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August 27, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

EVEN AS SUMMER WANES, the academic world is still reeling from
the explosion which rocked New York's slowly decaying, but still
prestigious, Columbia University last May.
Despite the nationwide furor it provoked, the Columbia uprising
focused on only one aspect of student objections to the modern cor-
porate university-the insensitive and often highly corrupting rela-
tionship between academia and the outside world.
At Columbia the major issue was the local question of the rich
white university's calculating moral reticence about the problems of
the black ghetto which surrounds it.

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



Academnic democracy:
A n elitist fraud

EMOCRACY IS a hard concept for
the University's faculty and ad-
ministration to accept when it directly
challenges their elitist attitudes toward
the decision-making process of this ed-
ucational institution..
The much-feared advent of student
power means nothing more than legi-
timate and democratically elected stu-
dent representation on all levels of
University administration. This would
include membership in a number of
heretofore exclusive cliques - depart-
mental curriculum committees, faculty
tenure committees, and college admin-
istrative boards.
Also essential would be the estab-
lishment of a tripartite judiciary for
theenforcement of all University regu-
lations affecting all segments of the
community and a gradie review com-
mittee where students would lodge le-
gitimate complaints against arbitrary
professorial' actions in grading stu-
For students are equal members of
the University community who are
deeply concerned about the future and
direction of this educational institu-
tion. Student power should not be in-
terpreted as the destruction of this
University, but hopefully means its
eventual improvement.
ed about the profound effect their
educational experience will have on
their lives. The failure of faculty and
administrators to make higher educa-
tion more relevant to student lives in
a society experiencing revolutionary
changes offers ample evidence that
student perspectives and institutional-
ized power are necessary in the plan-
ning of all University policy.
Higher education cannot now and
never could be most meaningful when
it is paternalistcally granted at the
professor's will to the supposedly in-
ferior and naive student.. Relevant and
interesting curricula are more easily
developed with a variety of reactions
as readily available inputs.
Faculty and student views on aca-
demic issues are not necessarily at
odds. If they are, a program should be
devised so that allmsegments of the
community are accommodated. With
equal student representation, compro-
mise would have to be reached.
Faculty and the former faculty
members, the administrators, have no
monopoly on wisdom. Their knowledge
is limited to their experiences, which
for mangy have been narrowed to cities
like Ann Arbor, which are far removed
from turbulent and challenging urban
America. The professor who thinks he
has nothing to learn from his students
is a pathetically ignorant man.
The objectives of the movement for
equal student representation is to give
the disenfranchised student the power
which liberal democratic thought, 'so
freely espoused around campus, dic-
tates he deserves. Channels for influ-
encing decisions which affect the com-
munity of which he is an integral part
must be legitimized or the only re-
course the concerned student has is
through illegal ch nnels.
Student power should not be inter-
preted as a move by anarchists to 'des-
troy the existing University structure.
Student power only affords the student
protection from and influence on the

often ill-advised and arbitrary
sions of the current ruling elite.


have no monopoly on wisdom. And
faculty power affords the faculty need-
ed protection from the equally often
ill-advised actions of students.
The University decision-making
process must be a democratic process
with all the University's interest groups
appropriately represented. An institu-
tion whose stated purpose is the incul-
cation of liberal values in its students
hypocritically is run by an intellectual
elite who have little faith in the con-
structive spontaneity of the student
The faculty readily supported stu-
dent demands when they were aimed
at administrators who exercised powers
which rightfully belonged to student
government. And they are still willing
to allow select students (such as the
literary college steering committee)
who are not representative and do not
rock the boat too often to offer com-
But constructive suggestions for the
sharing of their power with elected stu-
dent representatives who legitimately
represent the majority student view-
point are rejected with violent, irra-
tional responses.
IT IS ALMOST as if the faculty is
afraid to question the sacred cow
which is the status quo at this educa-
tional institution. One would think
that the sophisticated professors who
are supposedly articulate would have
confidence in their ability to persuade
student representatives of the right-
eousness of their cause.
Indeed'faculty criticism of the stu-
dent as a responsible representative is
partially valid. The student's interest
in the University is transient. Four
years is not a lifetime of devotion to
the University, but it is a significant
Moreover, most professors are not
permanent members of this commun-
ity, as evidenced by the annual exodus
of both tenured and untenured profess-
ors. At times professors appear to be
only clinging to the University, waiting
for offers of higher salaries or increas-
ed status.
The accusation is also lodged that
student representatives are only repre-
sentative of those activist elements on
campus which constitute a small min-
ority of the student population. They
claim most of the student body is not
politicized in terms of campus affairs
and cares little about the direction of
the University.
However, when student representa-
tion becomes relevant to their lives,
the well-educated student constituency
on this campus suddenly becomes alive
with ferment. The current system of
impotent student government only en-
courages apathy among the unaroused
segments of the student body and il-
legal, disruptive action from those ele-
nients who vigilantly watch the Uni-
versity's decision-making process in
]T IS IRONIC that democracy is
squelched at an institution where
democratic ideals are so freely espous-
ed, because a faculty is so frightened
and insecure that it must put its trust
in elitist decision-making.

Academia met the world head on at Columbia
.- U R BAN L E H N E R

A year c
T HERE IS something eerie and
almost frightening about writ-
ing a column in mid-July which
won't be read until late August.
Part of this sensation is rooted
in the normal vicissitudes of the
world over time. In any given
year, things have always changed
between July and September.
But the greater part of it is in-
timately associated with the weird
and distinctly special momentum
which this year, 1968, has estab-
lished. The list of surprises which
the past few months has provided
has sent the editorial writers
scurrying to their thesauri for ad-
jectives. The sickening sound of
bursting bombs has been muffled.
justifiably or no, by talk of peace
-informal and diplomatic. Two
public figures, both of heroic sta-
ture, have been assassinated.
Politically, the only surely pre-
dictable element has been a per-
versely cantankerous unpredict-
ability. As of this writing, Lyndon
has been conquered, but a new
Goliath has arisen to be slain.
Rocky has played insy-outsy more
times than anyone wishes to re-
In fact, the motley and quixotic
band of crusaders who have gath-
ered around the banner of Eugene
McCarthy have adopted this
year's penchant for the unfore-
seen as a sort of semi-convoluted
reason for existence.
James Wechsler, ardent sup-
porter of both McCarthy andthe
Mets - who also edits the editor-
ial page of the New York Post -
has written any number of pieces
along the logical lines of: "Yes, of
course his chances seem slim; but,
look how well he did in New
Hampshire and Wisconsin and
Oregon, and everyonesdoubted he
could win then; and, after all, it's"
one of those years where any-
thing can happen."
Indeed, some of the surprises
have been pleasant. But on the
whole, it has been thus far a
year of pervading pessimism. It 1
is a pessimism intensified by a 1
paradox, something akin to the

dismal clarity

have experienced when they re-
horror New Deal liberals must
alized that President Johnson-
who seemed in 1964 the ideal,
strong, socially conscious leader
-had become a monster.
For this is the year when
American society on every level
has strained to seem liberal and
righteous and responsive. Yet
this very attempt to reach out
to the limits has only the more
conclusively demonstrated how
narrow those limits are.
Itis terrifying to speculate that
history will remember 1968 as the
year of "Guess Who's Coming to
Dinner," when Americans prided
themselves on their tolerance in
applauding miscegenation. How
noble and open-minded we have
finallyabecome, to cheer on the
improbable alliance of an impec-
cably-credentialed and genteel
Negro neurosurgeon with a giddy
daughter of a crusading liberal
newspaper publisher.
Not that we couldn't empathize
with the white father, mind you.
His traumas were very real to us.
But, with him, our newly-con-
ceived social sensitivity got the
better of our pragmatic fretting,
and we came to realize that love-
whatever the races of the lovers,
wherever they attended medical
school - must finally conquer.
This new concern for matters
racial extended beyond the movie
theatre and into the meeting
rooms of the boards of directors.
The columns of the WalliStreet
Journal have blared forth the
message: businessmen are hiring
and training the jobless at a diz-
zying rate, often at financial ex-
pense to their firms.
Their efforts are impossible to
criticize, because these benefac-
tors are utterly sincere. What is
pathetic is not the job they are
doing, but the job that they and
everyone else is leaving undone.
They have made a start, they
have ignited their candle, yes; but
the light is hardly visible against
the still profoundly black back-
drop of the night.

Perhaps the most patently
cruel hoax being perpetrated in
the name of the new responsive-
ness is the facade of peace
which Johnson has erected in
Paris and which the national
media so far have been willing
to hold up for him. The war
mortality rate is soaring, the
bombing is almost as devastat-
ing as ever; but the war must
not be criticized, lest criticism
endanger the sham Paris talks.
The most infuriating thing is
the righteous gall which the ad-
ministration has maintained
'through it all. When Hanoi
slows down its efforts, this
never constitutes sufficient re-
ciprocation for our generous
bombing halt. That we have
halted the bombing practically
not at all is never mentioned.
And then, if all this wasn't bad
enough, the system has sent forth
Eugene McCarthy as a sop to the
malcontents. McCarthy is a poli-
tician of no radical pretensions,
and it is unfair to criticize him
from a radical perspective. But
it is definitely fair to complain
that - shorn of his poetry and
his peculiar "intellectual"'image-
he seems to have few good ideas.
His program for the cities has
been insulting to black leaders of
every political hue. His peace pro-
gram is hazy. Even his liberal,
credentialsbaren't entirely in or-
der. It is bad enough that many
of us will end up voting for him
should he be nominated despite
all this. The insult is his presump-
tion, his self-appointed status as
spokesman for the disenchanted.
Whether he is nominated or
not, Eugene McCarthy will have
epitomized a year of what have,
been essentially hollow gestures.
And yet the alternatives farther
to the left seem little more ap-
One can work to organize on the
grass-roots, wear Edrige Cleaver
lapel-buttons, and wait with the
Panthers for the downfall of ma-
terialism, Since the end seems
nowhere in sight, it could be a
long wait.
One can join the spirit of Che
on the baricades, but even if one
doesn't care about the toll in dther
human lives this implies, there
is always the danger that body as
well as soul will go the way of
One can hook on to the scene
at the Haight or Drop City, but
that does little to further the
cause of social justice and is prob-
ably personally unfulfilling to
The most any of these options
offer is a moral uplift for the in-
dividual who chooses to follow
Yet compared with the bleak
prospects for success within the
system which 1968 has so pain-
fully clarified, even this selfish
purity is at times tempting.
The National Review (which
seems to be William F. Buckley,
Jr.'s, attempt to work out his
frustrations at never having been
elected Pope) has a favorite para-
phrased slogan which it marshalls
occasionally to scold Nelson Rocke-
feller or the Wall Street Journal:

But. almost as, important was the far more generalized campus
issue-which flared here as well during the ill-fated battle over clas-
sified research-of the modern university's active participation in this
nation's war machine.
CONSEQUENTLY THOSE defenders of the actions of the Columbia
students who stress the absence of any equitable decision-making
structure easily obscure the moral vision-implicit and unstated as it
may have been-which underlay the student demands.
While Columbia was exploding, the generally placid and often
stultifying air of Ann Arbor in the summer was sonewhat disturbed
by a different kind of student controversy. This one was over interim
rules and the creation of an Office of Student Services.
All this represented the continuing-and for the students largely
victorious-battle over the University's self-appointed role as surro-
gate parent and custodian of student conduct.
While the specific issues involved here-a muted sit-in ban and
the rudiments of a speaker ban-could ,be highly irksome, in many
ways they represent the retrogressiv battles of the late fifties and
mid-sixties which unfortunately seem to have to be fought again and
Over the past two years students have scored some notable vis-
tories in destroying almost the entire edifice of in loco parentis and
thereby ending women's hours and administration control over dorm
visitation hours.
BUT WHAT STUDENTS too rarely note is the small importance
that these paternalistic remnants have to the continued struc-
tural operation of the University.
The battles over the University's institutional behavior are morally
and politically important. And the administration's tight control over
student conduct was personally very relevant. But the issues involved
in both these struggles only tangentially affect what should be the
prime function of the modern university-education. For here more
than anywhere else in the University the need for vast and funda-
mental changes and a decisive student role is essential.
Admittedly over the past several years on paper there has been
growing student participation in the educational process through stu
dent advisory committees in many schools, colleges, and literary col-
lege departments.
The problem is that these groups operate at the behest of the
school or department they are advising. Consequently these commit-
tees of the timid have eschewed militance in favor of working with
the existing structure for a few paltry reforms-a credit hour changed.
here, a course added there, and a requirement dropped somewhere
THE PROBLEM IS that while the student generally has a high de-
gree of freedom In choosinghis academic program, he has almost
no feeling of meaningful participation in the educational process
With the primacy of the mass lecture course, the student is iso-
lated from his often unapproachable professors and, equally import-
ant, from most of his fellow students as well.
When confronted with these accusations, many administrators
will agree, shrug their shoulders helplessly and point to the niggard-
liness of Lansing as the University nears its last gap in the battle to
retain the semblance of quality education.
RUT. A LARGER SHARE of the blame belongs right here in Ann
Arbor--misplaced priorities in the University budget, an empha-
sis on physical rather than educational Improvement, and the stulti-
fying bureaucratic glorification of the status quo that afflicts too
many senior, and junior, faculty members.
Consequently, students this year must be prepared to demand and
fight for significant participation in academic decision making.
In concrete terms this means proportional student representation
on all faculty committees--such as curriculum, tenure, and the ad-
ministrative boards.
It means a University-wide reassessment of all the faculty created
principles of modern university education such as the reward and
punishment aspects of grading, the existing relationship between
teaching and research, and alternatives to the lecture method of
BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, the administration must recognize that
students have too deep a concern in the future of this institution
and their own educations to continue to permit the University--like
a badly aging film star-to cling greedily to its decaying gran-
deur while all educational values continue to ebb away.
Fleming speak
to onew students,



Letters to the Editor


Fall and winter subscription rate $5.00 per term by
carrier ($5.50 by mall); $9.00 for regular academic
school year ($10 by mail).
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service. .
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Summer Editorial Staff
URBAN LEHNER ........ ...........Co-Editor

Editori'al Staff
Managing Editor Editorial Director
DAVID KNOKE, Executive Editor
WALLACE IMMEN.................News Editor
PAT O'DONOHUE......... .......News Editor
CAROLYN MIEGEL ...... Associate Managing Editor
DANIEL OKRENT.................. Feature Editor
LUCY KENNEDY ............... Personnel Director
WALTER SHAPIRO......Associate Editorial Director
HOWARD KOHN........Associate Editorial Director
NEAL BRUSS.....................Magazine Editor
ALLISON SYMROSKI . . .Associate Magazine Editor

To the 'Editor:
Student Government Council
wanted, this summer, to send each
member of the entering freshman
class an individual letter stressing
the events of the summer which
we feel will hamper, to say the
least, your days in Ann Arbor un-
less you are prepared to act upon
them in the fall.
The points I would like to make
are, addressed to all incoming stu-
dents. Some may be disappointed
to see that what I have to say
isn't subversive - impressions of
the administration to the con-
Due to administrative refusal
to give us student home addresses,
this letter wasthe only means we
saw to warn you of the following:
(1) The administration and fac-
ulty enacted in July "interim"
rules asserting the rights of the
colleges to adiucate involving non-

ministrative discouragement to
the contrary, although it is only
fair to warn you that driving and
parking in Ann Arbor is difficult.
I would encourage students to
observe the situation first-hand
before making a decision about
whether to bring a car to school.
No one should get in the habit of
letting the administration make
up his mind for him. Students
should also press the University
to provide more parking facilities
for students.
(3) The rental situation in Ann,
Arbor remains grievously unfair to
students. Join with us in selective
boycotts and something may be
done about it.
The brunt of our boycott has
centered around Apartments, Ltd.
-the largest management agency
in town, the agency with the most
tenant complaints recorded at
our Student Housing Association,
and one of the landlords who re-
fused to even consider the new

University President
I am pleased to accept the in-
vitation of The Daily to greet the
students, both new and old, who
will arrive in Ann Arbor for the
Fall term.
This is a big campus, and there
is much talk these days about the
impersonality of big campuses. It
has been my observation that size
and impersonality are not neces-
sarily related. A sense of belong-
ing comes from finding a congen-
ial interest group, not from strug-
gling to know everybody. And
since the interest groups on this
campus are almost limitless, the
student who will make a little ef-
fort to get involved need never
feel alone. Loneliness and isola-
tion can often be self-imposed,
rather than the product of dis-

your studies, your interest groups,
and your social life.
Since the student world is a
special kind of world, and in many
ways an isolated one, it is easy to
forget how indebted students are
to the rest of society for the ex-
istence, maintenance of and be-
lief in an institution of higher
learning. For most undergradu-
ates, it is the parents who are,
often at considerable sacrifice- to
themselves, making it possible for
the student to attend. Likewise,
no student ever really pays to the
University the cost of his educa-
tion. How close he comes depends
on many factors, e.g., whether he
is an in or out-state student, whe-
ther he is a graduate or an under-
graduate, etc., but in no case does
the student actually pay the cost
of his education. On the average,



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