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November 06, 1979 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-06

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, November 6, 1979-Page25

NEW PIRGIM GROUP FIGHTS HOUSING WOES
Task orce aids troubled tenants

By AMY DIAMOND
Traditionally, tenant organizations
have taken two routes to confront what
they see as Ann Arbor's housing
problems.
One has been through community
organizing. It has proved to be a slow
and tedious process.
The second route often taken has
been through local and state legislation.
Now, in an effort to tackle housing
problems head-on, Ann Arbor's Public
Interest Research Group in Michigan
(PIRGIM) has formed a housing task
force that will combine the two ap-
proaches.
ACCORHING TO task force Coor-
dinator Richard Levick, the new
method of combining top-down
organizing with community organizing
has never been tried with success. But
he said he is optimistic.
"Most tenant organizing in the past
has consisted of top-down organizing
which consists of a few individuals per-
ceiving the problem and then working
on a solution through legislation. The
problem in community organizing is
that it is a slow process because you
need massive education and
organizing. But the community decides

what the problem is going to be," said
Levick.
Levick serves as Campus Programs
Coordinator for Ann Arbor PIRGIM and
Oakland University's PIRGIM. He was
coordinator and spokesperson for
Maryland's PIRG's tenant project

In addition to the pending legislation,
the housing task force has begun efforts
in long term community organizing by
talking with members of Ann Arbor's
clergy and community organizations,
particularly the Salvation Army.
"THE GREATEST difference with this

'The first step to be taken is to get people to
understand that there is a better way.'
-Richard Levick, coordinator of the Ann Arbor
PIRGIM housing task force
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force) will be working with the Tenants
Union hasn't been decided, but I'm
going to feel them out to see which
issues they're interested in," Levick
said.
The coordinator speculated that the
Tenants Union would be interested in
working together on selective rent
striking, tenant law legislationand a
tenants hotline.
"The first step to be taken is to get
people to understand that there is a bet-
ter way," Levick said.
The task force has suggested
workshops, a petitioning drive, and
photographing housing violations after
houses have been inspected. The group
is also planning to release a pamphlet
on how landlords make profits.
Finally, the task force hopes to hold
an open hearing in February to which
city council members will be invited
along with University officials and
housing inspectors to listen to in-
dividual tenants talk about their
housing problems.
"People who are interested in
housing will come to the open hearing
and we'll find out who the core group
is," Levick said.-

before coming to Ann Arbor in Septem-
ber.
The task force has three pieces of
legislation before the state legislature:
" The Security Deposit Bill to give in-
terest rates on security deposits to ren-
ters;
" The Retalitory Eviction Bill to
prohibit landlords from evicting tenan-
ts for joining tenant organizations, and;
" The Just-Cause Eviction Bill, which
lists specific reasons a landlord can
use to evict a tenant, to prevent
capricious evictions.

method is that there is always the per-
ception of short term change and com-
munity organizing has to be done. It has
to be a constant process because
student housing is so transient," said
Levick.
Levick was also optimistic about
forming a coalition with other housing
organizations to achieve the group's
goals. In addition to the 15 members of
PIRGIM's housing task force, Levick
said there will be 15 people from the
Tenants Union working on the project.
"How closely we (the housing task

'U' study: I
By TIMOTHY YAGLE
Industrial accident research falls un-
der many labels - "human
engineering" and "biomechanics," for
example. Today this research attracts
experts in such fields as psychology,
occupational health, physiology, and
physical education, according to a
University engineering professor.
"In the engineering field, education
traditionally focused on how chemical,
mechanical, and electrical components
function. But these hardware com-
ponents are combined into systems in-
volving humans. Unfortunately,
engineers often sidestepped the human
components in planning and designing
systems," explained Prof. Donald
Chaffin, chairman of the Department of
Industrial Operations Engineering at
the University.
UNIVERSITY researcher Paul
Green, the first of only two people at the
University to receive a doctorate in

M'achines n
both industrial and operations
engineering and psychology, said he
believes the inability of many
mechanical systems to meet human
needs is a reflection of the traditional
narrow scope of scientific fields.
"Engineers rarely consider human
factors (when designing machines),
while psychologists and physiologists
would not be attuned to mechanical
considerations," Green stated in a
recent study. e
Such inadequate design tends to
frustrate workers and leads to an in-
crease in the risk of on-the-job injury,
Chaffin explained.
ENGINEERS MUST be instilled with
specific knowledge on how humans
react in various operating conditions,
Chaffin added. "Studying machines is
not sufficient - students must learn
about person-machine systems," he
said.
Chaffin is also director of the Univer-

eglect human element
sity's Human Performance and Safety reports claim that human error -
Research Laboratory, one of the stemming from poorly designed
largest such facilities in the country. equipment and instruments - con-
Under grants from the National In- tributed to the nuclear accident at
stitute for Occupational Safety and Three Mile Island.
Health and other sponsors, the lab in- IN STUDYING a wide range of in-
vestigates how improved juries, Chaffin and others have
mechanization, procedures, and layout discovered that lower back problems
in factory settings can reduce oc- consistently have been the most
cupational injury and disease as well as disabling, while hand and wrist injuries
improve productivity. are the most frequent problems.
These are some examples the resear-"
chers cited: EA j :
" In many industrial plants, the
wheels on carts used to haul equipment
are so small they get caught in cracks GMAT *i+ .
or dirt on the floor, causing workers to
slip and overexert themselves;
. The handle of a popular tool, the
locking, or "vice grip," wrench, opens
to a position so wide it is almost im-NT ENG B OR
possible for many people, particularly Flexible Programs & Hours
women, to grip it properly. T,rs a derence.
. Some governmental and news

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LSA faculty review renovations

By ADRIENNE LYONS
LSA Assoc. Dean for Research Paul
Rasmussen ticked off major physical
changes in progress or in the planning
stages for the college at the monthly
LSA faculty meeting yesterday after-
noon.
Rasmussen said a tight college
budget has kept renovations to a
minimum. He said last year the college
spent $517,480 on physical improvemen-
ts.
RASMUSSEN PRESENTED a slide
show of various buildings on campus
where major renovations have been, or
will be, completed. One major
renovation is at the Edward H. Kraus
Natural Science Building, where
several laboratories are undergoing ex-
tensive refurbishment. Also,
Rasmussen said, the building's ven-
tilation system is being repaired.
The Chemistry building has also un-
dergone extensive renovations on an in-
take duct on the building's roof which
recycled noxious fumes back into the
building, Rasmussen said. In addition,
he said, a Chemical Containment Lab is
under construction on the fifth floor
which would recycle the more toxic
chemicals in the same room.
R Other areas under repair include a
shop in the back of Randall Hall, a
photo lab in Kelsey Museum, and the
English Composition Board headquar-
ters in Angell Hall. The college is also
combining the libraries of the Cass Cen-
ter for Afro-American and African
Studies and the Center for Research
and Development in the Old Architec-
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ture and Design Building.
Rasmussen noted that repairs on the
heating system in Tappan Hall have
been completed, but that a project for
renovating the Fine Arts Library is at a
standstill. This project would include
an addition to the building on the north
side, making it even with the side of the
Museum of Art and the President's
House on South University Avenue.
Rasmussen also told the faculty of
future physical moves by four LSA
departments. Because the former
Journalism Department merged this

year with the former Speech Depar-
tment, forming the Communications
Department, Journalism will move
from the LSA building to the Frieze
Building. The Theater Department will
move from its present location to
another place in the same building,
Rasmussen said. Also, the Computer
and Communication Sciences depar-
tment will move into the Anthropology
Department's office in Angell Hall,
while Anthropology will occupy the old
Journalism offices. Rasmussen said all
moves will be completed next summer.

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