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March 12, 1959 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-12

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MARM 12, 1919

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

t.

MARCH 12. 1959 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

'U' Department Combines
tMaintenanee, Supply Work

HUMAN RELATIONS:
Board Studies Housing Bias

CONSOLIDATION-Workmen hurry to complete the new Plant
Service Building on Hoover Street where supply and maintenance
operations will now be carried out under the same roof.

The University is presently car-
rying out a plan to consolidate its
maintenance and supply opera-
tions under one roof, according to
Richard E. Tarriev, Supervisor of
Stores.
Tarrier, whose department sup-'
plies. everything "from drainage
pipes to paperclips," explained
;hat his department had "virtual-
ly" completed its transfer from
the Plant Service Building to their
new building on Hoover (about a
block down from the I-M Build-
ing).
He explained that in the old
building his stores were housed on
three floors.

"Although we have about the
same amount of space at the two
locations as we did before, it is
more conveniently located - all
on one floor.
"Also," he continued, "we used
to have two other warehouses, one
behind the Plant Services Build-
ing, called the Cement Shed and
one on North Campus, in the
basement of the printing plant."
Tarrier explained that his de-
partment stocked "primarily"
items for which there is a steady
demand. This includes all sorts
of paper, pencils and even such
items as electrical sockets.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This report was
made to the Ann Arbor Human Re-
lations Commission housing subcom-
mittee by the Student Government
Council Human Relations Committee
on March 1.)
The following material is a
summary of the recent experience
of the Student Government Coun-
cil Human Relations Committee
in the area of off-campus housing
for students of The University of
Michigan. This committee is com-
posed of nine students, three local
businessmen, one faculty advisor,
a representative of the Adminis-
tration of the University and a
member of the Ann Arbor Civic
Forum. In the past the Committee
has been concerned with the equal
rights of students in obtaining
services from local businesses, the
Univegsity and the community at
large.
In trying to understand the
problems of students from minor-
ity groups and help them find
adequate housing, the following
information summarizes the situ-
ation as we see it at the present.
This information includes con-
tacts with University officials and
results from two recent surveys.
On November 26, 1957 the Stu-
dent Government Council of the
University adopted a resolution
that the Human Relations Com-
mittee look into the problem of
discriminatory practices in off-
campus housing for students and
recommend approaches to the
problem.
Submit Report
As a result of our study, the
Committee submitted to the
Council a report which included
several cases of discrimination in
off-campus housing and a recom-
mendation that "landlords should
not be able to advertise through
University facilities; e.g., Dean' of
Men's Office, Dean of Women's
Office and the Michigan Union if
they practice discrimination, re-
gardless of whether or not they
state their policy in the adver-
tisement."
In the early spring of 1958 this
recommendation was approved by
the Student Government Council
and sent to the University Admin-
istration. Representation of the
Administration gave the Human
Relations Committee a staff mem-
orandum which set forth the
views of the Office of Student
Affairs in this matter.
Among other statements the
following were included: 1) If
pressure is to be used, it should
be supported by legal decisions in
the form of a local ordinance or
a state law; and 2) No listing will
be accepted which indicates re-
strictive qualifications by race,
color, or creed.
At present the Administration
does not permit advertising which
includes any discriminatory

clause. The University states that
it lacks the machinery to deter-
mine the amount of discrimina-
tion which, although not stated,
is actually practiced. As these
points make clear, the present
University policy on advertising
for off-campus housing is some-
what different from the recom-
mendation of the Human Rela-
tions Committee and the Student
Government Council.
Receives Information
Some information from a sub-
division of the University has re-
cently come to the attention of
this Committee. This subdivision
has had, contact with many land-
lords foi\ some time but this is a
select group in being generally fa-
vorable to housing students of
various backgrounds.
IAmong its current contacts dur-
ing the late fall and winter of
1958 are at least twelve cases of
individuals who say they will not
rent to colored students no mat-
ter whether they are American
Negroes or come from some other
country. Earlier last fall there
were sixteen names on the list,
but for various reasons four pre-
sons called back at their own ac-
cord to take colored students.
Apparently some individuals
can -be persuaded to offer lodging
to these students, and there may
be many others who have made
this decision without the change
ever being recorded. In any event,
it seems fair to conclude that
some people do change their
minds on this issue. It would be
very interesting to know more
about the factors that account
for their changes.
In order to get a picture of the
present attitude of Ann Arbor
landlords toward renting rooms or
apartments to Negroes, Indians
and Orientals the Committee re-
cently conducted a survey. It was
decided that a brief telephone
conversation would help us ob-
tain the information in the most
straightforward manner.
To keep the data consistent we
formulated a series of questions
which minority group members
would probably ask of prospective
landlords.
Outlines Conversation
We outlined our conversation in
the following way: 1) Is the room
or apartment still available? 2)
Do you rent to non-whites? 3) If
the answer was no, we asked if
this included Indians and Orien-
tals. 4) If the answer was yes, we
asked if this included Negroes. We
studied these three groups because
we assumed they would have the
most difficulty in obtaining ac-
commodations. We asked the.
qualifying questions above in or-
der to determine whether our
understanding of the term non-
white had been the same, and to
find out whether the landlord
differentiated betwen Negroes
and other non-white people.
From February 21 through 27,
1959 we contacted landlords who
had posted advertisements on Uni-
versity bulletin boards. Because
there were so many ads in the
Dean of Men's Office, we took
every fifth listing.
In the Dean of Women's Office
we copied every listing except

those that mentioned a room
would have to be shared. From
the Michigan Union bulletin
board almost all the listings were
recorded. In considering the re-
sults of this survey, we must re-
member that we did not check
actual rental to non-whites but
verbal renting policy.
We expect, however, that this
is a good indication of the experi-
ence especially of Negroes who
must sound much like us over the
phone and be discouraged from
appearing if the landlord says no
over the phone.
Divides Listings
The listings the committee ob-
tained were divided among the
student members and about 120
individual landlords were even-
tually contacted. A few did not
indicate a phone number. One
member was ill and unable to call
her group which accounts for
about fifteen more listings, Among
those persons who were contacted,
the following results were found.
Forty-three of the listings had
already been rented. Only twelve
individuals would rent to all non-
whites, while fourteen landlords
would rent to Indians and Orien-
tals but not to Negroes Another
group of eighteen would not rent
to any non-white students at all.
It was not possible to ascertain
the responses of twenty-three
more individuals. One or two
could not be contacted after re-
peated attempts, but almost all
of them refused to give a definite
answer to the question of whether
they rent to non-whites. Six more
would not take Negroes but it is
unclear whether they would take
Indians and Orientals. Four oth-
ers said they would take non-
whites but it is not clear whether
they were thinking of Negroes or
the other groups.
It is not accurate to make gen-
eralizations directly from these
findings to the present state of
affairs in Ann Arbor for several
reasons. The most important rea-
son is that this sample was not
obtained in a completely system-
atic fashion. Not all the people in
the sample were contacted either
and in some cases the evidence is
fragmentary.
Evidence Suggests Things
But even though the evidence
is subject to these restrictions, it
does suggest some things. Sub-
tracting the already-rented units
leaves over 75 persons who were
acually asked whether they rent
to non-whites. Only twelve of
about seventy-seven persons gave
a definite indication that they do
rent to American Negro students.
This is a' fairly small percentage
of the total. It suggests 'that if
there are a large number of Negro
citizens looking for lodging they
are likely to have a considerable
a m o u n t of difficulty finding
enough apartments or rooms.
Even single persons might have
to make quite a few inquiries be-
fore finding accommodations if
they had no special advice and
Just called any available listing
as we did.
The Student Government Coun-
cil 'Human Relations Committee
has in its possession specific in-
formation to document the state-
ments made in this report. In
line with our policy, they are
made in this general form to pro-
tect the individuals providing the
information. For the statements
which interpret this material, the
committee chairman is primarily
responsible. He and the members
of the committee would welcome
further discussion of these and
related topics.
Respectfully submitted
Oliver Moles. Jr., Chairman
Human Relations Committee

City Faces
Vacancies
In Housing
By RICHARD CONDON
For the first time in many years
Ann Arbor is faced with a surplus
of available housing.
Vacancies are prevalent not
only in the University housing
and private apartments, but also
in international housing units.
There are four such international
houses on the Michigan campus:
J. Raleigh Nelson, Friends, Aga-
tha Harrison and Tappan.
They are available for primari-
ly graduate school students,
though there is an occasional ex-
ception. Under ideal circumstances
they are organized on a 50-50
basis - one half of the residents
to be Americans and the other
half to be composed of students
from foreign lands.
Houses Lack Occupants
T h o u g h these international
houses offer many advantages to
non-affiliated Americans as well
as international students, they
too are suffering from a lack of
occupants.
There is room for approximate-
ly 70 students and at the present
time there are 11 vacancies. An-
thony Bing, the house director at
Friends International said that
he believes this to be caused by
not only the surplus housing situ-
ation, but also "a tendency away
from community living to private
apartments."
He said that the international
distribution of these houses offer
a practical, communal way of life
which is in many ways being ig-
nored. It offers the student, Bing
continued, the opportunity to be-
come acquainted with foreign
cultures while at the same time
it gives them a comfortable at-
mosphere in which to study.
Fully Cooperative House
Friends is the only house which
is fully cooperative, he noted. Be-
sides offering room and board to
some 60 University students it
also serves meals to a few people
who eat but do not room there.
"Foreign students like it," John
Urqhart, treasurer of Nelson In-
ternational, said, "because it is
an informal way of getting to
know Americans.
Friends, however, cannot seem
to fill itself with foreign students.
The other three houses have a
surplus of international students,
while they are unable to meet
their quota of Americans.

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