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November 22, 1999 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-22

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.LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 22, 1999 - 7A

i,,egents
a Frv
1budget plan
By Nika Schulte
Daily Staff' Reporter
Hoping for a repeat of this year's generous state
appropriations, the University Board of Regents at its
meeting Friday unanimously approved University
President Lee Bollinger's request for a 5 percent, nearly
S17 million, increase in funding from the state of
Michigan.
University Provost Nancy Cantor said if the state leg-
ature approves the request next year, "it would again
allow us to keep tuition restrained."
Because the University received a 4.8 perceni
increase in state appropriations this year, tuition was
raised 2.8 percent, the lowest hike in 10 years.
Gov. John Engler's proposed state budget for fiscal
year 2001 is set to -be announced in February.
At the meeting, Cantor noted increases in faculty and
staff salaries as-a challenge to the University's budget.
In her report, Cantor said the national average for fac-
ty salary increases was 4.8 percent for last year. The
iversity's 4 percent to 5 percent increases in the last
year are "just keeping up with the competition" the
report noted.
Regent Andrea Fischer-Newman (R-Ann Arbor)
expressed an interest in a more detailed history of
University salary increases.
"Every year we are briefed that we ... need to increase
salaries," Newman said.
Compiling a report on faculty salary increases from
the last four to five years would help put the issue into
context, Newman said.
(antor said the renewal of union contracts for staffs,
rluding the Public Safety and Building Trades, the
need of funds to hire more information technology staff
and to wire the University for future advancements in
technology creates "a challenge and pressure" to the
budget.
Also at the meeting Michigan Student Assembly rep-
resentatives presented the regents with an initial report
concerning the development of a Club Sports
Endowment.
MSA Vice President Andy Colouris said because club
*rts have high dues in comparison to other University
student groups the endowment would help to ensure
opportunity for students to play on the teams regardless
of the cost.
"We want students to be able to do what they love,"
said Coulouris, an LSA senior.
MSA President Bram Elias told the regents about a
proposal to raise student fees a $0.25 each semester to
raise $18,000 toward the endowment which was voted
>n during last week's MSA election. The proposal
passed with more than 60 percent of the vote. Elias said
proposal was to "gauge depth of student support."
bme regents expressed concern that other student
groups needing financial resources were being over-
ooked.
The raise cannot be executed without regental
approval.

,., ~

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Col. Glenn Weidner, head of the School of Americas, fields questions from a
few reporters Saturday inside the school's complex in Columbus, Ga.

RALLY
Continued from Page IA
funeral procession only to meet
head on with dozens of Columbus
police officers, military personnel
and 40 buses prepared to transport
them off SOA property. Those who
did not immediately board the buses
upon police request - which would
transport them to a nearby park -
received a "band and bar letter" that
stated they can not re-enter Fort
Benning for five years.
The demonstrators included
nuns, priests, students, the young
and the elderly of all races. Some
demonstrators held signs that read
"Welcome Peace Makers" and
"Close the SOA," while others car-
ried black and white cardboard
coffins, as they marched to meet
police officers and the buses to
escort them off the military base.
SOA Public Affairs Officer Rick
McDowdell said law enforcement
officers did not expect violence but
said they still, "had to prepare."
SOA Col. Weidner, a graduate
who now serves in it's command-
ment, urged protesters not "to cross
the line" onto Fort Benning. He said
when "people violate the law, it
undermines the message."
Thousands of people attended
civil disobedience and non-violent
training throughout the weekend
where people sang, clapped and
were instructed to cooperate with
police.
Director of the civil disobedi-
ence training, Randy Serragilo, said
protesters were encouraged "to fol-
low their conscience."
LSA sophomore Sonya Datta-
Sandhu said the non-violence train-
ers informed her about "the non-

violence direct action at the Fort.
They told us what consequences our
actions would cause. If you cross the
line, you could have a ban or bar
order from the Fort," Datta-Sandhu
said.
LSA senior Garth Huetel com-
mented on the relationship between
the Civil Rights Movement and the
SOA protest.
"They're both about human
rights. Martin Luther King fought
for the rights of African
Americans and other oppressed
groups in the United States. The
struggle to close the School of
Americas is fighting for the rights
for oppressed people in the
Americas," Heutel said.
Some protesters stood in peace
while others knelt down on their
knees and closed their eyes in a
prayerful position.
Actor Martin Sheen indicated
he had a first-hand account of the
results of SOA training. He said he
came to the protest "to give a name
to the nameless, to the voiceless
victims of violence," as he stood
with red paint across his tanned
face.
SOA Watch, a group that oppos-
es the school, reported 157 people
from Michigan entered Fort
Benning and risked arrest. SOA
Watch also reported a state high of
315 from New York.
LSA sophomore Monica Patel
objected to entering the funeral
procession on Fort Benning
because she said "I don't feel like
it's necessary. I think 10,000 peo-
ple is enough of a statement."
But Heutel disagreed. "Crossing
the line is a statement to the United
States army and to anyone who will
listen," he said.

SOA
Continued from Page 1A
United States was at odds with the former Soviet
Union. The school relocated in 1984 to Fort
Benning Ga., under the arrangement of the 1977
Panama Canal Treaty to promote democracy and
fight the Communist empire.
The school began by infusing United States for-
eign policy into Latin American militaries by
teaching counterassault tactics to its students. SOA
changed its focus when the world's Communist
command crumpled to stopping drug trafficking
between Latin American countries and the United
States.
The goal of SOA also was to protect Latin
American governments from drug lords, rebels
and military coups, designating the SOA as an
official U.S. Army Training and Doctrine
Command School.
Critics claim SOA teaches Latin American stu-
dents commando tactics and allege that history
supports their accusations because hundreds of
thousands of Latin Americans have been assassi-
nated, massacred, tortured and raped by those
trained at the school. Critics also say the SOA
trained students with torture manuals between
1982 and 1991.
Father Roy Bourgeois, the leader of the grass-
roots opposition group SOA Watch, said SOA is
responsible for defending a socio-economic sys-
tem that keeps a small elite rich and the vast
majority of Latin American civilians very poor.
"The majority of the people in these countries
are struggling for survival, living in shacks with-
out running water, not receiving just wages for
their labor and don't have schools or hospitals for
their kids and so many will die before the age of 3
or 4," Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois said Latin American soldiers arrive at
the school from suffering and oppression, and
SOA "breeds bullies" in Latin American countries
that "have instilled fear and death among their
people. The militaries are so powerful that they
have killed, raped and massacred and have gotten
away with it," he said.
But Col. Glenn Weidner, an SOA graduate who
now serves as its commadante, explained that
SOA exposes Latin American countries to the val-
ues of the United States Armed Forces and a multi-
national forum.
Like Bourgeois, Weidner admitted that Latin
American military institutions have a history of
negative activities that can be obstacles to the
democratic process, but he added that SOA helps
to combat this problem.
"The United States School of Americas is the
U.S. contribution to our strategy to raise the pro-
fessional level of the militaries of those countries
that make up the inter-America system," Weidner
said, referring to the U.S. policy to work coopera-
tively with other western countries.
Weidner adamantly denied critics' allegations
that SOA students were taught with torture manu-
als and said, "they were trained to conduct combat
operations according to the laws of war. The man-
uals contained passages about the handling of
intelligence agents that was improper. There was
nothing in the manuals about torture."
Weidner also added that manuals were introduced
to SOA in 1989 and were discovered in 1991. This
differs from what the Pentagon stated in 1996-that

the SOA used training manuals that recommended
torture between 1982 and 1991, a difference of
seven years.
Since the discovery of the "torture" manuals in
1991, SOA has put a noticeable emphasis on
adding more human rights instructors in its "class-
rooms than any other Department of Defense
school;' Weidner said, listing off some of the
names of mandatory SOA human rights classes,
including "Democratic Sustainment," "Civil
Military Operations" and "Defense Resource
Management."
Two of the most well-known SOA graduates are
former Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel
Noriega, who currently is serving jail time in the
United States on charges of racketeering and con-
spiracy tied to drug trafficking, and the late
Roberto d'Aubuisson, a reported death squad
commander in El Salvador.
In.response to questions about Noriega's enroll-
ment in SOA, Weidner said, "Noriega came to us
for two courses. His total time was 12 weeks. No
one talks about the fact that he went to the
Peruvian military academy for four years or to
Taiwanese strategic intelligence courses"
Unabomber "Ted Kaczynski graduated from
Harvard, yet no one is trying to close it down. We
look at what we teach and how we teach it;"
Weidner said.
U.S. Rep. Joe Moakley (D-Mass.), a stern SOA
critic, introduced an amendment to the House for-
eign aid bill that would cut off between S1.5 to S2
million in funding for the military school. The
Pentagon also funds SOA.
On July 30, the House voted by a margin of 230-
197 in favor of cutting funding for SOA. The SOA
critics - mostly Democrats - who introduced the
bill argued that the Pentagon needs to stop funding
SOA to train Latin Americans because of its history
of human rights abuse and coups.
Bourgeois attributed the success of the House
vote to the education constituents forced on U.S.
representatives by writing "thousands of letters"
on the issue.
But on Sept. 22, a conference committee meet-
ing, comprised of both Republicans and
Democrats from the House and Senate met to
debate opposing opinions about SOA. They voted
in a narrow margin of 8-7 to continue funding
SOA, keeping the school open to continue training
Latin American students.
U.S. Rep. Mac Collins (R-Ga.), whose district
includes Fort Benning, said SOA helped establish
democracy in Latin America and hopes "the
region will have a democracy like we have. I hope
they have a judicial process," he said.
But Bourgeois said, "You don't teach democracy
to soldiers who come from violent institutions. You
do not teach democracy through the barrel of a gun."
He explained that the fate of the SOA is left in
the hands of the U.S. government. "We have to go
through Congress to close the school. We citizens
pay for it with our tax money."
Weidner strongly objected closing SOA and said
in describing the Latin American students, "No one
is an empty vessel. They come with baggage and go
back to their countries. It's in our mission to promote
democracy and human rights."
Amaya no longer lives in El Mozote because the
massacre caused her to have "nervous conditions."
She said her daughter is "psychologically wound-
ed." and that she survived to "tell the world what

=Zi

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The Michigan Daily will
not be ublished on Nov.
25 & ov. 26, therefore
there will be the following
EARLY DEADLINES:
line a: v.24
camera ready ad: Nov 23
typed copy ad: Nov. 22
Tuesday. Nov. 30:
camera ready ad: Nov. 23
typed copy ad: Nov. 23
Wednesday. Dec. 1:
typed copy ad:Nov.23
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