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Posted on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

Labor group protests threaten millions in funding for University of Michigan

By Julie Baker

The use of college students in labor group protests outside a Dearborn restaurant is threatening millions of dollars in state funding for the University of Michigan, according to a Detroit News report.

The newspaper says House Republicans want U-M to dissociate with Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan after a 15-month labor dispute with the Andiamo chain that was settled last March.

A new provision in the $4.7 million in state funds for U-M would prohibit universities from collaborating with "a nonprofit worker center whose documented activities include coercion through protest, demonstration or organization against a Michigan business," according to the report.

Professors say this provision infringes on academic freedom.

Read the full Detroit News report.


Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

Because people that age are easily influenced to conform to really ignorant behavior, directed by people that are using them for all kinds of different purposes. The director of this behavior could be a gang leader, fraternity brother, faculty member, military commander, church leader or politician. I've observed or personally experienced the negative influences of all of the above. Particularly in the University environment, where young people are competing for grades and access to the next level of education and employment, they need to please their professors so what check and balance is there over the what may be the professors motivations and undue influence? Accordingly I would like to see the law requiring one to have attained the age of 35 years before sending them into foreign combat.


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

This is the nut of their argument? "...Republican legislators say universities shouldn't be promoting free speech protests" That is nuts.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Republicans and higher education simply don't's hilarious how simply stupid the GOP has become. Champions of blissful ignorance are the new neo-cons.....please leave UM alone.

David Frye

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Let's fix this headline. "GOP extremists push anti-worker law, threaten millions in funding for University of Michigan." There, now that reflects reality!


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

The business of the GOP is opposition, so to speak in terms they understand lets call this The Anti-Proposal, as in anti-American, anti-First Amendment, anti-Labor, anti-University, anti-common sense. My first impulse was to blame this on the sheer venality of the lobbyist's lapdog of a Legislature Michigan currently enjoys. On reflection, however, I realize Richard Nixon himself (remember his pinko ways?) would be blackballed by the latter day GOP.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Vote out ALL Republicans in November. They've gone completely insane.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

Yeah, let's go back to the incredibly prosperous Granmole years.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

WHO ELECTED THIS GUY ??????? State Rep. Joe Haveman added the provision at the behest of a restaurant industry lobbyist, but acknowledged in a recent committee meeting he doesn't know what the rule concerns. From The Detroit News:

Space Cowgirl

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

My favorite little nugget from the Detroit News piece: "State Rep. Joe Haveman added the provision at the behest of a restaurant industry lobbyist, but acknowledged in a recent committee meeting he doesn't know what the rule concerns." So, he introduced the provision because the lobby told him to, but he really doesn't know anything about it. These are your tax dollars at work, people.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

So Ian Robinson thinks it's wrong for the Michigan House to tell him how to run his class but it's OK for the little brain washed sociology students to go over and tell Andiamo's how to run their business?


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 7 p.m.

So, a U-M Grad Student has an internship with a worker's organization. Said student get their friends to protest a business for this organization. This causes Rethuglican bag men to threaten funding cuts to U-M. Typical behavior from the group most likely to worship money than the freendom to protest.

Angry Moderate

Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Did you read the article? It's only a few paragraphs. Hiring a student as an intern is not "collaborating" with the University.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

"a nonprofit worker center whose documented activities include coercion through protest..." talk about a loaded statement. coercion? really? using your first amendment right is now deemed coercion? I wonder what they think Super PAC spending constitutes as.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

saying "protest this and I'll give you an A" is already against the rules. telling someone to take civic action is already deemed appropriate within the rules. this legislation is nothing but politically driven propaganda.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

Is it still free speech if I say "As part of this class you have to take part in direct action against some form of government you don't agree with. Particularly, you could join me protesting XXX business on the 4th. This is sufficient for credit". That sounds like incentivizing agreeing with your professor, which is far from free. Basically, the bill says, "You can't make protesting part of a grade", which I entirely agree with. Specifically, I WOULD say that if you say "Protest this and I'll give you an A" is definitely coercion.


Mon, Apr 30, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

Um, huh? "Use" of college students?? Last time I checked, college students had their own minds and opinions. What kind of wording is this?