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October 06, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-06

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 6, 1997

c E, lticl 'tg at

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
The way to go
'U' and United Way are a good team

'The officer did what he was trained to do.'
- Department of Public Safety Director Leo
Heatley, on the officer who shot Kevin Nelson
x g

A t first glance, University faculty, stu-
dents and administrators often appear
to be locked behind academia's ivory walls.
These first impressions should be quickly
squashed - the University is intimately
intertwined with the communities that sur-
round it. It serves as one of the county's
largest employers and its buildings pervade
the Ann Arbor landscape. With its far-reach-
ing influence and huge financial resources,
the University should help expand services
local charitable organizations provide to the
community. On Sept. 22, administrators
came through with a commitment to help
non-profit organizations - announcing the
University would commit to a $1 million
fundrasing drive for the Washtenaw United
Way. The University collects more for the
United Way than any other campus across
the nation - but charity efforts should con-
tinue to increase. Contributions to local non-
profit organizations enhance the vitality and
well being of Washtenaw County, the city of
Ann Arbor and the University community.
Washtenaw United Way distributes fund-
ing to more than 100 human services agen-
cies. Recipients include noteworthy and
essential charities like the Ozone House and
the Domestic Violence Project. The Domestic
Violence Project provides resources for
domestic violence perpetrators and victims.
The Ozone House provides shelter and a tele-
phone hotline for runaway youth. Thanks to
United Way donations, Ozone House was
recently able to purchase and renovate a
much-improved shelter. Members of the
University community should do their best to
spare a few hard-earned dollars to continue to
make these types of services available.
If the University meets its pledge, it will
Lawmakers shout
A woman is physically assaulted in her
home every 15 seconds in the United
States. One-third of all female homicide
victims die at the hand of their husbands or
intimate partners. While domestic abuse
and violence against women continue to be
serious epidemics in the United States,
frightening statistics often do not lead to
lengthy jail sentences.
Michigan repeat offenders of "domestic
relationship assault and battery" may soon
get a wake-up call as state Rep. Sharon Gire
(R-Clinton Twp.) pushes a bill that would
broaden the term "aggravated stalking." As
the law stands, a second conviction for
domestic assault and battery is a misde-
meanor, punishable by imprisonment for no
more than one year and/or a
fine of no more than $1,000. A Endi
third conviction is a felony, and dome
punishable by up to two years Viole
in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.
If the proposed bill passes, the First in a
term "aggravated stalking"

raise 15 percent of the United Way's $7.5
million fundraising goal. Campus efforts,
headed by Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen Hartford, are massive and ambi-
tious. More than 400 volunteers split the
University into eight regions and hope to
receive donations from many of its 22,000
employees. The United Way is a noble cause,
but the University's charitable activities must
not end with this single fundraising drive.
Along with asking for funds, the
University should provide employees with
volunteering information - many wish to
volunteer, but may not know how to find
organizations coinciding with their area of
interest. Project Serve is a wing of the
University devoted to matching potential vol-
unteers with organizations - by intensifying
the program's publicity efforts, the University
can help alleviate the dearth of volunteers
facing many local charities.
In addition, the University should hold
more campus wide community service
events. Community Plunge takes place dur-
ing the week before classes begin in the fall.
The Plunge is a daylong event in which stu-
dents are offered a number of different volun-
teering options. A large number of new and
returning students participate, and a lot can
be accomplished. For example, past projects
have led hundreds of volunteers to clean up
large stretches of the Huron River. More ser-
vice-oriented days like the Plunge should be
planned throughout the year.
The United Way is a noteworty charitable
cause to which the University should lend its
support. Additionally, the University should
share its financial - and human -
resources with charitable organizations
throughout Washtenaw County.
the cycle
d pass Gire's bill
ety will come to erasing domestic abuse.
The tragic death of University student
Tamara Williams at the hands of her
boyfriend - charged more than once with
domestic assault - must teach our law-
makers a lesson. Violence does not go away
and will, in most cases, increase over time.
On a campus level, the President's Task
Force on Violence Against Women on
Campus is working to educate the University
community about violence against women.
In doing so, task force members hope to
eradicate attitudes that condone and perpetu-
ate violence. The task force educates through
many channels. Among the task force's
efforts is to increase a postering campaign
featuring student-athletes' speaking out
against violence against women. It
also sends its message to all cam-
,tic pus communities by sponsoring
.Ce education programs though the
Greek system, a Web page and the
eries English as a Second Language pro-
gram. The task force deserves


Miller hit the
nail right on
the head
Once again, James Miller
has made massive generaliza-
tions offensive to a large por-
tion of the student body
("Meatheads embody the
bland, dull and invisible
masses," 10/1/97).
Once again, I am
shocked to find his observa-
tions all too accurate. We
have all seen these "meat-
heads." We have been inside
their houses, perhaps while
party hopping as first-year
students, and drank their
cheap beer, put our ciga-
rettes out on their floors, It
is God's own truth that these
people live among us, and it
is about time that someone
gave them the opprobrium
- that is, recognition --
they deserve.
All hail Livonia.
action is no
longer 'useful'
I am writing to applaud
Gregory Hillson's letter
("Affirmative action is un-
American,"' 9/29/97). Hillson
has hit the nail on the head
- affirmative action in its
present form cannot hope to
end discrimination because it
is by its very nature discrimi-
natory. Hillson's argument
that affirmative action is
effectively "stirring up
resentment among whites" is
particularly relevant. What
surprises me is that the
minorities who benefit from
affirmative action have not
spoken out to reform it.
I am completely against
discrimination, but affirma-
tive action asks employers
and institutions like the
University to ignore their
standards. What self-respect-
ing person would want to be
judged by lesser standards
just because their skin is of
color, or they have a different
lifestyle, religion, or back-
ground than the "majority" of
their peers? I should think
such a concept would be
insulting at best. As Hillson
asserts, "we must create a
colorblind society by focus-
ing only on merit." I will lend
my whole voice to this rally-
ing cry.
When affirmative action
was first implemented, its
measures were quite neces-
sary. However, the beneficia-
ries have seen significant
improvement in the situation

Affirmative action has
reached the end of its useful-
ness. Discrimination of any
kind has no place in our soci-
ety, and the law rightfully
should take steps to prevent
it. But we should give our-
selves some credit for having
become a more open-minded
society as a whole. We
should recognize the benefi-
ciaries of affirmative action
as being able to stand on
their own merits and stop
insulting them by insinuating
that we need to "level the
playing field," because by
doing this we imply that they
are inferior. Most of all, we
should stop compromising
excellence at the expense of a
few people's unhurt feelings.
alcohol would
not address#
the problem"
Contraiy to Eiyass
Albeiruti's letter ("There are
no benefits to alcohol use,"
10/3/97), there is at least one
thing that many people see as
a benefit from alcohol use, or
they wouldn't do it: For some
people, using alcohol can be
And although in the
newspapers we read about
the negative effects ofbalco-
hol and other drugs, there is
another widespread phenom-
enon that is not reported in
the newspapers: people
enjoying themselves without
violence, illness or death,
safely in their own homes,
while using alcohol or other
drugs. The fact of the matter
is, targeting the substance
misses the point - the
problem is when people use
alcohol or drugs in danger-
ous ways.
Targeting the substance
also misses the point when
it comes to prevention. No
amount of soapboxing or
legislation will stop people
from using alcohol and
We have seen this to bey
the case. What will prevent
deaths, violence and other
problems associated with
alcohol and drugs is educa-
tion about responsibility.
And as long as we hide
behind our hands and act
like we can wish alcohol
and drugs away by criminal-
izing them, our educational
programs will not be effec-
Finally, Albeiruti says, "I
don't need a chemical com-
pound to induce a state of
merriment." It is true that if
someone needs alcohol (or
anything) to be happy, that is
a problem..

reading) to feel good, you
have narrowed your hori-
zons and aren't appreciating
life to the fullest. However,
Albeiruti'sassumption that
all people who' ruse alcohol
need to use it is mistaken.
Most people who use alco-
hol or other drugs to have
fun simply use it as a sup-
plement to increase their
repertoire of fun activities,
and can also have fun with-
out it.
So, banning alcohol or
any other drug misses the
point behind the problems
associated with drinking or
using any drug. To stop-the
problems we need to make
sure we know how to use
alcohol or the drugs responsi-
bly, and we need to make
sure we don't become depen-
dent upon it. Banning or
criminalizing alcohol or other
drugs will simply prevent
effective education and wors-
en the abuse that we already

Those seemingl1
harmless okes
than we think: %
emetimes it's not .about the hate
and violence, you see. Sometime
it's about the hat and v'iolence, you'
In the wake of the devastating mur
der of Tamara.:
Williams, we .are #
left --as caam-
pus, community
and society-tos -
evaluate the kfeel-s
insand fears that '
mark us. Some of
US noAw stand
the nuancesnands
innuendo that seeps.-E
through the crcs nMARSH
to hurt us at ourecgnidy hI e
The jokes are-
not :so 'funny; the imaes-arenotso
Case in point: the flyers Trnly disc '
tributed by the fraternityZetaPsi.Thte
group' is !not. recognized.by the
Interfraternity Council and is thus
exempt from the IFC's standards of
conduct and rules surrounding rush.
Zeta Psi's unsanctioned flyero for'rush)"
depict stark, terrible pictures and more
terrible phrases. one shows a utout of
a man's hand cleching a pistol, witB' C
the nose of thae pistol aimed at a sec-
ond cutout of a diaper-clad baby The
flyer reads, "Rush Zeta .Psi - or the
kid gets it!" ..,
A second depicts4 young, painfully
thin woman, standing withher back fo
us andgazing pathetically over h
left shoulder, Her stiek arms and legs.'
are barely covered by a tank top and
skirt that, if itb were much shorter,
would have,.to -beoaled.,a,,beltThe
text~on this flyer reads: "Why.do men
prefer women in short skjtts?" It goes
on to answer: "At the dawn of human
ity, women, mn long. skirts trippe,'
squashing, theirbabie," Thl~t}arge
print at the bottom of the page reads
"Now that calls for a drink." And o
course, we're reminded to "Rush Zeta-
The offenses here. are so thick, 71,j
Kbarely know where to begin. The
image of a gun held t a baby's head is
blatantly awful. That " isaiviouse
The second image of,,le, bjectifie~d
young woman in thehort skirt; how-.
ever, troubles me no less. What are we
meant to glean from this flyer, and on
a larger scale, this group of men?
They like their women skinny, santi ,
ly clad and firmly entrenched in.
Neanderthal-type gender roles. The
.mini-skirt isan evolutionar.advan-
~ djd y )l hf otost to1
' that.
Let us nro forget ao "rs are
.4tn adv~rising flay 'r, thi' group.
'They wish to attract future memers tQ
their club by appealing to the darkest
underbelly of "masculinity? (Those
men closer to true masculinity rely on.
no such measures. Ask..any, self-.;
assured man who respects men and
women as .human beings sharing this .
planetand he'lJ tell you that being a
"real man" i no way invpes teating
women ike dols to e dressed and
undresse. bjordoestitivo &e o ject-'
fyi:ng them as irep Rctiduciv&tfez i -
And this is not an isolated social
malady. Ideas like the ones spelled ou
on these flyers pervade every corner of

society. This amazing double standard
we hold .about men and weomen, this
tendency to portray everything with
violence seething just below the sur-
face. The imag of the ;young woman
and the printed text were not created
by the members of Zeta. Psi - all they.
had to do'tofhnd it was open amaga
zine and start snippinig. The temptation
to l1ae al1 these soial ills, on the
"media" (a term sorely overused by
people who usually haven't a clue
what they're alking about) is great. '
But that wouldonly slye pafof thi
SSitting in class before lecture, or-
standing inlin'e at AmerIs, or watching,
'a ,gam in Michigan Staid iitn, . I've,,
overheard 'oiversatioris thdr make my
stomach slowly turn over. It's hard td
explain how it feels to hear, "I'm nqt
going out with her again'. She's kind of
fat, dude." Or, "She was really drunk,
but he wa dn t gc to iyroom.
bu -h ol ntg i o m o mWhat a bitch." Or, I hate it when girls"
wear sweats to class. 'it's so gross.
They should all wear those Tittle dress.,
es those are so sexy" h s
We live in a place where; fashion
trends drive women to expose more-
and more of themselve a% 7 f they
want to be comfortable , wear,
baggy jeans and sweaters, they should
probably wear 'm~akeup 'to' still "loot
ke a girl"
We live in a place where' 'isults are
6a1ed jokes,"'and 'if yu dot happen4






Contrary to the vibe
that's been buzzing around,
this letter is not about James
Earl Jones and the CRISP
This is about something
even more trivial, but shock-
ing none the less. I was
watching cartoons the other
day, as is my wont, and I
noticed a disturbing change
in one of our cultural icons.
In the new "Cookie Crisp"
ads, the cop, who is almost
stereotypically Irish, is now
the bad guy; where the
Cookie Crook is now the
hero, valiantly bringing the
kids of America a cereal
guaranteed to rot the teeth
right out of-their mouths.
Why this disturbs me
exactly, I don't know. Is it
because something older
than most of the people read-
ing this paper can be
changed by the whim of a
marketing group? Is it that
our level of respect for offi-
cers of the law has sunken so
low that we're npw preaching
it to our kids? Is it the fact
that obviously demeaning
icons such as the Cop and
Lucky can exist without rep-
rimand,.simply because
they've been there so long?
Is it the fact that I'm getting
philosophical over a chil-
dren's cereal that I've never
even eaten?
Ah well. It's the price we
pay for living ima generation


would include repeat offenders of domestic
assault and battery. Under this law, the
offender would be charged with a felony
and face up to five years in jail and/or a
$10,000 fine.
The state needs to treat repeat offenders
with more than a slap on the wrist. The pro-
posal to classify offenders as "aggravated
stalkers" is a good start. Society should
allow no room for one-time offenders, but
when the problem continues, lawmakers
need to punish the offender with a sentence
that fits the crime.
Five years in jail for repeat offenders
will not make the problem of violence
against women go away, but the longer the
accused can be separated from society and

applause for recognizing the problem and
taking action to educate.
Recognizing that violence will not stop
with education alone, the task force contin-
ues to create ways to stop the violence
against women. It hopes to work with the
Department of Public Safety to review pro-
tocol for responding to domestic violence
and sexual assault.
Violence against women is a chronic
problem that must be addressed effectively
by the state and the University. While
groups such as the president's task force
continue their commendable efforts to edu-
cate and respond to the problem, Michigan
lawmakers must adopt Gire's proposed bill
and continue to show that violence against




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