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December 09, 1981 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-12-09

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,

01

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, December 9, 1981-

The Michigan Daily

Will the Cellar

stay in the

Union?

By Richard Barr
While students should look forward to
the renovation and rejuvenation of the
Michigan Union as the student center on
campus, actions of the Michigan Union
Director and others in the University of
Michigan Office of Student Services
may be depriving 'students, faculty,
staff, and other Ann Arbor residents of
an important resource: the discount
college bookstore in the Union.
The University Cellar was formed
around 1970 after student protests over
the excessive prices then charged by
local private bookstores. Opened with
the aid of a student assessment (which
was refundable) and a grant from the
University of Michigan, the. Cellar
provided the community with discounts
ranging from 5 percent to 15 percent off
suggested retail prices when most, if
not all, other similar stores charged full
retail prices. The oversight of a board
of directors composed of students,
faculty and University administrators
has guided the University Cellar and

has assured that it continuesto serve
the needs of the local community.
Frank Cianciola, director of the
Union, has decided to impose a 65 per-
cent rent increase on the University
Cellar. Furthermore, he has decided to
force the bookstore to pay for about
$400,000 of construction costs that are
necessary only because he insists on
moving the Cellar from its' present
location in the basement of the Union to
a far less desirable location down the
hall.
While most businesses might be able
to adapt to this imposition by working
out concessions from their landlord, the
Cellar has run into a brick wall when it
comes to seeking reasonable assistance
from its landlord.
The University Cellar, like all other
bookstores in Ann Arbor, is not allowed
to sell Michigan souvenir items because
the Union insists on having exclusive,
monopolistic rights to these items in the
Union. Seeking to understand the
rationale behind this insistance, I have
spoken with Mr. Cianciola. His respon-
ses to our inquiries have been evasive

pay him a fee for the "right" to sell
souvenirs in an ampunt equal to his ex-
pected profits, he changed his rationale
to concerns about whether a bookstore
should be selling souvenirs. When we
explained that practically every other
college bookstore in the country is
allowed to sell souvenirs, he changed
his mind once again, turning to "we
won't discuss the issue anymore," as a
response to our cooperative desire to
act in the best interests of the com-.
munity by selling the products deman-
ded.
I have been a student at, the Univer-
sity for seven years now, and have
never heard such evasive non-
responses to an organization-such as
the University Cellar-that is
desperately trying to fulfill its mission
as a service to the community. I have
,heard administrators in the Office of"
Student Services tell me that the
University does not have any obligation
to negotiate the terms of a multi-million
dollar lease with the University-Cellar.
"Take it or leave it," we are told.
It might just be that the Cellar will

have to "leave it." This will be a great
loss to the Union: Surveys indicate that
55 percent of the students going into the
Union go there because the Cellar is
there. Students will be hurt too, because
they will lose a student bookstore that
has guaranteed -students substantial
discounts for coursebooks and supplies.
The University has pushed the
student bookstore around because they
think the students don't care. They
think that this typical bureaucratic
treatment of students is alright because
they have gotten away with such insen-
sitivity every other time.
It's time for students to tell the
University that they care about having
a student discount bookstore. For if Mr.
Cianciola and othersin the University's
Office of "Student Services" think
students don't care about having the
Cellar around, it will be gone next year.
Barr is a third year law student
and the chairman of the Finance
Committee of the University Cellar
Board of Directors.

A person browses at the University Cellar.

at best. At one meeting, for example, he
told me and other representatives of the
Cellar that his estimates indicated he
would make more money selling

souvenirs if the Cellar were not com-
peting with him. He claims that that is
better for the students.
When we responded by offering to

01

I

l e tigan+ ttil

W easel

By Robert Lence

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
410 Maynard St.
Yol XCII, No. 74 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Developmental aid

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III

01

T HEY CALL IT "developmental
aid." That's what the U.S. Com-
merce Department has termed an ef-
fort to send 86,000 pen-and-pencil sets'
to school children in Cambodia.
'And, since the United States does not.
recognize the Vietnamese-backed
government in Cambodia, it is against
U.S. policy to export any of this
"developmental aid" to the people of
this nation.
Pretty foolish, isn't it? What this
"developmental aid" consists of are
denim bags containing notebooks, pen-
cils, a ballpoint, an eraser, and a ruler.
Officials of the Mennonite Church have
organized a drive among children in
the United States and Canada to make
the sets in order to send them to the
Cambodian officials.
Mennonite officials have maintained
that because the United States bombed
Cambodia during the Vietnam war, it

has some responsibility for the people
there and, because school items are in
particularly short supply there, they
decided to send them.
But the U.S. government has opted to
stop them .from exporting the supplies
to the children of this "strategic"
nation. Who knows, perhaps the gover-
nment fears that, armed with pens and
pencils as weapons, these school
children will march into Thailand and
other nations spreading wicked corm-
munism.
Or perhaps, very simply, the
children will have access tosome lear-
ning aids which, in the long run, might
help the country. The United States
can progress much further in its
foreign policy by supporting the people
of all nations and creating a positive
image of the United States around the
world. Cutting off school supplies for
children is no way to do that.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Sowell artile shows sleeping elitism

To the Daily:
In "Sowell: Racism as
Mythology" (December 4),
Douglas Newman maintains that
Ronald Reagan's economic
policies are not "racist in in-
tent"; neither, it would seem, is
Newman's article racist in in-
tent. But its sleeping elitist insen-
sitivity is deadly.
While praising the exodus of
certain nineteenth-century, white
ethnic groups from poverty into
prosperity, Newman suggests
that the sweatshops and
subhuman dwellings endured by

Jewish, Polish, and Irish im-
migrants were simply a
necessary evil, a normal stage in
transit from a hungry nightmare
to the American dream. He ex-
pects that blacks, similarly, will
integrate into the socio-economic
mainstream of the United States,
if only they are "left to their own
devices," without the dreadful
burden of a fair chance, in the
form of heartless governmental
assistance.
Newman offers as supporting
evidence the low position of
American Indians on the

"economic ladder": they, of all
ethnic groups, have enjoyed "the
closest involvement with the
United States government." And
who could deny that our gover-
nment's close involvement with
American Indians-particularly
the intimacy of a series of
delightful wars, kindly atrocities,
and fair treaties-is the greatest
single cause of their distress?
Newman's belief that.
programs like affirmative action,
rent control, and minimum wage
laws are obstacles to' the
economic survival of minority
groups betrays a false innocence
loaded with dynamite.
Sympathizing with black
leaders in their condemnation of
Reaganomics is not a suggestion
that "blacks cannot think and get
for themselves." It is a
recognition of immediate, for-
midable, racist barriers to
economic and social dignity. The
testimony of one revolutionary
black economist may ease Mr.

Reagan's conscience, but it can-
not erase the simple fact that his
administration is worsening the
shameful inequities of an unjust
past, by crippling impoverished
urban minority groups while cut-
ting the taxes of the wealthy
white administrators-and Stan-
ford economists of any color.
Racism is real. It will not go
away if we put quotation marks
around the words, "black
problem." Neither will racism{go
away if we call it a myth. Nor if
we groan about the "statist\.0
remedies" of "liberal
mythology.
When we begin, using the power
of a university education to fight,
not perpetuate, the blindness of
selfish political regression, then
we will have begun realistically
to fight racism. But platitudinous
innocence and wishful thinking
will not do the job.
-Michael Piret
December 5

Apology not needed

r

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SN TO I' 6R &EA K
AND~ A FRONT MYAN FOR ITIE
1OLAN a '&AS CONPAW C-

1Th5Y'RC- CALLIN& ME
ARR&AWN, EL'-" Rl(-yHTS",
.FAI CAL..
FLATTERY WlAU L&ET TKWM
MOW14ER

To the Daily:
Note is made of the November
18 letter to the Daily by Co-
Chairpersons of the Washtenaw
County Chapter of the National
Black Independent Political Par-
ty (NIBPP). The letter referred
to the October 29 exhibition of the
film, Birth of a Nation, at the
Michigan Theatre.
A representative of NBIPP met
with the undersigned prior to that
exhibition. At that time he let me
know of the Party's feelings'
about the scheduled event, and I
let him know that I appreciated
his coming to see me about it. He
was also informed:'
(1) The City of Ann Arbor had,
nothing to do with that showing. ,
(2) The film was not being
presented at taxpayer expense.
(3) The City of Ann Arbor does
not operate the Theatre.
Michigan Community Theatre.
Foundation, Inc. (MCTF) does.
(4) Renting the Michigan from
MCTF, a private commercial
group (Classic Film Theatre)
was presenting the film.
(5) It is not the business of MC-
TF to decide what a group shall
or shall not put on in the theatre,
so long as that tenant pays its
bills and does no damage to the
building. So, MCTF would not
prevent the movie's being shown.
(6) Further, it appears to me
that minorities would be the first

Nation (in part): i
"This statement is presented
on behalf of Classic Film
Theatre, organist Dennis,
James, the officers and mem-
bers-of Michigan Community
Theatre Foundation, and
myself.
"We find that the film,
"Birth of a Nation", presents
history inaccurately.
"We abhor the racjal bias
pictured in the piece.
"We admire the work done
in Ann Arbor to unify
minorities within the general
quality of life, and do not in-
tend to exacerbate the good
feelings current in the most of
our community.
"Also, however, the film
exists. It is an example of
cinematography the presentors
feel should not be ignored.
And as a work of technical art
it needs to be shown at its
best-with the proper tints in
the print, with full screen, in a
large theater, and with a fine
organist playing the full,
original score.
"That we are doing - in the
person of America's most
scholarly and skilled expert of

Debt owed GEO

To the Daily:
One of the TA s quoted in the
Dec. 2 article about GEO
stated that "anything that was
won [for graduate students]
wasn't won because of GEO." As
participants in the 1975 *strike
former members of the union
executive committee, we would
like to correct this impression.
First, 'in 1974 the University
administration was going to
eliminate tuition reductions
traditionally given to TA s and
SA s. Vigorous unionization effor-
ts prevented what would have
been financial disaster for most
graduate assistants.
Second, we do not have a
"natural right" to health in-
surance. Other -University em-
ployees are only insured if they.
work, half time or more. In the
1975 contract (the only one the
administration ever signed, won
in the strike) GEO won health in-
surance benefits for graduate

reason to suppose that we would
still have these benefits without
the union.f
Ms. Vitzhum's statement was
in error in another respect. She
said that we have a closed shop.
We do not. In a closed shop,
everyone must join the union. We
have an agency shop. Those who
wish to join the union do so, and
pay union dues. All others who
are protected by the contract pay
an agency shop fee,' which may
not, exceed union dues. Money
from non-members can't be used
for political purposes. This
system is common to many
unionized workplaces.
All of us owe a debt of gratitude
to the, union members and
leaders who have worked hard
since 1976 to ensure our right to
have a union. They have given a
great deal of time and energy to
this fight, even when it seemed
many GSA s didn't care about it.
We also owe a debt ofgratitude to

C) 1

i I

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