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March 22, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-22

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 22, 1993

c E , u Ygttn + ttil

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

iiilL11

JosII Dunow
Editor in Chicf
ERIN LizA EINIIORN
OpinionEditor

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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0

DRASTIC MEASURES

MSA has potential, but
T IS Now illegal to stage a protest on the Diag
without obtaining permission from the Uni-
versity seven days before and advancing.
several hundred dollars.
The University has paralyzed student rights
by inventing its own legal system to govern the
lives of students - with no system of appeal.
The campus police force carries guns but
reports only to the Univer--
sity Board of Regents andd
is not directly accountable } :
to the community. s
The student Union ad-
mits only certain people at K.
certain times if they carry
certain identification.
City police emitpoison-
ous tear gas and mace to
control gathering student
celebrations.
We can only scream so The Daily congr
long before realizing no MSA President1
one is listening, give up and Vice Presid'
and go home to study. If Good luck - yo
we think about this polic need it.
state called Ann Arbor ne t
where our voices have been silenced for years,
we only grow discouraged..
The need for strong student government is
greater now than perhaps ever before. Newly
elected Michigan Student Assembly President
and Vice President Craig Greenberg and Brian
Kight have a huge task before them.
A pathetically low 8.8 percent of students.
bothered to vote in last week's MSA presiden-
tial elections-lowernumbers than the smaller
representative election in the fall. This is a sign
that past student governments have failed to
represent student interests - whatever they
may be.
In any case, Greenberg and Kight must re-
member that although in the eyes of the campus
and the administration, they do not represent
anyone besides the 40 percent of the 8.8 percent
of students who voted for them, they do have a
responsibility to make something of student
government. MSA has the potential to do more
than pass silly resolutions and dole out money to
student groups, but the structure has to change
and representatives need to think beyond this
week's protest and last week's tuition raise.
Think about the unreasonable -those projects
that have never been tried before because previ-
ous assemblies have considered them too
difficult.
University officials have become so used to
passing ridiculous restrictions and codes with-
out an organized student response, that it is time
to take drastic steps. If MSA became more
productive, it could gain respect from the stu-
dent body and administration, eamgreater turn-
out at election time and successfully represent
the student voice.

IE
DI

structures must change
Here are some ideas:
Progressive presidential candidate Jason
Hackner(who should seriously consider seeking
appointment to one of the many representative
seats likely to open on the assembly) did not win
a very large percent of votes during the election,
but Greenberg and Kight should take a long look
at some of the projects he had in mind. For
.example, Hackner said he
had initiated discussion with
{ administrators about the pos-
4:- sibility of students owning
the Michigan Union.
Alumni presently own the
Union and cover expenses
. by renting rooms for wed-
dings and proms, but all
those rooms should be for
student use.
If students owned the
atulates new Union, outside forces could
Craig Greenberg not create rules - like the
ent Brian Kight. present Union access policy
u're going to - that requires all Union
entrants on weekend nights
to present a student identifi-
cation card and bring no more than two guests
(who also must show some form of identifica-
tion). For Black Greek Association members
who hold parties in the Union, this policy is
ridiculously restrictive.
MSA could work to create a student book
store to offer cheap used books to students.
Although the Student Book Exchange is a good
system, many students are forced to wait in line
for an hour only to find the books they need are
not there. With labor provided by students, to sell
books to students in a student union owned by
students, many overhead costs would be elimi-
nated and it could cut the profits of the giant
monopoly Ulrich's has established in Ann
Arbor.
There is a huge need on campus for low-
cost child care available to students, faculty and
graduate employees. All local childcare facilities
exist for profit and parents are finding it increas-
inglydifficult to balance the financial and energy
demands of classes with the needs of children. If
MSA pushed to coordinate the efforts of students
and faculty to run low-cost childcare in the
Union, it could make a serious impact on the lives
of people on campus.
Some of these ideas may seem like pipe
dreams - too expensive, too difficult. But the
time has come to make a drastic change. The
administration will not listen to MSA until MSA
is worthy of respect. Students won't vote in MSA
elections until they see what MSA is able to do.
It's still unclear whether or not Greenberg and
Kight have the leadership skills and initiative to
revolutionize MSA. But its time for some new
ideas.
We'll be watching - and waiting..

Rapists, not women, should stay home

0

by Kim Yaged
ISA Junior
Remember Wendy Shanker's article,
"Sexual Independence Has Consequences"
(3/11/93)? She said, "It's time for us to take
more responsibility for our actions," and
asked, "What are you going to do about it?"
The topic: the overly disputed issue of rape.
There has been a lot of conversation vol-
leyed back and forth about the issues, but
aside from these two quotations, all that
Shanker's remarks seem to accomplish is
marring the progress of the evolution of
societal views on rape.
So,she's tiredofraving liberalsscreech-
ing about who's not doing what for so and
so. So am I, and action does accomplish
more than just blaming the next one. But
what do we achieve by taking an already
inflammable topic and putting the blame on
women? It certainly is not in the name of
truth.
I personally am notacquainted with any
rape survivors who were to blame for what
happened to them. Nor am I familiar with a
largeportionofrapescommittedby women.
Shanker claims to not be blaming women,
but her argument suggests otherwise. Her
article is detrimental and nothing more.
No, this is not a world of "shoulds," "I
wishes" and "if onlys," but it's often neces-

sary to use the ideal caseas the goal to strive
for in order to attain even the slightest
amount of progress. Besides, asking for
"women [to] be able to wear whatever kind
of clothes they want, dance in whatever
provocative way they want, rage all night,
and stillgethome safeand sans intercourse"
is not such an intangible thing. My own
mother used to take the New York City
subway from Greenwich Village to Brook-
lyn at 2:00 am without any sort of harass-
ment. That is not to suggest that assault and
rape did not occur then, but that my mother
was able to do things such as this remains
the reality.
Sure, common sense, as Shanker so
vehemently stresses, dictates this, that, and
the other thing, but so what? What's a
woman doing "walk[ing] alone through a
parking structure at4:00 am, on a Saturday
night?"Something that is her business,I am
sure. And if something were to happen to
her, the question, "What were you think-
ing?" would not come out of my mouth any
more quickly then if it had been a man in the
same situation.
Shanker's argument seems to deny the
entire premise that rape is a crime of vio-
lence, not sex. It is a method of empowering
as opposed tothe result of sexual arousal, as
seems to be suggested in Shanker's pro-
vided case scenarios in which the woman

gets "all dressed up in sexy clothes."
In fact, none of the rapes reported to
SAPAC in 1993 were committed by strang-
ers. Consequently, how can Shanker seem-
ingly assert that a woman's attire, sexually
appealing or not, is the source of these
criminal acts? Does she not realize thatrape
on campus is being committed by the people
you see walking through the Diag, the ones
you sit next to in class, the guy you think is
cute?
Shanker's remarks are just disturbing:
"[Desiree Washington has] an added re-
sponsibility as a woman to look out for her
own safety,"a point comes when consent
is no longer an issue," and "If you don't
want to [take responsibility for your ac-
tions], stay home and wash your hair."
She has succeeded in recommending
closeting for the few women who feel strong
enough to assert themselves while perpetu-
ating the female stereotypes of vanity and
frailty. Perhaps most inflammatory is
Shanker's self-appointment to savior status
when she states, "Maybe it's going to have
to be me who spreads the common sense."
Thank you, but judging from your remarks
thus far, I would like to continue thinking
for myself. How about, instead, telling all
the rapists to stay home and wash their hair,
so we can go out?
Yaged is a Daily Arts staffer.

S

0

6

FREE SPEECH
Even fascists have First Amendment rights

D SPLAYING UTTER CONTEMPT fortheFirst
Amendment rights ofothers, thecounter-
demonstrators at Saturday's SS Action
Group rally in front of Ann Arbor City Hall
attacked Nazi protesters with iceballs and large
machine parts. The counter-demonstrators
shamelessly violated SS Action's rightto peace-
fully protest in public and tured to justify their
ugly and reprehensible use °,
violence with three fallacious
arguments.
First, they maintain thata
flee speech does not exist in
oursocietyforindividualswho A
support racism. Ironically,.
these same anti-neo Nazi pro-
testers freely used their First
Amendment rights to deny
their opponents' right to free
speech, shouting slogans like
"No Free Speech for Fascists"
for over two hours in front of
City Hall.
Second, anti-neoNazi pro-
testers demonstrated their be-
lif that they, as private citizens, have the right
to use violence to iringe onthe rights ofothers.
-A:-i nt..:..,a i: m...o -.:v-:1i .2.- m - ffn

cause groups like SS Action advocate violence
and genocide, they should not be allowed to
express these views in public. Interestingly, the
Trotskyist League, the group that organized the
Coalition, also advocates violence. Its members
claim that "the only way to destroy the fascist
threat permanently is for the working class to
overthrow capitalism." Fortunately, the First
\ < k * Amendment protects the rights
.of both groups to freely ex-
<change their ideas in public, no
matter what they believe.
te The First Amendment ro-
tects what 19th century civil
libertarian John Stuart Mill
called the "marketplace of
ideas." The essence of democ-
racy is that all points of view
should be presented and debated
as to their worth. Arguments,
ideals, and politicalphilosophies
must be allowed to rise or fall
based on their own merits, not
on whatsome individual, group,
IOSH oETHDaiy or branch of government deter-
mines may be positive or negative about those
ideas.
TIP -, : t K T : -,..Nir-r - chr,.. .u A m r Ithe

U.S. action in
Armenia needed
To the Daily:
Thank you for publishing.
Patrick Sarkissian's perspec-
tive, "U.S. intervention
imperative in Armenia" (3/5/
93). The problems in Armenia
are immense. Probably half
this university does not even
know where Armenia is
located or its tumultous
history. Sarkissian really
brought to life the real
problems faced in the region.
If we are going to act in places
like Somalia, and Bosnia, it is
imperative that we act in
Armenia. We as a nation have
to value human life higher
than alliances and economic
interests.
Michael Dorfman
LSA senior
Hypocrisy
found in column
To the Daily:
I write to express my
disappointment with one of
Scott Sterling's "Mental hip-
hop" columns, "Don't tread
on me"(3/l 1/93). Mr. Sterling,
I'm aware of the problems
you face as a minority in the
United States and I agree with
your pursuit of equality.
Usually I enjoy your columns,
but lately I have had a
problem with the single-
minded pursuit of your
agenda, at any cost, even
stooping to exaggerations and
hypocrisy. In this column, you
attack our society, which you
criticize as demeaning to
minorities, and you give
specific examples of our
society's poor treatment of
women. In previous columns,
however. you sing the nraises

Religious debate on homosexuality lacks consistency

To the Daily:
If Christians are going to
expound on what and who is
sinful, I wish they would at
least heed the teachings of
their own doctrine. In
"Sexuality and the supreme
being" (3/5/93), a Christian
student is quoted as saying, "If
you have sin, then you cannot
go to God because He's
sinless, holy." The Bible
teaches that all humans have
sin, and can be redeemed only
through the grace of God.
We all have a sinful nature
through our partaking with
Adam and Eve in the fruit of
the tree of knowledge of good
and evil. We all continue to be
sinful both in nature and in
deed: we covet that to which
we have no right; we wish ill
on each other, we seek to
glorify ourselves rather than
seeking what is right. To think
that we can rid ourselves of
sin and then go to God is just
wrong, according to the Bible
and Christian tradition. Gay
and straight alike stand in
constant need of grace; what

matters is not our particular
sin but the fact of separation
from God. Sin is the act or
condition of trying to be like
God through one's own
ability, rather than accepting
one's God-given nature and
following the guidance of that
Love which is both God's
essential nature and greatest
commandment.
In the discussion of
sexuality and religion, I am
often surprised that it is never
mentioned that Jesus said that
the law of God could be
summed up in the single
commandment to love one
another. This is only invoked
when we wish to escape the
burdens of the old laws which
would require us to worship
on the seventh day of the
week, not mix fabrics, and so
on interminably. When we
become full of ourselves and
want to knock someone else
down to build ourselves up,
we go not to the guidance of
divine Love but to the law we
reject when it suits us to break
it. It is an insult to what is

sacred to claim that it can only
be realized in one's own kind
of experience.
My own belief is that no
law can tell us the way. What
is holy is beyond human
understanding, and words,
however inspired they may be,
are but the echoes of under-
standing. I see what is sacred
in human possibility mani-
fested just as truly in my
homosexual and bisexual
friends as in my heterosexual
friends.
I reject Christian doctrine,
as do many other members of
this community, independent
of what degree of homophobia
they may be afflicted with, but
I wish that those who accept
that doctrine would acknowl-
edge that it does not say
"Love thy neighbor, unless
he's a sinner" or "Love thy
neighbor unless you find her
attitudes and lifestyle threaten-
ing." It says simply, "Love thy
neighbor."

Dan Sears
Rackham student

Rape also affects men and children

To the Daily:
Natosha Morris' column
"Women born guilty of their
own rape" (3/4/93) does an
excellent job of rebutting
many of the misconceptions
surrounding women who are
victims of rape. However, Ms.
Morris's implication that men
and children who have been
raped are automatically
believe.: is simply not true.
'ale rape victims are
freauently ridiculed and

abuse. Most of the children
were not even allowed to
testify because adult judges
considered them incompetent
witnesses; therefore, many of
the original charges were
dropped and one of the
accused men has been allowed
to go free without ever facing
trial.
When children are victims
of incest, their families would
often rather deny the situation
than believe the child. And if

the child, and the other parent
(who believed the child) to be
allowed only limited visitation
rights, or even denied any
access to the child at all.
Rape disturbs us all. We
would prefer to believe that it
doesn't exist, or that perhaps
the victim wasn't really a
victim and actually wanted it.
We would prefer to deny it or
justify it or tacitly condone it
rather than acknowledge its
horror and take action to end

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