Page 2-The Michigan Daily- Friday, March 26, 1993
Polakow: TAs must see students' baggage
by Peter Matthews
Daily Staff Reporter
Teachers inmulticultural classrooms
often confront racism, ethnocentrism,
sexism, classism, and homophobia.
Valerie Polakow, an associate pro-
fessor of teacher education at Eastern
Michigan University and author of two
books on education, discussed these
obstacles at a lecture at Rackham Audi-
The LSA teaching assistant (TA)
training program invited Polakow to
speak on "Teaching as a Critical Dia-
logue: Implications for Multicultural
Polakow told a group - composed
mostly of University TAs - that many
societalprejudices begin as early as grade
'We are taking on a system that has
succeeded in segregating classes by race
and socioeconomic status - an educa-
tional system that reinforces rather than
She added that students must try to
tackle racism and sexism when they
"We must not underestimate the
degree of negative impact on students
during their pre-college education,"
Polakow said, "and if they don't con-
front these issues in the college class-
room it's unlikely they ever will."
Polakow warned against retaining a
"romantic notion of childhood" while
noting the difficulty inherent in com-
municating with students "due to the
subordinate power relationship (be-
tween students and their instructors.)"
She said, "We must challenge (stu-
dents') belief systems, we must create a
counter-pedagogy, we have to assume
cultural clashes and racism." She added
that instructors must be prepared for the
fact that students in the classroom may
have histories of physical, sexual, and/
or psychological abuse.
Polakow said she hopes the move
will result in students who better under-
stand, accept and communicate with
those who have been traditionally
marginalized within American culture
Continued from page 1
given that this has happened, would
interfere with the academics of the
program," Antieau added.
But Schwartz said this is not suffi-
cient cause for suspension.
"I don't think it's appropriate to
suspend him because people are going
tobe uncomfortable inclass," Schwartz
said. "He ought to be allowed to con-
tinue his academic pursuits pending a
hearing to determine whether or not he
violated the policy."
The case will be presented to a
student hearing panel Monday after-
noon. Associate English Prof. Peter
Bauland, who could notbe reached for
comment, will facilitate the panel.
Six students have been chosen ran-
domly from a pool of 50 to hear the
case. They include three men and three
women, four of whom are white, one is
Black and one is Hispanic. Four are
graduate students and two are under-
'U, receives 3 more
by Jennifer Silverberg
Daily Administration Reporter
ment of Student Rights and Respon-
sibilities went into effect, the Univer-
sity is now ready to begin the policy's
Delores Sloan, director of coun-
seling services, will mediate the first
case today. Mary Lou Antieau, judi-
cial advisor of the policy, is respon-
sible for choosing mediators to hear
complaints of policy violations.
The case involves a male under-
graduate charged with physically as-
saulting another male undergraduate.
The incident allegedly occurred in a
Three other new cases involving
policy violations have also been pre-
sented to Antieau.
Two male LSA students filed
complaints against their third
housemate forphysical assaultand
The complainants filed separate
reports because each had slightly
different interactions with the ac-
cused, Antieau said.
Antieau has met with the com-
plainants and is in the process of
notifying the accused.
Amale LSA sophomore and a
male LSA junior have been accused
of illegal entry into University fa-
cilities and unauthorized taking or
possession of University property or
The property in question was
University computer equipment.
Amale LSA first-year student
has been accused of fraud against
the University for using the Entrde
Plus card of a female undergraduate.
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Continued from page 1
LSA sophomore Donna Bryan said
she joined Queer Action because of its
"I am already involved in a queer
social group and I've enjoyed its ben-
efits," Bryan said. "Now it's time for
pay backs and getting involved politi-
The group's mission is to be an anti-
racist, inclusive direct-action group for
"queers." Member Susan Kane said she
realizes many people may think "queer"
is a derogatory term, but the contro-
versy is sometimes unwarranted.
"I think (the term) came about be-
Continued from page 1
the gains women have been making
around the country in the last year.
"Women are vocal on social issues
on campus. A lot of people wanted the
focus of the weekend to be political,"
said Shreerekha Pillai, an East Quad
resident fellow (RF).
RF Brian Spolarich said the topic of
"Women in Social Change" gave orga-
nizers freedom to choose events that
would highlight the achievements of
"Women can enact change in their
lives or the world around them,"
Spolarich said. "It's an important event
at the University because it contains a
lot of food for thought."
The events begin tonight with a
women's coffeehouse, organized by RF
Tiffany Nguyen. Nguyen saidEastQuad
holds a coffeehouse every month, but
today's event will focus specifically on
"Women can share a lot of things in
a supportive environment," Nguyen
said. "We will be sharing music, poetry,
dramatic readings -anything that ties
into a person's individual progress."
Tomorrow, people will be able to
take part in a community service project.
Participants will go to a local women's
shelter to spend the afternoon with its
Later, East Quad will host a health
and body image awareness workshop,
facilitated by a clinical social worker
cause we're tired of saying 'lesbians,
gay males, and bisexuals' so much,"
Kane said. "'Queer' is just one syl-
Kane also stressed the importance
of the group's having MSA recogni-
tion. "You really can't get anything
without approval - like funding or
rooms in the Union," she added.
Beyer said he is worried about the
safety of the banner because of
homophobic attitudes at the Univer-
"Gay men, lesbians and bisexuals
are not definitely under attack politi-
cally in this country. It's not an excep-
tion on this campus," he said. "People
would take it down out of hatred,
anger and resentment."
and two students who have experi-
RFShelley Emerson said the work-
shop will discuss the phenomenon by
which women spend'so much time
and energy trying to conform to
society's idealized images that they
have little time to create social change.
"The workshop points out the
prominence of the images in society
that are difficult to conform to,"
Emerson said. "It's an awareness pro-
gram about how we're influenced."
Tomorrow nightwill featureafilm
festival, including Jean Kilbourne's
"Killing Us Softly" and "Still Killing
Us Softly." The movie "Thelma and-
Louise" may also be shown. Eachp0
film discusses women'srolesandhow
society defines them, organizers said.
Two paneldiscussions willbeheld
on the last day of the event. The first
will be facilitated by female graduate
students who are local activists.
The second features speakers who
will talk about the role of women in
activism and social change. Invited
guests include Sen. Lana Pollack (D-
Ann Arbor) and Acting Director of
the Women's Studies Program Anne
Student Housing At
Throughout the weekend, local
artists will display work based on the
theme of social change. Additionally,
people attending any of the events can
take part in an interactive art project
that Pillai said should be "very em-
All activities are free and open to
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