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March 11, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-11

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be Lirigautnai+g .

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

Jost Dunow
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.

iA
. 4.
'i
I'7

0

CIRCUS TRICKS

Code is more absurd than even we imagined

FIRST, UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS dis-
cussed a code of non-academic conduct.
Students were skeptical. Then, they re-
leased draft 12.2 of the Statement of Student
"Rights" and Responsibilities. Students were
angry. Now three students wait to be tried under
the Code, and we've seen how they plan to the
apply it. Students are appalled.
University administrators spentSaturdaycon-
ducting a work -__________
shop intended to
give potential stu- W hope we can speak i
dentjurors the in- ;rather than the'spii ft
formation neces-Judiial AdvOr Ma
sary to try a stu-
dent under the the.Code.tipu.atio
Code. All they
succeeded in do-
ing, however, 'TIhearingpanelmem.
wasspoutingpro- shighyprobableta
paganda and eu-
phemistic lan-
guage. 9?earsay hsm,.fatadms~
T workshop riences2
drew attention to
the problems al-soiaeGeea
readyexistingun-
der the conducthu ;
code, including systemthat is opportuntA
the frightening ornrespnd
amountofleeway Code enables someo
permitted: to j u- same crime - once.i
ries n deciding
the future of thei
peers. 'at' very iportdraty
Under the inftdendAeth orahs
Code: n ec , xv~tr
n Anyone - media oryanyone ese
even a non-stu- abo utiti onyour aowabe
dent - can -VCdirginiordbg.a
charge a Univerd freedom ofpinfedma be
sity student withrst__endrse_
out first-hand.
knowledge of the incident. Although this 'sec-
ond-hand knowledge, or hearsay, is not admis-
sible in any U.S. court, itis considered allowable
evidence in Code hearings.
Accusers and witnesses simply need to be
willing to speak to the student jurors to endorse
their own testimony. For, example if Sue heard
Bob's best friend say he saw Jacque's room-
matebuying drugs from amanin apurple haton
Main Street, her testimony could be used to
throw Jacque's roommate out of school. This is
absurd.
Students' lawyers are not permitted to
speak. This stipulation creates a situation where
the accused and accuser must cross-examine
each other directly. In especially sensitive cases

i44
iii

- like cases involving sexual assault - this
could be painful and would not occur in a civil or
criminal court.
In addition, since non-students can bring cases
against students under the Code, a professional
lawyer, University employee or Department of
Public Safety officer can file a case against a
student on behalf of the alleged victim. A lawyer
filing a case may cross-examine the accused, but
the accused must
do all questioning
the spirito f te taemnt him or herself.
g' During a
LouAn~eu~deenin Code hearing, a
sexualassault sur-
rhbtm vivorcouldpoten-
.speakixngathearings tially be forced to
reveal his or her
sexual history if
..fat5 are tre or ?exs' the jurydeemed
ode trainigmanuald this information
relevant to the
'bin ee sorts ofexpe- case. This infor-
mation is never
Counel an Sarporn relevant and al-
though we hope
Sguiltnnother court the jury would
have the sense to
realize this, the
7a to acsadont,'r tiCode makes no
e to bet1ra tw ce for the official provi-
te realcos a once sions.
underthe ode The next
step in the process
ou dat le~t rslves be getsevenbetter-
+dtersto he dtor n the or worse. Stu-
dents accused un-
ho watst tlith you der the code face
ajurythatdoesnot
'oclaticeapresidet and have to find proof
.n ofe r, tfitrejurors beyond a reason-
able doubt in or
der to convict an
accused student. Jurors "must believe that it is
highly probable that the facts are true or exist."
No one needs a newspaper editorial to point out
the injustice of this definition of guilt. Welcome
to George Orwell's "1984."
The Code court has developed from a system
supposedly established to settle disputes between
students. But it has become a means to apply
additional penalties to students already being
tried for crimes in a real court. Vice President for
Student Affairs Maureen Hartford said the code
exists to protect students and help them under-
stand their rights. But the University's time and
money could be better spent educating students
about their rights in the real legal system and
improving crime prevention programs.

/ ,

r; r r

Perspectives

I) - 0

Wendy S hanker
LSA senior
So you say you're oppressed.
What are you going to do about it?
Women make up over half of the world's
population, yet we allow ourselves to be
represented as victims of male oppression.
Take off the victim hat and put on anew,
more responsible suit.
A primary issue for women on college
campuses across the nation is date rape, and
hopefully you've noticed the emphasis the
Daily has placed on that issue on this page.
A recent writer in this space bemoaned
her fate: "Because I am a woman, I have to
constantly monitor the way I dress, act and
the time I choose to visit aman because I am
held responsible for both his actions and
mine."
That's not fair, right? Men should be
more sexually responsible. Women should
be able to. wear whatever kind of clothes
they want, dance in whatever provocative
way they want, rage all night, and still get
home safe and sans intercourse.
Ishould be amillionaire. Noone should
be homeless. Clinton should get rid of the
deficit. There should be word peace. While
that idealism makes me feel all tingly in-
side, it lacks one essential element- com-
mon sense.
The same writer I quoted, who echoes
the sentiment of the majority of women on
this campus, alsoinvokedthecaseof Desiree
Washington's successful prosecution of
Mike Tyson for date rape.
My response is, what the hell was Desiree
thinking when she headed over to Mike's
pad at 2:00 am.? That maybe he would
want to bake cookies and reminisce about
the innocence of childhood?
This does not mean to say that Desiree
deserved to be raped. No one deserves to be
raped. Mike Tyson was found by a court to
have committed an illegal act and deserves
to be prosecuted for it. I'm not saying it is
Desiree's fault.
But as far as the distribution of blame

goes, I ask again, what was she thinking?
She does have an added responsibility as a
woman to look out for her own safety. That
means turning down Tyson's offer.
That means that when you get all dressed
up in sexy clothes (the operative root word
being "sex") to go to a fraternity party,
down a few beers, and get involved in a
mash-fest with some guy you don't know
very well, you need to be prepared to defend
yourself when he decides that he wants to
go further than you do.
You know not to drink and drive a car
because you would be endangering your
life, and others'. What makes you think that
mixing drinks and sex isn't equally as dan-
gerous?
Listen, I don't walk through parking
structures at 4:00 a.m., alone on a Saturday
night, because my common sense tells me

your dress, behavior, and body language
may be saying "yes" to someone who is not
the sensitive male you want him to be. You
must be responsible for this.
This does not mean you can no longer
go out and have fun. This means that fun
can be dangerous. This means that if you
want to live a life of sexual freedom and
independence, you must understand the
consequences.
I don'tknow who is supposed to teachus
these things. Our initial sexual educators
who taught us about mestroation and inter-
course - "And after recess, class, come
back inside and we'll discuss the intricate
dangers of sexual dynamics." Our mothers
-"Grandma and Grandpa say hi, and did
I ever tell you what to do when a guy wants
to and you don't." Our government -
"While filling out your W-4 forms, kindly

... if you want to live a life of sexual freedom and
independence, you must understand the
consequences.

0

that to do that would be to put myself in
enormous danger
If I do, however, it doesn't mean that I
deserve to be mugged. And if someone
does mug me, that person deserves to be
prosecuted because he committed a crime.
But Iam now giving you full permission
to ask me, "What were you thinking when
you decided to walk alone through a park-
ing structure at 4:00 a.m. on a Saturday
night?" Am I to blame for my mugging?
Certainly I did not act in my own best
interests.
The same thinking follows for women
who do not understand the consequences of
putting themselves in dangerous sexual situ-
ations with men.
You must decide what is safe for you.
Know your consensual sexual limit ahead
of time and be prepared to physically en-
force it.
Otherwise, acknowledge that a point
comes when consent is no longer an issue.
Though your conscious voice may say "no,"

peruse the section on miniskirts as a source
of sexual titillation for men."
Maybe it's going to have to be me who
spreads the common sense; too late for so
many women, but hopefully in time to
present some new thoughts on the subject.
When I think of some of the foolish
things I have done, I know that Iam incred-
ibly lucky not to have been put in that
situation. My sympathy goes out to women
who have gone through this situation.
If Iwantto play the game, however, I'm
going to fully acknowledge and understand
the price someone might pressure me to
pay. I would confront myself-I did some-
thing to cause it.
I sincerely hope people become more
sexually responsible. In the mean time,
women must push over that idealism to
make room for a healthy dose of common
sense.
It's time for us to take more responsibil-
ity for our actions. If you don't want to, stay
home and wash your hair.

THE GREAT COVER-UP
'U' distorts its ownfacts
OBLEMS WITH THE Statement of Student public scrutiny. Administrators can do whatever
"Rights"and Responsibilities have ex- they want and protect themselves by citing the
isted since the first draft was completed. need for student confidentiality.
Now the Office of Student Affairs is putting all At Saturday's workshop, Virginia Nordby,
these vague, unethical and anti-judicial quirks associate vice president and freedom ofinforma-
into an assembly line for doling out sentences to tion officer, told students and faculty that trial
students. information willbe released when it is "prudent."
At the same time, Vice President for Student Prudence, however, is not the issue. The issue is
Affairs Maureen Hartford and her cohorts have whether or not the public has a right to see
gone to great lengths to cover up details about detailed accounts ofthetrials-minus the names
the flawed process that has just begun. Behind ofthe students involved. The University commu-
the guise of student confidentiality, the Univer- nity is further being deluded about the implica-
sity plans to hide what is happening with indi- tions of the Code by "CodeSpeak, " a language
vidual cases. And when it must speak, it invents created by the Office of Student Affairs to de-
its own language to reduce the impact. ceive the campus community.
Possibly in an attempt to defy Code watch- According to "CodeSpeak," there is no code
dogs, the information released about the three of conduct, nor are there trials, juries, sentences
pending cases has ranged from little to almost or guilty students. While that would be nice -
nothing. Administrators continue to stand be- especially the "no code of conduct" part -
hind the Family Education Rights and Privacy nothing has changed but the words. Code words
Actto defend the confidentiality of accusers and - such as Statement of Student "Rights" and
accused. Responsibilities, hearings, hearing panels, sanc-
However, by refusing to release information tions and responsible students have replaced
to the public, the University exempts itself from traditionally legal terms and teir implications.
Who can students turn to now?

Students need MSA's representation

To the Daily:
I find myself in disagree-
ment with parts of your
editorial "Student Leaders,"
(2/17/93). Although I agree
that the Michigan Student
Assembly sometimes gets
slowed down by partisan
squabbles and parliamentary
problems, I do not think that it
is the moribund institution you
describe.
Although the MSA is only
elected by 10 percent of the
student population, the key
concept is still 'elected.' Many
students may choose not to
vote in MSA elections. That is
their prerogative.

However, no one has the
right to vote for the selection
of Student Leader Board
(SLB) members.
The unclear mechanism by
which these leaders are
selected excludes the opinion
of the student body at large.
I find it difficult to accept
that the SLB could purport to
represent a larger portion of
campus than MSA does.
It seems that the only
thing they represent is the
opinion of its members, who
have no constituency to whom
they are responsible. The
MSA is the voice of students
on campus precisely because

it is elected by the same
students.
This is not to say that
MSA and SLB cannot work
together as a potent team
fighting for student interests.
However, one must under-
stand that the SLB in itself
offers nothing more than a
second opinion from a few
students.
By itself, it represents only
its members.
Hopefully, with the MSA,
it can work for positive
change on campus.
Dante Stella
LSA sophomore

Learn from
history's
valuable lessons
To the Daily:
It sounds so familiar, and
yet where is the reaction?
When I hear the news reports
about the atrocities in Bosnia,
when I hear about how two
men were forced to bite off
each others' testicles and then
had limbs cut off until they
were dead, when I hear about
how women are being raped
as a scare tactic, when I hear
the news every day, it all
sounds familiar.
When in World War II, 6
million Jews were systemati-
cally tortured and killed- the
world sat back and watched.
We vowed never to let it
happen again. We are
organized. We have Holocaust
memorial day. We have Eli
Wiesel. The Jews have
learned their lesson. But the
world has not. The world has
not learned that the forces of
evil have no limit, and that
unless they are forcefully
stopped, the senseless killing
and ethnic cleansing will

0

MCAT deserves test space on campus

LL THESE ABSURDmES aside, the code
exists and will be implemented- soon.
(The exact trial dates have - curiously
enough - not been released.) While all evi-
dence at the workshop suggests that student

unjust system created by the code. Some have
expressed their opposition through protests, oth-
ers through speeches. Two members of the Uni-
versity BoardofRegents voted against and spoke
against the code. Now the student jurors are

To the Daily:
To some people, the
following may appear to be a
trivial protest; to others,
however, it may well be a
valid request. For most pre-
med students, the MCAT is
the ultimate test of their
undergraduate years. It is a

the GRE will be held in the
Business School (the usual
test site for the MCAT) on the
same Saturday.
Now, I am in no way
implying that the MCAT is
more important than the GRE,
but I feel that it is rather unfair
for rwdents taking the MCAT

in unfamiliar territory.
As one of the largest
universities in the country, and
as a university with one of the
highest pre-med populations, I
feel that it is necessary to find
a location on campus.
Therefore, I ask that
whoever deals with schedul-

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