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Alumni vetoes:
The bind that ties

BECAUSE Panhellenic Association in-
sists on a signed non-discrimination
statement removing the alumni veto on
new pledges, and because their national
associations refuse to approve s u c h a
statement, 15 of the 23 sororities on this
campus are caught in a bind.
The alumni veto is at present a deathly
effective tool for bias, because any alum-
na, anywere, can bar a prospective rush-
ee- and, in most cases, is not required to
state her reason for doing so.
But if the statements are not signed,
Panhellenic pays, the houses face loss of
recognition on this campus and loss of
rushing privileges. A h o u s e without a
pledge class is a house with its jugular
vein cut. Many houses could not expect
to survive more than a year without the
financial support of a pledge class.
ON THE other hand, m a n y nationals
threaten to revoke the local's charter
if, not simply for the content of the anti-
discrimination statement, for the house's
signing anything binding without nation-
al say-so. Uany sorority charters require
a national convention for charter chang-
es, and some houses found they could
not introduce the motion in time for this
summer's convention, and other houses
hold their convention only every other
Revoking a charter cuts the house
adrift ,from all the social benefits that
come with national affiliation - bene-
fits which provide no small motive for
prospective rushees. Many houses also de-
pend heavily' on their nationals for fi-
nancial support, and the nationals often
own the building on campus.
Facing such bleak alternatives on both
sides, the houses must come to a decision
concerning the ultimate direction in
which sororities as a system are headed.
The houses are faced with difficulty in

either direction and must choose a guid-
ing principle to _see them through. The
alumni veto can keep houses in a stran-
glehold of conservatism. Since such a
veto can so easily be based on race or
religion, it is, in the context of society,
wrong and unworkable. To knuckle un-
der to the nationals on this, issue is to
repudiate much of the ethical standards
of today.
Sororities must, to survive in the long
run, exercise greater local autonomy.
They would ultimately find themselves in
a better position if they chose to stand
off against their nationals rather than
th Panhellenic Association. Any ad-
,vantages they could find by banding to-
gether against the University could be
better served in making the same stand
against - their nationals, with, the added
advantage of helping to update ,an an-
tiquated national sorority system-insur-
ing that system's survival in the lon run,
THERE IS NOTHING to prevent' these
houses from seeking moral support
from'other local chapters. The threat to
revoke charters could become hollow in-
deed if the national was faced with losing
half its active chapters.
The sororities must believe in them-
THEY MUST believe they have some-
thing unique and lasting to offer girls
on this campus beyond some Greek let-
ters on their jewelry. They must, them-
selves, begijn to believe their own rush
propoganda that a sorority offers friend-
ship, companionship, cultural growth,
gracious living, a chance to serve the
community and a lifetime of happy
Surely, if sorority living has all this to
offer-it will not vanish with the charter.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Arthur Mendel
is a professor of history at the Uni-
versity. le is a specialist in Rus-
sian intellectual history.)
IF THE expected "confronta-
tions" occur, will they be cre-
ative or destructive? Will the Uni-
versity emerge enriched a n d
strengthened, open and vital, or
will it be left with nausea of im-
potence and hate? As the opposing
sides gather their forces, nourish
their militant self-righteousness,
call their caucuses, and draw up
their contingency plans, the pros-
pects are bleak.
They would be less bleak if we
came to realize that we have con-
jured up demons, and that our
strategies and tactics are rituals
for exorcism rather than pro-
grams for reasonable action. The
students succumb to myths when
they picture the faculty and ad-
ministrations as either hostile or
Of course there are troglodytes
who still expect students to sub-
mit to Authority humbly, silently,
and gratefully, to know their
place, and to leave their education,
their morality, theirscare and
feeding and all other serious mat-
ters to the wise elders.
BUT THERE are a1s o those,
and they are very many, who wel-
come heartily the political awak-
ening of the students, their burst
of social consciousness and civic
involvement, those who are draw-
ing the fairly obvious conclusions
from the fact that there is hardly
a generous cause of late that has
not been principally the affair of
the youth and who see in this
precocious dedication, courage and
responsibility a renaissance of
values and the promise of a finer
I am convinced that there would
be far more among the faculty and
the administration who would
come to appreciate and warmly
encourage this renaissance were
they not, in turn, deceived by il-
lusions aboutthe student acti-
Here, too, there are the extrem-
ists - Maoist, Troskyist or oth-
erwise- who seriously plan either
to cripple t h e University or to
transform it into a base for social
revolution, an auxilliary in the
urban insurrection and a fifth-
column in support of national lib-
eration movements.
Now, if the troglodytes make up
a minority of the faculty and ad-
ministration (I hope), this ele-
ment among the student activists
represents so small a segment that
theyrare understandably reluctant
to propagate their a i m s among
the politically "immature" mass of
students who comprise the bulk
of the rallies and demonstrations.
Following familiar and impres-
sively successful Leninist tactics,
they are waiting for the confron-
tations to do their work, for the
experience of being bludgeoned
and "busted" a few times to ripen
the students politically along the
road from University reform min-
imalism to Leninist-Maoist maxi-
malism. If their tactics w o r k,
which they well may, it will be be-
cause the two extremist minor-
ities, the troglodytes and the Len-
inists, are determining the form
and the content of the confronta-
accepted the view that the fac-
ulty and administration are apos-
tles of that most/ vicious of all
Leviathans, the military-indus-
trial-imperialist complex, and too
many of the faculty and adminis-
tration are coming to dread all ac-
tivist students as the wild-eyed
vanguard of some nihilistic cultur-
al revolution, stock-piling Molotov
cocktails and itching to burn us
all down.
It may be too late to do any-
thing about this. Perhaps the' illu-
sions and the fears and malice
they breed have already become

too rigid and have already furn-
ished sufficient explosives for any
spark to begin the mutual escala-
tion of attack and counterattack,

the ever increasing breadth and
ferocity of conflict.
FOR THOSE of us who still feel
that it is not too late to learn from
Berkeley, Columbia and the Sor-
bonne and to influence the char-
acter and the outcome of the con-
frontations the first step, I be-
lieve, is to break down somehow
the barriers that separate those
of good will throughout the Uni-
versity community and .above all
to begin to expose the myths on
which these barriers rest.
Unfortunately, the institutions
now being negotiated as means
of bringing together students, fac-
ulty and administration assume
by their very form and intent con-
flict rather than cooperation - a
council to work out rules, a judic-
ial body to judge their violation,
a communications organ to a i r
disputes. These are necessary
agencies. But where are those for
cooperative reform?
We assume, rightly, that/ there
is much that divides us and we are
providing vehieles for conflict res-
olution. But we ignore all t h a t
links us, the wealth of ideas, pres-
ent among all groups that make
up this community, for creative
development of the University and
of its role in society.
We must come together, listen
to each other, work together. And
the "elders" must listen not as a
grievance board to take students'
complaints and suggestions "into
consideration," with all that Oly-
mpian phrase implies. They must
listen to a generation that has de-
veloped its views in pragmatic po-
litical involvements more demand-
ing t h a n those experienced " by
the faculty a n d administration
and that has been in the fore-
front of some of the most effec-
tive reform movements in our his-
tory. All that they have accom-
plished and experienced from the
beginning of the civil rights move-
ment through the McCarthy cam-
paign has more than won for these
young men and women the right-
to be heard as equals.
This week, the history depart-
ment will begin a History Depart-
mnent Forum to discuss "contro-
versial departmental and campus
issues." We are urging all history
students, graduate and undergrad-
uate, and all members of the de-
partment to attend these regular
meetings. They will be unstructL
ured, or if structured will be so
by mutual student-faculty. agree-

But I am certain that the great
majority of the committed stu-
dents would be vigorously opposed
to any such degeneration of the
Or consider the leaflet distrib-
uted during one of the Diag AbC
rallies, the one that said: "In the
following weeks, groups of stu-
dents will be entering classrooms
and demanding that all the en-
ergy being wasted therein be
turned to more productive ends."
Who would be hurt by such tac-
tics? Not t h e professors whose
classes are the object of this at-
tack, since these professors will
simply go home to work on their
manuscripts or get in an early
game of squash. Not the troglo-
dytes among our administrators
and Lansing representatives, who
would be overjoyed at this splen-
did justification for police retali-
ation. The ones who would suffer
are the 90% of the students who 1
still find value in higher educa-
tion and the professors and ad-
ministrators who want to work
with them for a finer University.
There are important conflicts
of interest between faculty and
students that must be aired frank-
ly, as those I mentioned earlier.
I believe that compromises can be
reached here as they have been
reached elsewhere, but I also be-
lieve that they will bemore easily
reached if there are in process
simultaneoustheefforts to realize
shared purposes, efforts that testi-
fy to a fundamental trust t h a t
disputes might test, but not ser-
iously threaten.
Long ago, we should have set
up committees of students, fac-
ulty and administrators to gather
information about what other'Col-
leges and Universities are doing in
the way of enlarging student par-
ticipation in decision-making bod-
ies, experimenting with novel cur-,
riculum and w i t h student and
course evaluation techniques, and
so forth.

Birchites, the Minutemen and
similar vigilante networks, re-
member well the depth of fear,
hate and sadistic delight many
of them have already seen in Chi-
cago and elsewhere, and above all
recall the fate of another "ad-
vanced capitalist country" under
threat from the left.
BEFORE GOING further in the
direction that some of their lead-
ers seem to be following, the ex-
treme Left should ponder the in-
creasingly more probable conse-
quences for themselves, their sup-
porters and their cause if they
continue weakening those precious
rights that were specifically de-
signed to protect the critical mi-,
n rity against the fury of the con-
fomist majority it challenges and
so severely frightens. They are
heedlessly uprooting a fragile and
rare growth that is the very sus-
tenance of their political being.
This isnot an argument against
illegal or violent action in princi-
ple. Since I am not a pacifist, I
believe that in extreme situations,
and especially where law is used
as a means of oppression, illegal
action is morally .obligatory. ,Of
course the laws of Nazi Germany
should have been disobeyed, and
there are any number of other

concerned not with redress of
grievance, abrogation of specific
injustice or with realization of
concrete reform but with perpe-
tuating violent confrontations
against the Structure-System-Es-
IF THE LIBERAL faculty and
iadministration can keep this dis-
tinction in mind, and not let the
beards and the bells confuse them,
they will find that they share
much with the sensitive, intelli-
gent and reasonable reformers.
Once this latent accord emerges
as a working alliance its force for
dramatic aid continuing reform
may be great enough to obviate
the need for these admirable
young people to go through the
anguish that leads to illegal ac-
tion or suffer the consequent pun-
ishments they least of all deserve.
"Cooptation!" "Divide and Con-
quer!" "Separating the activist
leaders from the masses!" This
will be the response of the extre-
mists to such proposals as the
Forum ,and to such arguments as
those I have set forth here.
No doubt for some of the fac-
ulty and administyation who par-
ticipate in faculty-student as-
semblies the gre-test attraction is
the chance of taking the steam

Non-support of Humphrey

JN THE AFTERMATH of Chicago, calling,
one's self a Democrat and retaining
and measure of self-esteem can be .a dif-
ficult if not impossible task. But the; Uni-
versity Young Democrats have g o n e a
long way toward reconciling this dilemma
by refusing "to actively support the can-
didacy of Vice President Hubert Hum-
The same resolution reaffirms support
for Weston E. Vivian, Democratic con-
gressional candidate f r o m the Second
District. And it expresses the hope "that,
by his future actions, Hubert Humphrey'
will merit our support."
Passing such a resolution may at first
glaice seem little enough sacrifice and
commitment on the part of YD's. But in
light of other circumstances, tie move is
both courageous and admirable.
As Vivian himself has come close to ad-
mitting to the Young Dems, he cannot
win without a strong Humphrey showing
in the district. For this reason, Vivian is
supporting the national ticket even
though he staunchly fought for the mi-
nority peace plank on Vietnam. He has no
THE YD's are also aware that pivotal
Monroe County, which holds the key
to victory in this district, cannot be won
without their support. Their action, then,
carries more than a little weight in Dem-
ocratic circles in the district. ;
The resolution, furthermore, nay jeop-
ardize the position of the Young D e m s
within the state committee. Though less
true in Michigan than in other states, the
Young Dems have a bloody history of fac-
tional fights and rump organizations.
The University group, the second .larg-
est inj the state, led the fight for an anti-
VIetrnam resolution at the last state con-
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vention. The resolution won by a narrow
margin and its victory was due primarily
to the vigorous support shown by the Uni-
versity delegation.
Passing a resolution of non-support for
the party's nominee, however, is an en-
tirely different proposition. Were a state
convention to be held in the near future,
such a resolution would face probable de-
feat at the hands of a coalition of Young
Dems from out-state counties.
FINALLY, the Young Dems had little to
gain and much to lose by proposing
such resolution. They are to be commend-
ed for the strength of their conviction.
Perhaps "lesser-evilism" has not per-
meated all political institutions; perhaps
the "politics of conscience" is not as dead
as Mr. Humphrey would like to think.
Pennant power
WE PARKED the car on 12th Street in
the shadow of Tiger Stadium.
And later, after the moment of victory
had been etched in the fanaticism of a
ninth-inning rally and after the crowd
had laid siege to the green-backed dia-
mond, we tried to put it into perspective.
Blacks and whites had cheered, had
swarmed down the ramps in a tangle of
homogenity, and had eaten dirt together
as souvenir pieces of turf were passed
from hand to hand.
THIS WAS the biggest Detroit rally since
July, 1967. And this was 'the graphic
first step in what sociologists predict
could be a reunion of the good life to-
But many of the blacks still went home
to life on 112th Street, a little happier but
no farther ahead in their struggle for
If there was reason for optimism, it
was not couched in the PR-bred image
of blacks and whites toasting the town.
'T WAS something more mundane, less
prettied by academic polemics, but in
every way more real to the black man
who has often lived in fear and frustra-
tion because he could not believe in the

IT IS HOPED that through such
exchange of views we will all,
students and faculty, learn t h e
thoughts And feelings the various
groups in our community actually
have and discard the 'myths of
them we have fabricated. We may
modify our own views and senti-
ments as a result. And we may
discover that while there are im-
portant disagreements, there are
also fundamental agreements and
shared goals toward which we can
work together. Contact willbe es-
tablished and with it may come
trust and respect..
If honest, the exchange at such
assemblies will be forceful in both
directions. For if the faculty has
much to learn from the students
(and first of all that most of them
are maturely, responsibly and in-
telligently seeking to improve, not
destroy, the University), the stu-
dents, in turn, have some hard
facts of life to hear from the fac-
LET US no longer doubt that
the students h a v e the right to
govern their own lives. But the
students must recognize the same
right for their professors. We, too,
have our "vital interests." Should
demands f o r student power on
questions of curriculum and spe-
cific course content go too far in
the direction of restricting t h e
professors' hard-won autonomy
over their courses, students fright
discover that the professors, in-'
cluding the ones they favor, will
resist to the' point of leaving the
University. Student power m a y
end up controlling third-rate pro-
fessors in a fifth-rate institution.

Of course there are the troglodytes who still
expect students to submit to authority humbly,
silently, too know their place, and to leave their
education, their morality ... to their wise elders.
.;,,...:is.tms . .,.. «.,, ...;.;«.


EVERTHING IS wide open in
these areas, and the student ac-
tivists are unquestionably among
the most knowledgeable about
such innovations. Why not, for
example, have the University pay
for credit-courses designed entire-
ly by the students and staffed by
visiting lecturers invited by the
students? Why not weave togeth-
er traditional on-campus credits
with credits earned from student
involvement in civic affairs?

At various points in this ar-
ticle I have attacked the ex-
tremists. This needs further com-
ment. There are certainly very
many professors and administra-
tors who share the extremists'
views on U.S. foreign policy, on,
Mayor Daley's Chicago policy,
and on such questions as the Uni-
versity's involvdment in secret,
military research.
But most of us, I think, are in
profound disagreement with them
on two closely interwoven parts of
their theory and practice: 1) their
disinterest in the welfare of the
University, their efforts to trans-
form it into a weapon in their
revolutionary struggle; and 2)
their revolutionary approach to
tolerance and law, their facile dis-
regard for both in their war.
against the "system."
SINCE THEY tend increasingly
to picture themselves in a situa-
tion of permanent revolution, they
regard liberal tolerance and legal
procedures as devices for creating
a deceptive facade for concensus,
for disguising and limiting t h e
expression of essential contradic-
tions and conflicts that, they in-
sist, must be brought out as.
sharply as possible.
We seem to be entering one of
those distressing periods in our
history when it is especially vital
to defend the liberal traditions of
tolerance and legal procedure. The
Right is gathering force and de-
termination with frightening
Those on the Left who are will-
ing to sacrifice the guarantees of
full tolerance and the lawful limits

situations past and present where
for the same reasons law loses
What I urge is that in judging
each case, in seeking that slight
margin leading conscience toward
one action rather than another,
one should be as honest with
oneself and with others as possible.
in deciding whether or 'not the
given case is really extreme in
the sense I am using the word
And one should consider other
factors besides the justice of the
cause and the effectiveness of the
action. (Until recently, the policer
were able in fact, if not in law, to
use all kinds of highly effective
means of getting evidence which
achieved the desirable end of jus-
i tice by providing proof of crime.)
One should hold firmly in mind,
and not let slip conveniently away,
the meaning and proven merit of
the "rules of the game" (espec-
ially for the radical minority), the
consequences for the University
and for the satisfactory fulfill-
ment of its essential purposes if
even moderately illegal tactics are
habitually used.
And most important of all one
should remember the justification
that the more disruptive or violent
tactics provide the might'for un-
leashing its own incomparably
more vicious illegality, disruption
and violence. I havehno doubt, nor
should the Left, that in wielding
this double-edged sword the Right
arm in our land is vastly more
powerful than the Left.
ations against the justice of the
cause and the likely effectiveness
of the tactic, each radical will ar-
riveat his or her own decision.
Some will decide, for example,
that criminal trespess, which de-
stroys no property, hinders no
function, and does no bodily in-
jury to anyone is so harmless ob-
jectively that it is a legitimate
form of civil disobedience.
Others who share their concern
and compassion, will be more per-
suaded by the restraining argu-
ments and will prefer to rely on
other means of mobilizing protest.'
Against the background of re-
cent and earlier instances of non-
violent civil disobedience in this
country and the just causes they
have so well served, one should,
I believe, even if one disagrees
with the decision, give full respect

out of the "movement." For my-
self and others there are different
motives, as hopeful as this one is
cynical. We believe that of all
the groups that comprise the Uni-
versity community" the students"
are the most vita source of cre-
ative reform.
The faculty and administration
are, in general, the comfortable
beneficiaries of the existing forms
and procedures, which they na-
turally take for granted. While
many of them have in the past
enthusiastically supported inno-
vations, as they now do and will
' continue to do, they are not usual-
ly the ones who initiate them, at
least not the kind of fundamental
structural and substantive changes
that the students propose.
It is to open channels for the
continual provision of such fresh
ideas by the students as well as
to assemble support for their real-
ization that I welcome the Forums
and similar-faculty organizations.
There is hardly a crisis-of-our-
time book or article that does not
lament the withering away of
democracy, assaulted by Bigness
and Complexity from one side and
sapped by public apathy from the
other. It is perhaps too much to
hope for, but it may be that what
we are witnessing in the present
generation of student activism is
a reversal of this degeneration of
democratic participation.
We should, therefore, join in
enthusiastic applause of and not
cringe fearfully away from the
students' protests, demonstrations
and rallies, their insistence on
taking a larger and a more deci-
sive part in the affairs of the
University, and their efforts to-
ward realizing participatory dem-
ocracy and revitalizing' the polit-
ical parties and electoral processes
in our land,
THE PROFESSORS' life is in
all ways beautiful. When the good
society is at last reached and
humanity makes that final leap
from the realm of necessity to the
realm of freedom everyone will live
like LSA professors, (tenured, of
Meanwhile, there is an awful lot
to do. And since politics is the
way of doing things in society,
I do not think that the familiar
and usually apolitical professorial
life style is a worthy model for
the citizen, for, in other words,
the political life that hopefully
the activist students will continue




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