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September 08, 1994 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-08

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Ulle Ei1 iigFn atlg New Student Edition



Thursday, September 8, 1994



apathy are the
true evils
t et' s be brutally honest. If you peel off
the layers of superfluous appeals to
one's most base sense of sandbox justice,
most columns or speeches about activism
on college campuses are saying exactly the
same thing: fuck off, Lazy Reader, and be
active like me.
That probably sounds harsh. After all, I
once attended the
school of make-the-
suasion. I
egotistically walked
along the moral high
road, telling anyone
who would listen that
I was fed up. Fed up
with a campus that
apathetically watched
as the University
administration set up FINT
&angaroo Court WAINESS
under the auspices of
the so-called Activism
Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities; fed up with a
community of students who wouldn't take
an hour out of their schedules to rally
against a Diag policy that blatantly cut off
access to one of the great bastions of speech
and protest students have ever known; fed
with classes filled with students who
.ld tell you everything you wanted to
know about profit margins, but wouldn't
know their House representative or senator
if he or she stepped on their big toe. Fed up
and not going to take it.
Notice how I use the past tense, folks.
It's not that I no longer think activism is
important. Insidious, highly repressive
policies still exist at the University level.
And on the national level, some of the most
tent issues of our time are beginning to
take center stage. Clearly, student
mobilization is a key that can unlock a great
many doors to a better and brighter future
for all.
But, and perhaps I am too young to bow
to this approach, there is a time for idealism
- and there is a time for realism. When it
comes to activism, realism is essential. I
can plead for mobilization until I turn blue,
it won't make it happen. Here's why:
1. Student activism never centered
around tearing down administrative
hierarchies. Tom Hayden, Al Haber and the
rest of the Students for a Democratic
Society once ruled this campus. But they
built a movement based on a national and
generational disconnect, a feeling that Jim
Crow racism and a savage war needed to be
stopped. They simply could not have
nerated the same support if they were
using on exclusively local issues.
2. The soldiers of activism were, quite
clearly, bourgeoise. Generally, they were
white. Almost exclusively, they were
affluent. The children of the poor, the
oppressed, even most middle-class students,
simply don't have the time or resources to
spend the majority of their day fighting
with the Dude.
3. Tuition is out of hand. Again,
Vdents' time is limited, as so many now
ve to work like hell just to pay the bills.
This, of course, is probably the most
counterproductive argument I can make. As
editorial page editor of the Daily, I spend
the majority of my time trying to rile
students up, trying to convince you to join

the fight for libertarian freedom and
economic responsibility. However, I do
understand that this is not for everyone.
Unfortunately, activism has become an
allusive ball game. Tickets are only sold
to those that pass a rigid test - that's not fair.
To me, activism is about individual
freedom. It is about standing up for your
right to speak and live freely, and it is about
ensuring that the economy's Invisible Hand
doesn't also render four fifths of our

..::.:... r .::.:.:. ...::.:... :.:.....:r ".......: .::::.:.

'U' restricts student
rights, freedom

Daily Opinion Staff
College is just around the corner
and you have finally achieved the
freedom you deserve, right? Wrong.
The University has implemented sev-
eral policies to make sure student
freedom is held in check on campus.
The most controversial policy on
x campus is the Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities, a.k.a. the
code. The University has tried for
more than 20 years to impose a code
' of non-academic student conduct, and
the current code lists a series of ac-
P tions punishable by the University in-
h eluding hazing, sexual harassment and
y..criminal misconduct.Enforcement pro-
ceedings allow the accused to have the
r Y ^ case heard by a mediator, a University
official or a panel of six jurors. Signifi-
ks'cantly, the hearings are closed to the
public, and the six jurors are randomly
T f - chosen University students.
wY h , The code goes against the very
fabric of the American legal process.
.. The United States already has a sys-
tem of civil and criminal laws de-
ti <7W __4 signed to protect society. The code
places students in double jeopardy -
those accused of a felon and misde-
meanor can face both academic and
criminal punishment through both a
law enforcement agency and the Uni-
versity. The University, in effect, has
placed itself in loco parentis, through
the use of a mockery of a court system
where the University itself picks the
jurors,trains them, and supervises them.
y Therefore, the code of non-aca-
h .. a demic student conduct is not neces-
sary, as civil and criminal law provide
sufficient protection and the code
lacks basic legal provisions to protect
.* student rights. Fortunately, as it stands
now, the code is only an interim policy
PHOTO MANIPULATION BY DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily atthe University. Without studentvoices
Students plaster kiosks scattered across campus with posters and announcements. Note the burn marks on the protesting and attempting to amend this
concrete. Vandals sometimes ignite the kiosks at night.

University intrusion and restriction of
freedom, however, the code will most
likely become a permanent fixture on
campus within the next year.
Another controversial and restric-
tive policy on campus is known as the
Diag Policy (or more exactly, the
Common Areas Policy). This policy
concerns student usage of the main
campus crossway - known as the
Diag - as well as the North Campus
Commons. Before changes were
recommended this spring, the policy
limited student protests and demonstra-
tions on the Diag to a specific time
period every week and required aseven-
day waiting period to reserve the Diag.
However, after the administration
thankfully sought and received stu-
dent opinion, changes are being made.
The waiting period and specific time
blocks will no longer be limited. Still,
student groups will be held respon-
sible, both legally and financially, for
the attendees and participants of their
activities, and this begs to be revised.
The Diag is one of the social,
cultural and political centers of the
University. Our Diag must be a area
where students and Ann Arbor resi-
dents are free to demonstrate for and
against social issues. Until the Diag
Policy is abolished, however, this will
not be the case. And the mere fact that
the administration attempted to limit
students' free speech on the Diag
should tell students that the adminis-
tration does directly affect students'
lives on campus.
Yet another administration policy
that deeply affects students is the re-
cently implemented University smok-
ing policy. The policy's provisions,
while backed by good intentions, are
relatively useless and nearly impos-
sible to enforce. First, there shall be
no smoking inside a University build-
See RIGHTs, Page 2B

Welcome to the zoo'
Does true multiculturalism really exist at the 'U'

Daily Opinion Staff
"Now is the time to rise from the
dark and desolate valley of
segregation to the sunlit path of
racial justice. Now is the time to
open the doors of opportunity to
all of God's children. Now is the
time to lift our nation from the
quicksands of racial injustice to
the solid rock of brotherhood."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1963.
Efforts by the University to cre-
ate a "rainbow" campus representa-
tive of the nation's racial and ethnic
minorities six years ago have cer-
tainly created an environment with
more minority faculty and students.
Yet the bold initiative, called the
Michigan Mandate, has yielded
mixed results. Minority enrollment
has grown to 22.8 percent, almost
doubling the number from 1988. A

student can be surrounded by many
different minorities now at the Uni-
versity. Students can go to class and
experience a variety of people. Un-
fortunately, that is where it ends.
After class, minorities each go into
their own separate group, until class
begins the next day.
The University strives for
multiculturalism. However, its ver-
sion of multiculturalism has ended
up like a zoo, with the different races
on exhibit for other races to see. An
African American student can see a
white student on campus, and white
students can see African American
students. Just the sight of a person
from another race does not solve the
problem of racism. The University's
policy, as well as other cultural fac-
tors, have led to extreme segregation
at the University, much worse than
King ever could have imagined
would still exist 31 years after he

uttered those famous words at the
Lincoln Memorial.
"Separate but equal" was not
good enough for the Supreme Court
in 1954, and it shouldn't be good
enough for us now. As long as every-
one has the same opportunity on cam-
pus, no one cares whether everyone
remains segregated.
nisms in place that work to build com-
munities of the minorities, but not a
community of human beings. If you
want to see for yourself, walk around
campus one day andtellmehowmany
times you see people of a different
race eating together.
For a University that is supposed
to help us grow as human beings,
attention needs to be paid to building
interracial relationships. Above all else,
we are people.
"Self-segregation" is rampant on DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily
See Zoo, Page 2B A student enters Lane Hall -home to Asian studies departments.

Special interest or service-oriented,
student groups thrive on campus


For one stop shopping to
campus groups, visit
r- :., ^% - % t : ri

Editor's Note
The Perspectives section of
The Michigan Daily New
Student Edition contains
editorials and columns written

Before you utter a lewd remark, beware. Big
Brother is listening.
By Jason Lichtstein and Jim Pinkham.

to attract new members. The raindate is set for
Sept. 23.

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