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Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Sfriday inorni iig
Ann Arbor coffeehouses face hard times
by daniel zwerdliiu
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Nook Phnna - 7ti4_t.S.;?
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff wr
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1970
NIGHT EDITOR: DAVE(
The U' stalls on hiring
YOU'VE GOT to be rich to enjoy
yourself. The brief days of the
'old-fashioned coffeehouse where
riters folks could sit and munch dough-
nuts and hear good music are
CHUDWI N Ann Arbor, where living costs a
lot 'of money, is a big loser: two
of the three major coffeehouses,
Mark's and Canterbury House,
staggered for a few years and died.
Mark's crumbled, for all enjoy-
n ment purposes, last year because
it had to raise its prices to meet
soaring operating costs and drove
away its best clientele, the ,people
. . . without much money who needed
a friendly place to relax and per-
petuate their culture. (It closed
and the big name and hitched or
drove on a shoestring from town
to town, playing the college cir-
cuits for a hundred bucks. It
wasn't hard to get the crowds at
50 cents or a dollar a hear, and
serve some good cheese and coffee
and cider on the side.
But the low-money culture
doesn't work any more. It's stars
have moved to big concert halls,
like the Events Bldg., where 5,000
or 10,000 rich kids will pay $5 a
seat. Small names, who don't
charge the money, don't draw the
crowds; but inflation forces cof-
feehouses to charge a lot any way,
no one comes and the coffeehouse
Mark's started floundering two
years ago: $500 a month rent, as-
tronomic utility bills, equipment
costs, city state and federal taxes
(which it couldn't afford to pay).
To bring in a return, it had to
make money on its food. That
turned it commercial and killed.
MARK'S wasn't primarily a
music coffeehouse like Canterbury
but it served the same culture.
"We started out as a place where
people could get together and read,
or play chess, or play some music,
relax, have a sandwich and some
coffee," said former owner Paul
Melton before he left town and
moved to Madrid two months ago.
"But we couldn't break even fi-
anancially. A coffeehouse is a busi-
ness. Once we started operating
it like a business, it turned cold
and we lost the clientele who
thrived here when we first
Canterbury died a week ago,
$500 in debt after only two
months. The money situation was
so bad Canterbury couldn't even
make it with the Episcopalian Stu-
dent Foundation paying its rent.
Thats' the largest chunk of any
coffeehouse's operating expenses.
Canterbury was paying utilities, a
few hours worth of janitor's fees
each show night. Then it was pay-
ing for $50 worth of cider and $30
worth of doughnuts each week-
bringing operating costs to $350
a week. And performer's fees,
ranging from a few hundred for
a small name group to $500 for
a duo like Good News, or $1,000
plus gate percentage for a per-
former like Dave Van Ronk.
It's a business. You've got to
pay $350 a week operating costs.
Then you've got to pay the per-
WITH ITS hiring policies exposed by a
recent Department of Health, Educa-
tion and Welfare report, the University
now has no valid excuse for delaying ac-
tion on the implementation of a massive
affirmative action program to employ
more women in higher ranking jobs.
Unfortunately, President Robben Flem-
ing has already indicated that the Uni-
versity is unlikely to comply with a 30-
day deadline set by HEW investigators
for the filing of such a program. And his
statement that there remain serious dis-
agreements over criteria for determining
sex discrimination seems to indicate that
this may be only the start of a series of
Although Fleming has refused to re-
lease the complete HEW report, it has
become clear that major sections center
around the low proportion of female em-
ployes in relatively high-ranking admin-
istrative and academic posts. One key
point the report makes is that at least a
few women whose complaints have been
investigated have been given lower rank-
ing jobs than men despite their comple-
tion of more advanced academic train-
'The University has countered that the
existence of such cases does not neces-
sarily indicate discrimination. Rather,
it has been argued, many wives of stu-
dents are given lower ranking jobs be-
cause of the expected brevity of their
stay at the University.
This line of reasoning avoids the real
questions involved. For one thing, it is not
at all clear that similar criteria - the
expected length of stay at the Univer-
sity - have been applied to men as well
MORE IMPORTANT, it is very likely that
one of the main causes for the short
time some overqualified female employees
remain at the University is their frus-
tration with working in low ranking jobs.
Such women are "student wives" pri-
marily because the University defines
them in this way, forcing them to ac-
cept the designation and the job that
goes with it, promoting dissatisfactions
and discouragement which may cause
them to quit.
This Catch-22 quality of job discrimi-
nation makes it essential for the Univer-
sity to help break the traditional sexist
pattern of employment by actively ex-
panding top-level job opportunities for
Fleming has explained that he is wait-
ing to release the HEW report until he
can simultaneously supply a comprehen-
sive University response. In the mean-
time, the University is apparently at-
tempting to settle the few specific cases
of alleged discrimination cited by HEW.
THIS PROCEDURE may help promote a
pleasing image of the University, but
it is a serious disservice- to hundreds of
women potentially affected by the HEW
The only just course available to the
University at this time is to disclose the
complete HEW report, renounce the sex-
ist employment policies described therein
and set about the critical task of pro-
moting and hiring women to fill positions
for which they are qualified.
once, opened, closed again, and
plans to reopen but will never be
the same.) Canterbury shut its
doors last week because it could-
n't bill top performers, without
losing its financial pants.
THE AMERICAN coffeehouse
burgeoned in the early Sixties, a
transplant from Europe to the
isolated college and hip city com-
munities like Greenwich Village.
The folk music explosion gave
coffeehouses a reason to live and
thrive. Folksingers, looking for
their roots, shunned the big money
former. The house holds 200 when
it crams. Do you turn over the
house after each set and bring in
a new batch of customers?Do you
let the original audience stay? If
you change the house, you destroy
rapport between the artist and the
crowd and make a reputation as
a high pressure business joint.
But with no house turnover, how
can you bring in that $1,000?
"The money hassle was a drag,"
says Linda Kouba, Canterbury
House secretary who's been strug-
gling with the coffeehouse for two
years. When Canterbury started
five years ago, riding the crest of
the folk music boom, it billed per-
formers on the way up but not
yet at the top - Joni Mitchell,
Richie Havens, Tim Buckley. Can-
terbury always ran about $1,000
in the hole, but the staff consid-
ered it a valuable service to the
community, an expression of an
important culture, which happen-,
ed to live oii very little money
BUT THAT culture is disappear-
ing. To stay alive, Canterbury
was forced to raise its prices to
$2,50, sometimes $3. At that price,
Canterbury "became just another
alternative for rich middle class
kids, just another place to go on
a Friday or Saturday night for a
And, that, says a Canterbury
staff member, "wasn't what we set
The only reason the Ark can live
out to do."
Now the biggestAnn Arbor cof-
feehouse left is the Ark, which
features a narrow field of tradi-
tional folk music, mostly second-
act performers who few folks in
the audience have ever heard of.
The onl yreason theArk can live
is because it is heavily subsidized
by the Presbyterian Church -- and
its performers are dirt c h e a p.
But even operating costs-food,
equipment, and salary-come to
$220 a week before performer fees.
Manager Dave Siglin has raised
the price twice in the last year-
from $1 to $1. 0 to keep in the
clear. The Ark will make it for a
while, as long as it keeps the
crowds who go for its type of
music. The Ark could never make
it with bigger name, or more di-
verse performers. It's lucky to be
"THERE'S ONLY one way a
coffeehouse can be in business,"
Siglin says flatly. "If it's support-
ed from the outside. If it's sup-
ported, it will make it. If it isn't, it
will lose. And become an enemy
of the people. It's as simple as
That comes -down to a sad
equation. If you're in the business
of entertaining people, you've got
to have money and plenty of it.
If you don't have money, you've
got to get it from the people you're
serving. To do that, you'll get only
the people who could have gone
elsewhere for the evening, a two-
buck movie or a play. For the
folks who don't have the money
it takes, there's not much of an
entertainment culture left any-
APOLOGY AND CONFESSION:
Several students have written me
complaining that last Friday's
column, on the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's fire ant pesticide
war in the South, quotes various
noted "etymologists." I suppose
etymologists might know some-
think about fire ants, but their
main field is the study of word
origins. Ihreally meant "entomglo-
gists," who spend their time look-
ing at insects.
Which women are sisters?
By JAN GOLDBERG
Daily Guest Writer
"HMMmm" he said, responding
to her embrace. "So how was
"Well I'm not sure yet,' s h e
answered, reluctantly releasing
him. "I know you wanted me to
go to the meeting to become lib-
erated, but I think it will take
more than a panel discussion be-
fore I really can become a sister."
She unconsciously pushed a
strand of hair from his eyes. "Yes,
they call themselves sisters," she
said. "But not every woman is a
sister. Liberated women are sis-
ters, and oppressed unliberated
women are sisters. But some sis-
ters who think they aren't fight-
ing for the same liberation re-
fuse to call each other sister. And
unliberated women who like being
oppressed are supposed to be ev-
en worse than men!"
"It really was. Especially when
they started going up on the
"Sisters. Or some of them. It
started when one of the sisters
read a declaration against mod-
erators and timed speeches. She
said it was wrong to have a panel
of experts speak to us because ev-
ery woman is an expert on her
own oppression. So she asked ev-
eryone to come on stage."
"Hmm. Did you?"
"SURE I DID. I've never been
on a stage before, and here they
wantedtme to be on stage! As if
I was as good as they were!"
"Good for you!"
"Yes, except that once I was
there I couldnt see or hear any-
thing. We were supposed to be
"Did you want to ask any-
"I wanted to ask how to get off
the stage. But I didn't know who
to ask, and no one would have
heard me anyway. They were all
"What did they want?"
"It was sort of har'd to figure
out. Some were chanting 'Free our
sisters.' some were shouting for
the men in the audience to leave,
some said that there were t o
many talking, and others w e r e
complaining that womennever got
a chance to speak."
we could vote for an equal rights
"Yes, but I still don't k n o w
what the bill would do. It would
be nice if it could extend men's
right to women and women's
rights to men, and more rights to
everybody. But before I could find
out for sure a sister grabbed the
mike f r o m representative Grif-
"Yes. And there was more
shouting, and they said that we
should end the panel because we
could learn more by just asking
"What did you do?"
"We voted. 241 wanted the pan-
el, and 30 didn't. So we had the
panel and I listened to the whole
thing and even took notes so that
I could tell you all about it."
He patted her hand. "And you
look the better for it. Tell' me
"Well I'll try, but I'm not sure
that I know exactly. T h e y all
wanted liberation or freedom for
everyone, but some of the panel
felt you shouldn't work with men
to get it. They said that all the
sickness of our country is a re-
sult of male chaucinism, and that
if women had to work through
male organizations sisters should
take over all positions of leader-
ship so that everyone could be
HE NODDED. "It certainly
sounds like an inspiring meeting,"
he said, stroking her arm. "And
don't worry if you don't have all
the answers yet. You can go to
more meetings. I don't want to
prevent you from being liberat-
She looked up at him and smil-
ed. "I'll go if you want me to," she
said with a little sigh. "I'll go to
all of them. Now what would you
like me to fix you for dinner?"
Losing control to the'
By STEVE KOPPMAN
.. .as other work remains
WHILE THE HEW action has g i v e n
advocates of equal opportunities for
women some leverage against the Uni-
versity in the field of employment prac-
tices, wide areas of campus activity re-
Unfortunately, for example, the depart-
ment apparently lacks sufficient clout
in the area of admissions even to under-
take an investigation. Thus, what can in
certain University units constitute gross
inequities remain untouched.
Sadly, too, 'the University seems f a r
from ready to initiate the kind of broad
study of internal campus procedures and
personnel necessary to root out discrim-
ination against women. Some units have
acted decisively on this question, b u t
others appear to lag far behind.
THIS SITUATION is the result of the
low priority the central administra-
tion has placed on obtaining equal rights
for women, a policy which has, come to
be symbolized by the shunting aside of
demands for 24-hour University-funded,
child care center.
Official indifference must be met with
determined action from those interested
in fighting sexist discrimination. Cases
of overt or institutionalized bias must be
investigated, analyzed and brought be-
fore the court of campus opinion in a
manner which cannot be ignored.
"And what did you do?"
"I got off the stage. When I
had sat down t h e r e was still
s h o u t i n g, and Representative
Martha Griffith was saying she
was glad women had such a pow-
erful means of expressing them-
"She iked the shouting."
"No. she meant the vote. She
said she was glad that all women
could vote and be heard. She said
SIT ON THE GRASS, lean against a tree, feel the breezes of autumn
through your hair. Gaze across the Diag, watch the leaves turning
red against the sky.
The people, books clutched in arm, hurrying across the paths, In
front of the library, into Mason Hall. The chimes of Burton Tower
ring, the breeze gusts up for a moment, then tires out.
Seeing people you once knew. Laugh, talk, well, bye now. Mem-
ories. Trying to catch an instant forever.
The people keep moving, the sky darkens. The future comes rush-
ing at you faster and faster. You fall headlong into its jaws and lose
SOME PEOPLE don't think about it much till a few weeks before
graduation. Some start feeling it early in the junior year. Some try and
fight it, parley terms into terms into more terms, try to catch the Ann
Arbor moment and hold on tight.
But the future keeps coming. Now you're in this capsule. Every so
often you venture out into that vast foreboding nothingness to see how
things are going, to see the other people.
"It's good to get off campus for a while," you say. But usually,
it's not so good, and it's better to get back, and you shudder to think
someday you'll be gxpelled from this womb, diploma in hand, to fend
for yourself in the cold unknown.
Out there is the draft, the army, danger, moral crisis, Canada. Out
there are rows of little houses waiting for you. Jobs, slots, positions to
fill. A future. The day after graduation looms as an abyss.
Oh, that's a good school, they say out there, and what are you
majoring in? What are you studying for? What are you going to do?
That's right, what are you going to do? Where will you fit in?
You're not here for your health, for Christ's sake. The people of Michi-
gan don't pay good tax dollars so you can,live in this ivory tower and
blow bubbles on the Diag for four years for nothing. What the hell are
you going to do?
FOR EVERY CHOICE you make. a thousand others-are excluded.
As long as you're here, you can see yourself as free floating, Person -
janitor or President or revolutionary or history teacher. As long as
you're here, you're free. Undefined. But once you get out there, it's What
are you? And every step you take forecloses a thousand dreams, cuts
out a million futures.
Working to earn money, pay the rent, buy the car, feed the little
ones. Doing something every day, becoming a productive member of
society. Be a specialist. Stabilize. Marry. Buy a house. Reality. Pay-
checks coming in. Complain about taxes. This is life.
THEN MAYBE you'll come back to the Diag some other autumn
with different eyes. Walk around the 'U', visit the old hangouts. All
the old friends gone, gone to different places, jobs and people, fitting
in in different ways.
Rick IS a lawyer in Detroit. Bob IS a contractor in Manistee. Diane
IS a teacher in New York. You'll remember when Rick and Bob and
Diane were Rick and Bob and Diane - free-lance people.
Come back to the Diag. Think who you were, feel who you might
TRY SLOWING DOWN the future. Try hard. Good luck.
Letters to the Daily: Restricting dynamite
r' 3 rir
To the Daily:
ONCE AGAIN the spineless, de-
featist elements of this society are
making an effort to take away our
basic freedoms and leave Amer-
ice defenseless, while criminal
and subversive elements operate
unopposed. Once again we are be-
ing asked to overturn one of the
most sacred elements of the Uni-
ted States Constitution, in order
to "reduce violence." "We must
restrict the possession and sale of
dynamite," they say. "Only thus
can be curtain wanton destruction
of people and property through
What will happen if we allow a
program of registering dynamite
to be instituted? Violence will not
be reduced. On the contrary, only
those peace-loving, law-abiding
citizens who desire merely to pro-
tect their homes will be denied;
subversives, anarchists and crim-
inals will manage to find ways to
achieve their vicious ends. An old
slogan is still very much apropos:
"Dynamite doesn't kill people-
people kill people."
And we must not be so naive as
to suppose that dynamite control
's all they are after.
Give to do-gooders a restric-
tion on dynamite, and soon they
will ask for a restriction on the
sale and possession of handguns.
Next will come the restriction of
threatening to destroy us. What
these cowardly subversives fear
most is the well-armed citizen. We
all know that the best deterrent
against bomibngs is a good stock-
pile. Keep America safe and free.
Join and support the National Dy-
-Terence N. Treadwell
National Director, NDA
To the Daily:
THE DAILY has again reached
editorial supremacy in its cover-
age of a news story. Lately, cov-
erage of the engineering school
has been biased to such a point
that all the facts are no longer
presented in the s t o r y. I refer
specifically to the Oct. 13 article
by Bob Schreiner concerning the
SDS charges of discrimination
implicating Dow Chemical.
Mr. Schreiner thought it news-
worthy when one student remark-
ed that it is unfair to throw alle-
gations at Dow when they are not
present to defend themselves.
However, he did not feel it was
knowledgable when another engin
student said he thought discrim-
ination is wrong in all instances,
and that Dow should be denied
recruiting facilities next term if
this alleged policy continues.
The fact not alluded to in this
.,4- nl ,117 n rc Onfi, a n fififlrinfT
To the Daily:
THE WILD'S Men's Shop, a
clothing store on State Street near
North University, has a large decal
on its display window: a sort
of blackface style caricature of a
black man dressed in a leopard
skin. This is the trademark of the
store and is supposed to repre-
sent a "wild man". I find it racist,
I went in and told this to one
of the people who run the store,
and asked if the decal could be
removed. He was friendly enough
about it, and said that it was
his opinion that the decal w a s
not racist and not offensive, that
it had been the store's trademark
for eighty years, and that in the
years that he had worked there,
this was the first time anyone had
So why don't all who are inter-
ested in this go down to the store
and look at the decal. If you find
it offensive, go in and complain,
or get in touch with me. If a fair
number of people turn out to be
into this, then we can play it by
ear from there. I was originally
thinking of organizing a boycott
against the store, but I don't want
to do a thing like that unless I'm
sure there is a just reason.
'yw , r 4 '.