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November 22, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-22

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Q!Ie 3irIhigau Dailyj
Seveity-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publicitions

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



VP selection:
Time to reconsider

HAVING SECURED significant influ-
ence in the choice of a new vice pres-
ident for student affairs, Student Gov-
ernment Council members have ironi-
cally turned around and, sabotaged theirs
own potential influence.
In its far-reaching 'report on Uni-
Versity decision-making, the Hatcher
Commission last Spring strongly urged
the inclusion of students on the selection
committee for the new vice president.
During the summer, the Student Re-
lations Committee, which includes SGC
representation drew plans for a search
committee which provided for equal stu-
dent and faculty representation.
Everything seemed to be proceeding
smoothly as President Robben Fleming
sent letters to SGC and the Senate Ad-
visory Committee on University Affairs
asking them to send slates of nominees
to the committee from which he would
select the final group.
THIS PROCEDURE as well as the in-
clusion of a non-voting administrator
as chairman, was all in accordance with
SRC's proposal. Suddenly, however, SGC
members balked.
Still polarized in their attitude
toward student-administration relations,
the SGC members felt only students and
faculty should be involved in the selec-
tion process. Thus, they refused to send
Fleming a slate of names, demanding
that Council be allowed to appoint mem-
bers to the committee directly. And SGC
rejected the idea of allowing an admin-
istrator to sit on the committee.
In the three months which have fol-
lowed, hope for a constructive solution to
the problem has continually deteriorated.
President Fleming has remained firm on
the- issue (and has apparently convinced
faculty he is right), while students have
broken with the administration com-
pletely by setting up their own selection
Meanwhile, Fleming's interim appoint-
ment to the Vice presidential post, Bar-
bara Newell, has been in office almost

four months and there is no replacemen
in sight.
Although some of Mrs. Newell's ac
tions as vice president have already prov
ed highly controversial, they do not shoo
conclusively that she is unfit for the job
In fact, in comparison to her predecessor
Richard Cutler, Mrs. Newell seems a
least acceptable.
IT IS quite unfortunate, however, tha
students had no voice in Mrs. Newell',
appointment. And if the present dispute
continues, the acting vice president coul
remain in office for a long tinie regard-
less of how suitable she proves.
Fleming's arguments for the inclusion
of an administrator on the selection com-
mittee are at least understandable. He is
seeking to insure the appointment of
someone who will be able to work with
the existing administration.
This is important to SGC as well as
Fleming. For the vice president must not
only understand the needs of students,
but must be able to lobby effectively with
the administration.
And as for the president's selection of
student committee members from a panel
presented by SGC, surely Council can
find an additional three students of ac-
ceptable, ideology and perception to al-
low Fleming the choice he desired.
SGC's objections to the selection
committee are minor - too minor to jus-
tify the length of the present delay. And
since committees of this kind tend to
work by consensus, their precise com-
position is much less important than the
fact that students will be included.
Neither the faculty nor President
Fleming are particularly concerned with
the delay. If SGC wishes to exercise the
influence it secured in the Hatcher Com-
mission report eight months ago, it must
attempt conciliation with Fleming and
the faculty.
It is time for a rapproachment.



Fillers of silence
WE AWOKE one morning in 1968 to realize that words no longer had
meanings. None of the words we heard meant anything to us, and
nothing we said seemed to convey anything. Words, once units of com-
munication became merely fillers of silence.
What happened to words was similar to what had happened to
music in the years following World War II. Meaningless words have
now Joined the continuous and homogenous stream of muzak in that
category known as earwash.
It was the realization of an unreality, a condition stranger than
Kafka's Gregor Samsa awakening to find himself a beetle. It was just
like what it would be like if every man, woman, and child suddenly
unlearned how to walk.
IT SEEMS as if the politicians had agreed that they would no
longer say anything. The politicians, of course, had never made any
such rule - for making the rule would involve saying something, and
that was forbidden.
What happened was that politicians, especially those who formerly
would have been considered the most forceful opponents, all changed
their style at once. Political enemies no longer argued or debated. They
ceased to even remotely make points or articulate programs. Instead,
they used talk to fill silence with that vague fuzziness, with a soft,
weakly reassuring emotion. One would listen to politicians as one would
take Maalox.
The best of the word fighters accepted the politicians's move most
placidly. When they realized the politicians were saying nothing, they
felt a strange uneasiness; then they began to view the new style as a
new strength, a new mastery.
So Norman Mailer, America's best journalist, simply concluded, v
after the Republican convention, that one's chances of getting a poli-
tician to answer questions were about eq'ual to those of an amateur
throwing a haymaker at a champion boxer.
THE MANAGERS of people had been exceedingly diligent. Con-
troversy, they decreed, was merely a failure of communications. So
when controversy occurred, the trick was to bring the opposing parties
together to talk out their differences.
The parties in conflict perfectly understood each others' positions.
When they got together, they would drum out long, tedious expla-
nations of their positions. When simply talking out their positions didn't
solve anything, the positions would be explained again. And again.
Eventually both sides would reel away from the conference table, numb-
ed by hours of talk, their thresholds of listening surpassed by millions
of words. Nothing would be settled. Life would go on as before.

"Strom, isn't one Spiro T. Agnew enough ..,
A nd rMUlrRA Y KEMP TONa--
A nd after the Grail what?

The pathetic old Greeks

.day morning by a group of Univer-
sity sorority alumnae to seek ways of cir-
cumventing the Regents' recent ruling is
utterly pathetic.
The Regents ruled at their November
meeting that sororities that accept alum-
nae recommendations in determining in
part the selection of their new members
violate Regent Bylaw 2.14 which prohib-
its discrimination.
It is pathetic, because their action is
in direct defiance of the law, the Univer-
sity and most importantly, of humanity.
Discrimination is one of the obvious
pitfalls of the G r e e k system, and, no
doubt, the system's attempt to live in a
society that will not allow discrimination,
may be its very downfall. That's too bad.
If the sorority and fraternity system is
unable to exist without discrimination,
then it shouldn't exist at all.
Secondly, it is pathetic because much
time and energy is being spent on a rel-
atively trite issue. The Greek system is
dying. The Greeks will not be allowed to
discriminate. And the Greeks don't want
to discriminate (as indicated in Panhel-
lenic's recent action). The Greek system
is far less important than academic re-
form or human rights of student power.
But these same women who now try so
desparately to manipulate this trite issue
more than likely take no interest whatso-
ever in the vital issues of a progressive
university. Where were they w h e n the
University asked for alumnae support of
its increased budget? Where were they
when the $55-M drive was diverted from
building a progressive University to build-
ing pretty, relatively useless buildings?
Where were they when t h e University
dropped from ninth in t h e nation in

funds per student to 35th? Where were
they? At the risk of being somewhat pre-
sumptuous I would say most ofthem were
wining and dining in Ann Arbor's exclu-
sive City Club, flippantly speaking about
their trip abroad.
THIRD, IT IS a disgrace that such per-
i sons are trying to socially stratify the
campus at a time when the campus and
the student movement in general is try-
ing very hard to erase social differentia-
tion everywhere.
But what is most ludicrous about the
entire situation is that the women have
little, if any, local support. Not even the
Greeks at the University condone t h ej
tactics they employ much less the very
discrimination the tactics seek to main-
Why, then, do they continue to act in
defiance of the law, the University and
the very locals they claim to represent?
Do they s e e k, perhaps, to justify their
o w n social discrimination by trying to
manipulate others?
The most pathetic point of all is the
fact that they apparently feel what they
are doing is right. They must feel that
discrimination does have a place in this
world - in their sororities. It is difficult,
having lived through an era which has
dedicated itself to the eradication of this
social injustice, to, accept the fact that
some persons still feel it a necessary part
of society. Perhaps it shows only their ig-
norance, but I would also suggest it shows
their inhumanity, and perhaps that is
why they have gone underground where
their motives cannot be challenged and
their goals cannot be fully exposed.

j RICHARD NIXON moves to needed
command our affairs with a dealing:
solemnity anything but majestic. import.
His staff began moving its head- The
quarters to the Pierre last week: 450 Par
one of his aides was reported to departu
I have designated that stately resi- the Pie
dence as "the White House-in- establis
exile," the Nixon people having a ask wh
tendency to inject unnecessary' are dir
notes of unease into prospects press o
which would seem altogether fair, about %
All the journalists saw of Mr. met by
Nixon's shadow was Ronald Zieg- move i
ler, his traveling press secretary, "totali
who briefed them on last week's recruitn
advance of history. The new Ad-
ministration is not without its In th
charms; but they are, I am afraid, informa
Ithose of solid worth one's daugh- dom ac
ter neglected properly to appre- an earl:
ciate in high school. Ziegler is meeting
28 and remarkably pleasant to his There w
elders,,quick to smile at the levity been id
of others, and without the smal- state bo
lest apparent impulse to levity law firm
in himself. uling fo
All our new youth corps still So M
wears those Nixon-Agnew cam- ing with
paign pins, which suggest at a dis- whom1
tance that the bearer holds noth- striding
ing less than the Silver Star and mit. I d
will salute before speaking. Zieger ill will 5
used to handle the Disneyland ac- the day
count; in America young men fret of t
grow solemn in the management aithougl
of amusement parks. dition t
ing and
HE HAD NOTHING substantial But h
to tell us, and he told it in a a man w
language proper to the spokesman reaching
of an employer who has always which c
To the Editor: conduits
IN LIGHT of Daniel Zwerdling as well
. recent criticism of the New ithout
Democratic Coalition, Nov.h15, the tie pro
enclosed letter outlining the pur- tion lim
poses of the Coalition as I con- around.
ceive them may be of interest to NDC we
your readers. The letter was sent develop
to those active in organizing a political
state-wide group in the state of Of vet-
Oregon. the effor
I might add that, though Mr. liberal n
Zwerdling interviewed me at some by devel
length both at the meeting he ical educ
covered and by phone afterward, ample, ti
he chose not to consider a single allocatio
one of the arguments I gave him the Vietn
for a point of view opposite to the begun. L
one he expresses. His so doing groups a
makes for provocative copy, but tively to
not good journalism or good polit- portion
ical thinking. tuency ti
(Editor's note: the following tional p
is a copy of the letter sent to the is likely t
Oregon group.) appear i
This is in response to a request ments an
for information about the general we must
perspective of the New Democratic to more
Coalition. I should like to make and polit
it clear that we are just in process ments of
of formation, so what I have to ment tha
say is not official. It is based on mitous c
interpretation of what we have turies of
done and' where we appear to be buildingz
going. tion with
Broadly, the NDC has three foci
of political activity. AND O
WE MEAN to engage in and of insurg
support community organization so deeply
that is ancillary to the established lished D
political process. Thus, many local during th
and state NDC groups support the folly to
ra,'nmwn-r1rnR.'c. cf'a n r nnA ,.n.-+n a

to elevate his most trivial
s to matters of the gravest
staff is not moving from
rk Av.; it is "finalizing its
re"; it is not moving into
.re but "is in the process of
hing" itself there. If you
en the briefings will be, you
ecting "inquiries regarding
perations." Feeble inquiries
when Mr. Nixon will start
g his official family are
the promise that "as we
nto firming there will be
nformation on manpower
e interim the less total the
tion, the smaller the bore-
ound. Mr. Nixon got up at
y hour and was currently
with "key" staff aides.
ere four names: One has
dentified as specialist on
nd issues for Mr. Nixon's
n; another managed sched-
r his campaign.
r Nixon seems still linger-
the gray lowlanders with
he is comfortable before
up and claiming the sum-
Jo not really bear him the
o abusively expressed here
after his election; that
temper must be explained,
h not excused,nby the con-
,at it was 4 in the morn-
my feet hurt.
e has always seemed to be
ho withdraws rather than
out,, a characteristic
ontributes to the rather

affecting dignity he conveys in
private even while it explains the.
persistence of his habit of failing
in public. He is distrustful of ven-
turing into places where he might
feel uncomfortable; naturally
then, he fell back on the garrison
of the orthodox Republican reli-
gion, wandering from it cautiously
a little while last summer and
then fleeing back at the first sign
of rain in October.
Now he seems stationary; and
the less a man is doing the more
ponderous the language to sug-
gest the weight of great move-
ment;tthe language is for himself
more than for us.
IN FAIRNESS, of course, Mr.
Nixon would not be unique if the
end of the long quest leaves him
immobile before the prize, al-
though he is. I am afraid, unique
for the suspicions his history
evokes that he will remain im-
mobile longer than most men in
his position.
More than the new rulers of
our experience, he makes us re-
member the Victorian dinner par-
ty where Dante Gabriel Rossetti
was giving way to his enthusiasm
for the - Arthurian legend. Lord
Jowett, the classicist, heard him
out to a pause. Then he asked very
"And what were they going to
do with the Grail when they found
It, Mr. Rossetti?"

SO-CALLED OBSCENITIES were used by moral fascists as the
world's greatest red-herring issue. The false controversy surrounding
a line appearing in Leroi Jones' poetry (for example, in the poem
"Black People") is an especially important example.
What had been censored was the business about Mother. But no
one read on. The critics stopped reading Jones at, "Up against the
wall, mother f- ---r." What followed was, "This is a stickup."
This is a stickup. A stickup. Up against the wall. By focusing on the
business about mother, Jones' friends and enemies totally ignored his
message, the meaning of his words. This is a stickup. That's what up
against the wall and that business about mother is all about. Up against
the wall, mother f - - - - r. This is a stickup."
Many readers wonder why don't I just come out and say that busi-
ness about mother. The answer is because of exactly what I'm writing
about. If The Daily used the proper dirty words on its pages, it could
well be shut down. As a writer I wonder whether it would be worth it to
tangle with the word killers over them. Generally a writer decides it
would be better to fight over words which have serious:meanings. Like
"This is a stickup."
BUT BACK to our story.
Poetic youth got faked out over non-verbal communication. First
dope. Then rock 'n roll music, with its wordless electronic goodies. Then,
the group grope. Poetic youth correctly found it could communicate,
could have experience in ways that did not require word.
But poetic youth, potentially the most dangerous element in so-
ciety, wasn't looking when the politicians and managers of people were
wasting the word. Instead, they were stoned out on their bodies and on
their non-verbal lobes. When poetic youth came out of its non-verbal
trip, words no longer had meanings.
JARGON IN two ways poisoned the Universities. Scholars sought
to make their insights as difficult to comprehend as possible by writ-
ing in languages which guaranteed that the few - not the many -
would have access to their ideas. No wonder, then, that a half-crazed
sociology undergrad refers to the ISR as "The Tower of Babel."
Also, University managers boggled controversy by injecting hollow'
or mawkish cliches into the discourse. It became possible for students,
while arguing against the paternalism of administrators, to find them-
selves waltzed around by the administrators, paying due reverence to
what was called. "the University Family."
Some contended that in the beginning there was the word. One
will recall the day in 1968 when the word meant nothing.


In defense of the, Coalition


to larger constituencies
as the political muscle
which the most imagina-
grams of political educa-
nply and aimlessly flap
To summarize, through
hope to reinforce and to
outside pressure on the
y special concern will be
rt to broaden the base of
militancy in the country
oping programs of polit-
ation of our own. For ex-
he fight to determine the
n of moneys saved when
nam War ends has already
Unless politically salient
act promptly and effec-
convince a much larger
of the national consti-
hat the reordering of na-
riorities is imperative, it
that the moneys will dis-
n the form of new arma-
nd tax rebates. Similarly,
somehow make relevant
Americans the insights
ical message of those seg-
the Black Power move-
t seek to reverse the cala-
onsequences of four cen-
slavery and serfdom by
a democracy of participa-
hin black communities.
F COURSE, we want to
te and expand the wedge
ency that has been driven
y into the base of estab-
3emocratic Party power
he last year. It would be
squander what we have

The attempt to transform the
Democratic Party is certainly an
essential part - but only a part
- of the total effort to translate
the traditional rhetoric of Amer-
ican liberalism into meaningful
institutional change.
I hope that these brief remarks
are helpful in the deliberations
of your state meeting.
--Prof. Arnold S. Kaufman
Department of Philosophy
Nov. 18
and more
To the Editor:
AS A MEMBER of both the stu-
dent and the Ann Arbor New
Democratic Coalition organiza-
tions, I woud like to react to a
Nov. 15 editorial on the alleged
fallacies of the Coalition.
For a combination of reasons
coalition members feel that work-
ing within the Democratic Party is
at present more effective and- less
difficult than working on a sepa-
rate party effort. Zolton Ferency
has, estimated insurgent precinct
delegate strength in Michigan at
about 40 per cent. If coalition ef-
forts succeed in obtaining a ma-
jority it certainly will have a
broader electorate base than a
separate movement, because so
many voters are traditional about
party loyalties rather than tought-
ful about candidates and issues.
THE POLITICAL experience of
many members in the coalition
meads that they feel that organ-
;n- - n - - n_ ---_ 1 A s__M.1 _

forts is that some of its more po-
litically aged members and lead-
ers do have a tendency to submit
to old party leadership with the
notion that such tactics somehow
enhance their own power. They
defend their course with vague
references to "the issues" (the
Coalition's reason for being) while.
forgetting that they are in a pow-
er struggle-not a game--with the
underlying issue being not merely
control but very importantly re-
Fortunately most members, I
believe, do recognize tactics of
political expediency for what they
are and see them as part of the
old-style game which they will
not play ven if it eventually means
the difficult course of working in
a brand new party. Now, however,
is not the time. If the struggle in
the Democratic party is not re-
solved in favor of the reforma-
tionists fairly soon, only then do
I feel we should look seriously out-
side the party.
-sPatricia Larsen
Nov. 21
To the Editor:
that students should be forced
to take a foreign language, since
the increased ability to communi-
cate with people of other coun-
tries will aid in international un-
derstanding. Unfortunately, the
latter proposition does not follow
from the first.

nores the reasons for the lack of
language achievement by Amer-
icans, and so proposes an inap-
plicable solution. The average
American is almost completely
isolated from exposure to a foreign
language, due to geographical fac-
tors and the paucity of foreign
tourists. Thus the average Amer-
ican simply has no use for a lan-
guage facility in his day-to-day
existence, and does not want to
learn 'a language. The opposite is
true in Europe, where the close
proximity of dissimilar cultures
makes being multilingual a neces-
AS A RESULT, American stu-
dents do not consider a language
facilty desirable. This apathy is,
soon changed to outright resist-
ance when the heavy, demands of
a language course cut into studies
in more relevant areas. Where
there is resistance, or apathy,
there is no learning; in fact, re-
sentment towards the language is
probably the more likely result.
The absurdity' of language re-
quireMents stands out when the
poor esults are compared with
those of the Peace Corps, where
Americans quickly learn foreign
language when they have the de-
sire to learn and the lessons are
followed by a constant exposure to
the language in the foreign coun-
try itself.
Although I have emphasized the
impracticability of the professor's
suggestions, I do not wish to ig-
nore the philosophical aspects.
Roes the nrofessorreally ish re-


Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Editorial Staff
MARK LEvIN, Editor
Managing, Editor Editorial Director .

Sports Staff
DAVID WEIR.............. .Sports Editor
DOUG HELLER Associate Sports Editor
BOB LEES . Associate Sports Editor
BILL LEVIS ..............Associate Sports Editor
Business Sta ff
RANDY RISSMAN. Business Manager
KEN KRAUS ............ Associate Business Manager
nA .T- 7.. .. .


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