The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 5, 1994 - 3
.Med school parody results in protest from gay group
By JUDITH KAFKA
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
"Star Wards," the Galens Medical
Society's 76th annual Smoker, produced
controversy along with laughter last
During the intermission of Satur-
day night's performance, a group of
students passed out a flyer accusing the
show of denigrating gays and'singling
out gay people for ridicule and stereo-
The flyer was a response to Friday
night's performance and was signed by
"Concerned medical students of the
University of Michigan."
Galens' Smoker is a student-writ-
ten, performed and produced show that
makes fun of faculty and staff in the
medical school. The show is a musical
parody that is traditionally lewd.
Carrie Bree, a medical student who
helped distribute the flyers, explained
that the group wanted to raise aware-
ness of the insensitivity of some skits in
the Smoker. "We didn't want to disrupt
the show," she said. "Our point was to
point out what we felt was blatantly
"Co-director Czar" Rusty Brand said
no one in the show meant to single out
gays for ridicule. "Being sensitive is not
one of the goals of the show," he said,
adding, "but we in no way intended to
Mark Zawisa, president of Galens,
said, "While no one in Galens intended
to offend gays and lesbians, I would like
to apologize on behalf of Galens."
Zawisa said the appropriateness of
the Smoker would be brought up at the
group's next meeting. "We will discuss
if it is necessary to continue the show in
its present form."
Brand said some problems may have
been the result of misunderstandings.
For instance, the flyer states that a
dinosaur's comment in the show about
wanting "to be gay all day" could lead
to negative stereotyping.
However, Brand explained the di-
nosaur, who was an imitation of the
fictional television star "Barney," was
making fun of a friendly, jolly doctor at
the medical school. "We meant it in
'happy' gay," he said.
The flyer also protested the use of
the word "homo," claiming it was an
epithet. The word was used with nega-
tive connotations by characters imitat-
ing "Beavis 'n' Butt-Head," who called
themselves "Penis 'n' Butt-Head." One
warned against being a "homo" and the
other responded with, "yeah - Homo
"We used dialogue that Beavis and
Butt-Head use," Brand said. In addi-
tion, he said the line fit in with penis
jokes running throughout the show, such
as a character named "Hung So Low."
"We have a lot of jokes about pe-
nises - it's medical school humor," he
Lou Cubba, another medical stu-
dent who helped pass out the flyers, said
the one skit that was the most disturbing
was of an effeminate male psychiatrist
named "Bo Vee" who sang a parody of
a Bee-Gees song.
The role was played by Brand, and
was pointed out in the flyer as particu-
The flyer cited "the historically
adversarial relationship of psychiatry
and homosexuality ... the pernicious
stereotype of gay men as lisping, frivo-
lous and effeminate ... and the role of
dance in gay culture" as evidence that
Brand's character was a negative gay
Brand said he tried to imitate char-
acters like Surge in "Beverly Hills Cop"
or Martin Short on "Saturday Night
Live" since he had to sing the song
falsetto. "I didn't mean to be offen-
sive," he added.
The flyer stressed that jokes or ste-
reotyping against other classes, such as
Jews or African Americans, was not
allowed, but gays were singled out "for
amusement via stereotypes."
Brand disagreed, saying that Inteflex
students were made fun of as well.
"People in the Smoker are not
homophobic or anti-gay," he said.
"There are homosexuals involved in
the show and some people (in the show)
have gay friends."
Stein resigns from SACUA;
committee looks to fill spot
THE GREENERY BEHIND THE GRAFTTI
By LISA DINES
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
* Despite the recent election of three
hew members to the Senate Advisory
Committee for University Affairs
(SACUA), the committee is again left
with a vacancy.
At yesterday's meeting of
SACUA, Music Prof. Louise Stein
resigned from her position. SACUA
Chair Henry Griffin said that Stein
offered no explanation for her resig-
*nation in a letter to the committee.
Stein could not be reached for
Griffin said there is no standard
procedure for the replacement of fac-
ulty who resign from SACUA. A new
member is usually chosen at the dis-
cretion of current committee mem-
"There are two traditions and we
want to look at both of them," SACUA
member Tom Moore said. "There is a
candidate from the recent election
who was the next highest vote getter,
and there is a need for the representa-
tion of women on SACUA to reflect
the number of women in the senate."
SACUA Executive Assistant
Jayne Thorson will compose a list of
women eligible for the position. The
committee then has a choice to select
a replacement for Stein based on the
If SACUA is unable to agree on an
eligible female faculty member to fill
the seat, then the fourth- highest
ranked candidate from the March 21
election will receive the position.
Currently, the 10-member com-
mittee contains only two female mem-
bers. There were no female candi-
dates in the last election.
"If we can identify a women who
meets the eligibility requirement, then
we should have her name on the table.
But it should not preclude the other
precedent," SACUA member Jean
For a faculty member to be eli-
gible for a position on SACUA, he or
she must be a current Senate Assem-
bly member or a past member who
has chaired a Senate Assembly com-
mittee in the last five years.
"If there is a highly qualified
woman with those criteria, my incli-
nation is to vote in that direction,"
Flowers and plants reach for the sunlight that beams through the Natural Science greenhouse yesterday.
*City Council eyes
for cable offices
Panel to tackle myths about Asian Americans
By JAMES R. CHO
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
Some members of the University
community say that being a minority
- especially an Asian American -
leads to preferential treatment in
graduate schools' admissions pro-
Others take issue with this stereo-
Representatives of the
University's graduate schools and ad-
mission officers will participate in a
panel discussion tonight at the Law
school to debate the issue of "over-
representation" of Asian Americans
on campus and its implications on
admissions, financial aid and minor-
Sponsored by the United Asian
American Organizations - an um-
brella group for many of the Asian
American student groups on campus
- the panelists will discuss the im-
pact of race in the admissions process
as well as minority status and attempt
to dispel stereotypes held about Asian
Americans, said Colin Owyang, one
of the panelists and co-president of
the Asian Pacific American Law Stu-
dents Association (APALSA).
The list of panelists include:
Owyang; Holly Oh, a first-year
medical student and member of the
United Asian American Medical
Students Association; James Van
Hecke, assistant director for under-
graduate admissions and Aiko
Nakatani, director of graduate ad-
missions at Rackham.
The discussion's original title,
"Over-representation of Asian Ameri-
cans and its ramifications on admis-
sions, financial aid, and minority sta-
tus," so incensed members of
APALSA that its members threat-
ened to withdraw their support.
APALSA is one of the groups that is
sponsoring the discussion.
"We considered withdrawing be-
cause by stressing over-representa-
tion of Asian Americans, we would
be working away from the problem,"
Owyang said. "If anything, we have
too few Asian Americans in the Law
Asian Americans now make up
about 5 percent of the student popula-
tion at the Law school. But under-
graduate enrollment of Asian Ameri-
cans reached a historic high of nearly
10 percent last year.
Asian Americans comprise nearly
2 percent of the population in the state
The panel discussion will be
held from 5-7 p.m. at 250 Hutchins
Hall in the Law school.
By JAMES M. NASH
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
One abandoned armory building,
80 years old, 8,000 square feet. Ideal
for cable television offices. Price $1.
To most Ann Arbor City Council
nembers, the deal looks too sweet to
* The council voted last night to
examine the purchase of the building
to locate the city's Office of Cable
Communications. The former Na-
tional Guard Armory is located on
Ann Street across from the current
cable offices near City Hall and the
central fire station.
It would make a better home for
the city's cable television offices, said
Councilmember Larry Hunter, who
introduced the resolution to consider
purchasing the structure. "It holds
tremendous promises and possibili-
ties for the city," said the 1st Ward
But other council members balked
at the price tag for renovation. Fixing
up the historic building - vacant for
two years - would cost about
$934,000, according to a recent study.
"To me it seems premature to let
the state know that we want to buy the
'building for $1 when we don't have a
financing plan in place," said
Councilmember Jane Lumm (R-2nd
Ward). She said the city is examining
other properties that could be reha-
bilitated for half the cost.
The current cable facilities are lo-
cated on the second floor of the fire
station. They fit 2,000 square feet for
cable equipment and offices. The
space is cramped, said Cable Admin-
istrator Harry Haasch.
The city originally considered 30
properties to house the upgraded cable
offices, Haasch said. The list has been
pared to four, he added.
Haasch and Hunter said the former
National Guard Armory currently is
favored over the alternatives, prima-
rily because of the low acquisition
price. But the $1 figure is not guaran-
If the state were to raise the price,
"I think it would change the attrac-
tiveness of the building to us," Haasch
While the state has not formally
advertised the building, other poten-
tial buyers are eyeing it, council mem-
bers said. The city would be wise to
move quickly, Haasch said.
Lumm's resolution to delay a vote
on studying the property was shot
down by the council. In introducing
the original resolution, Hunter stressed
it would "not commit us to anything."
State may face suit in abortion-funding dispute
LANSING (AP) - Planned Par-
enthood Affiliates of Michigan filed
suit yesterday seeking to force Michi-
gan to follow a federal mandate to pay
for abortions for poor women preg-
nant as a result of rape or incest.
Judy Karandjeff, spokesperson for
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of
Michigan, said the suit filed in federal
court in Kalamazoo would affect only
a few women, but said denying them
aid is cruel.
"Once again it is clear that the far
right wants to force every woman to
carry her pregnancy to term and cares
nothing about the women involved,"
A spokesperson for Gov. John
Engler said the governor continues to
oppose the use of tax funds for abor-
tions in cases of rape and incest and
supports Michigan's constitutional
provision banning funding.
"He supports the prohibition. It's
always been his position," John
He added that the state still plans
to pursue legal questions with the
U.S. Department of Health and Hu-
man Services about whether the fed-
eral government can order a state to
ignore a provision of its constitution.
Roger Evans, director of litigation
for Planned Parenthood Federation of
America, said that was a losing argu-
"That argument has been rejected
time and again by the federal courts
and it will be rejected again in this
context," he said.
Planned Parenthood filed a simi-
lar suit yesterday in Montana and
another may be filed in Utah within a
few days as the group seeks to force
states to comply with the federal re-
quirement, he said.
Michigan stopped paying for abor-
tions for poor women under its Med-
icaid program in 1988. That is when
voters approved an amendment to the
state constitution banning use of state
funds for abortions except to save the
life of the mother.
Last year, Congress authorized the
use of federal funds for abortions in
cases of rape and incest, as well as to
save the life of the mother. President
Clinton issued an order in December
telling states to add rape and incest
Robyn Menin, executive direct6r
of Planned Parenthood of Mid-Micli-
gan in Ann Arbor, said the restriction
discriminates against poor women.
"Poor women should be allowed
the same choices all other women
have under these horrendous circum-
stances. By not complying with the
federal law, Michigan continues to
discriminate against poor women,"
EASY AS PIE.
" American Movement for Is-
rael, Hillel, 7 p.m.
Q Arab-American Students' As-
sociation, Michigan League,
Room C, 7:30 p.m.
Q Asian Pacific Lesbian-Gay-Bi-
sexual Support Group, 3116
Michigan Union, 5:30 p.m.
Q Folk Dance Club, North Cam-
pus Commons, Atrium, 7:30
f. Orthodox Christian
Fellowship, 1209 Michigan
Union, 7 p.m.
Q People Opposing Weapons
Research and Proponents of
Economic Conservation, An-
gell Hall, Room 444C, 8 p.m.
sembly, Michigan Union, Baits
Room, 9 p.m.
" Beethoven's Symphony No. 9,
sponsored by the School of
Music, Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
" Early Music Ensemble, Blanche
Anderson Moore Hall, School
of Music, North Campus, 8p.m.
" Howard Wolpe - gubernato-
rial candidate, Hillel, 7:30 p.m.
" "Medieval Persian Panegyric,"
Julie Scott-Meisami, sponsored
by the Department of Near East-
ern Studies, 3050 Frieze Build-
ing, 9 a.m.
" Sydney Lea - reading from his
work, sponsored by the Depart-
Q Campus Information Center,
Michigan Union, 763-INFO;
events info., 76-EVENT; film
Q Deciding Your Career, Career
Planning and Placement, 3200
Student Activities Building,
Q Federal Tax Workshop, Inter-
national Center, come early, 1
Q Free Tax Assistance, 3909
Michigan Union, 10 a.m.- 6p.m.
Q International Center, health
insurance, 9 a.m.; practical
training, 10 a.m.
Q North Campus Information
Center, North Campus Com-
mons, 763-NCIC, 7:30 a.m.-
Hey, She was out 'tIIShe's gonna wreck
3:00 a.m. last nightl Cool I'll bet she the grading curve
How'd she do all this? COors! spent a fortune! for the rest of us!