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May 15, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-05-15

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1 r dj gau EaUig
Seventy-Fifth Year

The End of the Student Activist Era

Where Opinions AreaFree, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.

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.




'Congress Should Fight for Power
Over U.S. Foreign Policy
THE SENATE Subcommittee on National man assumed something entirely differ-
Security sharply criticized American ent. Neither one was fully justified in
foreign policy ambiguity in a memoran- his assumptions, because America, ex-
$um issued last Sunday, saying, "Today pressed through her representatives, had
there is still-on many national security not declared herself one way or the other.
issues-an absence of a clear sense of di-
Tection and coherence of policy at the top LEBANON WAS ANOTHER example of
Pf government." this sort of "executive war." What took
American troops to Lebanon was not the
. This ambiguity may be found, the mem-
pradumconinud; ot nlyin he c-American people acting through their
orandum continued, not only in the ac- elected congressional representatives. It
tions of United States Presidents, includ- was rather President Dwight D. Eisen-
ing President Lyndon B. Johnson, but also hower responding, on his own initiative,
Within the Congress. Lack of clear state- toacl fordheg om a ben ue
;nents of U.S. foreign policy may create governmem.g
'disarray, inviting others, including mem-
bers of Congress, to peddle, sometimes in Viet Nam is, of course, the best example
an irresponsible manner, their own spe- of this abdication. America is not at war
cial tonics for our national aches and in Viet Nam; all it is doing is daily in-
pains." creasing the number of its troops sta-
Obviously, the memorandum reflects ioned there and the participation of
Ogbsiosl te mmornumn reecs those troops in a war taking place there.
congressional attitudes on current foreign Again, this is a clear case of administra-
policy muddles such as exist in the Do- tion action in a vacuum of congressional
minican Republic. And yet repeated state- opinion.
ments from high administration officials
do not seem to be able to clarify the is- The Dominican involvement is the lat-
sues. The best current example of this is est case in this chain of confusion. Why
Viet Nam; Johnson has an opinion, Dean are we there? Whose side are we on?
Rusk has ap opinion, but somehow the When will we leave? The only answers to
U.S. does not seem to have an opinion. these questions have been the often par-
What can explain the obvious contin- tially self-contradictory statements of ad-
What~mnitato officianls.oviuscoti-
ued existence of this ambiguity at the ministration officials.
same time that administration leaders
see mot dterind t clrif thirIT MIGHT BE ARGUED that Congress
seem most determined to clarify their did approve Johnson's Dominican ac-
tions by approving his request of an addi-
Evidently what is lacking is an open tional $700 million for the defense budget.
debate, by national leaders, on specific Yet this bill accupied the Congress for a
U.S. foreign policy issues followed by a total of three days, from initiation
public statement of their conclusions. through committee to signature.
This would allow the memorandum's .
"Thes" ou at the bieoand s This speed, plus congressmen's protests
"others" to assert their beliefs an how far at the pressur put on them to pas sthe
particular U.S. involvements should go. appropriation, is excellent testimony to-
And it would provide a single unified the fact that the appropriation move was
source to which American citizens and much more Johnson's crash program to
foreign governments could go to discover obtain the appearance of a unified na-
the country's stand on particular matters. tional front than it was a serious con-
RATHER IDEALISTIC and impractical? sideration of a foreign policy question.
In this form, probably. But regarding Congressional abdication of responsi-
the matter in another light, is not the bilities in this field means that American
above "open debate by national leaders" foreign policy's most vital decision, the
precisely the function of the U.S. Con- commission of American troops to battle,
gress? is being left to the whim of the President.
Indeed it is. And when the matter of Had such congressional debate taken
place on recent occasions, America's ac-
policy ambiguity is considered, the prin- tions in Viet Nam and the Dominican
ciple fact one sees is the singular ab- Republic might have been very different
sence, since World War II, of the Congress from what they have been.
from American foreign policy decision- It must be remembered that we are
making. The responsibility of guiding U.S. not concerned here with a matter such as
foreign policy has been abdicated by the nuclear attack, where unilateral presi-
Congress, for several reasons, to ruling dential action is the only alternative left.
administrations. The Viet Nam question has been drag-
ging on for years. In the case of the
The Korean War, a so-called "special Dominican Republic, even after debating
case," was the first of these abdications. the matter, Congress had decided to send
For, while voting greatly increased war masses of troops there, the troops would
budgets, the Congress never clarified its certainly not have been too late to com-
stand on the Korean question; a debate bine with the original "rescue troops" to
on whether or not the U.S. should enter prevent the alleged Communist takeover
the Korean conflict was never formally of the revolt.
THE RESULT of this congressional am- problems involved with Congress' re-
biguity was the absurd status of "po- lation to the armed forces and intelli-
lice action" to which the American war gence agencies, which prevent every con-
in Korea was relegated. We were not at gressman from having enough knowledge
war, because Congress had not declared of a particular matter to intelligently de-
war; yet the government defense budgets bate it at a moment's .notice. But these
of those days made the suggestion that problems are merely results of the cur-
the U.S. was at peace seem laughable. rent way in which these agencies are or-

It was in the Korean war, where U.S. ganized, reporting only to the President
troops were committed to action by exec- and to their particular military branches.
utive authorization only, where foreign The failure to restructure the report-
policy ambiguity originated. It was during ing of these groups so that Congress is
the Korean war that Voice of America informed on the world's developments is
broadcasts began to contradict congress-
men's statements and those statements entirely the fault of Congress itself. There
to contradict the decision of U.S. com- is no reason, for example, why the Cen-
manders in the field. tral Intelligence Agency should not be
In this light, it is clear that the Con- required to submit a regular report to
gress' ambiguity was the final cause of the head of the Senate Foreign Relations
the Truman-MacArthur feud. MacArthur Committee. Congress has simply failed to
assumed the U.S. was at war, while Tru- protect its key role in the making of
foreign policy in the nuclear age.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Indtoday's
article, Philip Sutin, Grad, con-
tinues to explore the course of stu-
dent activism on the University
campus since 1960.
The end of the activist era had
come in the March, 1963, SGC
elections. Robert Ross and Steven
Stockmeyer-symbols of dynamic
liberal and conservative leader-
ship, the poles between which SGC
debate was strung during their
tenure on council-resigned joint-
ly, effective after the election.
The candidates of the left since
then lacked the ideological vigor
of the past. Their platforms dealt
more in issues than ideology.
Their outlook was not imbued with
the messianic zeal of a Hayden or
Ross. They were practical poli-
ticians. The campus had returned
to its past.
Liberals had expected to win
the election. Instead, they lost,
placingetheir candidates in the
lower half of the vote.
* * *
One of the new conditions of
the post-activist era is the tri-
mester. The University went on a
modified trimester calendar for
the 1963-64 academic year. Last
spring, the state provided the
University with enough money to
go on full trimester this year.
The calendar's impact is more
psychological than practical. It
tightens up the academic year so
that three 15-week semesters can
be fitted in. There is little dif-
ference in actual class time than
under the old, leisurely calendar;
but leaves a sense of haste, of
speed and of pressure on the stu-
dent. He is more unwilling than
ever to leave his books.
A Daily survey last spring, how-
ever, showed that students are

TODAY'S SGC LEADERS-The Council election of March, 1963, marked the end of an era of activism
on campus. Robert Ross and Steven Stoekmeyer resigned jointly, helping to end the liberal-conserva-

tive debate that had characterized Council.
generally content with the new calendar hit them quite hard. The
calendar. impact appeared in the empty
spaces found at recruiting meet-
ings and in the lesser amounts of
In a more practical vein, tri- dedication students were willing
mester deprived activities people to give to extra-curricular activi-
of needed catching up and paper ties. This affiliction hit a wide
writing timeover Christmas vaca- range of organizations from IFC
tion and Easter vacation. Christ- to The Daily.
mas now falls between semesters
and spring vacation has been cut * *
to three days. Trimester will remain a major
Student organizations did not roadblock to any future activist
plan for trimester and the new movement.

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With the issues of OSA reform
largely settled, the major issue of
last year was minor in compari-
son-the merger of the Union and
The Union board began explor-
atory talks soon after the 1962
Reed Report was issued. Associate
Dean of the literary college James
H. Robertson prepared a study
for the Union board which called
for a merged Union-League in a
University Center, largely control-
led by students.
Acting on the advise of Vice-
President for Business and Fi-
nance Wilbur K. Pierpont and
Lewis, the Regents rejected the
Robertson Report. Administrators
did not want students to control
the non-activities functions of the
University Center, as they do,
through professional help, in the
Union. Pierpont had been balked
by the Union board on non-activi-
ties matters-notably space in the
Union-and wanted a more pliant
University Center board.
* . *
Undaunted, t h e Union and
League continued work on merg-
ing their activities wings. Women
were allowed in the Union struc-
ture. A joint University Activities
Center was projected. The Union
and League boards would continue
to run the hotel and other facili-
ties with the UAC responsible to
both boards.
Student leaders feared that
Lewis and Pierpont's moves were
the first step in a campaign to
control student activities largely
through finances, especially since
trimester had seriously weakened
them. However, no moves toward
that end have been made by the
Under the pressures of trimes-
ter and with the decline of acti-
vism, old antagonisms between
The Daily and the Union, IQC and
IFC, IFC and SGC, for example,
have faded. In the wake of the
Regents' rejection of the Robert-
son Report, joint efforts to save
student activities were considered.
* * *
A bold proposal for a greater
student say in University affairs
was advanced by SGC in the
spring of 1963. Misnamed student-
faculty government, it involved
students serving on the important
committees of SACUA. SACUA
agreed to student participation
without vote provided the various
committees agreed. Most did and
students were named to them.
The program was a failure. SGC
did not provide the student mem-
bers of the committees with lead-
ership nor was there a strong fac-
ulty welcome for them. The amor-
phous committees met infre-

This failure demonstrated that
students are not motivated to ac-
tion by complex, although impor-
tant, issues. Most committees dealt
in areas which lid direct relev-
ance on their lives in the Uni-
versity. But little interest could be
generated in them.
* * .
Voice tried a new tactic last fall
-the mass student protest party.
Believing that regular channels of
communication-including a som-
nelent SGC - to the University
were-closed, Voice set up the Stu-
dent Action League and University
of Michigan Student Employes
Union (the latter with some aid
from SGC) to use protest tactics
for action.
The two organizations are the
brainchildren of Barry Bluestone,
the son of an assistant to United
Auto Workers president Walter
Reuther. Reflecting his union
heritage, he brought grievances
to SGC and prepared pickets and
demonstrations to back them up.
UMESU has been reasonably
successful as the University has
promised to raise student wages to
$1.25-the union's chief goal-this
+* s
SAL had a brief flurry, staging
two demonstrations on the Diag
in two days-including 300 per-
sons descending on a Hatcher tea.
But Bluestone failed to present
his demands there as promised,
making SAL look foolish in cam-
pus eyes.
He did force a meeting with
Hatcher where the president all-
ed upon SAL to use normal chan-
nels. But since those two October
days, SAL has not been heard
from. SAL promised to turn t
Lansing where it hoped to raise
more funds for the University to
make some of its other goals at-
tainable. But it did nothing.
SAL's goals reflect a shift in
activist thinking away from an
emphasis on non-academic life
freedom to a concern about the
growing corporate, somewhat im-
personal multiversity being cre-
ated here. Prominent among its
goals were more money for teach-
ing, better academic facilities and
more student participation in Uni-
versity planning and decision
The group not only suffered
from poor leadership and poorly
thought out plans and programs,
but from Daily hostility. Instead
of counting on Daily support, as
in the past, Voice now expects to
find it in the opposition. The
Daily editorial page has been hos-
tile to activists, denying it a fav-
orable climate of opinion and a
extra measure of publicity friend-
ly editors can give it.
Under the current philosophy of
news gathering over crusading, a.
greater comitment to academics
and a disinterest in student poli
tics, The Daily and its staff will
largely sit on the sidelines.
Despite its using the first
Berkeley Free Speech Movement
protests and a peg for its original
rally, SAL tactics did not originate
there. Demonstrations were con-
sidered long before the Berkeley
protests were ever heard of. SAL
1 e a d e r Richard Horevitz an-
nounced SAL's intention to dem-
onstrate at a September Voice
meeting at least three weeks be-
fore the first Berkeley protests.
Perhaps the cardinal fault of
the SAL was oversimplification of
issues and unattractiveness to
prospective members. It is. unlikely
that a movement of the left alone
can draw a large number of stu-
dents to demonstrate over a com-
plex issue which has no clear or
simple solution.
TUESDAY: Issues such as
'Viet Nam and town movie

prices serve as a stimulant to
a surge of activism in 1965.







U.S. Ignores Crucial Fact: Asians Must Rule Asia

WHY IS IT, it is time to ask,
that our position in Asia has
declined so sharply though we are
widening and intensifying the war
in Viet Nam?
According to the so-called
domino theory, the United States
would lose the respect and support
of the peoples of Asia if, in con-
fronting Chinesebcommunism, it
showed itself to be a paper tiger
and refrained from military ac-
For three months, since Feb-
ruary, we have applied this theory
ever more vigorously. And what
are the results? Quite contrary to
what was predicted: today the
United States is not only isolated
but increasingly opposed by every
major power in Asia.

China, China and the Soviet Un-
ion are quarrelling to the point
of war with one another. But they
are united in condemning our
February war.
put this fact in its pipe and
smoke it. It should ponder the
fact that there exists such gen-
eral Asian opposition to our war
in Asia.
The President's advisers can
take some comfort, but mighty,
little, from the fact that aligned
with us is the Thailand govern-
ment in Bangkok, which is in-
dependent though weak; the gov-
ernment in Seoul, which we sub-
sidize; the government in Taipei,
which we protect; the government
in Saigon, which governs some-
thin' ,les than half of South Viet

white men from the West against
non-white men in Asia.
We can talk until the cows come
home about how we are fighting
for the freedom of the South Viet-
namese. But to the Asian peoples
it is obviously and primarily an
American war against an Asian
In my view the President is in
grave trouble. He is in grave
trouble because he has not taken
to heart the historic fact that the
role of the Western white man as
a ruler in Asia was ended forever
in the second world war. Against
the Japanese the Western white
powers were unable to defend their
colonies and protectorates in
Asia. That put an end to the
white man's domination in Asia
which had begun in the 15th cen-

Westerners to digest and accept.
It is as hard for them to accept
this new relationship with Asia as
it - is for many a Southerner in
this country to accept the desegre-
gation of schools and public ac-
The Asians who still instinctive-
ly think of Asia in pre-war terms
are haunted by Rudyard Kipling
and the white man's burden and
the assumption that east of Suez
are the lesser breeds withoutthe
UNTIL WE purge ourselves of
these old preconceptions and
prejudices, we shall not be able
to deal with Asian problems, and
we shall find ourselves, as we are
today in Viet Nam, in what the
German poet described as the
unending pursuit of the ever-
inn hian f ta a

become a full, not a second-class,
A mature great power will make
measured and limited use of its
power. It will eschew the theory
of a global and universal duty
which not only commits it to un-
ending wars of intervention, but
intoxicates its thinking with the
illusion that it is a crusader for
righteousness, that each war is a
war to end all war..
Since in thisgeneration we have
become a great power, I am in
favor of learning to behave like a
great 'power, of getting rid of the
globalism which would not only
entangle us everywhere, -but is
based on the totally vain notion
that if we do not set the world in
order, no matter what the price,
we cannot live in the world safely.
If we examine this idea
thornghly we shall see that it i1

JUDITH WARREN ..... . .. Co-Editor
ROBERT HIPPLER .......... ... .......... Co-Editor
EDWARD HERSTEIN..............Sports Editor

Who loses? The American people, nat-
urally. They are now electing representa-
tives who often cannot represent them
in one of the most important areas of
U.S. life, foreign policy.

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