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March 05, 1969 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-05

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- steve anzalone

in quiet desperation

Clr Air4tgan DZil
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited ord managed by students of the University of Michigan

The late Lincoln Day Dinner

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 1969

NIGHT EDITOR: BILL LAVELYI

Language 'requirement:
The faculty stalls again

THE LITERARY college faculty's deci-
sion to stall action on the language
requirement yesterday reflects its general
attitude in confronting problems in the
University.
The faculty had commissioned itself by
word and deed to resolve the language
requirement conflict. It had discounted
student views on the requirement with
the aloof assurance that it would solve
the problem.
And for a while it looked as if the fac-
ulty was going to pursue its self-given
task. Monday a straw vote revealed over-
whelming support for a proposal asking
for the institution of a general studies
program.
The proposal was sound and definitive.
Far from being hasty, the precise wording
of the resolution avoided instituting the
program without scrutiny, but asked only
that further investigation be conducted
and that a draft of the program be for-
mally written up and presented to the
faculty for further deliberation.

A VOTE IN favor of the resolution would
not have bound the faculty to any
specific general studies program; it
would have simply voiced faculty sup-
port for the elimination of certain degree
requirements.
The action taken yesterday-to set up
another committee to study a proposal
to investigate an idea--is not only ra-
tionally baffling, practically cumbersome
and totally absurd, it is just another fac-
ulty "cop-out."
VUE WOULD hope that literary college
Dean Hays will appoint to the new
committee the men of the ad hoc com-
mittee who drafted the general studies
proposal.
We can only hope that student frus-
tration does not peak while the faculty
spends time recounting its past and
maintaining its indecisive cowardice.
-THE EDITORIAL DIRECTORS

A DROPOUT FROM the ranks of parti-
cipation in party politics faces the
depressing fact that it is impossible for
him to be anything but a loser.
Participation in one of the two major
parties offers tempting rewards for the
average citizen. Contrary to the common
caricature of political payoffs and pork
barrel patronage, the greatest rewards that
the two parties can promise are not finan-
cial.
It is painful for anyone to regard him-
self as a loser. Sitting with the "winners"
at the Washtenaw County Republicans'
annual Lincoln Day dinner last Friday, I
suppose this explains why I found myself
singing happy birthday to State Senator
Gilbert Bursley.
Like everyone, else I sometimes want to,
be part of a cause larger than my own
insignificance. And this is politics' greater
reward: to make Joe Nobody seem influen-
tial by rubbing shoulders with "big shots";
to protect Joe Nobody by affording him the
security of a large group; to let him feel
that he' is a "winner" by being able to
attend such things as victory parties and
Lincoln Day dinners.
* * *
CHARLES GOODELL, the New York
Senator who was appointed to fill the seat
of the late Robert Kennedy, was the
drawing card at last week's dinner at the
Union. Goodell is a friend of local Con-
gressman Marvin Esch from their days
together in the House. His appearance with
Marv at a news conference preceeding the
dinner made Esch look a little more im-
portant to the embarrassingly small num-
ber of newsmen in attendance.
Two Toledo television newsmen at the
conference are a type found at all political
press conferences. As a rule, they are con-
verted disc jockeys who still dress a little
bit too sharp, who like to drop names and
boast of getting an invitation to the in-

birthday to Gil Bursley: Besides, the four
pleasant ladies sitting at my table were
genuinely impressed with The Daily.
MARVIN ESCH, one of the new Repub-
lican "problem solvers" in Congress, was
very effusive in his introductory eulogy
to Goodell. He said that Goodell was one
of the key men who changed the directions
of the prostrate Republican Party in 1964
to bring it back to victory in 1966.
Goodell, wearing a smart senatorial gray
suit and smoking a saddle-bit billiard pipe,
followed Esch's warm remarks to the
podium. He made the usual grateful and
congratulatory overtures to Fletcher and
other local officials. Goodell was brought
in to dole out the rewards, he did so graci-
ously and the local insignificants accepted
Goodell's presence and good words as part
of their victory spoils.
The address was quite perfunctory. He
did not speak in the well-choreographed
words that seem to mark so many Repub-
licans these days. Speaking in the quiet
reflective tones of an upstate New Yorker,
he told how Nixon had already helped to
regenerate self-respect in the country. But
minds were wandering; it was enough that
he was there.
Goodell then lapsed into the standard
commencement speech remarks about our
nation's young people. He said that they
had a great deal to tell the older genera-
tion. New ideas were so important, b u t
protest should not be pushed too far.
It had all been said before. But it didn't
make any difference because no one was
really listening anyway.
Goodell received the expected and un-
deserved standing ovation. And after a
hasty benediction, the dinner broke up,
everyone inspired for another year of
party politics.
I left with them, content to remain a
loser for one more year even though I had
sung happy birthday to Gil Bursley.

4

Marv Abe

auguration, and who invariably talk about
those press conferences where free drinks
are served.
But politics even rewards Toledo news-
men. One of them got a chance to impress
the others at the conference with his News-
week knowledge of Biafra. And the other
got the chance to make a dolt of himself
by gently pushing Goodell out of the path
of a spotlight while they were filming Esch.
* * *.
THE DINNER ITSELF was a festive af-
fair. Since it was "victory celebration," a
convocation of about every elected official
in the area, ho one seemed to mind the
tired culinary replay of the traditional
Michigan Union banquet repast.
At first I thought it was some kind of

joke when they announced that District
Judge S. J. Elden would sing the Star
Spangled Banner. But Elden proved to be
more of a virtuoso than his deceptive per-
sonal appearance would lead one to believe,
and he belted out the anthem with true
gusto.
Ann Arbor's czar of traffic violations was
not the only virtuoso of the evening. Master
of ceremonies was Peter Fletcher (Ypsi-
lanti Fats as he calls himself), a party
leader who i the precinct worker answer
to Wally Weber. Fletcher indulged the
crowd with the fat man's usual self-de-
precation and with a steady stream of
snazzy syntax.
It was this gaiety and camaraderie that
led me to join in the singing of happy

English faculty takes a step

THE REFORMS in the English depart-
ment curriculum have beenachieved
too quietly to attract much attention, but
they illustrate the kind of constructive
action and faculty-student cooperation
that other departments might well emu-
late.
By working together instead of against
each other, faculty members and students
have been able to put two relatively sig-
nificant proposals into effect.
The first, and by far the most impor-
tant, allows students to get credit and a
grade for any course except a composi-
tion course by taking a special exam con-
structed by the department for this pur-
pose.
T h e second allows undergraduates,
with written permission from the instruc-
tor, to enroll in courses which until now
have been limited to graduate students.
Priority is given first to graduates and
then to undergraduate English majors.
ALTHOUGH BOTH PROPOSALS allevi-
ate certain immediate stresses with-
in the department, they constitute only
the first small step toward the broad and
innovative restructuring which the Eng-
lish curriculum so desperately needs.
The first proposal represents an ini-
tial step toward the elimination of re-
quired courses by allowing students to
pass out of them if they can demonstrate
competence in the course material.,How-
ever, the proposal does nothing to elimi-
nate required knowledge and the enforced
familiarity with certain areas of litera-
ture..
A program designed for those planning
to teach English may be quite irrelevant
to the needs and desires of someone who
wants to write poetry. These and other
non-professional students a r e quick to
point out that all the concentration re-
quirements are geared to pre-profession-
al studies.
Furthermore, students who are major-
ing in English simply because they like
it will continue to seek the freedom to
limit their studies to poetry or to drama
or to contemporary novels. They argue -
with some justification - that real in-
terest in their own limited field will. even-
tually lead them to courses in other areas.
They prefer to be led rather than driven.

Students also voice almost unanimous,*-
dissatisfaction with the required survey
courses, which pack centuries of English
literature into two terms of frantic read-
ing. The department's policy of rigidly
superimposing its own organization and
its own pace upon a student's mastery of
the material cannot continue indefin-
itely.
THE NEW POLICY OF ALLOWING stu-
dents to receive credit for work done
on their own is a step, but a small one,
toward the kind of restructuring of the
survey which is needed.
A large segment of the faculty is
deeply entrenched in traditional teach-
ing methods and strongly imbued with a
traditional concept of its discipline. And
there is a lack of unanimity behind any
specific alternative, even among t h o s e
pressing for change, which will make re-
structuring the survey a difficult task.
But the department will eventually have
to face the philosophical issues involved.
Thus far, the widespread student de-
sire for change has failed to produce pro-
posals of any broader scope than the
two already passed by the department's
executive committee.
It has, however, produced an effec-
tive process of student-faculty collabora-
tion which can work to offset the tradi-
tional obstacles to change.
Student participation will p r o b a b l y
provide the needed impetus to force the
department to face those issues and will
certainly strengthen the hands of those
faculty members who are seeking re-
form.
THE PROCESS WHICH brought the be-
ginners of reform to the English de-
partment is calm, deliberative, tinged
with academia. But it has resulted in
concrete changes, and more importantly,
it has established a tradition of coopera-
tion between students and faculty.
Perhaps further interaction between
the two groups and the consensus method
of operation will ultimately lead to the
solution of the curriculum problems that
still face the English department.
--ANN MUNSTER
-MARY RADTKE

Vista: Frustration, inexperience and hope

By TOBE LEV
THE VISTA program has already
survived its fifth year, long
enough for 10-15,000 volunteers to
return home from black ghettos,
Indian reservations, and Appala-
chian farms.
About 40 ex-Vista volunteers
have filtered back into anonymity
in Southeastern Michigan, a few
even in the University. Former
volunteers have settled down
somewhat reluctantly to "civilian
life." Of the 40 former "Vistas" in
the area a remarkable number
have changed their career plans
in mixed reaction to their Vista
experience.
Returning volunteers are cri-
tical of many aspects of Vista.
The initial complaint they regis-
ter with the program is directed
against the inadequate training
provided. Training courses cover
social dynamics when they should
be considering thermal.
Nobody told John Marcovic, now
a grad in the University's social
work school, how to breed pigs for
his assignment in East Tennessee.
And Gerald Rozanski was never
prepared to move an entire In-
dian village one mile back from
a river expected to overflow its
banks.
And when Allan Frank arrived
in Oregon after his training per-
iod in Boston, his supervisors told
him to disregard whatever in-
struction he had received.
BUT THE REAL problems begin
in the field. Many volunteers com-
plain that Vista sends volunteers
to areas for which they are un-
suited and where they are un-
happy.
Connie Kiselyk, a Vista social
worker in Atlanta, suggests volun-
teers should be able to choose
t h e i r assignments, and then
choose their specific training to
prepare for it.
But apparently, this ideal could
not be made a reality under Vis-
ta's present rigid bureaucratic
structure. Besides, there just
aren't enough instructors to teach
special skills.
Much more serious than inade-
quate or irrelevant training was
the lack of experienced supervisors
from Washington once the Vistas
were out in the field. None of the

volunteers Wanted a supervisor
scrutinizing their work every min-
ute of the day.
However, nearly all the former
Vistas emphasize the need for ad-
vice when they run into problems,
and the general need for support
from above should they have to
be bailed out from serious diffi-
culties.
GERALD DAJNOWICZ asked to
have his term extended so he
could help orient his replacements
to. the program he had initiated
in the ~Pittsburgh ghetto. Wash-
ington refused an extension, how-
ever, and his program suffered.
Merle Niemi, a Vista teacher in
the Virgin Islands, and her Vista
co-workers, spent several hundred
dollars of their own money be-
cause of inadequate funds from
Washington. The Virgin Islands
Vistas repeatedly requested Wash-
ington to remove an incompetent
supervisor who continually frus-.
trated their efforts on the island.
Washington again did nothing.
Perhaps the major obstacle of
Vista, however, and quite expect-
edly-so, is the incredible ignor-
ance, apathy and cynicism of the
poor.
Pauline Ross, a nurse at an as-
signment in Appalachia, says
adults had to be driven to the
health clinic because they were
still afraid of doctors and medi-
cine. She adds that the poor were
constantly exploited by local mer-
chants and businessmen.
ROZANSKI ADDS that the
apathy and reluctance of the
reservation Indians to make radi-
cal change limited the scope of
his efforts. Their own culture de-
stroyed, they were content to live
day to day in a cultural limbo.
Rozanski and Miss Ross agree
that in situations like these, Vistas
have to work within the structure
of the community and make what
changes they can. They entertain
no illusions that a radical trans-
formation in a people's way of life
could not be brought about by a
handful of Vistas in a matter of
months.
"It does very little good to buck
the power structure for a year and
then pull out. You are only wast-
ing your time," Miss Ross says.

0
0

t.

-Daily-Jay Cassidy

Apparently, however, the ghettos
of the large cities are a different
matter. Gary Johnson and his
Vistas trained members of the
Kansas City Tenant's Association
in methods and techniques of
negotiation with city officials. The
results were good.
NEIL BUSH, who was a volunteer
in a Pittsburgh ghetto, says that
one of his goals was to find frus-
trated people and tell them of the
possibility of their getting power.
He adds, however, that the need
for whites to take the political
initiative in the ghettos has ended.
Moreover, according to Miss
Schwab, Vista is under political
pressure not to "stir poor people
up." This emphasis of Vista in the
ghettos is not politically oriented
but directed toward social case-
work, Bush says.
In an effort to handle cases
more effectively, Vista is placing
emphasis on team programs, where
each volunteer works on a specific
project but receives help from
others. Gary Johnson says "If you
continually count on individuals
to do a job without group support
they won't succeed unless they
either have a lot of experience or
beat their brains out every day
trying to accomplish something."
JUST HOW MUCH then do the
Vistas accomplish? Miss Schwab
feels she did not "make any radi-
cal transformation in anyone's
life" and likened many aspects of
her work to "putting a band-aid
on a huge sore."
But Bush claims that many of
the volunteers he knew got com-
pletely frustrated by the minimal
achievements they were making
and withdrew entirely from con-
tact with poor people or political
affiliations of any kind.
None of the Vistas I talked to,
however, were nearly so frustrated
Most agreed with Gerald Dajnow-
icz who felt he had "truly accom-
plished something, "or with Gerald
Rozanski who believed he "did
some good."
11 . -T Y - .X 7 . 4 ,, , . -1, 4,-

sult of their Vista experience.
Clearly one of the chief accom-
plishments of Vista is inspiring
young people to work in the field
of poverty for the rest of their
lives.
This in itself makes Vista a suc-
cess. As far as the actual work
during their stint in Vista is con-
cerned, the volunteers can never
know just how much they have
contributed to social change.
AT BEST VISTA can only hope
to be the advance guard of any
war on poverty. Volunteers can
only try to inspire poor people to
solve their own problems, and even
the job of inspiration can be only
partially accomplished during the
course of a brief year.

The accomplishments of the
Vista volunteer in his specific
assignment are limited, and often
they dwindle to nothing' in the
passage of a few years. Vista is a
young program, and hasn't the
staff or resources to insure that
programs initiated today are car-
ried through tomorrow.
HOWEVER, the veteran Vista
can accomplish as much as the
Vista actually working in the field
by sensitizing his neighbors and
friends in the middle class to the
problems and needs of the poor.
This can be a life long project,
promoted through involvement in
a career related to social change,
and even bringing a Vista educa-
tional approach into the suburbs.

Letters to the Editor

r+T--y l10 A YEAR'.
j I,

C P T 0

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A~Ke('r OT To
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[AU'f f4AV M)'T tT N Y'

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Liberties
To the Editor:
rVHE DAILY'S report of the Civil
Liberties Board resolution sup-
porting the "Dionysius in '69" Le-
gal Defense Fund was in part er-
roneous and the error clouds the
reputation of a good hard-work-
ing member.
You quote Prof. Tom McClure
of the fine arts department say-
ing, "On the basis of simple dol-
lars and cents lost from my de-
partment (because of the public
flurries over events like "Dionysius
in '69"), I can hardly support this
resolution." He did not say that.
What Prof. McClure said was
that for these reasons, "It is hard
for me to support this resolution."
And then he went on to vote in
favor of it. His was, I believe a
principled and long-sighted deci-
sion which deserved accurate and
full reporting.
Especially insofar as it sets a
noteworthy example for our Re-
gents.

versity serious about offering such
a course under the conditions
cited and yet hoping it would be
an "objective research course"?
The first mistake is the name
given the course-"Interdiscipli-
nary Seminar in Jewish-Arab rela-
tions." The "explosive Mideast" is
not due to a conflict of Jews and
Arabs, but a Zionist-Arab repul-
sion.
The seminar leader Mr. J. Ben
Dak was said to have been in charge
of Arab affairs for the Israeli
Prime Minister's Office. He is also
a devoted Zionist and took part in
the June, 1967, war; with such a
background one would hardly ex-
pect objectivity or a true scientific
analysis of the conflict. One may
agree, however, that the course
will be an attempt at "game simu-
lation" of the conflict.
I WISH TO point out to the
parties involved in the preparation
of this seminar that the Palestin-
ian problem or Mideast Relations,
is not so simple as to "experiment"

9

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