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February 14, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-02-14

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Page 4-Tuesday, February 14, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Fight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 112 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

The Rape of History 230
By Richard Berke and Pauline Toole

The 150 students of History 230
are angry.
As the semester enters its sixth
week of classes, we have few
notes, no books, and barely know
our professor's name.
MOST UNIVERSITY students

signing up for research projects
on different facets of the
movement.
Then, at the start of class on the
Tuesday before the big
s- 9wstorm, Owens announced
either the course would be can-
celled or a new instructor would

I

I

YES-I HAVE READ-THE STORIES
CRITICAL - OF MY - SPEAKING STYLE

IT IS TRUE-THAT I DO NOT-USE
FANCY - PHRASES. I PREFER
DIRECT -SIMPLICITY.
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People were mad and they showed
it. After about a half-hour of
argument students got up and left
- twenty-five minutes before the
end of class.

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NEXT QUESTION- PLEASE.
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THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
DIST FIELD NEWSPAPER SYNDICATE, 1978
Consumers lose it again
OPES FOR A FEDERAL agency The defeat of the consumer agency
to protect the interests of the bid is interesting in a way, considering
American consumer were dashed that President Carter was a strong
again last week when the House of supporter and catylist of the idea from
Representatives rejected the idea. his very first day in office. He appoin-
:Even the most outspoken of con- ted a special adviser in the White
Sumer advocates admits now that such House to work toward the establish-
Consumer Agency will be nearly im- ment of the agency. Despite all
tossible to establish in the current this-or perhaps because of it-the
session of Congress. Three times dream is unfulfilled.
blefore the issue has been considered There is some speculation that Car-
ind three times .before the House ap- ter's constant harping on the size and
proved it. This time, not even that body waste of the big government
could see the bill through. bureaucracy may have helped spell
doom for the oft-pushed consumer
; The defeat is truly not just one for plan. Certainly the Carter spiel may
onsumer advocates, though. It is a have had a lot to do with it, but, as
defeat for us consumers. Establish- Ralph Nader was apt to point out after
1ient of a specialized agency would last Thursday's defeat, business lob-
4ave-for the first time-given- the bying influences in Congress most
American citizen a formidable voice likely played a larger role.
against the selfish interests of big Spokespersons for President Carter
tlusiness in Washington. As it stands hint that an executive order from the
qow, for every significant piece of White House may be considered to
rgislation affecting the public to come establish a consumer agency, thereby
before Capital Hill, there are hundreds superceding lawmakers. Whether or
of lobbyists representing business and not this is good depends on the nature
bureaucratic interests, compared to of such an order.
only a handful of people working in the But in the meantime, American con-
interests of consumers. A separate sumers sit in their inefficiently-heated
agency would have helped offset this homes, using shoddy and sometimes
Vnbalance, as well as protect con- dangerous products, and watching
umers in various other ways. The fear hard-earned money drip away dollar
that a new agency would only add to by dollar. While a consumer agency in
the Washington bureaucracy was cer- Washington surely would not have had
,ainly unfounded; the consumer agen- the most dramatic effect on such a
° y would have no regulatory powers scenario, it would have offered the
And a budget of only $15 million-an in- consumer considerably more con-
ignificant yearly sum by any stan- sistent protection than we are getting
Bard of comparison today. now.

are at this point reviewing lec-
ture notes, pouring over required
readings and trying to study for
midterms. But for the students in
History 230, the History of the
Civil Rights Movement, this in
not the case.
After six weeks, we have lear-
ned little about the- civil rights
movement - but there's one con-
solation. We have been taught a
civil rights lesson of our own.
On the first day of class in
January, Professor Les Owens
told a group packed into a room
in the Natural Sciences Building
that we were about to embark on
a look at the Civil Rights
Movement from a new, exciting
perspective. By utilizing
speakers, films, projects and
readings, he assured, the studen-
ts now lining the walls and
spilling into the hall would have a
worthwhile semester. Owens of-
fered to accept all overrides
requested - and there were
many.
BUT THAT first day was
shrouded with a certain mood of
mystery. Owens spoke of certain
"forces" in the administration
who were against a course on
civil rights. That the class was
meeting in a crowded, dingy
room in Nat. Sci. was a reflection
of that, Owens said. He noted that
he had been told a week earlier
that the class would be held'in one
of the Modern Languages
Building's lecture rooms, which
were much better equipped for
the slated speakers and films.
During the next few sessions of
class, Owens delved into the
beginnings of the civil rights
movement, outlining the
background for the Montgomery
Bus Boycott and the Little Rock
school integration struggle.
Still, a great deal of time was
spent discussing some possible
obstruction of the course. Studen-
ts complained that the required
course books weren't available.
Owen's said he'd ordered the
books months earlier, but that he
would talk to bookstore
managers anyway.
OUR FIRST speaker, Rosa
Parks, precipatator of the Mon-
tgomery bus boycott, didn't
show. Owens announced that she
might possibly appear a week
later, but then again, she might
not. She never came.
Classes continued. The
mystery of Les Owens pervaded
our study of the civil rights
movement. Owens alluded the
unexplainable pressure on him
and on the course. Studentscon-
tinued to complain that books
weren't available. We began

People were mad and they
showed it. After about a half-hour
of argument students got up and
left - twenty-five minutes before
the end of the class. Cruse looked
upset and defeated after his
debut. So did the students, but we
were used to it.
AS IT turns out, ' the cause of
Owens' departure involved
University regulations
prohibiting the payment of salary
to anyone who holds more than
one full-time appointment.
Owens had been teaching full
time at the University of Detroit
and at this University. The
Dean's office told Owens before
the term started out that he
would have to end his commit-'
tment at one of the twoschools.
According to Steneck, Owens
requested a leave of absence
because he opted to take his
U -D committment over the
one to the University.
Steneck said the History depar-
tment handled the situation only
after that point--when a
replacement had to be chosen. It
had all been in the hands of the
Dean's office up to that time.
"THE HISTORY department
and the Dean's office were under
the assumption that Owens
would choose us over the U of D
and that's why Owens taught the
course from the start," Steneck
said.

The bulk of the blame for the
mishandling of the situation lies
with the History department.

be found. This was two days
before the dropadd deadline.
Anger stirred through the room.
Students argued with Owens and
among themselves, questioning
why the course was being
threatened. Owens promised to
tell us the status of the course by
the next class session.
AT THE next meeting, Owens
announced we would be assigned
a new professor. Anger once
again filled the class - people
wanted to know just why they
were losing their professor and
they wanted to know it straight.
Owens told us he was teaching
at the University of Detroit and
here. He said he was forced to
make a choice between the two

trol and an active role in the
course."
The assumption generally held
is that the course will take a more
conservative turn, back to a
traditional lecture course with
the advent of Professor Cruse,
and that the innovations planned
by Owens will be abandoned.
STUDENTS also seem to agree
that the bulk of the blame for the
mishandling of the situation lies
within the History Department.
Students in the History of Civil
Rights Movement feel outraged.
and rightly so. There can be no
justification for the treatment we
have endured.
At the same time, our anger is
tempered by a sense of futility.
For we have no recourse but to let
the departmental and ad-
ministrative powers fiddle
around while the semester rushes
past.
We wait for the History Depar-
tment to pull itself together and
help get our course organized. We
wait for Professor Cruse to find
out what he intends to do with the
class, and we look anxiously for
some sort of teaching to begin
soon.
THE PROBLEMS incurred by
students in History 230 are
merely an exaggeration of those
encountered every semester by
undergraduates. Not having texts
available, hassling with room
changes, flustered
professors-though not always
tinged with political implications-
are common occurrences.
Indeed, the plight of History 230
isn't part of some diabolical plot.
It is endemic to a more insidious
problem-the neglect of un-
dergraduate education.
Much of the prestige and honor
and money heaped upon this
University is a result of its
graduate and professional
programs. There seems to be a
tendency by those in charge to
concentrate on those areas and
overlook undergraduate concer-
ns. This situation must be ad-
dressed.
TODAY, when professor Cruse
walks intoclass he will undoub-
tedly have arrived at some plan
for the future of the course. A
month has gone by, however, and
except for some isolated notes,
we have, as yet, little evidence
that a History 230 ever existed.
We hope that, today, the
delay and frustrayion surroun-
ding the coure is resolved so that
we can embark on this business
of learning.
Not only are we owed an
apology by the administration
and the History department-we
are owed more attention to our
legitimate needs and civil rights
as undergraduate students.
Richard Berke and Pauline
Toole are staff reporters for
lhe D~aily anadmemlers of th
class known officially as
His tory 230.

institutions and had chosen to
teach at U of D for the semester
as a matter of "principle." He
didn't know who the new instruc-
tor would be. Students, obviously
upset by the predicament, asked
what could be done. The answer
given was nothing.
Nicholas Steneck of the history
department appeared at the next
class and said University
professor Harold Cruse would
take over the course at the next
session. Class lasted ten minutes.
A WEEK ago today, Prof.
Cruse appeared in class and went
right into a lecture backgroun-
ding the civilrights movement -
covering from his own point of
view material earlier discussed
by Owens.
Half-way through the lecture, a
student asked Cruse how he was
going to run the class. Would the
structure be the same-as Owens'
(though most of the books were
still not available)? Would we
still be expected to work on group,
projects? Was it necessary to
repeat the information already
taught by Owens?
Cruse had come into the course
cold. At first he had no answers to
these questions, then he had an-
swers, then he changed his an-
swers. He didn't know about the
projects we had already begun.
He didn't know about books not
being available. In fact, he ad-
mitted that theconly information
he had before coming. into class

Owen's however, said that the
University took too much time in
telling him he couldn't keep both
jobs.Owens charged that the
University's. job regulations
weren't being enforced unifor-
mly, indicating other professors
were engaging in the same ac-
tivities, but were not under
scrutiny.
Students in the class have
adopted a variety of attitudes to
cope with the various upheavals.
Many are angry-at Owens, at
the University, anti some of that
anger is being directed toward
Cruse.
Still, History 230 members
seem to have concluded that the
problems encountered result
from within the University rather
than with the individuals in-
volved.
THE CONSENSUS seems to be
that Owens was a "low keyed but
dynamic" professor, who was
willing to approach history from
-a new perspective. "He wanted to
slip inside the civil rights
movement and get people's in-
terpretations of how they fit into
the movement," said junior
Charis Cannon.
"It was one of the few oppor-
tunities for students to take an
active part in our education,"
said Deborah Filler, another
student. "We were given a con-

that day
syllabus.

was a copy of Owens'

4'
4

The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks,
currently in their second incarnation, were
conceived in 1964 out of the frustration of
neutral diplomats over thousands of disar-
mament meetings that produced no disar-
mament. Perhaps, they speculated, the two
superpowers could be induced to do
something more modest, such as "freeze"
their nuclear stockpiles.
What the talks accomplished, however, is
not a "freeze" but an escalation-in-tandem.
IN THE YEAR before the first SALT pacts
were signed, the U.S. possessed 4,600
deliverable strategic warheads and the Soviet
Union 2,100. The figures as of the end of last
year were 8,500 and 4,000 respectively - or
almost double on each side. And that does not
take into account the increase in accuracy,
throw-power, "maneuverable re-entry" and
other qualitative improvements that add to
the destructiveness of each warhead.
SALT II, if the leaks about its progress are
accurate, will result in another in-tandem
escalation, with the Soviets equipping many
more single-warhead missiles with multiple
warheads, and the U.S. introducing, among
other things, large numbers of highly ac-
curate cruise missiles.
The erosion of goals - from "disar-
mament" to "arms limitation," from
"freeze" to "escalation-in-tandem" - reflec-
ts the fact, at least on the American side and
perhaps on both, that two sets of negotiations
and two sets of motivations are at work
simultaneously What the Uinited Sttes for-

Getting even
with SALT

By Sidney Lens

accept it. But the Pentagon, in a confidential
memo to President Kennedy, demanded a
"safeguard:" to conduct underground
nuclear test programs designed to add to our
knowledge and improve our weapons . . ."
The Pentagon's view. prevailed, and an
arms race that might have been subdued or
even choked off in 1963 continues unabated.
It is known today that similar divisions
within the Carter Administration over how
much to demand on long-range missiles and
how much to concede to the Soviets on their
308 heavy missiles have hobbled SALT II
negotiations.
THE PENTAGON and its allies are in an
anomalous situation. They serve under
presidents, every one of whom, beginning
with Truman, has spoken of the need to
eliminate or severely reduce nuclear stock-
piles. Yet the Pentagon itself is charged with
finding a means of winning a nuclear war.
Virtually every joint chief of staff or
secretary of defense expresses this contradic-
tory objective, almost word for word, in the

- in which neither side dares attack the
other, the Pentagon seeks not only a level of
superiority to defeat the adversary "if
deterrence fails," but, as stated in recent
documents, to prevent him from recovering.
UNDER circumstances of the last 32
years, where the voices for disarmament
have been feeble, it was inevitable that the
"win syndrome" would prevail. Typically,
when President Kennedy suggested to Defen-
se Secretary Robert McNamara that he in-
tended to ask Congress for 450 missiles as
adequate for U.S. defense, McNamara ad-
vised him that he must ask for at least 950 -
because the Pentagon was going to demand
3,000.
The "win syndrome" demands ceaseless
escalation until the Pentagon finds the right
mix of offensive and defensive weapons to
guarantee total victory. It does not encom-
pass the notion of "sufficiency." When former
Deputy Defense Secretary David Packard
was askedwhat the word meant, he shot back
"it is a good word to use in a speech. Beyond
that it doesn't mean a goddamned thing."
By way of confirming this definition, the
ink was hardly dry on the first SALT
agreements when Dr. John S. Foster Jr., then
director of defense research and engineering,
made a plea to Congress - with Secretary
Melvin Laird's blessings - for a host of
weapons, wuch as the Trident submarine, the
undersea long-range missile system (ULMS),
the B-1 bomber, the cruise missile and mobile
ICBMs, on the theory that "programs
necessary to sustain U.S. strength must go
forward if the viability of the agreements is to

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