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January 29, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-29

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4A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 29, 1996

Ube rbic guu ilg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom
of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people.
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.'
- First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


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.
The next generaion
Progress comes not only from protest

Rumor has it that a pink Energizer bunny
rests on the desk of University Presi-
dent James Duderstadt. Maybe he keeps it
there as a signal: Don't take the University
too seriously. Perhaps it reminds him that the
University, like the rabbit with good batter-
ies, "just keeps going ... and going."
Throughout Jake Baker's expulsion and
arraignment for Internet obscenity, the Uni-
versity kept going. With each funding cut
and tuition increase, campus life ensues. We
had to catch our breath when Duderstadt
announced his untimely retirement-but the
University barely missed a beat. Students
have struggled against a non-academic con-
duct code for years. Yet with each new imple-
mentation, the cube keeps its spin.
Each year, the student body somewhat
blindly elects a new Michigan Student As-
sembly president; this year the administra-
tion will pick a new University president
from partially hidden chambers. We will
watch the Office of the Vice President for
Student Affairs stumble through the new
Code of Student Conduct. Internet intrica-
cies will increase tenfold - our generation
will lay the ground rules for cyberspace. The
federal government might reach a budget
agreement and we will elect a president. Like
the cube, the world will spin, no matter how
loudly we protest.
Inthe '60s, our parents protested, blocked,
restructured and revolutionized any cause
that crossed their paths. The Fleming Ad-

ministration Building, with its bizarre win-
dows, was "riot-proofed" with good reason;
the FBI had a file on many campus groups,
including The Michigan Daily.
But we're a different generation - more
dispersed, still active and a little confused.
We're grappling with apathy and advance-
ment technology - not blowing up campus
buildings. Student empowerment, however,
does not have to come from protest alone. We
have quieter methods of protest: participa-
tion, petitions and the vote. If storming
Fleming works, great. But if we can't charge,
we must stand firm.
As voters, we must choose our leaders
carefully because we entrust them with the
decision to compromise or hold fast. If com-
promise is the result, it must be a calculated
one. However, the.voters' -the students'-
interests must never be compromised.
For our part, we will keep you, our read-
ers, informed. We will hold the ideals up for
you to examine, not wavering in our position.
For your part, keep right of your own
ideals. Students will have more power in
solidarity - so stand together. Forty thou-
sand of us cannot be ignored.
Student concerns are the highest priority
of this page. For this reason, we reserve a
space for your letters and viewpoints. Tell us
when we're wrong and when we're right.
Tell us something we don't know. But tell us.
- Adrienne Janney, Zachary M. Raimi
Editorial Page Editors


'U' racism
The editorial that
appeared Jan. 25, "Crying
Wolf," concerning the
Dental School racism case
was appalling but not
unusual for the "new Daily."
Your editorial viciously
attacked the case of the three
fired workers in the name of
upholding the University's
review that found no racist
intent on behalf of the
employers. Unfortunately,
the Daily staff chose to
ignore this country's painful
past and shameful present of
widespread racism which
does not exclude the
For the Daily, the
University's decision alone

was enough to determine
the Dental School workers
were lying and willing to go
through a lengthy legal
process, just for the hell of
it. Perhaps the Daily staff is
ignorant to the fact that
institutions are easily
capable of promoting and
covering-up racism because
they have the resources and
people willing to blindly
believe them.
The editorial mentioned
no sort of investigation or
even the slightest knowl-
edge of the legalities of the

case that could have
prompted the Daily to attack
the workers as they did. The
Daily accused the workers of
trivializing racism when in
fact, the trivializing of
racism is exactly what the
Daily is promoting.
Bad journalism is the
easiest factor to point to in
this case. The history of
racism in this country tells us
that it is not easy as 1-2-3 to
discount racism possibilities.

SACUA meeting
Regents' Room, Fleming Building 1:30 p.m.
Michigan Student Assembly meeting
3909 Michigan Union 7:30 p.m.

a feminist '
label with a
student identiy
G7j" hat's OK, I'm not a feminist."
"T The woman speaking was
one of my new hal-mates. It was my
first night in college, and my room-
mate - who would only have been
another stranger
- hadn't yet ar-
rived. I had wan-
deredthe hall until
I found an open
door andasked if I
could join the three ' '
strangers in the
cell-like room. At
least they were
people with whom
to order pizza.
The second KATE
woman in the EPSTEIN
room assured the.
one man that she wasn't a feminist
He had just made some comment
that insulted women. Four years later,
I don't remember what because I
knew men could be sexist.
But I still remember the compla-
cent tone in the woman's voice, ex-
cusing his comment. I'd never heard
"I'm not a feminist" come from a
woman's mouth before. Theoreti-
cally, I knew there were women who
would say they weren't feminists,
but I presumed they were all older
than my mother,or lessthan middle
class, or intense about some religion
that taught inequality, or from some
culture completely different from my
own. I'm embarrassed, now, to admit
to these ageist, classist, racist, preju-
diced assumptions.
But at the time, I would have been
at a loss to imagine what a woman
who would say she wasn't a feminist
would be like. I would have assumed
that such a woman had to be in cir-
cumstances so different from mine
that I could never understand them.
Raised on "Free To Be ... You And
Me" and Judy Blume's novels by two
parents who considered themselves
feminists, I had never questioned my
identity as a feminist any more than I
had questioned my identity as a fe-
I continued, that first year, to meet
women who seemed as confident they
were not feminists as I was that I was
one. I tried, to begin with, to be open
minded. Maybe it didn't matter if
women didn't call themselves femi-
nists, if they believed in basic gender
equality, which some said they did.
They really were feminists, they just
didn't know it, I thought. But I
couldn't shake my discomfort when
women said they weren't feminists.
Then a friend pointed out that
women who call themselves femi-
nists are suggesting they have a life-
long commitment to the movement.
If feminist is a part of your identity,
instead of a political platform with
some tenets that you advocate, you
won't throw it away because some-
thing or someone comes along and
asks you to tolerate sexism.
My friend had articulated what I
was already observing. Like the
women I was talking to my first
evening at the University, non-femi-
nist women tolerated sexism. As soon
as men's comfort seemed at stake,

they abandoned gender equality. But
the notion of equality depends on the
presence of both sexes. If you aban-
don it as soon as men come on the
scene, you never believed in it. I
decided it was important to call your-
self a feminist. But I began to waver
about what the label meant.
That first night, sitting in a strange
room that looked, under the furmi-
ture, exactly like the one where I
would live for the next eight months,
I had to examine my identification
with the frequently amorphous
women's movement for the first time.
It had become a choice. And now that
it was a choice, it was a thing sepa-
rable from myself. It was possible to
-hardnot to-hold itup to the light
and examine it.
AndI realized that being a feminist
had always been about me. Iwas a
feminist because I had respect for
myself. I demonstrated for reproduc-
tive freedom because, first and fore-
most, I wanted control over my own
body. I did not tolerate misogyny
where I saw it because it directly took
from my power. All other women
were distantly second to me.
But I started examining feminism
as I knew it in my heart, and I started
listening to feminist thinkers that I
met and read here. All women began
to run neck-in-neck with me in the
journey to feminist goals. Feminism
became part and parcel ofseeking the
end o~f allkinds of onnression. Be-




Let there be light
Regents must hold open search for president

0* .

L ast time the University regents selected
a president, they violated the law and
betrayed the public's trust by closing the
search. In the present search, the regents
have promised to comply with the law as they
select a successor to James Duderstadt, who
will step down in June. But the regents'
recent actions- signal otherwise. With the
appointment of a private consultant and a
search advisory panel, the regents are slink-
ing back toward a search process full of
secrecy and deceit. Instead, the regents should
be straightforward and open about every
aspect of the search - anything less is unac-
ceptable and possibly illegal.
Last Thursday, the regents announced a
plan to form a search advisory committee.
The 12-person panel will be responsible for
compiling a list of candidates for the
University's presidency. The panel, which
will consist of faculty, staff, students and an
alum, will not be allowed to meet with the
regents until they release the list in Septem-
ber. The committee will work closely with
consultant Malcolm MacKay of the private
New York-based firm Russell Reynolds As-
sociates. The selection process appears ac-
ceptable, but there is a catch - the advisory
committee will conduct its business behind
close doors.
The regents' decision to create a commit-
tee that will meet in private is disappointing.
Joan Lowenstein, a University communica-
tion studies lecturer and media law special-
ist, captured the essence: "I think it violates
the law in spirit, if not in letter." The regents
must not use the committee to sidestep the
Open Meetings Act-the committee's pres-
ence will give the regents the opportunity to
do so, while the public is left in the dark.
Michigan law allows a government insti-
tution to appoint a subcommittee that meets
in private as long as it is purely a advisory
role. It cannot make decisions or cuts. The
regents claim this as the purpose ofthe search

nate or rigorously promote certain candi-
dates above others. If it does, the committee
will be violating state law. Although the
committee will have to turn a list of all the
possible candidates they considered over to
the regents in the fall, students have no way
to know what the committee does in private.
What if the committee pulls candidates from
consideration? What if the committee goes
out of its way to push for some candidates
and sabotage others? It is impossible to an-
swer these questions. The public will never
see the whole process -though it is entitled
to - as long as any part of the search process
is conducted behind closed doors.
The vague duties of MacKay are also
suspect. The regents said MacKay's job is to
search for and inform the committee of can-
didates. MacKay will search for candidates
and meet with the committee privately.
MacKay, therefore, is not accountable to the
public, despite his determining role in the
search process. MacKay's private freedom
gives rise to another possibility: Will he
consult covertly with various regents about
candidates? While this action would be in
violation of the OMA, it is far from far-
fetched. During MacKay's public interview
with the regents, he admitted his ignorance of
the OMA and his unfamiliarity with the Uni-
versity. MacKay may follow the law strictly.
Once again, the public will never know.
Choosing a University president is a dif-
ficult task, especially at a large and diverse
University. While it is acceptable for the
regents to seek help in the process, their
actions appear suspicious. The regents could
use the advisory panel as a tool to circumvent
the OMA, which would undermine the law
- and public trust. A shadow of doubt fol-
lows the Board of Regents since the last ill-
fated search. Allowing a search committee to
meet in privatereinforces the board's decep-
tive image. If the regents want to rid them-
selves of the shadow, they should step out

Code panelists left ill-prepared
BY BEN NOVICK period is too short and recom- written guidelines, we
AND OLGA SAVIC mends amore extensive prepa- determine the truth. I
What is a student resolu- ration. For some odd reason, University's legal systen
tion panelist? There are 60 of we too feel that 48 hours is termination of-truth ist
us, appointed by various col- simplynotenoughtimetopre- on direct and indirecti
lege governments. Our job, pare one for the task of pass- mation, or hearsay, as iti
according to Resolution Co- ing judgement on a peer. terknown.After oneafte
ordinator Mary Lou Anticau, Next, we deliberate to de- of training, the administr
is to work with fellow stu- termine if the Code hastbeen feels confident in ourab
dents and a faculty adviser to violated. You'll be happy to to differentiate between
"gather information relevant know there are no set guide- two categories. Wethank
to the allegations of miscon- lines for how we do this. We for their faith in us. How
duct, deliberate to determine have learned that courtesy and we do not share it.
if the Code (of Student Con- civility are important, and that Finally, and most dis
duct) has been violated, and sometimes "tears and laugh- ingly, we are expected to
make recommendations (ofre- ter can be heard at these hear- recommendations abou
sponsibility and/or sanctions) ings." Beyond that, nothing. sible sanctions to the d
to the dean of students." From We have no clue, students. The Officeo
now on, we are qualified to Luckily, Mary Lou dent Conflict Resole
pass judgement on you, our Antieau will be there at all prides itself on the flex
fellow students. How is this times to guide us in this pro- of sanctions. Flexibil
possible? Are we trained law- good. An utter lack of g
yers? Were we born with an 48 hours is not lines is not good. Sancti
innate sense of justice? Un- eog iet is based solely on the w
fortunately, no. We have had enough time to and capriciousness of th
exactly six hours of training, prepare one for dent panelists. We hop
and participated in a mock this means that the pan
"arbitration." Now we are the task of pass- will devise fair, educat
ready. Now we are set apart jng judgment on a and original sanctions.
and above. indeed is the expectatio
This, in our minds, is a peer. the OSCR has of us.
serious problem. We have a moral issu
Let us go through our job cess. This is good, since she is judging and sanctionin
assignment point by point. an attorney. This is bad, since fellow students. When t
First, gathering information. she is the prosecuting attor- sue was raised at arbit
We are given 48 hours notifi- ney. This is also bad because training, we were told th
cation of an arbitration which she has the power along with ter going through the pi
we have to hear. In that brief the faculty resolution officer of judging an arbitrati
time we are expected to evalu- to "determine that a question would have no problem
ate a case file, decide on ques- must be modified or disre- sanctioning. If we still1
tions to ask, which potential garded." When questioned on moral problem with thi
witnesses we want to hear and this arcane point of fascist le- Chamber mentality, we



n the
m, de-
is bet-
k them
t pos-
ean of
)f Stu-
ity is
he stu-
e that
n that
e with
ag our
his is-
hat af-
on we
had a
s Star

what needs to be proven. An
hour before the hearing, we
meet our fellow panelists for
the first time and decide to-
gether how the arbitration will
work - in essence, scripting
this "arbitration room" drama
before it happens. Susan
Eklund, associate dean of the
Law School, has said this time

gal ity, Antieau replied that the
situation hardly ever arose.
However, the simple fact that
this loophole exists is a dan-
ger to the rights of all stu-
Perhaps Antieau is fair in
heractions and judgments, yet
we cannot be assured that she
will remain the resolution co-
ordinator forever. When she
leaves, so do the rules and
regulations governing these
procedures. Relying solely on

invited to resign.~ If, we op-
posed the Code, we were also
invited to resign. We oppose
the Code and are utterly ap-
palled at the idea of this mock
judicial process. Yet we will
not resign.
We joined this panel be-
cause we believe in student
rights and want to ensure as
fair a process as possible for
both complainant and alleged
violator. We do not wish to see
student panelists hand-picked

Novick is an RC senior
and Savic is an LSA
sophomore. Both students


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