The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, April 04, 1988, Page 8, Image 8
8TTie Daily Tar Heel Monday, April 4, 1988 Uiljp fiatlg afar Hn Readers' Forum 96 th year of editorial freedom Jean Lutes, Editor KATHY PETERS, Managing Editor Karen Bell. Neus Editor Matt Bivens, Associate Editor KlMBERLY EDENS, University Editor SHARON KEBSCHULL, State and National Editor MIKE BERARDINO, Sports Editor Kelly Rhodes, Am Editor MANDY SPENCE, Design Editor JON RUST, Managing Editor KAARIN TlSUE, Neus Editor AMY HAMILTON, Associate Editor KRISTEN GARDNER, University Editor Will Lingo, aty Editor LEIGH ANN McDONALD, Features Editor CATHY McHUGH, Omnibus Editor DAVID MINTON, Photography Editor Prepare way for new chancellor The success of an organization often depends on a smooth transition between its leaders. This is especially true for student groups because of the transient nature of their memberships. Most UNC student leaders for the coming year have completed that transition process. They have assumed their organizational responsibilities, and they are addressing issues and concerns identified during campaigns and elections. Now, those leaders must prepare for a transition of equal importance that will soon take place a transition within the UNC administration. Stu dent leaders must make a concerted and organized effort to ensure that student needs are not forgotten in that transition. The search for Chancellor Chris topher Fordham's successor has been narrowed to two finalists. Neither has spent a day as a UNC student. Neither has spent a day working with UNC student government. The new chancellor will not be familiar with the tradition of strong student government at UNC. He will not know what to expect. The burden rests on student government to make sure he becomes quickly familiar and comfortable with the level of involve ment that student leaders desire. Student Body President Kevin Martin has proposed the formation of a student advisory group to identify the issues and concerns of the student body. This group would include the presidents of the Graduate and Pro fessional Student Federation, Black Student Movement and the Residence Hall Association, and the Student Congress speaker, among others. The formation of this group is necessary and timely, since cooperative efforts between student groups is a must in the coming year. This group should be responsible for immediately establishing a strong working relationship with the new chancellor and other incoming admin istrators, including a new vice chan cellor for business and finance and possibly a new provost. An atmosphere must be fostered where administrators are kept informed of student concerns, and students are involved in decision making from the beginning. This is the perfect time to open the lines of communication, so that a new administration knows exactly what student government is and what it is seeking to accomplish. Initiating this process can only impress new administrators. A student government leadership that is thought ful, sincere and dedicated in its efforts will be viewed favorably. It will also be taken seriously. Kelly Clark Don't ignore advising advice It's that time of year again preregistration. And victims of UNC's poor academic advising system abound. There's the senior who learns in mid semester that he can't graduate on time because he took a Western historical perspective instead of a non-Western; the junior double major who registers for the wrong courses because she doesn't have an adviser in her second major; and, of course, the senior who finds out too late that he shouldn't have declared that last perspective pass fail. College students are adults, and they should make their own decisions that is, their own informed decisions. Most students don't want their advisers to hold their hands they just want someone to answer basic questions, warn them about fulfilling requirements and possibly offer gui dance every once in a while. Too many students, from freshmen to seniors, make the wrong decisions because they are ignorant of requirements or unaware of new policies. For some, taking an extra course the following semester is enough; for others, post poning graduation or spending hundreds or thousands of dollars in summer school is the only answer. Advisers, who have their own classes to teach and papers to grade, can't be expected to understand every detail of every major's requirements. However, students shouldn't have to resign themselves to do-it-yourself, hit-or-miss course scheduling. The com puterized preregistration system, expected to be installed by fall 1990, will improve matters. But machines alone can't solve the problem. People must make an effort as well. Student government's Academic Advising Committee has presented Gillian Cell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, with a "peer advising" proposal. The proposal asks that each faculty adviser be paired with a student, or peer adviser. The peer advisers would do some of the dirty work of advising filling out work sheets and other paperwork as well as offering advice on classes and professors. The chairman of the advising committee, senior Mark Gunter, said he gave Cell the proposal in December. He is still waiting to hear from her. Even if officials don't agree with the proposal, they should be willing to discuss it with students. The concerns of the Academic Advising Committee should not be ignored. Until students, advisers and admin istrators take responsibility for improving the advising system, the quality of education at UNC will suffer. Making a variety of academic programs available is useless if stu dents don't know how to take advan tage of them. Jean Lutes The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Writers: Kelly Clark, Stuart Hathaway and Bill Yelverton. Editorial Assistants: Laura Pearlman and Becky Riddick. Assistant Managing Editors: Hannah Drum, Barbara Linn, Felisa Neuringer, Laura Pearlman and Clay Thorp. Assistant Design Editors: Cara Bonnett and Teresa Kriegsman. Design Assistants: Ashley Campbell, Katherine Hortenstine and Laura Ross. News: Kari Barlow, Jeanna Baxter, Crystal Bell, Laura Bennett, James Benton, Tammy Blackard, Patricia Brown, Brenda Campbell, Lacy Churchill, Jenny Cloninger, Staci Cox, Robin Curtis, Jackie Douglas, Carrie Dove, Laura Francis, Eric Gribbin, Amy Grubbs, William Hildebolt, Kyle Hudson, Sonya Jackson, Helen Jones, Patrice Jones, Chris Landgraff, Barbara Linn, Laura Mayfield, Brian McCollum, Rebecca Nesbit, Helle Nielsen, Susan Odenkirchen, Laura Peay, Cheryl Pond, Beth Rhea, Mark Shaver, Christopher Sontchi, William Taggart, Clay Thorp and Amy Weisner. Laura DiGiano, assistant city editor. Amy Winslow, assistant state and national editor. Mark Folk and Justin McGuire, senior writers. Peter Lineberry, Lisa Poole and Juliellen Sarver, wire editors. Sports: Patton McDowell, Jim Muse and Chris Spencer, assistant sports editors. James Surowiecki, senior writer. Robert D'Arruda, Chris Chapman, Steve Giles, Dave Glenn, Dave Hall, Clay Hodges, Ginger Jonas, Brendan Mathews, Keith Parsons, Andy Podolsky and Langston Wertz. Features: Jo Lee Credle, Myrna Miller, Jim Mock, Corin Ortlam, Leigh Pressley, Carole Southern, Ellen Thornton, Linda van den Berg, Julie Woods and Holly Young. Arts: James Burrus, senior writer. Scott Cowen, Stephanie Dean, Kim Donehower, Elizabeth Ellen, David Hester, Julie Olson, Alston Russell and Michael Spinas. Photography: Christie Blom, Amy Hamilton, Janet Jarman, Elizabeth Morrah, Jeff Shuler and Julie Stovall. Copy Editors: Frank Bragg, Cara Bonnett, Carrie Burgin, Toni Creech, Yvette Cook, Julia Coon, Whitney Cork, Bert Hackney, Beth Harding, Danny Hornfeck, Anne Isenhower, Sherry Miller and Nick Montgomery. Cartoonists: Bill Cokas, Jeff Christian and Greg Humphreys. Campus Calendar? Mindelle Rosenberg and David Starnes. Business and Advertising: Anne Fulcher, director; Patricia Glance, advertising director; Joan Worth, advertising coordinator; Peggy Smith, advertising manager; Sheila Baker, business manager; Rita Galloway, accounts receivable clerk; Michael Benfield, Ashley Hinton, Kellie McElhaney, Amy McGuirt, Chrissy Mennitt, Stacey Montford, Lesley Renwrick, Julie Settle, Dave Slovensky, Dean Thompson, Amanda Tilley and Wendy Wegner, display advertising representatives; Diane Cheek, Stephanie Chesson, Tina Perry and Lisa Poole, classified advertising representatives; and Jeff Carlson and Kris Carlson, secretaries. Subscriptions: Tucker Stevens, manager; Cody McKinney, assistant. Distribution: David Econopouly, manager; Cindy Cowan and Billy Owens, assistants. Production: Bill Leslie and Stacy Wynn. Genevieve Halkett, Leslie Humphrey, Stephanie Locklear and Tammy Sheldon, production assistants. Printing: The Chapel Hill Newspaper. Don't send troops without thinking TTani writing this in response to some 1 1 of the very naive comments of James JXLofltn ("U.S. right to help Honduras," March 30). In his letter, Loflin asserted that the United States had every right to send troops to Honduras to "prevent the economic and military growth of commu nism." Aside from the face that Loflin asserts that Honduras "asked the U.S. to send troops" (of which there are some conflicting reports), Loflin cited his memory of our own revolution, from his high school history class, where the French aided in the fight as justification for intervention. I am glad that he remembers some history. Those who forget history tend to repeat it. Unforunately, he missed two big points, and we are tending to repeat them. The first point was that the French were competing for the "new world" with the British and did not aid the revolution out of the kindness of their hearts; there were some very important economic reasons for their aid. The second point is that the U.S. Revolution was fought to free itself from the tyranny of a larger power, so that it could make its own decisions without the influence of other nations. Self-rule democracy was its goal. If the United States and its citizens still believe in those democratic ideals, then they must allow other countries to have the same rights. They must allow those countries to choose their own ideas. If, by popular election, a country decides to be "communist" (although I am no longer really sure what that means; the Reagan definition is not the Karl Marx definition), then the United States must stand beside the country in that decision. The United States should celebrate that democracy works, not send the CIA in to overthrow Wallace Harrington Guest Writer the government, or exercise strong eco nomic sanctions to undermine that government. You must remember, democracy is a very oppressive form of government. The minority has to succumb to the whims of the majority. We cannot condemn a country for making its own choice. Otherwise, as Loflin asked, where would we be now? Seeing that Loflin is a freshman, I assume that he has no memories of Vietnam. Contrary to his patriotic banter, we are not fighting to preserve Honduras, since the Sandinistas, as well as the contras, have crossed that border every day for years. The United States is there to preserve its own self-interests. Wars are not pretty; they are not all heroic battles where good triumphs over evil. War causes death of innocent people, destruction of private property and economic harship. Only people that have not been in war are stupid enough to think about starting one. And the only war Reagan was ever in was on the back lot of a movie studio, where bullets didn't really kill. Beyond all of this, what bothers me most about American involvement in Central America is the cost. The United States has ignored its homeless and poor, saying that it is up to private institutions to take care of "that segment of the population," while it spends millions of dollars to go through a "training maneuver" in Honduras. It is pathetic to think what that money could have done for American citizens if it had been directed to our own people, rather than for guns and tanks. But no one makes a profit giving food to the hungry; certainly not like selling arms to the Defense Department. Remember history. Our Constitution provides for "the common good" as well as a common defense. Accent defense, not offense. Futhermore, it is one thing for the United States to send troops into a foreign country, producing the loss of lives and property that they did in Vietnam and Grenada, among others, but what would happen if a war were fought here, in the United States, in North Carolina? How would Loflin feel if he watched his mother be gunned down by a soldier in the backyard of his own home? Would he not feel defiled? Just as the Palsetinians, the South Africans and the Nicaraguans feel defiled. The United States has never had a world war fought on its own soil. In the 1900s, we have not had to deal with homeless refugees of a bombed city, let alone rebuild from that destruction. These are the things the United States must consider before sending troops out, anywhere. I don't want my son to ever fight in a war. In the 1950s, the people of the United States were called the "Ugly Americans." We were a people that felt we could go anywhere in the world, get whatever we wanted and do whatever we wanted, because we were Americans. The lesson learned then was that was not true. We cannot let history repeat itself. What we are is part of the world. A world which must learn to live together, not one where we think we get our own way by throwing our weight around. Wallace Harrington is a research tech nician in the Department of Medicine from Newark, Del. Pornography not the problem To the editor: Women of UNC, beware! Female students, professors, and staff here are viewed as subhuman sex slaves, con stantly in peril of discrimina tion and sexual abuse. Why? Simply because the UNC Stu dent Stores sells Playboy. At least, that's what Thomas Jack son would have us believe. His letter ("Pornography enslaves women," March 29) deserves an emphatic refutation. The myth that male sexual desire somehow relates to sex ism or female subjugation is silly, yet it is one of the most prevalent myths in our sexo phobic society. I am a healthy, heterosexual young man. Being such, I naturally enjoy looking at attractive females. I some times look at Playboy or other "pornographic" magazines for that reason. This does not make me a sexist. In fact, I have been a strong advocate of women's rights all my life. It means only that I have a libido which is perfectly normal for men my age. Period. The implication that only eunuchs or homosex uals among males can be fem inists is not only ludicrous, but offensive. The argument that display ing feminine beauty reduces women to "objects of sexual pleasure" is equally preposter ous. This makes about as much sense as accusing the DTH of reducing its female reporters to journalistic objects by "exploit- ON ONE'S 21st BIRTHDAY f J1 JJWIW "Jeff" character? I i i u, V I I i-l ing" them for their prose. I fully appreciate the immense contri butions that women make in our country and this University mentally, creatively, and artis tically, but that does not pre clude me from appreciating the appearance of a beautiful woman, or vice versa. Why should it? I think it's fair to say that the popularity of Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise is due in part to factors other than their acting talents. Does that mean that movies featuring these actors are guilty of discrimina tion against men? Do such movies exploit men, or reduce them to sex objects? Should we prevent the Student Union from showing such films? Of course not. The simple fact is that all people enjoy looking at attractive members of the opposite sex. That's normal and healthy. Anybody who truly cares about women's rights is not going to lose sleep over some provocative photo graphs. Women are still being paid less and promoted less in the workplace, and that's real discrimination. Women still surrender many basic legal rights when they enter into marriage in many states, and that's real discrimination. Por nography is not discrimination, and those who believe it is are missing the point. You can't change human sexuality, and there's no point in trying. You might be able to yank Playboy off the shelves of one store, but youH never stop men from wanting to look at the female body. The energy that some are expending in a pointless attempt to fight Mother Nature could be util ized in a legitimate effort to solve the real problems facing women in the '80s. Those problems will never be solved as long as misguided reformers insist on trying to stop us men from doing what we're genet ically programmed to do. BAILEY IRWIN Freshman Public Policy Both sexes hurt by double standard arvard law professor Susan Estrich, in her book "Real Rape," JJL JJLgives the following as the tradi tional definition of rape: "A man commits rape when he engages in intercourse with a woman not his wife; by force or threat of force; against her will and without her consent." Changes in this definition have come about slowly, so as to include marital rape and acquaintance rape, as well as to allow for the existence of male victims and female rapists. But the old definition still seems to have the most influence, a fact due to the unique nature of the crime of rape. Estrich enumerates the characteristics which make rape different and which have rendered it such a difficult crime to prosecute. Corroboration, for example, is a crucial factor in establishing the guilt of the defendant in crimes such as assault, robbery, drug dealing and embezzlement, but in the instance of rape, corroboration is elusive; in thefts there are stolen goods; in drug deals money is exchanged for drugs; but in rapes, what could constitute corroborating evidence? As for require ments associated with other crimes and often critical to rape cases, Estrich writes: "Because of the sex and socializations of the (rape) victim, it may require less force and generate less resistance. To take into account prior relationship in rape in the same ways as in other crimes commun icates the message that women victims, particularly of (acquaintance) rapes, are to blame for their victimization." The unfor tunate truth is that many women are not strong enough to fight off an attacker, nor are they socialized to aggressively defend themselves. In fact, some books instruct Mary Gallucci Rape Awareness a potential victim to not fight off an assailant, because it may put the victim in a more dangerous predicament. It is not fair that a victim should be blamed because she has not tried to scratch out the eyes of her attacker or to have otherwise harmed him. Some pacifistic persons would be unable to knife someone else in a given situation. The issue here is not really how a victim ought to behave; the tragic and misunderstood circumstances of rape make this point irrelevant. It is possible for people to survive grave injuries to their bodies and to their minds, but this is virtually impossible when their injuries go unacknowledged, as is typically the case in rape. Another aspect of the traditional defi nition of rape which is unsatisfactory and unjust to the victim is that of nonconsent. The common definition of this term, as explained by Estrich, "has required victims of rape, unlike victims of any other crime, to demonstrate their 'wishes' through physical resistance." For centuries, consent under duress (which could include threats with guns and other lethal weapons) was accepted by judges and juries as consent nonetheless and therefore they deemed that a rape had not been committed. Nonconsent becomes even more critical in acquaintance and date rapes, and the psychological trauma of a victim forced to have sex with someone she or he knows is frequently disregarded. To better understand and to prevent all rapes, it is first necessary to realize that all rapes are damaging and dehumanizing to the victim. In other words, just because a victim has not sustained severe bodily injuries does not make the rape less of a crime. Once this is acknowledged, people can analyze more objectively the social constraints that constitute the context of their daily relationships. The structure of a society like our own, which requires women to take more (if not all) of the responsibility for birth control and to set the limits on conduct during a date, obscure the crucial implications of male-female relations. Men are just as unfairly subject to detrimental societal expectations as are women: sex is com monly viewed as a goal to be attained, a proof of manhood that takes place in a coy game in which the male is the aggressor who must persuade the passive female. This type of attitude (which manifests itself in varying degrees) conceals the fact that sex is not a sport or pastime, but a genuine expression of affection between individu als. Those who view it differently as a rite of passage, as the culmination of a wild weekend are doomed to become sexual exploiters or the exploited; or differently put, rapists and the raped. True respect for the integrity of other people's bodies can never be achieved if we maintain differing standards of judgment for the people with whom we interact or even for ourselves. Mary Gallucci is a graduate student in the curriculum of comparative literature from Naugatuck, Conn.