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June 04, 1977 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-04

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F7Iurday, June 4, 1977.


Page Sever

sity's campus housing director read the
Fair Rental Housing Practices Committee
recommendations, one proposal in particu-
lar may have left his head swirling: "The
University must accept a larger part of the
responsibility for housing its students."
After years of faithfully thrusting sopho-
mores, still warm from their* dormitories,
onto the city's private housing market, city
realtors are lining up with tenant advocates
to tell the University .that it should build
more hosing.
"It is the firsttime that public officials
have encouraged the University to get into
housing," Feldkamp remarked. "Their tra-
ditional position was that they were opposed
to the University building more housing
because the University is not on the tax
rolls and it would be taking something
away from the business community."
City officials and even some members of
the business community are, however, com-
ing to realize that encouraging the Univer-
sity to build more housing might involve
less local cost than any housing the city,
state or private market would be able to
A new program available to universities
through the federal bureau of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) offers mort-
gage loans at an interest rate of only three
per cent for the construction of dormitories
and student-faculty housing. But despite
the acute local housing shortage and the
availability of HUD funds, Feldkamp says
that the University does not intend to build
new housing soon. "The HUD money," Feld-
kamp said, "would only provide 30 per
cent of the funds we need. And there are so
many barriers which tell us not to take our
resources and put them into new housing."
If the University is unwilling to commit
its resources to badly needed housing it.
should be compelled to assume some share
of the city's tax burden so as to provide
some relief to city residents. Attempts to
get more money from the 'U' have indeed
been greatly intensified. Those efforts are
currently being channeled into one bill,
sponsored by State Senator Gilbert Bursley
(R-Ann Arbor), which is being re-introduced


lis are no longer forced to live
a variety of alternative housing
to city residents.
:it and public must also pressure
uns into revising their lending poli-
that that renting housing rehabili-
is ecouraged. Mortgage financing
ler multiunit projects must become
Ity at local savings and loan institu-
uraged to develop public policies
puraged to develop uublic policies
courage lending to reputable land-
,nd not those who break housing
or provide little maintenance. It
never be forgotten that it is the
lending policies which largely de-
who has the money to buy into the
using market. Local landlords should
n finance preference over absentee
Is who in effect hike rental prices
'paying off" management companies
71 their properties.

into the State Senate this year. The bill,
according to Bursley, would provide for an
assessment of the University's property, and
collect from them a percentage contribu-
tion to the general fund budget based on
the percentage value of property owned.
According to Bursley the revenues could
total up to a million dollars a year.
While numerous creative housing reme-
dies have been recommended by various
involved parties, few have gotten beyond
the talk stage.
The Mayor's Housing Fair Rental Prac-
tices Committee was unique in that it com-

pelted tenants, landlords, bankers, city coun-
cil people and private residents to sit down
together and initiate policies to deal with
the housing problem. It forced the city's
special interest groups to take public action
and be held accountable for it. Yet that
committee has not made any proposals since
the April elections. There are some who
question whether the work of the committee
can go any further. In committee member
William Tyler's opinion, "The major work
of the sturvey has been done. Given the.
ability of what the committee caniaccom-
See HOUSING, Page 10

Sartre at seventy: an intimate look

Essays Written and
Spoken by Jean-Paul Sartre,
Pantheon Books, N.Y.,
216 pp., $8.95
AS A CHILD, Jean-Paul Sartre had two
ambitions: to create a work of art and
to be famous. Of course, there is no
doubt among his readers that he has
succeeded in both, but now at the age
of seventy-two, Sartre sees it a bit dif-
ferently. "All right," Sartre says, "I'm
famous . . . All this is the whole life I
dreamed of when I was a boy, so in a
certain sense I have had that life. But
that renresented something else, I'm not
sure what. And I don't have that." In
Life/Situations, a collection of four essays
and three interviews written and spoken
by Sartre, we get a chance to indulge in
a more intimate picture of Sartre's pri-
vate life and politics.
Since 1945, Jean-Paul Sartre has been
one of the most stimulating voices to be
heard on the French Left. Although he
emerged from the very midst of the
bourgeosie he has always spoken with
outrage against them. Ironically, because
of his elegant use of language and su-
perior intellect, his works are addressed
to the bourgeoisie. Although Sartre is
mown for being the people's writer, his
works were always too esoteric for the
workers so it was the middle-class radi-
cals in France who devoutly soaked up
everything he had to say. For more than
twenty years he had no comparable rival
in progressive thought and his political
programs were usually extreme. As
Sartre admits today, he had influence,
but little power. It has always been some-

what vague as to where Sartre stands
in the political puzzle. Was he a M'arxist?
No, not officially. He demanded a revo-
lution and wanted to crush the bour-
geoisie, but he never joined the com-
munist party. Where is Sartre today?
His four political essays satisfy some of
our curiosity, but still, nowhere does
Sartre plausibly demonstrate the validity
of his pronouncements.
The three intbrviews with Sartre are
by far the most interesting part of Life/
Situations. In one interview concerning
his study, Flaubert, which he has been
working on for ten years, Sartre discuss-
es the process, technique, and style he
has been laboring with during this work.
A large part of the study is based on the
writings of Flaubert's youth and family.
Sartre says it is "a story of an appren-
ticeship that led to the failure of an en-
tire life," Flaubert is "the way I imagine
him to have been, but since I used what
I think were rigorous m e t h o d s, this
should also be Flaubert as he really is,
as he really was. At each moment in
this study I had to use my imagination."
The first two volumes are currently be-
ing published and he is working on two
In another interview Sartre considers
the womens' movement through questions
addressed to his constant companion, Si-
mone de Beauvoir. Sartre has expressed
little on this issue'. This makes the inter-
view as revealing as it is vague. He
speaks of being surrounded by women
since childhood and admits that he was
not aware of the extent of their oppres-
sion. Much of the discussion revolves
around his intimate relationship with
Simone de Beauvoir. Here he redeems
his past naivete with a new understand-

ing in a series of beautiful answers de-
scribing the equality between them. "I
have always believed that there was
some sort of woman inside me. I could
have much better conversations with
women . . . With men, the conversation
always degenerates into discussions of
professional matters."
In a highly introspective discussion en-
titled Self-Portrait at Seventy, Sartre ex-
presses his frustrations with his loss of
vision which is keeping him from writing.
"My occupation as a writer is completely
destroyed," Sartre says. "In a sense, it
robs me of all reason for existing." But
at the same time his words are encour-
agingly peaceful and extremely content.
"Who, or what should I be rebelling
against? . . . things are the way they
are and there is nothing I can do about
IN THE FOUR essays by Sartre, which
are- apparently his final writings, we
get a strong view of his opposition to op-
pression. The first essay discusses the
case of Basque autonomy in Spain and
the last years of Franco through an an-
alysis of the Burgos trial. He speaks with
bitterness toward instances of political
oppression, most effectively against the
attempted cultural genocide of the Bas-
ques of Franco-Spain. Another essay dis-
cusses the M a o i s t s as affecting the
French in particular, yet clearly sug-
gesting international significance, Of the
French Maoists, he says, "They realized
that the old bourgeois society was doom-
ed and was only protecting itself from
death with the clubs of policemen, (and
that) had shown that the only relation-
ship between the ruling class and the
masses is a violent one." A third essay

discusses the two types of justice in a
bourgeois democracy. Here Sartre points
out that justice originates not in the
state, but among the leople. There are
two types of justice, Sartre explains: one
is bureaucratic justice which binds the
proletariat to its condition, and the other
is primitive justice, which is the people
asserting their freedom against prole-
TN THE LAST essay cntitled Elections;
A Trap for Fools, Sartre discusses the
failure of traditional electoral politics.
He calls universal suffrage an institution
which "atomizes and serializes individual
men." By the end of the essay we are
left with the question, why vote?
The interviews in particular reveal an
agile mind, one that is critical of society
and one that is ready to accept new ven-
tures. Despite his loss of vision, it is
apparent that Sartre's intellectual activ-
ity remains constant and his deep sensi-
bility remains the same. Sartre is cur-
rently preparing a series of broadcasts
for television where he will speak about
the last seventy-five years of this cen-
As was written in Simone de Beauvoir's
memoirs, since 1957 Sartre has been
working with a "feeling of extreme ur-
gency . . . an exhausting race against
time, against death." But today, Sartre
no longer feels pursued by time. "I have
decided-I say it loud and clear-that I
have said everything I had to say." How-
ever, says Sartre, "If I last another ten
years, that would be very good; that
wouldn't be bad at all."
Cons/ance Eunisis as InS&A srnior
majoring in English.

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