The University Record, April 24, 2000

Letters

The University Record welcomes letters from members of the University community. Those on topics of broad University interest will be given preference for publication. Letters should be no more than 500 words in length and must be signed. The editorial staff reserves the right to reject any letter and to edit and/or condense letters for publication. The editorial staff also may limit the numbers of weeks letters may be published on an issue, and the number of times any one person’s viewpoint on a single issue will be published. Letters may appear in small type. Organizations submitting material must include the name and address of an appropriate officer. Letters must be received by noon Wednesday to receive consideration for publication in the next issue.


Refund due on parking permits?

I read, with great interest, the Assembly Roundup summary written by Theresa Maddix in The University Record dated March 27, 2000, which addressed some concerns about parking at the University of Michigan.

Now that Parking Services has mailed new applications for us to complete for the year July 2000–June 2001, I wonder if I missed something about the issue of paying for parking for two months we didn’t get. In other words, last year (September 1999–June 2000) I paid the rate for 12 months of parking, but only received 10 months of privileges. (Sept. 1999–June 2000: “12-month” fees were $130 orange, $237 yellow, $430 blue, $860 gold; July 2000–June 2001: $50 orange, $100 yellow, $436 blue, $872 gold). Is a credit due (16.7 percent), especially for Blue and Gold permit-holders, or how is this being justified?

Barbara Pearlman, office assistant, physiology

Editor’s Note: 1999–2000 parking permit holders did not pay a 12-month rate, according to Patrick Cunningham, director of Parking and Transportation Services. “We moved last year to change the permit cycle to mirror the fiscal year, with permits granted for September 1999–June 2000. Permit rates were prorated for the 10-month period. This year we will be on a 12-month cycle.”

National group protests Michigamua

At its April 6–8 meeting at the University of Iowa, the CIC Native American Studies Consortium adopted the following resolution in response to the University of Michigan’s continued support of Michigamua:

“The society of Michigamua has existed for 98 years as an elite organization inextricably tied to the institution of the University of Michigan. The organization was founded on the principles of University service and pride, yet chose the label “Michigamua” to create a pseudo-Indian identity predicated on an extinct Indian tribe. This appropriation of Indian symbolism and tradition has been used to facilitate a racial performance of the Indian and to authorize Michigamua as a student/alumni organization entitled to the use of Indian practices and cultures. Michigamua has destructively undermined Native American cultural and civil rights in its promotion of negative stereotypes of Native Americans, yet has been granted for almost a century distinctive privileges and protection by the University of Michigan.

“For three decades the University’s Native American community has worked with Michigamua and the administration to reeducate both communities on the destructive effects of the organization. In 1989, an agreement was reached that Michigamua would eliminate all references to Native American culture. Ten years later the University refuses to enforce the agreement and Michigamua continues to appropriate its identity from popular or racist representations of Native American cultures.

We protest, as well, that University resources are continuing to be spent in order to supply space to this organization. We remind the University that the allocation of space is never ideologically neutral and that the allocation of physical space cannot be separated from the University’s commitment to a fair and diverse educational environment for all of its students and faculty.

“We demand that the University defend the rights of Native Americans and eliminate all of its connections to Michigamua. We demand that the University of Michigan prohibit the use of “Michigamua” or any other derivative Indian name to its student/alumni organizations. We further resolve that the CIC’s Native American Studies Consortium will not meet at the University of Michigan until Michigamua has been removed from its campus.”

The Native American Studies Consortium represents faculty and graduate students from the Universities of Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. We are committed to working within our national organizations—such as the American Historical Association, the Modern Language Association and American Anthropological Association—to produce strong resolutions against the use of Indian symbolism and mascots at all universities.

Betty Bell, assistant professor of English, of women’s studies and of American culture, for the CIC Native American Studies Consortium