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September 12, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-12

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

deep greens and blues
Ann Arbor in Fall: The dikes burst open
by larry]lerperrit


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone:

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




'U': Fighting sexism?

SIX MONTHS have passed since the
University made a strong public com-
mittment to the elimination of its own
sex discrimination. Since that time, some
progress has indeed been made. But
when one looks closely, at the results of
the University's efforts, it becomes ap-
parent that administrators here are far
more committed to avoiding bad public-
ity -than to actually improving the status
of women.
Remaining peacefully unaware of
women's problems for 154 years, the Uni-
versity was awakened with a start when
the Department of Health Education and
Welfare charged it with sex discrim-
ination on all levels. To nsure action,
HEW withheld federal contracts estimat-
ed at between $350,000 (the University
figure) and $3,924,000 (Women's Equity
Action League figure).
Without prodding by HEW, it is doubt-
ful any action would have been taken at
all. As it is, the University has only par-
tially fulfilled its promises to HEW. And
certainly it has shown no initiative in go-
ing beyond what HEW required.
THIS IS NOT to imply that the Uni-
versity has been totally remiss in its
obligation to women. Following the pas-
sage of the complaint appeal procedure
last week, female non-union and non-
faculty employes may now appeal their
cases of alleged discrimination to an im-
partial board of experts for review.
Previously, all such cases were reviewed
by the employe's supervisor, who was
probably responsible for discriminatory
policies in the first place.
Unfortunately, the complaint appeal
procedure covers only non-faculty and
non-union employes at the University.
Editorial Staff

Although women faculty members a r e
consistently paid less than their m a 1 e
counterparts, the University has yet to
perfect any adequate grievance proced-
ure for them.
Furthermore, there is good reason to
doubt that the University is going to
treat the complaint appeal procedures as
anything more than window dressing. For
in the only sex discrimination ever tried
at the University, the settlement was
grossly unfair, and virtually meaningless.
The case involved Cheryl Clark, an
employe of the Highway Safety Research
Institute, who charged the University
with paying her less than a man doing
the same job. The University acknow-
ledged that she was indeed being paid
less, but said the man was being over-
paid. His supervisors claimed to have seen
potentials in him which failed to mater-
ialize and thus gave him a higher sal-
ary. But because the same men had fail-
ed to see Clark's potentials, she was paid
less. Ultimately, Clark's requests for a
raise in salary and back pay were turned
down, and the man's salary remained un-
THUS, THE University has succeeded in
presenting itself as a leader in the
fight against sexism - but without any
real intention of changing the status of
In a similar fashion, the University has
established a highly touted set of goals
and timetables for the hiring of women,
whose actual effect is highly question-
able. For while they have apparently sat-
isfied the wishes of HEW, the Women's
Equity Action League has pointed out that
these objectives lie considerably below the
national average.
For example, the University's projected
number of female professors for 1973-74
is 6.6 per cent, while the current national
average is 8.7 per cent.
AND IN OTHER areas of sex discrimina-
tion not covered explicitly in the
HEW agreement, the University has made
no attempt whatsoever to reform itself.
The most notable of these areas is ad-
missions. Throughout the University, be-
cause more men than women are ad-
mitted, women applicants are required to
have higher academic qualifications than
their male counterparts.
Additional sex biases make it espec-
ially difficult for married women, di-
vorced women and women transferring
into graduate schools to be admitted. The
medical school, for instance, requires not
only that married women applicants be
interviewed, but also that their husbands
submit to interviews. No similar require-
ments exists for married males.
In many ways, then, the University is
trying to outflank the forces of senti-
ment within the University community
by appearing to fight tliscrimination
when in fact it does not. With this in
mind, it is only reasonable that people
here view the University's reports of pro-
gress toward ending sex discrimination
with a great deal of skepticism.

IT WAS SUMMER in Ann Arbor when
Justin left his house and began walk-
ing down the street.
Ann Arbor - a soft, easy name with
a touch of green to it, a name that
flowed clean like the Huron River, before
it got polluted (the river, that is).
Justin had spent several years in Ann
Arbor but that summer he lived there
for the first time. Lived, as opposed to
going to classes. There was a difference,.
A merry-go-round that had spun too
long, the town would finally slow down
in April. Dizzy from going in circles, ex-
hausted from the length of the ride, its
people would stop straining to touch the
gold ring and climb off their crazy danc-
ing ponies to sit down and rest.
He waved to the people next door, sit-
ting as usual on their porch swing. They
and the rest of the summer population
were in no hurry to send their lives reel-
ing again; instead, they rocked gently
through the cooling air of long summer
nights, their ambition mellowed by the
peaceful atmosphere that lay with the
town like a lover.
IT WAS SUMMER in Ann Arbor when
Justin Thyme left his house and began
walking down the street toward campus.
"Where you going?" Frank called out
from the porch.
"Going wading," said Justin. Perhaps
swimming, he added to himself. To swim,
perchance to drown.
Justin knew it was suicidal to leave
the summer, to approach the fall lurking
only a few blocksaway. Still, he was not
merely curious; he had a strong sense of
the inevitable and the fall was there,
like it or not, already folding its tentacles
around buildings and people and houses
and porch swings.
Even as he reached the corner, the
waves were lapping around his ankles.
He hestitated for a moment, considered
playing come-catch-me with the tide, re-
treating and advancing on the concrete
sidewalk shoreline. But he went on to-

ward campus, wading deeper and deeper
into the fall-ridden ocean of people.
Ann Arbor, washing over the island of
sanity that summer represented to so
many others. Making his -way slowly
across the Diag, Justin could hear the
tide of people crashing against the book-
stores, rushing into classrooms, eddying
through the Fishbowl.
He hestitated again, treading sweat
now in the sea of bodies. People and
more people, as far as he could see,
hurrying and pushing, all giving life to
a collective hysteria by participating in
it individually.
"We the people of the University,"
they pledged tacitly, "being of sound
mind and student body, do hereby agree
to drive ourselves crazy barrelling
through bookstores, to submit ourselves
to the exhausting mental and physical
torment of eternal lines, so we can get
the best classes and get the best grades
to get the best jobs when we get out-
if we get out."
The many-tentacled octopus of fall
swam easily through the crowds, feeding
on worried faces and already tired minds.
It had starved through the dry spell,
waited months for the flood to begin.
Justin never shouted-he was too real-
istic. But if he did, he would have then.
"Let go, dammit!" he would have shouted
to the octopus as it wrapped its cold arm
around him, so unlike the warm embrace
of summer.
"Get backi !"he would have shouted to
the rising tidal wave of people. "Leave
our island alone."
BUT HE KNEW it wasn't his island;
it never was. He and others who rested
that summer in Ann Arbor had only
borrowed it from the sea of people. It
was inevitable now-the Labor Day dikes
had burst wide open and the sea of
people was, once again, reclaiming its



Executive Editor

Managing Editor

STEVE KOPPMAN .... Editorial Page Editor
RICK PERLOFF . .. , Associate Editorial Page Editor
PAT MAHONEY Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LYNN WEINER .. Associate Managing Editor
LARRY LEMPERT Associate Managing Editor
ANITA'CRONE ..B.......Arts Editor
ROBERT CONROW ... Books Editor
JIM JUDKIS ..............Photography Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Rose Sue Berstein, Mark Dillen,
Sara Fitzgerald, .,Tammy Jacobs, Alan Lenhoff,
Jonathan Miller, Hester Pulling, Carla Rapoport,
Robert Schreiner, w. E. Schrock, Gert Sprung.
COPY EDITORS: Lindsay Chaney, Art Lerner, Debra
DAY EDITORS: P.E. Bauer, Linda Dreeben, Jim
Irwin, Hannah Morrison, Chris Parks, Gene
Robinson, Zachary Schiller.
Mitchell, Beth Oberfelder, Kristin Ringstrom,
Kenneth Schulze, Tony Schwartz, Jay Sheye-
vitz, Gloria Jane Smith, Sue Stark, Ted Stein,
Paul Travis, Marcia Zoslaw.
Sports Staff
MORT NOVECK, Sports Editor
JIM KEVRA, Executive Sports Editor
RICK CORNFELD ........ Associate Sports Editor
TERRI FOUCHEY . Contributing Sports Editor
BETSY MAHON .. ........Senior Night Editor
SPORTS NIGHT EDITORS: Bill Alterman, Bob An-
drews, Sandi Genis, Joel Greer, Elliot Legow. John
Papanex, Randy Phillips, Al Shackelford.
Business Staff
JAMES M. STOREY, Business Manager
Acive. tiling Manager Sales Manager




freshmen hear the expected


1 7

TVHE SECOND DAY of my fresh-
- man year, I-and close to 5,000
of my classmates - listened in-
tently to the indictments of an
eloquent young radical, who told
us that the administration was the
root of all evil.
Then we listened to a charming
grizzle-haired man who told us
that the University had many
constituencies- faculty, adminis-
trators, alumni and others-and
that young radicals were a very
small part of the whole.
We gave both of them enthu-
siastic standing ovations.
On Tuesday, about 2,000 fresh-
men of the class of '75 listened
somewhat less intently as a some-
what less eloquent radical told
them that the administration is
the root of all evil. The gray-
haired man, a bit more paternal
than before, told them-as he told
us-that the University has many
At the end, the freshmen clap-
ped politely, if slightly mechani-
cllv 'Thev did not stand.

When SGC President Rebecca
Schenk and University President
Robben F 1e m i n g gave their
speeches last week, the topics
were predictably characteristic,
with only slight variations in style
and content from those of the last
two years.
Schenk spoke on a multitude of
political issues facing the campus,
and spoke from a left-wing point
of view on all of them. Skipping
from issue to issue, she rarely de-
tailed any particular point. but
rather indiscriminately denounced

the Regents and administration at
all corners.
Fleming's speech touched on
several oft-repeated themes. Al-
though he stipulated that he
would not talk politics, he de-
nounced radicals for "denying to
others the right to give their
points of view." He made his
standard promise to visit any
dorm and speak on any issue, "no
holds barred," and he gave his
standard "the University has
many constituencies" speech, al-
most as if on cue.

Two years ago it thrilled the
freshmen, but now it was all well-
known. The newly arrived stu-,
dents had perhaps heard views
similar to Schenk's in high school.
Her presentation, complete with
outcry against war research and
denunciations of racism and sex-
ism, was what they had expected
to hear - what they had been
taught in the last few years, to
expect from student government
Schenk's speech and it's failure
to focus on one central topic made
it appear even more a collection,
of stock radical phrases.
Fleming, also, said exactly what
was expected, predictable e v e n
to those who haven't heard his
"constituents" argument a dozen
times. He came off as the model
college president, calm, paternal,
unruffled after the left-wing at-
tack that had preceded his speech.
Occasionally the liberal guise
slipped a bit. It is, for example,
ironic that Fleming told the fresh-
men that the competition here is
harder than high school because

trate a point about the need for
pressuring the administration, she
spoke of it as past history, and
it was abundantly clear that no
such protest on any issue would
be inspired from her speech.
Valid though much of Schenk's
criticism of the administration
was, it did not seem to "reach"
the already protest-weary fresh-
men to any great extent.
And fatherly and charming
though Fleming may be, he was
speaking to an audience that saw
through his paternalistic facade
and was not impressed.
Two years ago the SGC presi-
dent told the freshmen that any-
thing they learned would be "an*
accident brought about by having
a sufficiently large number of
bright people in one place."
This year Schenk told t h e
freshmen that they were "IBM
cards, and if you do not fit into
the proper slit you will be bent,
spindled or mutilated."
the proper slots, and yawned po-
litlynt seeehethat may .have


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