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November 09, 1990 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-09
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Dog ma on the
campaign trail

They're back.
The day-glo flyers everywhere
which have become thex
trademark of the MsA election
went back up last week, breathing
a breath of extremely stale air into
what had otherwise been a much
better environment for campus
Last year the Conservative
Coalition came to power running
on a platform of cleaning up MsA
finances and putting a stop to the
overt displays of radicalism
coming from a segment of the
Assembly's leadership -
personified by Mike Phillip's
protesting at President
Duderstadt's inauguration and
the funding of delegations to the
West Bank and El Salvador.
But then in a dramatic
resurgence the cc was driven
back by a newly-organized
progressive party called Action.
The Action platform was (and is)
like a student populism - protect
students' rights, stay on the
administration's back, etc. And it
worked, mostly because cc didn't

really have a record to run on.
Without a solid power bloc on the
Assembly, and with a limited,
conservative agenda, cc lost its
reactionary (in the literal sense of
the word) appeal. There was no
one to stop anymore.
Now the
tables are
turned. Action
has been in
power since
January, and
- lo and
behold! -
they've done
And now the
Cohen students
(might) have a
campaign we
can sink our teeth into.
Winning in an election which
saw an overwhelming majority of
those voting oppose the creation
of an armed campus police force,
Action has led an active campaign
against the administration's new

Despite t h g'es t'uirou't
ever in an MsA election, nothing
like a majority of students voted,
and of those, of course, not all
voted for Action. But putting the
faith in the election process
required of its participants, Action
took the election as a mandate,
and went to work.
In the months that followed,
Action members repeatedly went
to Lansing to lobby against the
bill which allowed the creation of
the University police force. Then
they led an education campaign,
revealing the fallacy of cops with
guns as a solution to campus
safety, and calling for increased
measures to really improve safety
- like lighting, Safewalk, and
awareness education. And they
confronted the administration
over the real political implications
of a University police force,
exposing the history of abuse of
authority by campus security in
regard to student rights.
Eventually, they led
demonstrations and took several
hundred students to a Regents
meeting to speak their mind out
The administration has yet to
yield. The cops are still coming.
While some argue that the Action
strategy has not worked,there are
signs that the campaign has had
an effect.
The first tell-tale signs of
administration worries about

student dissent was a barrage off
counter-propaganda from the
University Record, and a letter
home from Duderstadt which
attempted to capitalize on
parental fears for student safety in
the wake of the murders in
Gainseville, Fla. (where they
already have, incidentally,
campus cops with guns).
The administration even
repackaged some routine
maintenance and improvement
projects into something designed
to look like a comprehensive
attempt to improve campus
safety. At a glance, then, there is
also an argument that the
University is on the ropes.
So now we could have an
honest campaign with a lively
debate. There is a new
opportunity for those who oppose
the course set by Action to make
their case, and those who agree on
the goal but disagree on the
tactics have a chance to gain more
Is a series of public
demonstrations, educational
forums and publicity work the
right way to turn back the blue
tide? Or should MsA just make an
appointment, get in line, and ask
nicely? Or is the issue important
at all?
Which makes the campaign
being run by cc all the more
disappointing. They can't seem to

geteyonathe gamre dul slogans*
they used as the party of reaction
last year.
"Don't just complain about it,
don't just think about it, Just do
it!" reads one cc flyer. "Stop the
MSA Radicals."
In another, with a brilliant
graphic illustration of a toilet
(how did we ever have campaigns
before computers?), they
proclaim: "It's time for MsA to
stop flushing your money down
the toilet on foreign trips."
The hollowness of the cc
propaganda in the face of the
most active on-campus campaign
in years should be apparent to
everyone. But rather than debate
the issue, cc just says NO.
Of course, Action and cc aren't
the only two parties running this
year, and there are independent
candidates as well. Maybe it's just
a deep-down fetishization of the
two-party system, or a journalist's
love for an old and bitter rivalry.
But the focus on these two
illuminates the issues for the
other candidates as well.
Given the choice, the students
can always vote "neither" and
bring the other parties in. Or vote
Abolitionist and say to hell with

of governmerrt scholarship),
teaching positions are increasingly
the lifeblood of the graduate
student body. But the University
can get a better deal out of
lecturers, who can teach full-time
on one set of medical benefits
(compared to part-time TAs), and
who are not yet unionized. In the
last 10 years the College has
spread roughly the same number
of teaching scholarship hours over
a greater number of students -
cutting back on many grads'
support, driving them further into
the research rat-race, and souring
the teaching experience.
"I'm already feeling the
pressure," says Goldfarb, looking
down the barrel of a "10-term"
rule which cuts off teaching
scholarships after five years. "My
scholarships depend on the
number of conferences I attend
and the number of articles I
"Teaching assistants start out
wanting to teach and enjoying
teaching," says Kock. "But the
pressure is on them. They have to
put the teaching at a lower
priority. The most experienced
TAs are being squeezed from
every end."
The TAs point toward the
dangerous side-effects of
shuffling expenses around

withoutsimply paying more for
teaching - side-effects which
include not only a threat to
graduate education, but also a
further decline in the quality of
education for the University's
youngest students.
The College has created four
subcommittees to address various
aspects of the report's
recommendations. These will
draw up proposals under the
guidance of a central coordinating
committee, etc., for at least a year.
"Institutional change is slow,"
says Weisbuch. "If it takes a
couple of years, fine. But slow
doesn't mean not happening. The
report is the start of something,
not the end of something."
As critical as people are of the
status quo, short answers leave
many uneasy. "You can't just load
up with teaching because that
would lower the caliber of the
whole school," says Terry Root,
assistant professor in the School
of Natural Resources.
Roberson is reserving
judgment. "I'll wait till I see
something more than, 'Let's send
it to a committee."'

Economics lecturer Jan Gerson works closely with t
students. increasingly, lecturers are filling In for pro
who spend a greater amount of their time on resean


Give blood: Let's get out the vote

When Carl Levin spoke here
last week, he told the gathered
crowd that people around the
world, from South Africa to China
to Eastern Europe, were dying for
the right to the ballot.
His point, apparently, was that
students should vote. More
precisely, his point was that
students should vote for him.
Politicians will always call for
people to "just vote, even if it's
for my opponent," but no one
with a full tank of cranial fluid
believes them. This is not to
belittle our nation's politicians,
who are Honest Men, one and all.
My only intention is to point out
that a politician's job security
depends on the ability to say
what's on one's mind in such a
manner that no one will be able to
determine what exactly it is that
is on one's mind. If Levin had
stood up in front of the gathered
throngs of Solidarity, the African
National Congress, and the
relatives of those massacred at
Tiananmen Square, and said,
"You are fighting for the right to
vote for Carl Levin," a good many

of them would have found
something more pressing to fight
for. If, slightly more
magnanimously, he had said,
"You are fighting for the right to
choose between Carl Levin and
Bill Schuette," many of the
gathered revolutionaries would
return to their homes and decide
to take up some other trade. The
rest, being more critical thinkers,
might wonder
exactly how it
came to be
that their
struggle for
freedom of
assembly and
evolved into a
fight for the
ia I ker right to choose
distasteful candidates. So Levin,
as an Experienced Leader and an
Honorable Man, said something
else to somebody else, in such a
matter that no one else would
know what he meant. Even I,

who claimed just a paragraph ago
to know exactly what he meant,
must face the possibility that the
senator is honestly stupid.
Imagine, if you will, an
alternate universe in which
Patrick Henry had stood before a
crowd of Whigs in revolt against
the Crown and said, "Give me
John Engler, or give me death."
Most of the listeners would have
taken immediate action to oblige
him on the latter alternative.
Indeed, imagine a world in which
Thomas Jefferson had spoken of
the need for "a new nation,
dedicated to the principle of lots
of prisons, filled with drug
dealers, drug users, and
businesspeople who dare to trade
with the Japanese." He might
have gotten a job with any of the
major political campaigns that ran
this year, but the American
Revolution would have fizzled,
and we would still be part of the
British Empire, with only four
television channels.
Let's face it: though Public
Service is unquestionably a High
Calling, it sometimes seems to

more closely resemble what we of
the southern states call a Hog
Calling. Whoever it was who
robbed banks because "that's
where the money is" either didn't
know about politics or had tried it
already and lost. The primary goal
of most political figures, Left,
Right and Center, is to take as
much money as possible from as
many people as possible and give
it to whoever will reinvest their
take toward the re-election of the
source of their windfall.
I do not disapprove of this, of
course; after all, it's The
American Way. Our nation has a
hierarchy of values that each
patriot follows scrupulously: first,
money; second, sex; third, your
hair. It is therefore only natural
that our country's politicians have
such high salaries, so many
student pages, and so great a
physical resemblance, on the
average, to J.F.K.. And if the
politician's way of satisfying these
needs strike you as too closely -
resembling robbery, rape and
looking like a department store
mannequin - well, then you're

probably an anarchist, or at least
secretly funded by the Evil
Freemasonic Triumvirate of Jane
Fonda, Dan Rather and Saddam
Hussein. You might as well stop
reading right now.
The point, if there is one, is
that most of us really could care
less about the right to vote, when
what we're voting on is who will
rob us, where they will send us to
die, and whom we'll be robbing
then. This is a Damned Shame,
and my only hope is that our
Newly Elected Officials will beef
up education in this state so we
can all learn the evil of our ways
in a classroom environment.
Besides, the Communists are
having free elections now - why
can't we experiment with their old

an invitation to



- O

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date: Tuesday, November 13
time: 3:00 - 5:00pm
place: International Center (next to the Union)
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from 11 am to 3 pm. Stop by for a catalog and application.
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EEKEND November 9, 1990

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