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April 20, 1979 - Image 38

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-04-20

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Page 18-Friday, April 20, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Regents, protesters avoid clash

(ContinuedfromPage1) to move to a different room should
meeting until after the black attrition protesters disrupt their meetings.
report is reviewed. That portion of the The demonstrators attempted to be
meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m., direc- dramatic in making their statements,
tly following the discussion of divest- using symbolism in several of their ac-
ment from the two companies. tions. Aside from the gags and the
AT YESTERDAY'S meetings, the signs, the group stationed three of its
protesters wore gags "because the members to stand on one side of the
Regents have used the courts to stifle room with signs identifying them as
the spirit of the Open Meetings Act; for "trustees" and striking poses reflecting
two years the Board of Regents have the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no
avoided open discussion of divest- evil" axiom.
ment," according to a statement Also, when the protesters left the
released by the WCCAA. meeting briefly at 2 p.m., their exit
Many of the protesters also wore followed a 30-second taped statement
signs bearing the oames of black South saying, "We, the members of the
Africans who have died, allegedly as a University community, object to the
result of the apartheid system. way in which the University is handling
The Regents last month obtained a their South African investment policy."
court order allowing Board members The demonstrators filed out of the
to meet before only representatives of ballroom with their right hands raised
the press, after divestment supporters chanting "U of M, U.S.A., out of South
outshouted the eight-member body. Africa right away."
WHILE THE ORDER was later WCCAA SPOKESPERSONS said the
dissolved, a declaratory judgment han- tape was made to keep the Regents
ded down last week would allow the from accusing individuals of disrupting
Regents, under the Open Meetings Act, the meeting.
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Eight divestment supporters did,
however, address the Regents directly
during the public comments session of
yesterday's meeting. Seven of the
speakers called for immediate divest-
ment, and all received thundering ap-
plause.
Among the harshest statements was
one made by University Economics
Prof. Daniel Fusfeld. The senior faculty
member strongly attacked the Regents'
practice of determining whether South
African corporations are fighting
discrimination by simply asking them:
"IT'S AS IF we went-to the lions and
asked them if they have stopped eating
meat. 'Yes,' they rdply, 'we are all
vegetarians."'
Fusfeld continued to say that a friend
of his had once said, '"You've got to
remember, Dan,' he told me, 'The
Regents aren't evil people, they're just
stupid,"' said the economist.
Assistant Political Science Prof. Joel
Samoff said the University has an
obligation to "be leaders and not
followers. We should be taking the
initiative" in battling apartheid, he
said.
MICHIGAN State University (MSU)
Assistant Prof. William Derman said
the Regents face many of the same
questions MSU Trustees had to con-
sider before they voted to divest last
year.
"If we call apartheid by its correct
name of slavery, how can anyone argue
against divestment?" Derman asked
the Regents.
University Economics Professor
Thomas Weisskopf also advocated
divestment, calling it "a highly visible,
unambiguous act," whose "financial
cost is relatively small." A
UNIVERSITY sophomore Pat An-
derson spoke against immediate
divestment. He instead called for the
University to review the records of
South African lirms as well as set up
stronger guidelines than the Sullivan
Principles. "Immediate divestment is
nothing more than tying our hands. The

choice must be dramatic action or ef-
fective action."
Among other concerns expressed
during public comments were alleged
improprieties in the Athletic Depar-
tment and whether Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) funding should be
mandatory orvoluntary (see related
stories).
In other action yesterday, the Board
passed a resolution raising the student
fee for Health Service from $17 to $23
per term. For spring and summer ter-
ms the fee is $12. The increases are part
of a five-year plan to reduce general
fund support of Health Service, forcing
the facility to rely more on student fees.
THE REGENTS also voted to keep
Family Housing rates for 1979-80 year
the same as this year while also calling
for a $3 increase in family housing con-
tributions to the Ann Arbor Public
Schools for services to children living in
the housing complexes.
The Regents also approved several
University construction and im-
provement projects, including a
$250,000 renovation of the Chemistry
Building Laboratory and a $150,000
rejuvenation of the East Engineering
Building classrooms. Other planned
construction work includes renovations
in the Business Administration
Building (costing $430,000), the Natural
Resources Building ($290,000), and
replacement of the gas lines in North-
wood II and III ($300,000).
A Residence Hall emergency lighting
project is also scheduled to begin with
Phase I, costing $100,000, which in-
cludes the installation of a generator in
West Quad. The Board also called for a
$150,000 improvement program to im-
prove Fuller Field.
The Regents also reviewed a report
from Brinkerhoff, who admitted the
University's investment portfolio had
fared badly over the last year but had
done well over a ten-year period.

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