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October 15, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-15

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fifw 34dian, - Daily
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Struggling for a child care center

420 Maynadd St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



The U' and recruiters:
Time to enforce the rules

THE UNIVERSITY provides permanent
facilities in the form of office space,
secretarial help, and public forums for
corporations to come to campus, tell their
stories, and recruit employes. The only
demands made upon these corporations
by the University is that they not prac-
tice discrimination. Each prospective re-
cruiter is'.required to. sign a statement
which says, in p a r t, "services are not
available to any organization or individ-
ual which discriminates against any per-
son because of race, color, creed, sex, re-
ligion or national origin, nor which does
not maintain an affirmative action pro-
gram to 'assure equal employment oppor-
As it turns out, this statement is no
more than rhetoric. M a n y corporations
which disavow discrimination, and thus
recruit at this University, practice dis-
crimination in fact. in South Africa,
Southern Rhodesia, Angola, and Mozam-
bique. Not only do they operate there, but
they bolster those governments by pro-
viding critical economic capital.
The University has only once attempted
to enforce the non-discrimination policy
and bar a recruiter from using campus
facilities. This occurred about two years
ago when it was discovered that a law
firm was discriminating against women.
Even-;this action came only as a result of
great outside pressure. T h e University
usually simply -assumes that corporations
do in fact follow the non-discrimination
policy; it has never bothered to find out
whether or not a business actually ad-
heres to the statement it signs.

IN THE ABSENCE of any attempt to en-
force it, this policy, does more harm
than good. It serves as an endorsement
of an alleged non-discrimination policy
on the part of the corporations recruiting
here. The University thus permits busi-
nesses to misrepresent themselves , to
prospective employes on campus, thus en-
gaging in a disservice to students rather
than the service recruiting facilities are
supposed to be.
A group of students has now proposed
to the University that it begin to enforce
its own rules. In light of the University's
zeal to apply other regulations - espec-
ially where student conduct is concerned
- this request is not unreasonable. Cor-
porations with operations in South Africa
know what they are getting into. South
Africa's apartheid employmefit laws de-
termine wage scales based on race, pre-
vent blacks from holding skilled or sup-
ervisory positions, prohibit blacks from
striking or forming trade unions. Compli-
ance with these apartheid laws is obli-
gatory for all corporations. T h e cheap
labor does not, however, adversely affect

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
article represents the position or
the Child. Care Action Group of
Women's Liberation. It is written by
Judy Sharpless, Marcia Wisch and
Julia Wrigley.
FOR THE past nine months,
Child Care Action Group of
Women's Liberation has tried un-
sucessfully to negotiate through
the "proper bureaucratic chan-
nels" for a University-funded, yet
parent-staff controlled, twenty-
four hour child care center.
vajor justification for such fa-
cilities is based on two principles:
liberation and self -deterrpination
for women and the promotion of
a responsbility for the welfare
and care of children by our so-
ciety generally. Sadly, the reality
faced by most women is not only
a work-load at home, but also a
job in the factory, office or shop.
Women constitute 40 per cent of
the present work forc'e, earning
approximately one third less pro-
portional wages than men. Yet the
woman is still expected to bear
the responsibility for housework
and child care; in other words, a
minimum sixteen hour day with
no pay.
In this university community,
for example, women are found in
the dorm kitchens, hospital wards
and departmental offices working
for pitifully low wages. - Many
women also work to support their
husband's education while at-
tempting to care for a family
and continue their own education
as well.
In the, face of this kind of
discrimination child care is only
one of many demands women are
making in order to insure equit-
able opportunity for the develop-
ment of themselves and their chil-
dren. But the call for child care
facilities transcends r a c e and
class lines. Free child care, while
only a beginning, is an important
beginning in the battle for wo-
men's rights.

THE ARGUMENTS for easily
available free child care facilities
are many. It is the social respon-
sibility of the state to provide
for the health and welfare of chil-
dren. It is also an important as-
pect of women's demands for liber-
ation in our society. In the pres-
ent setting, the University, as an
employer, has a responsibility to
its workers; as a university, it has
a responsibility to its students.
And as a powerful institution in
the community, the University has
a responsibility to the people of
Ann Arbor. As usual, the Univer-
sity has abdicated its responsi-
What follows is an informal
diary of the attempts of Child
Care Action Group to institute a
child care center at the Univer-
sity. Its experience in dealing with
the University reflects the Uni-
versity's disregard for the welfare
of its constituency. The University
has consistently refused to take
the group seriously.
Child Care Action Group, organ-
ized in February by Women's Lib-
eration opened its campaign at and
Office of Student Organizations
luncheon scheduled to discuss
"Women's Liberation and its Ef-
fects on the University." Many of
us felt that it would provide an
appropriate forum at which to
present our demands. When it
was learned that a group of us
would be there, however, every
one of the male administrators ex-
pected to attend arranged for a
"previous engagement" and for-
mer Acting Vice President for
Student Affairs, Barbara Newell
was sent to pacify us.
We listened to the traditional
administrative rhetoric but noth-
ing concrete resulted. Clearly, we
needed a broader base of support
in order to make any impact on
the University. We wanted the
University to re-examine its prior-
ities and realize that child care

must come before defense research
and the building of parking struc-
Wir first attempt at meeting
with President Fleming met with
instant rejection. We arrived for
our scheduled appointment and
were met promptly at 10:00 A.M.
by a janitor who would not allow
us off the elevator. He relayed a
message from the President: we
would be given audience on the
f6llowing Monday at 10:00.
3y mid-April we had a Univer-
siyt "blue ribbon" committee to
"study" the child care issue. Dean
Wilbur Cohen of the School of
Education was appointed head of
the committee which also included
people from the School of Social
Work, Psychologyand Center for
the Continuing Education of Wo-
OUR GROUP submitted a pro-
posal for a short term experiment-
al child care center to be opened
second summer session. Although
it came short of meeting most of
our original demands, we felt that
it would give us experience in ac-
tually opening a center. The sum-
mer program did show, however,
the great need for a child -care
center among workers and stu-
dents at the University.
The major problem then, as
now, was finding housing for the
center. Naturally, the University
was slow to move. When no action
was taken by the University, the
child care group began a petition
campaign. In a matter of days, we
collected over 500 signatures which
indicated substantial approval for
the idea of a University-funded,
parent-staff-controlled child care
center. In the absence of a Uni-
versity commitment, we planned
to open our own center in a tent,
on the Diag with toys, cookies
and lots of children.
At that time Fleming gave us
an offer: a residence hall dining
room for the summer. We chose
Mary Markley because it was the
largest of those offered. So, given
six days notice and with much
confusion, the Children's Drop-
In Center opened on July 6.
We soon encountered the typ-
ical problems of running such a
center with no previous experi-
ence. However, with unflagging
support of parents and volunteers,
we were able to pay two half-
time staff $18 a week with a slid-
ing-scale fee paid by the parents,
keep a continuous supply of cook-
ies and juice on hand and proper-
ly care for as many as 35 children
in one day on a drop-in basis for
six weeks. Apart from the Univer-
sity-donated toys, the center sup-
ported itself. We were thankful
for the space in Mary Markley.
WE REMAINED very concerned
about the University's slow prog-
ress in finding a permanent loca-
tion. In early August, a member
of Child Care Action called Dean
Cohen -to check on the progress
of the research. A secretary inad-
vertently revealed that the Dean's


The question before the University
is quite clear: Will it enforce existing
ulations, even when they apply to


committee was meeting the fol-
lowing week to discuss the future
of the center. We were then di-
rectly informed that members of
our group were not welcome at the
meeting. When the group express-
ed its outrage to the Dean in a
leter (which was,-also ready to be
released publicly) Cohen belatedly
invited it to the meeting. Typical-
ly, the University administration
planned to determne the fate of
the center without having once
taken the sufficient interest to
call or even to visit and see how
it was working out.
The University did, it seems,
look over some 700 properties on-
ly to come to the conclusion that,
not one ofrthem would be suitable
for child care. For a period of
three weeks beginning Aug. 22, we
received hasty last minute exten-
sions at Markley. We never knew
from one week to the next wheth-
er we would be operating the fol-
lowing week.
The center was of course, weak-
ened by such insecurity. Families
cannot be expected to put trust
into a child care center that oper-
ates only )t the whim of some
bureaucratic executive committee.
Finally, the Mary Markley House
Council voted to allow the center
to continue using the dining hall
for the rest of the semester during
which time the committee was
supposed to locate a permanent
site for it. To date no definite
commitment has been made.
that its future depends on getting
mass support. It also knows that
the center must be expanded to
far beyond its present size to ade-
quately meet the needs of the
community . We are calling to-
gether the people of Ann Arbor.
parents and non-parents alike
who see the need for University-

supported child care. Today we
will attempt to present our views
to the Regents.
In dealing with 'the child care
group, the University has con-
tinued its pattern of ignoring legi-
timate needs. The University does
have money-it's a question of
priorities. Fleming has made the
decision that child care will not
receive University funds.
Child Care Action Group has
proved that there is need for child
care on this campus'-and that it
is possible to establish it. If the'
University is serious about our
demands it will come up with con-
crete plans for current and future
implemetation of them. Although'
we appreciate the kindness of the
students in Mary Markley, we
cannot impose after this semester.
The child ca're center needs a
permanent home and permanent
funding. This summer, Dean Co-
hen assured us that such a thing
was possible. However, the funding
must come only with the proviso
that the center remains parent-
staff controlled. We cannot sub-
mit to University demands that
funding means an end to parent
control. We will not have the
children used as guinea pigs in
educational psychology experi-
WE HAVElearned that women
cannot change Fleming's mind
with more committee meetings and
petitions. The only way we can
impress upon the University the
necessity of child care -is to or-
ganize a sizeable pressure group
to force a crisis situation. Por on-
ly in such a setting will the Uni-
versity consider our demands.
Meet with us today, at 3:30 P.M.
at the Administration Bldg. and
go with us to the Regents meeting.
Let. us work together to achieve
these goals.


Editorial Page Editor

Enrollment, freeze in the lit school:
Educational cuality should continue


LAST WEEK the LSA faculty called un-
animously for the freezing of the col-
lege's enrollment at its present level.
The move marked the first time the
faculty has formally voiced its concern
over the size of the college as a whole.
The faculty's decision is basically sound
because it realizes that unlimited growth
can adversely affect the quality of edu-
Indeed, the enrollment of the literary
college has increased substantially in re-
cent years. For instance, the college
adopted a plan in 1965 calling for a limit
of 3100 freshmen per year, and though
efforts have been made to keep within the
limit, the freshman class climbed steadily
to its present size of over 4000 students.
But this increase in enrollment has not
been matched by an appropriate con-
struction of classrooms and other related
buildings, and to make matters worse,
some professors prefer research ajad out-
side writing to teaching classes.
The problem is frustrated by the rap-
idly growing demand for education which
all institutions of higher learning in the
country are facing. T h e s e institutions
have failed to keep pace with the popu-
lation increase and have not been able
to provide even close to an adequate num-
ber of, places for all who desire or even
qualify to attend. But in straining to
meet the demand, institutions have ad-
mitted mrore students than they are really
cabable of handling.
Thus enrollment is increasing, b u t
4ittle is being done to stave off the prob-
lems that are created. There is not enough
space; courses are overcrowded. Profes-
sors' preference for research limits the
number of courses offered, indirectly con-
tributing to overcrowded conditions in
those courses that are taught.
But such results often run counter to
an education for they create impersonal
Edit ,rial Staff

classes, with teachers unable to devote
sufficient time and attention to individ-
ual students. Yet these individual rela-
tionships would seem to be the very crux
of learning.
The faculty has realized this and hopes
to avoid a worsening of the present
shortages by freezing LSA enrollment.
BUT THIS is only a partial solution to
the problem. The faculty- and the
University administration s h o u l d take
steps to open the University, as well as
the, college, to more students, to give
a wider number an opportunity to get an
The question of how to accommodate
this large amount of persons is a moot
point. Whether the University should open
its doors to everyone can be debated;
surely one can agree that the Univer-
sity should do more to increase the num-
ber and spectrum of its students.
Unfortunately, this cannot be done now,
with the relative paucity of buildings and
teaching manpower. It requires a com-
mitment on the part of the University
to funding the needed changes, a commit-
ment which should assume the highest
But this lies in the future.
At present, in the college, energy must
be directed at developing the full poten-
tial of the resources already present, like
the faculty. Too many professors are fail-
ing to carry their part of the load. They
are, as one LSA professor said at the
meeting, "merely hanging around the
school with the students."
MANY PROFESSORS teach only one
class per term and preoccupy them-
selves with research, scholarship, and the
like. Many full professors teach primar-
ily at the graduate level and only con-
duct undergraduate classes on rare occa-
sions. In . addition, popular courses are
offered too infrequently, so that they
tend to be vastly overcrowded when held.
If a popular course was offered twice per
term instead of once, for example, classes
would only be half as large. A concerted
effort is necessary on the part of all
members of the faculty and administra-
tion to do all they can to implement high
quality education for as many students
as possible.
The recommendation to limit the en-
rollment of the literary college does not
stnad nnnnse to the nrincinlo nf eduea-


Women 's coalition: Trying toget it together


THERE HAS been a great deal
1 of confusion and misunder-
standing about the Sunday after-
noon session of the Teach-In on
Women Many accusations h a v e
been levelled at the "coalition"
which was responsible for the
"disruption" - s o m e of them
correctly, some not.
The coalition itself needs some
explanation. It was formed very
casually. After one of the 4 p.m.
workshops of the Teach-In on
Saturday, some of the partici-
pants decided to continue t h e i r
discussion with Robin Morgan,
Marlene Dixon and Nadine Mil-
ler. This became the "coalition",
simply a group of individual wo-
men, not necessarily affiliated
with any political grouparadical
or otherwise, who realized during
their discussion that they objected
to the structure of Sunday's up-
coming session.
Robin Morgan, during the time
alloted to her Sunday by moder-
ator Barbara Newell, introduced
a woman to read the statement
the coalition had drafted Saturday
night. The statement is as follows:
"LAST NIGHT women from the
four o'clock workshop spoke to-
gether and collectively decided to
present a statement clarifying our
position on this meeting. I was
chosen by lot to say that we feel
that the structure of this panel is
"We understand the importance
of authoritarian forms in main-
taining the oppression of women,
forms such as panels of experts
on stage, time limits, and a mod-
erator. We don't believe in ex-
perts on women's oppression.
Every woman is an expert on her
own oppression. A hierarchy of
experts is a structure of the male-
dominated culture and we reject
that structure and that culture.
"We are aware that the use of
time limits is an imposition of a

a moderator whose function it is
to direct discussion, impose time
limits, and maintain a form that
prevents dialogue among the sis-
ters here, the same tactic that has
been used by men to keep us from
getting together in the past. We
no longer need a moderator to
recognize us - we can recognize
ourselves and one another. We
therefore understand that the mo-
derator should abdicate her role
and join her sisters. In spite of
our objections to this form we
feel that this chance to talk with
our sisters is so important that we
will stay."
THE SPOKESMAN ,then invit-
ed all the women in the audience
to come up and join the "panel
of experts" on the stage. About a
fourth of the group did so, almost
200 women.
However, once the women were
on the stage, a problem arose. The
coalition did not make specific
plans as to what should happen
after they altered the format of
the program. It accepted t h i s
criticism. Its only plan was to
open the discussion so that any
woman who wanted to say some-
thing or ask a question of anyone
else, panel member or not, could
do so. That wasn't enough. More
planning was needed to start the
dialog between all, the women.
What erupted instead were several
confused private conversations,
The women on stage talked among
themselves and the women still in
the auditorium talked among
themselves. There was little com-
munication between the two.
After a few minutes of this con-
fusion, Newell resumed her role
as moderator and the panel struc-
ture began again. Martha Grif-
fiths was the next woman to be
introduced. She was heckled by
some of the women on stage. This
was unfortunate because it de-
monstrated rude and inconsider-
ate hehavior toward another wn-


Editorial Directecr
ROB BIER ......

Managing Editor
.Feature Editor
Editorial Page Editor
Associate Managing Editor
Arts Editor
.Personnel Director
Magazine Editor
.. Books Editor

-Daily-Denny Gainer

some women were opposed to the
equal rights legislation. And Ne-
well unfairly used her position

rupted Griffiths' answer to read
a statement stating some of the
oppositions' views. The woman

people left the stage, unsure of
what was to come. Many left the
auditorium fearing a total col-


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