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March 04, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-04

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OPINION
Sunday, March 4, 1984

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

Aspiring
THE UNIVERSITY'S Office of Admissions
is flooded with applications for the next
freshman class. Do those high school seniors
know something we don't?,
At last count in mid-February, the ad-
missions office had received 1,009 more ap-
plications than at that time last year, mostly
due to a large increase in out-of-state applican-
ts. Despite the high number of potential
enrollees, the freshman class is targeted at
4,100 students, the same as this year.
Cliff Sjogren and Lance Erickson, the top
two University admissions officials, attribute

applicants

flood

admissions

sity from discriminating on the basis of sexual
preference. At last month's regents meeting,
members of the group, Lesbian and Gay Rights
on Campus, (LaGROC), gave Shapiro a March
1 deadline for issuing the policy. But Shapiro
didn't meet last week's deadline. And, it looks
like gay rights activists will have to wait a
while longer.
Members of the group, composed mainly of
University students and employees, fired
questions at Shapiro for about 30 minutes. But
Shapiro said he didn't know when he'd be able
to issue a policy statement and didn't have
many answers.
Even though Shapiro wouldn't tell the group
why he didn't meet the LaGROC deadline or
what the gay rights activists could do to help
speed up the long process of issuing a
statement, many protestors said the action was
a success.
Demonstrators claimed they had suc-
cessfully put pressure on Shapiro and vowed
that more actions will occur in the future.
Stirring things up
Military research protests on this campus
are a lot like old soldiers. They don't die.
Despite the regents June 1983 rejection of
guidelines for unclassified research, at least
one professor on campus who isn't satisfied
with the result is pressing for more discussion..
Medical School Prof. David Bassett
suggested last November that the University
sponsor a conference that would explore the
issues of academic freedom and military, or
"harmful," research. The faculty's top gover-
ning group, the Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs (SACUA) then forwarded it
to a third-party group, the Collegiate Institute
on Values and Science (CIVS) for further con-
sideration.
In the report sent to SACUA last week,
CIVS's director Nicholas Steneck said that a
conference should be held since there is still a
desire on campus to limit defense department
sponsored research.

conference as well as some other changes
which SACUA suggested, such as increased
student participation in the planning and con-
duct of the conference and increased com-
munity involvement.
Although the report predicts that it will take
at least a year of planning before a conference
could be held, it is nice to know that the
military research issue is not fading away.

I

Getting their due

the rise to increased recruiting efforts, par-
ticularly the high number of personal contacts
between applying students and admissions of-
ficers, faculty, staff members, enrolled
students, and alumni.
"But another factor is that students are ap-
plying to multiple schools now," said Erickson.
"Students realize that it is a buyer's market."
Students remain undecided longer now, said
Erickson, to get the best financial aid
scholarship deal from the best school.
But these potential students seem oblivious
to the budget cuts and reviews of University
programs which have been conducted recen-
tly. These cuts, some administrators have
said, could seriously undercut the "fine
academic reputation" on which the University
prides itself, and on which it depends to recruit
top-notch students.
Maybe we know something those high school
seniors should know.

Lesbians and gays on campus rallied this week
to force President Shapiro to issue a non-
discriminatory policy...
Waiting too long
Campus gays are tired of waiting.
Last week, about 55 gay rights activists chan-
ting "M' go gay" and "gay rights now" mar-
ched from a Diag rally to University President
Harold Shapiro's offices on the second floor of
the Fleming Administration Building and
demanded some answers.
They've been waiting 15 months for Shapiro
to issue a policy that would prohibit the Univer-

...but Shapiro told them they would have to
wait.
Bassett's original proposal called for a con--
ference which would confront research that
could be applied to the destruction or per-
manent incapacitation of human -beings. The
report from CIVS suggests a conference that is
not limited to military research, but one which
would also include debate on the link between
research and moral responsibility. Members
of SACUA, as well, seem to support the idea of
a broad-based conference.
SACUA has discussed the conference idea
with University President Harold Shapiro. Ac-
cording to SACUA's chairman Herbert
Hildebrandt, Shapiro supports the idea of a

After eight years of contract negotiation en-
ded in November, the Graduate Employees
Organization decided to rebuild its treasury by
collecting unpaid dues from teaching assistan-
ts.
Enter the non-union TAs. Some have been
paying GEO's $12-24 per semester dues for
years, but many have never bothered. They
were surprised to get letters last month saying
their jobs were in jeopardy, and a group of 20
non-union TAs responded to the threats by star-
ting a petition drive to change the rules.
The petitioners want an "open shop" in
which they have a choice as to whether they
will support GEO. If they collect 560 TA
signatures on their petitions, the TAs will be
allowed to vote on making dues voluntary.
They say that many businesses run under the
open shop policy, and they charge that some
TAs pay dues even though they don't believe in
the union because they fear losing their jobs.
But union leaders insist that GEO benefits all
TAs and is a good investment for non-
members. They cite health benefits, tuition
breaks, and other perks in the contract.
What's at stake in this petition drive is tens of
thousands of dollars for the GEO budget.
Everyone involved admits that most TAs don't
care about the union, but GEO has managed to
build interest by threatening TAs with
dismissal.
The Week in Review was compiled by
Daily staff writers Neil Chase, Georgea
Kovanis, Sharon Silbar, and Karen Tensa.

Sinclair

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

HEN1'Y ?AVLAVL- EXIL.EP
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Vol. XCIV-No. 121

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

So I SAWP. IMAM,"
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TAKE To CLEAIR
A MINEF1ELD?

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

Stubborn professors

MOST LSA faculty members recog-
nize the need to hand out class
outlines and syllabi to students
at the beginning of the year, and
recognize that students expect more
than a check or a minus on papers they
hand in for class. As educators, they
should also realize that slapping a
grade on a paper without comments
does not contribute to the learning
process.
It was therefore surprising last mon-
th when the LSA Joint Student Faculty
Policy Committee voted 32 to 10 to
water down a set of guidelines which,
as Near Eastern Studies Prof. Louis
Orlin said, are merely a way to im-
prove the quality of LSA teaching.
According to the committee's
recommendations, faculty should be
more available in office hours, hand
out syllabi and class outlines promptly,
critique all work students turn in, and
speak English fluently - except in ad-
vance foreign language courses. Are
these recommendations unreasonable?
If LSA faculty are already fulfilling
these recommendations, they
shouldn't have to worry about their en-
forcement.
The LSA faculty seems to hold some
double standards in expecting studen-
ts to turn in their work on time, while
at the same time resisting a recom-
mendation requiring that course
outlines be done by the first weeks of
class.
But apparently some professors are
worried that even simple guidelines
are a repressive measure. Philosophy
Prof. Carl Cohen said he doesn't think

"a faculty code of conduct is an ap-
propriate way to correct the abuses
that are the concerns of the commit-
tee," and called the proposal an "in-
vitation to litigiousness." But saying
that faculty are more likely to be sued
under these guidelines is assuming too
much. And if the abuses really are
severe, maybe a faculty member
should reform. The proposed
guidelines have already been watered-
down so much that they would not even
order faculty but simply urge them to
comply.
"The faculty just doesn't want to be
told what it should do," said English
Prof. Eric Rabkin.
Rabkin also argues that the proposed
guidelines would place an unrealistic
burden on departments to oversee
professors. But this is a poor argument
becauseasurely studentrcomplaints
about faculty members must be
someone's concern. And the head of a
University department should have
some influence over those faculty
members beneath him.
Rabkin's claim that the proposal
does not allow for enough individual
differences in teaching style is also
ridiculous. If faculty members find
their style cramped, they should
remember that the only legitimate
style is one which doesn't cramp the
students' learning.
Faculty members critical of the
guidelines need to remember that
teaching is only effective when studen-
ts are learning and reaping the
benefits of the knowledge of the
professor.

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4

The decline of

the middle class?

By Franz Schurmann
Ever since De Tocqueville,
over a century and a half ago,
marveled at America's wonder-
ful middling ways, Americans
have been convinced that what
made this country great was its
broad. middle class. But many
observers believe the middle
class is waning today, with im-
portant consequences for the
future of America. That belief
will be tested by the outcome of
this summer's Democratic con-
vention and the November elec-
tion.
The question centers on
whether the poor or the middle
class have been hardest hit by
recent economic changes and
Reagan policies. Bob Kuttner,
in an Atlantic article last July
argued that the middle class was
declining. Robert Samuelson in

policies have hurt either the poor
or the middle class. And Reagan
himself, like most of his
Republican predecessors, por-
trays himself as a spokesman for
Middle America.
Few people would argue that
the president's chief Democratic
opponent, Walter Mondale, is the
voice of America's, poor. That
position has been taken by Jesse
Jackson, whose "Rainbow
Coalition" is built around
Samuelson's thesis of the vic-
timized poor.
Mondale has been endorsed by
organizations that represent in-
dustrial workers, teachers, and
feminist women, among others.
These are all middle-class
voters, hit hard by dein-
dustrialization, declining wages,
and unequal pay. A Mondale can-
didacy assumes that Kuttner is

Glenn, was a boy and even when
he had the "right stuff" to orbit
the earth. Unlike Mondale, Glenn
believes the country, especially
its moderate middle class, is all
right; what's wrong are Reagan
policies.
However, the economic data is
not deciding this debate.
Something much less scientific
will do that - voters' percep-
tions.dAnd there is a perception
among the middle class, evident
in everyday conversations, that
they are being squeezed more
and more each year.
Even with multiple incomes in
the family, the cost of basics has
been mounting steeply. There is
less and less left for either a sun-
ny vacation or a rainy day. It was
this same middle-class percep-
tion that elected Francois Mit-

ticular economic class.
George McGovern still attracts
the liberal fringe that carried
him to the nomination in 1972.
There is the. westerner, Gary
Hart, who thinks there is still
political gold to be mined among
the '70s-style environmentalist
constituencies. And, if a woman's
name should emerge as a serious
vice presidential contender, then
yet another major constituency
will have a voice.
From a broader perspective,
we maytnot only be polarizing in-
to a nation of rich and poor, as
many of the economists suggest,
but going from a homogenous to a
heterogenous society.
The great American middle
class was a symbol and a reality
of a national striving to. become a
single people. What appears to be
a decline of that middle class now
alnmay ht-. nauw divPmifienitinnvu

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