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February 25, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-02-25

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Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

SGC:

School

for

Tuesday, February 25, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
Cut the funds, control SGC

A SGC MEMBERS continue to bal-
lyhoo the new era of "reform",
little in the line of innovative pro-
gramming or generating student
support has managed to finagle its
way through the rhetoric. For the
past five years corruption of power
has been standard equipment for
each successive SGC regime. What
the recent Sandberg "clean-up" ma-
chine lacked in flagrant abuse, it
more than made up for in political
impotency and alienation of SGC's
student constituents. The organiza-
tional ineptitude that was once
scandal is now stigma, and this
year's edition of the SGC cast oper-
ates virtually in a vacuum, impacting
only on themselves, virtually if not
absolutely divorced from the main-
stream of student opinion.
Those who learned the bitter les-
son of Jacobs, Schaper, Gill and Co.,
know all too well that, for Council's
resources to be used responsibly, a
spirit of cooperation and aggressive
pursuit of student input -by the stu-
dent board are mandatory.
Though the current SGC crew has
at least superficially taken steps to
prevent future abuse, infighting and
backstabbing are still the name of
the SGC game.
The high dramatics that charac-
terize Council meetings tend to por-
tray the assemblage as a harmless
theatre of the absurd. The members'
antics seem harmless in themselves,
but Ill-suited to the responsible de-
liberation their oversized funding re-
quires.
The recent rise in SGC resources
has been inversely matched by a
decline in student involvement, pre-
sently at a level somewhat below
ridiculous. An SGC member was
once seated after cornering a grand
total of one vote.
Ineptitude by itself might be ex-
cusable. But when compounded by
contempt for student trust, it's hard
to resist concluding that the time has
come for a change in Student Gov-
ernment Council.
Is SGC crying, "Junk me, please"?.
If not, they sure have a funny way
of soliciting student respect.
The cries for abolition of SGC have
steadily increased in number and
intensity in recent months.
Unfortunately, a campaign to bury
the student organization might re-
sult in planting the few remaining
vestiges of student decision-making
power along with it. It would b easy
to lose sight of the fact that, beneath
all the pomp and knavery, SOC con-
trols the only systematic channels of
Editorial positions represent
consensus of the Daily staff.
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Glen Allerhand, Wayne Had-
ody, Eugene Marino, Cheryl Pilate,
Sara Rimer, Jeff Sorenson, David
Whiting
Editorial Page: Alan Gitles, Paul Has-
kins, Debra Hurwitz, Jo Marcotty
Arts Page: David Weinberg
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

student input to major university
organizations, including the Univer-
sity Cellar Board of Directors, the
Board in Control of Intercollegiate
Athletics, the Student Board Publica-
tions.
Abolition of SGC is not a serious
course of action. From a long-term
viewpoint, abolition of SGC would
lead to a default slam of the stu-
dent body more crippling than any-
thing SGC ever pulled off on its own.
Short of handing the group its
walking papers en masse steps can
be taken to reduce SFC's potential
for corruption. There's no better
way to keep stray hands out of the
cookie jar than to take the tantalyz-
ing tidbits away. Prepostous as it
may sound, the house that Gill gip-
ped, Jacobs jolted, and Schaper shook
was relatively clean, or at least harm-
lessly wayward prior to 1971, when
the new student funding procedure
added tens of thousands to SGC cof-
fers.
SGC is presently budgeted for $75,-
000 a year. That breaks down to sev-
enty-five cents per student. Much of
the current budget is promptly burn-
ed up by maintaining the SGC office.
A move to cut the budget to twenty-
five cents per student per semester,
would both reduce the risk of large-
scale financial abuse and bring SGC
funding more into line with the de-
gree of campus interest and support
for the body.
Recent SGC leadership has made
much of their crusade to clean
house. However, the task proved to
be so overwhelming that no ener-
gies, mental or otherwise, were re-
served for innovative programs or
establishing student rapport.
Student Government Council must
prove itself capable of re-emerging
as a viable force on campus. Until
doing so, it must not be allowed to
drain student money at the present,
intolerable level.
Editorial Staff
GORDON ATCHESON CHERYL PILATE
Co-Editors-in-Chief
LAURA BERMAN.......Sunday Magazine Editor
DAVID BLOMQUIST .... ... ......Arts~ Editor
DAN BORUS ...........Sunday Magazine Editor
BARBARA CORNELL ...,special Proj ects Editor
PAUL HASKINSE...........Editorial Director
JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY ........Features Editor
SARA RIMER ...................Executive Editor
STEPHEN SELBST ...................City Editor
JEFF SORENSEN ..............Managing Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Glen Alerhand, Peter Bles-
deli, Dan Biugerman, Clifford Brown, David
Hurhenn, Mary Harris, Stephen Hersh,
Debra Hurwitz, Ann Marie Lipinski, Andrea
Lilly.
Sports Staff
BRIAN DEMING
Sports Editor
MARCIA MERKER
Executive Sports Editor
LEBA HERTZ
Managing Sports Editor
BILL CRANE...........Associate Sports Editor
JEFF SCHILLER ........ Associate Sports Editor
FRED UPTON.........Contributing Sports Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Andy Glazer, Rich Lerner, Ray
O'Hara, Bill Stieg
ASSISTANT NIGHT EDITORS: Rick Bonino, Tom
Cameron, Jon'Chavez, Tom Duranceau, Kathy
Henneghan, Al Hrapsky, Ed Lange, Jeff Lieb-
ster, Scott Lewis, Dave Wihak, Michael Wilson
DESK ASSISTANTS: Marybeth Dillon, Enid Gold-
man, Marcia Katz, John Neimeyer

By JEFF RISTINE
and JEFF SORENSEN
ALTHOUGH BEST-KNOWN in the '60s as a hot-
bed of political activism, Student Government
Council's (SGC) most visible feature recently has been
the work of career-minded opportunists scheming in
the best Watergate tradition.
Since 1971, SGC officers have been accused of mis-
use of more than $60,000 in Council funds, fraud in
nearly every election, and questionable attempts at
gaining power and influence. Furthermore, SGC's
weekly meetings have taken on a circus atmosphere of
frivilous motions, endless name-calling, and jockeying
for position - all of which has resulted in the Coun-
cil's present inability to get things done.
Herein we present a gallary of SGC's most colorful
personalities who have guided and misguided Council
in the past four years:
. in the beginning was Bill Thee. Involved
in the first of recent scandals, Thee, a presidential
aspirant in the Spring 1971 elections, was charged
with exceeding the allotted $80 campaign expenditures.
Thee was later found guilty by the Central Student
Judiciary (CJS) and fined $40 and was so discredited
by the affair that he lost the election by a wide
margin.
STRICTLY A small-time operation by recent stand-
ards, the Thee scandal was considered shocking in its
day by students who weren't used to seeing massive
Council rip-oafs. Those were the days . . .
Later that year, however, the financial difficulties
began to hit the big leagues. The largest allocation of
1971, a $1,500 fund to the American Revolutionary
Media (ARM) set aside for a student print co-op, was
reported as missing in the fall term. Records showed
the money had been spent by the Council, but ARM
had vet to begin any effort to set-up the print co-op.
Finally in December, CSJ ruled that the $1,500 was to
be returned to SGC, ARM complied, and criminal
charges against the media group were then dropped
by Council.
As charges of financial mismanagement were on the
rise throughout 1971, the habit of frequent SGC mem-
ber resignations suddenly came into vogue. Although
many members certainly must have resigned to es-
cape criminal charges of fund misuse and other shady
Idealings, many more members quit because they
simnly couldn't stand to see Council degenerate into
a circus.
IN OCTOBER, 1971, SGC was shocked by the resigna-
tions of four prominent members, Rick Higgens, Kar-
en Haus, Mary Schnelker and Marnie Heyn, who said
they couldn't deal with the sort of people who were
then coming into control of Council.
Another regular feature of SGC during the recent
turbulent period has been the disturbingly frequent
attempts to introduce Council motions to oust particu-
Slarly disliked members. In late '71, a motion was intro-
duced tokcall for the resignation of Vice President
Jay Hack, citing "general incompetence." In early
'72, Council voted to terminate the salary of Vice
President Andre Hunt, again citing incompetence, and
the fact that he rarely showed up for SGC meetings.
In late '72, Council declared the seat of member
Joel Silverstein vacant because he had allegedly left
for Canada. However, it was later revealed that he
had only gone to California briefly - but he was never-
theless denied his seat when he tried to return.
BUT PERHAPS the most celebrated attempted oust-
ing was in 1971, when SGC members made several
attempts to have conservative member Brad Taylor
recalled from Council. Taylor, who was the brunt
of much criticism for testifying before the House In-
ternal Security Committee concerning participants and
organizations in the "National Student and Youth
Conference for People's Peace," held in early '71.
The conference included some of the political left-

ists on Council, who alleged that Taylor went so far
as to eavesdrop on their conversations and spy on them
in their private rooms. However, a referendum to re-
call Taylor never passed, as it fell slightly short of
the 60 per cent of the total needed in the Fall 1971 elec-
tions.
With the election of Bill Jacobs to Council president
in Spring 1972 and his subsequent appointment of
David Shaper as treasurer, Council was headed for a
reign of depravity, debauchery, and degeneration that
was extreme even by SGC standards.
WITH THE recently-approved increase in student
funding, Jacobs and Shaper apparently went to work
in 1972 to master the fine art of financial mismanage-
ment.
"Boyish" Bill Jacobs was best known as a deter-
mined, career-minded politician, who aimed for bigger
and better things after graduation, as his subsequent
enrollment in Columbia Law School proved. Jacob's
partner in alleged double-dealings, treasurer David

scandal
accomplishments have been catalogued before, but it
is not for them that he will likely be remembered.
In January 1974, the black activist resigned, citing
"academic considerations" as his reason, but amidst
unsubstantiated charges from SGC member Robert
Matthews that Gill embezzled Council money.
But after Gill dropped out of sight, SGC, in a sur-
prise move, filed a civil suit against him for massive
fund misuse. The charges against Gill ranged from
corrupt use of $8,000 in SGC money to theft of a desk
worth $350. Last summer, the Council added several
new charges to the list, this time including a total
of $16,000 in fund-misuse allegation.
LATER, AFTER filing criminal charges, SGC main-
tained that Gill - who they knew to be in Chicago -
could not be located precisely. The Daily, however,
had less trouble as we looked up his name in the
phone book.
However, Gill has not yet been served with a sum-
mons. SGC officials admitted in December that Gill

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Shaper, was perhaps the most intelligent, slickest SGC
officer ever. Described by one Council member, as
the "most obnoxious product since Napalm," Shaper
believed firmly that the ends always justified the
means.
In Spring 1973, Jacobs finally strode out of office on a
somewhat apologetic note. "We are students, not pro-
fessionals," he stated. "We only ask that we be judged
as our peers are."
JACOB'S peers were to judge him in a most unusual
manner. In September 1974, SGC named Jacobs and
Schaper defendants in a civil suit charging them with
misuse of $42,000 in Council funds. At that time, Schap-
er issued a startling boast to other SGC members
which will no doubht return to haunt him again and
again. "I rigged elections; I screwed people left and
right," he said, "but I never, never took any money."
An unconvinced SGC voted to press criminal charg-
es in October. The still unanswered question is how,
if the charges against them are true, did Jacobs and
Schaper rip off half the annual SGC budget without de-
tection?
The transition of power in the Spring of 1973 left
SGC's reins in the hands of Lee Andrews Gill. Form-
erly their vice president for minority affairs, Gill
was an ex-con, a smooth-talker who had been impris-
oned eight months on an auto theft conviction. During
his campaign, Gill vowed to clean up the discredited
Council.
LATER, IT WOULD be charged, Gill cleaned up all
right - to the tune of $18,000 during a seven-month
stint as the Council's first black president. His many

had left Chicago, leaving a trail of bad checks and
unpaid bills behind him. Most recently Gill has been
rumored seen in Florida.
The SGC presidency, following Gill's departure, was
assumed by Jeff Schiller. Speculation on a successor
began immediately thereafter, and Schiller resigned
in only a week.
The Council chose a Green Beret reservist, Carl
Sandberg, in February of 1974 as the man to fill
their leadership vacuum: With a major assist from
SGC Attorney Thomas Bentley - the man who exon-
erated Jacobs and Schaper while he was in charge
of the Credentials and Rules Committee - Sandberg
persued the civil and criminal charges against Schaper,
Jacobs and Gill. The fact that nearly all his efforts
were unsuccessful, however, clouds any claim that
Sandberg was completely dedicated to a final resolv-
ing of the controversies.
SANDBERG, who resigned earlier this month, was
perhaps successful in cleaning up the SGC financial
situation - their most desperate need. But the re-
turn of the $60,000 in alleged fund misuse by Jacobs,
Schaper and Gill has still eluded the Sandberg grasp.
Although SGC's* accomplishments have been marred
by glaring faults, the potential for much good still re-
mains. SGC controls a vast amount of money on this
campus and possesses considerable appointive power -
it need only regain its sense of direction and the
respect of its constituents so it can lead.
Jeff Sorenson is the Managing Editor of The Daily,
and Jeff Ristine is a staff writer.

SGC elections: Fraud and low turnout

By TIM SCHICK
QTUDENT Government Coun-
cil (SGC) isn't exactly
known for its honesty, espec-
ially where elections are con-
cerned. No one on SGC can
remember an election where
something didn't go wrong -
usually transcending legality in
the process.
SGC's unpopularity is reflect-
ed in its annual voter turnout,
which is traditionally infinizesi-
mal. In fact, on Septemner 12,
1968, a motion was introduced
to student council calling for the
permanent dissoultion of SGC,
and among the reasons cited
was SGC's failure to draw more
than 25 per cent to the polls.
The November election of that

year was no exception, only 19
per cent cast a ballot.
The March '69 election was so
close election officials decided
the differences in vo:e totals
were attributable to cYinting
error, and held a run-off, which-
was boycotted by the candidate
who had originally garnered the
most votes. In the end Marty
McLaughlin triumphed despite
receiving the fewest votes the
first time around.
TWO THINGS about the fall
'69 election stand out: It pulled
27 per cent of the student body,
and there was nothing llegal
about the election process.
The clean machine facade
proved short-lived. The March
'70 election coincided with the

Tangled finances mar SGC image

BAM strike and came down
with a fatal case of bad tim-
ing. Debate centered over
where polling stations would be
located, inside or outside the
picket lines. In the end, a mere
eight per cent of the student
body turned out to vote.
By now SGC elections had a
character all their own and No-
vember '70 was no letdown.
Then-president Marty Scott an-
nounced that the elction would
go on despite "incompetence"
on the part of election directors,
who had failed to hire enough
poll workers to man the sta-
tions.
AMAZINGLY, only one SGC
election figure has ever been
convicted of lection irregulari-
ties. In March '71 Presidential
candidate Bill Thee wi fined
$80.64 for having excee ded the
$100 limit set for campaign
spending in SGC alectio ns.
$40.60 of the fine was suspend-
ed, and the campaign materials
in question were impowr-ded,
costing Thee the election. Stu-
dentiturnout for this la idmark
election was a strong 24 per
cent.
By November '71 SGC elec-
tions were notorious. Only four-
teen per cent of the students
voted and Thee was again
caught violating election rules.
He was barred from running
in SGC elections for a year.
1972 brought further fraud
and corruption to the al:eady
scandalous SGC election riaual.
Charges of ballot-stuffing were
levelled after election directnr
David Schaper instructed poll
workers to recopy imrn*operly
marked ballots. Bill Jacobs,
who won, ascribed the charges
to "sore losers."
CREDENTIALS and R'iles
Court Chairman Tom Bentley
- shortly afterward a ,pointed
SGC legal advocate - dismxs-
cp .th fr m nrra n n-

By STEPHEN SELBST
T1E TWIN SPECTRES of corruption - fraud-
ulent elections where miniscule percentages
of the student body vote and gross financial ir-
responsibility tantamount to personal enrich-
ment - are the images of Student Government
Council (SGC) firmly entrenched in the minds
of most students.
They're not spurious notions either; over the
last feW years the actions of SGC officials have
run the gamut from merely towdry to clearly
illegal.
Prior to 1972 SGC was funded by an assess-
ment of $.25 per student per term, and the record
was clean, at least financially. However, when
the assessment was raised to one dollar in 1972,
problems arose. At that time, the political reali-
ties of the Council made it possible for then presi-
dent Bill Jacobs and his right-hand man, treas-
urer David Schaper, to do largely as they
pleased.
JACOBS AND SCHAPER ran SGC arrogantly.
They used tactics of physical intimidation or
simply failed to inform people of what they
were up to. Schaper, despite repeated requests,

all balances in all SGC accounts on July 1, 1973
for the past fiscal year; however, there's no rea-
son to believe the numbers are anything but
fiction.
For the several accounts SGC then maintained
with the University, the summary sheet shows
total receipts at $69,707.40 and expenditures at
$61,246.99 for a balance of $8,460.41 for the year,
irrespective of outside accounts.
This figure doesn't even correspond to the to-
tal obtained by summing the receipts of the dif-
ferent accounts. By adding these up one arrives
at the figure of $62,452.13 in receipts although
these records are rather sketchy.
Then too, large gaps appear in the accounting.
For the Communications fund-which spent over
$24,000-no breakdown of where the money went
is available.
Even the reliability of the accounting office is
questionable. While I was researching this
story, for example, I found a $300 error on the
books just by asking. A red-faced secretary
checked on the item in question and found a
coding error which changed a "jewelry" expen-

they've ever been in, thanks in large part to
Chikofsky. Chikofsky, who in all probability will
run this spring for SGC President and hence
stands to benefit politically, recently took out
a massive ad in the Daily to explain what was
happening with SGC's money.
According to Chikofsky, SGC made up some
$5,000 in back debts last year and still managed
to run a balance of nearly $7500. He also pre-
pared a tentative $25,500 budget the Regents,
indicating how the rest of the money will be
spent this term.
HERE'S THE BREAKDOWN:
-40 per cent of SGC's money is committed to
its Legal Advocate program, which will take up
$10,200:
-about 12 per cent, or $3.000 will go for main-
taining SGC's third floor suite of offices;
-about 35 per cent will go to allocations to
programs deemed worthy of SGC grants, total-
ling $8750:
-armnroximatelv 11 per cent will go for run-
ning this spring's election, costing $2,750
--another 3 Per cent will go to cover existing
cnntractunl obliantinns .runnino n ess than

us calculated that 400 votes
would have been faked.
Questionable practices a 1 s o
marked the computer programs
SGC used to tally its votes.
Council member John K o z a
wrote the program, but an inde-
pendent expert claimed it was
"bad from the start. It was
even written for a different
computer."
THE SAME program delayed
the results of the November '72
election, where nine per cent
voted. But the all-time wrost
voted. But the all-time worst
election was still to come.
Once again an Election Direc-.
tor was involved in probable
wrongdoing. In a violation of
ethics, Election Director Ken
Newbury endorsed Lee Gill for
President. The election was held
anyway, but thrown out due to
alleged fraud. But Newbury
never documented his charges,
and even today nobody really
knows the truth.
A substantial number believ-
ed the election was honest and
was thrown out when Gill wasn't

NOVEMBER '73 saw less than
1000 votes counted - a sickly
3.7 per cent. Students stayed
away in record numbers. Yet
even fewr people voted in March
'74. Council's financial position
was so weak it decided to su-
spend elections in an economy
move. The following fall CSJ
ruled the act illegal and upcon-
stitutional.
In October '74 a familiar
promise came out of SGC'A
suite of third floor offices:
"There is no way for fraud to
occur." But the Daily discover-
ed any organic solvent removed
the "indelible" magic m a r k
electionaofficials placed on ID
cards after voting.
THE NIGHT the Daily print-
ed the story, Election Director
Alan Bercovitz called the Daily
office -"and announced the elec-
tion would be postomed. But
the next day he reversed him-
self, opening the polls for busi-
ness as usual, and denying he
made the call. 3.5 per cent of
the students seized the oppor-
tunity to exercise their fran-

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