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Fleming Optimistic Following Disruptions

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Optimism outweighed anger in assessments of recent disruptive events at the University that were presented yesterday by President Robben W. Fleming and by U-M faculty leaders. Fleming devoted most of his annual State of the University speech last night to an analysis of the period that started with disruptions of ROTC classes Sept. 11, led to interruption of the Sept. 19 regents' meeting by 600 activists, and climaxed with the use of pólice to end an occupation of the LSA Building last Friday. Last night, while Fleming was addressing the annual faculty convocation in Rackham Lecture Hall, a mass student meeting near the U-M Administration building called off, at least temporarüy, an ineffective class boycott launched yesterday by activists. Fleming called this period "two weeks of harrassment." He said a major reason he feit justified in calling pólice to clear the LSA Building was that "this was not an isolated effort" by campus activists. "We cannot tolérate continual harassment and disruption which makes our primary purpose for being here impossible," he declared. That declaration drew loud applause from his audience of U-M faculty members and staff, as did Fleming's assessment of campus activists who have, in his judgment, used the concept of a dent-controlled U-M bookstore merely as "a symbol." "The most difficult of these are utterly antiintellectual, wholly totalitarlan. They manipúlate any issue to suit their ends. They are masters of the big lie. These are techniques my generation knew so well in the Nazi period, and perhaps that is why we react against them so strongly." fie noted that U-M officials attempted to end the LSA Building occupation with a court injunction bef ore calling pólice. Fleming expressed confidence that the situation was handled in a manner that "has not polarized our campus. . i .-. It has turned out, I believe, as well as it could under the circumstances. There are times when there are no good alterna tives." Fleming said he feels "more gratitude than I can express" toward faculty Senate Assembly members who have regularly observed and sought to moderate mass demonstrations that started in the campus area this year with the S. University Ave. turmoil in June. He added that some credit is also due to students "inside the LSA Building" last Friday morning who "made the decisión they did not wish to resist pólice. "That added immeasurably to having the rather quiet pólice action we had that night. "We must never get into the position where we regard students as enemies. They're not." Fleming reiterated his belief that negotiations can resolve "legitímate differences of opinión" which exist regarding financing and management of a U-M bookstore. He added: "I do believe it is imperative for the faculty to direct its attention to how we in the University can construct a community that will permit all of us to feel we particípate in decisions that affect our lives. That is so much easier said than done." A few hours before he spoke, a special meeting of the faculty's Senate Assembly in Rackham Amphitheatre approved three resolutions aimed at producing the type of campus community Fleming described. One resolution, sponsored by law Prof. Robert L. Knauss of the faculty's student relations committee, states: "The Senate Assembly deplores the circumstances which resulted in pólice on campus and calis upon faculty, students and the administration to avoid confrontations which have this result. . . . The Assembly urges all groups in the academie community to urge the University Board of Regents to adppt chapter seven of the proposed regents' bylaws as soon as possible.' ' The proposed bylaws, under study more than a year, would créate several new campus agencies designed to provide an orderly means of enlarging the role of students in U-M policymaking and rule enforcement. "There are some people on this campus whose purpose is to prevent this from happening," observed mathematics Prof. Bernard A. Galler. History Prof. Gerhard L. Weinberg noted that the regents were scheduled to discuss the proposed bylaws with faculty and student leaders when their Sept. 19 meeting was interrupted by campus activists. Weinberg sponsored a resolution placing Senate Assembly on record as endorsing last weekend's statement by the faculty's executive board, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA). The statement supports Fleming's overall handling of nis role as U-M president and specifically "his handling of the critical situation on Thursday, Sept. 25, 1969, after the occupancy of the LSA Building became illegal." Assembly members approved that resolution by 53 to 1 after being addressed by five leaders of yesterday's class boycott. Mare Van Der Hout, vice president of Student Government Council and a member of Radical Caucus, vvho was a leader in last June's demands that the city close S. University Ave., called for a faculty resolution "condemning Fleming." Peter H. Dentón, a leader in the local rent strike, in the interruption of the Sept. 19 regents' meeting, and in last year's disruption of a class in Angelí Hall, said the class boycott was not led by "tired oíd radicáis" but by "new faces." He called Fleming "a fraud." A third resolution, sponsored by journalism department chairman Prof. William E. Porter, states: "The Senate Assembly supports the establishment of a bookstore at the U-M and instructs SACUA to examine with students ways of operati ing a bookstore." A bookstore plan approved by regents Sept. 19 calis for bookstore administration by Wilbur K. Pierpont, U-M vice president for finance, with a student-faculty advisory committee. In Ann Arbor District Court yesterday, all but one of 105 persons charged with contention in the LSA Building occupation stood mute and were scheduled for jury tiráis beginning Oct. 10. Lorna Cherot, 19, of 338 E. Jefferson, a columnist for the U-M student paper, the Michigan Daily, requested adjournment to consult with her lawyer and will be arraigned at 2 p.m. Friday.