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February 25, 1972 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-25

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she t tian Ratty
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Freeze the rent or squeeze the tenant

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1972

NIGHT EDITOR: LINDA DREEBEN

Freeing Angela: Now what?

IT IS ENCOURAGING that after 16
months of imprisonment Angela
Davis is now free on bail.
Through the efforts of her attorneys,
a nationwide support movement, and
contributions of over $100,000 Davis was
able to secure her release on bail
Wednesday after the California Supreme
Court ruled that capital punishment was
unconstitutional.
"We got what we came for," her chief
defense lawyer commented.
But in another sense it is discouraging
that a person with the resources and
popular support that Davis commands
was held for over a year without bail.
And it is doubly discouraging that the
majority of people in prisons are poor;
without widespread support and lacking
basic understanding of their legal
rights.
Here in Ann Arbor, 110 of the 125 in-
mates in the Washtenaw County Jail,
crowded in unsanitary cells for months,
are only there because they could not
post bail.
Trial, when it finally' coies, often] con-
sists of "copping a plea," pleading guilty
to a lesser offense, to ease the workload
of the prosecuting attorney's office, the
overload of the court system and the
sentence imposed on the convicted.

CHANGING THESE conditions, and
similar conditions found in prisons
around the country, will require the same
efforts utilized to support Davis, but on
a much larger scale. It will require good
lawyers, but also a good legal system.
It will require private contributions, but
also government financing to assist
these and future victims of the prison
system.
Most importantly, it will require pub-
lic support. One thing that should be
clear from the Davis case, the John Sin-
clair case and the tragedy at Attica is
that action is not taken until the public
demands it.
NOW, WITH DAVIS temporarily free,
the support for her cause must be
extended to all prisoners deprived of
their rights. If it is not, the legal system
will remain in its present state of inertia,
relieved that Davis' supporters appar-
ently "got what they came for.".
It must be made clear, through sup-
port for local prison reform and direct
pressure on the federal government for
national prison reform, that the issue
cannot be settled by reluctantly granting
one prisoner her rights.
-JIM O'BRIEN

'U' and the handicapped

By JIM REUS
MANY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS w h o
rent apartments and houses have need-
lessly lost money since they arrived for
the fall term. The money, which students
have lost by paying unnecessary rent,
could amount to tens or even hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
Since the wage-price freeze began in
August, several landlords in Washtenaw
County have collected rents in direct vio-
lation of federal law. Lee Henkel Jr., act-
ing chief counsel for the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS), stated in a letter to U.S.
Rep. Marvin Esch of Ann Arbor that:
"A landlord could not rent a residence to
any tenant during the freeze for a rent
greater than the highest rent charged for
the same residence during the base period
from July 16 to August 14, 1971. The rent
described in this paragraph is the 'ceiling
rent.'
"If a lease embodies a rent higher than
the ceiling rent the landlord may not re-
ceive such a rent. To do so is to violate
the law."
,ANY LANDLORD, then, who charged a
higher rent during the freeze than he
charged during the base period could be
subject to prosecution for violation of the
Economic Stabilization Act. Furthermore,
the Office of Economic Planning regula-
tions are binding even if the tenants sign-
ed the lease well before the beginning
of the freeze. Any student who last winter
semester signed a lease which charged him
more rent per month than the landlord
received during the summer base period
can file suit for a refund with the IRS.
The policy guidelines also stipulate that
after the termination of the wage-price
freeze, a landlord may raise his rent only
if he notifies his tenants of the increase
in writing at least 30 days before he act
tually raises the rent. The landlord must
explain in the notification why the in-
crease is necessary, and the increase can-
not exceed two and a half ner cent of
the base period rent.
Nearly all area landlords who r a i s e d
rents failed to send the proper notification
to their tenants at the end of the freeze.
These landlords have illegally been col-
lecting higher rents. Consequently, most
students who have been paying the high-
er rents are entitled to monthly refunds
through February, not just the end of the
freeze.
NOT ONLY have landlords been colect-
ing illegal rent, but some have also threat-
ened to evict the few students who com-
plain that the rent hikes are illegal. Such
threats again blatantly violate the Eco-
nomic Stabilization Act. Section 10(a of
the OEP Economic Stabilization Regula-
tion No. 1 prohibits any attempt by a
landlord to obtain a higher rent by threat-
ening to evict the tenant. If a landlord
Bobby4
By JAN BENEDETTIWeek(
AH YES, I remember it well- protect
back in the easily forgotten Upperc
days of 1961. Those were the leg- weekda
endary times when girls acted like by mid
ladies and enjoyedyes-enoyed a ittle
wearing skirts to dinner every
day. {>;"Y
That, I assure you, was only
possible when the dorms were run
properly and not like the sort of "
'anything goes' establishments
they unfortunately are today. wo
Then, all women, freshmen to sen-
iors, had to live in dorms-not in UsL
apartments or co-ops where they
could associate with almost any- PSy
body and do absolutely anything
they wanted. Men were barred
from the dorms, except for certain
areas at certain times.
Girls could go down to the

shower in their nightgowns-"or
even stark naked"-and not be
afraid of running into a member
of the opposite sex. Girls were more c
more modest then and they were
more protected. BUT

/

there has been a violaion. It is the tenant
who must be knowledgeable of which stip-
ulations apply in which cases. It is the
tenant who must file the violation forms
and turn them in to the IRS.
Unless there is some tenant organization
to co-ordinate and explain to ,tenants what
they can do to get " their rent back, many
tenants will never know they are losing
money. This is especially true since the
highest illegal rent increases have been
in poor sections of the- community - the'
areas where people are least likely to real-
ize the rent increases are illegal. Tenants
also must have a third party account to
deposit their rent money while their vio-
lations claims are being considered by the
IRS.
The Ann Arbor Tenants Union already
has an escrow account set up in accordance
with the GEP suggestions. It has copies
of the GEP regulations, and the people
working in the union know what to do when
violations are suspected.
The experience with the freeze has cost
student tenants large sums of money. But
it has ,brought into the open another im-
portant fact: it is naive to think that area
landlords are serving their tenants' inter-
ests.
WITHIN THE PRIVATE enterprise sys
tem the landlord's objective is to make pro-
fits. The landlord serves .the tenant only
because of the free competition among
landlords for the tenant's patronage.
This' competition is the tenants' only
safeguard. Unfortunately, in Ann Arbor's
tight housing market, most landlords
do not have to worry about competition-
they can make fat profits by charging
rents which are too high, and still be as-
sured of tenants to fill their buildings.

attempts to evict a tenant, it is he who
violates the law, not the tenant who re-
fuses to pay rents that are above the base
period amount.
There are a few isolated instances where
students have received refunds from their'
aandlords. Several landlords comply to
some degree with the OEP Regulations.
Hall Management, Ann Arbor Trust, Sum-
mit, and Hamilton and a few others have
quietly given refunds ranging from $5 to
$30 per month to students who have com-
plained about the violations.
But most students are ignorant of the
freeze regulations. Consequently, they con-
tinue to pay or have payed too much
rent.
LANDLORDS HAVE also capitalized on
the disorganization of students and t h e
ineffectiveness of the IRS in processing
complaints.
The few complaints that students have
filed with the IRS have not been handled
efficiently. The IRS has neither the bur-
eaucracy nor the number of investigators
necessary to handle the many complaints
it has received. Students who have talked
with IRS clerks get conflicting and confus-
ing reports as to what the guidelines are.
When President Nixon instituted the
freeze he admitted that the OEP could not
possibly handle the volume of complaints
that were likely to ensue. He said at that
time he would have to rely on the honesty
and integrity of the American people to
make the freeze work. Unfortunately, area
landlords haven't been too honest. At the .
same time students have been quite naive
about the rent freeze stipulations. T h

result is that students have lost a lot of
money.
State Rep. Roy Smith (R-Ypsilanti) has al-
ready asked the governor and attorney
general to initiate an investigation of nine-
teen area landlords.
BUT EVEN IF tenants are aware that
violations exist, they will accomplish little
unless they are organized. The burden of
correcting violations is presently entirely
on the tenant. It is the tenant who must ask
to see the previous lease to determine if

Al

4
'9

N AN OFFICE of Student Services memo
Vice President for Student Services
Robert Knauss speaks of a "hesitancy to
encourage handicapped students to at-
tend the University because of a feeling
of inadequacy of access and educational
programs,"
That statement constitutes a confes-,
sion of the sorry state of University pro-
visions for handicapped students. The
sittation, though acknowledged by the
administration, is inexcusable.
The "handicaps" such students have to
contend with include the inaccessibility
of the General Library, Student Activities
Bldg., EconomIcs Bldg., and Rackham
Bldg. to people in wheelchairs and a lack
of ramps, elevators and suitable bath-
rooms within buildings. The lack of curb
cuts, transportation to and from campus
for people in wheelchairs and accessible
housing accentuates the problem.
It is this hostile environment which
unfairly handicaps these students. More
ramps and elevators, and a bus or van
would alleviate much of their distress.
Business Staff
ANDY GOLDING
Business Manager
BILL ABBOT.........Associate Business Manager
HARRY HIR1SCH.............. Advertising Manager
FRANCINE HYMEN ............... Personnel Manager
DIANE CARNEVALE...............Sales Manager
PAUL W3NtLOFF ............ Promotions Manager
STEVEN EVSEEFF ... ... Circulation Manager
DEPARTMENT MANAGERS AND ASSOCIATES: Classi-
fied: Judy Cassel, Jim Dykema, Dave Lawson; Cir-
culatlon: William Blackford; Display: Sherry Kastle,
Alan Klein, Karen Laakko; National: Patti Wilkin-
son; Layout: Bob Davidoff; Billing: L'Tanya Haith.

THE UNIVERSITY, according to Leon-
ard Greenbaum, chairman of Mayor
Robert Harris' Committee on the handi-
capped, is using the "circular argument"
that there aren't enough handicapped
students within the University to merit a
major overhaul in facilities. The small
number of handicapped students, though,
may be partially attributable to the in-
ferior provisions for their attendance at
the University.
Nonetheless, if the students that are
here are to be recognized they must be'
accorded access to University facilities.
Since handicapped people have to have
the best credentials to compete in the
job market, often needing more than a
college education, the University must
not further cripple their opportunities.
The Student Government Council Com-
mittee for the Psysically Handicapped is
attempting , to change the University's
present policy from an incremental indi-
vidual approach to broad understanding
and a general attack on the difficulties
handicapped students face at the Uni-
versity.
LAST WEEK, 13 University administra-
tors spent their working day in a
wheelchair as part of an SGC project to
sensitize people to the needs of handi-
capped students. On the basis of their
experience they concurred on the need
for ramps, elevators, curb cuts and other
facilities for the handicapped.
The University should' live up to its
dedication to enlightenment and educa-
tion by making itself accessible to han-
dicapped students.
-MARCIA ZOSLAW

--Di y-Rolf Tessemn

sox, coeds and the.dorms ..

kday nights at12:30 sharp,
)rm doors were locked to
the girls from intruders.
lass women had to be in on
ys by that time, freshmen
night. The doors were open
elater on weekends. What

beginning in 1962 the old rules
were arrogantly tossed aside. First,
senior women got keys which al-
lowed them to get into the dorm
at any time-provided they check-
ed in by 7 a.m. If a girl wanted to

Personally, I can't imagine that any mature
man could have intercourse in a dormitory.
wally when it occurs there are accompanying
chological problems."
-Housing Director John Feldkamp
Winter, 1968
.., w wm rfi.:': :r..;titw;.;;"?"i{:"::i:::v"}":{rir. .:'i"^. i:?:. ::: ......

er' campaign. It was all started, no
doubt, by radicals and malcon-
tents. I remember the President of
SGC, Bruce Kahn, saying. "Stu-
dents should be telling the Univer-
sity that they no longer expect ad-
ministrators to make the rules for
their lives.",,
He wanted to "confront" the
Regents, arguing that "power lies
in numbers and if you demand
your rights en masse, the Univer-
sity will be unable to prosecute
all of you." It sounds f'oolish to
me, too, but I read it right in The
Daily.
By Spring of 1970 the malcon-
tents had succeeded and hours
were eliminated entirely.
BAD DECISIONS seem to come
in waves. It was also decided in
1968 that visitation policies (when
a girl could have a man in her
room with the door closed) would
be set by house vote-a shocking
decision.
But the liberal housing director
John Feldkamp rationalized at the
time, "Personally, I can't imagine
that any mature woman could
have intercourse in a dormitory.
Usually when it occurs there are
accompanying psychological prob-
lems." He continued that inter-
course would not necessarily dis-.
turb men since "their attitude is
different."
Last spring, the last rule was
thrown out the window. Now any

girl can live outside the dorm.
Don't parents care any more
where their children live?
But there are still a few good
old-fashioned girls around. Mar-
tha Cook Residence Hall is pri-
vate'y owned and operated. The
girls apply to live there and I
know that they like it. You must
visit the place, it is so beautifully
decorated with a large statue of
Venus de Milo at the end of the
main corridor, a classic image 'of
all that is Woman.
MARTHA COOK girls voted to
have visitation hours restricted to
weekends. Residents feel that
there. is a real sense of "home"
about the place, the girls are just
like a family, all 142 of them. The
girls say they like wearing skirts
to dinner and being served by
waitresses.
Their rooms are cleaned once a
week by maids who, as one girl
puts it, are "friends, part of the
family."
So here we are in 1972, eleven
years later. What have all these
changes accomplished? The girls
nowadays are not like those well-
behaved girls of eleven years ago.
If you ask me, the downgrading
of the standards of dorm life sig-
nals the ultimate downfall of Am-
erican culture as we know it. took
at the ancient Romans and what
happened to them. Mark my
words.

&

1.

Ir

" Y" "",-
ryy% wrr"}n .r r * ws *w f i "M \'

I-

I-

Letters to The Daily
Housing deposit leth of assistants everywhere "we
don't makes the rules."
Daily: Who does, Mr. Feldkamp?

ould a modern coed want?
THEY did want more, and

To The

THERE ARE quite a few sen-
iors and graduate students living
in Baits Housing. Some of them
are depending on fellowships or
other financial aid to support
them. Some of them will not be
able to attend school without this
aid. University awards will be
announced April 1.
However, the Office of Univer-
sity Housing has determined that
these students must commit a $45
deposit March 14 if they wish to
keep their rooms for the coming
year.
Thus, a student not lucky
enough to receive a fellowship
and unable, therefore, to attend
school has the added pleasure of

-Bruce Stephen Levine,
grad.
Feb. 15
More women
To The Daily:
THE RECENT 7-1 vote by the
University Regents to reject the
faculty plan to revise the Uni-
versity classified research re-
striction, points up the necessity
to elect more women to office in
this state and in the nation.
The single dissenting vote was
cast by the lone woman on the
Regents, Gertrude Huebner (R-
r _. -. . i . J t1... ,

stay out overnight, she signed a
"blue slip", which gave the name
and address of her overnight host-
ess who had to be over 25 or mar-
ried. It is rumored that there were
many slips signed by Betsy Bar-
bour in those days.
In'subsequent years, the liberali-
bation snowballed, and all the fine
rules which protected our girls
were criticized as irrelevant and
old-fashioned.
In 1962, senior women were al-
lowed to live outside the dorm, and
by 1964, so were junior women.
Of course if a girl was under 21,
she had to have her parents' per-
mission. Men could always live
outside the dorm after their fresh-
man year. But, then, as everyone
knows men are more mature and
better able to take care of them-
selves.
When the seniors and juniors
started to move out, those boy-
crazy sophomores and freshmen
started running the dorms, want-
ing to throw out all the tried and
true standards.
rl 1AC., t n.c _ - s- nf C fn

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