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May 12, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1993-05-12

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t was the spring of our discontent-in terms of
theStaeentofStudent"Rights"fdRespon-
sibilities, thatis.
Or so it seems from a perusal of the first
avableuarterlystatisticaldaaabouttheCode's
proceedings last semester. Presented by the Of-
fice for Student Affairs totheregentsFriday, the
statistics proved yet again what many ofus have
knownsincetheinceptionoftheCode: itisunjust
and unnecessary.
According to the report, there have been 98
"total contacts and inquiries" and 32 formal in-
vestigations under the Code since its implemen-
tation on January 1, 1993. Nine of the hearings
have been heard by an administrative panel, two
have been mediated and only one student has
appeared before a student panel. But the most
telling aspect of the statistics is that, as expected,
none of the students have opted to have their
hearings open to the public.
Thestudentsaresurelynotatfaultfor this.No
one in their right mind would want their reputa-
tions tarnished by allowing the University com-
munity to witness their hearings. However, this
reveals one of the most fundamental flaws in the
Code-thepublichas absolutelynocheckon the
administration. Theoretically, students could be

12,1993
EDITROR IN CHIEF
HopeGalati Unsigned editorials present the opinion of a
majority of the Daily's editorial board. All other
OPINION EDITORS cartoons, signed articles and letters do not
Sam Goodstein necessarily reflect the opinion of the Daily.
Flint Jason Wainess
lust the facts,
Maureen
The Code violates the public's right to know

suspended (one graduate student already has
been)or even expelled from school on the whim
of a University official and no one could protest
because thehearings are closed and confidential.
This violates one of the most basic tenets of
American justice and seemingly ignores the
Michigan Open Meetings Act, which mandates
that public bodies and groups operating on behalf
of elected bodiesbeopen tothepublic.Of course,
from the hiring of President Duderstadt behind
students backs to the failed attempts to proscribe
HashBash,theUniversityhasanew-foundaffin-
ity for ignoring the law.
But releasing statistics seems to be amethod
for the public to watch over the administration.
Unfortunately, the quarterly report left much to
be desired. The "bare" statistics released gave

numbers, but no details that would provide the
public with any type of check. The University
maintains thatithas run into difficulty balancing
thepublic'sright to know withastudent'sright to
privacy. While this is a valid concern, it can be
addressedandcorrectedrathereasilybyreleasing
detailedstatistical data without names and open-
ing hearings to the public.
Moreover, the report revealed disturbing in-
formation in terms of what "crimes" are being
heard under the Code.
Ten of the 34 charges were for hazing and
another nine were for the "unlawful possession,
use, manufacture, sale, or distribution of alcohol
or other drugs." This means the Code is amount-
ing to no more than another restrictive alcohol
policy.While the University ismandatedtoenact

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
76-DAILY
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan
some type o alcohol and drug policy under the
Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities
Act of 1989, this can not be an excuse for the
whollyunjustcomprehensiveCodethathasbeen
put in place.
Onlyonestudenthasbeenchargedwithsexual
assault or rape. Clearly, this proves the Code's
ineptitude as this seems to be the only non-
academicactivitythatcouldjustify sometypeof
conduct code. The University cannot be a baby-
sitter. Proper authorities, while often slow and
ineffective, are the only place to address prob-
lems conceming non-academic behavior. The
University has bitten off more than it can chew
and the results have been disastrous.
Proponents of the Statement of Student
"Rights"andResponsibilitiescancontinuetocite
federallaws and aneed for students to know their
rights as reasons to keep the Code. But the quar-
terlyreportshould teach us alessonthatgoes way
beyond statistics-theCode ignores the public's
right to know and doesn't in any way hinder
sexual assault or rape.
If the University and the Office for Student
Affairs are truly set on keeping the Code past its
interim state, they have a long summer to mull
over its many improprieties.

I

Acceptance by inclusion
Media take steps to include homosexuals

The U.S. media are taking important steps
toward recognizing and accepting gays, les-
bians and bisexuals as members of mainstream
culture. Homosexuals are using the media to
showthattheyarenotaneccentricfringe;theyare
foundin boardrooms, around kitchen tables and
everywhereheterosexualslive andwork.Accep-
tance by inclusion is sorely needed not only
becauseofquestionsconcemingbasiccvilrights,
but because behind the debate, thousands of
homosexual youths are facing life-threatening
crises of identity.
The entertainment industry has been featur-
ing gay life in many ways including a Pulitzer
Prize-winning Broadway drama and a TV show
based in Sicily, Alaska, a town founded by a
lesbian couple. The television show "Picket
Fences"showedtwofemalecharacterskissing in
the dark. The comic strip "For Better or For
Worse," which ran in 14,000 papers across the
country, presented a gay teenager "coming out'
to his friend and family. And Marvel Comics
superhero Northstar revealed his sexuality to
100,000 readers. These images bring a much
needed message of acceptance to people who
have struggled with unsympathetic counselors
and unaccepting parents.
Staggeringnumbersofyouthsexperiencevio-
lence or commit violence against themselves
because of their sexual orientation:
M A 1989 Health and Human Services report
estimates 30 percent of suicides by people under
21 are comniltted by youths who know or fear
they are homosexual.
*Oneinfourgaymen,lesbiansandbisexuals
has suffered physical abuse or violence because
of their sexual orientation.
.Three-quartershaverevealed their sexual-
ity to their families, but half of those had been
shunnedby one friend or family member.
Half of all gay and lesbian youth are

rejected by their parents.
Homosexual youths are twoto three times
morelikely toattemptsuicidethanheterosexuals.
28 percent of gay and lesbian youths drop
out of high school due to harassment.
26 percent of gay youths leave home be-
cause of family conflictover sexuality.
. 80 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual
youth feel isolated and want more information
about sexual orientation and homosexuality.
The mainstream media can be a courageous
voice in helping provide that information and
acceptance. The message relayed by Lynn
Johnston,creatorof"For BetterorFor Worse,"is
not a declaration that homosexuality is a pre-
ferred lifestyle or that homosexuals are trying to
convert the rest of the world. She is simply
portraying arealisticsituation based onherexpe-
rience with the coming out of her brother. Her
message is that of almost 1 million marchers in
Washington -gays, lesbians and bisexuals are
co-workers and relatives.
Organizers of the April 25 March on Wash-
ington created amediaevent, tailored to feature
the mainstream - the "girl and boy next door"
walkedinthefront,"DykesonBikes"intheback.
One hundred thousand marchers hamessed the
potentialofpositive media attention by lobbying
Congress in business attire. The work of these
lobbyists show gays, lesbians and bisexuals asa
group that wants legal civil rights and an end to
discriminationratherthanablessing fromhetero-
sexuals.
WhenthemediaportraystheMarchonWash-
ington as alegitimate politicaleventand creative
people in television, comics and the arts portray
realistic, complex gay,lesbianandbisexualchar-
acters, they are doing more than courting the
buying power of a relatively affluent group -
they arereaching outtoyouths whoareindesper-
ate need of acceptance.

The end of the innocence
Chris Webber's off-court demeanor matches his play
A n era ended Wednesday when Michigan a bad person after all.
men's basketball star Chris Webber an- Webberhadtodealwithmuchmorenonsense
nouncedhisintentiontoenter theNBA draft after than the average student-athlete. Every reporter
only two yearssat the University. With Webber's had to have time with him and he was almost
departure, theFabFive arenolonger. As the All- always the last player to leave the Michigan
American prepares to embark on a new chal- locker room. Fans surrounded him wherever he
lenge, the Daily would like to thank him for two wentevenatthehospitalwherehe wastreatedfor
years of non-stop excitement and charisma his broken nose. Agents called at all hours of the
Webber entered the University in the fall of night. And somewhere in between all of this, he
1991 with a world of expectations on his shoul- was supposed to study for classes. Yet, Webber
ders. A household name in the Detroit area since managed to handle all of this without losing his
junior high school, Webber was regarded as the cool
Wolverines' savior. Anything short of anational Michigan may never again have someone
championship during his stay would be consid- with the skills and charisma that Chris Webber
ered a disappointment to Wolverine faithful possessed. He won't need it, but we wish him
Unfortunately, Webber will leave Michigan good luck in his professional basketball career.
ringless, having come painfully close two years
in a row. But we will exempthim and his team- Open up a donut shop!
mates for thisshortcoming. Webber's impact on Two fundamental problems continue to
the state of Michigan, and on college basketball, plague the city of Ann Arbor -police brutal-
was substantial. While there will doubtlessly be ity, especially against students of color, and a
moregreatWolverinebasketballsquads, few will lack of affordable food.
evershow the charismaandcharacter that theFab But here at the Daily, we have come up
Five did. with asimplesolution to these invidious prob-
The Wolverines' trash-talking and tendency lems: Ann Arbor entrepreneurs must open a
to play down to the level of their opponent donutshop. What better wayis theretoelimi-
gamered much criticism from fans and medm iateops frompointlessly harassing students
Michigan played the villain's role in the eyes of and Ann Arbor residents?While it may sound
most; who did these guys think they were,having like a simple stereotype to assume that police
the galltosmile and laugh while outonthe court? could not resist the aroma of coffee and jelly
All of the naysayers mysteriously disappeared, munchkins, our conclusions are based on em-
however, after the Wolverines' inspiring victory pirical evidence. Staking out the Dunkin Do-
over Kentucky in the semifinals. nutsonNorthwestern Highway,we found that
We will not soon forget Webber's call of a onein every threecustomers was donning the
phantom time-out as the clock ticked away inthe blueuniform.Andwehaveacrazyfeelingthat
championship game against North Carolina. We they weren't investigating donut fraud.
will also remember the dignity and class with Moreover, donut shops are an available
which Webber conducted himself. He didn't run proletariat alte.ative to yet another preten-
fromhismistake, hetookresponsibilityforit,and tious coffee shop. Distract the fuzz, open a
suddenly the nation realized that he wasn't such donut shop!

a

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