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February 05, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-02-05

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Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

I

MSA NOTES

Saturday, February 5, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
GOVinda firings unfabir

THIRTY-SIX Govinda's Restaurant
employees were laid off Satur-
day without any notice from man-
agemen-t,.
These people are asking all of us
to consider their treatment befqre de-
ciding whether or not to patronize
Govinda's.
"We were losing '$2,500 a week,"
claimed Govinda's manager Mike
Lazarus, in justification of the dis-
missals. Obviously, no business can
be expected to continue paying peo-
ple when it's losing large amounts
of money..
The real question, however, is why
restaurant workers weren't given any
advance notice of the dismissals. They
needed time to start looking for new
jobs and planning for the future.
What they got was the rude shock
of instant job loss.
RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT stat-
ed that the decision to fire the
workers and convert Govinda's to a
cafeteria came only at the last min-
ute and that it was impossible to tell
employees of the change aliead of
time. This does not ring true, how-
ever.
First, employees report that one
manager jokingly suggested the res-
taurant should be converted to a
cafeteria two full weeks before the
lay-offs. This suggests that restau-
rant owners were considering the con-
version well in advance of last Sat-
urday's closing. New Manager Mike
Lazarus confirmed this.

Second, former restaurant work-
ers argue that owner ,mismanage-
ment has been responsible for the
losses that Govinda's has been suf-
fering, not the table service format
or the conduct of, employees. They
point out that two of the o4ners
have been paying themselves $300 a
week each during Govinda's finan-
cial crisis.
EMPLOYEES SAY that they were
promised greater autonomy il run-
ning the restaurant at a staff meet-
ing less than a week before the mass
firing. They say this was only one
of a series of lies fed them by Go-
vinda's owners over the last several
months. This is one reason that many
of them are saying "good riddance"
to Govinda's, despite the economic
hardship their unemployment poses.
It is interesting that, the Hare
Krishna movement, from which the
Govinda's decor, philosophy and even
the actual menus have been borrow-
ed, disclaims any responsibility for
the restaurant. They say that restau-
rant operations are not up to the
ethical standards of the Krishna
movement.
THE DAILY URGES its readers to
heed the message of those Go-
vinda's workers who have been walk-
ing back/and forth with their signs
and their leaflets this week in front
of their former place of employment.
We hope everyone will seriously
ponder whether Govinda's has done
anything to deserve their business.

Plans,
By MIKE TAYLOR
JN PREVIOUS articles. we've described what
the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA)
is, and what it's been doing. The list of MSA's
current and upcoming projects is extensive
and varied. They can be grouped into two
broad categories of work - 1) advocacy
and representation on behalf of students, and
2) provision of direct services for students.
Within the first grouping, advocacy, MSA's
current fight to save Waterman/Barbour gyms
and see them converted into a new student
activities center has been well publicized. MSA
President Scott Kellman and Vice-President
Steve Carnevale spoke before the Regents
last week. The Board responded by ordering
the University to prepare a third report on the
gyms, this time examining possible uses for
student organizations. As Regent Ravid Laro
put it, "There is nothing to be lost by taking
a little more time to examine the Michigan
Student Assembly's proposal."
MSA is presently working on two fronts to
increase the students' role in University
decision-making. First, the Assembly is fight-
ing to have a non-veting student placed on the
Board of Regents. Secondly, MSA is working
to coordinate the activities of student repre-
sentatives on University committees.
IN ADDITION to working witli Students As-
sociated for Lower Tuition (SALT) to keep
tuition at the present level, the Assembly is
also fighting to keep housing costs down. MSA
advocates construction of new student housing
as soon as possible. A new facility to be con-
str'tcted opposite East Quad is being con-
sidered by the administration. MSA is also
working to see that' financial aid is provided
for all qualified students who could not other-
wise afford to come to the University af Mich-
igan.
MSA is also working in an area that wi'l
imnrove the Universitv's accountability to stu-
dents - grievance procedures. Diane Fow-

roposals
ler, one of the Assembly's attorneys, is co-
ordinating the implementation of effective
grievance procedures throughout the Uni-
versity.
MSA is planning to expand the direct serv-
ices it provides for students in several differ-
ent ways. A computer-processed undergrad-
uate course evaluation survey, using input
from students and instructors, is in the works.
A Tutoring service, to be staffed by students
already profiicent in a subject (as volunteers,
for pay, or for credit), is being considered
also.
The Union Station's contract -expires in a
couple of years. MSA is working to see that
it will be run in the future as a place geared
towards students. One possibility would be
to turn the facility over to 'the Union Board,
which would bring back the Rathskeller, a
student bar that was- in the cellar during
the Sixties. MSA is also attempting to gain con-
trol of concessions at the Stadium and' Crisler
Arena, so 'that these services could be pro-
vided ,with higher quality and for less money.
TO HELP those moving out of dorms and
into apartments and houses, MSA plans to ar-
range, for packages of cheap kitchentare at
competitive bidding.
In response to the ever-present need for
quiet study areas, MSA is also looking into
the feasibility of keeping at least one campus
library open on a 24-hour basis.
There are only some of the service projects
that MSA planning for the rest of the term. We
would greatly appreciate any suggestions as
to things we should be doing.
Any students interested in working with us
on any of the projects described above should
come in for more information. We're located
on Ole third floor of the Union and our phone
P--I-er is 763-3242. Those involved in student
organizations in need of office space should
contact Scott Keilman or Steve Carnevale im-
- iately about the Waterman/'Barbour situa-
tion.

MICHAEL BECKMAN
"H EY MAN, HOW ya doin'?" So what's happenin'?"
"Everything's pretty cool. So what's going on?"
"Not much. Hey listen, I've gotta split. Catch ya later."
"Yeah, fer sure."
This is' a fairly stereotypical depiction of a-quickie conver-
sation that could occur almost anywhere - on 'the Diag, in
a cafeteria line, during a phone conversation or in a class-
room. Everybody uses them: short catch-all phrases that in
themselves don't have any real meaning, but have amazing
success in getting their message across. These peer group
colloquialisms are nearly universally understood by those
who expend their breath constantly uttering them. And I'm
as guilty of it as anyone. I can't begin to count all the times
that I have greeted somebody with "what's happenin"" or
"how ya doin' instead' of coming up with something
unique to say.
WHY DO PEOPLE communicate with each other in
superficial jargon? The major reason is most likely that it's
simply more expedient to rattle off a series of banalities
than to attempt to formulate- a coherent thought and put it
into words. Which I suppose is a'l right, once in a while.
But when someone says "what's happening" and then just
walks on by, it has a very cold, impersonal effect.
Use of catch-al phrases can also stem out of awkward
situations. Sometimes,._people feel a necessity to say some-
thing - to fill in spaces in a conversation or just to hear
themselves talk. It's far easier to respond to someone who's
trying to get across a point with "yeah really" than to at-
tempt to devise a response that might give the speaker the
idea that you really give a damn about what he is saying.
How about saying "I think that's a really good point that
you just made" in lieu of a plethora of "really" 's and "for
sire" 's. It may seem trivial, but something original can
infuse an impression that the communication that is going
on is important and individual, and rates more tlhan just
a set of stock responses.
THIS APPLIES to the wanton use of expletives as a nega-
tive form of expression. There is absolutely nothing wrong
with a good curse as an avenue for venting .hostility, but this
locker-room lingo seems to have become ingrained into our
language as a substitute form of expressing shock, sur
price, disapproval, or disbelief. Think carefully now; how
many times when someone has made a statement that caught
you off guard or that you found hard to belief, have you
retorted with such verbal gems as "no shit", "fuck in A",
"ain't that a bitch" or just "bullshit"? Wow. that many times.
eh? I know that I have exclaimed "bullshit" innumerable
times as my catch-all commentary on an almost unlimited
number of circumstances. And it sure makes one sound. like
an idiot.
What's the point? After all, it really isn't a catastrophic
problem; something to be lumped in the same breath with in-
flation and the Middle East. But it still is important - for
what is a more necessary attribute than the ability to com-
municate? This doesn't mean that everyone should talk in
Shakespearean prose or with an Oxford accent. It would
be nice, but impossible. But there is no reason that people
can't inject their thoughts into conversation without having
to fall back onto an arsenal of banal cliches and catch-alls.
It is, at.the very least, a bad habit and a sign of laziness.
So let's all cut the bullshit and get our acts together and quit
jiving around, and speak clear, lucid and literates English.
O.K? Right on!

Misuse- of Publicity

India's political schism:
A step toward democracy?

A SPLIT IN INDIA'S ruling party
has clouded Prime Minister In-
dira Gandhi's political future. Agri-
culture Minister Jagjivan Ram, head
of India's 80 million Untouchables,
bolted the party Wednesday, accus-
ing Gandhi of leading the country
toward "despotic rule." And announ-
ced plans for a new political party
which will try to put an end to Gand-
hi's 11-year reign.
The surprise move comes less than
two weeks' after Gandhi announced
plans to restore democratic govern-
ment in India. Gandhi lifted a ban
on political activity, lifted the abso-
lute censorship of the press, and
scheduled a parliamentary election
to be held in March. After that an-
nouncement, Gandhi seemed certain
to win handily in the March poll.
Now, however, her political life
seems in danger.
THE DEFECTION of Ram, Gandhi's
most senior cabinet member and
Photography Staff
PAULINE LUBENS ..,..... Chief Photographer
ALAN BILINSKY . ............Picture Editor
BRAD BENJAMIN ........... Staff Photographer
ANDY FREEBERG .... Staff Photographer
CHRISTINA SCHNEIDER .... Staff Photographer

long-time supporter, climaxes a re-
cent series of anti-goverhment dem-
onstrations in India - the first per-
mitted under the 19-month-old state
of emergency.
Whether or not Gandhi had actual
intentions of ,restoring permanent
democracy when she lifted the au-
thoritarian measures is highly specu-
lative. Whether or not she felt free
elections would be a risk to her pow-
er base is equally uncertain.
But this schism in her party has
to come as a big shock to Gandhi,
and is hopefully a portent that the
Indian people will really be given the
chance to decide who will be ruling
their country.

By SUSAN JOHNSON
TT IS INTERESTING to note
that Mr. Cadv. Abeng Ara-
demi" Ad-isor, once aeain tried
to meddle ansimple vet imnort-
ant issuie inder a barrage of
nersonal insults, misrenresenta-
tions, and erroneous fqcts. It an-
nears that Cadv's nublic anolo-
gv for his "personal vendetta"
against Sue Johnson, namely
me, was something less than
sincere, for he has renewed his
attack with the same rationale,
if with slightly less force, as
the previous time. To enlighten
those of you who are slightly
confused, if not downright be-
wildered, as to what I am talk-
ing about, here is a -brief ex-
planation. ,
This is a rebuttal to Kent
Cadv's rebuttal referring to
Michael Beckman's, (a Daily
columnist) article which was
in reference to the East Quad
Representative Assembly Meet-
ing concerning the recent Abeng
Black Arts and Cultural Fes-
tival. Or in more simple terms,
another episode in the continu-
ing saga of the "Black Renais-
sance."
A BRIEF HISTORY is in or-
der. At the beginning of this
school year there was some
question as to the legitimacy
of funding an organization
which had exclusive member-
ship using dorm dues. After a
presentation by Abeng of its
use, function, and reasons for
excluding non-minorities, the
Representative Assembly of
East Quad voted to waive the
open membership requirement.
The main reason for this vote
was the promise of Abeng that
all functions paid for by the
R.A. would be open to t lie pub-
lic. To reinforce this promise a
motion was passed which stat-
ed, "Any group which uses R.A.
funds for any activity must have
that activity open to the East
Quad/Residential College com-
munity and fully publicized prior
to the event." The R.A. subse-
quently voted $1,200 towards
Abeng's Black Arts and Cul-
tural Festival. I was at this
time both a member of the
committee which allocated the
monies and' a member of the
R.A. which approved them.
Now, I shall bring us up to
January 20, the day before the
festival began. I had just found
out that this was THE week-
end upon seeing a poster in the
Chemistry Building. I thought
that perhaps the reason for my

ienorance was a result of the
oft-mentioned crltches. That by
sneAkin through the kitchen
and in the elevator. I had kent
myself unaware of the p hlicitv
that was surely posted all over
the main walking areas of the
dormitory. Subsecuent investiga-
tions nroved ths belief to be
erroneous. There were no pos-
ters. There was literally no sign
of the festival.
EARLY THAT EVENING, I
attempted to rectify the situa-
tion. I spoke to Mr. Cady, "Aca-
demic Counselor" and active
member of Abene, and Marina
Shoemaker, director of the fes-
tival. My attempts to get pos-
ters ap were met with some-
thing less than cooperation. The
evidence for this is that nearly
twenty-four hours later the only
additional advertisement, that I
could find, outside of the Abeng
bulletin board, was a small fly-
er across from the library. I
thereby decided to give up ad-
vertisement for this year's ac-
tivities as lost, go enjoy as much
of the festival as I could my-
self, and set out' to insure that
the same thing would not hap-
nen in the future. Since Abeng
had not unheld its promise to
advertise fully in the dorm, and
since the motion passed by the
R.A. had been ignored, the only
insurance would be a constitu-
tional amendment explicitly de-
fining such ambiguities as "ful-
ly," and providing for a penal-
ty in case the amendment was
ignored. I went to the R.A.
meeting with the firm convic-
tion that its members would see
the need for such an emend-
ment.
PARTLY DUE TO my own
lack of eloquence and clarity as
a speaker, partly due to Abeng's
promise that this would never
happen again, and mostly due
to Kent Cady's monologue in
which he told crude jokes, per-
sonally attacked me, cried rac-
ist, and generally confused
whatever was left of the truth,,
my simple'. and honest inten-
tions were missaid, misled, and
misread. It was at this point
that I withdrew the motion. Ma-
ny of the complications which
hampered Abeng in its lame at-
tempts at publicity have since
been brought to my attention.
They are, however, as Mr.
Beckman so clearly pointed out,
not insurmountable. They could
have been easily overcome, but
only if the motivation was there..
The motivation was not there.
As explained to me by the di-

rector of the festival, Abeng felt
that it was more important to
reach the rest of the university
tian these whlo vaid for the fes-
tival. Within the confines of lim-
ited time. monev, and organiza-
tion, a choice had to be made.
Somebodv, somewhere, made
the wrong decision. Abeng is
not in good standing with the
maiority of dorm residents. Ru-
mors are still floating, and I
make no judgment of their val-
idity, about private cocktail par-
ties, of hostility to non-black mi-
norities, and of hostilities to-
wards whites. What I am try-
ing to say is that I can not
understand what would prompt
an organization, on such shaky
ground as this, to once again'
prove negligent in notifying the
East Quad/RC community of
its events.
MANY HAVE ACCUSED Mr.
Michael Beckman of blowing an
insignificant event out of pro-
portion, of creating racial ten-
sion where none existed before.
But if news of this happening
had leaked out slowly, instead
of with the force needed to get
all the facts and deal with the
situation, much hore damage
would have been done. For what
Mr. Cady considers "interfer-
ence" and "hassling" from an
oopsynthe clown character and
an invalid who hops from the
bathroom to the open bar, would
surely be considered sonething
much more serious from the
many people who funded this
event and heard nothing about
it. There is no doubt they would
wonder just where that eleven
hundred and fifty dollars went
to, and if funding were not cut
significantly next year, more
hostilities' would surely be add..
ed to the pile.
I hope that this situation can
be worked out. That the lies
and personal slurs will stoR.
That members of Abeng and
the rest of the community can
talk together without preconcep-
tions of predjudice and hostili-
ty. I hope that Abeng can,
change its priorities, and con-
sider the East Quad/RC com-
munity as important a part of
Abeng as Abeng is of the rest
of the community. But my ideal-
ism isrunning short. Right now,
I would be satisfied if Abeng
holds to its new promise of
guaranteed publicity more
strictly than they did to their
last, and more sincerely than
Mr. Cady's apology for a "per-
sonal vendetta."

I Editoria
consensus 0

i positions represent a
f The Daily Editorial staff.

_..I

TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Brian Blanchard, David Good-
man,Joy Levin, Jenny Miller, Mike
Norton, Sue Warner, Margaret Yao
Edit Page: Michael Beckman, Pauline
Toole, Barbara Zahs, Lisa Zisook
Arts Page: Lois Josimovich
Photo Technician: Alan Bilinsky

By W. L. SCHELLER.
THE DISTURBING PURGES .and repression in eastern Europe
have a number of roots that differ from country to country.
Still one idea binds them all together, the concept of freedom.
Freedom to eastern Europeans ranges from a removal of the
many supressive measures currently in effect; to the return of
some semblance of democracy.
East Germans and Poles have probably been chomping at the
bit 'en masse' more than others. Since August 1, 1975, the number
of East Germans, seeking to l'eave the country has shot up into
the tons of thousands. East German young people aware of the
Helsinki agreement and it's provisions are some of the most anxious
to travel. What is more is that West German television can be
seen by about 75' per cent of the East German population, -and
they know quite well that they would be better off economically
in the west. One East German writer, Thomas Breach, was
"alowed to leave" - make that expelled-for his insistence on pub-
lishing a book called "The Sons Die Before Their Fathers".
It included a story about a young man who died trying ,to
climb the Berlin wall. All of this desire has East Berlin worried
and is providing the incentive for the current repression.
THE SITUATION in Poland, though different, is still very wor-
risome for the communists. The populous has been extremely rest-
less and broke out in strikes and riots last summer. Poland
tried in 1970 and last year to raise prices of important staples.
The people rebelled. Since Helsinki the government has become
more rigid and tried to attack the problems as purely economic.
Poland's late poet Antoni Slonimski termed such policies as,
"stuffing their mouths with sausage so they'll shut up." The
real problem seems to lie in the fact that Poland has become
industrialized and the people want more, economically and poli-
tically. Poland is the last country in eastern Europe where some
democracy has remained. The Catholic Church is allotted a few
seats in the parliament.
Czechoslovakia and Russia retain the most oppressive methods
and probably the greatest problems facing any communist coun-
tries Czechoslovakta was the last eastern European country to ex-
periment with human rights. Moscow brutally crushed that ex-
periment in 1968 when it's tanks rol'ed into Prague. Now eight
and a half years later Czech intellectuals are again beginning to
speak out about what they feel are their rights.
THE COMMUNISTS' answer has so far been to arrest many,
threaten others, try to connect these ,people with a "western spy
group" and now the possibility exists that they will expell the
dissidents from the country. Did they ever intend to keep the
provisions of the document they signed?
Soviet dissidents are no better off than their fellows. The cries
of dissent against the Kremlin have been steadily getting louder
since Helsinki. The Russian people also are aware of the agree-
ment and though not really rushing to leave the country, except
Jews, they do feel that there should be some benefit from it.
So far the government's answer has. been to throw 90 dissidents
into their 'Gulag Archapeligo' and to send 15 others to mental
hospitals, this according to Amnesty International.
The credibility and sincerity of these nations in dealing with

Letters to The Daily

Afrikaans
To The Daily:
I WOULD LIKE to take a few
minutes to corrqct some mis-
leading and somewhat preju-
diced statements made by Ms.
Sikose Mji, the high school stu-
dent from South Africa as re-
ported in The Daily of Jan. 21.

is "a regional variety of a spok-
en language". Afrikaans has its
own spelling, its own grammar,
its own literary history. It is a
dialect only in the same refer-
ence that English, Dutch, Ger-
man, etc., are "dialects" of
Germanic. Yes, it does have a
little French and German; but'
so does Efglish'!

hiclei for communism Or those
like my aunt who, when she
learned that I knew German,
was aghast. "That's the lan-
guage of the enemy". She had
lived through the Zeppelin at-
tacks on the British Isles during
WWI.
Credibility of Ms. Mji's state-
ments concerning the Zulu riots
ara in ixannnrdtv uin th'no.

(~j4~~V

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