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page seven/the journal/october 10,1972
U N C C
Do students have a right to know what their elected representatives
Apparently, a majority of the Finance Committee of Student
Legislature does not think so. When the important Issue of the Black
Student Union budget was up for discussion on September, 28, the
committee barred a representative of the Journal from the meeting and
talked for over three hours behind closed doors.
The BSU budget is important not so much for the amount of money
involved as for the questions it raises: What is the relative importance of
the BSU's activities? Are the programs worth the expenditures the BSU
is asking students to make? How does the Finance Committee decide
how student funds will be spent?
Is the committee upholding student interests and doing what is best
for them? Probably. Is the committee making deals or appeasing a vocal
minority at the expense of student interests? Probably not. But we as
students cannot be sure. We cannot know. If the committee wanted to
hold its meetings In the best tradition of the smoke-filled room, they
could do so without fear. How will the students find out if the press is
barred from their meetings?
An issue as important as this one should not be hashed out in secret.
We have the right and the responsibility as students and citizens to hold
our officials accountable for their actions. We cannot allow them to do
whatever they damn well please.
“ To hold closed meetings is to Invite irresponsibility, secret bargains,
and inadequate discussion. We are not implying that the Finance
Committee is betraying the students. But they and every other
committee could do so, unless the committee meetings are open to the
At present, any committee can hold a closed meeting any time it
wants to. Even if the meetings are open, a committee can make its
decisions informally before the meeting and use the meeting as a rubber
stamp. Any committee that engages in these activities has abrogated its
responsibility to the students.
If the Student Legislature fails to take action on this matter, we can
only infer that the Legislature feels that students do not have the right
to know what its representatives are doing. If student rights are as
Important as the Legislature claims they are, the student's right to
know will be affirmed in immediate and forceful legislation.
Student Legislature should act immediately to set up guidelines or
bylaws on open meetings. Meetings should be closed only under rare
circumstances, and these circumstances should be stated clearly. Any
discussion of substantive matters should be held in open session, where
students can be heard and the officials held accountable.
journal cartoon/max street
’Then mercifully I fainted
by giles abernathy in her own guest column
for a chance to try to talk about
your gift I got the Final Blow. Jill
me realize that no matter where I go
), what I do (write, sweep, teach, or
I THINK, I will still be a woman. So
It to say why-how the scales fell from
glass. Until April 1971 I refused to
men, at least women of Intelligence,
us who were Brilliant?" thought I.
I Though I was hired as a sanitarian's
I Bwered the telephone. Took messages.
I'gh I had failed the state typing test
fciwas rebuked for it. ! worked beneath
'I year and below fifteen men, of whom
® — and two of these were the head of
I -1 mean it, they were — I was called
I 'en out on the job would say, "Call up
I f^find out the information you need."
J - or worse, come by — to ask Miss
ipe me, it's not that good. If it were,
1 'cation, but I doubt it.)
Poodbody, I like that skirt!" or "I sure
P of your dress," (breasts, he meant,
I 'dbody, write me a litter that says this,
•y were there for soft jobs that paid
! oldn't be fired after being there for six
P e too stupid or too irresponsible for
) ""e because I refused to get a teaching
5 ^1 and therefore could not get other
jobs unless they were secretarial, salaries and all. And I graduated "with
Honor." I also worked for experience. And I got it. (Now I'm back in
school for a master's degree and that certificate.)
Of course, women have it made. Certainly, we own the world. All we
own are the mopping of floors, the making of beds, the wiping of noses
and abdominal orifices.
More calmly, let's examine this: What do we do? For a while, we
ferment in rage and pain. I did; 1 believe we all do, once we begin to
see. It is damaging to the ego to realize that all your life, no matter how
intelligent, how kind, how witty or how attractive you have been, the
vast majority of males — and, I hate to say it, females — have treated
you as if you were a life-size doll to take to bed. Pull the string and she
says "AHHH!" Without the people who practice exceptions to this type
of treatment, I doubt any woman who has seen her true situation could
stand to live.
Now, for women to be truly liberated, all people will have to treat us
as humans first, then women. In other words, all women and all men
will have to see where women are before we can go forward. And
ridding oneself of roles that have been drilled into one since childhood
is not a simple, rational matter. The conditioning has got to be fought
on its own terms. Ever wrestled fourteen million grisly bears at once?
The first step is to raise the consciousness of the bears. Seriously,
we must awaken the consciousness of our situation in other humans
without discrimination against race, creed, religion, or sex. Let us strive
to let women see that marriage is not one of the inevitables of life like
birth and death are. Let women have a choice, a free choice, of being
single or married, career women or not, WITHOUT guilt. Let us know
that marriage is not necessary for "normality," whatever that is, or for
acceptance in society. Ask yourself these questions: How many women
over 50 who are unmarried feel no guilt and/or failure for not being
married to a man? How many that I know well?
Consciousness-raising covers many more areas: jobs, chores, roles,
vocabularies, even textbooks (so far this semester I have found two
texts in two different courses that invariably choose women when they
need an example of inadequacy).
Second, we can try to publicize our views. Hence, Ms. Hence, this
column, thanks to Julia, Lloyd, Bertha, and two editors who can
tolerate opinions not necessarily their own. Even the Women's Pages of
the local paper carry articles which are conscious of the state in which
Third, and finally, we can take that power* that we have had since
our first chance to vote in this country's presidential election, 1920.
Many alert people have observed that it is natural for black people to
want power now, after being powerless-disenfranchised de facto for so
long. They have gained much more power than we have. Black people
sometimes vote in blocs for their candidates. Their candidates WIN,
Women are in the majority. There are more women than men. No
matter whether skins are pink, green, purple, or orange. Women have
the majority. We have the potential of ruling the country on our own.
The power is there just begging us to use it, not necessarily for control,
but for changes.
During the elections, when in doubt, vote female. Whenever possible,
vote female. We need presidents, senators, congresswomen, governors,
cabinet members, state representatives. (Do you know that we could
elect Shirley Chisholm with a WRITE-IN if we tried?) Womenrin the
state and national legislatures may improve our status in the law, which
is rock bottom, conservatively speaking. They could make the abortion
of a child you are not physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially
capable of raising legal.
Consider these ideas. Use our power!
Thank you for listening.
*See how this power thing keeps cropping up? — Julia.