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February 14, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-14

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 14, 2000

Gbe Bitbipgn BaUi

Diversity can't be achieved by the administration alone

. r

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Serous es

Eating disorders addressed at week's events

"If I thought one new law or prosecution
would put an end to racism, Id be a fool."
-- Prosecutor Jack McCoy of NBC's
"Law & Order"
F or a campus where so many impor-
tant social
issues are at a head, : . ,
there is painfully lit-
tle useful social dis-
course on this cam-
pus. Considering the
fact that the
University has
become the Sixth
Circuit's test case
for affirmative
action's future, this
campus is noticeably
devoid of dialogue Jack
between most stu- Schillaci
dents, faculty and S
the administration SII It tO
about issues of race. the Left
Besides the occa-
sional pointless rambling of some op-ed
wannabe in the Daily's letters to the edi-
tor, very little discussion or analysis goes
on among University students about
issues like race and affirmative action.
We have our panel discussions, our diver-
sity dialogues and our brown bag lunches,
but somehow this doesn't quite cut it.
Things are left unsaid, questions go unan-
swered, and problems are left without
solution.
Last Wednesday, 200-odd people crowd-
ed into the Wedge Room in West Quad to
get an answer to many of the questions that
this silence on campus has created. The
Students of Color Coalition called the
meeting to get the administration's
response to the petition they had submitted
the prior week. Somewhat coerced by the

SCC's occupation of the Michigan Union
tower, University President Lee Bollinger
and a smattering of other administrators
were in attendance. They quickly copped
out and told attendees they would get back
to the crowd at a meeting this week.
An overriding concern echoed by speak-
er after speaker at the meeting was that
they felt that the University was a hostile
place for minority students. They felt the
administration gave diversity a lot of lip
service, but it was greater part public rela-
tions ploy than administrative commit-
ment.
Lee and company, for their part, could
have handled the situation better. A week's
delay, especially at the bureaucratic night-
mare that is this University, is pretty rea-
sonable. All the same, many of the issues
the SCC has brought to the table aren't
new. The administration's image of being
an unresponsive, uncaring monolith was-
n't helped when Bollinger fumbled
through an explanation of why he couldn't
deal with it right away. Interim Vice
President for Student Affairs E. Royster
Harper's attempts to send the blame
thrown her way back onto students were
stupid and inaccurate.
The whole situation was placed at the
administration's feet for good reason. The
University, especially in light of the Center
for Individual Rights's two lawsuits, should
be doing a lot more to reach out to the stu-
dent body for input.
Instead, the University has contented
itself for years with simply relying on
abstract and in many cases ineffective pol-
icy. It isn't that administrators don't try -
there is a huge volume of diversity-orient-
ed programming out there - but program-
ming will only get you so far. These efforts
are all very top-heavy, allowing the admin-

T oday marks the beginning of Eating
Disorder Awareness Week. There
will be a variety of events discussing
issues such as anorexia nervosa and
bulimia nervosa. Despite the common
perception, eating disorders are wide-
spread on this campus. Because eating
disorders affect a significant portion of
the student population, Eating Disorder
Awareness Week is an
important time for stu-f
dents to learn about the
issue. uA pEating ist
The central featuresassety
of anorexia nervosa are a t speak prMivtely
drive for thinness, a r enforrn
morbid fear of becomingy .
overweight and a preoc- r
cupation with food. Thursday, Fe
Sufferers of bulimia ner- Roms Mchigan
vosa, a disorder also ad4 7pm.
5aturdajFet.
known as binge-purge erjetjj i
syndrome, habitually
engage in episodes of Myfriendasar
uncontrollable overeat- Sponsored b
ing, or binges. These sychological ser
A presentation m
types of disorders are Staey Pearsmn, I
found in much of the ofiMentaity.
population, especially in ednesday. I
young women and it is a Rooms, Michigan
problem that needs to be "Sirviving ani
addressed.Sponsored
addresed. isrders Profes'
A highly competitive Michigan. A fry
environment like the community. Spat
University breeds the call 74.1-8584 to
need to have control and Mondry, Fe
Lounge, FimRstap
stay on top. The move Arbor 2 'Hr
from the comforts of
family life to the unfa-

'5
Sle
vi"

"Baywatch" to the singers on MTV and
the models on the cover of
"Cosmopolitan," popular culture helps
promote dangerous disorders. These soci-
etal pressures placed on women help to
explain the striking gender gap for eating
disorders - approximately 90 to 95 per-
cent of all cases of anorexia nervosa
occur in females. An increased placement
on male thinness and
i WEK. dieting in recent years
match an apparent
to Sgre ick increase in the number
to0 get a qu .
eating ssues and of eating disorders
ith professional; among males.
OD Will so Western society not
entrl campes only glorifies thinness,
5:3) -8:3m.but it is unusually cruel
1:' Wverine and prejudiced against
niion, U am-2pm overweight individuals.
P. Cenurl ca pusFor example, overweight
9 aI pm. individuals are often
, overlooked for job posi-
atingdisorder- tions, even when their
Counseling and thinner contemporary is
ces and Mentality less qualified and expe-
~d discussion by..
.D. and mebi rienced for the job. It is
not surprising that so
. 16 lver ne many people suffer from
eating disorders.
iting Disorder One of the things that
a the Eaing fis most frustrating about
&ctare open to the the damage that eating
is limite, please disorders inflict is the
in up, fact that there is help
s: Memonal available. As Eating
i ,rhwt Disorder Awareness
week will highlight at the
University, the treatment
for eating disorders has improved consid-
erably in the last two decades. There are
clinics and floors of hospitals dedicated
entirely to helping individuals with eating
disorders.
It is important for students at the
University to either help those suspected
of having an eating disorder or attain
treatment for themselves. Students who
suffer from eating disorders are not alone
or abnormal. It is a consequence of living
in a highly developed society where the
pressures of life seem to be overbearing
and suffocating.

istration to guide most debate about rac
affirmative action and diversity on this
campus. The result: The people who don't
care ignore the whole thing and those that
do are cut out of the process and become
understandably annoyed.
All the admissions policies in the world
will not transform the University's some-
what-polarized mosaic into an environment
in which everyone feels welcome.
Diversity by fiat, standing alone, cann
produce an environment where everyone
feels equal and secure. But this is what the
University has been doing.
Bollinger promised to respond this
Wednesday. He and the rest of the adminis-
tration shouldn't follow the path they have
gone down for so long. Affirmative action,
in reality, is only a part of the equation. The
administration can't keep trying to find
really simple solutions to the very complex
racial problems on our campus. To do so
would be foolish. The University has 0
chance to start resolving many of these
problems. If diversity is to he one of our
campus's chief concerns, it will necessarily
have to involve a greater amount of student
input than it does now.
It seems odd that Harper would invoke
the concept of community - as our admin-
istration is so apt to do - in speaking to
those assembled last week. Community,
unfortunately, has had little do with t
administration's approach to diversity
campus up to this point. Harper all but con-
ceded that the issues presented by the SCC
had not been dealt with and claimed that
"as a community, we have not been work-
ing on (them)." Hopefully, we will soon see
the beginning of this discussion that'
should've started long ago.
-- Jack Schillaci can he reached via
e-mail atjschilla@umich.edui
-:

THOMAS KULJURGIS

commanaments
will be effective
as 'just say no'

TO THE DAILY:

miliar and demanding culture of college
adds to the problem. What may start off
as a small diet to lose a few pounds can
quickly get out of control and can
become the obsession of sufferers of
anorexia nervosa. Their drive for thinness
and fear of obesity, fueled by a distorted
body image, lead them to starve them-
selves. Starvation leads to increased anx-
iety depression, obsessive rigidity and to
medical dysfunction.
Western culture and media are also to
blame in these destructive and dangerous
disorders. From the actresses on

Growing a future

In reference to the Daily's Feb. I1 edi-
torial ("Religious wrong"), I think that
Indiana should put the Ten
Commandments in every classroom. It
would be great, almost as effective as all of
those "Say no to drugs" signs that were in
my high school. Maybe then kids will stop
coveting their neighbors' wives and quit all
of that pesky worshiping of false gods. I
can't wait. Indiana will be a perfect
Utopia, full of health and good will.
Or maybe kids will just throw spitballs
and draw phallic symbols next to where it
says "Honor thy father and mother." If the
Governor of Indiana really believes that
classroom postings will prevent violence
in schools, why not hang up a sign that
says "hey, don't kill each other!"
Oh, nevermind, I think that's covered in
the commandments anyway.
LYLE HENRETTY
LSA SOPHOMORE
Disgracing the
flag was
unacceptable
TO THE DAILY:
I firmly believe in. every American's
right to gather and protest. I believe every
voice in this nation has a right to be heard.
Certain actions go far beyond the limits of
decency and verge on the obscene.
Flying the United States'"flag upside
down over the Michigan Union is one such
action. This inappropriate demonstration
of disrespect for the only country on earth
which allows - even prides itself - on
such demonstrations as those by the
Students of Color Coalition is outrageous.
Furthermore, to allow University poli-
cy to be dictated by less than one-tenth of
one percent of the student population
would be criminal.
The Students of Color Coalition states
that they will continue to occupy rooms in
the Michigan Union until University
"administrators visit them and comply
with their demands" ("Group occupies
Tower offices, wants meeting," 2/8/00). To
the University administration: Stand your
ground. To the Students of Color
Coalition: Make your voice heard - but
don't trample on the dignity of the nation
which allows you to do so.
MATTHEW BECK
ENGINEERING SENIOR
'Close-minded'
people run the
SCC

FORC Ly
MESSlNE:

55,

'

\ J2N
> Y THAE Q~C's - otU OC-W?~'~NmoOF 114E U' -To

Adding greenery to,
July 24, 2001 might seem like a date
too far in the future to hold any sig-
nificance for University students, but for
the city of Detroit, the date marks three
centuries of struggle, success and civics.
On this date, Michigan's largest city will
celebrate its 300th birthday as it fights to
maintain its once great legacy and keep
its population above one million. To
commemorate the occasion, the city will
give itself a birthday present of 2,001
trees, downtown beautification and a
fund to expand and persevere existing
foliage. These steps toward making the
city more visually pleasing are long over-
due and necessary if Detroit seeks to one
again become a world class city.
A lack of visual luster is not the only
reason the city cannot attract businesses
and prospective residents. Assuming
Detroit's renaissance could be created by
greenery alone is naive and the $15 mil-
lion and $28 million financed by the
Detroit 300 Commission and public-pri-
t voA ci .... rr .n.r ,iv 6, hnorml crran(-.ht

Detroit is a first step
problems. Still, Detroit cannot shake its
rundown, industrial image without
removing the dilapidated buildings and
lack of foliage supporting this percep-
tion.
If a city looks safe, clean and vibrant,
its residents and visitors began to believe
what they see. Part of the problem Detroit
has attracting people from its suburbs is
that Detroit simply does not look or feel
appealing. Its cracked sidewalks and grat-
ified walls do not invite visitors and
therefore do not invite businesses to open
shop or parents to raise children. If
Detroit attracts a larger population, its
renaissance will come by itself.
Trees are a nice gift, but city officials
must remember they are just a step toward
reviving what is perceived to be a deso-
late town. If it takes a gloss-over to attract
weary suburbanites, so be it, but there
needs to be a reason to go to city in the
first place. Detroit is not the same place
as it was when it celebrated its 250th
hirthrdim hi twith enoiuah work it can he

It is true that the degrading artifacts
should be removed. I am in agreement with
having pride in your culture and your race
but not to the extent and ways this campus
has displayed it. Look at the groups that
comprise the SCC: Asian Pacific Americans,
African Americans, Latinos and others. Now
call me crazy, but these are some of the most
segregated and racist groups themselves who
reject others who are not a specific minority
group. The agenda they have set for them-
selves makes them useless hypocrites.
Listening to what Michigamua has to say
for its actions and understanding its point of
view is the first step to solve this problem,
but instead the SCC has jumped the gun and
raided their privacy and refused to compro-
mise like the bigots they are.
MAXIMILIAN Tsui
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
Students need to
'lighten up'
TO THE DAILY.
First it was BAMN, then SOLE, now
the SCC that has jumped on the Jessica
Curtin bandwagon of protesting anything
and everything just to get their names in
the newspaper. It comes as no surprise
that Jessica Curtin herselfssupports the
SCC, as it is yet another chance for her to
get her name on the front page of the
newspaper!
Everyone in this country has the right
to free speech, as several people remind-
ed me the last time I wrote to the Daily
"in support of censorship." Believe it or
not, that includes Michigamua. At least
they do it in the privacy of their own
office, as opposed to subjecting the
entire campus to their outlying interests,
as do the aforementioned groups.
I also want to know why MSA VP
Andy Coulouris would feel "uneasy
about walking into (Michigamua's)
room" just because they have ethnic arti-
facts in there. That implies he should feel
equally uneasy about walking into the
proposed multicultural study lounge,
with the inevitable artifacts it would con-

Michigamua is
inherently racist'
TO THE DAILY:
How can the University communit
condone and support the long-time ignc
rant actions and inherently racist legacy c
the "secret society" Michigamua? It hb
been several days since those student
seized the seventh floor of the Unioi
Several days of agitation, over a week c
administration stalling, and several yearsc
peaceful protest and still 100 years of ou
rageous degradation.
In Lyell Hanes' recent leo
("Michigamua is misrepresented b'
activists," 2/9/00) he states that the studen,
occupying the seventh floor "have n-
knowledge of and make assumptions th:
are based on guesswork" then continues t,
offer advice for "natives" on how to liN
their lives. Hanes, it is time you put you'
self in a Native American's shoes instead c
stepping on them first. Or "make assume,
tions based on guesswork" of Na9
American history in this country.
Hanes also admits that MichigamL
was in fact historically racist and sexist bi.
the members do not currently use the art
facts that were found. This infers that I ca
eat at Denny's now and shop at historicall'
racist stores now that they do not practic
these acts any longer. Perhaps you ca
stroll into that room without an ounce s
guilt but I have witnessed the tears i,'
tragedy when Native Americans place
their eyes on those terrifying memoS
you call "love."
At last week's meeting, administrator
demonstrated their mastery of "divide an'
conquer," shifting the blame of inactivit
to MSA and "momentary gratification" t
evade the students' questions. What ai
the administrators so scared of that the
could not address students' concerns? Air
they afraid of alumni reactions such a
Hanes'?
We, as students of color and as pec
of this community, cannot and will not wa
any longer. The insulting dishonor (
Native American culture affiliated wit
Michigamua is simply detestable. The sta'
of minority affairs in its entirety at th
University is equally shameful. Studen

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