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March 20, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-20

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G4e 3ricigaE Dai
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

ceterisParbus Mao and
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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 oll reprints.



Phys +ed recoSmmendation:
.An insufficient solution,

THE FIGHT AGAINST academic coer-
cion has until now centered largely on
the literary college's language and dis-
tribution requirements. '
Equally odious in principle and prac-
tice, however, is the University-wide phy-
sical education requirement. Certainly,
forcing students to take one year of phy-
sical education courses is the embodi-
ment of academic'coercion. But in addi-
tion, it is. difficult, if not inpossible, to
argue that knowing the rudiments of
badiinton or squash is a prerequisite for
the liberally educated man or woman.
Apparently anticipating adverse stu-
dent reaction,. Vice President for Aca-
demic Affairs Allan F. Smith will ask
the Regents to abolish the requirement
at their regular monthly meeting today
and tomorrow.
Smith's proposal is laudable in direc-
tion, and deserves serious consideration
by the Regents. But while the proposal
would partially rectify a serious inequity,
it' includes two provisions which render
it unacceptable.
still be required for all undergraduates
presently enrolled in the University.
Abolition would apply only to students
enrolling for the first time after June 1.
Certainly, if the requirement is not
worth maintaining, abolition should be
extended to those students who are pre-
sently enrolled in the University. For
many, the requirement simply means two
hours each week which. could be better
spent in an additional academic course
or in extra-curricular activities.
Second, students would still be re-
quired to submit to' tests, interviews and
counselling' administered by the physi-
cal education department. While the
availability of these services is com-
mendable, making them required is just
the kind of anachronism Smith says he
wants to eliminate.
Not surprisingly, these two inequities
ii Smith's- proposal :have found little
support among either students or faculty.
tee on Educational Policies reviewed
the requirement last spring, the group
expressed strong opposition to the use

of any kind of compulsion and could
find no excuse for maintaining the re-
"The University is an institution of
higher learning and we see no demon-
strable connection between fulfilling the
functions of the University and a com-
pulcory program of physical' education,"
the committee's report stated.
And concerning tandatory testing,
the group said the proposal "still con-
tains the element of compulsion for
which we, as a committee on educational
policies, do not find a justification."
The only other' group which consid-
ered the requirement - Senate Assem-
bly's Student Relations Committee - also
supported abolition and expressed serious
reservations concerning the proposed
mandatory testing and counselling.
While neither committee directly dis-
cussed whether abolition should be retro-
active, it is clear from the tone of their
statements that they believe no student
should be forced to take p ysical educa-
tion courses, regardless of' their date of
IN THE FACE OF THESE comfirittee re-
ports, the deficiencies in Smith's pro-
posal are both glaring and surprising.
Surely, he is familiar with the recom-
mendations of both committees - they
are included in the brief he has sent to
the Regents.
What, then,- can Smith's motivations
be? Perhaps h is still tied to the system
of coercion which has long plagued Uni-
versity education, and sees his proposal
as the best way to avoid a confrontation
with students.
He may be disappointed. Already
some studetns have expressed interest in
staging a protest if these inequities are
'not eliminated - possibly by sitting-in
Smith's office.
Hopefully, such action will not be
necessary. Confrontation could be easily
avoided if Smith would only make
abolition retroactive and eliminate the
proposal for required testing and coun-
seling. Thus he would help maintain
peace at the University and, at the same
time, bring his proposal in line with the
wishes of the students and the faculty.
rt inadequate,
everything is still to be in the hands of
the faculty..
To justify this position the committee
offers some high-sounding phrases about
"inputs" and the "flows of information"
which, it says, "are likely to be more im-
portant for the quality and outcomes of
the process than is the composition of
decisional bodies in the narrow sense,"
issue a statement of this kind. There
can be no question of the desiribility of
interaction between students and faculty
members on all issues. Of course, every-
thing possible should be done to maximize
the flow of information between all of
those concerned with the department.
But none of this is new. It- can only be
seen as a starting point for meaningful
reform of the department not as a con-
clusion, as the committee report seems
to propose.
The justification which prevailed in
the committee's consideration of decis-
ion-making was that most decisions were
made by consensus rathgr than by vote.
Bert Rockman, a graduate student on the
committee, said the committee became
convinced that votes 'are "unimportant
and irrelevant."

I WAS GOING to write about corporate
capitalism today, but somehow I don't
feel like it.
All of a sudden it's spring and it seems
that' next week will be time enough to try
to come to grips with the complexities of
the nation's economy-next week, when all
the term papers start falling due, and it's"
cold again, and life starts seeming end-
of-term unpleasant. So for now I'm going
to ignore Dow Chemical and talk about my
kid brother:
The first thing about him is, my brother
has always had the most easygoing, good-
natured personality imaginable. Not be-
cause of lack of intelligence or convictions,
but because of his lackadaisical approach
to life and his ability to laugh at himself,
his nature has always been his chief saving
grace. It's simply impossible . not to like
Just now, the kid is 18 years old, a bit
over five-nine, and weighs around 180
pounds. He's very good at outgrowing
heavy sweaters and workshirts, and so
has furnished me with a large portion of
my wardrobe. And I think he's going
through a phase.'
At least that's what my parents keep
hoping. The only problem, as they see it, is
to get the phase over with before the kid
gets himself arrested.
IT ALL STARTED about two years ago
when my brother was a junior in high
It was one of these rich, white, subtirban,
get-the-grades-for-college schools, much
connected through returning alumni and
older siblings with most of the major East-
ern universities. As such, the school picked
up most of what was going on at the col-
leges while it was still happening (for
example, the Tolkien kick hit there a year
-.before it reached Anp Arbor).
My brother's junior year, a kid ran for
student council president on a sort of stu-
dent power platform. It was a hot cam-
paign, which reached its peak when -the
candidate--who incidentally was an out-
spoken pacifist-was jumped and severely
beaten by four or five football players on

the school bus stop while a couple of male
teachers looked on and did nothing to
The incident must have done something
to my brother, because after that he began
writing letters to the student newspaper-
letters which were increasingly critical of
the school's administration and its typical-
ly high-schoolish petty tyrannies.
BUT HIS SENIOR year he really got
started. ,
I came home for Christmas last year to
find that he had grown his hair longer
than mine (not a terribly difficult feat,
but still . . .) and that he had taken ad-
vantage of the high school's abolition of
dress regulations to wear levis, workshirts,
boots and beads as a matter of habit.
He was, it turned out, trying to make an
issue of the dress regs-after they'd been
abolished. A couple of teachers were really,
uptight about his beads and hair, so when
discipline was threatened my parents com-
promised with the kid-he could keep his
hair unshorn if he, would "dress neatly"
and give up the beads.
He agreed, I found out by mail, and took
to dressing-neatly'-completely in black
HE ALSO TOOK to spouting tired rev-
olutionary dogma that was so trite it
should havedbeena put-on, only it wasn't.
He read Marx, Mao, hung up a poster of
Che and borrowed my copy of "Growing
Up Absurd." My parents were relatively-
happy. "At least he's reading," my mother
Upon graduation from high school, the
kid got a job in the engine room on a
freighter on the Gulf Coast, until he got
tired of 100-plus-degree working conditions
and quit to hitch-hike around the country.
He visited me in Berkeley in August and
completely captivated my three roommates,
who gave him the ultimate compliment:
"If only he were five years older."
He said he'd learned on ship and from
the truck drivers who had given him rides
that you get along better with. "non-intel-
lectuals" if you smoke cigarettes instead of

pipes, and rolled me one of his horribly
strong ones so I could see "how they taste
without a filter."
THE VISIT lasted almost a week, during
which he saw a lot of San Francisco-dug
Berkeley, decided the Haight was a mess,,
got turned on by cable car bells, and de-
clared Golden Gate Park to be the best
city park. he'd ever seen.
He 'also was startled on Market Street
by a voice saying "Look, Martha - a
hippie!" and turning around to see an
elderly tourist immortalizing him with a
home movie camera.
Such diversions ended in the f a 11
when he centered the University of Ari
zona as a freshman and promptly joined
the local chapter of SDS. {I shudder to
think what kind of radicals one can turn;
up in ITucson; still, it was an SDS chap-
The big issue at Arizona was ROTC
- which is required of every male stu-
dent who is not physically disabled. SDS
was fighting the requirement, without
much success, and my brother soon was
waging a personal war as well.
By the time he got fed up with Ari-,
zona and dropped out he had the highest
grades in written tests, riflery, and drill
in his platoon, but was flunking the
course because he refused to cut his hair.
After dropping out of Arizona, the kid,
now 1-A but untouched by the d r a f t
board because of his age, moved to New
York, where he found himself "a slumn to
like in" and got a job with an adver-
tising firm by answering an ad in the'
Village Voice.
I kind of lost touch with him for a
while, as his address was uncertain, but
by Christmas 'had heard from my parents
that he had decided to return to school,
at the local junior college.
SO WHEN I went home to Washington
for spring break, I found him in his old
room, .reading "Malcolm X Speaks" and
listening to Country Joe on the record

jenny stiler a
nearly shoulder-length, and he was once
again dressed in levis and a workshirt.
But something more significant than his
appearance had changed since I bad seen
him in California.
His radicalism was still, unfortunately,
pseudo, but he had started to take it
really seriously. There was a defeatism
and a lack of humor in his still fairly un-
reasoned condemnation of "capitalism"
and the military-industrial complex. He
believed, fervently, that some day the
revolution would come, and things would
then be better-if not perfect.
THE WORDS were often the same, the
idealism the same, as in my more mature
radical friends. But somehow, perhaps be-
cause of his youth, perhaps -because his
words were spoken amid the affluence of
our parents' suburban home, he lackCed my
friends' underlying sincerity. Not that the
kid didn't believe in what he was saying,
but that somehow it didn't come across.
One was tempted to patronizingly tell him
that he would outgrow it.
But what had really changed, except in
moments when an older self shone
through, was his personality. While still
slapdash, the kid was no longer easy-
going, noblonger casually good-natured.
He was beginning to develop the de-
fepsiveness, the paranoia which it is so
easy for all of us to fall into. He no
longer laughed at himself and at the world,
and I for one missed that laughter.
FOR ALTHOUGH the larger world is
not a cheerful place, there is something
about the life in it that should not be
denied. There is something about the
spring that overcomes even one's cus-
tomary feelings of impotence at the mess
mankind has gotten itself into.
And so I hope that my brother's radical-
ism is fleeting, because I, who have "sold
out" and am convinced that radicalism
can accomplish nothing, want the kid to
come* back to being able to make his own
happiness out of moonbeafmhs.
It was such a rare talent he had, and I
for one am reluctant to see him relinquish

His hair, once

merely shaggy, was now


The trials and horrors of the Presidio

Poli Sci repo

TUESDAY the Armiy announced
a reduction in the sentence of
Nesrey Sood, a 26-year old pris-
oner and the first of 27 who have
been convicted of mutiny which
resulted from a non-violent
down in the Presidio military
stockade Oct. 14. The sit-down was
staged to protest prison conditions
and the slaying of a prisoner who
the Army claims was attempting
to escape.1
Sood's sentence was reduced
from 15 years at hard labor to two
years. Three others received sen-
tences of 15, 16 and four years..
Though the Army gave no rea-
son for the reduction in sentence,
public pressure was undoubtedly{
a significant factor. Protests have
mounted steadily since Sood's sen-
tencing Feb. 13. Sympathy vigils
were held Tuesday in more than a
hundred cities. Saturday a demon-
stration organized by the "Com-
mittee for the /27" culminated in
a protest rally of more than 5;000
people outside the Presidio in San
EVIDENCE OF THE effect of+
these protests is the fact that Gen.i
Larson, who' reduced the sentence,+
is the man who originally pressed
mutiny charges against the 27. In+
doing so, Larson had ignored the
recommendation of his own in-,
vestigating officer that the Army+
was "overreacting" to something
that was "already a miscarriage of
According to regulations and
precedents, mutiny involves "in--
tent to override military author-f
ity," lack of "necessity," and ani
act "disproportionate" to the al-1
leged grievances. But the prison-1
ers were in fact appealing to au-t


THE CHANGES advocated in the decis-
ion-making section of the report of
the joint faculty-graduate student' com-
mittee of the political science depart-
ment are grossly- inadequate. Labeled
"completely unacceptable" by undergrad-
uates interested in political science re-
form, it should be rejected by the faculty
when they take up the report next week.
The decision-making section of the
repoi't would allow officers of the Grad-
uate Roundtable, the political science
graduate student group, to attend month-
ly faculty meeti)gs. The roundtable
would also elect one student to attend
meetings of the department's executive
.committee. The graduate member of the
executive committee would', also take
part in discussions over hiring, promotion
and tenure.
The report envisions a similar role
for undergraduate students, seating ohe
student elected by the undergraduate po-
litical science association on the execu-
tive committee.
tive committee would be drastically
limited by leaving "to the chairman's
discretion whether the graduate or un-
dergraduate members are to be called to
a given meeting." Although the lang-
uage in the sections pertaining to hir-
ing, tenure and promotion decisions is
unclear, it appears that student repre-
sentatives could be excluded from these
meetings as well.
Nowhere in its discussion of faculty
meetings, executive committee meetings,
or tenure and hiring decisions does the
report mention voting. No students, ei-
ther graduate or undergraduate, are giv-
en a vote on anything.
In every part of the section on de-
cision-making, the committee makesone

thority at the t i m e of the sit-
down. Their actions were hardly a
"disproportionate" for men w h o
thought their lives were endanger-
In the absence of workable
grievance procedures (which an
investigating officer found to be
"shoddy and inefficient") ;the
prisoners regarded' the strike as

the only way to dramatize their
demands for better conditions at
the stockade.
THE PROTEST occurred on the
morning of Oct. 14, 'when the 27
men left their work formation, sat
down on the grass and b e g a n
singing, "We Shall Overcome."
One of the prisoners stood up
and read an improvised list of de-
mands, calling for an elimi'ation
of all shotgun-type work details,
complete psychological evaluations
of all. personnel before they are
allowed to work in the stockade
and better sanitary conditions.
Less than an hour later,' they
were hauled off to their cells and
charged with mutiny.
In light of evidence concerning
stockade conditions, the prisoners'
demands hardly seem unjustified.
They had repeatedly complained
through channels - about ov-
ercrowding in t h e stockade (as
many as 146 men in a facility
built for 76), lack of food (rations
had been drawn for 103 men at
times when there were over 130),

racial prejudice (blacks were less
likely to get suspended sentences,
couldn't s e e a Muslim' minister,
and w e r e regularly insulted by
certain guards), and unsanitary
conditions (only two commodes
worked, and the sewers were back-
ed up so that excretement floated
in the shower room).
Their demands took on imme-
diacy because of the shotgun
slaying three days earlier of Pri-
vate Richard Bunch by a prison
guard, as he fled from his work
PRIVATE BUNCH, -by all ad-
missions, was, a mentally-disturb-
ed man. Last May, he went AWOL
and visited his mother in Dayton,
Ohio, informing her he had died
twice and had been reincarnated
as a warlock, that he could walk
through walls and that he had the
evil eye.
His mother took him to a civil-
ian hospital. which notified t h e
military authorities. MP's were
sent to arrest him, and although
psychiatric help was promised, he
was shipped to San Francisco and
put in the stockade.,
Notes found hidden under his
mattress after his death attestj to
his suicidal mental state. Scrawl-
ed on scraps of paper were the
messages, "UNITED STATES I'll
pay. I'm not giving up my cross
if I have to work for it a thous-
and years:. . . Very well since they
want me I'LL DO IT . . . Well if
your (sic) not going to give me,
love at least do me the favor of
complete elimination . . . But one
click and its over."
ON THE MORNING of Oct. 11,
after hiding his confused notes

under his mattress, he refused to
go on work detail. According to
witnesses, the guard took a cruci-
fix from Bunch and returned it
only when he agreed to work,
Throughout the morning Bunch
asked fellow prisoners how to
commit suicide, and a buddy said,
jokingly, "Make him think you're
trying to escape."'
What happened next is describ-
ed in the sworn testimony of one
of the witnesses, prisoner Linden
Blake, one of the 27: "I heard
footsteps and the click of a shot-
gun being cocked, and I turned to
see the guard aim and fire, hitting.
Bunch in the small of the back.'
There was no command of 'halt'
given by the guard, and Bunch
was 25 to 30 feet from the guard
when he was shot. There was one
shot fired. After shooting Bunch,
the -guard whirled, pointed his
gun at me and yelled, 'Hit the
ground or I'll shoot you, too. Then
he seemed to have flipped and
said, 'I hit him right where I aim-
ed--in the lower, back."
Despitehsuch eyewitness reports,
the Army declared ,that s a m e
afternoon that the killing was
"justifiable homicide," absolving
the guard of any guilt.
THAT EVENING, there was a
small riot in the stockade as word
of Bunch's death became known
to his fellow inmates., The next.
day, the officer in charge, Cap-,
tain Lamont, read Article'94 of
the UCMJ (Mutiny) to the as-
sembled prisoners; he feared a
mutinous action could grow out
of the demonstrations the prev-
ious night.
t Several prisoners filled out "510
forms" (standard forms request-
ing communication with superior
officers) to request press inter-
views to counter the Army yersion
of justifiable homicide and to pro-
test stockade conditions. These
requests were subsequently den-
The killing seemed particularly
ominous to the prisoners because
Bunch was not the only maniac-
depressive in the stockade. Evi-
dence compiled by the prisoners
and released to the citizens' com-
mittee in support of the 27 lists


to him until Jan. 30. The lette
was from the Alameda Count.
Superior Court telling him sat
his children had been taken into
custody because of neglect. and
' that there would be a hearing on
the disposition of the children on
Jan. 28, to which he should show,
up or send an attorney. The hear-
ing was two days before Sood was
given the letter by stockade of fic-
Pvt. Ricky Lee Dodd, who went
on trial for mutiny March 5, is a
dropout from Hayward College
who entered the service as an
alternative to Juvenile court crim-
inal proceedings. An epileptic
Dodd was once made to stand at
attention during a fit. He has
attempted suicide five times. Last
summer he hanged himself in the
stockade and was pronounced
dead on' arrival at Letterman Hos-
He revived, only to be returned
to thedstockade, where he was
confined in "the box", a cell four'
and a half by five by eight, feet
in which there was no latrine and
where prisoners must sleep on an
iron grating. The next day, ac-
cording to a sworn statement by
prisoner Keith Mather, a guard
squirted him with a "squirt gun"
containing urine. They also offer-
ed him razor blades, 'saying, "If
you want to kill yourself, here you
was brutally beaten by guards at
the Treasure Island Marine Brig
in San Francisco. Other members
of the 27 have met 'similar treat-
ment. Pvt. Lawrence Zaino, whose
trial has been recessed because he
suffered a complete nervous
breakdown, was also assaulted at
Treasure Island.
The officer investigating t h e
"mutiny," Capt. Richard Millard,
had recommended in his report
that Zaino be discharged in ac-
cordance with the advice of Army
psychiatrists. Since that report
was made, Zaino has sought psy-
chiatric help several times, and
has made two attempts on his life.
Sood and the other men already
convicted had all been previously


Consensus is a useful form of decis-
ion making only when most of those in-
volved are likely to have similar inter-
ests. But it is meaningless to bring in
people with new ideas and different in-
terests without giving them a vote.
The idea of "increased information"
flow is of little importance without vot-
ing power. Someone without the power to
vote on decisions can be easily ignored on
the whim of the real decision-makers.
Unfortunately, the writers of the report
demonstrate a basic understanding of
this fact by Livin, the executive and ten_-


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