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November 12, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-12

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 12,1990
0 1 Arb4Jan ilZI
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109



Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

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.

Politics vs. students
Office space debacle reflects on Action leadership


t, //rt"r
A - 0
[ 1 1

dent Assembly has demonstrated its in-
ability to address the most basic con-
cerns of the student body. In this in-
stance, the abuse of political power so
typical of MSA has hindered the usu-
ally speedy process of office space al-
The controversy stemmed from the
proposal put forth by Budget Priorities
Committee Chair Charles Dudley,
which denied office space to several
student groups that previously occu-
pied rooms in University buildings.
Dudley claimed that other members
of the assembly, including President
Jennifer Van Valey, attempted to per-
suade him to deny certain student
groups space for political reasons. Van
Valey denied the allegations and put
forth another proposal that provided
office space for every student group
that applied.
HoWever, the fault of the individual
responsible for the ensuing chaos pales
in comparison to the responsibility that
falls on the entire assembly for once
again failint to adequately serve its
constituency, the students.
, Letting MSA members' political
differences interfere with the non-polit-

ical issue of office allocations is at best
irresponsible, if not explicitly corrupt.
MSA should serve to protect the rights
of student groups; office space is an
integral part of many groups' existence.
Allowing politics to interfere with the
protection of these rights defeats the
purpose of the assembly.
It is time the members of MSA real-
ized their continuous sacrifice of stu-
dent interest in favor of their own value
judgments is unproductive and serves
no one but themselves.
During last year's spring elections,
the Action party promised an end to
political in-fighting. However, this
promise has yet to be fulfilled. Van
Valey and the Action party have played
as important a role in political bickering
as previous dominant parties.
For too long, students have sat back
and allowed the charade of MSA to
continue unchecked. Representation of
the greater student interest has been put
aside in favor of the political whims of
those in power.
It is time for students to demand
MSA accountability and representation,
and to make the assembly earn the
$500,000 price tag it carries.

GEO organizes for contract negotiations

Negative campaign
Coalition posters offer no help to student voters

By Ingrid Kock
The Graduate Employees Organization
(GEO) is the official bargaining agent for
teaching and staff assistants at the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Our contract expires in
March, and GEO will send bargaining
proposals to the University administration
before the Winter holidays.
It is crucial that GEO members demon-
strate their commitment to the union now
and come to tomorrow's membership
meeting at 8 pm in the Michigan Union.
You may think that the union can get
along without you, make decisions with-
out you, plan strategies without you, but
the reality is that every individual's partic-
ipation will make a difference in building
the organization that benefits us all. By
working together, we can build the kind of
union we ought to have.
At tomorrow's meeting, we will dis-
cuss what we want from our next contract.
We can only arrive at bargaining positions
through extensive conversation, network-
ing, and deliberation. Members who hold
GEO "leadership" positions do not have
the answers, nor does any one person.
Rather, we must develop a consensus,
not only around general priorities, but
Kock, an Ann Arbor resident and Univer-
sity graduate, is an organizer of the
Graduate Employees Organization. GEO
is holding an organizational meeting to-
morrow at 8 pm in the Anderson Room of
the Michigan Union.

around actual bargaining proposals, and
bargaining strategies. The only way this
consensus can truly be representative and
effective is if as many graduate students as
possible participate in creating it.
Tomorrow, we will discuss the results
of the bargaining surveys that have been
filled out by more than 20 percent of our
membership, form a bargaining team, and
charge that team to write specific contract
language based on the results of the sur-
veys and their interpretation by members
at the meetings. The relative weight placed
on issues such as TA cutbacks, salary in-
creases, tuition waivers, class size limits,
and child-care will be determined by the

percent. The English Department may also
follow this trend by considering substan-
tial changes which may eliminate quite 'a
few of its better-paid TA jobs.
In cutting jobs, the University may be
replacing graduate students with the
cheaper, non-unionized labor of lecturers
or undergraduates. To ensure that we retain
graduate students' ability to earn a living*
through TAships and grading positions;
we need to be tightly organized.
One way to head off unfortunate admin-
istration actions and to achieve our own
goals is to show strength now. If 200 or
300 people show up at the membership
meetings, the University will get a firm
message that TAs and SAs care, are inter-

If 200 or 300 people show up at the membership
meetings, the University will get a firm message that
TAs and SAs care and will put up a fight.


week's elections knows political cam-
paigns are less a statement of candi-
dates' own views and history and more
an attack on the views and history of
their opponents. Only now it seems
this method of campaigning is not lim-
ited to the national and state levels.
Since the beginning of this year's
Michigan Student Assembly political
season, the Conservative Coalition-
(CC) has launched what amounts to-an
insult session on the Action party, one
of two adversaries.
Fliers apd chalkboard scrawlings
have coated the entire campus. One of
the more involved posters shows a toi-
let with money being dumped into it,
and says "Don't let Action throw our
money down the toilet. Vote CC."
Is this a statement that CC will not
allow wasteful expenditures of MSA
funds? Not decessarily - for CC has
never directly said this. But by avoid-
ing to make a direct statement, CC is
simply bashing the bpposition in order
to imply their stance on spending.
"Don't let the Action radicals
bankrupt us again... Vote CC" is an-
other example. Not only are members

of the Action party not responsible for
the financial crisis of the Mike Phillips
administration, the posters do nothing
to tell voters about the Conservative
Coalition's fiscal policy.
A rather unusual flyer says: "Don't
think, just vote CC." What kind of per-
son would vote without thinking? Is
the CC saying that the only way one
would vote for their slate is by not
considering the issues? If so, it shows
what CC's political mindset in this
race. The CC must have gotten carried
away in the throes of their campaign
The Conservative Coalition has
done nothing to describe its own goals,
and instead has spent all its resources
trying to discredit its opponents. It is
obvious that CC is, rightly or wrongly,
following in the national "bash-your-
opponent" election spirit.
Each party should attempt to state its
platform and ideas for running and im-
proving the assembly. To do other-
wise, as in the case of CC's campaign-
ing, is to misinform and prevent stu-
dents from making a legitimate and cal-
culated decision at the polls.

The University is sending messages of
their own about the status of TAs. Re-
cently, LSA Associate Dean Caroline
Copeland admitted to the Daily that there
was not enough money to spend on teach-
ing assistants. Given this situation, we
need to figure out what the administration
plans for the future.
They may simply reduce the money
spent on TAs by cutting the TA popula-
tion, as Electrical Engineering already has
done by 24 percent and Mathematics by 16

ested in better working conditions, retain-
ing financial support and will put up a
So get yourself involved in the process
of discussion;debate, decision making and
action that a strong union must exper-@
ence. Get others in your department in-
volved. Show up at the meeting and keep
an ear open to Union news in the months
to come. The financial support your earn
through your TA or SA job may depend
on it.

Mark anniversary of Central American- atrocities

By Melanie La Rosa
On Nov. 11, 1989, government tanks
flanked the University of El Salvador
(UES) campus and fired mortars from
neighboring residential areas into the cam-
pus. By Nov. 12, the university was
closed. Buildings were destroyed or
severely damaged, the surrounding area
was heavily militarized, and attacks on the
university continued in the following
At least 13 students were killed during
the invasion. Scores of other students,
professors, and university workers were de-
tained, disappeared or killed that week.

Armed Forces.
The military occupation of the univer-
sity lasted for seven months. When stu-
dents re-entered their university on June 5,
1990, they found a devastated campus:
gutted buildings, graffiti on walls, mil-
lions of dollars of research equipment and
office furniture stolen or destroyed, aca-
demic records scattered in corridors, and
much more.
Just five days after the first incident, on
Nov. 16, United States-trained and fi-
nanced Salvadoran soldiers broke into the
University of Central America. The troops
murdered six Jesuits - men who were all

gaa o D~)

It is an inspiration to us all that in the face of constant
repression and intimidation, students at the University
of El Salvador are reconstructing their university and
continuing their education.

ing up what the Armed Forces had deliber-@
ately destroyed.
It is an inspiration to us all that in the
face of constant repression and intimida-
tion, they are reconstructing their univer-
sity and continuing their education in the
hope that one day, the University of El
Salvador will freely take its rightful place
in a just society as an institution of educa-
tion in the public service.
To make a direct comparison to the0
deputization of University security would
be to trivialize the Salvadoran students'
ordeal. However, deputization is the first
step towards militarization and govern-
ment control.
The regents have already shown com-
plete disregard for students' concerns and
rights in this issue. Their actions this
term do not provide any confidence that
this attitude will change once they have an.
armed force to back them. One University
security officer is currently facing litiga-
tion for using excessive violence duringa
Guns have no place on a campus. On
Oct. 18, 1990, Salvadoran troops again
surrounded UES. They were greeted by
AGEUS chanting "We want to study
without a military encirclement!"
Let's join in solidarity with our sister
university, and speak out against deputiza-
tion of our campus.

In launching a defamation campaign to
discredit the university community, the
military called UES "a sanctuary of sub-
version." Both the rector of the university
and the former president of AGEUS
(General Association of Salvadoran Uni-
versity Students) Vinicio Penate, were de-
nounced and harassed. Later, Penate was
captured, tortured, and held prisoner by the
La Rosa is a member of the Latin Ameri-
can Solidarity Committee.

priests, scholars and professors - as well
as their housekeeper and her 16-year-old
daughter. To this day, information sur-
rounding the attack is covered up, wit-
nesses are threatened, and the United States
refuses to co-operate by releasing key doc-
Neither of these events undermined the
courage and determination of the Salvado-
ran students. When UES re-opened, they
organized clean-up brigades and were on
campus immediately re-building and clean-

Burn the copy of the
writer's thesaurus!
To the Daily:
A Itter rinr lv Pamhu t , y u v which

graph before stopping to breathe some
fresh air. I noticed I was getting a mild
tension headache.
Bravely, I kept on and eventually
reached the mid1Aof the fnrth narnaranh

of Dennis Webster." I quickly folded this
letter in the rest of the paper and hid it.
I remain concerned, however, that some
day someone may stumble across it and-
.,.........._. _l - n rr m - - n - - anr

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