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February 17, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-02-17

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Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109'
Thursday, February 17, 1977 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
estrict on tanker trueis



'HE RECENT SPATE of fiery tank-
er truck accidents has given Mich-
igan residents a disturbing look into
the knee-jerk mentality of our state
government. It is certainly no coin-
cidence that state officials have
chosen this particular time to start
instituting tougher safety standards
for these four-wheeled fire bombs.
We can only be glad that the re-
forms are underway before any lives
have been claimed or damage real-
ized. The state's handling of the PBB
disaster offers eloquent testimony to
the harm that can come about
thrgugh governmental ineptitude and
Perhaps what is most alarming is
the long-standing nature of this prob-
lem. Tanker trucks apparently vio-
late state safety guidelines with some
regularity and with little fear of
prosecution. The extent of this law-
lessness was well-illuminated by State
Police spot checks over the last two
weeks. All 14 of the tankers checked
during that time were not in accord-
ance with state safety requirements.
And orgy with the heat generated

by the much-publicized accidents
have the State Police begun to crack
down. Colonel George Halverson, di-
rector of the State Police, has an-
nounced that his men will check ap-
proximately 10 trucks a day from now
on. But clearly, more far-reaching
action is in order.
Governor William Milliken and
Halverson have already taken a step
in the right direction by banning all
trucks carrying flammable substances
from some highways during bad
weather and peak traffic periods.
However, other measures are imme-
diately necessary.
The state should require special
licensing for all tanker truck dri-
vers. Tandem trailers, those with a
smaller "pup" trailer attached to the
larger one, should be outlawed. It
also might be desirable to 'get spe-
cial speed limits for tankers.
We urge the Legislature and Gov.
Milliken to move quickly to imple-
ment these measures, before these
potentially deadly rigs exact a toll
of human lives;

NEXT WEDNESDAY, the University is holding its
Third Anual Massive Displacement Ritual -
the dorm lottery.
There is no telling how many peop'e will be forced out
of the dorms, but as one housing office official put it,
"t do know we're not going to have enough spaces."
Once again students are pitted against one another;
not just for grades, sports, dr socially, but even for
housing. The competition and general ill-feeling this
engenders keeps students eyeing one another, as op-
posed to the housing set-up which created the need
for the lottery originally. There are those who enter
the lottery as a game, with no intention of signing a
lease with the University even if they win. This only
serves toaincrease the anxiety inherent in this un-
necesary and absurd situation.
Once forced out of the dorms, a student-tenant faces
an extra-ordinarily tight housing market (at peak times,
less than one-half of one -per cent of Ann Arbor's hous-
ing is vacant), exorbitent rents, oppressive landlords,
and according to the Michigan Student Assembly's
Housing Law Reform Project, housing of which at least
90 per cent was discovered to be severely violaitng
the city and state housing codes.
IN RECENT ARTICLES in this column, we have
discussed some aspects of Ann Arbor's housing crisis,
focusing on the private rental market. However, the
University, Ann;Arbor's landlord, has also played a
significant role in perpetuating the critical housing,-
Approximately half of Ann Arbor's tenants are stu-
dents; many other tenants are living in Ann Arbor due
to various connections with the University. The Uni-
versity thus has the obligation, which it has yet to
meet, to house a good portion of this population and to
take the pressure off the rapidly deteriorating private
market. Moreover, by failing to build a sufficient
supply of housing, the University is helping to keep
private rental prices at phenomenal levels (MSA Hous-
ing Project found that Ann Arbor's median rent is
72 per cent higher than the national median). Con-
sequently, these actions, or inactions, are effectively
driving out low-income and working-class tenants
and students, nullifying any commitment to "free" ac-
cess to education for all.

In 1971-72, the Federal Housing and Urban Devel-
opment (HUD) College Housing Program offered the
University $5.6 million at 3 per cent interest (most
interest rates are around 9 per cent) to build the
desperately needed student housing on the Ann Arbor
campus. Despite the support this offer received from
the entire University Housing Division and even Presi-
dent Fleming, the Regents pulled a 4-4 tie vote, whi.:
meant no action was to be taken, and the offer was
allowed to expire.
Why, given all this support and evidence of the
critical nature of local housing (which, incidentally, has
since gotten much worse, as documented by the MSA
Housing Project) did the Regents vote down the loan?
ONE STORY has it that by turning down the loan,
the Regents were showing their "respect" for student
demands!? A housing official stated that in the weeks
prior to the Regents' vote, there had been student de-
monstrations against dorm rate hikes and for an in-
creased commitment to affirmative action. The Re-
gents, realizing that the HUD load would have to be
supplemented by other University funds, which probably
would have meant a slight dorm rate raise, decided
to bow to the students' wishes; against the entire
community's interest, they maintained the severe hous-
ing crisis. How could anyone complain about our
Regents not being responsive to student demands?
Another factor that some say was involved in the de-
cision was the fear that if student enrollment dropped
off, as had been happening in many state universities
acros the country, we would be left with vacant, use-
less dorms in a few years.
The University has had an official "nogrowth" pol-
icy since the late 1960's, yet student enrollment has


Sconsistentlyincreased (except 1971) and even jumped
as much as 1,112 additional students in one year (1975).
It seems highly. unlikely that enrollment at this Uni-
versity will significantly decrease in the coming years;
after all, this is The University. as prestigious and en-
dowed as many of the finest private schools. The ad-
ministration, by all accounts, will simply not allow
attendance to slide down-hill, even if they have to lower
some admission standards or admit more out-of-state
higher tuition students.
STILL OTHERS CLAIM that the Regents, being
members of the upper crust of society, have too much
of a "business instinct" (or perhaps even a business tie)
to encroach on the super profit market of the local
landlords by building more housing.
Any or all of these explanations could comprise
the basic reasons for the loss of the loan and a great
deal 'of student housing. One thing, however, is for cer-
tain: the action was in neither the students nor the
community's interest.
Recently, HUD has proposed reactivating the Col-
lege Housing Program. New construction or acquisi-
tions. however, are the lowest priority; the govern-
ment would rather see money spent on weatherizing
or refinancing old student housing projects than on
relieving the housing shortage. Many ofces in the
University and the Inter-Cooperative Council (ICC) have
been writing proposals to alter the-priorities and 'they
are planning for newly available monies. Recognizing
that students may prefer not to live in the traditional
dormitory setting, alternatives have been devised .in-
cluding apartment-like i'nits more Baits style hous-
ing, and even proposals for student management of the
new'living quarters.
What is desperately needed now, HUD offer or no
HUD offer, is pressure from tenants, all tenants, on
the Regents (and City Council) for an" adequate supply
of housing at a -reasonable cost.rA relief in the stu-
dent housing plight means less students out in the
private market competing with the community-teniants
for space. Housing one sector of the population frees
up the same amount for another sector. Once again,
proof of the objective basis of the need for the unity of
all- tenants. We don't need more lotteries; we need
more housing.

K nI er " "*"

Fire retardents may cause cancer

burned to death each year. Two
million Americans suffer- burns, with
one in ten requiring medical care. A
third of all serious burns are suffered
by children under the age of ten.
Whether a fire victim's clothing
catches fire can 'mean the difference
between life and death. Since the 1950's
Congress has passed a number of laws
regulating the sale of flammable fabrics
to try and reduce the number of pre-
ventable injuries and deaths.
But recent findings indicate the fire-
retardent chemical "tris-BP" - used in
about half of all children's sleepwear -
may be a'potent carcinogic agent. This
poses serious problems for both the gar-
ment industry and the Consumer Pro-
duct'Safety Commission (CPSC), which
is charged with regulating the flamma-
bility standards.
IN 1953, CONGRESS passed the Flam-
able Fabrics Act, primarily to stop the
sale of highly inflammable fabrics, par-
ticularly the infanmous "torch" sweaters
made of brushed rayon.
Over the years, the standards have
been amended to include carpets, rugs,
mattresses and mattress pads. In 1972,
Congress also included children's sleep-
wear in sizes 0 to 6X (sizes 7 to 14 were
included in 1975). That was also the year
that Congress created the 'CPSC which
took over jurisdiction of flammability
standards from a variety of other federal
The need for such standards was ob-
vious, says one staff member of the
House Commerce Subcommittee on Over-
sight and Investigation, which suggested

the creation of the CPSC.
"Children were wearing these nice
pretty pajamas and nightgowns and
what they really were were wicks," he
added. "Most of the garments worn by
children were highly flammable. If a
child -came near a flame, the garment
would burn to ashes in seconds."
TO N'EET THE new standards, the
garment industry drastically altered its
children's sleepwear. Many of the more
popular fabrics, including cotton-polyes-
ter blends and rayons were virtually dis-
continued while other fabrics, such as
treated 100 percent polyesters, becatne
the new big sellers.
But sometimes a solution can turn out
to be worse than the problem it solves.
"Some chemical flame retardants pro-
vide a good example of a technological
innovation where adverse effects may
outweigh the benefits," wrote Arlene
Plum and Bruce N. Ames, of the Uni-
versity of California at Berkeley Science
magazine on January 7. Their article,
and others since, contend }that there is
a serious hazard in using tris to treat
Treating' polyesters with tris not only
adds to the cost of the garment, but
also adds an additional 10 to 29 per cent
to the weight. Most of this tris is in the
form of "surface" tris, which is readily
available for either absorption through
skin, or through ingestion by children
who suck or chew on their clothes. (Most
other treatment processes bond the ad-
ditive to the fabric, but tris can only be
tonically applied.
Not long after tris was introduced, a
rmmber of scientists beenn to be con-
cerned over the chemical's similarity

to a number of known mutagens and
carcinogens. The interest in tris was
heightened when the National Science
Foundation issued its list of the 80 chem-
icals likely to be most detrimental to
human life and the environment. Tris
had made the list.
studies being compiled in the Blum and
Ames article. But the damning evidence
came only last week in a report releas-
ed by the Washington-based Environ-
mental Defense Fund and based on
"conclusive" tests conducted by the Na-
tional Cancer Institute.
"We've analyzed the (Cancer Insti-
tute's) dataand found . . . carcinomas
(cancerous tissue) in over 50 percent of
the rats . . . a similar incidence of tu-
mors in male mice and a high inci-
dence of (breast cancer) in ft male
mice," explained Joseph H. Highland,
chairman of the Toxic Chemical Pro-
gram at the Fund.
Spokespeople for a number of fabric
manufacturers indicate that they have
been planning to phase out tris for the
last year, and some have already be-
gun switching to new processes. The
problem is to find a suitable replace-
meet for tris.
TRIS IS POPULAR for a number of
reasons. It is relatively inexpensive to
use; it does little to alter the strength
--or the feel of clothing; and once it was'
in use for a while, it became easy to
"There are no combinations that per-
f.rm as well, overall, as tris and poly-
ester. What (the tris problem) means
is a lot less flame retardant fabrics will
give the consumer good results," says

Fred Fortess, director of the School of
Textiles at Philadelphia's College of Tex-
tiles and Science.
And garment manufacturers may no
longer have a choice. Michigan Chem-
ical, the nation's largest manufacturer
of tris, has announced that it has stop-
ped' manufacturing tris for topical (or,
fabric) use.
FOLLOWING THAT announcement, a
spokesperson for the American Apparel
Manufacturer's Association indicated
that member manufacturers would no
longer use the chemical, adding that the
garment and chemical industries are
working "on an emergency basis" to try
and find a suitable replacement for tris.
A number of new processes for treat-
ing polyesters have been introduced re-
cently, including products from Stauffer
Chemicals, and Mobil Oil's "Antiblaze
Cancer Institute suggested that consum-
ers "shouldn't panic or throw their
clothes away," that they should deter-
mine which sleepwear is treated 'poly-
ester and "launder the garments sev-
eral times."
But Highland of4 the Environmental
Defense Fund sees the threat as much
more serious, "You decrease the risk of
cancer by washing the garment, but
you do not eliminate it. Consumers
should determine if their children's sleep-
wear is 100 percent polyester. If it is, the
chances are that it contains tris. We sug-
gest, then, that they discontinue using
the garment: Why take an unnecessary
Paul A. Fisenstein is a Dairy staff
answer. r

FROM ITS ONSET, the necessity of
the probe conducted by the
House assassinations committee has
been dubious. Now, with the comm-
tee members in mutiny against their
chairman - resulting in a tidal wave
of bad publicity - any tangible find-
ings that the committee might have
made are now irreparably submerged
under the cloud of controversy cre-
ated by its internal schisms.
The bickering began when com-
mittee chairman Henry Gonzalez (D-
Tex.) thought he fired Richard
Sprague, chief counsel to the com-,
mittee. Gonzalez cited Sprague's ree-
fmmendation of a $13 million com-
mittee budget as his reason for the
firing. What followed was similar to
a scene from "Mutiny on the Boun-
ty." The other eleven committee
members rose up in defense of
Sprague and recommended to, him
that he stay on. So far Sprague has
done so, and the factors are stale-
Both parties to the dispute have
appealed to Speaker ,of the House
Thomas "Tip" O'Neill and other mem-
bers of the House for justice. So far
O'Neill has tactfully stayed out of the
fracas, ' while the remainder of the
House is showing increased annoy-
ance at the negative publicity being
garnered by the committee, and is
taking an attitude of watching and
The committee is scheduled for
scrapping March 30th, a decision
which is being vigorously appealed
by its members. Ant extension of its
life now appears doubtftil - which
is probably the best solution.
THE COMMITTEE was created
amidst howls of protest. Most
of this concerned its very raison
d'etre. John Kennedy died over 13
years ago. Martin Luther King has'
been dead for over 8 years. While it
is true that the findings and conclu-
sions of the Warren Commission still
leave many questions and doubts as
to the exact circumstances of their
assassinations, the fact remains that
these men are dead, and no findings
of a new- committee will resurrect

only a very costly expense to the tax-
payers. It would be nice to know the
realities surrounding two of the most
tragic deaths of the century. How-
ever, such curiosity quenching is a
task to be tackled by professional
historians and professors; not by con-
gresspersons, who have enough prob-
lems coping with the present and
planning for the future to be dig-
ging up the past.
And if there was any possible ef-
ficacy to the committee's investiga-
tion of such a touchy subject, it
would have to be accomplished un-
der austere and non-controversial
circumstances. These prima facie
conditions no longer exist on the
House assasinations committee. Come
March 30, like John Kennedy in Ar-
lington National Cemetery and Mar-
tin Luther King beside the Ebeneez-
er Baptist Church in Atlanta, the
House Assassinations Committee
should be laid to rest.
*N C
Editorial S'aff
Co-Editors-in -Chief
KEN ASIGIAN g.........Editorial Director
Managir.g Editors
LOrS J:Jb.FMOVICH ............... Art Editor
t MagazIne Editors
s r~M r WRITERS. (wen Barr, Susan Barry,
BrianiBlianchard, Michael Beckman, Phillip
Bokovoy, Linda Brenners, Lori Carruthers, Ken
Chotiner, Eileen Daley Ron DeKett, Lisa Fish-
er, David Goodman, Marnie Ileyn, Robb Hahn-
es, Michael Jones, Lnl Jordan, Janet Klein,
(3:egg Kruppa, Steve Kursman, Dobilas Matu-
oonis, Stu McConnell, Tom Meyer, Jenny Mil-
ler, Patti Monteniurri, Tom O'Connell, Jon
Fauslius, Karen Paul, Stephen Pickover, Kim
Potter, Martha Retainck, Keith Richburg, Bob
Rosenbaum, Denais Sabo, Annmarie Scbiavi,
Eilzabeth Slowik, Torn Stevens, dim Stimpson,
ike Taylor, Pauline Toole, Mark Wagner, Sue
Warner,a Shelley Wason, Mike Yellin, Laurie
Young and Barb Zahs,
Business Staff
!)07IORAH DREYFUSS ...... Business Manager
KAr'HLEEN MULHERN . Asst. Adv. Coordinator
DAVID HARLAN . ...... Finance Manager
DON SIMPSON .S.. Sales Manager
PETE PETER.SEN .. Advertising Coordinator
C,6, 1E ST. CLAIR ..... Circulation Manager
BETri STRATFORD .... Circulation Director
Phoirgraphy Staff

Why change names for

WAY BACK IN 1970 as the date of my marriage ap-
proached, I decided to keep the name I'd always
had, to remain Charlotte Sebastian, not to become
Mrs. Thomas Renshaw.
Why? Well, to be perfectly honest I didn't spend
many hours pondering the issue. In my last two years
as an undergraduate at Michigan State University
the women's movement began to take hold. I found
its principles and arguments very persuasive. I and
my friends were among the first feminists at MSU;
we participated in consciousness raising groups and
many activities to work toward improving the status
of women. Having such a strong foundation in wo-
men's issues, it seemed quite logical to me to keep my
own name. I suppose the crux of the matter was that
it made as little sense for me to become Mrs. Ren-
shaw as it did for my" future husband to become Mr.
True, tradition was against me, but tradition just
didn't make much of a case. It did have some strong
advocates, particularly among my family and future
in-laws. Its greatest cheerleader was my mother who
has never quite understood where she went wrong with
her eldest child. I casually mentioned to her one day
my thoughts on retaining the name I had been given
at birth and was naively unprepared for her response.
"Please," she said tearfully, once she accepted that
I was quite serious, "Don't ever let the family find
out." It was the kind of response I might have ex-
pected had I told her of an impending out-of-wedlock
child, but not for this. My rational arguments were all
presented but to no avail and we ended up by my
agreeing not to flaunt the issue before the family
while she chose to ignore the whole matter.
Through the past several years I've come across

one another's beliefs - especially this- one.
Then there's the "Well why did you even; get mar-
ried?" question. I like to think there's more to mar-
riage than this one triviality. Perhaps what that ques-
tion implies is that the subjection of the woman, as
the name change is to my mind so clearly represen-
tative, is inherent in marriage. I don't buy that. True,
we don't have many models that would lead us to be-
lieve otherwise, but more and more people are at
least trying to work out true partnerships.
Another question I am frequently asked is, "What
about all the legal problems?" This is the one that
worried me initially but my husband and I have pur-
chased a house, filed joint income statements, I have
my. own credit cards, Tom has his, both our names
are on our checks and we've even brought a baby into
the world -whose name incidentally is Hilary Sebas-.
tian Renshaw - with little or no legal hassle. Well,
the nurse who had to print Sebastian Renshaw on Hil-
ary's tiny hospital bracelet, did complain a bit, but
she managed it in the end.
There have been a few mix-ups when people file
me under Renshaw and I identify myself as Sebastian.
One of my best mix-up stories is when my parents
came to visit me in the hospital after Hilary's birth,
asking for Mrs. Renshaw. Well, the nurse said, we

mar riage?
The non-verbal responses are sometimes the best.
This same friend's husband has a great method for
dealing with peoples' raised eyebrows or confused
looks. When he and Carol are introduced as husband
and wife but with their different last names, "Yes,"
he says, "I kept my maiden name." There's one ques-
tion, not terribly common, that I don't have a very
good answer for. My last name is that of my father's
and so haven't I accepted at least part of this sexist
social custom? Well, yes., remember I said I don't
have a very good, answer. But I have lived with this
tag all my life, and it fits me well. "Everyone knows
me by it and I would be uncomfortable with any other.
Not changing my name has had some advantages
I didn't forsee.
First of all, people who know me and not my hus-
band, can usually find me. How many times have
you tried with great irritation to get in touch with a
woman whose husband you don't .know from Adam?
I mean who knows if Jane Smith is with John, Joe,
Paul or Adam Smith in the phone directory?
My decision has also given me an excellent entre to
present my now perfected talk on the joys of retain-
ing one's name, during which I get in a couple of good
strikes for Women's Liberation. This CAN have its
disadvantages. There are times when I really don't
want to become embroiled in such an argument.'
A third advantage is that I'm sure many people don't
believe Tom and I are really married and are thus
"living in sin," made even more scandalous by the
duration of our relationship and the birth of our daugh-
ter. It gives me a delightfully wicked sensation that
only the daughter of a. Baptist minister could fully
appreciate, while I don't have to face the wrath of
those who would be quite upset if we had truly adopted
such a living arrangement.

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