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March 22, 1981 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-22

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OPINION
Pae q4 Sunday, March 22, 1981 The Michigan Daily
a _ _ _

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI, No. 139

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

What now for PIRGIM?

E UNIVERSITY Regents have
wisely decided not to adopt the
proposed refusable/refundable fun-
ding plan for the Public Interest
Research Group in Michigan. Thus,
PIRGIM will not .have the funding
system it claims it needs to survive
financially. But now that such a
system is out of the question-at least
for the next two years of PIRGIM's
new contract with the Univer-
sity-PIRGIM must carefully examine
its role on campus and consider alter-
natives wIhich might help to keep the
worthwhile group afloat.
PIRGIM officials insist the group's
current arrangement with the Univer-
sity, to solicit voluntary contributions
during registration is simply not suf-
ficient. They argue that during the con-
fusing, hectic rush at CRISP, students
just have too many other concerns to
worry about than checking off the
PIRGIM donation card.
The essential first step PIRGIM
must take to boost sagging support
among students is to dramatically im-
prove its public relations and promote
a greater awareness on campus of
PIRGIM's purpose and goals. Curren-
tly, PIRGIM has failed to maintain
high visibility on campus and has not.
extensively publicized its efforts in
either Ann Arbor or in Lansing. As a
result, when many students encounter
the PIRGIM volunteers badgering
students for money at CRISP, they do
not contribute because they are not
fa niliar withPIRGIM.
PIRGIM cannMt' xpect students to
rally behind its goals unless it makes a
successful, concerted effort to make
students aware of what PIRGIM is and
does.

The fact is that the group has been
very successful in promoting and
protecting the common interest of
students inthe state capital. PIRGIM
has played a large role in the passage
of the bottle bill, the truth in lending
and fair housing legislation, and a
whole range of consumer protection
measures. There is little doubt that
these efforts have helped all students
and that almost .all students support
PIRGIM in these issues.~
If PIRGIM concentrated its efforts
on these consumer-oriented areas and
made an all-out attempt to make
students aware of them, the group.
would undoubtedly enjoy a much
higher level of student support.
But PIRGIM does not limit its en-
deavors to these areas. It has plunged
into issues in which student support is
not so clearly defined. For instance,
although we agree with PIRGIM's ef-
forts, not all students support its stan-
ce opposing nuclear power and selec-
tive service registration.
PIRGIM members have every right
to pursue any issues they wish. But
they cannot expect to get the same
support from students in political
areas as they do in consumer issues.
If PIRGIM wishes to bolster its
image among a broader range of
students, it should consider concen-
trating on consumer protection in
areas which affect all students and for
which the group is so well-known.
If it is not prepared to sacrifice its
stance on more controversial political
issues, PIRGIM must accept the fact
that it cannot claim to be the represen-
tative of "student interests," and can-
not expect full student financial sup-
port.

Frye on
On Friday, Vice President
for Academic Affair-s Bill
Frye told the Regents that
when implemented, the
University's budget reductions-
will result in the accumulative ".
loss of more than 500 staff and £ ,
faculty positions. The
following are excerpts from
Frye's comments on program
review and reduction.
* * * *
First, as I have already noted,
the central review for program
reduction is proceeding on
schedule. In the meantime, we
are cautiously moving forward
with plans for some additional
reviews of programs and ac-
tivities on the- previous list
provided to the Regents. We ex- VICE
pect to continue the process of to a st
scrutinizing administrative and Regen
support programs at the central
level for the possibility of and re
achieving greater efficiencies believe,
and enabling the reallocation of need fo
resources to higher educational will not
and research priorities where fiscal cr
that is possible. who w
Similarly, as you knows some though
schools and colleges already philosop
have program reviews under-how it si
ways, and it is my expectation to AMOT
encourage and support that believe
process as a continuing one even chment
after the current budgetary dif- our c
ficulties have been resolved. strategy
MY SECOND COMMENT has years ar
to do with some concern that has * Th
been raised on the campus. I proprial
should like to assure the Regents here an
that we are proceeding as openly thern s
as possible both with respect to been gr
the goals and possibilities of downwa
these program reviews, and with the fact
respect to faculty and student strengti
participation. These reviews quickly
have received widespread was, a
publicity, have included frequent demand
opportunities for public hearings particul
and other forms of participation services
by members of the University's to expec
community, and have proceeded self suf
with every reasonable regard for problem
due process and fairness to the attitud
units that are under review. educatic
My third comment pertains to Michig<
the possibilities for future retren- lawmak
chment through program review " In th

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Daily Photo by BRIAN MASCK
PRESIDENT FOR Academic Affairs Bill Frye (inset) listens
tudent during the public comments section of last Thursday's
ts meeting..

University budget

duction. I continue to
as do we all, that our
r planned retrenchment
t end with the present
risis. There are not many
ould contend this point,
there are some
phical differences as to
hould best be achieved.
NG THE reasons why I
continued modest retren-
'will have to be a part of
ontinuing budgetary
;y for the next several
re the following:
e trend in state ap-
tions in higher education
d across the entire nor-
ector of the country have
radually but relentlessly
ard for a decade. Given
that the state's economic
;h undoubtedly will not
recover to what it once
nd given the major
ds for stateresources -
Larly in the realm of social
s - it would be unrealistic
ct the state to reverse itsa
fficiently to. resolve - our;
is; even witl the best of
es toward higher
ion in The University of
an among state
lers;
he second place, even with

positive increments in revenue,
inflation is likely to continue to
erode our buying ,power ap-
preciably faster than growth for
at least the next few years;
" In the third place, we must
take cognizanceg of the impact
that the state's demographic
decline, specifically the pool of
prospective 18- to 20-year-old
college students, will have upon
the overall number of students
enrolled at the University and
thus at least indirectly upon what
we may hope for in terms of state
appropriation. We can, no doubt,
do much to offset this factor, but
it seems unlikely that we can or
should expect to escape the in-
fluence of this factor entirely.
ACCORDINGLY, as soon as we
can get out from under the con-
suming pressures of the present
difficulties, we must proceed
more intensively and more
publicly with some forward plan-
ning for whatever further retren-
chment we may anticipate. In the
absence of specific plans about
the nature and amount of any
future retrenchment in the
University, considerable anxiety
is understandably developing
within the community and I feel a
very strong urgency to respond to
this need as 'soon as possible. We

must develop a plan that
reiterates why we think further
retrenchment is likely to be
necessary, what the magnitude of
it might be, the possible goals and
priorities or objectives to be met
as a result of internal
reallocation, the procedures that
are to be followed, and the
probable schedule. Indeed, most
of these points have been presen-
ted and discussed repeatedly, but
they bear repetition, and above
all they require transformation :
into something more nearly ap-:j
proaching a formal plan than has
thus far been set forward.
Aga in, we shall proceed with ~
the fullest reasonable partici- ::
ation from faculty and student
groups as we develop these. future:-
plans.
There is one further point that V :
wish to make before leaving this _
matter, and that is to suggest that
as we view the longer range-
outlook from the midst of the
current crisis, there is a danger
that the portent of future retren-
chment may be greatly
exaggerated, and therefore that
serious morale problems could be
generated that would do more
damage to the University than
the actual budgetary changes
that may be contemplated.
Let me say, therefore, that
whereas I am quite convinced
that some further modest,
carefully planned and carefully
placed retrenchment will con-
tinue to be an important part of
our overall budgetary strategy, I
am at the same time of the
opinion that the overall amounts
of reallocation of General Funds
through retrenchment will be a
relatively modest proportion -
perhaps 10 percent - of the total
General Fund and thus a more
modest propostion of the total,
budget of the University.
One of the ,principal reasons
that we must come forth with a
more specific plan concerning
these matters as quickly as
possible is in order to allay undue
anxiety that otherwise may
develop about the amount of
retrenchment that may be
desirable, and the manned and
pace at which it is to occur.

0

Looking in the want-ads

RESIDENT REAGAN'S got to
learn that you can't find
everything in the classifieds.
Speaking to a group of legislators
last week, the president took a very
simplistic look at the nation's complex
problem of unemployment. If you're
unemployed, the president said, read
help-wanted ads._
According to Reagan, if people
would answer these ads, the intense
problem of unemployment would be
eased. He cited the classified sections
in the New York Times and the
Washington Post, both of which had
over 30 pages of help-wanted ads.
What he didn't notice, evidently, is

that most of the jobs advertised called
for skilled labor. Very few called for
those without skills or experience.
Certainly, there are some people
who could be employed but don't want
to; but if President Reagan wants to
solve the nation's unemployment
problem, looking in the classified ads
won't help.
It's almost frightening that the
president can take such, a simplistic
approach to this problem. As much as
we support reading the newspaper, we
have to admit that some problems
can't be completely solved by
newspapers - not even the Daily.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Trotter House vital for all races

To the Daily:
With the William Monroe Trot-
ter House soon to be reviewed for
possible budget cuts, the Young
Workers Liberation League
would like to take this oppor-
tunity to express our support for
this important center.
It is important to recall that
Trotter House was established
not out of the good graces of the
University administration but as
a result of mass struggles by
students of all races to open the
University as a more democratic
and representative institution
and to counteract the racism

as a vital social, political, and
cultural center which helps
create a sense of community and
support for minority students.
Through its Afro-American art
shows, political forums, orien-
tation programs ,for minority
freshpersons, happy hours, social
gatherings, classes, etc. the Trot-
ter House helps counteract the.
severe shortage of social and
cultural outlets for black and
minority students at the Univer-
sity.
Furthermore, Trotter House is
one of the few places where white
students can learn about African

ners, and dances there.
For all these reasons, the
YWLL opposes any reduction in
the ability of the William Monroe
Trotter House to function and
urges all members of the Univer-
sity community to speak out in
support of this important center.

Advancing the cause of equality,
freedom, and democracy
requires first of all that w
defend the gains already won.
-Young Workers Libera-
tion League, Ann
Arbor Branch
March 17

Hands off bird poison

To the Daily:
A recent addition to the Ann
Arbor City Code allows the use of
deadly poisons to kill unwanted

have polluted our water supplies
as well as destroyed the health of
innocent residents.
We are particularly concerned

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