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January 24, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-24

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4

OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Thursday, January 24, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Housing for students' needs

4

Vol. XCV, No. 94

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Covert rights

O N TUESDAY, Recruiters from the
Central Intelligence Agency gave
an encore performance at the
Michigan League. This time, however,
the audience was not as rambun-
ctious-they let the show go on. CIA
recruiters, in an attempt to make a
presentation to students last Novem-
ber, were greeted by a group of angry
protesters. The demonstration was
significant enough to interfere with
CIA interviews with students, and the
recruiters were forced off campus.
Tuesday's protest, though it did not
interfere with the CIA's recruitment
efforts, further magnifies the impor-
tance of understanding that, while the
CIA's presence on campus is offensive,
recruiters for the CIA should be
allowed the same rights to free speech
demanded by the protesters.
Like any other organization, the CIA
should be afforded the right to come to
campus and make a presentation to
students. And although it is unfor-
tunate that an organization that is of-
ten involved in covert and destructive
measures chooses to exercize that
right, the CIA's return visit may give
the University community a chance to
raise important questions about the
nature of their activities.
In their two most recent campus
visits, the CIA recruiters decided not to
take the time to explain controversial
policies. They felt that their rights to
free speech and assembly were in-
fringed upon by the protest group. But
just as activists must respect the
rights of recruiters, the CIA must
realize that in the open atmosphere for
communication that a university
provides they too are responsible to
hear the presentation of those who op-
pose them.

The actions of the CIA as an "agent
of democracy" are often uncon-
scionable. In April of last year, it
was discovered that the CIA has
secretly mined the harbors and ship-
ping lanes of Nicaragua. Last October,
evidence was produced that the CIA
had written a manual advocating
political assassination of certain leftist
Nicaraguan officials. These are only
recent examples of the CIA's criminal
past. But alone they are not valid
enough reason for denying the
organization access to University
students.
The CIA is but one of the many
organizations who make presentations
on campus. Denying this organization
the right to address students would be
tantamount to barring an individual
with a criminal record from speaking
on the Diag. It does not matter
whether the majority or minority of
people in this community oppose the
everyday actions of the CIA. Freedom
to speak is a right extended to the
minority as well as the majority on any
given issue.
It is true that the philosophy of the
CIA is absolutely contrary to the
values of free discussion and debate.
Its countless violations of human
rights and covert operations are proof
of that. It is also true that in a univer-
sity community, where these values
are strictly upheld, organizations such
as the CIA have the responsibility to
hear the voice of their opposition. But
free speech is for everyone-whether
they practice covert or overt activities.
Students should take any opportunity
to voice their opposition, and if the CIA
expects its rights to be protected, the
recruiters should take the respon-
sibility to listen.

By Robert Hon igman
First in a series offour articles.
In 1958, as a senior at the University of
Michigan, I did a term paper on student
housing entitled "After the Quads Where?"
Many of the problems described in that paper
still exist and are relevant to present student
housing conditions. But the paper itself
opened a door into understanding the nature
of the University and took me on a journey I'd
like to share with the University community.
My paper traced the progress of an average
student through the housing system of the
University. For freshmen, I said, the
residence halls were adequate housing, but
beyond the freshman year they failed. The
reasons for their failure lay in the need to ac-
commodate incoming freshmen, so that the
of the
University
population of the residence halls was always
more than 50 percent freshman and the tur-
nover each year was destabilizing. In ad-
dition, the prepaid food system tended to be
too institutional in character. Older students
need a more flexible food system with a
choice of pay-as-you-eat cafeterias and
private kitchen facilities-the kind of food
system we take for granted in the adult world..
At the other extreme, I argued, off-campus
housing was too scattered over a wide
geographical area and isolated students, both
from each other and from the University
community. It demanded that a student have
a great deal of social maturity and a well-
developed network of friends andasocialcon-
tacts-otherwise, the student would be lonely
and cut off from some of the real benefits of a
University environment.

In between these two extremes, I said, is
the fraternity and sorority system, but here
the housing serves the most socially active
and self-confident students-the ones who
need help the least. The shy and socially im-
mature students are barred from the Greek
system by their own handicaps and are poorly
equipped as well to face the loneliness and
isolation of off-campus housing. Moreover,
the Greek system tends to reinforce social
and ethnic segregation rather than helping
students develop new social relationships.
What students needed, I argued, was some
form of University housing midway between
the regimentation of the residence halls and
the freedom and isolation of off-campus
housing. This housing, which I called "multi-
type," could provide a transition stage for
students past their freshmen year who do not
wish to be cut off from other students or close
proximity to campus. I envisioned a complex
of housing containing apartments, single
rooms and efficiencies, grouped into self-
governing associations.
During the preparation of my report, my
professor commented that I seemed to want
luxury housing for students, but I ex-
plained-it wasn't luxury that was important,
but rather housing that belonged to students
and responded to their needs, a place where
they could feel at home. Housing had to in
some way belong to students, however poor in
quality, because the most sumptuous housing
in the world would be inadequate if students
felt themselves to be only temporary residen-
ts in someone else's housing.
Dr. Peter Ostafin, then Director of Student
Housing at the University, gave me generous
support andconsultation service during the
preparation of my report, and he called my
attention to two facts which seemed to make
it imperative that the University build at least
some form of housing in the near future.
The first fact was that the University was
planning to double its student population,
from 21,000 in 1958 to 45,000 by 1970, a little
more than a decade. The other fact was that
land around main campus was too expensive
for more residence hall construction, so that

if the new students were to be accommodated,
a major housing program would have to be
inaugurated on North Campus, where there
was ample space.
Since land was too expensive for residence
halls near main campus, it was obviously too
expensive for more private housing-as I
knew from my own off-campus experien-
ce-so I argued that if the University was to
avoid becoming a commuting campus by
1970, it needed to develop a major new
housing program for students on North Cam-
pus. And of course, I suggested that this new
housing be "multi-type" housing.
I gave a copy of my report to Dr. Ostafin,
with an additional copy to A.M. Eldersveld,
Assistant Dean of Men, at their request. Sin-
ce the University had already built married
student apartments on North Campus for the
most mature students at the University, I saw
no reason why they shouldn't build apartmen-
ts for single students and allow them to enjoy
similarly reasonable rental rates.
My term paper was an important event in
my life. Humans, above all animals, create
our own environments. We reshape thei
physical landscape, and we provide the social
mechanisms and institutions to serve our
needs. To understand that a physical en-
vironment could be changed and that a
housing system, like a pair of ill-fitting
clothes could be retailored and redesigned to.
fit student needsmore comfortably and
rationally, was a great achievement in my
life.
Looking back, I can see now that I had
reached the first level of understanding-that
being human isn't submitting to the~needs of a
system or judging ourselves by its standards,
but rather, we become human by asking why
the system can't change to fit our needs, and
why the system can't belong to us rather than
strangers.
Honigman, a University graduate, is an
attorney in Sterling Heights. Tomorrow:
"A lack of communication"

Cramer

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4

Nothing is sacred

A

IN THE MIDST of positive economic
news and President Ronald
Reagan's $12 million inauguration
gala, it is important to remember an
ignored segment of society: the poor.
One of the greatest failings of
Reagan's first termwas the increase
in the number of people under the
poverty level. Although the economy
as a whole was strengthened during
the past four years, Reagan's
economic recovery was a recovery for
the wealthy. Despite trickle-down
theories posed by optimistic ad-
ministration economists,
Reaganomics has had little positive ef-
fect on the country's least fortunate.
In 1984, the economy grew 6.8 per-
cent. It was the highest rate of
recovery in 33 years. Nevertheless, it
is unconscionable to advocate

economic recovery at the
the poor.

expense of

But inauguration should be a time
for hope, and as Reagan begins his
second term in the oval office, new
arms talks between the United States
and the Soviet Union have a great
potential to be productive.
But there are still domestic
problems the president must face. The
tendency for Reagan policy-makers to
sweep poverty under the rug will no
longer be effective in coming years. It
is important for the nation to reaffirm
Lyndon Johnson's commitment to a
"war on poverty."
If tangible economic recovery is
what the administration seeks to
provide, they can no longer consider
only the welfare of the wealthy.

A

14

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Remember the five jailed protesters

To the Daily:
We would like to take this op-
portunity to remind the Daily and
the University community of the
five Williams International
protesters who remain in jail.
The protesters began serving an
indefinite sentence on December
7, 1984, imposed by presiding
judge O'Brien, and they refuse to
appeal in order to focus attention
on the arms race.
At the start of this new year, we
must remind ourselves that only

wrong with America today?
What was so grievously wrong in
the 1960s? A non-violent
movement eradicated many of
the intolerable racial problems.
Today, five non-violent
protesters urge you and I to over-
BLOOM COUNTY

come the rhetoric about the arms
race and our own apathy in order
to help solve this problem. It
remains a sad commentary that
Judge O'Brien's America has no
room for peaceful diversity of
opinion. Some may see a distan-

ce between the sit-ins of today
and the 1960s; although social'
progress remains the goal, our
own apathy, personal and collec-
tive, has increased.
-Steven Kaminski
John McCarthy
January 23
by Berke Breathed

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9

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