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May 19, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-19

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Page 4-Saturday, May 19, 1979-The Michigan Daily



MSA stung
The horrors of administration inter-
vention in student government affairs
were magnified Wednesday when the
disputed April elections of the Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) were cer-
tified by Vice-President for Student
Services Henry Johnson.
Johnson discounted the unanimous
vote not to certify the election by the
Central Student Judiciary (CSJ),
claiming that body incapable of making
its own decisions. He further disregar-
ded MSA's legitimacy and ability to
operate by reporting to the Regents on
Thursday that he will maintain a firm
grip on MSA's funds until unspecified
"policies and procedures" are
changed. He refused to detail the
reforms he deems necessary, and lum-
ped CSJ with MSA's ills.
The regents directed Johnson at the
April meeting to unilaterally decide on
certification and to wield funding power
indefinitely as well. Johnson sub-
sequently concluded that alleged im-
proprieties of this election do not sur-
pass those of previous elections. Thur-
sday, he told the Regents he will control
MSA's funds for at least six months.
Administrative trespassing in
student government territory has
alarmed many sectors of the University
community. Students who previously
had little or no interest in their gover-
nment's activities are now irate over
administrative disregard for their
rights and self-governance abilities.
Some student leaders have suggested
that the student body withhold the
mandatory $2.92 assessed fee each
student annually contributes to the
government. Not only would it be
nearly impossible for students to stop
the automatic assessment from being
taken from student fees, it would be to
no avail. For even if Johnson controlled
a dimished student government fund,
the autocratic clamp remains intact.
Jim Alland, incoming MSA president,
fails to see Johnson's actions as ex-
cessive intervention. Alland also said
he does not see the present lack of MSA
officers as injurious to the Assembly's
function, and that he wants to keep the
administration within its bounds.
Alland's idea of proper administrative
bounds poses serious questions about
MSA's future autonomy.

City must atone
The city must finally reckon with
union negotiating tactics employed
during the sixties to create somewhat
balanced city budgets. By committing
the city to increased retirement
benefits, which means higher
obligations to the pension fund, im-
mediate allocations were minimized.
The burden fell to future ad-
ministrations and voters perceived city
leaders as competent fiscal managers.
City Controller Mary Devers warned
City Council Wednesday that declining
payments to the pension fund means
the city is falling behind its schedule.
The schedule was designed to com-
pensate for a $14 million difference
between actual and contracted con-
tributions to the fund. She said the
$180,000 in the administrator's proposed
budget is an insufficient apportionment
to reverse the present trend.
In order to recompense the differen-
ce, city officials must soon decide on its
source. Sacrifices must be made by
recipients of general services, city em-
ployees, property owners or the city
could subcontract city work.
Property owners, who already pick
up a substantial portion of the general
services tab will doubtless vote down a
ballot proposal requesting higher tax
rates to make up for the city's irrespon-
sibility. At least an advantage of
Headlee is now apparent to the voters.
Voter approval is now a prerequisite in
order to levy them for the deficit in pen-
sion fund allocations.
Citizens will probably not escape
sacrifice in services even if taxes are
not raised to remunerate the city's
mistake. Rate hikes for city utilities,

already figured in the proposed budget,
are one way city officials will pass on
the burden.
Subcontracting city work only signals
city officials' further procrastination of
its duties.
But the city's obligation to the pen-
sion fund can no longer be ignored.
When a city employee retires, he or she
cannot survive on a few more mended
potholes. City workers have a right to

their retirement benefits and the city
must face its responsibility. City of-
ficials should also trim managerial and
administrative costs to the bone before
seeking out other ways to pay for poor
Parity sought
The University's Board of Regents
Thursday demonstrated insensitivity to
sex discrimination allegations voiced
by two members of the women's track
team at the April Regents meeting.
Regent Sarah Power (D-Ann Arbor)
had requested a report on the women's
complaints, and following its delivery
at the May meeting she proposed that
an ad hoc committee investigate the
charges. Her motion met a 5-2 rejec-
tion, with Regent Paul Brown (D-
Petosky) favoring the idea.
Although the complainants had
already met with athletic department
See PARITY, Page 5
Week-in-Review was written by
Editorial Director Judy Rakowsky.

*Mich*gan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mt 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 14-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

Key divestment
E VERY SO OFTEN the Board of Regents surprises the Uni-
versity community. Yesterday, the Regents made a wise
move and unexpectedly voted to divest University holdings from
Black and Decker, a firm whose business ventures reinforce the
apartheid system in South Africa.
In his report on the employment practices of Black and
Decker's branch in South Africa, Vice-President and Chief Finan-
cial Officer James Brinkerhoff noted that the company had been
unduly vague in reporting its segregation policies. However,
correspondence between University financial adminstrators and
officers of Black and Decker confirmed that the company does not
subscribe to the Sullivan principles or their equivalent.
Fulfilling the standards set by the Sullivan principles is
required for firms in which the University invests, according to
the Regents' policy approved in March 1978. Fortunately, six
Regents did not echo the comments of Regent David Laro (R-
Flint), who advocated shifting the divestment policy to avoid
withdrawl of University holdings in Black and Decker. An action
such as the one Mr. Laro supported would have obliterated any
progress the University already has made towards divestment.
It appears, however, that a certain amount of self-interest
colored the Regents' decision, thereby polluting any moral
motivation behind their action. Several Regents expressed

domino tumbles
dissatisfaction with the manner in which Black and Decker of-
ficers responded to requests for information on the company's
South African policies. This reason for divesting reflects a
narrow, conceited attitude toward financial matters which should
be avoided in future decisions involving the University's moral
Within the bounds of that responsibility, the Regents have in-
cluded the Sullivan principles "or their equivalent" as standards
to which firms with University investments must adhere. But the
Sullivan principles do not extend far enough into the lives of the
average black South African. For example, the Suillivan prin-
ciples do not address access to equal education for South African
blacks. The principles do call for training programs for blacks to
prepare them for administrative, managerial, and supervisory
positions. But, by excluding opportunities for equal education, the
principles in effect fail to promote blacks to those positons.
The Sullivan principles do not begin to reach past working con-
ditions in American factories in South Africa. They fail to institute
equal voting rights, equal rights to own land, or equal access to
medical care. In other words, they do very little to erode the apar-
theid system.
Even though the Sullivan principles are far from adequate,

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