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May 04, 1979 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-04

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Page 4-Friday, May 4, 1979-The Aichigan Daily
SMichigan Daly
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Ml. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 3-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

for A
The Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA), election has become, by
now, notorious for the shoddy
way it was run, and for the
irresponsible way candidates and
other interested parties handled
themselves after the election.
The reputation is well deserved.
The election scandal is almost
lethally damaging to a student
government which was beginning
to show hints of promise in in-
creasing the students' potential
to participate in University
decision-making.
One departing MSA member
said, "We've really made
progress, really worked hard,
and election time comes-the
time when youhave the most
visibility-and people act like
fools. It really looks bad."

1%

I

Reins should not
loosen on CIA
T HE PROPOSAL recently submitted to the
Senate Intelligence Committee by the Car-
ter Administration aimed at loosening the reins of
presidential authorization for "small-scale"
covert activities engineered abroad by the Cen-
tral Intelligence Agency (CIA) is distressingly
misguided. Not only is the administration in-
vesting greater powers in an agency which has
proven undeserving, it is shirking its respon-
sibility to the American people as well as foreign
governments.
Reducing regulations for permission to spy on
Americans in foreign countries, and to conduct
other unspecified covert activities, cannot con-
ceivably encourage the CIA to reform. Past tran-
sgressions and excesses of power are not likely to
end if the agency is under even less pressure to
justify its actions. Members of congressional
panels and oversight committees in charge of CIA
regulation, as well as administrative officials
could claim they were unaware of actions later
discovered and denounced if the proposal is adop-
ted. More public servants dodging their duties like
ostriches are not in demand.
Another alarming aspect of the recommen-
dation is its defiance of sentiments advocating
tighter restrictions on the agency. In fact, the
Hughes-Ryan amendment must be amended in
order for this proposal to be approved. But instead
of heeding the cries of the Church committee and
concerned citizens, the Carter administration
seeks to abuse the public's trust and ignore con-
clusions of the committee.
Without presidential constraints, the agency is
compelled to notify the congressional intelligence
committees, an executive branch body, and for
counterintelligence, the National Security Council
of planned activities. In the past, these bodies
have failed to hit the brakes when the CIA over-
steps its bounds. Oversight committees, fearing
leaks will endanger the precious byword of the in-
telligence community-national security-are
reluctant to exercise their duties in this realm.
The administration would better-aid the public
by streamlining the mire of regulations plaguing
other government bodies, and leave constraints
on the CIA intact. It is unfortunate that the
president considers spying on American citizens
abroad and other covert activities so in-
significant. The president is the only direct check
on CIA powers. To forfeit the agency's accoun-
tability poses a grave danger to personal liberties
and fair government. The CIA's presumption of
power must be pruned, not perpetuated.
SPORTSSTAFF
GEOFF LARCOM
Sports Editor
ILLY SAHN DAN PERRIN
AssistantSportsEditors

I

THE FORMER Assembly
member had a right totbe angry.
Students who wanted to win the
elections so badly-for whatever
motive: personal prestige, social
change, student power, or party
pressure-did everything they
could to make the elections go
their own way, and were even
willing to "cry sour grapes" wan-
ting to make another party look
as bad as possible.
But both major parties in the
election-the Student Alliance for
Better Representation (SABRA)
and the People's Action Coalition
(PAC) became so preoccupied
with winning the election that
nothing else seemed to matter.
It seems strange that those who
said "student power" and
"making MSA stronger" were
their reasons for running let the
desire to win the election get in
the way of the issues. If they were
really sincere, about their goals
and promises the election scan-
dal would never have reached the
Regents and the administration.

ics to bl
OSS of A
By Julie Engebrecht
The administration does not
belong in student government af-
fairs. But as badly as the students
were handling the election, the
responsibility might as well have
been handed to the ad-
ministration.
So often we hear the rhetoric of
student government leaders and
party members about increasing
student power, but the strongest
of those advocates spent so much
time quarreling among them-
selves, they eventually were for-
ced to sit back and watch any
"power" they had slip through
their fingers, as they lost their
student government.
AT ONE POINT, just before
administrators decided on a
procedure to handle the elections,
several students came up with a
plan which might salvage the
student government, but'the at-
tempt was only half-hearted.
It is ironic that the people who
requested the administration to
become involved in the process
were some of the same ones who
d been crying for student
power all year.
SABRE personnel admitted they
were willing to go to any length to
see the elections certified. They
even discussed lawsuits with
several lawyers.
SABRE party president Brad
Canale even promised to purge
any party members who gave un-
favorable information about the
party to the press. During the
short life of the party, its leaders
already admit ousting at least
one party member for presenting
proposals to the Assembly which
resembled those of PAC.
Early in the election scandal,
much blame was placed on the
elections director, Emily Koo,
who did not handle the election
procedures very well, but is cer-
tainly not to blame for all the
problems. The candidates them-
selves must accept most of the
criticism for election difficulties.

ame
iSA
election certification, CSJ might
as well not exist, now that its
power has been usurped by the
administration and other
students.
Criticism of CSJ's ability to
follow their own procedures is
hypocritical, because candidates
initially agreed that a cer-
tification hearing four days after
the election was fine with them,
and then complained as soon as
the result of the hearing didn't
suit them. They then found a
technicality, which said the cer-
tification hearing had to be held
between five and ten days after
the election.
SABRE members could not
then pesent enough evidence to
the court to warrant a second
hearing. The court then, in a
reasonable manner, allowed its
decertification of the hearing to
stand.
AND THEN, MSA President
Eric Arnson saw to it that the
Court's initial findings on the
election could not be typed to be
made official. By the time they
were typed up by CSJ members,
the Regents had already made a
decision to turn the election over
to the Office of Student Services
(OSS). Such actions by someone
who spoke all year about
"student power" seem irrespon-
sible.
The solution might be to do
away with political parties, as
some schools, such as Harvard
are discussing. The only
argument against eliminating
parties is that voters identify par-
ties but may be unfamiliar with
the individual candidates.
Parties, therefore, do not con-
tribute to more responsible
voting.
In any case, it is clear that
student government really has no
power, if it is up to the ad-
ministration to handle funds and
decide on whether another elec-
tion is justified.
If students have the power to
run their own student gover-
nment, they should exercise the
power wisely, or not have it.
Perhaps a history professor's
recent comments on the election,
during a lecture on watergate,
provide insight on the election.
The professor compared this
student government election to
dirty tactics elections run by
another group of government
leaders at the University of
Southern California (USC)-
The USC cast included
Watergate characters such as
Donald Segretti, who later
became famous for using dirty
campaign tactics for Richard
Nixon in the 1972 presidental
election.
It's unfortunate that student
government is run by a political
machine with a boss with
strategic connections who
willingly subvert student gover-
nment, while saying they are
trying to save it. They might have
had good intentions, but winning
an election was more important
than making concrete accom-
plishments for students.
Julie Engebrecht covered
MSA for the Dailys

II

BUT RECENT administrative
and regental intervention into
election affairs has clouded the
issue of student tampering with
LL.e ejec..tio..issAf- n nae uiameu

the election. Many have blamed
the administration for inter- SERIOUS DAMAGE was also
ference, but if the student groups done to the Central Student
had simply worked together to Judiciary (CSJ)-the students'
handle their own affairs, the ad- judicial body normally respon-
ministration would have never sible for making a decision on
become involved.
00 , __

ra I

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