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March 16, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-16

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0

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, March 16, 1982- The Michigan Daily
Where will ou be this Saturday?
So much for idealism. in a few tailgate parties and you'll have it all. And if the experiences at previous neo-Nazi -
There were a few of us-blacks, Jews, It's the old lure of blood-the same thing that marches around the country are any in- Mkhigan Briefing SPrs
Catholics, laborers-who had hoped the com- draws thousands to boxing matches and dication, it will be the anti-Nazi demonstrators '-S CTONGRUPCo,~I i
munity could simply ignore the neo-Nazis who bullfights. who will suffer the brunt of the injuries. When
say they are coming to Ann Arbor on Saturday But before you go down to watch Saturday's the neo-Nazis tried to march in Detroit last i
to march in front of City Hall. festivities, consider a few points: summer, club-swinging police officers bashed
But now it's too late for-that. Now the " The neo-Nazis are looking for a fight. These a few heads in the unruly crowd-anti-Nazi
radicals, revolutionaries, activists, com- vile cretins-many of whom are only pimply heads, mind you. The neo-Nazis fled to safety in
munists, socialists, and unionists have announ- white-trash teenagers-are hoping for a big their rented van. And police officials had told -'Z, ,
ced plans to "stop the Nazis" with a counter- counter-demonstration. They know conflict everyone beforehand that they couldn't
demonstration at City Hall. Jewish and breeds publicity, and publicity-especially bad guarantee anyone's safety. Ann Arbor City ....S77
publicity-swells the ranks. The neo-Nazis ac- Administrator Terry Sprenkel has declined Karl RdllSU RE
tually reprint entire newspaper stories about comment on the city's plans for security at el rAN GYOURS!
their rallies and distribute them as propagan- Saturday's demonstration. I d U r -der T.
da. "Nazis parade in Birmingham." "Nazi " Although unsubstantiated, rumor has it that
rally ends in wild melee." "Neo-Nazi pickets the neo-Nazis have invited their friends from
defy city, police." The headlines are virtual in- the Ku Klux Klan in Howell to mingle amongHdtohdtihefBas- hghum
O ~ rvitations to those bigots circling the fringe of Saturday's crowd-sans sheets, of course. That , HT
the underclass who are looking for a good club way, when things start to heat up, they can bust PWER
W ttto join. And a club with only a handful of mem- a few "commie-pinko" heads before the police
bers that can stir up thousands of angry even realize what's happening. That's - --
citizens is a very good club indeed. right-the burly fellow standing next to you
" The radicals are looking for a fight, too. while you're yelling "Death to the Nazis!" Newspapers: The neo-Nazis use them for ready-made
Christian leaders have endorsed a peaceful in- "There is no sense in calling on the courts and might have a steel pipe up his sleeve. propaganda.
ter-faith "solidarity" rally at the Federal cops to ban the Klan and Nazis," reads a flyer " Finally, suppose the worst happens over at
Building a few blocks away. And student from the Committee to Stop the Nazis. "We City Hall-that a full-scale riot breaks out.
governments and campus organizations and have the power to sweep the Nazis off the Sirens will start wailing, people will start the process? prophesies, hundreds of people are going to
dorm councils are handing down endorsements streets of Ann Arbor." In fact, a neo-Nazi screaming-and meanwhile, over at the Damn it, I'm scared. I think we all should be. show up anyway. I can only hope to dissuade
6f both. demonstration is just the ticket to unite the Federal Building just three blocks away, a There are those who argue that writing about those who have not yet decided to risk personal
No, idealism is definitely out. Realism is in. workers of the world into a ravenous mob- huge crowd is attending the peaceable the possibility of all this violence, engaging in injury, to contribute to a riot, to give the neo-
And realism tells me that we're in for a real sort of a dry run for the Big Revolution that's solidarity rally. Does anyone really believe such detailed doomsaying, will only encourage Nazis the attention and publicity they crave.
football Saturday this week, right down to the coming any day now. that the solidarity folks, hearing the screams more curious people to wander over to City God, I hope it rains on Saturday.
helmets worn by the opposing sides and mobs " The police, although probably not looking and wails of a riot, won't rush over to City Hall Hall on Saturday.
of spectators hoping to see a good show. Throw for a fight, likely won't hesitate to get into one. to see what's going on, broadening the chaos in Maybe so. But with or without my Witt's column appears every Tuesday.-

i
I
r

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

The Greek system revisited

Vol. XCII, No. 129

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Economic predictions:

eve 0new
MIC Sand symbols
trac'tionally are tough to decipher
even when economists agree on their
meaning. When the experts disagree,
however, it's nearly impossible to tell
what's going on.
Last week the government reported
that wholesale prices dropped by an
annual rate of 1.7 percent in February
- the first such decline in six years.
That's good news.
Several economists, however, felt
that the drop only reflected the
severity of the current recession and
measure just how listless the economy
is doing. That's bad news.
White House officials, however, said
the price drop was a good economic
sign. President Reagan's chief
economic advisor Murray Weiden-
baum called it "an indication of the
substantial progress we are making in
reducing inflation." He predicted that
the drop could lead to more consumer
spending and spur the economy into a
recovery. That's good news.
Private forecasters said the drop
was a temporary one, caused by a
combination of good luck and unique
economic conditions, such as a recent
moderation in union wage demands.
Reagan's proposed budget deficit will
thwart permanent declines in
wholesale prices anyhow, they added.
That's very bad news.

s, bad .,news
Previoqs evidence, however, gives
the most weight to the bad news. The
economy certainly is suffering accor-
ding to other production figures and
forecasts. Even White House officials
qualified their wholehearted pleasure
by refusing to take full credit for the
price drop - evidence of a hesitancy on
their part to fully trust the figures. No
matter which way you read the latest
figures, everyone agrees that
Reagan's economic strategy has not
produced its promised solution.
Another thing everyone seems to
agree on is that the "bad -news"
budget proposed by Reagan must be
modified by Congress. Last week the
leaders of several major U.S cor-
porations met with the president and
urged him to do what representatives
in Congress have also urged - cut the
projected $91 million budget deficit by
reducing military spending and raising
taxes. Businessmen fear such a huge
deficit would push the economy into a
worse state of recession.
As price indexes rise and fall, the
implications for our economy may
remain unclear. But one thing is a sure
bet. The administration's proposed
budget deficit will harm any chance
for economic recovery and growth.
That congressmen and businessmen
now agree the Reagan budget: needs
to be changed is good news indeed.

By Robert Honigman
The recent revival of the Greek system
recalls for me the heyday of the in loco
parentis ("in replace of parents") doctrine.
I don't know if the doctrine was at its height when
I attended the University (1955-58), but it was
certainly in its glory. Men and women were
segregated at opposite ends of the campus,
men in the quads and women on "the hill".
Women were locked up on weekday nights at
10:30 p.m., but could stay out until midnight
on Saturday nights. All women under 21 had
to live in University-approved housing, such
as dorms, co-ops, or sororoities, but not off-
campus apartments. A large percentage of
women rushed the sororities each year, and a
large number were heartbroken when they
weren't asked to pledge.
Looking back on those days, I'm struck by
how callous the University was. It placed
men and women at opposite ends of the cam-
pus, ostensibly for "their own good," but in
effect, because the University was running a
Victorian boarding school for young ladies in
the middle of 20th centry America. This was
not due to parental pressure, at least not the
girls' parents, since they had sent their
daughters to college to catch husbands
(something the sexual apartheid effectively
frustrated).
THE in loco parentis doctrine was par-
ticularly puzzling to me because I entered the
University at the age of 16 and I was free, as a
male, to come and go in the dorms and stay
out all night if I pleased. My sister, who was
already a sophomore at the University was
locked up each night. In addition, by the
time I was 17 I was free to move out of the
quads into off-campus housing, while she was
required to spend the rest of her University
career in the dorms.
I used to think that this callousness - this
pseudo-Victorian morality (for the University
could care less whether any of us lived or
died) - was due to the idea of "mass
solutions," or solving complex and difficult.
human problems through the simplest and
least complex means - a form of institutional
efficiency designed for the convenience of
administrators. Thus, rather than ten or
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:,

twenty girls geting pregnant each year (and
giving the University a bad name), it was
considered better form to have the girls as far
away as possible from the boys - even if this
meant that most of them graduated without
husbands.
Yet in recent years, as I came to study the
University in greater depth, a deeper reason
for the University's regulations surfaced.
Men and women i were segregated at op-
posite ends of the campus for the same reason
that the opposite poles of a battery are
separated - to create a tension which in turn
generates a current and thus powers a
system. The segregation of the sexes
powered the Greek system. The Greek
system's driving obsession was social com-
munication - bridging the gap between the
sexes with endless parties, mixers, and fix-
ups. That was its purpose, and placing men's
and women's dormitories side by side would
have gutted its purpose by providing a frien-
dly and informal social life to ordinary quad-
dies and dorm dwellers. The University, in its
Michigan House Plan (1941-41) publicly
promised that University housing would not
compete with Greek housing.
WHY DID the University want to encourage
Greek housing?
The answer can be deduced by reasoning
backwards. The Greeks were predominantly
social leaders; they dominated all campus
activities (with the exception of the Daily),
and they particularly dominated student
government, which they thought of as a
popularity contest for their individual houses.
By draining off all social leaders from the
quads-and dorms and giving them special
status - living in their own housing units, un-
supervised parties, etc. - the University ef-
fectively separated the leadership element of
the student body from the intellectual
element, and placed them in two competing
and isolated worlds.
This assured the University that student
government would be harmlessly narcissistic
and deeply loyal to the University ad-
ministration, because it would be dominated
by fraternity and sorority types who had no
interest in politics or social issues.
OF COURSE, the 1960s ended the
domination of the Greeks on campus. Co-ed

housing, increasingly bitter contact with
reality, increased grade competition, and an
increasingly commuter community all com-
bined to end the hegemony of the Greeks. The
University now uses grade competition and
the anonymity and isolation of off-campus
housing to render students politically in-
nocuous and apathetic - although it certainly
must be grateful for the recent mindlessness
of the Greek system's revival.
The Greek system is indeed enjoying a
revival and for the same reasons as in the
1950s - the lack of - any community at-
mosphere or decent housing in the University
environment, either dormitory or off-campus.
The Greeks thus are a symptom of the
bankruptcy of the University housing
policies, mixed perhapsWith the unconscious
self-interest of University administrators who
find students easier to control when played off
against each other. There's nothing wrong,
with the Greek system itself as an alternative
form of housing - it's better than nothing and
certainly doesn't deserve to be suppressed.
It's just that students deserve more alter-
natives.
Will we see a replay of the 1950s? I don't 7
think so. I think we'll see just an echo. In the
1950s, the University pretended to care about
undergraduates. But since that time the
University has become a major research en -
terprise and professional training school. It
will use the Greek system as it used it during
the 1950s - as a safety valve for the more :
socially active students and as a tacit means
of allowing students to stupify themselves;
while they are processed through the system.'
The rules of the game, however, are dif-
ferent today. The University has reached the
stage of size and prestige where people are no
longer important - not as they once were┬░
(although they really weren't that important"
then). People have become things, and the.
system no longer serves them or their needs;,
people now serve the system and its needs.
The revival of the Greek system is just an
echo of the past, not a return. Still, it's sad tow
see students so divided and so easily
manipulated by the powers that be.
Honigman, currently a lawyer, is a 1958
graduate of the University.

America must keep its

w

NICARAGUiAN Iiax
- PRISONER C N R DI TM. .S ATiET-'t
7' CLAIMS ONli'
N~< ~rEL SALVADo&
i , , 1 D' t

To the Daily:
Recently, I have noticed both
on campus and in this
publication anti-military sen-
timents. While I hope that we are
never involved in another war, I
feel that the people who have ex-
pressed these opinions have an
entirely wrong solution. The best
deterrent to becoming involved in
a war is to have a strong defense.
As everyone remembers from
their younger years, those in-
dividuals who were weak and did

not stand up for their rights were
the ones who were picked on and
taken advantage of the most. On
the other hand, those individuals
who had proven themselves to be
tough and stood up for their
rights were not bothered by
anyone except for fools. It is the
same way with nations. By
having no or inferior defenses, we
would be a prime target for
aggression or possibly even
takeover.
I too realize that modern war-
fare is deadly. I wish that wars

were still foug
and bayonets
ones injured
sonnel. But ti
today and nev
long as our
technology an
don't, we will
defensive
Therefore, we
with and pu
Russians in th
race to avo
predicament.
The freedon

"
military strong
;ht solely with rifles living that we enjoy today were
and that the only earned by the blood of our
were military per- forefathers. America was foun
his is not the case ded by individuals who felt that
er will be again. As these principles were worth
enemy possesses fighting for.
Ld weapons that we We all need to become more
be inferior in our aware of how good we have it
capabilities, here in America and take steps to
need to keep pace keep it that way. Should the need
ish ahead of the arise, I would galdly lay down my
he technology arms life to preserve America as I
id being in that know it for future generations.
-Scott sovereign
m and standard of March 15

6

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By Robert Lence

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