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July 28, 1989 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-07-28

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, July 28,1989-Page 3
EMU holds forum
on contested logo
BY SAM GREEN Eastern football games as one exam-
Nearly 20 Eastern Michigan ple of the way she believes Native
University students, alumni, offi- American culture is "denigrated" in
cials, and local residents voiced a the university setting.
broad range of opinions yesterday in Roxanne Spruce, a Native
a public forum on the school's use American former student claimed the
of the Huron Indian as its sports symbol also fuels prejudice by per-
logo. petuating "the myth that Indians
The hearing was held by an EMU wear headdresses."
review committee which formed in Several of the speakers called for
April after the Michigan Civil a compromise which would allow
Rights Committee recommended the university to keep the symbol
that schools discontinue the use of while making an attempt to curb its
Indian logos, mascots, and names. misuse.
The Civil Rights Committee re- "If we can make the name and
port called the use of Indians as logo dignified and respectful, then
school symbols "stereotypic, racist, we should keep it," said John
and discriminatory." Nordlinger, Associate Director of
But several of those who spoke at EMU athletics.
yesterday's hearing denied the com- When asked by the review com-
mittee's charges and described mittee, however, Nordlinger was un-
Eastern's logo as a tribute to the able to suggest a way in which the
Huron Indians. logo could be made more respectful.
"It's a noble logo chosen to rep- Despite pleas for a compromise,
resent the bravery, inventiveness, the Michigan Civil Rights
and strength of the Hurons" said Committee is asking Eastern to find
Matt Polinski, one of several EMU a new logo.
students who showed their support Art Stein, a committee member
by wearing jerseys emblazoned with who spoke at the hearing, said that
the logo. the committee believes "the public
But Marsha Johnson, an image of Indians is so distorted that
Ypsilanti resident, claimed that the as long as these symbols continue
behavior of students "does little to there will be abuse."
honor Native Americans or the Stein claimed that this abuse is
Huron Indians in any way." Johnson destructive to the self-image of
described "warpath parties" where Native Americans and contributes to
students gather in local bars before their high rates of social problems.

The King/Chavez/Parks Summer Institute Program invites students from metro-Detroit high schools
to take part in educational and artistic programs at the University. The Detroit-Windsor -Dance
Theater (pictured here) performed at the Union on Wednesday.
Journalist speaks on arms,
drugs and US foreign policy

Investigative journalist Tony
kvirgan spoke on the connection be-
tween drugs, arms trafficking and US
foreign policy and provided an update
on the Christic Institute's lawsuit
against arms and drug traffickers who
were involved in the Iran-contra
scandal, Monday in the Michigan
In 1983 Avirgan and his wife,
ournalist Martha Honey, moved to
Wosta Rica nearly concurrent with
the start of "a covert US operation to
establish the Southern Front, a pres-
ence of contras on the southern bor-
ders of Nicaragua," Avirgan said.
Eden Pastora, a former
Nicaraguan military hero, turned
against Nicaragua's Sandinistan gov-
ernment and formed and headed the
Southern Front.
Although denouncing US inter-
*ention in Nicaragua, Pastora
worked very closely with US efforts
"He actually had three CIA mili-
tary experts working in his headquar-
ters in San Jose, Nicaragua,"
Avirgan said.
In early 1984, Pastora began an-
gering the CIA by vocalizing his
displeasure with the FDN, the main
contra foree.
"On the first of May (1984),
Pastora received an ultimatum from
the CIA. They told him to unite
with the FDN or face the conse-

quences," according to Avirgan.
Avirgan attended a news confer-
ence held by Pastora on May 30,
1984, at a contra camp in La Penca,
Nicaragua, to denounce the CIA's
"About ten minutes into the
news conference, there was suddenly
an enormous explosion," recalled
A bomb had been detonated,
killing three journalists, several con-
tras, and maiming several other peo-
Avirgan and Eden Pastora were
among the survivors.
Avirgan and his wife began im-
mediately investigating the bombing
and uncovered information about il-
legal activities to fund the contras.
Much of the report centered on
John Hull, a wealthy American in
Costa Rica, accused of arms and drug
trafficking, and murder.
Avirgan contacted the Christic
Institute, a public interest law firm
in the US. For a year the institute
had been investigating former CIA
operatives who were involved in
arms and drug trafficking on behalf
of the CIA.
The law firm's investigative trail
"had led them down to John Hull in
Costa Rica. We started out down in
the gutters and back alleys in Central
America and led up to John Hull.
We realized that what we had was

two halves of a puzzle," said
The Christic Institute, represent-
ing Avirgan and Honey, filed suit in
federal court in Miami in May 1986,
alleging arms and drug trafficking
and murder. Among the 29 defen-
dants listed in the suit are John Hull,
Richard Secord, John Singlaub and
Ted Shackley.
In June 1988, judge James King
of Miami, dismissed the trial. The
suit is now in appeals in the 11th
circuit court in Atlanta.
A decision from the appeals
court is expected at the beginning of
next year.
Avirgan remains hopeful that he
will win the case, however, he sees
benefits already resulting from the
"We always have viewed the
court proceedings as a tool for public
education. That for us is the most
important aspect. We want to dis-
cuss ... the abuses by the CIA and
the national apparatus in this coun-
try," Avirgan explained.
Avirgan was notified early
Monday that John Hull has fled
Costa Rica and is now a fugitive.
Hull had previously been arrested
by Costa Rican authorities and
charged with drug trafficking.

'U' asks court to
dismiss ACLU case
University attorneys have asked Harrison said that the policy is
the US District Court to dismiss the part of the University's efforts to
civil suit filed by the American maintain "the environment of toler-
Civil Liberties Union which chal- ance and mutual respect that must
lenges the constitutionality of the prevail if we are to fulfill our educa-
University's anti-discrimination and tional purposes."
harassment policy. United Coalition Against Racism
The suit was initiated by a gradu- member and graduate student Barbara
ate student known as "John Doe", Ransby said that while UCAR be-
who is studying biological psychol- lieves there is a need for the
ogy and is researching differences in University to take the stance that
race and sex. 'The student is con- racism denies students of color the
cerned that the policy will affect his fundamental right to equal access to
freedom to discuss ideas in class and education, they find the debated dis-
that he could be charged with violat- criminatory policy problematic.
ing the policy. "Firstly, it is too vague and re-
But University attorneys say that ally does not define racism clearly.
academic freedom is vtotected by Secondly, it does not apply equally
acadmic reedm i proecte byto students faculty and administra-
provisions in the policy which guar- tors" sald Ransby. "Finally, it gives
antee that "academic discussion of a idous. yut ies
offensive views, whether supported tionary power to administrators -- a
by studies, or even disproved by sector of the University which has
studies, is not punishable under the been historically more of a problem
policy." than a solution"
Walter Harrison, executive direc- Howard Simon, Michigan ACLU
for of University relations, said the Director, has said that the policy
University intends to defend the pol- needs to be rewritten to punish only
icy approved in 1988 by the acts of harassment, and not offensive
University's Board of Regents. remarks.

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