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January 19, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-19

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 19, 1994

bE Srilbigan & lg

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

UL2P.

JOSH DuBow
Editor in Chief
ANDREW LEVY
Editorial Page Editor

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.

( AND NOW 6KATINC-i..
4NNCY KEA-.IAN
{ AII
J Ll L LE HAMMER
w NT ER. Oa .YIy.totG5

Protecting victims' rights
U 'U' should support campus sexual assault bill

i

ER ecently a student at Michigan State was raped. It
just so happened that this incident, and the
tremendous traumatic, emotional, psychological, and
physical suffering that went along with it, took place
just before finals. The student took her exams and, as
would be expected, did not do well. This "A" and "B"
student was suddenly looking at something like a 1.7
grade point. After the semester ended, she spoke to
one of her professors, explaining her crisis to him,
hoping he would give her a way to raise her grade.
But all he did was shake his head and say, "that's your
problem."
In the face of this and other such shocking stories,
Governor John Engler's proposal to provide state-
legislated policies for sexually assaulted victims
brings welcome relief. The Michigan Campus Sexual
Assault Victims Bill of Rights Act (MCSAVBR), a
list of written policies protecting victims' rights, is to
be taken up for consideration before the House
Higher Education Committee. This Bill of Rights, if
enacted, would require all state-aided higher educa-
tion institutions to implement written policies that
would enforce university protection for sexual as-
sault victims.
This bill would be crucial in providing victims
with much needed help, care, and protection. Some
of the requirements included in the bill would be that
institutions inform alleged sexual assault survivors
about available counseling or support group centers;
to treat survivors with "seriousness and dignity"; and
to give each student a copy of the Bill of Rights. The
bill would also ensure that students have the right to
report the crime, regardless of the "risk" to the
school's reputation. Finally, under this legislation,
institutions may not suggest that the crime was

"somehow warranted by the individual."
Many institutions, including the University, are
opposed to the implementation of this bill. They are
afraid of litigation, and afraid of having legal obliga-
tions to their students. Western Michigan recently
drafted a new document for its students that was
written with wording almost identical to that in
Engler's proposal. Most likely, this was done with
the intention of rejecting the Governor's statewide,
law-enforced plan by rationalizing that it does not
need to implement that which it already has. The fact
that these universities are trying to ward off this
proposal is frightening - it suggests that they are
more worried about being sued than they are about
protecting their students.
Rather than turning away, it is vital for the Uni-
versity to applaud this proposal and to begin ac-
knowledging not only that rape takes place, but also
that rape victims need help. It is high time for the
University to present students with their rights, and
with the full truth of the crimes taking place on
campus.
Some questions still remain about the proposed
bill, such as the time constraints on academic waiv-
ers for students and which University officials have
the right to make these waivers. But one thing
remains certain: in a time when we all live in fear
about a dangerous world-and at a time in which the
number of sexual assaults keep rising -it is critical
that we find a way to give sexual assault victims as
much care and attention as possible. Sadly, this new
proposal will not stop rape. But, at the very least, it
will help victims, protecting them from further as-
sault from an unsupportive and unfeeling Univer-
sity.

Black Americans should be thankful

Equal care
Clinton plan must include mental health coverage

A recently released nationwide survey, led by
University sociologist Dr. Ronald C. Kessler,
estimates that approximately 48 percent of Ameri-
cans have experienced or will experience a mental
disorder sometime in their lives. This surprisingly
high figure shows that there are many more people
than previously thought who are vulnerable to the
various symptoms of mental illness.
This figure does not mean that all people with
symptoms experience the severe disabilities that
require prolonged hospitalization. However, it does
reveal that many people are prone to problematic
symptoms that can lower a person's normal capacity
for functioning and impair one's perception of real-
ity, among other things. It also reveals that mental
disorders are not limited to such well-publicized
cases asschizophreniaormanic-depression-rather,
they can affect anyone, and for the most part, they
lurk behind our collective consciousness.
This study comes to our attention just as the
national health care debate is heating up in Washing-
ton. In light of the study's findings, and in the midst
of the upcoming tumultuous political conflict be-
tween competing lobbying groups around the health
care issue, the conclusion should be clear: the new
national health care plan must include coverage for
mental health.
Mental disorders need to have equal importance
to physical ailments, which have usually been cov-
ered by health care providers with less resistance,

because both contribute to impairing one's normal
functioning. Major depression or a serious personal-
ity disorder can be severely debilitating, as it limits
one's ability to function and be productive in daily
life.
Mental disorders have long been stigmatized,
with disparaging phrases such as "it's all in your
head" or "it's not a real disease," suggesting that the
acquisition of mental illness is somehow a choice or
a benign temporary setback. Other skeptics argue
that because there is a limited amount of money
available for health care, and because the health care
fight will be brutal, Congress should funnel re-
sources into the more 'serious' and 'preventable'
physical diseases. In actuality, the only real differ-
ence between purely physiological and psychologi-
cal illness is that human physiological disorders or
dysfunctions are more visible and more readily
observable, while the psyche is not available to
casual observation and analysis by the layperson.
The American people and President Clinton must
not allow mental health care to fall by the wayside,
as compromises are thrown back and forth in the
legislative process. Mental disorders are very real
problems, and, the proposal to extend coverage most
not be stripped from the original Clinton plan. It is
time that we realize how many people suffer from
mental illnesses, and how serious and urgent it is to
cover mental disorders in the health plan, in order to
relieve millions of suffering Americans.

By ELDER LEVON YULIE
In the next few weeks much will
be said about the Black experience. I
would like to join in the numerous
voices, that will share their
perspectives, relative to the Black
experience. Here is my perspective.
To say the least, the Black
treasure from the cargo bay of the
slave ships of the sixteen hundreds
told a terrible story. This human
cargo with manacled hands, and
fettered feet, along with frightened
eyes, and anguished groans, but only
begin to tell the story of the
experience that awaited these
enslaved, wretched souls.
The reality of the black slave, is
most certainly among one of the
darkest pages of American history.
Human beings were relegated to the
status of chattel. Abused, torn from
their roots, sold like cattle, children
snatched from parents' arms, and
with no consideration for the broken
hearts of despairing parents. Living
in conditions that the master's pet did
not have to endure. Poor diets,
meager clothing and no education. It
would appear that no people could
survive such inhumane treatment, not
even black slaves.
But wait a minute, if we fast
forward this terrible story, and look
in on the descendants of these
tormented slaves, what would we
Yulie is Pastor of the Bible Church in
Ypsilanti.
Swim meet deserved
attention
To the Daily:
It was a colossal match up, No. 1
in the country versus No 3. Fans had
been camping out for the best seats,
Dick Vitale was warming up his
microphone and the campus was
buzzing with "Will this be the year
we finally beat them?" Unknown to
most of the University, this weekend
the No. 1 team in the country and
defending national champions, the
Stanford Cardinal, were in town to
challenge the men's swimming and
diving team. In my four years at
Michigan I have run into many
"sports fans" and most claim to be
huge Michigan supporters. Yet if I
ask them how many volleyball
games, gymnastic meets, women's
basketball games, track meets and
swimming and diving meets they
have been to, they usually mumble
"none." What kind of sports fan is,
that? Do only revenue sports count as
being worth while of the attention of
the students and the Daily? I saw last
week there was one small article on
the back page of the Dailyabout the
upcoming contest. What great
coverage! You have obviously
recognized the importance of the
meet with so many in-depth articles.
There were current and future
Olympic stars at this meet and those
who did attend had a chance to
develop an appreciation for the
athlete who succeeds outside the
spotlight.
MATTHEW JAFFE
LSA Senior
Health care nackae

see? Well, things are not totally as
they should be.
But wait a minute. Is that a black
executive setting at the table with a
white staff? Is that a black Mayor,
with white people subordinate to
him? Is that a black great
granddaughter of a slave, teaching
white children in a southern college?
And most certainly that could not be
a black millionaire with a white
chauffeur. And could that be a black,
serving as the Joint Chiefs of Staff of
the American Armed Forces?
Is it true that thousands of black
progenies of slaves, now live in
beautiful homes, drive expensive cars
and do things their ancestors never
dreamed of in their wildest dream.
What happened?
Well, what happened? Did the
slaves organize in regiment splendor,
and with guns blazing, and sabers
flaying, conquer their white
American oppressors? Were there ten
thousand Nate Turners raging
through slave quarters of this land
freeing all the slaves? If the answer is
no, well what did happen?
What happened is that the mighty
hand of God moved upon the hearts
of a group of men (White) in 1776
(Declaration of Independence) to
write a document that said all men
are created equal. Another document
was forged in 1787 called the
Constitution. Ultimately this
document was amended, and its

Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth
amendments said slavery was wrong.
President Lincoln reaffirmed the
slaves' right to freedom in the
Emancipation Proclamation. And a
great black man named Martin
Luther King, chose these three
documents as his instruments of
warfare. He so skillfully used these
instruments, until many barriers of
discrimination were toppled. And
hundreds of thousands of black
people moved into the ranks of
middle class.
As never before many young
black people need to hear this side of
the black experience of our sojoorn
to America. In the last twenty years
Dr. King's dream has been marred by
some African American leaders who
became apologists for riots, gang
violence and host of other social ills
plaguing our black communities
under the guise of the racially
oppressive or poor. This is tragic,
because it gave many of our young
people an excuse to fail. When in fact
the record will show that the
overwhelming majority of blacks in
America, who are now successful,
rose above poverty and racism to
become successful.
The annals of history have very
few, if any epics any more
astonishing than that of Black
Americans, who now find cause as
myself to now say, "Thank God for
America." This is my perspective.

Goodman puts it, "The end result of
the abortion wars has been a two-
tiered system. One for the poor, one
for the rest. One that is public, and
the other private."
1994 will be another watershed
year in the history of reproductive
rights. By including abortion
coverage in a standard package of
universal health care benefits,
President Clinton and members of
Congress have the opportunity to
make reproductive choice a reality
for all women. The alternative - a
national health care package that
excludes public funding for abortions
- would continue the separate and
unequal treatment of lower-income
women now in place.
It's up to us to make sure that our
president and legislators do not make
concessions in the health care debate
that would compromise the rights of
the poor. In order to establish a truly
universal health care system, we
must advocate a benefit package that
extends reproductive health
coverage, with all its options, to all
women.
REV. JODI BUSHDIECKER
ATWOOD
Co-Minister
Guild House Campus Ministry
Money is not the
answer in fight
against AIDS
To the Daily:
I believe Mark Chasteen's letter
(as well as a few laughable obscene
phone calls) begs a response.
It would seem that Mark
misinterpreted my statements
coAncerningcrAID)S fu1nding 2as a

yourselves be blinded to simple facts
and answers. Both of your letters
superficially appear to be cold,
scientific analyses of fact and reason.
But I'm afraid their content gives
them away for what they really are:
nothing more than political fear-
mongering. i
As far as the acceptability of mass
suffering and death, let's face it, none
of us is God. We can't eliminate
suffering from the face of the earth.
While I don't mean that we shouldn't
try, we need to be ready to accept the
fact that mommy can't fix
everything.
Now for the biggie. I find it
amusing that you compare AIDS to
teenage drinking. In your words,
AIDS has the "potential for an
exponential increase in new cases."
For all his faults, at least a teen drunk
driver isn't a "potential for an
exponential increase in new cases."
Finally, thank you to all of the
people who are responsible for the
prank phone calls. Many thanks to
you for confirming my veracity
TOBY BREVITi
LSA first-year student
King's dream included
everyone
To the Daily:
Martin Luther King fought for
equal rights for all people. His dream
wasn't exclusionary. If we make the. -
celebration of his birthday an Africa*
American issue, we betray his vision
of civil liberties. The wide variety of
symposiums offered by the
University is the one time each year
when we step back and recognize all
ethnic groups. If MLK day is
dedicated to only one group's agenda

College Roundup k

The new semester has brought new
rules to campus. A smoking ban is now
in effect that prohibits lighting up in
any "enclosed space, regardless of lo-
cation," including areas directly out-
side campus buildings. The policy also
includes all campus vehicles. The only
safe havens for smokers are in "specifi-
cally designated private residential
space and hotel rooms," according to
the policy implemented Jan. 1.
The decision to outlaw smoking on
University grounds came from the
Board of Trustees, which unanimously
voted in favor of the ban. The conces-

ban and cited a 1993 report to support
the proposal. The report stated that
secondhand smoke is a Class A (hu-
man) carcinogen.
While it is proven and undisputed
that smoking is not a healthy habit, it is
a legal right of all citizens who are 18 or
older. No bureaucracy should be able
to vote on whether to strip it away.
If the University is so concerned
with doing right by nonsmokers, then
adequate alternatives should be pro-
vided for smokers. Healthy U is taking
a positive step by providing a series of
programs to aid in stifling the habit, but

manner and magnitude" as those who
violate other University regulations.
But no clear punishment has been re-
vealed. Further, there are even stipula-
tions for going outside to smoke. No
one can smoke outside University build-
ings within a minimum of 25 feet, and
officials could require a greater dis-
tance if they feel it necessary. It seems
this ban has no limit on its absurdity.
Who is going to enforce this rule or
measure 25 feet? Also, if the rule is to
be taken with any seriousness, a uni-
form distance should be set for all
buildings.

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