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March 18, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-03-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Seventy-Sixth Year

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Plague of the Textbooks


Where Opinions Are Free. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

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.



Fraternity Buyers Association:
Short-Changing Its Members.

THE FRATERNITY Buyers Association,
at one time an instrumental force in
breaking down the high food prices in
Ann Arbor, has become a complacent and
ineffectual organization.
Although set up 12 years ago "with the
idea that a cooperative buying arrange-
ment might be of financial benefit to fra-
ternities," today FBA is doing more to
"financially benefit" Ann Arbor merch-
ants than the fraternities.
Even its officials admit FBA is saving
meat suppliers a great deal of money by
doing most of their billing and bookkeep-
ing for them. They also admit they have
no way of knowing whether these sav-
ings are passed on to member houses.
the interests of its members. One fra-
ternity advisor charged that he had been
consistently "short weighted" by an FBA
meat supplier. FBA makes no checks
on the quality or price of the meat. In
short, it is sometimes only the supplier
that benefits from FBA services.
FBA officials are satisfied to praise
their minor gains while other potential
savings go unnoticed. Theys flatly assert
that it is impossible to get a competitive-
ly bid meat contract for their members.
Yet, with fraternities buying several hun-
dred thousands dollars of meat each year,
FBA surely has enough purchasing pow-
er to provide an attractive contract to
any meat supplier.

FURTHERMORE, FBA is losing some of
the gains it has made by'unfair and
arbitrary practices in its competitive bid-
ding. FBA refuses to release the price
offered by the winning bidder, express-
ing fear that "the losing bidders will go
around and underbid the winner."
This fear is unsubstantiated since mem-
ber fraternities are required to sign a con-
tract with FBA for a year at a time, and,
therefore, couldn't switch suppliers.
Furthermore, why should FBA care if
they are underbid. Isn't it their job to
obtain the lowest possiblep rices for fra-
The FBA needs aggressive and imagina-
tive management if it is to aid its mem-
ber houses. An effort must be made to
solicit many bids on each item purchased
by fraternities, not just a few bids on
few items. FBA must also become open
and public so both member houses and
suppliers may see exactly what is going
FBA MUST NOT allow any firm to take
advantage of its services unless that
supplier also offers a reasonable discount
to FBA's member fraternities. In short,
FBA must do away with its self-satisfied
attitude and start really working to bring
down food costs for the fraternities, sor-
orities and cooperatives it serves.

" DON'T SEE why people don't stage sit-ins at
publishing houses to protest bad textbooks," says
iconoclastic professor James V. McConnell of the psy-
chology department. "Most textbooks are written pretty
"Too many people that know the material too well
write textbooks," complains McConnell an experimental
psychologist who is known for his experiments with
planaria and devotes most of his time to biological
foundations of learning theory.
McConnell contends that "Many authors assume
that wou know all the jargon and background it took
them 20 years to learn."
u Hercomplains that books are not adequately tested.
"If I write a textbook and give it to the guy in the next
cubicle, I figure its alright if he says the writing is
clear. But I'm overlooking the fact that he's been in
the business 20 years."
"Textbooks are written for everyone but the students,"
he says. "They're written to please colleagues and deans
who like to see things in print. Most publishers say that
a good textbook is one that makes alot of money."
McConnell thinks many textbooks are bland because
they have to be written to please every possible faculty
member everywhere. They don't want to offend anyone
because that would cut down on the number of sales."
McCONNELL DOESN'T ASSIGN any textbooks for
his Psychology 487 course, Psychology of Influence be-
cause "I would have to assign so many different text-

books to get all the material in, that the students would
run out of money.
Instead he assigns nine paperbacks including David
Oglivey's "Confessions of an Advertising Man,"' Eugene
Burdick's "The 480," Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead,"
Machievelli's, "The Prince," B. F. Skiner's "Walden II,"
Walter Lippmann's "Public Opinion," John Brunner's
"Squares of the City," Robert Lindners, "The 50 Minute
Hour," and Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and
Influence People."
"They're all interesting" says McConnell "and have
to do with changing human behavior. Besides several
of the books are the sort one should read just to be
McConnell has co-authored one textbook "Psycholo-
gy," and written many journal articles. He edits the half
serious-half humorous "Journal of Biological Psychology
-Worm Runners Digest," which goes to 1,200 subscribers
at $1.50 each.
"MOST BUT NOT ALL editors of scientific journals
lack a sense of humor," he says. "Many of the scientific
journal articles are trivial. Many of the experiments
were done and reported 30 years ago."
"You can never control the triviality," says editor
McConnell but you can make sure the articles are written
McConnell is critical of "Philosophers who tend to
favor obscure writing. They believe that unless a given
idea is immensly difficult to comprehend it must be
trivial. If they have a great thought and they express

it well, their colleagues won't be impressed, because they
understood it too easily."
McConnell does not consider the situation hopeless.
"I think there are many good texts. I think about 10
per cent of the textbooks are well-written.
He thinks that the solution to much of the text-
book problem would be for authors to test their mate-
rials more carefully on "students" so they can "find out
what passages are confusing. They can also find out if
the students like the subject after they finish the book.
"I don't think anyone writes as well as he would
like to. But writers do like the fame and fortune and
money that comes from writing."
"I also hope, that programmed materials in the
future would help alleviate much of the problem," he
McCONNELL IS FREQUENTLY approached by pub-
lishers who want him to write texts. "I always tell them
that I signed two textbook contracts in 1960-one for a
book on' the psychology of influence the other for a
popularized science series-and that I haven't completed
either of them yet.
"The two publishers (who have advanced McConnell
$500 and $250 respectively) don't bother me much. Once
a year they come around and ask me what I'm doing.
I always ask them if they want their money back and
they say, 'Oh, no.'
"I'll write the books when I get up enough energy,"
he adds.

Letters: Praising a Southeast Asian Expert

To the Editor:.
THANK YOU for publishing the
two articles on Viet Nam by
Prof. David Wurfel, on March 10
and 11.
It is a relief to hear from a
disciplined political scientist whose
family has lived and taught' in
Southeast Asia for two generations.
His mother was one of the first
Fulbright teachers requested by
the University of the Philippines.
His point of view is a rational
contrast to the many other con-
jectures we hear from those who
have no knowledge of the history
or the culture of Southeast Asia.
In particular contrast is the news
story of March 10 about the Uni-
versity College Republican Club
which went on record as oppos-
ed to negotiation and peace in
Viet Nam.
PROF. WURFEL'S final sen-
tence bears repeating, "Loyalty to
impossible objectives may be cour-
age in an individual, but for a
nation it is disaster."
Experienced scholars are appar-
ently hard to find for our Viet
Nam policies. Nation magazine of
March 6, page 298, reports that

the State Department has a scarc-
ity of them. In the past nine
years, there have been 11 different
top-policy men for Viet Nam af-
fairs, each subject to the curious
two-year rotation cycle and only
one of them who has had any
experience in Viet Nam. All the
more reason why men like Prof.
Wurfel should be heard,
-Irene E. Murphy
Former Regent
Black Power
To the Editor:
'HANK YOU for Prof. Kauf-
man's valuable comments on
black rower. Kaufman, however,
fails to put his finger on the con-
servative implications of black
power, though some of his com-
ments imply them. Paul Feldman
discusses these implications in a
penetrating article in last month's
issue of Dissent magazine.
The black power ideology says
to the Negro, "Get back in the
ghetto, boy, and make something
of yourself. When you become
equal to the white man, then come
out." In essence, black power is
a sophisticated version of self-

Commission Crawls Along

mission on the Role of the Student in
the University is moving too slowly, this
is not the case. The commission has been
working diligently to gain the requisite
background material necessary for any
meaningful recommendations.
The commission's charge from Presi-
dent Hatcher covers such a large spec-
trum of activities, that it takes several
weeks just to define their areas of re-
sponsibility. It covers such diverse areas
as who should have control over a stu-
dent's personal conduct, what the struc-
ture and function of a student govern-
ment ought to be, and what kind of role
students should have in decision mak-
ing for academic affairs.
The first few weeks of any commission
are naturally spent adjusting to the job,
and the personalities of the members.
Considering the commissioners' desires,
especially the student members, not to
lose time, then the commission doesn't
appegr to be behind schedule.
UNTIL NOW the commission has been
involved in time consuming activities,
such as:
0 Research into the history and un-
derlying causes of campus discontent so

that they will obtain a better understand-
ing of the problems at hand.
* Researching what has been previous-
ly attempted in alleviating these prob-
lems, thus avoiding duplication of work.
" All meetings have been open to the
public; and student members of the com-
mission have spent time sounding out
various student organizations for their
* The commission also has an office
which is open for suggestions, and has
done everything possible to open channels
to the University community.
For the future student, faculty and ad-
ministrators will speak to the commission
and plans are being made for an open
public forum.
AS A SIGN of good faith, the commis-
sion plans to have a fact finding task
force working during the summer so as
not to lose valuable time.
The work of the commission is far 'from
complete, but if they continue to work
as diligently as they have been at isolat-
ing University problems, and if the com-
munity supports the commission by bring-
ing its ideas to it, then some of the
changes called for will become a reality.

CATRS , &OTTo ' AC :''EV %OE ,"4

help, from which a separate but
equal black American society could
not possibly result.
NEGRO RACIAL pride and
community organizing in the ghet-
to are positive goals, but when
masqueraded as a panacea for
the American Negro's problems,
black power becomes a regres-
sion from more progressive recent
Negro thinking comprehending the
need for broad changes in our so-
cio-economic institutions. "The
major problems, lie not in Negro
attitudes or values," as Feldman
points out, "they lie in socio-
economic institutions that need to
be changed." And black power en-
thusiasts present no fundamental
demands that would seriously
challenge or modify the economic
status quo.
The working tools of black pow-
er-rent strikes and consumer boy-
cotts-may mean greater control
of the ghetto by the Negro and
may make the ghetto a little
more pleasant for the Negro, but
black power can do little or noth-
ing to eliminate the ghetto itself.
It is understandable that the
Negro intellectuals frustrated with
the slow changes brought about
by the white power-structure seek,
in a sense, to "purify" the Negro
revolution by making it all black,
but the poor Negro, or Negro
worker,probably doesn't care very
much whether the Negro revolu-
tion is all black or all white. He
wants, above all, greater economic
well-being, and black power isn't
calculated to achieve this. At least
this is only, a remote vision in the
black power program.
It is hardly surprising that both
William Buckley and the right-
wing Free Society Association,
headed by Barry Goldwater, have
expressedysupport for black power.
-Sandy Winnick, '68
To the Editor:
IN SPITE OF Mr. Tull's obvious
and tragic tendency towards
vast generalization, occasioned I'm
sure by a justifiable bitterness, I
was su'rprised to see that both of
yesterday's commentators (Letters,
March 14) overlooked ,what was to
me, the most significant point in
the interview. It is significant in-
deed that Mr. Tull feels compelled
to make such a sharp distinction
between a world of "alumni re-
union" and a world of "black eyed
As was implicit in the article,
the Negro is not usually accepted
in the typical white community

out of any sudden realization that
stereotyping is absurd and that
every individual must be judged
by his own merits. No indeed. The
Negro is accepted in the white
middle class community in pro-
portion to the degree to which
he demonstrates overtly that he
has satisfactorally assimilated the
good old middle class values and
has become in effect more "white"
and less "negro."
The Negro, in a very different
way than the Caucasian, must
continue to prove himself over and
over again each and every day in
order to retain the hard won ac-
ceptance, and must indeed repudi-
ate the world of "black eyed peas"
et. al. if he is to "get ahead" just
as cne must shave off the beard
and assume a tie and sport coat
in order to do the same, at least
in thepolitical or business world
to which Mr. Williams alludes.
THE FACT THAT the great
majority of individuals in a so-
ciety can sit back and view with
complacent acceptance the fact
that thousands of boys are being
asked to sacrifice themselves be-
fore they have begun to livesthat
our government is engaged in
wiping out whole villages of people
as though they were flies, that
millions of our citizens are led to
bitter frustration and consequent

hatred because of racial discrim-
ination, and millions more are
living in abject poverty but jump
up- in horror and outrage when
soms students decide to wear
mustaches to school is, I think,
symptomatic that something some-
where is seriously amiss in the
value system.
This is, of course, a natural con-
sequence in a society where "re-
spectability" is to be desired above
all else and, at the same time,
simple and, basic humanitarian
considerations are not even fun-
damdental to the essence of that
respectability. I think it is to Mr.
Tull's credit at least that he re-
fuses to give up >a way of life that
is more meaningful and real to
him in order to become part of the
only world that is looked upon as
"respectable" in our society, and
that he has the insight to see that
the implications of the respectable
middle class way of life go far
beyond merely "staying out of pool
-.Sandra Kashdan, '67
All letterR must be typed,
double-spaced and should be no
longer than 300 words. All let-
ters are subject to editing;
those over 300 words will gen-
erally be shortened. No unsign-
ed letters will be printed.



Threat of Non-Student Power


STUDENT Government Council has tak-
en under consideration the role of non-
students in campus organizations. The
Council is confronted with the problem
of whether or not non-students should
be allowed to vote and hold officer's po-
sitions in groups which have been rec-
ognized by the University as student or-
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Subscription rate: $4.50 semester by carrier ($5 by
mail; $8 for two semesters by carrier ($9 by mail).
Published at 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor. Michigan.
42C Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.
Acting Editorial Staff
MEREDITH EIKER, Managing Editor

The problem which arises in this situ-
ation is one of control. If non-students
are permitted to become voting members
of organizations, what is to keep them
from gaining complete control of the
group, and using it for their own inter-
ests, quite unrelated to those of the
The motion as introduced to SGC would
permit only half of a student organiza-
tion to be non-students, and require that
an organization have at least two student
officers. It also placed certain restrictions
on non-student members as to their prox-
imity to the University community-two-
thirds of a group's members would have
to be students, alumni, or people who
have recently been enrolled in the Uni-
THE ARGUMENT supporting the motion
maintains that students would benefit
from the advice of participation by inter-
ested parties from outside the Univer-
sity. However, as regulations stand now,
organizations can include non-students.
The only restrictions are that they cannot
vote and cannot hold office.
By giving non-students voting rights.

"What was I using for bait?.... James Meredith..'

'oar-In-Control'and pointments


Professor of Law
Last of a two-part series
IN PAST years the Board, taking
into account the editors' knowl-
edge of the personalities, talents
and work habits of the various
candidates, has usually been per-
suaded by the arguments offered
in support of these recommenda-
tions and has, therefore, normal-
ly approved them. There has al-
ways been, however, a potentiality
of conflict between the Board
members' feeling of personal re-
sponsibility for the appointments,
and a feeling that has developed
among the students over the years

do not conform to a "Daily" pat-
tern, or to attitudes dominant
among the retiring editors. The
editors vigorously, and I believe
sincerely, controvert this inter-
pretation of the facts. They argue
that there have been in fact wide
differences in attitude and con-
viction between editors appointed
in any particular year, and from
year to year. Nevertheless this ap-
prehension influences attitudes
concerning the weight which
should be given to the recom-
mendations of the editors.
received applications from 16 per-
sons for appointment to senior

first choice. Each, I believe, was
advanced at one time or another
by one or more members of the
Board as the person best suited
for that position. Some of the
writings of the seniors' nominee
were criticized by some members
of the Board, in whose opinion
they lacked objectivity; there were
concerns about the problems he
might fave in filling a role de-
scribed to the Board as a principal
with whom, to do its job effective-
ly, the paper must communicate;
and there were opinions expressed
that his particular capabilities
would be better, used in one or
more of the other editorial posi-

Board could not be reassembled
for several days, and from a fail-
ure to anticipate the problems
that would be posed by such cir-
cumstances. It caused a break in
communication that perhaps need
not have occurred.
vened, therefore, discusion was di-
rected again to the reasons for the
positions taken at the prior meet-
ing, with the intention of discus-
sing those reasons with the edit-
ors. As the discussion proceeded,
however, it became evident that
there had been some rethinking
of that position in the interim,
and the discussion delevoped into
a reconsideration of the decision.

their reasons for that decision, and
were persuaded that it should be
reversed. And so it was.
Some will ask why the Board
is involved at all in the appoint-
ment of the editors; others will
ask why it given the recommenda-
tions of the retiring seniors as
much weight as it does. The an-
swers are not self-evident. Perhaps
I can do no better than to pose
a counterquestion.,-It is likely that
the Daily would be a better paper
if, on the one hand, the editors
were not required to justify their
nominations outside their own
group, or if, on the other hand, the
Board felt entirely free to dis-
regard those recommendations


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