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September 04, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-09-04

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Ely r dian 4Batl
Seventy-Sixth Year


Where Opinions Are Free. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Wtl! PrevatJ

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the inidividual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



Freshman Rush and the System:
Evaluations and Re-evaluations

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THERE ARE A NUMBER of things fresh-
men who rush first semester don't
know about the fraternities and sorori-
ties they visit and join in their first
weeks of school.
The first thing the girls should know
is that they are rushing sorority the first
night of classes as the result of a deci-
sion made by Panhellenic Association
last spring, a decision based on valuing
the sorority system and its perpetuity
well above the welfare of the rushee.
The idea that a girl can come to the
University and within three days after
her arrival in the dorm be expected to
make a rational decision on the type of
life she wants to lead, the type of asso-
ceation she wants to make for the next
three years, is absolutely absurd.
NO ONE CAN BE expected to enter rush
with any kind of feel for the Greek
system and what it means on campus,
and, more importantly, what it means to
be a member of this system until exper-
iencing at least a few weeks, more prefer-
ably a semester on campus.
The way things are now, however, the
unbelievably strenuous three-week rush
period is actually a necessity if girls are
going to get any idea of what they want.
And, of course, the pressure, both on
the houses and on the girls rushing, is
multiplied beyond its previous levels-lev-
els which were none too low to begin
That such a decision should be made
has a lot to say about the Greek system
in general, and the sorority system in
First, those fraternities and sororities
that seem so foreboding aren't really.
They need you as much as you need them.
If you are going to join, take it easy.
It's going to cost you a good deal of
money to do it, and, like it or not, the or-
ganizations you are joining have quotas
to fill and budgets to meet.
ANDPERHAPS you don't want to be a
Greek anyway.
Most people, it seems to me, join a fra-
ternity or sorority for a number of good
reasons. There are fifteen thousand un-
dergraduates at the University of Michi-
gan, and over a thousand freshmen in
the average dorm. You can make friends
in the dorm, but this is often hard. You
may not have much in common with the
people who have been randomly placed
around you, and at best you can become
close with five or 10.
PENTITY IS HARD to establish. Dorm
houses are generally not overly inspir-
ing. Campus organizations can be joined,
but it is often hard for a freshman to get
involved to a satisfying degree.
Further, dorm living conditions are
generally not good enough to invite a sec-
ond year, while often sophomores are not
anxious to undertake housekeeping in an
Equal Rights
REVIUS ORTIQUE, JR. is a New Orleans
municipal judge who recently visited
Detroit to serve as president of the Wol-
verine Bar Association at its annual con-
The Wolverine Bar Association is an
organization of over 4000 Negro lawyers.
It has supplied much of the resources to
begin legal aid clinics in large urban
Ortique's current project is drafting the
legal language for a court order to inte-
grate New Orleans burlesque houses. He
says he has been as active in this cam-

paign as his office allows.
Restaurants and theatres in New Or-
leans have been integrated for several
years. But burlesque halls are still the
white man's domain.
"Negroes have as much right as anyone
to have their minds warped by burlesque
in my city and elsewhere," Ortique says.
ND SO the municipal judge continues
to work for integration in his tropical
southern home.

apartment-an apartment which can be
even more socially isolated anyway.
Which means turning to the Greek sys-
tem. Fraternities and sororities offer easy
companionship, good living conditions,
facilities for athletics and social events
that simply cannot be matched under oth-
er circumstances. The Greeks offer
friendship or an easy substitute, extreme-
ly good channels to a large number of
social contacts with both sexes, and a lot
of good times.
All of which can be had otherwise, but
usually not nearly as easily.
And, of course, you pay a price for the
ease. First monetarily-fraternities and
sororities are simply more expensive than
dorms and apartments.
ally. The reasons for joining and the
benefits they offer are based on a very
important weakness in most Greek houses
-they are selective for a certain kind
of living condition, a certain kind of per-
son, a certain kind of milieu.
Thus the freshman marked for the
Greek system leaves his middle-class
home in his middle-class neighborhood to
live with the same kind of people he grew
up with in the same kind of surroundings.
The social contacts are easy to make be-
cause he has stayed in the same channels
- people have grouped themselves by
thought-pattern and mode of living; the
fraternity and the sorority are merely
the ultimate institutionalization of the so-
cial fact.
And thus the white Anglo-Saxon Prot-
estants join the white Anglo-Saxon Prot-
estant houses, the Jews join the Jewish
houses, the Negroes join the Negro houses,
and the people who are different in
thought, style of life and background
aren't interested, or can't afford it, or
if they push then they rapidly adopt the
new style of life, the new thought pat-
AND IT'S JUST SO EASY to fall into the
style of life-movie date on Friday,
football party Saturday, loaf with the
guys Sunday, study through the week
with an occasional coffee date, then the
pattern again. A date on the weekend
becomes mandatory; a good time is had
whether the date has anything to say or
And the activities, too, are established.
The shows, the weekends, are done by the
same people in the same settings.
Which is fine, certainly enjoyable. But
not broadening by any means.
Perhaps the major lesson a university
such as this has to teach is that the
world is a huge and various entity with
more types of people, more endeavors,
more ideas than one man can see in six
lifetimes. The University of Michigan is
big enough and good enough to encom-
pass a large amount of that variety.
But the average student rarely sees
much of it. Lacking cultural program-
ming, lacking activity and imagination,
the Greek system doesn't help much. In a
predominantly middle-class university the
Greek system has become a cell into
which only one value system flows. Only
one mode of life is offered, too often only
one is taken. And it comes so easy you
don't have to think about much of any-
WHICH MEANS stagnation, a loss of tal-
ent and diversity, and nothing learn-
ed. The University pays for its diversity
with size-often too much size for the in-
dividual to handle. But if fraternities and
sororities offer an obvious compensation
by providing a means of shrinking what

is to be contended with into an easy-to-
control sphere, the over-compensation
becomes a very real danger-one to which
I think the Greek system has, in fact, suc-
Which means that the average fresh-
man, unless given time to find outside
bearings on his own, can be whisked into
a fraternity or sorority never to find his
way out. And thus some capacity for in-
dividuality, some potential for diversity,
is lost-a loss we certainly can't afford.
My advice, then, is to wait and choose
carefully. There are many benefits, but
what is offered can be had in other con-
texts if the effort is made. And often it
comes without all the bother and wasted


p k

McNamara: The Army and the Poor


EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
second part of a two-part re-
print of Defense Secretary Ro-
bert S. McNamara's address be-
for the Veterans of Foreign
Wars convention in New York
City on August 23 in which he
outlined plans for "salvation"
of men rejected for the draft.
The plan has met with much
criticism, most notably from
civilarights leaders, as one aim-
ed at using the lower economic
classes for "fodder" for the Viet-
nom war.
in close detail, I am convinced
that at least 100,000 men a year
who are currently being rejected
for military service, including tens
of thousands who volunteer, can
be accepted.
To make this possible, we need
only to use fully and imaginative-
ly the resources at hand-the De-
fense Department today is the lar-
gest single educational complex
that the world has ever possessed.
operates 327 dependents' schools
around the world, employing 6,800
classroom teachers for 166,000 stu-
dents-making it the ninth largest
U.S. school system, with a budget
of $90 million.
More than 30 correspondence
school centers are 'sponsored by
the military departments, offering
over 2,000 courses and enrolling
nearly a million students scattered
about the globe.
The United States Armed Forces
Institute currently has enrolled
258,000 students in hundreds of
courses including everything from
the grammar school level through
The imperatives of national se-
curity in our technological age
make the Defense Department the
world's largest educator of highly
skilled men. Those same impera-
tives require that it also be the
world's most efficient educator. As

a result, the Defense Department
has pioneered some of the most
advanced teaching techniques. In-
deed, it has been in the vanguard
of a whole series of innovations in
educational technology.
FURTHER, WE SEE the whole
concept of "low-aptitude" and
"high-aptitude" now needs redefi-
nition. There is now ample evi-
dence that many aptitude evlu-
ations have -less to do with how
well the student can learn than
with the cultural value-system of
the educator.
Students clearly differ in their
learning patterns. It is the edu-
cator's responsibility to deal with
that pattern in each individual
case and to build on it. More ex-
actly, it is the educator's respon-
sibility to create the most favor-
able conditions under which the
student himself can build his own
learning pattern, and at his own
But instead of striving to be
the inspiring, reward-reinforcing,
motivation-bolstering occasions of
their students' knowledge, too
many teachers end by causing
them to retreat into a mental fog
of boredom, confusion and non-
comprehension. This grisly mix of
understandable reactions is then,
all too often, simply labeled: "low-
ed, within the Department of De-
fense, that the prime reason many
men "fail" the aptitude tests giv-
en at the time of induction is sim-
ply that these tests are geared to
the psychology of traditional, for-
mal, classroom, teacher-paced in-
Further, these tests inevitably
reflect the cultural value-systems
and verbal-patterns of affluent
American society. That is why so
many young men from poverty
backgrounds do poorly in the test.
It is not because they do not po-
ssess basic-and perhaps even bril-

liant-intelligence, but simply be-
cause their cultural environment
is so radically different from that
assumed by the test-designers.
It is, for example, a generally
accepted value of American soci-
ety to want to "achieve" some-
thing in life. That is a sound val-
ue; but it is a value many young
people from poverty-encrusted en-
vironments simply have not been
exposed to. In their world, achieve-
ment is seldom advanced as a val-
ue, only because it does not exist
as a realistic possibility.
Such a person appears to have
"low aptitude" by conventional
standards, since he seems poorly
ure his "aptitude" is to place him
in a situation that offers the en-
couragement 'he has never had
before. That means a good teach-
er, and a good course of instruc-
tion, well supported by self-paced,
audio-visual aids. It also means
less formal, classroom, theoretical
instruction, and more practical on-
the-job training.
Under these conditions, the so-
called "low-aptitude" student can
We are therefore, in the current
'fiscal year going to accept 40,000
men who currently fall into the
disqualification category - men
who fail to score well on the stan-
dard aptitude tests, but who, when
exposed to intensive instruction in
military skills and practical on-
the-job training can qualify as
fully satisfactory soldiers; men
who have been deprived of proper
health care but who can be
brought up to physical fitness
standards within a period of a
few weeks; men whose "low apti-
tude" and lack of achievement are
a function of external environ-
ment rather than internal poten-
IN THE NEXT fiscal year and
in each of the years thereafter we

will plan to accept 100,000 addi-
tional men in this category.
These men will be a challenge to
our ability to innovate and moder-
nize a training system which must
be kept in as high a state of rea-
diness as any combat unit in our
We believe we can also produce
the most highly efficient citizen
Army on earth.
THE POOR OF America have
not had the opportunity to earn
their fair share of this nation's
abundance, but they can be given
an opportunity to serve in their
country's defense and they can be
given an opportunity to return to
civilian life with skills and apti-
tudes which for them and their
families will reverse the down-
ward spiral of human decay.
Our understanding of poverty in
our own country will help us un-
derstand it in others. In the pro-
tracted twilight-wars of insurgen-
cy and subversion-which our ad-
versaries claim will characterize
our era-that understanding is
NOT LONG AGO the President
received a letter from one of our
Marines in Vietnam. I would like
to share it with you:
Mr. President:
As the demonstrators are using
the rights guaranteed all Ameri-
cans, I feel I too can use my rights
to write our Commander in Chief.
As fighting men in Viet Nam I
feel we're the best informed in the
world, We also can see the conse-
quences of a pull out. In fact we're
probably better informed than the
majority of demonstrators.
We're needed here there's no
doubt. I've seen people here that
were afraid to farm the land. The
V.C. took their crops. Now they
farm and are left alone and our
corpsmen treat their ills and show
them we care.
Our men die, but not without
the knowledge of why we're here.

As President of our great coun-
try we ask God to guide you in
making the decisions which affect
the world. The fighting men in
Viet-Nam are behind the Com-
mander in Chief all the way.
"OUR MEN DIE," wrote the Ma-
rine, "but not without the know-
ledge of why we're here."
In the city in which I work
there are many moving monu-
ments. Taken together, they sum
up our nation. They reflect the
power, the passion, and the pur-
pose of our Republic.
But the gentle rolling slopes of
the National Cemetery have a spe-
cial poignancy. There the demo-
cracy of the dead lies-led by a
fallen Commander - in - Chief. No
man asks who were the rich and
who were the poor. No man asks
who were the proud and who were
the humble. No man asks who were.
the great and who were the small.
But no man can gaze over that
annointed ground without feeling
a stab of conviction.
THE FALLEN do not speak.
They only remind us of how emp-
ty a thing it is to live without
service to others.
WE CONTINUE to be troubled
by a thought resulting from a
picture The News printed Satur-
day. The picture showed Univer-
sity President Harlan Hatcher
standing as he spoke with a group
of young people sitting on the
floor in protest of University ac-
tion in releasing information on
three student organizations to the
House Committee' on Un-Ameri-
can Activities. We probably can
be accused of being old fashioned,
but the students' failure to stand
up strikes us as a denial of the
respect due their president.
--Ann Arbor News Editorial
Friday, September 2, 1966


Hamilton Writes on
The Role of the U'

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To the Editor:
SETTING ASIDE, if possible, the
particular points in question in
the current HUAC episode, a more
fundamental matter is raised by
Professor Mayer's letter (9/2/66).
It is this: Does the University-
as an institution-have an aggres-
sive and/or defensive function in
serving the members of the Uni-
versity community? Answer this
question and you clear away con-
siderable confusion and misunder-
There are three possibilities.
If you say the University, as an
institution, has neither an ag-
gressive nor a defensive function
in serving the members of the
University community, then you
see the institution as a collection
of facilities and human resources
from which to draw and develop
individual strengths.
The non-academic life is not
an institutional concern; rather,
it is the concern of the individuals
associated with the University in
whatever measure the individuals
have needs and desires, separate-
ly or collectively. While this has
some appeal, clearly the passive
posture is not the one taken con-
sistently here.

ual members to accept responsi-
bilities as individuals. This, I
think, is the current basic posture
of the University.
If you say the University has
both a defensive and aggressive
function, then you expect the in-
stitution to be activist as an in-
stitution, taking 'positions and
committing resources which, in the
judgment of the leadership, are
in the best interests of the great-
est number.
This ncessarily imposes con-
straints on some members as well
as advancing the concerns of oth-
ers; this requires that the institu-
tion oppose and run counter to-the
interests of some members in or-
dr to support others. And this is
a very difficult thing to do in
such a unique community of indi-
viduals as the University.
ANYONE acquainted with this
institution can cite examples of
the University in passive, defen-
sive and aggressive postures. But I
believe the defensive is most com-
mon. I am not arguing one against
the others. But I think any dec-
laration that "the University
should . . ." do such-and-such
must be considered in relation to
the function of the institution and
the precedent to be established




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