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October 19, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-19

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, October 19, 1984

The Michigan Daily

The students' inevitable adversaries

FIM

By Robert Honigman
It is really difficult for students to
find their place in the modern univer-
sity. On the one hand there is a smarmy
* paternalism that lulls them into accep-
ting the institution as a substitute
parent, or at least a legitimate
authority that knows best and directs
the rules of the game. On the other
hand, there is a penetrating realization
that the institution is essentially cold
and uncaring - the individual is lost
and ignored within its halls.
Students coming from warm and
loving homes take the university to be
an extension of the real world, and hen-
ce their confusion is compounded by
wondering whether the real world is in-
deed like this. A large part of this
-problem of adjusting is that there is a
hidden adversarial relationship bet-
ween students and the university that is
seldom discussed.
AN ADVERSARIAL relationship is
not the same thing as calling faculty or
administrators evil or labeling them as
bad people. In a tennis match there is
an adversarial relationship - but the

person on the other side of the net is
hardly an enemy. In fact, both players
need each other in order to make up a
game. Landlords and tenants are ad-
versaries, but not enemies - they need
each other. Merchants and customers'
have conflicting interests, as well as
mutual dependencies. The relationship
between employer and employee is ad-
versarial as well as one of mutual
cooperation. Woven throughout the
fabric of our society are relationships
which are adversarial in character,
based on situations and roles that
create conflicting interests, but not real
enmities.
Thus, for students, the problem of
finding themselves involves
recognizing the adversarial character
of their relationship to other con-
stituencies in the university, without
necessarily disliking or belittling these
other groups. Some of these adversarial
interests are easy to recognize. In
seeking high salaries and reduced
teaching loads, the faculty naturally
support higher tuitions. In promoting
research - which costs more than it
brings in in revenue - administrators
must take money out of educational

funds. These are the financial aspects
of the university's adversarial relation-
ship to students.
Less obvious are what I call the in-
stitutional conflicts of interest. For
example, there is one which I call the
"good" student complex. Nothing
makes a university easier to run as an
institution than "good" students -

they see more that ten percent of their
football and basketball teams staffed
by black students. These are the
"good" students who never make
trouble.
IF YOU GO to a university to become
a "good" student, welcome to the Night
of the Living Dead. You are going to
have an interesting time there because

'If you go to a university to become a "good"
student, welcome to the Night of the Living
Dead.'

products on an industrial scale, they
are bred to be tough and resilient. Thus,
for example, the tomato is bred to have
a firm pulpy flesh that will resist splat-
tering when dropped from a certain
height or if handled roughly. Then of
course, the tomato becomes hard and
tasteless - but the administrative ends
of efficient processing are met.
In much' the same manner, the
university encourages a breed of rough,
hard students designed to be processed
through the system as efficiently as
possible and to be sold to a mass
market that looks for durability in han-
dling rather than flavor. The tough
student is prized in the modern univer-
sity - the student who can be dropped
from a considerable height without any
damage, even if the resulting student is
narrow, selfish, and lacks the inner
core of a caring and growing human
being.
THESE IDEAS of the loyal "good"
student and the resilient "tough"
student, create a current, a deep sea
current that erodes a student's self-
confidence and sweeps the student
through the system as quietly and
quickly as possible. If you fight this

current, you will soon discover that, it is
much stronger than you and you wil
run the risk of drowning throug
exhaustion attempting to swim against
it. On the other hand, if you merely
swim with the current, you will never
develop the self-confidence or the
muscles you need to save yourself in the
broader waters of society.
What then can the average student
do? The most difficult thing is to fight
your adversaries with affection and
compassion - but for the average
student, it's really difficult to keep
yourself academically afloat and fin
enough time for a reasonable social life,
much less fight a powerful and well-
organized adversary.
The only things to do, I guess, are to
have compassion for people with thin
skins who bruise easily and try yourself
not to become too tough and hard; sup-
port those who fight honestly for your
interests; and perhaps just be aware
that in the syrupy sea of paternalism
that washes through the university,
there's an undertow of adversarial in-
terests.

people who accept high tuitions, over-
crowded classes, poorly run dorms, and
other neglect, with cheerful smiles -
people who never question how their
tuition is spent or where their state
money goes. These people believe that
those in authority always know best and
accept the fact that the University can't
recruit more black students, even when

all the stage directions and major
decisions in it will be directed by
someone else off-stage.
The other aspect of the university's
hidden message, is what I call the
"tomato processing" goal. This is a
function of all large bureaucracies that
deal with people en masse. We are all
aware that in order to process our farm

Honigman is
Sterling Heights.

an attorney in

- -------- . .....

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Sinclair

Vol. XCV, No. 38

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

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WONDERIN& WOL Al

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Sharing Tutu's

prize

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THESOUTH African leaders who
operate under the racist policy of
apartheid should have heard the strong
message coming from Oslo, Norway
Tuesday. But they chose to ignore it.
When the organizers of the Nobel Prize
selection committee awarded Bishop
Desmond Tutu the Nobel Peace Prize
for his non-violent actions opposing
'apartheid, the South African leaders
should have opened their eyes and
ears. Unfortunately, they reacted as
they have, in the past, by closing their
minds and pretending that their
racism is not abhorrent and immoral.
And indeed, the South African
government will continue to be able to
pretend it is deaf and dumb and that its
system is fair if no one opposes them.
Until there is concrete international
action to force the government to open
its eyes, Tutu's mission will be incom-
plete and his prize diminished in
significance.
Here are Tutu's minimum demands
of the leaders of apartheid: guarantee
equalC civil rights for all citizens;
abolish the country's pass laws; work
toward an integrated educational
system; and put an end to the forced
removal of blacks to impoverished
"homelands." It is depressing that
these requests have to be made.
Tutu, the first black General
Secretary of the South African Council
of Churches, has felt the oppressive
weight of the government, as have

many of his black countrymen, yet he
has peacefully resisted. Tutu's church
has been investigated by three official
judicial inquiries and his passport has
been repeatedly withdrawn. As a child
he recalls that blacks had to rummage
through garbage cans in search of food
rejected by white schoolchildren. His
mission is to spread the word that such
a way of life for South Africa's blacks
is unjust. And he wants the gover-
nment to realize that "justice is going
to win.
Those who have suffered, felt, and
lived with the evil of apartheid would
share his prize, Tutu said. The South
African government has shown it does
not know how to share. But this nation
and others, as well as this University,
do have the capacity to share the prize.
This University has already moved
toward a just position by divesting of
around 90 percent of its stocks in South
Africa. But more can and should be
done. The University still holds stock
in five Michigan companies doing
business in that nation. The United
States has a very loose relationship
with South Africa and this is subtly
supporting its separatist policies. The
University and the United States, as
well as other nations and institutions
that value human rights, should more
carefully consider and act upon Tutu's
words:
"What we have to say to those who
invest in South Africa, is that your in-
vestment is a moral as well as an
economic issue."

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A new battle against cheap cocaine

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By Charles Thurston
SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL - A new
front has opened in the cocaine
war. And unless it is checked, it
may provide a new, lower-priced
flood of the white drug into the
U.S. market.
The battle already pits the
governments of Columbia,
Bolivia, and Peru - as well as
U.S. agents - against cocaine
producers in those countries.
Now, cultivation of a tropical
species of coca called "epadu"
has spread alarmingly into
Brazil's Amazon basin.
INDIAN FARMERS, lured by
the hard cash paid for epadu=- a
gangly cousin of the Andean coca
bush - have become snarled in a
web quickly spreading into the
virgin wilderness of the world's
last great forest frontier.
On one sortie earlier this year,
Brazil's federal police, aided by
army troops, slashed and burned
some 500,000 epadu plants in an
effort to stamp out the region's
cocaine crop. "It made a
hellacious lot of smoke," said a
drug enforcement agent who took
part in the outing.
Several such operations have
taken place over the last year,
but so far police have not kept up
with growers.
Brazilian efforts to keep the
cocaine industry out of the

Brazil's Amazon basin covers
an area larger than the whole of
neighboring Bolivia. It is linked
by myriad waterways and bush
plane airstrips to Peru and
Colombia, from which coca
buyers regularly emerge to buy
up epadu from the native
Brazilian "caboclos," as the poor
farmers of mixed blood are
called.
These isolated farmers nor-
mally subsist on the cultivation of
cassava, or manioc root, the
starch staple of the region, but
can only expect to earn about a
nickle a pound in trade for the
tuber, even when it is pain-
stakingly toasted.
"GROWING EPADU is
definitely an economic incentive
to these people," says police
chief Joao Fulano, seated in his
tiny office in the usually quiet lit-
tle town of Tefe halfway between
the Colombian border and
Manaus, the river capital of the
Amazon.
He raises his hands in despair
over- the vast area he tries to
patrol without arcar or boat.
"When I go out to the villages, I
have to putt out there in a
borrowed 2.5-horsepower fishing
boat. But the Colombian drug
runners buzz down here from
Leticia in 1,000-horsepower

speedboats. Can you imagine me
trying to chase somebody like
that?"
Fulano often pays costs in-
curred in his enforcement duties
out of his own pocket for lack of
government support - and often
findstraffickers back in the town
square a few weeks after he has
sent them to the state capital for
trial.
"I catch these guys and have to
talk boat captains into a free ride
to deport them, but they drift
back here. It's tough to get rid of
them," he says.
THE EPADU plant, long
cultivated by Brazilian Indians
for use in religious rites, contains
only some 40 percent of the active
chemical found in the Andean
variety, but grows to a height of
several meters, dwarfing its cold-
climate relative.
Colombian cocaine refiners,
feeling the heat of enforcement
pressure in their own country,
have fostered a growing market
for the crop in Brazil during the

past year or two. Brazilian an-
thropologists discovered the
problem when they noticed
previously unsophisticated In-
dians wearing jeans and listening
to transistor radios.
Diplomats from countries in
the region recently met with the
aim, of establishing a Latin
American police agency like
Europe's Interpol to pursue bor-
der-hopping criminals. But the
talks so far have not produced a
working force.
If the governments do not move
quickly enough to eradicate the
problem, traffickers could
establish a widespread base for
the crop in the Brazilian jungle,
an area which is nearly im-
possible to police effectively.
For now, as one Brazilian drug
enforcement agent was recently
quoted as saying, "In order to
find epadu in the Amazon, all you
have to do is look."
Thurston wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service.

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Unsigned editorials ap-
pearing on the left side
of this page represent a
majority opinion of the
Daily 's Editorial Board.

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