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March 23, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 23, 1995 - 5

'U' med school
discourages
women
To the Daily:
For a number of years now I have
been actively involved in recruitment
of, and advocacy for, students to our
graduate and medical schools here at
ichigan. Moreover, these efforts
ye had a major focus on students
from under-represented minority
groups. As such, I have enjoyed grati-
fications, such as the successful ad-
vocacy of a student's appeal resulting
not only in the continuation of their
matriculation but ultimately their
graduation. Conversely, there have
been numerous frustrations such as
the many problems encountered by
dose students due to the "student-
nfriendly," sometimes hostile envi-
ronment within the school. One way
that I (and others) have chosen to
address some of these frustrations is
to "publicize" the problem, not for the

reason to "bash" the University but
rather to expose the problem so that it
can be acknowledged and then ad-
dressed. Unquestionably, racism has
been the topic of a plethora of articles
in recent months (i.e. dental workers,
parking attendants, MLK Day, BAM
panel, etc.) and with the importance
of the Michigan Mandate, it is the
hope that President Duderstadt will
truly recognize the pervasiveness of
the problem and act accordingly.
In this letter, I want to address a
similar issue, in fact one that Presi-
dent Duderstadt has recently also iden-
tified as a priority, and that is the
"women's agenda." Unfortunately,
here again, as with racism, the medi-
cal school has some major problems.
For example, on sheer numbers alone,
it was recently reported that the per-
centage of.women in the 1993 medi-
cal school class at the University (35
percent) was about 20 percent lower
than several "peer institutions" (e.g.
Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard) and
the other medical schools in the state

of Michigan (i.e. MSU and Wayne
State). All of those schools had a
percentage of women in that class in
excess of 50 percent (except for
Wayne which was 46.8 percent).
Granted, a number of factors enter
into those numbers including recruit-
ment efforts, application pools, cre-
dentials, etc. However, in this letter I
want to present the experiences that
two women had with our medical
school that may be all too representa-
tive as to why the numbers are indeed
low.
The first experience was during
the student's interview with a woman
Admissions Committee member. The
student described the woman inter-
viewer as rude, insensitive and un-
professional. In fact the almost bel-
ligerent attitude by the interviewer
actually caused the student to cry dur-
ing the interview. (Incidentally previ-
ous female interviewees have reported
similar problems with this inter-
viewer.) As a result of this "experi-
ence," the student withdrew her ap-

plication to this medical school, even
before learning if she had been ac-
cepted! The second example was a
student who had applied to several
schools including the University and
had decided to talk to one of the
University counselors, specifically
assigned to advise students about
medical school. Her discussion with
the medical school counselor, also a
woman, was described as condescend-
ing, very impersonal and as it turns
out, quite misinforming. Specifically,
the student was told that the biomedi-
cal research that she had performed
would not help her at all in her appli-
cation to medical school! I can say

unequivocally as an Admissions Com-
mittee member for six years and a
biomedical researcher who has had
many undergraduates work in my
laboratory before entering (and gradu-
ating from) medical school, nothing
is further from the truth. Research is a
very important "experience" for po-
tential medical students, here as well"
as most major medical schools, and
certainly, all strongly research-ori-
ented medical schools.
It is unconscionable that desig-
nated medical school officials, in ex-
tremely key positions, are represent-
ing the University in this manner. In
doing so, they have not only "turned

off' two excellent woman applicants
but have presented an image that is
only going to cause the already low
number of women in the class possi-
bly to decrease even more. President
Duderstadt needs to recognize and
applaud individuals who work hard to
embrace his Mandate and the
Women's Agenda and at the same
time he needs to "slap" those who do
as these individuals have done, as
well as the unit administrators who
either ignore this type of attitude/
behavior or actually encourage it!
Thomas Landefeld
Pharmacology assistant prof.

Editorials on 'U' Housing Division contain inaccuracies

To the Daily:
I want to clarify significant factual
ors in two recent Daily editorials.
In a Feb. 28 editorial evaluating Uni-
versity Housing's rate increases for
1995-96 ("Housing rates"), the Daily
attributed a portion of the increase to
costs resulting from opening residence
halls five days earlier than fall term
1994. According to this completely
inaccurate assertion, we were open-
g the residence halls two weeks
fore classes so students could at-
tend the Aug. 26 Pigskin Classic. What
are the correct residence hall move-in
dates? Leases for new freshmen and
transfer students begin on Aug. 29 (a
Tuesday, one day earlier than fall
1994) and for returning students on
Aug. 31. The football game is the
weekend before our opening and has
*thing whatsoever to do with when
students are to move in or the rates
they are being charged. It's unclear
how the Daily arrived at this errone-

ous conclusion since it appeared no-
where in the documentation related
tot the rate increase and a Daily re-
porter quite accurately reported the
time frame of when the residence
halls will open in a news article shortly
after the editorial appeared.
The Daily seriously erred again in
its March 10 editorial on "Getting out
the Vote" when it asserted that cam-
paigning in residence halls by MSA
candidates is prohibited by Univer-
sity policy. Although there have been
some unfortunate problems this month
experienced by MSA candidates, the
problems were a function of inad-
equate communication between Hous-
ing, the MSA Elections Office and
candidates. University Housing does
prohibit door-to-door commercial so-
licitation but it has a clearly spelled
out written policy permitting candi-
dates for any election - whether it is
for federal, state, city or student posi-
tions - to speak directly with their

constituents and prospective voters.
We consider residential corridors non-
public areas for safety and security
reasons, and consequently we require
candidates to let us know in advance
that they will be in specific buildings
in order that we can inform them of
our expectations and policies. So,
while the process went partially awry
during this current MSA election sea-
son, the Daily was totally wrong when
it claimed that MSA candidates fall
under a solicitation ban.
The Daily news coverage of Uni-
versity Housing recently has gener-
ally been accurate and responsible. It
is disconcerting to see a breakdown in
concern for getting the basic facts
right when it comes to making edito-
rial statements on important topics.
Alan Levy
Director, Public Affairs
and Information
University Housing

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