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November 29, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-11-29

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Ghe Mi0hgan Dally
Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom


About Going Back


! . ""'

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 staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



...And the Hours Pass:
Restoring a Basic Right

dents have expressed over the antici-
pated elimination of freshman women's
hours by Vice-President for Student Af-
fairs Richard L. Cutler should not prevent
them from applauding the decision.
The reaction of Student Government
Council Executive Vice-President Ruth
Baumann is typical: "I am glad that the
hours will be eliminated, but the issue
was never the hours per se. I would
rather have seen the freshman girls make
the decision themselves, even if they had
voted to keep the hours."
Certainly, it is far more important for
students to establish the right to make
their own rules than to "win" any one
substantive issue. But Cutler's projected
move does not constitute a negation of
student decision-making.
mand ,that the people involved make
all decisions collectively. The majority
should not be empowered to suspend the
freedom of speech of individuals. Where
fundamental rights are the question, the
people still make the decisions, but they
make them individually.
To decide when to return to the dormi-
tory is a fundamental right. While SGC's
vote last month "recognizing the right of
freshman women to determine their own
hours" by majority vote of each woman's
house was a shrewd and necessary poli-
tical move, it posed a threat to that right.
Why should a woman's housemates have
any more right than the Board of Gov-

ernors of the Residence Halls to dictate
her hours?
At the time, SGC could have done
nothing else. If Council had tried on
October 12 what Cutler is planning now
-to abolish freshman woman's hours re-
strictions, in effect leaving the decision
to the individual woman--its efforts
would have gone ignored. Few women
would have dared to defy the University
rules, regardless of SGC.
By - capitalizing on the truism that
strength resides in numbers, Council
made it easy for women's houses through
various means to set their own hours
a la SGC's new rules.
When the houses did this, pressure on
the University to eliminate hours grew.
Director of University Housing John Feld-
kamp's explanation that reforms will be
based on "educational relevance" is an
obvious cover-up: if abolishing fresh-
man women's hours is educationally rele-
vant now, why wasn't it educationally
relevant last year or 10 years ago?
tion right now because enough women
in enough houses made it painfully ob-
vious that the University's regulations
on hours were unenforceable.
SGC's resolution provided the key im-
petus. But now that resolution has served
its purpose, and no one should complain
if it is quietly buried. The principle of
student-decision-making by majority rule
must wait for an issue where it can be
legitimately applied.

THERE IS A way it was and a way it is. Never the
same, and the story worth telling is how what was
isn't and how what is once wasn't.
Three-day Thanksgiving vacations are indeed thera-
peutic. There is something about going back to where
you came from, brief encounters with the past, that leave
you feeling purged and somehow cleansed. And per-
haps a bit more alone.
Beneath the sobering affairs of state and the pro-
found abstraction of academic discourse there is always
the human condition as it exists, defined in human
terms, person-by-person. It seems the University atmos-
phere leads you away from the recognition that life is,
finally, led by people who are born, age, and die. In the
end we must all hoist our glasses and drink with Camus
when he says "the truth about this world is that it has
none." Period.
Yet this .is not meant to be an exercise in despair.
On the contrary, it is the sudden moments when you
have a fleeting but nonetheless real feel for the nature
of the game that makes the wholO thing worthwhile.
WHICH IS WHAT happened at Peck's brother's wed-
Peck and I grew up together in a small town outside
Buffalo. The town has the nameless, placeless quality
so basic to the America most of us know. It is ranch-
housed and two-car-garaged; the people there make
enough money so that they can wonder what's wrong
with their lives. Their children for the most part dream
conventional dreams of making it big. Some will.
The town, Amherst, is not really big money, but it
is as good as Buffalo can do, and if its children are not
scions of the establishment, they are at least close
enough to hope someday maybe their children will be.
Amherst runs across the country, and one can drive
through its streets and the streets of its thousand
counterparts and never know the difference.

Peck is a funny kid. Six-five, broken-nosed, blond-
haired, he is a loner with a sharp wit that deeply pene-
trates and can leave the unwary singed. We met when
we were freshmen in high school, sitting in the back of
the same French class looking out the same window.
We spent most of that year looking out the window.
ANYWAY, ME AND PECK and a third guy spent a
lot of time together. I think even then, without the
benefit of Sartre or Camus, we understood the absurd-
ity of existence. There are only two ways out when you
realize this: you can roll the rock up the hill with
Sisyphus and chase it down each time it falls, or you can
be disdainful of what everyone else takes seriously. With-
out knowing we were doing it we chose the latter and
laughed a lot, as much at ourselves as anybody else.
Four years ago we pretty much split. We both went
off to different schools, wrote a few letters during the
first years and now don't. Our meetings are most in-
frequent, -but he remains one of the funniest people I've
ever known, perhaps because we are so much the same
that he laughs at what I would have, had I noticed.
So this Thanksgiving I go home and he tells me his
brother, a few years older than us, is getting married.
Having never been to a wedding, and indeed wanting to
see his brother off, I went to the ceremony.
THERE WAS PECK, the best man, starched in his
tuxedo standing up next to his brother. There he was,
passing on the ring. And in the forefront as the pro-
cessional moved down the aisle. And in the receiving
Passing before him, shaking his hand, it seemed we
hardly knew each other, while of course we did. He half-
swallowed a quick laugh and I said something worth-
less, but I was thinking how it's as if he's off on his way
and I'm off on mine and whatever we once were no

longer matters except to our private selves. If ever
there for very long.
Which makes me think a lot about the talk of gener-
ation gaps and how what we are-or think ourselves to
be-something qualitatively different from what our
parents are.
There was a time when I definitely believed this,
thinking that growing up in affluence, knowing that the
world could be destroyed tomorrow, and having no real
god other than what we could- ourselves be had given us
a vision of man and society that other generations could
never share.
But driving home from Peck's brother's wedding I
was less convinced. Perhaps this is the curse that
cynics bear as the price of, their laughter, that any
grand scheme-even those to which they subscribe-are
in the end vulnerable to the scrutiny of their own con-
tempt and are finally rejected. But whatever the reason,
it seemed that except for the absolutely committed
revolutionaries among us who perhaps will forever live
in their dream of challenging the heavens, most' of us
will indeed someday be starched and tuxedoed and have
forgotten what it was that we thought about when we
walked the streets of our youth.
AND, FOR WANT OF much better, and despite
protestations to the contrary, it seems that most will
bear children and settle down into something like that
of their parents. There is something in the process of
civilization that seems to resist drama, and the fact
that there are so few genuinely 'historic' occasions after.
the moment's limelight has subsided gives some kind
of testimony to this.
It is not that this is bad or good, cruel or noble.
It simply seems to be the way things are. Whatever
is within us, driving us onward before we can under-
stand where we have been, may well in the end leave ue
somewhere we didn't once think was worth being



Letters: ZTA's Discriminating Ways

To the Editor:
of the Zeta Tau Alpha na-
tional sorority and until recently
a member of its Albion College
chapter, I would like to disclose
that total meaninglessness of the
resolution on membership selec-
tion that has been issued by the
University's ZTA chapter.
The resolution states: "We will
not accept as valid an alumnae
veto based on race, creed, color,
national origin or ancestry." This
sounds very impressive if one is
not aware of the fact that under
the present ZTA recommendation
system, an alumna is not re-
quired to give any reason why she
wishes to exclude the girl from
the sorority, but may simply state
that she is not recommended.

Under current policy one such
unexplained negative recommen-
dation nullified all affirmative
recommendations that a girl may
have. received. In addition to the.
"irregularities" in the pledging of
a Negro girl, the Albion College
chapter was also placed on proba-
tion because without national ap-
proval it circulated a letter to the
other chapters which was critical
of this recommendation system.
IT IS TRUE, as local ZTA Pres-
ident Susan Southon stated in
reference to her resolution that
"It says nothing that our national
organization doesn't purport to
agree with anyway. ..." The na-
tional sorority has preferred to
avoid any direct statement of dis-
crimination, preferring to rely on

A Dove in Hawk's Feathers

OPENING THE PAPER yesterday morn-
ing to read about Secretary of Defense
McNamara's resignation was, at first, an
exhilirating event.
The first thought to come to mind was
how this occurrence is a slap in the face
of the President and his Vietnam policy,
coming concurrently with the resignation
of Charles Frankel, assistant secretary of
state for cultural and educational affairs,
who reportedly left over Vietnam differ-
ences. It was gratifying to see key men
in our government exercise what seemed
to be a public conscience.
But on closer examination, the news
of McNamara's resignation is not such
a godsend.
HERE IS A MAN, widely respected for
his utter presence of mind and clear-
ness of thought, who has served in the
nation's top "warmaking" position for
nearly seven years. He is the individual
who, by virtue of his position, has been
called upon time and again to defend the
nation's policy in this horrible, agonizing
war. Repeatedly, his voice has been one
of conscience, of a somewhat apologetic
saint who is justifying policy determined
on a higher level. And at other times,
McNamara has had to assume the un-
desirable position of a bulwark before
hawkish Congressional leaders calling for
"military victory now" by an increase in
Thus, it comes as no relief to see Sec-
retary McNamara step down. The much-
discussed replacement prospect of John-

son ally and Texas Gov. John Connally,j
a former Secretary of the Navy and an
unabashed conservative and hawk, bodes
no good feeling. And who among those
currently in positions of power will serve
as the conscience that Robert McNamara
has been? Who will don the mantle of
house dove-something that the former
president of the Ford Motor Company
has undeniably become?
It is often said that the best way to
beat a system is to get at it from the
inside, to fight through established chan-
nels. When the nation's doves lose a
spokesman who sits inside the ring of
policy-determination, working through
"established channels" becomes difficult.
The government can easily become a
happy family of unanimity and self-
congratulation, a body of "yes men"
crashing down the long road of inevitable
ing his conscience as he realizes the
futility of his position. He quite well may
no longer be able to morally justify his
obeisance to Johnson policy. But he is,
in any event, leaving.
And that, regrettably, is the way our
government works. It is not J. Edgar
Hoover or Lewis Hershey who take them-
selves out of the government because of
policy disagreements. Instead, it's Charles
Frankel or Henry Wallace (he resigned
from the Truman cabinet because of
foreign policy disagreements) or, perhaps,
it is Robert McNamara.

,t, ,
,. , '
r- "

the recommendation system and
alumnae supervision to weed out
undesirable rushees.
Such discrimination is certainly
hinted at, however, in a resolution
passed by the 1965 national con-
vention that the sorority would
not allow itself to become the
testing-ground for a civil rights
The national bias was also
made quite clear at a meeting of
the Albion chapter with the'
province president in February,
1966 when the Albion chapter first
considered pledging Cecelia Wil-
liams. At that time it was made
clear that the national organiza-
tion did not consider it in the best
interests of the sorority to pledge
anyone from a, different racial,
religious, or cultural background.
IT IS PRECISELY because the
national policy does not expressly
forbid discrimination that the Al-
bion chapter felt that it was
authorized to pledge a Negro.
But that racial bias does in fact
exist can be seen by the unusual-
ly harsh punishment that the na-
tional executive committee im-
posed upon the Albion chapter for
a minor "pledging irregularity."
The chapter was placed on pro-
bation last May, but only brought
the matter to public attention
this fall when the national execu-
tive committee voted to extend
the probation another full year
until September, 1968.
Except for the issuing of the
probation, thetnational officers
refused any additional communi-
cation with the Albion chapter on
the matter and deleted any men-
tion of the sorority's activities
from the national quarterly mag-
Albion President Louis W. Nor-
ris ended the statements by issu-
ing an ultimatum to the national
organization that it remove its
discrimination policy or lose its
Albion chapter. The national of-
ficers denied that itkwas a racial
issue and would make no recon-
sideration of their position.

IN LIGHT OF these facts I am
extremely disappointed in the at-
tempt of the Michigan chapter to
avoid the real issues and offer no
more than a token resolution in
the face of the fact that their
neighboring chapter has been de-
Miss Southon stated in refer-
ence to the resolution that "we're
happy, national is happy, the SGC
membership committee is happy."
I am not happy. Although I am
now a: Michigan student I have
followed the whole -controversy
closely since it began in 1966.
In light of all the evidence I
can only say that I am appalled
by an organization that in fact
would rather abolish a chapter
than admit one Negro member. I
am returning my pin and certifi-
cate of life membership to the



national president with the re-
quest that my, name no longer be
associated with ZTA.
Michigan chapter of ZTA or the
University's Panhellenic organi-
zation for wanting to postpone
discrimination considerations un-
til after the next rush.
It is not easy to take the stand
that the Albion chapter did when
you realize that the ultimate out-
come may be the destruction of
the chapter itself.
But if they perpetually post-
pone the issue until after the next
rush perhaps someday no one will
register for rush because they
have realized that social growth
does" not occur within an organi-
zation that seeks to protect its
members from cultural diversity.
-Mary Lynn Rector '68

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.. .AND at half-time... San Jose State 7-Dow 3
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"C mon boy... speak... 1"

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The 3Dimnin fRe presentation

The Only Alternative

announcement that he will enter the
Presidential primaries comes at a point
when all hope of persuading the Johnson
administration to seek a settlement of
the Vietnam War seems to have vanished.
Although by no standard a dove, De-
fense Secretary Robert McNamara's de-
parture for the World Bank may open
the way for the appointment of a pro-
ponent of even a harder line. What
restraining influence McNamara may
have had on the Joint Chiefs of Staff is
now gone.
&Glg £i1igztn Rai9
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
olegiate Press Service.
Fall and winter subscription rate; $4.5o per term by

Washington sources also indicate that
Johnson will now lean even more heavily
on the advice of Walt Rostow, Presiden-
tial special assistant for national security
and a supporter of the bombing of the
Haiphong docks.
McCarthy's candidacy is supposedly an
effort to show Johnson the strength of
anti-war sentiment nationally and push
him toward some type of disengagement.
Johnson's choice to succeed McNamara
may well offer an indication of how the
President intends to react to the grow-
ing disaffection within his own party
over his Vietnam policies.
Ann Arbor earlier this month was
unimpressive. His speech, a laudatory
history of the Democratic nartv. was un-

The author is Associate Professor
of Philosophy at the University and
associate director of the Residential
IT SHOULD be a source of satis-
faction to all members of the
University that the elected officers
of the Student Government Coun-
cil think as clearly and deeply as
Ivthey do on mostematters of general
University concern. Mr. Michael
Davis' recent discussion '(The
Daily, Nov. 17), of the different
senses in which one body might
be representative of another is an
excellent example of that thought-
fulness, and is to be much com-
Mr. Davis' honest efforts to get
to the root of the matter cause me
to add some comment on the topic
of representation - a matter of
highrconcern both practically and
theoretically. I do so not with the
object of disputing his claims,
which I think largely correct, but
with the aim of clarifying still

dicates, although it does not prove,
that our Student Government
Council has been a good repre-
sentative of the Student body.
My own knowledge of the affairs
of the Student Government Coun-
cil is insufficient to justify any
-judgment upon the virtual repre-
sentativeness of that body, al-
though my guess is that Mr. Davis
is quite right on that score.
I do think, however, that his
emphasis upon "virtual represen-
tation" is too great, and has dis-

source of the representative's pow-
er, the second looks to the ways in
which representatives may come to
hold office; the third looks to the
merit of their conduct in that of-
Each of Davis' senses of repre-
sentation ("imposed representa-
tion," "authorized representation,"
"tacitly authorized representation,"
"template representation," type
representation" and "virtual rep-
resentation") can be subsumed
under one of the three categories

-as democrats-in this matter are
easy to specify; in some respects
they are not. Probably we will all
agree that, the ground of the au-
thority of a representative body
ought somehow to be in the body
represented - whether delegated
explicitly or tacitly, and whatever
the machinery of delegation.
We are also likely to agree that
in judging the wisdom of the rep-
resentative body, something like
Mr. Davis' virtual representation

which constituencies are very
homogeneous, as in some forms of
proportional representation, to
those in which constituencies are
very heterogeneous, as in elections
at large. And the number of com-
binations and compromises in this
sphere is practically unlimited.
IT IS JUST HERE, I think, that
at least some who are critical of
the representativeness of the pres-
ent Student Government Council
are seeking structural improve-
ments. I do not know whether such
critics of the present pattern of
representation are right whether
there is some pattern of delegate
selection much more likely to re-
sult in a representative body that
functions optimally.
But even those who agree with
Mr. Davis that the present Council
has been "virtually representative"
(and I suppose some critics will
deny that it has been) may quarrel
with his assumption that such past
outcomes are all that really count.


"With an equal and genuine commitment to democracy, we are very likely
to find ourselves in real and serious disagreements about . . . the way in
which representatives might be chosen to give the best chances of long range

torted the larger picture somewhat.
Let me suggest another, three-fold,

here proposed. Some of his "sen-
ses" are coordinate (in the sense

is what we seek-a body that de-
cides as the electorate which chose


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