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February 16, 1990 - Image 21

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-16
Note:
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0

M ih
'Million-dollar
clubhouse'

remained that way through the
'40s. It had its down times during
the war but it really was the
central place," Cianciola said.
A central place, that is, except
for women. The club was
organized around male students
who paid membership fees
automatically through their
tuition bills. Upon graduation,
students could pay to become
lifetime members.
"You have to take into account
when this all happened," said
Cianciola. "The men at the time
thought the women's needs were
taken care of in Waterman
Gymnasium... and this was
something they addressed to
men's needs. Women didn't,
fortunately, buy that story and
started their own program which
then brought on the Michigan
League in 1929."
"The Union was always a more
lively place than the League,"
said 1963 alumna Linda Benson.
She recalled many big bands
coming to the Union, including
Duke Ellington and Johnny

pointed out, the Mandate
elevates style over substance. At
the level of an idea, Golmon says,
"it can mean just as much as
'we're not going to step on each
other's toes.' There are no
criterion measures of what needs
to occur."
While Harrison calls the
Mandate's goals "monumental,"
Golmon sees no evidence of a
movement toward structural
change, especially in the ad-
missions process, which she
contends operates on "a whole
series of assumptions that I've
been in disagreement with for 30
years."
Golmon, an educational psy-
chologist, is particularly con-
cerned with the continued use of
national standardized tests, which
are required for admission.
"A good score on those tests
indicates to some extent people
who are competent to do a certain
kind of academic work," she says.
"But if someone scores poorly on
those tests, you don't know
anything."
More than anything else, the
tests measure the ability to
"handle poorly-presented in-
formation, and the way that's
likely to be handed back. It is a
learnable thing - doing poorly
isn't a measure of anybody's
brain." Clearly, if students can
drastically improve their sAT or

AcT test scores in a short tutorial,
their relevance to real education
may be questioned.
Still, Harrison does not claim
that the University has or is
necessarily yet-prepared to
institute structural changes to
alter the nature of the institution.
Some changes have been
introduced in the recruitment
program, several committees have
been created (among them the
recently-formed task force on
minority recruitment and
retention), but the administration
has made it clear it has no plans to
rush into anything.
In response to pressure for
more immediate action to bring
minority enrollment into line with
state and national population
averages, Duderstadt last year
called for patience. "I strongly
believe we will achieve our
goals," he wrote, "only if we keep
our eyes firmly focused on the
prize ahead and resist calls for an
immediate reactive stance..."
Ironically, the Mandate itself
was a reaction.
"I don't think the University
would ever have picked up on
this issue if not for major student
protests," says Liz Anderson, an
assistant professor of philosophy
and a member of the group
Concerned Faculty "That's
always the way changes have
been brought about."

Flipping through an
Economics 408 textbook in
Barnes & Noble recently, Donna
Bacolor knew she was in over her
head. But she didn't know how
deep. For the bookstore, located
in the basement of the Michigan
Union was, until 1967, a
swimming pool.
In 1904, the University's male
population undertook the
Olympic size project of creating
the Michigan Union. Originally a
"men only" organization, the
Union has changed with the flow
of time and drifting student needs
while holding onto a surprising
amount of tradition.
"The important thing to
understand about the Union is
that it, in fact, is an organization,"
said Frank Cianciola, director of
the Union. "The building is really
a conduit by which the
organization exists." The

motivation behind the Union,
Cianciola said, was to bring the
independent students and
fraternities on campus together.
The building that currently
houses the Union was erected in
1919. It was initially referred to as
the "Million Dollar Clubhouse"
because as Cianciola said,
students and organizations
"enlisted the support of the
Regents, president, faculty as well
as a number of students. It was
predominantly a student issue.
They set their goals, they went
out and privately raised about $1
million."
When it opened, the building
included a bowling alley, billiards
room, barber shop, hotel rooms,
and dining facilities. Due to lack
of funds, the swimming pool was
not completed until 1926.
"The Union immediately
became the hub of social life and

v,
0

Mathis.
As odd as it sounds today,
"women frequented the Union
but they were brought in as
escorted guests and had a side
entrance," Cianciola said. A guard
ensured that women did not pass
through the front door, a tradition
that ended in 1954.
"When I was a student, there
were still places women could not
go, like the pool room and the
bowling alley," said Benson.
Women were barred from the
Billiards and Games Room until
the late '60s.
"When I started working here,"
said Bill Paradise, an employee in
- the billiards room for
over 24 years, "no
women were allowed
into the room. Parents
would come in with
their sons and I had to
escort the mothers
out. I felt like a real
jerk."
Instead of changing
. along with the
campus and the
students in the '60s,
the third oldest
college union in the
nation directed its
services and programs

U
N
C

And Harrison concedes: "I will
admit that - I wasn't here so I'll
say ucAR [the United Coalition
Against Racism] but it could have
been lots of people - the role
they played in bringing all this to
national attention to begin with
was the catalyst that got a lot of
this started."
The trend since the inception
of the Duderstadt administration
has been toward image building,
which - along with a heightened
awareness on the part of student
groups - has brought the debate
to the attention of the national
media.
Harrison knew what he was
getting into. Before Harrison
agreed to exchange his consultant
status for the new PR position,
Duderstadt "kept talking about
how much he felt that imple-
menting the Mandate was cru-
cial," he remembers. "Honestly
speaking, that appealed to me.
The chance to do something like
that with a university this
prominent struck me as a real
challenge."
For him, the role of media and
public attention in the debate on
campus has upped the ante. "Part
of the mix," he says, "is that we
do things, the media reports, peo-
ple react in certain ways because
of that, and all segments - the
administration certainly would,
and so do radical students and so
for that matter, I'm convinced, do
racist students. People are quite
aware of what the reverberations
of their actions are in the media.
"I'm pretty sure that the ad-
ministration is doing things be-
cause they think they're right,"
he adds. "But on a sophisticated
level there's a real interplay..."
he niversity's total
*operating budget this year
will be $1.6 billion,
-according to Harrison.
Not including units, like the
hospital, which help pay for
themselves, the University brings
in about $800 million, of which
tuition, state funding and federal
funding each contribute roughly
$250 million. The remainder -.
$71.8 million - comes from
private donations.
Harrison calls the level of
private giving "the margin of
difference between a great
university and an average
university. I think that one of the
things we have to do in the next
decade is radically increase that."
How much?
"It would be nice to have the
private giving equal the other
sources. All inclinations are that
state appropriations are not going
to rise," he adds. "So the more we
can raise privately the more we

0
can save the people on tuition."
Not everyone buys this logic,
however. "Universities are
becoming more and more like
bureaucracies," says Anderson.
"They're growing for the sake of
growth. Revenue maximization
becomes a goal quite
independent from any
educational purpose."
Further, she says, "A lot of this
money is simply going to funding
soft positions - research grants
instead of teaching positions.
Since tuition is needed to pay the
teaching aspects, it's not clear that
increases [in donations] will have
any impact on that."
Not to say that all fund raising
is wrong, but, "It depends on
what you had to do to yourself to
raise that money, and how you
spend it once it's there. I just
think that it's a very open
question - whether it's actually
going to benefit students or not."
"Does the University act more
like a corporation than
universities did 30 or 40 years
ago?" poses Harrison. "Sure.
What I do is a good example. If
universities had anybody - now
I'm talking about 40 years ago -
they would have one or two
people who cranked out news
releases. They never saw the
need to be responsive to the
press. Now they see that it's very
important."
But while Harrison argues the
University has "good educational
reasons" for increasing private
donations, Anderson is not
convinced. She cites as evidence
an increase in the number of non-
teaching faculty on the payroll,
and a deepening relationship
between academia, administration
and business.
Among the forces consistently
driving up tuition, Anderson says,
are salary increases for faculty
(following a severe slump in the
70s), and also more pay for
administrators.
"Now, even if they are
professors," she says, "they have
market alternatives. They could
be consultants and make a lot
more money. The University is
facing market pressures it didn't
used to when professors didn't
have those alternatives."
"I think that does happen,"
Harrison concedes. "I mean, I'm a
perfect case for that. I went from
being an administrator at a college
to being a consultant and back to
being an administrator at a
college. 20-30 years ago that path
wouldn't have been open to me.
But I think that makes better
administrators, frankly."
But better for what?
"The University is becoming
more and more like a commercial,

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Cianciola. "The Union started
experiencing the growth of Ann
Arbor. Hotels opened up and
offered more competition. The
Fleming Administration Building
(opened in 1%8) took parking
facilities away and the Union
began to focus more and more on
life members. It became less and
less in synch with students."
"There was a long period of
decline - lack of funds,
deterioration of the building, lack
of focus on student needs and
student attentions - so students
began to seek outlets elsewhere,"
he added. According to Benson,
the building was best described as
having "lots of plastic and
formica."
The Union hit its lowest point
in the late '60s and early '70s.
Orientation tours avoided the
building and students, thinking it
unsafe, stayed away after dark.
But several students believed
the University needed a place for
students and organizations to see
as a focal point for student
activities. "Some concerned
students put on a campaign and

garnered the support of students
and Regents to refocus on the
original role of the Union," said
Cianciola. Their determination
paid off and the Regents agreed
to a $4.6 million renovation.
During the pricey face-lift, facts
and relics were unearthed.
Touring the building shortly after
his arrival, Cianciola found a
leather wingback chair, sitting in
an otherwise empty fourth floor
room. Workers told him that a
hotel patron had died in the chair.
In the study lounge, he found
original scores and photographs of
the Michigan Union Opera in a
locked compartment built into
the wall.
The Union is big on tradition,
with the Michigan Union Opera
evolving into MUSKET (Michigan
Union Show and Ko-Eds Too),
making it an 85 year old
organization. The tower of the
building also retains Michigan
history, with several societies
occupying the locked area.
"My father, who is a member of
the Vulcans (a secret Engineering
society), was given a key to the

What's the difference
This is the Barnes & Noble book store,
currently in the basement of the Michigan Union.

Jennifer DunetztweeKeno

12

WEEKEND

February 16, 1990

4.

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