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September 08, 1977 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-09-08

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

°' Pdge'"Tb ree 1

ThE MICHIGAN DAILY i'oge~Three'

'U' drops ball on
Barbour/Waterman

Doily Photo by ALAN BILINSKY t
Barbour/Waterman .. .
The never-ending fight:
GEO v. the University

By SUE WARNERc
Wrecking crews arrived on
campus this summer, putting an
end to the Barbour/Waterman
gyms - University landmarks
since 1894 - and the controver-
sy which had surrounded their
demise.
For nearly a year, University.
administrators and various cam-
pus and community groups bat-
tled over whether or not to raze
the aged buildings. The admin-
istration argued the cost of re-
novating the gyms, which were
in need of considerable repair,
would be economically unfeas-
ible. Instead, it favored demoli-
tion of the buildings to make
room for an addition to the'
Chemistry Building, although
funds for construction are notI
available yet.l
GROUPS OPPOSED to the de-
molition contended the build-
ings wereofahistorical and archi-
tectural value and should be
preserved.
The saga of Barbour/Water-1
man began in March 1976 when
the Regents approved a Univer-
sity recommendation, that the
gyms. be torn down. They
agreed, however, to reconsider{
their decision pending the re-
sults of another study on the to-
pic compiled by William Sturgis,
an assistant to former Vice Pre-
sident and Chief Financial Offi-
cer Wilbur Pierpont.
Sturgis presented his report to
the Regents at their December
meeting and he, too, concluded I
razing the buildings would be in
the University's best interest.
BUT BY THIS time, groups
favoring preservation of the 82-
year-old structures were organ-
izing in an effort to save the old
gyms. They began circulating
petitions demanding the Regents
alter their decision and held in-
formal meetings with University
alumni in hopes of gaining addi-
tional support.
December also mark the
gyms' closing. University offi-

cials said the buildings were also worked to preserve the
closed because of the high cost gyms, went before the Regents
to heat, light, and clean them- with a proposal for converting
more than $200,000 per year. Barbour/Waterman into a stu-
Economics professor William dent activities center. MSA pre-
Shepherd, active in the move- sident Scott Kellman and Vice
ment to save the gyms, said the President Steve Carnevale com-
University was "smart" by clos- piained space reserved for stu-
ing the gyms down. "This keeps dent use in the Student Activi-
it out of sight, out of mind," he ties Building (SAB) and the Mi-
stated. "They're trying to sneak chigan Union had gradually been
this by." taken over to fill University
Groups in favor of preserving space needs.
the gyms attempted to have the Funding for the MSA proposal
buildings, along with the rest of was to have been provided by a
Central Campus, listed in the required $5 assessment per stu-
National Historic Register, and dent per term to finance the
thus protected from destruction gyms' renovation. Yearly oper-_
under the National Historic Pre- ating costs would have been
servation Act. met, for the most part, by the
MICHAEL WASHO, deputy di- University Cellar, which has
rector of the Michigan History been looking for larger and
Division of the Department of more centrally located accom- F >>:
State, addressed the Regents at modations.
their January meeting, asking The idea of developing Bar-
that the University conduct a bour/Waterman into a student Y°¢
"feasibility study in keeping center was attractive to many,
with the University's priorities." including Shepherd, who felt the Su'>
He stated his office would work site was ideal for a new center
to have the study done, "even if because of a recent shift in the
the University doesn't want such. location of student activity from
an honor." the eastern edge of campus to
The University refused to con- the Hill Area and North Cam-
duct the study and also declined pus.
to do a similar study for a See 'U', Page 7
smaller campus group.__
"We should not seek out uses;
(the buildings) should fit a need SASS . SAS
we know about," Sturgis said.
MEMBERS OF the Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA), which

Daily Photo by CHRISTINA SCHNEIDER
1894-1977

By KEN PARSIGIAN
When is any employe. not an
employe?AWhen he or she is a
student. At least that's what
the University is trying to prove
in its battle with the Graduate
Employes'Organization (GEO),
the union which represents some
1900 graduate student teaching
and research assistants at the
University,.
The administration contends
that teaching assistants (TAs)
are students, notemployes, alg
though they do. teach a large
percentage of undergraduate
classes The basis for the Uni-
versity's argument is that only
students can be hired as TAs
and that whether or not they are
good teachers has almost no
bearing on students' chances of
getting such a "job." In fact,
the only criterion on which a
prospective TA is judged is his
or her status as a student. For
this reason, the administration
considers TA-ships a form of fi-
nancial aid, a way to help grad-
uate students meet sharply ris
ing education costs.
GEO, ON the other hand, be
lieves its members are employ-
es.
"If we teach classes, if we
have a specified number of work
hours, if we are paid for our ef-
forts, then we are employes,'
said former GEO President
Doug Moran. "The fact that we
are also students does not pre
cude our status as employes,
he added.
These are the arguments the
Michigan Employment Rela
tions Commission (MERC) .i.J
currently weighing, but even a
preliminary. decision is not ex
pected before September or Oc
tober, and in the interim both
sides will remain in the holding
pattern which began on Nov. 1
of last year.
THE CONTRACT seemed tc
be on the verge of settlement
that evening nine months ago
GEO, having failed dismally in
its attempt to rally the member
ship for a strike, had capitulate

on most of its demands, and the
two sides were apparently in to-
tal agreement.
In fact, GEO bargainers were
prepared to initial the contract
when Chief University Bargain-
er John Forsyth indicated that
there was still one unresolved
issue. GEO still had two griev-
ances pending on the first arti-
cle of the old contract, which
determines who is covered by
the agreement. Since both sides
had agreed to use the same
wording in the new contract, the
University insisted that GEO
drop the two grievance suits be-
fore the new settlement was
signed.
"'You don't enter an agree-
ment with a grievance outs tand-
ing," explained University Coun-
sel William Lemmer.
FORSYTH WAS just as ada-
mant. "If they don't like the
s way the clause is worded we
can go back to the table and
write it so that we all under-
stand who is and who isn't cov-
- efed by the contract," he said,
- "but there's no way we can
sign a contract containing lan-
- guage that is currently being
" grieved."
GEO refused to drop the griev-
ances, and explained it wished
to sign the contract and settle
- the grievances later. When the
administration refused, GEO ac-
t cused the University of "delay-
ing the signing of an agreement
- for a non-mandatory bargaining
issue." The union said the griev-
anpes could be settled later by
an arbitrator, and that unless
- the ladministration agreed to
s sign the contract, GEO would
a file an unfair labor practice
- (ULP) claim with MERC charg-
- ing the University with stalling.
h "If that's the way you want it
g we'll see you at MERC," For-
8 syth said, closing hi's books and
leaving the room.
o Following that meeting, then
t GEO President Moran blasted
. the University's "union busting
ni tactics", and confirmed the un-
- ion would indeed file the ULP.
d ,Forsyth indicated that 'if the

ULP was filed, the University
would use the opportunity to
challenge TAs' status as employ-
es; but union leaders were un-
swayed and went ahead with
their plans.
A MERC hearing on the ULP
charge was originally scheduled
for Feb. 2, but moments before
it was to begin, GEO presented
a settlement proposal to the Uni-
verity, and both sides agreed
to postpone the hearing until the
administration had a chance to
read and respond to the last
See THE NEVER, Page 7'

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Welcome U of M STUDENTS
, 4 1 Enjoy your stay in Ann Arbor and,
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TO ALL U of M STUDENTS
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