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March 12, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-12

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Page 4 -'The Michigan Daily-- Friday, March 12, 1993

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

Josi i DUBOW
Editor in Chief
YAEL M. CITRO
ERIN LIZA EINIIORN
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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I

MONTS

- tDILYI6'93

New OMA head has difficult task before him

DETCONDCT
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ACIAL HARMONY HAS always been more
a dream at the University than reality.
Nearly a quarter-century after the infa-
mous Black Action Movement (B AM) strike of
1970, the University continues to foster a rela-
tively hostile social and edu-,
cational environment for mi-
norities. Andwhile VicePro-
vost for Minority Affairs
Charles Moody has left a
strong legacy of multicul-
turalism and improved race
relations on campus, his
newly appointed successor, ,
Lester Monts (still subject to
approval by the University Mo
BoardofRegents), has along onts
and arduous task ahead ofhim when he assumes
the position July 1.
First and foremost, Monts - currently a
professor of ethnomusicology and dean of un-
dergraduate affairs at the University of Califor-
nia-Santa Barbara - must immediately open
his arms to studentinput and opinion, especially
to minority students.
Monts will take over a department - the
Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) - that
was created in direct response to the United
Coalition Against Racism's (UCAR) demands
in the 1987 BAM III movement. That conflict
grew out of the administration's unwillingness
to listen to minority student concerns.
Bridging the chasm of understanding be-
tween the administration and the University's
minority populationis a goodplace for Monts to
start. An interesting gesture for Monts might be
to open a dialogue with the many former UCAR
activists who currently serve on the board of the
Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center.
Once communication lines are established
withthestudent body, implementing amulticul-

tural environment at the University must be the
overriding priority. A simple glance around cam-
pus reveals that much segregation still exists
within the University.
But Monts' task extends beyond problems at
the University -- he must also work to correct
attitudes borne at home. Far too often, students
carry with them to the University ideas fostered
at home in communities where many never en-
counter people of other races or religions. Stu-
dents thrown into a diverse environment such as
that which exists here need to be prepared with
informationthathelps themunderstand, not shun,
other cultures.
Teaching respect and tolerance, through vari-
ous programs and seminars, is essential to solv-
ing these deep-rooted problems. The Race or
Ethnicity requirement could help achieve these
goals -but only if it were to require classes that
truly expose students to different cultures.
Monts must launch initiatives that seek poten-
tial students at a young age. Accordingly, he
should continue the annual King/Chavez/Parks
College Day Spring Visitation Program, already
hosted by the OMA, which introduces minority
middle school students to life at the University.
But, of course, although much of the problem
lies in attitudes, sheer numbers do make a differ-
ence. The "quantifiable dimension," as Moody
calls it, is essential to make the University expe-
rience diverse for everyone. Unless the Univer-
sity increases minority student enrollment and
hires more minority administrators, it will con-
tinue to miss out on large segments of the popu-
lation and their innumerable contributions.
Although Monts seems to be a very capable
replacement, the University made it clear during
the search process that minority student input is
often ignored. So as the University bids farewell
to Moody, we wish Monts the best in his effort to
continue the bridge-building process.

1%

1 \ .,

(Many men suffer from 'rape demal'

'

by Michael Friedman
LSA junior
"Rape? I think that's pretty unrealistic
- at least in my (fraternity) house. That
kind of thing just wouldn't happen. Not
here. Not at the University."
Sound familiar? This is the response I
got when I asked a University fraternity
member about the "supposed" prevalence
ofrapein fraternities on campus. It's apretty
standard response from most any fraternity
member, or any man for that matter, when
the subject of rape comes up. It's called
denial.
Think of the2G-or-so college-age women
you know best and care most about. Think
seriously about who these people are and
what they mean to you. Now consider that
five of these women will be raped. Will itbe
your sister, your best friend, or both? Now,
of these five women friends of yours, four
will be assaulted by men they know, and
likely, that you know too. Is that scary
enough?
If not, consider that three of those five
women will seriously consider killing them-
selves as a result of being raped, and one of
those three.will actually attempt suicide.
Will that be your girlfriend or your sister
again? And if all that's not enough, it's
probable that none of the rapes will ever
come to the attention of the police, or to your
attention for that matter. Five of your friends
will have been raped and no one will have
been prosecuted. Is all of this starting to
seem real yet?
Of college men, over 50 percent said
they would "force a woman into having
sex" with them if they could get away with
it, and one in 12 admits to acts that meet the
legal definition of rape. So, for example, of

the 100 or so brothers in your fraternity,
more than 50 would rape if they could and
seven or eight have already raped. Now was
it your sister or your best friend they were
raping? I forget.
So, the punch line is pretty ironic. Your
friends and "brothers" are raping your
friends and sisters. It's that simple. It's
about time we men ended our denial and
woke up to the fact that rape happens and it
affects all of us.

Consider this, for example. Amid the
fraternity rush proceedings, I found myself
in a bathroom in the Modem Languages
Building. The walls were, of course, cov-
ered with flyers from various fraternities
encouraging individuals to "rush" or stop
by during the week. One such flyer struck
me. It boasted: "Rush (so and sofratenity).
We have the biggest columns on campus:
So, what of it?
While I see the intrinsic value in being a

I challenge you to ask yourselves, honestly, if you
could ever or have ever forced anyone into sexual
activity or taken advantage of someone who was too
drunk to say no.

"But Michael," I can almost hear you
say, "I would never rape anyone. I'm doing
my part aren't I?"
No!
I challenge you to ask yourselves, hon-
estly, if you could ever or have ever forced
anyone into sexual activity or taken advan-
tage of someone who was too drunk to say
"no." If you have than you, too, are a rapist.
Ask a friend, or a roommate, or a fraternity
brother if he would. Go ahead, ask!
Consider the social environment you
are apart of. Is ita breeding ground forrape?
Does it encourage it? Why is it that such a
high percentage of college rape takes place
in fraternity houses? Fraternity men, con-
sider the climate you are a party to. Think
about the importance that sexual conquest
has for you and your fraternity brothers.
Think about why it is that you want women
to come to your parties and drink your
alcohol. Is it alljust in the name of innocent
fun. Altruism? I guess not! Think about the
images and beliefs that you buy into and
encourage.

member of a fraternity whose house is
architecturally structured with aesthetically
pleasing columns, I'm tempted to believ
that this here's aplay on words. So, what .
it advertising? This is just one example of
the problem. I mention it only to suggest
that we need to think about the implications
of even the most subtle and seemingly
insignificant actions or statements.
I'm not accusing the members of this
house of being rapists. In fact, I'm not
accusing any specific group or person.I'm
accusing all men - and challenging them
to respond.
I leave you with this to consider. Re
member the fraternity memberwhose quote
I opened this discussion with? You know
- the one who emphatically denied even
the possibility of rapein hisfraternity. Well,
it recently came to my attention that just
weeks before he and I talked, he had raped
a woman who didn't report the assault
because she feared further trauma. Do you
get the picture yet?
Think about it!

DETROIT HOUSING
Young must let HUD take over department

NCOMING Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) Secretary Henry Cisneros has ap-
pointed fact finders to interview Detroit pub-
lic housing residents and determine if a federal
takeover of Detroit public housing is necessary.
Since 1979 when HUD placed Detroit public
housing on its "troubled" list due to a 17.3
percent vacancy rate, Mayor Coleman Young
has failed in attempts to address the problems of
mismanagement in Detroit's public housing.
This failure in Detroit's ability to deal with
problems in its housing operations is inexcus-
able. Detroit must give up its struggle to avert a
federal takeover and surrender the housing de-
partment to HUD.
The cy's attempts to ameliorate the problem
of Detroit's shameful subsidized housing de-
partmenthavebeenunsuccessfulatbest. Young,
who has resisted the takeover, has met problems
with unfulfilled promises and empty improve-
ment plans.
In October 1991, the homeless seized units at
Jeffries Homes - a move that prompted city,
state, and federal officials to devise a $225
million "action plan" to provide empty units to
social servicestohomeless people. In July 1992,
Young announced a plan to improve its man-
agement. Unfortunately, these "plans" have yet
to bring rise to any action or real change.
Since the 1990 HUD audit citing misman-
agement in the department's housing opera-
tions, fourdifferent housing directors have been
appointed. The vacancy rate has risen from 17.3
percent in 1979 to 44 percent in 1992 while
2,000 families, some homeless, curently wait

to get into Detroit's subsidized housing. It takes
the city an average of250daysto get avacantunit
ready for occupancy. Residents wait an average
of 7 months for repairs. Is this Young's idea of
improvement?
These frightening statistics only scratch the
surface ofthe majorproblems plaguing Detroit's
public housing. Residents cite problems more
severe in magnitude, including prostitution in the
housing units, drug dealing, powerful gangs, bad
maintenance staff (2 people for200units), lackof
security, and a lack of recreation for kids whose
only alternatives are to stay at home or risk the
shower of gunfire outside.
Detroit has spent too much energy hiding
problems and attempting to avert a federal take-
over to sincerely address the horrifying and inhu-
mane condition ofits public housing.A top HUD
official in 1991 dubbed Detroit's problem the
"worst"in the nation.
Cooperation between HUD and the city would
obviously be the best and most efficient solution.
But while the mayor continues to sandbag federal
efforts - he fails to realize that it is Detroiters
who suffer.
The problem is at a critical point. Behind the
statistics are an increasingly frustrated group of
people, forced to deal with the personal humilia-
tion of living in conditions suitable more for the
rats they share their apartments with than for
human beings. That is a cross nobody should be
forced to bear.
Detroit must surrender its housing depart-
ment. If it fails to do so, HUD take over Detroit's
housing through legal means.

Get clear on
GEO position
To the Daily:
In your article on the TA
negotiations ("Negotiations
continue on TA contract," 3/9/
93), you quoted two first-year
students who are plagued by
common misconceptions
about their TAs and the
negotiations. The reporter
didn't note that both students
had their facts wrong, and so
I'm sure that they were taken
by most readers as truth.
No one teaching at the
University needs a license.
When I walk into a classroom,
assign material, conduct
discussions and evaluate
work, I am a teacher. If TAs
"are only interested in
money," we wouldn't be
working for wages that are
$110 below the minimum the
University Financial Aid
Office says graduate students
need to live.
Many of us come from
high-paying professional jobs
because we want to pursue a
career in teaching. Sacrificing
a $30,000-a-year job is worth
it to us. But nothing is worth
living five years below
minimum wages, and being
bullied by a team of adminis-
trators and hired bargainers
who merely want to keep the
University's overall teaching
budget at 2.8 percent. We're

To the Daily:
I was 27 years old, a
graduate of the University of
California, stably employed,
and I committed an unex-
pected act. I responded to one
of those countless capital
campaign letters from my
alma mater and made a
charitable contribution.
I recall this episode to
remind myself that the day
may dawn again when I will
be financially sound and
holding the purse springs that
others depend on. Currently,
the opposite is the case.
I am a graduate student
teaching assistant (TA) at the
University. My union, the
Graduate Employees Organi-
zation (GEO), is bargaining
with the University over our
next two-year contract. I'm
being kicked around, and I
feel small.
Never mind that I quit my
job and moved my, wife and
two children here only after
confiming that adequate and
affordable family-health
insurance would be available
to me as a TA. Never mind
that the University is propos-

ing to take away health-
insurance options that enable
TAs to select and change
health care and medical
insurance packages to best
meet their individual budgets
and needs. Never mind that
the University's proposal of a
one-choice-only health
benefits plan could cost TAs
with dependents $800 a year
in premiums (payable to the
University), before any family
member even goes to a doctor
or a hospital. Never mind that
decreasing employee health
benefits fly in the face of a
rising national sensibility that
health care is one of the
highest priorities facing this
country.
What really bothers me
about the University's
proposal to GEO is that it
shows a complete lack of
resourcefulness and ingenuity.
The University's bargain-
ing team have proposed a
"slash and bum" financial
cutback that amounts to a
lose-lose situation. Lacking is
even the slightest indication
that the University male an
attempt at creative planning

based on mutual respect.
The University should be
held to the following standard:
Develop at least one win-win
proposal.'There are ways to
increase our pay and health
benefits without increasing the
University's burden. For
example, bring a few hidden
partners more actively into the
loop: insurance companies,
industry and government.
If my students had
presented me with the
University's proposal to GEO,
I would have provided the
following constructive
criticism: "Do not settle for a
proposal unless it has a
possibility of being satisfac-
tory to the people involved,
efficient with both blatant and
latent resources, and, above
all, innovative. Those are the
minimum requirements. Less
is not best."
Is it just those of us who
are struggling to survive who
can find ways to stretch every
cent we earn, save, spend and
share?
Jack Fishstrom
Rackham student

MI NORITY APPOINTMENTS

Clinton should live up
W HILE CAMPAIGNING, candidate Bill
Clinton promised that, if elected, he
wouldmakehis staff truly representa-
tive of the American populace. He criticized

to campaign promise
without regard for diversity.
The president's ignorance on matters of mi-
nority hiring apparently extends to the field of
gender hiring.Approximately one-half of the
7T .r,.,inir-s- I.. C.....n1. .* - jtm.nninr nrwrtsli

Public breast-feeding is inappropriate

To the Daily:
There are a lot of things in
life that are considered
natural. Sexual intercourse is

with my friends, I noticed a
woman sitting in the center of
the restaurant breast-feeding
her child.

I can not imagine why any
woman would want to breast-
feed her child in public. I am
not saying that I think that@

E f.

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