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September 16, 1988 - Image 24

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-16
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CRIMINALIZING PROTEST
NEW 'U' POLICY,
DEPUTIES MAKE
SPEAKING YOUR MIND A

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RISKY BUISNESS...
AND THE
By.Ca......t.wrhand.....andra..tei.grabe.
By Cale Southworth and Sandra Steingraber

tempt to ban Bush from campus. Shapiro expressed his grave
fear that "restrictions in the type of ideas we are going to con-
sider because of prejudice or political and intellectual authori-
tarianism can slowly transform great scholarly institution as
ours into the handmaids of particular vested interest."
This perspective was taken up by other members of the ad-
ministration who considered both the resolutions and the
protest a threat to freedom of expression on campus. The
power of invitation was seen as sovereign.
RSG challenged this assumption. "[Shapiro] claimed that we
called for banning officials of the Reagan Administration from
campus. In fact, our resolution only expressed our 'firmest
opposition' to the appearance.... Our main concern is that the
University not be seen as lending legitimacy to the Adminis-
tration." Nevertheless, the incident was enough to inspire th-
University administration to consider devising protest guide-
lines. (Daily 10/15/85; 10/18/85)
At the more recent Kirkpatrick protest in April 1988, stu-
dent activists voiced outrage at the University's decision to
bestow an honorary degree on Jeane Kirkpatrick. As with the
George Bush invitation, this decision was handed down unilat-
erally from the administration with no student input or advance
notice of the selection. Members of the Latin American Soli-
darity Committee, Women's Action Against Nuclear Disar-
The Daily has obtained conclusive
evidence that the University allocated
funds to send Public Safety officer Robert
Pifer to an FBI training seminar
in St. Louis from July 9 - 13, 1988.

place of autonomy, civility and scholarly pursuit." Baker as-
serted that students who engaged in protests which "exceed the
normal bounds of acceptable University behavior" should be
prosecuted and arrested. This idea was taken up by Interim
President Robben Fleming who volunteered to write up guide-
lines "to deal with disruption of presentations" and present
them at the next regents' meeting.
Fleming kept his promise. The regents were sent a memo-
randum, "Disruption of University Activities," which outlined
a five-point plan for dealing with acts of disruptive student
protest. Soon after, the regents officially adopted these recom-
mendations. This memo thus forms the basis of the current
protest policy (see FLEMING'S PROTEST PROPOSAL,
Page 14).
The Doctrine of Undue
Interference
Three broad changes are implemented by the president's
memo to the regents. First, it designates the "Statement on
Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression" issued by the
Civil Liberties Board as the official set of rules to balance and
govern the rights of speakers and protesters. This statement
codifies the regents' wish to disallow disruption of University
forums and speakers. It establishes a doctrine of "undue inter-
ference" - which protestors may not exceed without reprisal
from the University or its public safety officers. It also asserts
that the rights of both speakers and protestors are paramount.
Significantly, the policy leaves "undue interference" at the
discretion of the organizers of the event. "It is the responsibil-
ity of University officials or the organizers of an event to
make a judgement where there is a clear and present danger that
the rights of free expression ... will be infringed upon."
Second, the memo effectively strips the University Council
of any veto power over the memo. This committee of three
students, three faculty, and three administrators had been
designated to implement rules of conduct for the University
community but had up to that point failed reach a consensus.
By overruling Bylaw 7.02, the authority to draft both the rules
of conduct and the procedures for enforcing them could be
shifted over to the incoming University President under Bylaw
2.01. A neat strategic move.
The administration justified bypassing the student-faculty
committee by asserting that "U" Council had failed to ratify
the necessary set of regulations governing conduct. In this
way, students lost their only voice in the decision-making
processes which determined acceptable conduct. The adminis-
tration and its apologists criticized the committee for its lack
of results.
The University Council broke up in the summer of 1987
after a faculty representative, Professor Shaw Livermore, sent a
letter to Shapiro claiming that the council would never come
to agreement. The University Council had indeed voted to dis-
band, but all three student representatives dissented. The fac-
ulty and administration representatives cited the same reason
for the break up: students would not agree to academic sanc-
tions for non-academic actions.
Finally, as the coup de grace , Fleming proposed that the
top two University Public Safety officers be deputized by
Washtenaw County Sheriff Ronald Schebil. This arrangement
was finalized in a letter of agreement between the University
and the sheriffs department last week; Director of Public Safety
Leo Heatley and Assistant Director Robert Pifer were sworn in
as full deputies. Thus, while on duty, they are empowered to
make arrests under state law and carry firearms whenever
authorized by the University. This letter of agreement grants
large discretionary power to the University by giving the ad-
ministration the power to write the employees' job descrip-
tions.
Justifications and
Contradictions
Deputization of University security officers is an arrange-
ment worked out between the University administration and
the sheriff of Washtenaw County. Significantly, these two
players have strikingly different perspectives on the reasons for
deputization and the role it will serve on campus.
See COVER STORY, Page 14

0
FA

F I

U ninvited and unannounced, four students climbed
onto the stage at Hill Auditorium during a
musical interlude at the new student convocation
last week and walked up to the microp-
phone where University President James
Duderstadt would momentarily address the incoming class.
We were two of those students. Although not included in the
official program of events, we wished to explain to the crowd
of first year students what the President surely would not: new
restrictions on political expression and assembly are threaten-
ing student freedom and power at the University. It was our
conviction that recent University policy changes demonstrate a
blatant disregard for student rights and that students are rapidly
losing their voice in governing the communities in which they
live. We also felt new students deserved to know about the
new campus police force which was created over the summer
in order to deal with student protest.
The four of us felt this action was worthwhile because it
would inform our student colleagues and at the same time
constitute the first test of the new protest guidelines passed by
the University of Michigan Board of Regents and the Faculty
Senate's Civil Liberties Board (CLB) this past summer.
Climbing uninvited onto the stage and speaking out of turn
- interrupting the planned flow of events - are exactly the
kinds of activities defined as unacceptable under the new
guidelines of student conduct adopted by the Regents this
summer. In fact, the CLB statement lists this action specifi-
cally as "undue interference" in a University event.
("Cancelling, stopping an event, adjourning to another time or
place, or allowing protracted interruption of a speech, meeting
or performance is inconsistent with full respect for the rights
of free expression and communication of those present.")
For this momentary disturbance we could face "any institu-
tional procedures" under the Regents' Bylaws as punishment.
And University Public Safety officers, had they been present,
could have used their newly acquired status as deputy sheriffs
to arrest us under state law for disturbing the peace or
trespassing in a University building.
Southworth is a Daily Opinion editor;
Steingraber is an opinion staff writer

'The time has come to regain control of this
campus so that the University might once
again function as a place of autonomy,
civility, and scholarly pursuit.'
- Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor)
The Power of Invitation
To understand how our impromptu speech has became crim-
inalized under new administrative guidelines requires a bit of
history. The current wave of University policy decisions was
prompted by two different protests against invited speakers: a
demonstration against Vice President George Bush and the dis-
ruption of a forum at which former United Nations Ambas-
sador Jeane Kirkpatrick had been asked to speak.
In October 1985, a group of protesters booed and heckled
Vice President George Bush as he spoke from the steps of the
Michigan Union. Invited to commemorate the 25th anniver-
sary of the Peace Corps, Bush was perceived by student
protesters as a symbol of U.S. militarism in the Third World.
Additionally, demonstrators voiced their disapproval of the
process by which the Vice President had been offered an
invitation to speak at the University in the first place. Two
branches of student government, the Michigan Student As-
sembly (MSA) and Rackham Student Government (RSG), had
passed resolutions against the University's invitation of Bush,
but these considerations had been overruled by the administra-
tion.
The administration's response to the Bush demonstration
marked the beginning of the current movement toward admin-
istrative guidelines regulating campus protest. One week later,
in his sixth annual state-of-the-University address, then Uni-
versity President Harold Shapiro contended that the resolutions
of the student governments condemning the administration's
extension of an invitation to George Bush constituted an at-

mament, the United Coalition Against Racism, and other
campus groups issued a collective statement arguing against
the selection of Kirkpatrick as honorary degree recipient. Ac-
cording to these groups, honoring Kirkpatrick - architect of
U.S. foreign policy and Reagan apologist - was tantamount
to honoring the political views and deeds she espoused.
Again, the power of invitation was used as an argument by
the administration to discredit the student protest that followed.
A dozen or so demonstrators arrived uninvited to a private fo-
rum where Kirkpatrick was a featured speaker. Shouting and
arguing broke out. Kirkpatrick refused to speak and was es-
corted out of the room, effectively cancelling the event. Fac-
ulty sponsors accused protesters of violating Kirkpatrick's
right to speak; students responded that their right to protest
superseded the University's right to invite whomever it so de-
sired to campus without input by students.
After this incident, momentum built quickly in administra-
tive circles toward establishing guidelines to circumscribe the
actions of student demonstrators. At the May 1988 regents
meeting, both the Kirkpatrick and Bush protests were cited as
examples of "undue interference" in a University event.
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) seized the moment and
proclaimed that "the time has come to regain control of this
campus so that the University might once again function as a

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PAGE 10 WEEKEND/SEPTEMBER 16, 1988

WEEKEND/SEPTEMBER 16, 1988

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