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August 27, 1969 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-08-27

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, August 27, 1969

'U'

seeks

to

clarify

role

of

ROTC

on

cam pus

By RON LANDSMAN
If the U.S. military wstab-
lishment is really looking f o r
an example of the domino
theory, it should take a look
at the anti-war movement. Th2
tottering of the Vietmn dom-
ino has lead to a re-ealuation
of other so-called national
priorities, like the anti-ballisti(-
missile system and the Reserve
Officers' Training Corps.
Not that this chain reaction
wasn't for'seen. Almost two
years ago, for example, political
science Prof. Alfred Meyer said
le was "really surprised anti-
war people haven't gone afte
ROTC." Now they have,
At a series of schools across
the country, students have de-
manded that ROTC be thrown
off campus. And at a number
of schools --like Stanford, Har-
vard and Yale the faculty
has responded by at least elim-
inating credit for ROTC cours-
es.
At this University, the ques-
tion of ROTC has been consid-
ered - and continues to be con-
sidered --by a series of faculty
decision-making bodies. And by
this fall, the faculty may have
an answer to the controversy.
Perhaps.
The faculty began acting on
the ROTC question in late 1968
with a literary college curri-

culum committee study of the
academic content and merit of
ROTC coursas.
The highlight of those meet-
ings, which lasted into early
this year, was a debate of sorts
between philosophy Prof. Carl
Cohen and some pro-ROTC stu-
dents.
Cohen went on the attack,
eliciting admissions that, "yes,
RO'T'C is career training," and
than going to the logical c o n-

With the study re-opened, a
subcommittee chaired by econ-
omies Prof. Locke Anderson pro-
ceeded to go over all the in-
formation on ROTC. The sub-
committee's conclusion: Except
for a few good courses, most
ROTC material is "conjectural,
non-analytical, cheaply moral-
istic and often blatantly pro-
pagandistic."
With this new report at hand,
the curriculum committee voted

The subcommittee's conclusion: Except for
a1 few good(courses, most ROTC muterial is
COnjeCtu rally nion-analytical, cheaIply Imoral l-
istic and11( often blatntly propgangdistic."

University-wide representative'
faculty group, to study ROTC.
As this supplement goes to
press, Assembly's Academic Af-
fairs Committee is preparing a
report.
Theoretically, Assembly's op-
tions range from barring ROTC
from campus completely to es-
tablishing an independent, Uni-
\ersity-wide department similar
to the set-up as it is presently
constituted.
Assembly cannot, in fact, act
independently, however. What-
ever decision ultimately is made,
tle University will still be faced
with1 present contracts with the
Deense Department which de-
line the status of ROTC on
campus.
Under those contracts, the
University is obligated to give
the three ROTC programs
army, navy and air force) of-
fice and classroom space, a field
and a gym for marching exer-
eses and "appropriate" aca-
denic credit for courses taught.
In addition, the University
g r a n t s temporary academic
ranks to the ROTC instructors
and. as a matter of courtesy,
the officers are invited to meet-
inns of the faculties of a num-
ber of schools and colleges.
in return, the three service
supply teachers and appropriate
course materials for their pro-
grams, and perform other ne-

cessary functions in the aca-
demic bureaucracy.
Formally, the University has
the right to review and reject
any instructors offered by the
military. But this right is rare-
ly exercised.
"You can't really tell much
by a man's dossier," says one
literary college administrator
who worked extensively w it h
ROTC, "so there was never
much of a review of anyone who
was sent here,"
For the student, ROTC can
mean anything from an easily

obtained scholarship to a trap
set by the military.
1o stay in the program, all
upperclassmen must sign con-
tracts with their services --
contracts that bind them to
three or four years of active
duty after they graduate.
In return for agreeing to ac-
cept a commission as an officer
upon graduation, the student
gets all his ROTC needs paid
for, and stipends for books and
tuition. Some scholarship stu-
dents get. up to $50 A month in
addition.
Although the only very visible

sign of the ROTC controversy
at the University has been a
few rallies held by Students for
a Democratic Society, there has
been considerable dialogue
around campus on the issue.
And a growing divergence on
the issues is apparent.
Pro-ROTC conservatives have
argued that abolishing the pro-
grain would only serve to per-
petuate the military in its pre-
sent state.
Anti-militarist radicals a n d
liberals agree that the army
needs ROTC to be good and

conclude that the University
should abolish ROTC to strike
at the military.
Perhaps the strongest view of
all on the issue was expressed
in June when a bomb rocked
the ROTC classroom building
{North Hall), blowing out scores
of windows and setting fire to
the structure.
Where dialogue failed to eli-
minate ROTC, however, so too
has bombing failed. Damage to
the building was not major (and
there were no injuries) and
ROTC courses will resume as
scheduled in the fall.

Students battle requirements

clusion if ROTC deserves
academic credit, so does plumb-
ing.
Despite the strength of Co-
hen's arguments, the committee
took a moderate position, re-
commending that credit for the
ROTC program be given a max-
imum of four rather than 12
credits toward completion of
LSA degr e requirements. .
This recommendation was
sent to the literary college exe-
cutive committee, but was re-
turned to tha curriculum com-
mittee for further study.

to recommend cutting all credit
for ROTC courses.
Back in the executive coin-
mittee, however, the proposal
was again turned down. This
time, the executive committee
said it was clear that academic
credit was not the key question
-that is was only one aspect
of a larger attack on ROTC.
Therefore, committee members
argued, let the wider issue be
considered first.
In line with this view, liter-
ary college Dean William Hays
asked Senate Assembly, t h e

(Continued frmvinPage1)
ing failure of student leaders to
crystalize a sizeable movement
around the language issue, SGC
made one last attempt to pres-
sure the faculty by scheduling a
referendum on the requirements
issue.
The March meeting of the lac-
ulty--held two weeks before the
poll would be taken-was the
turning point of the controver-
sy, however.
Sitting as a committee of the
whole, the professors were poll-
ed on a series of alternatives to

the requirement. And in what
was to be the biggest, surprise
of the language fight, the only
proposal which drew firm facul-
ty support tas one drawn up by
an ad hoc committee.
The conmit tee's proposal was,
in essence. the QBS.
One professor explained the
popularity of the BGS proposal,
describing it as a wav of cater-
ing to students who wish to do
college-level wNork without ~e-
ceiving a liberal education.
In accepting the BOS, the fa-
culty sought deliberately to meet
the students' demands but to

undercut them by denigrating always const
the result. The faculty intended the requirer
very definitely to give the stu- Despite th
dents. hat they wanted - in a culty to elin
guage study,
second-rate and inferior degree. the bachelo
However, it is still an open there is little
question whether they succeeded dents will o
because admissions personnel drive again
have indicated no preference again this f.
between degree titles. Thmeear
While the faculty waited un- this. Despite
til the April meeting for the re- the BGS, th
port of a special committee on ceded genera
precise formulation of the pro- ed the com
posed BGS, students went to the some studen
polls and voted 3-1 in favor of the require
ending the language require- their person
ment. But the poll came too late ations and d
to have any effect. The faculty More imp
had already shown their disdain the growing
fo'- student opinion by ignoring v dent leader
the petitions. And by March structure of
they were firmly set on the BGS must be atta
as the ultimate solution. to win signif
So, when a special faculty feeling wasc
meeting in early April rolled year by the o
around, there was little surprise student opi
that the BGS was adopted. most faculty
What was surprising was the Newly-elec
action of the faculty at a meet- Marty McLa
ing four days later'. In what ap- Radical Cau
peared to be the faculty's first servative" m
and only admission that langu- who he says
age is badly taught at the Uni- interest, for
versity, It was agreed that stu- the language
demits could now take language And while
on a pass-fail basis. In addition, Laughlin isr
he faculty decided that four broader atta
vear:s of hi 'h :chool study would the faculty i
eI ish Il of You

titute completion of
ment.
e failure of the fa-
minate foreign lan-
as a requirement for
r of arts, degree
likelihood that stu-
)rganize a major
:t the requirement
all.
'two reasons for
e the limitations of
e new degree is con-
ally to have answer-
plaints of at least
ts who had opposed
ments because of
al academic inclin-
difficulties.
ortant, however, is
feeling among stu-
s that the power
the college itself
cked if students are
ficant reforms. This
only aggravated last
bvious disregard for
nion expressed In
actions.
ted SGC President
.ghlin, a member of
cus, scoffs at "con-
aembers of Council
now have expressed
the first time, in
fight.
he laughs, Mc-
making plans for a
ck on the power of
n the fall.
t' P'
op'
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