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September 05, 1985 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-05

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 1985 - Page A7

'Star W
The new military "Star Wars"
research project has sparked an old
ralfipus controversy: Should the
University play a part in military
Interim Vice President for Resear-
ch Alfred Sussman says it should.
"This is a state university, and in that
sense, an arm of the government.
(The University) has a responsibility
to help the federal government to
protect itself," he said.
ThlE UNIVERSITY is a research
niversity, which means that
telching and research are
inexorably linked," he added.
But protest groups like the
Progressive Student Network (PSN),
ands' Campus Against Weapons in
Space (CAWS), a spin-off of PSN,
say ithe University should have no
partin military research.
"There is good research done in
other areas. We have enough
wedpons," aid CAWS member
Agtid Kock.
"IFEEL a sense of guilt because my
government, using technology lear-
nedion campuses, wants to stop people
who desire self-determination," Kock.
said, referring to the United States'
invblvement in Central America.
"'m also concerned about the
direction in which the country is
heading. I read the paper everyday
and see the nuclear arms race
escalate and wonder if we can control
Oe arms race," she added.
One way to prevent a nuclear war,
Kock said, is to end military research.
"Wf need to work on every level in
order to insure that we don't have a
nuclear war," said Kock, the
Michigan Student Assembly's
military researcher.
THERE ARE two kinds of military
research on campus: classified,

which means that the results cannot Daniel Atkins
be made public, and unclassified. the engineerii
PSN member Tom Marx said that an opportunity
research is classified when the work ding to expan
contains information about weapons ch we alread
that other countries do not have. Un- "Star Wars" p
classified research is more general, In addition,
and is often used in civilian department h
capacities. ceivably grow
Last year the Department of Defen- added.
se gave the University $6 million for Part of the
mostly-classified research. The research are
University received another $124 reliable cor
million from the federal government, working with
the Institute of Public Health, and Aside from it
private donations. Much of this money this also has c
was used for unclassified research, FOR EXAM
and includes projects that have incredible nu
military and non-military ap- fields as med
plications. said.
AN EXAMPLE of this type of "The gove
research is Einstein's Theory of basic researci
Relativity. It "had nothing to do plored and qut
originally with warfare, but it turned they knew ti
out that it was basic to the atom 'Star Wars'v
bomb," Sussman said. said, explaini
One University guideline regarding research in las
military research states that a "Most peo
professor's bid to do classified military re;
research may be denied if the results Theodore Bir
could be used to destroy human life. A a military res
few years ago, PSN and members of "THEY'VE
the Faculty Senate attempted to ex- heard horro
tend the guidelines to include un- military. We
classified research, but the Board of missiles in our
Regents defeated the proposal. PSN memb
The Department of Defense recen- research, an
tly offered the University about laboratoriesc
$500,000 for research on the Strategic duct such rese
Defense Initiative (SDI), otherwise The first w
known as "Star Wars." It is un- engineering I
classified research, but the results lab in 1983. SE
may become classified later, Marx project to dev
said. material so
"THE FEDERAL government is detected on ra
making large amounts of money "IT WOULI
available for research in areas that a bomb if noc
the University has expertise in," said coming," Koc


, the associate dean of
ng school. "For us, it's
y to seek additional fun-
d the (military) resear-
started," he said of the
the money the defense
has offered "could con-
e to $2 million," Atkins
SDI research is in basic
as such as finding a
mputer system and
h lasers, Atkins said.
s military applications,
ivilian uses.
dPLE, "Lasers have an
amber of uses in such
licine and welding," he
ernment decided that
!h areas needed to be ex-
estions answered before
hat the technology for
was available," Atkins
ing the need for basic
sers and computers.
ple don't understand
search," said Prof.
dsall, who is working on
earch project.
SEEN James Bond and
or stories about the
e're not building MX
r back yard," he said.
ers oppose all military
nd have protested at
of professors who con-
was a 48-hour sit-in at
Prof. Thomas Senior's
enior was working on a
velop a radar-absorbing
a plane would not be
dar, Marx said.
D make it easier to drop
one knew the plane was
ck said, explaining her

opposition to the research.
The second PSN sit-in was at Prof.
George Haddad's lab on March 6,
1984, when Haddad was working on
unclassified research for the Navy.
The sit-in lasted four hours until the
11 protesters, including Kock and
Marx, were arrested on trespassing
KOCK AND PSN member Nancy
Aronoff spent 12 days in jail after they
were convicted of the charges, and
another woman performed com-
munity service work and paid
restitution. The trial for the
remaining protesters was declared a
mistrial, and Marx said he is not sure
if another court date will be set.
Kock said the sit-in was justified
because "civil disobedience has a real
basis in this country since the country
was founded on that."
Sussman said that a university "is a
place for dissidents and diversity,"
but does not like to see protests
disrupt professors' work.
"One thing is for certain. People of
good-will can disagree," Sussman
SENIOR SAID THE sit-in at his lab
was "more annoying than disruptive,
but it was not appropriate in an
educational institution, because some
graduate students couldn't do their
One of Kock's concerns is President
Harold Shapiro's apparent lack of
concern for the protesters' worries.
"A few years ago, (PSN) wanted to
have a forum with Shapiro, but he
changed his mind and never showed,"
she said. Kock feels that by talking to
University administrators and
protesting military research, she is
helping to prevent a nuclear war.
CAWS will protest the "Star
Wars" research by holding a sym-
posium on Oct. 4 and 5 in Rackham

t JI
-, .,

Protestors of nuclear research on campus rally in front of the Federal
Court Building on Liberty Street.

3- r

Auditorium, Kock said. Kock hopes that University officials
Included in the symposium are will attend the symposium and
workshops on how a student can discuss the issue of military research
protest military research, talks on on campus.
disarmament and where to e in- New Student Edition editor
disrmament, and whes to get in- Marla Gold filed a report for this
formation about campus militarystory.
research. soy

*Blue Ribbon Commission evaluates LSA

In light= of a projected decline in
enrollment, a committee called the
Blue Ribbon Commission will
evaluate the curriculum of the
College of Literature, Science, and the
The committee should submit a
al report to the college's executive
nmmittee by the end of September.
The purpose of the report is to define what
the.ommittee considers a liberal arts
ediyation to be and will include recom-
mendations concerning curriculum,
recruitment; admission standards,
andfinancial aid policies.
The study will likely initiate an,
overhaul ,of the distribution'
requirements of the University'si
largest college.
The eight member commission was!
ppointed in the fall of 1983 by LSA
Dean Peter Steiner and the executive;
corsmittee to study the college's :
curriculum, including concentration:
and, distribution requirements. The;
coramission consists of six faculty
members, a student, and the chair-

THE DECISION to release the
report to the faculty and the public
will be made by the executive com-
mittee and not the Blue Ribbon Com-
mission, according to Jack Meiland,
associate dean for long range plan-
ning and curriculum and chairman of
the commission.
An interim report released by the
commission in April last year stated:
"Our present distribution
requirements themselves are in
disarray, in part because almost
every undergraduate course, no mat-
ter how specialized or otherwise un-
suitable, can be used to satisfy them."
"WE have become aware," the
report said "that some potential
students, while convinced of the
distinction of our faculty, often choose
other schools because they do not ex-
pect (the faculty's) high quality to af-
fect the education they would receive
THE REPORT also said that the
pool of high school graduates in
Michigan wil be 35 percent smaller in

1994 than it was in 1979.
The commission suggested that the
college intensify its efforts to recruit
the highest quality students and up-
date the educational quality of its un-
dergraduate programs to offset the
declining number of high school
The report also looked at other ways
of addressing the problem of declining
enrollment:: (1) reduce the size of the
college or (2) maintain the present
size and lower admission standards.
The interim report was inconclusive
and was limited to raising questions
for future discussion.
A REPORT to the executive com-
mittee last year from a subcommittee
chaired by English Prof. William
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