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April 05, 1983 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-05

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a6

OPINION

Page 4
Freedom and

Tuesday, April 5, 1983

The Michigan Daily

responsibility at the

'u,.

By Roger Kerson
The Women's Information Network (WIN)
Bulletin is under fire from the University ad-
-minstration. The Bulletin, a relatively obscure
campus newsletter, is published by the Univer-
sity Affirmative Action Office, as part of an
effort to increase opportunities for female em-
ployees, The Affirmative Action Office pays
printing costs, but Deeda Stanczak, a secretary
in the School of Music, serves as editor of the
Bulletin on her own time, without pay.
One of the benefits of editing a newsletter, of
course, is that you get a chance to publish your
own opinions. It happens to be Stanczak's opinion
that the best way for working womem on cam-
pus to improve their situation is to join a
union-in particular, the American Federation
of State, County, and Municipal Employees
(AFSCME), which is currently conducting an
organizing drive aimed at University clericals.
STANCZAK published her opinions in a lengthy
article in the November issue of the WIN
Bulletin, and that's why the newsletter is under
fire. New rules have been drawn up which
provide for pre-publication review of the
"general content" of Bulletin articles, and the
University administration may soon cut off
funding for the newsletter.
The University is a notorious anti-union em-
ployer. It has fought long and hard against AF-
SCME, the Graduate Employees Organization,
and the Professional Nurses Council, among
others. Imagine the surprise of the executive
offices then, when a publication funded out of
their very own pockets comes out with a strong
pro-union stance.

University officials are within their rights in
this particular attempt to restrict freedom of
expression among their employees. They put
up money for the women's bulletin, and they
have a right to control its content. Freedom of
the press, as the saying goes, is much more ef-
fective if you happen to own the press.
University officials are now revealing what
they really mean by academic freedom: They
mean freedom to express opinions which do not
threaten the financial or political interests of
the University administration.
II
The Michigan Daily is under fire from the
Michigan Student Assembly. MSA has endor-
sed a petition which accuses the Daily of
"irresponsible journalism." MSA members,
along with others, are concerned with the
Daily's alleged tendence to sensationalize or
exploit certain issues.
Many were upset when the Daily printed a
magazine feature on the "Jap" stereotype.
Fraternity and sorority members are not
pleased with the Daily's coverage of a "jungle
party" at a campus fraternity, which may have
had racial overtones.
"IRRESPONSIBLE" is actually a fairly kind way
to describe some of the alleged writing which
appears in the Daily. News articles are
frequently inaccurate in significant detail.
They are often slanted according to the writer's
bias, and they almost always contain a good
dose of bad English.
We should be generous, however, when
criticizing the Daily. The paper is not run by
professionals, but by students who are engaged
in a learning process. But whether we are
generous or vicious in our criticism of the Daily
-or even if we praise it-we should all be

outraged when we find out that the student
government has passed a resolution which cen-
sures the student newspaper.
Daily Editor-in-Chief Barry Witt does not
outrage easily, and he has reacted calmly to
the MSA vote. "I personally take the petition as
being no more than a letter to the editor, which
we publish every day," he told his crosstown
competitors, the Ann Arbor News. Someone
should tell Witt about the First Amendment.
THE First Amendment prohibits government
interference with the freedom of the press.
What would Barry Witt say, for example, if the
Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution
censuring the Ann Arbor News? Suppose
Congress condemned the Washington Post?
The situation is no less serious just because it
involves a campus newspaper and a campus
government. The principle involved is still im-
portant and should be defended just as
strongly.
Politicians-in-training at MSA have no
business telling the journalists-in-training at
the Daily what to print. The University of
Michigan is not a place for emerging leaders to
learn how to violate the U.S. Constitution.
Remeber that Nixon's dirty tricksters, who
corrupted the 1972 presidential campaign,
began their "ratfucking" careers by stuffing
campus ballot boxes.
III
Certain campus researchers at the Univer-
sity are under fire from student and faculty
groups because they work on projects for the
Pentagon which have direct military ap-
plications. The University has prohibited
classified weapons research for over 14 years,
and the faculty senate recently voted to extend
this ban to non-classified research as well.

But some professors argue that restrictions
on research violate the "academic freedom" of
the faculty to pursue investigations of their
own choosing.
WHILE I come down strongly on the side of
freedom for the Daily and for campus clericals,
I favor firm and effective restrictions on
research. Some people will see a contradiction:
After all, why doesn't academic protect
researchers, in the same way that freedom of
expression should protect campus clericals and
the Daily? There are three important distin-
ctions:
e Who pays: The University administration
pays for the WIN Bulletin, so it gets to call the
shots. The Daily pays for itself, so no one can
tell the editors what to do. Taxpayers pay for
University research, through federal grants for
specific projects, and state appropriations for
University facilities. Therefore, the public has
a right to exercise control over research ac-
tivities.
* Who sets the restrictions: If the University
administration tells WIN Bulletin editors what
to write, or if the student government does the
same to the Daily, this represents outside inter-
ference. Those of us who have argued for
restrictions on research have said all along
that such guidelines should be enforced by a
faculty committee. To have faculty research
reviewed by colleagues is an internal matter, a
self-imposed restriction by a community on its
own members.
* Advocacy and action: When enforcing the
First Amendment and other protections regar-
ding freedom of expression, courts have drawn
a clear distinction between advocacy and ac-
tion. You may be allowed to say things which it
would be illegal to actually do.
The articles which appear in the WIN

Bulletin and the Daily are advocacy. The
University administration can-and will-use
its own resources to tell its side of the story
about unions. If MSA members don't like what
they see in the Daily, they can write letters or
articles in response.
What remedy do we have against military
researchers? If a University professor designs
a weapon which the Pentagon uses, or which is
sold to another country and then used, people
will die as a result. They will no longer be able.
to write letters or articles. We can march in
protest, but the march will be too late to help
those who have been killed.
No one has questioned the right of University
professors to support the U.S. military in lec,
tures, speeches, or articles. We question their
right to support the military by designing new
instruments of death. This is an activity that 4
has been deemed anti-social by this University
and several others, including Princeton and the
University of Iowa. We want to restrict actions,
not ideas.
Every form of freedom carries with it a
corresponding responsiblity. If academic
freedom means anything, it means that faculty
should be responsible for what they write, what
they teach, and what they do in' their
laboratories. Actions which may cause
irreperable harm-such as the loss of
life-should be proscribed in advance. This 6
must not be confused with the free and open
exchange of ideas which needs to be main-
tained in all parts of the University com-
munity.
Kerson is a research coordinator for the
Michigan Student Assembly.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

6

MSA president endorses IOU

Vol. XCIII, No. 146

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

No' toMSA onB,

C

T HOSE STUDENTS who bother to
vote in the Michigan Student
Assembly elections today and
tomorrow have an opportunity to show
just how upset they are with MSA's
performance over the past- several
years. By voting no on the first two
ballot proposals, students also can
register a protest with and give a war-
ning to MSA. It is time to tell student
government that it just isn't perfor-
ming in the interest of students and
students' patience is wearing thin.
Proposal A is the MSA mandatory
fee assessment renewal plan. If passed
the fee would be set at $4.25 per
student; but the rate would be tied to
inflation: This $4.25 would be split up
among Student Legal Services ($2.90),
Course Evaluations (15 cents), the
Tenants' Union (10 cents), and MSA
($1.10).
While Student Legal Services, Cour-
se Encounters, and the Tenants' Union
provide very valuable services for
students, a vote no would tell MSA to
start providing the same solid results
as these other fine programs. It is un-
fortunate that funds for these other
programs are tied to this ill-conceived
and poorly written plan.
A vote no would tell MSA it isn't wor-
th an automatic cost-of-living increase.
If services improve, MSA can come
back to the students in the future and
ask for a legitimate increase in funds.
MSA is an important voice for
students if it is responsive to those
students. By voting no on Proposal A,
students would not be suggesting MSA
or the other groups tied to the proposal
aren't worth supporting. Thus, when
the question of funding comes before
the Regents after the election, a "no"
vote would not tell the Regents to cut
off MSA's funding. Instead, it would
say students don't like this particular
proposal. We believe it would tell the
Regents to take out the inflation clause
and maintain MSA's funding at current
levels.
A similar vote on Proposal B would
reenforce students' discontent with
ISO A .....n o. n .l, 12 a rn

office, though connected with the ad-
ministration, already is taking care of
some of the tasks planned for the cen-
ter. The Institute for Social Research
could do others. And according to
Michigan Union Director Frank Cian-
ciola, if SOAP had a full staff, it could
take on even more of those tasks.
Registering a "no" vote against
would signal student government
leaders that the time has come for
MSA to earn student support.
Likewise, Proposal C deserves a
"no" vote. This plan would raise in-
dividual college student government
fees from 50 cents per term to 75 cents
per term. Most of the individual
colleges' student governments do next
to nothing as it is.'
There are a few college governments
that do provide worthy services, par-
ticularly LSA Student Government.
But most of the college governments
are like Rackham, which has trouble,
getting enough people to run for the
available positions.
Proposal D is the only proposition
worthy of a "yes" vote. It would give
the Coordinator of Minority Affairs one
vote in the MSA steering committee. If
passed, Proposal D would be a step
toward rebuilding MSA's reputation
among minority students. The
proposal would give the minority af-
fairs coordinator a voice in setting the
agenda for MSA, which means the con-
cerns of minorities will come before
all of the elected representatives on a
more regular basis.
The utter ridiculousness of Proposal
E highlights some of MSA's fundamen-
tal problems. The proposal, as
phrased, says: "Do you feel the process
outlined in the five-year 'Redirection'
Plan has been an adequate response to
the current financial crisis of the
(University)?"
How can MSA expect students to
give an informed answer to that
question with a "yes" or "no"?
If MSA expects to be the student
voice, it needs to ask questions students
can give informed answers to. We
urgP e idents not to answer this

To the Daily:
After intensive sessions with
each of the Michigan Student
Assembly presidential and vice
presidential candidates, I
strongly recommend that the
student body support Mary
Rowland and Jono Soglin of It's
Our University (IOU). It is my
feeling the IOU exists as the only
party capable of active student
representation due to their
knowledge of the issues, a strong
background of organizing, and a
dedicated, creative approach to
participation.
As president, Mary Rowland
would be able to succeed where
others would fail. Her platform
indicates an understanding of the
issues rather than memorized
rhetoric. Most importantly her
experience indicates that she will
affect change once in office. In a
time of contracting University
resources, Rowland has the ideas
and the experience to work on
financial aid, the waning state
allocation, and redirection. Her
committment to affirmative action
tion and minority affairs
illustrates her sense of dedication
to all students. Of all the can-
didates, Rowland is the most sin-
cere about running as a student
advocate.
As a recipient of the MSA
"president's award," Jono Soglin
has distinguished himself on the
assembly. His experience as vice
president of legislative relations
gives him the edge over all other
vice presidential candidates this
year. As an advocate for student
financial aid, Soglin personally
lobbied members of Congress
from Michigan, served on the
University's Financial Aid
Review of Services Committee,
wrote, printed, and distributed
the Voter Information pamphlets
last fall, and registered students
to vote. As a team, IOU's
Rowland andsSoglin will better
the quality of student life.
Other presidential and vice
presidential candidates are not
as promising. They lack the
knowledge and experience to be
effective. In many cases, I ques-
tiontheir sincerity and desire for
involvement.
Although seemingly
knowledgeable of University
issues, ACT's presidential slate
appears more interested in cam-
paigning than in affecting
change. Between the two can-
didates for president and vice
president, they have run the
colorful gamut of avante-garde
issues. Upon investigation,
however, one will discover that
this slate's "record" for com-
.. * .. - _a- rrh.. l... M e

ACT has promising to "act." IM-
PACT's main goal is to bring
MSA back to the students by
capitalizing upon simple gim-
micks - such as slide shows and
free popcorn - rather than by
grappling with financial aid and
security. After a year on the
assembly, IMPACT's presiden-
tial candidate realizes that there
are issues, however, his under-
standing and capacity to deal
with these issues has not im-
proved. Unfortunately, his vice

presidential candidate does not
compensate for his lack of in-
sight.
Finally, The British Humour
Party (BHP) claims to -be the
most pragmatic student party.
But this seems to be a thin
disguise for its lack of knowledge.
A few of its isolated ideas are
realistic, though without the
working knowledge of MSA or the
University little would be accom-
plished for the student body. This
lack of knowledge would prove

destructive to the credibility of
-student advocacy.
Mary Rowland and Jono Soglin
of IOU have the best record of ac-
complishment as well as a
strong, practical platform
focused on student needs. Such a
combination will prove a strong
voice in issues which affect all of
us.
-Amy J. Moore
President,
Michigan Student Assembly
April 3

Student Legal Services deserves aid

6

To the Daily:
Returning from Spring Break
last year, my husband and I
found that our ceiling had collap-
sed in our apartment. We had
only lived there a short time, and
being a "new" modern unit, it was
a shock. A housing inspector frm
the city of Ann Arbor condemned

the apartment, forcing us to
move immediately.
Then the trouble started. Our
landlord said he wouldn't return
our security deposit, pay for
moving expenses, or any related
expenses from our awkward
position. Within a weeks time we
had lost $800, not to mention our
sanity.

Candidates react .. .

To the Daily:
After reading the editorial on
the MSA "elections ("Pay IOU
with MSA votes," Daily, April 3)
in Sunday's paper, I feel com-
pelled to reply and set the record
straight on some points.
As the MSA vice president for
communications this past year, I
have, along with my committee.
accomplished several items.
These have included creating a
slide show about MSA and
showing it to all dorms and in the
fishbowl; organizing a petition
drive to save the vending
machines in the graduate and
undergraduate libraries; and
assisting in petition drives for the
weatherization proposal and
against the Solomon Amen-
dment.
Additionally, Lynn Desenber,
my vice presidential running
nate has been involved in
MSA's Women's Task Force and
security committees, which the
Daily neglected to mention in its

editorial.
Our plans for fighting redirec-
ition entail more than involving
more students on the review
committees, contrary to what the
Daily stated. We plan to involve
MSA as the unifying body for all
of the different colleges un-
dergoing redirection. Also, we
will set up teach-ins and
workshops on the consequences
of budget reallocation.
Contrary to the editorial, our
plan for the ticket surcharge was
approved by the student body last
year. Thus, we feel that it is
worth looking into.
Furthermore, our proposal to
increase financial aid was "to
allocate a small percentage of
general research funds to aid,"
not to take money from the
"general research fund."
MSA deserves effective, con-
scientious leadership. I believe
that IMPACT can offer that.
-Steve Schaumberger
IMPACT presidential candidate
April 4

Not knowing where to turn with
limited funds, we contacted
Student Legal Service. Im-
mediately, they told us the
precautions we should take to
protect ourselves. We received
excellent legal advice. Paul
Teich, an attorney at Student
Legal Services, handled our case
and quickly retrieved our money
as well as damages. And the onl
cost was a small amount of our
time.
We urge you to vote on April 5
and 6 for the Michigan Student
Assembly which funds the
Student Legal Services. It's a
small fee for when you might
need it most.
-Mary Kathryn Smolinski
Alan Smolinski
March 30
A CT misses
on MSA News
To the Daily:
Throughout his campaign,
MSA presidential candidate
Marc Dann (ACT) has publicized
his desire for a "recognizatioq'
of the MSA News. Unfortunately,
Dann has never approached
anyone onsour staff to discuss the
issue or he might come to at least
some understanding of our
organization.
His pretend knowledge, high-
handed resolve, and obvious lack
of respect for an organization of
which he has no knowledge reveal
an improper attitude for a can-
didate just now appearing on the
MSA scene. A dedicated grouppf
people has worked a multitude
of hours to establish a newspaper
they hope will be seriously
published for many years to
come. Is Dann looking to start
from square one on every MSA
project? If he isn't, he should be
more careful in his campaign
assertions. If he is he will be as
ineffective as his pronosals for.

. .. to endorsement editorial

To the Daily:
As the vice presidential can--
diate with ACT, I am writing in
response to the Daily endor-
sement editorial of April 3. While
the Daily is certainly entitled to
its opinion, several aspects of our
positions were misrepresented.
In rejecting Marc Dann and
ACT, the Daily cites an alleged
shortcoming in our proposals. It
claims that "Dann onoses the

vocates some changes in the
redirection process. While some
students and faculty have said
that the University should begin
reviewing all existing facets of
the University simultaneously for
possible budget. cuts, Dann calls
this method impractical.
"Instead, he says the Univer-
sity should set a schedule to
review all schools, colleges, and
,rn-,.- nnn rpO.. lar ,hack to

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