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March 25, 1986 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-25

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, March 25, 1986 The Michigan Daily

I

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS:
Researcher upset over inaccuracies

Vol XCVI, No. 118

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

The dirty path

MUDSLINGING is a natural
part of competitive elec-
tions, especially where apathy
reigns and the electorate is not
used to picking candidate on
philosophical grounds. However,
mudslinging in the Michigan
Student Assembly elections
reached a new low with false
charges against Student Rights
party members Jen Faigel and
Mark Weisbrot of being
"organizing members" of a
"Marxist group." In actuality,
what happened was that Jen
Faigel, Mark Weisbrot, Ingrid
Kock, Eric Schnaufer and Bruce
Belcher signed a petition in order
to allow a Marxist theory group to
continue to exist on campus.
If students at the University
have heard of the Marxist Group at
all it is a result of the free
theoretical papers that the study-
group left in the Union and other
public places. The papers discuss
various theoretical issues such as
free speech from a Marxist per-
spective.
This school year, the Marxist
Group only distributed one paper
before its active members left
town to take teaching jobs or to
study in other countries. None of
the Student Rights people who did
the group the favor of signing up
continued the activities of the
Marxist Group. It is defunct except
in the exercised minds of political
opportunists.
Ironically, the red-baiting of
Student Rights Party members
comes from those who speak in the
name of a diversity of viewpoints.
It did not occur to the partisans of
supposedly even-handed represen-
tation that by signing the Marxist
Group petition Student Rights
members tried to prevent the
Marxist Group from going out of
existence due to lack of large num-
bers of committed organizers. The
same Student Rights members
have done the same favor to
University pluralism by signing
onto many other groups. Eric
Schnaufer, a supporter of Student
Rights and a white male, even
signed on for a black law student
group.
Worse, the attack on Student
Rights could have stuck to the
issues if it were solely intended to
prove that Student Rights is more
left-wing than the Meadow party.
None of the Student Rights ticket
members have denied or would
deny their liberal, progressive or
for some members-radical per-
suasions. Student Rights has
openly put forward its positions on
the issues of women, minorities,
the Third World, South Africa, the
military, and the code.
It is apparent that some minor
issues like the political nature of
the MSA Budget Priorities Com-

mittee and the use of Opus car-
toons divert substantial quantities
of energy. In the last election a
mere 18% of students voted.
Perhaps nothing more than per-
sonality struggles, sloganeering,
and mudslinging could come of an
election with such a poor history.
MSA candidates have had dif-
ficulty convincing the student body
of the importance of the issues they
work on.
The Meadow party is certainly
right to believe that the MSA in-
vestigation of the Budget Priorities
Committee that candidate Muen-
chow heads is political. Student
Rights candidates accused Muen-
chow of a bias against liberal
groups. Thus, it is not surprising
that Muenchow responds to
Student Rights by supporting a dif-
ferent kind of investigation.
Seeking to mimic the fair-
sounding rhetoric of investigation,
the presidential and vice-
presidential candidates of the
Meadow and Indispensable parties
cosigned a resolution calling for an
investigation of Student Rights'
Marxist ties.
Red-baiting is certainly the
mark of desperation. McCarthy
used it to intimidate his political
opponents. Reagan's aides used it
when it seemed likely that the
Democrats would not support
military aid to the contras. In or-
der to obtain the Marxist Group
Student group status petition,
somebody had to look through non-
public files. It is frightening to
think of the 1984 type of personality
that would do such a thing.
It is tempting to ignore
misleading election smears. For
example, MSA election officials
vainly attempted to prevent the
use of posters based on the Marxist
Group petition.
However, in France, 10% of the
voters turned out to support Jean-
Marie Le Pen's party, which
scapegoats immigrants for the
most important of France's
problems. In Illinois, followers of
Lyndon LaRouche have won the
Democratic primary in Illinois for
lieutenant governor and secretary
of state despite a platform calling
for mandatory AIDS tests for
everyone. No one can afford to just
forget about LaRouche and Le Pen
anymore.
In a similar vein, it is impossible
to overlook the McCarthyist
nature of the attacks on the Student
Rights party; even though Student
Rights itself is partly responsible
for focussing voter attention on
ridiculous issues such as the use of
the Opus cartoon. It is too bad that
certain students and candidates
could not focus themselves on the
concrete concerns that arise in
MSA. Instead, they took the easier
route of mudslinging.

To the Daily:
As the Michigan Student
Assembly Advisor on University
research, I believe that it is im-
portant for students to protect
their rights in University decision
making by electing an assembly
which has the knowledge and ex-
perience to address campus
issues such as University resear-
ch. I am concerned with recent
campaign statements which
reveal some candidates'
ignorance of basic facts concer-
ning U-M research.
The most disturbing example
of this is Meadow Party's
misrepresenation of current U-M
guidelines on classified research.
While the Meadow Party states
that "classified research...
should be prohibited according to
our present guidelines," the
University's present research
guidelines do not prohibit
classified research, they mrerely
exclude classified research with
publication restrictions beyond
one year. Because any
publication restrictions impose
serious limits on scholars
academic freedom, the Studnet
Rights Party has endorsed this
year's MSA's decision to change
the classifed research guidelines
to ban all classifiedtresearch.
Furthermore, the Meadow
Party claims that research direc-
tly intended for the destruction of
human life should be prohibited
according to our present
research guidelines. Again, the
Meadow Party misstates the
current guidelines. The present
policies bar only classified
research which is destructive to
human life. The Students Rights
Party upholds MSA's and the
Faculty Senate's decision to ex-
tend the guidelines to cover un-
classified research. Ironically,
the Meadow Party seems to
believe this had already hap-
pened.
The Meadow Party has also
stated that it makes no "artificial
distinction" between SDI (Star
Wars) and other research gran-
ts...' On the contrary, there is a
significant difference. No other
research program threatens to
double the amount of defense
spending on campus. Noother
research program has caused
over half of the U-M Physics
Department to pledge that they
will not participate. Because it is
important that students are in-
formed on this issue, Students
Rights Party members worked to
organize last year's successful
conference, "The Strategic
Defense Initiative and Univer-
sities." From their uninformed
statements, it appears that the
Meadow Party failed to attend.
Students Rights Party members,
however, are pledge to further
educational events on the issue of
SDI by forming a University
committee to evaluate its effects
on campus.
Finally, the Meadow Party has
written that "one-third of all Un-
iversity research grants are
directly placed in the University
general fund-more money
somewhat reduces the risk of in-
creased tuition." This statement
is erroneous and misleading. The
University subsidizes, through
payments of indirect cost, all
research. The Unviersity pays
costs for the buildings, equip-
ment, and salaries of resear-
chers. The Meadow Party im-
plies that decisions about resear-
ch are value-free while they in
fact depend on University policy.

When the University shifts its

priorities to attract high-
tech weapons research, many
University departments suffer.
For example, while Department
of Defense research as increased
16 percent in the past year,
research for education has
plummetted 45 percent. To have
influence on these types of
decisions and to uphold the
quality of student's education,
MSA representatives must grasp
issues, not employ empty

S. Rights weapon position

rhetoric.
After a year as an MSA ad-
visor, I appreciate the importan-
ce of student representation
based on student knoweldge and
experience on University issues.
Students must be able to in-
telligently and coherently
present a case to the administar-
tion and to other students in order
to be effective. To do so takes
time and experience. Student
Rights Party members have the

experience and skill to perform
effectively whether it be on issue
of fair housing, the code,
Women's Safety, or Classified
Research. Student Rights must
be maintained with such an ex-
perienced and knowledgeable
MSA. I urge all students to vote
for the Student Rights Party in
this week's MSA elections.
-Ingrid Koek
MSA University
Research Advisor
March 21
unrealistic
tion is inherently morbid, but it
has worked for a quarter-cen-
tury, and its extension into space
is the lesser and by far the safer
of two evils.
Quentin R. Rutherford
College of Engineering
March 20

To the Daily:
In its recently circulated policy
statment, the Student Rights par-
ty defined its opposition to
classified weapons research at
the University. The party states,
"A University cannot function
properly without the open
publication of research results.
Access (to these results) and
freedom from the burden of
security clearances are student
rights."
This position is based on
unrealistic idealism regarding
weapons control. Even if the
University bans classified
research, as schools such as MIT
and CalTech have, such research
will go on elsewhere as long as it
remains our Government's policy
to continue it. The only net result
for the University will be the loss
of our present esteemed position
as a top-notch space research and
engineering school. Who is
Student Rights kidding? Has the
typical LS&A or medical student
really been burdened by the need
to obtain a security clearance?
As an aerospace major, Iaccept
the fact that I need clearance to
participate on certain projects.
Also, how many LS&A majors
need or care about the ac-
cessibility ofresearch that has
been classified in the interest of
our national security? Let's not
make statements for statements'
sake.
The Party's position on other
issues is laudable; so is support
for world peace. However, the
main purpose of MSA is to help
students here, not to make noble
political statements on issues
that most students here aren't
directly affected by. If Student
Rights and/or the Assembly want

classified research removed
from campus, they should write
to Washington, and to Moscow,
where the Soviet leadership
would welcome a chance to over-
take the U.S. in the critical area
of space technology. Deterrence
through mutual assured destruc-

Women s supporters OK'd

4

To the Daily:
Student Rights Party can-
didates have been actively in-
volved in MSA throughout the
year, especially on the Women's
Issues Committee.Five women
and men, namely Michelle
Missaghieh, Debbie Weisman,
Rebecca Felton, David Lovinger,
and Lisa Russ, are running on the
Student Rights ticket and have
worked on such issues as im-
proving the Nite Owl, the West
Quad, Barbour, Newbery team
escort service, and development
of SAFEWALK, a night-time
safety program planned for fall
1986. In addition, they have par-
ticipated in date and acquaintan-
ce rape workshops sponsored by
the new Sexual Assault Center
for Education 'and Prevention,
and have effected improvements'
in lighting on campus.
Presidential candidate Jen
Faigel has been instrumental in
obtaining and improving
programming at the University.
Such efforts have included
programs for both men and
women on sexual assault;
organizing the January 1985 sit-in
in Vice President Henry John-

son's office, in which demands
for improved safety were presen-
ted. These efforts resulted in the
creation of the new Sexual
Assault Center with a $75,000 an-
nual budget, and in the
development of an emergency
phone system, to be installed this
May. Faigel was also respon-
sible for getting an identifying
sign on the Nite Owl and has been
working to improve its route. She
has been a valuable resource and
an outspoken advocate for vic-
tims of sexual harassment at the
University. Most of all, Faigel is
devoted to assuring that women's
voices on the assembly are
heard.
Considering these candidates'
superlative efforts and
achievements, MSArWomen's
Issues Committee whole hear-
tedly endorses them, and
strongly urges others who are
concerned with campus safety to
vote for these highly effective
and devoted people.
Amy Simon/Debbie Kohnstamm
Co-Chairs, MSA Women's Issues
Committee
March 234

Eriksen deserves publications vote

To the Daily:
Who brought you a free Daily?
I did. And so did the other 40 staf-
fers who spent hours deliberating
over that tough decison 13 months
ago.
So where does one candidate
for the Board for Student
Publications get off placing a
classified ad taking credit for the
decision? She wasn't even in
charge then.
The Daily is at a critical
crossroads where it is
precariously balanced betwen
financial collapse and un-
precedented success, and as I
prepare to graduate I'm worried
about its future. That's why I
strongly endorse Andrew Eriksen
for the student seat on the board.
Eriksen is the only one of the
three candidates who has devoted
the last three years - including
summers - to the Daily. He has
served as a news editor, reporter,
and opinion page editor on the
news side of the Daily and as a
manager on the business staff,
and he is now willing to help

supervise the paper as a board
member.
The board is a bizarre com-
plication of students, journalists,
and professors. Some seem
genuinely interested in the well-
being of the paper, while others
seem more interested in padding
their resumes. A half-million-
dollar student-run activity
shouldn't be controlled by anyone
who isn't thoroughly familiar
with the entire operation and
unquestionably dedicated to its
well being.

I'm worried about the Daily.
There is little that I can do for the
paper as a graduating senior, but
there is one thing I can do this
week. That's why I am begging
the student body to turn to the
publications board ballot during
the MSA elections and vote for
the only candidate with whom I
would entrust the Daily: Andrew
Eriksen.
Neil Chase
Former Editor-in-Chief
Michigan Daily
March 23

Schnaufer not informed

4

To the Daily:
Eric Schnaufer, a Michigan
Student Assembly Law School
representative, was recently
quoted as calling the Meadow
Party "conservative." (Daily,
3/14/86) It is a shame that
Schnaufer couldv not elaborate
on his definition of conservative.
The Meadow party is known
around campus for its moderate
stance on issues - neither con-
servative nor liberal. It has a
broad collection of candidates
who reflect the various views of a
largenumber of University
students.
The party Schnaufer supports
is anything but diverse. In fact,
many students believe that the
Student Rights party represents

only a small number of politically
leftist students on campus. THis
notion is supported by the fact
that its presidential candidate,
Jen Faigel, vice-presidential
candidate Mark Weisbrot and
Rackham representative Bruce
Belcher signed a petition to
enable the continued existence of
the campus "Marxist Group."
Schnaufer surely cannot believe
that these views are shared by
the majority of University
students. Informed students
should decide how the parties in
this year's election stack up on
the issues - not on spurious
labels proposed by Eric
Schnaufer.
Peter Steiner
March 22

Falsities about No Code

MSA referenda

N ADDITION to supporting
Student Rights candidates Jen
Faigel and Mark Weisbrot, voters
in the MSA elections would do well
to pay attention to certain referen-
da questions. It may come as a
surprise to some, but the Univer-
.;i i ; 'c i inl tiP I fto l Tm ; c

Organizations Accounts Service.
On the code, students should
reserve the final word for them-
selves by asking MSA to call for a
student body vote before approving
any code of non-academic conduct
offered by the administration.
Finally, there is a auestion

To the Daily:
Contrary to what Meadow
party vice presidential
candidate Darrell Thompson
says, Meadow party vice
presidential candidate Kurt
Muenchow has NOT been "in-
strumental in... maintaining the
"No Code" movement, but in
helping begin it." (Daily, March
24).
As a founding member of NO
CODE! past Chair of MSA Code
Committee and Student Rights
Committee and member of the
Univre ., (nm.nl Tnor- +n-o

perience as Muenchow's op-
posing the code.
Moreover, Muenchow did not
oppose the code outside of any of-
the previously mentioned groups.
The only other association he has
had with persons working against
the code was his college room-
mate who founded Students for a
Responsible University Com-
munity.
It is crucial that students elect
MSA officers they can trust to
oppose a repressive code. If
Muenchow's previous efforts
against a code are any indication

Muenchow not qualified

To the Daily:
As concerned members of both
Michigan Student Assembly and
its internal Budget Priorities
Committee (BPC), we feel Kurt
Muenchow is not qualified to abe
MSA president.

This repeated absence has
compromised the performance of
the committee. It is not sur-
prising that the BPC has received
complaints from student
organizations, and is under inter-
nal investigation by MSA.
Ther mnt imnnrtantdniualityof

i

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