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September 07, 1972 - Image 71

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-07

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Thursday, September 7, 1972

Page Five.


reaching out from
the ivory tower

serving I
city'Is yoi
"People used to stumble on us
Py mistake," says Thomas
Moorehead, director of Project
Community. "'Oh,' they'd say,
'this is what you are.'"
"This," is 540 student volun-
teers working in different com-
munity projects ranging from a
Black Liberation School to day
care centers.
Started in conjunction with the
civil rights movement in th e
early sixties, Project Community
has evolved from a one to one
black tutorial with 25 volunteers
to a community-wide program
for educational change.
Project Community works with
youth from pre-school to college

now in the process of becoming educational - so it will start
an accredited "institution." Sol- in September. By December
stis is run by its members cn when people start getting their
their own time and volunteers W-4 forms they'll know what to
help teach the courses ! ;udents do."
want and aid in general admin- Students who volunteer f o r
istration. Project Community may gain
With better financial, faculty some incentive from the f a c t
and administrative support the that a number of the ,piofes-
project has begun to redefine sional schools on campus, in-
its community. "We try to look cluding the School of Education,
at surrounding areas and estab- Schol of Social Work, and the
lish a rapport with the differ- psychology department, now of-
ent organizations and systems fer course credit.
age, participating in public and around us," says Moorehead. Innovative Tutorial Experience
free schools and providing re- Project Community already op- is currently one of the best
sources to help other people de- erates programs at Washtenaw known projects. Accredited by
sign their own educational 'Sher- Community College, Willow Run the School of Education, it's a
natives. Students also volunteer High School, Maxey Boys Train- "training program for new meth-
at the Halfway House, helping ing School and Green Oak Cen- ods of teaching."
mental patients readjust to the ter. Financing Inovative Tutorial
community. This year volunteers will also Experience and the other ten
The Black Liberation School, work with patients at Ypsilanti projects, depends largely on
which the project operates dur- State Hospital. donations. The University pro-
ing the summer, gained national Locally, a community center vides the initial base budget,
recognition as a result of i t s for income tax assistance a n d but as programs expand and a
average attendance of 125 child- a tutorial program for t h e larger part of the comumnity is
ren a day. Run by parents and Washtenaw County Jail are slat- included, costs rise.
black high school and University ed to start this year. The in- Many donations come from
students, the school was found- come tax program will be "set foundations, at times being as
ed "to overcome the detrimctal up in the community where peo- high as $12,000. Because of Pro-
influences of the school a n d ple can come in and have their ject Community's national repu-
community." tax returns filled out without tation, donations come from New
Project Community also helps charge," Moorhead explains. York, Chicago, and elsewhere
support the Solstis Free School, "We'd like the program to be throughout the country.

"Our goal is to help people
to become better observers
in real life situations of
which they are a part--to
become intimately involved."
Students who participate in the
psychology department's Project
Outreach obtain a rare oppor-
tunity: the chance to emerge
from the stilted classroom and
relate their experience to the
real world.
Project Outreach now involves
from 600-700 University students
during each academic term in
projects ranging from weekend
T-Groups to tutoring in 1 o c a l
elementary and junior h i g h
Outreach coordinator John
Ringwald, says that the pro-
ject represents an important al-
ternative to traditional modes
of education. "Our goal is To
help people to become better ob-
servers in real life situations
of which they are a part - to
become intimately involved."
Spurred on by the political ac-
tivities of the 60's, Prof. Dick
Mann, former coordinator of +he
introductory psychology pro-
gram, initiated Project O u t-
reach in 1965 in an effort to
show "how psychology might
relate to the problems of the
real world."
"We were concerned with the
question of what happens to the
student after he leaves college?"
explained Prof. William Mc-
Keachie, then director of the
psychology department. "Col-
lege should be an intellectual-
conceptual set of experiences
that tie learning to doing and
feeling - that engage the whole
human being. Our aim is to
have students come out think-
ing about and understanding be-
havior in a new and different
Among the oldest and' most
established programs are pro-
jects at Northville and Ypsi-
lanti State Hospitals where stu-
dents work with mentally u l peo-
ple who may be neglected by
overburdened or unconcerned
One of Outreach's prime func-

tions, said Ringwald, is to help
break the monotony of the lives
of patients in state institutions.
A student who has worked with-
emotionally disturbed children
for two years in the Yorkwo'ds
project at Ypsilanti State Hos-
pital said that whiile his work
in the Outreach program h a d
been very gratifying, it still had
its disappointments. "It can be
an awfully discouraging exper-
ience. People go in thinking they
have all the answers and that
they're really going to cure some
kid - it's just not that easy."
Coordinators of Outreacn ad-
mit that the project's main prob-
lem is that students don't al-
ways see the relationships be-
tween their Outreach experienc-
es and the psychological princi-
ples that they have absorbed in
the classroom.
Ringwald said that Outreach
has been important in generat-
ing positive responsibility feel-
ings among Ann Arbor students.
"There has been a movement to
be less exploitative of the insti-
tutions of the community -- peo-
ple are becoming more willing
to provide a service to the com-
munity as opposed to mere con-
The community's Child Care
Action' Center for pre-schioolers
from University affiliated famil-
ies is staffed entirely by Out-
reach people.
In addition, Outreach s t u-
dents work with adult retard-
ates at Ann Arbor's Adult Ac-
tivity Center, teaching t h e m
social and work skills.
Outreach students -also work
in conjunction with theFriendly
Visitor Program operated by the

Dept. of Social Services in Ann
Arbor aiding and socializing with
some of the community's semn
Each project has a set of ;up-
ervisors that meets regularly
with the students to discuss their
In addition, students are. re-
quired to keep logs in which
they write down and describe
what they observe happening
around and within themselves as
it relates to their Outreach ex-
Outreach is no longer an in-
tegral part of the introdctory
psychology course. An autono-
mous two-credit course, it now
goes by the name of Psych;logy
The program is still run n-

der the traditional grading sys-
tem although coordinators have
tried unsuccessfully to be allow-
ed to place the course under tne
pass-fail option policy.
Most of the Outreach supbr-
visors are graduate students,
although some undergraduates
who have participated in a given
program several times have
gone on to become supervisors.
Coordinators are hoping that
next year they will be able to
have an Outreach Project set
up with each of the dorms.
Project Outreach has served
as a model for similar programs
which have been developed at
other colleges around the nation,
including Eastern Michigan Uni-
versity in nearby Ypsilanti and
Yale University.





prison reform
drive acerts

"We're going to raze the prisons,
raze the prisons down."--Joan Baez,
Prisons in Washtenaw County
are not in imminent danger of
being razed,; but that does not
mean there has been no interest
in prison reform locally.
In the wake of the bloodbath
at Attica, where some 46 prison-
ers were slain, prison reform
proponents across the country
have accelerated their cam-
Locally, efforts toward prison
reform took two directions last
year; they aimed at specific
changes in nearby jails as
well as increasing consciousness
about actual jail conditions.
Three inmates of the Wash-
tenaw County Jail last February
charged in a court suit that the
jail facility was "illegally and
unconstitutionally" administered.
The plaintiffs' complaints in-
cluded "illegal overcrowding,"
"unlawful restrictions on com-
munication and privacy," "gross-
ly inadequate medical care,"
and "total lack of an exercise
The suit contended that inade-
quate sanitary facilities and
overcrowding violate both the
city building code and the state
Correctional Institutions Code.
A state inspection in 1971 had
revealed certain inadequacies in
the jail's physical plant. All
these inadequacies were men-
tioned in the suit.

Sheriff Douglas Harvey, one
of the defendants named in the
suit, is directly responsible for
administering the county jail.
Harvey has denied the validity
of all the charges put forth in
the suit-calling them "definite-
ly not true," except for the lack
of an exercise area.
Harvey did not elaborate in
denying the charges except to
explain the practice of opening
inmates' mail - which could be
simply a memorandum from an
attorney. Harvey said the jail
officials "have no way of de-
termining whether an address
belongs to a lawyer."
Harvey also said last spring
that an exercise area was being
organized and that plans were
being formulated with a local
hospital to provide medical serv-
ices. A request last spring by the
plaintiffs for an injunction to
halt entirely the jail's operations
One reason the suit met with a
sluggish response is that the
county hopes to build a new jail
soon. With the budget crisis,
however, soon may be years in
the future.
In the meantime, the aged fa-
cility on Ann St. continues to
house over a hundred persons,
most of whom simply have not
enough money to post for bail.
They thus await their trials in
the county jail.
Besides the specific suit
against the county jail, more
general actions on behalf of pris-

oners came about last year. Not
only the massacre at Attica, but
also the increased flow of news
about political prisoners and
their t r e a t m e n t encouraged
these activities.
The birth of the literary col-
lege Porgram for Educational
and Social Change brought with
it a course on community con-
trol of prisons. The course form-
ed one section of an American
social history class, and was led'
by Rainbow People's Party lead-
er John Sinclair.
Sinclair was released from jail
last winter after serving two
years of a ten year sentence for
possessing two joints of mari-
juana. Sinclair's release followed
enactment of a more liberal
state drug law.
Last spring, the Committee for
Equal Justice initiated a pro-
gram which would allow priso-
ners who cannot afford bail
payments to be housed in Uni-
versity dormitories rather than

jails. The spring work was
mostly preliminary - present-
ing the proposals to the various
dorm units for consideration.
Gwen Johnson, " a spokesper-
son for the committee, says she
is hopeful the trial program
"will lead to official University
recognition and participation."
This fall, each dorm must
vote on the proposal before any
prisoners could be considered
for the experiment. Then, be-
fore prisoners are assigned, they
would each be screened by the
County Defender's office, the
committee ' and representatives
of the particular dorm involve,.
No legal responsibility would
be attached to the dorm or any
During spring term, the Com-
mittee for New Understandings
of Justice, designed to help
"those in conflict with the law,"
established several task forces
among which was a group
studying prisons.

338 S. STATE
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