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October 05, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-10-05

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Social Criticism vs.

Common Goals


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WTruth pinion PAFree. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICr.

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 all reprints.
Sororities Must Achieve Autonomy
To Attack ledging Problems

THE EVENTS of the past week concern-
ing sorority recommendation forms
have, for all their complex causes and
results, brought forth one basic question:
Is there discrimination in sorority mem-
bership selection?
And the answer to this is "most like-
ly," for we have yet to see a Negro girl
pledge one of the 21 sororities which
have traditionally pledged only white
However, the present situation makes
it impossible to tell whether the preju-
dice lies in the girls themselves or in the
conventional set of rules and loyalties
that dominates them.
For the most part, University sorority
houses are owned by national organiza-
tions which are controlled by alumnae.
According to sorority presidents and
Panhellenic officials, these "nationals"
use both financial and social pressure to
control membership selection.
A GIRL must be recommended by an
alumna to pledge most houses, and
"No Recommends" can be used to keep a
girl out. In addition, sorority officers
who go to conventions are asked to "con-
sider your southern sisters." and any un-
orthodox action results in a barrage of
irate telephone calls, or perhaps in a
visit from the regional director.
a bookstore button saying "Students
or Merchants?"
Especially since doing so allows one to
be both progressive and backed up by a
large amount of sentiment, two things
that don't usually coincide. In a way, it's
sort of like being in favor of free love;
you're radical, yet popular.
It's not quite as easy to pin the button
on, however. That's more of a commit-
ment to what the -button means, and this
really forces one to think rather deter-
minedly about just what it does in fact
Which should be the more important
at a university, students or merchants?
Where should the ethic of the communi-
ty lie, with whom should it entrust its
final goals?
ALONG WITH the obvious answer to
this rhetorical question, "students,"
one must grasp an understanding of
what the buttons certainly are not, at-
tempts by the students to glorify their
own status in that community. Rather,
they are statements by students that
something has gone wrong, albeit uncon-
sciously and perhaps unintentionally, but
wrong nonetheless. And they are state-
ments saying that this "wrongness" is
more than an academic question, that it
is a question affecting everyone connect-
ed with the University in the way he ap-
proaches his place in modern society.
Is the student more important than
the merchant? With all honest regard for
merchants, one must hope so. For if not,
then we are being run by merchants. And,
though merc ants within a larger com-
munity may be worthy of a high regard,
their goals are sufficiently distinct from
those of an intellectual community to
make a sham out of a university which
dares live at their mercy.

0 HOPEFULLY the button's questions,
both specific and extended, will be
answered "students." We do need a Uni-
versity bookstore, and that bookstore
can easily be an embodiment of all the
student's rights and duties; it is a recog-
nition of his importance here and the
position which he should have in the
So hopefully people won't just buy the
button. They'll put it on and think about
it. It's not particularly hard.
IIO1 1rfirinif 711fili

Although this is not true of all sorori-
ties at the University, it is certainly true
of the six which were not permitted to
submit recommendation forms, and also
is true of many others, who filed these
forms only after considerable effort and
Present members of University sorori-
ties claim that they personally do not
like the policy of alumnae control-that
they would like to be able to pledge any-
one, not just those acceptable to their
And they seem to be in good faith. Al-
though the original request for the sub-
mission of recommendation forms was
made by the Membership Committee of
Student Government Council, any posi-
tive action to accomplish this was taken
by Panhellenic, and not by the commit-
tee itself.
THEMEMBERSHIP committee "doesn't
like deadlines," and was apparently
prepared to give sororities an indefinite
amount of time to submit these forms.
Were it not for the suggested date of Oc-
tober 1 set by Panhellenic, it iu doubt-
ful that more than three or four, as
compared to the 14 that were in last
Friday, would have been submitted by
Sorority presideits were constantly re-
minded at Panhellenic meetings to talk
to their nationals about the forms, and
they were urged to do everything in their
power to obtain permission to submit
Meanwhile, SGC membership commit-
tee meetings, which are closed to the
public and the press, have apparently
yielded nothing concrete. Ron Serlin, '66,
chairman of the committee, when asked
about future plans, replies in vague gen-
eralities about his fear of kicking a
sorority off campus for refusing to sub-
mit documents when that sorority might
not actually discriminate on the basis
of race or religion.
Commendable statements, no doubt,
but far from the real problems of what
to do next about the six houses who
have not submitted forms, and, more im-
portant, what to do about the discrimi-
nation that does exist. When pressed
for concrete details, Serlin says that
the committee is "waiting to see what
Panhel does."
This is obviously a gross misplacement
of responsibility. It is the function of the
membership committee to collect docu-
ments or to do whatever is appropriate
and necessary to combat discrimination.
Of course, it is good to see Panhel taking
an active interest in this effort, and
doing whatever they can to help with it,
but as the sorority system exists at pres-
ent, it will be a long time before they are
ready to take the full responsibility.
And meanwhile, will anything be done?
Not unless the membership committee
does it, and it doesn't look as if it will.
BEHIND THE ISSUE of recommenda-
tion forms is a more serious problem
for the sororities themselves; that is, the
question of national control of member-
ship selection.
Many of the sorority actives don't
really know to what extent they would
like to be independent of their nation-
als. They agree that autonomy in mem-
bership selection sounds like a good thing,
but they seem to be a little afraid to
try to actually achieve it.
And they are afraid with good cause,
for only when University sororities have
complete local autonomy in membership
selection will it be possible to evaluate
them accurately as organizations. Inde-
pendent membership selection is the only

answer (aside from having sororities
withdraw from the University as student
organizations) to the ever-present prob-
lem of discrimination.4
PR WHEN independent selection oc-
curs (as it must) the sorority actives
themselves will be responsible for every
decision they make. There will be no
hiding behind the nationals, no excuses,
no justifications.
At that time, it will become clear exact-
ly where sorority members on this cam-
pus stand on the issue of discrimination,
and each house will be forced to face

PAUL GOODMAN would wince
at the idea that he has become
the pre-eminent exponent of a
new middle class, yet his volumi-
nous social criticism is best inter-
preted as a rallying point, however
ill-defined, for a goal-less, middle
class youth.
It is to his credit, given the all-
inclusiveness of his indictment,
that he is on or close to the mark
about 50 per cent of the time in
dissecting social life.
Unfortunately, while Goodman's
social perceptions are keen, he
offers little of substance to re-
place the social philosophy he
would tear down. And, worse,
whatever nebulous philosophy he
is able to articulate is based on
arguments grounded in the least
tenable of his criticisms.
We would tear Berkeley down,
justifiably perhaps, but we have
nothing to offer in the way of a
HIS LATEST article, "The
Great Society," in The New York
Review of Books, is a sample of
both his strengths and weak-
He mentions the problems of
hard core poverty, equal rights,
equal opportunity and the blight
of cities. He might have added the
problems of health and medical
care, transportation, housing and
natural resources use. Yet Good-
man refuses to give anyone credit
for attacking these situations.
"There is no cause for fanfare
in doing justice where we have
been unjust," he says. Yet never

before in history has such a range
of social problems, unjust or not,
even been reluctantly faced, let
alone attacked frontally.
BUT GOODMAN goes on to ex-
coriate the attackers, and it is
here that his criticism gets fuzzy,
to say the least. "The Great So-
ciety is contaminated by, com-
prised by, and finally determined
by power lust, greed and fear of
This is a caricature, and an ex-
treme one if such is possible, of
our political process; and, like a
caricature, it takes a few elements
of carefully-selected truth, blows
them up out of all proportion and
presents them as a "true" picture.
Of course, as he says, "No good
thing is done for its own sake," at
least not often. But neither are
there things which can universally
and for everybody and under all
conditions be. classified as "good."
In a complex society, what is good
for one may be the cause of out-
right evil for another.
HE TACKLES education, one of
his favorite bugaboos.
Just about every sociology study
ever done on the subject or a re-
lated one has shown, however, an
extremely high correlation be-
tween education and the Good-
manesque attributes of the "inde-
pendent and intelligent citizen."
The literary college with its gen-
eral curriculum mushrooms, and
a rapidly falling percentage of
graduates go into business, yet
Goodman sees it as "apprentice-

Michigan MAD
training of the middle class for
the corporations and military."
A common failing, for which he
can be forgiven, is his inability to
accept the automobile as an in-
trinsic and valuable part of
American society, one which has
done much more than any num-
ber of sermons to level class dis-
A five-year-old Chevrolet will go
almost as fast and to all the same
places for a $3000-per-year sales
clerk as a new, $6000 Cadillac will
for a $100,000-per-year executive.
And does.
Great Society on the grounds that
it hasn't accomplished everything
immediately. Sure there are prob-
lems in urban renewal, to take
another case, but the basic ques-
tions have yet to be answered by
planners and architects, which
makes the problem not one of
intent but of what, exactly, ought
to be done and how.
What do you do about poverty?
About slum housing? About edu-
cation for the underprivileged?
There are plenty of people in
Washington and elsewhere who
would welcome some answers, and
they are trying suggestions as fast
as they can. Some of them even

work. But it takes time to formu-
late and then to try out possible
The youth corps idea which
first showed up in the Peace
Corps (traceable, perhaps, to the
college student civil rights move-
ment in the South), is manifest-
ing itself in such diverse places as
the poverty program and Students
for a Democratic Society.
"Organizing the poor" is a real
means of getting at some of the
social ills of poverty in America,
and it is as much a slogan (un-
publicized, of course) of VISTA as
it is of SDS. Ask the mayors of
Rochester and Chicago if you
think they're happy about it.
recognize the need for ideology,
but he then insists on linking his
argument to destruction of "the
American Establishment." Here
his perception falls apart in a
welter of uncoordinated and un-
proved statements.
There is, granted, an Establish-
ment. One doesn't have to spend
much time in Washington or New
York to sense it (or even invade
it-it's not impervious). Unfor-
tunately for Goodman's argu-
ment, it is neither self-centered
nor self-serving.
It takes its cue from the great
goal orientation in American so-
ciety and, with that in mind, has
made itself into the greatest
problem - solving machine the
world has ever seen. All it asks
(its income and status have long
since been guaranteed by a so-

ciety hungry for entrepreneurial
ability) is a good problem to work
on-social ills, scientific bottle-
necks, international relations, ed-
BUT THESE aren't philoso-
phers, and don't claim to be. They
can, however, take good ideas like
the Peace Corps and translate
them into social action. And it's
no indictment because only mid-
dle class youth serve the Peace
Corps. It's just that they are the
only ones with enough mental
equipment, emotional stability and
social conscience to do the job.
Social philosophy is still an in-
dependent pursuit, as anything
else mentioned above can be for
those interested enough in doing
it themselves.
The "Establishment and Its
President" do not really deal with
questions of moral philosophy, not
because they are morally bank-
rupt, as Goodman says at the end
of his article, but because these
are not proper concerns for even
the best bureaucracy, as he says
at the beginning of the article.
HUMAN GROWTH in a tech-
nological age, democracy in an
urban age, the Bomb, good educa-
tion, "something worthwhile," are
real problems not only for Paul
Goodman but the rest of us.
But all he does is tell us we
have them, and a good deal else
irrelevant besides. We know we're
lost; but what are we going to do
about it? Mutter about the Estab-



Too Much Guidance Can Stifle Learning

lowing article, written by a
member of the Honors Council
Steering Committee in response
to a Daily editorial of Sept. 10,
represents the views of the com-
mittee and of the council on the
Summer Reading P r o g r a m
which these organizations main-
AN EDITORIAL by Merle Jacob.
appeared in the Sept. 10 issue
of The Daily entitled "Summer
Reading Program: Suggestions for
Improvement." It described the
program as being "designed to
prepare the student for graduate
work by helping him learn to
study and think for himself."
It went on to claim that the
"major fallacy' of the program
is that undergraduates, especially
underclassmen, are incapable of
independent study unless they
have had a good background in
the area of study.
The author illustrated her point
by describing a student taking
English 231 (poetry) which, inci-;
dentally, is a course not offered
for summer reading. The student,
when given a book of poetry and
asked to deal intellligently with it,
"will be lost . . . without further
direction." The student needs pro-
per guidelines and background,
and the author would therefore
limit the summer reading program
to juniors and seniors, doing 300-
level courses and above, since only
they would have this "back-
Finally, the author says that if
the program is to be maintained
for underclassmen, they should be
given definite guidelines in the

form of "written lectures" which
would explain such things as "de-
velopment of style and general
themes." There should also be
lists of questions, such as "What
is the structure of this poem?"
and "What is the role of fate in
'Oedipus Rex'?"
After having -devoted a good
part of his time to the journal
which is required in some of the
courses (not all, as the author
claims), the student would then be
left to "study on his own without
direction or restriction."
THERE ARE two major as-
sumptions in this editorial, the
two horns on the head of the
devil who is corrupting the Honors
Program, this university and, in
fact, all of American education.
The first of these is the assump-
tion that students in Honors, as
all students, have absolutely no
previous knowledge. They are each
a tabula rasa, on which the uni-
versity must somehow manage to
inscribe an "education." I sincere-
ly hope that such an attitude is a
gross insult touat least every per-
son who is in Honors.
Can it truly be that there is
someone in Honors who never, in
his previous academic or personal
life, had contact with poetry and
has no idea at all of how to read
it? Of course, it is possible that
the American educational philos-
ophy of teaching high schoolers
only those facts and methods
necessary for College Boards has
produced a generation of students
who really don't have any "back-
It is exactly that American phi-
losophy I just mentioned which
constitutes the second, and really

central, Satanic assumption of
this editorial. This philosophy as-
sumes that "education" is the
learning of facts, not processes.
The student may, indeed, read
some poetry, and he may, indeed,
learn to look for the theme or the
rhyme, but what he never learns,
is how to learn. He is never al-
lowed to attack a problem which
he has never approached before;
he is never told to ask what does
he know, what does he not- know,
what does he need to know, where
can he find out and where he
might go from the solution.
It is therefore assumed that,
since the student entering the
university knowns nothing, he is
to be taught the specific facts
and methods germaine to his
fields of interest. Then, it is
thought that he will, as an upper-
classman, be perhaps intelligent
enough to ask what the role of
fate in "Oedipus Rex" is without
As a graduate student he will
perhaps be able to pursue "in-
dependent study," never consider-
ing that he might someday have
to face a problem for which he
has little or no "background" or
for which the previous methods
have been proved wrong.
IT IS IN THIS nonphilosophy
(since philosophy involves articu-
late and considered methodology)
of noneducation which keeps us
rooted to our seats in lecture hall
and in lecture-type recitation,
waiting for our minds to be filled
with the truth. Somehow, the
educators and students think that
when we get our BA we will have
descend on our minds the ability
to search after truth ourselves.

And if the philosophy is this
bad on the university level, it is
unspeakable at the high school
level, where students are reduced
to computers who absorb facts
and specific methods for no great-
er end than the College Boards.
But in the pitifully few cases
where educators have dared to let
students try to think, to learn for
themselves, the results have been
most astonishing. I took Anthro-
pology 101 as a summer reading
course and asked the teacher how
the program seemed to him. He
bubbled over with praise. The
students, he said, digested the ma-
terial, in which, presumably, most
had absolutely no background, and
evolved many central, probing and
intelligent questions. They then
proceeded, in most cases, to
search, and find, in a most or-
ganized fashion, sources which
would help them to answer these
He reportedthat fully two-
thirds of the students had done
a "superlative" job of intelligent
reading, assimilation, synthesis
and inference of where to go from
this beginning material.
Dr. Otto Graf, chairman of the
Honors Program, reports that he
finds similar enthusiasm among
teachers of those English courses
which are offered in the program,
among teachers of introductory
history courses which involve, he
says, as much method as fact-
and in other departments in the
It is a fact that the teacher of
Anthropology 101 assigned two
volumes of collected papers from
which students could get their
background. Of course, the teach-
er must give the student help in

starting. But the teacher who
gives the student the entire
methodology and basic facts is
denying the student the crucial
chance of learning how to learn.
THE STUDENT who is 18 years
of age or above, who has lived
through the trauma of getting into
college and who has managed to
gain entry to Honors is indeed sad
if he still can read "Oedipus Rex"
and have to be told to ask what
the role of fate is.
But it is infinitely more sad-in
fact, it is ludicrous if true-that
an undergraduate, in or out of
Honors, is incapable of going to
the library to read if he needs
background. Are we to be spoon-
fed? Where students have never
been confronteed with the realities
of facing a problem, academic or
otherwise, it will be difficult for
them suddenly to start. But in
the Honors Program, it seems ob-
vious that .people are willing and
capable of ,trying real learning,
and it has been shown that they
can do it.
Thus, through an expansion of
such programs as summer reading,
the student-initiated Honors Col-
loquia, Honors 299 and indepen-
dent study and through expansion
of the philosophy behind these
programs, I hope that the Honors
Council and its Steering Commit-
tee can make the entire Honors
Program into a totally real learn-
ing experience which can someday
be extended to the entire Univer-
(The author would like to en-
courage comments, criticisms, and
ideas on this topic, both in The
Daily, and in the organs of the
Honors Program).




What Kind of Book Service Can Best, Serve Students

To the Editor:
pletely justified in arguing for
a discount bookstore in Ann Arbor.
However, his' contention that a
University bookstore is unfeasible
but a cooperative bookstore pos-
sible is based on several miscon-
ceptions. Some thoughts:
First, a co-op bookstore requires
active, monetary student support.
The recent failure of an attempt-
ed USNSA co-op bookstore on this
campus and the general reluc-
tance of students to support fu-
ture-oriented projects makes the
co-op ideal illusory.
Second, a University owned
bookstore will be able, after ini-
tial capital investment, to exist
with no subsidization other than
tax exemption and certain utility
payments, and still offer 10 per
cent discounts on new textbooks.
Third, conditions in the UGLI
and on State St. sidewalks give
dubious credence to the statement
that "the student market is not
really a large one." Not only is the
student market large, but it is ex-
panding rapidly. Moreover, it is a
market whose economic alterna-
tives are basically limited to the
immediate campus area,.which is
often remarkably homogeneous as
to prices, services, and attitudes
FINALLY, a University cannot
close its eyes to the economic
situation confronting its students'
Should the student bear the bur-
den of securing for himself a dis-

of merchandise besides books
would solve not only the boo]
problem but the general prob
of the high retail costs in
Arbor for anything ande
thing. Exorbitant markup b;
efficient merchants would 1
placed by normal markup
fast-paced cooperative and at
addition an end-of-the-yeari
on all purchases.
Birth Co
To the Editor:
should be made avails
all persons desiring them.
holding information and/
vices has little, if any eff
chastity. The availabilityc
or any other form of contra
device will not be the ma
terminant of morality. Tho
are going to have inte
probably will anyway, resor
less-sure methods; those
won't, won't. In any cas
should always be an individ
American society con
abortions and illegitimacy.
also condemns any met]
avoiding these, short of c
abstinence. It seems to m
a more sensible and reali-
titude would be to makec
ceptive devices availablet
person who wishes.
The policy of having a
obtain parental permissi
meet with some sort of a
is perfectly inane. Those
least likely to be "worthy

. his
lem of
by in-
be re-
by a
low in

no less worthy of receiving birth
control devices than those who
can convince a psychologist or
physician that their actions are
a result of mature, well-grounded

rebate A SECOND POINT is that it is
not the business of the university
to impose its standards upon stu-
dents-some, all or any. By mak-
ntrol ing it difficult for one to obtain
contraceptives which provide more
than a 50 or 60 per cent chance
of safety, the university should not
matio be so naive as to think its is cur-
Wit o tailing much, if any, sexual ac-
or de- tivity.
fect on It would be far better if any
of pills student (or nonstudent) could ob-
ceptive tain contraceptives as he wished.
jor de- Then the decision would be
se who whether to engage in sexual ac-
rcourse tivity in and of itself, which is the
rting to way it should be. This would
e who eliminate extraneous factors that
e, this might otherwise take precedence
ual de- in the decision. Intercourse,
whether in or out of marriage, can
ndemns be for significantly more than pro-
Yet it creation.
hod of With contraceptives available,
omplete people will be free to make mis-
ne that takes-and to learn something
stic at- from their mistakes-but they will
contra- also be really free to decide what is
to any right for their particular relation-
ship, and the richness or lackof
person richness will be a result of the
ion or relationship itself and not involve
pproval any secondary, extrinsic appre-
cases hensions.
of this

select administrators have the re-
sponsibility of supervising our
education. They are responsible to
the Regents. These administrators
should not allow themselves to be
It is not the students responsi-
bility to run the university. The
students know less about the ad-
ministration of a university than
our administrators. I would as-
sume, however, that the adminis-
tration is open to the opinions and
suggestions of the students.

STUDENT demonstrators are
students who do not belong here
because they feel that another
university is better than ours, and
they think that they know more
than all the administrators com-
bined, although they know less
about administration.
I feel that most of the admin-
istrators are both capable of doing
their job and also interested In
the university.
Most of the students I know
feel the same.
-Eugene Mauch, '69


"What Am I Doing Helping To Plant This

I ' 4,,,


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