Page 2-The Michigan Daily- Monday, January 21, 1991
'U' refuses TAs' demands for anti-war stance, open talks
by Stefanie Vines
Daily Faculty Reporter
University negotiators rebuffed
the teaching assistants unions'
demands for public negotiations
and an official stance against the
Gulf war in preliminary talks Fri-
Negotiations to renew TA con-
:tracts for the 1991-92 school year
will resume Feb. 1.
Chris Roberson, a negotiator for
the Graduate Education Organiza-
tion (GEO) said all other items for
the contract negotiations had been
University negotiators refused
comment on the talks.
University refused to discuss
the demand for public negotia-
tions, saying closed negotiations
are more efficient.
On its proposal for an official
University stance against the war,
GEO submitted a "Memo for Un-
derstanding" which outlined three
direct connections between the
University and the war:
A connection between mili-
tary research on weapons being
used in the war;
University investments in
companies that profit greatly from
University students currently
serving or at risk of being called to
serve in the military.
"Just because they refused the
Memo for Understanding and the
issue of public negotiations doesn't
mean the issues are settled. We
are going to still keep pushing for
public negotiations and everyone
is getting involved in the anti-war
movement," Roberson said..
According to the memo, be-
cause "the University has the tra-
ditional and crucial function to not
merely provide students with a
technical education, but also to
prepare them for the rights and re-
sponsibilities for critical and moral
thought as free citizens in a free
society," it should adopt an anti-
But University negotiators, cit-
ing University President James
Duderstadt's concerns about free
exchange of opinions on campus
and the possible intimidating ef-
fect that such a stance might have,
refused the request.
Roberson claimed the Univer-
sity takes stands on many issues of
moral and political importance
without dampening freedom of ex-
I wasn t surprised by anything
It was really just a preparatory
meeting. We are still going to
keep pressing for public negotia-
tions, and as we go along," Alan
Zundel, a member of GEO's Bar-
gaining Committee and Team,
r. /\ " _
Calvin and Mobbes
by Bill Watterson
Soviet commandos attack
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RIGA, U.S.S.R. (AP) - Soviet burst into flame
"black beret" commandos at- vian Interior Mi
tacked Latvia's police headquar- trols police in th
ters last night and occupied it loyal to the sepa
temporarily, killing five people The raid cam
and wounding nine in the assault, viet tanks atta
Latvian government officials said. broa stt
All Latvian police were ordered broadcast center
to take up arms and defend other capital of Vilniu
government buildings, but the ple and wounding
commandos left police headquar-
ters about six hours after the as- In Washing
sault began. House called th
The elite forces of the Soviet ment "deeply t
Interior Ministry began the attack House spokespe
at about 9:06 p.m. (2:06 p.m. EST), reiterated the B
as red and white tracer bullets lit tion's call for a p
up downtown Riga. An automobile to the Baltic prob
s next to the Lat-
nistry, which con-
he republic and is
e a week after So-
acked the main
in the Lithuanian
is, killing 14 peo-
g more than 200.
ton, the White
he Riga develop-
rson Bill Harlow
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Continued from Page 1
The push for a University MLK
Day began in the winter of 1987
when students led by the United
Coalition Against Racism (UCAR)
demanded, among other things, the
establishment of a day off from
classes to honor King.
Although the University spon-
sored events honoring King in
1988, it did not cancel classes.
On January 18, 1988, almost
1,000 students pledged to boycott
classes to attend alternative events
in honor of Dr. King. UCAR spon-
sored teach-ins, films, and speak-
ers to educate students about
racism and discrimination.
About 75 students led by mem-
bers of UCAR also blocked the en-
trances to Angell, Mason, and
Haven halls to enforce the boycott.
Many students, however, simply
used side entrances to bypass the
mostly symbolic blockade.
In January of the following
year, the University cancelled
classes on the third Monday of the
month to celebrate "Diversity
Day," a title criticized by students
who believed it shifted focus from
Last year, the University
dropped the "Diversity Day" title
and simply called the day "Martin
Luther King Day."
Nationally, proponents of the
establishment of King's birthday,
Jan. 15, as a national holiday also
faced a fight. Opponents of the day
- including President Ronald
The central government in
Moscow has been pressuring
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia ty
nullify the independence declara
tions passed last year by their
democratically elected parlia4
ments. The three independent
states were forcibly annexed by
the Soviet Union in 1940.
Anti-independence factions in
all three republics have been call-
ing for dissolution of the separatist
parliaments and governments, an*
urging Soviet President Mikhail S
Gorbachev to impose direct Krem-
Reagan and Senator Jesse Helms
(R-N.C) - questioned whether
King should be granted "an honor"
not bestowed upon Abraham Lin-
coln or Thomas Jefferson.
Reagan, fearing a political*
backlash if he vetoed the bill, said
he would sign the legislation if it
came to his desk, although he
"would have preferred" to leave
the decision to state discretion.
Now all but two states observe
the holiday, although some South-
ern States honor MLK Day in con-
junction with heroes of the Con-1
federacy. Virginia, for example,
celebrates Lee-Jackson-King Day,
honoring Robert E. Lee and
Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson.
"I think the University com-
memoration of Dr. King has a long
way to go," Monroe-Fowler said.
"People should not be waiting until
January to discuss ways to eradicate
unable to participate in activities
than the whole point of MLK Day
is ruined. It is inconsistent with
state policy since the Governor has
the day off," Holliman said.
Although the policy does not di-
rectly affect graduate teaching as-
sistants, Chris Roberson, head of
the Graduate Employees Organiza-
tion, said he thinks the policy
could go one of two ways.
"Either MLK Day is not a holi-
day and staff should work as nor-
mal, or it should be regarded as a
holiday and staff along with every-
one else should have the day off.
However, if the requirements for
working prohibit people from at-
tending events then the policy
should be changed," Roberson
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
CENTER FOR CHINESE STUDIES
presents the tenth annual
ALEXANDER ECKSTEIN MEMORIAL LECTURE
"China and the World:
Perceptions and Misconceptions"
Director, Center for East Asian Studies
University of Arizona
Thursday, January 24, 1991
Reception following the lecture
RACKHAM ASSEMBLY HALL
Tell our readers
what you think.
Write to the
Michigan Daily at
Street, or send
your letters via
Continued from page 1
to today's symposium: "So much
has shifted from King as an individ-
ual. What he stood for was more
important," Young said.
The University first cancelled
classes in January 1989 in response
to protests from students and faculty
who boycotted classes and blockaded
buildings the year before.
Continued from page 1
cause I had to work, I couldn't go.
My supervisor would only let me
have two hours off, and that wasn't
enough. The policy should be
changed," one University staff
Another staff member com-
plained that MLK day should be a
holiday for everyone including
"Students and faculty members
have the day off, why don't we?
Even the governor gets the day off.
If the point of MLK Day is to in-
clude everyone in the events, then
more effort should be made to in-
clude staff," another staff member
Not everyone thinks that MLK
Day should be a holiday, however.
Executive Director of Univer-
sity Relations Walter Harrison said
he doesn't think MLK day should
be a vacation day for staff.
"Someone has to keep the Uni-
versity running. People still go to
dining halls and still expect staff
to be there," Harrison said.
Harrison added that the issue
hasn't been a substantial enough
problem for the past three years to
warrant a new policy.
"When individual staff mem-
bers complain about not being able
to go to MLK Day events we try to
deal with it on an individual ba-
sis," Harrison said.
Dan Holliman, a Black Student
Union member and graduate stu-
dent in Political Science, dis-
"The current policy is not flexi-
ble enough. If staff members are
Registrar's Bulletin Board
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