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March 12, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-12

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94 p £ir$gan Thiitj
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by s+udents of the University of Michigan


the population

bomb be defused?


20 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521

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



THE SUSPENSION of Robert Parsons
by literary college Dean William
Hays raises serios doubts about t h e
University administration's willingness
to recognize the legitimacy of student
rights and powers on campus.
Parsons - who is charged with strik-
ing a faculty member during the GE re-
cruiter protest last month-was suspend-.
ed without a hearing of any kind. The
incident and the decision to suspend
Parsons was discussed by the LSA execu-
tive committee and by some top Uni-
versity administrators, but the defendant
himself was neither informed of possible
action being taken against him, nor giv-
en a chance to respond.
This was an obvious violation of the
defendant's right to due process. Hays,
in taking this action, ignored even the
inadequate disciplinary procedures of the
literary college which call for a hearing
by the administrative board before any
punitive action can be taken.
OREOVER the whole 'idea that the
executive committee of the literary
college -- or any faculty body - can dis-
cipline a student must be challenged. As
Student Government Council has been
'arguing for years, students should be tried
only bycourts and juries comprised solely
of their peers and only under regulations
approved by students.
In fact, the faculty representative body,
Senate Assembly, agreed to the principle
last summer, when it approved proposed
changes in the Regents' bylaws. However,
President Robben Fleming, conform-
ing to the two-year old "interim rules"
for disciplinary action, is apparently un-
'willing to accept these changes. And the
suspension of Parsons - the f i r s t signi-
ficant action taken under the interim
rules -- constitutes a dangerous prece-
dent which must not be allowed to stand.
T HE UNIVERSITY'S action appears
even more onerous because it comes
at a time when action is already being
taken against Parsons in the civil courts
on an assault and battery charge con-
cerning the same incident. According to
civil law, a defendant is innocent until
proven guilty, and at present Parsons
must be considered innocent by all par-
The University must also be condemn-
ed for taking academic discipline for an
actiofi which was completely non-aca-
demic in character. Even if Parsons is
guilty as charged the alleged act is no
way reflects upon his academic compet-
Faculty members and administrators
have used a number of arguments to just-
ify the drastic disciplinary action taken
against Parsons - they claim the ser-
iousness of the charges against Parsons
(that he struck Prof. John Young dur-
irg the GE recruiter lock-in) make it
necessary for the University community
to defend itself by suspending him im-
ThERE ARE A number of serious flaws
In this argument. Most strikingly,

cl action
members of the LSA executive committee
admit they are not sure whether Parsons
really did strike Prof. Young. How then
can they order his suspension?
The authority to initiate summary s'u-
spension for alleged non-academic acts
is a dangerous power because it can po-
tentially be used politically. No individual
or' group in the University should have
such power.
WEN FACULTY members and admin-
istrators talk about the University de-
fending itself, it must be understood that
they are speaking only for themselves -
not for the largest segment of the campus
population,;the students.
Dean Hays' letter to Parsons is inter-
esting on this point: "Physical attack by a
student against a member of the Uni-
versity faculty in performance of his duty
is absolutely unacceptable behavior, and
will not be tolerated." The letter makes
it clear that the faculty has responded
hastily and irrationally to what they per-
ceive as an attack on their special rights
in the University community.
The defensive character of the faculty-
administration position is further em-
phasized by the circulation on campus
today of a "Report to the University
Community," a one-sided and sometimes
inaccurate account of the suspension. At
one point, for example, the report states
that the administrative board is compos-
ed of half students and half faculty
members. Actually, there are no voting
student members of the board. In adi-
tion the report ignores Parsons' claim
that he is innocent of the charge.
STRANGELY, MEMBERS of the execu-
tive committee also argue that the
suspension of Parsons does not constitute
a penalty and that it would in no way
have prejudiced any hearing he might
have requested before the administrative
Yet in a statement released yesterday,
the committee indicates the administra-
tive board would simply have ratified
their action: "An immediate hearing was
envisioned to validate these charges when
the suspension was carried out."
Unsuccessful attempts to convince the
executive committee and Hays that their
position is wrong have already been made.
An ad hoc group of students met with
the board yesterday, but the committee's
only response was to issue a statement
saying that, since Parsons voluntarily
withdrew from school on Mar. 9, his
suspension would be recorded as having
lasted only six days. This kind of double-
talk is an insult to those students who
are seriously concerned about the issues
THE ONLY RECOURSE left is direct
action. The protest activity planned
today - a noon rally on the Diag follow-
ed by a demonstration in the office of
Dean Hays is the only appropriate re-
sponse the administration has left open
to the University community. All con-
cerned people should participate.

S(EDITOR'ShNOTE: The author, a graduate
student at the Center for Population Plan-
ning, worked for more than three years in
Africa in the field of fertility research.)
N 1750, 800 million people inhabited the
earth. A century later, there were 1.26
billion humans and in 1950 this had in-
creased to 2.52 billion. We are now ap-
proaching 3.6 billion. If present trends con-
tinue J. Bourgeois-Pichat, the 'French
demographer, predicts man will reach the
135.8 billion figure by 2200, when there
will be 1 square yard per individual.
Years ago high rates of reproduction
were necessary when half the world's chil-
dren died before the age of five. Societies
developed cultures which favored high birth
rates. These same rates are now menacing
our existence; we must reverse centuries
of conditioned behavior simply to survive.
The phrase "population problem" has
almost become a fad as a result of the
incredible mound of available statistics.
Less discernible than such facts is the non-
existence of a population problem per se.,
There are four elements that must be con-
sidered in approaching this dilemma.
First of all, the resource base, the earth,
is limited in its supply of water, minerals,
arable land and space; although thermo- \
nuclear power may enable man to recycle
some of the material to be used again,
there are many elements that cannot be
Secondly, the rate of population growth
partially determines the rate of resource
consumption. A relatively slow-growing
population with a very high rate of con-
sumption, such as the United States, puts
a much greater strain on world resources
than a rapidly growing populace with a
low standard of living. The 205 million
Americans who compose 5.7 per cent of the
world's people consume 50 per cent of the
world's non-renewable resources; this is
more damaging on the ecosystem than the
depletion caused by 800 million Chinese.

Thirdly, social organization (feudal, cap-
italist, socialist) determines the distribu-
tion of resources among the people-who
gets more of what at what price.
Finally, one must consider the level of
technology people live under. With the
extremely primitive technology of the Aus-
tralian Aborigenes, it has been calculated
that the world could only feed 10 million
inhabitants. Wit a highly sophisticated
technology, estimates range up to 47 bil-
ANY SOLUTION of our environmental
predicament must aim at all four variables
together to offer a satisfactory solution.
Even before proposing new programs, mis-
conceptions must be dispelled. A popular
notion today is to blame the developing
countries for the "population problem";
this is an enormous fallacy allowing indus-
trialized countries, mostly Western, to con-
tinue gobbling up resources without a
guilty conscience. The disagreeable truth is
that the high level of material consump-
tion of the West (mainly the United
States) acounts for the "problem." During
the "Development Decade" from 1960 to
169 the rich nations added $400 billion to
their net annual income, more than the
total annual income of all the developing
countries during the same period of time.
Wayne H. Davis of the University of
Kentucky has introduced a new term, "In-
dian equivalents," to ecology; he is refer-
ring to "the average number of Indian
citizens (from Southeast Asia) required to
have the same detrimental effect on the
land's ability to . support human life as
would the average American;" While Davis
uses 25 as his figure, other adopt 40; both'
are considered conservative estimates. Thus
an average middle-class family with three
children in terms of "Indian equivalents,"
and consumes resources equivalent to those
of an entire Indian village.
It becomes clear that population control
alone is not the solution to the consumption
problem, for a decreasing population with

increasing levels of consumption will still
cause environmental deterioration.
This is not to say there is no population
problem. In the long-run, even With low
levels of consumption, there would be an
absolute bottleneck. In the short-run, the
main cause of our difficulties is not the
rate of population increase but our way of
life, our levels of consumption and ways of
national planning, which for decades has
connoted gnomes waving red flags, bully-
ing people into the right way to brush
their teeth and oppressing industrialists.
Yet, Thomas.T. Watson, Jr., chairman of
the board of IBM and hardly a dangerous
radical, recently said, "I believe that the
complexity of our modern economy de-
mands national goal setting and plan-
ning . . . . The national goals of this coun-
try should be set and restudied annually."
Large-scale planning, democratically
conducted, will give people more freedom,
for we will be able to make rational deci-
sions in advance with a reasonable chance
of knowing what to expect. In the last 20
years, free enterprise has meant the free-
dom to pollute the environment so that to-
day the people have lost more basic free-
doms, such as the right to clean air. The
longer people wait, the more choices will be
forced upon us. We do-not have the choice
of not planning.
In the area of population, respected
scientists are urging methods of compul-
sory population control ranging from steril-
ization after two children to chemical pro-
ducts which would be added to water sup-
plies for temporary sterility.
In the long-run, because of the fact that
ecological equilibrium does not respect
frontiers, world planning of resources -and
development will have to be the final solu-
tion. Buckminster Fuller once Wrote,
"Every shift (in the energy balance ac-
complished by man at earth's crust) affects

all the universe," This is one of the most
revolutionary aspects of the crisis--the
realization - that ultimately environmental
planning will be useless unless it is global.
THE FIRST STEP begins with the in-
dividual. Everyone must limit his offspring
to two children, which is the number nec-
essary to attain a stationary population
(growth rate of zero, where births equal
deaths). Even if American families had an
average of two children beginning this
year, a stationary population would not be
achieved before 2040; by then there would
be 292 million Americans.
Abortion laws should be repealed and
abortion made available on demand.
People should be aware a n d support
ENACT'S Pledge of Social Responsibility,
Signers of this pledge agree not to have
more than two offspring, and make a con-
tribution toward restoring population eco-
logy. People who want more than two
children can adopt them, thereby solving
the population pressure and a social prob-
One of the reasons for the persistence of
high fertility is the woman's role in an
"emancipated" society; the average su-
burban white female is encouraged to be
a wife and mother before being an inde-
pendent being. Until women are fully inte-
grated into the labor force,. they will con-
tinue having too many children.
Tax laws should be changed to allow
unmarried individuals and those who wait
to get married at age 25 or 30 to receive
tax relief. However, having children should
not be penalized since it would hurt main-
ly the poor.
Broad Changes in our sex mores and at-
titudes should be instituted; for example,
tolerance could be shown for people who
choose to live together without marriage.
Finally, sex eduction should unques-
tionably be generalized, and basic courses
in ecology should become an integral part
of the school curriculum, beginning on the
primary level.

John Feldkamp: The next superlandlord?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
article was adopted' as a position
paper by Ann Arbor International
Last of three parts
pansion during the fifties and
sixties has had a disasterous ef-
fect upon A n n Arbor's housing
market. Rapid expansion during
the fifties d r o v e vacancy rates
down and rents sky-high in the
student market. The tightness of
the student market created great
pressure on moderate and low in-
come non-student housing. Va-
cancy rates fell and rents rose
for these groups, too. Consequent-
ly, low and moderate rent families
were forced to find housing out-
side Ann Arbor.
The sixties saw continued rapid
enrollment increase - r a p i d
enough to keep vacancy rates low
despite the building of enormous
amounts of high-rent apartment
housing. Rents continued to rise
- by 1965 around sixty per cent
of students living in apartments
found high rent a problem. Need-
less to say, most of the few low
and middle income non-student
families remaining in Ann Arbor
at the end of the fifties were
forced out during the sixties.
R a p i d University expansion,
then, caused the housing squeeze.
What has the University done to
alleviate its effects? An infinitesi-
mal amount, compared to t h e
magnitude of the problem.
The only possible w a y (aside
from rent control) that the Ann
Arbor housing market could have
been loosened was by a massive
attagk on vacancy rates - build-
ing large amounts of low rent'
housing to force rents down
through competition. The logical
institution to undertake such an

attack is the University; that it
has failed to do so is not the re-
sult of ignorance but of conscious
several Regents have been Ann
Arbor businessmen. Almost all of
them have come from the same
strata of successful small busi-
nessmen Ann Arbor's landlords'
belong to. In 1926 t h e "Regents
adopted a policy, reaffirmed in
1958, of not using University re-
sources to compete w i t h local
business. Small wonder that the
University has not sought to com-
pete in the Ann Arbor housing'
In fact, the University has gone
much farther than simple non-
competition.eThe President's Com-
mission on Off-Campus Housing
reported in 1965 that "The Uni-
versity cannot afford to flood the
housing market just to force the
private ,owners to lower their
rents with the realistic expecta-
tion that as soon as this condition
exists that a substantial portion
of the University housing w i 11
stand empty." In other words the
University cannot compete in the
apartment housing market be-
cause to do so might raise dor-
mitory vacancy rates. This is a
commendably straightforward ad-
mission that the University has
used the plight of the students in
the apartment market to keep the
dorms filled-to keep dorm profits
The University has certainly not
been ignorant of the students'
problems in the housing market'.
Various offices have been compil-
ing information since at least
1949-50. A survey of students was
undertaken in 1965 by Professor
Staudt and Andrews of ISR "to

collect information which might
be helpful to President Hatcher's
Commission on Of f- Campus
Housing." Of late the Housing Of-
fice was aware of the relatively
high vacancy rates of Fall, 1966
through Spring, 1968. Since last
spring at the latest, the Housing
Office has been aware that there
may be a housing shortage next
fall. Has all this information been
used for the students' benefit?
Commission stated that one pur-
pose of a Student Housing Office
shall be "Providing information
and miscellaneous services to stu-
dents . . . to assure, to the maxi-
mum extent possible, that the liv-
ing experiences of students in Ann
Arbor will be satisfactory and
pleasant . .."
Mr. Feldkamp's Student Hous-
ing Office has been less than zeal-
ous in providing students infor-
mation on housing - neither the
low vacancy rates of late 1966
through early 1968 nor the pos-
sibility of a housing shortage in
Fall, 1910 have been publicized. A
proposal calling' for' University-
built low-rent apartments for 1,000
single students has been knocking.
about the Housing Office for
years; no serious attempt has been
made to implement it despite the
fact that it would barely dent the
Ann Arbor market.
If the University's indifference
to the plight of students in the
Ann Arbor apartment market s
monumental, its indifference to
the low and middle income famil-
ies it has driven from Ann Arbor
defies description. The University,
at least recognizes the existence of
difficulties for students in Ann
Arbor housing; it does not seem
to realize that the problem ex-

tends to its non-academic em-
ployees and to the people who
provide services foi- the Univer-'
sity community.
It is clear that the University
will not voluntarily serve the in-
terests of its students, staff, and
service community by breaking
the Ann Arbor rental market.
Those who have been injured by
the University's housing policy
must force a change. They must
demand that the University-the
institution responsible for the
Ann Arbor housing crisis-build
enough new apartments to forcer
Ann Arbor rents down. The ques-
tions facing the victims of the
University's housing policy are
how many new apartments are
enough, and how the University
can be forced to build them.
complicating .any attempt to de-
termine how many new apart-
ments must be built if Ann Arbor
rents are to be driven down. One
is Ann Arbor's continued rapid
growth, the other the large group
of students and workers now com-
muting to the city. Both of these
increase the difficulty of ascer-
taining how much of an effect a
given number of new spaces will
have on vacancy rates.
It seems safe, nevertheless, to
estimates that the addition of
5,000 spaces in medium rent
apartments by Fall, 1972, is the
minimum amount of new housing
which can significantly affect the
Ann Arbor market. Probably the
optimal division of this housing
is into 3,000 spaces in three bed-
room, three occupant apartments,
1,000 spaces in one bedroom two-
occupant apartments and 1,000
spaces in apartments aimed at
families of varying sizes. The three
bedroom apartments would be pri-
marily aimed towards single stu-
dents; the one bedroom apart-
ments towards childless couples.:
Rents should be around $70-75 a
month per person, with an eight
or twelve month lease option.
One technical problem of con-
siderable importance remains-fi-
nances. At present, local develop-
ers are unable to build apartments
cheaply enough to rent competi-
tively. How, then will the Uni-
versity be able to build large
apartment developments designed
to undercut current Ann Arbor
in the University's ability to c-b-
tain finance rates approximately
3 per cent lower than the bond
market. The University can do so
because it has the power to issue.
tax free bonds. Furthermore, the
University already has large am-
ounts of land available for apart-
ment sites on North Campus.
The Office of Student Housing
argues, however, that interest
rates and construction costs are
so high at present that the Uni-
versity cannot rent new apart-
ments for less than the private
landlords without massive sub-
sidy. Specifically, the Office of
Student Housing claims that con-
struction costs for the apartments

tion which might cut costs are
not discussed with various con-
tractors. For instance, the Admin-
istration Building was built- with
cantilevered construction - at a
cost of $40 a square foot. And
Baits Housing was built in an
eccentric (though highly esthetic)
manner on a series of hills-rais-
ing costs of construction and of
digging foundations enormously.
apartments, the Housing Office's
estimates of cost are largely based
on Baits housing. Mr. Etkin, of
E. J. Etkin Construction Company,
(builders of Lafayette Towers)
claims that construction costs
with conventional techniques for
a high rise would run $25 a square
foot at most. And Mrs. Cummings,
Director of Research for Campbell
Construction (a Detroit firm that
is currently, building units using
various cost saving construction
techniques) claims her firm could
undertake the project for $23 a
square foot for medium rise apart-
Finally, the Housing Office's
assumption that interest rates will
remain constant is garbage. And
even a minor drop in interest
rates means a major drop in costs.
The apartments can be built.
But the history of the University's
role in Ann Arbor housing makes
it clear that the University will
not voluntarily try to break the
local housing market. Who, then,
can force the University to do so?
The students certainly have a
great deal of power in- such issues.
They may be able to make the
University build enough apart-
ments to lower Ann Arbor rents-
they were able to impose a student
controlled bookstore on Fleming
and his puppets. More probably,
however, they will only be able to
force construction of enough
apartments to . provide for the
worst housed students, the poorest
students, and a few others.
TO INSURE THAT the Univer-
sity is forced to break the Ann
Arbor apartment market the stu-
dents must ally themselves with
the other victoms of the Univer-
sity's housing policy - the non-
academic University employees
and University. community' em-
ployees pushed out of Ann Arbor
by high rents. The advantages for
both groups of such an alliance
are clear: the students benefit
from the enormous power of, the
workers, the workers benefit by
being able, once again, to live in
Ann Arbor apartments. And spe-
cifically, Ann Arbor and Univer-
sity workers as victims of the
University housing policy, should
be able to live in the University
One fnal note. Certainly the
tJniversity cannot be trusted to
run these apartments in the in-
terests of students and Ann Arbor
workers. The apartments, once
built, must be run by their resi-
dents within the guidelines fur-
nished by the goal of lowering
Ann Arbor rents. And the students
and workers must control every
step of financing and construction



The Pledge of Social Responsibility
and the need for family planning

Letters to the Editor

ONE OF THE major topics' of this week's
Environmental Teach-In is the crisis
of over population. Asa first step toward
a population stabilization which will bet-
ter conserve the world's resources, EN-
ACT is urging all students, married and
unmarried, to sign a Pledge of Social
Responsibility, agreeing to limit their
families to two children.
Critics of this pledge have argued that
such action is mis-directed: students here
will most likely oe abie to well afford the
expense of any children they might bear.
On the other hand, these critics say that
population control efforts should be di-
rected toward the illiterate poor in In-
dia, China and the ghettos of some of our
own cities, who cannot support thieir
It is apparent, however, that increases
in sheer numbers cf people are only- one
part of the total population issue. What

rate at which we consume the world's
limited natural resources. If one Ameri-
can uses resources equivalent to those
used by 40 Indian peasants, it is obvious
that controlling the birth rate in Amer-
ica- would be a far easier and more real-
istic way of attacking the problem.
IT IS THE leading industrial nations who
cause the greatest pollution damage
and use vast quantities of the world's
resources for superfluous or destructive
ends. The practices of these nations can-
not be excused at a time when the re-'
sources they needlessly consume might
otherwise be used to help eradicate the
poverty -'of millions.
The students on this campus will short-
ly be the ones having children, running
industry and planning government pro-
grams. It is therefore our responsibility
to toake ation to reverse the damaaing

Parsons suspension
To the Editor:
I WAS SHOCKED and dismay-
ed by the action of Dean Hays and
the LSA Executive Committee in
suspending Robert Parsons with-
out any form of due process. An
administration which claims to be
concerned with the protection of
civil liberties of all its community
members cannot deny this to a
member of SDS who was alleged to
have struck a faculty member. Not
only is such an act counter to a
civil libertarian position, it also
runs counter to the precedent in
LSA established over two decades.
One can only ask why such an
action was taken now and against
this individual.
While it has been said that the
faculty are outraged by the al-
leged action of Parsons. I, and
many of the faculty members and
members of the university com-
munity, are outraged by the uni-
lateral and unprecedented action
of the Dean and LSA Executive

it indeed was polluting, and that
his sponsors were working on mak-
ing it safe. This confession was
apparently enough to wash off his
guilt as far as many citizens were
Then Mr. Godfrey and his spon-
sors found their own thing in this
new cause. He started selling un-
necessary detergents - pollutants
- in the name of the fight
against pollution. He made a new
commercial. Showing him in some
national park, the commercial has
him tell the audience about the
dangers which are threatening
American environment, conclud-
ing with a pitch for Axion - we
are working on a less polluting
product, but meanwhile use Ax-
THE PEOPLE in charge of the
Teach-In on the environmental
crisis either have not noticed, or
have implicitly forgiven this
shameless hypocracy. Otherwise,
how could they invite a salesman
of a polluting, and unnecessary

publicly apologize for having in-
sulted our intelligence.
-Iraj Mahdavi, Grad.
March 10
Volunteer armv
To the Editors
I WAS INTERESTED in the edi-
torial by Bill Lavely entitled "No
Mercenary Army" (Daily, March
3). As a long-time pacifist a n d
also specifically an opponent to
the war in Vietnam as an unjust
war, I would like to take issue
with Mr. Lavely concerning an end
to the draft. He has some very
valid points as to the effects of a
volunteer army on our society as
a whole..
But to me, the evil of the draft
and the lottery system is the more
immediate danger. The draft re-
enforces the garrison state in
which we live. The draft, by mak-
ing available an unlimited number
of young men to the military es-
tablishment, makes the continua-
tion of the war in Vietnam pos-

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