Michigan State News

October 21, 1975

"Either/or trustee meeting today—either picket signs or boredom"

by Bruce Ray Walker

see photo

You may need a program to tell the protesting groups apart at this morning’s board of trustee meeting. And then again, no one may show up at all.

Two groups have expressed intentions at one time or another in the last few days of packing the Board Room in the Administration Building this morning at 9:30 when the trustees are scheduled to meet. The groups intend to force the trustees to list en to their demands.

But it is unclear whether one group—the students that were protesting the CIA’s presence on campus this week—is going to show up and it is equally unclear what exactly the other group is going to protest.

The second group is the Coalition Against Cutbacks and Tuition Increases (CACTI), formed this Monday, which plan to submit six demands to the trustee. These are:

-Rollback tuition to last year’s level.

-Stop any further hikes in room and board hikes.

-Get rid of enrollment ceilings.

-Increase financial aid to meet students increased need.

-Stop any cuts in services, faculty, staff or campus workers.

-Enforce the affirmative action program and immediately

fill in three Chicano positions upon [sic] in the administration.

But the main reason the flyers they had been handing out and posting all over campus gave for attending the meeting was to protest a $1 increase in tuition. The only problem is that the board will not be voting on any tuition increases today or ev en considering one.

Curtis Stranathan, ASMSU board member and an organizer of CACTI, spoke to the board at its informal meeting Thursday night about CACTI’s demands and about their plans to protest the $1 increase but was quickly corrected by board members and Preside nt Wharton.

Wharton explained that the $1 increase the group protesting was passed in August by the board on a contingency basis. It will only be put into effect winter term if Gov. Miliken makes still more slashed in the University’s budget.

Stranathan, slightly taken back to learn the contingent increase was approved three months ago, told the board that even if there were no $1 increase the increases already passed this year by the board are too much and are forcing minority and work ing class students out of school.

He said that a study he had been recently showed that MSU’s administration was topheavy and had grown 300 percent in the last few years—or about $6.5 million worth. Most of the board laughed out loud at the point and Wharton asked, " I wish y ou could show me where all that is."

"If we spent the same as other universities on administration it would cost us an additional $5.5 million a year," Wharton said.

Stranathan, though, said, "The figures sound good but all I know is that there are people in my dorm that are having to drop out because they cannot afford school."

As Stranathan left it was not certain whether the protest for today was on or not, but late Thursday night members of the Student Workers Union were in their office making picket signs.

As for the CIA protestors, the only indication that they would show up was a suggestion from ASMSU president, Brian Raymond Thursday that they protest at the board meeting today instead of at the ASMSU meeting Tuesday as they originally planned.