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February 29, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-29

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£4w Eirigan aiut
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

The

'handicapped': Perpetuating a

myth

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 1972

NIGHT EDITOR: CARLA RAPOPORT

Reviewing the file review

By BOB DAVIDOFF
IV'E BEEN called handicapped
a number of times, too num-
erous to mention. Just because I
have a pair of crutches that look
like they're professional models,
they call me handicapped - even
thought I sometimes walk about
three times as fast as ; the rest
of the people. The only thing I
really am is a curly-haired guy
who, either out of necessity or de-
sire, prefers to walk with his
hands as well as his feet.
Because I've spent a lot of time
in hospitals and special treat-
ment centers for handicapped peo-
ple, I have grown to love many
people who on the outside a r e
really messed up, but on the in-
side possess a certain glow of life
not found in someone who hasn't
had to confine his expression of
emotion to a look in his eyes.

I cannot call these people handi-
capped either. Although they can't
perform the specific mechanical
functions the majority of humans
can, they are capable of other
seemingly more powerful actions.
Having gained this insight, I be-
gan to consider these people who
are becoming operant parts of
their environment. Seeing, them
on the streets and in their various
occupations, it occurred to me that
these people are labeled "handi-
capped" not because of any lack
of capability, but because their
physical surroundings in m a n y
ways force them to be in the tru-
est sense of the word "handicap-
ped." People in wheelchairs do
need help in getting over street
corners where there aren't a n y
curb-cuts, you know.
WHEN I GOT to this school, I

][ IS ENCOURAGING, at least, that 100
University women employes have re-
ceived salary adjustments totaling
$94,295.
However, for the amount of time and
energy spent reviewing salary inequities
between thousands of male and female
employes, one would expect a much
higher number of adjustments.
Although three file reviews are being
conducted, procedural problems and a
lack of total cooperation from the Uni-
versity have impeded the studies' pro-
gress and effectiveness.
ALLAN SMITH, vice president for aca-
clemic affairs, recently ordered salary
adjustments for 52 women with academic
appointments.F
These 52 women - of over 900 women
with academic appointments - were
recommended for salary adjustment by
their supervisors, deans and department
heads. But an obvious problem with this
review was that supervisors who origin-
ally set salaries inequitably were asked to
make recommendations for adjustments.
Smith ordered adjustments retroac-
tive only to Feb. 1, ignoring the issue of
retroactivity to the beginning of the wo-
men's employment at the University.
ANOTHER 48- women, in non-academic
positions, have also received salary ad-
justments resulting from independent
file reviews conductedI by the Commission
for Women and the Personnel Office.
These reviews of non-academic women
emnployes. have, however, yielded mini-
mal results and have by no means been
problem .free.
The women's commission study has
been a long, tedious process hampered
by the University's refusal to provide cer-
tain types of data and also by what the
commision cites as the University's in-
adequate computer records.
The commission is also limited to study-

ing non-academic positions and cannot
look into possible inequities in academic
jobs and within unions.
In addition, the commission can only
recommend names to the Personnel Of-;
fice which decides whether or not to ap-
prove the recommendations.
The Personnel Office review was ini-
tiated, according to personnel officials,
because of the length of time involved
in the'women's ,commission review. It
resulted in a very low number of. adjust-
ments. Of 424 non-academic women em-
ployes identified as earning 10 per cent
or more below the median salary in their
respective job classifications, supervisors
recommended only 13 women for adjust-
ment. And not all of these have received
approval from the University.
Hopefully the recently released fig-
ures represent only initial findings which
will be substantially increased in time
for the. Unversity's July 1 deadline for
completion of the file review procedure.
And in light of the current reviews' dif-
ficulties, women are encouraged to use
self-initiating review procedures, by re-
questing the women's commission to ex-
amine their files if they feel they have
been overlooked.
''FHE UNIVERSITY has yet to receive
approval from the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare for the
goals and timetables set in the affirma-
tive action program, even though the
University has consented to release data
that HEW considers prerequisite for ac-
ceptance of the University's plan.
Complete administration cooperation
with groups conducting file reviews can
only help show HEW and all women on
campus that the University is serious in
working to correct past inequities and
eliminate discriminatory employment and
hiring practices.
-LINDA DREEBEN

was met with a flurry of admin-
istrative garbage concerning my
ability to comfortably adapt to
this brutal environment. Admin-
istrators wasted their time with
me, and as I look back on it, I
should have donated my time to
someone who could have - eally
used it.
They interviewed me ion three
separate occasions in three separ-
ate buildings, all with a lot of
stairs, asking me whether I'd get
excessively tired from walking all
day on crutches. No matter what
I'd have said in return, nothing
drastic would have been done, and
I knew it, so I went along with
the game.
Things have changed since then.
One night at a party in my apart-
ment building a girl told me about
a special Student Government
Council Committee to Aid Handi-
capped Students that was meeting
the following Monday. She uses a
motorized wheelchair to travel
around campus.
Of course, I was intrigued. and
immediately replied that I would
be there. 1
I WAS AMAZED that the major-
ity of people on the committee
were not handicapped, but were
insightful and empathetic people
whose reasons for being present
were sincere. I was also some-
what freaked by the concrete ac-
tion programs that were proposed
and initiated - have the Regents
spend a day in a wheelchair, put
on a demonstration in front of an
inaccessible building, and work nn
a transportation system for those
who need it.
This committee stood for every-
thing I believed could be done to
remedy the conditions that make
certain people at the University
handicapped. It operated accord-
ing to a simple rule: remove or
alleviate the obstacles confront-
ing disabled people so that the
end result is the eliminati n of
"handicapped" people from cam-
pus, and the addition of people
who "employ a different means
for mobilization."

-Daily-David Margolick

We have progressed. Our rensi-
tivity day was held a couple of
weeks ago, and four Regents spent
at least part of the day in
wheelchairs. Some of their reac-
tions and those of other Univer-
sity officials who used *,-heel-
chairs that day were enlighten-
ing. One professor spoke of the
severe isolation one experiences
in a mobile chair. Rebecca Schcnk
talked about how different she
would have turnedhout hal she
been in a chair all her life. I even
did some reflecting. Gee, I'm a
lucky guy, I thought.
I HOPE you can see what needs
to be done around this school. and
around this world for that mat-
ter, to change some things so that
"handicapped" people will really
not exist, and we will all be equals
in our potential to do great things
in this world.

Great things are often pegun
with small things, like going to
student government meetings and
showing some concern and aware-
ness of the problems that exist.
The next time you walk by the
front of Angel Hall, glance 'up at
the stairs that symbolize inacces-
sibility for people in wheelchairs.
The next time you sit in Dill Aud.
to get into some live jams think
of how a wheelchair couldn't fit
into that space. Above til, the
next time you encounter someone
who moves differently than you,
think of the inner glow that mght
be there.
Bob Davidoff is a junior in
the literary college and a mem-
ber of the Student Govern-
meat Council Committee to
Aid Handicapped Students.

4M

4

Letters: The

Pontiac

Heights conflict

Fighting city election laws

ELEC='ON
enough.

LAWS in this city have
in the past year, but not

One of the last vestiges of an election
code designed to keep students and young
people far from the seat of power is pres-
ently being fought in federal court in
Detroit. And, with City Council elections
barely a month away, timing is one of
the most important elements involved.
When Human Rights Party (HRP)
members chose David Black as their
J'ourth Ward candidate, they did so with
the knowledge that it would mean chal-
lenging the city's election laws.
For, while Black has lived in Ann Ar-
bor for three years, he has not been regis-
tered to vote here the full year required
of city council candidates.
According to expectations, City Clerk
Harold Saunders refused to certify Black
s a ndidate. HRP then filed suit
against the city, specifically naming
6aunders and City Atty. Jerold Lax.
The sit maintains that the one-year
reqtyirement is ,arbitrary and discrimin-
atory, and therefore unconstitutional.
IS BLATANTLY unfair to newly en-
franchised voters to have such a re-

quirement on the books. The law should
have been abolished when the 18 year
old vote came into effect this winter,
since someone under 21 could not possib-
ly have registered a full year ago.
At this point, it is up to a federal judge
whether Black will, be a council candi-
date this year. As part of its defense,
the city is saying that it must have time
to print ballots - hence, if the ruling
is made too close to the election, the city
pleads it could not possibly add Black's
name -to the ballot.
HOPEFULLY, the ruling will come swift-
ly enough for Black to run in the
Fourth Ward, and hopefully, the unjust
law will go the route of other such ana-
chronisms that have been successfully
fought here in the past few months.
It should also be noted that it is HRP
that has challenged the law - and not
the more established parties. If the other
two parties are truly interested in fair
election procedures in Ann Arbor, per-
haps they should be helping HRP fight
the city's obsolete and discriminatory
ordinances.

To The Daily:
PONTIAC HEIGHTS Coopera-
tive is one of the very few insti-
tutions in our society which are in
the hands of families of modest
means - most institutions a r e
dominated by the super-rich.
Already, we are providing good
cuality housing at modest charg-
es. Already, we are the focal point
for other cooperative endeavors,
such as our Co-op Food Club and
the day nursery for pre-schoolers.
If we continue to use our copera-
tive effectively, we can give our
members better living. And ' e can
serve as a -model and focal point
for other cooperative services in
many other fields.
But we can do so only if we who
are members, directors and staff
can muster the combined strength
of our members . for the tasks
which lie at hand. Particularly,
every member must assume his
fair share of the expenses which
our cooperative carries: the bur-
densome taxes, the heavy interest
payments, utilities, maintenance
costs and so forth.
It is and always has oeen the
policy of the board of directors
of this cooperative to insist that
every member pay his fair share,
on a non-profit and cooperative
basis. If any member does n o t
pay, the burdens remain - they
are simply shifted to those other
families of moderate means who
do pay. ,
Contrary to the preposterous
claims of a few ill-ipformed peo-
ple, there are not 150 members to
be evicted. We have evicted only
three members in the past year.
We evict only as a last resort,
after lengthy discussion with the
member and after numerous writ-
ten notices, including the 1 e g a 1
notices required by law. No one is
evicted until after his day in court
and after a judgment is render-
ed against him. But if any mem-
ber fails to pay, after all these

reminders, he will be evicted.
The so-called "tenants' union"
claims only poor people live at
PontiacHeights, which they scorn-
fully label "Poverty Heights." But,
as Congress intended in the Na-
tional Housing Act, Section 22(d)3,
under which Pontiac Heights was
built, there is a range of incomes
from low to moderate in the Co-
op.
There are many welfare recip-
ients within the co-op - most of
whom are paying their charges
up-to-date regularly. The board
of directors has set a special pol-
icy for welfare recipients within
the co-op, allowinghthem an ex-
tra thirty days in which they may
pay their monthly charges.
WE WHO LIVE in Pontiac
Heights Cooperative, as owner-
members, pay hundreds of thous
ands of dollars in taxes to city,
state and federal governments. If
any member here truly cannot pay
his monthly charges, should the
other members of ,Pontiac Heights
be forced to carry that member?
We do not believe we should be
asked to do so - that burden
should be carried by society as a
whole. Social Services, the Veter-
ans Administration, public hous-
ing and other agencies have been
given tax money - including that
of Pontiac Heights members - to
handle this problem.
Those who would place this bur-
den upon the other members of
Pontiac Heights Cooperative, in-
stead of upon society as a whole,
will not succeed in benefitting
families who can't pay. They will
only succeed in destroying one of
the few institutions in our society
which is controlled by the people
themselves.
If the cooperative does not col-
lect a fair share of its expenses
from every family, every month,
it will be repossessed by the De-
partment of Housing and Urban
Development and sold to a super-

-TAMMY JACOBS
Editorial Director

rich Daddy Warbucks who would
raise monthly charges pnd make
a fortune. Thus, would the people
of Pontiac Heights lose the neigh-
borhood control we now enjoy? -
-Board of Directors
Pontiac Heights Cooperative
Feb. 27
Evictions challenged
To The Daily:
WE ARE VERY concerned about
the pending evictions at Pontiac
Heights. We have been involved
in the situation through our relo-
cation there of several homeless
families and through some of our
clients who are tenants in t h e
co-op.
We have in the past tried to ar-
range payment of back rent and
deposits whenever funds were
available from various s o c i a 1
agencies in town. No attempt was
made to try to turn the co-op it-
self into another social agency.
On the contrary, we appreciated
the co-op's cooperation in hous-
ing families and we respected
their financial ilntegrity.
Recently, however, we attempt-
ed to pay to the new management
company partial arrearages f o r
three families, with a commit-
ment to assume responsibility for
payment of the entire amounts
due within the dates set by their
payment schedules. We were shod-
dily turned down. We were confus-
ed by this, because if these fam-
ilies are evicted, no back rent will
(be collected, further damaging
the co-op's already shaky financ-
ial situation:
Furthermore, it -apears that a
negative 'emphasis has been plac-
ed on welfare families by the new
managers, although no statistics
are presently available as to the
number of welfare families cur-
rently living in Pontiac Heights.
nor what percentage of the fam-
ilies with rental arrearazes n.r

-Daily-Terry McCarthy
are evicted, there wil be no place
to relocate them. This may in-
volve ultimately tens of families.
Money must be released by the
city and county immediately to-
ward back rent and deposits, as
this appears to be one of the most
urgent, unmet needs in the coun-
ty, with a crisis impending. Ann
Arbor has few of the county's poor
- therefore, they must not ex-
pect to rely wholly on county
f u n d s. (Incidentally, Pontiac
Heights pays about $170,000 an-
nually in property taxes.)
There is a $20,000 proposal pend-
ing before City Council for +mer-
gency rental aid (The Office of
Emergency Housing has no funds
for such purposes.), and a $55.000
proposal is before the Washtenaw
County Citizens' Committee f o r
Economic Opportunity, much of
which should go for this particular
problem.
--Ellen Parminter
Committee for Economic
Opportunities
Hank Bryant,
Black Economic Development
League, Inc.
Kate Emerson
Council of Churches Social
Services
Feb. 26

Tenants union thrust
To The Daily:
THE MAIN THRUST of the Pon-
tiac Heights Ad Hoc Tenants Un-
ion is to make every effort to col-
lect back rent from whatever pos-
sible source for tne families to
keep the families who are being
threatened together and in the co-
operative; and to gain tenant con-
trol of the cooperative. T h e
following organizations support
the Pontiac Heights Ad Hoc Ten-
ants Union: Committee for Econ-
omic Opportunities Neighborhood
Action Center; Ann Arbor Tenants
Union; Washtenaw County Welfare
Rights Organization; Washtenaw
County Black Economic Develop-
ment League. Inc.; Council of
Churches Social Services.
-Fred Cubberly and
Ann Resautels
Feb. 28
AFROTC ad
To The Daily:
A SMALL AD placed reiently
in the personal column by The
Air Force Reserve Oficer Training
Corps disturbed me deeply. It
was intended, I think, to en-
courage enlistments in their pro-
grams, but I'm not sure. It said
simply: "Wouldn't it be more
humane to have liberal arts grad-
uates drop the bombs? T h i n k
about AFROTC."
It is sad to acknowledge t h a t
AFROTC has missed the whole
point. It is of little importance
what the educational status of a
bomber pilot happens to be. Are
not the end results of bombing the
same, the destruction of human
life and property, regardless of
who commits the act? Where is
the humanity in having an Eng-
lish major pull the trigger instead
of a career military officer-? As
an alternative, I suggest that the
skills which liberal arts graduates
acquire can be utilized in a truly
humane way by trying to allev-
iate the conditions which lead to
warfare.
-Mark Skalski, '74
Feb. 23

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