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January 29, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-01-29

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Page 4-Sunday, January 29, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Fredoin
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 99News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Will S. Africa

forum work?

U' investment forum



B EGINNING TOMORROW the Uni- Administrators are. now giving us the
versity will be doing what it feels opportunity to be heard, and we would
necessary to resolve fairly the con- be fools to ignore such an opportunity.
tinuing debate on its corporate invest- Attend the University's Forum on
ments in South Africa. South African Investments. If you
Officials have organized a four-day can't go to all sessions, at least drop in
"forum" on the issue, bringing in a on one of them. Read the reports on the
variety of speakers representing a Forum in the newspapers, and express
variety of interests. Somehow, it your own thoughts, in writing, to
seems, administrators are hoping all professors, administrators and
the speeches, seminars and national figures as well.
discussions will randomly fall together Here is a chance to effect construc-
by Thursday evening to present an un- tive change-not just in the policy of
distorted perspective on the South this University, but in the quality of life
African dilemma to an interested for blacks and coloreds in apartheid-.
public on campus. ridden South Africa.
But what actually happens at thez
forum may well be in complete con-
trast to what the University hopes will
happen; that is, an increase in con-
fusion may result on the investments (
question instead of a decrease in con-
One can almost be certain of oneEDITORIAL STAFF
hing though. Attendance at the four- ANN MARIE LIPINSKI JIM TOBIN
ay forum is likely to be sparse, and in GEORGE LOBSENZ..Ed....s-..-.h....Managing Editor
way, this fact is more self-defeating STU McCONNELL ................. Managing Editor
PATRICIA MONTEMURRI .................. Managing Editor
han any additional confusion the event KENPARSIGIAN .......... ..... Managing Editor
ay re tehee.BOB ROSENBAUM............. Managing Editor
ay crea LINDA WILLCOX ............................ Managing Editor
The University will not be impressed MARGARET YAO...................... Managing Editor
do withdraw all of its investments from SUSASundy Magazine E iN
south Africa unless enough voices are ELAINE FLETCHER TOM O'CONNELL
1ieard on campus telling it to do so. Associate Magazine Editors
: : : :::: ::: ::: :::: ::: ::.:: ::.:: :::: .: : :. . : :: : : : :: : : : :: : :: : : : : :: ::: :: : : : :: : ::.
S Editorials which 'appear without a by-line represent a con-'
sensus opinion of the Daily's editorial board. All other editorials,
as well as cartoons, are the opinions of the individuals who sub-
mit them.
_ R
-*- -...-.....:::.::.:::.. . :.. :::::::::::::::
ii' ..

A four day forum on the
University's investments in cor-
porations operating in South
Africa will begin tomorrow. It
will be the first concrete measure
taken by the administration to
resolve that nine-month question
of whether the University should
withdraw its funds from that
The-key to making any suc-
cessful "forum" is participation.
For that reason the outlook for
the success of the "University
Forum on Corporate Investment
in South Africa" is dismal.
BECAUSE, despite the
seriousness and depth of the
South African investment debate,
the general attitude on campus
toward the issue has been
apathetic. The events leading to
this University-sponsored forum
havebeen uninspiring to say the
In May of last year Denis On-
deje, vice-president of the
African Students Association
(ASA) asked the Regents to in-
vestigate all ties the University
might have with South Africa.
Ondeje demanded that when
the full extent of the University's
association, both financial and
educational, were made public it
be cut completely.
THIS MEANT the University
would divest all holdings in cor-
porations operating in South
Africa. In addition, all programs
the University might have with
educational institutions there
would be ended.
The reason behind the request
for divestiture is founded in
politico-economics. Trans-
national corporation, such as
Ford Motor Co., GM, and IBM,
are the backbone of the apartheid
regime now controlling South
Apartheid is a system of
discrimination and segregation
indiginous to South Africa which
provides the white-owned cor-
porations operating there with a
vast pool of cheap black labor.
DENIS BRUTUS, a black South
African who aided the United
Nations in developing an anti-
apartheid program, said these
trans-national corporations give
Vorster "his muscle and his
money... without which he could
not survive."
To those groups such as ASA,
the South African Liberation
Committee (SALC), and the
Washtenaw County Coalition
Against Apartheid (WCCAA),
who are demanding divestiture
the situation is simple.
The University can refuse to di-
vest and thereby remain party to
apartheid-or the University can
divest and help destroy the
system which denies blacks and
coloreds in South Africa their
basic human rights.
ON THE OTHER hand, the
administration questions the
value of such logic. Many on the
administration side have argued

that there is a whole range of
solutions between divesting and
not divesting.
Administrators often mention
the Sullivan statement, a set of
principles which will provide
equal pay for blacks and whites,
desegregated working areas, and
some upward mobilization for
blacks and coloreds, something
which is now illegal in South
Eighty per cent of South
Africa's private sector is either
totally or partially foreign
owned. American corporations

UNLESS BLACKS are allowed
the same educational benefits
granted whites, blacks will never
have the chance to take advan-
tage of upward mobilization
programs in American factories
and offices.
Ondeje's summertime request
lay dormant in a corner like an old
dog until the middle of July when
University President Robben
Fleming reactivated the Com-
mittee on Communications.
Another sleeping dog, the
Committee on Communications
is a group of two students, two

t University Forum on Corporate
Investment in South Africa
Monday, January 30, 1978
8:00 p.m. Ted Lockwood, Washington Office on Africa
Topic: "The Nature of United States Policy and
Place: Rackham Lecture Hall, First Floor, Rackham
Tuesday, January 31, 1978
4:00 p.m. Selby Semela, Former Treasurer, South African Student
Topic: "Current Socio-Economic Conditions"
Place: Modern Languages Building, Aud. 4
8:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Dion Erasmus, Donald DeKieffel,
representatives of South African Embassy,
Washington, D.C.; David Wiley, director, MSU
African Center; Vern Terpstra, prof of International
Topic: "Current Socio-Economic Conditions"
Wednesday, February 1, 1978
4:00 p.m. Timothy Smith, director, Interfaith Center for Corporate
Responsibility, National Council of Churches
Topic: "Alternatives for Stockholder Action"~
Place: Modern Languages Building, Aud. 4
8:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Timothy Smith; Thomas Pond,
director Overseas Public Relations, General Motors
Corporation; Gunter Dufey, prof of International
Business; Joel Samoff, assistant prof of Political
Topic: "Alternatives for Stockholder Action"
Thursday, February 2, 1978
Time and Place to be announced
Seminar: For all participants, including members of
University community, to organize viewpoints and
select platform participants for evening session.
8:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Timothy Smith; Prexy Nesbitt,
American Committee on Africa; Members of
University community selected at afternoon seminar
Topic: Summary and Conclusions
Also appearing, although exact times and places are yet to be
arranged, will be representatives of the African NationalCongress.

ultimately decide on the matter
of ties with South Africa.
COMMITTEE members have
voiced concern over their role.
Alfred Meyer, a faculty represen-
tative on the committee, said at a
meeting last December, "I feel
we are caught here in a process of
symbolic politics."
But while the Committee on
Communications was struggling
to get started the Senate Ad-
visory Committee on Financial
Affairs (SACFA) was getting
ready to make their recommen-
dation to the Regents.
SACFA is a subcommittee of
the faculty senate and is under
the office of James Brinkerhoff,
chief financial officer of the
IT IS''not clear how much
weight a -SACFA recommen-
dation will carry with the Regen-
ts but it seems undemocratic that
the only University-sponsored
recommendation to the Regents
should be from such a limited
section of the community.
This suggests that unless the
Regents attend the forum this
week, everything-the trouble in
establishing the Committee on
communications, and assembling
the forum-was for naught.
When the ASA held a teach-in
on South Africa last November
the turnout was very
poor-Regents and SACFA mem-
bers were conspicuous by their
absence. It will be a surprise to
see a good showing at this week's.
forum. It will be a greater sur-
prise to see any Regents in atten-
dance at all
IN AN era when most people
muddle through their days
without cause or conscience, life
and death struggles on another
continent seem uninspiring.
The issue South Africa
represets is more complicated
than pro-apartheid or anti-
apartheid, invest or divest, stay
in or get out. The questions raised
by the aSouthAfrican problem are
intricate and require everyone's
consideration because everyone
is affected, directly or indirectly.
The principles or philosophy
that should come out of the
SouthsAfrican investment debate
will unavoidably be applied other
investments. The University, like
other institutions, needs a
flexible policy to use for its in-
The University must find a
conscience to promote its high
ideals. Even as an investor, the
University must not blindly rake
in its profits at the expense of
Rene Becker, a Daily staf-
fer, has been covering the
South African in vestmen ts
debate at the University.

there account for 17 per cent of all
foreign investments.
DESPITE THIS fact American
concerns do not employ enough
people, let alone blacks, to make
a significant dent in the socio-
economic prison of apartheid in
which 85 per cent of that coun-
try's people are condemned to
Even with the heavy foreign
investment, and the industry it
brings to South Africa, unem-
ployment among blacks is run-
ning about 40 per cent.
And while the Sullivan
statement does provide for up-
ward mobilization for blacks and
coloreds, only 35 per cent of South
Africa's people are literate.
There is an overwhelming per-
centage of blacks who are

administrators, and two faculty
members who provide channels
of communication on controver-
sial issues for all members of the
University community.'
established by Fleming in the
late sixties but became inactive
after a couple of years service
due to lack of interest.
Because the method of
choosing members for the com-
mittee is so complicated, it
wasn't until the beginning of
November that it was in the
position to perform its assigned
The efficiency of the Commit-
tee on Communications ranges
from nil to slight. The committee,
according to Regent's bylaws,
can not make any recommen-
dations to the Regents, who must

Music and money don't mix

00 PM) 4AL xROW 7.

Pacific News Service
A resounding "dis-chord" between professional string players and
the collectors of antique stringed instruments is disrupting the nor-
mally harmonious mood of the music world.
The controversy concerns the ownership of rare instruments that
bear such illustrious signatures as Antonio Stradivari, Joseph Guar-
neri Del Gesu, Carlo Bergonzi and Nicolo Amati. To well-healed
collectors, who fervently defend their purchases and proclaim them-
selves the conservators of the finest examples of classical craftsman-
ship, these instruments are "cultural artifacts."
TO THEIR opponents-an international coterie of professional
musicians-these instruments are the finest "tools" available. The
musicians decry what they regard as the collectors' money-grubbing
attitudes and insist that aesthetics must be served-regardless of the
big money to be made speculating in antique violins, violas, cellos and
Indeed, prices for the disputed instruments have skyrocketed. The
finest 17th-century Italian strings, for example, are now worth over

The rampant speculation has forced most professional string
players to settle for the only instruments they can still afford-usually
relatively modern strings in the $3,000-$15,000 category. The only
musicians who are exceptions are the big name soloists, like Heifetz or
Stern, to whom the more magnanimous collectors will sometimes loan
the finer specimens in their collections.
WHO ARE these collectors? According to New York Philharmonic
violist Eugene Becker, consortiums of Japanese businessmen have
recently made substantial purchases of instruments that they hoard in
sealed vaults where they never get played.
"The whole experience is degrading," he says, I know musicians
who have turned down the chance to play a few bars on a $100,000 in-
strument because they know a few bars is all they'll play.
Professionals, like myself, are tired of contributing to greedy collec-
tors' ego trips."
IF COLLECTORS would limit themselves to wind instruments
there would be no argument. Old flut'es, trumpets, horns and the like
are usually non-functional relics with outdated fingering systems and
make better conversation pieces than music.
But bowed stringed instruments are another matter. The more
they're played, the better they sound because, by some inexplicable
miracle, the vibration of the bow on the strings eventually changes the
molecular structure of the wood-although it may take 50 years before
the improvement becomes audible. Furthermore, the older in-
struments have a higher-quality varnish that modern craftsmen are
hard-pressed to duplicate.
Musicians cite the above facts, among others, to justify why these
rare old masterpieces-over half of which are currently owned by a
handful of museums and collectors-should, at the very least, be
loaned to string players for regular use.
MUSEUM curators and collectors counter that their instruments
are played occasionally (the National Symphony Orchestra in
Washington, D.C., has access to the Stradivari violins owned by the
Library of Congress, for instance). Besides, they claim they are more
careful than the average musician would be to avoid damaging the in-
struments, knowing that a tiny scratch can reduce their value by
thousands of dollars.
Harry Duffy, a Miami dealer who doesn't want to lose customers
from either camp, offers a compromise solution: Let the seldom-
played mint-condition strings that have not attained the tonal ex-
cellence one might expect from, say, a Guarneri, remain in the care of




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