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August 10, 1979 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-08-10

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Page 4-Friday, August 10, 1979-The Michigan Daily
ichigan Daiy
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M1. 48109

Student search role limited

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 63-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

AATA needs cuts
to persevere
W HEN A TRANSPORTATION system cannot
support itself despite substantial state and
federal support, services must be reduced and
users must compensate for the lack of resources.
This situation has confronted the Ann Arbor Tran-
sportation Authority (AATA) Board, and has led
it to take such action.
Therefore, the board's decision to eliminate
daytime Dial-A-Ride (DAR) service to the general
public and to hike fares from 35 to 50 cent is
regrettable yet necessary.
Providing the general public with the
same DAR service as handicapped and
elderly riders became increasingly inef-
ficient and , unfeasible as Ann Ar-
bor grew. Now it is unfair to deprive specialized
service from those who need it when other riders
can use regular buses. DAR buses are specially
equipped to handle wheelchairs, and can take the
time to help elderly or disabled persons without
delaying as many other riders.
Despite its necessity, the 15-cent rate increase
is admittedly steep, but at least the board did not
sneak in small but frequent incremental hikes. A
jump of some sort was inevitable due to rising gas
and operating costs. Although the fare increase
will have a more serious effect on low-income
riders, they will still receive a discount which will
bring the cost up from 17 cents to 25 cents.
An unfortunate measure the board approved
Wednesday night is the elimination of monthly
passes which gave regular riders discounts. Fare
hikes may have a discouraging effect on ridership
which the monthly discount could accentuate. A
wiser move would be to decrease the discount in-
stead of discontinuing the passes.
Cutting Sunday DAR service to the handicapped
and elderly may also have negative effects. These
riders depend on DAR for their week-
end social life, and have no other
means of economical transportation. It is
hoped that when AATA finds out how much state
and federal support it is to receive that Sunday
DAR service will be reinstated.
Fortunately, the board decided to maintain
evening DAR service to these riders. Another
prudent measure was the increase in fixed line
service during peak periods. -
Once AATA returns to solvency and repays
some loans state and federal support will in-
crease, making further cutbacks and fare in-
creases unnecessary.
SPORTS STAFF
GEOFF LARCOM.....sportsdtor
Hill.Y NEFF _ ..... .... .. .... MaaImng Sports Editor F
DAN P IRIN .............. ... Maaging Sports Editor

F ROM ITS INCEPTION the
presidential search focused
on the role students would play in
the selection of a successor to
Robben Fleming.
Although the search is over,
and the University. community
has only to wait until Jan. 1, 1980
before Harold Shapiro takes of-
fice, the function of the students
who were charged with advising
the Regents in the selection is
still in question.
SHORTLY AFTER the search
began, student leaders expressed
the fear that their access to can-
didates would be limited. The
Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA) boycotted student par-
ticipation in the search for a time
- until the Regents bent
their rules to allow "adequate
representation."
Members of the Board of
Regents clearly kept an upper
hand at all times during the sear-
ch, limiting the influence anyone
else had on the selection of a new
president.
The students had a valid
grievance when they complained
about the lack of access to can-
didates outside the University -
one that the Regents should have
seen fit to rectify.
EARLY IN THE search, the
students alerted the Regents to
the limits of their assigned ad-
visory capacity, because
biographical information
revealed little about the can-
didates. The students felt per-
sonal contact with candidates
was much more important.
But, the Regents would not
permit the students to visit orcall
candidates, fearing it would be
easier for outsiders to determine
more about the search process,
according to student advisory
committee member Carolyn
Rosenberg.
Student adviser Olivia wesley
explained, that unlike the Regen-
ts, faculty, and alumni commit-
tee members who might have had
contact with many candidates in
their years as professionals, the
students did not have as wide
acquaintance with many of the
nationally-known contenders for
the post.
"THEY COULD call and ask
somebody else about a can-
didate," Wesley said. "There was
no way we had access to that type
of information, and there wasn't

By Julie Engebrecht
really any way we could make
the same types of decisions."
The Regents should not have
been so concerned with secrecy
that equal access to candidates
among all advisory committeees
was not granted.
Another problem was the lack
of students on the search commit-
tee who were able to participate
this summer. Most students had
other summer commitments, and
in the final search stages only two
students were actively involved
and took part in interviewing
candidates.
DURING THE search process,
several students mentioned that
they felt intimidated by the
Regents and feared that if they
said anything about the search -
including the progress of the
search - members of the Board
would retaliate against them.
However, the Regents say they
were only concerned with
keeping a lid on their secret.
"Really, an untimely
disclosure of any names could
have absolutely blown the search
out of disorder," said Regent
Thomas Roach (D-Saline). "The
students acted very responsibly.
Any time 45 people know a secret
you're worried about it."
Regent Paul Brwon (D-
Petoskey), said, "When they met
with us it was always valuable."
REGENT ROBERT Nederlan-
der (D-Birmingham), chairman
of the Regents selection commit-
tee said the students were
"deeply involved" in the process.
"They did an excellent job and
recognized early on that con-
fidentiality among members of
all groups was essential."
"I was pleased that the con-
fidentiality of the process was
kept by the students," said
Regent David Laro (R-Flint). "I
was impressed by the students
who did the interviewing. Their
questions were precise. . . and
their comments and observations
were very helpful."
Laro also said there was "no
question but that we (the Regen-
ts) did" consider the student's
recommendations. "We listened
to the students, faculty and
alumni," he added: Laro was
quick to point out, however, that
the new president was
"ultimately" decided by the

Board of Regents.
Perhaps it should not have
been that way. The Regents
made a' token gesture by con-
sulting with the committee before
they made their final decision,
but to what extent Board mem-
bers took the advice of the
students, faculty, and alumni is
not yet known.
BOTH ROSENBERG and
Wesley said that initially Shapire
was not considered a strong can-
didate for the post by the student
because of his youth and the
relatively short time he had spen
in University administrative
posts.
Rosenberg left the searc
process in April, and upon retur
ning to the University said sh
was surprised to learn thai
Shapiro had been selected. Sht
said she actually expected
president to come from outsid
the University.
Rosenberg also said at first th(
students' had some bargainin
power because they knew th(
Regents were concerned aboul
the students discussing the sear
ch. But threatening the Regent:
with breaking the silence shouk
not have been necessary.
"WHAT THE Regents wert
afraid the students would do -
outside of releasing the proces:
secrets - is not clear. Perhap
the Board should have paid a lit
tle courtesy to the students.
Some good did come from th
students, faculty, alumni, an
Board of Regents workini
together on what Roach calle:
"our most important respon
sibility" as Regents.
Students should be treated witl
more respect and be grantei
even more say in University
decision-making processes in th<
future. The students did prove -
although the role was not as ex
tensive as it might have been -
that they can handle the respon
sibility.
It is hoped that all parties con
cerned will takea lesson from thi
presidential selection and tha
students, in all facets of Univer
sity policy formulation, includina
the next presidntial search proc
ess, will be taken seriously.
Julie Engebrecht covered the presides
tial searchfor the Daily,

I

Letters to the Daily

To the Daily:
In the Michigan Daily August 7,
I was quoted in an article which I
believe misrepresents my views.
"Its important to realize the
administration, or actually it's
the Regents, can do just about
anything they want with student
government ... they have that
right." This statement is com-
pletely out-of-line with my
opinions or beliefs. The Regents
may in fact, have legal powers-to
impose controls on student
government funds. However, to
say "they have the right in an
ethical sense is an absurdity. I do
not know how this misunderstan-
ding occurred, however, I would
like to clarify my position on this

matter.
The Regents and the Ad-
ministration of this University
have a responsibility to allow our
student government to function
completely autonomously. It is a
right of the students to maintain
an elected body of represen-,
tatives to actively exert the
student voice without intervention
from the Regents or the Ad-
ministration. By the same token,
the Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA) has a responsibility to
allocate its funds fairly and ex-
peditiously. Its procedures and
policies must adeqpately reflect
the needs of the student body and
the University community.

The present issue concernis
the control of MSA funds is
complex and difficult one. Thet
is much confusion surroundi
the kind of role that the office
Student Services has taken
repard to MSA. However, whi
we must deal adequately withot
present situation, I must firm
reiterate my view that t
Regents and the Administrati
of this University do not have
right to control or govern t
Michigan Student Assembly.
will continue to advocatet
view in the future as I have do
in the past.
-James Alland
President, MSA

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