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February 14, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-14

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Wage 4-Wednesday, February 14, 1979-The Michigan Daily

BAM strike: Behind the move that shook the 'U'

Second in a series The importance of generating ts in the cla
widespread support for a strike cannot them "our kin
Was the BAM strike a success? be overemphasized. As Yates put it, "It them for refu
There is no question that the strike wasn't so much students missing and long-hair
here is profn q ton the sie- classes that put pressure on the Univer- that day, du
had a profound impact on the Univer- sity, but the fact that so much of the stopped his
sity. The University community was University constituency came out University i
Silted opprtuniies for blac k st uenr strongly behind BAM. The faculty and hood, and said
limied opportunisrtiefo blckstiuents student support of BAM was perceived
here. The adminstration continually as being surprisingly strong." For
claimed they supported BAM's goals example, Regent Gerald/)unn felt that
but opposed its tactics and insistence about 75% of the University supported
that something be done immediately. BAM.
Most of the people we interviewed All of our sources agreed that the
think the strike was successful. Among strike was a success, and garnered as
members of BAM, there was very little much support in the University as it th
dissatisfaction with the outcome. Ac- did, because BAM's demands were
cording to BAM member J. Frank perceived as being morally right. to
Yates, although a few of their minor
K demands were rejected, "BAM wasn't BAM'S PRIMARY tactic throughout i
*too .bothered by these shortcomings ; the strike was to picket key University
they did get everything of substance buildings. But their key tactic, accor-
they wanted. The Regents naturally did ding to many of the people we inter- b
not want to capitulate on everything." viewed, was to force the faculty to take
d In fact, two of the "rejected" demands, viewed wa toe te faut to take
the black suetcneadnoa stand on the strike. From the start, j
student center and no BAM worked to enlist the support of
reprisals against strikers, were essen= other groups, particularly the Univer-
tially satisfied. One year after the sity AFSCME chapter and student ac- m
a strike, the Regents established Trotter tivist groups. Until the faculty voted to
House which remains in 1979 an active provide monetary support out of their is
black student center on campus. And departmental budgets, the ad-
there were no reprisals against strikers ministration claimed it could not afford
as the administration probably realized the BAM demands.
Sthat it had nothing to gain by reprisals o
which would have kept the issue alive. on
BAM employed a few other tactics
that merit attention. On March 20th,
w ALTHOUGH THE administration someone 'lost' a contact lens in front of
1 had already been moving in the general the Union at the intersection of State
R direction of increased funding for and S. University. Traffic was snarled trouble." Soo
'minority enrollment, they had been for about an hour while a group of BAM stopped in the
'.moving quite slowly. If BAM had not supporters crawled around on their hoods up, and
threatened a class strike, the ad- hands and knees in the intersection. To asking byst
ministration would surely never have dramatize the conflict, three BAM anything abou
come up with a proposal for increasing members dressed in KKK garb, en- Throughou
black enrollment to 10% by 1973. tered a class and applauded the studen- ministration
Glbe AIIUtIIan vBailj
A20 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 113 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
:sLongr bus hour's welcome

ss for attending, calling
nd of people" and thanking
using to support "niggers
red communists." Later
ring rush hour, a student
car in the State and S.
ntersection, opened his
d that he was having "car

ted the BAM goals, but that the Univer-
sity couldn't afford to fund them. Where
then did it get the money? According to
President Fleming and others, funding
for black enrollment up to 7% came
primarily from student fees through a
tuition increase. Additional funding to
achieve 10% black enrollment was to

"The lesson that we think is
ear from the BAM strike is
Oat the only way for students

get the University


to m ake


udgetary committments for a
rogram is to demonstrate
assive support. A class strike
evidently an effective way to
o this and possibly the only
ze readily available to students."

towayd black student support and
financial aid. Also, a rapid increase in
the last couple of years in federal funds
for post-secondary education and
financial aid has made it highly
unlikely that any funds will ever have to
be diverted from academic budgets for
financial aid.
THE LONG-TERM outcome of the
BAM strike might lead one to question
the strike's overall effectiveness. Black
enrollment increased from 3.5% in 1970
to 7.3% in 1973, but It has since then
remained near the 1973 level-and it ac-
tually dropped below 7% in 1977-due to
a relatively high black attrition rate.
BAM no longer exists-and in the ab-
sence of a powerful force such as BAM
it is uncertain whether the University
will continue to work to achieve 10%.
black enrollment. The administration's
announcement last month of a new
black recruitnent program is a step in
the right direction-but it fails to ad-
dress the problem of the high black at-
trition rate. And, in the words of George
Goodman, Director of the Opportunity
Program, "More important than in-
creasing the number of minority
students is improving the retention
The lesson that we think is clear from
the BAM strike is that the only way for
students to get the University .ad-
ministration to make major budgetary
commitments for a program is to
demonstrate massive support. A class
strike is evidently an effective way to
do this-and possibly the only one
readily available to students. With
BAM the administration made some
minor concessions before the strike, but
it took a strong show of student and

faculty support, including the class
strike, before the administration was
willing to accept the BAM demands.
From this perspective, it is in-
teresting to consider last year's
ongoing controversy over the Univer-
sity's financial links to South Africa.
The administration has made minor
concessions toward the ' demand for
total divestiture of holdings in cor-
porations with investments in South
Africa. But untiland unless the suppor-
ters of total divestiture are 'able to
demonstrate much stronger and
broader support than they have so
far-support which can probably only
be shown through a class strike-the
administration is not likely to make any
further concessions. It is almost as if
the decision-making apparatus at the
University of Michigan were inten-
tionally set up to frustrate students and
encourage them to organize class
The making of the budget
This series of articles on decison-
making at the University of Michigan
has been adapted from al research
report titled "Conflict and Power
On The Campus: Studies\In The
Political Economy of the University
of Michigan, " written by. Andy
Brown, Harley Frazis, Jim Robb,
Mike Taylor, Eitan, Yanich, and
Tom Weisskopf.
The two articles on the BA M,
strike were written by Eitan Yanich.

on there were five cars
intersection all with their
thedrivers milled around,
anders if they "knew
ut cars."
ut the strike, the ad-
claimed that they suppor-

come from school and departmental
However, the University has not
followed through on its commitment.
Black enrollment hasn't exceeded 7%
so the University has presumably not
yet had to divert any academic funds

'U' needs student regent

SL AST WEEK, the University
decided to fund extension of three
more late night bus runs to North
Campus with the last bus leaving
Washtenaw each night at 2:15 a.m. in-
stead of 12:30. We enthusiastically
support this extension because the
later hours give students on North
Campus more time to spend on Central
Campus activities.
Students living on North Campus
have always been confronted with the
University-imposed curfew which has
been discriminative by forcing them to
leave central campus by 12:30 a.m.
This extension gives greater
flexibility to students planning
weekend activities with friends on Cen-
tral Campus. Students also face safety
risks while walking late at night when
a bus to North Campus is not available.
While we applaud this move, we feel
K it is long overdue. In fact, it is clear
that without the strong lobbying efforts
-t -
V r

of the Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA), the University would not have
considered the extension. MSA made
many contacts with transportation and
administration officials and provided
$900 for a trial extension of hours from
Nov. 13 to Dec. 15 last term.
The administration should also be
congratulated for cooperating with
MSA by providing one-half the funds
during the trial period. Now the
University is subsidizing $3,000 for the
extension which will provide services
temporarily until April 27. We strongly
urge that the service be extended for
the whole school year, and be made a
permanent part of the Transportation
Services budget.
While the extra hours 'increase
University bus service by 15 per cent,
they would add only two per cent to the
Transportation Services budget.
We hope that future University
decisions will follow this example and
meet the needs of students.

Three and a half months ago,
several of my "liberal" friends
and I were discussing the can-
didates for the November
statewide election.
We were discussing the pros
and cons of the incumbent Regen-
ts, Paul Brown (D-Petoskey) and
James Waters (D-Muskegon),
when one of my friends in the
group strongly suggested that a
student should be given a spot on
the board.
"BLASPHEMY!" I cried.'.
"What is all this craziness? I then
went into a long, rambling speech
about how nice it would be to
have a student among the eight
top decision-makers in the
University, but how impractical
the whole idea actually was. For
instance, a student would never
be elected on the statewide ballot.
And besides, he or she would be
responsible for absorbing very
complex issues, such as
budgeting and long-term plan-
ning for the University.
"Could a mere student, among
businessmen and lawyers,
possibly understand all the
technical work to be done?" I
But the group overruled me,
and insisted that a student regent
is viable.
NOW, LONG after the election
and many regents' decisions
later, I have changed my mind on
the issue. After reviewing
thousands of pages of infor-
mation on questions to be faced
by the Regents, I agree that it is,
indeed, difficult for laymen to
understand the facts and figures
presented to the board. It may
take longer - but it can be done.
It would be nice if all the

By Mitch Cantor
Regents were equally well- conflict with student interests.
versed in law and business For example, despite strong
jargon, but to trade that for student support for divesting
student representation is for- corporate funds from South
feiting fairer decisions. Africa, the Regents have still
Unfortunately, there is a group kept the investments there.



have too


adopted policies which directly con-


with student

in terests.


funds fr



g student

for, divesting

University issues, and has access
to all the information, but who
doesn't get a vote.
This would certainly be an im-
provement, but why settle for a
compromise? There is no reason
why a student Regent shouldn't
have a full, and equally strong
voice into all matters.
Those who strongly oppose a
student board member could say
that such a position is' acceptable
should the person be elected. But
this is a clear denial of the
realities of our political system.
It's highly unlikely that either the
Republicans or the Democrats
would nominate a student for the
IN RECENT decisions, several
board members, in discussing the
University issues (like the Union
renovations and the mass dining
hall) said they voted the way they
did because they remember what
it was like when they were
It's all too obvious that this
viewpoint is overlooked too often.
The student shouldn't be em-
phasized in only certain issues,
but all of them.
Under the present system of
regental selection - statewide
election'- a student voice isn't
likely to ever surface. The only
hope is that University ad-
ministrators will someday be fair
enough to suggest one or two of
the eight posts be reserved for a
But of course the recommen-
dation will have to be passed by
the Regents.
Mitch Cantor is a, Night
Editor and covers t/be Regents
for the Daily.





regents have still kept
ments there."

the invest-

of 45,000 students in this state who
have no representation on the
board. It is this student group
which is most drastically affec-
ted by the Regents. '.
IT SEEMS that all too often the
board's main concerns are alum-
ni or administration interests.
Too often, it's forgotten who this
University is for: the students.
The Regents have too often
adopted policies which directly

The board has shown the same
insensitivity to student opinion
with the search for the new
University president. Unwilling
to make a firm commitment to
the 'students, it seems that the
Regents are attempting once
again to silence the student voice
in a vital campus issue.
THERE ARE those who
suggest the possibility of having a
student regent who has input into


To the Daily:
The level of student ignorance
on the U-M campus is becoming
atrocious. The Daily's recent poll
of 200 students suggests that 55
per cent of the student body does
not know the identity of U-M's in-
terim president. Another 13 per
cent are not even aware that
Robben Fleming has left! And we
call ourselves educated and the
cream of the crop. What an ab-
But why should I bother to ad-
dress this problem. Only those
literate enough to read a
newspaper will ever see this let-
ter. The rest of you will go
blithely on in your ignorance. It's
too bad there isn't a grading scale

"Cashing in on 'Animal House',"
exemplifies the igorant commen-
ts that one often notices when
reading the Daily's Sunday
Magazine. I am a member of a
fraternity on Washtenaw, and I
believe that I am not an asshole,
nor do I believe that any of my
fraternity brothers are. The im-
plication that many frater-
nity members are assholes shows
an uninformed, prejudiced point
of view (although I do not deny
the existence of an unusually
small minority). The Greek
System contributes a tremendous
amount to the betterment of this
University and the Ann Arbor
community. I wish to say nothing
more about Tom O'Connell
besides that he seems ignorant
about fraternities. The undeser-
ved "frat-rat" or Tom O'Con-

Perhaps in front of the Student.
Publications Building,..
-Peter J. Petesch,
Chi Phi Fraternity
To the Daily: N
Thank you for your Feb. 10
story on Doug Johnson and the
INFACT boycott against Nestles.
One major correction-the
World Health Organization
(WHO) conference coming up in
October was not asked for by
Nestle. Rather, WHO officials
responding to Sen. Kennedy's
urgings have decided to review
the matter.
Also, the chief WHO
nutritionist has indicated that the
October meeting will not be an of-
ficial conference but rather a get
together of scientists, public
health officials and other people

in countries ill equipped to
properly use it continues to ad-
versely affect the health of
newborns who would survive bet-
ter on mother's milk.
Until Nestle responds more ap-
propriately, the boycott should
continue on Nestle's brands-in-
cluding Stouffers, Crosse and
Blackwell, Swiss Knight cheeses
and others.
-Clair W. Matz
Visiting Scholar
Institute of Public
Policy Studies
Editorials which appear
without a by-line represent a
consensus opinion of the

.cif . / - , JOW

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