100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

December 01, 1987 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, December 1, 1987

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Professors support UCAR

4

Vol. XCVIII, No. 57

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.

Steiner should apologize

L SA DEAN Peter Steiner's remarks
in a recent edition of that college's
newsletter went beyond the bounds of
the normal apologetics for the
University's white homogeneity, and
,in fact presented a racist argument.
Steiner should publicly apologize for
these remarks.
The overwhelming lack of Black
faculty at the University is a serious
problem whose resolution demands a
concerted effort on the part of the
administration. It is therefore most
discouraging when a top University
administrator prefers to engage in
victim-blaming, rather t h a n
committing the University to address
the real problem.
In Steiner's column, "From the
Dean," he laments the fact that this
year's hiring had not significantly
increased the numbers of Black
faculty, arguing that "the pool of
available Blacks is tiny, and the
competition for the few is intense."
He then goes on to say that "Solving
the problem of under-representation
of Blacks on university faculties will
require many things, including a
revolution in Blacks' attitudes
towards higher education comparable
to that among white women in the last
two decades."
The latter remark is particularly
offensive and smacks of racism. It
implies that Blacks are being held
back by their own "attitudes," rather
than the barriers of institutionalized
racism that they confront at every step
of the educational process.
. The lack of funding for inner city
schools that are 90 percent Black, the
vastly higher unemployment and
4lower incomes that restrict Black
educational opportunities, and the
increasing homogeneity and racism.

encountered as one moves to higher
levels of academia - these are some
of the factors Steiner could have cited
as explanations of the current state of
affairs, rather than "Black attitudes."
And even if these institutional
barriers do reduce the number of
Blacks in the applicant pool, it is not
enough to just "pass the buck" to
other racist institutions in society. The
University must take affirmative
action to deal with the problem at its
own level of the educational system.
It is also sexist to imply that the
gains that women have achieved in
recent years have resulted from a
change in their "attitudes," rather than
the struggles by women against
sexism that have actually brought
about these changes. And, not
surprisingly, Steiner makes no
mention of the barriers that women
still encounter in academia.
This kind of insensitivity is.
undoubtedly a factor in Steiner's
attempts to implement the so-called
"ten-term rule," which would limit
Ph.D. students' funding from the
University, including teaching, to a
total of ten semesters. Since the
average time for completion of the
Ph.D. degree is more than six and a
half years, those without outside
funding or wealthy families would be
hardest hit. Steiner is absolutely
insensitive to the concern that this rule
would further reduce the diversity of
the graduate student body.
If Steiner is to remain in such an
important policy-making position in
the University, he needs to take steps
to educate himself on these matters. A
public apology for these remarks
would at least show that he
recognizes the problem with his own
"attitude."

By Ann Marie Coleman, Don
Coleman, Miriam Greenberg,
June Howard, Bonnie Kay,
Bruce Manheim, Debbie
Poole, Peter Railton, John
Vandermeer, Alan Wald, and
Tom Will.
This is the second of a two part series.
The Administration's statement studiously
ignores the serious and well-formulated
demands of UCAR. This, along with the
superficiality of the analysis reflected in the
statement raises concerns about the depth of
the Administration's commitment to coming
to terms with racism at the University, as
opposed to merely attempting to pursue
business as usual, while avoiding a
repetition of the events of last spring. The
University's commitment to overcoming
racism will in the end have to be judged by
the depth to which we take our analysis and
our proposed remedies for it.
We would like to suggest that there are
two realities we must recognize if the
movement against racism is to result in
authentic rather than merely cosmetic
changes.
First, the re-educational process at the
University will have to involve much more
than sensitivity-training sessions. Is there
any serious pedagogical method? Racism
will not be understood without hearing the
The authors of this guest editorial are
members of Concerned Faculty. The late
appearance of this piece is the fault of the
Daily, not the authors.

true stories of those against whom racism
has been perpetrated - the rich, complex
and diverse stories of the histories and
cultures of Blacks, Chicanos, Native
Americans, Japanese-Americans, Chinese-
Americans, Puerto Ricans, etc. UCAR has
addressed this need through proposing
orientation classes and required classes on
racism, and, of course, through the demands
for a dramatic increase in faculty of color,
who can serve as role models and train a new
generation of scholars in these areas. These
"stories" constitute such a large quantity of
hitherto neglected and misunderstood
material, that they can ultimately be told
only through a cultural transformation in the
life of the University of Michigan. This will
require a major re-allocation of resources.
Disciplines must be rethought through and
through, and reorganized so that the role of
people of color in the making of history, art,
music, politics, literature, economics, and
society itself is recognized as central, not an
afterthought, and that appropriate methods
for study - as well as trained scholars in
these fields - are available. It is only in
this context that a massive program for the
recruitment and retention of students of color
will have more than mere temporary
consequences. We recognize that none this
can happen overnight; but we believe a
forthright commitment to this sort of
perspective is the only means by which
temporary measures of relief (including
sensitivity courses) will become meaningful.
We urge that faculty members throughout
the campus examine the curriculum and
composition (faculty and students) of their
departments and programs - including texts
used in classes, speakers invited to give
lectures and so forth - and try to overcome

the institutional inertia that perpetuates a
narrow and exclusionary vision of their
disciplines.
Second, it must be recognized that racism,
sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, and
other forms of prejudice at the University of
Michigan are closely linked to the same
phenomena in the larger society. The
University will have to make a critical
decision as to whether its purpose is to ratify
or "critically support" the opprobrious
values of the larger society - or to
challenge those values and join in with those
seeking to overcome them. In our view, it is
incorrect to ask students of color at either the
University or in the larger society to
integrate or assimilate into a racist
institution or social order. On the contrary, 4
it is our task, and in our own best interests,
to unite with them to change the structure of
power relations that cause and reproduce
racism.
Specifically, we invite others to join us in
urging that immediate attention be given to
the following demands, which are the five
demands that UCAR has chosen for special
priority: (1) That the University should give
full recognition to Martin Luther King's
birthday, including the cancellation of all
regular classes, (2) that there be instituted
mandatory course work for all students, on
racism, (3) that there be organized a
workshop on sexism as a regular part of
student orientation, (4) that the University
declare itself a sister school to the Solomon
Malanghu Freedom College (SOMAFOCO),
and (5) that the University develop and
implement a plan to increase minorities to a
percentage that equals or exceeds the
percentage in the population at large, and not
implement, formally or informally, ceilings
on any minority group.

LETTERSk
Guns will take care of the liberals

4

To the Daily:
In the article about the CIA
protests ("Student gets kicked
at CIA recruiting protest,"
Daily, 11/30/87), LSA senior
Donna Napiewocki said, "I'm
sick of people protesting every
time people care politically." I
couldn't agree more. These
people protest no matter who
comes to campus. What would
they do if the Gestapo came to
campus? Protest. Damn liber-
als.
It kind of reminds me of the
ridiculous protests in South
America when Nixon went
there. Just like our thoughtless
liberals on campus, the people
down there just didn't under-
stand that the CIA is the good
guy and the KGB is the bad
guy, or like Donna Rice said,
the CIA cares politically. Just
imagine what would happpen if
we let people like that run their
own countries. Ignorance is
very dangerous.
I think LSA student Mark
Brotherton has the answer:
"The best way to make changes
is from within." Right. What
we need is people of good will

in the CIA, people who want
to concentrate on intelligence
gathering, not foreign
intervention. With people like
that, the CIA would be a lot
better.
I see the University and the
CIA fulfilling much the same
role. As the CIA must some-
times educate countries in
Relax, use
To the Daily:
The clock strikes 12:00 AM
in the basement of the UGLI.
You rub your weary eyes
knowing that you will be in
the library for at least another
hour cramming for your Stats
402 exam. As your last friend
packs up her things to leave,
you wonder how you will get
home that night. Your friend
suggests SAFEWALK, and
you decide to give it a try.
. You are not alone: about
thirty-five people a night are
using the service. Many
people have told us they
hesitate to call SAFEWALK

Unfair labor practice

0

democracy, as it did in 1961 in
Zaire, a country so unsophisti-
cated and new, so must the
University educate its students
in fair play, who sometimes do
stupid things like object to
harmless interviews for an or-
ganization as important as the
CIA. That's why I believe the
arming of the security guards is
perfectly appropriate. Maybe
SAFEWALK
because they believe they will
be putting us out or that their
destination is not in an area
dangerous enough to warrant a
walk. This is simply not true!
SAFEWALK was created by
students in 1986 to walk
people around campus so that
they would both feel safe and
be safe. SAFEWALK offers
some measure of independence
to those who feel constrained
by the lack of night-time safety
on this campus. We are here
for you as an alternative to
walking alone.
Coed or female pairs are
available to walk from 8:00
PM to 1:30 AM every night.
Sunday- Thursday we work out
of an office on the first floor of

-William Pflaum
November 30

then we wouldn't have these
knee-jerk liberals, as Donna
said, "giving the school a bad
reputation." They backed off a
little when threatened with ar-
rest; just think what they'd do
if we could legally kill them
like we can in :other countries.

THE GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT
Organization (GEO) announced last
week that it is charging the University
with an unfair labor practice regarding
the ten-term limit on teaching assis-
tantships and similar University
fellowships for graduate students.
This extra-contractual rule, recently
implemented by LSA Dean Peter
Steiner, was not included in the con-
tract negotiations last spring between
the GEO and the University.
Though not a formal breach of con-
tract, the GEO had asked that the rule
be discussed before it was imposed.
The formal refusal of negotiations by
the University indicates a lack of re-
spect for the GEO and a desire to
avoid potential arbitration resulting
from an impasse in negotiations.
Three years ago, Dean Steiner de-
cided that financial support, including
employment as teaching assistants,
for graduate students should be re-
stricted to five years. Steiner did not
enforce the rule until last June when
he sent letters to all Department
chairs, instructing them to put the
plan into effect immediately.
The implementation of the ten-term
limit came two months after the GEO
settled a new labor contract with the
University. It stipulates that the GEO
cannot renegotiate any terms of the
contract until April 1989. However,
Steiner did not include the ten-term
inih- in the nacantintinnc inct r or

4

ate students deserve more respect and
consideration than Steiner has shown
them.
The de facto implementation of the
ten-term rule will exacerbate the lack
of diversity among graduate students
at the University by limiting the fi-
nancial aid available to students. It is
biased against women, minorities,
and poorer students who often have
families to support. It forces them to
take on the extra responsibility of ac-
celerating their degree work to meet
the time limit. This surely cannot re-
sult in more prolific nor creative doc-
toral research.
The limit will also detract from the
quality of undergraduate education.
Teaching assistants are crucial at the
University, especially because of the
inordinately large classes. Teaching
assistants who are forced to finish
degree requirements in five years will
be less inclined to devote sufficient
energies to their teaching.
Making students finish doctoral
work in five years is unrealistic. It
typically takes 6.5 years to complete
the doctoral program at the Univer-
sity. Four years is considered to be
the bare minimum, requiring almost
non-stop work and allowing for little
extra-curricular activity.
It is obvious that Steiner does not
have the best interests of the graduate
students or the quality of their educa-
tion in mind- He instrnted rinart..

anytime
the UGLI right next to the
lounge. Friday and Saturday
nights we operate out of the
CIC desk at the Michigan
Union (due to the shorter
library hours). You do not
have to be in the library or the
Union to get a walk! Call
936-1000 and a team will walk
with you to anywhere from
anywhere - provided that your
request is within a twenty
minute walking distance on the
central campus area. Please
remember no walk is too short,
SAFEWALK was created to be
used.
-Amy Yenkin
-Danny Rosen
November 24

Supports Soviet Jews
To the Daily: I think she should do her
We are into the campaign homework and offer a correc-
season and the weather forecast tion.
is a lot more mudslinging. A -Daniel S. Steinmetz
recent talk on Soviet Jewish member, Coordinating
emigration by Natan Scharan- Council, Ann Arbor New
sky was exploited by Deborah Jewish Agenda
Schlussel, a member of the November 23
Kemp Youth Campaign and a
Kemp Republican delegate.
During the question and answer Chassy
period she announced that the
New Jewish Agenda (NJA), a
national progressive Jewish
organization, denied the exis-
tence of anti-semitism in the
Soviet Union.
We would like to set the
record straight. When w e
formed our organization in
1982, we adopted a platform
which states:,
-NJA firmly supports the
struggle of Soviet Jews to
achieve basic cultural, reli-
gious, and human rights as
Jews. We support all attempts
to allow Jews to emigrate to7

The Daily welcomes letters from its
readers. Bringing in letters on personal
computer disk is the fastest way to publish
a letter in the Daily.

4

N'EAR HE'S
3OLEAT AT
IN- AN

5MCKIN6 BUSH EVE

4

I

S I I aIGIVS H I th+ยง. "

r

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan