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January 21, 1983 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-21
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Frustration Page 1
Struggling against reticient administrators on one
front and apathetic students on the other, campus
student government leaders keep fighting for a small
voice in University decision-making. Cover photo by
Brian Masck.
Jackson jazz Page 3
Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society
do the Mandance at their two jazz shows on January
22 in the University Ciub.
Gandhi Page 4
Twenty years in the making, Richard Atten-
borough's Gandhi makes a strong bid for epic of the
year, chronicling the life of the lawyer-turned-non-
violent statesman.
Happenings Pages 5-8
Your guide to fun times for the coming week in Ann
Arbor. Film capsules, music previews, theater notes,

student protest ... They hold all the
cards. Your only real ability is your,
ability to persuade them."
UT PERSUADING peevish admi-
nistrators to do anything can be
difficult - particularly when you're not
sure of your backing. It's hard to con-
vince an administration bureaucrat of
the virtues of your position when your
fellow student government politicos are
trying to undermine you. .
Dirty politics has become something
of a tradition in the University's student
governments - with tactics ranging
from mere snide stabs in the back to
rigged elections.
"I was really surprised to find how
well developed the political attributes
were in students already. I thought they.
didn't learn dirty tricks until they
graduated," said Neumeier. "People
were good at stabbing each other in the
back whenever they could. While that
made for some amusement oc-
casionally, I found that quite often they
spent all of their time arguing between
each other and not out fighting the ad-
"And," he said, "the administration
could sit back and say, 'Isn't this
grand? We don't even have anyone
complaining to us because they can't
even make up their minds about what
they want down there at MSA.' " -
Campus political parties in-
stitutionalize petty politics, some
student government leaders say. While
the student parties are needed during
the annual elections to organize can-
didates, they serve mainly to en-
courage division on the student councils
once the ballots are counted.
"They weren't politics motivated out
of philosophy," Lindsay said. "What
happened was that certain individuals

were aligned with SABRE and others
were aligned with PAC - you wouldn't
talk, and you back-stabbed. It was
"Even in appointments, the 'ins' got
on and the 'outs' were out," said
Neumeier, who himself was appointed
by MSA to several University commit-
tees. "It was unfortunate because
sometimes there were- some very
qualified people or some people who
didn't have political connections who
didn't get on. It was a very difficult
system for people to crack unless they
were connected somewhere up in MSA
- if you were a friend of a friend or
For Lindsay, the triviality and im-
maturity of student politics became too
much. One December afternoon in his
senior year, while attending another
seemingly endless MSA subcommittee
meeting, he quit. "I was sick of the
bickering and the infighting of the
people on the committee. It was just
such a pain in the ass," he said. "I got
so tired of continually having to play
politics that I just got up in the middle
of the meeting and said, 'My term is
now over. Thank you and goodbye.' "
N EGO, HOWEVER much it enjoys
the title "student leader," can get
a little battered when faced with the
constant struggle against such petty
politics, against disinterested students
and reticent administrators. Throw in a
typical course load, with midterms and
papers, and the demands on time can
be overwhelming sometimes, every
government leader agrees.
Many student government leaders, as
the time pressures of their jobs grow,
watch their grades slide and hopes of
graduate or law school fade. A problem
almost all of them say they had to deal

with is "burnout," the feeling that
maybe all of the trouble just isn't worth
"I was putting in about 90 hours a
week in the office," said LSA senior
Amy Moore, who is currently president
of MSA. "I was always in the office.
Whenever I'd go on vacation, I'd
always call in to the office every day. I
was realizing that I was becoming
MSA ... It's frustrating to be so tired
and get so little rewards. You put so
much time in, with very little
recognition, and you're watching your
academic life go down the drain."
"There's a point when you just say
'Why is this worth it? I'm just ruining
my life. I don't have a job and I'm not
doing anything that begins to resemble
academic excellence.' And you start to
wonder why."
"Burnout is really a big problem,"
said Talmers. "It affects your total per-
formance, your perception of yourself,
your ability to do work, whether what
you're doing is worthwhile at all.
"When you're burned out you just
don't have the same sense of purpose.
You just don't know why you're there,"
she said. "You're so tired. You can't
think. Everything overwhelms you.
Everything is just coming at you and
you can't stop it. Like you're falling,
falling into this deep hole."
The only cure for burnout, most
everyone agrees, is escape. A tem-
porary but complete withdrawal from
all of the pressures of school and work.
Most leaders recover from burnout and
don't quit altogether. And, in the end,
almost all of them look back at their
experiences in student government af-
ter several years with fondness.
The fact is that despite all the petty
politics, despite all the administration's
wariness and despite widespread

apathy, sti
thrives on 1
"If you
say 'not ve
thing is th
against otl
example, t
at Yale..
tion," he <
a lot mor
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try." And I
student go
tive studen
things that
certain goE
has some tl
an office,
things are
some thing.
"I know
of things tr
do because
big roles (
and that
reason tha
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such a big r
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complish ac
David M

Gandhi: Struggle against oppression
and bar dates, all listed in a handy-dandy, day-by-day
schedule. Plus a roster of local restaurants.
Cracked Crab Page 9
The mussels and lobsters are served crackling with
steaming chips at one of Ann Arbor's crispiest
seafood eating places. Get a leg up on the crab limbs

or an honest look into the sole with this week's
Old Times Page 12
The Michigan ensemble Theater's new production
of Harold Pinter's Old Times is a comic mystery,
playing this week at the New Trueblood Arena. Three
friends attend a nostalgic reunion, wherein they
remember past experiences that never happened.

Weekend Weekend is edited and managed by students on the Weekend, (313) 763-0379 and 763-0371; Michigan
Friday, January 21, 1983 staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar- Daily, 764-0552; Circulation, 764-0558; Display Adver-
Vol. ussuel13 bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition tising, 764-0554.
Magazine Editor............Richard Campbell of the Daily every week during the University year
Assistant Editor ...................Ben Ticho and is available for free at many locations around the Copyright 1983, The Michigan Daily
campus and city.
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