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March 31, 1989 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-31

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Foreign
students
'gather
BV BARRIE BERSON
On March 17, MSA's Interna-
tinal Student Commission held a
conference on campus for interna-
tional student association presidents.
Nations such as Indonesia, Israel,
Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Ger-
many, the Netherlands, and the
United States were represented.
, The ultimate purpose was "to get
community members to get to know
one another and discuss concerns of
international students particularly at
the University of Michigan," said
Paul White, the chairperson of the
commission.
The conference was just a part of
the effort MSA has been putting
forth this year. White, along with
1 his committee, are still working on
ideas to improve international stu-
dent life at the University. At the
end of August students will be vol-
unteering time at the international
student orientation run by the Inter-
national Center.
In addition, the MSA steering
committee hosted a reception for
visiting Philippine University Stu-
dent Government Presidents. During
their visit, the students attended a
lecture by Geraldine Ferraro and were
given the opportunity to meet her as
well.
"We have taken the international
student program and rejuvenated it,"
said White. "In the past it was not as
regular," he added.
"The main goal of our commis-
sion is to draw into a sharper focus
problems that exist for international
students. I think that the interna-
tional students on campus are not as
visible as they would like to be and
there is some sentiment toward
changing that a bit," stated the
commission chair.
PASS
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AROUND
Share the
news,
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The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 31, 1989 - Page 3
West Bank trip

11 *1

it

They're amazing
Members of Amazin' Blue sing as they give the diag a taste of what they will offe
this Saturday in the Union Ballroom.

splits
BY DIMA ZALATIMO
A Michigan Student Assembly
funded trip to the Israeli occupied
territories has stirred controversy
among assembly representatives and
left them divided.
This month, MSA passed a pro-
posal, presented by the Palestine
Solidarity Committee, to send two
University students to the occupied
territories to discuss the establish-
ment of a sister university relation-
ship with Bir Zeit University, simi-
lar to the one between the University
and the University of El Salvador.
The three week trip is also de-
signed to gather first hand informa-
tion about conditions in the occupied
territories. Upon returning from their
trip, students will share their experi-
ences through informal lectures.
The resolution, passed by an
eleven to nine margin, has been met
with opposition. Efforts to have the
motion rescinded at this week's
meeting failed.
"I don't think anything productive
will come of the trip," said LSA
representative Gretchen Walter who
strongly opposes the allocation of
MSA funds for the trip.
"There is a need for eyewitnesses
on campus because of the media bias
toward Israel. Palestinians are dying
everyday", said Luis Vazquez, repre-
sentative from the School of Public
Health. "We need to get the straight
story."
Gene Kavnatsky, a Rackham
representative, said that he didn't be-
lieve in spending student money
outside the University, and espe-

Changing issues cause protests to wane

ISA

cially outside the country. "MSA is
waging foreign policy which is not
their job."
Kavnatsky added that since the
trip was sponsored by the PSC, the
chosen students would be biased.
The selection process for the trip
will be administered by a panel of
two MSA members and two PSC
members. One of the students cho-
sen will be an MSA member; the
other will be from the general cam-
pus community.
One panel member, Engineering
representative Dan Tobocman, said
he would be looking for an unbiased
person."Having me, a Jew, on the
committee lends to the impartiality
of the selection," he said.
"This is not a hate-Israel trip. The
two people who go will experience
the situation first hand and bring
back a balanced view," he said.
MSA president-elect Aaron
Williams said he opposed the trip
because the money allocated for it
could have been put to better use on
campus.
But PSC member Rashid Taher
who is also on the selection com-
mittee said, "The assertion that the
money can be better spent on cam-
pus is not applicable because the
campus community will be directly
benefiting from the insight these
students bring back."
Taher stressed the fact that this
was not a free vacation. "Whoever is
sent will be expected to work for
their trip when they get back by en-
gaging in informal lectures."

BY NOELLE SHADWICK
This time two years ago,
protesters decriedwthe University's
proposal to remove restrictions on
classified research saying the
University would be opening its
doors to more military and weapons
projects.
On April 20, 1987, the Univer-
sity's regents voted 5-2 to remove
the "end-use" clause prohibiting re-
searchers for almost 20 years from
conducting classified research that
could be used to kill or maim human
life.
Supporters of the "end-use" clause
vowed to fight for its readoption
even if, as then Michigan Student
Assembly military research adviser
Tamara Waggoner said, "it means
sitting in on every goddam lab that
performs military research."
But now, the issue of University
classified research - research in
which the principal investigator has
access to federally classified docu-
ments - seems to have disappeared
from the public eye.
Only one demonstration, which
was staged last October by Univer-
sity alumni members of the
Progressive Student's Network, has
recalled the struggle between the ad-
ministration and anti-military re-
search activists.
The demonstrators, occupying the
laboratory of University Prof.
Thomas Senior, protested the Uni-
versity's acceptance of $6,000,000
from the Pentagon during academic
year 1987-88.
Beyond the PSN protest, there
has been little anti-military research
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activism on campus.
"It's been going on so long that
people have gotten used to it...,"
said LSA junior Sarah Cooley of
Women's Action for Nuclear Disar-
mament. "It's not the big issue for a
lot of people," she said.
Issues of racism, discrimination,
and anti-Semitism are more of a
concern for students now, said Prof.
Theodore Birdsall, principle investi-
gator of the only official classified
research project on campus spon-
sored by the Office of Naval Re-
search.
Birdsall, who investigates the
transmitance of underwater sound
signals and who has been accused by
opponents of military research of
developing technology that could be
used in submarine warfare, said:
"The PSN used to visit me once a
week," but now "I don't know who
their successors are."
"Issues change; people change,"
said Gaia Kile, University graduate
and former member of the PSN.
One of the problems of working
on political issues at a University,
Kile said, is that "there is a tremen-
dous turnover of students while the
administration remains the same.
The administration doesn't necessar-
ily have to be responsive to the stu-

dents."
While the opposition has waned,
the University has continued to re-
cruit and accept Pentagon dollars.
According to a report by Michi-
gan Student Assembly military re-
search investigator Arlin Wasser-
man, the University has doubled its
intake of Pentagon dollars over the
past four years, and the Department
of Defense accounted for 5.1 percent
of the University's total research ex-
penditures in fiscal year 1988.
The University ranks 216th in the
Pentagon's Research and Develop-
ment list of the top 500 institutions
and companies who receive Pentagon
money.
Though the main focus of the is-
sues has changed, Cooley said "they
are hitting at the same thing."
The U.S. sends its military into
third world countries, but they
wouldn't do the same in European
white countries, and poor people in
the underdeveloped nations are often
forced to go into the army, she said.
A greater threat than classified re-
search right now is the increasing
tendency for the University to accept
proprietary research contracts, said
George Carignan, assistant
engineering dean and chair of the
Research Policies Committee.

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