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October 23, 1969 - Image 4

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Seventy-fl iCyC(rS of (editOrial ,freedomt
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Trying to coax reform



420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the in
or the editors. This must be noted h

News Phone: 764-0552
dividual opinions of staff writers
n all reprints.



C 1 ln dto the

e "
Sm11iling C
cutioner is smiling sympathetically as
he brings down the ax?
The answer, both for the victim a n d
the observer, is most assuredly "no." In
its r e c e n t actions on ROTC, however,
Senate Assembly has clearly shown that
it favors the compassionate, or if neces-
sary the uncompassionate, executioner to
no executioner at all.
While postponing final actioni on ROTC
until next month, Assembly's actions on
Monday showed clear opposition to elim-
inating the military officer's training
program and equally clear support for
increased University control.
None of this of course, was surprising.
The traditional liberal view of ROTC pre-
sents the program as a laudable mechan-
ism for liberalizing and humanizing the
armed forces.
Unfortunately, these are not food times
for traditionalism in any sense.
OT ONLY are the basic values at the
bedrock of traditional liberalism now
open to serious scrutiny, but the success
of ROTC in "humanizing" the military
also needs to be questioned.
ROTC has been in existence for over 30
years. Yet there is no evidence that it has
the effect its liberal proponents suggest
it should.
On the contrary, this country is prob-
ably witnessing in the Army the lowest
level of democratization and civil liber-
tarianism it has ever seen. And certainly,
as Vietnam and the size of the Pentagon
budget show, there has been no loss of
militarism among military men.
The very existence of the miajority re-
port on ROTC by th e Assembly's Aca-
demic Affairs Committee is an open ad-
mission that ROTC has failed. Yet the au-
thors of the report, as well as an appar-
ent majority of Assembly representatives,
seem to feel that ROTC can be salvi.red.

THE PROBLEM with ROTC in this re-
gard is not t h a t the courses them-
selves lack "humanizing' components.
The basic fallacy of ROTC is that the
liberalizing aspects of the program are
totally irrelevant to life in the A r m y.
Armed services policy and regulation do
not even allow for such fundamental civ-
il liberties as freedom of expression and
trial by jury.
And liberalizing the soldier, or even the
officer, will m a k e no difference. There
will be no revolution from below in the
Army. Change can only follow the nor-
mal military line of command -- from
the top down.
Thus, e v e n if the ROTC program is
more tightly controlled by the University,
as the majority report suggests, it will re-
main an exercise in futility for the lib-
MEANWHILE, the side effects of main-
taining ROTC on campus a r e sub-
stantially more dangerous than futile.
The primary de facto function of ROTC
is to provide manpower and moral sup-
port for the military. And under ordinary
circumstances, this would not seem par-
ticularly deleterious to society. Blit the
great problem now facing t h i s nation
with respect to the military is not ?iow to
reform it, but rather how to quash it.
We are being stained and drowned in
the wave of blood our massive military
machine has provided. We must stop that
wave before it becomes an ocean.
And while ROTC is having no liberal-
izing effect on the military, it may well be
having a militarizing effect on the Uni-
versity. For by sanctioning ROTC, even
under the conditions of the majority re-
port, the University as an institution will
only be encouraging students to look up-
on orderly, mechanized, systematized,
program-budgeted murder as a reason-
able intellectual pursuit.

ON THE warm, sunny, Thurs-
day afternoon of Sept. 25, a
number of interested faculty
members and administrators in
the literary college gathered for
a 3 p.m. meeting in the office of
Dean William Hays, on the second
floor of the LSA bldg. They ex-
pected to discuss the merits of a
proposal which would give stu-
dents a powerful role in decision-
making in the college.
At the same time, about 300
angry students decided to occupy
the second floor of the LSA build-
ing to protest the Regents' re-
fusal to allow students decision-
making control over the book-
The meeting in Hays' office
never got under way, of course,
and, sadly, never reconvened. Even
worse, the proposal which was to
have been discussed that day, a
proposal which would have creat-
ed a student-faculty council
(equal numbers of students and
faculty members) to run the col-
lege, was dropped. Faculty back-
lash due to the LSA sit-in made
it ludicrously impossible for Hays
and company to win support for
any plan calling for student par-
ticipation in anything, let alone in
governing the college.
THE ORIGINAL idea had been
to offer the student-faculty coun-
cil as an alternative to the un-
wieldy monthly faculty meetings
now held by the college. These
meetings are open to any of the
more than 900 college faculty
members, but attendance is us-
ually low ,and the policy-making
process has been agonizingly slow
at some of the most crucial times.
It was hoped that by creating
a council of departmental facul-
ty representatives to do the work
on major issues, policy-making
could be expedited. The rest of

discussfig issues. The faculty-stu-
dent council plan was written in
the hope that students and facul-
ty members could someday come
together to discuss their differ-
ences in an open forum, and take
action on issues in public, not in
a small elite meeting behind clos-
ed doors in the dean's office, in
simply an advisory capacity.
The pressures on the admin-
istration to include students in the
formal decision - making process
are mounting. The University's
Reed and Knauss reports of a few
years ago first recognized t h e
validity of student demands for
decision-making power. The more
recent report of the Academic Af-
fairs Committee of the S e n a t e
Assembly suggests formalizing the
student input.
Even more currently, the Re-
gents are now considering a num-
ber of changes in their own by-
laws that would ask the colleges
to include formal student partici-
pation on all college and depart-
mental legislative and judicial
HOPEFULLY, the advisory com-
mittee will realize that for the
time being, they have one pur-
pose: to discuss the proposal for
a faculty-student council.
After they come up with a ver-
sion of the report that can be sent
to the faculty for consideration,
they can decide whether or not
to continue their existence. Per-
haps they will become an inval-
uable addition to the college de-
cision-making process. On t h e
other hand, the creation of a vi-
able faculty-student council with
energetic committees may elim-
inate any need for the advisory
These questions can be answer-
ed later; for the present, the
important issue is the formation
of a faculty-student council.

the faculty could make its voice
known through these department-
al representatives, and would have
to attend meetings only bi-an-
Hays and the executive commit-
tee had talked seriously about
including students on this coun-
cil, and thus formalizing their in-
put into college affairs, as recom-
mended in a number of University
reports on the student's role in
decision-making. The hardening
of faculty attitudes after the sit-
in, however, convinced them that
including students might endang-
er the chance for any kind of re-
They hastily rewrote their plan,
and while students were posting
bond money at the county jail the
Friday morning after the sit-in,
a secretary in the LSA building
was mimeographing copies of a
plan which contained absolutely
no reference to students.
Members of the LSA Student

Assembly, who, unknown to Hays,
had obtained a copy of the ori-
ginal proposal and were watching
its progress with interest, decided
that if the executive committee
wouldn't include students in its
plan, then students would have to
submit a plan of their own. They
drew it up, and presented it to
Hays two weeks later on Oct. 9.
Hays took it to his executive
committee and then met with stu-
dents a g a i n last Friday. He
agreed to appoint a number of
faculty members this week who
will meet with the students to dis-
cuss their proposal and act with
them as his "advisory commit-
STUDENTS NOW have a foot in
the door toward the long-needed
incorporation of their views in
the official college structure, but
if they aren't careful, Hays and
the executive committee may chop
off the foot and slam the door.

-Daiy-Jay Cassidy
Hays has talked about making
the advisory committee a contin-
uing body that would consider
other issues affecting both stu-
dents and faculty members, and
report directly to the dean.
Students on the LSA Student
Assembly agree that such a com-
mittee could have powerful in-
formal influence, and would be
desirable. Yet the fear remains
that this advisoryfcommittee
would subvert the movement for
a formalized faculty-student coun-
"If the faculty can look to this
advisory committee and say 'See,
you're participating in making de-
cisions, why do you want to take
over our faculty meetings,' then
chances of getting the council are
hurt," said one LSA Assembly
BUT THE point isn't to take
over faculty meetings, he explains,
nor is it to simply "participate" in

~ : /
f 17_

Bad trip with Nixon

'[HE LATEST DOPE from the smoke-
filled rooms of the White House is that
President Nixon is going to ease up on
marijuana smokers.
The announcement comes in the wake
of the news that America's answer to the
Great Wall of China, "Operation Inter'-
cept," a complicated customs maze de-
signed to cut off the Mexican supply of
grass and make the price of marijuana
rise to prohibitive heights, has failed.
The new official attitude toward pot
reflects many of the previously ignored
opinions of the medical world, various le-
gal groups, and law enforcement agen-
Nixon now wants marijuana to be re-
classified as an "hallucinogenic" drug,
finally recognizing that it is not a hard
drug. A first offeiwe would no longer be
considered a felony. The penalties would
be drastically reduced for mere posses-
sion. The extremely harsh laws concern-
ing sale for any drug would remain es-
sentially unchanged.
SIGHS OF RELIEF are by no means in
order, even for those who would never
dream of dealing. This apparent reversal
on the part of President Nixon is calcu-
lated to serve two rather insidious ends.
First, this is clearly another in a series
of "reforms" directed at quieting down
dissenting campuses, much I i k e Ihe

"draft reforms." He w a n t s students to
think that he's not after their heads.
Second, and most important, the new
policies would make anti-marijuana laws
"reasonable" enough to actually enforce.
Judges might not be so hesitant to "throw
the book" at persons found guilty of pos-
session of pot, if the sentence could be
only one year in prison.
Since the present laws are so excessive,
judges having to sentence persons found
guilty of possession are often reluctant to
give more t h a n a suspended sentence.
With Nixon's new laws, student smokers
may well find themselves serving more
time if convicted.
More youthful offenders may be brsought
to trial because law enforcement agencies
conclude that they have a free hand in
'eeking and busting pot parties, whether
or not they involve known dealers.
Aided by the new "no-knock" policies,
mass busts on campuses would n o t be
considered quite as atrocious by the gen-
eral public because the possible penalties
would be much slighter than used to be
the case,
10 WHILE it is good news that possess-
ors of grass would no longer be felons,
they had still better keep their Air Wick
within easy reach.

Hard questions
for old heads
TJHE DISCORDS afficeting the hard-core membeship of Students
for a Democratic Society have produced murmurings of mellow
satisfaction among some elders. Certainly there are large idiocies
in the fierce struggles among small numbers of young radicals
for the allegiance of a diminishing band. In so far as battle
lines can be discerned, the major conflict is between those who
adhere to some remnant of Marxist-Leninist ideology, with an-
archist overtones, and those who regard the organization of
disruption by spontaneous combustion as a worthy blow against
The System without reference to gospel.
No doubt stuch a description will be branded oversimplifica-
tion by both factions. But these feuds have resulted in a grow-
ing degree of general indifference to the preachments of the combat-
ants --- almost in proportion to the heat of their polemics. Increasingly
they ar'e addressing only themselves; as one young leftist is reported
to have remarked, "Very soon the only active people left in SDS will be
FBI agents." It is intriguing to imagine how the FBI determines which
agent will align himself with which sect in this competition of fanatic-
But while these adversaries tear each other apart, there is
little excuse for contented contemplation among the older set. Nor
is there reason to believe-or hope--that disenchantment with SDS
will br'eed a new reverence for the status duo among young people
who care about the condition of the world.
THE VIETNAM1 war overshadows everything else in the roster
of adult absurdities. After four long years, the greatest power on
earth still finds itself bugged down in an intervention that long ago.
lost any real base of popular support and has dragged on in large
measure because of fear that an undisguised retreat would cast doubt
on the virility of our national manhood. Sen. Aiken, the wise Republican
gentleman from Vermont, long ago suggested that this problem of
"face" could be met by a simultaneous proclamation of victory in
Washington and Hanoi, but no one had the wit to pursue his truly
creative initiative.
Yet while the war is the root of much of our national sickness,
it has also served to camicature other maladies.
Only yesterday, for example, the Labor Dept. reported that the
unemployment rate last month showed its biggest rise since the Esen-
hower' era. By now th? ordinary intelligence might be expected to
view an increase in joblessness as sad news; enforced idleness, in the
polite ternm, is an intolerable indignity in every human dimension. But
the arithmetic was cheerfully viewed by a high Treasury Dept. official
-- Assistant Secretary Murray C. Weidenbaum-- who said the figures
"indicate that we mnay be returning from an overheated, overemployed
condition to more sustainable employment levels."
The issue here is not whether in fact that 365,000 increase in
unemployment from August to September may one day prove to have
been an omen of deflation irather than depression). Whatever happens
in the long run, there remains the offensiveness of the notion that our
society in the 1969 treats the stimulation of unemployment as a wholly
respectable economic device and one preferable to the imposition of
price-wage controls. I know no one who has any attachment for con-
trols for their own sake: what one can decry is the contention that the
inconveniences associated with controls are somehow a less toler-
able alternative than the heartbreak of spreading unemployment.
To put it simply, is sponsored unemployment the best idea our
best minds offer to combat the plague of inflation?
THE OTHER NIGHIT I saw a televised description of a scene on
Amchitka Island where scoires of citizens assembled to receive a
detailed report on the progress of an H-bomb underground test in
their neighborhood. Clearly the point of the production was public
reassurance, and when it was over there was visible relief, as if all
those present had seen themselves as actors in a play called doomsday
with a happy ending.
They all survived. But did that make the spectacle a success?
Cotuld anyone watch without wondering how long man would conduct
these exercises without a fatal misadventure?
Recently Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Jerris
Leonard defended the Administration's retreat on school desegregation
in Mississippi by describing "2500 yelling, raging white people standing
there in a school auditorium, one woman with a noose demanding that
the school board close the schools." The government capitulated despite
an r#tn ba xr o nta n eous combusr, tion saotyofw agaSD ,....... inst 4

"Why, the emperor doesn't have any
new Vietnam plan at all !"

Letters to the Editor

Happiness i oly one war

SEA reply
To the Editor:
STEVE NISSEN in his article of
Oct. 22 concludes by asking how
"sensitive and concerned people"
can call for moderation in the face
of the atrocities "synonymous with
the American way of life." As
such sentitive and concerned per-
sons we hope to be able to answer
his questions.
It should be made clear from the
beginning that the word "modera-
tion" has many of us involved in
Students for Effective Action
(SEA) the same negative conno-
tation it holds for Mr. Nissen. It
has a sort of "Uncle Tom" air
about it. It implies that we feel
that we should be nice and sub-
missive in the face of oppression,
But the problem is that the term
"moderate" is not one we in SEA
would willingly apply to ourselves;
it is rather the term others apply
to us, thereby imputing to SEA
passive acceptance of the often ir-
responsive political system.
We are not about passivity. We
want many of the vast changes
both within and without the Uni-
versity sought by the more con-

dialogue" and constructive pro-
posals as a means to such change;
Mr. Nissen refers to this as a "lack
of political sophistication." He
says that we are naive if we view
those governing the University and
the nation as reasonable, rational
men who can be peacably dealt
with. The principles of democracy
may be naive but it should be
made clear that lack of political
cynicism does not necessarily im-
ply lack of political sophistication.
WE STILL feel that, at least in
the University community, the
system can be made responsive
to the interests of the people. His-
tory up until this point may not
bear us out. But things are dif-
ferent now. More people are aware
of what's coming down and are
unwilling to put up with it. As the
letter from SEA organizers, on
Oct. 22 states, "We believe that
SEA is a challenge to the student
community to see if peaceful
change can ever work." We do not
want a time to come when peace-
ful change becomes impossible and
violent change becomes inevitable.
We urge others whose "lack of
political sophistication" lead them
to believe in rational dialogue and

(not an I.HA. committee), I would
like to help you with your report-
ing. The four page committee re-
port does not condemn, attack,
or demand. We have made some
recommendations (I realize this
sort of wording is less dramatic-
but more correct). The committee
recommends the abolishment of
converted rooms in all cases. We
suggest temporary space be pro-
vided for only that number of stu-
dents we expect to be able to house
due to "no shows" within the first
week of classes. -
The committee is made up of
two building directors (Bruce
Storey and myself), a systems
analyst (Sandy Richardson), and
two Board of Governor Members
(Jack Meyer and Bob Hartzler>.
May I recommend that you have
your reporter read the report, and
attend the Board of Governor's
meetings, thereby giving any ar-
ticle you may write a somewhat
factual base.
We welcome your reporting in
this committee's work and would
appreciate any of youm reader's
-Norm Snustad
Housing Coordinator

THE STRATEGIC thinkers who for
years have dominated what passes for
this country's defense policy have long
contended that America must maintain
force 1e v e I s sufficient to fighting two
major wars and a brushfire war, and
fight them simultaneously. The logic was
inescapable. It went that if you got your-
self involved in a major war in Bolivia it
was only reasonable that enough forces
were available to fight another major war
in Tanzania, plus a minor one in the
south of France. The gang over at Stys-
tems Analysis put it into a computer, and

one's satisfaction. The thing in Ulster, we
suppose, is a brushfire and the other
thing in Laos is minor. Now Vietnam was
a brushfire which became a minor in
about 1965 and a major in 1966. One of
the things that bedeviled them over there
at DOD is that wars had a way of never
standing still, Sometimes, like in Laos,
even some of the best-informed guys over
there didn't know there was a war until
Art Buchwald and Russ Baker told them
about it. Anyway, under the old plan you
fight two major wars and a brushfire war

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