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February 26, 1972 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-26

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gihe lJtf an mailj
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

grassroots
150 families, falling behind
by mark dillen

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1972

NIGHT EDITORc PAT BAUER

Busing and the Senate

THE SENATE VOTED yesterday to re-
move from federal courts the juris-
diction and authority to order busing to
achieve racial balance. But the 43-40
vote, which came on a rider to an amend-
ment to a higher education bill, is of
nebulous constitutionality and must be
reconfirmed by the Senate at least twice
before it can become law.
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Ro-
bert Griffin (R-Mich.), provides that "no
court of the United States shall have
the jurisdiction to make any decision ..-.
or issue any order" requiring busing of
students "on the basis of their age, color,
religion, or national origin."
But even if the action receives final
Senate approval and is passed in the
House, it may still have the same fate
as a 1964 Civil Rights Act provision pro-
hibiting federal officials from issuing or-
ders to achieve "a racial balance in any
school by requiring the transportation of
students from one school to any other."
In ordering busing to provide equal educa-
tional opportunities, federal Judges have
either ignored that provision, or dismis-
sed it as unconstitutional.
In 'effect, all Senate attempts to re-
strict judges' ability to order busing will
end up in the Supreme Court, along with
local challenges to the busing orders
themselves.
THlEVOTE followed Senate approval
Thursday of three compromise
amendments on the busing issue. B u t
these three, described by Majority Leader
Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) as "moderate,
middle-of-the-road," are so weak and

full of holes that their effect will be neg-
ligible.
One of them forbids the expenditure
of federal funds for busing unless local
officials request it. However, once busing
is ordered, it is doubtful whether any
local school officials would refuse to re-
quest available federal money to finance
it and then go broke paying for it them-
selves.
A second provision approved Thursday
bars federal officials from inducing local
officials to finance busing "unless con-
stitutionally required." But each federal
judge who has ordered busing has done
so precisely because he ruled it was "con-
stitutionally required."
Other provisions approved block busing
when it is harmful to the health of the
transported students or when it forces
them into inferior schools. But both of
these well-intentioned provisos only lock
into the books what judges have already
been careful to consider.
QNE INDICATION of the attitude which
senators hold toward the busing con-
troversy was revealed by Sen. John Sten-
nis (P-Miss.) when he remarked that
Thursday's legislation "doesn't clear up
anything."
It is time though that Congress learned
that legislators should not even try to
"clear up anything" in Congress. Better
they should clear up a whole range of
problems in Detroit, Los Angeles, and
Newark.
-ARTHUR LERNER
Editorial Page Editor

SUPPORTERS OF the Ann Arbor Tenants
Union drove north toward the city limits
yesterday, some with long, thin signs say-
ing "Unfair." They passed the subdivisions
of those $20,000 private homes that seem
to encircle the campus area and then, pass-
ing a clearing, saw a sign that announced
that they had reached their destination:
Pontiac Heights.
They got out, milled around a bit, and
then started to picket the 350 plain, dull-
colored co-operative housing units. Rumor
had it that residents here were being
evicted without notice and the visitors-
most of whom were students-wanted to
express their support for the lower income
families that lived there.
what the students were presented with
was a far less clear situation than they
had imagined, and in that, an instructive
lesson in how most low-cost housing units
are run. Not only was it hard to verify
who had been evicted, there were disagree-
ments over why, and whether those evicted
knew what was coming when washtenaw
County Sheriff's Deputies came and told
them to move out.
IN FACT, the only persons the tenants
union people had to confront there were
two secretaries and a building manager,
all of whom disclaimed any responsibility
for what was going on and told the tenants
and students to take their complaints to
bureaucratic higher-ups.
About the only thing certain 'was that
somehow this "modern" housing co-opera-
tive for low income familiesstill shared
with its urban predecessors certain prob-
lems-one of them being that the institu-
tions which are supposed to respond to
the needs of. lower income people just
don't.
"Consumer Systems, the managing agents
for the co-op," a tenant announced to 30

4

I

0

-Daily-Terry McCarthy

onlookers, "is following a deliberate policy
of evicting welfare families and the fami-
lies of those who have been laid off due to
the unemployment situation which exists in
Ann Arbor.
"In many cases, families which have been
evicted have been denied welfare. The
tenants unions of Pontiac Heights feels thaC
poor people who are victimized by the in-
ability of the local and national government
to provide jobs for them either directly-

or indirectly should not be thrown out in
the streets when there is adequate money
in Ann Arbor and in Washtenaw County
to help them out in this crisis."
BUT CONSUMER Systems, a virtual
one-man operation personified in one Joel
welty. a Detroit businessman, was not
there to answer the charges. And the five-
man board-comprised primarily of tenants
-which seems to have the power to set
policy for Consumer Systems,defers to
Welty. "Ninety per cent of the people
here," said one tenant, "don't know who's
on the board and don't know about this
managing company."
AND SO the tenants, with their new-
found student support, crowded into a small
hall and confronted the building manager.
"Tell us who's on the list to be evicted,
we heard there's 150 on the list," they said.
"I have no such list," said the man.
Another shouted, "Answer us this: Are
you giving people a chance to catch up?"
No response. To another question .the man-
ager replies that the group should take the
matter to court.
It seems that the situation reached an
impasse just about then. The tenants and
students left, marched around a bit more,
had some coffee and vowed to find out who
was on the list. One tenant announced that

they "were definitely considering a rent
strike."

THE STUDENTS got in their cars
left, promising continuedsupport.
the tenants r'eturned to their homes,
part of the consumer system. Many
laid off or have no jobs. Some are on
fare, others can't get it. And about
the population there is black.

and
And
still
Are
wel-
half

"

Dorms: When the heat's on

A5 THE ARSON total on campus nears
the 50 mark, dorm residents, espec-
tally, have experienced growing feelings
of apprehension.
And well they might. For, while police;
and fire officials have stepped up efforts
to find the arsonists and prevent fur-
ther fires, nobody seems to be doing much
to protect the dlormitories just in case
the preventive measures fail.
It is shocking to consider that fire pre-
cautions, basics to any minimum housing
code, are so lax in a dormitory system
that houses some 7,000 students.
In one South Quad house, for example,
a student official reported that fully one-
third of the fire extinguishers of that
house are empty. And one of the full ex-
tinguishers is placed, neatly and safely,
in a closet with the door jammed shut.
FTHERE IS a serious fire in South
Quad, the constructive step to take
after finding several empty fire extin-
guishers would be to pull a . fire alarm,
right?
Wrong. It might be the logical step,
especially since the Quad had a new alarm
system installed in September. But, logi-
cal or not, pulling a fire alarm would
be totally worthless.

After the installation of the new sys-
tem, there were so many false alarms
that officials decided to turn off the sys-
tem. Now, in case of fire, one is to call the
person at the main desk, who first acti-
vates the alarm system and then pulls
the alarm.
At that point, theoretically, the dorm
would be emptied. According to the fire
department, there should be some 10 fire
alarms per year to prepare dorm residents
for a possible emergency.
However, according to South Quad resi-
dents past and present, there has not
been an effective fire drill in recent mem-
ory - and during Thursday night's fires,
when dorm officials tried to clear t h e
halls in earnest, they had a hard and for
the most part unsuccessful time of it.
South Quad may be the most blatant
example of insufficient precautions, but
it's certainly not the only one.
PROPER AND efficient fire precautions
should have been provided in the
dorms long before the present rash of
arson. Surely it is imperative that such
precautions be instituted now.
-TAMMY JACOBS
Editorial Director

/I

-Daily-Terry McCarthy

-Daly-Rolfe Tessem

etters: Landlords respond to criicism

To The Daily:
STATE REP. Roy Smith (R-
Ypsilanti) named me as one of
the landlords he wants investigat-
ed for alleged rent-freeze viola-
tions (Daily, Feb. 23). I take
strong exception to his crude at-
tempts at intimidation.
As a landlord's agent (hired to
manage an eight-unit apartment
building), I have encountered the
same frustrations as the tenants
in obtaining reliable information
from the federal government
about the rent freeze. Smith as-
sumes that all landlords named
in his statements have sought to
circumvent the law. He is either
grossly misinformed or intention-
ally malicious.
A telephone call to me, beside
being courteous, would have re-
vealed that I. have scrupulously
sought interpretations from the
appropriate federal authorities re-
garding proper application of the
rent - freeze guidelines.
Apparently Smith has some
shabby political motivation for his
actions. If he were sincerely in-
terested in solving the rent-freeze
problem, he 'would work together
with landlords and tenants to ob-
tain valid interpretations from the
federal government.
-Sarah Steingold
Feb. 24
AttackingSmith
To The Daily:
AS ONE of the three landlords
personally named in State Rep.
Roy Smith's recent attack on
landlords, I should like to point
out that I own only five rental
units situated in two houses at
502 and 514 S. First St., Ann Ar-
bor. The rent on only one unit has
been increased since the August
15, 1971 freeze. This is on the
ground floor apartment at 514
S. First.
The apartment consists of 2
bedrooms, living room, tiled bath,
large kitchen, full basement, ga-
rApvp avid rguiroun sThe rent un-

apartment was leased for $170 per
month.
The increase was wholly justi-
fied under the law and all stand-
ards of decency. The attack on me
is another example of the sub-
standard politics of Roy Smith
and the collection of black Uncle
Toms who congregate in the Re-
publican party and do it no credit.
I trust no student will° be taken
in by his phoney news releases.
--Arthur Carpenter
Feb. 23
PIRGIM defended
To The Daily:
AS WAS mentioned in an edi-
tonial by Tammy Jacobs (Daily,
Feb. 12), the Public Interest Re-
search Group in Michigan (PIR-.
GIM) is an organization trying to
become established at the Univer-
sity. She also cited it to be a
non-profit, student controlled
group, investigating such issues as
pollution, sex and racial discrini-
ination, and violations of wage-
price controls.
Up to this point she has been
properly informed. However, M,.
Jacobs then began to expound
upon several PIRGIM objectives.
She referred to a PIRGIM article
which was "pledging" to remove
the "bugs in your telephone." To
this she suggested that PIRGIM
should investigate the whole ra e
structure of the Michigan B e li
monopoly.
Ms. Jacobs has brought up 'a
good suggestion for PIRGIM re-
searchers if they intend t) act
upon the rate structure of t h e
Michigan Bell system. However,
PIRGIM hasn't "pledged" to any
specific projects as yet. PIRGIM
hasn't even been established yet,
let alone made decisions as to
which public interest 1,roject.s they
will pursue. PIRGIM has simply
cited a few prospective projects to
arouse student awareness and con-
cern with their organization. It is
the elected student board of direc-

ever, this has not proved to be
the case in other existing PIRG's.
The University of Minnesota has
hired an established lawyer for
$11,000, who had previously been
making $24,000. This is the kind
of work that most "good lawyers"
would like to participate in. They
can see the effects of their work
reaching a greater number of
people.-
One other comment that Ms.

Jacobs made was that PIRGIM
was acting legally "within t h e
system," but that picketing and
sit-ins were needed for it to be
"effective'. Probably one of the
main reasons behind organizuig
PIRG was the "ineffectiveness"
of student demonstrations. Stu-
dent motivation and energy seems
to slack off during exams a n d
over summer vacation. To reAdly
bring about changes there w i 1

have
force

to be a full time, year-round
working on the problems.
-Ruth Pilditch, '73
Feb. 15

''

The Editorial Page of the
Michigan Daily is open to any-
one -who wishes to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should be less than
1,000 words.

'Ce lebrating' Iranian tyranny

4'

This article was written by
the Concerned Iranian Stu-
dents of Ann Arbor,
rFHE "2500 YEAR celebration"
of Iranian monarchy ended
last October at a total cost of
nearly $1 billion and 69 heads of
state returned to their respective
homes.
But many of the 2500 political
prisoners, arrested as a precau-
tionary measure by Shah Moham-
med Reza Pahlevi before the la-
vish festivities began, remain im-
prisoned - either for "actions
against the state," or not even
formally charged.
And the number of prisoners
grows daily with new arrests by
Savak, the Shah's secret police..
SINCE THE SHAII came to
power in 1953 with the assistance
of the CIA, he has outlawed
criticism of his regime, abolished
freedom of assembly and put
stringent clamps on the press. So-
cial protest has been brutally sup-
pressed through use of 'show trials
and even mass executions.
Savak is believed to number
some 60,000 men, and its build-
ings are well-known in Tehran,
the capital.
And, possibly as part of the
Shah's crash economic growth

rest of 120 intellectuals -- many
have been tortured and 10 con-,
demned to death. Lawyers and ob-
servers from Amnesty Interna-
tional, the National Lawyers
Guild, and the League for the
Rights of Men, a UN affiliate,
have been denied, information on
the prisoners.
AS A RESULT of conditions
within Iran, much active opposi-
tion comes from Iranian students
abroad, who comprise the Con-
federation of Iranian Students.
That group is presently organiz-

ing a drive to protest the intern-
ment of political prisoners by the
Shah and the recent death sen-
tences.
The confederation called an
extended hunger strike in Wash-
ington, D.C. and Paris which be-
gan last week to call world at-
tention to the repression in Iran,*
It is unclear exactly what in-
fluence the exiled students will
have on the Shah, but their own
"celebration" is far more worthy
than the extravagant public re-
lations job the Shah created last
fall.

.;

;; t

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