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November 30, 1965 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1965-11-30

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Seventy-Sixth Year

The Class-Consciousness of Youth

Where Opinions Are Free. 420 MAYNARD ST.. ANN ABOR, Mic-.
-Truth W1t Prevail V)H

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.

SGC Could Take Action
To Reform 'U' Academics

WHAT IS the meaning of the
word "youth" when they say
"Youth revolt" or "What has
gotten into College Youth?" I
doubt that age 18-25 was ever
before referred to as youth. In a
rural economy, the young are in-
despensably productive by 12 and
are grown-up farmers by 18 or 20.
In the old factory system, children
were put to work at 9, to teach
them work habits; they certainly
were "workmen" by 18. In later
factories, after the child-labor
laws, 18-year-olds were young
working people, not youth. In
agrarian or labor demonstrations
and strikes these young people
would naturally be involved, and
especially relied upon for their
courage and daring, like military
soldiers, who were also 17-25.
In countries with a different
academic tradition than ours, e.g.
Latin countries or Japan, it is as-
sumed that students are even more
mature than others of their age,
so they are expected to be in
the forefront of political conflicts.
In 1900, when only six percent
of the 17-year-olds graduated
from high school, the rest, who
from 14 on had to choose voca-
tions and look for jobs in a com-
petitive market, were surely pretty
seasoned by 18.
And in moral matters, there
would surely be no question of

trying to control the sex life, so-
cial life, or vices of young people
18 to 25.
I THINK that there are two
chief causes for the odd use of the
word at present. Because of tech-
nical developments, there is less
need for the direct productive use
of the young( and no use at all
for the old). There is a longer
and longer interval in which the
young must be baby sat and
Our preferred means of keeping
them on ice is, of course, to ex-
tend the years of school, espe-
cially since for many (though I
doubt for most) extended school-
ing is useful training for their
future jobs.
But it happens that the methods
and tradition of American school-
ing have tended precisely to arrest
maturation. Although compulsory
schooling increases to the col-
lege years,'the school-ma'am spirit
of the elementary grades pervades
the entire system, whether we
think of the corridor passes and
censorship of hair do's, the pre-
scribed courses and. credits and
grading, the method of talking at
and assigning lessons, or the re-
strictions on political and social
life. Studying a cross section of
high schools, Ed Friedenberg has
to conclude that their chief func-

the subject of some attention at the
University recently, the results have been
disappointing. Committees now existing
to' study curriculum-the faculty curric-
ulum committee and the student literary
college steering committee-have failed
to suggest . truly liberal curriculum
Curriculum. study; groups have con-
stantly feared to favor too radical a re-
form program because of repeated fail-
ures past groups have encountered with
experimental programs. The example of
the Hutchins'reform at the University of
Chicago in the 1930's and the refusal of
schools with more conservative curricu-
lums to acceptcredits earned at Chicago
is inevitably recalled.
But educators who have learned from
failure at Chicago are now using their
experience to establish experimental cur-
riculums at other universities, curricu-
lums that are working surprisingly well.
IN VIEW of the hesitancy of other Uni-
versity groups regarding reform and
the opportunities present for it, an inves-
tigation of curriculum reforms on other
campuses and the feasibility of such re-
forms here would be an admirable proj-
ect for Student Qovernment Council.
The reform-minded enthusiasm dem-
onstrated by GROUP members of SGC on
economic matters, combined with REACH
members' plans for detailed, well-docu-
mented research, could help SGC play a
significant role in convincing adminis-
trators of the need for a truly "liberal-
ized" curriculum.
It certainly is time for students to turn
to whatshould be their most basic con-
cern-academic reform-with the same
urgency that they have shown for eco-
nomic concerns and political activism.
A prime target for an SGC curriculum
study could be Monteith College at Wayne
State University. Even with the reformed
curriculum, Monteith students have no
, trouble transferring to other colleges or
in having their degrees accepted by grad-
uate schools. As a matter of fact, a con-
siderable number of the first graduating
class obtained fellowships.


PERHAPS THE MOST exciting aspect of
Monteith's curriculum is something
that the students have introduced them-
selves, called "cooperative self-educa-
Groups of students interested in spe-
cific areas of study (examples of past
areas have been "Film Language: Its His-
tory and Evolution," "Art and the City"
and "Northern Student Movement") col-
lectively decide with a faculty member
just what boundaries course material will
cover, choose reading materials and de-
cide what the bases for grading will be
(quizzes, papers, speeches, final exams
or a combination of these).
And they receive credit for this!
Students here could form similar study
groups and try to convince literary col-
lege deans to extend credit for these proj-
An example for one such study area
could be a course devoted to studying
really contemporary authors like Updike,
Sillitoe and Malamud. Looking through
the literary college catalog, one gets the
impression that no achievements have
been made in contemporary literature
since Hemingway.
THE REPORTS of any number of com-
mittees showing how successfully ex-
perimental curriculums at other univer-
sities work will not by themselves con-
vince administrators that students here
could handle such curriculums well.
The convincing must be done by the
combined efforts of SGC curriculum study
committees and the formation of ad hoc
study groups by students interested in
taking a major role in deciding what they
ought to learn.
An attempt must be made to show ad-
ministrators that a university's job is to
bring together the scholars and would-
be scholars and provide them with the
physical tools-laboratories, libraries and
meeting rooms-for learning. And that
while setting very broad and flexible
guidelines, the University must allow stu-
dents a hand in planning their own cur-

tion is to break spirit.
And most important, the re-
striction of growing up in one
sociological institution, the school,
must be defeating to the majority
for whom formal schooling is not
the best way to learn. But from
the beginning they have no choice.-
If a youngster tries to follow his
bent, whether a "hobby" or a
romance, he is unhesitatingly in-
terrupted and put back on the
one serious track.
THE INEVITABLE revolt against
this servitude is now occurring
among college students, under-
graduates, graduates, young in-
structors and their dropout
friends. And it seems to me that,
among these too, there is a cur-
ious anomalyofslanguage. The
dissenting students do not really
regard themselves as "young
people," whether as young work-
men or young citizens or even as
students; they finally regard
themselves as the only people.
This is expressed by the formula

"Do not trust anybody over 30."
That is, they are a separate race
of humanity. Interestingly, 48 per
cent of the population is now
below 26.
The reality, in my opinion, is
that they have been forced into
the position of being an isolated
class-of-the-young. They cannot
identify with the social role that
their elders have assigned them:
they have different interests and
there is a class conflict.
Indeed, despite their being pam-
pered, they are at present the
chief exploited economic class,
their time of life being used for
other people's purposes. (Negroes,
displaced farmers, the aged are out
caste, rather than an economic
RATHER THAN a class of so-
ciety, however, the young have
appointed themselves to be a dis-
tinct race or nation, and corres-
pondingly, they have performed
the remarkable act of having a
self-conscious History of them-
selves. I have been told it, in
broadly the same outline, from
coast to coast. First came the
Beats. Castro was our symbolic
leader, but perhaps he has messed
himself up with the senile Power
Structure. Kennedy fizzled out,
though since the assassination he
has emerged as a martyr. The

execution of Chessman was a
portentous warning to us. for it
showed that the system intends
to do us to death.
We tried our strength in Mis-
sissippi and in the battle of the
steps filmed by HUAC. Finally
occurred the founding event,
Sproul Hall and the recognition by
the facuity Senate that we exist.
(A leader of the Free Speech
Movement at Berkeley assured me
that this was the first event in
40,000 years.) Etc., etc. There are
regional variations.
Along with history. there has
developed the political theory of
paramovements: parapolitics (e.g.
of SNCC and the Freedom Demo-
cratic Party) parasociology (e.g.
of Students for a Democratic So-
ciety), paraeducation (e.g. the
free Universities).
IN PRINCIPLE, this parallel
development is not an old-
fashioned revolutionary concept,
to get control of and transform
existing institutions.
Rather, it is a new beginning
that will grow up uniquely and
slough off the old. The spirit of
the Moderni-"we moderns"-has
breathed a few times before in
European history; I will try to
describe it further on another
Copyright, Paul Goodman, 1965




Introducing Thought
Onto the Campus

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MSU-A Powderkeg

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WVAT'S WRONG at Michigan State
MSU, long the butt of jokes here, has
suddenly become an object of concern
among the politically aware on campus.
The center of this new interest has been
the now famous, or infamous, affair of
Paul Schiff, a graduate student who was
denied readmission to the school for al-
legedly political reasons. At stake is the
broader issue of political and academic
freedom at Michigan State.
Here at the University, political free-
dom is taken for granted, perhaps to too
great an extent. Occasionally, as in the
case of the "war crimes" sign in the Fish-
bowl last fall, this hard-won freedom
commands attention and gains new re-
spect. But affairs of the past few weeks
at MSU have shown that freedom is hard-
ly universal.
The situation at MSU is not basically.
the fault of the students, but a very high
level of student apathy has silently con-
doned MSU actions. The campus is be-
ginning to mature politically and the
school's administration, led by President
John Hannah, is apparently making a
serious effort to thwart this maturation.
HANNAH'S ACTIONS on campus have
fallen far short of the civil rights
ideals of his public pronouncements. A
federal court has found MSU guilty of
violating the First Amendment rights of
Paul Schiff and the court still maintains
jurisdiction in the case.
In addition to the harassment of
Schiff, the university has made it quite
difficult for the Committee for Student
Rights, the moving force behind the
growing MSU political awareness, to dis-
tribute its newsletter "Logos." It was over
distribution of Logos that the university's
charges against Schiff were primarily
based. Space in the MSU student union
is not available to non-recognized student

student organizations, for getting a pro-
posed campus event properly approved is
enough to discourage anyone.
)THER FACTORS serve to thwart poli-
tical growth. One is the sheer diffi-
culty of obtaining campus news. The
State News, the student newspaper, has
ceased to be a viable source of informa-
tion on anything but the Rose Bowl. The
paper suffers from- heavy censorship in
the form of faculty advisor Louis Ber-
man, aided and abetted by the student
Not only is the News censored but news
coverage is becoming increasingly slant-
ed. When the News failed to publish a
story telling the student body that four
of its senior editors had resigned in pro-
test over censorship, 3000 Dailies were
distributed on the MSU campus to in-
form students of the event.
The next day, the News ran a story de-
scribing the sale of the papers by "CSR
paperboys;" adopting a generally mocking
tone for the entire article. The reporter
who made an earnest effort to write a
straight, unbiased story, quit the staff,
when the editorialized version was print-
The success of MSU's football team
has been another thwarting factor. With
the students worked up over an undefeat-
ed season, the national championship and
the Rose Bowl, it is easy to see why poli-
tical events have attracted relatively little
Once the Rose Bowl has been played,
it is likely that the political movement
will gather greater force as thoughts re-
turn to campus problems.
THE KEY to MSU's problems lies in the
administration's attitudes towards stu-
dent political activity. Rather than en-
couraging and directing the process of
political maturation, it has chosen a

Uncertain Trumpet

Collegiate Press Service
ONE OF THE major obstacles to
the development of a spirit of
intellectual communityon college
campuses is the widespread belief
that education should be primar-
ily a "personal experience": By
this theory, the scholastic ideal
is the ivory-tower intellectual-
the fellow you never see who be-
comes the valedictorian.
We are urged to "find ourselves"
through a process which evokes
images of the caterpillar emerg-
ing from his cocoon, ready to face
the arduous tasks of the butterfly.
And as we all know, cocoons rarely
get together to discuss common
Once the theory is accepted, it
becomes almost impossible to de-
velop a program of extra-curri-
cular activities wedded to educa-
tion goals. The campus intellectual
withdraws within himself, main-
tains social relations with only
his professors and a few intelli-
gent friends,.and views with de-
tached cynicism the frivolity of
the undergraduate masses.
Thesstudent government, the
campus paper, the fraternities,
and other institutions are all gen-
erally left to the devices of those
from whom college is an uncom-
fortable intermission between high
school and a job-those who limit
the scope of these activities to
parties, athletics, and an occa-
sional skirmish with the admin-
istrations over parietal rules.
The intellectual says that ac-
tivities are "Mickey Mouse," which
they are; the campus leader says
that the intellectuals are "apa-
thetic," which they are. Each
judges the other by the standards
he expects of himself and of the
school, and the two rarely get
I AM NOT a relativist on this
question: on most campuses, I
would side with the intellectuals.
I do believe that a student who
enters a university should develop
fundamental questions about him-
self, about his society and culture,
and about his relationship to
them, if he wants to derive great-
est benefit from his education.
I disagree with the scholars,
however, that such questions can
be answered best in isolation-
either in the isolation of a dorm
room, pondering the eternal veri-
ties; or in the isolation of a large
lecture hall, scribbling pearls of
wisdom from the man at the front.
If learning by "experience" is a
valid concept, the experience of
community debate, through which
a student tests his ideas against
those of the rest, should be as
valuable as testing them against
the marking system.
The university which I would
envision is one in which the sphere
of curricular and extra-curricular
activities would be the same-one
in which the intellectuals become
the community leaders of the
school. Student governments
would encourage interest in na-
tional politics as fervidly as they
presently try to increase attend-
ance at school dances; campus
papers would publish debates on
films and books as readily as they
print criticism of their own typo-
graphical errors; dorms and fra-
ternity houses would become cen-
ters of forums and discussions, as
well as section parties and water
fights; and those with talent as
artists, politicians, or scientists
would be esteemed as highly as
those with deep voices or dimples.

might invite a professor to the
house for an afternoon of discus-
sion and coffee-these would be
a few steps.
Better still, leaders from various
organizations might meet to co-
ordinate educational programs In
which all groups could partici-
pate. That would be a major step.
At many schools, however, such
initiative from present student
leadership cannot be expected.
Those in power are too attuned to
a tradition of extra-curricular
Babbitry to change.
They would fear proposals such
as these, since they demand imag-
ination of a kind which breeds
discomfort in those who lack it.
disfranchised intellectuals must
organize. They s ho ul1d run
candidates for elective office, while
infiltrating the staff of the cam-
pus journals. If there are dormi-
tory organizations, they should try
to control those, too.
No extra-curricular organization
of the school should be beyond
transformation. The knowT ioth-
ings should be voted out; the crea-
tive should come in.
In order for such a transforma-
tion to taake place, however cam-
pus intellectuals throughout the
country must decide that the
utopian "community of scholars"
is a goal worth attaining.
Individual development at base
may be a "personal experience,"
but it will proceed best only in a
university which honors thought
in every institution. Otherwise, we
might as well be watching edu-
cational television.
Schutze 's
The March
omore at JFUTCO (Joyous Free
University and Thought Center of
Oshkosh) visited me on his way
back from the Washington peace
march. I asked him to tell me
what he hadgained from or ac-
complished by his participation in
the march.
"You see," he explained, point-
ing toward the chandelier," there's
a big balance sheet up there in
the sky, and each of us must make
our entry thereupon. Peace march-
ing is not really a worldly en-
deavor which can be evaluated by
temporal standards.
We aren't terribly interested in
the actual cessation of bombing
in North Viet Nam. Pshaw, even.
What we want to see is the def-
inite establishment of our names
on the right side of the big
sheet, so that when the big social
worker in the sky reviews our
files, we'll be on the side of right
thinking, and fairness, and equal-
ity, and human decency, and may-
be even Norman Mailer!" He
paused, momentarily exhausted.
the march as primarily a sort of
religious liturgy?" I asked.
"Well, I don't like the word
religious. Religion, as you know, is
the barbituate of the masses. I
like to think of it more as socia-
ligion. Forget about the myths,
and worry about real people,
members of the teamsters union
struggling, for a living out there
in fi-,., vino narl i .v ..,Alm r"


The Agony of U.S. Cities

AS JOHN LINDSAY makes ready
to take over the mayoralty of
New York City, there is a general
feeling that he has an impossible
task. New York, it is said, is un-
governable. Its problems are in-
soluble. Mr. Lindsay is alone in a
municipal government dominated
by Democrats.
What needs to be done to over-
come congestion and povertyhand
delinquency, to educate the chil-
dren, to make medical care ade-
quate, to clean the polluted air
and make up the depleted water
supply will require vast sums of
money and a wide and deep re-
construction of the political sys-
No matter how good a man John
Lindsay is, he cannot, we are told,
succeed in all this.
MY VIEW IS that all that will,
of course, be true if John Lind-
say did not know better than to
take a shallow view of his task.
The shallow view would be to sup-
pose that he can deal with the
problems of the great city by
being somewhat more energetic
and somewhat more resistant to
pressure groups than were his
predecessors in the city hall. He
would most certainly fail if he
were under the illusion that all
New York needs is an untired
On the nther hand, I do not

construction is necessary.
PRIMARILY, and above all, his
task is to find and to sponsor the
best remedies that the most expert
in urban affairs have to recom-
mend, to experiment with these
remedies and to keep on explain-
ing them, to conduct, in effect, a
great teach in and seminar in
the problems of the modern Amer-
ican city.
Nobody can seriously expect
him to solve all the problems
single-handedly and on his own
power. His opportunity and his
duty is to lead a four-year course
for urban Americans in their self
education for self government.
We know enough already about
the dimensions of the problem to
realize where some of the great
changes will have to come.
THUS, the legal city.of New
York, which is governed from the
city hall, is only :3, part of the
real city. The real city in fact
lies in three states and comprises
many little cities. many suburbs

For it is proving to be impossible
to govern the great city with
antiquated political jurisdictions.
The boy has grown older, and he
can no longer wear his swaddling
IT IS ALSO quite certain that
we shall have to work out a fiscal
system by which the cities re-
ceive an increasing amount of
the money collected by thefederal
government. The federal revenue
system is far more efficient than
the local systems can be.* The:
federal system is so efficient that
it may soon may be producing
more revenue than the federal
government on its traditional ac-
tivities can usefully spend. Some
of this revenue can then be spent
in the localities.
The idea for this reform is al-
ready in the air. If, as we have
reason to hope, the modern econ-
omy can be made to expand at
a reasonably stable rate, the fed-
eral government may soon find
it has a very large surplus.
Assuming, as we must nowadays,
that we do in fact have the com-
mon sense not to escalate our-
selves into a total war, the surplus
federal revenue will be very large.
Our real problem will not be how
to pay for the needs of the great
cities, but how to spend the avail-




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