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November 08, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-08

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IM IIIII 11 w. pir r IwIYIIriwlYUr Y. Cs rwwll n j111I Yr w

Seventy-eight 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 Arbpor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorios printed in The Michigan DOily exp ress the individual opinions of staff write's
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1968..

NIGHT EDITOR: JILL CRABTREE

44

Nno academicredit

lI i

THE QUESTION NOW before the lite-
rary college curriculum committee of
what to do about ROTC deserves a very
clear a n d emnphatic answer: No credit
should be given for ROTC.
It is not a, question of the War in Viet-
nam or the Defense Department or mili-
tary spending: The academic value of the
programs offered by ROTC is simply so
minimal that it tarnishes the University's
name to confer credit for their courses.
On the contrary; ,i: act, it seems that
support for t Iii&. military is motivating
those involved with ROTC to argue for
credit. Their approval of the military has
overridden their better academic judg-
ment.
Any person who has attended ROTC
for any length of time can easily see its
shortcomings. The courses are, by the. in-
structors' own adiission, artificial con-,
glomnerations of military training and ac-
ademie material, the latter added to jus-
tify the former. The description of ROTC
by one Army fficer last year as "a re-
placement fpr boot camp" should cause
every educator to view ROTC with a very
critical eye.
ROTC courses as a w h o 1 e cannot be
typified by subject matter, but there is
a common structure. They consist of some
reasonable military topic -- strategy,
techniques, operations - with a glossing
over of vaguely relevant, traditionally ac-
ademic material.
N STRATEGY CLASSES, for example,
ROTC ,creates a historical setting.
AFROTC cadets study "the history of the
role of the Air Force in U.S. military his-
tory." Simplistic political and diplomatic
history is added to the military material
and, presto, there's a history course.
ROTC officers pride themselves on the
academic nature of their courses, but if
it is justified, it is largely accidental. Most
of the instructors have bachelor's degrees
rand some have, or are working here to-
ward, masters degrees, mostly in natural
resources. Unlike the m o r e completely,
second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mirhigan,
420-.Maynard St~, Ann ,Arbor, Michigan. 48104.
Daily except Monday during regular academi school
year.
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service,
Fall nand winter subscription rate $5.00 per tern by
carrier i$5,5Q by mail); $9.00 for regular academic
school year ($10 by mail).
Editorial Staff
MARK LEVIN. Editor
STEPHEN WILDSTROM URBAN LEHNER
Managing Editor Editorial Director
DAVID KNOKE. Executive Editor

trained personnel on the regular academ-
ic staffs, these men, good officers though
they may be, simply have insufficient ex-
perience in academic affairs to qualify
to teach accredited University courses.
One instructor betrayed his 1 a c k of
competence rather clearly in a quiz he
gave his class last year. It was ten-ques-
tion true-false test. The students had to
decide whether or not it was true that
"Education is important for officers on a
general staff." Really. And this is not the
exception. It is typical.
Not that stricter control of ROTC course
material and teaching should be exercis-
ed. The problem lies in selection of in-
structors. Unlike its own professors, the
literary college has no voice whatsoever
in the officers upon whom it confers the
title "Professor of Military: (qr Naval or
Air) Science." The college, of which ROTC
is nominally a department, does not care
because the appointments are not tenured
and last for three years at most.
The University, in its contracts with
the three services, is given the right to
refuse officers appointed by their services
to serve here. But it is a right little exer-
cised by the person responsible - Admin-
istrative Dean' Robert Williams - and
one that would still probably have little
effect on the quality of the instructors
even if it were.
There are good instructors in ROTC,
but they are the exception and not the
rule. For the college 'and the University
to tolerate such a situation is surprising
.at best.
The c 1 e 'a r and obvious solution is to
withdraw academic credit from ROTC. It
simply does not deserve it.
TO ABOLISH ROTC credit would, in fact,
merely give official recognition to a
practice already in effect in the adminis-
trative board. A member of the board said,
ROTC is "treated pretty much the same
as physical education" when it comes to
determining academic standing. It is notj
considered relevant. To allow students to
take as much as one tenth of their credits
in courses which the administrative board
considers no more significant than gym
is a disservice to all the other academic
offerings of the college. Independent of
the value of ROTC, the time is being lost
by students who could better spend it in
serious courses of the college.
The larger questions o ROTC on cam-
pus are not for the curriculum committee
to consider. Other colleges, such as en-
gineering, g i v e ROTC credit (although
noticeably less than the literary collegeI
does - engineering gives only 4 credit
hours) and the University may continue
to entertain them on campus. B u t the
curriculum committee has a responsibili-
ty to the college to act on academic, not+
political, standards, and t h e y indicate
that ROTC should not receive credit.
--RON LANDSMAN

68, The Reitcr
a.nd Tribune SydiCate
. ThW ,l Wati .~rt.% "r 'k I

--- _

i

Letters to the Editor

A five point critique On the rape boycott editorial

Academic reform:
Another way
By RON LANDSMAN
ALMOST EVERYONE, it seems, is doing things ass-backward. From
both sides of the fence-students seeking more voice in University
affairs and faculty wanting to accommoiate them-there are moves
and proposals that indicate a basic misunderstanding of what should be
done, and when.
The Senate Advisory- Committee on University Affairs suggested
students be given voting seats on their committees, to which most of
their chairmen reacted very favorably. The move is well-intentioned
and apparently sincere, but it makes certain tacit assumptions that
functionally invalidate it.
RADICALS ON CAMPUS seek to win educational freedom for
students in the form of free choice of classes. They maintain student
involvement implies academic libertarianism and every student should
have complete and unhampered choice in the 120 hours he takes to
earn his degree. They too make certain assumptions which make their
proposals not only inappropriate, but academically dangerous.
Both groups are dealing with effects and ends, not with causes
and means. They are trying to impose a formal superstructure upon a
social base which is not fitted for what they sesk. The ideals are not
too far apart; they are both seeking to create a university which is more
of a community of students and faculty, but they are looking only at its
manifestations, not its inner functioning and actual operational nature,
THE SACUA PROPOSAL presupposes a student body interested
and deeply committed to the University as a whole, not just the stu-
dents' specific concerns. It depends for proper functioning on students
whose commitment to the University inclues not just the students'
four-year stay, but a real feel for the University as a living and growing
institution which is important for the students themselves.
The radicals' libertarian approach presupposes mature and per-
ceptive students who can look beyond their short-range interests as
students. They expect students to understand all the complexities and
intricacies of society and education before they receive any education
at all.
ALTHOUGH THE PROPOSALS operate on different lines, they
both depend on essentially similar conceptions of the University. They
depend on a university which treats students as integral members, not
as distant figures to be processed and sent on their way as efficiently
and painlessly as possible.
Both approaches contain admirable structures which embody the
ideals that have been the keynote of a growing leftist grass-roots
movement, which encompasses student power as well. But both are
insensitive to the structure underneath and fail to make any accom-
modation to the existing social reality. Both ignore the lack of a mean-
ingful basis upon which to build their new university.
AND BOTH ATTEMPTS at change will be either institutionally or
personally abortive and both threaten to set back their movement much
longer than it would have taken them to go about it the right way in
the first place.
To seek the ideal form for the University without working toward
-changing the place where the University really operates-in the class-
room-will lead to misconceived attempts at change. The SACUA pro-
posal will result in a shortage of people to fill th positions as well as
peope not deeply motivated toward the tasks they receive.
AND THE RADICALS' plea fort academic libertarianism, without
the necesary educational underpinning or motivationa needs, will
result in many poorly and narrowly educated students who will have
wasted much of their undergraduate education.
What is needed now is an approach that aims for the causes and
not the end of a liberal institution. A liberal institution cannot be built
on narrow and limited individuals, but only upon broadly interested,
liberally educated students and faculty.
IT , IS EASY to charge "co-optation" against any group which
fails to undertake sweeping changes the minute it has the chance to
effect reform. But a revolutionary change which does not reflect the
complexity of issue involved will doom itself to failure.
Revolutionary change is acceptable, but involves much greater
risk of failure if the needed adaption of individuals cannot take place
fast enough to make them amenable to the demands of the system.
Changes which give themselves room to grow, which open the pathway
for the creation of "new individuals" who would fit into a more radical
system, may be threatened by co-optation in the long run, but they
also give a surer promise of essential change.
ACADEMIC REFORM is the conclusion. Brit neither SACUA nor
the radicals can hope to set up their proposed plans without first af-
fecting their power base,-,the students. And the route to this includes
academic reform.
This concept comes annoyingly close to being what SDS likes to
call "radicalization." But here the term implies only the fostering in
students-and possibly in some faculty members-a consciousness, if
not a commitment, to th'e University as a whole.
While academic reform may not be a sufficient condition for
radicalization, it is certainly a necessary one. And to that end both
radicals and the faculty ought to work more conscientiously than they
have toWard the reworking of the curriculug, not just in subject mat-
ter and content, but in approach and philosophy. That's were the
change must come.

To the Editor:
N A NOVEMBER 2nd editorial
The Daily described the work
of the Ann Arbor Grape Boycott
Committee' as a "seemingly futile
task." It criticized our strategy of
asking peoWe, not to buy Califor-
nia grapes and not to patronize
the A & P (which profits from the
sale of these grapes and so perpet-
uates a vicious economic cycle).
For the following reasons that edi-.
tonial seriously misrepresented 'the
California Grape situation in Ann
Arbor.
Accuracy: The editorial claim-
ed that our boycott had increased
grape sales and general sales at
A & P by 20%. No figures were
giver} by the reporter to prove this
claim. Nor was it asked: Would
the A & P admit its sales were
falling? Instead, it was assumed
that in a strike in which there has
been constant misrepresentation
(the usual claim is the workers
are happy and don't want a un-
io') the A & P could be relied on
as a source of truth.
Probability: How. could sales of
grapes and general produce in-
crease by 20 per cent? Are those
opposed to the boycott so angry
that they are willing to buy 20
per cent more food? Or did so
many people hear about the picket
line that they rushed to the A & P
and increased its total customers
by 20 per cent? Or was there just
a spontaneous upsurge in business
t h a t occurred the moment the
boycott began? None of these pos-
sibilities are considered, let alone
answered, in The Daily editorial.
Completeness: At the time the
story appeared in the paper the
real situation is that 384 people
had turned around and stopped
shopping at A & P. This figure
does not, moreover, include those
who began to boycott the A & P
before we began keeping a record
of turnaways; it does not include
the more than 50 members of the
Boycott Committee; it does not in-
clude those who promise us not

to come back the next time: and
it does not include those in sym-
pathy with our boycott who never
show up at A&P.
Fairness: The reporter spent
part of an afternoon at the A&P.
No one with overall responsibility
for the boycott was spoken to, and
the person in charge of our picket
line on the day the reporter sup-
posedly went to the A&P was not
consulted.
Perspective: There w a s no
awareness on the reporter's part of
how long it takes to organize a
boycott. (In Boston, which t h e
New Republic characterizes asone
of the most successful grape boy-
cott cities, it took more than six
months before the boycott went
well). There was, moreover, no
sense on the reporter's part that
the kind of cooperation given the
California grape boycott in Ann
Arbor is on a comparative scale
far in advance of the ochedule for
this kind of boycott.
THOSE OF US who 'are mem-
bers of the Ann Arbor Grape Boy-
cott Committee realize t h e ob-
stacles we face. We need m o r e
time (the grape season is near its
end), and we must combat a gen-
eral ignorance of the conditions
under which California migratory
workers labor (income less than
$1500 a year, exclusion from
NLRA. and for most no retire-
ment insurance or hospitalization
of any sort). But we also believe
these obstacles can be overcome
and that the California grape in-
dustry, like the California wine
industry, will be unionized. We are
greatly encouraged by the support
given us by housewives, nuns,
clergy, union members, and stu-
dents, and we think that in the
future our organizational growth
can only grow. -We know that it
took years to unionize the wine in-
dustry in California, and thus we
have geared our efforts for a long
struggle, not merely for this fall
or the winter.

All this is not to minimize our
anxiousness for victory. But it is
to say that those who claimto be
in sympathy with our cause and
yet deny it support because they
cannot be bothered seeing it in
perspective are the worst menace
of all. For they mouth the pieties
of social justice and undercut the
steps necessary to make it a re-
ality.
Prof Nicolaus Mills
Spokesman for the Ann
Arbor Grape Boycott
Committee
Nov. 5
TP confusion
To the Editor: -
THE PROFESSIONAL Theatre
Program is receiving phone
calls from Daily readers who were
confused by today's headline on
"The Castle" article. I hope that
this note will define an important
and basic matter for your headline
writers and night editors, as well
as for your readers.
The Professional Theatre Pro-
gram, a department of The Uni-
veryity of Michigan, engages and
presents the APA for an annual
fall repertory season in Ann Ar-
bor only as one of many PTP ac-
tivities.
The Program also produces the
New Play Project e a c h 'season,
completely independent of the
APA.
IN ADDITION, the Professional
Theatre Program sponsors other
theatre attractions (Play-of-the-
Month Series and the Stratfordt
Festival of Canada for example),
also completely independent of the
APA.
Readers were further confused
by the article's statement that the
New Play Project was established
to assist "unknown writers." The
New Play Project exists to foster
new works for the theatre whether
by new or established writers.
Robert C. Schnitzer
Executive Director
Nov. 5

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The professor and his students: Limited communica

rtion
'}

By RICK PERLOFF per they're writing, but I probe them and all education depends on the professor-

LOUISE GOLDSTEIN asked her teaching
fellow if she could call him by his first
name. He didn't mind; but a girl in the
class did. The girl approached Louise later
and said indignantly, "You can't call him
by his first name. Why he's the professor."
This attitude is shared by a number of
students, particularly underclassmen, who
subscribe to the theory that professors can
be heard in class but not seen during of-'
fice hours.
The accessibility of professors is an im-
portant , consideration because for m a n y
years defenders of the multiversity have
seized on professors' office hours to illus-
trate the proposition that students can talk
to their instructors whenever they want to.
YET, THERE ARE many students on
this campus who will frankly tell you that,
they have never had a meaningful discus-
sion with a professor. And the occasional
discussions are concerned mainly with
drop-adds or paper assignments.
Many suspect most professors have
neither the time nor the interest to talk
with the average student. Instead t h e y
have an image of professors interested pri-
marily in research and graduate students,
who assign office hours merely out of a
sense of duty to the University.

make them think. I make use of the Walter
Crane coffee fund where coffee is supplied
for the professors to just sit and chat with
students. My wife even made cookies once.
All I said was 'Let's talk' and we did."
Prof. D. J. Guth of the history depart-
ment keeps an open door too. "Ultimately

student relationship," he maintains. "I ser-
iously prefer the student who says 'Come
on let's talk.' This is essential."
"And it's terribly important that stu-
dents soak up the person who is actually
doing history. When students come in, I'll
try to get them involved immediately. I'll

start out asking them if there is anything
specific they wanted to know.
) ,
"THE STUDENT should want judgment
passed on his ideas, on his notions. He
wants and he needs direction and evalua-
tion and he can really get this in private
chats. The student should be a friend to
the professor in a sort of community be-
tween faculty and +students," Guth contin-
ues.
Prof. D., K. Wyatt, also of the history
department, sat in his office for weeks and
waited for the students to come. For awhile
none did.
"I would expect," he says, "what's par-
ticularly involved is\ the establishment of
personal contact and security at the Uni-
versity. That's why students come in and
why they should come in. It is from a de-
sire to talk with people and this I am game
for."
So if professors are "game' and the stu-
dent can't get what he wants from the
University then perhaps the student him-
self is to blame.
PROF. NORMA DIAMOND of the an-
thropology department has had four stu-
dents out of 240 in her introductory lec-
ture show up during office hours. Two out
of about 230 History 101 students h a v e
dropped in to talk seriously with Guth,

"It'd be a good thing to talk with profes- But it isn't the professors' fault en

sors. I never thought about it.
AND THAT IS perhaps why a more "in-
direct approach" is u s e d so frequently..
That indirect approach occurs when a stu-
dent enters a professor's office and, says
"I was wondering what the assignment
was," gets it and then drifts off into more
philosophical matters.
Many students are just too intimidated
to pose straight questions, so they hedge
and try to feel the professor out.
Ever since the first grade, students have
been forced to politely raise their hands
to be recognized, desirous, if only mechan-
ically, of the instructor's nod-granting per-
mission to speak.
YET WHEN A PROFESSOR offers to re-
vamp his course, with the emphasis on in-
dividual learning, it is often the student
who objects and not the professor. It is
the student who objects because he is used
to nothing but institutionalized academia,
and just can't appreciate anything but the
satus quo.
For this Meyer blames the system. "Stu-
dents desperately need human contacts and
the huge machinery is understaffed. You
can't learn this way."
Meyer argues that for the most part pro-
fessors are accessible and anxious to talk-

that learning isn't more meaningful. Many
of tlem are eager to buy the student a
beer and talk collectivism, chlorophyll and
Columbia.
NOR IS IT THE student's fault entirely
because some do seek professors out, many
see teaching fellows regularly, and others
are trying to restructure their classes.
What is wrong is that a person can sit
down in, a class, listen to an uninspiring
lecture, take a few tests and then assume
proficiency.
Yet students can't listen to a boring
'lecture and be stimulated to dash into the
professor's office enthused with the course.
A professor can't expect that after re-
hashing the same old lecture.
Bauland is one professor who agrees. He
argues that it is the professor's job to make
the first move toward providing the stu-
dent with knowledge "because by nature
the professor is the authoritarian."
"It is up to him to present new insights,
not just repeating stuff over in a sort of
mental masturbation. He just can't read
off a dirty brown page and expect his
students to be educated. That's a hangover
from the Middle Ages." Baulard wants
lectures revamped.
ONE TEACHING FELLOW in history
meets each week in the Union with her
students to talk about anything they want

tirely

10

4

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