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March 28, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-28

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OPINION

Page 4 -Saturday, March28, 1981 The Michigan Daily

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Budget questions for Shapiro

Vol. XC, No. 144

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Apolitical, not military
resolution in El Salvador

HE REAGAN administration seems
committed to a military solution
of the civil war in El Salvador. This
reckless policy can only further the
political polarization that threatens to
destroy that tiny country. It could
make a peaceful resolution impossible
and undermine what should be the real
United States interests in El Salvador
and the volatile Central American-
Carribean area.
By giving more than lip service to
political reform, the Reagan ad-
ministration may allow the U.S.-
backed "centrist" junta to deteriorate
into an unstable, right-wing, military
dictatorships. U.S. support of such an
unpopular, repressive regime is not
compatible with either the security of
the United States interests or this
country's democratic ideology.
The best way to promote those two
concerns is by maintaining a truly cen-
trist, popular government in El'
Salvador, steering clear of both the
exxtremist left and the fascist right.
The junta now established in El
Salvador can best be guided back to
the political center through the large
land and economic reforms supported
by the Carter administration but now
neglected by Reagan's government.
Currently, the right-wing elements
within the junta are steadily purging
ti government of most of its liberal
and centrist members. There has been
little pressure from the Reagan ad-
nistration torstop this rightward
shift and some Salvadoran rightists
even claim they have Reagan's
blessing for a possible rightist coup.
If Reagan continues to support these
elements economically and militarily,
allowing the junta to drift farther and
farther to the right, the Salvadoran
conflict will become only a military
struggle between extremist left in-
surgents and an extremist right dic-
tatorship. Left with a choice between a
rightist dictatorship, which offers only
more repression and the continued
poverty of the majority of
Salvadorans, and a leftist regime,
which at least offers egalitarian
rhetoric, the people would almost cer-
tainly eventually with the insurgents.
A leftist victory in El Salvador is not
in the best interest of either the United

States or the Salvadoran people. The
regime that would be installed after a
successful revolution, like most post-
revolutionary regimes, would be un-
stable, vulnerable to Soviet and Cuban
manipulation, and would offer little
hope of economic improvement for the
people. Such a regime might also
strike back against the United States
by expelling both American public and
private influence in El Salvador.
If the Reagan administration were
instead to shift the aim of its
Salvadoran aid from military victory
over the insurgents to peaceful
political change, it could help under-
mine popular support for the leftists
and build stability. Washington could
help defuse the Salvadoran conflict by
using its economic and military aid for
democratic reform.
The junta has already begun a
massive land redistribution program
and has reformed much of the coun-
try's banking and financial structure,
partly because of consistent, if gentle
pressure from the Carter ad-
ministration. But the reform
movement has been hampered by
terrorist opposition from extreme
right "death squads," which some ob-
servers say are secretly linked to the
government or at least to its security
forces.
The Reagan administration seems
unconcerned about the righitist
terrorism, and indifferent to reform.
Worried about leftist momentum, it
has hastily begun throwing American
military support behind the junta.
By granting virtual free reign to the
Salvadoran military with ensured
American support, the Reagan ad-
ministration is catalyzing the political
polarization. Right wing elements
within the junta will continue to purge
the remaining liberals and moderates,
pushing the government further to the
right. This will only increase popular
support for the left. In January, the lef-
tists' "final offensive" fizzled largely
because it lacked popular support. If
the junta becomes more rightist, the
next leftist offensive may find more
success.
The Reagan administration still has
time to reverse the Salvadoran
political polarization by insisting upon
gradual liberal reform as a condition
of continued American military aid.

On March 12, over 300 students and faculty
addressed a wide range of questions to the
University Administration concerning the
budget crisis and the future of the University.
The questions were assembled into a report
and submitted to President Harold Shapiro on
March 16. Forum participants called on the
president to respond to the questions fully in
writing by March 30.
In an informal conversation with forum
representatives March 19, President Shapiro
indicated he might respond to some of the
questions in the forum report. On March 16,
the University Record published the
president's latest statement on the Ad-
ministration's budget policies, indirectly ad-
dressing some of the issues raised in the
forum report.
However, the article in the University
Record does not come close to answering
specific questions in the forum report concer-
ning cuts, the rationale and long-term plan
behind the cuts, their projected impact on
such issues as affirmative action, un-
dergraduate education, and how decisions are
made.
In fact, Shapiro told forum representatives
in the March 19 conversation that he did not
intend to respond directly, in writing or in
public, to the 36 questions posed in the forum:
report. He said he would not permit the
questions from the forum determine the
framework for any dialogue on the budget
crisis or Administration policies.
We wonder, why not?
Here are the kinds of questions from the
forum report which Shapiro has been asked to
respond directly to by Monday, March 30:
" In his speech to the Senate Assembly,
Vice President Frye indicated that the ad-
ministration expects to eliminate "over 500
staff and faculty positions." In the greatest
possible detail, where will these eliminated

By Carol Isen
positions be taken from?
" We have heard numerous references to
the goal of improving the research environ-
ment at the University. What specific
proposals does the administration have in
mind? What are the current policies with
respect to military and classified research
at the University?
" What priority will be assigned at the
university to the improvement and develop-
ment of undergraduate liberal arts faculty
and curricula in contrast to more technical or
professionally-oriented areas of education
and training? How will this be reflected in
funding?
" What plans has the administration made
to improve the University's record in
achieving a reasonable representation of
minorities in the student body? How does the
administration plan to live up to its commit-
ment to minority students made as a result of
the BAM strike?
" What plans has the administration made
to realize affirmative action goals for hiring
instructional and non-instructional staff in the
context of a shrinking University?
" What priority has been assigned to the
goal of maintaining a diversity of viewpoints
in the University?
" Does the administration anticipate
reduced levels of support for student ser-
vices? Taken one at a time, how will the
following services be affected:
housing, financial aid, academic counseling,
pyschological counseling, minority support
services, health services, and recreational
sports?
" What plans have been formulated to
provide appropriate opportunities for broader
University involvement in discussions about

the future direction of the University?
President Shapiro assured us in his .
statement in the University Record he would
"make every effort to enlist the intelligence,
wisdom, and integrity of the University
community in building an even better Unver- ,
sity." We suggest he continue this process by
answering the above questions and others
contained in the forum report in a full and
public manner.
Indeed, President Shapiro also committed
himself in his statement to a "full and open
disclosure of all significant plans and actions
that are contemplated by the central ad-
ministration that will affect the various
academic and non-academic units." Again,
we propose that President Shapiro fulfill this
commitment by answering our questions
directly.
In our meeting with President Shapiro
March 19, he expressed frustration with the
relative lack of community interest in larger::
budget issues. We share his frustration.
However, we feel that the lack of community y
interest is as much a result of the ad-:
ministration's decision-making procedures as
it is of the apathy on the part of faculty,
students, and staff.
In his University Record statement,
President Shapiro suggested that "perhaps
ways of developing even greater involvement
of the University community should be con-
sidered." We urge the president to
vigorously pursue new and innovative ways
of developing greater involvement. How
decisions are made and how they are carried
out may be just as important as what those
decisions are.
Carol Isen is a Residential College
senior and a member of the It's Our
University committee.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Witt misinterpreted Mims'

To the Daily:
After reading "Witticisms''
(Daily, March 24) it was clear
that the author, Howard Witt, in
an attempt to reduce his own con-
fusion concerning black student
unhappiness, misinterpreted my
remarks at the March 19
Regent's meeting. ,
Witt expressed ignorance as to
why there is black and white
separation on campus and he
criticized my presentation
because I did not explicitly ad-
dress black-white polarization.
Although I am quite concerned
about black-white separation, the
Regents and Executive officers
have no direct responsibility to
forcefully integrate cafeterias,
lounges, or student newspapers. I
spoke about the University's poor
performance in the areas of
minority recruitment,
enrollment and graduation -
something the Regents and
Executive officers do have direct
responsibility for.
During me presentation I ad-
dressed several problem areas:
poor recruitment efforts and
policies, lack of coordination and
funding of university-wide sup-
port services, few tenured or un-
tenured minority faculty mem-
bers or administrators, and the
Regents annual disregard for the
annual Minority Enrollment
Report. Witt asserted that my
remarks lacked specificity.
There is not space enough to
cover all of the solutions that I

proposed.
I would, however, as an exam-
ple, like to outline my comments
concerning minority recruit-
ment, which was only one of four
areas that I addressed.
In 1970 the Regents and
President Fleming made a com-
mitment to achieve 10 percent
black enrollment. Eleven years
later black enrollment is 5.6 per-
cent, down from a peak of 7.3
percent in 1976.
The commitment the Regents
and Fleming made in 1970
acknowledged their respon-
sibility to the residents of the
state of Michigan to give students
of all racial and economic
backgrounds equal opportunity to
attend the state's most
prestigious university.
To achieve higher levels of
minority recruitment I suggested
three proposals: the expansion of
pre-college enrichment
programs, the extension of
recruiting effors to a larger num-
ber of high schools, and the in-
clusion of continuing minority
students in the actual recruiting
of new students. If these
suggestions were implemented
the University would attract a
better prepared, more informed,
more diversified, and larger
minority student population.
In these times of financial
crisis, a more successful
minority recruitment program
requires a coordinated Univer-
sity-wide effort under the direc-

tion of one of the executive of-
ficers. To be successful this
university-wide program must
address problems of minority
support services, of cultural
assimilation, hiring of minority
faculty and administrators as
well as minority student recruit-
ment. I detailed problems and
solutions in all these areas.
Witt claimed that my presen-
ttion was not understood by the
Regents. Although as tradition
dictates no one responded to my
remarks during the meeting, af-
terwards several Regents and
Robert Holmes, author of the
March 1981 report, praised the
quality of my presentation and
expressed interest in pursuing a
number of my recommendations.
Despite this favorable respon-

remarks
se, an examination of the Univer-
sity's dismal performance over
the past decade dampens my op-
timism for change. Witt demon,
strated his ignorance of the.
university's record by focusing
on separation of blacks and
whites and praising the efforts of
University administrators. By
doing so, he has encouraged the
Regents to ignore the substantive
issues that the eighth annual
minority report raised.
It is my hope that Witt and
other Daily staff members do
their homework by thoroughly
investigating the history of
minority issues on campus and
become part of the solution in-
stead of part of the problem.
-Valerie A. Mims
March 26

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Letters to the Daily should be typed, triple-spaced,
with inch margins. All submissions must be signed
by the individual author(s).

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Real estate grabbing

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To the Daily:
General Motors is again part of
the social problem in Detroit,
claiming it will alleviate area
unemployment and city gover-
nment fund depreciation, but in-
stead, destroying one of the
world's most abused peoples'
ethnic neighborhoods to produce
a series of gas guzzlers in a time
of scarce fossil fuels.

integrated neighborhood is only
worth as much as its combined
real estate value.
The materialistic irrational
belief, that the products of osten-
tatious consumption and
diminishing appeal are a more
secure source of revenues for a
city with a severe housing shor-
tage, than the continued existen-
ce of a viable neighborhood,

Keep posters off

To the Daily:
Today was a beautiful day. The
sun was out and my down coat
hung on the coat rack. While on
my way to my nine o'clock class,
I was greeted by one of the most
disappointing sights that I have

trees

against the advertisement of an
educational event, but I do take
exception when a group's
representative defaces a tree in
the process.
Is this act a representation of
the growing callous attitude
toward our environment? As a

I

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