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September 09, 1971 - Image 61

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-9

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Thursday, September 9; 1971


Page Seven

Thursday, September 9, 1971 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

SGC activities: Power failure at the





From sitting in on the LSA
Bldg. floor to sitting around a
negotiating table with President
Robben Fleming, Student Gov-
ernment Council members have
in recent times fostered much
change in the University com-
However, the students' repre-
sentative body is only as strong
as its members choose to make
it, and in any given year, its
political nature varies each
In-the past, SGC members
have enmeshed themselves in
the University's strident power
movement, taking active steps
t o wa rds increasing students'
role in University decision-mak-
ing processes.
As well, members have used
their influence with administra-
tors and faculty to aid various
student groups which had been
pressing the University to im-
plement their demands.
And, as SOC campus activists
in the past have tended to use
their positions as SGC officers
for added clout with University
officials rather than to work
through Council procedures to
attain their ends, SGC itself
has been a rather innocuous or
Basically, SGC is constitution-
ally empowered to recognize new
s t u d e n t organizations, grant
parts of its $18,000 yearly budget
to those groups who request
funds, "lobby for the interests of
students," and serve as the of-
ficial liason between University
policy-making agencies and the
University community - often
appointing members to Univer-
sity governing and investigative
SGC members, in this latter

Choosing among the SGC alternatives

This last year, however, with
decreased political action on
campus, SGC members have slid
from their active campus role
into a situation where, as one
long - time observer sees it,
"they have done very little be-
sides red tape stuff. The whole
SGC is in limbo."
Another major difference be-
tween SGC of past years and
this year's Council is its politi-
cal makeup.
SGC has been known through-
out the past several years as a
group with politics ranging from
left liberal to radical, with its
leaders oftenleading other rad-
ical forces on campus in addi-
tion to SGC.
This year, however, the comn-
position of Council has shifted
towards the right, as four mod-
erate conservatives gained seats
in the closely contested March
Although the newly elected
president, Rebecca Schenk, and
her running mate, Executive
Vice President Jerry Rosenblatt,
classify themselves as radicals,
their election seemed to almost
come at the expense of main-
taining a radical Council.
When the returns weire in,
four members of the politically
right Student Caucus, who ran
on a platform of "turn the ras-
cals out," had gained four of
the five full year seats up for
election. The fifth and two
half-year terms were gained by
members of the radical Student
Analysts of the election have
said that the left's vote was
spread between the five mem-
bers of the Coalition, the coun-
cil seat candidacy of Schenk
(who ran for Council in the
event she didn't win the uresi-

dency), and two members of
Young Socialist Alliance. Ac-
cording to many analysises, the
Coalition members would have
won all five full year seats had
Schenk not run for Council as
well as president, thereby drain-
ing off votes from the Coalition.
But the greatest political battle
for control of Council came not
in the elections for the member
seats, but over the choice of a
Student voters had the classic
choice of presidential tickets this
spring. The incumbent president,

most the most exciting part of
SGC's year. In a year marked
with political inactivity on cam-
pus, SGC has not played a large
role in campus affairs with the
exception of University commit-
Many observers. expecting an
equally inactive political scene
during the coming months, pre-
dict that the switch towards
the right in Council membership
should not make a difference in
University politics.
Thus, plagued with a lack of
meaningful funds, power, and


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ALL PERSONS are invited to come
enjoy our meetings.

MEETING supplies you with the following
percentages of the minimum daily require-
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AESTHETIC .......300%
SENSUAL .........20-700%
SOCIAL ............ 70-600 %
The BACH CLUB is a bunch of people who like clas-
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capacity, often gain their great-
est input into University deci-
sions, but explain that even so,
their opinions are given limited
weight and attention.
But by working as committee
members in various student-
faculty - administration boards,
SGC members have found their
impact on University affairs
much greater than any work
they do at the weekly meetings
of Council itself.
These weekly meetings, with
11 members, five officers and
two or three interested students
in attendance, are usually two
or three hour sessions of "beau-
cractic dirty work."
Council members methodical-
ly recognize organizations, dole
out small amounts of money for
the usual three or four petition-
ing groups, and perhaps pass

motions in support or non-sup-
port of a political issue cur-
rently in the campus's eye.
Because of their ineffective-
ness, these motions have been
termed "paper motions." In an
attempt to change that reputa-
tion by Council members and
students alike, this year many
motions have included a stipu-
lation that one Council member
serve as liason between the
group supported in the motion
and Council.
Since the workings of Council
itself are often discouraging and
non-productive in the eyes of
many Council and community
members, the majority of Coun-
cil members in the past have
chosen to individually participate
in student movements rather than
work through the limited consti-
tutional powers of SGC.

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SGC President Rebecca Schenk

School units strive for greater influence

Pass-fail grading systems, the
improvement of student-faculty
communication, and work-study
programs are some of the typical
projects which the University's
various student governments are
looking into and working on.
In decisions over academic
matters, college governments
and councils are one avenue
through which students can bet-
ter make their voices heard.
Aside from Student Govern-
ment Council (SGC), the major
representative body of University
students, there are 18 separate
student bodies operating in the
University's schools and colleges.
Although the structure and -d
rivation of the groups vary from
one unit to the other, all share
the common goal of increased
student input in the decision-mal.-
ing process.
Over the last few years these
groups have been involved in a°
number of activities aimed at m-
proving the quality of education
for their student constituents.
In an era in which politics are
of increasing concern to many
students, however, school govern-
ments have also become involv-
ed in promoting political causes
of interest to their constiuenis.
Medical school government, for
example, conducted a survey
this spring on the opinions of
medical students on legalized
The results of the survey which
reflected considerable sent''men
for relaxing'present restrictions
were sent to the state capital
where abortion legislation was
then being considered.
Despite eaccomplishments in
several areas, however, stuulant
governments are faced with nu-
merous difficulties in their ef-
forts to effectively promote stu-
dent interests.
Not the least of their proble"s
is in determining what the stu-
dents would like to see done.
This lack of input often leaves
government leaders uncertain as
to exactly what the goals and
priorities of their groups should
be. As one student government
leader put it, "The problem of
apathy is always present."
Even when communicati-+-n is
open and student councils aave a
clear mandate, they may find
they lack the necessary power to
take action.
Direct power delegated to stu-
dent governments is often limited
or nonexistent, and influence and
persuasion are often the only
leverage these units possess.
Weu n'tare
WhtYou Do
Wihte Money
Yo ave on

One crucial element, accord-
ing to many student leaders, is in-
.fluence exerted by student gov-
ernment representatives in var-
ious college committees.
When the number of students
and faculty on these committees
is nearly equal, students "have
been effective" according to one
student official.
More often, however, these
committees contain more admin-
istrators and faculty, than stu-
dents, and students find them-
selves in a "begging position"
former SGC president Marty
Scott says.
Along with a lack of direct pow-
er, student councils face the per-
ennial governmental problem of
restrictions on funding.
Many units are funded through
the budget of their respective
school or college, and although
funds are generally available in
this manner the price paid for
such support is often surrender
of sovereignity to administrators
and faculty members.
Also, dealing with available
funds in an efficient manner,
and negotiating with the faculty
and administration o f t e n re-
quires a degree of expertise and
experience not possessed by stu-
dent leaders, according to Lottie
Piltz, student government advo-

cate in the Office of Student
Many of these units, Piltz
says, change leaders each year,
denying the students enough
time to gain necessary experi-
ence or plan lang-range pro-
Problems within governments
are often joined by a lack of co-
operation among different gov-
ernments and between college
governments and SGC. Piltz
says there is "much animosity"
between the different units.
Overlapping responsibilities,
for example, are one factor that
leads to intergovernmental con-
Graduate students, for exam-
ple, faced much confusion this
year when charges were filed
against 0Gra d ua te Assembly
GA). which claims to repre-
sent all graduate students.
The charges, pressed by Mi-
chael Davis, Grad, said that GA
was unrepresentative. As GA's
case worked its way through the
student court, a new body was
being born - Rackham Student
Government (RSG), whose con-
stitution, written primarily by
Davis, was passed during the
March SGC elections.
GA was eventually declared
completely illegitimate by the
court, although the graduate

group has refused to accept that
So at present graduate stu-
dents at Rackham, which houses
the majority of graduate pro-
grams, are represented by RSG,
while GA still claims to repre-
sent a conglomeration of all
graduate students.
Conflicts such as this have
created considerable strain in
intergovernmental relations and
have hampered efforts at co-
ordination of efforts.
In order to iron out some of
these differences and provide
for b e t t e r communication
among governments on campus,
a symposium was held on stu-
dent governments this February.
At the symposium, leaders
from various college govern-
ments as well as SOC discussed
the problems of representation,
intergovernmental cooperation,
and funding.
The major result of the meet-
ing was a proposal, placed on
the spring ballot, which would
have assessed each student $1.85
per year with $1 going to his
college government, and 85 cents
going to SGC.
Although the measure was de-
feated, s t u d e n t government
leaders point to it as a mile-
stone in intergovernmental co-

Marty Scott. who termed himself
a radical, but has been criticized
by radicals for not being active
enough ran against radical Re-
becca Schenk, wl,.o had served
on the literary colleges' student
government. 'tie th'd candidate
was Bill Thee, a conservative
candidate carrying the strong
backing of campus conservative
A few days bcf ore the election.
a slight scandal broke out as a
member of Council not up for
election, Maurice Heyn, charged,
Thee with spending more than
the allotted campaign funds.
SGC's elections Uo.rd, the Cre-
dentials and Rules Committee,
held hearings and eventually con-
victed Thee of overspending.
Thee and his running mate, Jim
Kent, have said t'~rt this action,
which they called a "witch
hunt," combined with The Daily's
strong editorial criticism of
Thee's candidacy lost them the
Thus the elections proved al-

political apathy, SO eseems
fated to remain a token repre-
sentative group of students.
However, despite the prob-
lems of Council itself, its mem-
bers and leaders still retain the
potential to use their offices to
become active once again in
c a m p u s politics, regardless of
which side each member chooses.


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e Intermediate Hebrew
* Advanced Hebrew
* Hebrew Speaking Club
" BIBLICAL HERETICS: Jeremiah, Job and Koheleth
* MARTIN BUBER: The Way of Man in the Teachings
of Hassidism
" BASIC JUDAISM: This course is concerned
exclusively with the Jewish religion, not culture,





sociology, Zionism or the like
* THE HOLOCAUST: Studies in Jewish
It is possible to retain one's faith in
man and history after Auschwitz.







Investigation of normative Jewish dictates on
problems such as war, peace, abortion,
contraception, labor management, government.
Babel, Potok, Roth, Koestler, Fitzgerald, Michener
psychological, political evaluation of the
conflict in the Middle East
approach to the various forms of Israeli
culture and art


An experience into the mystical

heritage of Hassidic Judaism

Student Supplies



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