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November 27, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-11-27

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, November 27, 1985

The Michigan Daily

rh Sidrigan Bai1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

4

Creature from the black 'U'

By Robert Honigman

Turkeys and lame ducks

THANKSGIVING is a holiday
for the birds.
More specifically, it is a holiday
of turkeys (certainly not for them)
basted and served with stuffing and
cranberry sauce.
That's the obvious part of the
holiday.
The other applicable bird is less
obvious: that's the lame duck.
Thanksgiving is as much a lan-
dmark in the academic year as the
lighthouse is to a trans-oceanic
:ship. It signals that the end is at
last in sight.
There is, of course, the matter of
the harbor rocks, in the Univer-
sity's case exams, still to
maneuver around, but better a
harbor of obstacles than an endless
sea.
From here on out, the semester is
history. Students who have yet to
CRISP at least know what they will
be taking next semester, and the
list of assignments still to do has
shrunken to the point that it can be
recited entirely.
Which, of course, sounds awfully
like a lame duck.

In the interim following the
selection of an official's successor
and his departure from office, he is
in the odd situation of maintaining
the power to make decisions, while
knowing full well that he will not be
around to take the blame if they
turn out to be poor ones.
And so it is for most of the
University community. Falling
asleep in class becomes almost ac-
ceptable because "he won't
remember who I am when he's
grading the final" attitudes are
more demonstrably true.
Putting off a day's homework
isn't so bad because "he can't ex-
pect us all to keep up now that
exams are coming."
And suddenly it seems less vital
to rewrite rough drafts so
rigorously when the clock strikes 5
a.m. and there's another term
paper due the next day.
Thanksgiving is a lull before the
final tempest; a final chance to
catch a breath before facing the
bulk of a semester's work in two
weeks.

Yes, Virginia, there is a creature that
cannot see itself in a mirror or stand the
light of day. It has no feelings and no
remorse, only hunger. It does not know it-
self or what is, and it has no memory nor
any awareness of the effect of its behavior
on others. And it loves the passive student,
the quiet faculty and the busy officials who
bury themselves in their little shells and
pass through its halls and corridors bum-
ping into each other but never meeting or
sharing their lives with each other. For in
each shell is nourishment for the creature's
growth.
One of the cruelest periods of university
growth in American higher education came
during the 1960s. In that era the federal
government began funding research at
major universities in the tens of millions of
dollars annually. But the federal gover-
nment reimbursed universities for the
overhead and indirect costs of research only
at the rate of 20% of direct costs, although in
fact, overhead costs ran between 60% -
80%. What that meant, for example, was
that when the University of Michigan
received $30 million for sponsored research,
it had to use $10 million from its general
fund to support the overhead and indirect
costs of research.
The public only saw the $30 million of
federal funds and thought the university
made a "profit" from research. The
University didn't tell them this was a false
impression because it didn't want the state
legislature to know it was syphoning off state
funds and tuition to subsidize federal
research (as it still does today.)
The University discovered it could find
millions of extra dollars in its general fund
Honigman is an attorney in Sterling
Heights.

if it watered undergraduate education by
making increasing use of graduate students
as teachers and increasing class sizes,
Tuitions were raised too, so that the
average freshman and sophomore actually
brought more into the university in tuition
and state appropriations than they cost the
university to teach (as they still do today).
This was standard practice at all big league
research universities, so there was no
question that it was something that was
competitively necessary if not morally
sound. Officials faced the unspoken conflict
that first rate universities had to im-
poverish their undergraduate programs in
order to grow and survive by simply never
speaking about it.
The result was that, in an era when the
University was increasingly oriented
towards graduate education, the campus
was packed with more new freshmen each
year to bring in the necessary revenue to
support expanding federal programs. Im-
mature people were attracted to the very
institutions least interested in serving them
so they could be exploited as a financial
resource. This monstrous evil was done un-
der the auspices of one of the kindest and
gentlest - and certainly one of the most
moral - presidents the University ever
had, Harlan Hatcher, a tall shy white haired
gentleman who was the embodiment of
academic probity and respectability.
It took a long time to realize that the
University is a creature that exists separate
and apart from the people who run it. The
creature doesn't let them see that it has
corrupted them and captured their
allegiance by making them partners in the
venture. They are obsessed with the growth
and survival of the institution and its corr-
petitive position, to the exclusion of
any other goals or values because their own
careers are tied to its growth - and in a
way, it's hard to see how they could behave
or think any differently. No institution ever
matures and survives without becoming a
creature whose first goal is survival and
growth. And it must never allow anyone to

become aware of its real motives or see its
behavior in the clear light of day or it will
die through public condemnation and
regulation.
But just occasionally you can catch a
glimpse, of the creature, as it unconsciously
surfaces under the smooth rhetoric of public
relations. Once, Michael Raddock as head
of the University of Michigan's public
relations department naively identified
"the purposes and functions to be served by
the University Relations staff. Its purpose is
'to maximize support for, and minimize op-
postion to, the University of Michigan and
its programs.' ('Support' as used here in-
cludes political-societal support as well as I
financial support.)" (Report to the
President, Vol. IV, 1968) Raddock was not
an evil man articulating a sinister program
- rather he was an extraordinarily naive
man who happened to stumble across the
real purpose of the University without
realizing its significance. Francis Allen, the
law school dean also delivering his Report
to the President in 1968-69, described a
disturbing attitude he found widespread
among students in the University: "The
only thing that-matters, it is said, are the
realities of power; the reasons are a
disguise and a camouflage; those who in-
dulge in such efforts as reasoned ar-
ticulation are simply engaged in a cosmetic
function." Probably few in the university
ever noticed these two isolated comments
plucked at random from the boring tedium
of institutional documentation, or that they
said essentially the same thing. So no one
ever realized that students picked up these
attitudes from the University itself.
The University takes its students firmly
in grasp and injects its values into them,
and students become a walking adver-
tisement for the institution. People who take
from others when they are helpless and
dependent. People obsessed with their own
survival and reputation. People who never
admit they are wrong. Do you see people
like that around you?

LETTERS:
Band-O-Rama deserved big coverage

a6

Time for reflection

TP 0 THE AVERAGE third grade
class, Thanksgiving is a time
to recall the contributions of such
noble "Indians" as Squanto to the
early American settlers.
To listen exclusively to such
stories obscures the harsh realities
of the historical and contemporary
conditions of Native Americans.
While there is no denying that
many Native American customs
have become a part of general U.S.
culture, yet the Native Americans
themselves remain downtrodden.
With rates of alcoholism and
suicide among their young
traditionally far above the
average, Native Americans are
threatened even as a population.
As a culture, they seem slowly to
be winning more respect as
scholars take their art and social
theories more seriously, but the
realities of that culture are too of-
ten cartoonized to appear only as
junk jewelry or smoke signals and
wigwams.
Native American students at the
University are still considered an
under represented minority in spite
spite of slim gainst in enrollment
the last two years. Currently, there
are a total of 153 Native Americans
constituting .5 percent of the
student body.
In spite of their small numbers at
the University, Native Americans
should be considered in some ways
to be the University's founders.

The University's forerunner, the
College of Detroit, was build on
land donated by the Chippewa, Ot-
tawa, and Potawatomi tribes.
In 1981, a 10 year legal battle over
a charge that the tribes granted the
University the land on the condition
that its children receive free
education thereafter ended when
the Michigan Court of Appeals
declared the charge unfounded.
Nevertheless, the University main-
tains a scholarship fund sup-
plemented by money from the
Federal Bureau for Indian Affairs
to provide money specifically for
qualified Native Americans.
While such financial support is
appropriate for academically
qualified students, it provides no
help for the large number of Native
American teenagers who are
unable to benefit from secondary
education because the setting in
which they live does not par-
ticularly encourage scholarship.
With over 50,000 Native Americans
in the state, the University has an
obligation to assist them in
educating themselves.
While Thanksgiving is an ap-
propriate time to recall the con-
tributions that Native Americans
have made to contemporary
culture, it should also be a time to
reflect on the conditions that
prevent today's Native American
population from realizing its full
potential.

To the Daily:
Was anyone at the Daily even
cognizant of Band-O-Rama, the
University band's fall spec-
tacular? In case you didn't know,
it was last Saturday night,
November 2. Indredulously,
Monday's edition of the Daily
lacked any mention of the event.
Perhaps you weren't informed
of the performance. That
wouldn't be much of an excuse.
The event was well posted.
Besides, shouldn't the people in
your Happenings section have
been able to alert the rest of the
staff?
Perhaps you didn't think the
performance would be any good.
I sincerely hope this isn't the
case. It would be extremely dif-
ficult to respect you as jour-
nalists if so. True or not, you
missed one of the most spec-
tacular shows you could ever
hope to attend. Among the
highlights: the premier perf or-
mance of a piece of music com-
missioned Dr. Revelli in honor of
his 50th anniversary with the
University bands, a standing
ovation for the piece, its mar-
velous performance by the sym-
phony band, and Dr. Revelli, and
an electrifying "Blues Brothers"
revue from the marching band
that brought a capacity crowd in
Hill Auditorium to its feet several
times.
Perhaps the editors decided
that Band-O-Rama wasn't "news
worthy." As editors this is your
privilege, buteit makes me won-
der about their reasoning.
President Shapiro's open house
was considered "news worthy."
According to the Daily "...about
600 students..." attended the open
house. According to the
program handed out by ushers,
Band-O-Rama featured over 450
students and faculty members.
I'll concede that the open house
starred more students, but did
4300 people buy tickets to watch
students parade through the
President's home? Band-O-
Rama sold out Hill Auditorium.
All told, the four bands directly
affected nearly 500 people in one
three hour event. What con-
stitutes "news worthy?"
Perhans vn didn't think the

4, 1985). Band-O-Rama could
have made cosmetic con-
tributions to the paper as well.
The marching band could have
provided several photographs
slightly more eye-catching than
your front-page portrait of
students filing into the Shapiro
residence. Take for instance the
double-time, high-step entry as
the band members came
charging down the aisles or the
choreography of the percussion
section during Temptation. Both
of these scenes could have
yielded pictures with all the in-
tensity and emotion that photo-
journalists search for.
Assuming that all my
hypotheses up to this point are in-
correct, (the Daily staff knew
about Band-O-Rama, they an-
ticipated andentertaining perfor-
mance, and the editors con-
sidered the event both news wor-
thy and captivating), maybe you

had actually planned on printing
a write-up on the concert, but due
to unforeseen problems you were
unable to cover the event. That
would explain the absence of a
write-up but is no excuse for
complete omission. Not enough
space? Most newspapers edit to
make room. It wouldn't be ex-
tremely difficult to squeeze in a
paragraph or two.
So we still don't know why the
Daily ignored Band-O-Rama.
Perhaps the event didn't live up
to the Daily's requirements of
political activism or Big Ten
Football standings. Sadly, the
Daily is becoming a paper ex-
clusively for sportswriting and
political bantering. The concert,
symphony, jazz, and marching
bands weren't with Bo's Boys in
Illinois for the weekend or
protesting the CIA's presence on
campus so they weren't worthy of
your coverage. So what if they've

been working for over two mon-
ths, so what if they earned ap-
proximately $17,000 in one
evening, so what if over 4000
people cheered them on?
Maybe it's time the Daily came
down off its political and athletic
high horses. Our University and
community have many more
facets than sports and
fashionably controversial
political issues. I'm not
suggesting that you abandon your
attempts to keep students infor-
med on these aspects of campus
life, merely that you expand your
focus to include other issues as
well. These areas may not direc-
tly concern you, may not even
matter to you, could even be
disagreeable to you, but might be
subjects or viewpoints that are
very important to others.
-Michael Kampe
November 6

'Graffiti artists 'respond on paper

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
your article on campus graffiti
printed in last Thursday's
edition. I would like to make
clear to that particular journalist
and tothe general publicrthat
distinctiion between a "graffiti
artist" and a "graffiti scrawler."
A "graffiti scrawler" is an ar-
tistically untalented cowardly
vandal whose only purpose in his
messages is to cause pain and
sorrow to all who view his
disgraceful work.
"Graffiti artists" or "graffiti
writers", such as myself and my
crew are quite the opposite.
Our purpose is to liven people's
lives through the display of our
unmatched artistic talent which
would otherwise go unseen by the
public.
Unlike the scrawlers, our
"pieces" (short for "master-
pieces") are sprayed or "bom-
bed" in the most brilliant and
vibrant of colors with the most in-
tricate of styles. Our murals,
large depictions of people or
places, take hours of painstaking
planning and preparation not to
mention the many more hours
spent in spraying the mural it-
BLOOM COUNTY

self. These pieces are oftentimes
short lived, being "buffed" or
eradicated a few days to a few
weeks after the initial spray.
Undaunted by these temporary
setbacks, we continue to borbh
hoping that someday more people
will acknowledge graffiti as a
true art form. This goal,
however, is made all the more
difficult to reach by the scrawlers
who continue to not only hurt and

anger others with their mindless,
bigoted sayings, but also create a
bad name for the true graffiti ar-
tists who spray in the hopes of
pleasing others.
-The Phantom
Representative of the
"Graffiti Kings"
including Kid Wack
and Clay-D
November 21

Sexism in sport section

To the Daily:
Your Monday, Nov. 25 editorial
("Girl Talk") should have noted
that sexism is alive and thriving
not just in the Reagan ad-
ministration but also in the sports
section of The Michigan Daily.
Again this year the so-called
"Michigan Daily Guide to
Wolverine Basketball" ignored
the women's team. True. Mon-
day's issue did give the women 25
square inches of coverage. That
compares to the 23 square feet for
the men; is that all you think the
women are worth? The Daily
owes its readers an explanation
and women athletes in general an

apology for this continued sexist
policy in sports coverage.
Is it perhaps the case that you
feel people are not interested in
women's basketball or you just
did not have the energy to cover
the whole basketball story or
maybe it's just economics in that
you cannot get enough adver-0
tising revenue to off set the cost
of the full coverage. If your
editorials do represent a
majority of the Editorial Board
then why don't you put your
views into practice. It is not too
late to do the right thing.
-Bob Beattie
November 25
by Berke Breathed

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