for focusing on the
issue of sexual assault as much as they have
done this semester.

can be your friend, your cousin, even your
own dad. Rape goes far beyond getting
struck down by a stranger in the middle of
the night.
I have to admit I have not always taken
the issue of sexual assault as seriously as I
could have. Many times I was naive, and felt
there was no way it could happen to me.

Many times I was naive, and felt there was no way it
could happen to me. However, that attitude changed
when I became a victim of sexual assault, not too long
ago.

DETROIT SCHOOLS

Board should debate education, not flags

IGIOUS MEMBERS OF the Detroit com-
munity appeared indroves at ameetingof
the Detroit School Board last Tuesday to
express their vehement opposition to a proposal
that called for abolishing flag ceremonies and
replacing invocations at the school board's bi-
weekly meetings.
Unfortunately, after two hours of intense
shouting, the proposal fell victim to Board Presi-
dent April Howard Cole's deciding vote. Ignor-
ing the constitutional implications of the invoca-
tion and refusingto acknowledge how the Ameri-
can flag could offend anyone, Cole cast her vote
in favor of continuing the traditions at the board
meeting. However, this was not the greatest
injustice handed down at the meeting. The most
profound statement was made by religious mem-
bers of the community who were so shaken by
the idea of making prayer denominational at
school board meetings, but who don't raise a
finger at the rapid deterioration of Detroit's
public schools and neglect for education.
Currently, school board meetings begin with
an invocation given by various ministers and a
formal flag presentation by school Reserve Of-
ficerTraining Corps cadets. The U.S. Constitu-
tion clearly provides for a separation of church
and state precisely to avoid these types of con-
tentions. Members of the school board should
not be placed in uncomfortable situations and
stripped of their constitutional rights when they
join the board.
At the meeting, Rev. James Holley, pastor of
Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit, com-
mented that "to remove (prayer) is a slap in the
face of the church community." But the school

board is clearly not achurchfunction. Itis a body
that represents all of Detroit's schoolchildren,
who come from a wide variety of religious
backgrounds.
The controversy surrounding the flag cer-
emony addresses a more difficult issue. On one
hand, some contend the flag represents freedom,
democracy and the American dream. Others
claim the flag as a simple piece of cloth, repre-
senting no more than the physical land we live
on. But to some, such as school board member
Kwane Kenyatta, the American flag is a symbol
that only represents certain segments of society.
Duing the meeting, political activist Malik
Shabaaz exclaimed, "The American flag repre-
sents white people and white supremacy."
Butthe mostlucid commentofthe nightcame
from a defeated Kenyatta. He inquired as to why
his opponents couldn't translate their intense
opposition to dropping the flag ceremony into
effortstocombat deteriorating city schools. While
community members shouted "amen" after the
proposal was defeated, valuable time continued
to be wasted. It seems that if so much time is to
be spent on this comparatively trivial issue, the
school board should agree to scrap the flag
ceremony.
When changing an invocation to a moment of
silence in a bi-weekly school board meeting is
the only way to rejuvenate community interest,
a sad state of affairs has taken over. The school
board should disband the flag ceremony and the
denominational religious ritual. But more im-
portantly, the school board should heed
Kenyatta's advice and get down to what really
matters - the welfare of Detroit's children.

I think that making people aware of this
issue more often is the best way to help
potential rape victims become more care-
ful, so they do not eventually become rape
victims.
I'm sure that many people, especially
females, have probably read billions of rape
articles that have probably stated about the
same as this one. These people probably
think, "I know, I know. Don't walk alone at
night, don't get drunk at any parties in
which I'm not familiar with many of the
men ..." Some even probably possess the
attitudes the AIDS awareness commercials
are aimed at, "It only happens to certain
people. It could never happen to me."
Wrong.
It can happen to you, and it can happen
in more ways than you think it can.
An assaulter is not always a stranger. It

However, that attitude changed when I be-
came a victim of sexual assault, not too long
ago.
So, I'm not just writing this article to
pass time away, or to show how smart I am
about the issue. I really want to influence
someone to be more careful, so that they
won't have to go through the pain of being
a victim of sexual assault. AdmittedlyI was
fortunate that the assaulter attacked me us-
ing violence and manual penetration in-
stead of genital. The next victim may notbe
that fortunate.
I was especially impressed by how the
University handled the situation. The inci-
dent was not covered up so that the
University's image would be protected; and
neither the University nor the court went
lightly on the assaulter just because he was
a student.

I was glad that everyone involved in the
legal procedures of this assault case were
very sensitive to my needs and emotions as
a victim. This shows how much better the
top universities in the nation are becoming
when dealing with incidents of rape.
In general, I hope I have sent a message
to all potential rape victims out there. Don't
be naive;more situations than you think can
lead torape. And if you are assaulted, please
don't be afraid to report it.
It's time that we all take this crime,
which is a very serious issue in this day and
time, much more seriously that we have
been taking it.
SEXUAL ASSAULTS
REPORTED TO SAPAC
IN 1993: 15
Involving penetration: 7
No penetration: 2
Acquaintance: 9
Stranger: 0
On Campus: 0
Reported to police: 2
No additional information
available for some reports

01

t
1

Behavior at Michigan-Purdue game inexcusable Homophobia
To the Daily: to the fact that Glenn sat out Michigan students are not should not
As a member of the Class last season because his SAT trying to imitate what thy see put
of '77 and a long-standing score did not meet the there. Second, I think of a so- Gays at risk of
Michigan fan, I've always requirements mandated in called "Prop. 48 Kid" by the
been proud of the University Proposition 48. name of Rumeal Robinson, losing obs
n" tnct..e. ID.* ....'M. . 2 n--.Y. t ..L...h., ----------------- rvjobs

c

and its students. But i was
very dismayed at what I heard
at the game against Purdue.
In the second half, while
the Boilermakers' Glenn
Robinson was shooting free
throws, some Michigan fans
began shouting, "SAT,
SAT...," no doubt in reference

T iis reminds me of the
spoiled, predictable and
boorish students at Duke
University, who have been
glorified by the self-promot-
ing Dick Vitale. I take pride in
having graduated from a place
like Michigan, rather than a
place like Duke. I sure hope

whose many accompuisnments
in life include sinking two free
throws in the waning seconds
to secure Michigan's only
NCAA Basketball Champion-
ship prior to 1993.
Keith Moreland
Mississauga, Ontario

Stump makes light of serious issue

CIVIL RIGHTS
Law should include sexual orientation

To the Daily:
I am writing in regard to
Greg Stump's cartoon (2/9/
93). In a feeble attempt at
criticizing Dr. Jack
Kevorkian's controversial
work, Mr. Stump clumsily
stepped all over the privacy of
terminal disease victims. If
the physical and emotional
turmoil that comes from

slowly dying in front of your
family is not enough, Mr.
Stump's blazing sixth-grade
wit should stomp out any
remaining self-dignity.
While some editorial
cartoonists use humor to carry
their readers to the edge of
scathing sarcasm, Greg Stump
took us on a beautiful belly
flop into non-constructive

tastelessness. Approaching the
subject with tact and a little
empathy for the innocent
victims would be admirable,
but that shit looked like
something we used to pass
around in grade school.
Andrew Freese
Engineering first-year
student

To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
"Lifting ban could cause
conflict," (2/10/93). First of
all, I think Mr. Wheaton was
probably partially correct in
accessing the reason for
opposition among governmen-
tal agencies, but your agree-
ment with them is dishearten-
ing to say the least.
Avoiding conflict has
never been a good enough
reason for rejecting the rights
of a minority group. Even
though I believe the military
ban should be lifted regardless
of the conflict it may cause, I
am not convinced it is an
automatic result.
After all, it is not as if gay
men are not in the military
right now (and have been for
centuries), it's just that they
haven't been able to be open
about their sexuality because
of the risk of being dis-
charged. I think your implied
assumption that the ban's sole
purpose is to stop intolerant
views is incorrect.
Regardless of whether the
military men are homophobic
or not, gay military men
should not have to worry
about losing their job if
someone finds out they are
gay.

WING THE LEAD of AhnArbor's former
State Rep. Perry Bullard, liberal Michigan
awmakers have recently begun drafting
gay rights legislation. Rep. David Hollister (D-
Lansing) is currently drafting a legislative mea-
sure that would add homosexuals to the groups
currently protected in the state's civil rights law.
Bullard proposed similar legislation last No-
vember, but unfortunately the bill never made it
out of the House Civil Rights Committee.
Hollister's initiative, backed by many House
Democrats, is an important move to end the
rampant discrimination that gay men, lesbians
and bisexuals are so often forced to endure.
Presently, the Michigan Civil Rights Act
prohibits discriminationon the basis ofage, race,
gender and religious belief. Hollister wants to
add the words "sexual orientation" to the list.

Changing the law merely acknowledges that
discrimination againsthomosexuals exists. Mak-
ing the mistreatment illegal doesn't give homo-
sexuals "elevated status," as has been implied.
The legislation would just give those discrimi-
nated against a legal venue for protection.
Opponents to the legislation have also argued
that this addition to the civil rights act will clash
with Michigan sexual indecency laws, which
declare -among other things -that sodomy is
illegal. However, not all homosexuals partici-
pate in sodomy, and sexual orientation does not
necessarily dictate specific sexual acts. In addi-
tion, the law forbidding sodomy is an example of
archaic legislation, dealing with issues that the
Michigan legal system should not address.
Finally, some homophobics claim that homo-
sexuals do not deserve minority status because

Students' freedoms include freedom not to care

To the Daily:
In all this talk recently
about the freedoms and rights
of students, something very
important has been left out.
What about the rights of the
majority? Last Wednesday
there was a rally in protest of
the new Diag policy. Twenty-
some people showed up. That
means that over 99.9 percent
of the University demon-
strated in favor of the policy.
We did this because the

to choose what we want to
think about. These so-called
activists who get out from in
front of their televisions sets
and out on the Diag every
Wednesday at noon seem to
think that they have a right to
try to convince us to do the
same.
Well, I'm here to say that
they are violating our funda-
mental autonomy. If I wanted
to know what the First
Amendment to the Constitu-

Was I in room 3909 of the
Union last Tuesday evening?
Then what right do you have
to suggest that I might want to
show up next week?
I look forward to an
America where no one is
forced to think, where
prepackaged beliefs are
available to all through
television, where no idea need
be examined critically. Just by
paying our tuition and taxes,
we can defeat the most

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