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April 03, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-04-03

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I

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

420 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The MichigranDaily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in oI reprints-

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 1969

NIGHT EDITOR: MARTIN A. HIRSCHMAN

Osterheld on the Union:
Who really needs it?

A photograph always seems
to be a controversial piece of
legal evidence.
University President Robben
Fleming has announced he
will introduce photographs as
evidence in the student Judi-
ciary trial of the group of
protesters who locked a Navy
recruiter inside an office
building March 24. Fleming
hopes to identify all those in-
volved in the protest.
The Daily wishes to present
this picture of the lock-in for
public scrutiny.

THE 39-YEAR-OLD Michigan Union is
a fine example of University Gothic,
a vestige of what this campus used to be
like before 35,000 students moved in. But
as fired red brick and polished mahogany
have given way to poured concrete and
windowless shells, the Union has gradu-
ally outlived its usefulness to students.
In its prime, the Union served as an
exclusive men's club, a University version
of the YMCA, complete with doorman.
However, the advent of coeds drove the
men out-and their money with them.
The center of student activity shifted to
the Student Activities Bldg., or to the
soror'ity and fraternity houses.
Last year the alumni moved into the
men's Union swimming pool and the girls
moved into the pool hall. The MUG began
to close early in thi evening because it
was losing money and attracting more
high school kids than the University stu-
dents it was designed to serve. Recently,
the Union board of directors decided to
end the tradition of Union mixers-even
the frenzied Union Madness which drew
huge crowds-because of the noise.
INDEED,, THE only people thronging to
the Union now are alumni who tole-
rate the stark older accommodations on
nostalgic football weekends. But even the
alumni don't use the Union dining room;
it's too expensive.
Of late, the Union is losing more than
tradition. As stated in the recently com-
pleted Osterheld' Report on the Union's
operation, the building is in dire finan-
cial straits.
The report, prepared by Douglas C.
Osterheld, assistant vice president for
business and finance at the University of
Wisconsin, ,qdm Its that student unions
are having tough goig at many cam-
puses. Although invited to study the Uni-
versity at the President's request because
of exceptional problems here, Osterheld
explains a Union could still be a vital
organization if it "reflects with. sensitiv-
ity the changes being experienced in its
community."
THE DECLINE of the Union has accom-
panied a gradual relaxation in paren-
tal rules. No longer required to live in
dorms or be policed by deans of men and
women, students do not need the Union
for living room or kitchen. In effective
competition with apartment houses and
the fraternity-sorority system, the Union
must re-orient its operations if it intends
to reclaim its status as .a center for stu-
dent activities.
Business Staff
GEORGE BRISTOL, Business Manager
STEVE ELM AN . Administrative Advertising Manager
SITE LERNER ............Senior sates Man~ager
LUCY PAPP .................. Senior Sales Manager
NANCY ASTN . .......... Senior Circulation Manager
BRTCE HAYDJON......... .....Finance Manager
DARIA RKRG1IsISI .. Associate Finance Manner
BARBARA S('HLULZ .............. Personnel Manager

The Osterheld report offers a multitude
of recommendations to effect this re-
orientation. The recommendations must
be well considered by the University if
the Union is to be salvaged.
And whether the Union should be
salvaged remains to be decided.
Indeed, for a University with so many
pressing financial problems, academic
obligations and space difficulties, it might
be considered fivolous to expend much
money re-vamping a Union for students
who might not be interested in it any-
way. However, it is apparent that stu-
dents-especially ones new to campus-
have no central place to go to become
integrated into the semblance of the stu-
dent community which exists. The re-
organization of the Union might be a de-
sireable student service, but it may not
be an essential one.
fNE SIGNIFICANT point made in the
report suggests the abolition of the
present board of directors who control
Union affairs. While centralization in the
office of Vice President and Chief Finan-
cial Officer Wilbur K. Pierpont might
lead to autocratic administration.control
of the student's Union, it would immed-
iately alleviate many of the financial
problems.-
Osterheld also suggests that a policy
board with a student majority be set up
along the 'lines of the .present University
Activities Center Board, to determine
directions the Union should pursue.
'Osterheld had the advantage of taking
a quick, objective look at the operation
of the Michigan Union and then being
able to leave town. And his recommenda-
tions may go unheeded now that he is
gone. While certain details of the report
probably will be implemented to save
money-such as the recommendation to
close the main dining room for breakfast
-the spirit of the report-that the Union
should become a centerfor student activi-
ties-may not be.
AND THERE IS good reason not to heed
Osterheld's spirit. The Union should
not be re-built at the expense of other
vitalprograms or at the cost of a tuition
hike. Making the Union self-liquidating
is one thing, but making it just another
desireable deficit is quite another.
The upshot seems to be that the Union
should either be made'useable by students
or closed to them and turned entirely
over "to the alumni, conventioneers or
literary college professors and their
secretaries.
One of the disclaimers of the report is
that unions everywhere are having trou-
ble, and no bright hopes of a profitable
Union here should be entertained.
-HENRY GRIX
Editor

A

Poltical' rationale for eliminating ROTC

.s(EDITOR'SNOTE: The following article
has been adopted as a policy statement by
the Ann Arbor Students for a Democratic
Society.)
'By GEORGE AVRUNIN
Daily Guest writer
THE ROTC PROGRAMS at the Univer-
sity have recently come under attack
from two unexpected directions. The var-
ious academic committees have questioned
the "academic quality" of the military
science courses and have suggested 'that
ROTC be re-evaluated in light of the, in-
tellectual purposes of the University.
The Daily, or at least several of its edi-
tors, has attacked the ROTC programs be-
cause with ROTC the University is n o t
"politically neutral," and because students
should have "at least four years freedom
from the frightening presence of the mili-
tary." Both of these attacks are based on
wrong reasons.
ROTC programs should be eliminated as
a concrete attack on the role of the Amer-
can military throughout the world.
The attack on ROTC for giving the Uni-
versity a political bias and for being an in-
trusion of the military into the academic
community can only be based on a very
real misunderstanding of the functioning
of the University in society. The Univer-
sity is not, even without ROTC, politically
unbiased, nor is ROTC the only example
of the military presence on campus. The
involvement of the University with t h e
government and the military is much
deeper and more basic.
The Stanford report on ROTC that
D a il y Managing Editor Ron Landsman
quotes in his article, "Getting Rid of Un-
academic ROTC," defines the University
as having a "primary' commitment to the
creation and dissemination of knowledge."
This is essentially true. The University does
function as a creator and disseminator of
knowledge, but that functioning is vastly
more complex and directed than the Stan-
ford definition implies. "The University,
in particular," says Clark Kerr, "has be-
come in America, and in other nations as
well, a prime instrument of national pur-
pose." The creation and dissemination of
knowledge by the University must be seen
in terms of that national purpose.

THE UNIVERSITY operates as a disse-
minator of knowledge by the nature of its
function as an educational institution. It
provides students with technical training
in a variety of fields a n d thus produces
trained personnel to fill necessary jobs in
society. As a research institution, the Uni-
versity is a creator of knowledge. This def-
inition of the University is, however, in-
complete. It fails to deal with the way the
priorities for research and education, for,
the creation and dissemination of knowl-
edge, are set. It is these priorities which
shape the University as an "instrument of
national purpose."
These priorities are determined by the,
sources, of funds for the University. Big
industry and government are able to pro-
vide the funds to support the research and
study they need. Obviously, then, it is that
research and study that gets done. The $16
million of Department of Defense research

"the military to the unimportant position
in society it deserves," and contrasts the
humanism of the University to the mili-
tary. This position is clearly not tenable
because it does not deal with situations in
which the military is of the utmost im-
portance for the survival of society.
The military, in and of itself, is neither
good nor evil. Its value depends on its role
in a given situation. An attack on ROTC,
war research, recruiting, and t h e other
connections between the University a n d
the military must be based on a political
attack on the function of the American
military in the world.
What, then, is that function -of the
American military? Where and for what
purposes are American military resources
committed?
The greatest commitment at present is
obviously Vietnam, but it is. not the only
example. Throughout the Third World

".*it is ridiculous to ash for the elimination of ROTC to
purify the University of any political taint .. , simply because
the political bias of the University and the military presence
within it are much more basic."
.................. "....,.. f. ".: "r::;:.v: ar:::. ..,. . J: r... fiv.;"Jn. :v.".".. . ... , . "r

when the economic and political controls
begin to fail, when essential resources and
markets are threatened,
The reasons why the peoples of the Third
World are in rebellion against imperialism
are obvious. The economic a n d political
control of the underdeveloped nation by
f/oreign interests leads directly to the op-
pression and exploitation of the "subject
people." Control of the economy for the
benefit of foreign capital keeps important
sectors of that economy undeveloped.
Ownership of vast tracts of unused land,
selective development of local industry, the
fact that profits are taken out of the coun-
try rather than reinvested, the use of the
country as a pool of cheap labor, and the
direction of aid programs, all contribute
to the continued exploitation of the under-
developed nation. Outside control of the
government deprives the people of a n y
control of this process and leaves revolu-
tion as their only tool for producing
change. We should, therefore, attack the
functioning of the American military in its
suppression of struggles against imperial-
ism.
'There is no question that ROTC andthe
war :research and recruiting dlone on uni-
versity campuses is critically important to
the functioning of the American military.
ROTC is the major source of junior offi-
cers, providing 85 per cent of the 2nd lieu-
tenants and 65 per cent of the 1st lieuten-
ants in the Army alone. ,ROTC programs
provide 50 per cent 'of all active duty Army
officers, 35 per cent of all Navy officers
and 30 per cent of all Air Force officers.
THE OTHER SOURCES of officers, OCS
and the military academies, cannot pres-
ently fulfill this demand. The universities
also provide the only sources of technicians
and scientists to do research work for the
military. In short, an attack on ROTC,
war research, and military recruiting on
campus is a valid and powerful attack on
the functioning of the American military
in suppression of people's struggles against
imperialism. It is on this basis, and only
on this basis, that we can build a valid at-
tack on the military programs on the Uni-
versity campus.

4

is not something extra the University does
for the government, it is an integral part
of the functioning of the University.
We must fight the illusion that the Uni-
versity is simply complying with the mili-
tary machine, with t h e federal govern-
ment, with big industry. The University is
an integral part of that military-industrial
complex. Therefore it is ridiculous to ask
forthe elimination of ROTC to purify th
University of any political taint or to give
students freedom f r o m "the frightening
presence of the military," simply because
the political bias of the University and the
military presence within it are much more
basic.
NOR IS IT RATIONAL to attack the
military simply for being military. Daily
Editorial Page Editor Steve Anzalone's ar-
ticle on March 21 was a good example of
such an attack. He speaks of relegating

military resources are committed to var-
ious counter-insurgency programs. F r o m
Guatemala and Bolivia where Green Be-
rets and CIA agents are fighting to pro-
tect investments of Unived Frpit and other
American companies, to Angola where US
planes drop US napalm on rebels fighting
to free their country from Portugese con-
trol, to Thailand, prime staging area for
B-52 raids on Vietnam, where American
troops and military aid are continuing the
battle against the people of Southeast As-
ia, American military resources are com-
mitted to the support of imperialism.
EXCEPT FOR initial conquest, however,
imperialism cannot consist simply of mili-
tary intervention. Imperialism provides
economic and political profits for the
"mother country" and simple military' in-
tervention cannot, in most situations, pro-
vide those profits. Military force is' used

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

44

SACUA

could serve as a model

for a student organization

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To the Editor:
I SHOULD LIKE to continue the
discussion begun by President
Fleming in his letter published in
The Daily on March 28, 1969. The
Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs is convinced of
the desirability of student partici-
pation in the decision-making
process here in t h e University.
Students are part of the Univer-
sity community, they have ideas,
and they have a stake in what
happens here.
In seeking to persuade our col-
leagues to adopt this position, we
h a v e found relatively little dis-
agreement on the principle involv-
ed. But we have encountered
enormous resistance in the area
of practical implementation. Al-'
most every time we have proposed
actions -to t h e Senate Assembly
which would permit greater stu-
dent participation in the Univer-
sity's affairs, using t h e instru-
mentality of the Student Govern-
ment Council, some members of
the Assembly have objected on the
grounds that the Student Govern-
ment Council is unrepresentative
of our student body, does not re-
flect its concerns or interests, and

student participation in its af-
fairs and in making its decisions.
But some other parts of the Uni-
versity community may be reluc-
tant to accept the newly selected
SGC as speaking for students.
Some other means should be de-
veloped - by students, of course-
to permit students to exercise their
right and their responsibility to
participate. This is o u r problem,
but only the students themselves
can solve it.
President Fleming pointed to
the Senate Assembly as a possible
model. It is only one among var-
ious alternative ways of organizing
a viable representative legislative
body,' but it has worked for the
faculty. The faculties of each
school and college in the Univer-
sity elect representatives to the
Assembly, the number-based on
the number of faculty members in
the school or college. The sixty-
five members so elected meet once
a month to discuss a n d act on
matters of university concern.
They also elect a number of As-
sembly Committees that perform
a variety of tasks: some serve as
advisory to the several Vice-Pres-
idents of the University, some are
standing committees to study and

for the faculty. A full quorum has
been present at every meeting sch-
eduled for the Senate Assembly.
The various Assembly committees
have been 'active and productive.
Reports of Assembly actions are
regularly made to the faculties of
the several schools and colleges by
their elected' representatives to
that body.
Nothing is perfect, but the or-
ganization has shown that it has
sufficient vitality to correct its im-
perfections while continuing to
function effectively for the fac-
ulty of the University.
-Prof. Irving M. Copi
Philosophy department
Chairman, SACUA
April 2
SDS 'misdirection'
To the Editor:
IN A RECENT LETTER publish-
ed in the Michigan Daily, three
members of the local SDS explain-
ed their rationale for the "first of
a series of militant actions oriented
against the University in its ca-
pacity as a servantl of the mili-
tary." A justification of this "mil-

members of SDS that their mili-
tancy is misdirected, for the stu-
dents they attacked have as great
a wish for peace as any SDS mem-
ber can, claim.
FURTHERMORE, the behavior
of the demonstrators seemed quite
inconsistent w it h simultaneous
statements concerning the unac-
ceptability of militarism and op-
pression. The violence, threats,
and demands used by the local
SDS members are now very real to
the students present last Tuesday.
They will not soon be forgotten re-
gardless of how long.. or compli-
cated an argument is used to ex-
plain away such "militant action."
One can only hope that those
who would present themselves as
the champions of peace would ex-
hibit a greater abundance of the
quantity in' the future.
-Christopher Bloch
President,
Engineering Council
March 31

14

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