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April 09, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 9, 1996

(Ite d11!tu &dlg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily s editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Low turnout
IFC addresses violence against women

'If you cross the picket line, it's not a neutral state-
ment. It's a statement against the individuals who are
fighting for a living wage and a fair contract. It's a mat-
ter of social justice.'
- Pete Church, GEO spokesperson
9 ((I*-
i T
, I f

A lthough it is often kept quiet on col-
lege campuses, the issue of violence
against women is present in all areas of the
country. Violent acts specifically targeted
against women have risen by 50 percent in
recent years. Men and women alike must
find ways to deal with this. In an attempt to
address the issue at the University, the
Interfraternity Council hosted its first sem-
inar on violence against women last week.
While its objective is commendable, the
small turnout of only about 40 fraternity
members mimics a larger problem of
addressing pervasive issues of rape and sex-
ual assault among the student population.
One student who attended the event
commented, "It seems like a lot (of stu-
dents) were forced to be here." Most of the
audience consisted of pledges and new fra-
ternity members - few veteran members
were present. While it is refreshing that
newer members learned about these impor-
tant issues, older members are not exempt
from the responsibility to learn. Sixty-five
rapes were reported to the Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center last year;
15 of these rapes allegedly occurred in fra-
ternities. Evidently, the issue pervades all
social and cultural boundaries within the
University - including IFC.
Although low attendance was disheart-
ening for the event's speakers, who came
from SAPAC and the Domestic Aggression
Piogram, it is important to recognize the
event as the first step in a greater struggle to
raise the visibility of issues surrounding
sexual assault among the Greek community.
IFC should expand the program. Although
the seminar began to address important
issues, it is not enough. The message must

be as pervasive as misconceptions and
stereotypes in order to alter sexual behav-
iors and provide a greater understanding of
the scope and magnitude of this issue.
Violations against women occur every-
day, often in subtler forms of sexual assault.
It is difficult to determine accurate statistics
- many women never report attacks. The
common misconception surrounding sexual
assault is that the perpetrator is often a
stranger. Yet the Department of Justice
reported that 78 percent of all violent
crimes against women were committed by
acquaintances, intimates, spouses, signifi-
cant others and relatives. Female students
are reluctant to register official complaints
of rape with campus police out of embar-
rassment or fear of reprisal. While the
media chases the trail of serial rapists and
unknown attackers, the likelihood that a
stranger will attack a woman pales in com-
parison to the assailant being a former
boyfriend, relative or classmate.
The University community should focus
on more groups than the fraternity system;
fraternity members are not the only ones
who should be targeted.
The legal system now recognizes a new
definition of sexual assault to include pene-
tration and sexual contact, such as unwant-
ed touching. Nationwide legal reforms
place the focus of sexual assault where it
belongs: on the criminal, rather than the
behavior - past or present - of the sur-
vivor. But the public's comprehension of
sexual assault is still in its infancy.
Each student's understanding of sexual
assault must grow. IFC should hold a work-
shop next year and make it mandatory for
all members.

The adventures
of a wild, well-
loved housecat
A s soon as I was old enough to
talk, I knew I wanted a cat. They
were furry ad whiskered and fun to
play with - everything a child could
want a n
My mother, however, didn't like ani-
mals very much and was against the
idea. (Since she
grew up on a farm
I never understood .
this. My uncles
still" tell the story {
of her stint feeding
the outdoor cats in
the barn in the
farm --she'd open
the door, throw the
food in, and run
away as quickly as
possible.) JEAN
So I had to wait TWENGE
for a cat until I got
to graduate school and had my own
apartment. I'd thought about getting a
kitten at an animal shelter, but a
friend's next door neighbor in Iowa
had the perfect candidate: a mother ca
who produced numerous progeny
every summer. I picked out one of the
newest litter and took my chances -
as my friend's mother described my
new kittens parentage, "His mother's
the town whore and God knows who
his father is."
I had one very confused cat the first
night inside. Basically, it went some-
thing like this: I'd fall asleep. I would
wake up to find a kitten crawling on
my face. I would toss the kitten off th4
bed. I'd fall asleep. I'd wake up and
find a kitten on my face ... etc., etc.
I didn't have a real litter box right
away, so that was a problem too.
(Fortunately this part did not involve
my face.) It got so bad that one of my
friends threatened to name him
Not wanting to doom my cat to being
called Poop all of his life, I thought I'
better think of another name, fast. My
favorite book (read: obsession) at the
time was "Wuthering Heights," so I
thought about naming him Heathcliff
- except then everyone would think I
had read too much of the comic pages.
Besides, it didn't fit him -this was an
inbred, silly, wide-eyed kitten from
Iowa we were talking about here, not a
blustery romantic hero.
The next week or so confirmed this
impression. I was putting together vai
ious furniture for the new apartment,
opening lots of boxes, stacking things
That's the beauty of a
cat - after jumping
into a wall he strutted
away as if to say, 'I

C sPlanned attack
Court strikes down Texas' affirmative action

11 around the country, legislators,
courts and citizens are attacking affir-
mAtive action. Recently, the U.S. Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the
University of Texas' affirmative action-
based admissions program. The court
ignored an obvious point - affirmative
action provides necessary opportunities for
nMinorities in America.
" In Hopwood v Texas, three men and a
woman - all of whom are white -
claimed they had been rejected from the
Texas law school despite better
test scores than some admittedr
black and Hispanic students. A
federal district court judge ruled1
against the four students, but the
Fifth Circuit Court panel over-
turned the initial decision. The
panel claimed the use of race "is /
no more rational on its own I
terms than would be choices
bpsed upon the physical size or
blood type of applicants." With
this decision, the court danger-A
ously ignored legal precedent.
In the short time since the civil rights
niovement, the economic gap between
niinorities and society in general has nar-
rowed - but it is still significant. As a
result, many minority students are forced to
attend sub-par schools with few economical
resources. Affirmative action in college
admissions can provide opportunities for
these students. Moreover, students who
b'enefit from affirmative action would serve
as role models and provide hope for
younger students in their communities.
But minorities are not the only benefi-
ciaries of affirmative action. Diversity on

would not relate easily to the majority of
Americans who are not upper-class whites.
A diverse campus affords all students a bet-
ter chance of success upon graduation -
providing for diversity is only possible
through affirmative action.
Many of the barriers to minorities erect-
ed before the civil rights movement are still
present today. Ample evidence proves the
existence of a glass ceiling - a point in the

Free speech
stolen along
with papers
First of all, I think that the
protest against the Daily was
perfectly justified because
there have been many cases
of racial slanting, bias, etc..
in this newspaper. God
knows if people hadn't
protested. the editors may
have never gotten the mes-
sage that people actually read
the paper and care about
what racist trash they slip in.
However, as American cit-
izens, as well as minority stu-
dents, we must acknowledge
the right for the Daily to pub-
lish its views and ideas.
It's called freedom of
speech. First Amendment.
Ring a bell?
It seems that some people
are saying that "canceling"
the Daily wasn't a form of
"censorship." Excuse me? By
"canceling" the Daily and
taking the papers "for the
common good," you basically
are implying that the "com-
mon" people don't have
minds of their own and can't
be able be trusted to read
something, think about it and
come up with their own con-
I think that is as belittling
and degrading as anything as
I've read in the Daily. If you
decide to censor the Daily,
what next? Ban "Huck Finn"
because it contains racial
Just because a view is
unpopular, racist or both does
not mean people shouldn't
get a chance to listen to it.
If that is the case, the
works of Martin Luther King
Jr. wouldn't have been heard
because it wasn't popular in
the 1960s. But when people
heard it, sat down and
thought about it, it started to
make sense.
Don't deny people that
same opportunity.
allows arms
Jordan Stancil's column,
titled "How Could Congress
be so ... Dumb?" (3/27/96),
demonstrates once again the
abundance of poor reasoning
and inflammatory statements
that so richly characterizes
your editorial page day-in
and day-out.
First of all, Stancil's claim
that "huge majorities of the
public support the ban on
assault weapons" as evidence
that the ban should remain
intact is a perfect example of
the self-serving Daily reason-

the right to bear arms. Yes.
Stancil, I suppose that argu-
ment would be legalistic if
you paid any attention to that
little document called the
U.S. Constitution.
However, this stance is
not surprising to anyone who
has read the Daily and knows
that, to the Daily staff, the
Constitution is not the law of
the land. Rather, it is a piece
of paper to be manipulated to
protect whatever liberal cause
is on the agenda, regardless
of its constitutionality.
Finally, Stancil decries a
world where persons "outside
the reach of a protective
government have to fend for
themselves" as fantasy. In
fact, you are the one living in
a fantasy. Crime today is
more commonplace and more
violent than ever before. The
simple fact is that the govern-
ment and law enforcement
can't protect everyone all of
the time. Why shouldn't law-
abiding American citizens,
women or men, be allowed to
protect themselves with the
best weapons available?
Surely your version of the
Constitution doesn't make it
illegal to protect yourself,
does it?
I know that many inno-
cent people have died from
assault weapons. Typically,
though, they are caught in a
drive-by shooting or are in
the wrong place when a gang
shootout occurs. The point is,
people who use assault
weapons for such a purpose
do not generally obtain them
through legal means anyway.
Since this is the case,
Americans who obey the
laws of the land should be
able to protect themselves
with the weapon of their
choice, including assault
Paper theft is
In light of the recent act
of censorship of the Daily,
the University chapter of the
American Civil Liberties
Union would like to express
our utmost disgust with such
antics. This cowardly act of
censorship is antithetical to
the preservation of civil liber-
ties on this campus.
The First Amendment of
the Constitution states,
"Congress shall make no law
... abridging the freedom of
speech or of the press ..." In
the spirit of the First
Amendment, we believe that
no one should violate these
fundamental rights.
If one group prohibits
speech on the basis of con-
tent, they are denying each
person's individual right to
make an assessment of the

Furthermore, we applaud
the Daily's decision to prose-
cute under the full extent of
the criminal law rather than
with the Code of Student
'U' wrong in
GEO dispute
To all undergraduates:
You should be outraged. The
University allowed its con-
tract with the Graduate
Employees Organization to
You should be furious that
this university cares so little
about its undergraduate edu-
cation that it is forcing its
graduate student instructors
into calling a work stoppage.
GSIs at this university
account for approximately 40
percent of the teaching hours
at the University; it is too bad
the University does not con-
sider that valuable enough to
actually bargain with us in
good faith.
GEO's bargaining team
has been meeting with the
University team since
November. I am consistently
amazed at the degree to
which the University team
seems intent on simply
stonewalling, refusing to dis-
cuss matters it is legally
bound to address.
To give but one example:
GEO's bargaining team,
using the Office of Financial
Aid's official estimates of
cost-of-living in Ann Arbor,
put together a wage proposal
that would, in three years,
remedy the fact that, accord-
ing to the University's own
numbers, the average GSI
gets paid 30 percent less per
month than what it actually
costs to live in this city.
The University's counter-
proposal asks us to write into
our contract that every year
we sit back and wait until the
month of August, when the
University decides its annual
raises for faculty. The
University will decide that
percentage increase and give
us the same one.
There are two problems
with this proposal. First, it
neglects to address the fact
that our current rates are far
below a living wage.
Second, and more impor-
tantly, the proposal asks us to
give up our right as a union
to bargain for wages. That is
a right we earned and we are
not willing td give up.
Some people will tell you
that a wage increase for GSIs
will mean a tuition hike for
you. Wages for GSIs account
for an infinitesimal amount
of the University budget. If
you're concerned about wage
increases, look to this top-

----- W -- -Dal
-AT WiSA -Dil

meant to do that.


structure nearly impossible for
to be promoted beyond. Until
American society becomes
color-blind, institutions must
maintain affirmative action to
ensure that minorities can get a
foothold in corporate America.
Affirmative action programs
at the University might be at
risk when the state Legislature
reconvenes this month. Rep.
Penny Crissman (R-Rochester)
introduced a bill that would pro-
hibit employers and universities
from altering criteria for admis-
sion and promotion depending

all over the place, and it was inevitable,
- wherever the next nail or screw
needed to go, there was the kitten.
Open a new box, and he'd hop in.
Stack some books, and he'd jump over
It was like having a mischievous
child trying to "help" you unpack - a
child who had no sense of reality. And
there I got his name: Calvin. It turne
out I "had" read too much of the comic
pages. (People often ask me why I
named my cat Calvin when the feline
in the strip is called Hobbes. I have a
concise, if somewhat cat-insulting
answer: "Because Hobbes is smart.")
As the next few months proved,
Calvin was indeed not the Einstein of
the cat world. He entertained my
roommate and me one afternoon by
running full-tilt for the chair by ti
window sill, jumping off the chair ...
and smacking straight into the wall.
(That's the beauty of a cat .- not only
wasn't he hurt, but he walked out from
behind the chair strutting as if to say,
"I meant to do that.")
In December, he discovered fire in
the form of my roommate's Hanukkah
menorah candles and managed to
singe half of his top whiskers. He'd
stick his nose close, pull back as if t
say, "Oooh, that's hot,: and stick h
nose back in ("Oooh, it's still hot.")
Lately he's taken to staring into my
full-length mirror; occasionally he'll
startle and then try to look behind the
mirror to find out where the other cat
Like a lot of cats, Calvin has two
moods: wacko-hyper and asleep. I call
the hyper one "Freak Boy" - as
Henry Beard says in "French f
Cats," he runs from room to room for
no apparent reason. Or he'll paw at the
floor as if he thinks he's going to get
somewhere; I call this one "Digging to
If you really want to have fun with a
cat, the best things are a laser pointer

upon racial status. The legislation could
reduce the number of students of color in
state universities. The University has been a
model for diversity nationwide. Eliminating
affirmative action would not only negative-
ly affect minorities, but the diverse experi-
ence of all University students.
Affirmative action is sorely - and
indefinitely - needed. In Texas and
Michigan, recent court decisions and leg-
islative proposals attacked programs aimed
at increasing diversity in schools and in the
workplace. In the future, affirmative action
might be unnecessary - but for now, it

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