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September 06, 1979 - Image 59

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-06

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 6, 1979-Page 11S -

PIRGIM takes'
on consumer
issues with the
help of students

When Michigan voters decided to make it illegal
for those undr 21 to drink, PIRGIM wasted no time
in initiating a drive geared toward the establish-
ment of a $5 penalty for breaking the new law.
The action was characteristic of the no-nonsense
organization. PIRGIM (the Public Interest Resear-
ch Group in Michigan) usually keeps a low profile
around campus. Only during highly controversial
drives does the group seem to attain the publicity in
the city;
Staffed by a few full-time workers and many
volunteers, PIRGIM-a statewide organization-
gets a good portion of its funding from contribu-
tions from University students. Most such donations
are committed during registration when students
authorize their contributions by signing a small
slip of paper attached to the student verification
PIRGIM'S WORK force includes many students.

The office, located on the fourth floor of the
Michigan Union, is one of five campus branches'in
Michigan. Amother. other things, the group
'Our projects are usually student-initiated
... We are always looking for people real
interested in getting involved in issues-to
work for a change. '
-Maria Barton, PIGRIM worker
distributes pamphlets on its research findings, lob-
bies, and gathers signatures on various proposals.
"Our projects are usually student initiated and
any student may join PIRGIM," said Maria Barton,
a worker in the organization. "We are always
looking for people real interested in getting involved
in issues-to work for a change."
In recent years PIRGIM has completed a survey
comparing prices o nearly a dozen Ann Arbor

grocery stores, lobbied on environmental
legislation, and released a study of many leases in
the area, alleging that most of them include decep-
tive and unenforceable clauses.
Special projects PIRGIM worked on this summer
which it anticiaptes to be big.aanong their work this
fall are a stop-the-draft campaign and an effort to
show people the possible risksof nuclear energy.
"PIRGIM completed a survey in Washtenaw
County which showed that 60 per cent of the respon-
dents favored a moratorium on construction of any
new nuclear power plants," said Steve Bergey, a
PIRGIM staff member. "We intend to send these
results to Representative (Carl) Pursell (R-Ann
Another project was commenced after the recent
enactment of the state's bottle bill. "We are now
compiling statistics on whether the refillable bottle
is better than the returnable which is destroyed and
made into a container again," Bergey said.


ISR rese
xcept for the few "guinea pigs"
1 choose to partake in psychological
"4-periments at the University's In-
stitute for Social Research (ISR), few
are aware of what goes on behind the
walls of the modern six-story building
on Thompson Street.
But despite its low profile on campus,
the ISR is known around 'the world for
its social science studies and research
projects. The organization-the largest
of its type in the world-is said to be in-
strumental in maintaining the Univer-
sity's prestigious reputation.
ISR is a $13 million yearly operation
that employs over 500 people. The in-
stitute usually has about 100 different
projects going at once.
ISR is divided into four components:
the Survey Research Center (SRC), the
Center for Research on Utilization of
Scientific Knowledge (CRUSK), the
Research Center for Group Dynamics
(RCGD) and the Center for Political
Studies (CPS).
ISR is essentially financially in-
dependent of the University. It's
usually up to the individual project
director to come up with the funds for
his research. The finances are most of-
ten obtained from private donations or
from the federal government.
The Survey Research Center (SRC)

'archers chart societal patterns

is the largest part of ISR, with a staff
between 200 and 300 in Ann Arbor, and
an additional 300 field interviewers
working all over the nation.
SRC researchers belong to just about
all of thfe social science fields including
economics, sociology, and psychology.
As the name of the center implies, SRC
concentration on sampling sections of
the population concerning some par-
ticular subject and then analyzing the
results of the survey.
One major study of the center that
deals with some causes and remedies of
poverty will be conducted for the 14th
time this year. "We know a lot about
what makes people poor," remarked
Stephen Withey, director of SRC.
The Center for Political Studies
(CPS) focuses on political science
research. During every election year
since 1948 the center has conducted the
National Election Studies. These public
opinion surveys are used in American
government classes across the country.
Most of the senior researchers in CPS
are political science professors. "The
research they do here feeds right back
into the classroom. There is a very
definite loop," said Howland, who
works at CPS.
Other studies CPS is involed with in-
clude research projects on inter-
national politics and international

organizations, and comparative sur-
veys in Europe and the United States
contrasting attitudes toward national
symbols, authority figures and political
Social psychology is the special focus
on the Group Dynamics Center. "The
combination of a research institute and
grad program in social psychology is
kind of unique," Director Phillip
Brickman said.

One innovative study being conduc-
ted through Group Dynamics is about
black America. Almost every area of
black life in the United States will be
examined in the comprehensive study.
The fourth component, the Center for
Research on utilization of Scientific
Knowledge (CRUSK), is unlike the
others in that instead of examining cer-
tain discipline, CRUSK projects
evaluate the way research is used.

Special Student Weekend
Bus Service
Between Ann Arbor and Flint -
with stops in Whitmore Lake,
Brighton and Fenton
Tickets and Bus Schedules available at:
" Michigan Union (U.M.) 1stfloor " Ann Arbor THs Stfaion
State Street, 662-4431 Corner off. Huron A Main
Bus Pick-ups at above locations
For charter service information:
CALL (313) 552-4260
12154 N. Saginaw Rd.
Cilo, Michigan 48420

7 6 0 1 S.Vor e s 9 9 5mo8 1 81


Campus political groups

(Continued from Page 1)
OTHER GROUPS former to attempt
to solve a number if specific issues:
* At least two groups work on tenants'
rights cases in the city, where housing
is a scarce commodity.
* A COALITION of citizens formed to
protect the University's financial in-

vestment in companies that do business
in South Africa. The group contends
that if the University sells the stocks it
owns in companies that do business in
South Africa, the action will in turn
prod the American companies to put
pressure on the South African gover-
nment ot change its system of racial

Largest selection of all types of music in
Ann Arbor, including the best classical
music department.
2.- Absolutely the fairest return policy in town.
Most knowledgeable and helpful sales staff.
Music of featured artists each week at
special prices.
Two Cmunie4 £f ciU=a-W& 4e84 oaf cea " campa


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