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April 13, 1980 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-13
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Page 8-Sunday, April 13, 1980-The Michigan Daily

7f

w

w

women's

idl

(Continued from Page 3)
huge problems with any immediate
plans for a shift from TA to exclusive
faculty teaching. Perhaps the largest of
all is the nature of the Women's Studies
budget, which could only afford a pair
of professors for the sum that currently
provides for 11 TAs (and one more in
the summer). "Our argument is not
even that we want TAs to teach 300-
level courses," says Echols. "If we can
get faculty to keep up the program,
that's fine. We just want there to be a
program."
CURRENTLY, THE Program
must depend on the charity of
departments to allow their
faculty to donate time and services.
Since Women's Studies has no money
available to persuade departments to
hire qualified faculty, or to ease the
blow of losing a faculty member,
charity is in short supply.
If the LSA executive committee had
observed only the Women's Studies TAs
when they were considering their 300-
level rule, it seems unlikely they ever
would have passed it. "The absence of
direct faculty involvement does not ap-
pear to have affected negatively the
quality of instruction in the courses,',
wrote the review committee. The
evaluations of the guest reviewers were
laudatory of TA performance. "No one
would want to staff a university with
first-year assistant professors. But at
the same time I would wish for the
greater participation of experienced
faculty in the program, I must stress
my very real admiration for the kind
of contribution graduate students are
making," expressed Stanford faculty
member Michelle Rosaldo. "(TAs)
teaching 300 level courses are poised,
accomplished and in all respects im-
pressive. Their syllabi are complete,
innovative and creative ...".
There are many reasons to believe in
the quality of Women's Studies TAs.
Because our program is so well-known
and because the new scholarship on
women draws from numerous
disciplines, the Program selects a han-
dful of TAs from the numerous ap-
plications they receive-they choose

only 1 out of 6, a ratio much more selec-
tive than that of almost all other LSA
departments. Furthermore, since a
decade ago there were almost no such
programs anywhere in the nation, it is
obvious that most of those now doing
research are breaking new ground. It is
the TA as often as it is the professor
who is the authority on specific topics
within the new scholarship.
Yet the executive committee has said
it will hear little of this. It officially has
granted Women's Studies a one-term
exemption from the 300-level ruling, but
indicates that there will be no more
help beyond this prolonging of the
inevitable. "The curriculum is the
faculty" is their dictum; when I spoke
to executive committee member John
Knott he said "I start with the assum-
ption that the curriculum starts with
what the faculty teaches." It is all the
same thing, and it indicates that LSA
policy is to reider illegitimate any
program or any class that is not taught
by faculty.
The question of why this has to hap-
pen now swirls around in a pool of
illogic. 'the decision to disallow
Women's Studies TAs teaching above
the 300-level clearly isn't an economic
one, for TAs in general are ludicrously
less expensive than faculty. Further-
more the Women's Studies Program
has a total cost per student credit hour
figure that is only a bit above 50 per
cent of the LSA average. And, as has
been stated above, there are many
reasons to believe that the Program's
TAs are overly qualified.
M ANY WITHIN the group
organizing to save Women's
Studies see the negating of
TA opportunity as part of a larger educ-
ational trend. "The model they are
trying to move into is primarily one of
very large introductory courses, larger
than we have now," asserts TA Katie
Stewart. "They are trying to cut out
middle-level courses; the TA-taught
courses are a large segment of that
division, so they're trying to get rid of
them first of all because TAs have no
power. Then they would have upper-

level courses taught by faculty, with
small enrollments." This trend is one
designed to save the University money
in a time when University funding and
enrollment are tumbling.
It is also quite likely that the 300-level
rule is but another effort by the Univer-
sity to break the back of the Graduate
Employee's Organization. Since it
became the bargaining unit for TAs in
1974, the GEO has worked to get
graduate teaching assistants higher
wages, to reduce class size, to have
greater TA curriculum input, and to
end racial and sexual discrimination
practiced by the University. The GEO
has refused to go to the bargaining
table, arguing that TAs are students
and not University employees. The
University-wide 300-level ruling may
significantly decrease the number of
people in the GEO bargaining unit.
\. A particularly chilling undercurrent
in this story is the possibility that some
people in the executive committee had
their minds made up about Women's
Studies before they even received the
review. Consider the experience of
economics professor Gavin Wright, one
of the four professors who reviewed the
Program. When his committee submit-
ted its findings to the executive com-
mittee, Wright says, "there was a clear
indication that there was a negative
opinion (of Women's Studies), one more
negative than that conveyed by the fin-
dings in the review... . It's not clear to
me that what's being done is based on
an interpretation of the report," he
says. "I think there were some people
in the executive committee that were
surprised that we came out as posi-
tively as we did."
T HE COLLEGE of Literature,
Science and Arts is a school
which took a step forward in its
hiring practices by hiring eight faculty
women during the hiring period from
April of 1979 to March of 1980-only 38
per cent of all hired. It is a school, like
many others in the University, in which
almost every student knows of a case of
some male faculty member making
sexual overtures to female students.
These are only a pair of specific exam-

pJes that sugest the sort of discrimin-
ation and harassment women face on
this campus.
More generally, our classes still
follow the "great men teaching about
great men" educational pattern. It
would seem clear that the Women's
Studies Program can be instrumental
not just in researching the new
scholarship of women, although it is
ranked highly for that reason, but in
teaching information that can chiange
the way things are.
"It's very important to us as women
to have a program in the University in
which we can learn about the different
disciplines taught through a feminist
perspective ... The program is a place
where we know we can get a lot of sup-
port from our teachers and other st-
udents, and be in an environment
responsive to us as women students,"
says Deb Filler, an LSA student.
"For most of us who have taken a lot
of Women's Studies classes, the quality
of the teaching has been superb. TAs
who have been teaching us have been
very committed to us in their teaching.
And we've gotten a kind of support we
don't find from other TAs-or
professors-at' the University. The
majority of professors in this Univer-
sity are men. That means that in most
cases there's little feminist perspective
around. Very few women teaching
means very few role models," Filler
explains.
Whatever happens, there will be a
Women's Studies Program. There will
be some clases. But what seems to be in
the works is a drastic cutting, one that
can not be compensated for unless the
Program is given more money. And
that alternative has already been ruled
out by the executive committee.
Members of the Coalition to Save
Women's Studies are sponsoring a rally
on the Diag this Wednesday. John Knott
has said "I want to stress that whatever
formal responses come out of the
executive committee are less impor-
tant than the dialogue that comes out of
the entire process." It will be in-
teresting to see if Knott is listening on
Wednesday.

'I

vw

I had never before seriously considered traveling to the Ina
Continent. It did not have the same magnetic attraction for
say, China or Italy did. But last winter, opportunity presen
through an offer from my parents to help out with the flight o
they already had planned a trip there. The suggestion came at a

tune time .. .

(turn to page 5)

Women's Studies on
the chopping block

James dean's

(Continued from Page 7)
prevent this seedy occurance have been
singularly unsuccessful. How hard
could it be, we ask ourselves, to keep
those high school kids, gas station at-
tendants, and motorcycle mechanics
off our campus?
In everyone's best interests, the 'U'
could just declare the Diag off-limits on
Bash Day, and request persons conduc-
ting legitimate University business to
use the street entrances of buildings.
Revellers might then be directed to the
Arb, where no one would pay any atten-
tion to them. Soon, bored and ignored,
they'd realize it's pretty chilly outside,
and get back into their vans and return
to Redford township.
Barring cooperation from the ad-
ministration though, what can students
do? How could the Diag be made such
an unpleasant place for our greaseball
friends that they'd move on? We could
try spraying the area with unpleasant-
smelling substances of 'organic or
inorganic natures. Or we could make
the ground sticky or slippery for a day.
Or someone could play accordion music
full-blast.
Surely in four years, we should have
carried out one of these plans, but alas,
the-Bash has always slipped by. If we'd
only known then what we know now!
* FLORIDA DAY ON THE,

DIAG-Supplanting the Hash Bash as
an annual event, we've always wanted
to organize a campus-wide "vacation"
on the Diag. Every year, it has been our
keen observation, literally thousands of
Michigan students travel to Florida,
seeking various forms of action.
(Speaking of which, how about those
cute Phi Delta Theta boys featured in
last week's Detroit Free Press? Anyone
who says "brewski" deserves never to
get laid, even in Fort Lauderdale.) In-
variably, seasoned sun-n-fun-ites
report that they do much better socially
with people they run into from their
own school.
Why not save everyone the expense
and bother of traveling 1,200 miles
south? Let's set up towels, radios, and
booze right on the Diag, and then we
can all mill around and say, "Hey, what
college are you from? Michigan? Me
too! Helluva place, isn't it? Let's go get
a drink and we can talk about it. I have
a friend around here somewhere who
also goes there." Thano's Lamplighter
might sponsor a wet tee-shirt contest,
and Ann Arbor police could be coached
in being as rude as possible to everyone
at all times.
- ROCKY HORROR FOOTBALL
SHOW-There's been a trend toward
swearing in unison at football games,
but the idea has stagnated now at "Oh,
Shit," for several years, All anyone,

ever throws on the field is toilet paper,
and cheering itself has become rather
bland. With some initiative, a solid
block of fans and friends ought to be
able to set some new trends such as
yelling derogatory comments at
players on the opposing teams, and
screaming "Not the pass! Not the
pass!" when one of Michigan's own
drugged-out quarterbacks fades back
for another interception, Gator-bowl
style. How about throwing butter at
butter-fingered pass receivers? Or toy
building blocks (for blocked kicks that
probably wouldn't have reached the 20
yard line anyway)?

Ritualistic cheers and jeers would
certainly enliven those games when our
corn-fed fellow-students beat the piss
out of patsy institutions like North-
western, making even more money for
the athletic department.
We're sorry we haven't done any of
this in our stay here. It's up to others,
now, to pick up the ball and run with it.
Don't punt. Don't end up embittered
and regretful like the Boys of Bodensee
Uncooperative House. And remember
our new slogan, "Of all sad words of
tongue and pen, the saddest are these:
'I was too preoccupied to get around to
it."'

'Cause the Bible
tells me so
Nuke the
Rock!

undci
Co-editors

Elisa Isaacson

RJ Smith

Asociate editor Adrienne Lyons
Cover photo by Marc Sommers

Supplement to The Michigan Daily

Ann Arbor, Michigan--Sunday, April 13, 1980

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