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December 12, 1979 - Image 28

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-12-12
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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, Dec(

Page 4-Wednesday, December 12, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Radicalism sells out to


Ann Arbor mayors of the decade: Democrat Robert Harris (1969-1971), Republican
melt Alb t Whebalr 1975-19771)

James Stephenson (1971-1975), Republican Louis Belcher (1977-present), and Demo-

craThe yerTo oeer 2pos.

ther, experimenting with roommates of the opposite
sex for two weeks. Admittedly inspired by Robert
Rimmer's The Harrad Experiinent, roommates were
selected on a random basis. "No one is talking
about sex. It's hush-hush, a sort of wait-and-see at-
titude," one male participant explained at the time.
The sexual barrier was broken on another front
when, in 1971, the marching band's new director
George Cavender said he would allow women to take
to the field on Saturday afternoons, breaking the
band's all-male tradition. "When a tradition denies a
person his basic rights, then that tradition is made to
be broken. I owe every qualified student an oppor-
tunity to play in the band if he wants to," Cavender
said. But the response from women was virtually
non-existent for one year. "Gals aren't interested in
any activity as violently physical as marching,"
suggested Cavender in 1972.
The revival of the Greek system is one of the
greatest campus comeback stories of the 70s.
Sororities and fraternities faced declining member-
ships during 1969 and 1970. Sorority rush par-
ticipants dropped from 1,200 in 1968 to 200 in 1970. And
in that year, nine houses folded.
"FRATERNITIES HAVE had a tough time ex-
plaining their value since students now focus on
issues and actions jrather than a good time," said
then Fraterntiy Council President Steve Morrison.
Assistant Housing Director Robert Rorke at-
tributed the closings to a lack of motivation to per-
form maintenance tasks, faltering communications
with alumni, and little attempt to recruit new mem-

But in 1971, the turn-around began. Sorority
rushees numbered almost 600, and 500 men rushed
"We cut out a number of meetings and other things
because the girls were being pressed with too much
shit," explained Panhellenic Rush Coordinator Judy
Kursman in 1971. Also that year, the Fraternity
Council dropped formal registration and a
requirement that rushees visit all frat houses.
In 1979 the rush members were about the same.-
Thirty-two fraternities and 16 sororities exist on
campus today.
WHILE THE Annual Lucky Streak didn't stay
around for long, the Hash Bash did, symbolizing
Ann Arbor's liberal attitude toward marijuana use.
The Hash Bash began in 1972 with mass civil
disobedience on the Diag in support of lower fines for
pot possession in Ann Arbor. In response City Council
finally did lower the fine to $5, just as it did when the
drinking age was hiked back to 21 in 1978. The Hash
Bash has continued, though, and every April 1 the
Diag overflows with people gathering to cop a buzz.
But no longer is the Hash Bash a public demon-
stration for lenient pot laws-it has become a haven
for high school students playing hooky and for those
who simply have nothing better to do. The political
overtones of the Hash Bash have gone up in smoke.
Other types of drugs were commonly used by
students in the 70s, with alcohol the most prevalent. A
1974 University study on drug use among students
" was published in October 1975, after a series of drug
raids in September led to accusations that Ann Arbor
was a "drug haven." The study claimed that 69.6 per

cent of University students
intend to stop. Seats were
bars, especially on weeke
drink parties were regula
although a University housi
alcoholic beverages be pros
THEN, IN 1978, Mict
Proposition D, which raises
21 after it had been lowerec
however, many of which ha
proposal, suffered little los
students under 21-most o:
drink legally before the ag
bars and still managed to be
The study also states ti
students smoked pot, and
didn't plan to. Hard drugs w
study, with only 7 per cent
cocaine, and less than one-
heroin. Cocaine was mentio
ts by the end of the 70s, thot
penny-pinching college stu
In 1970 drugs were just on
The Movement. They were
pression of defiance. Today
more than a means of escaf
long hair and blue jeans-
symbol of revolt against Tt
when cocaine is becomin
drugs have suddenly becom
very system

ON ELECTION night 1972, a
poll worker gazed in disgust
at the dirty, hairy students
waiting in line to vote. "Isn't
it terrible that all these students are
voting?" the poll watcher asked a co-
worker. "They aren't even citizens."
As Ann Arbor entered the 70s, war-
weary agitators were searching for
alternative channels to effect change.
When a 1971 Michigan Supreme Court
decision gave students the right to vote
in their college towns, they suddenly
had a new outlet. By 1972, voters were
turning out in record numbers, as
students began to realize the power of
the franchise.
But student membership in the local
electorate was not welcomed by many
city residents. They feared student par-
ticipation in the system would
radicalize city policies, in favor of the
transient student population rather
than permanent residents.
FRUSTRATED BY futile attempts to
affect national policies, students took
the revolutionary ideas that originated
in the 60s and tried to infuse them into.
local politics. Renewed faith in elec-
toral power charged the 1972 political
scene with frenetic enthusiasm and
promise. It was short-lived.
The radical Human Rights Party
(HRP) emerged in 1972 as a power in
student wards, electing two of its mem-
bers to City Council. With a platform
based on returning government to the
people, Jerry DeGrieck and Nancy
Weschler pledged to deliver better
housing, a 25-cent pot fine and a tighter
Council grip on the police to de-
emphasize enforcement of victimless
crimes. And if all this wasn't enough to
shock city conservatives, DeGrieck of-
fered to provide heroin to all addicts in
an effort to reduce heroin-related
crimes. He said the drug would be of-
fered through HRP's drug help and
education program.
For the next two years, HRP
remained a vibrant and often volatile
force on Council.Jn retrospect, Ann Ar-
bor's brief encounter with third party
politics injured the Democrats' grass
roots appeal and provided the
divisiveness that vaulted a Republican
into the mayor's seat in 1973.
FOR THE most part, the HRP's
legislative attempts came up against a
brick wall, forcing the party to make
gains through referenda. The $5 pot
law, originally passed by Council, was
repealed and later approved by the
voters. Other HRP-backed issues that
were unsuccessful in the Council forum,
included rent control and, a resolution
against the Vietnam War. D'espite their

failure, these issues did get out the
liberal/radical vote - the life support
of the HRP.
Eventually the pitfalls of third party
politics and fading student par-
ticipation led to the HRP's demise.
Some say it was party members' con-
cern for issues outside Ann Arbor, while -
others attribute the party's decline to
competition with the Democrats for the
same pool of liberal-minded voters.
Former HRP member Dave Cahill said
it was the inherent character of the
student population that led to HRP's ex-
"Voting is a learned skill that takes
time" to develop; "students do not per-
ceive themselves as an oppressed
class;" and they "have dope, sex, and
rock and roll - there's nothing to make
a student feel he ought to rise and
revolt," he said.
When Republican James Stephenson
profited from the breakdown of the
liberal coalition in 1973, observers said
the yo-yo nature of student par-
ticipation and yearly party switches in
City Hall would keep Republicans in
power thereafter. "The Republicans
are running the city now," a drunk
Republican yelled at Stephenson's
mayoral victory party.
STUDENTS WERE losing faith in
government and the impact of their
votes. When First Ward HRP candidate
Andrei Joseph was defeated in 1973, he
blamed his loss on declining student in-
terest. "Those stoned freaks at Alice
Lloyd, why didn't they vote?" Five
years later it was a worn-out and
disillusioned Democratic mayoral can-
didate named Jamie Kenworthy who
complained about the students who
stayed home. "I understand the people
who voted against me more than those
who didn't vote,' Kenworthy stated. "I
wonder how they connect themselves
with the rest of the world."
When the HRP was shut out of the
1973 election entirely, former
Democratic Councilman Robert Faber
forecast the party's ultimate fate.
"HRP is dead. They were slow to die,
but we killed them." And Stephenson
outlined a six-month slate to erase any
liberal remains from City Hall.
But for a "dead" party, the HRP had
a profound impact on the 1975 mayoral
election. Ironically,. the preferential
voting system that put Stephenson at
the head of the Council table also
replaced him with Dr. Albert Wheeler,
the third University professor in two
decades to hold the post. The sparse
segment of the electorate that voted for
HRP mayoral cadidate Carol Ernst
was actually,,.esponsible for Whe


Stress is on individual cha
as apathetic nation looks

This advertisement, which appeared in local newspapers in the spring of 1970,
urged Ann Arbor residents to "Vote Republican before it gets worse." Republi-
cans circulated several similar ads throughout the city, while the Democrats
reacted by charging the GOP with waging a "fear campaign."

victory since he was their second
was accustomed to challenges - he
was the University's first black to win
full-time appointment to the faculty in
1952. But a three-way split on Council
made Wheeler's the toughest mayor-
ship of the decade.
In 1975, after a court fight. over PV,
Mayor Wheeler looked forward to an
election in which the winner would be
decided on election night. But the 1977
mayoral race, which Wheeler won by
one vote, proved to be a legend of its
own. A special election in 1970 put
Republican Louis Belcher in the
mayor's seat with a whopping victory
of almost 200 votes.
And if Belcher's 1978 win was a lan-
dslide, last April's victory over
Democrat Jamie Kenworthy was a rout
by Ann Arbor's standards. Once again
student apathy was blamed for the 7-4
GOP majority when only 2,766 voters
turned out. - -

Dwindling student interest in city
politics has resulted in a policy shift
toward material instead of social ser-
vices. Wheeler championed the causes
of minorities and the poor throughout
his council tenure. Belcher's ad-
ministration has emphasized fixing the
streets, building parking structures,
closing the city's borders, and sup-
plying incentives for business growth.
THIS SHIFT, combined with changes
in government aid to the poor and
escalating housing costs, have led to a
decline in the city's concern for its un-
derprivileged. Ann Arbor has become a
city for the affluent - and their
Inflation has been the key culprit in
displacing social with basic city ser-
vices., As city har ivare ages, its
operators must search for huge amoun-
ts of capital to update or replace the
sewage system, waste water treatment
plant, and streets. Municipal bonds
issued through the city's Building

"We can end the war and be
well-fed, well-clothed, and well-
housed and have good highways and
maybe even get rid of smog and
have clean air and water and still we
may lack something, lack something
that can only come from the spirit
of the people. What we have to give
our people, our young people par-
ticularly, is a sense of excitement, a
sense of involvement, a sense of
challenge, a sense of destiny, and
only when they have that are they
going to have any sense of satis-
faction. "
Richard Nixon, January, 1970
"A crisis in confidence... strikes
at the very heart, soul and spirit of
our national will. We can see this
crisis in the growing doubt about the
meaning of our own lives."
-Jimmy Carter, July 1979
E ARE "apathetic,"
"cynical," "narcissistic,"
"boring." We have been
told we suffer from a

mysterious disease called "malaise,"
that we have lost confidence in our-
selves, our nation, and our leaders.
Clearly no ten years in a nation's
history can be packaged under one neat
heading like the "activist 60s" or the
"cynical 70s."
For instance, what became the non-
activist 70s with the killings of four
students at Kent State, as campuses
continued to boil in the early part of the
decade. The accident this year at Three,
Mile Island spurred a string of loud and
angry demonstrations against nuclear
power, and blacks, women and gays
still raise their fists at a society that
continues to repress them.
The start of the 70s also featured the
wild antics of the Chicago 7
trial-reflecting what seemed the time
the endless struggle of America's
youth. During one of the many
dramatic showdowns between the
seven yippies and court officials, Abbie
Hoffman described this struggle in his
off-beat language to a nation that
refused to listen. "Where do you
reside?" asked defense attorney
Leonard Weinglass. "Woodstock
Nation," Hoffman replied. "What state
is that iri;" asked Judge Julius Hof-
fman. "The state of mind," Hoffman
responded. "It's a nation of alienated
young people which we carry around in
our minds just as the Sioux Indians
carried around the Sioux nation in their
HOFFMAN'S WORDS seem very,
very distant. The loss of a war,
Watergate, the energy crises, and our
sudden vulnerability on the inter-
national scene have undoubtedly har-
dened us. We are a naition looking for
ourselves. We are, ip a sense, those

Richard Nixon flashes his trademark victory sign-p
nounces he is making his third run for the presidency
torious at the polls, his presidency ended halfway into
cedented defeat.

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