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November 29, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-29

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6

OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 59 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.
Vote today for MSA

Wednesday, November 29, 1989

The Michigan Daily

4

S TUDENTS WILL vote today and
tomorrow to elect new Michigan
Student Assembly representatives and
to determine the course MSA will take
on campus issues, the most pressing of
which include the proposed discrimina-
tory harassment policy, the mandatory
class on racism, and the protest policy.
If in the past MSA has not always
imnressed those at the University as a
cohesive, representative, or effective
organization it is important that the
representatives the student body elects
this week possess the capability, de-
sire, and inspiration to fight for the
rights and freedoms of students.
The Assembly is the main route by
which students have access to the ad-
ministration's decision-makers, and
can help determine future policy. But
MSA's power to affect these decisions
is only as strong as representatives'
persistence. The internal squabbles of
the last semester have weakened MSA;
it will be up to these new representa-
tives to solidify the group - a first
step towards joining students together
and perhaps turning MSA into a stu-
dent union.
A workable discriminatory harass-
ment policy is a necessary instrument
to ensure that racism, sexism, and ho-
mophobia are not perpetuated. The
University must be willing to protect all
its students. Students, the administra-
tion, and faculty must be shown that
there will be consequences for actions
of exclusion and persecution based on
race, gender, religion or sexual orien-
tation. Without a policy, victims of
harassment will have no means of re-
dress.
MSA's new representatives must

also press for the establishment of a
graduation requirement to combat
racism by studying its forms and his-
torical roots. Racist acts such as the re-
cent spray-painting of swastikas on
cars belonging to members of a pre-
dominantly Jewish fraternity tear apart
the student community. The class
would not serve to impose values, but
to give student s the opportunity to get
exposure to ideas and perspectives
which have been lost lost in the white,
male, Western European-oriented texts
still predominating in most depart-
ments.
Proposed protest policies, limiting
the range of views that may be ex-
pressed on campus, strike directly
against first amendment rights. The
question of someone's right to speech
should be brought to the floor when
their right conflicts with another's, but
the protest policy is designed only to
rid the administration of the inconve-
nience of dissent.
The issue of MSA spending has be-
come more controversial this semester.
Members of the Conservative Coalition
on the current MSA have criticized
spending money on things like the stu-
dent delegations to Occupied Palestine
and El Salvador, claiming money
should stay "on campus." Yet it is clear
that all students on campus have bene-
fitted from these delegations, and the
opportunity to learn about students in
other parts of the world can only enrich
the educational opportunities available
at the University.
In the past, participation in elections
has been low. With such important is-
sues on the table, it is imperative that
students get together to use their voice.

Choose
by Corey Dolgon
One night last spring, just after 1:00
AM, I was awakened by a phone call. An
anonymous voice on the other end, some-
what giddy and somewhat inebriated,
thanked me for writing a Daily Opinion
piece the day before. According to this
caller, my article criticizing the Conserva-
tive Coalition's Right-Wing agenda actu-
ally helped the Party win the MSA elec-
tion that afternoon. His unfounded (and
somewhat unstable) theory was that all the
closet conservatives around campus who
were tired of student government dealing
with women's issues, minority is-
sues,education on international affairs,
AIDS, etc. had been inspired to vote by
my piece. Well, at the risk of being awak-
ened tomorrow night, I feel compelled to
warn the campus about what the next year
might look like if the Conservative Coali-
tion wins a majority on the Michigan
Student Assembly during today's and to-
morrow's elections.
In the past, the Conservative Coalition
has sponsored resolutions to derecognize
UCAR and were responsible for cutting
funds to the Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela
Center for Anti-Racist Education. They
have also suggested getting rid of the
shanties on the Diag which have stood as
an important symbol of solidarity with
Black people of South Africa for several
years. It's clear that the Conservative
Coalition believes the fight against racism
should have ended a long time ago. In
fact, much of their talk at MSA concerns
"reverse discrimination" and deleting the
student organization guidelines that sanc-
tion groups which discriminate on the ba-
sis of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
With the rising number of college groups
around the country calling themselves the
Board mi
By Cale Southworth and
Elisabeth Wilson
In a recent letter to the Daily (11/22)
Michael Brooks and Joseph Kohane, some
of the leaders of the Hillel Foundation,
claim that their organization is in no way
trying to influence or control the Michi-
gan Daily. As the student representatives
to the University Board for Student Publi-
cations which oversees the finances of the
Daily, the Ensian and the Gargoyle, we
see an attempt by Hillel and others to
pressure the Daily. While Brooks and Ko-
hane scream innocence at the top of their
lungs, the Chair of the Board for Student
Publication, Dr. Amnon Rosenthal, who
is also on the Board of Directors for the
Hillel Foundation, is pushing Hillel's
anti-Daily political agenda there.
Rosenthal's overlapping membership
between the Board for Student Publica-
tions and Hillel constitutes a conflict be-
tween his own personal and institutional
views and the editorial freedom of the
Daily. While we have nothing against
overlapping positions in general, Rosen-
thal has refused to remain neutral or oper-
ate in the interest of the paper. This sum-
mer, Prospect - a Hillel sponsored orga-
nization - threatened to sue the Daily
(and, by association, the Board). As
Rosenthal is able to influence the out-
come, in terms of settlement or legal posi-
tion through Board funding, this conflict
is unacceptable.
Members of Hillel have also organized

protests against the Daily. Again, we have
no objection to protests. But Rosenthal
felt compelled to make public statements
to the New York Times, the Detroit News
and other newspapers against the Daily and
in favor of the protest Hillel members
helped organize. In the interest of editorial
freedom, given Rosenthal's influence over
Daily purse strings, we need a chair for the
Board who will not intervene in the affairs
of the Daily.
During the April Board meeting, Rosen-
thal deemed it necessary to take up the
Board's time discussing the Daily Opinion
Page's stance on the Middle East. He in-
vited the members of the Hillel Founda-
tion who sponsored the protest to condemn
the Daily's political positions that they
considered anti-Semitic. Assuming the

Choice for
NAAWP (the National Association for the There
Advancement of White People), one has to have a c
wander about a potential student govern- Choice P
ment more interested in making resources Universii
less accessible to minority groups. gle again
The CC has also led a movement to ism on t
stop the work of the Peace and Justice student o
Commission, MSA's hardest working and bility to
most productive commission, because nity's bas
they believe that students shouldn't work cess andi
on programs that address international is- We envis
sues. Students all over campus have at- resources
tended Peace and Justice sponsored events versity t
to learn about happenings in Central ity enrol
America and the Middle East. However, times iro
the Conservative Coalition believes that all. We h
students aren't interested in these issues. I commiss
think their's is a dangerous idea - that work on
students aren't concerned about events that withoutr
occur outside the confines of the campus. limits of'
But perhaps this belief is reflective of their campusn
vision of the University. And this election encourag
really comes down to voting on different and inter
visions of what you think the University roles int
should look like. fines of]

MSA
is an alternative, though; you
hoice. People running with the
arty have a different vision of the
4y. We have supported the strug-
st racism, sexism, and heterosex-
his campus and we believe that
irganizations do have a responsi-
meet the educational commu-
sic values which include equal ac-
the freedom from discrimination.
sion a campus where the necessary
s are made available for the Uni-
o meet its commitment to minor-
lment and hiring, and the some-
n gates of academia are opened to
have supported the rights of MSA
ions and all student groups to
the issues they are interested in
restricting them to the arbitrary
"campus issues." We envision a
not only friendly to but one that
es students to learn about national
national issues, to care about their
the community beyond the con-
East Quad, and to be involved in

I
I

'With the rising number of college groups around the coun-
try calling themselves the NAAWP (the National Association
for the Advancement of White People), one has to wonder
about a potential student government more interested in
making resources less accessible to minority groups.

Like Ronald Reagan's vision of a "city
on the hill," the Conservative Coalition
dreams of a "college on the hill." The
University would became an elite, homo-
geneous place where students were politi-
cally obedient, socially ignorant, and in-
terested only in their own careers. In
essence, the conservative's envision an ex-
clusive "yupp:e corporate training
ground." Many people think the Univer-
sity is almost there.

the process of shaping and changing soci-
ety. We believe these are the educational
goals that create the kind of values that
Thomas Jefferson, John Dewey, and
Martin Luther King Jr. so cherished about
this country, its citizens, and its potential
for Democracy. And I still believe that the
tradition of a progressive University stu-
dent body will prevail. This is my theory,
however unfounded or unstable it may
sound.

q

NVote Southworth, Wilson and

Weisbrot:

Free student publications

THE BOARD for Student Publications
comprised of three professional
journalists, three faculty and three stu-
4dents -- controls the finances of the
Daily, the Ensian and the Gargoyle. It
claims never to exercise editorial con-
-trol over the three publications, but
since its creation the Board's use and
abuse of its financial power to influ-
ence editorial policy has been an issue
of dispute between the Board and the
editorial staffs.
The student representatives on the
Board play a vital role in ensuring the
freedom and independence of these
student publications. Of the seven un-
dergraduate candidates, two have
proven themselves willing and able to
defend the students' right to control
the editorial content of their publica-
tions: Cale Southworth and Elisabeth
Wilson. The graduate student most
qualified for the position is Mark
Weisbrot.
As the current student representa-
tives of the Board, Southworth, Wil-
son and Weisbrot have fought for fair
student representation and for student
interest in the publications. For almost
a year, the Board operated without full
student representation. When Weisbrot
was appointed by MSA to serve as an
interim representative, the Chair of the
Board refused to recognize him. In-
sisting that students need to have a
voice in a body with so much influ-
ence over the major student publica-
tions, Weisbrot obtained a confirma-
tion of his legitimacy from MSA and
encouraged MSA to appoint two more
representatives to fill the empty stu-
dent spots. Weisbrot hasfworked on
the news and opinion staffs of the
.Daily for three years.
The Board's dutlies~ include deinat-

the funds which are generated by
students in the first place.
Southworth is the only undergradu-
ate candidate to have worked at any of
the three publications. In addition to
writing news stories for the Daily, he
was a member of the opinion staff, and
served as Opinion Page editor. Though
it is not essential that the student rep-
resentatives have direct experience
with the publications, it is a great as-
set. His three years of work at the
Daily give Southworth a perspective
none of the others have - he knows
how the publications work and what
their needs are.
Wilson - the only woman candi-
date in the race for a position which
has traditionally been held by men -
proved herself to be a strong advocate
for student rights at the last Board
meeting. Despite being continually in-
terrupted and silenced by the Chair
and other non-student Board members,
Wilson continued to try to check po-
tential abuse by non-student members
of the Board and to be an active ques-
tioner as well as listener. Wilson's
journalistic experience includes work-
ing for National Agenda, a publication
which lobbies Congress.
The other undergraduate candidates
have no experience with the Daily, the
Ensian or the Gargoyle. Electing stu-
dents who know nothing about the
way the Board or how the individual
publications work leaves open the
possibility that they will try to influ-
ence editorial policy to conform to
their personal beliefs. Given the recent
attempts by the Chair of the Board to
deny student input, and his direct vio-
lation of regental by laws, it is espe-
cially imprtant to have students on the
Board who will stand up for the inde-

Laipulat(
Board has no business dictating editorial
policy, this entire presentation was irrele-
vant. Obviously, Rosenthal disagrees.
The introduction to Regental Bylaw
13.11 which defines the Board states it
"has authority and control over all... pub-
lications edited, managed, or promoted by
students or student organizations of the
University of Michigan." While Rosenthal
and Hillel deny any attempt at manipula-
tion of the paper, their actions (especially
for those in positions of power) show
otherwise.
But the story gets worse. Rosenthal, re-
senting the views of the Opinion Page
during the winter 1989 semester, set out
to find appointments for the Board who
shared his view. He found two professors
who had a gripe against the Daily.
Raymond Tanter, a distinguished profes-
sor of political science, has also served on
the National Security Council. This in it-
self does not make a conflict, but Tanter
saw fit to enter the Daily on the day that a
story about him was going to run. He
screamed and yelled and threatened to sue
the Daily. To this day it has not run. Tan-
ter is also an outspoken advocate for Israel
and shares much of Hillel's outlook on the
Daily as he has said in his classes.
In the same way that Rosenthal went
out to find faculty who shared his dislike
for the Daily, he chose to circumvent the
proper procedure to choose the profes-
sional members of the Board. The Board is
supposed to be composed of three profes-
sional journalists, three faculty and three
students.
These recent appointments to the Board
are in violation of the Regents Bylaws.
These people (and no indictment of their
qualifications involved) are to be chosen
"by the President from a panel of not less
than six names proposed by the top editors
of the Daily acting jointly with the editors
of the Ensian, Gargoyle, and Genera-
tion...." (Regents' Bylaw 13.11) The top
Daily editors were never consulted about
the recent selections. So the ruling is
unambiguous. Although the editors have
gone on to approve these people, the
Chair of the Board did handpick the profes-
sionals and not from a list given to him
by students.
With this as the history, it should be no
surprise that the student representatives

Ie
Daily
were shut out of the meeting and help-
lessly voted against every proposal
brought by the Rosenthal clique. Cale
Southworth sent a letter with these and
other concerns in it which the Board re-
fused to grant time to consider.
The first motion of the meeting was
that the Board operate by parliamentary
procedure. Despite an apparent consensus
Rosenthal refused a vote on this point and
conducted the meeting without any rules.
Under parliamentary procedure, a challenge
to credentials, which was obvious, would
have to be considered first. Instead, Rosen-
thal and his Board allowed people who
were appointed in violation of the Bylaws
and who should not have been on the
Board to vote on their own legitimacy.
The results were no surprise.
The Board ignored questions of integrity
and the student requests for the Chair and
Tanter to resign given their conflicts of in-
terest. None of the members of the Board,
except Professor Gramlich, made any ef-
fort to hear the student side of the issue.
Neither Rosenthal nor Tanter attempted to
clear their names or explain their open
conflicts.
As student members, we strongly ob-
jected to the "business as usual" attitude of
the meeting. In response, Rosenthal and
his allies refused to recognize us, called us
children and ignored members of the Daily
editorial and business staff who wished to
speak. Today we found out, with no no-
tification from the Board,that the Decem-
ber meeting has also been cancelled as was
the October meeting following our ap-
pointments in an effort to silence the cur-
rent representatives.
In the end the Board wasted a great deal
of time which was needed to discuss such
issues as handicapped access to the build-
ing, a fund for investigative journalism
and the position of the building director.
As student representatives we cannot in
good conscience allow people with direct
conflicts of interest to run our meetings
like a Mafia racket. We ask MSA to call
for Rosenthal's removal and call on the
community at large to that any manipula-
tion of what is still a partially free student
newspaper come to an end.
Southworth and Wilson are currently
student members of the Board of Student
Publications.

.1"::.'." .:' . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..:
. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..N"

Independent
r l g i d rC'

Thursday, the graduate student
position on the Board in Con-

these publications has been
sacrosanct since the late 60s

about the ramifications of legal
relationships such as those be-
t*nfan the annA nt he nnhki

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