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August 12, 1988 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-08-12

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PERSPECTIVES
The Michigan Daily Friday, August 12, 1988 Page 7
Tenants can protect their privacy

-the landlord must be informed if you are having an
overnight guest,fees will be assessed
-parties areforbidden
-the landlord may work on the house anytime his /her
schedule permits
-if you don't close your windows, the landlord will enter and
close them for you
A local landlord adds these clauses to the leases of his female
tenants (reportedly, he won't rent to men). The tenants often
find him in the common areas of the house, without any no-
tice or reason for being there. Sometimes the women don't
speak up; they think that because it's his property and they
signed the lease, there is nothing they can do.
Privacy invasion can be as subtle as findinga cabinet ajar by
workers or as blatant as the landlord sexually assaulting ten-
ants. Because a tenant's right to privacy is so vague ("a land-
lord shall attempt to give reasonable notice before entering" in
the Ann Arbor Housing Code) it is easy for landlords to abuse
he power they have over tenants.
The more vulnerable an abusive landlord thinks a person is,
.he more likely s/he will be to harass them. College age
somen renting for the first time and single women with chil-
Iren in a city where affordable housing is hard to come by are
>erceived as the easiest targets. Regina Cahan, a Wisconsin

law student and Elizabeth Shumann-Moore, a Chicago lawyer
surveyed 150 housing councils across the country. They esti-
mate that there are at least 7,000 to 15,000 cases of tenant
sexual harassment nationwide (and that is a conservative esti-
mate). Sexual harassment of tenants takes on many different
forms including unwanted physical advances, promises of rent
reduction, implied threats of eviction or non-repairs, and illegal
entries and forced rape.
In the last week, the Ann Arbor Tenants Union has received
an alarming 14 tenant complaints of privacy invasion and/or
sexual harassment and assault. In one case a landlord came into
the apartment while a woman was showering. In another,
workers entered and used the phone for long distance calls.
Another tenant complained that workers left his doors open.
One landlord let himself into a woman's apartment to do re-
pairs after 10:00pm. There were two reported incidents of a
landlord verbally harassing women for having overnight guests
and one of a landlord brushing his body against women tenants
when he was there to do repairs. A woman reported that a
maintenance person grabbed her breast and the landlord implied
that it was her looks or behavior that attracted the assault. An-
other woman who tried to stop a maintenance person from
verbally harassing a neighbor was battered to the point of
needing hospitalization.
The best prevention against abusive landlords is an educated,

empowered tenant. Set clear expectations (in writing) to your
landlord about how much notification you want and what you
consider to be reasonable entry times. Check the lease, if there
are illegal clauses, demand they are stricken, if your landlord
repeatedly violates your privacy, you have the right to with-
hold rent until it stops. If your landlord verbally or physically
assaults you, you have the right to sue for money damages.
Call the Tenants Union for more information about your
rights to privacy and stopping landlord harassment. (Mon.-
Thur., 11-4, 763-6876)
Following is a list of landlords and management companies
that the Tenants Union has received privacy invasion com-
plaints on. They mostly entail landlords or repair people
entering without notification. There are many other privacy
invaders not listed. If you currently rent or are considering
renting from any of these, make your expectations about pri-
vacy clear and call the Tenants Union for support.
Burnham Associates McKinley Properties
Campus Rentals ModemnManagement
Gallatin Realty Co. Sang Y Nam
Mario Love and Assoc. Pheasant Run Apartments
Allan Seger

UMASC: Retain 7.02
-22e

The University of Michigan
Asian Student Coalition (UMASC)
rejects President Fleming's pro-
posal which received regental ap-
proval on July 22. We support
MSA's demands that the deputiza-
tion of security guards be stopped,
that the "protest code" be rescinded,
and that Bylaw 7.02 be retained.
We reject the deputization of the
University's security guards because
it is clearly a move to increase ad-
ministrative control over protests
and demonstrations. The Washte-
naw County Sheriff's office has in-
formed students that deputized
security guards will not be able to
enforce University policy, only
state laws. However, this does not
protect against the power of selec-
tion that the University administra-
tion would have if guards were dep-
utized. The guards simply become
Ann Arbor police with one differ-
ence: they take their orders from
the administration, instead of the
city.
The University administration
may claim that it is deputizing its
security guards in an attempt pre-
vent illegitimate force used at
protests. However, even if this ex-
cuse were an adequate balance for
the increase in the University's
power, it is still indicative of the
-University's skewed approach to its
problems. The University would
rather create more new systems -

_ _ _ y ' .

which often waste time and energy,
as well as creating harmful policies
- rather than ameliorate the
existing system.
UMASC strongly believes that
no type of protest code should be
instituted. We believe that a formal
protest code is unnecessary. First
Amendment rights are constitutio-
nally guaranteed and can therefore
be enforced by state authorities. A
protest code can only be used
unconstitutionally to repress
students.
UMASC believes that in order to
ensure student rights, Bylaw 7.02
must be reinstated. With the sus-
pension of Bylaw 7.02, the admin-
istration obliterates students' only
official University channel for input
on nonacademic rules of conduct.
Interim President Fleming's expla-
nation for this is that "the Univer-
sity Council has proven to be inca-
pable of agreeing upon any rules in
the past seven years." Fleming ig-
nores the fact that it is the submit-
ted rules which are lacking and not
the abilities of U. Council. The
University's impatience with the
University Council is indicative of
the University's policy toward the
treatment of students in general.
Clearly, it is the University's
intent to restrict students' rights to
protest. The new "protest code"
gives the University very broad

control over interpretation and con-
trol of what constitutes acceptable
student behavior. It states that the
University may protect the right of
any invited speaker to talk and be
heard "within its [the University's]
lawful authority to do so."
Additionally, the protest code states
that University officials "may make
a judgment . . .[as to the existence
of]. . .danger to the rights of free
expression and may take appropriate
measures to safeguard [those
rights]." The appropriate measures
mentioned are not described any
more specifically than this.
UMASC finds the powers the Uni-
versity confers on itself in this code
unfair and unacceptable.
On August 16, Greenpeace
will be protesting Burger King's
support of the slaughter of Ice-
land's whales. Iceland is currently
killing hundreds of whales in the
guise of science. To force Iceland
to stop this needless killing, a
boycott must be imposed on Ice-
land's fishing industry. Burger
King, a major buyer of Icelandic
fish, must be called on to to help
in this effort. Join the Greenpeace
national day to protest Icelandic
whaling. Meet in front of Burger
King restaurant, 520 East Liberty,
Tuesday at noon.

To the Daily:
For two and a half years, the
shanties have stood in the Diag as
symbols of the struggle against
racism and Apartheid. Repeatedly,
they have been the targets of racist
attacks by being either torn down or
bumed. These attacks are unequivo-
cally racist because any act of vio-
lence against the shanties is a
statement against the struggle for
freedom of people of color in this
country and in Southern Africa.
On Wednesday morning one of
the shanties was removed from the
Diag by Plant Services, supposedly
because it was blocking lawn
mowers and causing a health hazard.
The night before, the shanties had
been vandalized, and one was tipped
over onto the grass
The vandals clearly made a
choice to damage the shanties. The
University could have simply
pushed the shanty back on the ce-
ment and cordoned it off, insuring
the safety of passers-by while leav-
ing the structure in public view.
Instead, they removed it, a decision
reflecting their lack of regard for
such anti-racist statements on
campus.
Although they returned the
shanty, we want to emphasize that
any attack or removal of the shan-
ties is a political act. To remove
the shanty is to attempt to remove
the issues of racism and apartheid

from campus. The shanties will
remain until racism here and abroad
is eliminated.
-Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee
To the Daily:
I watched the PBS program
"Racism 101" aired on May 10
with interest followed by disap-
pointment and deep concern. The
hard lessons my peers and I learned
nearly 20 years ago have been lost
or ignored.
As the leading public university
in the country, the University
competes with a well-respected
group of private schools for stu-
dents. White, middle-class students
from well-educated homes are (and
were) the rule, not the exception.
The second generation since the be-
ginning of the 1950's-1960's civil
rights movement is now enrolled.
Presumably, these are offspring of
somewhat enlightened parents who
have dealt with exactly the same
issues. What has happened to that
growth? The challenge to teach the
second wave remains.
Our struggle never ends. It is the
duty to our heritage to remember
that history and to teach it to those
who would choose to ignore it. In
our own personal way, it is our
community obligation to foster
goodwill, pride in academic
achievement, and to inform younger
students of the skills required to
survive in the foreign environment
of the college campus.
-Rayburn S. Lewis,
M.D.; LS&A, '73;
Secretary, Black Stu-
dent Union, 1970-71

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