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September 23, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-23

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Monday, September 23, 1985

The Michigan Daily


G1be Mid4an ]aiQll
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Reviewing research policies

Vol. XCVI, No. 13

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Farm aid?

OMETHING'S awry down on
the farm.
And while America's farmers
continue to struggle against un-
precedented losses,' the
Washington agenda remains
politically skewed.
On Friday, the Senate began
debate on the controversial
Agriculture bill which would ex-
tend current levels of price suppor-
ts and income subsidies to farmers
for four years beyond the Septem-
ber 30 expiration date of the
current provisions. President
Reagan is seeking to cut back the
Ironically enough, on Saturday 50
popular performers filled the
University of Illinois Memorial
Stadium for a Farm-Aid benefit.
concert - a generous private sec-
tor effort of the sort the Ad-
ministration heartily encourages
- but woefully inadequate in the
face of such tremendous financial
And if that weren't a tough
enough row to hoe, farmers have
been dealt another insulting blow
with the passage of Sen. Jesse
Helms' (R-N.C.) tobacco price
support bill in the Senate Finance
committee. ,
In a piece of legislation clearly
drafted to further Helms' political
ambitions as Chairman of the
A riculture Committee, Helms has
; fishly compromised the in-
terests of those farmers who
provide necessary commodities
such as wheat, corn and rice. In-
stead, Helms is acting to appease
his valuable geographic and big

By Ingrid Kock
First in a series
In 1972, the University of Michigan Regents
resolved to establish guidelines on classified
research at the University of Michigan. The
guidelines have the dual purpose of ensuring
that University research projects have no
publications restrictions and that the resear-
ch projects do not result in the destruction of
human life.
The guidelines were established as a result
of pressure from students and faculty during
the time of the Vietnam War. The University
community objected to the highly classified
weapons work done at the University's Willow
Run Labratories, currently the private cor-
poration named Erim.
The reseach done at this laboratory earned
the University the unofficial title "Eyes of the
Army" and included research on heat sensing
technology used to destroy enemy insurgents;
tracking systems for ICBMs, and one project
titled "XXX" that was so secret faculty and
students working on the project were unable
to determine its true title or the nature of its
During the course of this past summer, the
guidelines came under close scrutiny, osten-
sibly because of the rejection of Professor
Raymond Tanter's research project titled
"Alternative Approaches to Arms Control."
The project proposal, erroneously labelled
"Peace Studies" by the Ann Arbor News and
the Regents, contained a working paper on
"Policy Analysis of Space Based Defensive
Technologies" where Professor Tanter rejec-
ted the Union of Concerned Scientist's objec-
tions that SDI is technically infeasible and
could have a disastrous effect on arms con-
Interestingly, Tanter has also forwarded a
one million dollar proposal to the Office of the
Strategic Defense Initiative, one of the
largest single proposals to emerge from the
University for Star Wars work. Clearly, in
light of the strong objections nationwide that
have been raised against the Star Wars
program, labelling a project that forwards
this program "Peace Studies" is a highly
political action.
In any case, Tanter's project was not rejec-
ted because its content was inherently
'peaceful or war inducing, but because it
violated Section 2 of the University classified
guidelines that state "the University will not
enter into... any agreement... that limits
open publication of the results of research
beyond approximately one year."
Professor Tanter's research project would
have utilized classified documents; thus. hi."
research project would have been classified
"Secret." This means that the Federal
Government would have had the right to
restrict publication of his research results.
There was an unusual consensus of Univer-
sity opinion in the rejection of the Tanter
proposal. The advisory faculty-student
Research Policies Committee voted
unanimously that the project should not go
Kock is the military research researcher
for the Michigan Student Assembly.

forward. And in an unprecedented move, Vice
President for Research Al Sussman rejected
the project. While the guidelines have doub-
tless prevented some University professors
from submitting highly classified weapons
work to the research review process, Tanter
is the first project ever to be stopped by the
With the rationale that the rejection of Tan-
ter's project was unwarranted and signalled
need for change in the University guidelines
under which it was rejected, on August 1,
1985, the University Regents voted to set up a
committee to review the classified guidelines.
In an Ann Arbor News article on Sunday
July 8, Regent Roach made clear what a
possible outcome of the review could be.
"Maybe we will discover that the guidelines
are a product of their time and that they
have outlived their usefulness." Other Regen-
ts spoke of the need for more "exceptions" to
be made to the guidelines.

this action may well pave the way for highly
classified research to return in force to the
Not only is the guidelines clause that bars
University research that could lead to the
destruction of human lives in danger, the
clause calling for open publication of research
results could also be affected by Regental
review. This action could significantly change
the open environment of University research.
During the time of the Vietnam War,
University graduate students working on
highly classified weapons projects had
problems with receiving clearance for the
publication of their doctoral dissertations
from the Department of Defense. Foreign st-
dents could have special problems and be
barred from working on University research
projects that involve restricted information.
Presumably, a public university exists both
to educate students and benefit the com-
munity through its research. If research
results cannot by circulated outside of the
narrow realm of policy decision makers, as
would have been the case with Tanter's
proposal, how is it possible that the Univer-
sity is fulfilling its function with this resear-
ch? If research results are not available to
students or faculty in thisruniversity or
others, why is it being done here?
There are serious questions that need to be
addressed before these situations occur and
before any changes in the guidelines are
The Regental decision to review the
guidelines comes at an especially precarious
time in the University's relationship with the
Pentagon. In June, Congress voted the largest
increase in 20 years for Pentagon University
research with 100 million dollars being allot-
ted for a new Pentagon program "to create
new military research programs on or near
University campuses and to provide oppor-
tunities for academic scientists to work at
Department of Defense laboratories.
In addition, the new research program. the
Strategic Defense Initiative or Star Wars, will
significantly increase the amount of Defense
dollars being spent at the University of
The Regent's review of the guidelines
comes at precisely the time when the Univer.
sity faces difficult choices of whether to take
on vast amounts of new weapons research.
The Regents, by eliminating or weakening the
guidelines, will be making the choice for the
University, for this action would ensure that
increased amounts of weapons work, in-
cluding Star Wars research will be performed
at the University. Before this happens, it is
imperative that University faculty and
students take part in this decision and make
their own voice heard.
The guideline review will most likely take
place in the course of the next semester. If the
guidelines are to remain intact, pressure on
the Regents, administrators, and the review
committee will be needed from all segmen-
ts of the University community.

Country singer Willie Nelson at the
Farm-Aid benefit concert

business constituencies.
Despite strong opposition by
Senate democrats, Helms
managed to get the bill passed by
integrating a measure permanen-
tly extending the 16-cent a pack
cigarette tax.
Such convoluted politicking and
abdication of responsibility on the
part of a key Senate leader is a
shame. Helms' lack of con-
sideration for the strained farming
community he ostensibly represen-
ts reeks of smoke where there may
soon be fire.

A three-part series
The guidelines are the product of a time
when the University of Michigan researched
weapons systems used by the federal gover-
nment to wage war in Vietnam and Southeast
Asia. The government continued to manufac-
ture weapons systems to be used in nuclear
and non-nuclear conflicts.
The students, faculty, and the ad-
ministration of the University of Michigan
have firmly expressed their resolution to keep
research which could be used in such conflicts
off campus; research which could lead to the
destruction of human life. Three years ago,
the faculty senate, the Michigan Student
Assembly, and administration recommended
that the classified guidelines be extended to
unclassified research, and thus that un-
classified research leading to .destroying
human life be barred.
For the Regents to now change the focus of
the argument and call for changes in the
classified guidelines, with the possible intent
of weakening them is to deny the importance
and legitimacy of University opinion, and





HINK IF you will of the disap-
pointment that accompanies
biting into an Oreo cookie only to
find that there is no cream center.
Or rather, imagine the Cleveland
Cavaliers basketball team, who in
spite of having outstanding talent
in most positions, comes up acutely
short because it has no one who can
play center.
The center of anything carries an
out of proportion impact to the area
it actually fills.
And the center of this University
is the diag.
And the center of that Diag is the
In removing the Diag 'M' for
repairs, the University is tam-
pering with something that goes
beyond concrete and chrome. The
"raftsmen charged with repairing
at icon are tinkering with the
ingle most representative artifact
of the University.
The 'M' stands at the geographic
center of central campus.
Generations of freshmen avoid
otepping on it for fear of failing
their first exams as the legend says
they will. Sophomores flaunt their

advanced age by going out of their
way to tread on it. Juniors and
seniors often smile wistfully at it,
knowing that in having relegated it
to the status of mere concrete they
cannot have much time left at the
Scores of Diag Socrates from
Stoney Burke to Reverend Jim
pace madly across it as they shock,
entertain, motivate, or bore their
Some misplaced graffitti artist,
trying to bring the symbol up to the
"modern" age, recently sprayed
the letters 'TV' along the! bottom
right hand corner in imitation of
the video music network, yet the
slab still looked graceful in its
unhappy surroundings.
The class ofa1956 couldn't have
known to what magnitude their
class gift would grow, but now,
while a pit marks the most
travelled intersection on campus,
the rest of the University most
assuredly does.
The University hasn't announced
when the repairs on the 'M' will be
finished, but with luck they have
made its quick repair a central





1 kJolN sraTE MD LOCAL
'TAXES Tcoo.,.
I1 O


~ U



SDI might make nuclear war obsolete.

To the Daily:
Our hopes for the survival of
this world have received a great
boost because of the Regents'
vote to encourage Strategic
Defense Initiative research on
At present SDI is only in the
research stage and as such, we do
not know what may be done. It is
possible that a system could be
developed that would make
nuclear weapons obsolete. This is
something that we must know. As
SDI is a possible method to save
the world, no amount of money or
support is too much.
People like Ingrid Kock and
Andrew Boyd, by being unwilling
to look at some possibilities or
even let nthers examine ideas.

are by their fascist closed-
mindedness, more likely to cause
nuclear destruction on this planet

than any scientists or politicians
who are willing to examine all

-Charles D. Lipsig
Seth B. Kukoff
September 21

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