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Lee Gill Innocent

Lee Gill Innocent image Lee Gill Innocent image
Parent Issue
Day
1
Month
November
Year
1973
OCR Text

Most people had given up fottowing the prógress of U-M's Student Government Council until Lee GUI became president of the student body this fall and tltings starled to mo re. Up until that time SGC, fraught with financial mismanagement, infighting and unresponsiveness to the students was such a joke that in 1972 Dave Hornstetn created the Bullshit Party and rode lts platform to rictory. For a short while it appeared SGC might be changing. Lee GUI, a black ex-con, working with a council donünated by progressive memben of the Students Rights Party, supported the tuit ion strike, started the Complaint Board and worked to put the question of students servingas University Regen ts on the ballot in 197. But as ioon "■ the fall term began a series ofthree flyers were distributed on campus effectively spreadfijg the rumor that Lee GUI was an embezzler. Two flyers were put out by New Morning and one . the most malicious and racist, was reportedly distributed by Lee's conservative enemies on council, led by former SGC Treasurer Dar e Shaper and present council member David Faye. An investigative report by the Michigan Daily refuted their allegations and revealed that there was no real eridence that Lee ever attempted to put SGCfunds into his private bank account, , lüs accusers had charged. Likc vul tures, Lee's enemies, with a majority on SGC af ter the fall 's election where onlv 2.000 out of 40.000 U-M students voted, refused to stop their wftch-hunt. even though they had HO evidente to support their continued on page 6 Lee Gilí continued from page 1 charges. They demanded a recall election for Lee, but fortunately failed to get enougli SGC votes to put it into gear. The showdown carne at the regular SGC meeting Thursday Oct. 25th in the Michigan Union. "I wouldn't miss this for anything," said a Daily reporter. The new huge. unruly council of over 40 members is the result of a constitutional amendment written by Dave Shaper, apparent architect of the plot to smear Lee GUL The amendment was unwittingly passed by the student body last spring. "Shaper's Folly" changed council trom 10 members to its present size. As a result, voting takes 5 minutes and any attempt at reasonable discussion becomes wrapped in parliamentary tangles. Now a student at another Michigan college, Shaper was present this last Thursday. "Fm here to give these people a hard lime." he said. On the niglit of the recall vote, two leaders of the altack on Lee. David Faye and Bob Matthews, seemed particularly not on Lee's case. David Faye is a younger version of your typical slimy politician and is a protogee of Dave Shaper. He runs back and forth among nis gang, eyes twitching. smug smile on his face. He and Bob Matthews, a short-haired engineering student, are the kind of smart asses who were always teacher pets in high school, ready to rat on other students. Right-wing U-M students have tried, in conjunction with the Regents, to get rid of SGC a number of times. SGC is nothing but a thorn in the side of the Regents who see it as a possible threat to their control. Last spring conservative students supported a measure to give U-M students a choice whether to pay 75 each per year to fund SGC. It sounds great, freedom of choice and all that, but its effect would be to make SGC fundless and therefore powerless. The measüre failed, but now the commotion whipped up by these same conservatives over Lee Gilí, added to the low voter turnout for the last SGC election, has caused the Regents to ask the Vice President of Student Services, Henry Johnson, to piek a committee to review the very existence of SGC. It will make a proposal to the Regents in Dec. and changes will supposedly be made next term. As Lee Gill said, "You can only fight among yourselves for so long and then the slavemaster steps in." Throughout the entire chaotic council room scène, Lee Gill remained amazingly calm, courteous, and rational, while surrounded by a circus of hungry jackels. There he sat, a veteran of the Chicago streets and Milan Prison, under attack from the spoiled brats of the ruling class, acting like junior red baiters. When Lee explained the truth behind the ridiculous charges, his attackers had buzzed right out of the room for a hall caucus, not interested in the truth, but only in the hunt. They were against a vote on recall that night because their investigatingcommittees hadn't yet gathered all the facts even though it had been working for 4 weeks. As the evening went on, it became more and more doubtful that there even were any facts. Lee explained that SGC had inherited a number of accounts from the former Jacobs-Shaper administration. SGC wanted to consolídate its funds and get them out of the grasp of the Regents. SGC decided to eonsolidiate its funds in Manufacturer's National Bank after none other than Dave Shaper studied which had the highest interest rate. Lee withdrew $8,300 from the Huron Valley National Bank in the form of a cashier's check to Manufacturer's National with the full knowledge of Rosemary Mullin, SGC treasurer. According to the Daily investigation Lee then went to Detroit to open the account, only to discover from a teller that hc didn't have the necessary Corporation papers or tax ID number. He then approached a bank official to put the money in a personal account until he acquired the necessary papers rather than take the check back to Ann Arbor again. The bank officia! tells a slightly different story. He says that Lee didn't speak to him about an SGC account at all. Although he says Lee walked directly from the bank door to his desk he can't be certain that Lee did not consult with other tellers about a corporate account. The bank official became suspicious of Lee. He says it was because of the type of check Lee had, which is usually used to pay debts owed to the bank. It is probable that Lee being black had a great deal to do with his suspicion. He sounded the alarm and his staff called the Huron Valley Bank in Ann Arbor, discovered that the money carne from an SGC account and sent a memo to all other Detroit banks, warning them not to deal with Lee. Huron Valley Bank called the University and an anonymous caller contacted the Ann Arbor News, the Detroit News and the Ann Arbor Pólice, Krasny says he has no evidence that Lee committed any crime. Vice President of Student Affairs Henry Johnson says he believes Lee innocent of any criminal activity. The next day Lee, Rosemary Mullin and the SGC member Dave Fowler went back to the Detroit bank to set up the corporate account with the correct papers. Bank officials were nervous and hard to deal with The three subsequently took the money back to Ann Arbor. All SGC accounts are now under the Office of Student Accounts at the U-M. The conservatives needed 23 of the vote for recall and they didn't get it. Immediately after the vote the room started to empty, the spectacle over. "What's the matter," said Lee Gill, "is the party over?" Faye and a cohort were fuming out in the hall, frustratei in their attempts to lynch Lee, "But we didn't get a chance to teil our side," Faye squealed, hopping up and down. Until now SGC has been threatening to sue the Regents over matters like their refusal to publish salaries of U-M employees such as professors and administrators. Now the Regents, eager to get rid of SGC and certainly eager to preVent the possibility of any more activist Student Government Councils will move to destroy SGC and replace it with a powerless structure. Student resistance has been partially neutralized by the manufactured Lee Gill scandal. This whole episode is discouraging to people who are seeking any constructive change in this society. It's all very convenient for the Regents. The whole scheme has played right into their hands. An appropriate gesture would be a letter of thanks from the Regents to New Morning, Dave Shaper, David Faye and the rest of their crew for a job well done. Now SGC will have to use its energy to fight off the Kegents plan for its dissolution. The new SGC is predominantly white, male and well off. The only women, blacks or orientáis present were elected last spring. Until Lee Gilí became president, SGC was such a joke that in 1972 Dave Hornstein created the Bullshit party and rode its platform to victory. You can only fight among yourselves for so long and then the slavemaster steps in. - pp r.ill