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August 24, 1965 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-08-24

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Student Activism Undergoes Revival

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Although less spectacular than
their West Coast counterparts,
University students last year
showed signs of reviving the
campus activist movement which
fervently pressed for reform sev-
eral years ago.
Both much maligned and vigor-
ously defended, small groups of
activists displayed dedication, so-
cial awareness' and occasionally
buffoonery in attempts to effect
reforms in Ann Arbor and par-
ticipate in the farces of social
change at work throughout the
In earlier days, notably 1961,
the activist movement placed par-
ticular emphasis on altering the
relationship between the Univer-
sity administration and the stu-
dent body.

Political and social issues were
important, too, but it is for their
success in bringing about, or at
least accelerating, reforms within
the University itself that these
activists are best remembered.
Indeed, some contend that many
of these students were brought
into the activist movement by the
need for change at home and
broadened their interests to en-
compass national and world af-
Fairs after and because of this
initial contact with campus ac-
The 1961 period included a few
demonstrations of the type com-
monly associated with activism,
but a great deal of the students'
work-probably their most im-
portant work-was carried out in
less dramatic fashion: debates,
programs, Daily editorials, Stu-

dent Government Council votes
and campaigns by liberal campus
OSA Reorganization
A significant example of the
impact of this activist thrust is
the reorganization of the Office;
of Student Affairs. In 1961 Daily
editors focused attention on the
OSA, bringing charges that its
actions were not in line with
avowed University policy., They
made special reference to evi-
dence of racially discriminatory
practices by the dean of wo-
men's office and insensitive coun-
At the instigation of the Daily
editors and members of SGC's
Human Relations Board, a faculty
committee undertook an investi-
gation of the OSA, eventually
recommending major changes in
the office's administration and a
general liberalization of its policy.
After much more debate andl
careful scrutiny of the OSA byI
students, faculty and administra-1
tors, a drastic reorganization of
the office was effected, with em-t
phasis placed on development ofi
a liberal, less paternalistic OSA
policy toward the student body.
However, student activism be-
gan to wane at the Universityc
after the early part of 1962. The
yearly personnel changes at the
Daily, which was the real force
behind the 1961 activist spurt,E
gradually moved that organization

Activists Picket Butterfield Theaters

toward the center of the political
spectrum, and no new leaders
emerged to replace the dynamic
personalities that had once
sparked, campus liberalism.
Ironically, the most important
factor underlying activism's steady
decline from 1962-1964 was the
continuing liberalization of Uni-
versity policy-the liberalization
which the activists had worked
so hard for.
Paternalistic restrictions which

had caused student discontent
were, for the most part, removed,
and the more comfortable stu-
dents produced by the new en-
vironment found little motivation
to become involved in reform
The vast majority of University
students today remain apart from
efforts to reshape their environ-
ment. Nevertheless, during the
past year small groups of stu-
dents once again began to take


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an active part in University and
world affairs.
Although activism is still con-
fined to a small segment of the
student body, people who have ob-
served both groups say that the
new breed of activists differs in
many ways from its 1961 fore-
runner. The new breed, for one
thing, is more "respectable": it
does not have the sense of unity,
the devotion to a common ideol-
ogy that distinctly set the activ-
ists apart from the rest of the
campus in 1961; nor have the new
activists met with the student op-
position that characterized the
earlier movement.
For another thing, the old or-
ganizations have been superseded
by new ones. Last year, the in-
fluence of activism clearly, was
negligible on the Daily and
VOICE, the local chapter of Stu-
dents for a Democratic Society, is
no longer a unified group at the
heart of the activist movement.
New Organizations
In place of these organizations,
there are the University of Michi-
gan Student Employes' Union,
Governmental Reform of Univer-
sity Policy and a student com-
mittee formed to support the fac-
ulty's Viet Nam protests.
Older organizations-the Eco-
nomic Research and Action Proj-
ect (another SDS affiliate) and
Ann Arbor Friends of SNCC-are
still around, and their member-
ships, especially SNCC's, do over-
lap to an extent with the newer
But, for the most part, the fo-,
cus of activism at the University
has shifted. Its major thrust at
the moment is economic; specific-
ally, the UMSEU and GROUP (a
political party which was able to;
elect five members to SGC last
March) have worked successfully
to raise wages paid to student em-,
ployes by the University and have
set out to examine the role of the
University as an institution in
safeguarding the economic welfare
of its students-an interest which
has carried them beyond the cam-
pus itself into the University's re-
latipnships with Ann Arbor busi-
nessmen and with companies in
which it owns a partial interest.
Broad Scope1
In fact, the theme that the Uni-
versity should play a role in hap-;
penings off the campus has been
extended by some activists to in-;
clude University leadership on1
social issues. This points up the
broad scope of activists' interest.
While economic issues were the
object of their most concerted ef-
fort, the activists spoke out and=
demonstrated on such varied top-1
ics as civil rights, theatre price in-x
creases, apartheid and the Berke-
ley protests. Their plans for the
fall, too, encompass diverse projf-
ects-and, significantly, most of7
the activist leaders will be back toi
work on them.1
The activists are a young, spir-
ited group determined to make ac
mark on the campus during theirA
remaining one to three years at
the University. With the founda-
tions laid during the past year,
next year may be very interesting.t

OSA Focuses on
Life Out of Class

Looking for something?
If you can't find it in the yellow
pages and it has nothing to do
with the academic side of campus
life, the place to go is to the Office
of Student Affairs.
Yes, if you are looking for fi-
nancial aid, a job, counseling, re-
ligious guidance, housing, or if
you're involved in extracurricular
activities, the OSA can help you.
Charged with jurisdiction over
the nonacademic aspects of stu-
dent life on campus, the OSA is
divided into nine major divisions
-placement, health service, the
international center, religious af-
fairs, counseling, community re-
lations, financial aids, residence
halls and student activities.
Heading the office is Vice-
President for Student Affairs
Richard Cutler who recently re-
vamped the structure of the OSA
to give the nonacademic problems
of students heavier consideration
at the executive level.
The placement bureau helps
students find jobs after gradua-
tion and during the summer by
keeping lists of opportunities and
maintaining quarters for inter-
Students can get free medical
attention at health service al-
though they do have to pay for
drugs if they are needed.
International Center
The International Center at-
tracts foreign students and Amer-
icans who are interested in meet-
ing people from different cultural
backgrounds. Sponsoring programs
and exhibits, the center adds a
cosmopolitan touch to the Uni-
For those students who seek the
spiritual, the Office of Religious
Affairs sponsors programs and
offers counseling.

Personalizing the multiversity is
the function of the counseling of-
fice. Professionally trained per-
sonnel are available to help stu-
dents with problems which may
occur adjusting to adulthood and
college pressures.
The community relations office
which contains the housing bureau
Is responsible for maintaining
communications between the Uni-
versity and the Ann Arbor com-
Helping students to find in-
habitable dwellings is the func-
tion of the housing section of the
office. This office also determines
whether apartments are fit to live
in-the requirement for a Uni-
versity lease. Only junior women
are required to sign such leases
when living off campus.
Helping needy students meet the
increasing monetary burdens of
attending the University is the
task of financial aids. Grants-in-
aid are available to all students
who lack funds. There are no
academic criteria for a grant-in-
The residence hall division over-
sees the operation of the Univer-
sity's dormitory system. Housed in
its units are all freshmen and
sophomore women. Other stu-
dents can elect to stay within the
dorm structure or live in off-
campus housing.
Supervising the student activi-
ties on campus, the OSA provides
offices for organizations such as
the Student Nonviolent Coordinat-
ing Committee, Young Democrats,
Young Republicans, and the Stu-
dent Government Council within
the Student Activities building.
This division also guides frater-
nities, sororities and other campus

International Center - Cultures Meet





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