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December 12, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-12

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 12, 1994

(ibe £idtingzu il

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

Jessie Halladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess

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

'Once students get into classes, their life gets very
complicated. Once we hit that first exam period,
we're done.'
-Judicial Adviser Mary Lou Antieau, explaining why students have not pre-
sented revisions to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities
'f0G SS -,'TPKAiNiNC <' - AT 1 jt K 3E E
j S
j -I
- -"

The hidden danger



'U' must improve safety on and off campus

A little over a month ago, several "teams"
consisting of students, University em-
ployees and city officials participated inMSA's
Campus Safety Awareness Walk-Through.
Their mission: to locate and highlight particu-
larly dangerous areas in and around campus.
What they found was inadequate lighting,
coupled with irresponsive security forces and
numerous areas that were generally unsafe at
night. Cited as particularly dangerous were the
Medical Center and Markley area, North Cam-
pus and the South Forest Avenue neighbor-
More important than uncovering broken
streetlights and overgrown bushes, the Walk-
Through participants exposed a problem that
is getting worse, not better, over time. The sad
fact is that walking across this campus people
do not feel safe - and this is to some extent an
accurate perception. This is not a secure cam-
pus. One reason for this is the increasing
amount of violent crime in this country among
youths. Demographics have always been the
best predictor of violent crime, and these indi-
cators point to a society that will become
increasingly violent. In the last several years
those trend lines have begun to show them-
selves, as they begun to touch towns like Ann
Arbor for the first time. While the University
has little control over this larger problem, it is
possible to better shield the people of this
school and city from its effects.
To this end, the administration must make
it a top priority to follow the proposaldrawn up
by the Walk-Through participants. Of course,
it is impossible to repair every broken street
light or put apolice officer on every corner, but
when whole areas of campus are plainly unsafe
for walking at night, and blue light telephones
have a response time of up to 25 minutes, it is
obvious something must be done. Efforts must
be made to correct at least the most glaring
security oversights.

In doing this, it is essential that the Univer-
sity and city recognize their relationship and
work together, pooling their human and capi-
tal resources to combat the problem. The
University's open campus makes it impos-
sible to separate city life from University life.
Some of the most unsafe neighborhoods, such
as South Forest Avenue, are not University
property, but rather places where large num-
bers of students live. The city must therefore
take responsibility along with the University
in dealing with crime. It is true that the two
entities have different procedures for dealing
with the problem, and these must be ironed
out, with the understanding that safety is the
common goal. Additionally, the proposed idea
of the University funding some city activities
to this end is a good one. It would be in the
University's best interest to use its greater
financial muscle to support city efforts.
The University's obligation to financially
support the city is given added urgency by a
recent city report that shows a sharp riseincrime.
Police trace the increase to a reallocation of
funds to solve the serial-rapist case, which has
taxed the police department beyond its means.
The University has balked at city requests
for additional law-enforcement funds in the
past. Despite the University's superior finan-
cial resources, University officials apparently
believe the city should bear the brunt of all law
enforcement off campus. This logic ignores
the University's obligation to its students -
an obligation that is not limited to the geo-
graphical boundaries of the campus.
The cornerstone of a positive learning envi-
ronment is security. In order to promote an
atmosphere of freedom in which each person
can grow and discover, people have to be able to
feel like they can walk their campus at any time.
Campus safety is no longer a peripheral issue. It
is at the very heart of the academic and social life
of the University and the city of Ann Arbor.

Despite 'U' claims, Mandate is no panacea

To the Daily:
With all of the hype in the
press regarding the recent
Michigan Mandate update, and
with my established "history"
in this area at the University, I
am compelled to make some
First, I believe that the head-
lines in a recent Daily issue
should have reflected the 65
percent graduation rate of Af-
rican American studentsvs. the
85 percent rate for the overall
University instead of the "high-
est minority enrollment ever."
Why not let the truth that hurts
be the basis of the story rather
than the truth that sounds best;
not to take away from the suc-
cesses achieved but rather to
focus on the problem(s) to be
addressed? I am pleased that
more students of color are en-
rolled, but if many are
disenrolled or even signifi-
cantly delayed in their gradua-
tion, that needs to be addressed.
Is that not the difference be-
tween a news article and a Walt
Harrison press release?
The next article on the Man-
date (Daily, 11/21/94) better
highlighted the concerns, so
much in fact that President
(James J.) Duderstadt felt it
important enough to make
some statements. Perhaps that
was a mistake! For example he
stated that "It is a relative prob-
lem. Our African American stu-
dents graduate at a higher rate
than white students at MSU!"
So does that make it right or
does it just make the president
feel better? Certainly, to those
Black students who do not
graduate (35 percent), the
graduation rate of whites at
MSU is inconsequential! After
all, is the objective of the Man-
date to outshine other institu-
tions or to address the problem
by doing the best possible here
for our students. Moreover, the
president's statement that the
lower graduation rate was likely
due to African American stu-

dents coming from city schools
with less funding was quite
disturbing. If that is the case
why doesn't the University
exert more effort to support
those students to the level that
might be required? From my
experience, when this lack of
support is coupled with the of-
ten hostile climate for African
American students, the "re-
volving door is kept open."
In the same article, Lester
Monts acknowledges the prob-
lems and concerns but offers
no solutions. If the Office of
the Vice Provost for Academic
and Multicultural Affairs can
offer no solutions or even
means for addressing these
problems that are so well de-
fined, from where and when
will help come? It is time the
administration not only ac-
knowledges the problems as
they continue to be identified
but offers some substantive
ways to address them. A first
step to do so is to quit provid-
ing deceptive information. An
example is the statement in the
Mandate update that 36 per-
cent of the incoming Medical
School class are students of
color. Based on the four ethnic
groups identified in the man-
date this number may indeed
be correct; however Asian
Americans are not
underrepresented in the sci-
ences and since a major objec-
tive is to address under-repre-
sentation, it is totally inappro-
priate to cite this number of 36
percent without acknowledg-
ment of the included groups
(i.e. underrepresented vs. non-
underrepresented students of
While addressing this sub-
ject, I was most disappointed
that a similar type of "let's not
acknowledge the racism" atti-
tude was displayed in the letter
to the Daily from an Engineer-
ing student criticizing Mr.
Bowen's earlier letter. The stu-
dent not only doubted the rac-

ist nature of "The Bell Curve,"
but went on to suggest that per-
haps Derrick Bell was indeed
the racist. Well, no matter how
one defines racism, including
one of King's definitions: "a
doctrine of the congenital infe-
riority and worthlessness of a
people," "The Bell Curve" is a
racist document and to suggest
that Bell is a racist because he
makes such statements that truly
identifies how pervasive and
permanent racism is, only rein-
forces Mr. Bell's assertions that
whites want to stay in control,
i.e. in that "dominant circle."
One way to do this, as demon-
strated by the administration, is
to control the way that informa-
tion (e.g. Mandate) is provided.
Another, as demonstrated by
the student, is not to acknowl-
edge racism when it stares one
in the face.
We have such a long way to
go; however if we begin by
trying to understand racism, and
acknowledge that it is indeed
alive and well here at the Uni-
versity, measures may then be
taken to address it. In fact, Dr.
Bernice King in her recent visit
here stated that information
gathering, including a history
of attitudes and philosophies, is
most critical in dealing with
Perhaps to help this along,
President Duderstadt, his ex-
ecutive officers, that Engi-
neering student, as well as oth-
ers might do some reading (e.g.
Derrick Bell's "Faces at the
Bottom of the Well," King's
"Why We Can't Wait" and
"Where Do We Go From Here"
and Cornel West's "Race Mat-
ters) to gain a perspective from
some individuals who do in-
deed acknowledge the perva-
siveness of racism and who of-
fer some ways to address it.
Thomas D. Landefeld
Associate professor,
department of pharmacol-

For starters, I want to congratu-
late the Latino/a groups on this cam-
pus for doing last week what all the
rest of us should have been doing all
along --taking a stand, organizing,
making their voices heard and act-
ing for change.
On a campus where it some-
times seems student-organized
movements-usually weak to non-
existent in the first place -ine'vita-
bly end in disappointment and disil-
lusion (read: deputization, the code,
tuition hikes), the victories and
shows of unity by groups like
Alianza, La Voz Mexicana the So-
ciety for Hispanic Engineers and
the Latino fraternity Sigma Lambda
Beta are encouraging and relieving.
Thursday, these groups success-
fully petitioned the Residence Halls
Association (RHA) to boycott Cali-
fornia table grapes. Thousands of
migrant workers in California
(mostly Mexican and often undocu-
mented) have suffered health prob-
lems as a result of the pesticides
used to increase the grape yield.
Supporters around the world refuse
to buy grapes from California.
Due to the organized efforts of
Michigan's Latino/a groups, dorm
cafeterias have promised to honor
the recommendations of RHA and
join the movement to discontinue
the purchase of California grapes.
Friday, many of these same
groupsjoined with the newly formed
M-STOP 187 (Michigan Students
Opposed to California Proposition
187) to produce one of the largest
shows of student political and social
action since the Gulf War.
The racist ballot proposal over-
whelmingly supported by Califor-
nia voters Nov. 8 would refuse basic
health services and education to il-
legal immigrants and their children.
The proposition has scary national
ramifications both because it repre-
sents a resurgence of anti-immigrant
scapegoating for problems like
crime and unemployment and be-
cause what happens in California
often becomes a national trend.
I therefore supported the rally,
but very cynically told my friend
(who told me about it) that she was
dreaming if she really believed more
than 10 people would show up for a
rally on a cold, snowy day in the
middle of term paper season to pro-
test something happening 2,500
miles away.
But as about 200 students filled
the Diag, I quickly ate my words.
It's hard to say what makes a
protest against Prop. 187 draw 200
students (still not all that many con
sidering we're a school of 30,000
but impressive compared to pro-
tests of the past three years).
Latinos have traditionally been
a disenfranchised group - many
are ineligible to vote or choose not
to. But insults like Prop. 187 are the
kinds of things that politicize people,
pull them out of the political wood-

work and make them impossible to
ignore in the next election.
This is all particularly relevant
today - two days after President
Clinton fired the only intelligent,
person with abackbone in his wishy-
washy, wanna-be Republican ad-
ministration. He canned Surgeon
General Joycelyn Elders because
she supposedly made some offen-
sive comment about masturbation
not being the most evil thing ever to
haunt civilization.
It's obvious the comment was
just a trumped-up excuse to elimi-
nate one of the people who stood in
the way of the President's strategy
to gain popularity by moving fur-
ther to the right.
His paid pundits say the Novem-
ber Republican victory was a sign of
national conservatism.
But really it was a sign of the


Grapes of wrath
'U' students protest racism against immigrants

Students in their noon classes Friday
may have heard the commotion on the
Diag by the student rally against California's
Proposition 187. This bill slid onto the No-
vember ballot in one of those pseudo-populist
initiatives made famous in the Golden State
and was voted in, along with those pesky
Republicans. But the threat of Prop. 187 is
much greater than a shift in party identification
- enough that this legislation is being con-
tested in court, if necessary all the way to the
U.S. Supreme Court. It is heartening to watch
students take a stand against such blatantly
unconstitutional band-aids.
In short, Proposition 187 prevents illegal
immigrants from attending California schools
or receiving non-emergency medical care. The
problems with this idea are obvious. First,
preventing immigrants from getting an educa-
tion only worsens the situation the conserva-
tives are complaining about. Uneducated
people will have no alternative but to turn to
the streets. Second, Prop. 187 is a public health
disaster. It cuts off medical benefits that pre-
vent the spread of diseases, thereby endanger-
ing the entire community
On campus, groups have begun to organize
against this injustice. Hats off to those who
coordinated and took part in the rally. The
impromptu group is called STOP 187 and
focuses on ending racism against and
scapegoating of immigrants. Participants
marched from the Diag, down State Street and
Liberty to the Federal Building, where four

grants is the California table grape boycott in
residence halls that passed last week. Besides
the organizer of the boycott, United Farm
Workers, four Latino/a groups moved this
action forward - Alianza, La Doz Mexicana,
the Society for Hispanic Engineers and Sigma
Lamda Beta, a Latino fraternity. Strong alli-
ances are being formed on this campus.
However, grapes are only a token of
progress. Other industries are guilty of the
same labor practices, and several other prod-
ucts are produced with questionable worker
protections, including sugar, Michigan cher-
ries - and the list continues, for migrant
workers are integrated into America's
economy everywhere as a virtually free labor
As Friday was also International Human
Rights Day, speakers at the rally focused not
only on Prop. 187, but the larger ramifications
of the passage of such laws. In an international
context, the treatment of immigrant workers
is as poor in Europe as it is in the United States.
Organizers of the rally stress education as a
means ofending these practices. Many people
do not realize who is doing the dirty work.
Stepping on people is not the way to fuel an
economy. Immigrants' chances would be in-
creased greatly if they were incorporated into
the American economy on equal footing -
not crushed under the stampede of society.
The past week at the University demonstrates
what everyone should be doing: taking action
against these unfair and sometimes racist prac-

'America the Fascist' rears its ugly head again

To the Daily:
The recent elections and the
continuing trend towards fas-
cism and right-wing Nazi-like
politics evidenced by measures
like Proposition 187 and the
Republican Personal Respon-
sibility Act which seeks to slash
welfare benefits require a re-
sponse by students who find
these tendencies disgusting.
Newt Gingrich, a leader of the
New Right Reich has said that
we need to "calmly and quietly
reassert Americancivilization."
In my opinion, American civi-
lization, in the sense in which
Newt and sick assholes like the
College Republicans view it,
should never have been "as-
serted" in the first place, and
deserve only criticism and

yeast" while corporations and
their wealthy stockholders and
CEOs make millions. The en-
vironment is nothing but raw
materials to be converted into
polluted sewage by profit-mak-
ing bastards subsidized by the
American government.
America is a racist country, a
sexist country, a stupid coun-
try. Americans' greatest cul-
tural pursuit is to watch foot-
ball on Sundays andgetwasted
in sports bars.
As an example of the dis-
gusting abomination known as
American civilization I will re-
late this story. Yesterday, there
was a protest in opposition to
Proposition 187, a sick piece of
statutory trash enacted by a
bunch of Nazi-like Republi-
-rm in Cn1fnwrin nA ti a cm

ened by the actions of the gov-
ernment and its big business
allies as threats to their own
unjustified privilege.
So, when Newt says let's
reassert American civilization
I say tell it to the Native Ameri-
cans that were given infected
blankets, tell it to the people in
Latin America that were tor-
tured by U.S.-trained troops,
tell it to little Vietnamese kids
burned with Napalm, tell it to
victims of South African apart-
heid which was supported by
Reagan as a way of combating
communism, in short, tell it to
all the other ordinary people
that this country loves to mur-
der, oppress, destroy and starve
to death all in the name of free-
dom, democracy and the Ameri-
ra~n wavi If Newut and hic fellow

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