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December 10, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-10

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily --Monday, December 10, 1990
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

2 0

NOAH FINKEL
ditor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
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.

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The other cheek
University could help alleviate homeless crisis

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THE ARREST OF A HOMELESS MAN
last Tuesday night for trespassing (i.e.
sleeping) in the Michigan Union
brought to light an issue of primary
concern on campus and in the com-
munity at large. Despite what the Ann
Arbor police claim, it is evident they ar-
rested him not because he wasn't a stu-
dent, but because he was homeless. It
is clearly a question of who he was,
rather than what he was doing.
Non-students have traditionally been
allowed to utilize Union facilities, and
have been openly welcomed to do so.
Many functions that take place in the
Union are even sponsored by members
of the community, and the eateries in
the MUG area are patronized to a large
extent by non-students.
The incident Tuesday night therefore
represents a marked inconsistency in
Union policy. If the Union is open to
members of the community, and stands
as a facility for student and community
use, as Vice President for Student
Services Mary Ann Swain explained
during her open forums, then it should
be open to all members of the com-
munity, not a select group.
The University's treatment of the
homeless is shameful, but the high cost
of living in Ann Arbor, compounded
with the fact that the city administration
is more interested in parking structures
than affordable housing, lies at the root
of the situation. Until the city recog-
nizes and effectively combats home-
lessness, none of us can ignore the
city's ever-increasing homeless popu-

lation.
Although the University alone can-
not solve the problem, there are mea-
sures it can take to help. Opening Uni-
versity buildings at night during the
winter months to provide shelter for the
homeless would be a start. This is a
common practice in Washington, D.C.,
where federal buildings often remain
open at night for the homeless. Though
not a long-term solution, this is a posi-
tive step which addresses the immedi-
acy of the problem by assuring that
people don't freeze to death on the
streets.
The University~' could also build
more student housing. Becausebstu-
dents, for the most part, cannot obtain
housing in University residence halls
after their second year, they move off
campus. This has effectively driven up
housing costs in the city, and therefore
contributed to the rate of homelessness.
The University, as an integral part
of Ann Arbor, must do its part to ad-
dress the societal problems plaguing
the city. Being blind to the homeless,
and marginalizing their status as resi-
dents of the community by ousting
them from the Union, only makes the
University culpable in perpetuating the
problem
Only through the cooperation of the
entire community will the reality of
homelessness be dissolved, but it is in-
cumbent on the city council and the
University to use their resources to lead
the way.

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University officials abuse community trust

By Eric Ferguson,
Andy Melnick,
and Benjamin Phillips

Recently, many have been critical of
the University's attempt to "improve
communications" with the community,
including Mary Ann Swain's forums and
letters from James Duderstadt and Provost
Gilbert Whitaker. We feel that most of
these have missed perhaps the most insult-
ing aspect of this sham attempt: the abuse
of community trust.
Swain, Whitaker, and the Dude assure
us that there is no intent to use deputized
University officers to silence or intimidate
dissenting students. The Dude wrote in his
letter to students: "This fear is groundless;
and frankly, it makes no sense... we value,
respect, and enforce (the right to express
such dissent)." Really, the administration
can use their police however they choose,
so their assurances are only promises
which rely on the assumed trust of faculty
and students.
Actually, the University is infamous
for its effectiveness at curbing dissent. The
efficiency of the anti-chalk units, armed
with high pressure water hoses, is amaz-

ing, but they don't stop at chalk. On Nov.
16, they proceeded to soak protestors' per-
sonal belongings as well (according to the
Ann Arbor News). Anti-chalk units even
make "arrests," asking students to assume
the proverbial "position" against their
trucks.
On Nov. 19, during the teach-in at the
Union, employees at the Student Activi-
ties Building warned tour groups of
prospective students and their parents not
to visit the Union or Diag, implying that
they may be in physical danger from dis-
senting students there.

guard as security forces video taped the'
students involved.
While Swain could provide no justifi
cation for this action, Dude does: "(The
University cops will) respond to requests
for assistance in dealing with potential
felonious assaults and suspected presence
of weapons, but they will not be on rou-@
tine patrol except in special circum-
stances." What constitutes special circun-
stances? Dissenting students? Are thes'
the students who will be subject to th'
"other University sanctions" mentioned,
but not specified, in the interim drug and

Somehow, Dude's promises are not reassuring to us.
In light of past events, we are insulted by his frivolous
attempts to take advantage of our trust.

Computing centers

Dude's letter and Swain's forums have
also "established" some guidelines as to
how their deputies will be used. Swain
said at her first forum on Nov. 27 that
University deputies would only be called
in during felonious crimes. This promise
was broken only two days later at a peace-
ful funeral for students' rights on Nov. 29.
At least one armed deputized officer stood-

alcohol policy? Swain has conceded, in the
first forum and a personal MTS message,
that a description of these special bonus
sanctions is unavailable.
Somehow, Dude's promises are not re=:
assuring to us. It is tempting to believe
that he is best able to watch out for our
interests. In light of past events, we ar@
insulted by his frivolous attempts to take
advantage of our trust.

Reduced hours show skewed budget priorities

THE UNIVERSITY'S DECISION TO
cut computing center hours due to fi-
nancial restraints is another example of
misguided spending priorities. Begin-
ning Jan. 9, the first day of classes,
several of the computing centers' hours
will be severely restricted for the first
month of the term.
There has been a panic on campus
because a substantial number of stu-
dents will be affected by such a deci-
sion. Although some students own
computers, a majority use the centers
for class work, including paper writ-
ing, printing, class conferencing, and
sending messages via the Michigan
Terminal System (MTS).
Because of the University's budget
deficit, the administration must priori-
tize and withhold funding from th~ie
least important areas. The situation be-
comes more difficult when the admin-
istration is out of touch with students
and does not view students and student
services as a priority. This is a question
of how tuition and state funding are
spent, not whether it is available.
The administration used statistical
data to determine the computer centers'
busiest and slowest times. It is
inevitable that there will be more com-
puter use during finals then in the be-
ginning of the term, but that does not
justify cutting funding for less busy
times. This greatly needed service, for
which students pay $200 yearly, is not
the place to maximize costs.
The cut in hours has a number of
ramifications:
Because of the limited hours,
students can expect longer lines as ev-
eryone is forced to use the computer
centers at the same time. The large
number of students who work primar-

ily late at night will be funnelled to only
two 24-hour centers, NUBS and
UNYN.
Now that it has been established
that computing centers are not a fund-
ing priority, students can expect addi-
tional cuts in the future as the Univer-
sity's budget contracts even more.
The safety factor: Late at night,
women will have to walk farther to the
nearest computing center. For instance,
many students in East Quad use the
611 Church Street computing center at
night because it- is only two blocks
away. Angell Hall is also closed, a
second place that is centrally located
and well lit. Unfortunately, one must
travel either to NUBS or the Union,
which, by the way, are both smaller
than either the Angell or Church cen-
ters.
The University must view students
and their work as a priority; too often,
money is spent in areas where students
do not benefit. For example, the Uni-
versity's bloated bureaucracy has
grown at more than five times the rate
of the faculty or student body in the last
five years. The University cannot jus-
tify the size of its administration, and
unneeded pencil pushers should be
axed before widely used computing
centers.
The decision to discontinue funding
necessary to maintain the centers is in-
sulting to students, and shows great
irresponsibility on the part of the ad-
ministration. Students should voice
their outrage by signing the petitions
available in the computer centers or by
writing to Vice President for Student
Services Mary Ann Swain or President
James Duderstadt.

The writers are LSA students.

Daily makes campus seem more liberal than it is

To the Daily:
I think it's about time someone at this
university wrote a letter to this newspaper
about something that is long overdue. I
can summarize my main point in just one
sentence: U-M is not nearly so liberal as
you Daily staffers seem to think it is. Not
even close.
When I first came here at the beginning
of September, the reputation of the Uni-
versity as a place filled with left-wing lib-
erals had me believing it to be the truth.
And after three months here, I do agree
that U-M is much more liberal than many
other universities. But the way you people
at the Daily write your stories, it is obvi-
ous you think this university is more to
the left than Perry Bullard (and he's so far
to the left he's practically off the face of
the earth).
For some reason, the staffers find it
necessary to write every single news story
with the overall goal to create a contro-
versy on campus. You have this ridiculous
notion that all the students around here are
on the edge of their seats reading the Daily
and just waiting for something they can
protest and demonstrate against. It is such
an arrogant attitude. You Daily staffers
have the idea in your heads that you have
so much power around the University
when the true case is the majority of the
students couldn't give a rip one way or the
other what is printed in the Daily.
A good example would be the
"controversy" over the deputization of
campus police officers. About a week ago,
around 150 students held a protest on the
Diag, and the Daily, of course, came out
with a huge story on it. Oooooooooooh!
My, oh my, 150 students showed up for
the rally! Let's see... by my calculations,
that turns out to be around .4 percent of
the student population.
Doesn't a paltry turnout of .4 percent,
in snite of the fact that there were flier all

for being an ultra-liberal university be-
cause of the vocal minority, who go
around protesting everything imaginable.
And I can guarantee I'm not the only one
around here who feels this way. Most of
the people around here care more about the
Knicks than they do about police deputiza-
tion and other such matters.
The problem is, the Daily is an enthu-
siastic part of that irritating "vocal minor-
ity." Wake up. You're not as powerful as
you perceive yourselves to be and the
opinions you put into your news stories
are your own, not ours. What we need
around here is a real paper with unbiased
views and just plain professionally done
articles. Now, where is my latest copy of
the Michigan Review?
Jay McNeill
First-year LSA student
Young shirks duty by
standing up students
To the Daily:
What if you had a civil rights move-
ment and nobody showed up, including the
key spokesperson of that alleged move-

ment?
Well, that's what it felt like Dec. 2 at
Rackham. Coleman Young, the mayor
who declared a few years back that he
would not disarm Black Detroiters because.
of the severe rift between that city and its
suburbs, was supposed to speak and set.,
the agenda for the civil rights movement.
of the 1990s. Instead he decided to cancel.
If he had shown up, there would of.
only been a handful of people to greet,
him. The sad part is that only about half.
of those in attendance were Black.
Are there only 10 or 15 Black students-
on this campus who are interested in a
civil rights movement in this decade? Or,
is it that having gotten one foot out of the
door of bleak inner-city existence, they
would turn their backs on such a move- -
ment? These are some of the questions
that went through my mind as I left Rack-
ham auditorium Dec. 2.
Let's hope that Sunday was not a lit-
mus test for Black activism in this decade.
After all, such a movement requires peo-
ple, not just mean-sounding rap songs,
garish necklaces and slogans!
Michael James Monkman
LSA junior

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