4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 29, 1993
by Jim Lasser
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor
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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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By FLINT WAINESS
Syndicated columnist Clarence
Page calls it "checklist love."
Proponents call it sound policy.
Antioch College calls it 'law.' And if
University code enforcer Mary Lou
Antieau has her way, I would call it
time to skip town.
The policy is a simple one: at
Antioch (a small liberal arts
instituition not more than a 100
miles froni Ann Arbor), a student
must ask explicit permission before
performing each and every sexual
act with his or her partner. For
instance, and I'm not making this up,
kissing the neck of another
individual without specifically
asking, "may I please kiss your neck
now" and then receiving permission
is illegal under this policy. Not only
that, it is punishable, by measures as
extreme as expulsion.
No, there isn't a university
administrator staking out bedrooms
to find violators of the code (not yet,
at least). But there's something even
more insiduous going on here. And
what scares me the most is no one
seems to care.
Think about it folks. A jealous
woman, a scorned man. They get
angry. So they press forward with
sexual assault charges. Of course,
Wainess is an associate editor of the
Daily editorial page.
iving in your
both individuals know there was no
forced penetration, no physical
overpowering. But wait, there was a
kiss. And remember, a kiss without
spoken consent is now the kiss of
death. Granted, most claims of
sexual assault don't happen like that.
Almost always, the victim is telling
the truth. But the key word remains
almost. It may sound trite, but
whatever happened to the great
principle that is better to free ten
guilty men than to jail one innocent
one? And for those of you that doubt
an innocent man will be jailed, take a
look at the kangaroo court that has
been established here to enforce a
much less stringent policy.
Does this seem as ridiculous to
you as it does to me? I know the
intentions are good. Sexual roles
need clarification. Men and women
need to start communicating. Sexual
assault is out of control.
But assaulting our most basic
individual freedoms does nothing to
fight sex crimes. And yes, it is a
basic freedom for me to be safe from
the government or an administration
telling me what to say during my
private encounters. If a woman says
no, whether the man thinks she
means it or not, and the man
continues, sexual assault has
occurred. But to turn private and
intimate behavior into strictly
regulated guidelines in the name of
good will is paternalistic, naive and
borders on the Orwellian.
Of course, Antioch is a private
college, founded on different ideals
than our federal system. So while
their policy is a questionable
decision which may or may not
violate individual civil liberties at a
private school (the right to privacy
has been firmly established by the
Supreme Court), what should
concern us the most is what's
happening at our own University.
Processes at the University work
exponentially. For years, the
administration puts together
surreptitious committees, quietly
consults student groups, watches
federal legislation. And then, boom:
we have a conduct code,
deputization, a racist union policy
and much more.
So when a powerful University
figure, code judical advisor Mary
Lou Antieau, states on the record
that she thinks Antioch's code is a
good idea, that "we're a long way
from having that standard accepted,
but it ought to be something we're
working toward," watch out.
It won't be today. It won't be
tomorrow. And it won't be sudden.
But eventually, and sooner than you
think, you'll turn around to find
yourself alone. With only one
Call him Big Brother.
Smashing the claws of society
By DAVID ABEL
Standing over an empty pool, we
are unable to decipher the miraged
reflection beneath our inevitable
plunge. Awake, the claws of society
ravage the pure skin of the surreal
dreams intoxicating our present
lifestyle. As those ending this grad
escape by impending graduation, we
are all swayed to subvert our
freedom by reaching to coalesce
with an identity in order to mask the
meaninglessness of our missions.
Like a stolid tree with wily
branches, society wraps around our
senses and foments the waves of an
inevitable ocean in which we must
swim. Off the podium, we step away
from our role as a student seeking
ideas to that of one presenting
beliefs, which we are forced to
identify as being our true self or our
true purpose. Deemed as the
educated, we are expected to no
longer question but to diligently
follow and to mindlessly believe. Is
Abel is an LSA senior.
our freedom as erudite magnets
absorbing knowledge lost to that of a
role-oriented and fabricated outer-
world that functions like disguised
children during Halloween?
What is even more glaringly
blasphemous to our future than that
of the Corinthian costumes of the
occupationally submersed is that of
the gaping insignificance of their
various causes. To understand this
pervasive force oppressing our
outlook on the future, one can
merely watch a domesticated pet
locked in a comfortable corner of its
manufactured home. One can watch
it recline and gaze into a barren void
for hours upon hours only to then
occasionally move to do the same
thing in another place over an over
again. As the pet attempts to
preoccupy its day by defeating the
barbed razor of boredom by bathing
in the warmest waves of sunlight
filtering through any window, one is
almost forced to raise questions
about the meaninglessness of the
pet's existence or any of the methods
it uses to occupy its consciousness.
These questions then naturally
blossom on to the questioner who is
then forced to speculate about the
meaningfulness of any of the
occupations in which he or she is
currently or is considering engaging.
As the sour spurs of society
puncture the halo-like protection of
our present university environment,
we are confronted with the dilemma
of how to avoid or how to live with
these surrounding and impending
charades that will strike down our
developing ideals and reduce our
penchant for questions to an
These words are not meant to
inspire cynicism or subversion, but
rather to spark discussion about how
we, as collective members of a
university atmosphere, can reshape
our society so that we can live in the
future without the inherent
constrictions of dogmatic beliefs,
consummate identities and
meaninglessness in the face of the
temporal battle against boredom.
UW paper criticizes Penn decision
If there was any doubt that free
speech and expression is being
trampled at our nation's universities,
that doubt was erased last week in-
The interim president of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvaniaannounced that
the university was dropping all charges
against a group of students who de-
stroyedover 14,000copiesof TheDaily
Pennsylvanian last spring. These stu-
dents, members of the Black Student
#League, had felt that this student news-
nunity because it ran a column by a
The university is
saying ... that your
constitutional right to
free spoech Is limited
only to 'inoffensive'
code, which protects, at least in theory,
freedom of speech and the press. Pro-
fessor Howard Arnold, a faculty judi-
cial officer in charge of investigative
the incident, apparently did not see a
need to pursue any disciplinary action
against the students. "Mistakes by stu-
black students "water buffalo," a loose
interpretation of a Hebrew word for
"fool," and certainly not racist by any
stretch of the imagination.
A double standard is at work here.
The university is saying, in effect, that
not only is it acceptable to violate
someone's First Amendment rights if
you disagree with what they are say-
ing, but also that your constitutional
right to free speech is limited only to
"inoffensive" speech. Should this re-
ally be a guiding principle at our uni-
versities or in our society?
A supporterof the decision claimed
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