The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, June 3, 1976
News Phone: 764-0552
TIE CITY UNIVERSITY of New York (CUNY) was once
one of the most magnaminous institutions in the
nation. Its teachers were paid lofty sums, long the highest
in academia, and its students, representing a broad cross-
section of the nation's largest city, received their educa-
tion without paying for it. Millions of New Yorkers span-
ning several generations were educated at such institu-
tions as Hunter, Queens (the Factory), Brooklyn, and City
Colleges. Such generosity occurred within the boundaries
of a city beset with a dreadful lack of money.
The inevitable finally caught up with CUNY last
week when the University, after overpsending its care-
fully devised budget, was unable to meet its payroll of
27,000 employes. CUNY went to the city for help, but New
York was far from the financial state necessary to save
the plagued system.
Last Tuesday, the University took a step it had
bandied about during New York's fiscal crisis: it instituted
tuition, the same as the state system (SUNY)-$750 a
year for underclasspeople and $900 for juniors and
And so ended free education in New York.
Sadder than the shattering of a 129-year-old tradi-
tion is the impact the move will have on the city's college-
bound students and both the city and state systems as
a whole. The new tuition is simply out of the reach of
many working families in blue-collar New York. How-
ever, those who can afford to pay the fee might find it
preferable to enroll in the comparably-priced and aca-
demically superior state system, already the largest of
its kind in the nation. Somewhere in the middle are
thousands of students who will either be forced to bare
a ponderous financial burden for their education or
forgo their studies.
Ironically, CUNY itself brought about the situation
with its own irresponsible fiscal management. It refused
to adhere to the streamlined budget mapped out for it.
Now, with its survival at stake, those who lose out most
are the people of New York, not to mention the whole of
News-Susan Ades, Mike Norton, Ken Parsigion,
Photo technician-Scott Eccker
Schlocked in Greenwich
By JEFFREY SELBST
(First of two parts)
Al.L THE ESOTERIC TYPES were out; the
artisans, the partisans, the critics, the
creeps - this was The Aesthetic Event of the
Year. Or it should have been; after all, with
thousands of scantily-clad bodies packing Wash-
ington Square Park on Memorial Day, the Green-
wich Village art fair ought to have been marvel-
Sad, sad, sad.
We parked the horseless carriage amid the
brownstones on Tenth Street, and walked a
circuitous route to the park. Sixth and Fifth
Avenues were lined with booths, each repre-
senting hours of painstaking work.
People were strolling by, the men with gray-
ing hair and shirts open resolutely to the chest,
exposing a burgher's girth, wearing sandals, and
peering intently at the figures, saying, "Good
use of reality here" and "'The attempt at juxta-
position doesn't quite come off."
HEIR WOMEN WERE blonde-by-choice, hal-
tered, with sun - leathered faces, grasping
their husband's beefy arm in awe, saying "That's
deep, Lou - oh God, that's deep." But their
eyes are obscured by tinted glasses, and they
conceal what they think.
We decided to make the day a Quest. A
Quest for Aft. God only knew where we were
going to find it. In all the stalls, hundreds
of them, set up along blocks of streets, we
saw acres and miles of the demon Schlock.
Yes. Schlock Art has taken over Greenwich
Asgwe pursued the elusive Taste, we crossed
the park. I was walking with three companions
- Laura, a graduate student in social work;
her friend Andrea; and a former Daily staffer.
Once in the park, we managed to run into
Laura's parents (oh yes, New York is a small
town), several bad, raunchy folksingers, NYU
students playing volleyball, countless old men
playing frisbee with faceless children.
BUT EVEN THIS had a kind of color to it;
bright-hued clothing and black, tan, and
pasty-white bodies. Jacks was a popular diver-
sion, so was people-watching. Old men and wom-
en warming their last moments on benches,
gazing intently at the passing parade - no
longer participants but avid spectators.
The statues have been dropped on by pigeons,
but the children and the patch-elbowed pipe-
smokers encircled them nevertheless. All were
observing, except the few performing.
I stared at a man sitting on the edge of a
brick wall - he was handsome, but his neck
was disfigured by a scar. He watched me,
needle-eyed, until I walked by. He had been
hurt and was not about to forget.
We ventured out into the street again, and
it is quiet compared to the jubilant humanity
in the park. Past rows of kittenish pictures with
gilt frames ("my mother has those in the bath-
room," said Andrea), indistinct pastel portraits
of Famous Americans ("Jimmy Carter?!" I
heard someone squeal. "I thought that was
Eleanor Roosevelt!" There is a resemblance,
pen-and-ink landscapes ("This is my friend Ed
said one Rotary-type to another. "He's got
what d'ya say? - promise.")
We've just been fantasizing -about living
one of the lovely, costly brownstones surroun
ing us, crowded neck and neck with the M
galleries. The Village hasn't abdicated its PgO
tion as a charming place to live. ("But d
Jesus," says Lou, "it'll never be what it was
His wife shakes her head in sad agreemen
"Never," she says, and then pauses. They lit
arms. "Remember the days of the McCart
blacklist?" she says, and tears come into h
HE TIME IS drawing to a close. We a
to return to the car and brave Seven
Avenue, drive back to New Jersey and all th
sort of thing.
Once again we foray into the park. We ha
not forsaken our holy mission. We will fit
Art if it kills us.
It nearly did. I must state here that I
never pushed my way through so many ill-ten
pered and ill-mannered people in my who
life. The rush becomes more frantic. Past sta
after stall, around Village landmarks, the pi
tures whipping by my face as the breeze knoi
several of them off their easels. "Relax!" sai
Laura. "You have to slow down to enjoy it
Enjoy it? We had but few minutes left a
I was so far, so very far from my goal.
Art! My body craved art! Delightful scu
tures to tease the eye! Provoking oils! Lissor
And we were lost in the maze of the Villa
streets. No matter which way we seemed 1
turn, the streets turned on us, bringing
back to the Square, the Washington Square, pat
ed with noisy, yelping homo sapiens.
THE GAME WAS UP. If there were a ft
minutes, too few seconds left to spend, Itt
they ought to be spent here. Where all of tI
various specimens were thrown together, whe:
soaking and rolling in langourous sunshine seer
ed the most important thing to do.
A brightly-painted black man was plays
guitar. He was, I was told, recently arrmc
from the Caribbean, and he sang every d
in Washington Square Park for whatever I
could get. A group slowly formed itself aro
him. One by one the NYU students, the mother
the older people, all gathered about to see w
the noise was. Soon the crowd itself attract
And the proverbial beatific smile crept acr
my face. A middle-aged, T-shirted hard-hat t
was smiling on the side, and he walked oi
to me. "Pretty good, huh?" he said to me,
didn't know what to say, so I agreed. He look
at my face and yawned. "Oh, not the sing
He's terrible. But dis," and here he way
his brawny arm grandly about the cro
"dis is art."
That was it.
Daily Arts Editor Je frey1 Selbst spenI I
weekend in New York.
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