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May 24, 1959 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-05-24
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


t _ low I t' r

ate,

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A Committee Member's Guide

By ROBERT ASHTON
THE OBJECT of this treatise is
to serve as a guide for the as-
pirant member of one of student
government's noteworthy commit-
tees. There is no claim that this
work shall serve as a substitute
for Virgil, nor is the world which
it will explore as deep as that
of Dante's "Divine Comedy."
The only near-mystical experi-
ence required is an assumption of
solemnity. The neophyte must
breath with seriousness.
This solemnity of character does
not exempt excursions into humor,
although these lapses from the
main stream of thought can only
be momentary, and then are criti-
cized by those not thinking about
them first as being somewhat un-
dignified. Activity men at the apex
of the committee pyramid have
only to walk with gravity upon the
tweed carpet of the third floor
sanctuary in the StudentsdActiv-
ities Building (commonly referred
to as the Administration Annex).
Solemnity, above all, is the es-
sence.
After alerting the aspirant to
the essential essence, there begins
the chain of indoctrination. The
newcomer embarks upon the sea
of committees (not to be confused
with a sea of troubles, against
which one is to take arms) only
after a period of severe trial. This

Solemnity - A necessary element

trial period is in the height of
originality called a tryout period4
. 'an opportunity to gain execu-
tive experience.'
TRYOUTS form the bulwark for
the organization. Their pres-
ence may be obscured by calling
them burocats, administrative
wing personnel, secretariat mem-;

bers, or just plain flunkies. This
should not confuse the patient fol-
lower, for soon the tryout will be
clearly illuminated as a commit-
tee chairman. This purports to be
an advancement.
A beachhead has been estab-
lished. The aspiring activities man
will soon develop upon this chair-
manship, his own island in the

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committee sea. By now he has ob-1
tained his own copy of Robert's
Rules of Orders, parliamentary
procedure will bring order to chaos.
The result will be chaotic order.
Points of order, information, clari-
fication, confusion, and departure
will be shouted with the,,reassuring
glee; having been a chairman pro-
vides new license.
He was a chairman of a sub-
committee and can now act with
abandon before the main commit-
tee-which is a study committee
of an inter-coordinating commit-
tee bringing together representa-
tives of the committees, a function
of the main group which serves'
as acommitteeof the whole pro-
viding a buffer for administration
policy. The entire issue would re-
volve around the problem of de-
termining the discriminatory prac-
tice of the committee establishing
entrance requirements for the
men's room in the P-Bell.
The air of solemnity, the try-
out training, the chairmanship ex-
perience, and the mastery of Ro-
bert's Rules of Order are only the
early provisions for the long jour-
ney into a much more elaborate
and structured society. Hence-
forth, subleties rule the day. Com-
petition becomes keen and ad-
vancement rewarding ... You may
even win a trip to a conference at
a campus where drinking is legal.
THE discerning disciple learns
rapidly with a new intensity.
Knowledge of the alphabetic sym-
bols is a prerequisite to conversa-
tion. The New Dealers would gain
pointers midst the usage of NIA,
ICC, JGP, USNSA, TGIF, SAB,
PIC and PDQ.
Members of the ingroup now
read all The Daily reviews, drink
their coffee black, commit ad-,
ministration letters to memory,
and recognize purple and white
ditto sheets in their dreams. One,
by now, does not attend classes--

he keeps appointments. The new
Bible is, a blue calendar book.
Grades and friends sift the com-
petitors. The weak are -not tossed
away, but assigned a new commit-
tee. The chosen few advance.
THESE,a the honoraries will take
in tow. Honoraries at Michi-
gan claim a somewhat unique posi-
tion, having a membership of half
athletes and half activities men.
This allows the activities men to
share in the campus acclaim for
athletes, and to further individual
honors by collectivization. Besides
performing spring and fall puberty
rites, these groups meet regularly
to talk. In this manner athletes
can become more articulate, and
activities men gain a new appoint-
ment.-9
The women's honoraries choose
members on a -basis of grades as
well as activities, no doubt con-
tributing to their relaive ob-
scurity. They also tap wearing
considerably more clothes.
The apex is soon to be reached.
The claimant may easily preside
in a far better office than his pro-
fessors. The new leader's fraternity
brothers will rush on the basis of
his name.
The identification symbols on
his label may provide: a better
pledge class for his house; ges-
tures of obediance by sub-commit-
tee members that want his job;
good morning nods from adminis-
trators-who are paid to be friendly
to him; sneers from professors who
are not; conversation topics to
impress coeds; and excuses to
parents for not pulling high grades.
THE CONVERSATION among
members of the in-group will
center around the "big issues."
Academic concern is the new
alert. "Go and print a course
evaluation booklet," the new
charge. Discrimination and social
reform are the passing fancies.
The faculty is chastised for indif-
ference, the administration for op-
position, and the student body for
apathy.
From this point the aspirant
member needs no guide. He will
have arrived. All that remains is
to decipher all letters, not make
a show of parlay cards, smile oc-
casionally to constituents, be seen
often in the Union, and never for-
get an appointment or committee
assignment.
And to lend political perspec-
tive, one should recall the words
of H. L. Mencken, "The best that
can be said of democracy is that
it is amusing." Perhaps nothing
more should be. asked. Government
being agreed upon as a necessary
condition for man and a useful ad-
ministrative tool for students-it
helps to be humorous. In a solemn
way.
Robert Ashton, former pres-
ident of Inter-House Council,
has spent a good part of his
college career in committee
meetings. As an "active"
member, he has mastered
"Robert's Rules of Order,"
learned the alphabetic sym-
bols, and read all Daily re-
views. Above all, he has
learned to be solemn.

PROBLEMS OF THE UPPER PENINSULA:
Is. U employ ent. . .

gentler animals and one doesn't
have to be Finnish and/or "win-
Jan Rahm, a native of Iron
Mountain in the Upper Pen-
insula, discusses the problems
of economic development and
unemployment w h i c h no w
plague the U.P. region.

THE REGION'S population will
always be relatively small be-
cause the basic economy of the
area depends on extractive-type
industries and tourist trade. There
is a maximum limit to the number
of people who can live directly off
the land.
Logging and mining will con-
tinue to be the main industries, as

the distance from major metro-
politan centers will probably pre-
vent the region from becoming
highly industrialized. However,
more manufacturing, especially of
hard goods, is desirable.
Number one industry in the
U.P. is forest products. Forests
cover 87 per cent of the acreage

By JAN RAHM
RECENT television show had terized" with plenty of alcohol to
as a backdrop a .map of the survive the long northern winter.
United States which was perfect The true picture of the Upper
in every way - except one. The Peninsula is more adequately re-
Upper Peninsula of Michigan was fiected in the ramifications of the
missing, area's most pressing problem . .
Although this area is rarely there are too many people living
omitted on the map, it is often up there.
forgotten by many people includ- At first glance this sounds ridic-
ing those who live in the southern ulous. The 1950 population was
part of the state as well. just under 300,000 people; how-
Upper Peninsula people are ac- ever, they occupy only 29 per cent
custemed to this neglect by the of the state's total land area. And
rest of the world.. . many of them although there was a net popula-
prefer it that way. They like living tion loss of. 35,000 between 1920
in small towns near some of the and 1950, there is still chronic un-
State's best recreation areas-they employment.
find the scenery interesting and The biggest export of the U.P.
the never-ending seasonal changes is her young people. There are not
things of enjoyment.- sufficient jobs in the area to ab-
Despite the recent favorable sorb each year's crop of new job
publicity the U.P. (as the region seekers. In turn, business and in-
is often called) has received from dustry in the U.P. suffers due to a
the novel "Anatomy of a Murder" Ilk of people with specialized
by Michigan Supreme Court Jus- skills. The area has a reputation
tice John Voelker, newspapers are for isolation and people frequently
prone to publicize a very distorted are not eager to leave the cities
for jobs in the "backwoods."
view of the area. The region iss.
often considered as Michigan's For over two years the Health
idiot half-brother, containing little Department of Delta and Me-
more than the children who get nominee counties has been looking
lost in the bear infested woods and for a doctor to head the depart-
the lumberjacks who almost freeze ment. Even a substantial salary in-
to death. crease has failed to attract anyone.
Occasionally these special jobs can
THOSE "bear - infested woods"be filled by college graduates from
actually are filled with far the U.P. area.

The tourist business expands

In the region and at the present
time there is more timber grow-
ing than can be marketed.
High transportation costs con-
tribute to the non-use of the
timber in the U.P. For example,
one paper company, planning to
build a mill in Michigan ended up
south of the Straits because taking

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