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January 10, 2007 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-01-10

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e Mi0ijan Daily -Wednes day, January 10, 2007
o kph" -- I -

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - The Michigan Daily 3

From page 2B
losophy earned Fleming both
conservative and liberal critics,
who puzzled over his unorthodox
approach to discipline.
Serving as chancellor of the
University of Wisconsin at Madi-
son prior to coming to Ann Arbor,
Fleming put up his own money to
bail out 11 students who had been
arrested for trespassing after tak-
ing over an administrative office.
The local chapter of Students for a
Democratic Society had scheduled
to protest the arrests that evening,
but activists found it hard to criti-
had bailed out the would-be mar-
tyrs. Feeling that the gray-haired
Fleming was constantly outwitting
them, students at Madison took to
calling him the "Silver Fox."
At the University of Michigan,
Fleming's approach was similar.
When an anti-war group wanted
to dig a bomb crater on the Diag
to show the destruction the Unit-
ed States was inflicting on North
Vietnam, Fleming refused because
digging on the Diag could disrupt
plumbing and electrical wiring
running under the ground.
He found them a safe spot
near the Michigan League to dig
When some faculty feared that a
prominent anti-war radical sched-
uled to speak at Hill Auditorium in
1969 would rouse the students to
violent protests, Fleming balanced
out the program by giving a speech
outlining his own, more moderate
reasons for opposing the war. The
speech garnered national media
attention, and then-Vice President
Spiro Agnew called Fleming "gut-
Yet Agnew, the Dick Cheney of an
earlier generation, was so unpopu-
lar on campus that his criticism of
Fleming merely won him points
with students and faculty.
Fleming navigated treacher-
ous waters and emerged mostly
ing the cops only as a last resort and
his vested belief in dialogue with

students - who, he was well aware,
happen to be right sometimes.
When protesters occupiedNorth
Hall to protest the presence of
ROTC on campus, Fleming ordered
the back door be left unlocked and
unguarded, and the protesters left
quietly in the night. When campus
was divided over whether to sup-
port or suppress the Black Action
Movement strike in 1970, Fleming
eventually brokered a settlement
without resorting to heavy-hand-
ed tactics like requesting the use
of National Guard units to restore
Not every dispute, however,
could be settled without the use of
When more than a thousand
students occupied the LSA Build-
ing in September of 1969 to protest
the University's failure to set up a
student-run bookstore, Fleming
ordered Ann Arbor and state police
to clear the building. Although he
held off on approving police action
until 4 a.m. in hopes that some stu-
dents would leave, 107 were arrest-
The Daily's editorial on the mat-
ter was not kind.
"Fleming has forced this con-
frontation, and Fleming.has asked
for a fight," it said, going on to
suggest Fleming needed to either
change the way he was running the
University or step down.
Fleming drew fire from all sides.
Law-and-order types - like Washt-
enaw County Sheriff William Har-
vey, The Detroit News editorial
page and a conservative alumn who
told Flemingshortly before the kill-
ings at Kent State that he thought
protestors should be shot - criti-
cized Fleming for being too toler-
ant of campus upset. And though
Fleming was generally liberal in
his political leanings, much of the
counterculture, left was unwill-
ing to consider that the University
administration could be anything
except a repressive force.
Fleming was nonetheless proud
that no one was ever badly hurt in a
disturbance on campus during his
tenure, and he generally seemed
unfazed by the criticism. He point-
ed out in his memoirs that "Since

the University. Of course, he had to
hide it.
Not only could the students not
swear as well as the military men
and labor leaders Fleming had
dealt with previously, but young,
idealistic activists just weren't very
committed or effective - at least
compared to the high power union
leaders and corporate lawyers
Fleming had mediated. Those dis-
putes involved workers' livelihoods
and corporations' viability, and the
parties involvedon both sides were
professionals with deep interests in
the outcome. Dealing with relative-
ly inexperienced student activists
who were divided among them-,
selves as often as they were united
against the University administra-
tion, must have seemed like child's
play in comparison.
When he was appointed, Flem-
ing was offered an opportunity to
live in a University-owned resi-
dence far from campus to avoid
potentially hostile protests at the
President's House. Fleming, how-
ever, chose the house on campus
to be close to the action - and kept
a bullhorn so he could make him-
self heard over a crowd if needed.
Indeed, Fleming made a point of
presenting the University's point of
view at protests and teach-ins, feel-
ing that students would act more
moderately if aware of both sides of
the issue.
Recent University presidents
tend to be occupied more with
fundraising than with actively
fending off attacks on the adminis-
tration - and today's activists don't
have the following on campus to be
very disruptive, if that were their
goal anyway. With her academic
background in biochemistry, Uni-
versity President Mary Sue Cole-
man would likely be hard pressed
to match Fleming's ability to work
through difficult protests without
simply calling in the police.
Then again, maybe not. It's pos-
sible Coleman would shine in the
same position if given the chance.
But since it doesn't look like
today's campus activists will be
mustering up a formidable protest
any time soon, we'll probably never,

Former University president Robben Fleming took office in the late sixties
during some of the most turbulent times the University has ever seen. But
Fleming handled student protests so deftly he was widely respected - if not
widely loved.
Fleming has forced this confrontation,
and Fleming has asked for a fight.
- The Michigan Daily
editorial page in 1969

Three things you can talk about this week:
1. Placidyl
2. Mating season
3. The upstart Congress
And three things you can't:
1. Snow
2. Gerald Ford
3. "I'm From Rolling Stone"
- I
The number of views on just one of YouTube's many videos depicting
Saddam Hussien meeting his untimely end
Number of times it was shown on major television networks
Number of billions of dollars it cost Google to acquire YouTube
Source: YouTube.com and The New York Times

Certain people are
going to have certain
fantasies. If someone
wants to imagine me
with a woman, or a man,
or one of each, that's cool
with me as long as you
keep watching the show."
- "Prison Break" star WENTWORTH MILLER
on increasingly pervasive rumors speculating
on hisdsevuality. Theshom mill resume mith
nem episodes Jan. 22.

Letterman basks in
reflected glow of
Subway Superman
New York's hero of the subways
tells David Letterman how he res-
cued a man from being flattened by
an oncoming subway train in Man-
While for- some time Wesley
Autreyinsisted he wasn't a hero, the
national media and politicians alike
found everything abouthim, includ-
ing his attempts to demure, irresist-
ibly heroic. In this video, while he
seems modest and good-natured
enough, it's good to see he's basking
in his 15 minutes.
The clip could even has some
educational value - should you ever
find yourself facing off with Man-
hattan's A Train. Letterman shows
a graphic of how exactly Jones man-
aged to wedge himself and another
man safely between the tracks so
that nothing but his blue hat was
As congressman are touch-
ing young boys and the nation is
embroiled in a sticky battle over-
seas, seeing an everyday superman
on the news is genuinely uplifting.
Especially if he can wear pink and
red and still look good.

"All possible steps to ensure
something of such a personal
and tragic nature did not fall
into the wrong hands."
- MICHAEL BARNES, an Australian coroner inves-
tigating Steve Irwin's death, on the video that report-
edly shows a string ray whipping its tail into his
heart. The Crocodile Hunter's final special, "Ocean's
Deadliest," will air on Animal Planet Jan. 21.
"No more surgery for any
reason other than medical -
until I really need it in my 60s."
- Rocker COURTNEY LOVE on one of her New
Year's resolutions. Reports surfaced last week that
the star had rhinoplasty and lip surgery in Paris.

the human instinct seems always
to be one of retaliation in force once
there is trouble, those who counsel
peaceful negotiation'have a hard
time gaining much credibility."
From his work as a labor arbitra-
tor, Fleming knew Walter Reuther,
the longtime United Auto Workers
president.Fleming invited Reuther
to speak to student groups on cam-
pus a couple of times and radical

students who found the UAW lead-
er too tame would try - invariably
without success - to defeat him in
"(Reuther) loved jousting with
students, perhaps because he was
much too skilled for them to han-
dle," Fleming wrote.
I suspect Fleming harbored
something of a similar attitude
toward many student activists at

Taking control of your electric bill, hour by hour
"At Last"
"At Last" is a 1942 songwritten by Mack Gordonsand Harry Warren
and first performed by Glenn Miller. Although the song was a major
hit for Miller, it was largely forgotten until it was covered by blues
singer Etta James.
The song became James' signature song and was the third ina
string of successful songs from her Chess Records debut album At
Last! Upon its release in April of 1961, "At Last" became her second
No. 2 R&B hit and crossed over to pop radio, peaking at No. 23 there.
Despite its rather low pop chart standing, the song is well-known and
is still played regularly on oldies radio stations.
In the decades since its release it has been covered by a number of
artists, includingElla Fitzgerald, Nat Ring Cole, Miles Davis, C Hine
Dion, Lou Rawls, Eva Cassidy and ChristinaAguilera (who performed
the song at her 2005 wedding in dedication to her husband), Joni
Mitchell, and most recently Cyndi Lauper on her come-back album, At
Last. The EttaJames version remains the most famous (with Miller's
coming in a close second), and is a favorite at weddings and wedding
receptions due to its romantic lyrics and sweeping orchestration.

From page 5B
Lor also mentioned that Osborn was starting an after-school
tutoring program. She was worried that the administration
would cut it if mostly Hmong students - and not enough black
students - took part in the program.
There are currently about 100 Hmong students at Osborn,
said Kue, who has been with the school for the past 24 years.
In earlier years, Osborn had as many as 300 to 400 Hmong
students, but families have moved to the suburbs for better job
opportunities and safer neighborhoods.

Project Lighthouse scholars told Ng last year that fighting
between the black and Hmong students used to be a com-
mon occurrence. She said most of the fights erupted because
of jealousy - "Hmong kids usually get good grades," Ng said.
The only possible discrimination she could think of was preju-
dice based on the stereotype that Asians "are smarter" or do
better in school.
Kue said it's difficult being in a minority of a minority group
in America.
"It's hard for us - we don't get the same treatment," he said.
"We've had less opportunities."
At the same time, he feels a need for more encouragement
in the community itself for kids to pursue higher education.

But the belief system of the Hmong in Detroit is evolving, he
"We don't have many role models in the Hmong communi-
ty," Kue said. "There are not a lot of parents with a background
in education - but it's growing. I think the Hmong commu-
nity is moving forward."
Thus the importance of programs encouraging higher edu-
cation like the University-affiliated Detroit Asian Youth Proj-
ect, a culture and self-building program that mostly works
with Hmong teenagers in Northeast Detroit.
Hmong like Lytongpao, a Saginaw Valley State and Wayne
State University graduate, are also ones to follow.
See HMONG, page 7B

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