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October 09, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-09

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TL,- M- J - T".-A- n - I& ^ Ll -. n I (It-U-, C: A

Lo CA LSTATE TeMiigan Daiy - Thursay, Octoer9 -
California term limit ruling unlikely to affect Michigan


LANSING (AP) - Although a fed-
eral appeals court Tuesday struck
down a California term limits law, the
ruling is unlikely to have any effect on
a similar law in Michigan, term limit
ivocates said yesterday.
But those opposing Michigan's
term limits said the ruling gives them
additional grounds to ask that the law
be overturned here as well.
In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in California
said voters were not told in 1990 that
the term limits were permanent and
that the ballot proposal barred former
legislators from ever seeking the same
Continued from Page 1A
charges: sexual harassment, sexual
assault, possession of alcohol, battery
and harassment.
The man then received a letter notify-
ing him that he was being brought up on
charges under the Code.
"I pleaded not guilty to everything
Scept for illegal possession of alcohol,"
said the accused, who was 20 years old
when the alleged incident occurred.
A few weeks later, the students sat on
opposite ends of the 12-foot wooden
table on the sixth floor of the Fleming
Administration Building. Neither of the
students had lawyers, but both had
friends who served as advisers and were
there for support.
They sat before a panel of five stu-
tnts, some in LSA and some in the
siness School, and each told their
versions of what happened on March
The man had completed his last final
exam of the semester just three hours
before the hearing began. "It came
about the worst possible time. And they
were adamant about me not pushing it
off," he said.
But the woman said the Office of
nflict Resolution couldn't have been
ore helpful.
"It is incredible how supportive (the
office is) and how much it works for
you," she said.
To this day, the man still questions
the atmosphere of the hearing and how
the Office of Conflict Resolution deals
with complaints.
"I really had no idea what I was
doing (during the hearing). It was just
e defending myself and I thought that
. ridiculous," he said. "This was me
whether I was going to stay in school
or leave.
"Expulsion was a very real option."
But Mary Lou Antieau, judicial code
adviser, pointed out what the Code
attempts to do: set down and clarify
"behavioral standards for this campus"
"The criminal justice system has
lower standards than the University,"
e said.
The male student said he disapproved
of the Code's resolution process.
'It's an easy place to go and say 'this
is what happened to me' and then con-
vince a bunch of 18-year-olds that you
are right," he said.
The Code resolution process requires
that student representatives serve as
panelists during arbitrations and reach a
conclusion on the issue at hand. The
~panelists cannot resolve all parties'
*mplaints during the hearings, nor can
they determine without a doubt who is
telling the truth.
Keeping the Code under wraps
With the complete secrecy of the
Code process, it's virtually impossible
for the public to find out about conflicts
at the University.
Antieau said everyone connected

ith an arbitration hearing must sign a
Wnfidentiality statement before partic-
ipating. "The panelists are precluded
from talking about the case;" she said.
The confidentiality agreement cloaks
all hearings in secrecy.
Antieau said the confidentiality
aspect was implemented by the
University because Code hearings are
"administrative" and "educational"
proceedings, not criminal proceed-
ings, and that what the accused stu-
Onts learn in the arbitrations about
their behavior is~a private issue, not a
public one.
The Code differs from the legal sys-
tem in its methods of punishment,
which focus more on education and
reform than the court system does. The
man in the harassment case received a
"formal reprimand" and was ordered to
complete an educational project as part
f the Code resolution. The Code panel
o ordered counseling and required
that the accused student have no contact
with the female student.
The male student said he is upset that
the panel found him responsible for
harassment. "They thought that the act
of me asking her to leave my own home
was harassment," he said.
Snme neonnle anutinn why the

office again.
Michigan's constitutional amendment,
adopted by the voters as a ballot issue in
1992, carries the same limitation but was
very clear in its intent, Term Limits
Defense Committee Chair Pat Anderson
said yesterday.
"What happened in California is
totally different than what happened
in Michigan," said Anderson, who
helped write the Michigan ballot lan-
guage. "It's.been crystal clear what
Michigan's term limit amendment has
meant, and even the people who are
opposing it acknowledge that."
But John Mogk, head of a group
not welcome at the house because they
felt she had passed out drunk there one
too many times.
She said the alleged incident
occurred on her second visit to the
party that night, and that if there would
have been any attempt to throw her out
the first time, she would not have
returned to the party again.
In the outcome of the case, however,
the Code decision states that fraternity
members did indeed ask the woman to
leave at one point.
The woman said that a few days after
the incident, before she decided to pur-
sue the case through the Code, she
approached the student and requested
an apology.
She claims the student told her that "he
was so trashed that night, he didn't
remember anything that happened."
According to an LSA sophomore and
friend of the woman, the male student
told the woman during that Wednesday
meeting that "if she wanted to press
charges, that he was OK with it. he
probably deserved it"
He allegedly told her he also had
broken a window that night and start-
ed a fight. She claims he also said he
did not remember those two incidents,
and was later told about them by
The fraternity president, whose term
ran out at the end of last winter semes-
ter, said the whole situation has been
blown out of proportion. "Her story was
that I had somehow ... sexually
attacked her. (That's) not at all what
happened," he said.
Right before the alleged incident,
"two or three people asked her to leave.
She kind of blew them off," he said. "At
that point, I grabbed her left hand and
tried to pull her to the hall."
Tim Meyer, a Business junior, was pre-
sent at the party and said the events did
not unfold as described by the woman.
"There was no incident. I was there.
The girl's a liar," Meyer said.
Meyer said the woman's decision to
pursue the incident through the Code was
"just the strangest thing out of the blue."

opposing term limits, said the issue
isn't the clarity of the hallot lmguage,
but whether voters understood what it
"The ballot language is identical in
California and Michigan, the way we
understand it," Mogk said yesterday
from his Wayne State University law
school office.
"Almost without exception, those
who voted for it and those who voted
against it are surprised that the effect
it has is to ban a representative for
service for life. We definitely will be
raising this issue."
Term limit opponents filed a

motion last week asking a federal
court in Detroit to issue a preliminary
injunction that would block the
amendment from taking affect.
They also want to combine that
issue with a hearing on the question
of whether Michigan's lifetime limits
violate voters' First Amendment
Opponents want the injunction
granted before next May's candidate
filing deadline. If the preliminary
injunction is put in place, 65 House
members who now cannot run again
would be able to ask voters to re-elect
them in 1998.

"The ballot language is identical in
California and Michigan, the way we,
understand it. "
- John Mogk
head of group opposing term limits

The attorney general's office,
which is defending the term limit
amendment, plans to respond to the
motions early next week.
Anderson and Mogk both said they
expect the court decision in
California will help their *case in

"Nobody has asked a court (in
Michigan) to interpret' how man-
times they can run under our amend-
ment," as they did with the California
law, Anderson said. "Our case is even
stronger than I thought."

"1 think sexual harassment and
sexual assault are (based) on the
continuum of violence that primarily
women experience"
- Sarah Heuser
Interim Director of SAPAC

..nom =all J 1.1

Harassment on campus
The woman said she hopes her story
will help other students in the University
realize the prevalence of sexual harass-
ment. "We go to parties every week, and
seeing it every week, it makes me really
frustrated," she said.
Sarah Heuser, interim director of the
Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center, said she is familiar
with sexual harassment incidents on
"We have received reports about sex-
ual harassment in fraternities around
our campus" Heuser said.
But Heuser was quick to point out
that sexual harassment "is common in
other areas as well."
In 1996, there were eight sexual
assault or harassment charges brought
against students through the Code.
So far in 1997, three sexual assault
cases and five sexual harassment inci-
dents have been investigated as possible
Code violations. The Public Record was
last updated on June 10.
But some cases that could involve sex-
ual assault or harassment are listed only
as "code violations" in order to protect
those involved when the case would be
made obvious in the description.
Interfraternity Council officials say
that fraternity parties are not breeding
grounds for sexual harassment, con-
trary to some perceptions.
"There's no evidence to show that
a fraternity party would be any more
dangerous for a woman to attend
than any other gathering at the
University of Michigan," said IFC
President Ken Tanner, an

Engineering senior.
While the man was found not respon-
sible for the sexual assault and sexual
harassment charges, the case raises
important issues concerning sexual
Heuser said that sexual harassment
and sexual assault are symptoms of a
much greater problem.
"1 think sexual harassment and sexu-
al assault are (based) on the continuum
of violence that primarily women expe-
rience," she said.
Heuser added that violence against
women "is rooted in the belief that men
are superior."
The aftermath
Regarding their experiences during
the Code arbitration process, the two
students have differing viewpoints.
"People always trash the Co&, but
the thing is, the Code works," the
woman said.
But the male student said he per-
ceived the student panelists as unpro-
fessional and felt they had too much
power over his situation. He recalled
that the panelists had a "pizza party"
before the hearing began and remem-
bered them as "laughing during a
bathroom break."
"I just couldn't believe that these
people were sitting there kind of deter-
mining my fate," he said.

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