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December 09, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-12-09

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A

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, December 9, 1986

The Michigan Daily

1 9

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS:
History of Mandela degree

Vol. XCVII, No. 67

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Yesterday's racist cartoon:

Daily apologizes

T HE PRINTING OF yesterday's
cartoon, Back-to-school shop -
ping in Detroit was a grievous
error. This racist stereotyping is an
insult to the entire University
community. The cartoon should
never have been legitimized with
space on the Opinion Page.
Yesterday's mistake resulted
from a misunderstanding over
editorial responsibility in the
Opinion page process. In order to

prevent this sort of mistake in the
future, the Opinion page has
determined a new policy which
clarifies that the Opinion page
editors have authority to pull
cartoons out of production in the
event that they slip through the
original rejection process.
The Daily invites criticism of this
cartoon on the Opinion page and
apologizes to itg readers, especially
to people of color and students in
Detroit.

Development roundup

IT SEEMS AS IF EVERYWHERE one
looks these days a new building
has popped up. This reflects Ann
Arbor's recent economic boom.
While rejoicing at its good fortune,
the city should pay attention to the
scale of downtown development
and to its affect on affordable
housing.
Signs of Ann Arbor's
development are everywhere: the
First North Main building, the
Sloan Plaza, the retail center at
South Forest and South
University, and Tally Hall.
Currently the most controversial
development is a large shopping
center near North Campus called
the University Center. With every
new development Ann Arbor
becomes less and less a quaint
college town and resembles more
and more just another Detroit
suburb. Not that there's anything
particularly wrong with suburbs,
it's just that Ann Arbor isn't
Birmingham; something which
should be taken into account by the
Downtown Development
Authority, the city advisory body.
City Councilman Seth Hirshorn
argues that the planning
commission takes the scale of
proposed projects into account
before approving them. While this
is probably true, projects have been
built that do not fit in with their
surroundings. If the downtown is
to be truly revitalized it needs to be
developed in an aesthetically
pleasing manner. Perhaps aesthetic
objections account for the financial
problems faced by Tally Hall.
Proponents of development cite
the jobs created. They argue that
the DDA and the City Council are
doing a good job of maintaining
Ann Arbor's unique character.
Rather than become more skeptical
about development, Ann Arbor
snould shed its anti-business
image. It's undeniable that
development brings more economic
opportunities to Ann Arbor; the city
can still afford to be selective
however.
Perhaps the most disturbing
aspect of Ann Arbor's boom is the
loss of affordable housing. With
the new Sloan Plaza condos
starting at $200,000 there's an

undeniable shift toward high priced
housing in Ann Arbor. Last year,
rental prices increased10 to15
percent, partially as a result of the
recently passed tax reform act.
New rental housing resides
primarily in the $600-800 a month
range. This indicates that the
gentrification of Ann Arbor is
already well underway.
Affordable , housing efforts
center around City Councilman
Lowell Peterson's attempts to bring
a single room occupancy develop -
ment to Ann Arbor. The city has
lacked single room housing since
the downtown club was taken off
the market in 1984. Peterson's has
had problems finding both a
suitable site and financial subsidy.
Currently Peterson is hoping that
the Michigan State Housing
Authority will subsidize an
affordable housing development at
Main and William.
Other ways in which the city can
make housing more affordable
would be to alter the housing code
allowing more dense use of
existing structures. While dense
housing has an ominous ring when
one considers the already
irresponsible behavior of some
landlords it may be necessary. The
city should hire more and better
inspectors to make sure that the
housing code is obeyed.
The University-Government
Relations committee is working on
a joint study to determine the
housing needs of both the campus
and the surrounding area. This
study will attempt to determine
whether the campus housing
shortage can be best alleviated
through better planning or whether
the University should build another
dormitory. With the unwillingness
of city planners to accept more off
campus group housing, as
evidenced by the rejection of Delta
Phi Epsilon's proposed conver -
sion, a resolution to the campus
housing crisis is crucial.
For both students and Ann
Arbor residents the housing market
is becoming more expensive. T o
maintain the city's diversity and
provide all of Ann Arbor's
residents with a place to live every
effort should be made to increase
affordable housing.

To The Daily:
To the University
community:
The purpose of this letter is
to provide a brief history of the
Nelson Mandela honorary
degree nomination and an
update on the situation as it
stands today. The hope is that
more and more members of the
University and surrounding
communities will join us in
calling on the regents to grant
an honorary degree to Mr.
Mandela, a leader of the South
African struggle for liberation,
who in 1987 will have been in
prison for a quarter of a
century. In light of the
University's continally un-
democratic handling of matters
encompassing the degree, it is
with a feeling of urgency that
we seek your support.
In the fall of 1985, Dr.
Thomas Holt, Professor of
History and Director of the
Center for Afro-American and
African Studies (CAAS),
nominated Mr. Mandela for an
honorary degree. Letters of
support came from city, state,
and federal officials, scholars,
writers and others who shared
the belief that granting such a
degree would send a powerful
message to Pretoria.
Apart from the message,
however, few people embody
so many of the ideals this
University claims to cherish
and promote as does Nelson
Mandela. Petitions in support
of the nomination were signed
by over 2000 students and
faculty, and time and time
again members of the Free
South Africa Coordinating
Committee (FSACC) and
others addressed the Regents on
the importance and urgency of
the issue. President Shapiro,
however, waited until the last
moment to inform Dr. Holt
and others that the University
does not award honorary
degrees in absentia. Many
people were outraged by the
deceitful and disrespectful
manner in which the
administration had been
treating Dr. Holt's nomination.
We had even requested and
received a copy of the
guidelines, which made no
mention of this exclusionary
provision. While Mr. Mandela
sat in his cell, the University
showed little compassion and
even less resolve to take a
strong and uncer: 'ocal stand
against aparthe .
In their last r, Lag of the
1986 winter term, the Regents
failed to grant Mr. Mandela an
honorary degree. At that point
over 100 students, many of
whom had occupied the
regents' conference room
overnight, disrupted the
meeting in protest and forced
the Regents to adjourn and
reconvene elsewhere.
The morning of the
University's regular commence -
ment activities a special
ceremony was held to award an
honorary degree to Mr.
Mandela, on behalf of FSACC
and others who felt that this
great man had to be honored

that day in lieu of the
University's recognition. Con -
gressman George Crockett, a
University alumnus, chastised
the University for not
recognizing the gravity of the
situation in South Africa and
for not providing the moral
leadership it is obligated to
provide.
In the. face' of the pressure
applied on the Regents a
committee, chaired by Dr. John
H. D'Arms, was formed to
review the by-laws on the
awarding of honorary degrees.
In particular, the committee is
considering the abolition of
honorary degrees and whether
degrees should be awarded in

Support Greeks bearing gifts

To the Daily:
I write this in response to
Mr. Jacob's letter "Greeks
aiding charity hyocritical"
(Daily, 11/11). Mr. Jacob
claims that we use
philanthropy to "justify" our
"poor" behavior. To begin
with, most fraternities do not
have serious problems with
"neighbors and fellow
students." This misconception
is primarily due to recent media
hype concerning a small
minority of fraternities.
Further, sororities never have
problems of this sort, yet they
still work for charities as much
as anyone else. What do they
have to 'justify?" Not only do
I fail to see how ceasing Greek
philanthropy will in any way
affect Greek behavior, since
charity events do not justify or
excuse poor behavior anyway,
but I also fail to find any
hypocrisy in Greek
philanthropy.
Additionally, Mr. Jacob
says that charity from the
Rockefellers and Vanderbilts is
fine, which is true, but these
financial magnates and other
corporations donate huge sums
of money to large charities.
How much of this goes to
small local charities? Little if
any. Also, these giants receive
much recognition as well as
large tax advantages from their
donations. The Greek system
gets a few tiny articles in the
Daily during Greek Week and
no tax advantages.
Mr. Jacob also states that
Greeks "do not give their
money" at all. I guess he
believes that since Greeks run
these philanthropies that we do
not feel obligated to give. I
have news for him. Aside
from individual donations
throughout the year by average
Greek students, Greek Week
raises thousands of dollars,
mostly by charging admission
to the week's events.
Obviously, since these events
are attended primarily by
Greeks themselves, the
majority of cash raised through
the week comes from within
the Greek system. As far as

bucket drives go, people
usually donate a little loose
change to the cause. I wonder
how many people would think
to send a charity a check for 45
cents-not many. These drives
collect a large number of small
donations, spreading the
financial burden among those
who would give, but do not
have Rockefeller's resources at
their disposal.
Although the Greek system
generally gets a bad rap in The

Daily, let's try to keep our
attacks on rational grounds, and
the next time you are walking
through the diag and see the
bucket, stop and give a little
change-these people are not
standing there for their health,
and the charities will certainly
appreciate it.
Christopher R. Hughes
Delta Tau Delta
Fraternity
November 12

to enter into a dialogue with
the committee at a public
hearing. The committee also
refused to commit itself to
another public meeting after
having the opportunity to
discuss the issues further
among themselves in secrecy.
Interestingly, some of the
committee's members were
under the impression that
changes in the by-laws would
go into effect this year and
were surprised to learn that
according to University
officials this was not the case.
Several of the members
indicated that the Regents did
not have to even wait for their
recommendations, since they
had the power to make an
exception to the present by-
laws.
Nelson Mandela has been
renominated for a degree by Dr.
Holt. An administration
official and member of the
honorary degrees committee
said that the committee will

recommend whomever it feels
is deserving of an honorary
degree, regardless of the by-
laws. In other words, what is
crystal clear is that it is up to
the Regents to grant an
honorary degree to Mr.
Mandela. They have the power
to grant an honorary degree to
Mr. Mandela. They have the
power to grant a degree in
absentia; a power Regents
have exercised in the past.
We are back where we were
last year: it is up to the
Regents. They can honor Mr.
Mandela and they can, and
should, divest the rest of the
money they ,have invested in
companies doing business in
South Africa. And we should
be clear that GM, IBM, GE,
Dow, and 3M have not pulled
out.
At a time when the-
situation in South Africa is
closer to exploding; in light of
the fact that Mr. Mandela is
entering his 25th year of

imprisonment, in ill health,
and well into his sixties; at a
time when the number of
minority students,, despite the
"increased enrollment" charade
being orchestrated by the
administration, is dismally low
and black student protest
against University financial aid
policies high; and in light of
the University's poor treatment
of its "minority" workers, the
University needs to reverse this
racist trend. What better way
to begin than by honoring
Mandela and divesting the rest.
Join us the third Thursday of
every month at 4 p.m. to
confront the Regents on these
issues. A university without a
conscience is a dangerous
thing. It is our responsibility
to force this university to act
more responsibly!
--Hector Delgado
-The Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee
December 2

Contra supporters mistaken

To The Daily:
In reply to a letter entitled
"Balance of Power Justifies
Contra Aid" (Daily 10/30/86):
The author voiced a plea for
American aid to the Contras,
both military and
humanitarian, and he made
clear the assumptions which
support his stance. Being of
contrary viewpoint, I cannot let
these assumptions pass
without debate, for I believe
that the letter-persuasive as it
is-must be read in a critical
light. So I have attempted to
distill from the letter what I
feel is a very disturbing
preconception on the author's
part, and to question how he
has supported himself in this.
The author finds it unsavory
that Mr. Reagan's policies be
called aggressive. As the letter
advances it becomes clear that
an insupportable creed is at
work beneath the writer's
arguments. The author has
made the blanket assumption
that American actions are those
of freedom and that Soviet
actions are oppressive. This is
a way of thinking that a good
many people fall prey to;
namely, that America equals
good and the Soviet Union
equals bad. In the letter this
creed has been refined to the
simple idea that America is
"better" than any alternative,
and hence Soviet aggressions
must be overshadowed or
nullified by American actions.
The writer has attempted to
protect this assumption from
debate in the first paragraphs of

his letter. "We do not," writes
he, "live in an ideal world."
From thence he goes on to
conclude that it is the necessity
of a balance of power which
has make regions like
Nicaragua, El Salvador,
Angola, the Mideast and
Indochina "theaters for U.S.-
Soviets proxy fighting." It is
always a handy. recourse for
those who would support the
status quo to undermine the
opposition by claiming that
reality rests in the hands of the
status quo supporters. It is a
deplorable move. Am I to
believe that in order to think
realistically I must support
what, despite the author's
objections, is indeed American
aggression? As a thinking
person, I refuse to be cornered
by such a trick.
Claiming sole ownership of
reality is nonetheless an
effective and popular ploy. It
has handsomely supported the
American military presence in
Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, El
Salvador, Grenada, and nov
Nicaragua.
At the risk of having my
patriotism questioned, I
propose a somewhat novel
notion for U.S.-Soviet deal -
ings. It goes something like
this: drop the facades of
morality in foreign policy, and
let aggression be called
aggression.
-Kevin Draper
-October 31

I WISH I COULD
GO ACK TO FLORIDA!
'e
a

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