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March 31, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-31

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 31, 1997

aIIe t'I

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

JOSH WHITE
Editor in Chief
ERIN MARSH
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the 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.
FROM THE DAILY
Opening the floodgates
Admissions creates difficulties for housing

" NOTABLE QUOTABLE,
'It is pretty hard to override physical space limitations.
Being off by 100 people Is not a big deal for the
University, but It could be a big deal for housing.'
-- Director of University Housing Alan Levy, responding to predictions that the
University's Class of 2001 could be one of the largest in the schools histQry
JiM LASSER SHARP AsTo AST
We'll Never Forget...
... a first kiss... 1 ... graduation ...
~LEGG "o N K HNM N
' . leaving home.. ...and nine seniors.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Feminists lose
their strength
by fighting the
wrong battle

When the University finds higher num-
bers of incoming students than
expected, admissions officers and most other
University administrators see dollar signs.
However, administrators in the
University Housing Office see first-year
students living in residence hall lounges.
By admitting a large number of students
and being surprised with the number of tak-
ers, the admissions office is selling space it
simply does not have. While high enrollment
generates more tuition dollars, it creates a
difficult situation for housing administrators
who are left with the task of finding nooks
and crannies in which to place the overflow.
In response to last year's University
housing shortage, the office created "over-
flow triples," which place three residents in
double-occupancy residence hall rooms.
The understanding is that one resident will
move out partway through the semester
when the University is able to uncover addi-
tional housing space. The arrangement,
however temporary, leaves all three room-
mates with insufficient living space and the
tense decision of who will stay and who will
move. The student who leaves - at some
undetermined point during the semester -
must relive the inconvenience of moving
day, this time in the midst of papers, tests
and classes.
However, a shoebox-sized room is better
than no room at all. When first-year stu-
dents arrived at North Campus' Bursley
Hall last fall, some were greeted not with
room. keys and new roommates, but with a
spot on the nearest lounge sofa. Due to a
University housing shortage, 10 new stu-
dents lived in residence hall lounges until
the housing division was legally free to
reassign unclaimed leases. The students

,

moved into the first available rooms after a
two-week freeze on housing vacancies;
some later moved into more permanent res-
idence hall rooms. The fees students pay for
University housing are high by any stan-
dard; paying so much to live in lounge
space or closet-sized rooms is unacceptable.
University housing shortages usually
stem from three problems: large first-year
student enrollment; an unexpectedly high
response from current University housing
residents to the housing office's annual
reapplication campaign; and University
housing space that is converted to office
space. The housing office's "Reapp" pro-
gram is often too successful; efforts to tone
down the drive for a higher return rate
might curb some of the problem.
Additionally, the University housing office
has been working over the past two years to
recover office space in West Hall and con-
vert it back to student rooms, but it cannot
combat the University's mission to boost
enrollment to all-time highs.
Next year's incoming first-year students
must not experience the trials of last year's
temporarily homeless students. The
University Undergraduate Admissions
Office must include the University's other
important factions when deciding class
size. By leaving the University Housing
Office in the dark, the admissions office
creates a difficult situation for housing
administrators and a worse situation for stu-
dents. If the admissions office continues to
operate autonomously from the the housing
office, incoming students will receive their
first University lessons upon move-rn --
and they'll find that the admissions office
has something to learn about communica-
tions and simple mathematics.

Level playing field
Title IX does not achieve gender equality

I t may have taken 25 years, but the
University has 12 official women's ath-
letic teams that make up about 40 percent of
the total number of student athletes.
According to the U.S. Department of
Education's Civil Rights office, that means
the University is squarely within the limits
of a 25-year-old law.
However, collegiate athletic departments
should not reflect on the anniversary of the
federal law known as Title IX with com-
plete satisfaction. The nationwide colle-
giate community has made many inroads to
gender equality in women's athletics at the
university level, but the journey is by no
means complete.
When Title IX passed in 1972, it
promised to give across the board, equal
opportunities for women in higher educa-
tion. At its heart, the law addressed every-
thing from tenure reform to admissions, but
its greatest impact has been on college
sports. Without Title IX, most athletic
directors might not have sponsored
women's teams. Even today, some schools
readily admit that they wouldn't have
women's sports teams if they didn't have to.
Under Title IX, the U.S. Department of
Education can withhold all federal dollars
from institutions that do not achieve total
gender equity in sports programs. That
includes entirely equal budgets for men's
and women's programs: equal recruiting
funds, equal player scholarships and equal
average salaries for coaches. However, that
degree of financial gender equality has
rarely evolved. Nationally, on the average,
women's sports programs receive 25 per-

schools, women make up 52 percent of the
student population. Due to observable stag-
nancy, universities seem to be generally
content with those numbers. The federal
government cannot allow college athletics
to lag in terms of gender equality.
No one can expect woman's programs to
have the economic strength and popular
support of men's programs overnight, but a
quarter of a century was not an unreason-
able amount of time in which to make a
showing. Individual women athletes who
have sued college universities under Title
IX for cases of inequality have consistently
won and received monetary compensation.
While the threat of litigation has scared
some programs into increasing support for
women's sports, many still lag behind,
dragged back by the outdated dogma that
women belong on the sidelines and not on
the field.
The U.S. Department of Education
should take an opportunity on Title IX's sil-
ver anniversary to reconsider the law and
how it relates to college sports. There seem
to be just as many deserving female athletes
who might not be able to attend college
without a scholarship as there were 25 years
ago. They deserve their share.
Just as the federal government was able
to encourage universities to support fledg-
ling athletic programs for women, so
should they enforce equality in funding. As
University Senior Associate Athletic
Director Peg Bradley-Doppes said, "It's not
enough to show good faith effort in the
right direction."
Numbers, not loosely held intentions,
,_- _- _ T _ a. - . . . r.. ,--

Anti-Playboy
letters make
questionable
assumptions
To THE DAILY:
Lara Hamza ("Playboy
objectifies women," 3/27/97)
writes about Playboy: "The
message to anyone who opens
it is clear: women are nothing
more than sex objects for
men to masturbate over."
Melanie Nelson ("Protest
story ignored other side of
porn," 3/27/97) writes:
"Every day women at this
university show their real
stuff-- their intellect, cre-
ativity and social activism
- without putting their bod-
ies on display.'
Some of the assumptions
underlying these statements
include: that being looked at
sexually automatically turns
one into an 'object'; that
being viewed as an object can
only possibly be a bad thing;
that no one wants to be
viewed as an object; that
being viewed as a sexual
object is worse than being
viewed as an intellectual
object or a social object that
being viewed as a sexual
object precludes also being
viewed as an intellectual
object or a social object; that
being viewed as an intellectu-
al object or a social object is
somehow "less objectifying"
than being viewed as a sexual
object; that putting your body
on display is worse than
putting your intellect or cre-
ativity on display; and that
your body is somehow less
"real" than your intellect,
creativity, or activism.
All of these assumptions
are questionable, and some of
them I believe to be plainly
false.
GREG STEVENS
RACKHAM
'U' needs
Latino/a
center now
To THE DAILY:
I have made a visit to
almost every residence hall
and have noticed that in
every dorm, there is an
African American theme
lounge. I also noticed that
there is only one Latino/a
lounge on campus and it is in
Mosher Jordan. The Latino/a
community is growing here
and there needs to be cultural
center on campus that will
serve the needs of the
Latino/as here at the
University.
A cultural center here
would serve as a focus point
and help all the members of

low defense of the death
penalty ("Mumia guilty and
should be executed,"
3/21/97). Among his collec-
tion of unsupported asser-
tions, he acknowledges the
possibility that innocent peo-
ple will be executed, however
"the number of would-be
convicts that are deterred eas-
ily dwarf those who are inno-
cently put to death.'
Apparently, executing
innocent people disturbs me
a lot more than it does Taub.
Perhaps he and others who
share his politics can only
think of innocents being exe-
cuted in the abstract sense.
To make this horror real to
him, he should investigate the
case of Mumia-Abu Jamal, a
man he so easily dismisses as
a "convicted cop killer" and
therefore deserving of capital
punishment. He would find
out that the case against
Mumia has a number of
extreme irregularities,
including several instances of
false testimony. He may also
discover that the Philadelphia
Police Department, which
handled Mumia's case, has a
history of falsifying evi-
dence, and that hundreds of
criminal cases over the last
decade have needed review.
Many who have been previ-
ously convicted have been
released.
Perhaps Taub's faith in the
criminal justice system is a
little too solid. Has he con-
sidered the possibility that
being an African-American
activist was a factor in the
case against Mumia? The
"wrong" race, class, and poli-
tics can often determine the
outcome of a case and
whether or not the death
penalty is imposed. The
American Bar Association
(certainly not a collection of
left-wing "bleeding hearts")
recently announced that it
cannot support the death
penalty, as it is clear that the
present criminal justice sys-
tem is unable to apply it fair-
ly.
Call it racism, incompe-
tence,'or corruption, but
Mumia and many others sit
on death row for crimes they
may not have committed.
Mumia's case needs an
immediate review, but there
wouldn't be the chance if he
had been executed.
Educate yourself, Taub,
before you callously con-
demn Mumia and others to
an undeserved death.
ERIC DIRNBACH
RACKHAM
Do not 'vilify'
candidates
who oppose
spending cap

instead of having the
Students Rights Commission
Chair imposing a "voluntary"
cap upon campaign spending
and then publicly humiliating
those who have not signed up
for it by date X,' it would be
far more effective for the
candidates simply to make an
accounting of monies spent
by their party and by each
candidate for the Rules and
Elections Committee to make
public.
If this system was placed
into the MSA compiled
code, each candidate would
have theircampaign funding
scrutinized by not only MSA
but the students voting for
them. It would be far more
helpful for the students to
know just how much candi-
dates spent than for a select
few to subscribe to a cap.
Knowing just how much was
spent, students could then
publicly humiliate candi-
dates for spending such large
sums of money on MSA
elections.
I find it pathetic that
EAlison would resort to whin-
ing to the student body that
candidates refused to sign up
for a voluntary spending cap,
and that this represented
some kind of breach of mis-
trust. It's a voluntary spend-
ing cap. If people are going
to be dumb enough to spend
more than $500 for an office,
let them. Students who are
informed are not going to be
swayed by any amount of
spending.
I find Ellison's letter irre-
sponsible as well. As one
who should be impartial dur-
ing the election season, for
her to directly attack two of
the parties running simply
because they have ideological
differences with her plan is
petty.
In fact, after reading the
letters by members of the
Liberty Party and the United
Rebels Front in the Daily and
on Ellison's own home page,
it appears the only thing that
they have done wrong is to
openly point out the flaws in
such a system. To dismiss
these parties out of hand with
a "whatever" is simply juve-
nile.
Finally, I must question
Ellison's claim that those
candidates not signing were
"unresponsive to constituent
inquiry." They were instead
unresponsive to hers.
Let the candidates waste
their money on the elections
process. If students knew
instead how much is spent by
every candidate, it will
inform them with the knowl-
edge that certain candidates
are crazy enough to spend
vast sums of money on a
campaign or crazy enough to
go out of their way to gain
votes, such as dressing up in
a beer can costume. It will
help them make an informed
decision about who to vote
for. But to "voluntarily" ca

T he word "women" does not con-
tain a 'y.'
While I risk losing membership priv-
ileges in the sorority of womanhool
for the following statement, I am not a
feminist. I have
no desire to be a
feminist.
Somewhere in E
the midst of theĀ°
struggle for
equality, femi-
nism lost sight
of the goal.
Instead of work-
ing with men,
these women MEGAN
began working SCHIMPF
against men.st sT r w
And so femi-
nism has become a label associated
with bitter, angry women who have
nothing better to do than sit around
together and complain about what they
have been denied, how they havebeen
slighted and why PMS.is a curse.
This is only one example of how
feminism has lost its luster for a grow-
ing number of women today.
Feminism has failed to attract a new
generation of women who will some-
day be the leaders of the country and
the world.
Perhaps this is because of the ground
that feminism has already covered, the
battles it has already won. Maybe this
new generation is taking what it ha
been handed for granted. But even
feminism made this optimism and
action possible, it has failed to evolve
with women. Without this next gener-
ation, feminism can gain no more
ground, win no more battles.
Where these women are most strik-
ingly different is in their direction.
Instead of looking inward, womenare
now looking outward for what they
can accomplish, instead of what thea
can be worried about. Strength is n
longer measured by how many com-
plaints and injustices one can register
it is based on how many results one
can account for.
This is how it should be. Before fem-
inism derided into support-group ther-
apy, it was a way for women to think
they could be as successful as men and
set the same goals. This is what
women today are looking for.
An action group instead of a suppo
group. A schedule instead of an agenda.
So strength is not the problem.
Strength is the solution. The problem
is that feminism's strength is inwardly
directed.
Being a foot soldier for all woman-
hood is no longer the-first thought in
the mind of a woman who is promoted
or acclaimed. No one wants to contin-
ually think of herself as "the woman"
against "the man The time for being
a token has past. The time for being
made to feel guilty for not being the
woman instead of being the person has
also past.
Success is more personal than that.
Time can be used to accomplish some-
thing.
This is not to say that women should
return to being barefoot and pregnant
in the kitchen. Women bring very valid1
complaints every year about equ~
rights, sexual harassment and equal
opportunity, and these issues should
be regarded with the utmost respect
and fairness.
This is to take issue with the politi-
cally correct, borderline radical femi-
nism that has taken over the image of
equality and refocused on separatism.
These organizations focus on setting
women apart as different, enlightene!d
beings relative to men. In doing s
they perpetuate an, image of women
needing strength from a group, not

from herself as an individual.
Instead of reinforcing the images of
years ago, feminism should move
ahead and look to the future. The intel-
ligent, motivated women who are
coming out of colleges across the
country today are ready to champion
women's abilities on a new level. They
are ready to be successful based oA
brilliance and creativity, not simp -
because they are women. What they
are ready to leave behind is a dated,
stifling model of feminism that
encouragesacomplaintscin private
rather than action in public.
Much more could be accomplished
by working together. By not concen-
trating on the differences and the dis-
tinctions, men and women could con-
centrate on the task at hand. The pla
ing field has changed since the femi-
nist movement launched in the 1960s
- it has slanted in different directions,
and the sun is shining in- other eyes
now. Women have accomplished more,
and men have gradually become more
--~a .t tha h:lita o -wm

I

J

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