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September 05, 1985 - Image 45

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

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 1985 - Page B5

Activism still sparking
student protests at 'U'






voices U

We shall not be, we shall not

be moved,
We shall not be,
be moved.

we shall not

Just like a tree that stands
beside the water,
We shall not be moved.
--song heard at a typical rally
They sat-in against it. They listened
to speeches and sang songs about it.
And they even went to jail for it. "It" on
this campus is any one of a range of
issues - from divestment in South
Africa to the war in Nicaragua, from
military research on campus to rape.
It is any issue that anywhere from one
to a hundred people care enough
about to shake their social con-
sciences free of cobwebs and their
minds off of grade point averages long
enough to do something for.
This is the University of Michigan,
"the bastion of liberalism" in the
Midwest. Through the haze of
materialism that has fogged the min-
ds of young Americans and turned
campuses around the country into
what '60s activist Abbie Hoffman
called "hotbeds of social rest," the
University has continued to be the
scene of protests. Not as numerous
nor as large as the oft-mentioned
protests of the '60s, but not a long-
forgotten memory either.
EVERY ONCE in a while pictures
of activists carrying signs appear on
the front page of The Daily.
Of the hundreds of student
organizations on this campus, two
stand out as vanguards of students ac-
tivism: the Progressive Student Net-
work (PSN) and the Latin American
Solidarity Committee (LASC). In
general, PSN concentrates on stop-
ping military research on campus,
while LASC is concerned with U.S. in-
tervention in Central America.
But their interests extend beyond
these issues.
Last November, for example, three
representatives of the CIA came to
town to recruit and interview Univer-

sity students who considered joining
the agency.
were met, however, by about fifty
students who chanted, banged drums,
and put the representatives on "trial"
for "its heinous crimes in Central
America," as one protester put it.
As they walked out of the
auditorium in the Modern Languages
Building, the protestors, chanting
"hey, hey, ho, ho, the CIA has got to
go," chased the representatives out of
the building, and up two flights of
stairs in a parking structure to the
CIA car.
The representatives canceled their
interviews the next day, citing "con-
cern of the safety of their personnel,"
as their reason. The CIA, however,
covertly interviewed students in
December, and held successful inter-
views in January despite toned-down
protest in the Michigan League.
IN APRIL, STUDENTS held a sit-in
outside the University's office for
research to protest the U.S. Depar-
tment of Defense's offer of research
contracts to the school.
Probably the most effective protest
on campus last year was a sit-in at the
office of the University Vice President
for Student Services Henry Johnson.
About 50 protesters, angered by
comments Johnson made in
Metropolitan Detroit magazine that
the University glosses over rape
statistics to preserve its image,
presented Johnson with a list of
demands to improve campus safety.
Michigan Student Assembly's
Women's Issues committee, the ad-
ministration approved in May to
allocate $75,000 to start a rape preven-
tion center on campus.
However, not all rallies are suc-
cessful. One rally in November,
protesting a code of non-academic
conduct proposed by the ad-
ministration, was met with apathy.
Most protests seem to come from
the political left side. The right,
however, did make an appearance to
protest Democratic presidential can-
didate Walter Mondale, when he
made his stop in Ann Arbor on the

The Michigan Student Assembly
is the student voice on campus and
provides the chance to get involved
in decisions about the University.
"Part of what MSA does is
represent the students to the ad-
ministration. We are the students'
voice within the decision-making
process at the University," said
Jennifer Faigel, MSA's student
government's public relations
MSA HAS COME under criticism
in recent years for being ineffec-
tive. Faigel thinks the problem is
caused by lack of respect from the
administration and not enough
students using MSA as a resource.
Despite its problems, MSA was
responsible for stimulating student
awareness of the administration's
plan for a code of non-academic
conduct, coined "The Code" by
MSA. Many students think the
proposal is unfair and unclear, and
MSA has been organizing forums,
protests, and negotiations with the
administration to create an
agreeable plan.
MSA was also responsible for the
formation of a Women's Crisis
included working against budget
and financial aid cuts to the
Paul Josephson, MSA president,
said students should use MSA to
accomplish things they feel should
be done at the University.
"Political ends are not important
for some at MSA, rather it's get-

ting things accomplished."
Josephson said he likes to em-
phasize the importance of student
involvement in MSA. "One thing I
like to stress is the educational
value for the student. On top of
classes, you get a good education
on how the University is run and
how an institution is run," he said.
MSA is student-run and relies on
hundreds of volunteers to serve on
one of its 12 standing committees
or short-term special committees.
students to effectively serve at the
University they have to be part of
MSA. "Students feel like
something in them is not being
tapped. MSA is a way of reaching
Josephson thinks the time com-
mitment may deter students from
becoming part of MSA, but said,
"You don't have to worry about
academics if you're grounding
yourself in heavy-duty work."
Developing yourself as a person
and getting experience is just as
important as a letter grade, he ad-
Otherwise, Josephson said, the
University will simply become a
"diploma mill."
Josephson stressed that the key
to achieving things in college is to
get involved. "Then the University
is not a faceless monster," he said.
Students pay about $10 to MSA
each year. The money funds
-Student Legal Services, The
Tenants Union, and contributions
'to various student organizations
and counseling services.


Students protest CIA recruitment on campus last November. The
recruiters were chased off the campus but returned for a successful drive
in January.

campaign trail last October. Later
last year, a group of anti-abortionists
held a vigil in the Diag for aborted
One interesting characteristic
about activism on campus has been
the disalignment with national tren-
ds. In the last few months of the school
term, large apartheid protests began
at Columbia and Berkeley. At the same
time, however, protests here began to
dwindle, except for an unsuccessful
apartheid rally and "camp-out"
during finals week.
This fall, the campus seems to be
the scene of protests once again. A
newly-formed group opposing apar-

theid in South Africa has said they will
push the University to divest the
remaining $5 million they have in-
vested in companies that do business
with South Africa. Protests in 1983
forced the University to divest 90 per-
cent of the $50 million they had in-
"Activism on this campus is
nascent," said Eric Schnuafer, a
graduate student and campus ac-
tivist. "It's growing. It used to be that
you had one issue for the term. But
last year, you had the code, you had
apartheid, you had military research,
and you had campus safety."

O'U' research institute compiles nationwide studies


Sunday, Sept. 8

The University's Institute for Social
Research is the largest academic
survey center in the world.
Inside the massive white walls of
the building, researchers work day
and night to compile some of the most
comprehensive studies about voting
trends, changing economy, the use of
drugs, racial attitudes, and the
Squality of life.
The surveys that the ISR resear-
chers publish are used by government
agencies nationwide and findings are
referred to by scholars worldwide.
An average survey takes ap-
proximately two years to complete.
However, the time fluctuates depen-
ding on the nature of the survey and
the funding provided. "The best sur-
veys have a well-defined beginning,
*but not a well-defined end," said F.
Thomas Juster, ISR director and
University professor of economics.
The longest-running ISR survey is
an on-going election survey which
began 37 years ago. The study, which
collects data every two years, ex-
plores why people vote and how they
choose their candidates.
The findings reveal that since the
survey began, voters are showing a
greater trust in government, Juster
The following are some of the
largest and more well-known studies
conducted by the ISR since its
eRecently publicized findings show
that teens are more concerned with
nuclear war and value materialistic
goals and that Americans are
becoming more anxious, and have
more problems in interpersonal
(relationships. The survey also showed
*Lhat drug and marijuana use by high
school seniors has declined in the past
seven years.
"The study of racial attitudes and
the cause of the mid-60s race riots.

The 1968 survey results found that
those who participated in the riots
were not different from non-
participators in employment status
and family values. The reasons were
more subjective, like sensitivity to
*The 1978 survey of black
Americans shows that they are
struggling socioeconomically.
*The South-Asian refugee and
resettlement pattern study (1981-1985)
concluded that the Asian boat people
who arrived in 1978 achieved
economic self-suffiency and climbed
out of poverty in America with
remarkable speed.
*Surveys of consumer attitudes
show that psychological factors affect
the economy and alter purchasing
patterns of major household goods.
Factors influencing patterns include
the effectiveness of economic policy
and the economy. The original study
began 35 years ago and runs every
month; and
*The Study of Income Dynamics
found that one in every four

Americans lived (at one time) in a
family that received some form of
public assistance from 1969-1978.
In a two-year period, approximately
350 studies are published as a result of
ISR surveys. The institute has
published books on topics such as
American gambling attitudes and
behavior, white attitudes toward
blacks, and a report on permanent
and seasonal residents in northern
"These studies are accurate, they
are not speculation," Juster said.
"What is unique about the ISR is
that we use data that we design and
collect. Our surveyers decide what
the measurements will be and what
they want to study," Juster said.
To stay afloat financially, the in-
stitute has to propose as many as 200
grant project ideas a year. Some of
these are funded with grants from
agencies like the Public Health Ser-
vice, the National Science Foun-
dation, national, defense, labor, and
agriculture departments, plus private
grants from the Ford Foundation and

the Carnegie Fund.
The institute receives a small
amount of state support for projects
and some University financial sup-
The ISR employs approximately 500
supervisors and 300 interviewers
stationed all over the country who
may be conducting anywhere from
100-150 surveys at any time.


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