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April 10, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-10

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, April 10, 1991

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors


Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.




Sexual harassment
New policy protects students, but threatens faculty and staff

S-exual harassment is a clearly defined problem
within itself-both here at the University and
in society in general. But when sexual harassment
directly threatens a productive educational envi-
ronment - specifically in the classroom - it
becomes quite another dilemma.
,The University, in an attempt to curb this
problem, will soon institute a new policy to regu-
ljte sexual harassment by faculty and staff mem-
bers. The policy will monitor reported sexual ha-
rassment among faculty-student, staff-student or
supervisor-employee relationships.
One striking difference between the new and
old policies is the fact that consensual romantic
relationships will now also be scrutinized. The
new policy frowns upon romantic and sexual re-
lati6nships between supervisors and employees or
faculty and other staff, and is aimed at preventing
such activity.
In addition, the new policy will not accept
donsent as an adequate defense in the sexual ha-
rassment cases it will monitor. In other words, a
student who is involved in a consenting relation-
ship with a professor - or other staff or faculty
member-may file a charge of sexual harassment
against that person, and the fact that the relation-
ship is consensual would be a weak defense at best.
Stich a provision is needed in cases dealing with
student-staff and student-faculty relationships. The
power-dynamics in these relationships are weighted
heavily against students, and even in consensual
situations, students are at a distinct disadvantage.
Professors and teaching assistants wield ex-
tensive control over their students' academic lives,
and any romantic or sexual relationships between
instructors and students may influence the use of

this control.
Instructors may use their academic power ad-
vantage to manipulate a student with whom they
are involved, and such behavior clearly questions
the ethical basis for such a relationship. The Uni-
versity has a responsibility to protect the student in
such cases, and ensure that the sanctity of the
academic atmosphere on campus is not violated.
But only because student-instructor relation-
ships potentially affect the academic environment
at the University should they be regulated, and in
no way should this policy extend to non-academic
arenas. It is the University'sjob to uphold academic
standards, but it does not have the responsibility -
or the right - to pry into students' or faculty and
staff members' private lives.
For this reason, the part of the new policy which
regulates intra-faculty and staff relationships is
misguided. These relationships pose no threat to
the academic environment, and are strictly a private
matter. The University should not be the mecha-
nism by which grievances between employers and
employees are decided; there are state laws which
deal with that. And any University inquiries into its
employees' personal lives would certainly violate
basic civil rights.
The new sexual harassment policy does much
to preserve the academic environment at the Uni-
versity; it effectively protects students from the
potential academic abuse of their instructors. But
the policy also has the potential to violate the
private lives of faculty and staff members which
have nothing to do with this University's academic
environment-and once again over-stepthe bounds
of an institution of higher learning.




GEO talks

Where was
the coverage?
To the Daily:
I am very disturbed with the
lack of coverage given the
awareness week rally by the
Daily. The rally was sponsored by
the Lesbian and Gay Rights
Organizing Committee
(LAGROC) at noon last Friday
(4/5/91) on the Diag.
I went to read about it (even
though I attended) and could not
find an article about the rally. The
Daily had a piece on a University
graduate who won a photography
contest, but something that is
important to people who still go
here was completely ignored.
Anthony Glassman
LSA first-year student
On co-education...
To the Daily:
I couldn't help but notice the
irony of the Daily layout of
Playboy's plans to feature
University women (preferably
nude), right next to a report on the
possibility that the University of
Detroit Jesuit High School will
admit female applicants (4/4/91).
Sexual objectification of
women is one of the main
obstacles to full acceptance of
women as equals and superiors in
the workplace and classroom.
As a student in a women's
high school, I found that men and
women have vastly different
motives for gender segregation in
education. Men, as stated in the
article, shun women in the
classroom because they are "a
distraction." In contrast to the
male preoccupation with women
as prospective sexual partners,
one seldom hears of a student
who chose a women's school
because she could not think of
male classmates other than as
sexual beings.
While I am not ruling out the
possibility that there may be
physiological gender differences
that contribute to this discrepancy,

we also must examine the role
played by the constant exploita-
tion of women's bodies and
sexuality in the mass media.
There are, however, legitimate
concerns about sexism in educa-
tion and the discouragement of
women from leadership roles
which cause students to feel that
they will best be able to reach
their potential in a women's
Except for a few colleges,
however, these women's schools
seldom garner the same prestige
that men's schools hold. They
often cannot charge the same
tuition that parents are willing to
spend for their sons, and women's
education suffers.
Actually, because women and
men have traditionally had
different learning styles, perspec-
tives, and values, coeducation is
enriching, a form of diversity.
Even in cases where women
benefit from single-sex education,
I feel this is an unfortunate
situation for society. Their would-
be male classmates are deprived
of exposure to some of the best -
and often most feminist - female
minds, and their image of young
women continues to be shaped by
what they infer from Playboy.
Katherine M. Metres
RC first-year student
To the Daily:
Philistine: 1. a person devoted
narrow-mindedly to material
prosperity at the expense of
individual and artistic awareness;
or (as an adjective) ignorantly
uninterested in culture and ideas.
(from The Concise Oxford
Dictionary of Literary Terms); 2.
The human-being (Frederick
Weihe) who in Friday's letters
column ("Who should Judge?" 4/
5/91) ignored the subtleties of
sarcasm for the more scientific
sledgehammer approach by
writing about "a learn-nothing
liberal arts education" and "snot-
nosed college boy(s)" when faced

with a point of view with which
he didn't agree.
Jon Heaten
Stolen backpack
To the Daily:
I would like to comment on
the student who stole my
daughter's backpack from the
West Quad cafeteria lockers on
March 26:
It is difficult for me to,
understand how a person who
meets the high standard of
admission to this University has
such a low standard of morality.
Why would someone think
that they have the right to steal
my daughter's textbooks, notes
and homework containing the
information necessary to pass her
courses, and which represented
hundreds of hours of study as well
as tuition dollars?
Why would someone think
they have the right to sell her
books? To spend her EARNED
dollars? To use her ID? To use or
sell her backpack? To destroy or
discard items that were worthless
to them but valuable to her?
I have learned there are
several backpacks stolen every
week at West Quad. I am sick-
ened by the thought of people
such as this representing the
University. I am concerned for
any community in which such
people live. But, if it is true, as I
have been told, that my value
system is out of date, then
whoever did this had better watch
out - what goes around comes
Judith A. Poger
University parent
The Daily encourages responses
from its readers. Letters should
be 150 words or less, and should
include the author's name, year
in school and phone number.
They can be mailed to "The
Michigan Daily," 420 Maynard,
48109, or can be sent via MTS to
"The Michigan Daily Letters to
the Editor." The Daily reserves
the right to edit letters for style
and space.


State mediator will be needed
A ftermonths ofunproductive negotiations with
the University, the Graduate Employees Or-
ganization (GEO) still does not have a new con-
tract for 1991-92. The talks between the union and
the administration have dragged on for nearly the
entire semester, and as of yet, a resolution does not
appear to be imminent.
While both sides must share responsibility for
the stalemate, the University administration has
been particularly unresponsive during the bar-
gaining sessions.
Instead of attempting to negotiate a compromise,
University representatives seem to automatically
reject the. current GEO proposal and make a ri-
diculously low counter-offer.
-The behavior of GEO and the administration is
b&ming characteristic of pre-school rather than a
p : 'giousuniversity.Betweenthe administration's
rigid stance and GEO's righteous contempt for the
University, the bargaining sessions have shown
little resemblance to real negotiations.
. Last week, the repercussions of the impasse
finally hit the undergraduate students when GEO
staged a one-day work stoppage. The situation has
indeed become desperate when the union feels that
the only way to affect constructive talks is to walk
The posturing ofthe University has transcended
ROU.DuPActing b
The University of North Carolina (UNC) English
department's decision to diversify reading requirements
is an important leap for racial and gender equality and
should be exemplified by the rest of the university's
academic departments.
Most English professors now recognize literature
written by minorities and women, but they rarely include
these works in the syllabuses. The omission of this
fiction usually is easily explained. Professors tend to
focus on the literature prevalent during the time period
the course centers around. Often, the purpose of an
English course is to teach what the bulk of that day's
society read, so students can easily understand the
society and history through the literature.
For example, Charles Darwin's evolution theory
spurred 19th-century writers to question their own
existence, and consequently, most of the widely-read
literature of the day reflected these doubts and fears. In
addition, fiction by women and minorities was rarely
pubfished before the 20th century, so the white male
tended to be the dominantauthor. Consequently,English
professors today tend to focus on these prominent male

to solve dilemma
the bargaining table and entered the class room.
Furthermore, GEO has threatened to go on a three-
day walkout in two weeks unless the University
becomes willing to enter into constructive nego-
Meanwhile, amidst threats and posturing on
both sides, a state mediator has been dispatched to
resolve the impasse. All along, both sides have
continually antagonized one another and have
shown the necessity for third-party mediation.
As required by law, the two sides must submit
to the judgement of the mediator and despite this
fact, GEO has threatened to hold a three-day work
stoppage in two weeks. Furthermore, the Univer-
sity is threatening to take legal action against those
who participated in last Thursday's walk out.
It is evident that neither side can continue these
talks without the mediator. The actions of both
sides have degenerated to the point that construc-
tive dialogue between the two parties may not be
feasible without a third party.
Only the impartiality of the state mediator can
resolve the disputes between the two sides to
cooperate for the greater good of the undergradu-
ates that will continue to suffer. The state mediator
provides the best opportunity for a satisfactory
settlement, not GEO , and certainly not the Uni-
versity administration.
ook smart
While this reasoning sounds logical, it contains a
huge fallacy when defining who is considered impor-
tant. Obviously, the literature that raked in the most
money or shocked society the most is classified as
relevant. However, although women and minorities
have always been members of society, they have rarely
been recognized as equals to men in the past. Simply
because fiction from these groups never made it into the
literary spotlight, it does not necessarily make sense that
those works were not important or impactive. In fact,
studying literature written by women or ethnic minori-
ties often reveals how persecuted these groups were.
Changing requirements so that a wider spectrum of
writers is studied in higher level English courses is
definitely apositivemove. This move to multiculturalism
should be applauded, and other departments should take
note and follow the English department's efforts.
April 1, 1991, The Daily Tar Heel,
University of North Carolina




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. .....vi:........ ........................ . . ..... ...................................................

..tE ............. ,.

A world order without the Kurds

As a permanent cease-fire
emerges in the wake of the Gulf
War, it is becoming readily evident
that there is nothing "new "in Presi-
dent Bush's New World Order.
For the
last eight
months, Brad
Bush has
bantered on Bernatek
about the
fruits of a
new world
in which the
would not
be tolerated - and all along an
indiscriminate slaughter continues
in northern Iraq.
Throughout the Gulf War, Bush
continually called on the people of
Iraq to overthrow the government
of Saddam Hussein and bring Iraq

Kurdish success seemed assured.
But George Bush, in typical form,
has decided to turn his back on them
declaring he will not become in-
volved in Iraq's "internal affairs."
Bush's excuse is nothing but a cheap
ploy meant to conceal more "politi-
cal concerns."
The massacre of the Kurds dif-
fers little from that of Kuwait. In
both cases Saddam Hussein has as-
serted his claim over a region un-
willing to accept his tyrannical
leadership. However, unlike Ku-
wait, Kurdistan, as a nation, is not
recognized by United Nations and
the world community.
In Bush's view, the Kurds of
Iraq lack national sovereignty and
therefore must remain under the
control of the Baathist central gov-
ernment. If sovereignty involves the
ability to defend oneself from an
attack of overwhelming forces, then
Kurdistan is not a nation. But was
Kuwait able to thwart Hussein's
invasion? For about an hour while

tanks have severely weakened the
Kurdish forces. More than amillion
Kurds have attempted to leave the
area and escape the unrelenting at-
tacks of Hussein.
Our country and the United
Nations cannot accept Bush's feeble
attempts to whitewash the situation.
The United States and the United
Nations can choose to make or break
a country's sovereignty and appar-
ently had little trouble doing so on
Jan. 15.
Borders and sovereignty are not
the issue - human rights are, and
for Bush to hide behind the sover-
eignty of Iraq is ridiculous.
Hussein's rule survives because he
has sufficient military resources to
annihilate any opposition and his
mandate extends no further.
Unless Bush's commitment to
democratic causes extends further
than a limited amount of relief aid
to the Kurds, than his New World
Order falls flat on its face.
Allowing the Iraqi forces to
rr~ntin., aApli~kan tP ottnrl'.oc ,,n ,.-

Nuts and Bolts


7Wt~,..-r IT Wi.Spi,

by Judd Winick


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