The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 1, 1994 - 3
Faculty women's club
offers support, friends
By BARBARA McKELVEY
For the Daily
For nearly 75 years, the wives of University
faculty have had a club of their own.
In October 1921, Nina Burton, the wife of
then-University President Marion Burton, or-
ganized a Faculty Women's Club to provide 50
professors' and administrators' spouses with
peer support and recreation.
The most important function of the club has
ventured beyond fun, reported long-time mem-
ber Ruth Whitaker. Historically, the group has
helped faculty spouses find a life apart from
their husbands' careers.
"It helps you get acquainted with the com-
munity," said Whitaker, whose husband Gilbert
is the provost and executive vice president for
academic affairs. "Often, faculty wives get iden-
tified with what their husband does. This helps
them establish their own identity."
The group attracts many devoted, long-
term members; several members reported that
they found their closest friends through its net-
work. The club's brochure contains several
pages filled with women who have been a part
of the group for more than 50 years (along with
their husbands' names in parentheses).
The organization held its annual welcoming
tea last week and plans three more group-wide
events - a holiday reception, dinner dance and
spring luncheon - throughout the year.
The group also has a "Hospitality for World
Visitors" group that aids international women
faculty as they navigate through a strange new
"'I taught a Japanese bride how to cook,"
said former hospitality committee member
Patricia Sonntag. "And I showed her what to
Over the years, the club's ranks have ex-
panded to include more than 700 women, as
well as a few honorary men. The number of
women faculty members has also increased, but
Sonntag estimated that 85 percent of the group
is still comprised of wives.
"Usually, women faculty have other things
they are involved in," said Sonntag, "but they're
beginning to be included more and more. Fe-
male professors usually come for social rea-
sons. Being on faculty is usually seen as busi-
ness. There may be no female network, so it
works for them."
Sonntag stressed that the group has a diverse
membership, filled with career women as well
as traditional homemakers.
"It's not for everyone," Sonntag reported.
"But there are an awful lot of intelligent and
interesting people here who have degrees in
their own right - doctors, lawyers, business-
women, and the former mayor of Ann Arbor."
Whitaker said that the club has increased
respect for women's role as the backbone of
their husbands' careers. She added that this
function became increasingly important as femi-
nism took hold in Ann Arbor in the 1970s.
"For a while, if you didn't have a PhD of
your own, it was easy to feel like less of a
person. (The group) provided what family spirit
was really here, and it certainly helped women
have a high opinion of who they are."
Oakland County woman found safe in Kentucky y >i
books still inside, was found along-
side a highway the next day in
Earlier in the week, police said
they had received at least eight solid
reports that McGowan was seen
walking in the area where her car
was. Some of those people told
police she appeared confused.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Ron
Schebil said McGowan told authori-
ties she had been walking because
her car broke down and somehow
walked more than 200 miles to Ken-
tucky. He said she had a jar of pea-
nut butter, which she ate along the
McGowan's mother, Carol, had
said her daughter has a heart condi-
tion that can bring on panic attacks.
She recently quit her job at a depart-
ment store and had moved back to
her parents' home.
It doesn't appear that any crimes
were committed and no further in-
vestigation is planned, said
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Lt. R.J.
Hotline counsels troubled students
Peer counselors at
76-GUIDE can help
students through a
variety of problems
By RACHEL LASKY
For the Daily
What is 76-GUIDE?
Although many students are un-
aware of it, this phone number con-
nects students to the peer-counseling
hotline on campus.
Students call with questions about
relationships, sexual identity, insom-
nia and anxiety (especially around
midterms and finals). 76-GUIDE also
receives calls dealing with suicide
The peer counselors say they are
mainly there to listen, rather than give
advice. By talking through their prob-
lems, students will be able to generate
their own solutions, counselors say.
David Callin, an LSA sophomore
and new volunteer, said after three
nights of work he "hasn't received
many phone calls" and is "disap-
pointed that it isn't that busy."
Callin said he became very close
with his co-workers after attending
orientation for peer counselors.
"We're a big team and we all work
together. There is a great group of
people gathered to help the Univer-
sity community," Callin said.
These counselors also refer stu-
dents to services including Ozone
House, SOS-line and lesbian-gay male
All peer counselors at 76-GUIDE
are volunteers. They go through ex-
tensive training in order to deal with
the crises they will encounter.
This training includes the "lethality
scale" --the way they classify degrees
of a crisis's lethality. The scale would
involve a counselor asking questions
such as those for a suicide call: Does the
caller have a set plan? Ifthe caller's plan
is to take pills, do they have the pills
The peer counselors take their jobs
very seriously. When someone calls,
their call is documented. When the
next shift of counselors comes in,
they are required to read all the write
ups written during the previous shifts.
Organizers say confidentiality is
maintained although all 15 or 16 vol-
unteers will know about a particular
crisis. Any call made is confidential
within the program.
Jill Kiersky, an LSA senior, is
currently working her second year at
76-GUIDE. "Every call is unique and
important. The callers realize that they
are dealing with peers and not profes-
sionals. The callers are usually very
appreciative," Kiersky said.
This hotline can be of great ser-
vice to students who are having prob-
lems and feel they can't turn to their
friends for help.
76-GUIDE is open seven days a
week from 7 p.m.-8 a.m.
Perot attacks Clinton's foreign policy
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Calling Presi-
dent Clinton "a draft dodger," a com-
bative and prickly Ross Perot accused
the White House yesterday of spring-
ing news of ominous Iraqi troop move-
ments as a ploy to bolster Democratic
popularity as the elections approach.
"It's the most cynical thing in the
world," the 1992 presidential candi-
date said. "It is rotten. It is wrong."
Referring to the U.S. intervention
in Haiti, Perot, playing the role of a
fictitious Clinton adviser, said: "The
first war didn't get him a bump in the
polls, now let's try a second one."
Interviewed on CBS-TV's "Face
the Nation," Perot also offered his
prescription for defusing the tensions
along the Iraq-Kuwait border:
"Just tap him(Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein) on the shoulder quietly and
say: "Don't do anything tricky -
because we've got unlimited un-
manned missiles, unmanned drones.
We will wipe your country out. We
did it once, we'll do it again.' "
If that tactic were to fail, Perot has
an alternative: assassinate Hussein.
"Saddam Hussein is the problem.
Eliminate the problem, and your prob-
lem goes away," he said.
Perot did not address the morality
of political assassinations. But he left
little doubt that he believed in the
efficacy of such action.
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