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October 25, 1993 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-25

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 25, 1993 - 7
.AATU founder returns to campus to discuss low-income housing

As the Ann Arbor Tenants Union
(AAT) recovers from its recent bud-
get battle with the Michigan Student
Assembly, one of its founders returned
to campus Friday to advocate tenants'
rights and organization.
Steve Burghardt, who helped
found the pro-tenant group amidst
political unrest in 1968, commemo-
rated AATU's 25th anniversary with
a speech in the Michigan Union on
low-income tenants and federal hous-
ing policy.
Burghardt praised the AATU's
continuing success, noting that the
original political problems that
sparked a city-wide rent strike are no
longer present, and called this fact a
tribute to the effectiveness of the non-

profit organization that is still alive
25 years later.
"They have kept to the principles
of community action without the re-
sources that we had in the 1960s,"
Burghardt noted.
Although some students have com-
plained about the inefficiency of
AATU, others thank the organization
for helping them negotiate with land-
lords they claim abused their power
and attempted to take advantage of
Marsha Ackermann, a University
Ph.D. candidate in American Cul-
ture, said she was new to the rental
scene when her landlord recently tried
to withhold $160 of her security de-
posit for "cleaning expenses" in vio-
lation of Michigan state law.
Ackermann turned to the AATU

for help, and was advised ofher rights
under the law. "Thanks to (the
AATU's) advice, I was able to write
an effective letter that resulted in a
refund of the full amount in ques-
tion," she said.
AATU almost did not make it to
its 25th anniversary. Its future was at
risk earlier this semester when MSA,
which has provided up to 80 percent
of its funding, threatened to cut its
MSA withdrew the threat, how-
ever, and decided instead to set up a
number of requirements the AATU
has to meet in order to receive its full
quota of $25,000, which accounts for
more than half its budget.
MSA has already given AATU
$11,000. The rest will follow, pro-
vided that the organization complies

with MSA's request for financial in-
MSA President Craig Greenberg
noted that the requests being made of
the AATU are "very minimal."
"I don't think it should receive so
much money," said Greenberg, who
made the original proposal to cut fund-
ing. "I think it should be funded like
any other student group."
Pattrice Maurer, AATU's only
paid staff member, responds to such
criticism by pointing out that while
students supply half of the AATU's
financial needs, more than two-thirds
of the organization's services are di-
rected toward helping students cope
with wayward landlords.
"The AATU regularly targets spe-
cific buildings or landlords for rental
strikes. We provide a very important

service to students, and that has been
proved again, and again, and again,"
she said.
Burghardt said in an interview af-
ter the speech that he supports contin-
ued funding of the AATU by MSA.
He said student funding "is not only
appropriate, but is vital, especially in
the long-term interest of the students."
But MSA Rep. Brent House, who
has been appointed to compile an
efficiency report on the AATU, is
skeptical of the group's financial prac-
"They're kind of secretive about
the money they spend and what they
do with it. Right now, it is very poorly
run, and they need a lot of help," he
said, but added that he favors having
a tenants' union.
Burghardt's speech addressed a

wide array of topics from social
reform to tenant organization. He
stated that the overall goal of low-
income housing projects was to cre-
ate homes, not housing.
According to Burghardt, the
golden rule of tenant organization is
"to do unto others as you would
have done to you. "
Burghardt stressed that people
should become more aware of the
housing problem in our inner cities,
saying that "respecting it and deal-
ing with it is not the same as accept-
ing it."
Burghardtgraduated with a Ph.D.
from the University, and now
teaches at Hunter College. He is the
author of a number of books on
community organizing and the wel-
fare system.


Student founds women's handbook

LSA senior Justine Olderman left
high school a girl, but entered college
a woman. The University seemed to
give hera breath ofindependence, but
with independence came the respon-
sibility to confront issues from abor-
tion to homosexuality in a reality she
never knew before.
In understanding that her experi-
ences are shared by many first-year
women, Olderman has begun a group
to address these issues through the
eyes of undergraduates in a Univer-
sity ofMichigan Women's Handbook
"There's a sense of freedom, but
at the same time it's really scary be-
cause you don'tknow where you stand
on these issues," Olderman said.
The collective will address issues
from reproductive health, sexuality
and sexual assault to eating disorders,
cultural identity, and a history of
women at the University. Local re-
sources will be listed for students to
refer to when needed, Olderman said.
Olderman, a comparative litera-
ture major, met students who began

the first college women's handbook
collective at Duke University and was
inspired to begin a similar project to
meet the needs of University women.
In ajoint effort at Barnard College
and Columbia University, students
followed Duke's initiative and suc-
cessfully distributed 4,000 copies of
the handbook to first-year women.
The Barnard/Columbia handbook re-
ceived the attention of the New York
Times, and a national publisher based
in New York will be publishing a
national version of the handbook to
be distributed inexpensively at col-
lege book stores across the country.
Olderman said the size of the Uni-
versity can be impersonal and those
students who have problems may have
trouble knowing who to confide in
when discussing personal concerns.
"Even though I know Michigan
has a lot of these services, I wouldn't
know where to turn," she said.
Members of the University com-
munity have strongly endorsed the
collective project. Law School Pro-
fessor and renowned feminist
Catharine MacKinnon said in a state-
ment that the publication would not


A homeless person sleeps at the entrance to Angell Hall as members of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity take part in a
"sleep out" on the Diag Saturday night to raise money for Ann Arbor's homeless.

only be a resource for students but '
those at the University in adviser or
counselor positions. "It would also
help us to identify whatchanges might'
be needed," she said.
Olderman said she has a staff of
about 20 undergraduate students atf
the moment, and would like to see'
more participate in the collective in.
areas of photography, prose and es-K
says, research writing, and art.
She said she envisions the hand-
book as being friendly and accessible
to all women and would like to have
more women of color join.
The handbook - which will be
funded completely by grants--should
be ready for free distribution to the
1994 entering class, Olderman said.
Various University offices and,
departments are currently being lob-
bied for financial support.
Olderman emphasized that while-
the handbook is about women, men
should take note of the handbook also."
"While these issues we are writ-
ing about are labeled 'women's is-
sues,' these are really issues which
concern everyone," Olderman said.
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,Activists protest newspaper's refusal to publish editorial

A young child in a passing car
read the sign with the word "cunnilin-
gus" printed on it and gave a ques-
tioning look to his mother. His mother
shook her head at the protesters and
looked away.
The sign was part of a Friday rally
y the AIDS Coalition to Unleash
wer (ACT UP) protesting an edito-
rial decision of The Ann Arbor News.
The paper recently refused to pub-
lish an opinion essay by ACT UP
member David Rosenberg unless he
would remove sexually-explicit word-
"Part of why AIDS has gone too
far is because there hasn't been open
#discussion around this issue," said
ACT UP member Mary Bejian.
Rosenberg's editorial piece stems
from an ACT UP demonstration at

the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July, when
members presented what they referred
to as "explicit information and safer
sex simulation demonstration."
In response to the demonstration,
Gary Glanville, the minister at Cal-
vary United Methodist Church in Ann
Arbor, wrote an "Other Voices" es-
say for the Aug. 13 issue of the Ann
Arbor News.
Glanville wrote, "I am saying all
of this because I wonder how wise it
is for a group of 25 adults to demon-
strate in the open air their personal
sviews of safe sex."
Glanville drew a parallel with
movie ratings asking readers,
"...Should we be given a similar cour-
tesy with groups such as ACT UP
whose demonstrations can be fairly
graphic and to even some adult spec-
tators repulsive?"
Rosenberg then submitted his

"Other Voices" essay to respond to
Glanville's piece.
But while editors claim the sec-
tion is open to all citizens, The Ann
Arbor News would not print
Rosenberg's article without chang-
ing the material they deem
"It was (ACT UP's) decision not
to print," said Ann Arbor News Edi-
tor Ed Petykiewicz, adding that the
newspaper was willing to publish the
article with revisions.
"We would change several words
which were gratuitous, but not essen-
tial to the essay," he said.
The "controversial" part of
Rosenberg's article reads, "The safer
sex models used the end of a broom-
stick, condoms, and their voices to
simulate safer sex.
The article continues, "The ACT
UPers showed the correct way of put-

ting a latex condom on a penis and
converting a condom into a dental
dam for use as a protective barrier in
cunnilingus and analingus."
Rosenberg described his reasons
for writing the essay.
"People have to know about safer
sex," said Rosenberg. "If you can't
use the language to describe safer sex,
how are you going to describe safer
"The point is, we've got to get
over the embarrassment and the shame
of that," Rosenberg continued. "If we
can get through that then we can get to
the real important issue which is sav-
ing lives."
Petykiewicz, however, said he
does not think the essay needs the
explicit language in order to make the

"Several phrases amounted to ex-
plicit sexual descriptions," he said.
"Readers would understand the con-
tent of the letter without these im-
About 10 ACT UPmembers pro-
tested outside of Ann Arbor News
building and presented a copy of
"The Ann Arbor Snews," wrapped
in a symbolic red ribbon, to The
"The Ann Arbor Snews," was
created on the back page of the
monthly newspaper Between the
Lines. It mocked the decision by
The Ann Arbor News. ACTUPpro-
testors passed out copies of the pa-
per and condoms to people passing
by their protest.


Greek pledges, presidents discuss alcohol use, hazing

In an effort to contradict the "Ani-
amal House" image of the Greek sys-
tem, the Interfraternity Council (IFC)
and the Panhellenic Association
(Panhel) addressed issues such as
sexual assault, alcohol and hazing in
a workshop yesterday for pledges and
house presidents.
The event began with the keynote
speech by University Vice President
for Student Affairs Maureen Hart-
ford, who spoke about her college
Sexperience in the Greek system.
"You drink a lot, you drink to get
drunk," said Hartford, noting that
Greeks are twice as likely to be binge

drinkers than other students on campus.
"I urge you all to become part of
the solution and not become part of
the problem," she told the group.
After Hartford spoke, members of
the Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center (SAPAC) showcased
frightening statistics about rape and
sexual harassment.
IFC Adviser Joe Foster explained
the hazing and alcohol policies of IFC
and Panhel to the students. He said
the policies against hazing were cre-
ated to protect members. "We want
you all to know that if it does happen

you can say no."
IFC Vice President of Program-
ming Tim Schuster, who planned the
event, described its goals. "I wanted
them to understand that we do have an
alcohol policy, to get a little educa-
tion on hazing, to get information on
sexual assault and what the Greek
system has to offer," he said.
Sara Fischer, an LSA sophomore in
Chi Omega sorority, said, "The Greek
system is blamed for a lot of things and
this is a way that they can say they are
trying to inform the people in the Greek
system of the problems that come up."

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