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August 27, 1969 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-08-27

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Page Two


Wednesday' August 27, 1969

Poge T w o T H E M IC HI G AN|D AILY|W ednesday. A ugust-27,-I-969

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i' ,


But I want friends, diver-

Student government
battles local prices

A radical departure for SGC

ty, action, and something
o keep my interest too!"


ContiuUed from Page 1)
In addition, Council members
plan to stage more consumer
boycotts which they hope will
be as successful as the one
against Stephan's.
Meanwhile, Council will be
saddled with the issues which
have continued to crop up over
the last few years.
The faculty's Senate Assem-
bly is presently considering the
status of Reserve Officers Train-
ing Corps and SGC members will
likely push for elimination of
the special privileges which the
University presently gives to
ROTC. These include free use of
facilities and academic accredi-
tation in some schools for RO-
TC courses.
Another continuing problem
is the rewriting of Regental
bylaws concerned with student
conduct and the role of students
in University decision-making.

The bylaws have been in the
drafting stage for almost three
years because of constant dis-
agreements between students
and faculty members.
SGC members have continu-
ally warned they will not ac-
cept bylaws which allow for the
disciplining of students on non-
academic grounds. And they
have often demanded that stu-
dents be given full power to
maketdecisions which concern
only themselves.
But there is some possibility
that the bylaw draft may go to
the Regents without SGC ap-
proval. Such an action would
undoubtedly provoke consider-
able controversy.
In addition to these issues,
there is always the unexpected.
And with the impending install-
ation of a new vice president
for student affairs, the unex-
pected is to be expected.

is looking for YOU
Look for us on Sept. 3rd at 1 and 3 p.m., Sept. 8th and
10th at 7:30 p.m. at 420 Maynard St.

A middling bridge player and
consistent winner at poker.
around the card table Marts
McLaughlin is just one of the
But beyond his curly black
hair and sheepish grin, the pres-
ident of Student Government
Council is a serious ideologue
and tactician of student power
with a clear conception of the
responsibilities of his office.
A prominent member of Rad-
ical Caucus, McLaughlin is part
of the newest generation of New
Left spokesmen. Like fellow cau-
cus member Bruce Levine, Mc-
Laughlin is committed to radi-
cal action-but not merely for
the sake of radicalism and
cautious without the slightest
suggestion of adherence to the
status quo.
Talking to McLaughlin there
is the feeling that he has taken
considerable time to develop hi:
views on appropriate goals an d

actions fr SGC. But, at the
saime time, his rhetoric is casual,
"I'm not going to use any tac-
tic that is immoral," he says.
'.But a building takeover is not
immoral-it attacks a property
right but doesn't harm anybody

I titilerynl g-Iis tiewis on the (Ipprop*lutelless
of disriiptioi is JlcLtmghlin's firm belief that
1 tiversity t politics is I g i>. riot of inrigiue
a(( cal in jprsusion, but rather of conifro,.
tationt between interest grouj)s.

"If a majority of students feel
a particular way, it is my re-
sponsibility to get those feelings
implemented," he says.
Underlying his views on the
appropriateness of disruption is
McLaughlin's firm belief that

and doesn't prevent them from
exercising his civil liberties."
And again there is the prag-
matic tactician. "I wouldn't take
a building with only 25 people,
but with 2500 or even 500 I

University politics is a game,
not of intrigue and calm per-
suasion, but rather of confron-
tation between interest groups.
"The faculty knows that if it
gives students power, we're
going to make decisions they

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Grad Assembly: Finis?


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"Everyone who was ever any good on Grad-
uate Assembly has quit and joined the Tenant-,
Union,"' complains one GA member in p osses-
-sion of the distinct impression that tihe gro dui -
ate student government is in its death throes.
Indeed, about the most exciting thing GA tid(
last year was involve itself in a m ior contrO -
versy with the graduate school executive coi-
mittee over the propriety of certain conduct
And while the rules are abominable allowintg
discipline for conduct which has little, if any-
thing to do with the students' academic capa-
bilities-they are also temporarily awaiting the
long-overdue rewriting of Regental bylaws deal-
ing with student discipline and power in deci -
And these interim rules-adopte1 bt the exe
cutive committee about a year a o--have not
been used to penalize a single graduate student.
But if the power and zest for action which
once characterized Graduate Assembly is gone,
vestiges of that vigor still remin.
For example, faculty members ontinue '
look to Graduate Assembly as tlhe representative
government for graduate students. This attitude
is especially important when the faculty allokv s
for token student representation on one of its
important committees.
And in this respect, GA maintains a unique
position among student groups. Technically, Stu-
dent Government Council is the only represto li-
tative of all students. s
But factulty members seem to feel that SGC

has failed to adequately represent graduate stu-
dents, and they have developed the habit of di-
viding student committee posts between SGC
and GA. In fact, there have been several gradu-
ate students on Council over the past few years
--bitt certainly nowhere near the 40 per cent re-
presentation they would seem to merit on the
basis of a breakdown of the student population.
The minimal graduate student representation
on Council however, seems to constitute more of
a comment on the nature of graduate students
themselves, than on the representatives of SGC.
When graduate students have run for Council
seats they have, in fact, been elected. But very
few have run at all.
While some graduate students have been ex-
tremely active in University politics, most seem
to lack interest in governing of the school. Thus,
there is a serious question concerning their de-
sire to participate in decision-makng and a con-
sequent question of whether their influence
should be so actively sought out.
But even if graduate student opinion should
be procured, there is serious doubt as to whether
Graduate Assembly is the place to look. For while
SGC members are chosen in at-large student
elections, GA representatives are selected by
groups as small as 25 in number. And with only
abont 30 members, the assembly is certainly mal-
But despite the unique opportunity afforded
by GA for influence over University affairs, the
assembly drop-out rate has been steadily in-
creasing. Many GA members have indeed switch-
ed to the rent strike-or simply gone back to
working full-time on their doctoral dissertations.

don't like,' he says. "They know
it and we know it."
McLaughlin says SGC can
"dicker with the faculty to make
them believe that the interests
of students and faculty are the
same." But, at the same time, he
calls this "Fleming's way" and
says he is tired of it. "Its the
way of working for goals and
never getting there."
Thus, he believes that sym-
bolically "hitting the faculty
over the head" is the most like-
ly route to securing fundamental
change in the University which
he says is necessary for students
to have a say in academic deci-
McLaughlin's immediate plans
for SGC involvement in the aca-
demic battle are based on his
hopes of identifying the status
of students in various schools
and depaftments and offering
SGC assistance where it is most
badly needed. He expects to con-
centrate especially on efforts to
secure a greater voice for stu-
dent curricular matters and in
decisions on whether to grant
faculty members tenured ap-
The president is impatient
with those he describes as con-
servative members of SGC who
are now "suddenly interested in
attacking the language require-
McLaughlin seems to feel that
the compromise actions taken
by the literary college's faculty
last year - creation of a Bach-
elor in General Studies degree
without specific course require-
ments, and institution of a pass-
fail grading option for language
- has destroyed the political at-
tractiveness of the issue.
In addition, McLaughlin and
other Radical Caucus members
had always seen the drive
against language and distribu-
tion requirements as a rather
minor issue around which sup-
port could most easily be catal-
After a year of fighting on the
requirements issue, McLaughlin
apparently feels the broad ques-
tion of academic reform has
gained sufficient credibility with
students to comfortably allow
for a massive extension of the
controversy into the areas of
tenure and curriculum.
And with the energy and de-
termination which McLaughlin
has thus far evidenced as SGC
president, his leadership in this
area is likely to add at least a
modicum of momentum to the
drive for reform in every Uni-
versity school, college and de-

514 E. William


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