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October 14, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-14

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Page 4-Sunday, October 14, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Niney Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No. 34 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

GM's campaign for Detroit
By Luther Jackson

'Truth-in-testing' law
beneficial to all students

A NEW YORK state law signed by
Governor Hugh Carey in July
was designed to crack the wall of
secrecy currently surrounding the
standardized testing equipment in this
codntry. The state's so-called "truth-
in-testing" law would-when it goes in-
to effect in January 1980 -force
the testers to make all the current an-
swer available on request, to
eliminate their virtual monopoly over
the fate of almost a quarter of a million
New York students every year.
But now the college entrance
examination board-unable to beat the
law through intense lobbying-has
decided to use outright force and a
combination of scare tactics to
systematically violate the rights of
New York students. The Board has an-
nounced that once the truth in testing
law takes effect; it will cut back the
number of times during the year when
the test is administered. The
move-alleged as a cost-cutting
measure-is a deliberate attempt to
disenfranchise many handicapped
students who depend on the
availability of alternate testing days,
and many other students who cannot
take the test on Saturdays for religious
reasons. This heavy-handed response
to a much-needed law is indicative of
the Board's current monopoly over the
tests and the results, and %its
willingness to resort to any means to
maintain that monopoly of secrecy.
Unfortunately, the Board's actions
follow a pattern of similar responses
from the testers in New York. The
Medical College Admission Test was
the first to come out combative, an-

nouncing immediately after the bill
was signed that the MCAT would no
longer be administered in the state of
New York, if the law goes into effect.
That move-by far the most
drastic-will affect thousands of New
Yorkers who will be forcedtb go to the
New Jersey of Connecticut testing cen-
Also, the state department of
education said last week that 20 out of
26 colleges and graduate schools will
follow the MCATs lead, and pull their
admission tests out of New York rather
than allow a public scrutiny of their
Such an overwhelmingly negative
response from the testers-negative to
the point of forcing thousands of
students to suffer-only raises the
suspicion currently surrounding the
standardized test-givers and what it is
they really have to hide. Their fear of
opening up their testing procedures to
the public is so"intense as to force them
to take such unwarranted, hardline
steps, is in itself enough to justify the
need for truth in testing.
Efforts by other states and by the
federal government to enact other
truth in testing laws must not be
deterred by the threats and tactics of
the testers in New York. In the short-
term, some students will suffer from.
the adverse reaction of the testers. But
public disclosure of information so
vital to the futures of so many is a right
too fundamental to be compromised.
Truth in testing will require honesty,
balance, and fairness in testing, and
public scrutiny is the best, if not the
only way to secure those basic

DETROIT-When General
Motors begins works soon on a
decaying apartment building at
100 Seward in downtown Detroit,
it will mark the beginning of a
multi-million dollar
revitalization campaign in the
city's neighborhoods.
GM, whose mammoth world
headquarters literally casts a
shadow over the area, sees the
project as a small experiment in
a grand design: a longterm plan
to help revitalize city neigh-
borhoods in which the company
has a major presence.
"WE WANT TO demonstrate
that a private corporation can
bring its management skills and
financial tools to help solve the
problems of the city," said GM's
Robert Gregory.
But at 100 Seward; Wanda
Brown and her two children will
have to look for another place to
live. If she stayed in her present
building after it was renovated,
she could payas much as $400
a month instead of the $140 she
pays now.
"I don' feel that bad about
leaving," he said. "But it seems
like while we were here they
could have done some im-.
provements, instead of just fixing
it up and then letting rich white
people move into it. That's what
they're doing."
becoming an actor in a national
drama as inner city housing
skyrockets in value and the mid-
dle class returns to buy it up. In
the past, the moving force was
the federal government,
sweeping through downtown
districts with massive urban
renewal campaigns. But in
Detroit, that role is now being
assumed by major coporations.
General Motors is contributing
$1.3 million to the project, a sum
which will be matched by a cor-
porate group including Ford,
Burroughs, several Detroit
banks, and Trizec, a Canadian
After years of sitting in its
mammoth Alfred Kahn-designed
headquarters with is back to the
ghetto, GM has become quickly
visible. To be sure, the New Cen-
ter project will still receive sub-
stantial help from the.gover-
nmentincluding a $3.4 million
Urban Development Action
Grant for street and landscape
improvements. GM, however,
now' says it is committed to
solving the problems of neigh-
"We've done so many things
from the community standpoint
to get better acquainted and to
support the neighborhood," said
GM's Albert Hastings.
AMONG THESE gestures have
been a disco party held on a
vacant lot and attended by com-
munity residents and GM em-
ployees. GM has worked with the
administration of a local elemen-
tary school to set up a playground
and a cold lunch program. The
corporation now "communicates
with the community" with a mon-
thly newsletter.
Typical of its efforts was a

Daily ePoto

clean-up program for neigh-
borhood children. GM said that
all children participating in the
program would go on a boat trip
on the Detroit River.
"I'm still paying the bill off on
that one," chuckled Hastings.
GM sees the New Center
development, involving
rehabilitation of 125 single family
homes and 175 apartment units,
as a testing laboratory. The firm
is looking at more than one hun-
dred other plant cities where it's
neighborhood revitalization con-
cept might also be employed.
GM OFFICIALS say they want
to -prove that their corporate
program is more effective than
the federal urban programs of
the 1960's.
Sdme area residents are
delighted with the GM plan.
Eileen Eck, who lives in an apar-
tment building on Seward that
GM has not purchased, is looking
forward to the proposed four-
year project.
"I think it's great," she said. "I
have my name in for one of the
(soon to be renovated)}houses."
WITH ALL the benefits the.
people of the New Center could
realize from the area's
revitalization, GM was a little
miffed, said Hastings, when a
community organizing group
came to Detroit to unite the
neighborhood's residents against
the GM plan.
The Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now
(ACORN), a national group
which was founded in ;Arkansas
in 1970, has organized two neigh-
borhood groups in the New Cen-
ter area which have fought GM
every step of the way.
"We all want to see progress,"
said Claudia Corbin, an area ar-
tist who joined an ACORN-spon-
sored group.
"We have never taken a
position against the General
Motors development," she said.
"What we have taken a position

against is the way they have been
treating the residents that live
"THE PEOPLE who live in the
community are ignored com-
pletely in the planning," she said.
"They're planning for who is
going to be here; they could care
less about who lives here already
or who is going to have to be
moved out."
The displacement of poor
residents by the upgraded and
more costly housing is a problem
that is plaguing many cities
where government or corporate
financed revitalization projects
are underway-
"The old urban theory," said'
Konrad Perlman of the federal
Department of Housing and
Community Development,
"assured that as higher income
people sought new residences
further and further out of the city
they would leave housing for the
poor. Well, it's reversed itself."
SO FAR, NO one has suggested
that this prdcess, known as "gen-
trification" will have a serious
impact on the demographics of
the New Center area.
"We're talking about 125 homes
out of 500 or 600 homes," said
GM's Albert Hastings of the
firm's renovation plans. "We're
talking about 175 apartment units
out of 1,200 to 1,500 available.
"We're displacing one per cent
of the area's population," he said.
In addition, GM argues, the
remaining residents will reap the
benefits of the entire project.
"THE BASIC question is do you
want to let things remain as they
are," said Hastings, "or is there
a way to keep the integrated
structure of income and people
living in the neighborhood and
improve that neighborhood so
that you can walk down the alley
and know you're not going to get
De'pite GM's good intentions,
ACORN alone was responsible
for making sure that displaced

people had federal relocation
assistance. Through relentless
pressure, ACORN has even got-
ten GM to consier setting up a job
bank for local residents.
"I think we're going to have
built in an opportunity for people
of all income levels to live in this)
neighborhood," said GM's;
Gregory, "which is different.
from Indian Village, Boston-
Edison and other areas in the city.
which are being revitalized."
INDIAN VILLAGE, on the east
side, and the West Canfield area'
were cited in a study by the
National Urban Coalition as
areas where displacement of the,
elderly was pervasive.
In the long run, the New Center
project will never have the effect
that renovation had iii
Washington and other Easterr(
citites, said John Musial of
the Center for Urban Studies at
Wayne State.
"In the GM area itself we're
only talking about a few hundred
families," he said. "A few hun-
dred is not enough to cancel the
several hundred that have moved
out (of Detroit)."
On the other hand, said staffer
Sandra Garz of Philadelphia's
City Planning Commission,
"even though the GM project
may be small it's still a
significant statement in terms of
institutional commitment to an
"If that catches on and enough
people have confidence in it, they
may end up reinvesting in the
area," she said. "Once that!
become a fad or chic in any par-;
ticular area it has a snowball ef-.
Luther Jackson covers ur-
ban affairs for the Detroit
Free Press.

The Umon' s 75th

A REN'T col-
.lege stu- -- -
dents supposed e
to hang out at I
the stu dent
At other uni-
versities the J
student union
is a place to meet friends, drink coffee,
act intellectual and plan parties.
But the Michigan Union, celebrating
its 75th birthday this week, is not such
a place, although a strong effort is un-
derway to make the Union a more at-
tractive, lively spot to gather.
In January, students lobbied suc-
cessfully to get the University's Board
of Regents to pass two major Union
changes, Management' responsibilities
for the Union were transferred from
the Union's old Board of Governors to
the Office of Student Services. Mean-
while, a 24-member task force, half of
whom are students, was created to
study ways to brighten up the Union.

Secondly, the Regents decided to
convert the bulk of the upstairs rooms
in the eastern section of the building
from hotel rooms to dormitory quar-
ters for older students.
All students are assessed $2.65 per
term to pay for changes in the Union.
The task force is considering other
changes in the Union, such as in-
stalling an upgraded snack bar, ex-
panding the 'U' Cellar, and creating
additional space for student
organizations upstairs.
The Union already offers a barber-
shop, the 'U' Cellar book store, a
bowling alley and a billiards hall.
There is also a box office, an art
gallery, theater productions and
In spite of the revitalization attem-
pts, it will be the casual 'hanging out,'
which students do so well, that will
make the Union a students' Union.
All week the Union will be
celebrating its 75th anniversary-go
over and check it out.

Pope John Paul II's visit set
a new turn of history in motion

-- '
t ., - yl

4 --


By Frank Mirga
In the visit of Pope John Paul II to the
United States, there is meaning for the human
spirit as well as journalistic meaning. In the
oldest Christian tradition Karol Wojtyla is not
merely a Polish bishop, nor the monarch of a
tiny state, Vatican City. His flesh, nerves and
mind, even his handshake and his eyes,
represent a special presence of God's grace in
Karol Wojtyla stands in a line of represen-
tatives of Jesus to his people that goes backto
Simon Peter, the apostle, during those days in
Galliee when Christ walked on earth.
OBVIOUSLY, NOT all Christians accept
Wojtyla in this role. Those who are not
Catholic, or those who do not believe in God at
all, will perceive and judge him in other ter-
ms. However, it is quite useful to see him as
he understands his role in order to judge the
meaning of his words, gestures and acts.
The Pope told an American reporter in
Rome during mid-September that he would
come to the United States not only to greet
Catholics, nor even all Christians, but rather
to carry affection and esteem to all persons of
goodwill. He urged all Catholics to pray and
prepare themselves for the visit to provide

Poland electrified millions in his country who
are not Christians. The sight of such spiritual
power in Poland, an officially Marxist state,
opened many eyes to an unexpected weakness
in Marxism.
By reputation, America is a "consumer
society," steeped both in democratic values
and materialism. To this, the Pope wished to
address a sense of what lies far beneath the

'John Paul H symbolizes the early impetus
of western civilization. His name calls to mind
John and Paul, apostles to the ancient cities of
Jerusalem, Antioch, Byzantium, Alexandria,
A thens and Rome.'

the entire history of the West for the past two=
thousand years.
The teaching of Christianity proclaims that
God's sending of Jesus to the world did not
destroy the laws of nature. In the midst of"
many human sorrows, God sent hidden.
grace-love and fortitude, hope and mer-
cy-as a creative agent. "Politics begins in
mysticism, and mysticism awaits its end in
politics" the poet Charles Peguy wrote. The



,, ', 1

surface-a depth of prayer and watchfulness,
fidelity and hope. Alfred North Whitehead on-
ce wrote the rise of science in the West is in-
conceivable apart from three profound con-
victions nourished for a thousand years by the
Christian church: that one God created all

life of the spirit is impossible to report. Sooner
or later, however, the spirit erupts into ac-
tion, builds institutions, charts new direl-
The Pope's visit has made the news. But tf
the visit strikes as deeply as he hopes-if
millnt ofhnnvdc. or nnpnoaA to the rativp

,r "'


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