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September 02, 1970 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-02

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Sirit an

:43 a t I'D

Vol. LXXXI, No. 1

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Wednesday, September 2, 1970

Academics Section-Eight Pages


Shutting it down to open



"We've got a long road to walk. We've been
walking it a long time. But we're going to walk it
a little faster now." .
That is how Dave Lewis, one of the leaders
of the Black Action Movement (BAM), summed
up what another BAM leaden, Ed Fabre, called
"the strike the University of Michigan will never
They were speaking to an overflow crowd
which gathered in the Michigan Union ballroom
last April 1 to hear the minority enrollment
plan which had been worked out during nego-
tiations between BAM and the University ad-
ministration: After each of the 11 BAM nego-
tiators recommended acceptance of the agree-
ment, the crowd roared its approval and the
nine-day-old strike supporting BAM's demands
for increased minority enrollment finally came
to an end.
It had been the first effective class strike
in University history, claiming the support of up
to 80 per cent of the students in the literary
college, the University's largest unit, and causing
the total shutdown of several schools and de-
partments. In addition, a surprisingliy large
number of faculty members and teaching fellows
cancelled classes in support of the strike.
But along with the support came widespread
criticism, from bath inside and outside the Uni-
versity community. As the strike progressed, the
criticism became more vociferous, particularly in
response to the scattered class disruptions and
acts of violence committed by some of the strike's
supporters. ,
And when the University finally agreed to a
majority of the BAM demands, the world "sell-
out" was heard as often as "victory," Cries of
"anarchism" and "knuckling under to the black
militants" came from all over the state, es-
pecially from Lansing, the capital.'
It began quietly enough. Early last January,
representatives of several black student groups
began to meet and discuss methods of increas-
ing black admissions at the University. Gradual-
ly, they compiled a list of demands, along with
data and arguments to back them up.
The drive first came to light for most stu-
dents at the Jan. 29 Student Government Council
meeting when Walter Lewis, a member of SGC
and the Black Students Union (BSU), told Coun-
cil there would be, an escalated drive for in-
creased minority admissions "which will culmi-
nate at the February Regents meeting."
The original demands submitted by BAM re-
mained the same throughout the entire dispute.
Seeking a comprehensive program for increasing
minority enrollment and supporting the new
students, BAM demanded:
-An increase in black enrollment at the
University to 10 per cent of the student body by
fall, 1973;
-The admission of 900 new black students by
fall, 1971;
-An increase in the University's financial
aid program to provide support for new black
students who could not afford to attend the
-An adequate program of "supportive serv-
ices" which would provide counselors and tutors
for those students admitted under the new pro-
gram who might have academic difficulty;
-Nine additional employes in the Office of
Admissions to actively recruit enough undergrad-
uate black students to meet the enrollment goal.
At unspecified number of graduate recruiters
was also requested;

-The establishment of a black student cen-
ter located in the Ann Arbor community;
-A halt in planning of the Afro-American
studies program for re-evaluation and com-
munity input:
-The creation of an appeal board which
would bear cases of students who disagreed with
the University's response to their financial aid
-A revamping of the Parents Confidential
Statement which determines, in part, a stu-
dent's need far financial aid;
-A Chicano (Mexican-American) recruiter
to assure the enrollment of 50 Chicano students
by fall, 1971;
-That the University refer to black students
as "black" and nothing else; and
-That the University institute a $3 manda-
tory assessment of all students to support the
Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund. Addi-
tional soliciting in the business community was
also requested.
Those were the demands presented to the,
Regents at an open hearing on Feb. 19. It was a
one-sided meeting, for the most part, as mem-
bers of BAM repeated their list of demands and
the Regents listened.
The meeting ended with the Regents asking
President Robben Fleming to bring a proposal
for a five-year minority admissions plan to their
March meeting.
At the Regents regular public meeting the
next day, BAM leaders asked the Regents to
hold a special meeting in two weeks, at which
the administration would report on its progress
in finding money to fund the enrollment pro-
gram. The special meeting was also requested as
a "show of good faith." Flening, on behalf of
the Regents, declined, and the blacks stormed
out of the meeting.
They gathered on Regents Plaza, outside the
Administration Bldg., and BAM leader Ron
Harris delivered a brief attack on the Regents
and then told the crowd to "go do your home-
work." A few minutes later, thousands of books
in the Undergraduate Library were pushed off
their shelves. The action was repeated the next
On March 4, two weeks after the Regents
meeting, Fleming held a secret meeting with
some of the Regents. The next day, he released
details of the minority enrollment plan which
the administration would propose. It set a goal
of seven per cent black enrollment by fall, 1973,
rather than BAM's demand for a commitment
to 10 per cent. Other demands were dealt with
in general terms, such as "additional staff will
be provided." Some demands were rejected out-
right, such as BAM's suggestion that. tuition
waivers be used as a partial method of increas-
ing financial aids.
Now the lines were drawn. It remained for
the Regents to choose between the enrollment
program proposed by BAM, and the program
proposed by the administration.
As the March 19 Regents meeting approach-
ed, support for BAM began to come in from all
over the University community. On March 15,
the Radical College, an organization composed
primarily of members of the University teaching
staff, became one of the first non-black groups
to support the demands. The, next day a march
of 150 white students from a number of organi-
zations marked the emergence of the white
Coalition to Support BAM. That evening, black
See 'U', Page 2

-Daily-Jay Cassidy
A common sight during tha BAM strike

-Daily-Jay Cassidy

ROTC protesters converge on North Hall

ROTC ~status altered


Following several months of
strations and stormy faculty
University's R e s e r v e Officer
(ROTC) program was modified

student demon-
meetings. the
Training Corps
last December.

But student protests against the presence of
ROTC on campus continued through the spring,
as ROTC remains on campus, and there are no
indications ,.that demonstrations will taper off
in the fall.
At their December meeting, the Regents asked
the administration to re-negotiate the contracts
between the University and the Department of
Defense to allow:
-The relegation of ROTC to the status of a
"program" rather than an academic "depart-
-The elimination of academic titles for all
ROTC instructors except those holding regular
appointments in a school of the University;
-The assumption of full costs for the main-
tenance of the ROTC programs by the defense
department, including the payment of full rent
for all University buildings used; and
-The establishment of a committee com-
posed -of students, faculty and administrators to
evaluate ROTC staff and supervise ROTC cur-
These modifications were proposed in a re-
port written by faculty members and endorsed
by Senate Assembly, the faculty representative
The report also called on the faculties of the
individual schools and colleges to cease granting
academic credit for ROTC courses, except where
such courses are taught by instructors holding
regular academic appointments.
And, in March, the literary college faculty
voted to cease graning credit for 'all ROTC
In approving the report, the Regents did not
accept one section which recommended that
ROTC be made an extracurricular activity if the
proposed changes were unacceptable to the de-
fense department.
And they emphasized that they were seeking
to preserve ROTC, not abolish it.

ment with the defense department over the fu-
ture of ROTC on campus," but as this supple-
ment goes to press, negotiations are not yet con-
cluded with the department.
Perhaps the primary disagreement with the
Pen agon involves the costs for maintaining the
The University has been paying $80,000 an-
nually in direct services to ROTC,'plus another
$27,000 in the form of office and classroom
space-all of weich the faculty's report calls a
"gift to the Department of Defense."
The dispute over ROTC became a major
issue at the University last fall, when campus
radicals began a sometimes militant campaign
against the program.
See ROTC, Page 4

The inevitable confrontation ..
... the inevitable arrest

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