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January 20, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-01-20

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~jg iceizn &ziI
Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

For Whom the Film Shows?


Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
'Truth Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staf writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



Greek System--I:
Sorority Discrimination

ONLY two days after Panhel Presi-
dent Ginny Mochel and sorority ad-
visor Joan Ringel warned a reactionary
Sorority President's Council that it was
abdicating its responsibility in refusing
to commit itself to fight discrimina-
tion, Panhellenic Association is having
its first leadership conference "to in-
spire leadership among sorority wom-
At no point in the agenda of the two-
day conference is discussion planned
concerning the alumnae recommenda-
tion system and the discriminatory
role it plays in membership selection.
But silence in the area of discrimi-
nation is nothing new to Panhel's Pres-
ident's Council. After last Wednesday's
meeting at which two hours of debate
ended in the tabling of an anti-dis-
crimination resolution, the series of
rationalizations and platitudes mouth-
ed by most of the sorority presidents
added up to nothing but silence.
While silence in some cases can' indi-
cate wisdom-or at least prudence-
Panhel President's Council has left an
eloquernt gap that spells trouble for
IT SEEMS that the group's refusal to
face a defect within its own system
that condones the careless judgment
of other human beings can mean only
one thing: sororities aren't really op-
posed to discrimination.
If they were, they would vote to abol-
ish binding alumnae recommendations
and say, "We are opposed to discrimi-
nation." The issue is as simple as that:
University sororities are either for or
against discrimination.
As long as binding or required rec-
ommendations remain part of the
membership selection process of soror-
ities, an alumna veto, either stated or
implicit, is possible. Regardless of the
alumna's alleged reason for a veto, the
criteria of race, religion, creed or na-
tional origin is always possible.
This kind of logic failed to pierce the
minds of several presidents, however.
One said, happily, "If we have trouble
getting a recommendation on a girl,
there are always ways to get around
it--calling the high school principal,
or having someone call friends of the
It did not occur to this president that
admitting recommendations sometimes
had to be "gotten around" virtually
proved their worthlessness.
'Another defense was: "Oh, we don't
ever get negative recommendations on
girls because of those reasons. (race,

etc.) Usually they- are because of mor-
als charges."
Linda Sloan, '68, executive vice-pres-
ident of Panhel, said with understand-
able sarcasm, "An eighty-year old
woman can' call someone on a morals
issue simply because she has a drink
every weekend." Miss Sloan's reaction
was typical of the feelings of most of
the executive officers, who attempted
to combat the stagnation of the coun-
Panhel President Ginny Mochel ac-
cused the council of being "philosophi-
cally committed" to a principle but
rendering that principle meaningless
by not acting on it.
The alternatives facing sororities are
two, and only one is anti-discrimina-
tory. Despite sorority fears, that alter-
native is not necessarily frought with
wrathful Medusa-like alumnae and na-
tional sanctions.
IN SHORT, Panhel should commit it-
self to non-discrimination by pass-
ing next week the resolution refusing
to accept any more binding or required
recommendations in all further mem-
bership selection.
If the nationals threaten to dissaffil-
iate the local chapters, they will be
faced by the formidable fact of Uni-
versity support for the locals through
the Regents' By-law and SGC regula-
tions opposing discrimination in Uni-
versity-recognized organizations.
But if sororities do not pass this res-
olution and continue to accept alum-
nae control in membership selection,
they face not University support but
university sanction. In this case, the
university could, if it wished, with-
draw recognition and make sorority
houses ineligible for undergraduate
housing. This would, in effect, destroy
the chapters.
THE FAILURE of Panhel President's
Council to vote through the anti-
discrimination resolution next week,
after the presidents have "polled their
chapters," could be the beginning of a
serious disintegration of the campus
sorority system.
"I hope next week the sorority wom-
en will be able to stand up for what
they believe," said one high-ranking
Panhel officer. But the statement re-
flects an optimism, that Wednesday's
sad meeting does not support. For this
executive is implying that sorority
women believe in something, while, in
fact, they may believe in nothing at all.

Cinmea Guild and Cinema II
will decease their debts, but
the two groups may still be forc-
ed to merge at the end of the
The student waiting in a week-
end line only to find that the
Architecture Aud. is filled may
not realize that on other nights
the house can be nearly deserted.
For the most part, students have
been stoical about the hike from
$.50 to $.75, but movies are a
fickle business and a few shows
at Cinema Guild last week were
nearly empty even on the week-
After holding the price to 50
cents, the student theatres had
seen their profit margin dwindle
over the past year. Spiraling
rental and operating costs drove
both deeply into the red by the
end of last term. Cinema II had
to hold a benefit show to pay
creditors for over $1,000.
The deficits had nothing to do
with the Cinema Guild court de-
fense of the film "Flaming Crea-
tures," a point which University
officials did not understand. Ap-
parently in fear of funding part
of the obscenity trial, the Office
of Student Organizations last
semester avoided any action on
a plea from Cinema Guild, ask-
ing to help them reduce expend-
itures. A Guild letter sent to
administrators explained that
private donations to a defense
fun covered nearly all the legal
fees. They were interested in ab-
olishing a University rule that
projectionists a n d custodians
must be hired through the Plant
Under the present system, they
are charged for regular electric-

ians employed at the Plant De-
partment, who are on a higher
pay scale than area union pro-
jectionists who are not University
employes. But the most dis-
couaging part of the bill is a 10
per cent charge for "overhead
costs," which Plant Department
has so far refused to define. It
was computed that the removal
of this could save at least $60 a
week for both theatres.
would eliminate the overhead
and cut payroll costs. Such ex-
penses now amount to little more
than a student subsidy for the
Plant Department. Because of
University regulations, it is esti-
mated that student theatres cost
one-third more to maintain than
the local commercial theatres.
The capaciay of the auditoriums
is also much too small to handle
showings of popular films.
But, the administration argues
that giving special treatment to
any student organization will set
a precedent for future conces-
sions. Suggestions that the Uni-
versity subsidize the operations
must, of course, be firmly reject-
ed because they would destroy
the Cinema's independence: If
finances ever become impossible
again, a loan from the University
has even been suggested.
But the impact of higher prices
on improving the financial pic-
ture of the theaters will be less
than would appear on first
This is because many film dis-
tributors compute rental costs on
the basis of a percentage of ad-
mission receipts (often more
than 50 per cent). Thus, higher
prices bring in little actual in-
crease in revenue and can merely
ward off bankrupcy,

Old Time Crowds at Cinema Guild

RENTAL FEES are likely to go
up again soon and students should
not be shackled with another
price rise. Lower costs resulting
from a reduction in projection-
ist fees to current union scale,
is the logical key to running stu-
dent cinema in the black. A study
should also be made of auditor-
ium rental prices. The rates are
now between $.60 and $ 70 even
though the student theatres use
them on a regular basis.
With students paying higher
prices, it is now time for the
administration to take some

action to save both student film
programs. Without them, the
student's movie choices would be
limited to Butterfield theatres,
which recently raised their prices
from $1.50 to $1.75.
While coordination would not
mean merger, it should bring the
boards much closer than they
have been in the past. They have
been unsuccessful in attempting
to define what kind of films each
will show and in setting up any
distinct policy statements. Many
of their problems stem from the
high turnover of the students.
The distinctions have never been

sharp, but Cinema Guild's exper-
imental and vintage film pro-
grams seldom overlap with Cine-
ma II's penchant for recent re-
A COORDINATED plan, sadly
lacking last year, will be re-
quired to avoid another money
crisis. Talk of merger came only
because the student leaders were
helpless to persuade the Plant
Department to relent. There are
better ways out of financial
problems than abandonment and
there is a crucial need for both
film programs on campus.

Letters: Con-Con and a S talling SGC


To the Editor: .
FOR OVER five weeks I have
silently observed the unfactual
out-pourings of personal opinion,
the stalling, and the engineered
campaign by persons such as John
Koza (Letters, Jan. 10) to utilize
the select committee on the Con-
stitutional Convention to thwart
the will of the students on this
At issue is whether delegates to
con-con should be selected by pe-
tition or general election. An ex-
amination of the two proposals
will show the fallacy of Koza's
arguments. While an election does'
involve one selection (and rejec-
tion) process, a petition would in-
vole 150 selection or rejection pro-
We are told that the prospective
delegate is not subjected to an
examination of his views with peti-
tioning. This is an insult to every
student, for I doubt that college
students sign petitions without
knowing what they sign. Rather,
the delegate will have to converse
with and explain his position to
each of 150 persons. It is in an
election that this personalscontact
and chance for questioning will
not occur.
Mr. Koza then goes on to con-
tradict himself. In paragraph two
wevareatold that the delegate will
never again see or be accountable
to those who select him, yet in
paragraph three we are told that
the delegates will be only "pliant
bodies" of organized power groups.
WHAT ARE THESE organized
groups of power? IHA has trouble
mustering quorums, IFC has just
had a big versus little house fight
and its leadership disavows polit-
ical actions, and the truly political
groups such as Young Republicans,

Young Dems, and Voice have a
membership in the 200-300 range.
Even if by a miracle they got every
member to support a "cabal select-
ed" delegate it would be difficult
to pack a convention with two
It is a campus-wide election
which would allow packing of the
convention. From past experience
I know that it is those with money,
many friends, well-known names,
and access to publicity materials
that win elections. The voter would
be asked to choose from a large
number of unknown candidates. It
would not be the personal knowl-
edge of position required to solicit
a signature, but a popularity con-
test with limited turn-out.
Another disadvantage of an
election is its limitation on the
number of delegates. It would ex-
clude those interested persons not
backed by a campaign machine.
With petitioning, all interested
persons could become delegates by
exerting a little extra effort to
contact grads and others who do
not normally vote in SGC elect-
ions. This would give greater rep-
resentation in the convention
without incurring tremendous cost
in time and money to delegates.
FINALLY, Mr. Koza let slip that
the convention is not planned to
meet until after the next SGC
election. The original intention was
for the convention to be done and
place its proposal before the voters
in that election.
It appears SGC in an attempt
at self-preservation has adopted
the stalling tactic of referal to
committee that they so loudly de-
plore in the Administration of the
-Don Racheter
Executive Vice-Pres. IHA

Secret Research
To the Editor:
'HOPE YOU can find room in
your letters column for the,
opinion of an alumnus on a mat-
ter of great concern to a number
of us; a matter which should be
of tremendous concern to the stu-
dent body and faculty. This is
the matterrofsecretagovernment
sponsored research at the Uni-
versity, most of which is of a
military nature and is designed to
increase the effectiveness of
weapons capability.
The first thing that's wrong
with it is it's secret. Universities
shouldn't have any secrets.
THE SECOND thing that's
wrong with it is that it has to do
with weapons capability. The
University should be a place where
everything antithetical to weap-
ons capability receives maximum
Someone at the University
chooses to accept these contracts.
The intellectual resources and the
administrative capabilities of the
people who run the University
might better be directed to fos-
tering the continued development
of such important things as the
Residential College System and
the general enrichment of the
educational experience.
-Carl Ally
To the Editor:
CREATIVE writing on this cam-
pus is stiffled beyond the class-
room. The three or four respec-
table literary magazines on cam-
pus deal mainly with the finished
product and have little more con-

cern with the creative process
than a rejection slip.
Even if an authors' work is
accepted for publication he gets
little or no constructive criticism.
Through this process the author
learns only if his writing is ac-
ceptable or not acceptable; he
gets no explanation of why he is
in either category and no sugges-
tion of his strong points or his
weak points.
Constructive criticism is a ma-
jor necessity to creative writing
and serves as a stimulous to both
authors and critics.

A DISCUSSION group actively
concerned with the creation and
criticism of creative writing has
as an advantage on this campus
the availability of professional
advice and many opportunities to
A campus of this size and cali-
bre should contain as many in-
terested individuals as is neces-
sary to form a writers workshop,
even if only on an informal level
to start.

-Don Dorrance


The Sounds of Silence

State of the Union Message

of Clark Clifford as Secretary of De-
fense is merely another indication of the
continuing insulation of the President
and his administration from any hostile
viewpoints both within and without the
Government on the war in Vietnam.
Robert McNamara was a man whom it
was rumored had grave doubts about the
ends of our Vietnam policy secreted be-
neath the exterior of the ever-obliging
technocrat. However, Clifford, a long-
time Johnson crony, will undoubtedly be-
come the kind of Secretary of Defense
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Fall and winter subscription rate: $4.50 per term by
carrier ($5 by mail); $8.00 for regular academic school
year ($9 by mall).
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Second class pnstage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan,
430 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48i04.
Editorial Staff
MEREDITH EIKER, Managing Editor
City Editor Editorial Director
SUSAN ELAN.............Associate Managing Editor
STEPHEN FIRSHEIN ...... Associate Managing Editor
LAURENCE MEDOW......Associate Managing Editor
JOHN LOTTIER........Associate Editorial irector

who will add little breadth to any dis-
cussion of foreign policy goals.
And if any lesson is to be learned from
the folly of Vietnam, the Administration's
shifting justifications for involvement in-
dicate that it is that the ends of Ameri-
can foreign policy must undergo a radi-
cal revision.
The powerlessness engendered by the
inaccessibility of the President to hostile
viewpoints undoubtedly prompted Thurs-
day's outburst by Eartha Kitt which
brought tears to the eyes of Lady Bird
President Johnson indicated in his
State of the Union Message that the only
questions he is willing to 'answer these
days are his own rhetorical ones. Needless
to say this imperious aloofness does little
to encourage constructive debate of our
national alternatives.
The replacement of the free-wheeling
Kennedy-style press conference with the
infrequent, intimate and relatively pre-
staged Johnsonian variety is another
prime example of this continuing trend.
An even more blatant example of the
hyper-royalist isolation of the Admin-
istration is the adamant and intransi-
gient refusal of Secretary of State Rusk
to deign to testify-or even appear-be-
fore the Foreign Relations Committee of
the Senate.

Decentralization: Key to School Reform?


THE BUNDY report on decen-
tralization of public education
sent last month to the state legis-
lature byNew York's Mayor John
V. Lindsay could potentially
transform the entire face of pub-
lic education in our large cities.
New York's long tradition as a
leader in school reformrwarrants
close attention in every urban
area to the controversy which this
report has already generated.
The central issue in the Bundy
report revolves around the recom-
mendation of dismantling the
Board of Education's policy-mak-
ing apparatus and turning con-
trol over some 900 schools and
over a million students to a fed
eration of "local" boards serving
neighborhood districts within the
city. A community school system
of 30 to 60 "local" boards would
replace the current bureaucrat-
ically top-heavy system, which
would have powers to appoint can-
didates for most supervisory posts.
The developing controversy
swings around the possibility of
decentralized public education at
the expense of increasing political
intrusion into the school system.
For each district would have six

available. But the winds of change,
as in most instances of major so-
cial reform, had begun to stir
long before the political structure
recognized its necessity.
Articulate spokesmenfor reform
like James B. Conant have been
arguing for years for restructur-
ing school systems to match
neighborhood needs. The 1954 Su-
preme Court ruling on school inte-
gration has caught educators at a
loss for the best means of imple-
Meanwhile the ponderous, iner-
tia ridden New York system of
Regents exams, tenure and promo-
tion - coupled with accelerating
mass exodus of the inner-city by
middle-class white families-com-
bined in acutely discriminatory
ways against the poor and the ra
cial minority students in the na-
tion's largest school system. The
disparity in pupil achievement be-
tween the deprived districts of the
inner city and the affluent sub-
urban communities which attract-
ed the better teachers and higher
per-capita expenditures had not
gone unnoticed by inner-city par-
THE FIRST grassroots rum-
blings for community control was

way a belated recognition of emer-
gent social realities that are work-
ing to reshape public education
from the bottom up. The contro-
versial aspect of the report, if it
is implemented, will be the con-
flict that could ensue at the grass-
roots level in its attempt to force
reform from the top down as well.
Caught in the middle of the re-
form effors are the entrenched in-
terests of the Board of Education,
the Board of Examiners and the
teachers' unions. A common
charge against decentralization
has been that it will re-introduce
the old political ward system
which was eliminated from the
current structure by reforms 70
years ago.
THE REAL FEARS behind de-
centralization appear to be the
drastic loss of power which op-
position groups would incur. The
Board of Education would be re-
duced to nothing more than a
central co-ordinating agency for
the budgetry, employment and ed-
ucational policies of the local
In an effort to lessen the im-
pact of the community control

has succeeded, however, in a
modification of the Bundy report
to allow the central board to re-
tain continued powers of quality
control and supervision.
Despite the overtones of self-
interest in the bureaucratic cri-
ticisms of the plan, cogent argu-
ments against decentralization
have been raised. In particular,
there is no certainty that the new
12-14,000 pupil district under lo-
cal leadership would markedly
improve the quality of education
the students receive. The possi-
bilities of detrimental political,
racial and religious influences up-
on curricula and teacher hiring
policies are very real. Problems
of attracting and holding good
teachers in the ghetto districts
would still remain.
SOME EXPERTS see an alter-
native to decentralization in step-
ping-up massive infusions of
funds to the schools and increas-
ing busing of pupils between
schools to counteract prevalent
de facto segregation.
These alternatives, do not stand
up under recent findings in

ties of the plight of inner-city
schools. The decentralization re-
port was originally requested by
a legislature chary of doling out
more funds. Busing a few for-
tunate individuals to better dis-
tricts will not help those left be-
hind- and may conceivably have
detrimental effects on efforts to
create a sense of community
within the local neighborhoods.
The problem for the parents and
pupils boilsidown to one of util-
izing political leverage to pull
themselves out of the "spiral of
decline," in the words of the re-
port. Criticisms that the report
would permit greater intrusion of
politics into education belies the
fact that politics has always been
there, but not on the side of the
Negroes and Puerto Ricans whose
improvement has been retarded
by an education system imposed
from above.
As Joseph Featherstone writes
in The New Republic, "Although
the Bundy report skirts the theo-
retical question, it clearly offers
a practical opportunity to make
something productive out of the
babble of voices in the city talking
hl nnkr nnfrnr, "

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