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September 05, 2001 - Image 34

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-05

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6B -,The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Wednesday, September 5, 2001

-f

If authorities continue to attack traditions,
students may react, torch South U.

Affirmative
action not
a simple

.,

GRASS
Continued from Page 1B
to keep the crowd on the sidewalks. But the intensifying frustration
was too much. In one instant, a group of students rushed into the
street and sat down. More followed. The trickle of protesters grew
into a deluge. The police lost control and the students took the street.
A friend lifted me up so I could survey the situation. South Universi-
ty Avenue wasfilled with thousands of people - wall-to-wall -
from East University Avenue to the Bagel Factory. Some were sitting
down. Others stood. Arms were in the air. Groups were leading
chants. "Hey hey, ho ho, the AAPD has got to go!" "Whose streets?
Our streets!"
But it wasn't just campus radicals in the streets that night. Perhaps
it was the alcohol, but there were students sitting in the street who
wouldn't normally confront the police. Even typically apathetic frat
boys were protesting. And for 45 minutes, South University Avenue
was our street. And the police were helpless. The crowd made a
small path and a few runners took off their clothes and walked
through the crowd nude. Although they ran for only a few feet, but
the Naked Mile returned for a brief instant.
When the police saw that, they tried to move in, but they could do
veryiittle. Then it got sort of boring and people slowly left to go
home or to party. But for those 45 minutes, the student body was
unifigd.
Why didn't tear gas canisters explode that night? They have
before. In June 1969, thousands of students flooded a ten-block area
south and east of the Diag for two nights. The AAPD responded
with tear gas and clubs. About 45 people were arrested the first
night.
What was different in 2001? Was it the heightened attention from
the national and international media? (My freshman year, I heard
that a German television helicopter circled overhead during the
Naked Mile.) A riot wouldn't be too good for public relations. The
last time the AAPD exploded tear gas canisters to break up a protest
was in 1998 when shouting between a group of pro-Ku Klux Klan
protesters and counter-protesters turned ugly at Ann Arbor's city
hall.
I suspect that things didn't turn out worse than they did because
the students didn't know how to react to their traditions being dis-
mantled. That night was a signal that for the first time since the late
1960s, the authorities were actively trying to re-institute in loco pa-
entis - something students had successfully dismantled years ago. If
the University administration, DPS and the AAPD don't take a cou-
ple steps back, there will be a backlash, even if nobody intends to
cause one.
Big Brother is watching you
At Hash Bash this year, there was a peculiar man standing on one
of the benches that lines the center of the Diag. Now peculiar is a
relative term because there are plenty of people that stand out at an
event like Hash Bash. But this guy was different. Sort of plump and
stocky, dressed in a tie-dye Bugs Bunny t-shirt and a caniera around
his neck. He was taking shots of
the crowd and everything that was
going on while pot activists Jonr
Sinclair and Chef Ra spoke to the
stoned crowd.
But his U.S.S. Oliver North
baseball cap was a clear sign he
didn't belong on the Diag that day.K
(Oliver North and marijuana are anF
odd combination, wouldn't you
say?) Two Daily reporters con-
firmed that the man was in fact
Department of Public Safety Offi-
cer Paul Vaughn. And he wasn't
out that day to listen to marijuana
activists. He was on-duty, trying to
remain incognito, watching the
crowd, taking photos and survey-
ing the situation.
The week before, members of a
Michigan State University student
group discovered that one of their
own was actually an undercover
campus police office sent to infil-
trate their group. If universities
were sending undercover police
officers to watch its students, what
was Officer Vaughn doing on the
Diag that day?
A Daily photographer followed
him around for the rest of Hash
Bash, and shot photos of his every The University denies it directs t
move. He didn't look too innocent to secretly keep track of student
after he finally noticed that he him- Officer Paul Vaughn dressed inco
self was being followed. Vaughn University said he was there for "
tried to evade the photographer administration used to have ROT
weaving in and out of the crowd. students in the 1960s and 1970s
When the Daily questioned DPS housed in North Hall.
on Officer Vaughn's activities, the department spokeswoman said he
was there to take photos of DPS officers for training purposes. I'll

admit that's a pretty good explanation. But the University has been
infamous for deploying monitoring operations or tolerating Gestapo
surveillance techniques by the FBI and CIA on campus. When stu-
dent activists took control of ROTC offices in North Hall in 1969,
they discovered that the ROTC had thousands of files on students.
And the monitoring was sponsored by the administration. Big
Brother was indeed watching the University in the 1960s.
But what about now? The Information Age has reshaped the

image of Big Brother. Can we trust the Uni-
versity not to read our e-mail, even though
nobody could really stop them? Well here is
a case in point. After the authorities stopped
the Naked Mile, a poorly-organized secret
second Mile was planned via mass e-mail for
a few nights afterwards. The route was
changed so those who really wanted take
their clothes off could and run through cam-
pus without much attention. So I decided to > .
swing by the starting point at the School of r
Dentistry as I was walking from one party to
another to see if DPS had discovered theu
plan.
And guess who was there ... none other
than Officer Vaughn and plenty of his DPS :.
pals. But this time he was armed with a video
camera (Now was this for training purposes
or for an amateur "Girls Gone Wild" home :f
movie?). It seems that the University is taking
more and more steps to keep its eyes on mat-
ters. That isn't necessarily a terrible action,
but the University must know its limits. The Students elevated Uni
students just might fight back one of these doors of the Presiden
times. We protested peaceably the night of the following Michigan's
Naked Mile. It could have turned ugly. So what about next time?
Authorities will push students to breaking point
In the past four years, Dartmouth College lost its Greek System,
Texas A&M's Bonfire tradition literally collapsed, Michigan State
rioted (twice), Princeton attacked their Nude Olympics and here in
Ann Arbor, a freshman may have been slipped a date-rape drug at a
party and died after falling out of her Mary Markley Residence Hall
window, while another downed 10 shots of whiskey in ten minutes
and dropped dead.
When students die or are the victims or perpetrators of terrible
actions, the authorities go looking for answers. Lawsuits are filed.
Student innocence is lost.
And when the authorities, either the police or the administration,
apply a method to solve a problem, it normally means more regula-
tion, more enforcement and less student freedom. After LSA fresh-
man Courtney Cantor died after falling out her window in 1998,
what did the AAPD do? During the next few weekends, parties were
being busted left and right. When the Athletic Department noticed
that student football tickets were being scalped, they began playing
around with an idea to card students as they enter Michigan Stadium
as if we lived in a police state. And when the Naked Mile became
too difficult to deal with, the University put a stop to it.
But with all of these solutions, there is something the authorities
have not factored in. Students are and always will be tied to alcohol
consumption and the liberal interpretation of local, state and federal
laws. As students grow up, challenging authority is an outlet for the
stress incurred from going to class, studying and not knowing what
the future will bring. With those
outlets gone, where is all this pent-
up energy going to go? Look what
happened at Michigan State in
1998. The administration restricted
the consumption of alcohol at Munn
Field tailgates. The students rioted
and Grand River Avenue looked
more like Grozny.
Here in Ann Arbor, student tradi-
tions were one place where students
could direct their stress.
Having thousands of drunk peo-
ple crowd South University Avenue
' ; watch naked students parade by
(although quite strange when you
analyze it) was one way for a large
R' number of students who don't nec-
essarily associate themselves with
one another to bond. At many
smaller schools, Homecoming
brings everyone together. At a
school like the University, an event
like the Naked Mile keeps student
stress in check.
The University used to be toler-
ant of students "just being them-
selves. In his first year as
University president, Bollinger
;p g in vited hundreds of drunk students
MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily into his house at 815 South Univer-
e Department of Public Safety sity Ave. when they gathered onto
activities. The Daily spotted his lawn after Michigan beat Penn
nito during Hash Bash. The State on the way to the Rose Bowl
training" purposes. The back in 1997. He made headlines
students keep tabs of for it. What administrator of sound
. Hundreds of files were mind would let hundreds of students
into the President's House and run
the risk of the house being destroyed? Although a cleaning crew
spent the entire next day in the house, Bollinger achieved the status
of demi-god and became hero of the students.

DPS hasn't learned much since then. The next weekend when the
Wolverines destroyed Ohio State in the Big House, DPS and other
cops tackled, pepper sprayed and subdued students when the crowd
rushed the field.
The situation is best told by a student who wrote a semi-sarcastic
letter to the editor to the Daily after the melee on the field:
"I was lucky enough to celebrate the Michigan win while being

debate

0

MAiRGAMt MYRS/Duaily
versity President Lee Bollinger to cult status after he opened the
t's House to hundreds of drunk celebrating football fans in.1997
gridiron win over Penn State.
handcuffed! I wanted to point out the ridiculousness oflthe situation.
I am about 5'11" and 150 pounds. Being the animal I am, I was
greatly appreciative of the four cops who were nice enough to slam
me into the ground and yell several expletives at me, And if that
wasn't enough, I was dragged a good seven or eight yrds. I know
this because at the time my face was pressed into the 10-yard line
hash mark while being scraped against the ground. Luckily for me,
the blood only got onto the bottom of my pants and cn my shoes.
God forbid if I bloodied a police officer."
I could understand police actions in that particular case if it was
one or two students jumping the fence. But after the majority of the
students made their way down to the field, why did the cops take
their aggression out on a select number of celebrating students.
Included in the celebrating fans were alumni and University offi-
cials, including Regent Dan Homing (R-Grand Haven). DPS was
unsuccessfully trying to repair a broken levee when the floodwaters
were crashing in on them from all sides. Just like Bollinger did the
night of the Penn State game, DPS should have just gone with the
flow. DPS could have been heroes that day, but they turned out to be
the student's enemies. The reputation has never been repaired.
Prepare for the worst
Here is a warning to the University. Students are getting antsy.
Stress is building. And if nothing is done to accommodate it, I'm
afraid that a relatively harmless gathering of students could escalate
into something ugly. Who is going to be responsible when tear gas
canisters explode on South U? Or when DPS clubs students on the
Diag? Will the blame rest entirely on the hands of the students, or on
the actions taken by the authorities to squash the students? Now that
the Naked Mile has been killed, will the authorities ever tolerate
another large gathering of students? I don't think so. The authorities
should find some way to let the students vent their stress. I'm not
talking about a stupid superficial pep-rally organized by the Michi-
gan Student Assembly or the Vice President for Student Affairs
office. I'm talking about surrendering the streets for a couple hours
at the end of the year. Let the students fill South U. Lt the students
have their fin. Allow the students organize laser tag in the Grad
Library. Find an unconventional activity where students can relax,
have a good time and have a reminder of the way thinegs used to be.
The University must do that so Ann Arbor gets in the national head-
lines for sports victories and scientific discoveries, not for its stu-
dents waging war against riot police.
-Michael Grass, an LSA senior is editorial page
editor and a columnist for The 'ichigan Daily.
He can be reached via e-mail at mgrasar@umich.edu.

LAWSUITS
Continued from Page B
and outlined the value of affirmative
action in dispelling stereotypes and
promoting tolerance.
Witnesses such as American histo-
rian John Hope Franklin, the holder
of 128 honorary degrees and Jay
Rosner, executive director of e
Princeton Review presented t r
expert opinions on the disparities
between races in education and the
need for affirmative action to help
correct these imbalances. Eugene
Garcia, dean of education at the
University of California at Berkeley
provided testimony that since the
1978 landmark ruling Regents of the
University of California v. Bakke
there has been a marked regreso
to segregation in the student popula-
tion.
Arguments from attorneys for the
University and the student inter-
venors have been testimony to the
unparalleled value of a learning
environment diverse in both view-
point and race.
The need for affirmative action
has transcended strong yet somewhat
outdated arguments about the need
for compensation of minoritiesor
past wrongs.
Today, affirmative action means
the provision of a learning - and at
the University, a living- environment
that destroys cultural barriers and
promotes knowledge and respect
across between members of all
races.
But many students do not under-
stand the arguments, whether for
against affirmative action, andWe
quick to judge. But it's not a black
and white issue. There are great gray
areas open to interpretation.
A survey conducted by The Michi-
gan Daily, Department of Communi-
Sation Studies and Institute for
Social Research in 1999 shows that
stbdents on campus are divided pret-
ty much in half over the issue.
As meuibers of the University
communty it is important for
dents to be aware of developments in
both cases and to talk to people from
different cultural and socio-econom-
ic backgrounds about their opinions
on affirmative action.
Many are quick to judge and
equate affirmative action to reverse
discriminatio. But by looking at all
sides of the argment, you'll find
that the system the University
has great benefits. It a system tat
is worth defending.
- LSA sophomore Joi anna Hanink
is an associate editorial page editor
and columnist for The Michigan Daily.
She can be reached via e-mail at
jhanink@umich.edu.
RESOURCES
ON THE
INTERNET
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
www. michigandaily.com/news/
lawsuits.php
PLAINTIFFS:
The Center for Individual Rights
www.cir-usa.org/
DEFENDANTS:
The University of Michigan
w w w.umich. edu/-ure/admissions/
INTERVENING DEFENDANTS:
The Coalition to Defend
Affirmative Action'& Integration,
Fight for Equality By Any

Means Necessary (BAMN)
www.bamn.com

h+
g"
19

UWARREN ZINN/Daily
At the Michigan-Ohio State football game in 1997, campus and state
police pepper sprayed and subdued students who rushetd the field.
The police seemed to miss the rich alumni and a University regent
who were celebrating with the thousands of students on the field.

I J:TT7V1..:, A:

Tired of lookin

g

for a more

meaningful career?

Priesthood is more than a career. It is a
way of life. If you feel called to the
priesthood, contact your parish priest or
call Fr. Karl Pung, Director of
Seminarians Diocese

- ~ n~1Ti'

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