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March 03, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-03

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4

OPINION

Page 4 Thursday, March 3, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Protest on military research overblown

I

By Kevin O'Connor
From reading The Michigan Daily and the
remnants of propaganda around the University
(not to mention the graffiti) one would think
that the University is engaged in some God-
awful, unrestricted, murderous types of
research, and the students are fed up.
In reality, a small number of students who
have access to large amounts of money and a
great amount of time are dispersing their
narrow-minded views, accusing everyone else
of their own narrow-mindedness. The money
most often comes from MSA, which is funded
through mandatory student assessments, and
people often have the absurd idea that when
MSA talks, the entire student body agrees.
(Though in reality, only 12% of University
students vote in MSA elections).
I AM A student on the Research Policies
Committee who also has strong opinions on the

question of research done here. My focus does
not lie so much on the question of military-
funded research; I look at the more general,
and vitally more important question of
academic freedom.
I personally would not be interested in doing
military-related research, though I do not con-
demn scientists who feel a strong commitment
or responsibility in this area. This difference in
philosophy may be a result of many causes.
Perhaps one cause is that persons doing that
type of work recall World War II (and may
have lived through it), or perhaps they have
come from oppressed territories, or strongly
believe in our country and feel a need to defend
it.
I come from a typical U.S. environment
where I have never experienced war (except
for our social blunder in Vietnam). Still, I do
not condemn our entire military; I believe that
it is necessary. The University would be
hypocritical if it denounced funds from the

Pentagon.
DEFENSE research contributes only 4 per-
cent to the entire research budget here. The
research "in question" contributes less than
one percent of the entire research budget.
Surprised? These noisy students would like to
make you believe that the "military-industrial
complex" is rapidly consuming our university.
This surely doesn't justify those
"questionable" projects, and I will make no at-
tempt to do so here.
The University does all sorts of research that
many groups find offensive. Our medical
school (and we all know medicine only strives
for good) does research on abortion and has no
doubt pondered the question of euthenasia,
while these subjects continue to be controver-
sial. How about the business school? I'm quite
sure they do research to maximize profits and
minimize overhead (capitalistic pigs!).
Engineers create their robots who will soon be
writing tomorrow's TV shows if we don't stop

them now.
MY POINT is that to create laws or
guidelines that encompass all of the morality of
man is impossible. To create a committee im-
mune to political, sociological, economic,
religious, and other biases is even more dif-
ficult. To establish an "oversight" committee
would be a serious mistake.
Unclassified research is open to all of the
public (yes, including those "commies") and
should be guided by the administration, in-
dividual colleges, professors and their
colleagues, and the community. To establish a
policing group would be an embarrassment for
one of the greatest research institutes in the
country.
My real disappointment stems from the
faculty response to all of this propaganda and
blowing of horns. I am appalled by the mistrust
of colleagues that has developed here. The
committee received about 150 letters that were

gladly welcomed and that greatly aided us in
our decisions.
I separated these letters into . three,
categories: those supporting our intentions,.
those denouncing them, and those who thought.
this whole witch-hunt was absurd and an insult-
to the academic community. I found many of-,
the letters denouncing our intentions to be full.
of emotion rather than reason, much like our
small group of students.
This lame conflict has helped many students
(including me) make their decisions about pur
suing graduate studies. Not only are you
professors horribly underpaid, but soon you
may not even be able to have the freedom to
pursue your choice of academics. You are all
"Dr. Frankensteins" and will be treated as
such.
O'Connor is a member of the Research
Policies Committee and a senior in the
College of Engineering.

_

Gli ft tl an a l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 481049
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Keeping the police honest

Sinclair

CONGRESS ANNOUNCED TODAY
THOUSANDS OF WORKE FMS C

A t3(LL TO EMPLOY
)N VITAL, Much
oJtCT5. AMOM THE
TI1P O' NEIL MEMORIAL

NEPED

PN)ILI C * WDRKS MR

Sitv
f'lot-

.I

PLANNED 1PROJCT

LIBRARY ,

THE. NWARP IAKFIR IWAY REST AREA

THE SUPREME COURT, long the
protector of individual rights, has
a chance to reaffirm that role in a case
now before it. If the court refuses, it
will be rejecting the landmark ex-
clusionary rule which strictly guards
against encroachment of the Fourth
Amendment guarantee against
unreasonable searches and seizures
for 69 years.
The present case involves a
Bloomingdale, Ill. couple arrested for
illegally shipping marijuana from
Florida to Illinois in 1978. Police ob-
tained a search warrant based only on
an anonymous letter. The Illinois
Supreme Court said the 350 pounds of
marijuana seized from the couple's car
could not be used as evidence against
them. The court ruled that police did
not have "probable cause" to obtain a
warrant.
Now the federal government is
asking the Supreme Court to relax the
rule to allow police to get away with
"reasonable mistakes" in gathering
evidence. Defining how far
"reasonable" goes, though, is what is
so scary about changing the rule.
The exclusionary rule was created
by the court to ensure, that law enfor-
cement enforcers do not become law
abusers in attempting to obtain

evidence on suspected criminals. And
the law they were protecting from
abuse is the highest law in the land, the
Constitution. In effect, what the
federal government would like to do is
subordinate the Fourth Amendment of
the Constitution to the whims of police
officers.
No one will deny that some guilty
people do go free because police have
messed up on a technicality, such as
opening a trunk without probable
cause. But that is not the fault of the
system, but of the people charged with
carrying out the system's rules.
If Court moves to relax the ex-
clusionary rule, the danger of police
abuse or the conviction of an innocent
person would outweigh any benefit
from allowing fewer guilty people to go
free.
What is needed is not a relaxation of
the strict rules protecting individual
rights from police powers. Instead,
police and other government officials
need to work more effectively under
the current rules and guard against the
"honest mistakes" that police and
Reagan administration officials com-
plain about so often. The path to ease
the nation's crime problem is not made
clearer by treading on constitutional
rights.

THE JiM WKi16HT CLOVERLEAF, TH
FEIERA OFFICE 3UILP INC, Th E
FAk.LKAp SPUR ...

II

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

R
Republican deny ant-PIGln

;I

To the Daily:.
As Chairman of the Michigan
College Republican
Organization, I most vehemently
deny any formal connection,
either in establishing or coor-
dinating, between our
organization and the Student
Committee for Reform and
Progress (SCRAP). While I can-
not deny that college republicans
may be involved in the
organization, I have no
knowledge of the fact. I genuinely
resent the innuendos and
allegations made by Wendy
Rampson in your article
"PIRGIM alleges political at-
tack" (Daily, March 2).
It appears Rampson is
grasping at straws as her
organization is coming under
greater pressure to change its
funding system. But why attack
the Michigan College Republican
Organization? If her information
network were as sound as it is
touted to be, she would obviously
know that the College Republican
National Committee does not
represent the views of Michigan
College Republicans. And, she
should also know that the
National Committee does not do
much, if any, work in the state of
Michigan.
So, why is she attacking the
Michigan College Republican
Organization, and more impor-
tantly, why is The Michigan
Daily reporting such muck-
raking drivle? I believe the an-
swer to the first question has
something to do with a memo.

College Republican National
Committee.
As for the second question, I
believe the answer lies in the
saying "It sells papers." The
University of Michigan has few
burning questions other than
redirection in several schools. To
be sure, these are burning
questions in those schools and on
the Michigan Student Assembly,
but they do not cut across school.
lines like a group like PIRGIM.
So, when an interesting tidbit of

allegation with some timely cir-
cumstantial evidence arrives, it's
"off to the races." It is unfor-
tunate, I believe, that a paper
that revels in its "Ninety-Three
Years of Editorial- Freedom"
would not have yet learned the
difference between fact and a
good creative story by Rampson.
I believe it is a disservice to your
readers and certainly does
nothing to enhance the reputation
of The Michigan Daily as a bona
fide piece of journalism.

I sincerely hope that the Daily'
will cease "spitting on the college
Republicans," but, as always, we
have raincoats handy to weather-
the storm. Your printing of un .
substantiated allegations hurts
the Michigan College Republican,
Organization, the University of-
Michigan, and the reputation of
the Daily. Please, use your jour-
nalistic talents more produc-
tively in the future.
-Karl Edelmann
March 2

Of PIR GIM and commies

To the Daily:
So now SCRAP is a Republican
front organization?
Well, it figures that PIRGIM
would say that. After all,
everyone knows that PIRGIM is
a Soviet puppet. Why, just look at
all of the evidence: PIRGIM and
commie have the same number
of letters. So do PIRGIM and
pinkos-and they both start with
a p!
And they worked for the
nuclear freeze, and everyone
knows what Reader's Digest said
about the people who worked for
that. (Shucks, if you can't believe
Reader's Digest, what can you
believe?) And PIRGIM wants to
interfere with our God-fearing,
All-American free enterprise
system-telling companies that
they have to do things they don't
want to.
Yup, no doubt about it;

Dick" never had it so good. Your
assertion sounds like something
from the House Un-American Ac-
tivities Committee investigating
campus unrest in the '60s. You
expect that to wash?
PIRGIM's support has been
waning in recent years. Con-
tributions through the SVF are
down, and at least once in the last
few years have fallen below the
20 percent minimum set by
PIRGIM's contract with the
Board of Regents.
When PIRGIM was first
organized in 1972, 16,000 students
signed petitions supporting it; by
1980, the number of students
signing petitions dropped to 8000.
Only 5200 students signed this
year's "petition for a stronger
PIRGIM"-hardly an over-
whelming mandate from the

student body.
PIRGIM itself predicted that
its support would decline as tim4
went on. And now that it has,
PIRGIM would have us blame it
all on the ICC-the International
Conservative Conspiracy.
Nobody could spontaneously op-
pose the special status of an
organization that claims to make
flowers grow and puppies happy.
Time to look at the facts,
PIRGIM. You don't represent all
of the students any more than the
Sparticus Youth League or the4
Midsipman's Glee Club does.
Students don't need a Republican
conspiracy to see that. And yes,;
many of us have spontaneously
organized to end PIRGIM's,
sacred cow status on campus.
-George Minde
March2

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