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December 03, 1993 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-03

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 3, 1993

LGMPO seeks to form gay Greek group

A few years ago, gay fraternity
men who were attending a counseling
session at the Lesbian Gay Male Pro-
grams Office (LGMPO) discussed the
need for a social group for their peers.
The men were obliged to be clos-
eted because they feared getting
kicked out of the house or ostracized
by their brothers.
But in the interim period, Greeks
who have expressed interest in the
group are few and far between.
A fraternity member, who wanted

to remain anonymous, is leery about
the creation of such a social group.
"I don't think it's a good idea," he
said. "I don't see how they'd interact
with sororities and fraternities for so-
cial functions."
However, LGMPO coordinator
Jim Toy is trying to bring gay frater-
nity members together.
"What interests me is what to do to
improve the environment here to en-
courage the formation of such an or-
ganization," Toy said.
Polk Wagner, president of the
University's Interfraternity Council,

said there would be no official resis-
tance to the formation of a gay frater-
"No one has approached IFC yet
about this, but we would have an open
mind about the formation of such a
group and IFC would not be an ob-
Gay social groups and fraternities
are nothing new at other campuses.
Delta Lambda Phi, a gay fraternity,
has chapters on 17 campuses includ-
ing UCLA, Illinois, Minnesota,
Florida State University and Univer-
sity of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Most of the Las Vegas chapter's
12 members told the Chronicle of
Higher Education that although they
are "out of the closet" about their
homosexuality, they do not consider
themselves gay activists. They said
they joined the group because they
did not want to join regular fraterni-
Members of the fraternity say they
have gay friends who are members of
UNLV's 11 "straight" fraternities.
They add that those friends must keep
their sexual orientation hidden or risk
being kicked out.

Continued from page 1.
been donated to the museum by pri-
vate collectors.
O'Shea stressed the University is
not disputing that the tribes have a
claim to these objects, and he said he
hopes the elaborate process of return-
ing the objects is easy for all involved.
In attempting to make the transition
process go smoothly, the University
Board of Regents pre-approved any
negotiations the University will make
with tribes at its Nov. 18-19 meeting.
Although 35 groups have already
been notified, including four groups
in Michigan, O'Shea said that he has
yet to receive any communication
from the tribes.
"I don't expect much action until
the beginning of the year," he stated.
"Each and every one of the tribes is
different and will have its own agenda

concerning the negotiations."
O'Shea added that NAGPRA's
essential effect is the change it will
initiate in the relations between the
institutions and tribes.
"The tribes have a real voice in the
outcomes of the negotiations," he
added. "Now it is an interaction among
Members of the Native American
Student Association (NASA) also
stressed the importance of this law.
"It's an important issue to our
group, and we've been following the
University's action," said Brooke
Lutz, a NASA member and Engineer-
ing graduate student. "It's important
that the remains go back to the people
they came from."
While the Museum of Anthropol-
ogy has primarily used the items for
educational and research purposes,
some of the Native American cultural
objects have been lent for display at
other museums in the past.

Continued from page 1
But some family housing residents
protested this potential change.
Rackham student David Tweed
echoed the sentiments of many fam-
ily housing speakers when he cau-
tioned against letting same-sex
couples into family housing.
Tweed warned this change would
"force a different role on family hous-
ing.... The family would no longer be
emphasized, but multiculturalism and
political correctness."
Noting that sodomy is illegal in
Michigan, a father living in family
housing asked how he would explain
the behavior of some same-sex
couples to his children.
However, the majority of those
who spoke repeated the merits of
making such changes, citing consti-
tutional rights, equal treatment and a

basic sense ofjustice. Speakers asked
the committee not to let unfair state
laws limit their actions, and one
mother of two small children said that
she felt their lives were enriched by
exposure to different types of fami-
Peter Payne, a staff member of the
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, in-
dicated that family housing should be
prioritized to ensure space for couples
with children.
The meeting closed with a lesbian
mother reminding committee mem-
bers that their decisions would affect
more than just today's students, but
their children as well.
Committee chair and Dean of the
School of Dentistry Bernard Mechen
said he Was "extremely happy with
the evening," and that the discussion
went exactly as he had hoped.
Although many speakers com-
plained of the underrepresentation of
lesbians, gay men and bisexuals on
the committee, Mechan said in an
interview that four of theeleven mem-
bers are "out."

All You Can Eat
BBQ Ribs o4 $6.75

Continued from page 1
"We're making it up as we go along."
Gebbie, who has a staff of 28 and
a budget of $3 million, broadly over-
sees billions in funding, and research-
ers and staffers in different cabinet
departments, federal agencies and the
Department of Defense.
Gebbie repeated the president's
statements that AIDS funding has re-
ceived substantial increases this year,
despite cuts in other domestic pro-
Speaking at the same podium that
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
did more than one year ago, Gebbie
stressed the need for a unified strat-
"It is not my job to interfere in
programs that work. Sometimes, I'm
a cheerleader and other times a re-
former," Gebbie said.
"I've been working to keep this
issue at the forefront," said Gebbie,
Continued from page 1
Ever since his initial contact with
the assembly, Jim has been a regular in
MSA chambers. In his last two years as
"MSA mascot," Jim has missed only a
handful of meetings, a record better
than that of most representatives.
Due to his devotion, assembly mem-
bers even invited Jim toappearin MSA's
yearbook photo. MSA representatives
said they like Jim's unusual sense of
humor, but still wonder why he shows
up to their meetings with such dili-
"He's entertaining, I'llsay thatmuch
(but) I wantto know what his pointis for
showing up at our meetings," said LSA
Rep. Julie Neenan.
Neenan is cautious about his inter-
ests in the assembly and special atten-
tion he sometimes shows her.
"The only thing Iknow about him is
how many records hehas with the FBI,"
she said.
Despite his full-time work schedule
as a driver for Pizza House, the 34-year-
old Shields said he looks forward to
MSA's Tuesday night meetings. He
enjoys his weekly visits to chat with the
assembly about the many dangers that
surround students' daily lives.
In return, MSA members anticipate
his antics. Often greeting his speeches
with applause or chants of "Jim, Jim,
Jim." The assembly has made him one
of their own.
LSA Rep. Dave Pava said he ea-
gerly awaits "Jim Shields Time" each
meeting because it gives the assembly a
break from its normally hectic sched-
"Jim is probably the one constant at
MSA, the oneconstant we look forward
to," Pava said. "I really think Jim has
made us aware of one side of the drug
war we weren't aware of."
Jim has even gone so far as to call
representatives at home to talk about
the issues or visit them when he is in
their neighborhood.
"What I hope to accomplish with
(MSA members is that) they can under-
stand how their own rights are being
minisculed," Jim said. "I hoped they
would gain some insights from my situ-
One major concern for Jimisunder-
coversurveillance. As aself-proclaimed

victim of this type of harassment, Jim
informs the assembly about what he
sees taking place on campus and around
the world.
"It's all part of the book I've intro-

who is also working on her Ph.D. at
the University's School of Publ
"Do a rain dance and wish me luck
on my thesis," she said, noting that
she will drop off a rough draft to her
advisor today.
Unlike other AIDS meetings
across the nation this fall, there were
no ACT UP protesters at the speech.
Gebbie said she understands the an-
"A lot of the same questions pr
testers ask, were asked tonight, with
just a lot less anger."
Wearing a black felt hat with a
plume and a pin commemorating the
new World AIDS Day stamp, Gebbie
stayed long after her speech to talk to
audience members.
In a meeting afterward with
Gebbie, Phillip urged her to remind
the president that there "are a lot o
angry people still out there waiting
and waiting."
Gebbie will speak at the School of
Public Health at noon today.
duced to MSA," Jim said, refefng to a
work titled "Spooks: The Haunting of
America - The Private Use of Secret
He added, "This kind of surveil
lance and the way authority is out of
control has gone on for many decades.
A lot of people don't seem to know."
Jim said both his and his parents'
houses have been patrolled by mysteri-
ous, invisible helicopters that are prob-
ably owned by a citizens group that is
against the use or production of mari-
"It was almost like being visited by
a UFO," Jim said.
His experiences with the law and
this arrest is another topic Jim often
discusses with the assembly.
"The way it started out, I was like
anyone else-curious about marijuana
legalization," Jim recalled. "I lived in
Ann Arbor for five years before going
to a Hash Bash."
He contacted High Times maga-
zine and National Organization for th@
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
for more information, soon becoming
friends with many people involved with
the struggle for the liberation of mari-
Soon he became a part of the "Free-
dom Fighters" and even hosted the 1990
convention at his house. Five days after
the event, he was arrested.
In his home, Jim was cultivating
"sea of green" marijuana garden. A
though he said he did not own the 400
plants or the equipment, Jim was the
only one charged and arrested.
He said police have confiscated his
television, stereo, VCR and typewriter
in the raid. Jim claimed they did not
have a search warrant or read him his
rights during the arrest.
The crime could have brought him
amandatory five years injail, but duetl
a "hobbyist clause" Jim only received
probation and a fine. The clause looks at
the square footage of a garden rather
than the number of plants involved,
making Jim's case less severe.
Soon after his arrest, he could no
longer get in contact with his fellow
Freedom Fighters. Since they were the
ones who set up his garden, he feels
they deserve a share of the blame.
Jim has turned his energy to a new
cause - enlightening fraternities and
sororities about the dangers of alcohol
abuse and sexual assault.

"The administration refuses to deal
with the student groups that aren't be-
ing responsible," Jim said. "It's a matter
of national security that these types of
problems come under control."

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