Page 2-The Michigan Daily - Sunday, February 12, 1984
Sudarkasa set to
By GEORGEA KOVANIS
Fourteen years ago, Niara Sudarkasa
fought against the University ad-
ministration as part of the Black Action
Movement strike. For 11 days, Sudarkasa
and other black activists shut down
classes, demanding more represen-;
tation on campus. She wrote the com-
muniques, and strike leaders met at her
Sudarkasa is still fighting today, but
she now battles to fulfill these promises,
of long ago from the inside.
ON FEB. 1, she moved into the newly
created position of associate vice
president for academic affairs with the
task of luring more black students to
campus and keeping them here.
"In the days of the WAM strike, on
some occasions, I was confronting the
administration," Sudarkasa says.
"Now I see my role as challenging the
administration from within. I think the
administration has asked to be
challenged. It doesn't mean confron-
Soon she will be working inside the
Fleming Administration Building,
dealing with reports and programs, but
in 1970, when strikers rallied in front of
the building, the order of the day was
"IT WAS A lot of excitement,"
Sudarkasa recalls. "I remember the
morning that the women students"
decided to help the boycott by
picketing parking structures...We
decided that only women could do this
because if there were no males there,
we would have less risk of getting run
The theory was good, but she didn't
find drivers quite so attentive to gen-
der. "I remember being almost run
over at the Thompson St. parking struc-
ture and thinking afterwards, 'My
goodness, my son might be motherless
as a result of this strike,"' she said.
The goal in 1970, which the University
promised to achieve, was 10 percent
black enrollment. This year, black
enrollment dipped to 4.9 percent, down
.3 percent from last year.
DESPITE THE University's failure
to reach the 10 percent figure,
Sudarkasa views the BAM strike as im-
portant in drawing blacks together on
"People may think that (the strike)
was frivolous, but there was nothing
frivolous about it," she said.
"There was a camaraderie between
faculty and students involved that
was.:.very healthy," she added. "I was
one of about 30 people who met almost
daily from late March through the
duration of the strike. There were very
few people who were trying to grab
AT THE TIME of the strike,
Sudarkasa says, the University ad-
ministration was not concerned with
diversifying the student body.
However, she is less critical of the
current administration's inability to
boost black enrollment. "I don't think
that there is a lack of effort. Maybe
some of the effort has been misplaced,"
Sudarkasa, an anthropology
professor and former director of the
Center for Afroamerican and African
Studies said she will begin her new job
by looking into the University's
recruitment and retention policies.
"WE HAVE TO look at what has not
been done, that "could have been done
and that should have been done," she
gift of good taste.,
107 E. LIBERTY
DalPy hoto by REBEA KNIH T
Niara Sudarkasa, newly-named associate vice president for academic affairs,
focuses on minority problems at the University.
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"I think we really have to recognize
that we are losing a lot of good students.
They may be recruited, but they don't
come to Michigan."
Finding out whether it is academics,
a lack of financial aid, or simply the
atmosphere here that causes black
students to pick other schools over the
University will be one of her main con-
cerns, Sudarkasa said.
"I KNOW A LOT of black students
who really complain about their feeling
of isolation and alienation from the
University of Michigan. It's not enough
just to say, 'we're willing to have you,k'
Even if the University recruits a
black student, though, keeping that
student has proved to be very difficult.
The attrition rate for black un-
dergraduate students is about 48 per-
cent, compared to 28 percent for white
Sudarkasa thinks that in addition to
the tough academics at the University,
there is sometimes an atmosphere of
hostility or indifference to blacks. She
says black students are often reluctant
to join student organizations such as the
Michigan Student Assembly and the
Daily, because of the lack of other black
SHE ADDS that the predominance of
whites on campus creates a difficult
social atmosphere. "When black
students get ready to have a party at
The University of Michigan, they have
to scrounge around and wonder where
they can have it.
"The whole University is open to
white students, the black students and
the Asian students have to fight over
the one room in the Trotter House," she
Sudarkasa knows something about
the difficulty of coming to a university
and feeling unsure of oneself. She en-
tered. Fisk University- at the.age of 15,
as the first person in her family to ever
go to college.
After Fisk, she went to Oberlin
College, and then to Columbia where
she received her masters and Ph.D in
anthropology. She taught anthropology
at New York University and Columbia
for three years before coming to the
University in 1967.
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press International reports
Violent weather creates havoc
A "white-out" blizzard with winds gusting to 69 mph marooned hundreds
of travelers yesterday as it swept out of the Rockies, leaving a trail of crum-
pled cars and trucks in snow up to 2 feet deep.
The nation was a crazy quilt of contrasting weather.
Blinding fog settled on the Midwest and parts of the Southeast again while
freezing rain iced highways in New England. Up to 4 inches of rain produced
flash flooding in southeastern Kentucky. Thunderstorms born in un-
seasonable spring-like weather rumbled from Oklahoma to Missouri.
At least three deaths were blamed on the violent weather that began Thur-
Two people were killed when a small plane crashed in a heavy fog Thur-
sday night almost 30 minutes after taking off from Lincoln, Kansas. The high-
way patrol said the pilot may have become disoriented and flew the plan
almost straight into the ground.
A traffic accident on a slick road in upstate New York killed one person
Salvadoran election officials try
to prevent boycott of March vote
SAN SALVADOR - The Salvadoran Election Commission called on leftist
politicians to reactivate two dormant, but legal, political parties as a way to
put their candidates on the March election ballot.
The Salvadoran Election Commission called for the reactivation of the two
parties in an apparent response to a Revolutionary Democratic Front,
(FDR), news conference held Thursday in Mexico City when leftist leaders
called for a boycott of the vote.
The top rebel leadership said it will not impede the voting but neither will
it accept the outcome of March 25 presidential elections.
. The commission called on the left to reactive the communist Nacionalist
Revolutionary Movement and the socialist Nacionalist Democratic Union as
a way to put their candidate on the ballot.
The two parties have been inactive since the Oct. 15, 1979 coup, but under
Salvadoran law could be reactivated by submitting a list of candidates to the
Football players death rate down
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Thirteen high school and college football players
died in the United States in 1983 and 12 were permanently paralyzed, accor-
ding to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina.
The number of direct deaths matches the lowest total reported since
records on football deaths were first kept in 1931. As recently as 1974, 11 high
school and college students died from on-the-field injuries before rules were
adopted banning spearing - the use of the head as the initial point of con-
Four of the deaths - all among high school players - were directly
blamed on injuries suffered during play, the study shows.
Dr. Frederick Mueller, professor of physical education, said the nine other
deaths last year were considered indirect. Seven were caused by heart
failure, one by heat stroke and the ninth by a congenital brian disorder.
"With 75,000 players in college and 1.3 million in high school, it's going to
be difficult to reduce these death further," Mueller said.
Biases hinder female candidates
WASHINGTON - Women candidates still are severely handicapped by
the "hidden minefield" of voter prejudices and sexual stereotypes as they
seek a greater share of election victories, according to a study of women in
politics released yesterday.
Kathy Wilson, president of the National Women's Political Caucus, which
sponsored the study, said the research will help women candidates because
it shows the obstacles which must be dealt with and the advantages to em-
"At the bottom line, this study tells us what we already know: It's tough
for women candidates," Wilson said. "We know there's a bias at the ballot
box. Now we know how to do something about it. These studies will help
The findings of the complex research project suggest that naming a
woman as vice president would not necessarily help a party win the White
House, because of the sexual stereotvpes held by many voters.
The research - based on interviews with 200 people - is not comparable to
a national poll or normal public opinion survey.
Mideast leaders to meet Reagan
WASHINGTON - President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt arrived yesterday,
as the White House announced he will meet with President Reagan and King
Hussein of Jordan to "discuss among themselves ways to improve the
situation" in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Department officials said they hoped that the meeting, to be held Tuesday,
will underscore Egypt's renewed acceptance by its Arab neighbors after a
long dispute over Middle East policy stemming from Egypt's decision to
sign the Camp David agreement in 1979.
"We will of course be expressing our strong conviction that greater efforts
need to be made by all concerned parties to move the peace process for-
ward," said Anita Stockman, a State Department press officer.
The State Department called the scheduling of the three-way conference
at the White House "pure coincidence," saying the two leaders happened to
be in Washington at the same time.
"However, since they are both here, it seems useful for the leaders to
meet," Stockman said.
,The White House said President Reagan had invited the Egyptian
president and the Jordanian king to join him for a working lunch and that
"they have accepted his invitation."
focuses on Reagan
From AP and UPI
DES MOINES, Iowa - Democratic
presidential contenders chorused their
criticism of President Reagan's foreign
policy yesterday with front-runner
Walter Mondale accusing the president
of leadership that "has made the world
much more dangerous."
"We cannot tolerate it," Mondale
said as he and seven rivals met in
debate nine campaign days before the
curtain-raising Iowa Caucuses.
Sen. John Glenn, whose remarks
opened the debate, accused Reagan of
"playing politics to save face and
protect a bankrupt foreign policy." He
said Reagan was pursuing an "ill-1
conceived and morally outrageous op-
position in Lebanon."
Sen: Gary Hart, whose late arrival
due to fog delayed the debate, charged
that Reagan wants to give "not only a
blank check but a blank checkbook to
the Pentagon to prosecute a cold war."
Hart, making his case to Iowa party
activists, said the 1984 campaign was
not only a question of Democrats versus
Republicans, but also "between our
future and our past." He said the nation
needs new leadership that will choose
"principles over politics."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, making his
first campaign visit to Iowa, com-
plained about Reagan's economic and
military policies. "We need more than
a new president, we need a new direc-
tion," he said.
See DEMOCRATIC, Page 5
,Sunday, February 12, 1984
Vol. XCIV-No. 111
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