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January 05, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-05

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Page 4-Friday, Janyry 5, 1979-The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXIX, NO. 79 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Regents:i Rig
N DECEMBER, the Regents
uncustomarily took an important
stand in favor of the rights of students
by granting the Public Interest
Research Group In Michigan
(PIRGIM) a revised two year contract
with the University. Under the terms
of the agreement, passed at the
December Regent's meeting, PIRGIM
will continue to use the University
billing service to raise revenue. The
privileges will continue as long as
PIRGIM maintains the support of 25
per cent of the students.
For once the Regents recognized the
needs of the student community and
more than tacitly acknowledged the
important role played by PIRGIM. The
group's record in the field of concumer
affairs, ecological concerns, and
tenants' rights has been outstanding.
The Regents acknowledged the
important voice PIRGIM renders the
citizens of the state, the members of
the community, and the students of the
The Regents were wise to lower the
mandatory level of support for
maintenance of the contract from 33.3
per cent to 25 per cent. The former


a " 0

country the "union" is a focal
point of student activity. Its generally
central location makes a union the per-
feet place for students to gather. It
generally provides students with a
place to rendezvous, read, take a light
meal, or merely escape the restric-
tions of dorms or apartments. The
Michign Union, however, is not such a
The atmosphere of the Michigan
Union, by its very nature, is almost an-
ti-student. The ambience which per-
vades every level of this cold structure
is slightly reminiscent of a bus depot.
As any student can testify, there is lit-
tle or nothing about the Union which
would ever create memories of good
times gone by.
To an extent-and to every students'
good fortune-the Regents have ap-
parently become aware of the
inadequacy of the Union as it stands
today. In response to the "Sturgis
Report," a 44-page study of the Union,
the Regents have begun discussion of
changes in' the Union which would
make it more responsive to the needs
and desire of those it was intended to
On November 10 last year, shortly
after the Sturgis Report was released,
we urged the Regents to make the
Union a true student center by giving
all responsibility for its operation to a
board consisting of students, faculty,
and alumni; students would have a
voting majority. This plan would en-
sure that the Union would be operated
mostly for the benefit of students, but
at the same time recognizes the
legitimate interests of faculty and
The Regents at their December
meeting voiced general approval of the
Sturgis Report which recommends
that control of the Union be given to the
Office of Student Services ad-
ministered by University Vice
President for Student Affairs Henry

figure was set in 1972 when the
registration system at the University
was far more centralized, making it
easier for PIRGIM to solicit support
from the University enrollment.
PIRGIM had petitioned for a 22.5 per
cent minimum support requirement
and Regent Paul Brown (D-Petoskey)
introduced this motion at the meeting
only to have it voted down. The 25 per
cent minimum figure was a just
Regents Deane Baker (R-Ann
Arbor) and David Laro (R-Flint) were
the only members of the board to
dissent from approval of the new
contract. Mr. Baker's dissent was
merely a sign of the effectiveness of
PIRGIM in working to protect the just
interests of the student community,
interests of which Mr. Baker and some
members of his party choose to remain
Now that PIRGIM has overcome this
important hurdle that threatened to
block the continuing existence of the
organization, students should do their
part to make sure than they make the
important two dollar voluntary
And wrong
Johnson. This, at least, was a step in
the right direction. It was not all the
Regents could or should have done and
was disappointing. Most infuriorating,
however, was the Regents inability to
accept even the meager Sturgis
The snag 'was the recommendation
to convertUnion's hotel facilities into
dorm rooms, a scarce commodity if
the Regents have not noticed. Regent
Nederlander, Baker, and Roach voiced
concern about the responsibility the
University has to the alumni who use
the Union hotel, especially during the
football season. They also expressed
interest in the Union's commitments to
conventions which have scheduled use
of the Union facilities. The Regents
asked for a detailed report on hotel
renovation costs and alternative plans
for hotel space usage. They tabled all
plans for Union renovation until more
information was available.
As former University President
Robben Fleming said at winter com-
mencement last year, a great univer-
sity must set priorities. It appears that
the Regents rarely have difficulty set-
ting their priorities for the University.
The Union is a perfect example.
Student welfare, as usual, ranks low on
the Regents' list of priorities.
The Regents do have the respon-
sibility to administer the University's
finances, an extremely difficult task
under today's state budget restrictions
and worldwide inflation. And although
the question of Union renovation is
based on finance, it is wrong for the
Regents to weigh the problem on a
monetary scale with little or no regard
for the student factor.
The Union belongs to the students.
Students would not best be served by
maintaining the Union hotel. Rather,

converting the hotel into dorm space
would ease the student housing crunch.
We hope the Regents will reorder their
priorities by the time Union renovation
will again be considered.

American troops in Germany
are in trouble.
Hundreds of young GIs are
using illegal and dangerous
They are turning on by blowing
bowls (smoking hashish),
dropping pills (amphetamines)
and snorting or shooting heroin
that is 20 times stronger than
what American addicts can buy.
As recently as Nov. 12, the
Army denied it had any serious
drug problems in Europe.
But the Army changed its mind
after a Congressional
subcommittee's 11-day fact-
finding tour of U.S. bases in
Germany, where most GIs in
Europe are stationed. The trip
was part of an investigation of
drug abuse in the military by a
subcommittee of the House Select
Committee on Narcotics Abuse
Shortly after the tour, the
Department of Defense issued an
eight-part agreement signed by
the DOD, the Army and Rep.
Glenn English (D-Olka. ),
chairman of the House
In that agreement, the miliary
admits for the first time that drug
abuse in Europe among young
troops has reached such a
dangerous level that unless
"immediate action is taken to
contain" the problem, the ability
of U.S. troops to fight is in grave
The document calls for tougher
inspection and better treatment
programs, for reduction of the
availability of illegal drugs, and
for shortening of tours of duty in
Europe from two to three years
for young GIs to 18 months.
On the first day of the tour,
Gen. George Blanchard,
commander in chief, U.S. Army
in Europe and the Seventh army,
assured the subcommittee that
"this is no army of junkies."
He cited Armys statistics,
based on arrests, surveys ard
admissions to drug treatment
programs, which indicated 7.5
percent of the 200,000 troops in
Europe used hard drugs like
heroin. The most frequent users,
blanchard said, were soldiers
under 25. Of the 105,000 troops in
that group, the Army estimates
12.5 percent use hard drugs and
31 percent smoke hashish.
But thewsubcommittee's
findings showed double and
sometimes triple the Army's
Based upon interviews with
about 1,000 soldiers chosen at
random from a cross-section of
bases, thersubcommittee found 20
to 30 percent of soldiers age 25
and younger admitting frequent
hard drug use and 80 to 90 percent
admitting hashish use-often
while on duty.
If the subcommittee's figures
are accurate, 26,250 of the 105,000
troops under age 25 are hard drug
users and 84,000 soldiers use
hashish regularly (at least twice
a week).
Chipping Heroin
on Duty
"There are nine users in my
unit now," an officer from the
317th Engineer Battalion near
Frankfurt told the subcommittee.
"That's not bad, there were 60
when I took over a year ago."
"I have 146 soldiers," said a
commander of the famed Berlin
Brigade, the cream of the
American troops, in Europe. "I
know 10 of them are using heroin

and two of those men, in my
opinion, are addicts. I believe 64
to 70 percent of my men smoke
hashish regularly."
"Sure, I blow a bowl every once
in a while on duty," confided a GI
stationed at a Hawk Air Defense

unit near the East German
border. "I chip heroin (use on
weekends) too because there ain't
much else to do around here, but I
still am a damn good soldier."
As a member of the Hawk unit,
that soldier had a 24 hour
emergency schedule. He would
work 24 hours and then take off
24 hours. While on duty, he was
expected to be ready for combat
in two hours.
Gen. Joseph Means, who is
responsible for Hawk units and
all air defenses in Europe, says
such confessions scare him.
"My troops must be ready for
immediate action," he said. "We
are the first line of defense and
when troops use drugs and
alcohol they cannot be effective
and alert.
"It frightens me to think that
some soldiers in my command
who are responsible for complex
and dangerous weapons might be
intoxicated or high."
English says it's amazing
serious mishaps have not occurred
because soldiers on duty have
been high. "Officers aren't
trained to deal with drug abuse
problems," he said. "It's to their
credit that something
embarrassing has not
Much of the data leading to the
8-part agreement came from
testimony before the
subcommittee during two days of
hearings at Stuttgart.
Too Broke To
Go Out-
Two former drug addicts, who
had not used drugs before they
joined the Army and were sent
here, painted a grim picture of
the world of young GIs in
For many soldiers, this is the
first overseas tour, the first two

An army of junkies
First in a three part series
By. E. N. Earley

or three-year assignment away
from home. But the exciting life
in Europe promised them by
recruiters never appears, the two
G ITs said.
Instead, young soldiers grow
homesick and depressed. They ae
surrounded by people who do not
speak their language. And their
paychecks have shrunk so much
in value they can not afford a
night on the town even at the
sleazy bars-some of the only
German nightclubs that will
accept GIs.
But drugs are cheap and
plentiful. Many amphetmaines
are sold at drug stores without
So at night, when the officers go
home to their familes, the young,
single soldiers crawl into bed
with their stereo headphones
deafening their ears. Many
smoke, snort and shoot dope.
At the hearings, an officer
testified that 70 per cent of the
soldiers being recruited today
admit they previously have used
soft drugs such as marijuana
while another 50 per cent admit
they have used drugs like heroin.
Another officer revealed that
once a soldier is caught using or
selling drugs, he is referred to the
Army's treatment program, but
is not removed form his duty
assignment unless he is a
military policeman.
"You mean a soldier on drugs
is allowed to continue his
assignment even if it's a crucial
job?" English asked.
When English asked why, he
was told the military does not
have enough soldiers to replace
the ones usuing drugs.
A spokesman for U.S. Army
Manpower and Reserve Affairs,
Dr. Sue Dueitt, who was assigned
by the Pentagon to aid the
subcommittee, put it much more
simply: "If the Army were to
remove all the troops in Europe

using drugs, there wouldn't be
any Army in Germany."
"This -raises some grave
questions about the all volunteer
Army," English said. "Are
recruiters, who are having
trouble, meeting quotas anyway,
bringing in more and more
questionable people? Are we
filling up the service with drug
offenders who can not cut it
anywhere else?"
Honorable Discharges
for Dealers
The subcommittee also said it
will examine the army's
discharge policy. Currently a
soldier caught selling or using
drugs is given an honorably
discharge with full benfits if
dismissed, no matter how long-
her serves.
Sgt. Major Willie Brown, a 36-
year Army veteran, told the:
subcommittee drug abuse is
nothing new among soldiers.
"I had 14 heroin addicts under
my command during Korea," he
said. "They were unreliable, bit,
nobody paid them much mind'
because they were black. Now:
it's a white problem too and,
everyone is upset."
Curiously, there is a difference.
in the way GIs of different races:
take their junk. Blacks tend to:
shoot up while whites sniff,:
soldiers told the visitors from
Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (RIl
N.Y.) called for immediate
action by the'military, not only,
for a strong national defense, but -
also because he says he is tired of:
answering a reoccurring:
"I'm tired of having mothers
call me and say 'What did you do
to my son?';.
"'When he joined the Army he
was a nice lad, but you sent him:
back a junkie.'
"How could it happen?"
E. N. Earley, Washington,
D.C.-based correspondent for
the Tulsa Tribune,
accompanied Rep. Glenn
English (D-Okla.) on a House
subcommittee fact-finding
tour of U.S. bases in
Germany, investigating drug
abuse. The subcommittee's

Former University President Robben Fleming 's
remarks at Commencement, December 1978

This is, as you have been told,
the last time I shall preside over
a Commencement at The
University of Michigan, and the
last time that my wife and I will
meet you at a reception
afterwards. We have very mixed
emotions about all this. On the
one hand, there is a certain
amount of relief that someone
lese is about to assume the
burdens of the office. And on the
other hand, there is nostalgia that
we are about to leave the
academic world which has been
so good to us and in which we
have spent practically all of our
adult lives. There is, of course,
also excitment that we are
entering a new arena which holds
so much promise but which also
has many problems. And there is
sadness about leaving the
community which we have grown
to love, and in which, despite
many difficulties, we have been
treated with great kindness.
It occurs to me that we are not

There is nothing like a
resignation to elevate one to the
position of acknowledged
statesmanship! One's past sins
tend to be overlooked after
departure is a confirmed fact,
one's dubious decisions mellow in
perspective, and virtues
previously only dimly recognized
suddenly assume grandoise
proportions. Though those of you
who are finishing school are
hardly at a point to resign just as
you are starting your careers, I
recommend it to you at some
later point.
If you will indulge me for a few
minutes, I do want to make some
observations on university life as
I leave it. There are, in my view,
some basic principles which
ought to govern universities and I
would like to briefly state a few of
First, and perhaps most
important, is the fact that a great
university must be a free
marketplace for ideas.

freedom is so important that we
can pay some price in accepting
indignities, discourtesies, and
momentary aberrations in
conduct in return for a principle
which will endure if we care
deeply enough about it.
Second, a university cannot be
devoid of values. There is a
difference between right and
wrong if we sometimes have
difficulty in agreeing updl the
exact line between the two. We
must not pretend that the concept
is irrelevant. If a university
cannot exercise a humanizing
influence upon those whose lives
it touches it will have failed in one
of its purposes.
Third, there have been and will
be few times in the histories of
universities when they have not
been faced with hard decisions.
How those decisions are made is
import ant. Academic
communities place a great
premium on knowledge,
consultation and participation.
Not all decisions can be made
popular, but they can be better
accepted when the subject
matter is fully aired, where those

things are more important than
others. All things are not equal if
the price of equality is
mediocrity. It is improbable that
in the years ahead the resources
which are available will be
sufficient to support every
worthy project. 'The great
universities of the future will be
those which have both the
courage and the wisdom to make
Fifth, and last, universities are
in a peculiarly difficult period as
they attempt to help fullfil the
expectations of minorities and
women. There is no doubt that
society has discriminated against
them. Sometimes this
discrimination has been willful
and deliberate. Sometimes
it has been the result of uncritical
acceptance of stereotypes. In
either case, we are beginning to
recognize our obligations and it
will be unworthy of us to neglect
the problem. That progress will
be slow in view of the no-growth
status in which universities find
themselves is undeniable.
Nevertheless, the one thing we

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