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March 01, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-01

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday,'March 1,1993

be £itigau aitj

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

Editor in Chief
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.

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Moratorium should be
IN A FLURRY of backtracking and apologies,
members of the University administration-
including University President James
Duderstadt and Vice Provost Gilbert Whitaker
- have confirmed that the School of Public
Health followed im-
properprocedures when Con
deciding to discontinue w
the Department of AZ
Population uainPlanning rrifed tt nn
and Inernational Health "A
(PPIH). The mistakes a
have been recorded, the #' ,
injuries filed and the
University has agreed !
to turn back and review v o
the decision. a qaoimo e
In January, School ehesr
of Public Health Dean
June Osborn and theEx-SW I~Fb
ecutive Committee of..
the School of Publi
Health placed a mora-
torium on new faculty , nd m
hiringand on studentt
admissions for PPIH. , :h~ ~ aebe
wToday, the Executive .::..:: > >:..
Committee will be de- :::::.:::;.:::.:
liberating whether tore-
verse this decision..
Hopefully, the committee will see the errors of
its ways and agree to lift the moratorium before
it is too late.
As PPIH faculty and students have pointed
out, there are proper review procedures for
closing a department. The University's Stan-
dard Practice Guide 601.2 suggests "an inde-
pendent assessment of the quality and viability
of a program ... take place prior to recommend-
ing that a program be considered for discontinu-
Whiletheseprocedures are only suggestions,
they have been endorsed by the University Board
of Regents, the Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs (SACUA) and the deans and
directors of numerous academic units.
Nowhere does it state that proper procedure
includes placing a department on moratorium,
particularly before review, unless of course one
intends to guarantee the elimination of a depart-
ment and sabotage any possibility for a fair
This is precisely the route taken by Osborn
and the Executive Committee. In a memo to the
students, faculty and staff ofthe School ofPublic
Health dated Feb. 2, 1993, Osborn indicts her-
self. She states, "The Executive committee ...
discussed the probability that the Department
' (PPIH) would have to be discontinued as a
Department, and voted to initiate that process by
declaring a moratorium on a new admissions


lifted immediately
and new hires." In her own words, the morato-
rium was meant to initiate "that process," of
slashing PPIH.
Blatantly ignoring the recommendations of
the Standard Practices Guide, Osborn and the
Executive Commit-
mit tee made this initial
.,.e..c cdecision without
t.::...... .t "meaningful consul-
tation with faculty
ra t9* ~ *r~e and students... " In
x wIA, fact, PPIH faculty, in
sedb a memo dated Feb.4,
oudhaeto 1993, stated, "We
i "art am!have attempted, sev-
by d n eral times by phone
?t'dnsswns and and in meetings, to
resolve this issue ui-
etly without embar-
rassing the school.
Osbrn We have been re-
huffed in these at-
t tempts."
r:t re~vOsborn attempts
embarrassgthe to explain the mora-
efeihe torium on hiring new
faculty by stating,
a ther hiring to the De-
partment was unwise
in view of the anticipated departure of a majority
of the senior faculty."
If faculty members will be leaving, it makes
sense to hire new faculty as soon as possible,
unless, of course, one is operating under the
assumption that the department is to be discon-
Once again, Osborn's intentions to close the
department surface as the real justification be-
hind an autocratic and poor decision.
In the same Feb. 4 memo where she attempts
to justify the moratorium, Osborn claims "A
review committee will be established in accor-
dance with the University's guidelines to assess
the overall issues involved in potential continu-
ation or discontinuation of the Department."
However, if the moratorium is maintained,
the conclusions of the review committee will be
inevitable. If there are no new students and no
new faculty the department is not viable.
The moratorium should be lifted. If the de-
partment is to undergo review, it should be done
fairly and in compliance with the Standard
Practice Guide 601.2.
Faculty and students are merely asking that
PPIH receive a fair review, not that the program
remain open indefinitely. A fair review implies
that the committee could decide to keep the
department open. Unless the moratorium is
lifted, it is not possible to conduct a truly fair
review - only the pretense of one.


Enraged women must fight fire with fire


Wed Shanker
LSA senior
With mounting frustration, I have
watched the developments on "Pussie Rd."
I cannotbe more insistent that those who are
offended by the sign are dealing with this
issue in the wrong way.
Those feminists and others are fighting
fire with cheese and crackers. What con-
stantly surprises me is that for all the equal-
ity feminists strive for, they still play the
game like ladies. They are like little kids on
a playground - when a big boy hits them,
they go running and crying to the teacher.
They still don"It bit back.
Well ladies, hike up your skirts and do
something besides whining about it. These
pussy boys aren't playing by the rules, so
why should you be?
If that sign pissed you off, why notthrow
a rock through that window (maybe at night
when these guys are asleep and it could
really scare the shit out of them)? What's
stopping you - it's not legal? Who cares?
Once again, the law is on their side, not
ours. Run to the Sexual Assault Prevention
and Awareness Center (SAPAC), run to the
Daily, run to MTS - fine. But you are
trying to educate a couple of dorky first-
year students who think that they are cool
because they have a sign in their window
that has the word "pussie" on it!
Pussy! Poon! Beaver! Cunt! So what?
These are words, just letters on a page.

Don't give them a power they do not have.
What Michele de Avila and her feminist
army have done is make Dan and his room-
mates think they are the hottest shit on this
Did they really think these guys were
going to say, "Gee, we were silly. Why
didn't we realize that our dumb sign con-
tributes to a hostile environment against
women and toward a rape culture? Let's
take it down and go do some community

powerful action against him. Ialso wish she
would have physically kicked his ass or
sprayed him with maceor shot him when he
raped her. I hope she's taking self defense
Physical weakness cannot be an excuse
to use against rapes - as women, we must
be prepared. We must be as violent as they
are. We must take action. It may not be fair
but if .the world were fair then everyone0
would be equal, wouldn't they?

Well ladies, hike up your skirts and do something
besides whining about it. These pussy boys aren't
playing by the rules, so why should you be?

service for SAPAC." Not quite.
It would be great if Dan or some of the
guys on his hall decided the sign should be
taken down, butI don't think that is going to
Girls, if you want equality, you have to
fight and bite and hit and scratch for it.
Opposite the Daily editorial about the sign
was a horrible account written by a woman
who was raped. And by God, I wish it had
never happened to her and I wish we could
go find that guy and cut his balls off so he
would never rape anyone again.
I wish she would publish his name so
that every time someone sees him, she
would know he was a rapist.
It makes m; sick that she has to face him
every day and I wish she would take some

So, my feminist friends, tell me this
"Pussie Rd." sign is all a part of that rape
culture. And those women and the Daily
throw in my face the question: what if the
sign said "Kike Rd." or "Hymie Rd." in-
stead of "Pussie Rd." ?
Well, as a Jew, I am just as sick of the
Jewish retreat againstanti-Semitismas lam
by the feminist response to big, mean boys
on the playground who don't respect us or
Gloria Steinem or Hillary Rodham Clinton
or marches for equality in Washington. I
would love to see Jews act on the offensive
instead of the defensive as well.
If I had walked past that sign I would
have laughed, instead of giving a couple of
college first-year students more credit than
they deserve.

Campus debate over "Pussie Rd." sign continues
'Bush '92' poster Sign blown out of proportion, leave men in West Quad alone

Pres. should act on higher education plan

bilities for Financing Education, a biparti-
san congressional committee,recently pub-
lished a report on how to best help students meet
the increasing costs of higher education. The
reportincluded four central rec-
making $14,000 in aid -
available to all students. Some
would receive the money as a * A
loan, others would receive a
mixture of loans and grants,
depending on need;
allowing students to pay
back their loans by doing com-
munity service;
making all student loans
tax-deductible. This would in-
clude graduate and professional
scholarships, fellowships and
internships; and,
allowing parents of stu-
dents to withdraw without pen-
alty from their Individual Re-
tirement Accounts.
As students know all too well, college tuition
has soared and continues to rise at a frightening

States should stop allowing other nations with
better-educated workforces to outperform its
This is especially true in engineering and the
natural sciences where the United States has
lagged behind for years.
If the U.S. economy is to
thrive in the long term it is
essential to have as many quali-
fied students as possible re-
ceive higher education, regard-
less of their financial situations.
Another commendable as-
pect of the community service
proposal is its efforts to pro-
motepatriotism. Nottheblindly
patriotism we are all too famil-
iar with, but true patriotism.
The patriotism that comes
from committing oneselfto bet-
tering the nation.
Just like the Peace Corps
and VISTA challenged the
youth of the Kennedy Era to
give freely of themselves, we hope this will
empower our generation to give in the same

To the Daily:
Did anyone else bother to
notice the "Bush '92"
campaign poster displayed
right next to the controversial
"Pussie Rd." sign? I don't
claim to be a lexicon of
English slang. But last I knew
bushes and pussies are, more
often than not, a package deal.
As far as the Daily is con-
cerned, you could use this
opportunity to reinforce your
political stance by printing an
editorial urging that the
campaign poster be brought
Mechele ("Offensive sign
in dorm must go," 2/9/93),
I've been looking for a person
with your enthusiasm for a
while. Every time I go to
Chicago via 1-94,1 must
endure the exit for Climax,
Mich. You and I, we'll form
the Committee to Abolish
Tasteless Signs (CATS). If
the sign isn't there, how can
someone steal it and hang it in
their window? Wait a minute,
isn't a cat a pussie, too?
Karl Fischer
Engineering junior
Protect free speech
To the Daily:
The sign in the West Quad
window may be offensive, but
I don't think anyone should
force the residents to take it
down. Of course I find it
offensive - last year I was
also disgusted by the amount
of swastikas, KKK signs and
Pat Buchanan posters in my

To the Daily:
I believe that this "Pussie
Rd." sign in the window has
been seriously overblown.
The sign obviously makes no
explicit reference in any way
to women or their body parts.
Now it would be ignorant not
to point out that there is an
implicit secondary meaning.
"Pussie" sounds exactly like
"pussy," which is slang for the
female genitals. Of course this
technique of associating

Daily shouldn't grant West Quad men protected source status

To the Daily:
The Daily editors have
committed another grievous
error concerning when to leave
a source anonymous or not
('W. Quad sign "offensive to
female students," 2/9/93). The
First Amendment prohibits
states from restricting freedom
of speech, but that implies an
individual's right to say what
s/he likes in public, not to
make anonymous insinuations.
Nor does it prohibit another
private citizen from safely and
publicly saying that the first

person's opinion or alleged
sense of humor sucks.
Mechele de Avila ("offen-
sive sign in dorm must go," 2/
9/93) has every right to protest
the sign she finds offensive,
and if the perpetrators of the
"joke" want to defend their
actions, they should have as
much guts as de Avila does to
say so publicly.
The complainant has
opened herself to harassment
from people who might
accuse her of "femi-Nazism,"
so the two boys in West Quad

should stand up and face the
music also. Their fear of
harassment is hardly serious
enough to warrant status as a
protected source from your
reporter. I'm glad the Univer-
sity saw that it did not have
the right to order the sign
removed, but I hope people
are aware of the distinction the
Constitution makes between
individuals and the state.

"hidden" meanings to words
and phrases can be applied to
other areas. The movie "Dick
Tracy" could be construed as
a downright vulgar way to
treat Tracy.
I also remember that there
was a butcher in my home-
town named Tom, and his
slogan was, "You can't beat
Tom's meat!" (I swear that I
am not making this up). But
why should we dwell on these
juvenile thoughts when it is

perfectly clear what these
items actually mean? I admit
that anyone who would name
a street "Pussie Rd." probably
shouldn't be working for civil
planning, but that is their
problem. If you are concerned
about the name of a street,
take it up with City Hall, but
leave the two gentlemen in
West Quad alone.
David Cortright
Engineering senior


Hunter Van
LSA senior

Students must learn to deal with even stupid opinions

To the Daily:
As a radical moderate, I
have clenched my teeth many
times this year in watching
people with remarkably tiny
world-views scream back and
forth about stunningly moot
causes. I have observed
dozens of tiny fanatic cliques
ignoring reality in order to get
their dubious points across. I

Ms. de Avila ("Offensive
sign in dorm must go," 2/9/
93), permit me to recommend
that you tour the dorms on
campus, notably East Quad. If
you still feel that there are not
signs offensive to every
religion, creed, sexual
orientation, political view or
gender, then I shall be
,iplinhtaAi toant nt., 2 .,ar ar1

to be "liberal" or "conserva-
tive." They are to be places of
learning - rare crucibles
where we mix with brilliant
and absurd alike and draw our
own conclusions.
I challenge the student
body here to learn a lesson
that can be well-applied when
they return to the real world:
Deal with it. Freaking out,



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