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December 06, 1981 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-12-06

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OPINION

*1

i

Emtudns a nes tia n
Edited and managed by students of The University of Michigan

Vol. XCII, No. 72

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Disenfranchising alumni

Sunday, December 6, 1981
Feiffer
M3 rHlJRI65
is W AV

HE MICHIGAN State University
Board of Trustees is really one to
cut off its nose to spite its face. In the
midst of one of the state's worst dinan-
cial crises when state subsidies to
higher education are cut almost mon-
thly, they voted to disenfranchise that
university's alumni association.
,'he board voted 6-2 Friday to sever
tijs with the 32,000-member Michigan
State alumni association. Now, in ad--
dition to receiving fewer funds from
the state of Michigan, MSU is going to
have to attempt to wrench donations
frpm an alienated and unorganized
alumni.
Conflict between the university's
administration and the alumni
association first arose last year when
ti group's president refused to resign
upbn MSU President M. Cecil
Mackey's request. Battles have con-
tinued to brew between the two groups
siice that initial incident. The board's
finial action Friday unfortunately
rgpresented its unyielding support of

The Michigan Daily

Mackey and the university's disregard
for its alumni.
So now, not only will MSU have
trouble garnering support from a
disenfranchised alumni, it may also
lose support in the state legislature.
Legislators have already indicated
that this rash move may result in less
sympathy from a vote-conscious
legislator.
Further, in the long run, this move
could harm higher education across
the state. The fewer dollars Michigan
State receives from alumni, the more
it will require from the state to main-
tain its programs at current levels thus
potentially putting the squeeze on
available funds for other state in-
stitutions.
But more than that, the move has
represented another power play by
Mackey that has been backed by the
MSU Board of Trustees. It seems that
the MSU administration-at least
Mackey-is more interested in short
term vendettas than long range plan-
ning.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
WCBN offers students

HE
Fath
orgy $4 m
per year
nirtent th
liR4 pock
ut the
elijninati
tl small
argumen
present
rdealing
S The m
to suppc
r4eords
ptiticaI
Te Unite
tl, recip
nment ha
p&oject
editing, a
of Thoma
Lasty
reieived
the fede
that mo
historian
of Jeffer
The ad
tIat the
1istorica
Qmmis
te mon
i-recis
wanted,
for unob
wheir cas

Rereading Jefferson
SO-CALLED "Founding But the administration's
Hers Projects" account for justification for eliminating the
illion in federal expenditures program - aside from being flawed -
sllpotfedeaepesdo oer is a gross misreading of Jefferson's
: small potatoes for a gover philosophy of government.
at sometimes handles billions Although Jefferson did indeed argue
etchainid for limiting governmental intrusion in.-
n administration has propose to the lives of private citizens, he also
ing the projects, and, despite recognized the value and necessity of
t budgets of the programs, the governmental support of education. He
its used by the administration was, in fact, one of the first in America
some fascinating and .' g.
sone as inatito argue that public education itself is
g ironies. necessary for the development of a
oney from the project is used strong democracy.
irt scholarly inquiry into the One of the most important aspects of
left behind by some of the education is scholarly research; it
leaders of the early days of provides a training ground for future
ed States. In past years,. one of teachers and increases the insight one
aients of funds from the gover- generation has into the actions of
as been a Princeton University another. Tools for research, such as a
which has been, compiling, compilation of the writings of Jeffer-
and publishing all the writings son, enable scholars to learn more
as Jefferson. about the nature of government and
year, the Princeton project about how to attack and solve the
160 percent of its funds from problems facing our society.
ral program, and a cutoff of Jefferson once wrote, "Religion,
rney could severely hinder morality, and knowledge being
as' efforts to finally compile all necessary to good government and the
son's works. happiness of mankind, schools and the
[ministration, however, claims means of education shall forever be
elimination of the National encouraged."
al Publications and Records The words are from the Northwest
sion - the bureau which gives Ordinance, and are carved in stone
ey to the Princeton project - above the entrance to Angell Hall.
ely what Jefferson would have They stand as eloquent - if unheeded
and they cite Jefferson's calls - advise from one of America's most
trusive government to support perceptive presidents to one of
e. America's least.

To the Daily:
There are so many problems
with the Daily's Dec. 1 "review"~
of WCBN, that one wonders
whether to even bother writing at
all. The author so ignores the un-
derlying questions and
manipulates and tangles the
superficial ones that a letter the
length of the article would not do
the subject justice. As a current
staff member at WCBN,
however, I feel the need (and
enough resentment) to write. I
will attempt to skip the more
superficial and journalistic
questions and will try to encap-
sulate those with which I do deal.
Some of the underlying
problems with Ms. Kramer's ar-
ticle, which she fails to confront,
are as follows:
First, WCBN does not sell its
product, as do most newspapers
and radio. The nature of the non-
commercial world is different
from the one with which Ms.
Kramer is apparently used to
dealing. WCBN has no adver-
tisers to please, does not have to
cater to a market or entice large
numbers of listeners in-order to
gain -or retain advertisers. In
short, we do not have to "give the
listeners what they want," or
what we think they want, or what
most of them will settle for. This
opens up nearly limitless
possibilities, but more importan-
tly, it allows us to be sincere, if
only in our belief that what we
broadcast is worthwhile. WCBN's
non-commercial status is also in
a sense responsible for the
author's ability to speculate on
whejher the station "has any
listeners at all.": WCBN cannot
measure its listenership by the
number of products it sells, and is
not rated as to its "share" on the
listening "market." If it-is
necessary WCBN can, however,
compare its listenership to other

non-commercial stations: in its
last fund-raiser WCBN raised $8,000
with a potential listenership of
under 100,000. Other public radio
stations with potential listener-
ships ten times as great (and
usually more) do not collect
nearly a tenth of the comparable
multiple in donations.
Second, radio is not edited in
the way Ms. Kramer' seems to
imply it should be. In live radio
there is no time to stop and
evaluate the product before it is
revealed, the way there is in
print. Radio, in a sense, edits it-
self from moment to moment in
the programmer's head. Further,
the power of editing is not con-
centrated in the hands of just a
few people. WCBN has some 60-
odd stuff members, and no mat-
ter how much training a DJ is
given, moment to moment the air
signal is always in his or her han-
ds. A great deal of responsibility
is necessarily given to many.
Third, WCBN traffics in sound.
Every word (or sound) broad-
cast, in addition to having a
literal meaning as a sound, has
an aesthetic value/quality about
it, unlike print, where the word
appears exactly the same every
time it is printed. If we, in this
sense, equate the usage of sounds
on the radio to images in print
(rather than words), criticizing
radio for playing the sound of
crickets would be like criticizing
the print media for published an
esoteric painting or photograph.
WCBN present pieces of music.
Do we criticize an art gallery
because it exhibits paintings
unlike those we are accustomed
to? For showing Picasso or
Kollwitz rather than Rembrandt?
Music, like art, speaks many dif-
ferent languages. WCBN presen-
ts the entire spectrum. Ms.
Kramer would do well, at the out-
set of her article, to admit what

few languages she
Kramer's criticise
never admitted, b
from the headline
word) is entirely th
expects something
py to find, instea
else.
The' existence of
implies its opposi
natives. Giving a
alternative not only
see what might be, k
us to see what is mo
giving it greater
Where most radio
WCBN takes up.
media declares it
tive," WCBN admit
tivity, and by doing
the cloak which dec
reality, removes th4
sort of psychologic
what we recognize
political viewpoints
Lastly, Ms. Kran
wantsus to believe th
of crickets is OK, t
and-a-half hours,
probably lost a liste
tide in the Daily gc
long, or is about some

sincerity.. .
speaks. Ms. we are not interested, do we stop
n (which is reading the Daily. Not unless,
ut obviously apparently, we are so short-
to the last sighted (or accustomed to for-
at of one who mula) as to not realize that the
and is unhap- next article may well be quite dif-
d, something ferent from the one we are
reading.
every.thing For those readers who did not
te, or alter- get the message .from Ms.
voice to the Kramer's article (and likely you
y helps us to did not), more than anything else
but also helps the people at WCBN believe in
re clearly, by music, in the power of sounds,
definition. and in the joy of discovering new
leaves off, music. It is a station which
Where most thoughtfully considers and
self "objec- arranges a greater variety of
ts its subjec- music than you will hear on any
g so removes other radio station, and is willing
lares a single to take a few risks in the spirit of
e element of a discovery.
al coercion in The Daily has a long history of
as essentially attacks on WCBN, which I will
not go into here. Sufficedit to say
ner seems to that we have never had a "fair
hat 20 minutes reading" from the Daily. An in-
but after two- formed reader will look to the
WCBN has pages of The Ann Arbor News
ener. If an ar- and Ann Arbor Observer for such
oes on for too things.
ething in which -Michael Kopka
December 2

.. . and on-air training

Improving the Union

"'
II

0 \

To the Daily:
As a member of a task force
working on making the Michigan
Union more of a "student union,"
I am greatly encouraged by the
steps being taken by the Union in
this direction.
A $4.6 million renovation will
start to take place this summer
and, in time, will strive to make
the Union a hub of activity. This
stands in sharp contrast to the
pass-through center it is at
present.
The proposed changes such as
creating a food concession in the
basement along with retail
establishments, will surely at-
tract many students. Unfor-
tunately, these changes will not

take effect until the Fall of 1983.
The# U-Club has already been
quite successful at drawing
students to the Union, but more
changes can be made in the short
run. The Union officials, we have
found, are very interested in
hearing from students about
what changes should take place.
I encourage students to write to
Frank Cianciola (Union Direc-
tor) or Gary Trier (Director of
Food Services) about what they
would like to see, not just in the
distant future but right now.
These people are very receptive
to student viewpoints.
-Gordy Erley
December 3

To the Daily:
This letter is in reply to the
Daily's article about WCBN and
WJJX. Basically, the article was
very informative, but there are a
few points that need clarification.
I work at the Campus Broad-
casting Network, and I have
listened to numerous college and
commercial radio stations in
more than one market.
First, while the writer's
generalization that one either
loves WCBN or hates it sounds
dramatic, I don't think it is
necessarily true. Most people
listen to several radio stations,
and I believe that most people
like certain aspects of WCBN's
programming-for instance, the
musical tastes of-certain freeform
DJ's, certain weekend block
programs, Jazz, 'Round Mid-
night, news, and public affairs
programs-and dislike some
aspects. WCBN certainly does
care about what the listeners
want to hear, and we encourage
feedback, either by calling our
studio line or by writing us at 530
Student Activities Building.
My opinion is that WCBN's
programming is the result of the
extremely tight programming of
Detroit/Ann Arbor area com-
mercial radio stations; in a
looser market such as Boston,
New York, or Los Angeles, a
station like WCBN wouldn't seem
as unique. I can't understand why
the University doesn't condone or
even embrace the idea that their
radio station is not only unique,
but necessary in this radio
market.

The author's section on WJJX
seemed biased against top-40, so I
want to clarify why WJJX is dif-
ferent from the other "top-40".0
stations. Indeed, we are top-60;
we have a long rotation, i.e. son
gs are repeated less often than on
most radio stations.
But "top-60" also means that
we play occasional album cuts or
songs that are doing well on FM
rock stations or soul stations but
don't make top-40 airplay. Fur-
thermore, we take chances on
songs; we've broken songs that
didn't make top-40 until as much
as two months later. Any WJJX
DJ can be on the music staff, and
this is a great opportunity to
learn how real radio stations
decide what songs to play.
I believe that the most effective
way to learn about radio at the
network is to , work
simultaneously on AM and FM.'-
AM train the DJ in vocal style
segues (music mixes), stop sets,
and the music clock, while FM
encourages the DJ to explore dif=
ferent types of music and to
program his own stop sets, select
his own vocal style, etc.
Freeform allows the DJ to
program as he sees fit and to
learn as much as he is motivated
to learn. The network also trains
people for production, news, and
public affairs.
The Campus Broadcasting
Network gives people real ex-
perience in radio that the Univer-
sity has been either unwilling or
unable to provide.
--Chuck Azer
December 2

9

OSU deserved to win

To the Daily:
After the woeful loss on Nov. 21
to Ohio State, post-game reaction
from fans, players, coaches, etc.
- nit.iaA nr~n .want 4c n~n c '"WP

be no winner or loser.
The facts are that Ohio State's
defense played superbly and that
Michigan's offense was the pits.

T !~ IL... Tl..: ).. -L--.l.J L_ A-.-_J ___ :

I

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