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January 05, 1989 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-05

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0

OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Thursday, January 5, 1989

Scenes

from

Fall

The Michigan Daily
'88

Vol. IC, No. 68

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M! 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.
Anything changed?

01

Through a series of meetings which
excluded student input, the University
regents selected James Duderstadt to be
the eleventh president of the Univer-
sity. Duderstadt ranked last out of ten
candidates on students' lists. In spite of
this, Regent Dean Baker told the frst
choice candidate, Vartan Gregorian,
hot to apply to Michigan. Though this
Orocess occurred before the fa
semester even began, it set a precedet
of closed doors and failure to address
student concerns which continued
throughout the term.
The "New"
Administration
Over the summer, interim President
Robben Fleming acted as an enforcer
for many of the unpopular edicts for
the administration which shaped the fall
semester. The implementation of the
student protest code, the tuition in-
crease, and the deputization of campus
police were established by Fleming in
an attempt to create the necessary con-
trolling apparatus while sheltering the
nascent Duderstadt administration.
In another instance of inside-track
hiring and promotion, the regents ap-
pointed Dean Vest of engineering to
Provost. In a school where business
and research are already the dominant
focuses, two engineers occupying the
most powerful decision making posi-
tions poses a threat to the quality of
undergraduate education.
Another familiar administrative face
this fall was Regent Dean Baker, who
was re-elected for his third eight year
term. This will insure that he has
served longer than any other University
official: 24 years. Baker's vicious at-
tacks on gay men and lesbians shows
lack of concern for students and hu-
manity alike.
In one of the few triumphs of student
activism the last semester, LSA dean
Peter Steiner resigned after much pub-
lic pressure and a sit-in in his office.
These actions came in response to the
insistence that the University should
become a place where minorities would
naturally flock. '
The fall 1988 semester saw the first
use of the discriminatory acts policy
which applies solely to students. This
policy allows students to prosecute
each other for racist acts via the
administration. Even with the passage
of a faculty conduct code, the
administration itself remains beyond
scrutiny while harboring racist
administrators and using race and
class-biased admissions procedures.
Student Struggles
Despite the increased administrative
control over students' lives, the term
was marked by several progressive
achievements. The Ella Baker/Nelson
Mandela Center for anti-racist educa-
tion was opened. Two new courses
were added to the LSA curriculum -
a pilot course which could become a
mandatory course on racism and an
'introductory course on lesbian issues.
The FBI cancelled several recruiting
appointments under threat of planned
protest. An anonymous group painted
nearly 300 slogans reading "A woman
was raped here" all over Ann Arbor in
an attempt to raise public awareness
about violence against women. The
Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center (SAPAC) started a
24 hour crisis line, and participated,

with other women's advocacy groups,
in the organization of the Court Watch
program.
Racism, sexism, and homophobia
appeared in several forms throughout
the term. The list includes homophobic
flyers circulated in the law quad; the
song "God Hates A Queer" sung on the
diag; distribution of several racist
flyers; a racist incident at the Kappa
Sigma fraternity; the Daily printing
three generic descriptions of a
supposed rapist, and vandalism of the
Palestinian Solidarity Committee and
Free South Africa Coordinating Com-
mittee shanties.
None of the above, however, is sig-
nificant when compared with the ad-
ministration's constant lies and inability
to deal with the demands of its own
students. The Office of the President
(among others) issued a report, "One
Year Later: A Commitment to Diversity
and Leadership" Annual Report on Mi-
nority Affairs 1987-88" which claimed
several non-existent programs as suc-
cesses for the minority community
while excluding acknowledgement of
the student organizations which had
pushed the agenda to its current
point.When Latino students confronted
the administration on the report they
were abused by newly deputized Uni-
versity Public Safety officers who
slammed some of the activists' arms in
the door and locked others in the stair-
well.
The first casualties of the newly dep-
utized safety officers were four Daily
writers arrested in front of Hill
Auditorium while protesting Duder-
stadt's inauguration.While the univer-
sity is unable to prevent vandals and
arsonists from destroying the shanties,
it routinely blocks students from par-
ticipating in university politics and can
post a 24 hour guard on property of the
University sailing team or the airplane
which inhabits the diag once a
semester.
New contracts for the graduate stu-
dents employee organization and the
AFSCME workers received marginal
advancement. The university main-
tained a ten term rule for teaching as-
sistents and AFSCME wage and bene-
fit increase combined were less than the
rate of inflation. At the same time, fac-
ulty salaries went up 7.3% on average,
administrative salaries increased an av-
erage of 5 to7% and the tuition in-
creased 8 to 12.2% which forced many
less financially able students to leave
the University.
What Next?
In all, the administration triumphed
with big victories in police power,
University funding, and major coups in
the propaganda war: the University
Record and the Ann Arbor News pro-
vided daily praise of anything Duder-
stadt and his administration could in-
vent. For student power to return to the
fore, the focus needs to shift to admin-
istrative discrimination and militarism.
Tactical differences between student
groups or individuals must not interfere
with creating a unified front against
oppressive administrative policies.
Students must forward their agenda
pro-actively, rather than merely reacting
to administrative initiatives.1988
proved that the university is still re-
sponsive to its image - and not much
else. In 1989, students need to work
together to force the university to
change more than its image.

6

ROBIN LOZNAK/Daily
MSA President Michael Phillips protests the closed-door search for President James Duderstadt.

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Spray-painted graffiti, an attempt to
raise rape awareness on campus. The
graffiti was immediately erased by
the University.

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«~JESSICA GREENE ifDaily
A student protests the Daily's minorityJcoverage,
particularly the printing of two police composites
of alleged rapists.

JESSICA GREENE/Daily
Students are prevented from- speaking with President Duderstadt about the
University's factually incorrect Minority Afrairs Report.

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