The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 23; 198- Page 5
Regents back Shapiro
By REBECCA BLUMENSTEIN
Black student protesters calling
for immediate University action to
combat racism seem to be taking
the wrong tack by asking the
University's Board of Regents to'
take action, because the power to
make the changes they're
demanding lies with University
President Harold Shapiro.
Regent Nellie Varner (D-Detroit)
said the impetus for change on
campus must come from Shapiro
and other University officials.
"The regents are not an
administration that can implement
programs. The Board of Regents is
a constitutionally elected policy-
making body. We're not a body that
can sit down in an instant and
respond to demands. An emergency
meeting of the regents cannot make
solutions," she said.
On Friday, protesters demanded
that Shapiro call an emergency ses-
sion of the regents, but he refused,
saying he had "the authority from
the regents to develop responses
that are appropriate and to begin
implementing them. If calling the
Board is appropriate, it will be
Regent Paul Brown (D-
Petoskey) said Shapiro has the
ability to act without regental
authority. "President Shapiro needs
to make all the final decisions on
what should be done. The President
and the executive officers need to sit
down and discuss the demands
UCAR and BAM III are
dissatisfied with the University's
response, and their demands to the
regents are a manifestation of their
frustration with what they see as a
Daily Photo by ANDI SCHREIBER'
Demonstrators rally outside the Fleming Administration Building Friday protesting a lack of administrative
response to the recent racist incidents on campus. The crowd succeeded in preventing "business as usual" by
blockading the building.
Shapiro to negotiate demands
lack of action on the admin-
Administration officials, who are
ultimately responsible for over-
seeing student life on campus, also
feel frustrated that students don't see
initiatives already in action.
"We are getting attacked on all
sides for the uninformed demands of
two students groups," said Jon
Cosovich, vice president for
Communication and Development.
"Few have looked at all of the pro-
grams that are already in existence,
and those that will eventually be
coming," he added.
The University's executive
officers also hope to create new pro-
grams to add to the University's
existing minority programs.
"I don't believe in placing fault
for existing problems," said
Virginia Nordby, director of Affir-
mative Action. "All that we can do
from here is to improve what we
already have and go on," she added.
-Daily staffers Michael Lustig
and Steve Blonder contributed to
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(Continued from Page 1)
The agreements to meet this
week followed a morning of
confusion and confrontation Fri-
day. The chain of events began
Thursday, when about 250
protesters held a sit-in in the
lobby of the Fleming Admin-
Pledging "no more business as
usual," the group moved outside
early Friday and chained the doors,
from the outside.
PROTESTERS refused to
let secretaries and clerical workers
into the building, and many
workers ieturned home. But
University security officials
thwarted the protesters' plans by
entering the building through
underground steam tunnels and
locking the doors from the inside,
preventing the protesters from
getting back in.
"I have no objection to
peaceful protest," University Vice
President for Development and
Communication Jon Cosovich
said, "but closing down the
building doesn't prove anything,
doesn't produce positive results,
and makes communication virt-
Protest leaders were confused
after. they realized they had been
locked out of the building they
had tried to ,ake ov.er_ They
discussed potential moves for
several minutes before deciding at
about 9:30 a.m. to storm the
regents meeting, which was being
held in the Michigan League.
REGENTS were not at the
table when protesters entered, and
students sat down at the table and'
tried to force the regents and
administrators to join them.
Shapiro quickly adjourned the
meeting and fled the building with
the board members.
Protesters surrounded Regent
Sarah Power (D-Ann Arbor) and
Richard Kennedy, University vice
president for government rela-
tions, in Regents' Plaza.
Graduate student Charita Ford
told Kennedy, "You need to
answer to a lot of people.
Students didn't just bring this all
to youout of the clear blue. It's
too bad that students need to
respond to something in a
negative way to bring attention to
it. We (black students) have been
assaulted in every single way. We
want to know that you care about
Kennedy and Power said they
would speak to other admin-
istrators, but protesters were not
satisfied. They demanded a
meeting with Shapiro by 11 a.m.
STUDENTS also accused the
administration of being inacces-
sible to students and the general
public. Business school junior
Brian Mathis said many people
believed Shapiro .did not care
about black students' concerns.
"People would be satisfied for
now if they felt that the
University was talking to them."
Kennedy met with Shapiro and
returned to the protesters to tell
them Shapiro would meet with
them at 11:15.
At that forum, Shapiro, along
with regents Nellie Varner (D-
Detroit), James Waters (D-
Muskegon), and Paul Brown (D-
Petosky), listened to questions and
'I am committed to
dealing with this (racism)
as quickly as possible.'
' comments from 200 people who
had gathered in the Kuenzel
During the forum, Shapiro
appeared uncomfortable; his voice
cracked, and he was visibly
shaking. He said to the crowd,
"The racism on campus is an
important set of issues to the
extent that anyone's safety on
campus is threatened, and is indeed
a state of emergency. We will
bring whatever resources we need
BAM III organizer Wynder
called for quick action from the
University, since the admin-
istration has "unequal bargaining
power over the students because
we have finals hanging over our
heads and in the end of April,
most undergrads are out of Ann
Arbor." He pleaded, "We have to
study, sir, we have to study."
But when Wynder pressed
Shapiro with his questions,
people in the room became
aggravated with Wynder's behav-
ior and he was shouted down
Throughout the meeting stu-
dents demanded that Shapiro call
an emergency meeting of the
Board of Regents.
SHAPIRO responded, "I have
the authority from the regents to
develop responses that are approp-
riate and begin implementing
them. If calling a regents meeting
is appropriate, then it will be
done. I don't intend to do it now."
John Simpson, a law student,
appealed to Shapiro to take im-
mediate action to rectify campus
"It is time for direct action; it
is time to turn the tables on you.
The time has come for your chil-
dren to be scared to walk to class,
and for you to be scared to walk to
work. Parents of black students
are calling and are seriously scared
about their children's welfare. All
you are giving us is lip service. It
is time for you to show leadership
and stop racism on campus. Either
you act or we're going to act more
directly," Simpson said.
The administration's failure to
fulfill a 1970 promise of 10
percent minority student enrol-
lment was singled out for crit-
icism by protester Anthony Hen-
derson. "If you (the admin-
istration) can organize and recruit
95 percent black football and
basketball teams, but you can't
organize and recruit a 10 percent
minority enrollment that you
promised 17 years ago, there's
something very wrong here," he
Shapiro responded, "I am
committed to dealing with this
(racism) as quickly as possible.
We will do whatever the law
allows us to do."
Some participants felt the
Friday morning forum hadn't
accomplished anything. Blair
Swanson, an LSA senior, said,
"Shapiro can't make a clear state-
ment. He does not take a stand.
Doesn't he want people to know
he won't tolerate it (racism)?"
By EUGENE PAK
Starting today, students of the
Free South Africa Coordinating
Committee will host several events
to commemorate the national Two
Weeks of Action Against Apartheid
This is the second year of the
annual movement which is designed
to call attention to racism both
outside of and within the United
States, said David Fletcher, an LSA
junior and FSACC member.
These two weeks were chosen
because Saturday marked the
anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville
massacre in South Africa in which
69 blacks were killed while
protesting the passbook laws. The
passbooks were used to restrict
blacks' movements until they were
abolished last year. And April 4
marks the assassination of Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr., 19 years
Tonight, FSACC will hold a
candlelight vigil on the Diag at 9
p.m. for victims of racial violence.
The group also plans to complete
construction of a second, sturdier
At noon, tomorrow through
Thursday, FSACC will show the
last three parts of the PBS series
"Eyes on the Prize" about the
modern Civil Rights Movement.
The showings will be held in room
116, Hutchins Hall in the Law
Next Wednesday, April 1,
FSACC will sponsor a panel dis
cussion on racism, with students of
different ethnic groups explaining
the different racism each group
(Continued from Page 1)
students in the United Coalition
Against Racism and Black Action
Jackson, who was in Detroit
Saturday for a United Auto Work -
ers' rally, was scheduled to meet
with black student leaders last night
at the Sheraton University Inn and
with University President Harold
Shapiro today at 11 a.m. .
On April 3, University Soci -
ology prof. Aldon Morris will give
a presentation entitled: "The Civil
Rights Movement, Past and
The two week's activities con -
clude on April 4 with a Freedom
March against Racism and Apart -
heid from the Diag at 12:30 to
Wheeler Park. University marchers
will meet with two other groups of
marchers from the Ann Arbor and
Ypsilanti communities. A rally
will be held at Wheeler Park, and
then marchers will return to the
Diag for another final rally.
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