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September 09, 1971 - Image 6

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

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Page '5ix

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, September 9, 1971

Page "Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thu rsdoy, September 9, 1971

FALL POLITICS

-}hello K- -

IT'S

Emergence from

the lethargy?

TOIMURROW

you

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(Continued from Page 1)
In Michigan, a recent Su-
preme Court decision mandates
that students be allowed to
vote in their college towns if
they meet normal state resi-
dency requirements. And a pro-
posal making it easier for third
parties to gain local ballot re-
cognition will possibly be con-
sidered by Ann Arbor voters in
November.
With the newly gained right
to vote, swelled ranks of stu-
dent voters couldconceivably
launch a number of radicals in-
to the Ann Arbor city govern-
ment.
Leaders of the local Radical
Independent - Human Rights
Party are well aware of the op-
portunities. Formed last win-
ter as an Ann Arbor alternative
to the two party system, the
party hopes to gain wide sup-
port, as well as broaden its base
to include blacks and workers
from the rest of the community.

Their plans, however, like
those of SGC and of ad hoc
coalitions past and future, rest
on one lingering uncertainty-
the degree of student interest
and commitment. It is this
question mark that punctuates
all predictions for the fall and,
in many cases, holds back more
extensive planning.
Last yea'r's students, indeed,
responded o n 1 y half-heartedly
to calls for action-while a sit-
in to push for a student-run
bookstore drew widespread sup-
port the' year before, a similar
attempt over six radical de-
mands suffered an ignoble death
in the Administration Bldg. last
February.
It is impossible to tell if this
year's new students, primarily
incoming freshmen, will be any
different. Orientation g r o u p
leaders say that the few days of
orientation form little basis for
prediction. Several, however, re-

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1

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at BN

port a solid impression of pas-
siveness.
The leaders seem to agree
that the class of '75 is not naive.
"The freshmen are aware." they
claim, but some add, "They just
don't care."
One reporter who spent sev-
eral days with an orientation
group concluded, "Their heroes
aren't Rennie Davises; their
heroes are Ralph Naders." Lots
of freshmen will wet their feet,
she predicted, but not very
many will jump into campus po-
litical life and swim..
It is likely, of c o u r s e, that
freshmen and other students as
well will approach the political
pool less directly. Leaders of the
left who envision changing po-
litical structures also see their
movement as a change in life-
style.
One radical organizer talks
about "emphasizing alternate
institutions and creating a new
society" as the ultimate goal,
and points to the rise of food
cooperatives and collective hous-
ing on campus. Another observer
sees the development of a "sense
of community" as the most im-
portant goal for students this
year.
If campus activists are uncer-
tain about support, they are
nonetheless certain of one thing
-the issues are there. New
menus seldom appear on cam-
pus; radicals, h o w e v e r, have
never hesitated to warm up left-
overs from preceding terms, and
last term ended with a marked
number of leftovers.
A drive to ban classified and
military research from the Uni-
versity was delayed last spring
when Senate Assembly, the fac-
ulty representative body respon-
sible for drawing up research
guidelines, referred the question
to two of its committees.
Action on the committee re-
ports is scheduled for early this
fall, however, and leaders of the
movement against such research
say they will continue their op-
position.
The Regents acted in Feb-
ruary to exclude corporations
from recruiting at the Univer-
sity if they were seeking to
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employ persons specifically in
countries sanctioning legal ra-
cial discrimination. But radicals
had asked for acceptance of a
policy with more teeth-the.Of-
fice of Student Services policy
barring point-blank all corpora-
tions operating in such coun-
tries.
For a decade, activists have
sought to ban Reserve Officer
Training C o r p s (ROTC) from
the c a m p u s. However, having
moved to seek total federal re-
imbursement for the ROTC pro-
gram here, the University now
appears willing to accept a De-
partment of Defense proposal
that would cover the costs only
partially.
Demands for a free child care
center, student control over the
Course Mart-a loosely organ-
ized literary college program of
interdepartmental courses-and
use of University facilities by
the anti-war movement have
also gone unheeded.
While these demands simmer,
ever - increasing awareness on
the part of women is likely to
cause another revival of em-
phasis. In resolving a suit by the
Department of Health, Educa-
tion and Welfare (HEW), the
University last year committed
itself to hiring more women and
to ending sex discrimination.
Half a year before the HEW
suit, blacks also negotiated a set
of commitments from the Uni-
versity, in regard to supporting
an increase in black enrollment.
In contrast to the spring of
1970, when blacks initiated the
closing down of the University
for 10 days to press for their
demands, last year was a quiet
one for black students on cam-
pus.
But this year, according to
one member of the Black Stu-
dent Union, continuing efforts
to work on implementation of
the demands will be "a lot more
intensified; we'll take a much
closer- look this year at what's
going on."
While the Universityappears
to be meeting its schedule of in-
creased admissions, a number of
black students and adminis-
trators are concerned that the
level of supportive services for
the h e w 1 y admitted students
will not reach a sufficient level.
The summer, as one observer
puts it, is a twilight zone, a
time of suspended animation.
But now blacks, women, radical
leaders, student government of-
ficials, all types of students are
beginning tomove again, slowly.
"There are thousands of stu-
dents on this campus." the ob-
server continues, "and commit-
ted to a common cause they can
do just a b o u t anything they
want."
Thousands of students - a
sleeping giant. And no one is
really sure if the giant will
wake up.
Use fire carefully.

1

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