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May 13, 1988 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-05-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OPINION
Page6 Friday, May 13, 1988 The Michigan Daily
Ecology Center should dump Domino's:
.... _Compromising values

Unsigned editorials represent the majority views of the Daily's
Editorial Board. Cartoons and signed editorials do not
necessarily reflect the Daily's opinion.
Framing the question of research:
D iversi*ficatio

WHAT MIGHT RESEARCH have
to gain from diversity? This
question was at the center of an
invitational Diversity Symposium
on North Campus last weekend.
Sponsored by the office of the Vice
President for Research, about 150
University faculty mulled over how
increased numbers of women and
minority researchers will impact
various aspects of the research
enterprise.
The University administration
deserves some acknowledgement for
its belated effort to recognize that
research conducted by the white
male minority - which currently
dominates the research faculty at the
University - may be governed by
paradigms, ideologies and theoreti-
cal systems specific to the special
interests of that class. However, the
premise on which the entire sym-
posium was based is flawed in sev-
eral basic ways and indicates once
again the administration's utter
failure to understand the dynamics
of institutional racism and sexism
and the demands of those who are
working to dismantle these dynam-
ics.
First, the central question is
backwards. Research is not an end
in and of itself but rather exists to
benefit the community in which the
University is embedded. The real
question is how research benefits or
impedes diversity in that society. If
research is working to support the
forces which keep women and mi-
norities disadvantaged and disen-
franchised, then the University has
an institutional responsibility to
change the nature of that research
and change the ways in which re-
searchers are chosen to participate
in the institution.
The question, as it framed the
terms of the debate last Saturday,
implies that the University has a
choice. It implies that if a consen-
sus somehow emerged among the
150 faculty participants last Satur-
day that increasing diversity would
not benefit their research, then
nothing would have to be changed.
In fact, the University is under a

moral obligation to open its doors
to researchers and future researchers
of all races and genders. Women and
minorities are demanding to be ac-
cepted into the University commu-
nity, and are demanding that the
administration create a hospitable
environment in which their intel-
lectual endeavors will flourish and
be valued. This symposium was
created through the demands,
confrontations, and tensions fos-
tered by those, such as the United
Coalition Against Racism, who
recognize the University's obliga-
tion to society. The mob in the
courtyard clearly forced the Univer-
sity's hand.
Several issues connected with the
diversity/research question were
glaringly obvious by their absence.
The current flight of women and
minority graduate students from the
University, for example, was not
discussed at all. The racist and sex-
ist effect of implementing a ten-
term teaching limit and a tuition
waiver tax on groups of researchers
who have been academically and
economically disadvantaged, was
not considered.
The contradictions posed by the
University's grudging acknowl-
edgement of its responsibility to
diversify the research community,
and its refusal to stop research
sponsored by the U.S. white male-
controlled military on chemical
weapons to be used on people of
color in the Third World, also went
unmentioned.
The University administration
has been forced to acknowledge a
very real problem in our commu-
nity, and it is, in a fumbling, inef-
fective way, attempting to address
it. Allowing for diversification in
research will benefit both the Uni-
versity and society as a whole. To
break down the institutional racism
and sexism which currently pervade
research, however, will require
much more than a symposium at
which questions are asked from a
skewed perspective, and issues
which suggest the possibility of
significant change are avoided.

THE ANN ARBOR Ecology Center,
though a worthwhile and important
asset to the community, hurts its
own credibility by continually ac-
cepting the aid and support of the
Domino's empire, as evidenced by
their joint sponsorship of the Ecol-
ogy Center bike-a-thon May 1.
Due to Domino's ecologically
unsound and socially unjust prac-
tices at home and abroad, it is hyp-
ocritical for the Ecology Center to
maintain its relationship with
Domino's and its owner, Tom
Monaghan.
Last Christmas season at their
world headquarters in Ann Arbor,
Domino's, a $150 million mul-
tinational empire, held an extensive
light show. This project, which
cost roughly three million dollars,
tied up traffic for miles around the
site. The tremendous amounts of
energy consumed in the light show
and the fossil fuels burned while
traffic was held up for hours
demonstrate that the project was
ecologically unsound. Also, in at-
tempts to expand their facilities,
Domino's has proposed to buy land

for high income homes, ignoring
and adding to the expanding home-
lessness problem.
In 1985, Monaghan began pizza
production in Honduras. Honduras
is the second poorest country in
this hemisphere, and Monaghan, in
his move there, has taken advantage
of the cheap labor force. He sup-
ports the elite business class which
perpetuates the current poverty-rid-
den economic structure.
Honduras has traditionally been
little more than a U.S. colony. In a
land where malnutrition is endemic,
cash crops produced for export oc-
cupy 52 percent of the arable land.
U.S. corporations own each of the
five largest firms in Honduras.
Militarily, Honduras has always
been a location of strategic impor-
tance for the United States. The
U.S. military 'presence there has
caused the displacement of many
people, ecological destruction, loss
of agricultural productivity, and the
rise of prostitution.
Monaghan's enterprise in Hon-
duras demonstrates his continued
support for the very sector of Hon-
duran society which controls the

vast majority of wealth, supports
U.S. military expansion, works to
legitimize the existence of the con-
tras in Honduras, and fuels the death
squads for which the Honduran
government is now on trial in an
unprecedented case before the Inter-
American Court of Human Rights.
Corporations such as Domino's
attempt to improve their public
image at home by sponsoring
community events. It is one thing
if a corporation wants to quietly
contribute to community organiza-
tions; however, funding is most
often contingent on public recogni-
tion of the gift, and the Ecology
Center ends up promoting
Domino's and Monaghan when
they publicly recognize their spon-
sorship.
Because of the Domino's
connection, many individuals who
support the Ecology Center are un-
fairly being forced to compromise
their ideals by indirectly supporting
Monaghan and Domino's. The
Ecology Center, while continuing
its important work around envi-
ronmental issues, should break all
ties with Domino's.

'U' should offer Korean

A UNIVERSITY STUDENT looking
through the course offerings in lan-
guages will not run across Korean
101. The University's exclusion of
Korean language demeans the Ko-
rean culture and rich heritage in the
United States. Not only is this
insulting to the Korean people but
it is also a gross oversight that
hurts both the University and its
students.
A student at the University can-

not choose Korean from among the
33 different foreign languages, al-
though Korea has become an in-
creasingly significant country to the
United States. In addition, there are
presently over 350,000 people of
Korean descent in the United States,
making Korean the third largest
Asian group in the United States.
Close to 65 percent of these people
have immigrated to the United
States since 1975.

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i1\ M i. GN DV
SU + .. Un3 MrW~

Despite these facts, the language
is still not taught at the University.
Sadly, one can only assume the
University not only views the lan-
guage as unimportant, but also sees
the Korean culture and literature as
expendable. This is not to suggest
that the University ought to offer a
course in every recognized language
and culture - there are too many
- but it is a mistake to exclude
one as important as Korean when
the University is capable of offering
so many.
It is obvious that the task of
teaching Korean is far from impos-
sible, because many colleges and
universities smaller than the Uni-
versity of Michigan have Korean
progams.
The Korean Student Association
(KSA) has proposed that the Uni-
versity offer a four semester se-
quence of Korean, which is the
amount the University designates
for the foreign language require-
ment. The University community
should support the KSA in its lob-
bying efforts to force the University
to fund the inception of a Korean
language and culture program.
Also, the University needs to re-
examine its criteria for offering
courses, as its present system is
vague and obviously skewed.

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