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September 04, 1986 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-04

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Page 2B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1986
Students want more power in decisions

Last November, University
President Harold Shapiro called Paul
Josephson into his office to try to cut a
deal on the code of non-academic
cinduct. In this private meeting with
the president of the Michigan Student
Assembly, Shaprio said he had grown
tired of the snail's pace of the Univer-
sity Council's deliberations.
The Council has been working for
more than a year on an alternative to
the administration's controversial
code proposal, which many students
said violated their civil rights.
Shaprio, who suspected students on
the council of stalling, gave
Josephson two options. He said he
would allow MSA to draft its own ver-
sign of the Code if the assembly
agreed to stick closely to the ad-
ministration's proposal.
if not, Shapiro said he would use his
"executive powers" to recommend
that the Board of Regents bypass

regental bylaw 7.02 which gives MSA
veto power over any code, and im-
plemented the administration's
"He gave us the choice of letting us
cut our throats or him cutting them
for us," Josephson said at the time.
Realizing that bypassing the bylaw
would generate bad publicity for the
University, Josephson considered
bargaining with the administration
about the code, in part to gain more
University funds for the new campus
rape crisis center.
But a strong opponent of the code,
law student Eric Schnaufer, told the
Daily about the plan and both Shapiro
and Josephson quickly scrapped the
Balance of power
The incident reflects the balance of
power between administrators and
students at the University. While ad-
ministrators hold actual decision-

'Student participation in decision-making
processes can contribute to both the ex-
cellence of the University and the
development of its students.'
-1968 report on the role of
students in decision-making

making power, students have the
ability to pressure the image-
conscious University through the
media and high-publicity political
demonstrations. MSA is best
described as a lobbying organization
for student interests, according to
Jenifer Faigel, a former MSA
presidential candidate and former
chair of the assembly's women's
issues committee.
Students also serve on such ad-
visory committees to administrators

as the University's Budget Priorities
Committee, but their suggestions,
students say, do not constitute
decision-making power.
While students are sometimes suc-
cessful in influencing University
policy - as Faigel was in creating the
rape crisis center - they are not
satisfied with this role. Members of
MSA's legislative relations commit-
tee, for example, have been urging
state legislators to support a bill ap-
pointing students to the governing

boards of the state public univer-
Questioned in the '60s
Today's students are not the first to
want more real power. Throughout
the 1960s, in response to increasing
student activism, the University
examined the role students play in
policy-making. Three ad hoc commit-
tees, formed between 1962 and 1968,
agreed that students could offer a
unique perspective to University ad-
The last of three urged then-
University President Robben
Fleming to give students "a substan-
tial role in the making of decisions
within the University community."
"Student participation in decision-
making processes can contribute both
the excellence of the University and
the development of its students. The
quality and maturity of
present-day Michigan students
make it desirable to extend such par-

ticipation," the report said.
It continued, "A university should
be a center for creativity and in-
novation, criticism and challenge,
debate and dissent. The vigorous
assertion of dissatisfaction and
demands for change, and efforts to in-
fluence both the internal policy of the
University and its posture and role in
the larger society, are indicative of an
intellectual vitality that should be
welcomed and fostered. The decision-
making processes of the University
should not be a closed system, but one
constantly receptive to ideas and
viewpoints from every sector of the
University community."
Reports encourage participation
In apparent response, the Board of
Regents would in February of
1970 form the University Council to
propose rules for student conduct,
and give MSA as well as the faculty's
Senate Assembly, power to veto any
See STUDENTS, Page 7


Administration, students
........4)split over conduct code

Daily Photo by CHRIS TWIGG
A wooden shanty constructed on the Diag by anti-apartheid activists, overlooks the graduate library.
The shanty, symbolizing similar structures many blacks in South Africa are forced to live in, has
been attacked several times.

siU pressured
By KERY MURAKAMI requiring
*As South Africa's government im- colleges
posed a series of stringent curbs on related he
political dissent this summer, campus The la
anti-apartheid activists vowed to in- violates
c)ease pressure on the University to right to n
act against South Africa's segregation ference f
policies. lawsuit a
Such a stand by the University Universit
would include complete divestment of the Mich
its holdings in companies that do summer.
l4isiness in South Africa, and the "The
granting of an honorary degree to challengi
jailed black South African activist Universit
14elson Mandela, say members of the ned abo
Free South Africa Coordinating Africa, u
Committee on Campus (FSACC). about the
Last April about 100 members of the Regent D
$ainly-student group refused to leave although
the Fleming Administration Building divestme
ater unsuccessfully urging the Board 99 perc
of Regents to honor Mandela. They, anti-apar
then held an all-night vigil in the the rema
regents' meeting room. detracts
Although University security did not thus far.
attempt to remove the protestors and "The f
the regents did not grant Mandela the felt whe
dpgree, FSACC member Hector pletely,"
Delgado said in a speech this summer Ransby.
that the vigil "was the first of what I divestme
suspect will be many interruptions in To appea
the coming year." gross in
Divestment South Aft
The move to honor Mandela was an Africa) %
outgrowth of students' efforts over the position,'
phst decade to persuade the Univer- The d
sity to sell its stocks in companies, troversy
such as IBM, that maintain business regents a
operations in South Africa. advocatir
In response to growing pressure and turn aro
af awareness of South Africa's policy would be
of discriminating against blacks, the our mora
regents have divested 99 percent of regents a
$50 million in South Africa-related in- The de
vestments they held in 1983. promise
However, the regents have decided Varner,
to maintain some investments in or- regents,
der to challenge a 1983 state law addition

over Soi
the state's universities and
to divest its South Africa-
w, University officials say,
their state constitutional
make decisions without inter-
rom the state. After losing a
gainst the state last fall, the
ly is awaiting a decision by
higan Court of Appeals this
decision (to divest while
.ng the law) shows that the
1y is continuing to be concer-
ut the situation in South
while we are still concerned
e autonomy question," said
)eane Baker (R-Ann Arbor),
he was a vocal opponent of
ent, however, has not quelled
theid activists, who feel that
ining $500,000 in investments
from the University's stand
ull symbolic impact will be
n the regents divest com-
said FSACC leader Barbara
"To link autonomy to
ent confuses the main issue.
al this issue now reflects a
sensitivity to the issue ini
rica. (The situation in South
warrants an uncompromising
" she said.
ecision also invoked con-
within the board, with such
as Nellie Varner (D-Detroit)
ng complete divestment. "To
und and appeal the ruling
taking something away from
al stand," she said after the
announced their decision.
cision, however, was a com-
between liberals, such as
and more conservative
like Baker. Baker said that in
to the importance of

challenging the law, he felt the
University's investments work to
promote racial equality in South
All the companies the University
invests in have agreed to follow the
Sullivan Principles guaranteeing
racial equality in pay and advan-
cement. Proponents of divestment,
however, argue that U.S. companies
in South Africa employ less than one
percent of all blacks in the country,
and play a larger role by contributing
to South Africa's economy.
Baker said he views the question of
whether or not to divest as a question of
the University's autonomy, not as an
implicit support for apartheid.
Student protests have persuaded
nearly 100 other universities and
colleges to either partially or com-
pletely divest.
Honorary degrees
When Thomas Holt, the director of
the University's Center for Afro-
American Studies, nominated Man-
dela for an honorary degree last fall,
he also brought under scrutinty the
larger issue of the University's
honorary degrees policies.
As commencement drew nearer
last spring, it was disclosed that the
University's honorary degrees comit-
tee had stopped considering Mandela
after the regents in January rejected
the committee's recommendation to
give University alumnus Raoul
Wallenberg an honorary degree.
Granting Wallenberg the honor
would violate a regent's by-law that
prohibits giving honorary degrees to
those who cannot accept them in per-
son. The University in 1985 rescinded
an honorary degree to mime Marcel
Marceau after he missed a plane and
could not attend the University's
commencement ceremony. Marceau,
though, recieved the honor at another
commencement ceremony.
Wallenberg, who saved the lives of
thousands of Hungarian Jews in Nazi
Germany disappeared shortly after
World War II and is believed to be
dead. Likewise, Mandela, who has
See STUDENTS, Page 7

Four years ago, the University's top
administrators called the Univer-
sity's rules governing student
behavior useless and ordered a new
set of rules to be drawn up.
An effective code, they said, is
needed to protect the University
community from the non-academic
crimes of its students, ranging from
civil disobedience to murder.
Some students disagreed. Saying
that the University has no business in
the lives of students outside of class,
and fearing that new rules could be
used to stifle political dissent on cam-
pus, they began a debate that now
seems to be entering its final stages.
The University Council - charged
with forging a compromise between
administrators and students -
released for input last spring
suggestions on how the University
should deal with violent crimes.
The council also began working this
summer on the non-violent crimes,
such as civil disobedience and theft,
that brought much of the opposition to
previous drafts of the code. The less
controversial "emergency
procedures" for violent crimes took a
year and half to formulate..
Debate nears climax
University officials and members of
the Board of Regents have become
impatient with the snail's pace of the
council's progress. Last year, Univer-
sity President Harold Shapiro
threatened, as he did once before, to
present the administration's code
proposal to the regents. Such a move
would bypass the Michigan Student
Assembly's right to approve any
changes in the current by-laws.
The regents said they would support
such a move, but Shapiro decided not
to act when the council began
finishing its "emergency
procedures." However, if the council
does not make much progress on the
non-violent portion of the code, it ap-
pears likely the University will im-
plement a code - at least on an in-
terim basis - within the next year.

For now, students and ad-
ministrators find themselves reciting
the same arguements they've
repeated throughout the code debate.
Present rules are ineffective
Administrators point to the current
rules which have never been used in
the fourteen years since they were
adopted. In fact, says Virginia Nor-
dby, executive assistant to Shapiro
and author of the administration's
latest code proposal in 1984, the only
time a student was expelled from the
University for non-academic reasons
in the past decade was when a student
"cracked" during finals in 1978 and
set 18 fires around campus.
Even then, Nordby said, it took a
special order from then-University
President Robben Fleming to remove
the student from campus. The student
was originally arrested, but was
released on bail and allowed to return
to campus the next day. The Univer-
sity had its hands tied, she said, by a
provision in the current rules which
prohibits University action once
criminal proceedings have begun -
presumably to protect the accused
from "double jeopardy."
Rules are confusing
Even without the restriction, Nor-
dby said, the University would not
have been able to take action because
it did not then list arson among its
crimes. The current rules, as late as
1980, also did not include sexual
harrasment or hazing among its
Since taking office, Shapiro has
filled the gaps with individual
statements barring the acts, but Nor-
dby said part of the rationale of the
code is to "get everything under one
system." The policy statements could
be added to the current rules, but the
system is still ineffective and the
statements could be added more ef-
ficiently within a review of the whole
code, she said.
"One of the goals of the code,"
Shapiro wrote to the regents in 1984,
"is to give students a better sense of
what set of behavior is acceptable in

the University community. The
University has not done a very good
job at this in recent years. Many of-
our standards are scattered among a '
variety of policy statements."
Adding to this confusion, said Dan
Sharphorn, an assistant policy ad-
visor to the University's vice
president for academic affairs, and
another key administrator in the code
debate, is the vagueness of the
current rules.
Instead of listing a specific crime
like "theft" the rules bar "property
offenses." "If the terms are vague,"
said Sharphorn, "we're not giving.;
adequate notice (on what's con-
sidered adequate behavior)."
Students oppose code
Given those problems, the Univer-
sity Council released its first draft of
the code early in 1983. Within a week,
however, the proposal was rejected
by the MSA. Three revisions by the
council that same year, and two other
by the administration in 1984 were
also rejected by the assembly.
After the latest administration
proposal was rejected in November
1984, President Shapiro assigned the
current council to come up with a
Dissent jeopardized
One of the biggest concerns among
students, Schanufer said, was a
possible crackdown on campus
Under the current rules, the
University can do little besides call
the police. But the council's four draf-
ts that year prohibits "intentionally or
recklessly interfering with normal
University or University-sponsored
For example, such a provision could
have been used against students who
protested recruitment by the Central
Intelligence Agency on campus last
fall. Administrators could expell
students, Council-member Eric
Schanufer said, or more likely use the
threat of expulsion to discourage
students from taking part in protests.
See DEBATE, Page 7

CIArecrui tment
At a protest of the Central Intelligence Agency's
recruitment on campus last October, about 50 University
students gathered outside the closed doors of the Univer-
sity's career planning and placement office.
When police opened the doors to let in Leo Heatley,
director of campus safety, protesters swarmed into the
doorway before being pushed back. One student was
dragged by his hair into the offices by police.
The student was the first of 26 to be arrested in the two-
day protest. CIA recruiters, however, successfully met
with all but one of 18 students who signed up for inter-
views. Recruiters are expected to return in the fall.
The protesters opposed the CIA's involvement in the
civil wars of Nicaragua and El Salvador. They point, for
example, to the CIA's illegal mining of Nicaraguan har-
Campus protests against the United States gover-
nment's Central American policies have been the most
volatile of protests involving University students recently,
and the most ineffective.
Protesters pleased
Members of the Latin American Solidarity Committee
(LASC), which was largely responsible for the protests,

aces opposition
say they are pleased with the protests.
"Ideally, we'd like to get policies changed," said Deane
Baker, a graduate student involved in LASC, "but the
protests raised public awareness. We talked to people
going in for interviews, and we got a lot of publicity."
LASC's protests are different from other campus
protests and harder to affect change, Baker said, because
they center less on the University.
The University, however, has been caught in the middle
of LASC's protests, because the University's Career
Planning and Placement Center sponsors the CIA's
recruitment on campus. Job interviews in fact, take place
in CP and P's offices in the Student Activities Building.
From the University's standpoint, the CIA issue deals
more with the freedom of students to interview, than
with U.S. policies. Deborah Orr May, director of the
career planning and placement center, said she felt
students have a right to protest if they do not
interfere with the interviewing.
The protesters were arrested, she said, when their
chanting disturbed the interviews, and their crowding out-
side the office doors made it difficult to enter the office.
The protesters deny trying to disrupt the interviews.



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