Page 4 Saturday, October 15, 1983
The Michigan Daily
e t a ntichigan
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIV-No. 34
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Draft law smokescreen
NO ONE really knows if the Solomon
amendment has caused more
students to register for the draft. But
the amendment has done one thing
perfectly for its supporters. It has
made everyone forget the central issue
of whether draft registration itself is
The amendment, which denies
federal financial aid to students who do
not register for selective service, is a
dangerous precedent. But everyone
has been so busy criticizing and defen-
ding the technicalities of this new twist
to registration, they have forgotten
about the larger and more dangerous
law which it is-intended to enforce.
Just take a look at what people are
saying at the University. President
Harold Shapiro has criticized the law -
not because it supports draft
registration, and not because it is an im-
proper link between education and
registration. He didn't like the amen-
dment because it made the University
do all the enforcement work.
University financial aid officials fell
right in line. They didn't like the extra
work either. Beyond that, they haven't
had much to say.
A few people, primarily faculty
leaders, have gone one step further
and attacked the law for unfairly
linking educational aid with
Yet very few people talk about draft
registration itself anymore. The silen-
ce had added a sense of correctness to
selective service. Almost no one
questions it anymore.
But with the United States in-
creasing its involvement in the Middle
East and Central America, nothing
could be more relevant.
Registration is the first step to in-
stituting a draft, and a draft is a key
step to heavy military involvement.
Registration makes the first domino in
the ominous chain teeter ever more
The Solomon amendment is cer-
tainly worth fighting. But at its core,
the debate surrounding the law is
basically an idealist one because it af-
fects so few students. If there is a real
threat to society, it comes from selec-
tive service. And people should not let
the Soloman amendment obscure that.
Reagan running? You bet
HERE'S A PEAK at Joe Piscopo's
next Saturday Night Live
Weekend Update broadcast:
"Politics. Presidential. More? You
bet. Announcement. Running?
Reagan. Finally. Sort of."
There's more, but we'll save the rest
Yes, Ronald Reagan, the president,
made it official Thursday -- almost.
He's about to become Ronald Reagan,
the candidate. What's the difference?
Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt, the
chairman of the Republican National
Committee, announced that Reagan
had given the go-ahead for the for-
mation of aereelection committee.
Reagan will make the necessary
statement to the Federal Election
But there's a catch (isn't there
always?). Reagan plans to add a
disclaimer that he might back out.
Laxalt said that the disclaimer was
necessary because if Reagan formally
declares his candidacy he would "im-
pair his credibility" as president.
As Piscopo would say, "Joke. Right?
Reagan has been running for reelec-
tion for as long as he's been president.
That isn't necessarily a problem, but
why deny it? Because it makes him
look like he is above party politics.
Jimmy Carter tried that move four
years ago during the hostage crisis in
Iran, but allthe while his underlings
were raising money and getting the
reelection machine in place. Reagan's
people have been doing the same since
his inauguration. So don't be fooled for
a minute that Reagan, Carter, or any
other president hasn't been running for
reelection all along.
So it's time for Ronald Reagan to
come out of his imaginary ivory tower
and get back into the gutter of
presidential election politics with the
rest of the candidates.
It's time to get down to some serious
If you think about
human organizations, you might
notice thattsome are more com-
plex than others. They do not run
efficiently, but their inefficiency
is built in by design. Such
organizations resemble delicate
electronic circuits and processes
fashioned skillfully and with in-
telligence to accomplish their
programs with the least damage
to their human parts.
Compared to such highly com-
plex organizations, the Univer-
sity is a simple institution. It is
hierarchical in structure with
each echelon controlling the ones
below it. The checks and feed-
backs of a complex organization,
the substantive voting powers,
and' veto powers normally con-
ferred on those whom decisions
effect in our civil communities
are all absent from the Univer-
sity. This absence is puzzling
because the University is sup-
posedly operated for the benefit
of its students.
The in loco parentis doctrine is
dead, and students are
presumably adults capable of
charting their own educational
destinies. Yet they can join the
University or leave it, but not
THE PROBLEM is not com-
munication. There is nothing a
student could tell an ad-
ministrator that an ad-
ministrator probably hasn't
heard before. It is a different
kind of problem.
Many years ago when I wrote a
term paper on student housing, I
submitted the paper to senior
housing officials at the Univer-
sity, and I noticed that while they
agreed with my conclusions and
recommendations, they did not
seem highly motivated to carry
out any of the proposals for im-
proving housing that I recom-
mended. They were not bad
people, but their indifference
puzzled me until I came upon a
metaphor that seemed to explain
their lack of concern.
It seemed to me that the
University was like a giant that
suffered from a strange ailment.
It possessed all of the normal
human senses but one-it had no
system of pain. The students
could feel pain, living in cramped
and overpriced housing. But the
head itself, the University ad-
ministration, was not in pain.
Quite the contrary, the head was
as comfortable and happy as it
could make itself.
Thus, for example, if the
giant's shoes were too tight and
housing-the giant could per-
ceive that it's feet were swollen
and blistered. But say the giant
had no idea how serious the
problem was. If it could conceal
the blisters with fine Italian
boots-the equivalent of
Feel no pain.
By Robert D. Hon igman
cupied with their research, but
the silk suit was too stylish and
handsome to abandon, why let
the body shiver for the sake of the
Thus, under the "smaller but
better" program class sizes will
grow larger, tuitions will in-
bodies as to be unable to know
how seriously hurt they may be,
to be unable to fully and deeply
care for our bodies and sustain
them, would be a fatal condition
for most of us. We would live for
awhile in a fool's paradise with
our new clothes and prestige,
So in the larger community, if
the body hurts ft votes its leaders
out of office. They share the pain
of the body. If they arrogantly
say to the body, "We know more
than you," they would get booted
out of office all the faster.
This is the sharing of pain. And
if a single person in our larger
society has problems, a court can
halt the operation of'government
and set aside a law to prevent
someone from being a victim of
organizational efficiency. That is
a pain system too.
The secret of a pain system is
that it does not substitute its
judgment for that of the head, it
simply forces the head to pay at-
tention and change its priorities.
Healing the body becomes a
number one priority; the prestige:
and the glamor become less im-
Thus, in the University, for
example, it is not necessary to
students to sit on committees or
participate in the governance of
the University. It is only
necessary to have the right to'
vote the president out of office
and veto tenure appointments.
With autonomous feedbacks in
place it would be amazing how
concerned a president and
faculty would be with keeping
class sizes low, reducing tuition,
and improving the quality of
student life-keeping the student
In our larger society we have
built finely tuned mechanisms to
keep our heads and bodies at-
tuned to each other. We know
from bitter historical experience
that this is the only way to keep
our larger society healthy. But
we haven't learned this lesson on
a smaller scale, and we've
allowed our universities to
become as sick and unfeeling as
giants without pain.
Honigman is a graduate of
the University and an attorney
in Sterling Heights.
'The students could feel pain, living in
cramped and overpriced housing. But
the head itself, the University ad-
ministration,...was as comfortable and
happy as it could make itself.'
crease-the body will suffer-but
the head can scarcely conceal its
pleasure at the new resources
directed towards its goals. If the
University were only a head with
no body, this policy would of
course be right.
But in the real world, no one
would every really wish to be a
human being who feels no pain,
however terrible pain is, unless
life itself were too terrible to live.
To live so alienated from our
able to do things and endure bur-
dens that other people who feel
pain could not do. But one day we
would suddenly sicken and die,
without really knowing until the
very end how gravely ill we were.
IN OUR larger society, bf cour-
se, we take autonomous feed-
backs'and checks and balances
for granted. We don't willingly
discard thousands of years of ex-
perience which tells us that
Unsigned editorials appearing
on the left side of this page
represent a majority opinion of the
Daily's Editorial Board.
by Berke Breathed
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