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June 24, 1964 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1964-06-24

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Seventy-Third Year
"Where Opinions Are Free
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in al reprints.

"['ll Get You In There If It Kills You"
~z~i ___

Shastri To Share Authority

Toward Better Education:
Abolish Graduation

Second of a Two Part Series
Daily Guest Writer
MARGAO-GOA-The election of
Lal Bahadur Shastri as the
leader of the Parliamentary Con-
gress party and consequently as
the new prime minister was in-
deed a political necessity follow-
ing the death of Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru as much as
perhaps the wish of Nehru him-
self. The quiet and skillful man-
ner in which Kamraj Nadar,
parliamentary Congress president,
brought this about truly saved
the congress and the nation a
crisis of political succession.
But the crucial issue was never
in doubt: because the Congress
party is so significantly split in
two rather powerful wings the
choice of a prime minister from
among either of the wings would
have been an open invitation for
a bitter organizational struggle
possibly leading to the fragmenta-
tion of the congress itself. Such
crises occurred twice during the
very government of Nehru. In-
deed the first occurred during the

THE UNIVERSITY is not simply in the
education business. It also dispenses
another product: symbols of education.
Among these symbols are grades, credit
hours and degrees.
The symbols themselves are supposed
to be important only in that they reflect
the education. But as education's critics
have long been saying, the problem is
that the symbols come to be ends in
themselves-ends which overshadow and
even totally eclipse the original educa-
tional goals.
People who bemoan this corruption of
education generally concentrate their at-
tacks on the grading system, and less
frequently on the credit-hour concept.
Such attacks lose much of their force
because these symbols can be defended
on educational grounds-"grades provide
necessary motivation for academic work"
-or at least on practical grounds -
"grades are needed by prospective em-
ployers and graduate schools." Thus a
plausible case can be made to the ef-
fect that these devices are, at worst, nec-
essary evils.
BUT IT'S SURPRISING that even the
most radical reformers seldom ques-
tion the practice of giving out degrees-
surprising because there is hardly a more
useless and silly tradition in the tired old
world of higher education than the tra-
dition of graduation. If, as they constant-
ly claim, University officials really make
decisions on educational grounds, they
should abolish the degree program alto-
gether. For the custom of awarding de-
grees adds nothing to the educational
process and in fact has several deleterious
effects upon it.
Most basically, it sets up an arbitrary
point at which one's college education is
over. This in turn means several things:
For the entering student, it sets up a
simple, acceptable goal for which to
strive. It shifts the emphasis from the
education he might get to the degree he
will receive, thus removing the incentive
to ask those valuable, disconcerting ques-
tions about what sort of education he
wants, when he wants it, and why.
FOR THE MORE experienced student,
it exerts an overwhelming pressure for
standardization. Some undergraduates,
for example, are fed up with college
after two or three years-yet they "stick
it out"-wasting a year or two of their
lives-because they've "only got a year or
two to go" until graduation. Others could
profitably take undergraduate courses for
five or six years, yet they usually allow
graduation to kill their educational ca-
reer in its prime.
Not only their length of residence here
but their decisions as to what courses to
take are likely to be degree-rather than
education-oriented. Academic counsel-
ors, who should be advising on education-
.al matters, are primarily concerned with
advising students as to what the re-
quirements are for various degrees;
among students, the quest for "mickey
mouse" courses to fill out those last few
degree requirements is notorious.
For the misfit, the student whose edu-
cational needs don't fit one of the various
"degree programs," it means two liabili-
ties: first, the "second-class citizen" stat-
us of a "special student" while in the
University; second, uneven competition
against degree-holders in the race for
jobs and graduate-school admissions.
tion usually spelled the end of educa-
tion-the point at which he laid down his
books and stopped growing intellectually.
The main theme of the customary gradu-

ation ceremony is that the students are
now "going out into the world," i.e., that
"education" is over and "life" is about
to begin. Thus it plays a major part in
perpetuating the idea that college is a
"parenthesis"-a period of life in which
one doesn't take part in society but
merely languishes in some sort of aca-
demic stupor.
And in a nation where "college gradu-
ate" is becoming synonymous with "edu-
cated person," it makes education appear
to be an all-or-nothing proposition: you
either have a degree or you don't. But
this simple dichotomy obscures the fact
f-1..- .1 n - - - -4 A ff 4..vr . - 1^ n1,;

ply attend the University as long as they
felt they were benefitting from it, or un-
til they decided they had reached their
educational goals-whether it took one
semester or eight or twenty. Later, they
would be permitted-even encouraged-
to return to the University when and if
they felt a need for further studies. The
crucial point is that each student's edu-
cational decisions would be his own-and
he would not be penalized for failing to
remake them in the image of someone
else's "degree program."
It would not require a radical remak-
ing of other educational policies. Distri-
bution requirements would lose their
compulsory nature but could still stand
as reputable guideposts to students desir-
ing a liberal education. Grades and cred-
its on a transcript would tell an employer
as much as he knows now about a poten-
tial employe's qualifications-more, in
fact, than a mere diploma tells. The
money saved by abolishing graduation ef-
forts would be devoted to more compe-
tent and meaningful academic and career
counseling, to help each student design
his own ideal program.
It's hard to predict how the public
would react to such a striking departure.
But a strong public-relations drive, de-
signed to dramatize and explain the
'move, could well turn it into a public-
relations victory. And it would be re-
greshing to see public relations serving
education, for a change.
Abolishing degree programs would en-
tail no investment of money, no disloca-
tions, no radical restructuring of the Uni-
versity. It would entail nothing more
than a decision. Yet that decision might
well revolutionize University education--
and the revolution would be all for the
bringing with it the likelihood that
Barry Goldwater will capture the GOP
presidential nomination, many Repub-
licans up for or election (or re-election)
in the fall are evidently growing more
and more fearful that their political ca-
reers will not survive the closing of the
polls. In Michigan, this general apprehen-
sion about a Democratic landslide has
manifested itself in the form of a heated
battle over the "Massachusetts Ballot."
The object of all this controversy is
a bill, passed by the Republican-domin-
ated Legislature in their last session and
subsequently signed by Gov. George Rom-
ney, which replaces Michigan's present
ballot with one which does not permit
the individual to vote a straight ticket
merely by pulling a lever or by marking
a circle at the top of the ballot.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have been
vigorously opposing the ballot on the
grounds that it would be too time-con-
suming for citizens. Having vigorously
opposed the bill when it made the rounds
of the Legislature, they are now frantical-
ly trying to round up 250,000 signatures
on a petition which would prevent the
new ballot from taking effect.
THE REASON FOR ALL the fuss is ap-
parent: it is not a ballot which is at
stake, but Romney's political future. For
if Goldwater is nominated and Republi-
cans by the score turn in disgust to John-
son as "the lesser of two evils," Romney
would be out of office in no time - if
enough people who vote for Johnson de-
cide to take the easy way out and vote

a straight Democratic ticket. Without go-
ing into the whys and wherefores of one
candidate's political views against an-
other's, it must be generally admitted
that the fabric of Goldwater's coattails
is hardly strong enough to hold many
other Republican office-seekers.
It is understandable then that Rom-
ney should be in favor of the new bal-
lot, since his chances for re-election
would be greatly aided if voters were
made to stop and consider each candi-
date instead of voting a straight ticket.
At the same time, it is just as under-
standable that the Democrats would try
_- - - ve -- . -- - f- ih n +r vn - -


GOP Landslide in the Offing?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
first in a series of articles survey-
ing the fortunes of the Republican
Party in the weeks to come. Har-
rah will cover the 1964 GOP Na-
tional Convention for The Daily
and for CBS News.)
BY ALL that's predictable these
days, the Republicans are in
for a landslide victory over Presi-
dent Johnson this November, re-
gardless of whom they nominate.
(This prediction predicated on the
theory that whomever the unan-
imously erroneous polls say can't
possibly win must be a shoo-in.)
But alas, very little is predict-
able, as the nation's political poll-
sters have discovered so far in
the current campaign. As early as

March in New Hampshire, the
polls were predicting a Goldwater
win-and who should turn up on
top but semi-favorite son Henry
Cabot Lodge.
In Wisconsin, the polls begrudg-
ed Gov. Wallace some 100,000 votes
if he was lucky. He got 250,000. In
Maryland they gave him slightly
under 40 per cent of the vote and
he nearly won.
IN OREGON, the pollsters con-
fidently predicted a repeat per-
formance for Lodge, but Rocke-
feller came out on top. In Cali-
fornia, they struck out twice: The
polls predicted Rockefeller for the
GOP choice and Alan Cranston,
California state controller, for the

Union Services--
For Students or No?

To the Editor:
THE INCIDENT I relate is in-
dividual and personal, but I
believe it has wider significance
and for that reason and that rea-
son only, I relate it.
Actually, it involves very little:
while using the executive office
in the Michigan Union Activities
Wing with two other editors, pre-
paring a manuscript, a student
manager challenged our presence
and threw us out. Very simple.
Except the fact that 1) permis-
sion for use of the office had been
given us by a Union officer in
writing; 2) the student manager
acted almost gleefully belligerent;
and with no cause 3) arrogantly
insulted a professor from Harvard
and (evidently to show his keen
sense of equality) an instructor at
our beloved University, going so
far as to challenge the former to
a fist-fight.
TRIVIAL? WELL yes and no.
Yes because any question could
have been easily resolved without
stress. But no, because this man-
ager's superiors evidently approve
of his actions and what is more,
condone or pooh-pooh his in-
solence. The wider significance of
the incident is the conclusion
which must be drawn from the
remarks of the student manager
and the manager as well, that stu-
dent officers don't set policy for
the Union, not even in regard to
their own offices and facilities,
and that the Student Union is
not for student service.
The Michigan Union is categor-
ized in a recent publicity bulletin
(by the Michigan Union) as a
service organization for the Uni-
versity Community. It extracts
(from tuition fees) $7.50 a head
from males in order to carry out
such ends.
MY ANGER is directed at one
overzealous and petty bureaucrat
caught up with picayune illusions
of grandeur and a whole massive
bureacracy in the middle of cam-
pus that seems to have lost sight
bf its shoes for the girth of its
The incident is personal because
the student manager, a Mr. Good,
crudely insulted myself and my
editors-years his senior; and his
superior, Mr. Meyers, blindly
backed him up. The inconvenience
was for no reason except, perhaps
Mr. Good's ego-salve.
Upon being told that his tactics
belonged to the stone age. Mr.
Good said he didn't care. Asked
about a possible loss of position
because of actions insulting people
who pay his salary and contrary
to the student-officers' wishes,
Mr. Good reiterated "I don't care."
He went on to elaborate "Union"
ann" ir rn'+ hnit my

Mr. Good does not deserve the
salary the Union pays him. He
does not deserve to be in a posi-
tion where he can mis-represent
the purpose of a "Student Union."
Mr. Good and apparently his su-
periors are of the opinion that
THEY are running a hotel and
restaurant and that THEY answer
to no one. Mr. Good apparently
thinks the Union a private organi-
zation not subsidized, not pro-
tected by student fees and Uni-
versity favor.
This is not a raillery against all
the Union's employes, the major-
ity of which I have found in four
years, fine, pleasant people. Nor
against the student officers whom
I have found deserving of much
praise for their activities in the
University community: Michigras,
Air-Flights, Art Festival, ad in-
But I think they and the stu-
dentsof the "Harvard of the Mid-
West" as our P.R. department tells
the world, deserve a little better
treatment at the hands of people
they pay; that they know who
actually runs thesUnion and for
what purposes. As it looks now,
it's make money and the students
be damned. If so, I want my $7.50
-George A. White, '65
To the Editor:
frets so much about its "im-
age,"the University is pretty in-
considerate in dealing with its
summer session students, many of
whom are adults here for special
Their first experience with the
University is registration. Now, at
3:07 p.m. yesterday, there were
29 one-day-late students waiting
in line for their registration ma-
terials at Window A in the Ad-
ministration Bldg. They were
waiting in line for the one sec-
retary at Window A because Win-
dows B, C, D, and so on all had
signs saying "Closed. Go to Win-
dow A," like they alwaysdo.
A glance at the other clerical
activity in the area revealed no
one who appeared especially over-
worked or distraught. Why, then,
couldn't someone, anyone, lift a
finger, if only for a few minutes,
to help pass out the necessary
Perhaps to some officials in
Registration and Records, a 29-
person line is not very long, and
those who remember the days in
Waterman Gym beforehpreregis-
tration might agree.
YET A 15 OR 20 minute wait on
a hot day. is long enough for
students of any age when, with a

Democratic Senate nod, and of
course the victories went to Gold-
water and former White House
press aide Pierre Salinger.
With a showing like that, one
would place little or no credence
in what the polls have to say;
they may or may not be right.
Now the press is practically
unanimous in its opinion that the
GOP wil simply wilt before the
tremendous prestige and states-
menlike qualities of Lyndon Baines
Well, they could be wrong-dead
wrong, from Walter Lippmann and
Emmet John Hughes, two eminent
pundits who should know better
than to be so confident in this
fast changing era, right down
through the infamous Drew Pear-
son, who is expected to do little
more than a hatchet job.
JOHNSON CAN BE defeated-
and with surprising ease, for there
are a ghastly number of pitfalls
before him, which, in spite of the
eagerness of the press to over-
look them, will not go away. If
anything they'll get bigger.
To begin with, the Democrats
did not win by much in 1960. The
Republicans were successful in los-
ing virtually every state it was
possible to loose, and still they al-
most won.
That was 1960 when the man in
the White House was Dwight
Eisenhower. The GOP contender,
Vice-President Nixon, felt obligat-
ed to defend the Eisenhower rec-
ord, which for everything else, was
not dynamic. The Democratic
challenger was Sen. Kennedy, the
handsome, energetic young aven-
ger, who badgered away at his
opponent with the unceasing spirit
of a hawk attacking a snake.
And still, he almost didn't win,
even though he had the Republi-
cans in full retreat.
* * *
NOW, IN 1964, Kennedy is gone.
The man in the White House is
Lyndon Johnson, the Texan who
opposed Kennedy bitterly at the
1960 convention, then consented to
be his running mate, in one of the
most astounding about-faces on
record; and this is the Lyndon
Johnson who persuaded the South
that Kennedy was good for them-
the Lyndon Johnson whom the
polls, with their disgraceful record,
claim cannot be beaten.
Well then, suppose for a mo-
ment that the polls are right-
that Johnson can't lose. Suppos-
ing this, the Republicans have ob-
solutely nothing to lose by hitting
him full force with all their am-
munition. They can question his
policies in Southeast Asia, where
American troops are giving their
lives daily in a war they aren't
allowed to win, hampered by out-
moded, clumsy, ancient equipment
and jeopardized by the most inept
political bungling seen in many
They can question his Cuba
policy, which permits Castro to
harass the United States Naval
Base at Guantanamo, his Latin
American policy, which permits
American military men and diplo-
mats to be kidnapped by local in-
surgents, which permits the fla-
grant seizure of American industry
in South America.
son's own honesty-his connection
with the Bobby Baker dealings, his
operation of the Austin broadcast-
ing stations, his portrayl of a
North Carolina couple as poverty
stricken, when in fact their farm
will clear $1500 this year and will
gross nearly $5000-hardly a pov-
erty wage.
They can attack his handling of
civil rights, for no matter what
Congress has done, the Negroes
aren't going to like it and the
Southerners aren't going to like
It would seem that any man who

lifetime of Mahatma Gandi when
the powerful right wing led by
Vallabhai Patel literally pushed
the socialist wing led by Jai-
Prakash Narayan, Ashok Mehta
and others out of the congress.
The second such crisis rocked
the congress during the Chinese
invasion in October, 1962 when
the massive assault of the right
wing ousted the then Defense
Minister Krishna Menon and later
K. D. Malaviya from the Council
of Ministers. The now famous
Kamraj Plan was really the effort
of Nehru to restore the political
balance in his cabinet.
* * *
IN SELECTING the new prime
minister from among either of
the two wings the party faced
another similar crisis. The elec-
tion of Morarji Desai would have
polarized the party in two massive
wings even breaking up the sig-
nificantly important moderates.
Kamraj Nadar knew too well to
permit such a development.
Admittedly this was not all that
went against Morarji Desai. His
rigid outlook and authoritarian
personality have earned him sev-
eral powerful enemies not only in
and outside the congress but even
inside the right wing.Desai as
pirime minister would have been
a major political liability for the
But the political unfeasibility of
Desai's candidacy was not all that
was in Shastri's favor. Of all the
present leaders, except of course
Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Shastri was
closest to Nehru both personally
and in terms of his policies and
political faith. In fact Nehru, Mrs.
Gandhi and Shastri formed the
ruling clique of the congress in
the last few years.
This identification of Shastri
with the late prime minister's
policies is of vital import in cur-
rent international politics espe-
cially in regard to the policy of
nonalignment. Desai's election
would have clearly drawn India
closer to the western camp; al-
ready India's reliance on the West
since the Chinese invasion has
caused considerable alarm in the
Kremlin and a further shift may
have forced the Soviet Union to
come to terms with the belligerent
Chinese Communists. Such a pos-
sibility is fraught with serious
dangers to India and it must have
weighed heavily in the minds of
the senior congress leaders during
the election of the new leader,
favouring Shastri immensely.
*I * *
SECONDLY the chance of hold-
ing the congress together with all
its wings is far greater with an
effective axis between Shastri,
Nadar and some of the other
senior leaders. In the immediate
period of Nehru's departure this
consideration is of vital party and
national interest.
And lastly, Shastri, despite his
seemingly bland personality, has
an unusual knack for not making
enemies even in really exasperat-
ing situations. In fact his "sooth-
ing touch" is a byword in New
Delhi political circles. He is known
for reaching satisfactory solutions
to controversial problems without
antagonizing even the affected
parties. Shastri, in other words,
can get along with almost every-
one-a position which even Nehru
did not enjoy.
People have often been misled
by the simplicity of Shastri. Be-
hind it, however, is a mind at once
sharp, shrewd and highly percep-
tive. He has the ability to feel
instinctively the mood of events,
situations and people and to adopt
a strategy suitable to the occasion.
This has given him the reputation
of being soft unlike Nehru who
often ramroded a decision in the
face of violent opposition.
In fact, however, Shastri has
often achieved his objectives with
greater effectiveness than Nehru
did his but with far lesser fuss
and controversy; Nehru himself
was quisk to appreciate this skill
of Shastri. And this, indeed, is

going to be the trump card of the
new prime minister.
nonetheless watch very carefully
Our Policy
New readers will find The
Daily's editorial page unusual
and perhaps a bit baffling.
Daily editorials will contradict
each other from day to day-
and sometimes two editorials on
the same page will present dia-
metrically opposed viewpoints.
Unlike those in most news-
papers, Daily editorials do not
represent the views of "the
paper" as ahwhole.sEach edi-
torial presents the observations,
judgments and opinions of its
writer and of him alone. No
opinions-and within the libel
laws, no subjects(save one re-
striction) -are taboo. (The re-
striction is a policy set by the
Board in Control of Student
Publications which prohibits
Daily staffers from taking sides
in Regents' elections.) No writ-
er's viewpoint is twisted or
stretched to fit an editorial
"line." Each editorial is meant
to stand or fall on the merits
of the argument it presents. not

the possibility is greater that the
different ministries will follow
different policies inconsistent with
each other reflecting the ideolog-
ical biases of the ministers head-
ing them. It is essentially for this
reason that a certain amount of
confusion in internal economic
and political policies looks immi-
nent. The confusion was apparent
even during Nehru's administra-
tion; it is likely to grow further
Over the next year or two much

for Shastri's getting a ma.stery
over the cabinet. What really are
these prospects? Much would, of
course, depend upon the support
the Congress party lends him. In
so far as his home state politics
goes, Shastri is certainly weak for
he can expect little help from the
United Province congress and the
United Province government.
The most vital factor in party
matters is, however. the attitude of
Nadar; undoubtedly his solid sup-
port to Shastri has provided a
most powerful political axis in
India. For Shastri the congress
president will doubtless be a per-
son to rely a great deal upon
from now on. During the adminis-
tration of Shastri the office of
the congress president will gain
considerably in political stature,
influencing national politics in
many ways.
The other challenge to Shastri's
authority can come from within
the cabinet. It appears likely that
the senior congress leaders in the
cabinet will continue to look at
him at most as an equal. Until
he establishes a firm control over
his cabinet, his ability to get his
policies accepted by it will require
extremely dexterous manipulation.
While Shastri is capable of it,



will depend upon Shastri's ability
to bring to his key cabinet posts
a set of Congress leaders who
broadly share his political faith.
Mrs. Gandhi's entry into the cab-
inet would be a step in this direc-
tion. Indeed in so far as Shastri
is concerned, Mrs. Gandhi will be
a tremendous help. Over the years
her role as the official hostess and
the political confidante of her
father brought her in close touch
with practically all the senior
leaders of the world. During these
encounters she has been able to
establish a good rapport with
many of the dominating personal-
ities in international politics-an
asset which Shastri cannot afford
to ignore especially in a person
politically so close to him.
THE PROSPECT for the Shastri
government is, therefore, some-
what mixed. The powerful pres-
sures of the two wings for party
domination and the likely centri,
fugal force~s in the cabinet will
raise considerable alarm about the
drift in national politics. Shastri's
political weakness in his own home
state and a relative lack of control
over his cabinet colleagues will
also cause some anxiety. In ag-
gregate all these will undoubtedly
result in some diffusion of the
authority of the prime minister.
As against these forces, the new
leader has the strong and able
support of the congress president
and of the important group of
party moderates. Also Shastri's
identification with Nehru's poli-
cies will stand him in good politi-
cal stea.r1 enpniallin his deal.


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