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March 15, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-15

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N EW S The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 15, 2004 -5A
Students, administrators at odds over SAPAC

Continued from Page 1A
against survivors. A recently released report by
the Mental Health Work Group - created in
2001 by Vice President for Student Affairs E.
Royster Harper - and a similar report on
SAPAC both offer information that may contra-
dict the University's decision.
In moving counseling to CAPS, the adminis-
tration is eliminating a safe, centralized envi-
ronment for students, opponents say. At CAPS,
survivors have a greater risk of encountering
their perpetrator, whom the office is obligated
to serve - CAPS must provide help to stu-
dents regardless of the reason, while SAPAC
does not counsel perpetrators of sexual assault.
The Campus Safety and Security Advisory
Committee report on SAPAC offers evidence to
support this claim. Three years ago, when the
report was released, Student Affairs considered
moving SAPAC to the Union from its current
office on North University Avenue. But the
report states that "(SAPAC's) current location
adjacent to the campus provides more privacy
for those who come for service..."

At its current location, SAPAC can provide
both counseling and advocacy between survivors
and professors or University housing, for exam-
ple. But under the new plan, these services will
be split between CAPS and SAPAC. OVC
believes this is detrimental to survivors who may
come into SAPAC for advocacy but realize they
need counseling as well. The division of services
also forces survivors to disclose their traumatic
experience as many as four times, once to SAFE-
House on the phone, once to a SAFEHouse vol-
unteer, once at SAPAC and once at CAPS.
"It limits the amount of guesswork that some-
one would have to do, and it limits the amount of
disclosure that someone would also have to do in
order to get these resources,"White said.
Opponents have also criticized what they say
is a limit on the number of available sessions a
patient can attend at CAPS. Currently, those
who seek help at CAPS typically attend eight
to 10 sessions with a counselor. CAPS says the
amount is flexible. The limit is especially prob-
lematic for students without insurance if CAPS
must refer them to an off-campus provider.
A report issued by the mental health group
evaluating mental health services on campus

stated that in 1999 about 5 to 10 percent of
undergraduates and 3 percent of graduate stu-
dents do not have health insurance, and a sub-
stantial portion of those with insurance do not
receive coverage for the Ann Arbor area. "It's a
very significant number of students," CAPS
director Sevig said.
The report also states that CAPS is commit-
ted to shorter term therapy session, and suggests
that intermediate term therapy of 10 to 20 ses-
sions may be more effective.
CAPS is intended for short-term counseling,
Sevig has said in previous interviews. But "if a
student needs more, we will do our best to
accommodate," he added. The number of stu-
dents CAPS refers out is relatively small, how-
ever, and most counseling centers nationwide
are short-term, he stressed.
The University says its decision is justified
Administrators, OVC members and both
reports all acknowledge that SAPAC counseling
services are understaffed and that the center has
continually faced challenges in providing care.
For many years, a lack of space and resources has
compromised education and advocacy.
Students from OVC have advised the admin-

istration to increase counseling at SAPAC, keep
the Crisis-line and allow SAPAC counselors to
train those at CAPS. Their plan would preserve
SAPAC's central location.
But the University will pursue an alternate
decision, one reached by consulting with experts
and studying other models nationwide. The stu-
dents' informal proposal was overly complex
and not feasible, Cichy said. Logistically,
SAPAC counselors could not stay in the North
University office and still remain under CAPS's
jurisdiction, as students recommended, she said.
The advisory committee report also
describes the office as pressed for space.
CAPS also currently may not have the capac-
ity to accommodate increases in its services
without increases in staffing. The MHWG
report states that "... under present conditions,
CAPS is constrained by lack of additional
space.Waits for urgent evaluations are consis-
tently less than one day. Waits for routine eval-
uations vary according to demand, but are
between three and seven working days."
"We are filled up at CAPS, and so we wrote
that in the report and that remains true today,"
Sevig said. CAPS is now identifying space

options for SAPAC staff.
"We're going to be concentrating our staff
resources on education and advocacy work,
which we have not been able to do at the capac-
ity we will be able to in the future," Cichy said.
While opponents see a fragmented program
with survivors pulled painfully in various direc-
tions, Cichy sees a more fluid system that is
more than "just boxes and arrows."
Those opposed to the changes often say
administrators did not consult survivors of sex-
ual assault in developing their plan. But this is
untrue, said Cichy, who herself is a survivor.
"I have a very, very deep respect for their
concerns," she said.
But the administration did not commission
focus groups or surveys of survivors to arrive at
their decisions. SAPAC's director said these
methods fail to address the complex and diver-
gent feelings expressed by survivors. Concerned
about the long-term repercussions, Cichy does
not keep a list of survivors. And while the
changes will affect all survivors, those who have
demurred already have a support system in place,
she added. "My bigger concern is for those who
have not disclosed," she said.

Continued from Page 1A
with the subpoena. It remains unclear
why UMHS reversed its position on
the subpoena but its initial compli-
ance was contingent upon the con-
cealment of information that would
identify patients. The Justice Depart-
ment struck back with a March 3
motion claiming that the subpoena is
justified because Johnson is likely to
argue that the procedure is at times a
medical necessity.
The 2003 law allows exceptions to
the general ban when a mother's life
is endangered, but not when a preg-
nancy poses a serious, albeit non-
life-threatening, health risk to the
mother. Opponents of the law hope to
defeat it on the grounds that it lacks
sufficient exceptions for a mother's
health and fertility.
In response to the suit, the Justice
Department has issued similar subpoe-
nas to hospitals at other universities,
including Northwestern, Cornell and
Columbia Universities, both in New
York. A federal district judge in Illinois
struck down the government's subpoe-
na of abortion records from Northwest-
ern Memorial Hospital last month.
Obstetricians from these hospitals
are suing to obtain a ruling that
would discard the 2003 law as
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban will
not take effect until a decision is ren-
dered on legal challenges, scheduled to
be heard by Judge Casey on March 29.

Continued from Page 1A
-ent audience members.
Kosofsky talked about his experiences as a
lobbyist for the LGBT cause. He said that
LGBT groups were efficient because they
began arguing for votes long before the
Michigan Republicans.
"The Republicans did not want to make this
a big issue and they were confident that it
would pass but through your work, we made
sure that it failed," he said.
They were able to convince three Republi-
cans and eight Democrats from swing dis-
tricts to vote against the proposed ban,
Kosofsky said.
RC senior Christine Sauvre attended the
forum with fellow members of the gay com-
munity. She said she most liked hearing about
the lobbying work described by Kolb and
She said that even though she was
impressed by the large turnout at the forum,
she believes it would have been a good event
to educate the wider campus community.
"I felt that it was particularly focused to the
LGBT community on campus and unfortu-
nately, most of the audience was queer," said
Nadolski said other timely events have pro-
pelled the debate over gay rights into mainstream
society, including Bush's endorsement of a feder-
al constitutional ban on gay marriages.
Kosofsky said that the proposed federal
amendment to the constitution would not be
successful. "The federal amendment is a dead
issue. It will never get two-thirds of the vote
in each chamber."
But he said that Bush's endorsement is'

important for LGBT people and the public at
large who are against the president.
"He has absolutely alienated at least one
million people - LGBT people, their friends,
family and allies," Kosofsky said. "I do
believe this could be the issue that unelects
Bush," he added.
Not all of the panel members spoke about
the proposed constitutional amendments on
gay marriage.
Alum Mudhillun MuQaribu from the Amer-
ican Friends Service Committee asked the
audience to first raise their hands if they were
raised in a faith community. About half of the
audience raised their hands.
He then asked if those who had raised their
hands were still part of a faith community,
and lastly, whether it was the same faith they
had grown up with. Each time, the number of
raised hands decreased, illustrating
MuQaribu's point.
"As queer people, we can understand that
faith can be used as a claw rather than as an
olive branch," he said.
But he said that of the 4,500 people who
signed up to lobby against the Michigan
amendment, five bishops and 100 spiritual
leaders were included.
Other speakers on the panel included Mary
Dettloff, spokeswoman for Gov. Granholm's
office, Johnny Jenkins, founder of Detroit
Black Gay Pride, and Kara Jennings of the
American Civil Liberties Union of Michi-
gan's LGBT Legal Project.
The panel discussion was followed by a
question-and-answer session with the audi-
ence and a dessert reception. The Stonewall
Democrats, the LGBT caucus under the Col-
lege Democrats umbrella, sponsored last
night's forum..

Continued from Page 1A
Also because the president and the president's exec-
utive appointees have voting power, some representa-
tives are worried that too much power would be given
to people who are not directly elected by the student
"Twenty five percent of the votes in LSA-SG would
be controlled by the two indirectly elected people -
the president and the vice president and the five
appointed positions of the executive board - with only
50 percent needed to pass most resolutions," Wagner
said. "It's moving toward autocracy."
While the student body would no longer directly vote
for the president and vice president, supporters of the
reform do not see this as an erosion of the democratic
"For any constitutional change we have to receive the
majority of students' support," said LSA-SG Appoint-
ments Vice Chair Ryan Ford, a junior who is also run-
ning for LSA-SG vice president as a member of
Students First.
Students would also be permitted to attend the elec-
tion in order to learn about the candidates' platforms
and to voice any concerns.
"When the election takes place we (would) invite the
entire LSA student body to come and express their pros
and cons of the candidates," Ford said. "If a student has
a particular problem with a candidate, representatives
will take that into account."
The majority of LSA-SG representatives, including
current president and junior David Matz and presiden-
tial candidate Lauren May, a sophomore, support the
proposed amendment. The LSA dean's office also sup-
ports the changes.
The question can be previewed online and students
can vote in both the Michigan Student Assembly and
LSA-SG elections this Wednesday and Thursday at
vote. www.umich. edu.

MIIL- P. A- - -M-M w

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