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March 15, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-15

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Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

power and virtue
On languages and requirements. and votes
by ron landsman


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 al reprints.


MARCH15, 1969


"The Missile May Not Be 'So Hot, But-Boy-
What A Delivery System !"

WHO SHALL decide for me what my ed-
ucation should consist of ? Students?
Faculty? A n d if faculty, which faculty
These questions are all hidden within the
referendum on the language requirement
to be voted on in the SGC elections next
The issue at stake is not whether lang-
uage should be taught in the literary col-
lege, but whether it should be required of
every student. This is a basic misunder-
standing held by those who oppose chang-
ing the status quo.
The essential question is who should de-
termine what should be required. That is,
should a majority of any body - even a
body including both students and faculty-
be able to impose upon the remaining mi-
nority their concept of education in the
form of requirements?
This question occurred to me after read-
ing a professor's letter to The Daily oppos-
ing a student voice in college decisions.
He suggested that we consider education
in its purest form-one professor instruct-
ing ten students. Clearly, then, it is the
professor's prerogotive to grant or with-
hold a degree to the students under him,
for it is on his certification that each stu-
dent is granted such a degree.
And it is the professor's prerogotive to
determine what should or should not be
required of his students to earn that de-
If we accept this, then by what right,
does the majority of the faculty claim to
be able to enforce upon a minority of its
members their educational standards?
A SIGNIFICANT number of professors
have spoken against the language require-
ment, including the chairman of the eco-
nomics department, Harvey Brazer, a n d
the chairman of the computer and com-
munications sciences, Arthur Burks,

These are men with valid academic cre-
dentials, who would be willing to grant
Bachelor of Arts degrees to students in
that "ideal situation" without requiring a
language of them.
Does the view of other professors de-
serve priority over these? Democracy can
apply here, but along with the concept of
majority rule goes minority rights.
When students mouth the slogan, "Let
the students decide," they should mean,
"Let each student decide," for a mass of
students is no more valid a group, to en-
force such regulations on me t h a n is a
mass of unknown faculty members.
FOR ONE person to instruct me, to teach
me, would be valid. But'how can 1,000 fac-
ulty members decide that any given en-
deavor is educationally fruitful for 12,000
students? How can they decide for me?
Most, of them don't even know me.
The valid objections of a significant mi-
nority of faculty members should weigh
more heavily than they h a v e so far on
questions such as this, on such broad re-
quirements. When a single decision must
be made on issues, such as a new four-,
year admissions plan, the selection of a
dean, or admissions policy, it is under-
standable that a majority could and should
But this question is different; the mi-
nority is not imposing on the, majority in
their demands, but is only asking 'for lee-
way in their own educational practices.
This is where t h e distinction between
requirement and option becomes crucial,
for the minority is not asking the inajor-
ity to refrain from any action concerning
themselves, but from imposing a demand
on them.
The argument presented here by support-
ers of the language requirement concerns
the quality -of the degree the University
offers. By abolishing the requirement, they

say, the degree which the literary college
grants to all its students would be that
much weaker.
If this were the case, it would be a valid
argument, but I must- question seriously
if that is so.
THE QUALITY of the degree of the lit-
erary college here does not depend on the
paper requirements it sets up, but on some-
thing less tangible than that. The value of
that degree depends, rather, on the quality
of the students and faculty at the college.
What is involved in this education Is not
which course or specific professor I took,
for this or that requirement, but the fact
that I was in significant contact with num-
erous competent professors in a respectable
intellectual community.
This is not a minor consideration. My.
degrei does not rise or fall on the language
requirement, but on the professors who
have taught me for the four years I have
been here.
It is this that makes Harvard better than
Michigan and Michigan better than Michi-
gan State. MSU has tougher requirements
than we do in distribution and Harvard has
lighter ones, in language at least. But that
certainly doesn't make MSU better than
Michigan or Michigan better than Har-
Each school depends, rather, on other
factors to insure its reputation- and quality.
It is on the student body and on the fac-
ulty that the weight of proof lies, and it
is there that* it will stay, whether there is
a four-year language requirement or none
at all.
FINALLY, it seems that the supporters
of the language requirement suffer from a
parochialism and a very decided propensity
to ignore facts in arguing their case. ,
They are parochial in the belief that one
cannot be an educated person unless pro-
ficiency, or at least four college semesters,


of a language is mastered. That, is paro-
chial, not the decision not to learn a for-
eign language.
Education and sophistication take many
forms, and many need not include profi-
ciency in a second language. There is too
much else to learn and to consider to make
that a rigid demand.
True, thefe is much of other cultures
that is worth learning, but such knowl-
edge alone does not make a person edu-
cated. The faculty just cannot dictate re-
quirements to all its students and expect
to produce educated people.
A second language is neither necessary
nor sufficient to make a person educated.
As for the facts, they include the ques-
tion of what effect the language require-
ment actually has. The faculty has been
blissfully willing to act with absolutely no
reliable information whatsoever on what
the effects of the requirement are. Once
again, the demand must be toward the
minimal action. If t h e faculty is doing
something and it doesn't know the effects;
they should cease that action until they
do know what it means. ^
The faculty's groping in the dark on this
issue affects far too many students to be
justifiable-on these terms.
I FIND THIS, above all, to show the fac-
ulty's amazing lack of precision and care
in making decisions such as these. They
have only their own experiences - of from
five to forty years ago - upon which to
base their judgments of the language re-
quirement. No reputable scholar in edu-
cation would dare act on so flimsy an in-
formation base.
It is little less than despicable that the
LSA faculty does. Such actions by students
would earn from the faculty the scorn they
deserve, and so much more for a faculty
of experience a n d supposedly scholarly


y '


Ad Hoc Bylaw Committee position


ABM ; 4r--r,-

Nixon's AM
Another bomb

PRESIDENT NIXON'S decision to install
the controversial anti-ballistic mis-
sile (ABM) defense system should raise
serious concern for the future of the
nation. If the project is voted funds by
Congress it may well rank with the Viet-
nam war and our continued fumblings in
Latin America as one of the great fiascos
of the latter third of this century.
The decision, which follows on the
heels of a Russian declaration that the
deploying of such a system would ser-
iously jeopardize proposed disarmament
talks between the two superpowers, may
well spark still further escalation of the
already spiralling arms race.
While Nixon repeatedly stressed yes-
terday that the ABM system is defensive
in orientation, the Soviet Union c a n
hardly be criticized for viewing such a
system as essentially offensive in na-
ture. For " given the Soviet premise that
the United State, is quite capable at
any time of launching an all-out nuclear
attack against the USSR, the ABM sys-
tem can only be interpreted as a shield
against the few Russian missiles t h a t
would remain following a massive U.S.
strike at Soviet missile installations. Only
in the event of such an attack, they
might well argue, could the ABM pos-
sibly protect the United States against
the Soviet nuclear arsenal.
NIXON'S SPEECH can only have inten-
sified such fears by drawing the em-
phasis of the program away from China
and toward the Soviet Union. Such a
posture is hardly conducive to the at-
mosphere of mutual trust which is so
necessary to any steps toward disarma-
ment, or even toward eventual decelera-
tion of the arms race which is consum-
ing so much of the national budget of
both countries.
Apart from endangering the disarma-
ment talks and plunging the nation still

further into an already costly arms race,
the ABM system has other significant
drawbacks. Primary among these is the,
fact that such a system would of neces-
sity take some of the control of nuclear
weapons out of the President's hands.
Since the system's success depends on thex
rapid launching of the ABM missiles in
response to an enemy attack, such con-
trol would likely be put into the hands of
a field commander or a computer con-
nected with key radar installations. Es-
tablishing the precedent of taking nuc-
lear weapons out of Presidential control
is not a step to be taken lightly.

To the Editor:
IN ORDER to avoid any future
misunderstanding, let it be
known that both the proposed Re-
gents Bylaw draft prepared by
SACUA and the draft prepared
by Dr. Knauss (dated March,
1969) are unacceptable to- the stu-
dent members of the student,and
faculty Ad Hoc Bylaw Drafting
Committee, unacceptable to SGC,
and unacceptable to Graduate As-
sembly. On t h e contrary, these
groups endorse t h e compromise
draft of tfie Ad Hoc Committee
since. theyhstate th a t this draft
"(1) that no regulation gov-
erning conduct will have force
without the consent of those _to
whom it applies, (2) that every
student will be assured of ade-
quate due process before a fair
and independent judiciary, (3)
that no judicial body may be
maintained except with the con-
tinuing consent of those w h o,
may be brought before it, and
(4) that every student tried any-
where in the University will
have an appeal to the Central
Student Judiciary."
The other drafts do not make
these guarantees.
We understand that the faculty
Senate Assembly at its Monday
meeting may wish'" to endorse in
principle certain proposals in the
various drafts. We hope that in
any case the faculty will send peo-
ple to the Thursday (3 p.m.) meet-
ing of the Ad Hoc Committee to
continue what have been until now
very fruitful negotiations.
We heard the debate at the last
faculty Senate Assembly meeting
and feel that with few exceptions
the comments were to the point
and the proposals reasonable. The
"implementation" of the propos-

als in the SACUA a n d Knauss
drafts is unreasonable.
We are in the process of incor-
porating faculty suggestions into
the. compromise drafts in a way
acceptable to students.
We certainly hope the faculty
would not endanger the negotia-
tions by sending to the Regents
any drafts as unacceptable to stu-
dents as the SACUA and Knauss
-Michael Davis, Grad
-Tom Westerdale, Grad
Members, Ad Hoc Committee
Court costs
To the Editor:
AN ARTICLE appearing in
Thursday's Daily quoted me as
saying that court costs for eviction
proceedings would amount to $6.00
per day. This information is false
and is an incorrect representation
of my statement.
My statement was that the
summary eviction statute (600.56-
79 M.C.L.A.) allows the prevailing
party to only tax a total of $5 for
attorney's fees. I made no state-
ment about court costs. In fact,
court costs will amount to from
$25.15 to $30.15 depending on
whether the amount of rent in
issue Is less than or greater than
$500. This sum includes $10.00 for
jury fee and the $5 for attorney
-Dale Berry, '70 Law
Rent Strike Steering
March 13
Soc Union response
To the Editor:
HE ARTICLE pn Friday's Daily
on the action of the Under-
graduate Sociology Union was

misleading at one point and re-
quires clarification.
The Union did not, as reported,
vote to "organize a University-
wide boycott of classes . . ." The
Union is presently concerned with
undergraduate parity in sociology
department tenure decisions, a
larger student voice in the de-
partmental decision-making pro-
cess, and specific curriculum re-
We enthusiastically support the
efforts of black students and Will
Smith in negotiations with the
administration for a University-
wide holiday, April 4.
WE BELIEVE a teach-in to dis-
cuss the relevancy of university
educations is desirable and we are
anxious to work with our counter-
parts in other departments in the
organization of a teach-in.
But our interests are primarily
in reforms within the sociology
department and we have not
voted to "organize a university
iwide boycott of classes . . ." The
vote in question was merely an
endorsement of the boycott called
for by Rev. Abernathy.
-Julia Wrigley, Union chrm.
Clifford Olson
Bonnie Jean Bengel
Karen Schwab
March 14
Consumer power
To the Editor:
PERSUADING Stephan's to low-
- er its prices may not be as dif-
ficult.as it seems. If ALL students
stopped buyingla significant num-
ber of over-priced items, Steph-
an's revenue would drop. To re-
gain this income, Stephan's would

either have to
or else think
regain student

lower these prices
of other ways to

"What--ME Go Down With The Ship?"

Good location is the store's pri-
mary attraction (and probably the
reason for reported annual $10,000
rent). However, if we as student
consumers are serious about not
wasting our money, we should en-

dure the slight inconvenience of
shopping elsewhere.
We need not depend upon stu-
dent organizations to solve our
problems if we care enough to
exercise our pure student con-
sumer power.
-Neila Pomerantz
March 13

IN ADDITION, the $7 billion cost of the
ABM- program will be simply that much
more federal money devoted to purposes
of war rather than purposes of peace.
The Pentagon itself admits that the pro-
gram could potentially cost up to $400
billion. The expenditure could perhaps
be justified if the need for and effective-
ness of the ABM program were unim-
But -it would be ironic indeed if after
jeopardizing the chance for disarmament
talks and spending so much money, the
ABM system were discovered to be as
impracticable as many of the nation's top
scientists are predicting it will prove to
President Nixon is playing for high
stakes in his bid to get the projecthap-
proved by a sharply divided Congress.
Should the appropriation be denied, as
we fervently hope it will be, Nixon will
be severely discredited.
THE PRESIDENT'S decision to install
the controversial system is certainly
a- mistake of the first magnitude. We can
only hope that it will be more disastrous
to Nixon's political future than to the
nation's welfare.
Editorial Page Editor


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BRIG. GEN. S. L. A. Marshall (Ret.), the
pugnacious military affairs analyst
who appears regularly on Channel 4-TV,
has a new definition for ROTC: Rangers
On The Campus.
"Administrators are worried about grow-
ing indiscipline on campuses. A cadet corps
might become a counterforce for stability,"
he ugres.
Apparently he considers the mortar
superior to the mortarboard.
* * *
RAY GOTTLIEB and Judy Eichenhorn
announced their engagement recently in
Detroit and it's not quite apparent who will
be wearing the pants in the family.
Ray and Judy met at a weight-watching
course in Detroit, found romance over the
low-calorie cauliflower and lost 155 pounds

in relation to personnel in Newark's muni-
cipal government, the offering of Italian-
American dishes in the school cafeteria,
and more Italian-American music on the
campus radio station.
Wait'll George and his Greek friends at
Cottage Inn hear about this.
without a vote but thousands of women
have been protesting in the streets of Bern
to overthrow Europe's last bastion of po-
litical male supremacy.
The Swis government recently signed the
Council of Europe's human rights resolu-
tion but publicized its reservations about
female suffrage.
Women in Taiwan have a different prob-
lem: evading the draft. The Chinese Na-
tionalists have stepped up a program to

into'a waiting car which whisked her away.
The only casualty was a boy who fell
down a stairway investigating a rumor of a
second nude girl.
Jenny Stiller's brother, who is a student
there, says that nude girls in March are a
campus tradition but that there have been
more than usual this year.
GONZALO ARIAS, the mild-looking au-
thor of "The Sandwichman," tried to make
his book come true but has only ended up
in a Madrid jail.
Arias' novel told of the non-violent over-
throw of an authoritarian regime, easily
identifiable as Spain's, brought about by
a man strolling among Sunday's crowds
wearing placards which red: "Non-violence.
I respectfully ask that elections be called

Governor Ronnie again

WE HAVE embarked upon a new age . .
or perhaps we're just revisiting an
old one.
The campus at the University of Cali-

gotiations with the administration. Chan-
cellor Roger Heyns also seemed amiable,
issuing a statement of understanding and
compassion with the demonstrators.


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