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February 17, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-17

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0

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, February 17, 1983

The Michigan Daily

A student's view

of problems at

the 'U

Last September senior Tom Marx
helped organize the Progressive
Student Network, a broad-based
organization concerned with
,defense research, the University's
reallocation plans, and divestment
issues. Marx also serves as one of
four student members on the
University's Research Policies
Committee. The committee recently
dealt with clarifying guidelines for
"non-classified research, and with
developing a mechanism for
regulating research. Daily staff
writers Lisa Crumrine and Jim
Sparks spoke with Marx last week
on his observations concerning the
University.
Dialogu
Daily: You are probably the most
vocal opponent of defense research
and redirection on campus. Do you
think you've changed anything or have
you become disillusioned?
Marx: As far as military research
goes, we have had quite an effect.
Researchers on the campus and the
administration feel restricted in the
types of research they can do here,
because they know if they were to do a
certain project that blatantly violates
anybody's sense of ethics, they know

we'll object to it; they know we'll find
it.
Daily: What is the connection bet-
ween the Progressive Student Network
and the Michigan Student Assembly?
Marx: I'm disillusioned with MSA
this year. It just hasn't taken as active
of a role as I would like to have seen. As
far as the actual assembly goes, I am
disappointed in it, and I feel like PSN
has taken over the role that MSA should
be doing.
Daily: At many rallies you see the
same PSN people again and again, do
you think that most students really care
about issues like divestment and defen-
se research?
Marx: I think a large number of
students do care about the issues if they
just have the-information about them.
If I were to sit down with just about any
student on this campus... and talk to
him about a particular issue and really
explain to him what is going on, I think
he would have a concern. I think
students at the University are concer-
ned about issues, but they don't always
express those concerns by showing up
at rallies.
Daily: Since the beginning of last
term, you've been working on the
Research Policies Committee trying to
set guidelines for non-classified resear-
ch. Do you think you are any further
along now than you were at the begin-
ning?
Marx: Well, first we came up with the
idea of acentral oversight committee,
similar to the Classified Research
Review panel. That came along much
quicker than I expected it to. Then it
was brought to the attention of the
committee that well, we should change

the wording of the guidelines. Some of
us objected to this, we felt you could
apply them to non-classified research,
and felt that the guidelines as they
were, were the most effective wording.
Others said this wasn't so, so we went
back and examined the wording, and it
was changed against the objections of
four or five of us. And now I feel it's
weaker, so in that sense I feel like we've
actually gone backwards. Now it looks
like we're either going to have no
mechanism for enforcing the extended
guidelines at all, or we're going to have
each college or school come up with its
own mechanism for controlling
military research. (The committee
voted to have each school form its own
mechanism yesterday).
Daily: The University has been
making budget cuts through a series of
reviews of schools and departments, do
you think these reviews have been too
secretive?
Marx: Yes, I think secretive in the
sense that if you're talking about the
priorities of the University community,
taxpayers should be involved in what's
going on. Administartors have said this
is an open process, that we aren't
keeping anything secret, but why then
aren't we seeing the reports? The
School of Natural Resources report
came out three weeks before it was
made public, and it was made public on
Christmas morning when most students
were out of town. There's something
wrong with this. I hate to use the word
conspiratorial, but I think the ad-
ministrators have in mind what they
want to do, and they're going to do it.
They're going to involve the public as
much as they can as long as they can
still do what they want to do.

Daily: Do you believe the results are
predetermined?
Marx: I think there was a predeter-
mined outcome. I think Billy Frye said
we want to save this much money, and
we're going to pursue whatever avenue
we have to to get it. This is really
shown up by the School of Natural
Resources subcommittee report.The
report praised the school, said it's a'
leader in the nation. There's no way the
subcommittee report could get around
that, and yet their recommendation
was for a 33 percent cut. It just seems to
say that the quality of the school had
nothing to do with the recommendation
for a cut. When you look at that I don't
know how you can come to any other
conclusion but that there was a
predetermined outcome. I think a num-
ber of people are becoming
disillusioned with the University ad-
ministration. I know I am.
Daily: You have frequently criticized
the University's 5-year plan to cut and
redistribute $20 million. Do you think
the University's priorities are askew?
Marx: The priorities of the Univer-
sity are not what they should be. It has
become an institution that now sees the
perpetuation of the University as its
goal and it shouldn't be. The prime
example of this is the Institute for
Labor Relations (ILIR) taking a 50 per-
cent cut in its budget at the same time
when Michigan has the largest unem-
ployment in the nation. We need to
study labor relations to know how labor
is acting and reacting at this time, in-
stead we cut it 50 percent. Then we fun-
nel money into the Center for Robotics
and Integrated Manufacturing. What is
the purpose of this center? It is to do
research on automation. Well, what
does that automation do? It puts even

Daily Photo by JEFF SCHRIER
Marx: I think students at the University are concerned about issues, but
they don't always express those concerns by showing up at rallies.
more people out of work. There's an area that hasn't even been
", What changes do you feel examined-how much waste is in-
shouitu made in the review process? curred in the administrative end? Hw v
Marx: Well, the idea of targeting cer- about cutting a few administrative
tain schools is unjust. It's wrong to cut salaries, not a few, a lot. If you go
some schools and increase others. through the salary book, the savings
There needs to be another solution. you could find there are astronomical.

Edie aae titgatT ai ty
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCIII, No. 114

420 Maynard St:
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Athletics: Regaining control

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HEN THE BIG Ten Conference
F.. was founded in 1895, athletics
-was intended to be strictly an extra-
curricular activity under the control of
faculty. But as the search for winning
teams and athletic prowess became
all-consuming, the ideal was forgotten,
leaving school's like the University
with overstuffed receipt boxes, but
poorly educated athletes and aban-
doned academic principles.
The University's athletic depar-
tment, though certainly not the worst
offender, could stand a great deal of
improvement. The University has long
been an academic leader, but in the
field of athletics, it has failed to assert
its leadership in the move to regain
faculty control over athletics.
Like most other athletic governing
bodies, the University's Board in Con-
trol of Athletics has become a mere
rubber stamp for the athletic director.
Several faculty members have admit-
ted as much. Over the years, apathetic
faculty have ceded control to Athletic
Director Don Canham and Go Blue
alumni, who now exercise inordinate
control of Michigan athletics. This con-
trol has lead to the admission of
several students a year whose athletic
skills outweigh their ability to meet
University academic standards.
Discussion of other issues-such as the
hazing of a hockey player in 1980 and
the suspension of five football players

for use of narcotics-has been prom-
ptly squelched by Canham, with the
board's acquiescence.
The Senate Assembly, the faculty
governing body that appoints faculty to
the board, needs to take more care
making those appointments. The
assembly should select faculty who are
interested in athletics and willing to
work agressively for reform.
The Michigan Student Assembly has
been just as lax in appointing student
representatives to the board. MSA,
who has so often sung the praises of
University reform and
progressiveness, appointed former
football star Norm Betts to the board,
an obvious conflict of interest.
More importantly, the number of
alumni on the board should be cur-
tailed from five to three. Most of the
alumni members have shown little in-
clination to do anything other than
follow Canham's dubious lead. And
although it hasn't happened here so
far, alumni at such schools as USC and
UCLA have been prime contributors to
the waiving of academic principles for
athletic success.
Faculty control of athletics is
quickly becoming a myth. Some tough
recommitments to an old but worth-
while ideal need to be made before
athletics as part of education becomes
a thing of the past.

~~7

0

RefiusablelRefundable
PIR GIM 0 shypocrisy

By Charles Thomson
What's PIRGIM's problem,
anyway?
For years, it's been trying to
teach us lesser mortals to fight
back. "Stand up for your rights!"
it's cajoled. "Expose consumer
fraud! Don't let yourselves be
screwed by the system!"
Yet now, when the masses act
on their own to keep the public
from being bilked out of tens of
thousands of dollars, the PIRGIM
types are outraged, indignant,
and full of whispers about some
vague conspiracy.
WHY ' THE SUDDEN
flip-flop? It might well have
something to do with the fact that
this time, it's PIRGIM that wants
to do the bilking.
For the second time in three
years, PIRGIM is asking the
Regents to change the way the
group gets its money. Instead of
the present system using the
printed stub on the SVF to solicit
funds, PIRGIM wants the
University to bill every student
for a $2 contribution. Any student
who, through false consciousness
or any other malady, chooses not

interestt, b) Young Republicans,
c) capitalist oppressors of labor,
d) litterbugs, or e) John
Birchers.
BUT THAT just isn't true.
There are plenty of
people-myself included-who
support many of PIRGIM's goals
but who are opposed to (and
offended by) PIRGIM's latest
funding plan.
PIRGIM's motivation in
making this proposal is exactly
the same motivation of most of
the companies PIRGIM tries to
fight. PIRGIM is greedy. With
the decline of student activism,
PIRGIM has found it more and
more difficult to gather enough
money to keep its programs
going. With refusable/
refundable, PIRGIM
has latched on to a system that
would allow them to collect more
mone-y than before with
considerably less effort.
Think about it: Why is it that
PIRGIM doesn't ask the Regents
to put the question "Do you wish
to contribute $2 to PIRGIM" on
the tuition bill? That would
certainly be more
straightforward. It would have a

whole new ball game.
PIRGIM has worked with the
public too long not to know a good
scam when it sees it. PIRGIM
recognizes that the average
student, though far more
"socially conscious" than the
average worker, doesn't give a
damn about PIRGIM, MSA, or
any of the other campus do-
gooders. PIRGIM realizes that
there are several thousand
students who will, if billed for a $2
contribution to PIRGIM, simply
make out the check for the full
amount without a second thought.
It is those students-the great
mass of the apathetic-whom
PIRGIM wants to exploit.
The arrogance and hypocrisy
of this plan is staggering. If
Michigan Consolidated Gas or
Detroit Edison tacked on a $2
refusable/refundable fee to
promote their version of social
justice, PIRGIM would be up in
arms. It would call a symposium
at Rackham. It would summon its
allies in the legislature. It would
ask for a new state oversight
committee to approve the
wording on all utility bills before

refusable/refundable fees. Yes,
PIRGIM has elections and a
board of directors, but that
doesn't mean that it's democratic
or even representative.
In fact, beneath its egalitarian
facade lies the real PIRGIM: a
small group of people with a
small number of interests and a
small number of projects.
There are certain types of
projects PIRGIM is attracted to,
certain ones it tends to avoid. It
would rather work on controlling
utility rate hikes than on making
liquor licenses a little less than
$100,000 in Ann Arbor-though
cheaper booze would certainly
benefit consumers. It would
rather try to control rents than
reform the state's monsterous
unemployment compensation
system-though reforming
unemployment is crucial to the
public interest. It's work isn't
particularly bad; it's just
particularly parochial.
In other words PIRGIM is a
special interest group. As such, it
deserves no special consideration
from the Regents-no matter
how many signatures it gets on
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