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March 17, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-03-17

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Seventy-Sixth Year
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
UNDER AUTHORITY OF BOARD IN CONTROL OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
VTere Opinions Are Free. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH. NEws PHONE: 764-0552
Truth Will Prevail
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the inidividual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
HURSDAY, MARCH 17. 1966 NIGHT EDITOR: JOHN MEREDITH
SGC Presidential Elections:,

SOUND and FURY
byCaenen.t. T he Grading System and Ways It Fails

1

Vote For

. . .

Bodkin

BOB BODKIN is not a man to abandon a
started task. Last year, he submitted
an evaluation of student housing to SGC,
in which he indicated objectives to be ful-
filled in that area. The action was recent-
ly followed up by his sponsorship of the
motion to establish the Student Housing
Advisory Committee.
Cooperation is a key word in analyz-
ing Bodkin's assets, for he not only has
the support of both REACH and SHA,
but has the ability to communicate with
civil and administrative leaders in elicit-
ing their assistance. His good work is fur-
ther evident from the city and school co-
operation he received during the recent
voter registration drive. The entire cam-
pus is aware of the excellent work he did
with SHA, which this week resulted in a
City Council motion.
Further, 600 students registered to vote
after the SHA, headed by Bodkin, sent out
10,000 letters encouragingagraduate stu-
dents to do so. This was a result of the
effective leadership provided by Bodkin
and vice-presidential candidate Neill Hol-
lenshead, which brings out another point
in his favor:
Such things as the success of the voter
registration drive demonstrate the abil-
ity of Bodkin and his running mate, Hol-
lenshead, to work smoothly and effective-
ly together. On the other hand, Ed Robin-
son's running mate, Cindy Sampson, is
untried in SGC affairs. Certainly the Rob-
inson-Sampson combination cannot near-
ly match the experience in cooperation
that mark Bodkin and Hollenshead.
ONE OF BODKIN'S fundamental beliefs
is that SGC should concern itself with
vital student issues rather than matters
Which are admittedly most important, but
about which SGC can do little or noth-
ing. That Viet Nam constitutes a "vital
student issue" is obvious, but Bodkin's
attitudes are properly aimed. Should the
SGC begin concerning itself with national
affairs, not only would it be stepping out
of its realm, but it would be forced to de-
emphasize things of immediate student
interest about which it can do something
-housing, sale of text books, academic
affairs, voter registration.
Bodkin thus concerns himself with
campus. matters that directly affect the
student population, and has a host of
examples to illustrate this statement.
He was sponsor of the SGC motion for
an SGC-UAC student-faculty conference,
and later coordinated that conference.
Bodkin was also responsible for a mo-
tion concerning further student partici-
pation in University affairs at the depart-
mental level. A student voice in the selec-
tion of a new president was an issue
which prompted Bodkin to co-sponsor a
related motion, and he is also a member
of the planning committee concerning the
selection of a new president. Voter reg-
istration, strengthening of the SHA, dis-
count stores and better parking facilities
are among other areas of interest in
which he has worked long and hard.
THERE HAS BEEN a good deal of con-
troversy in conjunction with the up-
coming SGC elections concerning the role
of political parties. Objectors to the party
system say such campaigning is but a poor
attempt to emulate civil political systems
and has not place in a campus election.
This is a superficial observation. One
must examine the functions of both stu-
dent and civil political parties before giv-
ing such a criticism. The two are similar
in this respect: a firm base of support
is needed for the head of either to "get
things done." This is where a party comes
in, one of its major functions being to

support the man in office.
Furthermore, Bodkin and Hollenshead
have behind them the extremely impor-
tant factor of a well-organized and active
political party which can aid their year
in office considerably.
ROBINSON LACKS 'the organization
that an SGC president needs for ef-
fective action. "Independent" is indeed
the word for Robinson. He is independent
of an effective organization behind him,

Robinson
FIE OFFICE OF SGC president must be
filled, in one candidate's words, "by a
mediator and an initiator"-someone who
can lead people and work with them ef-
fectively, and someone who can see be-
hind the issues to initiate important leg-
islation as well as administrate it.
The record shows beyond doubt that Ed
Robinson is the best man for that job.
As UAC contemporary discussion chair-
man, Robinson organized and coordinat-
ed last semester's overwhelmingly suc-
cessful symposium on American Indi-
vidualism, in which Kenneth Kenniston,
United States Senators Walter Judd and
Kenneth Keating, and Nat Hentoff spoke
on the Michigan campus. Last year's ex-
cellent Symposium on Poverty was also
his project.
Bob Bodkin, Robinson's opponent, has
based much of his campaign on his work
on the Student Housing Association - a
committee whose final work, as that of
its recent voter registration drive, is as
yet in considerable doubt, and from which
at least one major member has refused
to endorse Bodkin and is endorsing Rob-
inson instead. Bodkin also missed seven
of the 15 meetings of the Housing Ad-
visory Board to Vice-Presidents Cutler
and Pierpont. He has attended one of six
meetings this semester.
The SGC-UAC academic conference was
originally sponsored by a Bodkin motion,
and was one of the projects on which he
worked. Yet it may be quite significant
to note here that Ronna Jo Magy, of
UAC's academic affairs committee and
one of the key organizers of the confer-
ence, is backing Robinson's election.
A further point on his policy state-
ment points to his co-sponsorship of the
motion for student participation in the
selection of the next University president,
neglecting to mention that the other par-
ticipant was Ed Robinon.
Councilman Robinson has proposed
what fellow Councilman Jack Winder
termed, "in contrast to the Bodkin mo-
tions, well - thought - out and well - re-
searched" motions and participation. Two
of his motions include measures dealing
with the 18-year-old vote and also with
the problem of the draft.
WHAT REACTION has such work
brought from this past year's campus
leaders? Robinson's work and his abili-
ties to get along with the important peo-
ple with whom he must carry on the
business of student government have led
to endorsements from: Winder, SGC
councilman (and, incidentally, a member
of the executive committee of REACH);
SGC councilmen fat McCarty (REACH),
Steve Schwartz, Mickey Eisenberg, Don-
ald Resnick, and Paula Cameron; Charlie
Cooper, SGC administrative vice-presi-
dent; Mike Gross, SGC treasurer; Laura
Fitch, ex-officio SGC member as presi-
dent of Panhel; Georgia Berland, ex-
officio SGC member as Assembly presi-
dent (and a member of Cutler's housing
committee with Bodkin); Nancy Freitag
and Kent Cartwright, presidents of the
League and Union, and James Kropf and
Pam Erickson, respectively president and
administrative vice-president of UAC;
Robert Golden, chairman of the Literary
College Steering Committee; John D.
Evans, station manager of WCBN; and
Tom Pointner, administrative vice-presi-
dent of Inter-Fraternity Council, among
others.
ROBINSON'S WORK for UAC and for
council have shown an eagerness to
serve, an ability to coordinate, and an
important insight into and behind the

problems facing the University student
body.
Furthermore, the almost unbelievable
list of endorsements from those students
who have led this campus' student or-
ganizations for this past semester indi-
cate that Robinson has quite a remark-
able talent for getting along with those
people with whom he, as SGC president,
will have to work. That Bodkin, over this
same time span, would lose so important
a "personality contest" so badly would in-
dicate a) an indictment on his work and
a mandate for Robinson's, and b) a very

THE TIME HAS COME for the
University to re-evaluate its
attitude toward grades and the
pernicious system fostered by them
which attempts to reward stu-
dents for the amount of miscel-
laneous information they can pack
into their heads in a 15-week
period.
It should be noted that the al-
mighty grade-point is to the col-
lege student what financial suc-
cess is to the typicaladult mem-
ber of our society. Spurred by the
pressures of Selective Service and
increasingly stringent admissions
requirements at top graduate
schools, the grade-point is a num-
ber-one topic of conversation
among most students, just as
money and all it symbolizes is a
prime concern of the "successful"
man.
While it is true that some stu-
dents demonstrate deep concern
with the quality of courses they
are taking as well as the professor
who is teaching it, there is little
general concern for scholarship
as such, or for creative academic
endeavor. The overriding goal of
most college students seems to be
to cram in as many credit-hours
as possible in each semester, to
take three-and-two or four-and-
one gut and "mickey mouse"
courses in order to accomplish
this task, and to master the read-
ing list with as little effort as
possible. The last three semesters
of undergraduate college educa-
tion are sadly reminiscent of most
of our high-school education.
Graduate school is an overriding
concern, and the academic rat-

race intensifies accordingly.
BESIDES, by the time they are
juniors, most students have learn-
ed various methods to "ace out"
certain courses and to accept
other courses as inevitable "B"
courses. They plan their time and
amount of work accordingly and
utter profanities under their
breath when forced to take dis-
tribution courses alien to their
interests.
We should not overlook the stu-
dents, relatively few in number
but still a fair minority, who are
attempting to gain a "liberal edu-
cation" through departmental
horors programs or interdepart-
mental studies. Unfortunately,
many of these students become
disillusioned when they discover
that, in most cases, "honors"
courses are little better than
regular ones and that the pro-
fessors teaching honors courses
are the same ones teaching regular
courses.
True, one finds more seminars
and fewer 75-member lecture
"classes"; yet many of the semi-
nars dissolve into intellectual pla-
titude-exchanges or contests for
which member can utter the
largest number of vacuous gen-
eralizations in a two-hour period.
IN TOO MANY CASES, the
promise of honors courses dissolves
as the student discovers the same
restless, unsatisfied feeling he gets
in the majority of his classes. The
typical student reaction to this
feeling is to escape from academia
and find some measure of excite-
ment and fulfillment in extracur-

ricular pursuits or cultural ac-
tivities, or, more typically, to ac-
cept the system unquestionably
and join the race for that un-
equalled entrance ticket to grad-
uate school, freedom from the
draft, and a $8,000 starting salary:
the high grade-point.
Studies have demonstrated that
there is no positive correlation
between academic "success" in
college and vocational or profes-
sional fulfillment in later life,
although it is admittedly absurd
to contend that students with high
grade-points are automatically
noncreative, compulsive grinds.
Yet, there are many creative in-
dividuals with low grade-points
who are contributing more to the
University community and dis-
covering greater self-fulfillment
at the same time than the slaves
who keep, their noses to the aca-
demic grindstone.
After several semesters, the
hardy student who still preserves
some shreds of faith in academic
life and the pursuit of wisdom
through scholarship learns to pre-
register for seven courses so he
can choose the four or five best
ones when the term begins. Others
make a point of keeping a black-
list of professors-to-be-avoided-at-
all-costs. At the same time, they
exert heroic efforts to sign up for
X's courses and Y's course. Some
professors are adopted by certain
groups of students, and still others
become virtual fads.
OTHER STUDENTS, less con-
cerned with the quality of their
professors but vitally concerned
with their grade-giving policies,

learn to opt for the prof who
marks on a "B" curve. Sometimes
such a professor becomes so well-
known that his course closes after
the first week of preregistration
each semester, so intense is the
race for the easy "A" or "B."
Once our harried student has
signed up either for the "in"
courses of the year or for the easy
profs, he proceeds to develop an
unfailing instinct for determining
which classes are worth getting up
for. As soon as he discovers that
the prof's lectures are merely re-
hashes of the basic text (an all-
too-common occurrence), our typi-
cal student happily indulges in
an 'extra hour of snooze each
morning. Or, if he has friends in
the same course, he works out a
rotation system which culminates'
in all-night cram sessions with
his buddies before the hourly and
the final.
In another typical case, the day
our student learns that his course
is having a take-home final, he
rejoices. Now he knows he only
has to read three of the fifteen
books on the reading list because
he can always skim the others
when he gets the exam one week
before it's due.
THEN THERE ARE the stu-
dents who compete to see who
can attend the fewest classes in
a term. Since they're naturally
brilliant (or they've picked up the
subject matter in summer read-
ing), they do well anyway. Besides;
they've discovered the most im-
portant secret a green college kid
must learn before he fully be-
comes initiated into our way of

life: most lecture classes are a
waste of time, since ten times as
much material can be absorbed in
a concentrated hour of reading.
A funny thing seems to happen
to brilliant professors when they
come before a lecture rostrum. The
profound, creative thinker of the
seminar becomes vague, resorts to
generalizations everyone knows al-
ready and ends up wasting every-
one's time, most regrettably his
own. Since most upper-level lib-
eral arts courses have deteriorated
into massive lectures because of
the increase in enrollment, this
situation is typical even for the
senior, instead of being limited to
introductory survey courses as in
the past.
EVENTUALLY, the shrewd stu-
dent learns to typecast his profs
and courses, finds easy methods
to get through school, and, if he's
truly creative and more than a
vegetable, he resorts to indepen-
dent study and reading, Joins the
Cinema Guild-MUG crowd, or
participates in an extracurricular
activity in order to find the in-
tellectual stimulation and vital
personal communication he fails
to find in his classes.
To most of these problems, there
is no solution. The multiversity
continues to grow and students
continue to find their niches in
the increasingly impersonal Uni-
versity community in various
ways, though definitely not in the
classroom.
NEXT WEEK, we shall discuss
some possibilities for easing the
academic rat race.

D

9

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Send Petition on UlRelations

To the Editor:
EUGENE B. POWER'S resigna-
tion from the University's
Board of Regents, accepted with
some celerity by the Governor,
brings to a close the issue of
"substantial conflict of interest"
between Mr. Power's company and
the University. The University will
miss Mr. Power's presence on its
governing board. But, since the
University willhundoubtedly con-
tinue to use the services of Uni-
versity Microfilms, Inc. it seems
appropriate to inquire as to what
these services include.
Since legal-opinions differ even
as to the existence of a conflict
of interest, it is small wonder
that laymen are puzzled by this
case. One reason is that they have
been shown only a small portion of
the iceberg involved. The overall
nature of the relations between
University Microfilms and this
and other universities isnot gen-
eral knowledge. In fairness to Mr.
Power, to the University, and to
the general public, however, it is
time to inspect the overall shape
of this firm, not merely the oper-
ations that have recently attract-
ed so much attention.
All the more so since some
accounts and their summaries on
radio and TV may leave the im-
pression that basic relationships
have been dubious or improper.
Letters in this column from quali-
fied persons have dealt with the
alleged conflict of interest in the
last few days. We do not intend
to renew that discussion here but,
instead, to furnish a larger per-
spective that may lessen the
chance of further injury eitherto
Mr. Power or the University.
UNIVERSITY Microfilms has
developed almost unique facilities
and services over the years. Its
work centers around the repro-
duction by microfilm or xero-
graphic process of materials held
by research libraries typed dis-
sertations, scarce or out-of-print
books, back-issue periodicals, mi-
nor and major journals, manu-
scripts, etc.
The reproduction of such ma-
terials has been built into a suc-
cessful business by this one firm
because Mr. Power, its founder,
perceived by 1935 that new photo-
copying techniques could assist
libraries to pursue their historic
aim: to bring reader and book
together in the most convenient
and efficient way possible. Other
microfilm firms have never ven-
tured far into the library or aca-
demic field. Even library experts
doubted for some years that what
Mr. Power's firm set out to do
could ever become a viable busi-
ness. Since 1938 University Micro-
films has proved otherwise.
A sizeable segment of the firm's
services is the handling of doc-
toral dissertations. Most U.S. uni-
versities abandoned some time ago
the requirement that a candidate's
dissertation must be printed to
qualify for a degree and accepted,
instead, two or three typed copies
to be stored in the library. Al-
though available to academic
borrowers in theory, these bcand
typescripts have been more cor-
redly described as "a gigantic

UNIVERSITY Microfilms found
a way to unfreeze these assets.
Beginning in 1938 the firm has
built a system of contracts with
155 universities throughout the
country to send their dissertations
routinely to Ann Arbor for mi-
crofilming. The films are stored
in fireproof company vaults. It
then publishes the titles and ab-
stracts of the contents in Disser-
tation Abstracts, a monthly list
of dissertations distributed inter-
nationally. Anyone who scans this
publication and discovers an item
of interest can order an inexpen-
sive book-size copy (made from
microfilm by a process knownas
Copyflow xerography).
At present this system makes
readily available an estimated 95
per cent of the dissertations pro-
duced annually in the United
States and Canada (nearly 15,000
in 1965). Authors can ask for
copyright in their own name;
otherwise, University Microfilms
issues the film without copyright.
Scarce and out-of-print books
journals, and manuscripts have
also been made available for order
in the same way, in editions of one
or more, as desired. University
Microfilm catalogues list more
than 2,000 current periodicals and
around 200,000 titles in all drawn
from university ilbraries and col-
lections around the world.
These include, for example,
copies of all books printed in
England before 1640. These were
produced by microfilm cameras
Mr. Power sent to England before
World War II to make certain
that rare books and documents of
this sort would not be lost forever
as a result of the bombing of
museums and libraries.
A CENTRAL POOL of micro-
film, with the cost of each nega-
tive spread over a number of
copies makes prices economical.
Libraries have had neither the
funds nor the technical basis to
devise photocopying equipment,
develop a distribution network,
and support a parallel venture.
The University would not wish
its staff, students, and library to
be denied access to this system;
although it was free to turn to any
other microflim firm when Mr.
Power's term as Regent raised the
issue of possible conflict of in-
terest, no other firm could offer
parallel advantages. Mr. Power
and the University examined the
situation with scrupulous care. Mr.
Power's solution was to donate
his firm's entire range of services
without charge.
University staff and students
ordering copies of dissertations,
books, or other items have receiv-
ed them from University Micro-
films without charge. The prin-
cipal beneficiary of University
Microfilms during Mr. Power's ten
years of tenure was the Univer-
sity Library. The Library holds
about $150,000 worth of materials,
donated in increasing amounts
each year. The University's total
of "no charge" bills from Univer-
sity Microfilms is over $200,000.
HAVING SOME awareness of all
the foregoing, we members of the
University community were shock-
ed by the allegation of "conflict
of interest" and by the tone of

cumstances, and pray that the
Governor or the University will,
soon call him to serve-higher edu-
cation in some other capacity.
ONE GOOD opportunity for
service is at hand: appointment
to the University's Presidential
Selection Commission. Others
should not be hard to find.
This letter is being offered to
faculty members for cosignature.
Among present cosignees are:
-Richard K. Beardsley,
-Robert E. Ward,
Political Science
-Ronald Freedman,
Sociology
Daily and Power
To the Editor:
PJESDAY'S COLUMN by Editor
Mark R. Killingsworth raises
the question of a newspaper's re-
sponsibility "to print the facts"
and generally to live up to the
dictum ". . . to give the news
impartially, without fear or favor,
regardless of any party, sect or
interest involved." It would indeed
be a sad day for journalism in our
society, and specifically for The
Daily on this campus, should these
principles be neglected or reversed..
In explaining The Daily's role in
the march of events which led to
the Attorney General's opinion of
University Microfilm's role vis a
vis the University, and the sub-
sequent resignation of Regent
Power, the present editor properly
defends his newspaper, but there-
by also invites some comments.
As one reader who has always
supported The Daily's freedom to
print what it saw fit against the
occasional critics jn both univer-
sity and town circles, may I be
permitted to voice some impres-
sions of the paper's activities in
the Power case.

It seems reasonable to make a
distinction between an event,
which may become news imme-
diately, and a condition which
exists and is subject to thought-
ful examination as necessity de-
mands. The treatment of each
requires probity and care, and
while it is the purpose of a paper
to inform its readers about the
long-range as well as the immedi-
ate, I take it that important dif-
ferences of style in reporting each
type are mandatory.
THE PRESENCE of UMI mi-
crofilm machines in the library,
for example,.is a different matter
from a burglary of funds, yet the
impression I and others received
from the handling of Microfilm's
operations by The Daily was that
some unspeakable crimes were be-
ing committed under the Regental
shield.
As much as Mr. Killingsworth
may quote from the stories and
editorials about the matter, it was
the tone of the criticism more
thanranything else that left Mr.
Power under a cloud, from which
I dare say he will have trouble
extricating himself even after the
tributes on all sides, including The
Daily's, have eased the troubled
air.
It is, I feel, in the matter of,
style and tone that The Daily
seems most to have relinquished
its claim to being an outstanding
newspaper. Here I detect the ab-
sence in recent years of true edi-
torship. It is true that The Daily
wishes not to interfere with the
right of its staff to express its
opinions in columns, but it may
be asked whether some respon-
sibility does not nonetheless de-
volve upon tne supervising et cor
to judge the content and the style
of the paper. No abdication of the
right to inform the public takes
place when standards of literary

skill and taste are also enforced.
It has been thought by some
that The Daily engages in "selec-
tive expose," that is, it seems to
ignore many glaring instances of
apparent injustice in favor of
concentrating on the "big catch."
To these people the Power affair
appears as a case in point; per-
haps they are right, though I do
not necessarily think so.
WHAT IS MORE important is
that The Daily restore some of
the judiciousness and balance
which one expects of a fine paper,
journalism with conscience and
responsibility. There can be no
better standard for the new stu-
dent editors and writers.
-Louis L. Orlin
Department of Near Eastern
Languages and Literatures
New Questions
To the Editor:
TrHE POINTS of conflict which
led to Regent Power's resigna-
tion i are notably just those out-
lined in the first public attacks
on Power, Roger Rapoport's Daily
articles of some months ago. Thus
has a Michigan student felled a
Michigan Regent.
With the vulnerability of the
University's administrators now
dramatically demonstrated, we can
expect an increase of pressure on
them from predictable student
quarters. Before leaving the field
to them, ,aren't there questions
which the majority of us should
ask among ourselves?
-William H. Wing, Grad
LETTERS
All letters to The Daily must
be typewritten and double-
spaced, and should be no longer
than 300 words long.

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