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September 08, 1998 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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10B - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 8, 1998

Students need to explore all

options before
Continued from Page 18
join any organization, including a fraternity or sorority. The
Greek system, particularly at the University does have much to
offer the student body and surrounding community. It overflows
with active and eager student leaders, stresses academics, par-
ticipates in philanthropic events and provides a nearly non-stop
social calendar. But the Greek system itself would benefit from
an older, more well-adjusted group of students entering their
doors during Rush. Almost every negative stereotype that pre-
cedes even the mention of "sorority" or "fraternity" is due, in
part, to its pledges - members not yet initiated.
All first-year students at any university or college are noto-
rious for making mistakes - drinking too much while study-
ing too little; socializing too much while skipping class too
often - and pledges are no different. But after rushing a
house and accepting a bid, pledges are welcomed into an
environment of older and more experienced students. These
differences can give pledges a false sense of security and thus
perpetuate the behavior that creates a negative stereotype for
the entire Greek system. Both the Greek system and its mem-
bers would benefit from a later Rush, whether in the second
semester or during sophomore year.
There should be no debate that the Greek system has much

turning Greek
to offer students and those who are certain in their decision to
join should pursue their plans. But not all first-year students
should so eagerly rush and more important, they should not
be made to feel as though rushing later is a mistake or a
Greek system "faux-paus."
Houses should as eagerly welcome a second-year student
as they do a first-year student, and the Panhellenic
Association should not allow houses to place a quota on the
number of sophomores it is allowed to admit. These actions
place an unnecessary pressure on first-year students to decide
whether or not to rush and also discourages potential mem-
bers from rushing as a sophomore.
While rushing does introduce students to others and creates
almost immediate social groups, it also secludes those partici-
pating from the larger portion of the student body that chose not
to rush. Being at the University for the first time should be a
year of exploration - students shouldn't be so quick to limit
themselves, especially at such a diverse university.
Rushing is not the beginning of the end, nor is it the deci-
sion of a lifetime. It clearly presents opportunities, but it also
takes others away. First-year students should simply be aware
of everything at the University before making limiting deci-
sions such as rushing. Weighing all aspects of every option
will serve students well, both within their collegiate experi-
ences and throughout life.

Code violates students' rights.

Continued from Page 18
member of our "academic communi-
ty.") The regents must have felt left out
because so many other universities had
a student conduct code.
The Division of Student Affairs is
responsible for implementing the
Code. It calls for a panel of students to
serve as a jury and either a faculty
member or an administrator to serve as
an ad-hoc judge. Students charged
under the Code cannot consult with a
lawyer, and in order for any witnesses
to be present at the hearing, both sides
must agree to it.
The logic behind this policy is that
the University must push its standards
higher than those in the outside world.
And that's fine - as an academic com-
munity, the University should have high
academic standards. But imposing
higher social standards is moralistic and
will only lead to making Ann Arbor that
much more of a sheltered environment
for students.
For years, students have protested
and complained about the existence of
the Code. But protests and speeches at
regents' meetings have gotten
nowhere. The administration would
really prefer if students just shut up
about this.

Last fall, two LSA students came
forward to reveal the circumstances of
the Code case between them, violating
the secrecy agreement they both had
signed. Oh, did they forget to tell you
that, too? Any charges that come up
under the Code are completely private
because someone in the University's
legal department decided it would vio-
late the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act if they aired the dirty
So the only way any member of the
student body found out about the case
was for the two students to violate a
written contract and come forward,
which begs the question: What exactly
is the University trying to hide? Is the
administration so insecure in the sanity
of its own policy that it wants to obfus-
cate all of its activities?
To borrow from Shakespeare, some-
thing is rotten in the state of the
University's administration. How else
could dozens and dozens of Code
cases be tried each year while the
University community only gets
informed about the circumstances of
one of them?
With different administrations come
different doctrines. While former
University President James Duderstadt
wanted to renovate the entire campus
with almost brute-force effort, as evi-

denced by years of constant on-campus
construction, Lee Bollinger has taken a
more aesthetic approach, letting his
"master plan" formulate over several
With other sneaky dealings like
under-the-table contract negotiations
and oftentimes closed regent meetings,
the Code was very much the brainchild
of Duderstadt's administration.
Lee Bollinger, however, is a dif-
ferent type of animal. He's much
bigger into open communication,
change and other things progressive
than was his predecessor. Duderstadt
had his moments, but Bollinger has
proven time and again that he actu-
ally lends an ear to students' voices.
Perhaps, then, he'll be able to realize
that students are not to keen on the
Code, that it does nothing to benefit
the academic and social climate on
the University's campus, and that
more often than not, neither side of
a Code arbitration comes out con-
Thanks to the pleadings of Regent
Andrea Fischer-Newman (R-Ann
Arbor), the Code will come up for
review in December. With any luck,
Bollinger and the voice of numerous
students speaking out against the Cod4
will help sway the board and hasten the
outdated policy's demise.




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