4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday. September 17, 1999
1bE £xditijn &1Q
laynard Street HEATHER KAMINS
bor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Ann Arbor: A hotbed for conversation and assault
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Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan
JEFFR E KOSSEFF
Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Dailss editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
FROM H E DVAILY '
Students, city should take crime seriously
his is my third year as a student at the
Universit, and in all that time I, proba-
bly like most guys mere, have never really
given any serious thought to Safewalk.
Northwalk or any of the various escort secu-
rity services available
on campus. Like
everyone else, I have
seen the flyers plas- 1
tered all over campus,
but never paid much t
Why should I? y
After all. Im a gsiy. x
I've never once in my
lite actively feared
rape or sexual assault.
Arbor is safe - cer- Branden
tainly the safest town Sanz
of its size that I've 4
ever lived in. There is
no part of Ann Arbor heHMie f
where I cannot go for
a stroll all alone at 3 a.m. and feel complete-
Even nearby Ypsilanti isn't as bad as peo-
ple make it out to be. Like other people who
have lived in big cities. I laugh when people
talk about "the 'hood" of Ypsi. Sure. it's got
it's less-than-pleasant neighborhoods. but I
can still drive through them at night, or walk
through them during the day, and feel at ease.
Sure. I know there is crime in Ann Arbor.
We do have assault. We do have robbery.
Occasionally we have something worse. But
this is still a town where a rape or murder is
big news. We're talking front-page stuff here,
not the little summation you would find
buried at the bottom of page eight if you lived
in one of many major metropolitan areas.
You might think that maybe a conversation
with one of my female friends might have
brought the topic out, but that has not hap-
pened. You see. I have a lot of female friends,
but the vast majority are strong, assertive
women who, even if the thought and or fear
of sexual assault ever crossed their minds.
would never admit it. They would all, more
than likely, just laugh it off and tell me that I
worry too much. Taking all this in, it's not
surprising that something like Safewalk
never entered my mind. Until Sunday night,
Apparently, a fracas the size of a small riot
broke out at the All Star Cafe. Fortunately, I
was able to avoid that particular bit of
unpleasantness. However, I had my own little
run-in with someone who was undoubtedly
one of the All Star pre-partiers. It was about
9 p.m. and I was over at Village Corner in
need of a late-night ice cream fix..
So there I am, standing in front of the little
freezer aisle perusing the various Ben and
Jerry's selections, trying to make up my
mind. Did I want cookie dough? Was it a
Phish Food night ? Alh! Decisions.
Before long, I'm joined by two girls who
walk over and begin (Surprise!) trying to fig-
ure out what type of ice cream they want.
They both look to be sophomores or maybe
juniors and hot on their heels is some guy -
whom I'll call Jackass - that I originally
thought was with them, but as the conversa-
tion unfolds it is plain they consider Jackass
person rnon grtu. I'll paraphrase an exam-
ple for your reading enjoyment:
Jackass: Hey ladies, can I get your phone
Girls: We have boyfriends.
J: Are you going to come to our party'?
G: I'm sure our boyfriends might have a
problem with that.
3: You want to go kick it at my place'?
You get the idea. I'm not sure if the guy
was drunk, stoned or just plain stupid. but he
wouldn't take "no" for an answer. It got to th*
point where the girls were getting flustered
and their witty responses had turned into ner-
vous laughter. so of course I felt compelled to
open my big mouth. I calmly informed
Jackass that no, the girls did not want to go to
his fucking party and why didn't he beat it.
He quickly retreated down one of the aisles,
yelling for his "homey" his word, not mine.
A few things truly amazed me about the
whole ordeal. First, I found the single-mind
edness of this guy unreal. Why wouldn't heW
take a hint? Did he think they werejust going
to suddenly change their minds after he had
asked the eighth time? Ladies, correct me if
I'm wrong here. but I doubt many of you go
cruising for men at VC on a Sunday sight.
The second thing that got me was hos
grateful the girls were after Jackass took off.
I was expecting a curt "Thanks" not
"Omigod. thank you soooo much. You didn't
have to do that." Etc., etc. But you see, I did
have to do that. Let me explain mnyself befor
you think I'm some kind of social do-gooder
(I do have a reputation to uphold. you know).
Where I'm from you just don't do certain
things. You do not badger a woman like that.
You do not not take "no" for an answer. I
don't think any man could have stood in my
shoes and called himself a man if he had done
something different. Behavior like that might
seem innoeent enough in the ice cream aisle,
but what happens if these girls are walking
home and run into Jackass (or someone like
him)in a dark alley'? It's quite easy to see how
single-mindedness can evolve to sexual
assault given the proper setting.
I'm not writing this to evoke mass hyste-
ria, but rather awareness. Go ahead and take
your midnight stroll. but ladies. you might
want to bring a friend.
- Brinuen San- can be reached over
e-ntmilt at hsun michedu.
W alking at night on the streets ofAnn
Arbor is not always an enjoyable
experience. Rather than a leisurely stroll, the
return home becomes an obstacle course.
What was that noise? Make sure to avoid that
street - its dangerous. It may sound far
fetched, but given recent incidents, some stu-
dents are frightened of walk-
ing on the streets of Ann FOR MOR
And who can blame them'?
Last Saturday, a female stu- SAPAC's We
dent was allegedly grabbed by s''sumich.e
a man while making her way Safewalk
home from a party on Phone: 936-
Washtenaw Avenue. Incidents Northwalk
like this instill fear in the resi-
dents of an otherwise strong Phone: 763-N
Although similar assaults are not com-
pletely preventable in any city, they are pre-
dictable. Safety must start with students exer-
cising common sense and making use of
available safety resources. U-Move offers
self-defense classes. Safewalkand Northwalk
serve students on Central and North campus-
es by offering pairs of volunteers to walk stu-
dents within a 20-minute walking radius on a
Late night bus service provided by the
University includes the Nite Owl, a free shut-
tle bus service with specific stops around
campus available, seven days a week, until 2
a.m., and Nite Ride, a taxi service charging
$2 to take students anywhere in Ann Arbor
between 2 and 7 a.m. The University offers
useful safety resources, and students should
take advantage of them.
Because the majority of students live off
campus, the city of Ann Arbor must improve
safety conditions on its streets. And the
University must work with the city to make
sure all students are protected. Last Saturday's
incident occurred off campus, so the investi-
gation was turned over to the Ann Arbor
Police Department. Regardless of where this
and similar incidents occur,
E SAFETY the University and the city are
NATION responsible for the well being
of students and residents.
bsite Although the University has
dulsapac no legal obligation for the
level of safety outside campus
boundaries, it does have a
moral responcibility. Because
these off-campus areas are
part of the University commu-
nity, the University needs to
work with the city to ensure that off-campus
streets are just as safe as the streets that run
through Central campus.
The city can start by improving the light-
ing in off-campus areas. While central cam-
pus is relatively well-lit, most off-campus
streets have little or no lighting, and students
often find themselves walking home in the
dark. Improving the lighting will help deter
many would-be attackers.
According to DPS, incidents of forcible
fondling and aggravated assault are on the
rise. Campus safety must be on everyone's
mind, and everyone must take responsibility
for keeping the campus safe. Students must
exercise common sense and make use of
University-offered safety resources. But it is
imperative that the city improve lighting off-
campus to ensure that late-night assaults
become a thing of the past.
TH E E DITOR
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T~EEEk IS 51$ I14AS '~
Daily bemoaned political apathy in the '50s
Campus political activity and interest,
which hit a fast pace after the last
war, has now almost died out. It has been
a sad commentary on student interest and
intellectualism that only a few political
and governmental organizations are car-
rying -on an active program this fall, and
that even these groups have had disap-
pointing attendance at their meetings.
Student legislature had its usual small
number of candidates and voters this fall
in campus elections, yet SL represents
one of the only effective mediums for stu-
dent action on campus affairs. A survey
of the political clubs gives an even more
The Committee to End Discrimination,
evidently outliving its usefulness when
the admission form discrimination was
largely removed, could not get enough
interest from student groups or students
in general to continue for another term.
UNESCO Council, Young
Republicans, Young Democrats and
Young Progressives clubs have not had
the attendance that their activities merit.
Certainly one need not agree with what
each of these clubs is doing, but everyone
should be able to find one organization in
which he has an interest and make an
attempt to attend its meetings.
These clubs have much to offer both in
general information and political experi-
ence. The Young Republicans have heard
some excellent speakers in the past weeks.
State party leader "Pat" Cleary, state Sen.
Creighton Coleman and Young Republican
leader John Tope have spoken in recent
open meetings on the political picture, leg-
islation and campaigning - topics which
should interest people outside of the Young
For stories, see page 16.
Republicans as well as club members. Yet at
non of their meetings have the Young
Republicans had more than 50 people.
This discouraging state of political
affairs need not continue any longer. In
the past weeks, new clubs have appeared
on campus, and if successful in gaining
recognition, can well turn the present
trend of apathy. With the Society for
Peaceful Alternatives and the Civil
Liberties Committee past the organiza-
tional stage and "Students for
Eisenhower" almost ready to be formed'
there can be no excuse given that students
lack opportunity for political expression.
Further diversity is added to the polit-
ical scene by the Lawyers for Taft Club,
and there should be no reason why inter-
ested campus Democrats couldn't whip
up a "Truman for Re-election" group.
The opportunity for political expres-
sion is not denied to us; we simply do not
make use of it. An alert campus engaged
in intelligent political activity could be
ample proof that "political defeatism"
and "intellectual stagnation" are not in
control of the campus.
-- This editorial was first published
in the Daily on December 4, 1951.
TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in response to Mike
Kegler's letter ("U' Radio Station Needs
Complete Makeover.'" 91599).
Kegler makes several points in his letter
that I take issue with as a station member
and listener. as well as a part of the Ann
In contrast to Mr. Keglers suigestion,
WCBN does indeed embrace independent
hip-hop and rock. The freeform shows that
make ip a large part of the station's sched-
ule feature a great deal of these two kinds of
music..A quick look at the station's playlists
tmakes this fact clear'(/suit: uu'sfs.is's).
Bu i f these were the oily types of music
that WCBN played, then it would be just
another college radio station. It is the
"obscure jazz" and "God knows what else"
that make WCBN so special. and so amaz-
Jazz musicians like John Coltrane. Sin
Ra and John Cage have had a tremendous
influence on music as a whole. By all
means. their music deserves to have a place.
WCBN is one of the very few- stations left
in the cosuntry svhere the stork of such swonm-
derful musicians can be heard in the same
time slot as important independent musi-
cians of today.
As far as Mr. Kegler's suggestion that
WCBN does not support local musicians,
this is simply false. WCBN has a local
music show, as well as a large local music
section in its library. It is far and away the
best place for local artists to get exposure.
WCBN also sets up a wide variety of live
shows throughout the year featuring Ann
Arbor bands. Most, if not all of these shows.
enjoy very good success.
Ws'CBN does not ignore any genre of
music. and it tries to embrace the best amd
most creative mumsicianis possible. Itis a fats-
tastic resource, as well as being an impor-
tant part of Ann Arbor. That Mr. Kegler
calls the station's programming "absurd"
shows that he is not particularly familiar
with WCBN and the idea of freeform. I sug-
gest that he listen a little more carefully, and
reconsider his conclusions.
In a time when good art of all kinds is
being shoved aside. there is no reason to
call for the abolishment or overhaul of a
radio station that embraces all that is inde-
pendent. innovative, and artistic.
14 JlI, W4. Igqq I QyEWt :m :t'
to be shared.
The reason why student government
has not been able to accomplish this feat
in 40 years is that so many people higher
up on the food chain don't want it to hap-
pen. Giving students power or additional
access to the powers that be has histori-
cally not been a popular notion among
If the regents wanted a student mem-
ber. they could essentially bypass the
state constittion amd allo a student to
be elected - but there are too many egos
in the way. Some of the jpstifications I've
been given as to why additional student
involvement wouldn't be a good idea are:
The regents do enough outreach to
students on their own. they know how
students are feeling.
A student regent wosldn't have to
do an expensive state wide campaign like
the rest of the regents - it wouldn't be
fair if they got the same rights.
Regents sit for a term of 8 years
and students would only sit for two, it
wouldn't be enough time for them to
learn what they need to know to do the
it would be counterproductive if a
student came it solely to push their own
political agenda - it would be a waste of
We heard it all. so we turned to
Lansing to force them to change.
Lobbying the legislature to change the
constitution is a noble pusutit; however,
even if thi svere to be placed on the bal-
lot, the ad campaign before voting day
would be long and expensive and we.
couldn't use University money (student
fees) - however, any people out there
with million dollar trust funds could fund
So, the fight is now to convince the
regents' that they don't do enough to hear
siudent voices, in fact.they ove ss more
than to hear s. We have the right to an
active role in the University so now we
have to demand they give it to us.
I challenge yous to approach the
regents' via MSA President Brain Elias.
Currently, he alone can talk to the Board
as the voice of the student body. Let him
know your concerns, and he will advo-
cate for you. This is the first step.
But it will take more than that, I am
afraid. We will have our Student Regent
only when the regents collectively admit
that their power is limited, that their role
should not be limited to only those who
can afford to be there and that they will
never truly work for student interests if a
student is not allowed to sit beside them
It's their choice and their conscience.
offers a positive
TO THE DAILY:
At the risk of starting an environmental
argument over the benefits/risks of nuclear
power, I'd like to point out that all means
generating energy in this country have huge,
environmental and human costs.
Coal fired electrical plants kill many
people through mining accidents and
increased cases of lung cancer from their
pollution. Not to mention the environ-
mental damage due to acid rain, contribu-
tions to CO, emissions and the resulting
The disposal of waste is a problem 10
well. Coal ash contains arsenic, selenium,
mercuiry. sulfir and even utranisum. Some of
that is given off by smokestacks and we all
The rest has to be disposed of. The vol-
ume of waste produced from a coal plant is
much larger than that of a nuclear plant.
Have a look at
news.'19980227-1329'.hntl or mrmru:enri-
reuse.hmn. The latter states that more than '
million tons of toxic coal slag are produced
by power generation each year.
In the end there aren't any easy answers
and it's easy to fear nuclear power after hav-
ing been trained for so long by the media.
Admittedly, Chernobyl teaches us many
lessons - and perhaps it is too dangerous -
but to ignore the many costs of other altema-
ives in making a judgment is foolish
However, most people who argue again
nuclear power never consider the dangers
and costs of the alternatives.
The other perhaps more interesting ques-
tion raised by the letter is why the Michigan
Student Assembly (a student organization
that should deal with on-campus student
issues) would have any need for an
Environmental Issues Commission unless its
main job is scraping the gum off the bottom
of benches along the diag.
give students a role
in decision making
TO THE DAILY:
It seems that every semester the edito-
rial staff at the Daily will run something
about the student body's longing for a
"student regent" ("Empty Seat,"
9/15/99). Well, this news is about to cel-
ebrate it's 40th anniversary - and (sigh)
no student regent. As a former student
regent junkie who has been intimately
involved in this dead-end pursuit, I feel
that there are some critical details miss-
ing from yesterday's editorial which need
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