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July 15, 1988 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-07-15

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Page 6 - The Michigan Daily Friday,

Unsigned editorials represent the majority views of the Daily's
Editorial Board. Cartoons and signed editorials do not
necessarily reflect the Daily's opinion.
leming's power grab

ONCE AGAIN, UNIVERSITY INTERIM President
Robben Fleming has seized the moment to exercise
his autocratic impulses. In response to the University
Civil Liberties Board's Statement on Freedom of
Speech and Artistic Expression, Fleming has called for
the deputization of University security personnel, the
suspension and rescinding of Regental Bylaw 7.02, and
the unchecked expansion of the power of the president
in creating rules of non-academic conduct. This power
grab, while hardly surprising, shows contempt on the
part of Robben Fleming not only for protestors, but
for First Amendment rights of free speech as well.
The CLB, a Senate Assembly committee made up of
SACUA, MSA, and administration representatives,
has drafted guidelines for "the rights and obligations of
speakers, performers, audience members, and protestors
at the University of Michigan." The CLB has been re-
vising the standing 1977 guidelines for the last few
years, and the timing of their arrival is fortuitous for
the administration, which has been hungry for the op-
portunity to implement conduct rules. While the new
guidelines are flawed because they do not specifically
define the line between acceptable and unacceptable
protest, Fleming's response to them is worse. The
interim president has "endorsed" the document and has
stated his plans to use it as a vehicle to gain official
means for "dealing with" student protestors.
In a letter sent to the University's Board of Regents,
Fleming revealed his five-pronged plan to ensure the
administration the power to create and enforce codes of
conduct for protestors. As Fleming notes on page three
of his memorandum, the only way to "terminate dis-
ruptive acts" is to call the police, which "takes time
and may be costly." More important to Fleming, as
he indicated himself by underlining it, is "once we ask
the police to intervene, we no longer have any direct
control over how the situation is handled." Because the
police are not accountable to the University, but rather
to the laws and people of the city, county, and state,
Fleming reasons, the University needs its own police
force to control protests. The very idea of a campus
militia legally entitled to carry arms is harrowing.
Fleming also argues for the abolishment of Bylaw
7.02 as it now stands. The bylaw calls for the creation
of the University Council, which is the only provision
in the University's rules for empowered student input
and democratic processes in University rule-making.
The Council was created to draft "uniform regula-
tions" for conduct by all the various elements of the
University community. Fleming accurately notes that
the U-Council has not produced the regulations it was
commissioned to create; however, in his analysis of
the Council's "failure" he fails to note that the U-
Council has also effectively blocked the passage of an
unfavorable code of non-academic conduct.
In his memorandum, Fleming calls for the suspen-
sion of Bylaw 7.02 for one year, to be followed by its
elimination should the Council not propose amend-
ments to its charter which the regents are willing to

adopt. Although in the final version of his plans
Fleming does not call for 7.02 to be destroyed, there is
no doubt that the administration would like nothing
more than have the thorn of U-Council removed from
its paw so it can create conduct rules acceptable to it-
self, if no one else. The intent of dissolving U-Coun-
cil is made perfectly clear in the next of Fleming's
recommended actions: granting the president the au-
thority, under the auspices of Bylaw 2.01, to create
conduct rules unchecked by the rest of the University
community.
The administration of this University has been try-
ing to pass a code of non-academic conduct for years,
dating back to Robben Fleming's first stint as presi-
dent. So far, the only things that have blocked this
from happening are student dissent and the "failure" of
the University Council to buy the oppressive codes the
administration has tried to sell them. By so using the
well-intended work of the CLB, President Fleming has
found a way to destroy both of the major road blocks
in the administration's path to more complete control
over the student population at the University of
Michigan.

U.S. policy roa
ONE BA'TLE IN THE REAGAN administration's eco- violated the embargo by se
nomic war against Nicaragua erupted last Saturday Juigalpa. Because it was a sii
with the violent arrest of eight members of the Vet- received more attention if it
eran's Peace Convoy. The 100-member convoy is at- conveniently overlooked.
tempting to deliver trucks filled with food, clothing The Veterans Peace ConA
and medical supplies to Nicaraguan civilians. Their too powerful a symbol to be
mission, however, has been repeatedly thwarted by the of an anti-war movement in
Treasury Department's twisted interpretation of the of Nicaragua, created and ca
trade embargo that President Reagan imposed on is not lost on the Reagan
Nicaragua in May 1985. ticipation of the veterans is
Private U.S. aid to Nicaragua which is intended to question the principles undet
"relieve human suffering" is officially exempted from
the embargo. The Treasury Department contends that
trucks do not constitute humanitarian aid even though
the veterans have explained that they are needed as am-
bulances for private social service agencies. The veter-
ans have therefore been detained at the Laredo, Texas
border until they guarantee the trucks will be returned
to the United States. Four of their trucks have already
been impounded.
The veterans again tried to cross into Mexico last
Saturday, and customs officials again would not let
-them pass. When the convoy refused to move out of
the traffic lane, Laredo police officers sprayed mace
into one of the trucks, dragged two of the veterans out, d e
and threw them onto the concrete. Laredo police violen
Curiously, the charge against the veterans was Convoy veteran trying
"obstruction of a public roadway" instead of the more and, by implication, this p
serious indictment of attempting to break the embargo. eyes of the White House,
Clearly, the Reagan administration would not want to therefore be quietly prever
draw attention to its economic stranglehold on Nica- mission and setting a preced
ragua, especially through an incident that would ex- The decision to stop the
pose its real effect - depriving Nicaraguan civilians of scheme to step up political p
much-needed supplies. government and escalate the
The administration has avoided such bad publicity in
the past by selectively enforcing the embargo. For ex- 'U'Diversityoffice
ample, the Ann Arbor Sister City Delegation officially T i A

Why won't Lana Pollack debate Dean Baker?

The poli*ticsofmoney
LANA POLLACK'S REFUSAL TO debate Dean Baker, gay/lesbian rights groups. She needs to explain this
her opponent in the Second District Democratic unsettling position.
primary, is disrespectful of the voters and the Pollack has not explained to her constituents why
democratic process itself. Voters need to know how the she failed to vote on the State Senate bill proposing an
candidates differ on the issues so they can make an end to Medicaid-funded abortions. As a self-proclaimed
informed choice on August 2. champion of women's rights, this is a grave omission.
Baker and Pollack differ significantly on the issues Perhaps Pollack has remained so vague on the is-
- a fact not reported by the local media. Both candi-' sues because of her financial advantage over Baker. Sie
dates say they favor increased spending on education, has publicly and repeatedly emphasized that voters
child care and health care. But the more important should consider her the superior candidate because she
question of how this spending will be financed has, to has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to con-
this point, been answered only by Baker. tribute to a campaign against Republican incumbent
Baker has said the military budget should be slashed Carl Pursell in the fall elections. She has also said that
by $70 billion to pay for social programs. He also fa- she is sure her large coffers have already guaranteed her
vors restoring income taxes on the wealthy to pre- victory in the August primary.
Reagan levels. Pollack has not yet revealed her plan The influence of big money and wealthy contribu-
for where the money for her proposed increases in so- tors on electoral campaigns undermines the possibility
cial spending will come. In light of record-breaking for a meaningful democratic process and allows candi-
budget deficits, this issue deserves public examination, dates to remain unaccountable to their public.
On the issue of sexual orientation, Baker says he Fortunately, 2nd District voters have already indi-
welcomes the support of the lesbian and gay commu- cated that they will not accept such irresponsibility. In
nity. Pollack in the past has refused the support of 1986, thousands of voters signed petitions forcing an
unwilling Carl Pursell to debate Dean Baker; he was
The Daily Opinion page is actively seeking thus forced to reveal his positions on the issues.
minorities and women to join our staff. Staff duties Likewise, Lana Pollack would be wise to reconsider
consist of writing weekly edits, attending editorial her no-debate stance.
meetings, and typing letters. If interested, please call The Daily Opinion staff has called Lana Pollack's
764-0552 and askfor Rose, Josh, or Muz. office several times to ask her to clarify her views. She
has not, as of press time, returned our calls.

THE OFFICE OF MINORIT
a new position, the Coorc
follows in the pattern of th
the concept of "diversity"
racism on campus. Racism,
addressed through simply c
ism or examining individi
challenge the racism whicl
University administration
responsibility for and seek
promoting racisn at this ii
large.
The administration's cut
racists came only after natit
focused on a handful of o
subsequent protests on can
tors then strategized to pro
image. Their goal was clea
LSA Dean Peter Steiner u
famous statement that he I
to become an institution ti
naturally flock."
The administration con
would attempt to silence ai
the public as a sincere efi
most importantly, would n
tist nature of their Univei
word, "diversity." This star
everyone agrees that peo
along with each other an4
tures. Mix racism in a larg
-isms, add a few of the n,
call each other (e.g. "four-
then explain how these att

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