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October 19, 1990 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-19

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The Michigan Daily Centennial Edition -Friday, October 19,1990- Page 3

M _ _ _ _ _ __. __,-_ _ W _ . ... ..Y...... .....r .... ., w~v,.u v ,v v, .. .v,.,. v::,.,.,.,.,.,.,.w.v v..,v .....a, ,. ._-- -----

100 years of

Daily,

'U,

antagonism
Paper and administrators
have always had differences

It's better than the UGH
A view of the news room, where Daily news staffers produce the next day's paper from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Daily relegated 'coeds' toi

,R by Josephine Ballenger
You've come a long way, baby.K
Sad as it may be, this Virginia
Slims slogan is a fitting description
of women's changing roles at The
Michigan Daily.
To speak of the early history of
ywomen at the Daily is to confine
_discussion to one page of the news-
paper-appropriately named the
Women's Page.
The Women's Page, which was
' begun in the early 1900s and termi-
nated in 1957, made social, aca-
demic, and non-academic announce-
oments. The Office of the Dean of
-Women got regular publicity, as did
dances, balls, clubs, sorority and fra-
ternity functions, women's (intra-
hural) sports, and women's scholar-
rship awards. The League, a student-
.run organization which sponsored
events for women, received coverage
almost daily.
* Mary Alice (Cheney) Campbell,
d Women's Page staffer in the late
forties, described the page as "sort of
silly. We didn't cover many impor-
tant things. The same stories were
rehashed day after day. It was quite
bland."
The "women's editor" was re-
sponsible for the Women's Page,
'which also meant, practically speak-
ing, that she looked after all female
* Daily staffers. Women, for the most
part, worked solely on this page and
did not venture into other areas of
the paper.
The first time a woman held a
top position other than women's edi-
tor occurred after almost 30 years of
the paper's existence. In 1918 Mil-
dred (Mighell) Blake became the first
"female managing editor. Besides
Blake and the women's editors, there
were few women who got their
names in the editorial boxes.
Helen (Domine) Barnes, a
women's editor in the early 1930s,
doesn't have fond memories of
L women's treatment at the Daily.
"It seems we were awfully meek;
I'm ashamed," Barnes said. "But the
institutions were set up so that you
were so lucky to be there, you just
didn't question," she explained.
Other than the Women's Page
staff, Barnes said, "There were abso-
lutely no women" working else-
where on the paper. "There was the
feeling that we were pushed into a
corner. We saw the male staff but
didn't know them," she added.
Barnes said the female staff never
had any editorial input or policy-
making power. They also were not
allowed to work on the layout or
production aspects of the paper.

In addition, there were social
mores which no "coed" - a label for
a woman who attended a coeduca-
tional institution - dared disobey.
"We never went around campus
without hats, gloves, and high
heels," Barnes said. Thus "running
around reporting," particularly in
heels, could be difficult.
Looking back, Barnes said she
wished she and her staffers had made
change-- or at least tried. "Now I
think it was funny, sort of foolish
that we didn't do anything, but they
wouldn't have listened to us. It was
simply the way it was (and) we were
not a revolutionary group."
..
Women's status somewhat im-
proved at the Daily in the 1940s,
partly as a result of the large number
of University men drafted into the
service for WWII.
While the Women's Page re-
mained in full swing, women began
writing front page news and sports
stories and contributing to editorials.
The women's editor was included at
editors' meetings, and some women
advanced to senior editorial posi-
tions, including managing editor and
editorial director. The business side
was heavily staffed by women, who
also rose to business manager and
advertising manager.
"Remember," said Lois (Kelso)
Hunt, an associate women's editor in
the late 1940s, "the boys were at
war."
Women's Editor Joan (Wilk)
Cherner, agreed, saying women in
the '40s weren't discriminated
against. "If you were good, you
didn't feel like you couldn't make
it... We never felt like we were sec-
ond class citizens."
But while women were gaining
more freedom at the paper, their non-
Daily lives remained restricted by
curfews and other University rules.
"Coeds" were required to be at
home by 10 p.m. on weekdays and
12:30 on weekends. Exceptions were
made for "big dances and balls" when
women could return home as late as
1:30.
Male students did not have a cur-
few.
"Good little sorority girls had to
be locked up," Hunt said.
If a woman was late in making
curfew, the "women's dean would
get after you the next day," Hunt
said. For each minute late, a student
had to return home 15 minutes ear-
lier the next weekend night. If she
were more than 15 minutes late, she
had to face the Women's Judiciary
Council, which would decide her

working at the paper," one staffer
merrily said.
U..
Dorothy (Myers) Sampas became
the first female city editor in 1955.
In contrast to the conservative atti-
tude towards women during that era,
Sampas remembers the Daily as a
rather progressive institution.
'It seems we were
awfully meek. I'm
ashamed. But the
institutions were set
up so that you were
so lucky to be there,
you just didn't
question.'
- Helen Barnes
former Women's Editor
"It was one of the fairest places
for women at that time. Women
were accepted for their abilities... and
were encouraged when other organi-
zations didn't (encourage them)," she
said.
"Women on the Daily staff at
that time wanted to be accepted for
what they did... you could call them
early feminists," Sampas added, cit-
ing talented females who later be-
came successful. Some editorial and

one page
feature writers were "superbly quali-
fied," she said. "It would have been
surprising if the men had discrimi-
nated against them. They were not
prejudiced - you have to give them
credit."
Still, women were more concen-
trated on the business staff than on
the editorial side, she noted. The
Women's Page remained, but there
were women on News who did all
types of stories. "They weren't
pushed into 'syrupy sweet' stories,"
Sampas said.
1957 was the last year for the
Women's Page.
Although this move may be seen
as an advancement for women -
they were no longer relegated to
writing "frilly" stories on fashion
and fun - equality was still far
down the road.
Describing gender dichotomies
then compared to today, Susan
(Holtzer) Jones, an associate editorial
director in the early 1960s, said, "It
wasn't remotely similar."
"The differences were institu-
tional, not at the Daily," she said.
"It was a highly sexist world. The
Daily, if anything, was better than
the outside world."
Jones said it was unusual then for
See COEDS, Page 9

by Josh Mitnick
It is a given law of any campus
and can be relied upon like a scien-
tific equation: Considerable friction
will exist between the university
administration and the university's
student press.
And over the past 100 years, the
Daily and the University have cer-
tainly had their share of conflict.
From forcing a University regent
to resign, to calling on administra-
tors to publish the salaries of its
employees, to defending its editorial
freedom against impinging Univer-
sity officials, Daily editors and re-
porters have always been critical of
the administration.
The central battleground for the
recurring conflicts has been the
Board for Student Publications.
Since the University assumed finan-
cial control over the Daily in 1903,
this body - originally named Board
in Control of Student Publications
- was charged with overseeing the
Daily's finances. Originally com-
posed of University faculty and stu-
dents, the Board was not supposed to
involve itself in editing Daily
content.
Even as staffers celebrate its cen-
tennial this year, the Daily is strug-
gling with the Board over an issue
which editors claim threatens edito-
rial freedom of the newspaper. In a
front page black-on-white editorial,
they requested the Board dismiss
Student Publications General Man-
ager Nancy McGlothlin, accusing
her of dictating policies impinging
on their ability to make editorial
decisions.
The issue of editorial freedom is
not a new one. In the summer of
1929, the Board used its authority to
censor a controversial Arts column
which frequently criticized Univer-
sity Drama department productions.
In the wake of one of the few inci-
dents of blatant University censor-
ship, Arts columnist R. Leslie
Askren resigned from the staff.
Lawrence Klein, the managing
editor of that year's summer Daily,
said that the Board's action was
taken because a faculty member had
complained to the Board that
Askren's columns werehurting box
office sales.
After this first incident of cen-
sorship, members of the Board re-
ceived considerable criticism from
the University community. "There
was a bad reaction to the Board's ac-
tion and Askren's resignation by
students and faculty members,"
Klein said. Klein said Board censor-
ship ceased after the incident.
But seven years later, the Board
again censored Daily editorial con-
tent. When Board chair Prof.
William McLaughlin deleted a state
legislator's statement from a news
article, Associate Editor Fred Warner
Neal resigned in protest.
"I regret to leave The Daily... As
an employee of the Board in Con-
trol, after the order not to run the
story from Lansing, I had no alterna-
tive but to obey. I do not choose,
however, to remain subject to such
orders in the future," read Neal's let-
ter of resignation.
Although then-University. Presi-
dent Alexander Ruthven supported
McLauglin's action, the deleted
quote eventually ran in a letter to the
editor protesting the Board's deci-
sion. Even though the portion of the

legislator's quote had been censored
in the news story, the quote evaded
censorship on the opinion page.
A more heated conflict than the

and in a few instances, the Board did
not approve the entire slate.
Klein said in 1929, the Board re-
jected George Tilley and himself for
the top two senior editorial posi-
tions."(Tilley) was probably the
most brilliant editor who worked at
the Daily," Klein said. "(The Board)
took a dim view of us because of our
handling of the 1928 presidential
election." The Daily had run a dis-
proportionately large photo of the
1928 Democratic presidential loser
Al Smith next to a smaller photo of
the Republican winner Herbert
Hoover.
In 1937, despite protests by the
student government that the Board
violated its own set of procedures for
appointment of editors, the Board re-
jected the senior editors' appoint-
ment to managing editor.
Judith Bleier, Caroline Dow, Fred
Kramer, Cynthia Neu, Michael Olin-
ick, Judith Oppenheim and Harry
Perlstadt, seven of the eight junior
nominees for the1962-63 senior po-
sitions, all refused to accept thei
new posts after the Board rejected
three of seven students nominated.
"The Board violated fundamental
principles of the freedom of the press
and instituted, in one of the subtles
and vilest forms, pre-censorship i1
the Daily's editorial page," read Or
editorial by the juniors protesting
the Board. After a month of criti-
cism, the Board finally accepted the
students' recommendations.
Five years later, the Board re-
jected the appointment of Rogei
Rapoport to the position of Edito-
in-Chief because of controversial
articles he had written as a reporter.
University President Harlan Hatche
supported Board Chair Prof. Luke
Cooperrider's decision and admini-
trators called Rapoport an "irrespon-
sible and unacceptable candidate.
'The faculty and stu-
dents don't think the
Daily is a good news-
paper and the taxpay
ers don't want to sup-
port the filth which
gets printed'
- A University regent
in 1970
Rapoport said the relationship
with the administration was always
tense. The Daily regularly broke ar-
ticles on controversial issues such as
military research at the University
and the administration's relations
with local draft boards.
"The Board felt that the paper was
doing a lot of controversial coverage
- and I was associated with it,"
Rapoport said
Rapoport described the staff as
angered by the Board's decision.
"The staff was of a mind to remain
independent," he said. Rapoport said
if the editors had accepted the Boards
rejection, the staff wouldhave de-
generated into another "University
organ."
Three days later, however, aftr
the protest of 35 state legislatorS,
the Board finally agreed to accept
Rapoport as editor. As a compo-
mise, the editors agreed to hire a p'e-
fessional journalist to critique the
paper and to improve communie*-
tions with the Board.
After Rapoport, the Board

stopped approving the Daily's
choices for editors. This year, the
clause in the Regental by-laws
which delegates this oversight aq-
thority may be deleted by te

Freshmen? Not in
the post-'87 paper
by Andrew Gottesman

On Monday, April 13, 1987,
"freshmen" ceased to exist in the
mind of Michigan Daily staffers.
That was the day the Daily insti-
tuted its inclusive language policy,
which attempts to "change _ ideas
about stereotypical gender roles," ac-
cording to an explanation printed on
the front page. This was accom-
plished "for example, (by) changing
freshman to first-year student,
chairman to chair, and congressman
to member of congress."
However, the policy was not
adopted without a major struggle be-
tween staffers over a period of sev-
eral months. In general, the sports
staff was strongly against the change
while the opinion staff and news edi-
tors favored it.
"When you change the way we
describe almost a quarter of the peo-
ple at Michigan (first-year students),
we expected a tremendous amount of
opposition," said Rebecca Blumen-
stein, a news staffer at the time. "Of

the connotation of redshirt freshman
or true freshman. When I look back
on that, it's just so foolish. I don't
see The Michigan Daily as a dictio-
nary.
Eventually, the sports staff was
allowed to keep terms such as
"lineman" and "defenseman," but
"freshman" became "first-year stu-
dent" throughout the paper.
A second style change was
adopted soon afterward, but did not
attract nearly as much argument or
attention. The Daily decided to begin
referring to Blacks with a capital "B"
rather than a small "b."
Different people use different
reasoning to explain why this
change was made. However, all agree
that Blacks needed to be identified as
having a distinct ethnicity.
"There was a real big controversy
over this," Blumenstein said. "At the
time. tha ncimnle w..a ..nrpa ,rnn

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