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September 07, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

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Page 4--Thursday, September 7, 1978-The Michigan Daily
r'

A2: Home of 60s activism

,K

Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

Vol. LIX, No. 1

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

The role of the editorial

T HE TITLE "newspaper" is some-
thing of a misnomer for this
publication; it encompasses much
more than just news. Most notable in
this respect is the editorial page.
The function of all editorial pages is
to interpret and analyze the news,
point out flaws in government and
society, support programs com-
modious to the community and take,
stands on issues that affect-its reader-
ship, while persuading, inspiring and
informing its readers.
In general we view The Daily
editorial page as an outlet for our
opinions,, a chance to step out from
behind the mask of objectivity and let
our readers know where we stand on
the issues. But we are also interested
in what our readers think; and this is
why we have a letters column. In ad-
dition, the editorial page is open to our
readers as well as staffers who wish to
write opinion/editorial pieces.
In order to distinguish between these
different types of opinion pieces, the
editorial page is divided into two sec-
tions: the left and right sides of the
pager The left side of the page is
devoted to the opinion of a consensus of
The Daily staff. These editorials are
unsigned since they represent the
opinion of The Daily, not just of the
writer. We have total autonomy in

editorial policy, and we aren't afraid to
go after anyone or anything we think is
wrong. We try to focus mainly on local
and University issues, but we don't
hesitate to tackle national or even in-
ternational issues when we feel our
readers should know what we think.
The right side of the page features
by-lined editorials and signed letters.
Anyone may submit material for the
right side of the page, and if it is
quality material it will run, regardless
of the view expressed. However, these
pieces, even when they are written by
staff members, represent the opinion
of the writer, which is not necessarily
that of the paper. We endeavor to run
all letters provided they. meet two
essential criteria: are signed, and are
not libelous or intentionally
vituperative without reasonable cause.
We reserve the right to edit letters for
grammar and length only.
The news is not ever as black and
white as it may seem when it appears
on the front page of a paper. The
editorial page is the place where our
readers can review the day's events
through the opinions of others and gain
additional insight. The freedom to
editorialize is something we guard
very carefully and by presenting
varying opinions we hope to accom-
plish our major goal-keeping you in-
formed.

With the passing of each year
the essence and meaning of the
sixties becomes, at best, hazy.
Incoming University'students
tend to garner vague impressions
of those tumultuous years foun-
ded in distorted tales from sixth,
seventh, or eighth-hand sources.
But the love-ins, teach-ins, sit-
ins, the bombings and killings,
the SDS, Weathermen and the
White Panther Party did exist.
The events of the sixties
drastically changed life at
colleges and in the nation. And
this University was one of the
focal points of radicalism in the
country equalled only by Colum-
bia and Berkeley.
ANY OBSERVER analyzing
Ann Arbor during the 1950s would
have to agree with Tom Hayden's
description of Ann Arbor as a
quiet, conservative community.
Republicans had controlled city
government for years. Students
concentrated on their studies and
ignored the outside world.
Blacks were considered equal
under the law, but prejudice kept
them in low-level jobs, poorly
equipped schools and segregated
housing.
But blacks weren't the only
minority to suffer. On one of their
usual raids on the Angell Hall
men's rooms in 1960 the Ann Ar-
bor Police arrested and charged
35 men with "proposing acts of
gross indecency between males."
Also under the law, students
could not vote in city elections.
THE UNIVERSITY lorded
over every other aspect of
student life. Women students
were required to live in dorms
and faced expulsion for staying
out overnight, and white women
were not allowed to date black
men.
But underneath the surface a
movement was stirring. Castro
overthrew thecorrupt Baptista
regime in Cuba. In the south,
blacks fought for the right to be
treated as human beings. And a
new generation of students -
products of post-war prosperity
- were ready to invade the Diag
and the dorms.
On February 1, 1960 four blacks
were arrested in Greensboro,
North Carolina, for merely or-
dering coffee at a Kresge-
Woolworth all-white lunch coun-
ter. The event sparked a national
movement.
IN ANN ARBOR the local
Kresge endured months of
picketing and a boycott in an at-
tempt to force the store to in-
tegrate its southern operations.
Despite the efforts of the Ann
Arbor police the picket was suc-
cessful and was applied to other
local stores which discriminated
against blacks. The students on
those picket lines represented the
NAACP, CORE (Congress for
Racial Equality), NSCC (Student
Non-violent Co-ordinating Com-
mittee) and Voice, the local chap-
ter of the Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS).
SDS, in the early sixties, was
quite small and unknown. In 1961,
it had only 250 members scat-
tered on campuses across the
country. Its political aims -
disarmament, civil rights, and
opposition to the Cold War -
seem tame today. Its philosophy
included the goal of a par-
ticipatory democracy; people
making the decisions that would
affect their lives.
VOICE WAS one of the largest
and most vigorous SDS chapters
in the country. Many national
SDS leaders such as Al Haber,

By Bret Eynon

HRP supporters celebrate victories in the April 1972 city council election.

S.

Africa: Time to choose

C ORPORATIONS are not particular-
ly moral institutions; they exist
primarily to make money. The people
who run these corporations know they
will reap huge profits by building plan-
ts in South Africa because of the
,ihexhaustible supply of cheap, slave
labor. Most of these businesspersons
,have paid little or no attention to the
.fact that they are supporting a racist
government. Sadly, on the issue of
South African investments, the
.University Regents and 'ad-.
ministrators sound - more like
businesspersons than university of-
ficials.
In March, after nine months of
vigorous student and community
protest, the Regents met to decide the
future of the University's $80 million
worth of investments in South Africa.
They had a chance to take a moral
stand against a government that en-
slaves the vast majority of its people
against their will, by voting to divest the
University of all holdings in South
Africa. Instead, they tried to
equivocate.
They decided to ask all corporations
with South African ties in which the
University held a financial interest to
.agree in writing not to discriminate
against blacks in their factories. They
.also said they would consider
divestiture if a corporation expanded
its operations in South Africa. This is
,:nothing more than sugar-coated
xacism. The Regents' decision may
make racism more palatable to them,
but it is still racism.
The trouble is that the Regents have
attempted to be moderate on an issue
that has no middle ground. The New
York Times has reported that as much
as 80 per cent of South Africa's private
sector is owned by foreign investors.
Prime Minister John Vorster and the
white South Africans are in the
minority, and the only thing that keeps
them in control is economic power,
power provided by foreign cor-
porations, and investors therein like
the University.
University Political Science Profes-
sor Ali Mazrui, one of the nation's
leading authorities on Third World

development, said during a South
African teach-in held on campus last
November, that black majority rule in
South Africa is inevitable and that it
will probably come within the next
decade..
"Unfortunately," he added; "I can't
see change coming without violence."
So that is the question: whether change
will come peacefully', or through
bloody revolution. Vorster has made it
clear that he will not capitulate. When
Andy Young and British Foreign Min-
ister David Owen attempted to reason
with him, he curtly rejected their over-
tures and warned both nations to stay
out of his business. Vorster has made it
clear he will fight to the finish unless
he can be pressured, and the only ef-
fective pressure is economic pressure.
If all foreign corporations were to pull
out of South Africa the economy would
collapse, and the blacks would even-
tually gain power simply because of
their numbers. If enough corporations
withdraw, it is possible Vorster will see
the inevitability of his.regime's defeat,
and will step down rather than fight a
revolution he has no chance to win.
The Regents claim that it is better to
work through the system, that the
blacks will benefit more by having U.S.
corporations there, and that these cor-
porations can help to change the
systematic racism in South Africa.
This is a woefully naive view. First,
U.S. corporations control only two per
cent of the South African labor force,
so how much effect can they have on
the nation by improving the lot of only
two per cent of those who are being
discriminated against. Second, even if
they could affect change, how long
would it take? Thirty years? A cen-
tury? The revolution' won't wait that
long. The situation in South Africa has
reached a critical point, and the
University must take, one of two
stands; support racism, tacitly or
otherwise, by maintaining investments
in South Africa; or categorically op-
pose racism by withdrawing all funds
in corporations with financial ties to
the reprehensible Vorster government.
Time is running out.
PR i5/
AcipRSO

Tom Hayden, and Todd Gitlin
lived here and worked with
Voice. Voice ran'candidates for
Student Government Council,
fought for better student housing,
a student bookstore and worked
for greater student participation
in University affairs.
One of the main issues confron-
ted by Voice and other students
during the early and middle six-
ties was the policy of 'in loco
parentis,' which meant that the
University acted as an imposing
parent for all students. Dress
codes (shirt and tie for dinner)
and visitation policies (no men in
women s rooms, women in men's
rooms with the door open 45
degrees and at least two lights
on) were two of the most disputed
examples. Students fought to end
these restricting regulations in a
variety of _ ways including
petitions, referendums and mass
violations. By late 1967 most of
the more offensive rules had been
overturned.
At this point, with the mood in
Ann Arbor already shifting to the
left, a new issue began to
dominate the campus - the war
in Vietnam. SDS had opposed the
war since 1963, when it held a
Diag rally denouncing U.S. inter-
vention in Vietnam. Although The
Daily supported the SDS anti-war
position, most of the campus did
not. When a group of students put
an anti-war float in the 1965
homecoming parade it was torn
apart by angry student patriots.
BUT THE DRAFT, as well as
the length of the war and the
publicity of corruption in the
South Vietnamese government,
played an important role in
altering student attitudes toward
the war. There was a strong
general reaction to the 'kill or be
killed' concept of war.
But not everything was serious
and political. Marijuana was
beginning to gain popularity
which added a new tone to cam-
pus life. Students smoked fur-
tively at first, hiding from police,
dorm officials and even room-
mates. Unlike current practice,
smoking outside, on campus was
unheard of in 1968.
Rock and Roll was another new
element. Thousands of students
listened to the music of the
Beatles, Bob Dylan and the
Rolling Stones. Local rock groups
such as the Rationals, played
concerts alongside nationally
known groups like the Doors. In
1968 the infamous MC-5, whose
single "Kick Out the Jams,
Brothers and Sisters" would soon
hit the national Top 10, moved in-
to 1510 Hill Street. Managed by
John Sinclair, they lived and ate
communally, smoked lots of dope
and played free concerts in West

Park on Sundays.
THE MC-5 also played in
Chicago during the demon-
strations against thetDemocratic
National Convention. The
brutality of the Chicago police
and the indifference of the
Democratic Party shocked the
groups and the thousands of
students watching the action on
TV.
That fall the MC-5 and their Hill
St. commune became the
National Headquarters of the
White Panther Party. They
exhorted high school and college
students to free themselves from
society by "smoking dope,
listening to high energy rock. and
roll, and fucking in the streets."
In the spring of 1969 a group of
young people took these direc-
tives to heart, taking over South
University between East U. to
Forest St. to hold a wild party.
The police left them alone,
everyone had a good time and no
one was hurt. But the next night,
t hen people came to party again,
t ey found, Washtenaw County
Sheriff Doug Harvey, shotgun in
hand, and hundreds of police
from around the state. Angered,
most students refused to go home
and the great South University
riots ensued. The police cleared
the streets with tear gas and riot
sticks, and made sure that "law
and order" was maintained
thereafter.
ONE OF THOSE gassed in the
South U. riots was University,
President Robben Fleming.
Fleming had a liberal reputation
which he furthered by speaking
at an anti-war rally in Crisler
Arena in the fall of 1969. By this
time nearly everyone on campus
opposed the war, and rallies that
had once drawn 30 now drew
30,000.
But many students distrusted
Fleming. When 600 students held
a sit-in at the LS&A Building,
demanding a student bookstore
(the University Cellar), Fleming
broke a long-standing tradition
and called in the Ann Arbor Po-
lice. 107 were arrested, and the
sit-in leaders were beaten in the
LS&A stairwells.
This type of mistreatment,
combined with the government's
refusal to stop the war in Viet-
nam, led to even greater confron-
tations. In December of 1969, a
number of Ann Arbor SDSers
became members of the Weather
Underground, which declared it-
self "at war with the Amerikan
government." Those SDS mem-
bers who remained in Ann Arbor
fought to ban recruiters from
corporations participating in the
war effort, such as Dow Chemical
which manufactured Napalm.

Bombs exploded at North Hall,
home of the ROTC program.
EVERYTHING seemed to be
building to a peak. When the
Black Action Movement (BAM)
demanded that the University
improve its minority enrollment
figures, many students supported
it enthusiastically. A strike was
called, and University operations.
ground to a halt. The Regents
gave in, and promised to have-10
per cent minority enrollment by
1973 (a promise they never kept)
but the fever pitch on campus
continued.
Ann Arbor was not alone in its
anger.While those involved in
political action were still a
minority, both in Ann Arbor and
across the country, the media
amplified their voices. Every
day, it seemed, one campus or
another was in turmoil. It all
came to a head in May 1970, when
President Nixon ordered the in-
vasion of Cambodia. Millions of
students protested across the
country. On the campus of Kent
State University in Ohio, the
National Guard was called out
and four students were shot and
killed. Ann Arbor and the rest
of the nation recoiled in-shock
and horror.
The same period, the spring of
1970, also saw tpe end of theera of
prosperity. University programs
were slashed. Jobs became har-
der to find. The new need for
economic security made op-
position to the government har-
der to maintain. The hopeful air
of the early sixties faded, and
political activism declined.
OF COURSE, everything didn't
stop dead. The anti-war
movement continued, the Human
Rights Party (HRP), a liberal-
radical coalition, elected two
members to City Council, where
they effected, many reforms,
feminism and gay rights became
strong issues, and alternative in-
stitutions, such as the People's
Free Clinic and Ozone House
grew to serve the community.
Thus, the spirit of the sixties has
continued to act in various forms
even today.
Ann Arbor is very different as a
result of the sixties. Racism is
gradually on the wane, though
strains'do exist. Born at the end -
of the sixties, the environmental
movement is very active today.
The anti-apartheid movement,
which demands that the Univer-
sity cut its ties to South Afric, is
stronger than ever. Fp , 0o-
operatives now provide seits
with low-cost, high-quality food.
And generally, students of the
seventies feel muh less pressure
from the University and the
government in choosing their
personal life style. The freedom
to eat, dress and live as we like
here in Ann Arbor is a privilege
we've come to expect as a direct
result of the efforts of students
during the 1960s.
The changes since the fifties
are real, and they make a dif-
ference to students in Ann Arbor.
Changes happened here because
people went out and worked for
them. The point, however, is not
to sit back and feel thankful for
the sixties or regretful that
they're over. The point is to go
out and make things better stilL
Bret Eynon is writing a his-
tory of Ann Arbor during the
1960s under a grant from the
National Endowment for the
Humanities.

A step in the write direction

No matter what a student's major, he. or
she should be able to write well, and given
ample opportunity; should be able to learn to
write well.
The problem facing educators today is that
many students simply cannot write
adequately. Students come to the University
unable to write, and leave four years later of-
ten in the same condition. University
President Robben Fleming said the single
most common complaint he hears from, em-
ployers of University students is "the
reiteration that our students don't write
well."
WHY CAN'T STUDENTS write? Many
scholars and educators have pointed to
television as the culprit. "What TV has done
to students is make them social isolates,"
said University English professor Daniel
Fader. "When you are unfamiliar with the
social act, you are unfamiliar with
language."
A number of TV critics have said they feel
many students' simplistic writing style is an
unconscious imitation of the spoken language
they hear so often on television.
My belief is that students can't write when
thav Pnter nanll eheemnmethev mrnt e n little

By Elisa Isaacson
literacy among many of its students and an
extensive program designed to make writing
an integral part of all LSA departments was
approved almost unanimously by that
college's faculty last January.
The project was a result of two years of
planning on the part of the English Com-.
position Board (ECB), a six-member inter-
departmental group organized by LSA Dean
Billy Frye to improve student writing in
college.
A number of universities have instituted
writing programs but the University of
Michigan's program is unique. It offers the
student writing instruction at his own
level-determined by an assessment test,
which is graded by at least two instructors-
and makes teaching writing the responsibility
of all LSA departments.
THE ECB HOPES that at some point there
will be less need for basic writing instruction
at the college level due to better instruction in
high schools.
The Bnrd held a nnference fnr high swhnn1

students apply their writing skills to a subject
in which they are particularly interested.
When students take a writing program in
their own field of concentration, they are not
only getting writing practice, but they are
learning, so to speak, the tricks of the trade.
STUDENTS OFTEN complain many of the
courses they're taking are worthless, as, they
are theoretical and do not provide the studen-
ts with practical skills. Writing, though, is one
subject that pervades all areas of study. And
literacy is one of the first requirements for
many occupations.
The ECB's comprehensive program, inten-
ded to bring writing beyond the introductory
, English 125 and make it a working part of the
student's entire life is an ambitious endeavor,
and the faculty, students and administration
must all work together for it to succeed.
Teachers' who previously. avoided essays
because they felt most papers were too poorly
written and time-consuming to read, will now.
have to assign more writing. With more
writing assigned, students will spend more
'time exercising their literary skills, and in-
troductory writing courses will have a
greater significance. Also, the administration
.:ilhn to c nll o n ra -nn - to fnnnnp

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