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February 27, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

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Californiia: The politics of unreality
jenn ii

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



Voter registration:
Out of student control

SINCE ITS conception, politics has been
a game of maintaining, as well as
obtaining power.
And many kinds of moves have ap-
peared on the political chessboard -
from the natural use of influence which
accompanies a governmental post, to the
basest payoffs and ballot box stuffing.
But perhaps one of the most odious
means of maintaining political power,
has been the -frequent attempts to tamper
with the electorate, rather than the elec-
tion results.
and "rotten borough" conjure up
images of sinister nineteenth 'century
politicians carefully carving up electoral
districts to insure maintenance of their
But, with the recent "one-man, one-
vote" ruling of the Supreme Court-and
other electoral reforms which preceeded
the ruling - such political machinations
Have seemingly disappeared. At least they
have gone underground.
In Ann Arbor, state law has allowed
for a new, relatively unique kind of
tampering with the electorate - the dis-
enfranchisement of University students.
The state law in question provides that
"no elector shall be deemed to h a v e
gained or lost a residence ... while a stu-
dent at any institution of learning."
Thus it bars college students at away-
frorn-home schools like the University
from participating in the control of the
government which exerts significant con-
trol over their lives for four years or
OT SURPRISINGLY, students have a
great deal of difficulty registering to
vote in Ann Arbor.
For once admitting to their educa-
tional status, they are subjected to a
series of questions which are totally in-
Aux Armes.!
IT LOOKS AS if student demonstrators
at the University will be confronting
a much more powerful city police force in
the future.
Yesterday the state commander of the
American Legion pledged the support of
72,000 Michigan Legionnaires to the Ann
Arbor Police in curbing disruptive tactics
by student pressure groups.
The commander telegrammed the an-
nouncement'to Police Chief Walter Kras-
ny warning the chief that he expects
"problems" at the University this semes-
The chief hasn't as yet replied.
-J. H.-
Editorial Staff
City Editor Managing Editor
STEVE ANZALONE............ Editorial Page Editor
JIM HECK................. Editorial Page Editor
JENNYSTILLER..............Editorial Page Editor
PHILIP BLOCK ...........Associate Managing Editor
MARCIA ABRAMSON .. Associate Managing Editor
LESLIE WAYNE............ ..".......... Arts Editor
JOHN GRAY.Literary Editor
PHOTO EDITOR . ............Andy Sacks

appropriate to the determination of a
citizen's ability to vote intelligently -
questions concerning financial independ-
ence, plans after graduation, and even
such pleasantries as where last summer's
vacation was spent.
These questions, of course, are direct-
ed at determining the student's "real"
residence, and the nature of his commit-
ment to Ann Arbor. Thus, while non-
students are allowed to register after liv-
ing in Ann Arbor for only 30 days, stu-
dents find it virtually impossible to secure
the vote after four years in this would-be
All American City.
Sadly, the city clerks who administer
these interrogations are fully supported
by the law, as an opinion issued earlier
this week by state Atty. Gen. Frank Kelley
What is needed then, is a change in
the law. Or, barring that, the law must
at least be allowed to pass into oblivion
by disuse.
THIS PATH to disuse is well lit. The
voting restrictions would follow the
steps of innumerable archaic statutes
which, though on the boks, are simply
too ludicrous to enforce.
Very likely, however, there will be
a great deal of resistance to the en-
franchisement of students. For those in
power believe that giving full voting
rights to students will precipitate a de-
cline in their own power.
Hopefully they are correct. The Re-
publican Party has denuded c i t y gov-
ernment of concern for the underprivi-
leged, for the students and even for
simple honest and clean government in
such matters as the enforcement of
building codes. It is time for a change.
But finding the means to effect that
change, finding a way to win the vote for
students, is a difficult task, indeed.
Surely, electoral reform is needed and
hopefully, the legislature will act favor-
ably on proposals which would give stu-
dents the vote.
But the legislature is slow - a n d
conservative. A quicker, more effective
means of driving the statute into obliv-
ion is required.
pERHAPS, SIMPLE CIVIL disobedience
in the best tradition of the registra-
tion marches in the early 1960s in the
South may be what is needed.
Some students have in the past con-
cealed information from the clerk about
their financial status.
Perhaps some concerted effort in this
direction would sufficiently minimize the
use of the election law as to make it in-
operative. For if every student were fin-
ancially independent and had spent his
summer in Ann Arbor, there would be no
point in the city clerk even bothering
to ask about it.
In response to an election law as op-
pressive and undemocratic as the pre-
sent one, a wide range of tactics could
well be justifiable. For the right to vote,
especially where that vote could make
so much difference to so many people,
is worth defending.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: For those of our
readers who have never had the good fortune
to take a course in the economics depart-
ment, "ceteris paribus," the title of Jenny
Stiller's column, is Latin for "everything
else remainingthe same," which everything
does, even after Miss Stiller finishes writ-
"UNIVERSITY of California employes
said they saw Eric Davidson severely
beaten as he lay screaming and crying
'please don't hit me anymore"; reported
the Daily Californian recently.
"Davidson, a tall, blond youth who says
he is a non-striker, recalled that he was
on his way to class when he stopped at
Sather Gate to see what was going on."
Seeing policemen beating a black re-
porter, Davidson tried to stop them be-
cause that seemed to him the only moral
thing to do.
"He was immediately clubbed to the
ground and was quickly taken to the base-
ment of Sproul Hall. The two plainclothes-
men . . . threw Davidson in a corner and
beat him into semi-consciousness.
"Then the two men dragged him down
the hall by his ankles, leaving a trail of
blood . . . . Davidson had his two front
teeth knocked out, needed five stitches to
sew up the gash in his head, and acquired
numerous bruises on his body as a result
of the beating . .."
* '.
FEEL POLARIZED? Just remember that
those cops with those clubs are backed
up by the governor, the regents, the legis-
lature, and most of the voters of the
sovereign State of California. Now how
does it feel to be a student?
The necessary first step toward under-
standing what has been going on at public
college campuses all over the Golden State
this year is to absorb the concept that Cali-
fornia just isn't quite like anywhere else.
If you are young, if you have any human
sympathies or sensibilities at all, it is in-
evitable that you will find yourself facing
the policemen's clubs along with the most
diehard revolutionary.
The key word to remember when dealing
with California's student-establishment
relations is "polarization." Never before in
recent history have so many felt such deep
mutual antipathy-even hatred-for s6
many others. Because there is no middle
ground, the student finds himself at the
barricades because there is no other place
to go.
THE POLICE at Berkeley and San Fran-
cisco State are not an aberration; they
are allowed to act as they do because Gov.
Reagan and the legislature-even its liberal
members-back them up, partly from their
own totalitarian predilections, partly be-
cause they feel that it is politically ex-
The frightening thing is that they are
probably right, for such action is vigorously
applauded by a sizeable portion of the


electorate of the sovereign state of Cali-
To understand California politics in gen-
eral, and its treatment of students in par-
ticular, it is therefore necessary to make
some attempt at analyzing this unique
electorate, which within a five-year span
has sent George Murphy to the U.S. Sen-
ate, elected Ronald Reagan governor, and
retired former Senate Minority Whip
Thomas Kuchel in order to give Max Raf-
ferty the Republican nomination for his
Senate seat.
Most Californians are transplanted Mid-
westerners. They are ordinary middle-class
Americans who left Detroit or Chicago or
Minneapolis or any of the towns in between
to seek the good life in the sun. And when
they went West, they took their middle-
class Midwestern values and political con-
servatism with them.
BUT IN CALIFORNIA they met some-
thing they hadn't had to confront in the
Midwest--change on a mammoth scale. It
is not for nothing that Los Angeles and
freeways are synonomous. Movement is a
way of life in California; movement and
speed and noise. The millions of migratory
Midwesterners suddenly found themselves
a part of the most dynamic society in
America today, and adapting to that so-
ciety left its scars on their personalities.
The tension of California increased their
already considerable insecurity over their

social and economic status, particularly in and that seems to have made the crucial
the face of the growing challenge of the difference.
Negro. Not only were there the Joneses to

keep up with on a larger scale than ever
before, they also had to keep ahead of the
THIS IS NOT to imply that the Califor-
nia electorate is uneducated, and was
therefore hostile to higher education. The
misplaced Midwesterners' disaffection goes
deeper than that.
The white-collar menials in the suburbs
of Los Angeles had been to college, so they
had no quarrel with universities as such.
In fact, they contributed much in support
of building up what once seemed the most
impressive system of state colleges and
universities in the nation.
They had attended college during the
Depression, usually at great financial sacri-
fice, and they saw college in a purely
utilitarian light. Universities were valuable
to society because they trained future
teachers, businessmen, doctors and engin-
eers. They were valuable to the individual'
because the diploma was a passport to a
higher income and a more prestigious job
than one could get without it.
Their view of higher education was en-
tirely consonant with their materialistic
view of society. This view was and is of
course, not limited to California. But like
everything else it is more intense there,

SO WHEN A NEW generation of stu-
dents began to challenge the meal-ticket
function of the universities, the public re-
belled. For if the students were correct
in their contention that there is some-
thing-be it social justice or personal ful-
fillment-which is more important than
material success, the lives of a fantastic
percentage of Angelinos aiqd even a large
number of San Franciscans would be mean-
It was a threat which could not go un-
challenged, and indeed it has been met,
first with decreased appropriations .and
now with billyclubs and tear gas.
Thinking of students as subhuman
demons motivated by the international
Communist conspiracy allows that vast
majority of the California voters who favor
Reagan's "get tough" approach to ignore
the students' challenge to their funda-
mental values, and in turn alienates ever-
increasing masses of students who find
themselves flocking to the barricades in
The climate of political unreality which
breeds such polarization exists to a lesser
extent all over the country, but only in
the intensity of California has it come to
full fruition-so far.



Prof. Harris on


To the Editor:
CAPTIOUS fellow that I am, I
succumb willingly, nay eager-
ly, to the temptation to comment
on the response of Prof. Harris
(Daily, Feb. 25) to the commend-
able offer of Professor Balzhiser
to help bring rent strikers and
landlords into prompt negotia-
tions. The response in question
struck me as vacuous but not
wholly devoid of entertainment
First of all, Harris arbitrarily
labels Balzhiser's civic concern as
"hypocritical"-it seems that Pro-
fessor Harris not only reads the
law but mens' minds as well. In
his case, palmistry, too, may like-
ly be a favorite leisure-time activ-
ity. In so defining Balzhiser's
motivation, Harris is confusing his
certainty with absolute certain-
Furthermore, Harris sweeping-
ly describes student housing as
"outrageous" (for which, pre-
dictably and from the fullness of
a generous heart he holds Re-

publicans responsible). Now for
me, at least, the implication of
such a statement is that the over-
whelming majority of stu'dent
renters are in fact living in un-
safe, unhealthy apartments and
paying exorbitant rent for this
But is this the truth of the
matter? Are the strikers, indeed,
the "good guys" and the landlords
the "bad guys"? Do the facts so
clearly and substantially favor the
one party over the other? I won-
der. Perhaps once again Piof.
Harris is confusing his certainty
with absolute certainty.
To close out this award-winning
essay, let me observe that Profes-
sor Balzhiser is willing and anxious
to become involved in the :esolu-
tion of-ahcommunity dispute-a
praiseworthy posture; Prof: isor
Harris, apparently, is willing Io
stand offstage and throw spitballs
-a praiseworthy posture?
-Prof. E. M. Shafter, Jr.
College of Engineering
Feb. 25
n hef

Rollo May
To the Editor:
HIS IS ABOUT Dr. Rollo May's
lecture on myths and inter-
personal communications. He said
that one of the main steps towards
solving the problem of identity lies
in bringing back the myths or for
a mythless society to create its
own myths.
I do not agree completely with
Dr. May's solution, but there
seems to be an element of truth in
it. For a man in 20th Century, it
is difficult to draw a line between
mythical figures and historical
figures who lived long time back.
Therefore, he can draw not only
from the myths but also history.
I come from a civilization which is
loaded with myths. In India,
mythical figures, even when they
are divested of their divine wings,
have continued to help man to-
wards a sense of purpose. As far
as symbols go, the river Ganges
and the Himalayas have been the

symbols of the noblest things that
a man could ever think of.
Even the most modern Indian
is not immune to the mystical and
mythical attraction of these noble
But all this does not make the
problem of identity any easier for
an Indian. But one definite point
in favor of Dr. May is that these
myths and symbols get a guy
started on the way to I do not
know what!
In these days of widespread
communication (?) and racial
mixing, a man tends to be short-
sighted if he looks only to his
country or his religion for myths.
The iodern man is heir not just
to the myths and heritage of leis
own people, but to the myths and
the heritage of the entire world.
-P. R. Vishwanath, Grad.
Feb. 25
Social jargon
To the Editor:
be offered by the 'University
on Jewish-Arab relations, a course
"aimed at objective appraisal and
systematic study of the explosive
Middle East," could be an inte-
resting one. The man who will lead
the seminar, Joseph Ben-Dak,'
seems to me to be a capable per-
But it would be a travesty to
advertise the course as one in
which the participants would get,

according to Ben-Dak, "a broad
objective view of the conflict."
Ben-Dak is not a neutral observer;
neither is he merely a committed,
but non-participating, advocate
of one side. He is a man who, in
the 1967 war, claims to have inter-
rogated Egyptian prisoners for
Israel's intelligence service-hard-
ly an objective scholar.
There is also a fraudulent im-
plication in the designing of the
proposed course. The implication
is that the Middle East dispute is
amenable to solution by utilization
of the academic tools of "conflict
resolution." To bring to bear
"quantitative analysis, conflict
theory, and other social science
disciplines" upon the political and
historical roots of the continuing
Arab-Israeli confrontation, is
about as useful as applying magic
potions. The last thing needed by
an occupied and dispossessed peo-
ple, or by an occupying and dis-
possessing'people, for that matter,
is social conscience jargon.
-Larry Hochman
Feb. 24
Letters to the editor should
be typed triple spaced and no
longer than 300 words. All let-
ters are subject to editing, and
those over 300 words will gen-
erally be shortened. Unsigned
letters will not be printed.

BYS oand girs,

let's coed


more of a reality at the University.
Both with and without University sanction
the age-old taboos against men and women living
next to one another are being disregarded. In-
stitutional co-ed housing is the wave of the
Inter-cooperative housing, dormitory housing
and fraternities all seem to be joining a gen-
eral movement away from rigid separation of
the sexes in giant repressive buildings.
In the fall in one house of the Inter-Cooperative
Council, John Nakamura, women will live next
to men. Some dormitories are also considering
the possibility of ,co-ed floors or corridors.
THE RAPID MOVE toward institutional co-
educational housing shows that the University
has come a long way in breaking down many
silly barriers Phat separated the sexes.
Way back in 1962 the University had a Dean
of Men and a Dean of Women. The D'ean of

ed, Markley and South Quad (converted) were
immediately popular. And now, only one Uni-
versity dormitory is not co-educational.
When Nakamura co-op passed the motion
to go co-ed in the fall, it was by a margin of
27-1. The only no vote was a forty-year old
grad who tenaciously argued that the move
was "unwise."
ICC president Don ."Stewart calls the move
"no big thing. Women will have to work and
cook about five hours in the houses like every-
one else in return for the lower cost housing
and community democracy. It will be more of
a family living situation."
Actually, having women live with men in
the same structure is not new to the cooperative
movement. Two co-ed co-ops have been opera-
ting successfully at Wayne State University in
Detroit for the past year. Co-ops at the Univer-
sity of Toronto and at Waterloo in Canada have
had the arrangement for the past several years.
Stuart Lester, house manager at one of the
Wayne co-ops said the arrangement is working
out "real well." Approximately 26 people live in

would be able to interrelate without being in a
sex situation."
Miss Theiler's plan for men to live on half of
Bush's eight corridors may not come into effect
in time for the fall term.
The Hughes Housing Committee has asked
for more information and the position of the
Residence Hall Board of Governors is uncertain.
Also working against Bush's effort are two
other factors, reapplication for fall dormitory
spaces has already begun and like all dorms
Bush has "gang-type" washrooms.
Judging from the speed of University com-
mittees and the number of sources likely to be
consulted, it is unlikely there will be co-ed hous-
ing in dormitories before fall of 1970.
FRATERNITIES ARE going co-ed too. The
plan for women as associate members of Phi
Epsilon folows a precedent set at Stanford and
Pennsylvania Universities.
One Phi Ep member is happy that women
will be close at hand but feels it is just as well
that they are on the other side of the house.


'Cut and fill . .. cut and fill . .. cut and fill'


::.::: NEI

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