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August 27, 1969 - Image 7

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Wednesday, August 27, 1969


Page Seven

Wednesday, August 27, 1969 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven'

Sorority life:
The rat race





(NOTE: The author Is a inember of
SiĀ±,,xna Dela 'Fai
Living in a sorority is an al-
ternative. But whether or not it
is "viable" depends on the indi-
vidual girl and the house she
No one has to feel that it is
imperative to join a sorority-it
is just not necessary. Although
it is true that Panhellenic As-
sociation and Interfraternity
Council sponsor concerts and
other events, these organizations
are not the life force of the
University, and no one has to
feel "out-of-it" if she is not a
sorority girl.
With growing difficulties fac-
ing sorority life the number of
girls suited to sororities appears
to be dropping. Less and less
girls go through formal r u s h
every year and some houses are
having trouble filling their
quotas. Upperclass members
tend to depledge and float away
into independence.
Some girls join sororities be-
cause that is the way they want
to live here. They enjoy the pro-
per social rat races and sisterly
Some members of the class of
'71 and preceding classes pled-
ged sororities because that was
their way out then of required
dorm living-
Some sororities are nice places
to live in-compared to the
dorms. A few houses are warm,
plush, and large. Girls also had
relatively more freedom in the
sorority house than in the dorm.
But, the house seems smaller
when all 60 girls are around
with their boyfriends or when
some loner tries to find an em-
pty room to practice her guitar
or just get away from sisterly
The house also becomes small-
er when your sisters vote
against allowing male visitors in
the house after in i d n i g h t
or when they vote to maintain
dress regulations. Suddenly the
walls get closer and the easy
living soror feels the restrictions
of having 60 sisters deciding

how she must live in her
It is at this time--when she
must tell her boyfriend he can-
not come in for a while, or when
she has to rush after her 4 o-
clock class to change into a
dress for dinner-that the soror
best understands the benefits
of apartment living or the soli-
tude she gave up for the' soft
life of the sorority.
The sorority is not an alto-
gether bad experience for any-
one. But, it is very hard to break
housing contracts-yes, sorori-
ties have damage deposits simi-
lar to the Ann Arbor landlords,
only house damage deposits cov-
er two to three years.
Depledging also leaves bitter
feelings in the house which are
simply not nice and unneces-
Friends made in sororities can
be real ones, but often it is hard
to maintain friendships between
sororities or between sorority
and the outside University com-
munity. This is common because
the activities one must take
part in to be a good soror can
take up a lot of time, besides
creating social circles.
Also, outsiders more than not
belittle the sorority girls. Once
the sorority girl is exposed in
Radical Caucus, the tutorial
project, or-yes, even The Daily
-she is likely to lose several
would-be friends who just dis-
dain those "sorority girls". But
many girls are now extending
their lives beyond house projects
and are permeating most of
University life, so the image may
yet change.
Sororities need not stifle any-
one's imagination or radicalism
but it is necessary to keep in
mind that when one belongs to
a group-any group-one must
accept that group's corporate
Before rushing, the pledgee
better know just how much she
is willing to let the house re-
present her.
When she disagrees with
house policy but is unable to
change her sorors' opinions, as
a member of that house she
miust go along with its decisions.

On most college campuses the
student union is the place where
the proverbial action is at any
time of the day.
The University, like its fel-
low campuses, also has its union
-but the action most definitely
is not there. In fact, beyond the
daily rush for lunch and the
seasonal alumni football rush,
the Union is relatively lifeless.
In addition to its moribund at-
mosphere, the Union has been
steadily losing money over the
years. Last year, only two oth-
er Big Ten unions lost more
But President Robben Flem-
ing and Vice President and Chief
Financial officer Wilbur K. Pier-
pont were not content to let
matters rest as they were. So
they commissioned Douglas Os-
terheld, assistant vice president
for business and /finance at the
University of Wisconsin, to
make a study of the Union's fi-
nancial and institutional prob-
However, Osterheld, who pre-
sented his report in March,
went beyond mere financial and
institutional review, making re-
commendations for re-orienting
the Union from a service or-
ganization for alumni to a cen-
ter for student affairs and acti-
Currently, the Union is an
autonomous institution within
the University, governed by a

board of directors, who are res-
ponsible only to the Regents. It
is funded by a $6 allocation per
year from each male student.
(The Union originally was an
all male club, and the Michigan
League was built for women).
Osterheld has recommended
that the Union be brought more
extensively under University
control, coordinating its finan-
cial and organizational affairs
under the chief financial offi-
cer and the vice president for
student affairs, respectively. Os-
terheld also says the Union
should be granted more money
each year for management costs.
'The report also makes several
suggestions for making the
costly food service more effici-
Since April, committees to
study the financial recommenda-
tions and space allocation in the
Union have been researching
Osterheld's recommendations.
As this supplement goes to press,
no major changes have been an-
nounced, but they are expected
Osterheld's most significant
recommendation suggests mov-
ing the entire Office of Student
Affairs and the offices of stu-
dent organizations to the Union
from their present location in
the Student Activities Bldg.
Through the conversion of
some older hotel rooms and Un-
ion offices, Osterheld says more
floor space than is presently in
the SAB would be available for
the offices.
Dubious management of food
service staff and facilities was
cited as a cause of present fi-
nancial difficulties.In the main
dining room, for example, Os-
terheld found "gross overstaff-
ing"-there have been from 11-
14 people on hand to serve only
10-32 guests.
Osterheld has offered both
immediate and long range re-
commendations to correct this
mismanagement. An immediate
alternative would be centralizing
all authority for the Union food
service in one person.
Longer range suggestions call

for consolidation of all Univer-
sity food services to reduce com-
petition between the existing in-
dependent food services-espec-
ially the Union, League and
North Campus Commons.
Although college campuses are
changing to less centralized in-
stitutions, Osterheld maintains
a union can remain a vital or-
ganization if it "reflects with
sensitivity the changes being ex-
periences in its community."
The report lists five "manda-
tory" steps to make the Union
a vital University center:
-The existing board of direc-
tors and the corporate structure
must be dissolved. Osterheld re-
commends restructuring t h e
board into a combined League
and Union board responsible for
the operation of both.
-A two-board system of in-
ternal Union control should be
established. One board would
make Union policy and would be
composed of students, faculty
members, alumni and members
of the Union staff. The other
would set up programs and
would include chairmen of all
the various "interest groups."
Students from this board wopld
be the representatives of the
policy board.
-Student activities program-
ming should be transferred to
the Union. This includes the of-
fices of the vice president for
student affairs.
--The Union director should
report to the vice president for
student affairs on educational
programs and to the vice presi-
dent and chief financial officer
on business matters.
-The Union should become a
University department with its
own revolving fund but with a
University allocation to hire a
staff of resource people to aid
programming development.
Osterheld warned however,
that any real changes "can be
affected only by leadership from
the top University officers and
very likely will require consider-
able effort on the part of Pre-
sident Fleming.

The Union: Centetr for alumni

Ombudsman for foreign students

If you're a foreign student
and you have a problem, the
International Center can help
you- or tell you who can.
The center, located in the
Union, serves approximately
1700. foreign students. It pro-
vides them with virtually all
services that do not come under
academic departments, and it
serves as a counseling center on
opportunities abroad for Amer-
ican students.
Director Robert Klinger de-
scribes the center's functions as

falling into three categories-
counseling, student-community
relations, and program opportu-
"Personal counseling is by
far our largest item," Klinger
says, "as far as the amount of
time we spend on it is con-
cerned." The center offers its
services in areas from marital
counseling to what Klinger
terms "cocktail-hour anthropol-
During its orientation pro-
gram the center tries to give
new foreign students a feeling
of the American culture. Social

manners often differ widely be-
tween countries, Klinger says,
and this can present very real
problems to new students.
Because almost 80 per cent of
the foreign students are at the
graduate level, the Internation-
al Center-primarily in the area
of housing-becomes a mediator
between foreign students and
the community.
The center has no housing fa-
cilities of its own and the Uni-
versity has only one graduate
student dormitory. So most for-
eign students look for off-ca-
pus housing. The center acts as
their real estate agent.
Through its immigration serv-
ices the venter also becomes
caught in the struggle of a
foreign student who, after com-
pleting his program, decides he
would rather stay in the Unit-
ed States than return to his

The center tries to keep for-
eign students in touch with their
native countries in several
ways. Newspapers and maga-
zines from abroad are available
at the center's lounge.
Afternoon teas, Friday night
mixers, and the like are all Aan-
ned by the center to help for-
eign students get to know each
other. Because most foreign
students do live in separate
apartments off-campus, Klinger
says there is a special need for
these gatherings,
International Center func-
tions, incidentally, draw an
American attendance of betwen
40 and 60 per cent.
The center also provides sem-
inar series designed to "fill in
the academic gaps," Klinger
says. Because the University does
not have a center for Latin
American or African studies, the
International center provides
discussion groups on these areas.

Make WAHR'S your
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and college supplies

Activism awakens religion at U'


rn lin,

Unlike so many religious organizations 1
in the "outside world," student religious into the r
groups are among the most activist on format of
tions med
campus- -in every way.
The non-sectarian Guild House, for ex- despite th
ample, is the home of the Ann Arbor chap- One of
ter of the Resistance. The Episcopalian af- campus m
filiate--Canterbury House -provides space The minist
and support for activities ranging from to mankin
draft counseling to guerrilla theatre. tianity-th
Both Canterbury House and the Ark As a res
which is connected with several denomi- religious o
nations, chiefly the Methodist Church- seling.
feature some of the best entertainment on The org
campus. and debate
Canterbury House has been responsible holds thre
for bringing Ann Arbor some of its best sions and
shows-the old Kweskin jug band, Procol which brim
Harum, Joni Mitkiell and Dave Van Ronk, house for
for example. The Ark places more emphasis activities.
on local talent, although Canterbury House The Ar
also encourages young area performers. week whic
-Some members of the churches which positions
support the Ark are suspicious of its open House spo
and casual atmosphere. And the other topic, fron
religion-sponsored coffeehouses are not ings."
wholly accepted by their supporting Student
churches. the memb4
But there is enough religion-however tions. Ano
untraditional- -to satisfy at least some of The Guild
the church supporters. Canterbury House ularly sch
sponsors enormously popular folk masses Canterbury
which draw students despite the generally groups of
increasing religious apathy. A more

mury House is an experiment in
the contemporary creative arts
eligious service by adapting the
worship to modern communica-
ia to keep religion relevant
e never-changing content.
the keys to the success of the
inistries is their casual sincerity.
ters do not just talk about service
d or the precepts of true Chris-
hey live them.
sult, many students turn to the
rganizations for personal coun-
anizations also sponsor lectures
es on current issues. Guild House
e weekly noon luncheon discus-
has a resident guest program
ngs a well-known person to the
r scheduled-and spontaneous
k sponsors debates one night a
h strive toward widely opposing
and viewpoints. Canterbury
nsors almost anything on any
m poetry readings to "happen-
s comprise an important part of
ership of the religious organiza-
open student steering committee,
House Council, directs all reg-
eduled activities. The Ark and
,y House are staffed largely by
loyal student regulars.
traditional student religious or-

ganization, Hillel, concentrates on pro-
viding Kosher food, religious services, and
mixers. But, the group also provides lec-
tures and speakers, although some are of
limited interest.
Also actively involved, but more tradi-
tional is Newman Center, the Catholic af-
filiate which provides lectures and discus-
sions in addition to religious services.
Newman Center regulars are helping to
combat the high price of living in Ann
Arbor by operating Poor Richard's, a res-
taurant located in the center's basement,
which offers good food at reasonable prices.
Newman also provides space for various
meetings and discussions.
Other, smaller religious-oriented groups
are also active, like the Baha'i group and
the Seventh Day Adventist Student Or-
The University provides its own non-
sectarian reli ious office, which also spon-
sors debates, lectures, and a yearly retreat.
But the Office of Religious Affairs has
become primarily known for counseling
students through all kinds of personal
problems, from the draft to parenthood.
Many of the students who turn to the ORA
are agnostics and atheists who have no-
where else to go.
The office also offers an extensive pro-
gram of book discussions, films and con-
ferences aimed at raising and discussing
religious and "value" issues relevant to
contemporary social and political affairs.


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