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March 30, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-03-30

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94r A~t t n 3
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

The case against Graduate Assembly

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michiqan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 1971 NIGHT EDITOR: LYNN WEINER
Election reco-mmendations

By NORMAN B. WILSON
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Norman B. Wilson was president of
Graduate Assembly in 1969-1970. Stuart Katz, president of
GA in 1968-1969, has endorsed Wilson's position.)
AS A FORMER President of Graduate Assembly I would
like to contribute some thoughts on the controversy
currently surrounding that embattled body.
Soul-searching has gone deep during this student elec-
tion season, but nowhere has that probe extended so far
as among the graduate students. The real issue is whether
Graduate Assembly, as presently constituted, can rise
Lazarus-like into something capable of more than inter-
minable, uninformed debate. After 33 years of fitful at-
tempts, I think that answer should be obvious.
Unfortunately, Jana Bommerbach, current President of
Graduate Assembly, has chosen to fight these long-needed
reforms. Perhaps that is understandable. But any clear-
sighted view of Graduate Assembly must argue for the
proposed Rackham Student Government. First, Graduate
Assembly has always had to deal with the problem of
legitimacy. Were they to be fully represented, graduate
students would send well over 100 members to GA. In my
experience, more than 75 duly elected members at a meet-
ing occurs with all the regularity of sun spots. Fifty is an
unusually high attendance. Twenty to thirty is normal.
My predecessor wrestled long and hard with a decision
to propose abolishing Graduate Assembly. Frequently I
wished that he had. The heart of the matter is that gradu-
ate students, scrabbling for an existence in the dust fields
of academe, have little time to devote to activities that
do not pay for themselves in some way. GA with the un-
bounded largesse of office and $3000 per year from the
Rackham Executive Board is hardly worth bothering

about. Compounded with the constant undermining of the'
group that the Rackham Executive Board performs, GA
is pressed merely to survive from year to year.
THE PROPOSED Rackham Student Government reme-
dies several plaguing ills. As presently constituted, GA
submerges Rackham students in what attempts to be a
University-wide organization.
When a specific Rackham issue comes up, those students
not enrolled in Rackham but members of GA are sup-
posed to abstain. But in negotiations with the Rackham
Executive Board GA is charged with being under the
influence of "outsiders" such as students from the Social
Work School.
By replacing GA with a true Rackham Student Govern-
ment the legitimacy of leaders would be less subject to
question. By including provision for an executive board
popularly elected, the proposed constitution offers more
direct control of the organization to the graduate students.
An assembly similar to GA is still a possibility under the
new constitution, but the executive board can operate if
interest in such a body falters. A majority of the assembly
can always block any action of the executive board should
disagreement arise by sending the dispute to a referen-
dum. The result is a compromise between a system that
is almost unworkable and one that has much better pros-
pects for success. It is not true that students in the Physi-
cal Sciences would be excluded in the proposed assembly,
as Miss Bommerbach has alleged.
IN THE AREA of judiciary matters, Miss Bommerbach
also betrays a lack of perspective and insight when she
states that GA has no power to suspend graduates or set

rules for them. One of the ennervating and unresolved
controversies that the Rackham School Executive Board
has perpetuated with GA is that the power should be
shared, with them. Obviously, the whole burden of the
student side of the controversy hasbeen that only students
should be in a position to sit on judiciary boards.
Her charge that graduate students are not political ani-
mals must be agreed with in part. But the students run-
ning for positions on the executive board created by the
proposed reform demonstrate the many issues confront-
ing graduates that have not been dealth with adequately.
Many of these issues might be now resolved if GA had a
less clumsy method of operating and were it a body with
more respect.
The idea that Michael Davis is single-handedly destroy-
ing GA hardly needs comment. If GA is a viable body it
will survive this storm. But one of its very deficiencies is
challenged: GA as presently constituted is not subject to
reform save through the petition of members. Its officers
are elected from its membership. Until that membership
can truly represent all students it purports to represent,
it is liable to the charge of illegitimacy.
AT THE very least this election would legitimize a board
that would be irreproachable in the eyes of the University
and of the Rackham School Executive Board. Naturally,
if the funding proposal is approved, the, Rackham Student
Government would have the wherewithal to attack some of
the problems graduate students face that have persisted
far too long. I wholeheartedly support the adoption of the
proposed Rackham Student Government as the only rea-
sonable solution to the problems GA finds itself incapable
of confronting.

4

THE FOLLOWING recommendations
for the campus-wide elections today
and tomorrow were explained in Sun-
day's Daily:
Student
Government
Council
President and
executive vice president
Recommended: Rebecca Schenk and
Jerry Rosenblatt.
Acceptable: Marty Scott and Tiburcio
Vasquez (Students are urged to indi-
cate this slate as second choice).
Atlarge seats
Recommended: Arlene Griffin, Barba-
ra Goldman, Tom Vernier, Bill Kand-
ler, Rebecca Schenk.
Acceptable: Louis Lessem, Jay Hack,
Joel Silverstein, Laurie Ellias, Shirley
Nickovich.
The referenda
Students are urged to vote yes on the
two referenda asking whether classi-
fied and military research should be
barred from the University. ,
Yes votes are also urged for the pro-
posal that tuition be increased $1.85
per term, a sum which would be divided

among SGC and the student govern-
ments in each school and college.
Also, students are urged to vote for
ratification of the People's Peace Trea-
ty, which calls for an immediate cease-
fire in Indochina, total withdrawal of
U.S. troops from the area, and demo-
cratic elections organized by a provis-
ion coalition government.
LSA Student Government
Although the candidates for execu-
tive council seem to be poorly qualified
for the posts they seek, we believe the
most competent are Russ Bikoff, Bob
Black and Steve Weissman, and Bren-
da McGadney.
Rackham Student
Government
President and vice president
Recommended: Dan Fox and Bill Stout.
At-large seats
Recommended: Dan Fox, James Bun-
tin, Lois Verbrugge, Martha Arnold,
Penni Hudis, Harry Power.
Board for Student
Publications
Recommended: Donna Katzman.

SGC campaign spending

As JOE McGINNIS points out graphical-
ly in The Selling of the President 1968,
advertising money, m o r e than politics,
assured victory in that year's presidential
race. f
The discriminatory implications of ov-
erspending are of course too obvious to
elaborate. But one thing is certain, these
attempts by candidates to buy themselves
the presidency are one form of electoral
inequity SGC should be able to control.
Indeed, this is one of the reasons SGC
adopted its election code.
At that time, SGC set the limit for
spending in presidential campaigns at
$100. In addition, SGC is willing to reim-
burse each presidential slate t h a t re-
ceives a certain number of votes with a
$50 stipend. To receive the stipend, the
slate must merely garner 25 per cent of
the first-place votes received by the slate
with the most first place votes.
When a candidate's expenditures ex-
ceed the stated limit, he gains unfair ad-
vantage over his opponents by being able
to saturate the voters
THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE of the Uni-
versity, where the o n 1 y exposure a
candidate in an all-campus election gets
is often through the Daily or through his+
own advertising.
Thus, SGC's $50 stipend plan is one
step towards democratizing the elections.
However, it might be even better if SGC+
supplied the total campaign funds need-
ed, both allowing less wealthy students to
run for election and providing a deter-
rent to overspending.
In addition, SGC should strengthen the
Funding
a''Tg"

election code so that overspending is
made impossible. For the current presi-
dential campaign has shown t h a t the
stipulations of the elections code are not
clear enough to avoid being subject to
misinterpretation.
For example, the election code as it
now stands safeguards against a candi-
date receiving free campaign materials
from friends or family by explaining that
expenditures shall be calculated at "fair
market value."
WHEN THIS ELECTION is over, there-
fore, SGC should take occasion to re-
view the election code to strengthen its
rules to the point where these aberra-
tions are impossible.
Included among these reforms might
be a provision that the Credentials and
Rules committee approve all campaign
expenditures for each candidate before orc
during the campaign, rather than trust-<
ing the candidates to spend within the
limit and turn in accurate expense ac--
counts.I
Early approval of expenditures and a
grant by SGC of the total amount of cam-.
paign funds would further the chances f
f o r a financially-fair SGC presidential
election.
Such a code governing campaign spend-
ing seems essential if SGC is sincerely in-t
terested in gaining the confidence of its
constituency.
THE PRESIDENCY, dubious post of dis-
tinction that it is, must not be sold to
the highest bidder.
-TAMMY JACOBS
proposal:

Letters to
Misinterpretation producti
We w
To The Daily: would ta
IN THE Daily article printed in their
March 27, 1971 entitled "Apathy future.
Plagues LSA Elections," a grave
error was made. There has been
a weighty misinterpretation of our
presidential slate by Daily inter-
view personnel.
Rick Ratner and I were asked a
series of questions of which two
were as follows: "What did we
feel was the base of student apa-
thy?" and "why were we ineffec- To The
tive?" The answer to the first I WOU
question was a truthful admission charge
of ineffectiveness. The answer to "Gordin
the secondquestion was the gov- methods
erment addressed itself to. what have pus
our slate feels. are issues that stu- time in
dents are not interested in be- just suc
cause of their political nature. tion say
The next part of the response Both i
pertained to internal effectiveness. lets hav
We stated very clearly that if we bytshive
as a government had been more
organized internally we c o uIld improve
have been more effective. Natur- 1. Est
ally, the organization we referred contacts
to normally comes from executive 2. Doi
officers, which we stated, the iu
Here is our grievance. How is it the issu3.
that the particular responses ren- t.ouhs
dered to specific questions led to through
one answer to one question? ot4. r
PERHAPS THE answer to the a power.
mishap lies in the interviewing lobby
techniques employed. The Daily Perhai
briefly records the responses giv- mention
en, but connects them to no spec- judgmen
ific questions. Due to this meth-
od of recording replies, coupled
with the time lapse from interview
to article, a mistake resulted. Our
specific responses were misappre-
hended. Specific answers to spec-
ific questions were fused into a
general response to an unsolicited To theI
question. IWAS
We believe the irreparable dam- breach
age done to the integrity of our sembly's
out-going executive officers is ill- "In Def
placed on our shoulders. There is bly." Thi
absolut'ly no way two students judiciary
could in any way influence or ed the s
create apathy in a student body as selected
large as the literary college. It is I have n
clear that there is no need for inco
muckraking, certainly not in an gi;or
unopposed campaign, it; nor
Furthermore, we would like to judicial
include here comments referring any tim
to the general cynicism of the the
article. In a paper established to three of t
serve student needs, we cannot see are now
the responsibility of the Daily Second
being carefully exercises. We see gests a p
the article as severely counter- my writ

ve to student government.
ould hope that the Daily
Lke more painstaking steps
analysis articles in t h e
-Jim Bridges
Member at Large
LSA Student
Government
Presidential
Candidate
Answering charge
Daily:
ULD LIKE to answer yonr
in Sunday's paper that
appears to be unsure on
to achieve his goals." I
rposely spent most of my
this campaign expanding
:h methods. Can my opposi-
the same?
my platform and other leaf-
e all emphasized the means
h I feel campus life'can be
d. These means include:
Ablishing better informal
with both the administra-
Regents
ng extensive research on
ies
sing student s u 9 p o r t
the University Record and
iedia
nbining the above to create
ful, knowledgeable student
ps the Daily 3houlI have
ed these points before
nt.
-Fred Gordin
Candidate
SGC Member-at-Large
March 29
Wrongly accused
Daily:
WRONGLY accused of a
of ethics in Graduate As-
Saturday article entitled
ense of Graduate Assem-
e article claimed I filed a
case after having "head-
creening committee which
the judges for !the trial."
ever served on the screen-
mittee, much less headed
have I been involved in
selection at any stage at
e; nor can I even tell you
es of more than two or
the judiciary members who
serving.
ly, this same article sug-
roximate relation between
ing of the legislation in-
which is true), my writing
rief in the complaint this
ainst Graduate Assembly
s true), and my alleged
of the judiciary (which is
The legislation involved
ten by me-in November,
d was passed in April,
two years ago. Only

The

someone suffering from extreme
paranoia and misinformation could
connect the two distant things I
did with the thing I did not do.
The significant thing about GA's
"defense" is not the silly personal
attacks on me and Mike Davis-
but rathef that GA failed to answer
any of the complaints against it.
GA is absolutely alone among the
government and organizations on
this campus in being an "undemo-
cratically constituted body." fa>rly
GA has the nerve to claim to be

ection comment

in the past two years, a period en-
compassing the appointments of all
the present members of the court,
has John Koza been on a CSJ in-
terviewing committee. The error
is a serious one because it implies
that Grad Assembly cannot receive
an impartial hearing before CSJ.
This is not the case. A decision in
the Grad Assembly matter will be
announced after deliberation on
Tuesday night.
-Larry Klein
Chairman CSJ

We appreciate Mr. Davi-V efforts
to insure adequate representation
for women amon gthe candidates.
(Imagine what Ms. Bomnmerbach
and Mr. Berg would have said
about male chauvinism ifi there
had been no women running.) How-
ever, none of us knew Mr. Davis
beforehand; we are not friends,
agents, or puppets of his. We are
candidates independent of Mr.
Davis and of each other. We do
agree on the importance of elimi-
nating discrimination a g a i n s t
women in the University and intend
to work for this goal as concerned
women, not "token" females.
--Martha Arnold Grid.
Penni Ifudis Grad.
Ruth Senter Grad,
Lois Verbrugge Grad.
March 28
Endorsements
To The Daily:
THE DAILY Senior Editors-have
blatantly abused their privilege to
evaluate candidates in the all-
campus elections, as is evidenced
by their endorsements for Board
for Student Publications. Although
the editors last year did not en-
dorse candidates for this cate-
gory due to the conflict of interest,
the reason for your action this
year is obvious - your choice
reeks of vested interest.
Since you have not seen fit to
educate the students as to the
structure of the Daily or the
Board so that theytmay vote real-
istically, I shall take a few of
your lines to inform the campus,
and perhaps yourselves. There is
an editorial staff. There is a busi-
ness staff. The editorial policies
are not subject to change except at
either the Regents' or your dis-
cretion. The business staff is not
without a liberal Business Man-
ager (on an administrative level
EQUAL to the Editor's).
The business staff has taken 4
a stand on sexism - to educate
the advertiser to the elements of
sexism and to 'suggest' vehemently
that sexist ads not be run, al-
though if that is what the adver-
tiser wants to portray himself as,
the Daily business staff will not
refuse to let the truth about the
advertiser be known.
THERE IS ONE advertising
change which must be made,
though-that is not to allow edi-
torial personnel to place f r e e
campaign promotions within the
Daily, as was done for Donna
Katzman. The blatancy is ludi-
crous. You also seem to have ne-
glected to interview Brian Lang,
who is running for the graduate
seat on the Board. Neglect?
-Ian Wright, '71
March 29
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Ian Wright was
business manager of The Daily in
1970-1971).

"I don't want to leave the impression that the
pictures we hove been seeing on television
aba

the representative, indeed the sole
and exclusive representative, of
some 20,000 students, while admit-
ting that it does not even hold elec-
tions in a majority of the depart-
ments whose students it claims to
"represent."
-John Koza
Grad,
March 28
Glaring error
To The Daily:
JANA BOMMERBACH and John
Berg in their Daily article "In De-
fense of Graduate Assembly,"
(March 27), make a particulacly
glaring error. They write that John
Koza, a complainant in the Gradu-
ate Assembly case currently before
the Central Student Judiciary, "sat
on the screening committee which
selected judges for the trial."
This simply is false. At no time

Independent candidates
To The Daily:
IN A GUEST article on Satur-
day's editorial page, Jana Bom-
merbach and John Berg of Gradu-
ate Assembly accused Michael Da-
vis of playing "the traditional
chauvinistic role of seeking token
female support from graduate
women" for the proposed Rackham
Student Government.
It is true that some of the can-
didates who are running were
asked to do so by Mizhael Davis.
We, the undersigned female candi-
dates, would not have run without
being asked (not all of us were
asked by Mr. Davis, by the way)
simply because we did not know
about the election. Time has been
short, and communications among
graduate student very poor (some-
thing we hope the Rackham Stu-
dent Government will change).

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.

volved ('
of the b.
year aga
(which i
packingc
false).7
was writ
1968, an
1969-i.e.

Revitalizing

student

governments

(This article represents the position of
The Intergovernmental Coalition for the
Fund Plan.),
TODAY AND tomorrow students will have
a chance to vote for a proposal which
will effectively fund the financially ailing
student governments at the University.
The proposal will take the form of a re-
ferendum question on the SGC elections
ballot asking,
"Should funding for student govern-
ments be set at a level of $1.85 per
student per term, $1.00 to go to the
students college government and $.85
to go to the all campus student govern-
ment, according to the "Funding

major interest in the passage of the
funding proposal.
The question is posed on an SGC ballot
only because SGC elections are the only
student-wide elections, and as such
are the most fitting place for a referendum
affecting all students, and all student gov-
ernments.
The school and college governments need

money to (1) do organizational work to
accomplish their goals (2) communicate
with their constituencies through n e w s-
letters, polls, distributions of the miinutes
of meetings (3) hold ratification votes on
constitutions and conduct elections. The
objectives of school and college govern-
ments might include direct services like
providing access to mimeo machines, cal-
culators, typewriters, or course evaluations,
or they might include sponsoring courses,
lecture series, etc.
The governments might also organize for
parity student representation in decisions
on tenure, hiring, curriculum, job re-
cruitment, etc. There is no limit to the
goals which might be undertaken by ade-
quately funded student governments.

a small percentage of it is tied up in
operational expenses. Such expenses in-
clude annual salaries of three part-time
secretaries, telephone bills, postage, sup-
plies (paper along is incredibly expen-
sive when bought in large volume) adver-
tising, damage and depreciation on a $600
mimeograph machine, and the legal aid
service.
All in all, $7000 per year is the approx-
imate amount with which SGC has to
conduct the many battles necessary to win
student self-determination. How much
money does it take to win university-wide
campus struggles? It costs an extraordin-
ary amount to challenge wealthy, en-
trenched, social institutions like univer-
sities. In one of the few properly coordi-

monies will be wisely spent by student
governments? The answer is simple. It is
student involvement and interest in struc-
tures which can effectively aid student's
day-to-day lives.
We believe that every student at this
university has an obviously vital interest in
controlling his or her individual life. We
also believe that control over one's own

life necessitates political action on the
part of the individual. Such political ac-
tion, to be effective, must necessarily be
joint action with other persons of similar
political, social, and personal interests.
WHILE POLITICAL action to guard
individual and collective student rights and
interests can take many forms, an essen-
tial form of action must be the creation of
new modes and the renovation and streng-
thening of old modes of institutionalized
student power. In other words, students
need to build and strengthen student gov-
ernment. Such a form of political action
is necessary because it can create ongoing
and relatively stable safeguards to pro-
tect student interests. In fact, without

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