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November 16, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-16

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 16, 1993

ije Lid iguun aiIy

Sharp as Toa

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

F~Wk 1 AL FA Al

I j

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.

supply down the road.
Although everyone in Ann Arbor knows that the
Ohio State football players will be donating large
quantities of their own blood this Saturday in the
Wolverines' imminent victory, how many of us will
be donating our own blood this week, and in the
coming months
Due to the facts that blood and its components are
being used more frequently in medical treatments
and research and that the United States is converting
from a system of both voluntary and paid donors to
one ofvoluntary donors alone, the need for blood has
increased. Every time emergency rooms go into
action, blood is needed on a large scale.
The main result of this transition is that paid
donors are much more reliable to continue donating
The director of Rush Presbyterian Hospital in
- Chicago once said, "We could count on commercial
donors to roll out of bed on Christmas Eve if we
needed their blood. We just can't do that with
voluntary donors."
Yes, giving blood can be a bit scary. There are
needles present, bags filled with your friend's blood,
and scary questionnaires about your health habits.
The experience, however, lasts only 30 minutes.
The most difficult part, however, is going the first
time. Upon donating you could discover that your
blood type is rare, thus making your donation even
E Southfield takes pro-active
W hen it comes to supporting diversity within its
neighborhoods, the City of Southfield is put-
ting its money where its mouth is.
This weekend, the Detroit suburb outlined a loan
program that would attempt to stem the racial turn-
over that has been taking place through the past
decade. The program - funded by the City of
Southfield and administered by the Oakland County
Center for Open Housing - will grant 12 $5,000
loans with interest below the market rate to those
wishing to move into the city. These "incentive
loans" will be available to whites who move into 15
of the city's 21 neighborhoods, and to Blacks who
move into the other six. The idea is to have people
move into neighborhoods where their race is under-
represented compared to the racial composition of
the county.
With only 12 loans, the size of this program is
modest. Its goal,however, is not. Theprogramseeks
to combat racism not by law, but by relying on pro-
active measures and encouragement of people to"
make their own decisions regarding housing.
The phenomenon of "white flight" has been
plaguing Detroit and its suburbs for several decades.
The city itself, once the home of white and Black
citizens alike, has become almost entirely African
American, as whites - acting out of economic
concerns or out of simple racism-have abandoned
it for the "better life" in the suburbs. It has become
a self-perpetuating problem - because neighbor-
hoods have so few white families, new white fami-
lies are reluctant to move in because they fear being
"the only ones."

When should I fear a compliment?

on the likelihood of people returning to give blood
after an initial donation, those who go once are very
likely to return again.
More importantly, those who go with a friend and
form a donating team, are even more likely to donate
in the future.
After the first visit, the American Red Cross
serds you a donor card. On the card there is informa-
tion that helps make the process even faster. Giving
blood can become as routine as the three-month oil
change you take your car to at Jiffy Lube.
The best part of the whole experience is the
sticker the nurses from the Red Cross give you to be
worn as a badge of honor the rest of the day
"Be nice to me, I gave blood today."
We all should.
using plan
approach to integration
In the past decade, the same phenomenon has
been taking place in those suburbs closest in to
Detroit. Between 1980 and 1990, Southfield's Afri-
can American population tripled, from 6,935 to
21,868. However, in that same time period the white
population dropped nearly 25 percent, from 66,314
to 50,473. Housing activists and officials refer to this
as "resegregation".--neighborhoods going from all
white, to integrated, to all Black.
Is integration really a goal in itself? When it
comes to housing, it most certainly should be. Inte-
grated neighborhoods mean integrated public schools,
and integrated public parks, and integrated neigh:
borhood associations. This integration can only work
to increase understanding, and to combat racism.
When children attend school with only people like
themselves, they never learn to live with those of
other cultures - if their schools are integrated,
however, they are less likely to think of other races
as "different." When adults work together to im-
prove and maintain their neighborhoods, they learn
to focus less on their differences and more on their
common goals.
These are reasons why Southfield's incentive
loan program is a good one. Versions of the program
have already been tried in the Cleveland area, with
great success. Hopefully many more and bigger
programs will be enacted across the nation, fighting
the segregation problem in all metropolitan areas -
and elsewhere. Racism is an enormous problem in
this country, and needs to be fought at all levels of
government and society. As this loan program dem-
onstrates, the best place to begin is at home.

There they were, three guys di-
rectly in my path. I was riding my bike
up State St. when I saw them; they
didn't show any
sign of moving
aside. Then the
biggest guy turned
and saw me.
"Move, guys, here
comes a pretty
one," he said.
Now sur-
rounded on all
sides, my face reg-
istered a mixture of
apprehension and JanT .n.
pleasure at the'
comment. "Now she's mad because I
called her pretty," the guy said. "No,
I'm not," I answered calmly. But by
then I was safely ahead of them, riding
on toward class.
Should I have been afraid in this
situation? Or should I have taken it as
a compliment? In this age of sensitivity
to sexual harassment, one never knows.
The problem is that no one knows
exactly where to draw the line between
compliments and intimidation, between
special privilege and sexual harass-
ment. Two summers ago when I worked
as a secretary for a physics professor,
his 45-year-old research assistant would
often take me out to lunch when I was
supposed to be working, much, I knew,
because he enjoyed being seen with a
young, blonde woman. But he wasn't
the scary one -it was the 63-year-old
professor who would look me up and
down every morning when I got to
work. His hobby was painting nude
women, and he hung his favorite pieces
on the walls of his office (I once heard
him complain to the research assistant
that they didn't have enough freedom
in his painting classes. "You should be
able to choose your model and choose
your pose," he said. Mm-hmm.)

Six months later, I asked him for a
letter of recommendation for another
summer job; after he sent it off, I wrote
him a thank-you note. I received the
following reply, handwritten with a
fountain pen: "Think nothing of it! It
really was no trouble at all. Anything I
can do for a beautiful girl I will do.
Especially one with thick blonde hair.
-Albert. P.S. Is the word 'blonde' the
only one in the English language that is
qualified with an 'e' when it is femi-
nine?" Yes it is, Albert, and don't for-
get that the word "come-on" has a
hyphen in it. And "harassment" has
one r and two s's.
But was this really sexual harass-
ment? Truth was, I was earning $9 an
hour to be taken out to lunch and to
shoot the bull with the professor (often
about feminism, strangely enough).
Sure, I did the work they asked of me,
but they didn't ask much. In many
ways, this was not a situation in which
my sex was hurting me or causing me
"psychological harm;" this was a situ-
ation in which my sex was giving me a
distinct advantage. What could have
-easily been sexual harassment led in
this case to a very cushy summer job.
The same was true when I was on
my bike behind the group of guys.
They made no attempt to move for the
male bicyclist ahead of me; once again,
I was accorded privilege in a situation
that could be called sexual harassment.
This is a truth which feminism has
largely ignored: if you leave out the
total sexist pigs, men are often much
nicer to women than they are to other
men. (Just watch those Pepsi commer-
cials where the guys are falling all over
themselves to do things for Cindy
Not only that, but in both situations
the comments and attentions were (as
far as I could tell) intended as compli-
ments. The professor I worked for was

63; in his generation, calling a woman
pretty was the highest compliment you
could accord her. If I confronted him
about it, I'm sure he would be stunned;
he felt he was being courteous and
flattering me. (When I told this same
professor that there were guys on the
floor in my dorm, he said, "Doesn't
that tend to sissify the men?" Trust me,
the guy just doesn't "get it.")
This is not to say that all sexual
harassment cases are this fuzzy. When
your boss gropes you, makes constant
reference to pornography, hurls sexist
insults, or solicits sex in exchange for
keeping your job, there is obvious
wrongdoing. But the definition of
sexual harassment has been broadened
so much that complimenting a woman
on how she looks can be a dangerous
proposition. At my alma mater, male
friends of mine would often say, "I was
talking to this woman I really like at a
party, but don't worry, I wasn't hitting
on her."
"Why not?" Iwanted to ask them. If
it's done with a modicum of style and
tact, flirting with someone (male or
female) should not be considered an
insult. These guys seemed to think
they'd end up like Robert Packwood if
they asked a woman out on a date.
Of course, compliments and cour-
tesy are sometimes an indication of a
greater problem. A few months ago I
learned that the professor I worked for
(good old "Albert") had allegedly
groped the last secretary he had. Noth-
ing ever really came of it, but he was
brought before the University's presi-
dent (a woman) on charges of sexual
harassment. I can just see him gra-
ciously opening the door for her before
their meeting, pausing to say, "I must
say you look very nice today, Mrs.
Gray ... By the way, are you free for
lunch?" ("And have you ever done any
nude modeling?")

MSA provides integral services

Is poery al
Currently, I am taking two
foreign languages: Spanish and
poetry. The difference, of course, is
that Spanish has its roots in English.
Poetry, on the other hand, has no
roots, although there are many
references to the roots of trees,
which, as far as I can tell, symbolize
life, relationships, morality, and
pepperoni pizza.
I'm not really sure what makes
great poetry, although I am getting
better at distinguishing such work. I

thorn in thy side?

Abolishing the Michigan Student
Assembly is one of the worst things
that could happen to students at the
University. Although MSA can and
will be improved through some
restructuring, MSA is a vital and
productive organization for students.
The Daily editorials that write
otherwise are supported by a few
insignificant incidents occurring over
the past four years. After reading
those articles, no student should
believe that MSA should be
First, the Daily writes that
"students believe (MSA) is a joke."
Do the members of the more than
100 student organizations who
receive more than $56,000 in funding
from us think MSA is a joke? Do the
students who purchase their health
insurance through MSA consider
MSA a joke? Do the students in the
more than 600 student organizations
who use MSA to officially register
them with the University, to allocate
them office space in the Union and
League, and to.schedule times for
them to hold bake sales in the
Fishbowl believe MSA is a joke? Do
the students appointed to serve on
University committees by MSA think
MSA is a joke?
It is1v iln itten that MSIA bhc vnn

evaluating the Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities in
Writing such broad, unfounded
statements on the editorial page may
be easy and nothing new for the
Daily, but in this case, they are
certainly untrue.
Next, the Daily bases its reasons
for abolishing MSA solely on
occurrences at its weekly meetings. It
does not consider the less publicized
work MSA does that is never voted
on during our meetings. Specifically,
I am referring to the achievements of
our committees and commissions.
For example, the Environmental
Issues Commission coordinates Earth
Week each year, the
Communications Committee
sponsors bands on the Diag, the
Minority Affairs Commission
sponsors the Women of Color
Symposium, and the list goes on.
As you can see, the Daily just
looks at our publicized weekly
meetings -not the productive
efforts of MSA members when not
debating controversial student and
University issues.
Additionally, the editorials do not
give any credit to the current changes
that are being made by MSA. Before
changing the structure, I think it is
imrnnrtant fto makerP rhvnae i'thin the

complicated than, say, the hit-and-
However, I have found that all
good poetry contains at least three of
the following words: ne'er, florid,
lonesome, whisper, ne'ermore,
palpable, thou and kindred. When
used together, these words can form
some pretty powerful poetry, pal.
For example: "Thou thought thou
was by thy lonesome when thou
pass'd wind, but others breath'd thy
malicious odor."
Good poetry also has something

to do with the number of words and
syllables in each line. In the old days,
when a poet wrote something that did
not adhere to proper structure, the
editor had no choice but to cut out
random words, which is why poetry
seems to make no sense to the
average college student, who doesn't
even know who sculpted the Mona
However, some people do
understand this stuff, and all of this,
has no reflection on my professor,
who, in addition to being a brilliant

answer to having a more effective
student government. Knowing how
the University works, it would take
years to form a new campus-wide
student government. Although the
editorials claim otherwise, during
this time, students would suffer
because many of MSA's vital
services mentioned above would be
lost, for no interim task force would
have the capacity to provide them.
So, even though you might think
MSA has some problems, think of
what student and student
organization services would be lost if
MSA were abolished.
Students need a student
government to serve as their
advocate and to nrotect their riphts.


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