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October 24, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-24

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 24, 1995
The code draft decod : Better, but dogged by

oodbye, Statement of Student Rights
Gand Responsibilities. Hello, Code of
Student Conduct.
: The new name is just one of the im-
piroved features of the University's new
draft ofits code ofnon-academic conduct.
"Code of Student Conduct" is at least
ltonegt - it calls the document what it is:
a code of what students cannot do as
members of the University community.
While other facets of the new draft are
also positive, on the whole the statement
is still a minefield of vague language,
unprotected rights and potential abuse.
'No longer can the code be applied to
an incident that occurred in Saline's Pizza
Hut. The 30-mile radius of jurisdiction
was narrowed - in most cases - to Ann
Arbor's city limits. On a campus that
includes city streets as much as it does
University buildings, thisjurisdiction rea-
sonably covers the student environment.
The document does include a clause in-
voking the code outside the city in inci-
dents that pose "an obvious and serious
threat or harm to any member of the
University community" - taking Uni-
versity power into areas best left to law
en forcement. However, even this clause
is vastly better than the old jurisdiction.
The old code allowed anyone to file a
case against a student. With the new ver-
sion, students can only be brought up by
another member of the University com-
miunity - faculty, staff or another stu-
dent. This provision is long overdue. An
Qutsider should not determine this
community's values, and allowing ran-
dom citizens to use the code does just that.
On the other hand, the University ad-
ministration should not impose its values
upon students. Yet the new code - like
the old code - is heavily value-based. Its
introduction states, "Essential values
which undergird this purpose include ci-
ility, dignity, diversity, education, equal-
Aty, freedom, honesty, and safety." These
seemingly innocuous "values" may not
belong to everyone, and the policy-mak-
ers in the Fleming Building should not
assume they do.
The new document also resembles the
old one in its failure to ensure account-

ability and safeguard student rights. Stu-
dents still are forbidden from having a
lawyer speak for them during code pro-
ceedings. In cases where the penalty could
be as severe as expulsion, the lack of legal
representation leaves students vulnerable
to capricious uses of evidence and arbi-
trary, unwarranted sanctions.
The section on code hearings hangs
accused students even more out to dry,
requiring the agreement of both parties in
a case to open the case hearing. This
provision is even worse than its forebear
in the old code, which required dual agree-
ment only in cases of sexual assault and
harassment. By denying accused students
an unqualified right to an open hearing,
the code precludes any objective check
on its trial procedures.
The problem of records also remains:
The code states that records and docu-
ments may be veiled "to protect the pri-
vacy rights of individuals not directly
involved in the resolution process." In the
past, this provision has been used to hide
nearly all essential documents from the
public. Any application of a conduct code
should release records to the press, with
only names and identifying information
omitted. While participants' privacy
should not be neglected, such a clause
also allows the University to apply the
code in almost total secrecy, removing
any oversight by the community.
Other ambiguities plague the code
draft. The list of offenses includes hazing
and harassment, but does not define either
term. The last in the list encompasses
"other University policies which specifi-
cally address the behaviors of students
within the University community ... The
code is intended to articulate these poli-
cies." One of them is 'the University
Housing's Community Standards and
Guidelines - yet Housing officials, op-
erating under the old Statement of Stu-
dent Rights and Responsibilities, have
stated that cases brought under the Resi-
dence Hall Judicial Process could not be
retried under the code. Does the new code
eliminate this provision? Moreover, the
list of sanctions is open-ended, leaving
room for unorthodox measures.

A provision similar to the proposed
AdvisorCorps amendment was left out of
this draft. Approved by a quorum of stu-
dent jurors in January, AdvisorCorps
would have been a group of students
trained to help those involved in code
cases decipher the puzzling bureaucratic
procedure. Under the new code, official
advice and counsel can only come from
an administrator-students will still have
no peer advisory body.
To compound the sketchiness of the
code, no amendment procedure is out-
lined. The document can only be amended
by a majority vote of the Board of Re-
gents, failing to ensure student input.
Re. t---.,

must be cast aside. Antieau's legal exper-
tise would better be put to use elsewhere.
The draft does not specify who the
resolution coordinator is to be, or how he
or she will be chosen. The new
coordinator's background should be in
mediation rather than litigation. M.ore-
over, student input must be a large part of
the selection process. A coordinator hand-
picked by Vice President for Student Af-
fairs Maureen A. Hartford will serve only
Hartford, not students.
Perhaps the most dangerous element
in the new code is an import from the old
one: the provision governing emergency
suspension. The section reads, "If a
student's actions pose an immediate dan-
ger to any member of the University com-
munity, the (vice president for student
affairs) or a designee may immediately
suspend the student pending a meeting
within two academic calendar days." The
premise ofthis provision suspiciously re-
sembles that of Regental Bylaw 2.01,
which instructs the University president
to "exercise such general powers ... (to
ensure) the maintenance of health, dili-
gence, and order among the students."
Bylaw 2.01 is the University
president's equivalent ofan atomic bomb:
unilateral, rarely used and absolute. It was
used last winter to suspend Jake Baker,
whose Internet fantasies were deemed
dangerous. The vice president for student
affairs, who is vastly less accountable
than the president, should not wield such
extreme powers. Cases that trigger Bylaw
2.01 are so rare that there is no need to
spread out the measure's power.
Hartford's role in implementing the
new code is also problematic. Instructed
by the Board of Regents in April to com-
pose a new code, Hartford spent the sum-
mer paying a group of writers to gather
information on, and ultimately write, the
new document. Hartford herselfhad final
drafting power, and will be the one to
present the code to the regents at their
November meeting. With so much per-
sonally invested in the writing of the code,
Hartford should take a step back when it

comes to enforcement.
However, the document calls for jus
the opposite. The previous code place
almost all oversight and enforceme
power in the hands of one person: th
judicial advisor. The new draft ostensibl
disperses this authority to the Michigan
Student Assembly, the faculty senate, th
President's Office, the dean of student
and tevice president for Student Affairs.
In reality, these groups have token input.
Appeals, for example, go to a board com-
posed of one MSA-selected student, one
faculty member appointed by the faculty
senate and one administrator - but the
final decision falls to Hartford. All ques-
tions about the code's interpretation come
to her. With such provisions, the state-
ment gives the vice president for student
affairs excessive power.
The draft version of the code dares to
attack one of the most basic issues of a
conduct code: the abridgement of student
rights. It states that students should die
protected from "capricious decision-mak-
ing by the University." The code affirms
its "enduring commitment to provide st-
dents with a ... fair system of dispute
resolution." And it promises that "this
code will not deprive students of the ap-
propriate due process." Yet the pages
that follow haphazardly endanger stu-
dents' rights.
Is the statement ironically ignorant?
Or is it a bold lie?
Despite the improvements, the new
code is unsatisfactory. The very concept
of a comprehensive code is flawed. The
University must stop trying to patent its
students: Its whims and well-intentioned
regulations counteract the real goal of
protecting student freedoms.
In the month between today's release
of the code and its presentation to the
regents in November, students must make
their voices heard. This draft isjustthat-
a draft. If students do not take action in the
next month, they will have to live with the
consequence: an invasive and dangerous
conduct code that dictates their values
and disregards their rights.

In addition to the renaming ofthe code,
the title ofjudicial advisor has been chris-
tened anew: the resolution coordinator.
Perhaps the change is semantic, and serves
only to preserve the job of current Judicial
Advisor Mary Lou Antieau - a step
backward instead of forward.
Antieau's performance has been inept
at best. She has made several question-
able decisions in interpreting the code.
Her intentions may not be pernicious, but
the results usually are. For example, in a
case last year, Antieau refused to open a
hearing at the request of one of the defen-
dants because the others did not specifi-
cally request it. Thus the accused was
denied his right to an open proceeding.
Antieau must not serve in an advisory
or administrative capacity in the imple-
mentation of the new code. If there were
any intentions of reserving her spot, they

able £idga li




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Editor in Chief
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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Dail s editorial bhoar d. A
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Federal act butchers research - and for what?


/~ 00

in the U.S. x
system, they have
protection. In the
University systems,
they don't have
- Communication
lecturer Joan Lowensteinj
commenting on the neW
code draft

As a symbol of America's scientific acu-
men, approximately half of all Nobel
Prizes awarded since the 1930s have gone to
the United States. And this year was no
exception: Americans took their usual haul
of Nobels in fields such as medicine, eco-
homics and physics. These achievements in
scientific development are largely the result
of a federally funded research infrastructure
that is the envy of the world.
: Since the end of World War II, the federal
government has helped support this research
establishment. Made up of universities (in-
cluding this one), colleges, federal laborato-
ries, think tanks and private enterprise, it has
asserted itself by producing almost as many
innovative breakthroughs as the rest of the
world. However, this developmental lead is
how in jeopardy. The House of Representa-
tives has just passed the Omnibus Science
Act, which sets appropriations for all feder-
ally funded civilian research and develop-
Iment. NASA, the National Science Founda-
tion, the Environmental Protection Agency,
the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration and countless other federal
research organizations that distribute research
funds will be slapped with a 12-percent cut.
If Rnme Rnnhlirnng have their wav evan

Because so much of this country's economic
growth depends on high technology, the abil-
ity to spur innovation is crucial. More impor-
tant, many of the programs that will suffer
are those that are helping American compa-
nies tap into this innovative research. Pro-
grams that help everyone from small compa-
nies with computer-aided manufacturing to
large conglomerates integrating the latest in
nano-electronics would be cut. In contrast,
America's main rival in high-technology
goods, Japan, has stated it will raise research
investment by more than 10 percent annually
until the year 2000.
But it is not only the applied sciences that
suffer. Social science research money will
also dry up under the act. This research is
crucial in answering important social ques-
tions in fields such as population and aging,
drug abuse and urban violence. Efforts in
social improvement require the basic infor-
mation this type of research provides. Re-
publican efforts to trivialize this research as
unnecessary and therefore suitable for dis-
mantling neglect the fact that societal stabil-
ity is as important as a strong economy, a
strong national defense or a balanced budget.
The House Republicans' ever-present call
to haInce t hebudget is in this intannce at



t was a beautiful sight. Two hundred here were th
fifty thousand people gathered on the men who hadt
grassy mall in Washington to demand racial college studen
equality and an end to segregation in news reporters
America. Printed in red and blue, their signs erhood. "TheI
were many and varied: "We demand decent was that thereN
housingnow,""We march together-Catho- and no drugs,'
lics, Jews, Protestants - for dignity and Arbor in an in
brotherhood of all men under God, NOW!" News. "I saw1
"Segregation is hell," "We demand voting another. I'ven
rights now!" ther have man
As the march drew to a close, they held images of the
hands and wept as Martin Luther King Jr. toward changi
delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to the Here, also,
listening nation. It was August 1963: John F. pact of non-v]
Kennedy was still alive, the Voting Rights nizer and Na
Act was two years hence, and before the Farrakhan, ea
March on Washington no one believed that use a gun, or.

Milion Man March'

ousands of positive images:
brought their sons, articulate
nts and laborers who spoke to
s, men holding hands in broth-
good thing about the march
was no violence, no drinking,
" said Yusef Al-lateef of Ann
terview with The Ann Arbor
love from one black man to
never seen that before." Nei-
y whites in America, and the
march took at least one step
ng that.
, were black men pledging a
iolence. Led by march orga-
tion of Islam leader Louis
ch marcher promised not to
a knife or a fist in violence

Many black women couldn't stay home
if their children wanted to go to the march.
Cheryl McCrimmon of Washington, for ex-
ample, ignored Farrakhan's request and
brought her 9-year-old son. "Somebody had
to bring him," she said. "I don't know where
his father is."
Despite this irony, the men in attendance
heard a clear message; Get involved in your
children's lives and in their education, and
heal the wounds in the black family. Jesse
Jackson drove this point home in a moving
speech -learn the names of your children's
teachers, he demanded. Sign their report
cards. Help them with their homework. Many
of the problems in the American school
system would disappear if parents of all
races took Jackson's wise suggestion.


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