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May 26, 1983 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1983-05-26

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OPINION
Page 6 The Michigan Daily Thursday, May 26, 1983

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The Michigan Daily
Vol XCIII, No. 10-S
93 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by students of
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Black enrollment:
Smaller, not better
THE UNIVERSITY'S lack of a serious com-
mitment to achieve 10 percent black
enrollment was sorely evidenced again last
week, with the-release of new figures showing
yet another decline in black enrollment.
The new figures show that for 1982, black
enrollment here dropped to 5.2 percent, down
from 1981's 5.4 percent figure. The drop might
not appear to be substantial, but any decrease
in black enrollment at this time is significant.
To stop this disturbing trend, the University
must change its priorities and seriously com-
mit itself to increasing the dwindling black
enrollment.
The report, issued by the Office of Affir-
mative Action, also documents the University's
sad record in retaining and graduating black
students once they get here. Only 25 percent of
the black students enrolled at the University
graduate within the standard four-year period,
the report states. In contrast, 50 percent of the
white students enrolled here graduate within
four years.
We commend the University for instituting
new financial aid programs for black students
this fall that will help with recruitment. But this
is only a small step in the right direction and
much more needs to be done.
Minority recruitment and retention
programs, for example, are still not adequately
funded, even though administrators claim that
educating more blacks is a high priority.
Merely spending money on these programs will
not ensure an increase in black enrollment, but
the University's "Five-Year Plan" - a special
strategy to channel funds into high-priority
areas - doesn't even mention recruitment and
retention of black students.
The University should seriously consider set-
ting up a centralized administrative body to
handle minority affairs. Such a body could bet-
ter coordinate minority tutoring, counseling,
career planning, and financial aid programs.
Setting up this administrative body would
also show that the University is strongly com-
mitted to increasing black enrollment on this
campus, a commitment that so far they have
not enthusiastically pursued.
Unsigned editorials appearing on the left
side of this page represent a majority opinion
of the Daily's Editorial Board.

Sinclair

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Y
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
AFSCMEedit 'inaccurate'

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To the Daily:
Your Tuesday, May 24.
editorial, "No to AFSCME" was
hypocritical and inaccurate.
The fact is that 58% of the dues
stay in Michigan. It provides for
professional staff assistance,
legal representation, cost to
negotiate a contract, mailings
and other useful forms of direct
service and benefits. The inter-
national portion (about 30%) goes
to pay for national legal suits,
health and safety programs,
economists who analyze the
University budget and
classification systems to find
money for pay hikes, free
brochures, congressional lob-
bying for increased funding for
higher education and student aid,
and yes, the expensive cost of
organizing.
Your editorial reflected a
serious bias for the University
administration's false claim that
"individual" employees can get
more than organized groups of
employees.
The administration loves to
deal with individual employees.
Who do you think has the upper
hand? The individual employee
or the multi-million dollar
university? With a union, and a
contract, however, the individual
gains added support and legal
rights that protect the employee.
It is also a fact that organized
office staff make more money
than unorganized staff. You don't
have to look beyond Ann Arbor to
see that. Clericals who work full-

time for the "prestigious"
University make thousands of
dollars less than their counter-
parts who work for the City of
Ann Arbor or Washtenaw County
Community College. University
secretaries and clericals have
lesser benefits, also. Without a
unionUniversity office staff will
continue to slip backwards while
the University administrators
congratulate themselves over
their new buildings and progr-
ams ("Regents approve $60
million plan: New chemistry
building approved", Daily, May
24). ,
The "right" to base your job's
worth on how you dress, on how
often you smile at the boss, or
how quick you are to work over-
time without pay, is no benefit at
all. Those in the University ad-
ministration who champion this
"right" for their predominantly
female office staff, have cer-
tainly been slow to promote those
same "meritorious" women into
positions of power and higher
pay, haven't they? This sad fact
itself belies the notion that your
"merit" really gets you
anywhere. The lack of women in
higher positions at the 'U' has
been written about before in the
Daily and it is a shame that your
editorial chose to forget those
facts and jump on the "merit"
bandwagon.
It is hypocritical reasoning to
say that "unions" are O.K. but
not "this one". You ignore the
fact that AFSCME became the

choice here when well over a
third of the office staff requested
an election with AFSCME on a
ballot. But, not to appear blaten-
tly anti-union, you merely op-
posed the union that clericals and
secretaries have worked for, in
your hope for reform by the top
administrators. The University
administration, however, made
their intentions clear last year
when they attempted to deny a
pay hike to office staff. Reality
got the best of them, when office
staff rallied, spoke out, and
organized. They got some of what
they deserved and earned,
although they lost 6 months of the
raise without a contract.
It is too bad that the Editorial
staff did not consider those recent
events and draw more realistic
conclusions.
-Reg McGhee
May 25, 1983
Think before
voting
To the Daily:
I was pleasantly surprised to
read your editorial in Tuesday's
Daily entitled "No to AFSCME".
You mentioned several very im-
portant reasons to vote "no". I
hope clericals and secretaries
think about them before they
vote.
-Betty E. Cummings
May 24, 1983

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