Goodbye to Weber’s – January 29, 2020 Meeting Notes

President Rosemarie rang the opening bell for our last meeting at Weber’s a little early – a full program was scheduled for this special meeting.

We sang My Country ‘Tis of Thee. Kathy Waugh inspired us to beak the slender cords of learned behavior that keep us from trying new things. Her example was of an elephant compound that had tied elephants in their infant years with light cords that would hold them when small, and now the adult elephants had no idea that they could be free with just a little effort.

Richard Ingram led us in a three part round of dona nobis pachem, accompanied by Deanna Relyea. Our high school Latin was impressive!

Bryan Smith

President Rosemarie thanks the people who made this final meeting at Weber’s run smoothly.  She announced that there will be a Farewell Happy Hour at The Session Room beginning at 5:00pm.  She also announced that today was the last day to sign up for the Re-UNION dinner at the newly renovated Michigan Union.  Bryan Smith told us about how to use the AAATA bus service to come to the Union.  AAATA have a very friendly website that will map your journey from whatever address to the Union, via the Blake Transit Center If any of us are over 65 (!) we can get a card that allows us to use The Ride for free;  apply in person at AAATA office at 2700 S. Industrial Highway and bring a government issued photo ID.  Bryan also reminded us that we can use ePark, a free ap that lets you pay for parking using your credit card.

Past President Greg showcased the Annual Report from his presidential year.  Copies will be available at our next luncheon meeting.

Club Administrator Lori Walters asked the Weber’s Banquet Staff, who have served us so cordially these last 21 months, to come to the podium and receive a round of applause for their efforts to make our meetings delicious.

We took a moment to show our gratitude to the Weber’s staff.

President Rosemarie thanked the Strike Crew that will take all our Rotary paraphernalia from Weber’s to the Union at the end of this meeting. The Strike Crew will pick up all of the Rotary paraphernalia and transport it to a variety of destinations for storage and repair. We will have the usual Rotary decorations, flags and name badges at the Feb 5 Re-UNION Celebration Dinner at the Ballroom. However, our Club does not have a storage closet in the Union yet so things will be a little different for awhile until all is resolved. The meeting on February 12 is in the Anderson Room and we will have sufficient supplies to make Rotary and Rotarians recognizable. We give a great big thanks to the members who moved us: Lori Walters, Executive Director, Dale Ausherman, Bob Dascola, Jim Egerdal, Downs Herold, Frode Maaseidvaag, Tom Millard, John White, Ed Wier, and of course, Dave Williams.

John White took the podium to announce the Distinguished Service Award to Sergeant Anonymous, Dave Williams.  Dave has been Sargent-at-Arms for fourteen years, always quiet and calm, always ready for whatever unexpected can – and did – happen.  John said watching Dave reminded him of a duck swimming on the water, passing serenely through the water but with the unseen feet below working like mad.  The entire DSA presentation is on our website here.

Dave Williams receiving his Distinguished Service Award.

After the conclusion of Suellyn Scarnecchia’s talk, President Rosemarie gave us a brief history of The Bell and asked the former presidents in the meeting to form a line from the podium to the door. As each president gave his or her name and their presidential year, the bell was passed from the podium to the door, where Sargent Anonymous waiting to take it to its newly renovated home in the Michigan Union.  This history, and a picture of the first bell, is on our website here.

The passing of the bell.

Notes from the Program

Don Duquette introduced our Speaker Suellyn Scarnecchia. She joined the clinical faculty at the University of Michigan Law School in 1987 and taught in its Child Advocacy Law Clinic for 16 years in addition to serving as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.  From 2003 to 2008, she was Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law. She returned to Michigan and served as General Counsel from 2008 to 2012. Suellyn is recently retired from the University of Michigan Law faculty. She is currently teaching an interdisciplinary graduate class on how to define and address incidents of sexual harassment and assault throughout the University of Michigan community.  She explained  several of the many difficult questions and issues involved in sorting through these problems.

The issue of sexual assault on campus came to the fore because of student activism.  Universities and colleges are struggling to respond in a fashion that recognizes the trauma to the victim and honors the due process rights of the accused.  One of the major struggles is deciding what the process should be. Previously such allegations were sent to local police.   The federal government got involved when Title IX was invoked because it was determined that sexual assault undermines education.  The Obama Administration issued a set of rules and guidelines and now the Trump Administration is rewriting those rules.

Some of the things that need to be blended into policies and solutions include

Do you have to be on campus for the university or college to become involved?

What kinds of interpersonal violence should be covered?

How do you define rape?

What is a sexual act?

What is consent?

Hos should reporting occur?

Who is a responsible person?

How is confidentiality preserved?

Is remediation sufficient in some cases?

Should the standard of guilt be on the preponderance of evidence or beyond reasonable doubt?

Use the trial model or the inquisitorial model?

Who asks the questions when accused and accuser are face-to-face, student or lawyer?

These are just a few of the issues and questions that must be addressed in seeking solutions and creating clear policies for everyone associated with a university or college.


Notes by Agnes Reading, photos by Fred Beutler