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August 27, 1968 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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Tuesday, August 27, 1968


Page Three

Black students: Action, assurance after lo

ck -n

Although the more than 100
black students who locked them-
selves in the Administration Bldg.,
in April were not organized in a
group, they drew their support
from the various black student
organizations currently active on
campus-the black sororities and
fraternities, the Direct Action
Cpmmittee, the Afro-American
Liberation Movement.
The assassination of the Rev.,
Dr. Martin Luther King seemed
to eliminate permanently what-
ever hesitations may have held
back many of the black students.
Before April, Afro-American
Liberation Movement chairman
Larry Mann, '68, had complained:,
"The atmosphere on campuses
and in black communities is the
same all over-it's something you
can feel. But it's not. nearly as
stirring here at the University.
Some blacks won't join our group
for fear of being branded militant.
That's where the black Greek sys-
tem is important-to give them'

'safer' means of maintaining their
black identity."
But at the lock-in fraternity
jackets and sorority pins were
conspicuous on many of the dem-
There are four black Greek or-
ganizations-Alpha Kappa Alpha
and Delta Sigma Theta sororities
and Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa
Alpha Psi fraternities-each has
about 30 members. There are
about 550 black students at the
University, according to enroll-
ment figrues for fall 1967.
However, the students involved
in the demonstration have con-
sistently denied any organization-
al structure or lea'dership, al
though they have authorized a
spokesman, Rtichard Tripp, '68,
whoa issues official statements on
the progress of their discussions
with administrators.
Members of other sororities and
fraternities have criticized the
black groups' tendency to isolate
Last fall Panhellic Association

moved toward a more integrated
rush by having the president and
vice president of Panhel personal-
ly contact each black freshman
girl and urge her to sign up for
formal rush, which requires the
rushee to attend mixers at 21 all-
white houses.
The two black sororities are in-
cluded only by option in the rush
program, but Panhel encourages
all rushees to include them. Both
sororities are integrated nation-
ally, although the University
chapters have only black mem-
No appreciable results were re-
corded last year, but Panhel hopes
for improvement this year.
Neither of the two black sor-
orities has a house. However, de-
spite some objections, two units
of Oxford Housing will be re-
served for members of Delta Sig-
ma Theta and Alpha Kappa Al-
pha next fall, on the grounds that
the girls are Opportunities Awards
students and therefore eligible
for the low-cost housing.

Director- of University Housing
John Feldkamp claimed that the
move will allow the University to
make a gesture to welcome Op-
portunities Awards students.
Current residents of Vanden-
berg and Goddard Houses object-
ed to the assignment, saying they
were being discriminated against.
Eventually the two sororities
expect to collect enough' funds
for construction of houses..
Other black student groups are
smaller although more militant.
The Direct Action Committee
(DAC) is not really a student
group. It has only a few student
members; yet it is highly influ-
Organized several years ago by.
current leader Charles Thomas
and others, DAC organizes blacks
"to get the oppressive powers off
our backs," Charles says.
"We go out into the surround-
ing communities," he adds. "DAC
also has an international perspec-
t've," continues Thomas. "We

have sympathy for oppressed
peoples all over the world."
The liberation movement aims
at activating black students, ex-'
plains Mann. The group was or-_
ganized last October.
Mann's organization led the
campaign for a University Negro
history course. After a continuing
debate, the history department
created a Negro history course
which will be taught by Prof. Wil-
liam Freehling the first time this
"The amount of red tape we had
to go through was absurd," Mann
says. "And the course apparently,
won't come near to meeting the
needs of black students who want
to take it. But at least it is a
start in the fight to destroy cur-
rent myths about black history."
The NAACP and he Ann. Ar-
bor Human Relations Commission
have worked with the black stu-
Prof. Albert Wheeler of the
medical school, state chairman of

the NAACP, was the only man al-
lowed inside the locked admin-
istration building besides Univer-
sity President Robben Fleming.
Wheeler cites in students a new
type of, segregation - a "re-n
isolation" which comes from en-
tirely new motives. "Black stu-
dents are banding together for
positive reasons - self-identity,
self-determination - as a source
of movement and direction," he
Staff member Robert Hunter of
the HRC has worked with students
throughout the demonstration
and following meetings.
In conjunction with National
Negro History Week last year,
students held a three-day pro-
gram. Speeches, symposiums and
group discussions centered on the
problems of "turning white."
The black students are gener-
ally reaching agreement that they
must organize their own people.
However, many feel that white
supporters can be active as well

in educating the white commun-
Predominantly white groups
which aim at the black commun-
ity have had trouble attracting
members from the black students.
Although most of the pupils in
the Ann Arbor Tutorial are black,
only ten per cent of the tutors
are black.
Organizers of the New Politics
Party, an independent third par-
ty, have continually expressed
discontent at their inability to at-
tract black members.
One student says, "The black
students on this campus are divid-
ed into three groups: the ones
'turning white,' the ones who are
apathetic or afraid, and the ones
left that are worrying about what
we can do."
More and more, the black stu-
dents are working together to see
just what they can do. The lock-
in and following meetings moved
in an increasingly all-black di-

King shooting sparks building seizure


Only Blacks admitted to lock-in

The mass unrest which followed
the assassination of the Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King hit the Uni
versity unexpectedly at 7 a.m. on
April 11, the-day of King's funeral.
Almost unnoticed, more than
100 black students met near the
old Administration Bldg. They,
carried, pillows, blankets, food
and some unidentifiable backages.
By 7:30, before most building
employes had arrived, the black
students had chained all the en-
trances to the biulding and posted
a list of five grievances against
the University. The few secretaries
in the building were unable to
leave; no one was allowed to en-
ter. Other employes, trying to un-
derstand what was happening,
soon began to gether in the park-
ing loJ.
University President Robben
Fleming was contacted. A parking
attendant asked' the employes to
go home and check back at noon
to see if the demonstration had
been ended. "Those kids again,"
one snarled.;
Five hours later, almost- exact-
ly at noon, the protest was over.
Meeting with the students, Flem-
ing set up a meeting to discuss
the grievances which in turn
spawned. more meetings ' with
other University administrators.
Only one demand, the call for

a Martin Luther King scholarship
and faculty chair, has been met.
Hesitancy to speak on all sides
has, however, obscured progress.
Throughout the lock-in, partici-
pants declined comment, and now
will speak only through their of-
ficial spokesman. Richard Tripp,
In- addition to the lock-in de-
mand for the King chair and
scholarship program, the black
students askes:
-Immediate appointment of a
black man .as assistant director
of - admissions. Robert Marion,
previogs black staff member in
the admissions office, had recent-
ly resigned his post.
-Appointment of black men to
the athletic staff.
-"University activity in the
community." (During the demon-
stration and subsequent meetings,
this demand was never explained.)
-Immediate implementation of
a 1967 Defense Department report
which termed the University a
place for "rich white students"
and called for many measures to
increase opportunities for blacks
at the University.
The student demands, which
were later duplicated and distri-
buted by white supporters, con-
cluded, "We the black students of
this University do believe that un-
less these grievances are met, we

will continue to live in a basically
racist University. Immediate resti-
tution is necessary."
As early at 8:30 a.m. sympa-
thetic white students began pick-
eting in support of the blacks in
front of the building. Some 20 or
30 carried signs reading, "Sup-
port Our Black Brothers" and
"Ann Arbor-All American City,,
for ALL." Supporters collected
money to buy lunch ' for the pro-'
testers, who unchained one door
to accept the food.
Response was almost immediate.
to the students; most obvious de-
mand for a King chair and schol-
arship. At their April meeting, the
Regents allocated $10,000 for the
scholarship program and adopted
a resolution urging contributions.
for a King facutly chair.
The Regents specified that if
sufficient funds for the King en-
dowed chair are not raised, by
Sept. 1, contributions will be
transferred to the scholarship
Even before the lock-in, Prof.
Deming Brown of the Slavic lan-
>guages department had already
organized a drive for a separate
King professorship which has so
far collected nearly $15,000.
Some $60,000 is needed for the
professorsship. A fully endowed
chair requires around $500,000.
The Regents also appointed
Dean William Haber of the liter-
ary college to a special advisory
position which will include work-
ing toward establishment of a
program for recruiting Negro fac-
ulty members. Haber retires as
dean of the literary college June
Prompted by a Defense recom-
mendation of Fall 1962, the Uni-
versity already has several exist-
in. programs designed to equalize
After the report was issued, the
Regents aproved a $35,000 yearly
appropriation of funds for seek-
ing out and training black per-
sonnel. A special position, man-
ager of training and personnel,
was eventually created for this
purpose. Robert Briggs currently
holds the post.
Three programs were set up to
train black pon-academic staff.
They were:
-An "administrative intern"
program in the University's hous-
ing, business, purchasing and reg-
istrar's offices; graduate school;
and information service.

-Methods of Intellectual De-
velopment (MIND)-a program-
med learning series at the Med-
ical Center for training clerical
-Two laboratory research train-
ing in the medical and dental
Regular training seminars are
held even now in the Personnel
Office. The sessions now cover
minority group problems and spe-
cial recruiting techniques for
blacks. A black recruiter and test-
ing clerk have joined the Person-
nel Office staff.
Briggs says the administrative
interns progam is the first of its.
kind in the country.
The interns are recruited from
predominantly Negro colleges.
There were 17 in the original
In August 1967 Vice President
for Academic Affairs Allan -F.
Smith authorized 13 recommend-
ations for recruitment of Negro
faculty. They included:
-Creating a budge reserve in
case qualified black faculty be-
came, available after ordinary
budgetaryfinds are gdepleted.
-Utilizing the help of black
professional groups in recruiting.
-Offering postdoctoral fellow-
ships and instructorships to help
minority group candidates for fac-
ulty positions.

Defense Department representa-
tives met University officials in
March, 1967, and told them a
"cra h program" was needed to
improve exceptionally bad em-
ployment practices in the school
.of engineering.
Th e initial report said the Uni-
versity, should do more to ensure
equal opportunity employment in
Ann Arbor, start special programs,
to recruit qualified black students
and appoint black faculty mem-
bers to University policy-making
The Defense Department also
urged creation of an office of
equal opportunities with a pro-
fessional staff reporting directly
to the President.
In addition, the report called
for recruitment of non-whites as'
resident directors and advisors,
establishment of means in aca-
demis departments to encourage
minority group members to train
for all levels of University em-
ployment, and a centralized effort
to communicate to black colleges
and groups the University's desire
to recruit minority group person-
The department'4 survey found
that 16 per cent of University em-.
ployes are minority group mem-
bers. However, only 10 per cent
are black, and most are in lower
Walter Greene, of the Defense
Department Contract Compliance
Office in Detroit, which made the
study, explained the survey was
"routine" and added that similar
studies had been made at Michi-

gan State University, Marquette
University, the University of De-
troit and the University of Wis-
The report, sometimnes referred
to- as the Greene report, has made
the University quite sensitive
about its treatment of minorityj
No action was ever considered
by the University against the
black students who held the lock-
Fleming said he was not sur-
prised by the student action "in
this period of terrible stress fol-
lowing the insane assassination of
Dr. King."
"These kids have not been hos-
tile," explained Fleming. "We're
had this terrible, terrible tragedy.
You can't expect the normal rules
to apply."
Fleming was quick to term the
demands, "very reasonable and
constructive" after his three-hour
meeting with the black students'

-Preferring minority group
candidates where all other fac-
tors areequal.
Only the medical has so far
used the suggestions by agreeing
to reserve fuds for special ap-
pointments of Negro faculty.
Studies after this year indicated
that University recruiting of
blacks for academic positions is
still sporadic and decentralized.
Implications of University ra-
cism preceded the teach-in by
several years. Defense Department
report was disclosed in November,
1966. The report was undertaken
to investigate the, University's
compliance with the 1964 Civil
Rights Act, which specifies that
all federal agencies giving as-
sistance to an educational insti-
tution must issue rules and make
investigations to make sure no dis-
crimination is practiced.

leaders in the locked Administra-
tion Bldg.
Besides Fleming, only Dr. Al-
bert Wheeler of the m e d i c a l
schbol, state chairman of the
NAACP, was allowed to enter the
While locked inside the build-
ing, the students held a memor-
ial service at 10:30, the time of
King's funeral in Atlanta.
After they left the building, the
students continued their meeting
at the Ann Arbor Community Cen-'
ter on into the afternoon and eve-
ning. .
At the first meeting on the
Monday following the lock-in,
seven representatives of the black
students met with Fleming and
other administrators to discuss
the demands..
Tripp, the blacks' spokesman,
called the meeting "as fruitful as
could be" ,but declined to explain
any further.
Fleming's statement. on the

meeting indicated all demands had
been discussed.
"On many of th4se matters we
found that we had no difference."
Fleming said.
Beginning this fall term the
University will be compiling sta-
tistics classifying students on the
basis of race or national origin for
the Department of Health, Educa-
tion and Welfare.
HEW now surveys educational
institutions to determine if they
are complying with the 1964 Civil
Rights Act.'
The University must report the
number of students in each racial
category participating in Univer-
sity housing, athletic scholarships
aid financial aid programs.
Questions must also be ans-
wered concerning discrimination
in admissions and student activi-
The-e are presently about 550
black students on campus. There
were approximately 450 when the
Greene report was issued.

i {

Dr. Albert Wheelerq



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