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February 12, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-12

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 12, 1997

Ulie £i igrn Thlg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Our tendency is to stay within ourselves,
within our community. We do not have, in the
inner sense, 'community."
- University English Professor Ralph WTliams ,in a
Diversity Days seminar on religion and diversity

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect dh opinion of the majority of the Daily 's editorial board. A ll
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Dubious improvement
Rape statistics may not indicate reality


ARP.S.4_ S

C ontrary to a Department of Justice
report showing rape rates decreasing
since 1990, the University is seeing an all-
time high in the number of reported rapes.
Nationally, the decrease in reported rapes is
not necessarily a good sign - there is an
insurmountable number of rapes that go
unreported. Many women remain reluctant
to come forward, thus the national decline
may look better on paper than in actuality.
Campus reports - although higher than
ever - may be a sign that more women are
reporting rape incidents. Rape is a reality
the University community must continue to
In the past year, the Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center saw la
record high number of reported rape cases.
Joyce Wright, prevention and education
coordinator of SAPAC, attributes the
increase 'to the general increase in crime.
Wright also believes that more women are
reporting rapes - whether they report to a
crisis center, such as SAPAC, or to law
enforcement officials.
SAPAC offers counseling and confiden-
tiality to clients - many women turn to cri-
sis centers before turning to law enforce-
ment. Reasons survivors may not want to
pursue a legal avenue vary from woman to
woman. Many are concerned about others
-even family - finding out about the
incident. Some survivors feel they need to
deal with their emotions on a personal level,
wanting to eliminate the law out from their
private trauma. Whatever path a woman
chooses to follow, coming forward - to
law enforcement officials, a close friend, or
a counselor at a crisis center - will help the
survivor deal with her emotions.

Sobering statistics prove how real rape
and sexual assault are - nationally, every
six minutes a woman is raped; one in three
American women is sexually assaulted dur-
ing her lifetime. The increase in the number
of women coming to SAPAC verify how
prevalent violence against women is at the
University. About half of SAPAC's rape sur-
vivor clients are date rape survivors; the
other half are stranger rape survivors.
Coming forward with an accusation of date
rape is difficult, but it is important that
many survivors recognize where to turn.
Only then can they begin to tackle the
issues that follow a heinous crime.
SAPAC is in the midst of its 10th year
serving the University community. It offers
a variety of counseling and support services
including one-on-one counseling, survivor
group meetings, a 24-hour crisis line and
workshops and presentations to inform the
public about prevention and awareness.
SAPAC is a great place for survivors,
friends, family and significant others who
have had to endure the effects of rape in
their lives.
Coming forward and dealing with rape is
a difficult step. A crisis center such as
SAPAC serves as a support system to help
survivors through all of the emotions that
. come with surviving a rape. Reporting rape
and seeking counseling helps survivors
understand and cope with an array of com-
monalties: patterns of emotional upheaval,
nightmares, anxiety and frequent mood
swings. Coming forward helps a survivor
step beyond the crisis point and begin the
healing process. Survivors of rape who feel
isolated must realize they are not alone. Not
far away, there is help.


Genes on the line
State should keep DNA records confidential

M ichigan residents' right to privacy
may soon extend to the realm of

genetic information. Senators Alma
Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.) and Dianne
Byrum (D-Onondaga) plan to propose six
bills to the state financial services commit-
tee that would prevent parties from receiv-
ing an individual's genetic information
without permission, require testing facili-
ties to discard DNA samples after genetic
testing except in legal situations, and pro-
hibit health insurance companies from dis-
criminating against individuals based on
genetic information. The State of Michigan
- and the rest of the country -needs such
legislation to prevent businesses and health
care organizations from using genetic data
to preclude employees and clients from
obtaining certain benefits.
A 1994 nationwide Time/CNN poll
found that 90 percent of respondents
thought it should be illegal for insurance
companies to use genetic tests to decide
whom to insure. Despite the public senti-
ment expressed in this study, many insur-
ance companies are inclined to discriminate
on the basis of genetic information. In fact,
a 1992 congressional study revealed that
underwriters at I1 of 25 Blue Cross/Blue
Shield plans would turn down an applicant
if pre-symptomatic testing discovered like-
lihood of disease.
The study also found that "insurers price
plans higher - or even out of reach -
based on genetic information." Refusing
genetically defective individuals insurance
effectively denies them access to treatment
derived from genetic research - the very
treatment aimed at helping these individu-

people who really need it.
The bills' provisions that keep genetic
information private would also assist many
people seeking employment. With genetic
profiles available to them, employers might
select workers based on their genetic quali-
ty, rather than on their aptitude for an
employment position; a genetically superior
individual could cost businesses less in sick-
leave pay, less in health insurance costs and
less in diminished productivity due to ill-
ness. While the ability to screen applicant
pools for such individuals may spell larger
profits for companies, it would preclude
many well-qualified, yet genetically defec-
tive individuals from attaining employment
- many people could lose employment
opportunities through no fault of their own.
Given the profit-mindedness of contempo-
rary business, the growth of such genetic
selectivity among companies has a high
Acknowledging the possibility of this
situation, Michigan Gov. John Engler plans
to appoint a "Governor's Commission on
Genetic Privacy and Progress." Through
attention to issues of genetic confidentiali-
ty, the governor and state legislators should
keep employment opportunities accessible
to adequately qualified candidates.
The rapid growth of genetic research has
enabled scientists to effectively diagnose
and treat a range of ailments. Discovered at
a rate of two per week, genetic bases for
diseases hold high importance in medicine.
However, outside the realms of medicine
and research, such information should
remain confidential. Michigan legislators
and state residents should back the upcom-

U Honors
rates high
I am very concerned
about the recent article
("New college, special-
expense fund requested for
recruiting," 217197) that pre-
sented a very negative view
of the Honors Program (not
'Honors College,' as it was
called eight times in the
piece). As an Honors student,
I feel that several points need
to be addressed.
The allegation that the
quality of Honors applicants
and enrolled students has
been falling is preposterous.
Allow me to clarify two
First, there is no separate
application for the Honors
Program. When prospective
students apply to LSA, those
who meet certain academic
criteria are automatically
referred to Honors. If a stu-
dent does not qualify during
the automatic round, he or
she can request a review of
his or her file. Thus, the only
way to claim that the quality
of Honors applicants has
dropped is to say that the
LSA pool ilf exhibits signs
of academic deficiency.
Second, the standard for
referral to the H onors
Program is extremely high.
During the past four years,
the criteria have consistently
risen. This year. students
must have scored at the 97th
percentile (or higher) of the
SAT or ACT to qalify for
the automatic referral.
Additionally, the Honors
Program has always believed
that while standardized test
scores can be a good indica-
tor of a student's collegiate
success, the program realizes
that test scores may not accu-
rately represent a student's
overall potential. That's wy
Honors reads applicants'
complete files, including
essays and letters of recom-
mendation, before making an
invitation decision.
Second, h onors is hardly
an impersonal institution.
Honors is really a place
where "everybody knows
your name" From the student
services personnel to the
counselors, to the directors,
individual attention for
Honors students is the norm,
not the exception. One of the
reasons I chose Honors was
the assurance that I would be
far more than a faceless num-
ber, lost in the University's
Without the advantages of
counselors who knew me, a
support staff that can and will
do anything to fix a problem,
and directors who are devot-
ed to the principle that stu-
dents who can do advanced'

run by Honors, consist of
taking Honors classes,
exploring the opportunity to
do independent research and
participating in an Honors
Sophomore Seminar.
The second two years of
the program are supervised
by individual departments,
which establish their own
standards for admission to a
departmental honors concen-
Some departments have
limited space in their Honors
concentration programs.
Thus, not everyone who
wants to do an Honors histo-
ry, English or political sci-
ence degree will have that
opportunity, due to limited
resources. Other students
successfully complete two
years in Honors and choose
to pursue avenues of
advanced study which do not
include writing an Honors
thesis. Saying that only 40
percent of Honors students
who enroll as freshmen grad-
uate with Honors implies that
60 percent of them simply
drop out. This is not the case.
The University Honors
Program is not an impersonal
refuge for the academically
challenged Rather, it is an
institution which allows the
University to compete for the
best students in the country. I
feel that the task force report
does not fairly or accurately
present the Honors Program's
true advantages.
End Clinton's
'Goals 2000'
The era of big govern-
ment lives on in many of Bill
Clinton's pet programs,
including Goals 2000.
This piece of Clinton
election propaganda wastes
money, duplicates existing
programs and nationalizes
parents. For those unfamiliar
with this piece of legislation,
all you need to know is that
instead of improving elemen-
tary education, as Slick Willy
would like you to believe, its
primary purpose is to lead
you to believe he is doing
something in the White
House besides reading FBI
files, having coffee with
Chinese arms dealers and
operating taxpayer-funded
computers for campaign pur-
"Goals 2000" was passed
during the 103rd Democratic
Congress with an appropna-
tion of $105 million. Of this,
88 percent, or $92.4 million,
was earmarked for block-
grants to states. Only 40 per-
cent of the total had to go to
the school districts. The rest
was reserved for the bureau-

cent increase in funding from
$350 million to $491 million.
He wants close to $1 billion
dollars for 1998.
The NESIC will do little
to improve the American
education system. For exam-
ple, their history standards
resolution was defeated by a
99-1 vote in the U.S. Senate.
Nonetheless, the original
bill gave NESIC the authority
to impose ridiculous stan-
dards on our schools. "Goals
2000" will put public schools
at yet another disadvantage.
Read the bill yourself and
join me in opposing wasteful,
unnecessary and out-of-touch
programs such as "Goals
Debate over
school control
is 'classist'
I'm writing in response to
David Sirkin's letter to the
editor on Monday ("Local
control hurts public school
quality"210/97). Sirkin
states, "they (school board
members) may not be partic-
ularly well-educated them-
selves, especially if the dis-
trict is a depressed or work-
ing class town. The board
members may include real
estate agents or retired
policemen." This is a heinous
example of the classism
found among college stu-
I'm sure real estate agents
and retired policemen would
be very upset to find out that
they are not "well-educated"
This is part of the belief that
if you do not attend a univer-
sity, you are an idiot.
I would beg to remind
Sirkin that the founding
fathers of this great nation
were farmers and city
dwellers who never attended
an university. I will remind
you of all of the not-so-
"well-educated" individuals
who have gone off to war to
die for your rights.
I would also like to state
that my parents, who are
"working class" people,
know a hell of a lot more
about what's good for the
local school than the state
government does. My parents
are the people who I come
home to and tell about the
problems our school is fac-
ing. Government officials
have their kids in schools that
are already teaching to state
standards, so what do they
know about schools that
Sirkin also states that only
inexperienced and bad teach-
ers teach in "less desirable"
school districts. He states that
good teachers go to wealthier

The guy'sguide~
to real movies
Picking out a rental movie can be a
eIrculean task, eenfor the brightest
coo j*l
- PJ. O'Rourke
F ew things provide more insight
into the schism between male and
female tastes as movies. Most of the
time, gender differences are subdue
and subtle: An upraised toilet se
here, a closet full of identical black
shoes there. As a
species we arey
pretty good at
ignoring the fact
that men and
women are so fun- <>
damentally oppo-v
site that not only is
the heterosexual
union a marvel,
but a miracle on
the order of Tori JAMES
Spelling's contin- MILLER
uing television MILLER ON
career. TA
I feel sorry for
women. To them, our taste in films
must seem not oly repugnant but
baffingly illogical. My parents have
stopped going to the video store
together, realizing that an eye-to-e
agreement on a film is nearly impossi-
ble across the gaping gender gap.
People of our age and experience must
find the problem even harder to deal
with. So as a public service to all the
women of the University (although
this will be less useful than my leaving
town), I will try to delineate, as clear-
ly as possible, the rules and methods
for understanding what constitutes a
good "guy film" and how to rea
some kind of truce in the movie war'.
No. 1: Ladies, please, realize that
everybody has stupid tastes. When a
guy watches, say, a "Conan" movie,
usually he is aware that what is watch-
ing is crap. Pleasant crap. Crap that he
likes. But crap nonetheless. If sent to
the video store to select a movie for
him and his woman, he will usually
know better than to bring home the lat-
est Jean-Claude Van Damme ovee
lest he find himself in the middle of a
U.N.-sponsored nookie embargo.
'his having been said, STOP MAK-
We know you like it, but, Jesus, we
hate it.
No. 2: Why guys hate chick flicks.
Himm, this one is a little tough. S
guys like movies that are interestin.
This is a deceptively easy concept. By
"something," I mean interesting char-
acter development, good c inematogra-
phy or an intriguing story that proba-
bly would never happen to me in the
real world. The whole point of going to
the movies is to see things that never
happen to you in real life. That's why
they call it entertainment. If I wanted
boring, drab, motionless and stupid, 1
stay home.
Films like "Mermaids," "Thelma
and Louise" and the aforementioned
"Fried Green Tomatoes" consist of an
hour-and-a-half pity party that either
leaves you feeling like you haven't
seen anything at all or feeling like you
should have a sense of guilt over your
ownership of a penis.
And while we're on the subject of
"Thelma and Louise," let's put this one
to bed for good. The movie sucks, a
sucks hard. I don't buy the line that
men hate it because it shows women

doing things that men usually do in
action movies and that threatens us.
Hogwash. You call that an action
movie? One stolen car, one car chase,
one blown up truck and only three
deaths (two of which are not pictured)
do not an action movie make. Clint
Eastwood after a bottle of bourbon an
a handful of Quaaludes could make
more exciting movie. Either make
them right, or don't make them at all.
No. 3: Debunking the "Shoot 'E m
Up" myth. There is a fallacy in com-
mon circulation that a guy movie must
only contain breasts (mere cleavage
would be acceptable), guns, blood and
casual, meaningless sex. Not true.
While all of these things are impor-
tant, movies with all of these things
are typically of the Dolph. Lundgr
made-for-"Showtime" variety an
suck almost as hard as "Thelma and
Louise:' This is similar to the myth
that all women think Robert James
Waller novels are the end-all be-all of
seduction and that the sun rises and
sets in Brad Pitt's pants. It's basically a
lot of nonsense propagated by Oprah,
Ricki, Sally and that emasculated
yahoo who wrote "Men Are From
Mars, Women Are From Venus."
No. 4: The list. The following is a
short list of films, actors and directors
that have a strong command of the guy
sensibility: "The Hustler," "Butch
Cassidy and The Sundance Kid," "Full
Metal Jacket." "Apocalypse Now,"

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