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January 09, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-01-09

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom


ThatWas the Leap Year That Was


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Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN, ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



The All-American Jail-II

In October, 1965. Iwas arrested along
with 38 others for participating in a
sit-in at the Ann Arbor draft board.
Seven days later we were convicted by
the Municipal Court for violating a
local trespassing ordinance and were
given 10-day sentences. In November,
1965 our conviction was upheld by
Washtenaw County Circuit Court, this
time with a fifteen day sentence.
On December 18, eleven of us began
to serve our sentences in the Wash-
tenaw County Jail. The following is the
last of a two part series of excerpts
from some notes I took during and
shortly after my fifteen day stay.
my experience here and what most
others are up against. I'm middle-class.
I believe in what I did. I don't think
my "crime" was wrong and neither do
my friends or companions. I have fi-
nancial, legal and moral support on
the outside. I get constant visits from
ministers and lawyers. I know my
rights and when I'll be out. I decided
when I'd drop my appeal and when
I'd come in.
Think of Ralph: he doesn't remem-
ber being arrested; he doesn't have any
money or anyone on the outside; he
doesn't know whether he's still got a
job or not; he's not sure what he's
been charged with or when he'll be out
and the turnkey won't tell him when
he asks; he's ashamed to be here.
tion. The colors are gray or light
yellow or green. There's no music, no
interesting tastes or smells or sights.
Anyone In here for any period of time
would become numb. When I get.out
I'll be enthused and excited by the
sound of a radio (any music), the taste
of real food, the smell of air, the sight
of a girl
ABOUT 2:00 on my birthday, one
of the guys in my cell was melting
a candy bar in a tin cup over some
burning toilet paper. The turnkey
came in and smelled the smoke. The
kid who was doing it explained that
he was trying to make hot chocolate.
All eight of us were marched out and
put into the "hole", a six by six black
brick room with. no toilet and an
absolute minimum of ventilation. By a
stroke of luck, the one old man who
was in with us was taken out an hour
or so later because he was needed for
We were in the hole until about
8:00 the next morning. There was no
roomn to move and sleeping was prac-
tically impossible. A number of times
we shouted to the guards that we
needed to use the toilet. The response
was always the same: "Do it in your
pants", "Use the floor", etc.
Everyone seemed on the verge of
either panic or despair. I remember
waking out of a half-sleep that first
night and being gripped by the
thought that there wasn't enough air.
Others speculated about what would
happen if the waterpipes busted or
the turnkey wouldn't let us out. At
other times I felt lost and miserable
and powerless, and I didn't care about
Next to the hole is the "psycho
cage", a room about 14' x 8' with a
hole in the floor for a toilet and a
cement slab for sleeping. People who
are deemed "crazy" by the sheriff or
the turnkeys are kept in this cell.
While we were in the hole (and for
at least 12 of the 15 days I was in jail)

there was a young man in the psych
cage who had tried to kill himself.
He was one of the saddest, most des-
perate people I've ever talked to. And
yet his condition apparently made him
a more likely subject of harassment
and ridicule rather than someone to
be pitied or helped. At night the P.A.
system would go on in his cell and
someone would scream or attempt an
eerie laugh through it. Other times
he was denied requests for water or
told to "shut-up" when he said he
was cold.
r11T.NE XRT DAV nfter zinr thet nilet

Sheriff Harvey and a number of local
I was told that Harvey, in a style
most Ann Arborites have come to ex-
pect, said, -among other things: "I
don't tell you how to preach your ser-
mons, don't tell me how to run my
jail;" "This is one of the finest jails
in southeast Michigan;" "It's not a
'hole', it's my 'incorrigible cell'." So
much for the sheriff in our All-
American City.
WE WERE TAKEN out of the hole
the next day and put into a pun-
ishment cell for five days. Two days
in the hole with seven people was a
horrible experience. I talked with
someone who had spent ten days there
with fifteen people. Apparently every
time they aproached the scheduled
time to get out, someone would reach
his personal breaking point and would
curs- a turnkey or bang on the door,
and extra time was added on.
The punishment cell was large with
a steel table in the middle of the floor
and six steel bunk-beds around the
sides. There was a toilet, a non-func-
tional shower, a sink (with no hot
water), and a broken urinal that filled
the room with the smells of stale
urine. We weren't allowed to shower,
shave, or brush our teeth for the time
we were in this cell.
It was there that we met with the
most harassment, partly because the
turnkeys felt that we hadn't played
fair in getting out of the hole the way
we did. (We were supposed to stay
four more days, but we had friends.)
I began to realize the ways humilia-
tion and degradation are used in the
jail, some as part of the system, others
as the peculiar habits of the individual
turnkeys. Some of the more common
forms of harassment are: leaving
lights on all night or turning them on
and off at odd hours; no toilet seats
on the toilets and construction of the
sink directly over the toilet; turning
the heat too high or too low; demand-
ing that everyone have short hair and
cutting off all mustaches and beards.
We're sure that we're in the hands
of lunatics. The constant harassment,
the petty insults, etc., have convinced
us that these guys have, at best, pretty
weird sense of humor. New Year's Eve
was kind of frightening because one
of the turnkeys really looked drunk
and spent a lot of time banging his
brass key against our door and laugh-
THE PRISON ISN'T rehabilitating
anyone. Nor is it trying to keep
dangerous individuals out of society.
The prison attempts to punish "evil".
And even at this it fails. No one is
"deterred" or "cured" or "straightened
out." The prison in fact creates its
own evil. How can we allow the pun-
ishment of people who've been pun-
ished by the experts most of their
IN ALL-AMERICAN Ann Arbor it's
odd that we have such an archaic
institution. We're suposed to be pro-
gressive, forward-looking. Why aren't
there ministers who make it their busi-
ness to visit the jail periodically and
find out what people's needs and prob-
lems are? Why aren't doctors volun-
teering to see prisoners on a weekly
or bi-weekly basis to make sure they're
healthy? Why couldn't others help
organize an adequate library, sports
program, or classes?
I guess in Ann Arbor, as everywhere

else people feel better when they don't
have to think about or see such things
as jails and prisoners- Walls and pro-
fessional jailers make real people in-
visible, and with clean hands, we're
more comfortable.
Even with reform, jails will be hor-
rible places. Caging people up is a
pretty extreme response to people's
problems or needs. In a truly free,
democratic society, jails would be
smashed. The jails and the ghettos
and the wars are the best measure of
any society. And on this measure, our
society has failed. Prison reform is a
case of attacking the symntoms of a

TROPHECY," wrote Miss George Eliot, "is the most
gratuitous form of error." But even a snide remark
like that couldn't keep The Daily from releasing still
another of its famous stolen documents.
The predictions below, discovered on a torn papyrus
leaf on the fourth floor of the general library's North
Campus annex, contain the significant events for the
University community during the coming 12 months.
They are the forecasts of a long-forgotten seer, said one
leading expert here on prophecy, and their veracity
remains unchallenged:
JANUARY-Robben Fleming takes office, promises
"a new era of good will" in the University community.
In first official interview, Fleming tells Daily reporter
"off the record" that he is sick and tired of student
grievances; Daily prints quote. . . . Vice President for
Research A. Geoffrey Norman announces that $3 mil-
lion in new Defense Department contracts were acquired
during the Christmas vacation. Voice-SDS releases a
statement, commenting "Bah-Humbug!" . . Writer-
in-Residence Irving Howe leaves the campus after his
two-week blitz visit. A Daily poll following his depar-
ture shows 60 per cent of students still think Irving
Howe plays hockey for the Detroit Red Wings, 20 per
cent say he owns The Deli, and 15 per cent claim he's
president of Student Government Council.
FEBRUARY-Prof. Howard Peckham, director of the
Clements Library, stumbles across an old document that
shows the original Catholepistemiad (the University's
direct ancestor) was really founded in .1819, not 1817.
President Fleming declares the 1967 Sesquicentennial
celebration a mistake and says the University will cele-
brate its 150th birthday in 1969. Fleming also launches
a $69 million fund drive. . . . UAC, fresh from another
disastrous Winter Weekend (highlighted by the Lennon
Sisters and Lawrence Welk in concert) says it will-hold
a unique "Sesquigras" in 1969. . . . Voice-SDS pickets
the Administration Building, declares that the anni-
versary celebrations are decoys to cover up heinous
chemical biological war research being conducted in
the UGLI snack bar. . . . The new Daily editors are
announced and take office without furor. Editor Rapo-
port, on his last day in office, exposes his parents and
relatives in a shady land deal in Schenectady, N.N

MARCH - A massive blizzard strikes the campus.
Buses are halted and 600 Bursley residents miss their
midterms; President Fleming, landing on the Bursley
roof by helicopter, consoles the stranded students:
"March," warns Fleming, "comes in like a lion." . . .
The SGC election campaign begins with a heated race
for president between a 47-year-old graduate student
who has been II-S since World War II, and his oppo-
nent, John Feldkamp, who resigns as Director of Uni-
versity Housing and enrolls as a student to become the
administration's candidate for SGC president. The
Daily, in a rare moment of sanity, endorses a yoter boy-
cot. .. . The Presidential Commission on Decision-Mak-
ing issues its long-awaited and glorious report, recom-
mending sweeping changes in the University janitorial
APRIL--The Class of 1968 graduates. Addressing the
throng in Michigan Stadium, commencement speaker
Dean Rusk labels Vietnam "the war to end all wars," is
immediately battered by 4,000 caps tossed from the angry
grads. . . , President Fleming establishes the Fleming
Commission to study the Hatcher Commission's recom-
mendations for decision-making changes in the Uni-
MAY-The spring trimester commences with only 40
more students than the last year. But "we still have
faith in the trimester," stutters the registrar. . . . The
Daily, after a year of preparation, goes completely inde-
pendent of the University. After two free days, it is
purchased for $1.5 million by a holding company owned
by Harlan Hatcher, Eugene Power, Phillip Jesse May,
and Richard Cutler, four long-time Daily fans.
AUGUST-The Fleming Commission issues a report
calling the Hatcher Commission's report "well-balanced
and sane." The Regents, claiming the need for further
study of the problem, establishes a Regental Commis-
sion to study the report of the Fleming Commission on
the Hatcher Commission.
SEPTEMBER - Registration of an all-time high
38,000 students proceeds through Waterman Gym with-
out the slightest line or delay. A team of Daily reporters,

in an attempt to discover how so many could' be pro-
cessed so smoothly, discovers a hidden basement in
Waterman Gym where 5,000 students with schedule de-
lays and hold-credit slips have been guarantined; 3,000
have been there since the first week of January. . . .
The Regental Commission sets up three subcommittees,
one to study the Fleming Commission Report, another
to examine the Hatcher Report, a third to study the
reports of the first two.
OCTOBER-The writer-in-residence committee an-
nounces its two final choices for 1969; Jacquelyn Susann
or Harold Robbins. A Daily poll shows that 95 per cent
of the student body can identify both of them. ... SGC,
having gone without a decent confrontation for almost
a year, declares that the Regental Commission .on Deci-
sion-Making (which is studying the Fleming Report
which studied the Hatcher Report) is an administrative
trick to stall long-overdue reforms of the University
power structure; SGC executives sit-in during commis-
sion meeting.
NOVEMBER-The University holds its fourth annual
teach-in, this year: "Teach-Ins, Their Cause and Cure."
... In a rare operation that shocks the medical world, a
team of University surgeons transplants the brain of
the SGC president to the vice-president for student
affairs. The administrator, fighting off a virulent body
rejection, begins boasting from his sickbed about the
need for student power.
DECEMBER - The Regental Commission issues its
report on decision-making, the authoritative last word
on the subject. The Commission confesses complete ig-
norance about campus opinion and calls "anarchy the
answer" to student demands. . .. The war in Vietnam
ends, causing Willow Run Labs to shut down. The Uni-
versity offers the facility to the Residential College as
its new site. When the publicized offer is never answered,
the administration checks and discovers that the Resi-
dential College disbanded in early November. . . . Presi-
dent Fleming, completing his first year in office, de-
scribes 1968 as "a year of great progress and achieve-
ment. It's always like that during leap year," adds


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WHO, teW '

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Con fonalionm--Mediaion--A melioralion

The author is a professor of En-
gineering English, assistant director
of the Michigan Memorial-Phoenix
Project, and is presently the chair-
man of the Student Relations Corn-
mittee of SACUA (Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs).
I WOULD LIKE to interject into
the current discussions about
regulations and misconduct some
possibilities that I think deserve
to be considered by the University
community :
1) that we eliminate from our
vocabulary the words "suspension"
and "expulsion";
2) that we stop trying to create
a "judiciary system," regardless of
its composition-students, faculty,
administrators, or any possible
combination thereof.
pension and expulsion have no
intrinsic value but are merely
avoidance techniques. When a uni-
versity suspends or expels a stu-
dent, it has not solved a problem
but rather has been defeated in
its attempt to solve it. The strategy
may go like this: "If a problem
can be identified with an individ-
ual and the individual eliminated,
the problem will no longer, exist."
We are also attracted to this
strategy because the threat of ex-
pulsion serves to deter others from
raising the same problem, and thus
again prevents us from facing our

ens to get rid of him, regardless of
what he has done. When parents
do make such threats, they recog-
nize them as outbursts of temper,
as actions they have tosredress.
The normal parent assists, sup-
ports, attempts to influence, and
when he fails to influence con-
tinues to assist and to support and
to attempt to influence. Indeed, it
is often the parent who changes.
Not so the universtiesthatrhave
begun to expel students. Perhaps
not the University of Michigan.
THE THREAT of expulsion is
creeping into our operating litera-
ture in some inconsequential
places. We find it in automobile
regulations - "Disciplinary action
for violation of motor vehicle reg-
ulations shall range from a fine
not to exceed the maximum fine
of fifty dollars ($50) for a first
violation to required withdrawal
from the University in case of any
additional violations."
We find it in dormitory regula-
tions-"Dismissal from the resi-
dence halls and possible dismissal
from the University are the final
recourses which are available to
the staff." If the threat appears in
such minor places, it is natural to
assume it will underlie the major
places as well. The existence of the
threat is the University's anta-
gonistic posture and contributes to
an atmosphere of o'pposition.

judicial systems, however elaborate
or representative they may be.
The truth of the matter is that
most students, faculty, and ad-
ministrators who play at Univer-
sity justice make poor lawyers and
worse judges, that the whole con-
cept of courts involved a role-play-
ing, an acting, for which most of us
who are called upon to perform do
not have the skills, the ability, and
the tradition. The proof of this,
I suggest, is in the examination of
any judicial discipline procedure at
the University during the last
three years.
There are other serious faults
with campus judiciaries. The roles
get confused. The prosecutor turns
out to be the judge, the defense
attorney the prosecutor, the judge
the defense attorney. The appel-
late body can prove to be the
original plaintiff. There is a pri-
vacy problem. A judicial system
implies that the student judges
or the faculty judges or the ad-
ministrative judges will have ac-
cess to personal data about the
student defendants which the
judge-actors have not been pro-
fessionally prepared to read, to
understand, or to respect. They
will learn things about individuals
they simply ought not to know.
There is a bureaucratic problem.
A University judicial system, to do
its job properly, requires a due
process procedure that is costly in

suspend and to expel. To date, I
have not heard anyone talk of
a judiciary system that was for-
bidden from recommending sus-
pension or expulsion, all of which,
I suggest again, makes the jud-
ging system a technique not for
solving a problem but for avoiding
it, albeit a formal technique.
WHAT COULD take the place of
a judiciary system? What can the
University do with a stable student
population that it cannot diminish
because of misconduct?
My suggestion is to set up a
mediation/arbitration system. The
mechanics evade me, but the
dynamics seem attractive.
Take a hypothetical case. Twen-
ty uninvited students attend a
meeting between the Deputy Di-
rector of HEW and the Dean of
the School of Public Health. The
Dean feels he has been wronged by
the students, that their action has
been disruptive, that it is intolera-
ble. He has two alternatives:
A) he can call the police and
lodge a civil complaint;
B) he can forego lodging a civil
complaint and submit his com-
plaint to a University mediation/
arbitration board in an attempt to
have the board arrive at a decision
that will agree with him and tell
the students to change their be-
IF HE CHOOSES A, the matter

ticular students show up at a
meeting between him and the
Deputy Director of HEW and,
his judgment, are being disrup-
tive he had better revert to plan
A and call the police.
2) the board will agree with the
students' point of view that the
students can do this. The Dean
a) accept the board's decision
and agree not to be upset when
the students appear again;
b) reject the board's decision,
in which case the students know
that the next time they appear
the Dean may call in the police.
WHAT I LIKE about this system
is is that it provides an oppor-
tunity to change the minds of both
the students and the Dean. It
leaves both parties a number of
options, among them the option to
act differently in the future than
they acted in the past and the op-
tion to act in the same manner but
with different anticipated conse-
Such a mediation/arbitration
system may appear to leave us al-
ways back where we started, with
a choice between doing nothing or
calling the police. (Obviously, I do
not object to the use of the police
when a dean or a student feels he
needs them. I suspect, however,
that it may be more difficult to
prove charges in a civil court than
it is in a University court.)





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