Intimidation (1993)

This book was a compilation of information, history, poems, essays, illustrations and a biological study about saving Asylum Lake from Western Michigan University’s plans to build a “research and business” industrial park at that location.  The book was compiled, edited, formatted and published by Dok Tael Stevens.

Stevens published this book because she was dismissed from the campus newsletter, The Western Herald, for being “too controversial after writing an article about WMU intimidation of Students for a Sustainable Earth.

“In a related issue, SSE disassociated themselves from their sponsor, the Environmental Studies department, when they were given the choice of either accepting silence concerning the research and business park or disassociation.  The students were told that the administration was threatening budget cuts to the supporting academic department, so they removed themselves from the program.

The administration allegedly told the Environmental Studies department that, if they continued to produce students such as those in SSE who oppose the research park, that perhaps the department wasn’t needed at WMU. On February 10, 1993, an editorial in The Western Herald concerning this event entitled, “Friction between WMU, SSE hindering academic progress” was accompanied by a news article on the same topic.  President Diether Haenicke called the students and faculty involved, including Herald Editor-in-Chief Cameron Tinsler, asserting that academic intimidation never occurred. Without a paper trail, the credibility of the SSE students was called into question.
President Haenicke and Environmental Studies program director David Hargreave filled an opinion page with letters to the editor disavowing the incident.  Personal attacks were leveled at the news reporter, opinion columnist, SSE student leaders and the new SSE adviser, Roger Ulrich of the Psychology Department.
At the Herald advisory board meeting February 19, 1993, the credibility of the column was questioned.  Despite the resolution that accurate reporting had occurred, the opinion columnist Dok Tael Stevens, as well as all of the opinion staff, were banned from writing about the Environmental Studies department, SSE and the Asylum Lake Research and Business Park.  Stevens was additionally placed on one-week of editor-requested vacation.  Since that time, her articles have been erratically accepted and her weekly publication day, Tuesday, is often filled by other authors.  The American Civil Liberties Union is currently investigating the situation.”

Original Source

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One thought on “Intimidation (1993)

  1. ACLU was useless but at least, in the end, most of the Asylum Lake properties were protected. We couldn’t find a way to protect the Lee Baker Farm or Colony Farm Orchard, however, which did not have any deed restrictions. I’m proud of the little book I put together – even though it was rough, I didn’t have any publishing experience, I threw it together in a matter of six weeks to get it out on time for Earth Day and I lost a small fortune (for a college student) publishing it… I just hope Asylum Lake will be there for future students and residents to enjoy. Dok

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