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November 21, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-11-21

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OPINION

*,Page 4 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Friday, November 21, 1980

The Michigan Daily

Mubtgan 43 ail
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. XC1, No. 68 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
It's divestment time again

Weasel

by Robert Lence

I'M GLAD $p AM I.
WE PROVE THERE'S
DOWN 14F-RE LIKE Ii N6
TO GOWM". AT THE CAWPAE.
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Ll STEN To THE Buzz OF
ANTiam om A T#E- cRoNtA.
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MtcNtcAN SAND!
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T HE ISSUE is back. Divestment-a
question that has brought more
University students together for a
single olitical purpose than any other
;since the heyday of the New Left-is
again before the Regents.
Over the last few years, pro-
divestment activities have ranged
from the formation of the Washtenaw
County Coalition Against Apartheid, to
4 repeated large rallies on the Diag, to
the disruption of one Regents' meeting
in such demonstrative fashion that the
Board had to adjourn and convene
elsewhere. This is one issue that
Michigan students-lots of them-have
shown concern about.
What the WCCAA and its faithful
followers want is for the University to
divest itself of all its stock and bond
Woldings in corporations that do
business, in South Africa. They reason
that, were it not for the heavy invest-
ments American and other western
companies have in South Africa, the
racist government there could be
brought down in favor of leadership
that represents the interests of the
nation's vast black majority.
The Regents have heard the pro-
divestment arguments before, and
they have firmly decided that the
niversity's interests are not served
by what they clearly regard as an ex-
treme action. There is little reason to
expect that their position will change
in the near future.
One concession the Regents have
ade to those who are concerned
about the apartheid (institutionalized
racism) situation is their support for
4he Sullivan Principles-guidelines
that proscribe discriminatory treat-
ent of black workers in South Africa.
The Regents have already divested
from two corporations that failed to
meet the Sullivan standards, and today
discussion of another-Owens-Corning
Fiberglas-is on the agenda.
There may be a hitch there -
outgoing Regent David Laro has
reversed his pro-Sullivan stance since
the last time the issue came up, and he
may attempt to persuade his
colleagues that any divestment - even
from stocks in companies that violate
the Sullivan principles - is so contrary
to the University's financial interests
that it ought not to be undertaken. But
the rest of the board, so far, has in-
dicated a continuing commitment to
the guidelines.
As for the bigger issue, there has
been much argument both ways on
whether divestment is indeed a good

method of contributing to the anti-
apartheid cause. There are some per-
fectly well-intentioned spokespersons
for South Africa's progressive faction
who argue that divestment is the first
step to the collapse of the South
African economy, which in turn would
cause even more suffering for the
country's downtrodden majority.
Regent Laro, who has long opposed
total divestment, can quote reams of
material arguing against divestment
from blacks both here and in Johan-
nesburg.
The pro-divestment response is that
the current South African regime has

*Managing scarcity : 5ideas
for sharing 'U' hardships

The University administration has outlined
plans for coping with the budget dilemma in.
this period of unprecedented hardship when
worsening economic conditions have
established a climate of crisis.
Surely, however, the inevitable sacrifices
that must be made can be apportioned more
equitably than in the administration's
program. Budget cuts affect different groups
in the University differentially. As in the
larger society, it is the poorest who are asked
to pay the heaviest price.
IT IS OUR contention that shouldering the
burden "equally" will mean a dispropor-
tionate sacrifice for most of the staff mem-
bers and stu.dents at the University. What
follows is a proposal for an alternative ap-
proach. The specifics are meant to be purely
illustrative (they would change in any case
with access to financial data). What matters
is the application of the equity principle to the
University's financial crisis.
1) The prevailing fear on campus-which
apparently inhibits imaginative and equitable
planning-is that our higher paid faculty
(those most likely to attract research gran-
ts) will leave the University en masse in hard
times. Why has there been no questioning of
this assumption? Michigan is hardly the only
university now in financial difficulty. Most of
our scholars would not easily find tenured
positions at comparable salary levels at other
institutions. Many would prefer to remain in
Ann Arbor anyway, for personal reasons.
How many would willingly accept some
personal sacrifice in a period of great har-
dship, considering it a fair exchange for the
excellent support they have received through
the years.
SOME, DOUBTLESS. would leave, but the
consequences would not be drastic or in-
tolerable. There are all too many bright
Ph.D.'s out there, yearning for a decent ap-
pointment.
Finally, there is a moral issue that
politeness should not prevent us from
discussing openly. It is shameful-and sym-
ptomatic of internal crisis-that the faculty
bodies voted for themselves a 9 percent
salary raise, without the slightest regard for

ByR. S. Ganapathy
and David Robbins
the rest of the University community. Their
action implies contempt for those under-
privileged groups-like the students and
clericals-which are already paying a heavy
price, for the most part without complaining
and with good will.
Since so many others besides faculty mem-
bers are affected by the financial crisis, we
suggest that more democratic procedures of
decision-making are in order.
2) The faculty salary hike of 9 percent
should be cancelled. All University personnel
currently receiving more than $50,000 per
year should have their salaries cut to $50,000.
All personnel earning between $25,000 and
$50,000 should receive no salary increase.
Those with salaries between $15,000 and
$25,000 should receive 6 percent increases.
Those with salaries below $15,000 should be
entitled to a 9 percent increase.
BECAUSE INFLATION strikes the lowest
wage-earners hardest-in terms of life-
essentials-and because ' the percentage in-
crease amounts to so much money in the
higher brackets, these steps, or something
like them, are an obvious prerequisite for a
just solution. Surely the higher income per-
sonnel-those who have benefitted most from
the University's prosperity-can now be
asked to share in its sacrifices.
3) The current hiring freeze should be selec-
tive. While new positions may not be created#
replacements for existing .vacan-
cies-especially at the clerical and technical
levels-should be allowed. Understaffing, like
inflation, takes its greatest emotional and
physical toll at the base of the work force.
Already we are witnessing a deterioration in
services of every kind. Postponing main-
tenance and renovation necessities and cur-
tailing essential services will have serious
long-range consequences beyond the im-
mediate lowering of staff morale. Some of
this is inevitable, but without an equitable
distribution of hardships, it will be perceived
as intolerable.

4) THE UNIVERSITY should make a clear
commitment to the primacy of teaching and
learning. The issues here are classic, and no
one is naive about them. Nevertheless, it is
sad to observe the University assuming a
consistently defensive posture toward its
educational responsibilities. Continuing
research is essential, for economic as well as
scholarly reasons. But .research priorities
must never be allowed to overshadow
educational goals, or the University will have
betrayed its public responsibility.
The University of Michigan was never in-
tended to be a money-making enterprise.
However, in the accelerated rush for research
grants, it appears that deterioration in the
quality of teaching (both undergraduate and
graduate) is considered an acceptable price.
It is odd that no one has posed the obvious
question: If there must be a leaner academic
future, why should there not also be a leaner
research future?
5) STUDENTS, IN addition to clericals, are
the persons most directly affected by the
budget cuts. The tuition levels at the Univer-
sity are unacceptably high for a state-
supported institution, as any comparative
study will show. What is desperately needed
is a tuition freeze for a sufficient period-say.
three years-to allow students (especially
self-supporting studentsi to rationally plan
the completion of their degree programs.
* * *
The University is a public service ip-
stitution. As such, it should set an example in
its sharing of austerity. Its quality has always
depended upon the effectiveness and good will
of its total community, and that strength has
never been needed more than it is now. We
suggest that the University commit itself
unequivocally to its educational priorities, as
well as to equitable principles in managing
the economics of scarcity.
R. S. Ganapathy is a graduate student
in the Department of Urban and Regional
Planning. David Robbins is a clerical in
the Art and Architecture Library.

PRO-DIvESTMENT demonstrators rally on the
Diag in the Spring of 1979 prior to their march on
meetings of the Board of Regents.
so steadfastly, viciously, and suc-
cessfully clung to its racist policies
that only the most drastic measures
could possibly effect any significant
change. 1Many supporters argue that
the demise of the current government
is the only way blacks in the
beleaguered nation can ever hope to
see a better life.
One thing is clear, however. The
Regents' oft-heard claim - that
divestiture would be an inap-
propriately political action for a fun-
damentally non-political body - is ab-
surd. To elect to leave our stock
holdings in South African operators is
every bit as political an action as
divestiture. The former could be seen
as perpetuating the South African
status quo; the latter could possibly
lead the way for other stockholders to
follow suit, and perhaps, could even-
tually cost the currently powerful in
South Africa their livelihood. Whether
or not the Regents decide to divest at
some future meeting, they should not
fool themselves into believing that they
have either adopted or abandoned
neutrality.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
ICampus Carter people played dirty

---i

To the Daily:
As a Daily subscriber and an
active supporter of Rep. John
Anderson in the recent presiden-
tial election, I would like to ex-
press my disgust with the cam-
paign tactics used by certain in-
dividuals supporting Jimmy Car-
ter. The campus Carter cam-
paign consisted of anti-Anderson
material such as a flyer entitled
"The Real John Anderson." This
flyer, like the article by
Congressman Drinan which ap-
peared in the Daily on October 16,
contained misleading statements
and misinformation about An-
derson's voting record. Our cam-
paign chose to emphasize the
issues, and the program proposed
by John Anderson and Pat Lucey,
rather than attack Carter's own
racist, anti-labor, anti-free
speech, pro-Vietnam war stances
of the past.
Not satisfied with misleading

voters, the Carter. campaign
began running anti-Anderson
radio adsucontaining blatant lies.
Fed up, Students for Anderson
scraped together enough money
to xerox flyers countering the
Carter smear sheet.
On Election Day morning,
while Anderson workers
distributed these flyers on desk
tops in lecture halls, a confron-
tation developed. The Carter
students began following the An-
derson volunteers, picking up our
literature, trashing it, and
replacing it with their smear
sheets. When the Anderson volun-
teers asked them what they were
doing, the Carter people replied
with threats. The Carter students
were stopped by campus
security, but only after the fact.
As it was Election Day there was
nothing further we could do.
I realize the Daily eventually
chose to endorse Jimmy Carter

(with totally justified reluctan-
ce), but the Daily certainly can-
not endorse the underhanded
campaign behavior of the Carter
students (led by one of their
coordinators). I do not wish to
seem petty or naive, but even the
desperation of the Carter suppor-
ters is no excuse for their shoddy,
dirty campaign.
Obviously, the national election

is over and scolding the Carter
forces may seem like beating a
dead horse, but student elections
will be coming up very soon
(November 24 and 25) and
hopefully, discussion of past elec-
tions will help keep campaign
tactics "clean."
-Will Hathaway
Co-coordinator. Michigan
Students for Anderson
November 14

Anti-touch laws next?

To the Daily:
The not-long-ago passage of the
anti-harrassment law in
Michigan was no unmixed good.
Far from it!
While the law rights certain
wrongs for women, particularly
women on the job, it likewise
separates the sexes!
As though we don't have
enough separation! Sex, tender-
ness, affection, even shoi of af-
fection is in this civilization of
ours still looked upon with a
jaundiced eye. Notwithstanding a
"sexual revolution," Vic-
torianism still lurks. And indeed,
along with the whole shift to the
right, is making a comeback.
Women's lib, ironically, is sup-

clusive of it. Today, the women's
movement is practically in-
distinguishable . from papal
proclamations. At least when it
comes to sex.
Back to the anti-harrassment
law: We now should have a better
view of it-just one more neo-
Victorian measure masked by
giving Women a break.
I- can visualize a law the next
time around that would make
taboo (outside of marriage) any
kind of touching the opposite
sex-and anti-touch law. Next, an
anti-talking-with-a-woman law.
Next, an anti-looking law. And so
on. Just short of the female
having to wear a veil. And maybe
that too!

Ad building set straight

To the Daily:
Your article on the Ad-
ministration Building (Daily,
November 18) contained two

building the same level of light
and to make each space unique,
despite the fact that the building
is a high-rise.

,.... ...__to i w .

I

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