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February 01, 1989 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-01

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OPINION

Page 4
4bVEir4u &td
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 87 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.

Wednesday, February 1, 1989
University regents attempt to stifle student dissent:
MSA deserves fi

The Michigan Daily

By Mike Phillips
Too often some people take some of the
actions by the Michigan Student Assem-
bly (MSA), the all campus student gov-
ernment of the University, out of context
and try to frame the entire organization as
a disruptive force on campus. Even more
disturbing is the fact that many people
have their opinion of MSA shaped by the
twisted and biased comments of the
political adversaries of MSA.
For example, last July when the board
of regents set the MSA fee at six dollars
and twenty-eight cents, they added a clause
instructing MSA to "begin immediate
consultation with the Student Orga-
nization Development Center regarding
developing specific ways and means of
improving and increasing its credibility,
responsibility, and effectiveness on behalf
of the respective school/college govern-
ments and the student body as a whole." In
short, because the regents disagreed with
the politics and students running MSA
they forced these volunteer students to try
to accomplish something they themselves
should also be pursuing.
MSA and its affiliated programs, Stu-
dent Legal Services, Ann Arbor Tenants
Union, and ADVICE course evaluation
magazine, interact successfully with every
facet of University life. All four divisions
of MSA are lead by a woman or person of
color. Even before the regents held a gun
to the head of the current MSA
administration, the problems caused by the
past MSA administration were being ad-
dressed by myself and some MSA repre-
sentatives.
Unfortunately, even after some MSA
representatives and I had begun working
on the vague mandate issued by the board
of regents, some members of the board of
regents and University administration be-
gan to float trial balloons threatening to
stop funding MSA. These comments were
targeted at disrupting and sabotaging the
efforts of myself and some MSA
representatives working on improving the
organization internally and externally. The
regents have tried to associate apathy with
dissatisfaction, accusing MSA of having
no student support. This is strange be-
cause the number of students voting in
Mike Phillips is the President of MSA

MSA elections has consistently been the
same. For example, in April 1968
approximately 3,000 students voted in two
days of elections, in March 1978 approx-
imately 6,000 students voted in three days
of elections, and in March of 1988
approximately 4,500 students voted in two
days of elections.
Instead of slandering and undermining
the foundation of central student govern-
ment, members of the board of regents and
the administration could better serve the
University community by wholeheartedly
working with students who sometimes
have a different opinion about the Univer-
sity than they do.
The history of administrators attacking
campus student groups with whom they

unding
tion" or "MSA did not do what we told
them to do." As shown earlier, the voter
turn out in MSA elections has not
changed in twenty years. Also MSA has
and will continue to live up to its end of
the regents' mandate issued in July 1988.
The problem is, it takes two to tango, and
SODC has two left feet. Some in the ad-
ministration would have you believe oth-
erwise, but their jobs are on the line and
if they have to choose between telling the
truth, and possibly being fired, or blaming
MSAI guess you see who the administra-
tor picks.
At times student concerns are in direct
conflict with those in the administration.
For example students lobbing the Univer-
sity administration for lower tuition could

0

If central student government can not disagree with the board
of regents without fear of losing its funding why have a cen-
tral student government at all?

The State Department tells us that Salvadoran rebels threaten our se-,
curity. But there's a lot more it doesn't say. Above, at gunpoint,
nuns leave catherdral after the funeral of Archbishop Romero, assasi-
nated by a Salvadoran government supported right-wing death squad.

Support the new FMLN peace proposal:

Peace in El Salvador?

disagree is well documented. For example,
in July 1970 then President Robben
Fleming circulated a memo to the board of
regents detailing "the possibilities for
dealing with the Daily." The Daily has
been under constant assault from the ad-
ministration ever since. In 1976, after
twenty years of independent central student
government, the Student Government
Council was eliminated and the board of
regents replaced it with the "more Univer-
sity focused and structured" Michigan
Student Assembly. Technically MSA was
created so students could have a place in
the University bureaucracy; realistically it
was created so its financial needs could be
used against them whenever its political
and social opinions interfere with the
University administration.
In the fall of 1987 Vice-President for
Student Services Henry Johnson sent a
memo to Michigan Union Director Frank,
Cianciola instructing him to look into the
problems of the student run campus radio
station WCBN. The results of this
inquisition has lead current CBN staffers
and listeners to fear the watchful adminis-
trative eye attempting to dictate and ma-
nipulate station policy and programs.
So now the regents want to quit funding
MSA because "no one votes in their elec-

be forced to ask the Governor to enact a
state wide tuition freeze. MSA gives
students the chance to express the concerns
and opinions they have as individuals.
MSA assures equality of opportunity for
student involvement, a basic tenet of an
egalitarian educational community. If cen-
tral student government can not disagree
with the board of regents without fear of
losing its funding why have a central stu-
dent government at all? MSA, like the
Daily and CBN, is not perfect, and is
never above criticism. But the unwarranted
attack on these student organizations by
some members of the board of regents and
some University administrators is a
shambles of injustice.
Regardless of the sophomoric comments
of some members of the board of regents
and some University administrators the
fate of MSA lies with the student body.
It is my hope that students will at least
want to "know the truth of the issue
brought forward. Otherwise, after MSA is
ripped of what little integrity it has left,
and CBN is transformed into a top forty
station, and the Daily loses its advertising
income, and is forced to quit publishing,
there will be no central base for students
to listen to what they want, report what
they want and do what they want.

LAST WEEK, El Salvador's freedom
fighters - the Farabundo Marti Na-
tional Liberation Front (FMLN) -laid
before the Duarte regime a bold and
innovative proposal for bringing peace
to a country ripped apart by 70,000
deaths during ten years of civil war.
True to form, the Duarte regime
seems bent on scuttling the offer, just
as it has sabotaged three previous
FMLN peace proposals. Also true to
form, the U.S. government has quietly
turned the other way as the government
to which it daily provides $1.5 million
in murderous aid once again flouts the
democratic principles for which it -
and the U.S.- claim to stand.
The proposal itself is simple and just.
If the government postpones presi den-
tial elections for six months, halts the
escalating repression against its own
people, and keeps Salvador's brutal
military at home on election day, the
FMLN will call a cease fire, participate
in the elections, and abide by their re-
sults.
El Salvador has never had a free
election. On those rare occasions when
the people have dared to challenge the
blatant fraud of the electoral process,
they have simply been eliminated, or,
in the unique parlance so appropriate in
El Salvador, "disappeared." Some
30,000 of them in 1932. Over a thou-
sand in 1972. Several thousand in the
aftermath of 1977, including the vic-
tims of the infamous Monday Massacre
in the Plaza Libertad.
Nothing has changed in elections'
'80s-style. Ballots are numbered; ballot
boxes are made of clear plastic; the
military stands guard at the polls. The
way one votes is literally a matter of
life and death. And the media wonders
why the FMLN has consistently re-
fused to participate in such shams, or
why it begins its current proposal by
claiming that "our people no longer
believe in elections."

If the FMLN is willing to believe in
elections this year, it is because it is
now strong enough to guarantee that
they will be fair. Its proposal is not de-
livered in desperation; rather, for the
first time, its armies have the Salvado-
ran military on the ropes. Yet it is will-
ing to use that strength to bargain for
peace rather than prolong the war.
But the Duarte regime is not inter-
ested in a peace built upon the
Salvadoran peoples' realization of their
democratic aspirations. The military
and its allies would lose a fair election;
their diminishing prospects for survival
depend upon continuing the systematic
genocide they are perpetrating against
the Salvadoran people.
Meanwhile, the message from
Washington has been ambiguous.
More so than Salvador's military, the
Washington war machine seems to
recognize the double bind Salvador's
elites are in: they can either accede to
the proposal and lose the election, or
reject the proposal and risk military
annihilation.
If the U.S. State Department is cur-
rently pressuring Duarte to at least
consider the proposal, it is not because
of some new-found commitment to
democracy. Instead, it recognizes that
the Salvadoran government - despite
massive U.S. aid - could lose the
war, and counts on its finely-honed
ability to sabotage any electoral process
while simultaneously preserving the il-
lusion of democracy.
As residents of the U.S., we not
only have a responsibility to push the
U.S. government to unconditionally
accept the FMLN proposal and then get
their Salvadoran puppets to accept it as
well. We must also make sure that the
U.S. does not subsequently undercut
the very same proposal in the name of
the democracies and freedoms it con-
sistently fails to uphold throughout
Latin America.

0

...... ...... ..... ...... ..... ...... ...... ..... ..... . ... . .
Letrs--heeitr. -..

PZC favors
two states
To the Daily:
The Progressive Zionist
Caucus (P.Z.C.) has added its
statement to the open political
forum in the Diag. We have
erected a board exhibiting the
slogan "Two peoples, two
states" alongside the structures
of the two most vocal student
groups involved in Middle East
politics: Tagar and the Pales-
tinian Solidarity Committee
(P.S .C.).
The slogan and the
accompanying flags of Israel
and Palestine indicate our con-
viction that all nations have
the right to self-determination.
The only viable means of
stopping the degradation, vio-
lence, and bloodshed is a two-
state solution. Though the day
may seem far, we believe that
the creation of a Palestinian
state alongside Israel would
bring to an end the oppression
of Palestinians, halt the moral
decay of Israeliasociety and
quell the fear that lies in the
hearts of the Jews and Arabs
living in Israel and the occu-
pied territories.
As the years pass and the
death toll rises, extremists on
both sides monopolize the ears
of the public. Despite current
Israeli policy and harsh por-
trayals of the Israeli public, a
poll conducted since the U.S.
recognition of the P.L.O. re-
vealed that 54% of all Israelis
are in favor of direct negotia-
tions with the P.L.O. Fur-
thermore, in the most recent

still maintaining the necessity
of a Jewish state. Progressive
Zionism works toward peace
and mutual recognition among
Arabs and Jews, as well as to-
ward a better and more ethical
Israel.
If you are looking for a way
to express your Zionism while
simultaneously supporting the
struggle for Palestinian self-
determination, watch for the
activities of the P.Z.C. and
look for our flyers.
-Geremy Forman
Libby Adler
Ariel Fox
Todd Lowy
Becky Pearlman
Mike Spiro
David Yakar
Elliot Appel
January 25
Wrong
promotion
To the Daily:
The sports column
"Competitive spirit alive and
well in South Quad." (Daily,
1/19/89) glorified a new
drinking game derived from a
beer ad campaign entitled "Bud
Bowl I." The game called for
two teams of four people to
race each other in the drinking
of two cases of beer per team.
Yes, "that is an average of 12
per player."
We, the members of South
Quad Council, feel that the
Daily's printing of this article
was irresponsible. The game
involved the dangerous use of
alcohol. The consumption of
that much alcohol in a short
time can cause serious medical

alcoholics and alcoholics at the
University. Imagine the dif-
ficulty of attempting to recover
from such an illness when the
abuse of the drug is publicly
encouraged. Teenage alcohol-
ism is being exposed more and
more as a societal problem. It
is realistic to assume that there
are a number of recovering al-
coholics in South Quad, the
originally intended location of
Bud Bowl I.
The article also implies that
South Quad condones this ac-
tivity. In fact, this activity
violates South Quad policy and
goes against the principles
which South Quad Council and
Resident Staff promote. We
would have been happier had
you promoted the weekly Al-
coholics Anonymous meetings
that take place in South Quad
or the nonalcoholic benefit
dance for MDA that took place
on Friday.
Peter Zellen, the author of
the article, says the game "has
more important stakes. 'We
play this for pride."' Fortu-
nately, the game did not take
place in South Quad. However,
it did take place. Rumor has it
that seven of the eight partici-
pants vomited and the other
passed out. Is this really
something to be proud of?
-South Quad Council
January 20
More ,noise
To the Daily:
What's blue and gold and
glum all over. Crysler Arena.
Despite the University's pur-
ported "tradition of excellence,"
the basketball scene falls far

is, we don't have one. Those
students that are allotted tickets
'find themselves dispersed
primarily throughout the outer
regions of the gold section (the
ones in the rafters). This is fine
if your concern is filling up the
prime seats with supportive
alumni, but it does nothing for
the spirit and rowdiness that
provides the foundation for a
true home court advantage.
The goal here is to pump up
the volume in a lasting and
meaningful way. And it starts
by restructuring the seating
within the Arena to accommo-
date a clearly defined student
section right down low, where
it's impact would be greatest.
Unquestioningly, the
strongest case for the power of
a student section lies in
Durham, North Carolina where
approximately 4000 Duke stu-
dents pile into their general
admission, court-side seats to
live up to their unquestioned
reputation as the loudest and
craziest fans in all of college
basketball.
This is just some of the evi-
dence that suggests exactly
why we need to install a stu-
dent section. The point now is
to do what we can to bring it
about. With Bo going through
the transitional phase as Ath-
letic Director, the timing
couldn't be better. With this in
mind, the brothers of Phi
Gamma Delta have decided to
contribute what we can in an
effort to realize this goal. Our
first step will be to circulate a
petition around campus to get
as many students involved as
possible. With a little support

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