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November 11, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-11

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Page 4-Saturday, November 11, 1978-The Michigan Daily
,
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

Something of a comeback

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 57

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Dropthe GEO case
W HEN IS AN employee not an the University to claim that TAs are
employee? That is the question not employees; what were all those
the Michigan Employment Relations TAs we had our first two years of
Commission (MERC) has been trying college doing? Clearly, in most instan-
to answer for the past nine months with ces, they were teaching our classes.
regards to the teaching and research They ran the discussion groups, and
assistants at the University. graded our tests and papers. Surely the
The shenanigans began nearly two administration does not deny this. But
years ago, November 18, 1976, when then, how can the University possibly
negotiations broke down between the claim that TAs are not employees? The
Graduate Employee Organization concept simply boggles the mind. They
(GEO) and the University. GEO work for the University by teaching
charged that the University was com- students, and they are paid for their ef-
mitting an unfair labor practice by forts. Does not this constitute em-
refusing to sign a contract, and ployment?
threatened to take the matter to The only possible explanation for the
MERC. The University bargainers University's action is that it simply
warned that if GEO took such action, wanted to break this union as it broke
the University would challenge TA's the clericals' union, and handcuffed
status as employees. Both sides kept AFSCME. This is an outrage. TAs need
their promises, and that is where the and deserve a union to represent them,
issue now stands. else they would be at the mercy of the
On December 5, GEO leaders will University, and we students know how
meet with the Regents to attempt to bad that can be-tuition hikes nine out
settle this matter. Regent James of 10 years. They have been without
Waters (D-Muskegon) has said he is recourse against the administration
considering a motion to drop the case for nearly two years now, and that has
against GEO-it's about time. That severely undermined GEO's ability to
would be the first sensible move the represent its constituency. The Regen-
1niversity has made in this affair for ts should take immediate steps to rec-
4j least two years. - tify this injustice by dropping the ill-
It is an insult to our intelligence for found case against GEO.

Since the turbulent era of the
late 1960s, when riots and-
protests at various college
campuses dominated our
television screens and law and
order became the issue of the
day, there has been little to say
about college activism.
When the Vietnam War ended
mercifully and American troops
came home, the nation enjoyed
what Secretary of state Henry
Kissinger called, "peace with
honor."
The country's youth, accepting
the cue of the older generation,
shifted their concern and energy
to combatting the economic
recession. Apathy became the
national pastime as the youth,
who just five years before had
received votingprivileges in a
1971 constitutional amendment,
showed a deep lack of interest in
the 1976 presidential campaign.
Unlike Robert Kennedy and
George McGovern's "youth
constituency" in 1968sand 1972,
neither of the candidates in the
1976 race had a strong youth
following. The students were
more interested in each other's
grade point average rather than
political philosophy. One was a
liberal, conservative or
moderate. The new an significant
voice of the youth which had
cropped up in 1972 as such a
crucial factor in the political
scene had dissolved into a
wasteland.
But in the last two years, youth
has made something of a
comeback; facusing on a new
issue - the question of United
States involvement in South
Africa, a nation which

consistently upholds apartheid
practices. The United states
government has maintained
close military and political ties
with the south Africa regime
through the last few years.
Unable to muster a strong
attack on the government's role
in South Africa, the college
students have focused their
efforts on forcing universities to
divest their holdings from banks
and corporations operating in
South Africa.
The new group of student
activists have tried vigorously to
make university governing
boards to withdraw their stock
from these banks and
corporations. They have held
rallies, sponsored teach-ins and
lobbied extensively to get the
university out of South africa.
Although the divestiture
movement is still in its early'
stages and comes nowhere near
the level of the anti-war activism
in the 60s, success has been
recorded at a number of major
universities. Last spring,the
University of Wisconsin Regents
voted to divest their stock from
South Africa under the order of
the state's'attorney general.
While it isn't clear that student
pressure forced the action, it is
certain that student-sponsored
rallies and teach-ins had an
effect.I
Just a few months ago, the
Michigan State University
(MSU) Board of Trustees also
voted to divest from South Africa.

By Michael Arkush

Although the date of divestment
may be delayed by certain
technicalities, students at MSU
were influential in pressuring the
Trustees to cut south African
ties.
However, since the nucleus of
the divestiture movement is still
veyy small and possesses few
resources, many of the group's
efforts have been unsuccessful.
Besides this spring's failure in
Ann Arbor, there have been
many fruitless attempts across
the nation in colleges where
student pressure was just
minimal and thus had no
substantial effectton the school's
governing board.
Three weeks ago, I attended
the Midwestern Conference on
University - and Corporate
Involvement in South Africa at
Evanston, Illinois.. Over 350
representatives from 50
midwestern colleges and
universities showed to voice their
concern and discuss tactics to
make universities divest from
south africa.
My first impression during the
conference's session was of an
organization which contained too
much internal dissention and
factionaltdispute to effectively
coordinate a sound regional
policy. At one extreme of the
ideological spectrum was the
Spartacus Youth League and on
the other side was the
Revolutionary Student Youth
Brigade. In between, were the
more moderate groups dedicated

to U.S. withdrawal from south
africa. Although the -elegat
could concur on the importance
of university and corporate
divestiture, it became apparept
that an agreement on standard
tactics to achieve that goal would
be much more difficult to reach.
But as the weekend wore" on,
the factions were able to set aside'
their ideological conflicts artd
agree on consistent regional
policy to fight apartheid and thie
U.S. contribution to that system.
On the last, day of the
conference, they approved several
resolutions designed againstthe,
U.S. government, universities
and corporations and the South
African regime itself.
When the resolutions were
passed, I began td feel like I was
at the birth of a strong and
potentially influential movement.
-i began to think that I would
some day look back at this
weekend and view it as the
rebirth of unified college,
activism.'
The sdelegates agreed to
establish a steering committee to
coordinate regional activities
against U.S. involvement in
South Africa. The committee's
first meeting will be in the
Michigan Union Ballroom on
Sunday, November 12 at 11:00
a.m.
The new wive of student
activism has received the push"
from various core groups. What
remains to be seen is whether the
majority of students will follow.
Michael Arkush is a Daily
Night Editor.

t
...
t ,.p-A

The drinking age

T HE OVERWHELMING vote to
raise the drinking age back to 21
was disappointing. Despite all the
logical arguments against Proposal D
voters seemed to think there was a
need to keep alcohol out of the hands of
19- and 20-year-olds - 18-year-olds
would have lost the right to purchase
alcohol in January anyway. The
problems, however, which ensue as a
result of a higher drinking age are
minor compared to the problem of
which Proposal D is only a symptom.
It is fairly easy to extrapolate the
effects 6f proposal D. Many students in
this area are already beginning to
stockpile their favorite alcoholic
beverages. There has been a decline in
the use of illicit drugs in the past few
years - that will probably change.
There will also probably be a return to
drinking in automobiles and therefore
more alcohol-related accidents.
But most disastrous are the effects
which have not been addressed: what
happens in a college town or
community like Ann Arbor where bars
are such an important part of
everyone's social life. The new
restriction on drinking could
effectively split the campus in half -

legal drinkers and non-legal drinkers,
those who can go to a bar and those
who can't. What happens to those
households or groups of friends where
age never before made any difference
- now it will. And what happens to
lovers, one of whom is 21-years-old and
the other who is 19-years-old, not an
uncommon match.
If a person is given the
responsibilities of an adult she or he
should be given the privileges which
accompany those duties. It is only fair
and logical. There was some problem
with increased alcohol-related
accidents among 18-year-olds since
they have been able to drink legally.
The law was amended and the drinking
age was to be 19 or over this January.
That was also fair and reasonable. The
one-year difference would have cut
down drinking problems in high
schools.
To raise the drinking age to 21,
however, - indicates a growing
intolerance in society - and, of course;
the first to be repressed are those with
the least ability to defend themselves.
What privilege or even right will be
taken next, and what will be allowed to
be taken?

The University:
Love it or leave
To the Daily:
How soon we forget!
What with the clericals gearing
up for the union representation
election, it might be well for us to
remember what happened the
last time we let a few
"representatives" do ,our
bargaining for us. With all the
talk about the "University"
slashing our wages, remember
what happened when we had to
pay union dues or "service
charges" for nothing. What about
that kind of wasted money out of
our pockets? The OCC cries that
we will have a democratic union.
That would be fine but what true
guarantees do we really have
that this new union will be any
better than the previous one? A
few people have said that this
union will be run by the
membership and not a few high-
paid officers. It would be nice if
this would happen, but when one
is realistic about the future of the
clericals at The University of'
Michigan, one can really believe
that this will happen and that the
union will not choose to be
represented by organized labor?
How far will we get with

dissatisfied with the working
conditions at The University of
Michigan, do clericals (or anyone
for that matter) still hang on and
collect their paychecks? Perhaps
the University of Michigan is the
only institution that will hire
them? As a state-supported
institution, the University has
only so much money to go
around. If you get serious about
the economic situation, you will
realize that the $40,000/year
employee is in as much "trouble"
financially as is the $7,000/year
employee. The $40,000/year
employee may enjoy a higher
standard of living by society's
standards, but there is still rent
to pay, tuition to pay, utilities to
pay, etc. There probably are very
few americans who are not
feeling the "pinch" associated
with the present economic
situation of the United States, but
The University of Michigan
cannot be held responsible for
acts of Congress and our
country's leaders. Demand all
you want, there is only so much
money legislated to the
University and you can't get
blood out of a turnip!
Our first obligation (as UM
clericals is to the students: None

COLA? The 1978-79 fiscal budget
has already been set and
implemented. The Union cannot
possibly hope to gain anything in
the foreseeable future; i.e.,
before fiscal 1979-80 at the very
earliest.
Instead of sitting around and
moaning and complaining about
the low pat grades and salaries, if
you realize you will be working
for the rest of your lives, be
realistic and try to improve
yourselves. Don't wait for
University Management to help
you and complain if they don't.
You must watch our for yourself
(singular) or no one else will.
Look at the list of demands and
remember that you will be
fortunate if only one demand is
met. The University just cannot
conjure up more money where
there is none.
Strike if you think that will win:,
anything - just ask an honest
AFSCME employee who
participated in their strike how
much was gained and if lost
monies were ever made up.
As on the bumper sticker,
"American-love it or leave it,"
why not one that says, "Univesity
of Michigan - love it or leave it."
-Mary Hoffman

may not have an accurate.
understanding of the purpose of'
the mandatory $2.92 fee" and
then proceed to provide a
breakdown of where the money
goes.
Nowhere in the letter does MSA
bother to say what my
misunderstanding might be.
Indeed, MSA confirms my point
that they regularly use
mandatory fees for a host of
activities students might find
objectionable, such as political
causes or the recent Gay Teach-
in. MSA says its "allocations do
not necessarily comprise
political endorsements" which
says, oh, approximately nothing.
1) What does "necessarily"
mean? - that using mandatory
fees for political groups in an
endorsement sometimes? 2) In
any case, MSA's allocation of
mandatory fees for political
causes is a de facto endorsement
because all its programs share a
similar ideological bias.
I would suggest that my
understanding is quite accurate,
and that it is based on the same
principles of freedom and
individual choice that the.

Letters to the Daily

-! "

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