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March 09, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-09

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OPINION

Tuesday, March 9, 1982

The Michigan Daily

.:_ __ ____ ..._ .." .___ .... yi

Behind the

Consistency. That's what administrators
er at the Michigan Union are striving for as
ey restore and remodel' the three-
nerations-old building while retaining its
stinct architectural flavor.
It may look bad right now, what with all the
w walls going in and the beautiful old wood-
1 r .

Howard
Witt

seem to be nearly as consistent as' wh
pening in front of them. For behind the
the Michigan Union, Director Frank .
and his Board of Directors are fore
policies with about as much consiste.
Ronald Reagan press conference.
TAKETHE U-Cellar situation, for e
After 10 years in the basement of the U
University Cellar non-profit bookstore1
forced to find a new location furtherf
heart of campus because it can't afford
The vitriol flowed in ever greater to
lease negotiations slid downhill in rec
ths: U-Cellar bargainers suspected th
ciola wanted to force the bookstore out
it was independent of his control; U
ministrators scoffed At what they s
inept bookstore management.
But what it came down to in the en
simple matter ofeconomics. Cianciola
year ago from Kent State University,1
make the Union financially solvent for
time in decades.
To do that, he expected the U-Cellar
pulling its ovn weight by paying a com
market price for its store space and con

new walls at
at's hap- to renovation costs. (Because of lax Union ad- lettuce to the
walls of ministrations before Cianciola, the U-Cellar had NOW I DC
Cianciola been enjoying artificially low rents for years.) If any earthsh
mulating the bookstore couldn't hack it, it would have to strain the bu
ncy as a move. force the can
FAIR ENOUGH. Although in greenback My compl
example. terms this meant a jump in rent from $5.48 to Cianciola ex
'nion, the $9.07 per square foot, Cianciola's philosophy is to keep the
has been sound. He wants to let the market determine the that-I gues
from the cost of space in the Union; he wants to cut out Union.
ito stay. subsidies and artificial support; he wants to But why is
rrents as balance the Union's budget. In other words, he the new "fr
ent ,Mon- wartsto let the free market prevail. the food serv
hat Cian- Or so you would think. Nor is thi
because Last week; the Union's Board of Directors policies. W
'nion ad- reaffirmed a policy regarding use of the refuse to al
said was building's food service that is about as far from emblazoned
free-marketfreedom of choice as you can get. parapherna
nd was So much for consistency. privilege for
, hired a Any group using the Union's meeting rooms ask a book
wants to (which are free) must use the Union's food ser market rent
the first vice (which is not free) if it desires any type of in a high-vol
refreshments, the policy states. And why
to begin Translation: No running out to Kroger's for student soci
mpetitive some cheap eats. You wanna chow down in a the Vulcan
itributing Union meeting room, you gotta fork over some rooms in th

the Union

e Union food service.
ON'T mean to suggest that this is
haking problem. At worst, it will
Ldgets of a few student groups and
ncellatioo of a few banquets.
aint is with the lack of consistency.
xplains that the policy is necessary
food service afloat. Okay, I'll buy
ss I'll have to if I want to eat in the
s the U-Cellar asked to go it alone in
ree-market" Michigan Union when
vice is not?
s the only example of inconsistent
Vhy, for instance, did Cianciola
low the U-Cellar to sell Michigan-
I mugs, sweatshirts, and other
zlia, instead retaining this
r the Union itself? If you're going to
kstore to pay freely competitive
s, you ought to let it freely compete
ume market..
are such do-nothing "secret"
ieties as Michigamua, Adara, and
s permitted to maintain rent-free,
e tower of the Union? If rent sub-

sidies are to be eliminated in the remodeled
Michigan Union, such subsidies should be
withdrawn consistently.
I UNDERSTAND that Frank Cianciola is
doing his best to rebuilfdthe Michigan Union in-
to a vital campus center, and that he must.start
by balancing its books.
But it seems to me he has only two options.
He can stick to the free-market
philosophy-which means ceasing rent sufr
sidies and allowing people to refuse services
they might not want-anid accept the fact that
some enterprises might not survive.
Or he can maintain amenities,{ such as
bookstores and catering services-which might
not be able to stand on their own-and a
students to pay subsidies by wvay of increas~
tuition assessments (we now pay about $10
every term toward support of the Union). -;
As it stands, we are getting the worst of both
worlds: We've lost a bookstore and we're for;
ced to use a service we might not want. n
What we need is some real consistency
behind the walls.
Witt's" Tuesday.
Witt 'scolumn appears every y .

rk coming off. But by the time the whole
oject is finished sometime next fall, the.
odwork will have been replaced, new
staurants and stores and meeting rooms and
ices will have been completed, and the Union
11 have been renewed. Constructively,
ngenially, and most of all, consistently.
That's why it's iso disappointing to find that
fat's going on behind those new walls doesn't

c '~1 i 3ittn 1tai1l

Weasel

By Robert Lence
eI

0

Edited and managed by students'at The University of Michigan

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. XCII, No. 123.

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
No justice for busing

FOUR YEARS AT T141S PLACE-~
AND jT'LL- ALL BE OVPR
IN A COUPL~., OF MONTHS.
FOUR ' (EARS! YE? f E
SEM PEOPLE COME ANDP
='fs~gA oi . .
o
O
fb

-THAT 11ff TONE of THE
PLAo HS IAP OVER
TH-LS C Vt ER
.5018T~tt,*T\no (Tt
TESVDls

'(F- f
TRAT& IT.
IT s THE..
STUDENTS
-r
4

- S C U L V
SWOR TIMMTTH
A keNAuN
U
(/I I

6

- AST WEEK Sen. Robert Packwood
(R-Oregon), in a surprisingly
andid statement, warned that the
epublican Party may be writing off
he needs of its black constituency. As
to illustrate"the veracity of Pack-
ood's assertion, Republicans pushed
hrough a Senate Will last Tuesday that
riW offdesegregation, throuigh
.10"ican conservatives won their,
iggest Senate victory to, 'date with
assage of a bill that virtually,
liminates school busing for racial in-
egration. The legislation. offers a
ouble dose of restrictions-it forbids
ederal courts to order busing to a
chool more than five miles or 15
-minutes from a child's home, and bans
the Justice Department from using
funds to litigate busing-inspired court
cases.
The Republicans who support the an-
ti-busing bill hope to legislate away a
controversial practice. Busing,' an ad-
mittedly imperfect solution to
segregation, uproots children from
schools close to home and can incite
{ ugly opposition from parents and
school officials.

racially balancing the nation'sschools.
Eliminating busing would, in effect,
help make landmark court decisions
on desegregation unenforceable. The
government would be promoting the
double standard of supporting in-
tegration, while banning the means of
acquiring it.
The Senate bill probably will be
defeated by a large measure in the
House. The bill will have implications,
however, even after any defeat: Ban-
ning court-ordered busing is just one of
several Senate efforts to strip the,
federal courts of their jurisdiction. The
bill sets a dangerous precedent for.
overruling the integrity of the federal
court.
Republicans, smug with their blow
against busing, are priming to in-
troduce legislation reversing several
progressive, court decisions. The ban
on school prayer and the legal status
of abortion are likely targets of future
Republican legislative hatchets.
Some Republicans may be ready to
write off blacks-and integration effor-
ts to boot-unsound and appalling as
that decision may be. But
congressional opposition must prevent
Republicans from writing off the
justice of federal court decisions as
well.

I
- ti.

0

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Calling GEO dictatorial is inaccurate

it however flawed, busing still of-
a practical, necessary method of

To the Daily:
A letter from Catherine Mark-
wiese, a graduate student staff
assistant, 'raised the question
"whether we are being allowed to
form a union or forced." (Daily,
March 3). As graduate students,
we are taught that a wrong
question rarely generates a right
answer. The Graduate Em-
ployees Organization, the union
to which she refers, is not in the
process of being formed either
voluntarily or by force. Like most
of the institutional framework at
this university, GEO existed
before Markwiese arrived here.
Unlike most of that framework,
GEO was formed by graduate
students for graduate students.
What "forced" those graduate
students to unionize was the
deterioration of employment
conditions which they were
otherwise powerless to change.
Specifically, the union won its fir-
st contract in 1975 after the ad-
ministration had attempted to
take away tuition grants for
graduate assistants. Markwiese
can perhaps be excused for her
ignorance of the fact that the
tuition grant and many of the in-
surance benefits and other con-
tractural protections she now
receives are a direct result of
earlier GEO actions. If she had to
live without these benefits, we
wonder if she would be so ready
to mouth "right to work"
arguments that have long been a
smoke-screen for exploitation
and union-busting.
Misapprehension on GEOg is
no doubt largely a product of the
administration's union-busting
legal strategy. After GEO
negotiated-apd its membership
approved-a second contract in
1976, the administration commit-,

ted an unfair practive that
precipitated a five-year court
case between the University and
GEO. As a result of this lengthy
litigatio, it was not until this .
past N6vember that the 1976 con-
tract was finally put into effect,
in compliance with the order of
the Michigan Employment
Relations Commission.
GEO's victory, resulting in
the implementation of this con-
tract, has been dictated upon
Markwiese only in the sense that
she is the, beneficiary of a
struggle fought and won by other,
graduate students before her.
Without the contract, the con-
ditions under which she works
would be dictated to her by the
administration. With the full
legal sanction under which the
union is now operating, she has
the power to effectively resist
being dictated to in that way, if
she chooses to join with her fellow
graduate students in the renewed
struggle for a living wage and
improved working conditions.
Should she do so, she will find
that GEO is far from being the
"dictatorial oligarchy" that her
imagination has conjured. In-
deed, it is a highly denocrati6
and open organization, incom-
parably more so than the Univer-
sity's central administration.
Markwiese further asks, "Do
the graduate students working in
the University system need o,r
want a union?" The real wages
of GSAs (after deduction of the
mandatory tuition kickback and
adjustment for inflation) have
declined by over 20 percent in the'
last four years, more than half of
that in the last year alone. That.
fact in itself ought to answer the,
question of whether we "need" a
union. As to whether we "want" a

unior there are two ways of ob-
taining an answer to that
question. One would be to hold a
referendum, as Markwiese
proposed. The other way, the one
we have chosen, is to see whether
GSAs are willing to organize
themselves for effective collec-
tive action toward negotiating a
new and improved contract. The
former method might be quicker,
but the latter is more positive and
constructive, and that is why we
have chosen it.

Rally against neo-Nazis

0

If ,Markwiese truly does not
want a union, if she would rather
resign herself to the,continued
decline of her real wages, if she
would rather have the conditions
of her employment dictated to
her by: the arbitrary caprice of
her employer, then she has
.chosen precisely the right course
by staying away from the union.
-Paul Harris
GEO Steering
Committee
March 3

Aw

To the Daily:
In response to Howard Witt's
suggestion,that Ann Arbor ignore
the rally planned by the Security
.Services Action Group (neo-
Nazis) in front of our City IFall on
March 20, the Ann Arbor. All-
Peoples Congress suggests that,
our community support the anti-
Nazi rally planned for that day.
It is unrealistic of Witt to ignore
the threat which a neo-Nazi
movement represents. History
shows this is so. Ask the Jews of'
pre-World War II Germany, or
the oppressed peoples of Chile
and Argentina today (to name
some victims of 20th century
fascism). *But considering that,
neither Witt, nor anyone from the
Daily opserved the meeting of the
Coalition to Fight the Right which
was attended by more than
seventy people in the Michigan
Union on March 2, such ignoran-
ce is comprehendable.
At a time when poor and
yorking people suffer from
Reaganomics, cutbacks, racism
and war, we need to unite against
Reaganism and its front groups

like the neo-Nazis. When students
lose 50 percent of their federal
funds (the proposal for fiscal
1983) our local economy suffers.
When Reagan cuts funds for low7
income housing and unem-
ployment during the. depression
in Michigan, our people are hurt.
When he tries to prevent busing
necessary to stop segregation in
our schools, we know what he
really wants. When the Pentagon
is glutted beyond control while
America menaces- our foreign
neighbors with military. adven-
turism, our very survival and
future are at stake.
By promoting bigotry and hate
the 'Nazis are servants of the
Reagan program. All of up,
black, Asian, native, white;
youth, students and seniors; the
disabled and jobless; women aid
men; gay and straight must turn
out at City Hall on March 20 Ln
unity to build a movement to fight
Reagan and the Nazis.
-Gary Kwapil
Ann Arbor All-Peoples
Congress
March 3

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Wasserman

I TIIOb)&HT YOU KID
WAS 60OING TO COLLEGE H~E DID

E
~,Iu
U

W~tATt'INE. WE COULD
voti W oKE? ONLY RD
ORIENTAT0/1

! ' R

I

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