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September 16, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-16

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 16, 1994

c . E r utigttzt tt 1

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.

I u[e)fl ~IIg !± 1
'If Pat Robertson's reading of the Scriptures leads
him to believe ... that democracy in South Africa
is wrong, that is his right.'
- David Wilhelm, outgoing chair of the Democratic
National Committee, on
tolerance toward the religious right
ON OuR MAN'5
MIN-D

Code of silence

U nlike the other four policies this pa-
ge has profiled this week, the Statement
of Student Rights and Responsibilities--more
appropriately known as the Code - has un-
dergone no substantial changes since the end
of the last school year. In other words, the Code
is still the same old Kangaroo Court that serves
to punish both victim and accused alike.
Students of Ann Arbor politics realize that
the Code has not changed -and probably will
not be changing anytime soon - for one
simple, structural reason: no one has been able
to come up with an amendment process that
works. Allowing the administration to forward
amendments to the Regents, the body with
ultimate control over the Code, would have
been a nightmare. So a group of concerned
students ensured the amendmentprocess would
be student-oriented. But they simply didn't
anticipate the difficulty in getting together a
quorum of student panelists.
Not that students should give up. Ulti-
mately, there still is a possibility the Code
could become a workable document. How-
ever, realistically, the near future will be gov-
erned by the same cumbersome rules.
Unfortunately, no one outside of two or
three administrators knows exactly what those
rules are. Why? Because the Code, ignoring
the logic of community-based justice, is a
system without checks. Code "hearings" are
held behind closed doors, and all except the
bare essentials are withheld from the Univer-
sity community. Cold War documents had less
blacked out than Code data released to the
public.
The Code was shaped in this vein because
the administration saw the Code as a commu-
nity-friendly document -.a document that
would protect the privacy of individuals and,
as a result, create a mostly non-punitive carrot

to held mediate student contentions.
And this theory was quite understandable.
If the Code was to be an alternative to the legal
system, it should surely not function in the
same way.
This wouldn'tbe so dangerous if the Code's
authority extended, say, to quietly encourag-
ing accused sexual harassers into several hours
of education on the subject. But the Code does
much more. It extends to many forms of
behavior even if they occur off -campus.
Moreover, it has the power to suspend and
expel students.
Essentially, this means several things. For
one, some students who would have other-
wise gone through the legal system will opt
for the Code. This hurts victims, who could
have achieved much more substantial, lasting
and public effects by working through the
courts. And this injures the accused, who has
significantly less rights than he or she would
have had in another setting.
Of course, Code administrators could miti-
gate much of these concerns by taking a
simple step: release detailed Code records and
allow the community to see for itself if the
processes behind the Code are fair and just.
If this fails to happen, journalists will be
forced to find these records through the De-
partment of Public Safety and the Ann Arbor
Police Department.
Then, students who were wrongly prom-
ised law and order behind closed doors will
find out the truth about the Code in a way
unsettling to all of us: the morning paper.
This is the fourth in afive part
editorial series explaining changes
in various University policies that
occurred over the summer
rnity
ensure that such a law is passed.
David Garcia, an LSA senior, has worked
on a proposal for a state anti-hazing statute
that would impose penalties ranging from a
maximum of a $1,000 fine for failing to report
a hazing incident to life imprisonment for
hazing that causes serious physical injury to
the victim. The University must support this
proposal and lobby to get it passed as state
law.

Castroland surely is the home of a 'bad man'

To the Daily:
As I read the Wednesday,
Sept. 14, 1994 edition of the
Daily, I couldn't seem to sup-
press a wide grin as I read in the
faculty column Prof. John
Vandermeer's misguided (or
perhaps misinformed) ideas of
what constitutes logic concern-
ing the situation with Cuba.
Prof. Vandermeer scoffs at the
notion of considering Castro a
"very bad man" only because
he has allowed the recent exo-
dus from his island (yes, it's his
island and nobody else's) of
thousands of Cubans, after the
U.S. criticized him for years for
not permitting Cuban citizens
to leave Castroland. Where's
the logic in this? Castro
shouldn'tbe considered a "very
bad man," should he?
Well, actuallyitis very logi-
cal that Castro be considered
"bad."The United States should
welcome the move to allow
Cuban citizens to emigrate, but
our government shouldn't ap-
plaud Castro's underhanded

and hypocritical scheme to sud-
denly authorize an unorderly,
treacherous and indiscriminate
migration precisely now, when
his economy and his wet dream
of a revolution are on the verge
of collapse.
Indeed, Castro is using in-
nocent human lives as bargain-
ing chips in a desperate attempt
to save the Castroland he self-
ishly invented and forced upon
an entire nation. 35 years after
his rise to power, Castro has
yet to show the world that his
true best interest lies in the
welfare of his fellow Cubans.
The logic here is not as Prof.
Vandermeer had led us to be-
lieve.
Castro deceived many
people in 1959 by claiming
that the United States was an
evil capitalist empire, and that
Cubans would only be free once
they stood up to this terrible
foe. These claims are not in-
herently reprehensible, al-
though they become so if seen
as the cornerstone of a dicta-

torship which has accomplished
little if anything for the people
it supposedly serves.
But now Castro has sunk to
a newer and more desirable low.
Now he needs theUnited States,
and has abandoned what few
principles he has ever pos-
sessed. Now he needs the capi-
tal flowing in from other coun-
tries to maintain the relative
luxury foreign tourists expect
in the hotels (which are strictly
off-limits to the locals) when
they visit the island.
Are the United States and
capitalism then no longer so
evil? As long as Castro can
remain head of state, any in-
consistencies in the policies and
tiresome rhetoric of his own
government can be overlooked
and made to appear the fault of
the United States, Cuba's long-
time enemy whom Cuba's
leader so urgently needs now to
keep his Castroland alive.
Armando Brito
Rackham student

Golfgate
Warning: For political junkies
only. Those preferring O.J. to
Whitewater would better spend tl
time thinking about DNA.
The comedy of errors continues
unabated at the White House, and
political observers everywhere are left
to speculate on the causes of such
blunders. Could it be post-Cold War
flux? Does fault lie in the laps of those
nattering nabobs of negativism-the
establishment media? Or is it simp
that Arkansans simply can't compr
hend the norms of Washington?
The answer, of course, is none of
the above. The president's problems
can be clearly defined in one word:
golf.
Choppergate, Haircutgate,
Towelgate, Socksgate and Chelsea-
goes-to-public-schoolgate - the
were just the tip of the iceberg, folk
The result of a liberal media bent on
covering their man in the Beltway's
behind by reporting the little scandals
so they can ignore the big ones.
Don't take it from me. I quote
directly from the Steiner diaries:
"Golf outing. BC hits beautiful
put on the eighth. Ball falls slightl
short of hole. When no one is lookin
BC taps ball in hole. I notice RA
hiding behind tree nearby, enjoying
something from the DQ, but decide it
isn't substantive."
Golfgate, my friends. The most
pernicious violation of presidential
trust in recent American history. (An
aide to the assistant Deputy of the
Undersecretary of Scouting Exec.
tive Golf Courses told me that, if
pressed, Steiner will swearunderoath
that the tree was only a metaphor, and
he only had the impression that Altman
was behind it).
I put in a call to Attorney General
Reno to find out what she intended to
do about Golfgate.
"The buck stops here," she said,
response to seven straight question
I tried a new tack. I asked about how
she could reconcile the granting of
Most Favored Nation status to politi-
cally repressive China with tighten-
ing sanctions on Cuba.
She talked about Golfgate, ard
agreed to allow for the immediate
appointment of an independent pro
ecutor, conceding that the Justice D
partment was full of golfers and would,
therefore, have a conflict of interest.
Today, I had lunch with Judge
Sentelle,head ofthethree-judge panel
that will decide who should be that
independent prosecutor. We were
joined by Senators Jesse Helms and
Laure Faircloth. Aftera lunch of float-
ing waffles, Judge Sentelle assur4
me the panel was near a decision.
Topping their short list of candidates:
Haitian General Cedras, who will be
assured a comfortable safe haven to
work from.
Of course, the real issue here is
why the president was playing golf i
the first place. Quite clearly, the blame

lies solely on the shoulders of tho
administrative twenty-somethings
with an earring and an ax to grind.
They are simply too young to give the
president the necessary historical ad-
vice.
Grooming William Howard Taft
for the presidency, Teddy Roosevelt
stemmed a potential title wave by
admonishing: "Photographsonhorse-
back, yes, tennis, no, and golf is f4
tal." Soon after, a man from Illinois
would write to Taft and ask that he
"set aside golf and take an ax and cut
wood."
If the press is serious about treat-
ing this president fairly, they will
release the facts of Golfgate immedi-
ately. For even if they have missed
this scandal unintentionally, the a
pearance of impropriety alone is too
much to bear.
In other breaking news, the Asso-
ciated Press has reported that the presi-

A hazy

frate

Not all fraternities condone hazing

B rotherhood. Friendship. Camaraderie.
Leadership. Service. Respect.
These are the values college fraternities
embrace. Or at least they're the values they
should embrace.
However, there's a dark side to fraternities,
and that dark side casts a shadow over many
Greek organizations at this University. The
dark side is hazing. A little over a week ago, an
LSA sophomore was rushed to the hospital
after heavy alcohol consumption. He was a
pledge at Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and he
consumed alcohol during a hazing incident.
The Daily reported Monday that the pledge
was told to consume several glasses of vodka
by one of the Sig Eps brothers -while several
others were in the room-- because he wasn't
performing his menial pledge "duties" prop-
erly. The fraternity's charter has been sus-
pended and it is currently being investigated
by its national headquarters to determine
whether further action should be taken.
The sadpartis, the incidentprobably doesn't
surprise too many people. It happens all the
time. And if the pledge didn't have serious
medical complications, it is very likely that no
one would care that it happened.
That's because the same brotherhood and
loyalty that make the Greek system so unique
are smothering the ability of these incidents to
come to light. Those who know about these
incidents are afraid to talk, whether it be for
fear of retaliation or ostracism from their broth-
ers. But when health, dignity and lives are at
risk, these values must be superseded.
Embarrassing, hurting or torturing new stu-
dents is not necessary to college living. It's
time for the University, Greek system and
athletic teams to take a stand against this kind
of behavior.

In the meantime, hazing must be stopped at
its source. Most of the members of fraternities
and athletic teams that engage in hazing prac-
tices are aware that it goes on. It's time for
fraternity presidents, senior officers and team
captains to declare that self-respect is more
important than conformity and that safety is
more important than belonging. They must
stop hazing, and stop looking the other way,
because those who want so desperately to
belong don't have the power to change the
system.
Sig Eps fraternity headquarters is consid-
ering mandating an educational program for
the Sig Eps about the dangers and disasters
that can result from hazing. The Office of
Greek Life should ensure that all Greek orga-
nizations participate in such programs. The
University athletic director should mandate
the same for our sports teams.
These measures must be taken immedi-
ately, because hazing is a practice that will
continue, unnoticed, in the University Greek
and athletic systems until we do something
about it.
Over 50 people have died because of haz-
ing at fraternities since 1978. Luckily, the Sig
Eps pledge recovered and did not become one
of those numbers. This shadow over fraterni-
ties and athletic teams must be lifted, and it's

To the Daily:
I am incensed about the ar-
ticle appearing in the Sept. 12
issue of the Daily entitled "Fate
of fraternity in question after
hazing incident ..." Members
of the Greek system must begin
to understand that hazing is an
antiquated, outmoded institu-
tion that must be abolished not
only in word but in deed as
well. The system is facing some
serious survival problems, and
hazing may be one of the causes.
While its goals are to foster
brotherhood and commitment
to the fraternity or sorority, in
actuality all hazing fosters is
resentment, lack of respect and
hospital visits. The ideals of
most fraternal organizations
involve promoting brotherhood
and developing character, yet
the animosity that is created
through hazing achieves nei-
ther of these goals. Instead, it
achieves an elite group mental-
ity that leads to events such as
rape and group assault. New
member programs that include
positive activities such as com-

munity service and brother-
hood events that assimilate
members into the house are
much more conducive to
achieving the goals of the fra-
ternity.
The article states that an
"investigation is expected to
reveal ... who was respon-
sible." Hazing incidents are not
isolated ones. In most fraterni-
ties they probably occur every
day. If this is true in this case,
then every member who ever
hazed another, every member
who stood idly by and silently
condoned these actions, the
local chapter that overlooked
any incidents of hazing, these
are the responsible parties. If
the national fraternity or the
University allows the doors of
such an organization to remain
open, they are saying that it is
fine to haze as long as you
don'tgo farorletanyone know
about it.
What kind of message does
this send to current Greeks and
potential rushees?This is anew
age for the Greek system, one

which requires it to be more
responsible, both socially and
morally. I am a member of a
Greek organization, one which
does not haze, both in theory
and in actuality - a policy
which we are very proud of.
Our new member program does
foster brotherhood and com-
mitment, but it goes even fur-
ther to promote self-respect. I
urge the national headquarters
of Greek organizations to stamp
out hazing in a time when the
Greek system is attempting to
shed the "Animal House" im-
age.
I also urge those that are
contemplating joining the sys-
tem to find those houses that do
not haze, because they do exist.
The Greek system has so much
to offer, yet hazing is the self-
deprecating institution thatblurs
so many of those positive ben-
efits.

Matthew Holden
Associate Member
Counsel
Delta Chi Fraternity

m

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