The University Record, October 16, 1995

Engler addresses growth symposium;
protesters gather outside

By Jared Blank

 Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Business School on Oct. 12 to protest the possible rollback of affirmative action programs by the Michigan legislature and Gov. John Engler. Engler was speaking at the Growth Capital Symposium held at the Business School.

Protesters chanted, banged on windows and doors, and some held signs stating, "Engler, Why do you hate minorities?" and "White domination is white fear."

Doors entering the building were locked, but on one occassion a group of protesters attempted to force their way inside when a door was opened to allow a symposium attendee to enter. Five members of the campus police force kept the group from entering.

During his keynote address on initiatives taken by the State of Michigan to improve the climate for entreprenureship in the state, Engler made no mention of the group outside.

The governor said that a combination of tax reforms by the state and good business practices by companies has brought Michigan's economy to one of its strongest points in years. He added that the future of the economy rests in the hands of the companies, themselves. "The recent resurgence by Northwestern's football team underscores how quickly the competitive marketplace might change," he said, likening the current business climate to Northwestern's recent football victory over the Wolverines. Businesses and government "have to recognize that our rivals are out there doing exactly what we're trying to do."

"Continuous improvement is not just used in business and industry, we need to use it in government, too," he noted, saying that the state will continue to work with Michigan businesses to help them succeed.