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October 05, 1998 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 5, 1998

Ulije irbigatn ]at

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

LAURIE MAYK
Editor in Chief
JACK SCHILLACI
Editorial Page Editor

'1 heard that they were national champions last year.
It's a big nation, so they must be very good.'
-- Engineering first-year international student Sergei Milasmovich, on the
1998-99 Michigan ice hockey team, after skating with the Wolverines last Friday.

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial boar.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
FROM THE DAILY
Manifold problem
Proceedings expose the Code's flaws

KAAMRAN HAFEEZ

As 1T HAPPENS

I t comes as no surprise that there are still
places in the world where secret trials are
being held without lawyers or judges and
sentencing is carried out arbitrarily. What is
surprising is that such Orwellian proceed-
ings are commonplace at the University.
Once again, an ugly story has crept out
of the arbitration process that resolves com-
plaints brought against students under the
University's Code of Student Conduct.
According to his accuser, six sanctions were
placed on Jason Brooks, an offensive line-
man on the Michigan football team, under
the Code. Brooks's accuser plans to appeal
the decision to have Brooks removed from
the team. Prior to the resolution, Brooks
had already resolved the fourth-degree
criminal sexual conduct charges brought
against him in the Washtenaw County court
system.
The problems with the Code are mani-
fold and ought to be dealt with when the
Code is brought up for review at the
December University Board of Regents
meeting. First of all, the Code violates the
doctrine of "double-jeopardy." The Code
is an excuse for the University, in its
desire to raise students to social standards
higher than those of the American crimi-
nal justice system and thus make the cam-
pus a more sheltered environment, to
retry and punish students on its own
terms. But, as a public institution and a
place where students are supposed to be
growing into adults and developing their
own values, the University is in no legiti-
mate position to take the law's place in
enforcing social standards.
The rights individuals should have dur-
ing any trial are denied to them during Code
arbitration hearings. Under the flawed ratio-
nale that the Code resolution process is

"administrative" and "educational" rather
than legal, the University circumvents such
essential mantras of the American legal sys-
tem as the right to legal counsel, appealing
to precedent and burden of proof.
Due to the confidentiality statement
that all participants in Code hearings are
required to sign, all hearings are shroud-
ed in complete secrecy. Not only does this
leave the rest of the student body to idle
speculation about the Code's effective-
ness, but it makes seeking precedent on
appropriate punishments all but impossi-
ble.
Finally, the individuals who are at the
center of the process are not treated with
the dignity they deserve. Brooks's accuser,
who submitted her complaint last March,
says that she was inadequately informed of
the development of her case under the
Code.
It makes sense that the University
would want its students to act with a
degree of social responsibility. This does
not, however, endow the University to
possibly determine the direction of a stu-
dent's life by holding secret trials inde-
pendent of the legal system. All of the
most recently publicized cases seem to
indicate that the Code is not working and
in December, the Office of Student
Conflict Resolution should answer for
this. When the Code comes up for review,
the administration ought not to be allowed
to hide behind confidentiality statements
and claim that the Code works in most
instances, but should be forced to prove
the Code's effectiveness. Since the Code
has proven to oftentimes help neither the
complainant nor the accused, it should be
significantly amended or scrapped entire-
ly in December.

.. LET'S SEE, CLEERt..toN. CUNTON . HERE WE ARE RENTED ON
AU4~TSEVENTEENT, RETURNE AUGUST NINETEENTH. 'WAG TIE E iG, -

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

GEO stands
for GSIs'
rights
To THE DaILY:
Steven Clarke's letter,
entitled "GEO is a waste of
GSIs' money"(10/1/98), was
a confused and uninformed
rant that needs immediate
correction. First, some facts
that Clarke prefered to
ignore.
The Graduate Employees
Organization is the union that
is simply the collective effort
of GSIs to protect our rights
and improve our wages and
working conditions. For more
than 20 years, GEO has suc-
cessfully negotiated wage
increases, a tuition waiver,
quality health care and a cap
on University fees. Because
of the union, GSIs have
recourse to an adequate
grievance procedure and a
right to clear and fair hiring
policies. Perhaps Clark feels
that he possesses enough per-
sonal savvy to negotiate all
these on his own, but he
would be wrong in thinking
that. The fact is that GSIs
might be getting very few of
these crucial benefits if it
wasn't for the union and the
contract under which we
work. Without the union,
there would be nothing to
stop the University from tak-
ing these hard-won benefits
away.
Thus, when he claims
incorrectly that GEO "robs
me of a chunk of my pay-
check" (the representation
fee that he pays), he forgets
that he has gotten back much
more than he pays in return.
Even though he has chosen to
not join the union, he still
benefits from the contract.
The simple fact that GSI fees
are capped at a maximum
$80 registration fee (and we'd
like to get rid of that) saves
GSIs $185 in infrastructure
and maintenance fees, a far
greater sum than they pay for
the union to represent them.
I am not interested in dis-
cussing the desirability of the
GEO bash or any of the other
items or events labeled "stupid

things" by Clarke. How the
union spends money is subject
to a democratic process in
which Clarke has chosen not
to participate. We cannot
change the decisions of the
union to suit Clarke's personal
whims, nor is it fair to let him
ride free on the contract with-
out union contributions. If a
sufficient number of union
members (of which Clarke is
not) want to change the union,
there is opportunity for that to
happen.
I am mostly disturbed by
his lack of understanding of
unions and collective action,
coupled with an anti-union
individualism. In this semes-
ter, when we are renegotiat-
ing our contract with the
University, it is solidarity that
will most advance ourtcause,
and I call on all GSIs to get
involved with the union and
win the best contract we can.
ERIC DIRNBACH
RACKHAM
B rooks'
sanctions are
not enough
To THE DAILY:
I am writing in regard to
the Oct. 2 article, "Brooks
sanctioned under code." I have
to express my disappointment
and disgust at the handling of
this case, particularly on the
part of the University Athletic
Department
The fact that Brooks has
not only been allowed to
remain on the football team
but also was eligible to play
in the Iowa game only about
a week after "accepting
responsibility," as the article
said, for his actions, is
absolutely unacceptable. This
man, if he can be called that,
committed a crime against
the University community,
not just the individual victim.
The University is our
school and our home. The
fact that an incident like this

could occur right outside one
of the largest residence halls
is disturbing enough, but the
fact that the perpetrator has
been allowed to continue to
have the sort of hero status
afforded to the football play-
ers shows a disregard for the
victim's situation and reflects
badly on the University.
As the victim said in the
article, Brooks forfeited his
right to play on the team when
he chose to assault someone.
In a case like this, the priority
of the Department should not
be their own interests; they
need to come out in support of
the victim and remove Brooks
from the team.
RACHEL STEIN
LSA SOPHOMORE
Voting is best
means of
participation
in society
To THE DAILY:
I would like to thank the
Daily for its coverage of
Voice Your Vote. This is
absolutely the most important
student group on campus -
a non-partisan movement to
educate students about the
importance of their vote and
to encourage the political
assertion that voting entails is
essential to our democratic
process today. Voting is the
first, best means of participa-
tion in any society, more so
because we live in one that
not only protects this right
but needs it on a fundemental
level to survive. Voting not
only expresses a political or
social ideal, but acts on it as
well. This action is crucial
for students as future leaders
and citizens to fully realize.
Congratulations to Voice Your
Vote!!!
JOSH COWEN
VICE PRESIDENT, COLLEGE
DEMOCRATS
LSA SOPHOMORE

Kalamazoo
incident shows
racism can exist
on this campus
A11 right, I can't keep up this charade
any longer. Though it may catch
some of you off guard, I have a confes-
sionto make: I am black.
And as a black student on a college
campus, I felt a spe-
cial kick in the
stomach when I
read last week of
the incidents of
racial intolerance
that in an instant
dismantled the
serenity of
KalamazooMIM
College. a school
not unlike ours in SCoTT
its progressive envi- HUNTER
ronment..I. ( #
Historically II Sol
lauded for its com-
mitment to diversity, Kalamazoo
College is one of few if any schools
where students of color might consider
themselves relatively insulated from
blatant racial intolerance.
Last week, however, students at that
school learned that they are not immune
to hate when a note advocating the
exclusionof all non-white students from
campus was left on the dorm room door
of a black freshman.
Students across the campus were
shocked. The next day a fire ignited by
an "undetermined" source scorched the
same student's room.
Kalamazoo students banded togeth-
er to show their disgust at the crimes.
But then, the following day, a passenger
in a car driving by a black campus resi-
dence spewed a racial slur at the resi-
dents.
Again, the campus was whipped into
agitation. Reading of these events one
morning, I asked the question that all
truly empathetic people ask: "What if
this happened to me?" What if I came
home one day to a letter that told me
and all my fellow savages to get the hell
off campus?
As inconceivable as the scenario is
to me, the truth is that it probably will
happen to plenty of us hyphenated
Americans sooner or later.
Between the affirmative action bat-
tle, temple bombings, the OJ trial (I'm
actually being serious about this one)
and other racialized incidents of late,
the increasingly volatile environment in
this country has spawned great leaps in
the number of racial hate crimes -
swastikas scrawled in Markley, for
instance - that sully this country. We're
talking tens of thousands of such crimes
annually. And very few people are
immune: The intolerant also like to feast
on homosexuals and religious groups.
Bringing their message into your
backyard, members of many hate
groups have crept onto college campus-
es to recruit new members. Though you
probably missed their table at Festifall,
the Neo-Nazi Public Relations
Committee is lurking somewhere on
campus. But you just don't know who
they are (I don't know who they are
either, because, strangely, no one's ever
asked me to become a Neo-Nazi).
In the face of all these disquieting
events, however, the students and facul-
ty of Kalamazoo College have conduct-
ed themselves commendably, reaffirm-
ing their commitment to diversity and
stepping up their efforts to comfort all
students.
Theevening after the dorm room
fire, K-College president James Jones

Jr. held a meeting with the campus'
entire 1,145-person student body to
publicly condemn the incidents.
Students later broke off into small
groups with administrators to discuss
the issue.
That night, students took chalk to
the walls and sidewalks to fill the cam-
pus with anti-racism messages. Over the
following days, several hundreds of stu-
dents added their signatures to a petition
supporting diversity at the school.
It is a challenge to think of how the
students and faculty of K-College could
have better handled themselves in the
wake of the rapid-fire of hate crimes.
They have not allowed hatred to glut on
apathy, inaction or unspoken fears.
But if the events on the other side of
the state have taught us at U of M noth-
ing else, it's this: Neither the liberal
atmosphere of our campus nor the diver-
sity theme semester we have underway
make us unsusceptible to the hatred that
gashed Kalamazoo. Remember:
Kalamazoo College is pretty much like a
smaller version of U of M.
Attending a school that is the affir-
mative action institute, we have a couple
of racial issues to deal with ourselves.
With all the dissenting opinion on this
campus, an undercurrent of animosity
and tension could easily translate into
nasty notes on doors, or a strategically
placed slur every now and then.
I'm not trying to preach like Jesse or
anything, but we should keep an eye fixed
on the climate of our campus to make sure
that events like the ones that consumed
Kalamazoo College last week do not

A

01

False advertising
Offensive anti-abortion campaign hits Kansas

T wo weeks ago, Jewish people every-
where celebrated Rosh Hashanah,
the Jewish new year. But for students at
the University of Kansas, the observation
was marred by a protest sponsored by the
Heartland Life Network and the Center
for Bio-Ethical Reform, two anti-abortion
organizations. These groups, brought
onto campus by a club for Christian law
students, displayed billboards that com-
pared aborted fetuses to Holocaust and
lynching victims and displayed the slo-
gans "Religious Choice," "Racial
Choice" and "Reproductive Choice."
These offensive signs, besides displaying
a rather tenuous grasp on history and an
incredible lack of taste, seriously miscon-
strue the question of abortion rights.
Granted, the display of the billboards
is free speech, protected under the First
Amendment. And people are certainly
free to believe whatever they want - but
in this case, the analogy they draw is
unfounded. The suggestion is insulting,
both to those who favor reproductive free-
dom and those who have been affected by
events such as the Holocaust and racially
motivated violence. The decision to have
an abortion should be a woman's person-
al choice, and the Supreme Court has sup-
ported this right for more than 25 years.
Abortion is an issue of rights; genocide
certainly is not. It is ludicrous to even
compare the two, to imply that a woman
who chooses to have an abortion is the
equivalent of a Nazi.
In addition, it was extremely tasteless
to display these signs during the Jewish
high holy days - it shows a great deal of
disrespect to people of the Jewish faith.
Although the organizers of the display

claim that the timing with Rosh Hashanah
was a coincidence, this claim is suspect
- the last such protest at Penn State
University was held during Passover.
Trivializing the Holocaust at all, especial-
ly during the most sacred Jewish holi-
days, is reprehensible. And referring to
those who feel this way as "genocide
snobs" (as did the director of the Center
for Bio-Ethical Reform) is ludicrous.
This demonstration was met by a great
deal of protest from students, as it
deserves. Although even hateful speech is
protected by the Constitution, it is impor-
tant that people speak out against these
ideas. In this case, the best way to fight
fire is with fire. Some of the actions of
protest by University of Kansas students
certainly were too excessive - such as
that by one student who drove his car into
the crowd holding the billboard - but in
general, the demonstrations were peace-
ful. Students at other universities where
these billboards are displayed - the
groups that staged the protest plan to trav-
el to 15 to 20 other campuses - would do
well to speak out against the message pur-
veyed by these signs.
Equating abortion with lynchings and
the Holocaust is a completely inappropriate
and unjustified comparison. Abortion is a
woman's personal choice protected by the
U.S. Constitution and the dictums of the
Supreme Court; it certainly is not genocide.
To say that it is trivializes the suffering
brought about because of the Holocaust and
racism. Though saying this publicly is pro-
tected under the First Amendment, it still is
disgusting, and people must make an effort
to speak out against tasteless messages such
as this one.

0
0

VIEWPOINT
Daily ignores Israeli violations

This letter to the Daily is signed by 17 of
us. We are Muslims, Christians, Jews and oth-
ers who refuse to quietly let billions of dollars
of our tax money go to Israel's government and
army. Even the Israeli press has reported on the
shooting, robbing and mass racial abuse of our
occupied brothers and sisters in Palestine. (The
latest incident was a week ago, Sunday.) Not to
mention the mass aerial bombardment for 20-
plus years of our brothers and sisters in
Lebanon. Israel does it, we pay for it, and we
all live our lives trying to ignore it.
We write because two weekends ago, one of
us found out that the Israeli police put his fami-
ly members in the hospital while robbing them
of their land. Their village - inside Israel, mind
you - tried to protest the seizure of their land
(the army wanted their land for a "training
ground" or firing range, depending on who you
read). So the Israeli police moved in on the pro-
testers. Remember how Israel is supposed to be
a democracy? A democracy like Mississippi was

devoting its newsprint to its real priorities.
We refuse, for today, to quietly let machine-
gun-toting racists keep physically and verbally
lynching our brothers and sisters in Palestine.
We refuse to die, physically and in the Daily's
mind, as Arab terrorists who deserve to die.
The Daily is saying a lot about itself when it
turns its back on the millions of us who face
Israeli troops and jet bombers on massive
scales. Can you imagine the titanic odds a lot
of us overcame just to make it into the
University? A lot of our families aren't even
allowed to go to work - they're quite often
surrounded by Israeli blockades on every road
between every village! The Daily will not
make all the many millions of us into faceless
Arabs who can be robbed and killed without a
whisper in the paper..
Remember how the civilized world turned
its back on six million Jews for the last centu-
ry of their suffering? Remember how being
called a Jew was synonymous with invisibility

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INOw inz OUU

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