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January 31, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-31

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4 - The MichiganDaily - Monday, January 31, 1994

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

JEssIE HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAM GOODSTEIN
FLINT WAINESS
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of theDaily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
MEE

Blo n the wn
Welcome to the new Daily Editorial Page

B eginnings are never simple, especially
when you're not quite sure when it all
ended. In the case of the Daily Editorial
Page, there is no doubt about it: times have
changed, but no one is exactly sure when the
old gave way to the new. Once upon a time,
administrators trembled when they passed
Daily editorial staffers on the street. There
was even a time when the Daily editorial
page editor was expelled from the Univer-
sity for printing a letter from a pro-student
organization that had ties to the Communist
party.
Of course, our intent today is surely not
to invite our own expulsion. Instead, the
point we are attempting to illustrate is that a
student newspaper can, and should, be more
than a place to get a weather update or read
a movie review. A student newspaper can be
an instigator for action. It can be a mecha-
nism for students to voice their concerns and
demands. In short, it can be a vehicle for
change.
In the 60's, a great wave of student
activism forced administrators to stop treat-
ing college students like children. Students
demanded that their rights as citizens not be
ignored once they entered the ivy walls of
the University. Collective action allowed
the concerns of students to be translated into
the policies of the University.
But the gains of the 60's are being rolled
back at every turn. The Statement of Student
'Rights" and Responsibilities, the Diag
Policy, the looming Alcohol Policy,
deputization of the campus police force -

all examples of the administration acting in
locoparentis (in place of the parents). At no
time have these concerns been more perti-
nent to the lives of students at the Univer-
sity.
Some of these policies were born of good
intentions. But whether or not the motives
are admirable, the results have been chill-
ing. Free speech and rational discussion
have often been curtailed in favor of "or-
der." And individual rights have been cir-
cumvented in the desire for conformity and
blanket control by the University.
We're all in this together. You may dis-
agree with our arguments about the Clinton
presidency or intervention in Bosnia, you,
may find them flat-out wrong. But there's
one thing we can't avoid: University poli-
cies affect every single one of us, and you
never know when these pernicious rules and
regulations will show up on your doorstep.
We're prepared to reach out to you, and
we hope you will do the same. If you have
ideas for editorials, if you have been a
victim of the University oligarchy or if you
just have concerns or questions, drop us a
line. This page is not for us, the editors. It's
for you, the readers. It's time we cut through
the polarizing grip of ideology and realized
that we are all, first and foremost, students.
Sam Goodstein, Flint Wainess
-Editorial Page Editors
Julie Becker, Jason LUchtsteln
-Associate Editorial Page Editors

*ja 3:~ : 0 0
'Liberalism is a fashion statement at this school.'
-Katie Buckingham
MSA Representative
WHEZE STUDENTS
0 40ro SPEN a
TH E112i M ONE Y
FRoM SELLINCI
WJSHIN( BACK THE1Ik
BOOKS.
WE L L
Letter misinterprets MLK's message
MLK Day not a failure To the Daily:
After reading the letter by this is wrong. True, he did
To the Daily: Stephen Markel and Doug fight for other racial groups'
The Daily's suggestion Weisz about Martin Luther rights, but he primarily
that the MLK Symposium King Day I was bothered by fought for the rights of his
was a failure because few his interpretation of MLK's people . We all grew up in
famous people participated message. schools where all we were
was silly and shallow. The King did not want a taught about King was that
BSU's assertion that Dr. multicultural community. he had a dream of whites and
King's work was somehow Multiculturalism brings all Blacks together, but he was
distinct from and the different cultural groups about much more than just
independent of issues of into one culture stifling each that. People should take the
diversity, multi-culturalism ones individuality. MLK did time to learn what the was
and tolerance was not want that at all. He really about and stop buying,
preposterous and myopic. It wanted Blacks to be equal to into the University's and
is unfortunate that the Daily whites in American society America's attempts to turn
and the BSU chose to taint and for all oppressed groups his struggle into an
and sabotage the only day to uplift themselves. endorsement of
officially dedicated to the Markel and Weisz said multiculturalism.
discussion of these issues. that celebrating MLK's life JESSICA TAYLOR
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR should not be a Black issue; Engineering sophomore
LSA senior
A history of in loco parentis

Dollar
bills and
the un-PC
cretin
Last summer vacation, after
lunch one day, I got a rather odd
dollar bill with my change. To the
left of George Washington's head
someone had scrawled "HITLER
IS COMING FOR YOU JEWS"
and drawn a swastika. As a Jew, I
have a particular aversion to
swastikas; seeing one on U.S.
currency sent an even stronger
message to me. For the next few
hours, a million thoughts crossed
my mind as I bounced from
surprise to fear to anger.
Eventually, I put the dollar bill in
its own space in my wallet, where
it remains, to remind me.
We hear a lot at Michigan about
hate speech, ethnic slurs and PC.
The University speech code is a
distant memory, a casualty of the
Supreme Court and the First
Amendment. The argument was
that a university, by officially
forbidding some fool from making
nasty ethnic slurs, stomps through
the thin ice of civil liberties,
plunging legitimate speech into
the chilling waters below. Now,
PC does the same job as the old
speech code; the more timid
among us claim that they are
"afraid to say what they really
think" in class.
It is remarkable how quickly
specific acts of hate are forgotten
in First Amendment cases,
transforming the PC debate to one
about abstract ideals. This dollar
billstaring at me was not, however,
an abstraction. It was deadly
specific and stinging. Behind
every hate-law' First Amendment
case there are such. personal
ordeals, and these ordeals have a
-Purpose - to remind us. 'This
purpose should certainly not be
celebrated, but it should not be r
ignored either. PC and hate speech
bans are not wrong because they
len e4he Iofty ideal of free
- . -for
more utilitarian reasons, namely
that they attempt to suppress
messages and people that we need
to confront. We cannot afford to
make this mistake.
Laws are laws, of course. Acts
of hate often involve crimes like
assault or trespassing. And the
university has a responsibility to
keep overt, disruptive hate out of~
the classroom. "Free" speechhas
alwaysbeenboundedby such lines
and restrictions. But being stung
by a viciously sexist joke in the
Diag, or overhearingsomeone in
a dorm who says vaguely that your
"group" upsets him? These things
are only affronts. PC and the law
can never hope to suppress these
things, nor, regardless of free

speech, should they. To do so
would be escapist, providing only
a hazardously false sense of
security.
Equally dangerous, however,
are siege mentalities. Acts of hate
often depend on shock to make
their impression, and are thus
notable because they are rare. For
me to conclude from a single dollar
bill that Nazism pervades
Michigan would be a mistake. On
the other hand, some hateful
messages are so plentiful that they
do reveal deep flaws in our society.
A feminist, for example, has likely
seen enough beer commercials to
reach her or his proper conclusion.
Any seen after that are just
annoying, not instructive. Context
and perspective are crucial. But
that is the point: acts of hate require
scrutiny and should spur careful
thought.
Imagine some un-PC cretin,
standing in the Diag spouting hate.
Is it the First Amendment that
makes allowing him to speak so
important? No. Acts of hate are
not necessary evils to be tolerated

I,

Is

Intenatlonal inaction

The sovereign nation'"of Bosnia-
Herzegovina and its people have been
invaded, raped, plundered and starved. While
this tragedy continues unabated, most of the
nations in the world community have done
little to end the killing, slaughter and de-
struction of a Member State of the United
Nations. Unequivocally, the Western world
aeeds to band together to thwart aggression
with strength and war crimes with a moral
pledge to human rights. The Western pow-
ers must have the will and courage to mobi-
lize a credible international humanitarian
relief effort to ensure peace and security in
the Balkans. The Clinton Administration
should initiate serious talks among its major
Western European allies - namely, Great
Britain and France - through the estab-
lished institutional channels of NATO to
deal with this crisis of politics and morality.
4 mobilization on a monumental scale can
and should be conceived.to prevent the total
:estruction and annihilation of the nation of
Bosnia-Herzegovnia, and its people.
Ideologically, the Daily would support
unilateral U.S. military intervention in the
Balkans, be it air strikes on Serb positions or
:he mass deployment of ground troops to
lake back lost territory. Yet this option is
highly idealistic, impractical and has almost
ao support in the American body politic.
Massive U.S. action independent of NATO
ar the United Nations could involve this
:ountry in a long-term quagmire that would
demand something politically impossible
- the deployment of hundreds of thou-
sands of U.S. troops in the former Yugosla-
;ia to seek an end to a conflict it did nothing
:o instigate. It remains true that the United
States has no overarching or direct security
interest in intervening to prevent the col-
lapse of the Bosnian Government. This sen-
timent has so far directed Western policy in
the region, as evidenced by the halfhearted
UN operation and EC efforts to implement
a peace plan. What we need now is a com-
prehensive, determined, collective approach
to ending the crimes against humanity in
Bosnia: and the United States must be the,

opening up of airports throughout Bosnia to!
secure the free flow of international hu-
manitarian supplies to people in desperate
need, the protection of UN peacekeepers
already on the ground, ensuring that Sarajevo
makes it through the winter and the repeal of
the UN arms embargo: These objectives are
paramount and must be executed by the
West regardless of 'national security inter-
est.'
In a significant, albeit symbolic step to-
ward reshaping U.S. foreign policy, the
U.S. Senate overwhelmingly endorsed the
lifting of the arms embargo last Thursday.
The flawed reasoning behind the embargo.
rests on the notion that preventing all three
sides from buying weapons will prevent all
three sides from using military force - thus
ending the war with a friendly handshake.
Unfortunately, this is naive and simplistic.
The Bosnian Serbs and Croats are both
endowed with a vast supply of arms from
their respective military backers. The only
way that the Bosnians can get arms is with
a lifting of the arms embargo. This would, in
the very least, level the playing field, allow-
ing the Bosnian Muslims to fairly engage
the invaders and potentially reclaim the
territory taken by the Serbs and Croats.
A multilateral military force needs to be
coordinated and organized quickly to roll
back aggression. The mandate of the multi-
national force should be the full restoration
of the established borders of Bosnia, the,
withdrawal of Serb and Croat military units
from Bosnia and the establishment of a war
crimes tribunal. The mandate must recog-
nize the fundamental principles of self-de-
termination, democracy and sovereignty.
This translates into the application of West-
ern military force against Serbian and Croat
units that currently occupy Bosnian land.
In keeping with President Clinton's just-
announced policy of the role of the United
States in international peacekeeping efforts,
we must act to end the "gross violation of
human rights" in the Balkans. The alterna-
tive, empty rhetoric and inaction in the face
of nanncide. is unthinkahle. Nnthing less

By ROBERT HONIGMAN socially active students
The American out of the normal student
University is only about community and gave them
100 years old, but over a privileged position in the
this briet time it has campus. As a result, most
changed significantly. For Gree students wer 'e ve
example, from about1920 tObIserative and pro-
to 1960 most universities administration. In their
under the in loco parentis view the people at the top
doctrine (in place of the running the university
parent) developed a were good people doing a
housing system that good job. Since Greek
treated women quite students dominated
differently than men. student government, they
Men's and women's effectively kept radical
residence halls were built and intellectual students
at the opposite ends of the from having a public voice'
campus from each other in student activities.
and superficially looked The Greek system was
alike. But only freshman also supported by
males were required to powerful alumni.
live in the men's dorms, Religious leaders liked the
while all unmarried Greek system because it
undergraduate women not kept Protestants, Jews and
pledged to a sorority had Catholics apart, each in
to live in the women's their own social sphere,
residence halls. dating only people of their
It meant a great deal to own faith.
women students of that era The housing system
to join a sorority since that worked as a filter to
was the only exit route reinforce authority.
from the dorms. It also Intellectuals had to
opened up a more varied embrace the faculty as role
social life for them. But models and mentors, while
while a majority of shy students depended on
freshmen women usually the dorm system.
rushed each year, only Meanwhile, graduates of
about half were accepted. the Greek system became
The rest, who were often business and community
slightly overweight, had leaders and injected an
bad complexions or were anti-intellectual tone into
socially awkward and the whole of American
unsure of themselves, life. In some respects the
could expect to remain in university had no choice.
the dorms for another Until the 1960s college
three years. was a luxury and not a
The real reason for necessity. The university
isolating women's had to sponsor circus and
residence halls at opposite games to attract students
ends of the campus was to its campus.
that the university wanted What the university
to protect the Greek couldn't afford was an
system. What did the integrated student
university gain by community, for experience
favoring and supporting had shown that students
the Greek system? First living together for four

W"

.

socially active students
meet and share friendships
both grow socially and
intellectually far more than
they do apart. The

university Was puoiLiy ia
trust being operated-forthe
benefit of its
undergraduates, their
demands could not be
reasonably denied. But to
a majority of faculty the
purpose of a university
was to advance knowledge
and train graduate students
at the Ph.D. level, not to
cater to undergraduates.
For them undergraduate
life was a counterculture
that robbed a university of
its true mission. It was
safer to shape a housing
system that kept students
politically quiet, socially
isolated and preoccupied.
The in loco parentis
doctrine passed in the
1960s when the Baby
Boom doubled college
enrollments. Women's
dorms were converted into
freshmen co-ed dorms. It
was far cheaper to let older
women out of the dorms
and free up the space for
new freshmen than to
build extensive new dorms
for women. Moreover,
since demand for a college
degree now exceeded
supply, the university no
longer needed to advertise
itself as a sheltered
homelike environment.
Looking back at the in
loco parentis era it may be
said educators betrayed
their deepest ideals to
make the system easy to
run. They rationalized
university policies with
half-truths and protective
ignorance. They were not
too different from
educators of today, except
they believed the

4

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