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July 16, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1968-07-16

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

Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

A day at the fair with Jerry Dupont

420 Maynord St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.\



The.Free School
and its possibilits
FOR THE PAST several years "free uni- introductory courses in general, but who
versities" have been springing up would never contemplate alternatives
madly on college campuses all over the themselves.
country. The Free School has presented no chal-
This sudden proliferation of independ,- lenge to the idea of many that these
ent and largely unstructured educational' courses which comprise the heart of. a
organizations is part of a growing effort liberal arts education are only burdens
to provide badly needed alternatives to to be eliminated so that more specialized
the highly bureaucratic handmaidens of goal-oriented interests can then be pur-
the military-industrial complex which sued.
currently pass for institutions of higher For many, entrance into their majors
learning. means that the defects of depersonalized
The failure of a large percentage of mass education are to some degree min-
these schools to, endure for more than imized. And if the student is not too
a brief period has obscured the very real misplaced in his major or rendered too
benefits enjoyed by many of their par- apathetic by the system, he can appre-
ticipants. ciably compensate for these educational
And, more importantly, it has discour..r drawbacks himself. But a gnawing sense
aged a thoroughgoing examination of-the of confinement and isolation remains.
feasibility of setting up something more
far-reaching than an elaborate group- ALL THAT the organizers of the Free
study organization, which is what most School have as .yet devised to do about
free universities end up being. the dilemma is to vigorously deny charges
There is a definite need for experimen- that their sole aim is to "radicalize"
tal organizations which, though one people and to call for the formation of
could not expect them to be complete more non-political courses.
counterparts to the traditional university, They are vowed and determined to
could at least point out its defects and .avoid the egregious errors which have
try to provide -alternatives to some of caused the downfall of previous free uni-
them. This would probably provide a vrsities.
much greater stimulus for meaningful They perceive the main pitfall to be
academic reform than any of the exist- ' avoided as a curriculum which is too
ing projects."rigid," causing many students to lose
interest and drop out.
BUT DESPITE the skepticism which the Their current solution seems to be an
well-known failure of many of these incredibly massive inauguration of "stu-
experiments has inspired, the movement dent power" - students in the Free
shows no signs of dying out. And the School create the courses they want to
record turn-out of 150 to 200 people at take and design its structure and content.
the first general meeting of the Ann Ar- The problem with this approach is it
bor Free School, the second free univer- leaves no way to create courses to at-
sity to be tried in Ann Arbor, indicates tract students not originally in the Free
several things. School.
First of all, it testifies to an exceeding-
ly widespread and. comprehensive dis- THE ORGANIZERS of the Free School
satisfaction with present educational in- do not perceive that many of the stu-
stitutions and a fairly ardent desire to dents who participated in the earlier
Screate alternatives. experiments were satisfied with them,
And of course it illustrates the fact that or at least felt that they were enough of
it is not very difficult to rouse a predict- an improvement over regular institutions
able group of people from their summer to make the effort worthwhile.
lethargy or from the various academic It was the complex organizational tasks
ruts into which they have fallen, for which usually proved to be too burden-
lack of better alternatives, some for people whose main bent was in-
Especially if someone steps forward tellectual. And financial difficulties were
t'o provide a structure which would fa- often insurmountable as well.
cilitate the gathering together of con- Furthermore the founders of this sec-
genial people into small groups to pur- ond Free School do not seem to realize
sue common interests - interests which that one reason free universities have
do not fit neatly into the categories ad- not had a significant impact on the tra-
hered to by the prevailing educational ditonal educational system is that they
system. appeal to and satisfy the demands of a
highly restricted group-radical intellec-
TE COMPOSITION of the participants tuals, who do not really need a free uni-
and the nature of the courses planned versity to stimulate them to pursue in-
so far are overwhelming evidence' for the terests they already have. ,
contention that "free universities", as
presently constituted, cater primarily to E MUST not forget that free schools
a fairly radical clientele, are highly valuable in themselves
This is a problem which the organizers whether their influence extends beyond
of the Free School are reasonably aware the immediate participants or not.
of. And they are vaguely uncomfortable However, what the Free School should
that the Free School does not seem to do is to undertake a radical analysis of
the minute structural and intellectual
be penetrating to the confines of those failures of the present mass education
who are the most trapped by the narrow sysmAdt he n putin
intellectual , horizons of the prevailing system. And it should then put its find-
educational system. ings into practice in the form of courses
Te Free School has not yet appealed relevant to the needs and interests of
the average student.
to those who are moderately annoyed
with required courses and the level of -ANN MUNSTER
Dr. Cutler's new chance

SATURDAY at the fair.
Monroe county is an odd col-
lection of suburbs and farms. A
county whose cities are scattered
and few and one whose people
are evenly spread across the open
When there is a fair, it is an
important event for the men in
the county, the women's club, the
war veterans and the kids. The
fair may be the only time in a
year wen the people in the county
get a chance to show themselves
Somewhere, someone gets a hold
of a traveling carnival. The Boy
Scouts and the bridge clubs set up
booths while the VFW sells warm
AND AT THE Lambertsville fair
in Monroe county, there is, as al-
ways, another habitual denizen of
these summer occasions-the local
politician. Turning on the smile
he knows he needs, the congres-
sional candidate comes to these
functions to prove to the people
that he shares their feelings and
would always be attoned to their
suggestions when in Congress.
Neither Wes Vivian nor Jerry
Dupont qualify for that description.
Both, rather, are sincere politi-'
cians who feel they would make
good congressmen. The district is
incidental; these are the type of
men encountered in every county
and city in the nation. They want
the Job and they need votes-es..
pecially the votes in Monroe coun-
CAMPAIGNING in 'Michigan's
second congressional district takes
time money and patience.
The odds are great; their mu-
tual opponent, Marvin Esch is a
skillful politican who understands
his constituents and the politics of
his district. When we drove into
Lambertsville, there were about
5,000 kids with ESCH indian hats,
each with a blue feather and a
yellow band with Esch's name
circling the band.
In addition, Dupont and Vivian
(being mutual opponents) have to
fight each other (as well as Liv-
ingston County's John McDer-'
moft). Both have little money,

The queen of the fair

and until the primary decides the
candidate, the party organization
and the unions who support the
party won't release any money for
any individual campaign.
* * *
$he fair is an anachronism of
American' politics, McCarthy and
Humphrey posters, Vivian and Du-
pont bumper stickers, all lay side
by side. The party has paid for
the booth and insists on being im-
partial. But the kids inside ask
for donations for McCarthy and
Dupont, while the Humphrey and
Vivian buttons and stickers are
given away.
The fair is one of those func-
tions which a serious candidate
can't miss no matter how he feels
personally about the people or
their politics.
The 414,000 people in the Sec-
ond District are sprawled across
somewhat more than four counties
(Monroe, Washtenaw, Livingston,
Lenawee, part of Wayne). In
many respects, the Second Dis-
trict, with few cities, is typical o
a large portion of. congressional
districts in the country.
THE LARGEST city, is Ann
Arbor, a combination of old Re-
publicans and intellectual Demo-
crats who balance each other off.
Although Washtenaw Co u n ty
accounts for over 172,000 of the
districts population,'the Demo-
crat-Republican split is so nearly
even that the party bosses look to
other areas for the "swing vote."
Livingston County, with a pop-
ulation of 38,00,'and Lenawee
County (77,500) are mainly rural
and usually Republican, while the
few townships of Wayne County
which are in the Second District
are controlled by the Democrats,
through the unions.
The swing county in the second
district, Monroe (111,000) is Dem-
ocratic, but the Democrats need a
landslide in Monroe to swing the
district, while if theRepublicans
can pull a respectable 45 per cent,
victory is theirs.
JERRY DUPONT has to'do well
in Monroe County-because of its
Democratic preponderance to win
the nomination in the Aug. 6 pri-
mary. To a certain ektent, Wes
Vivian has the party machinery in
favor of him. The situation is very
similiar to the presidential nom-
ination, with McCarthy working
against the Humphrey machine.
7Dupont's credentials are im-
peccable. He is the type of guy
who was made for Michigan's
Democratic party. Graduate of6a
state university, war vetera ad,
a member of the United Auto
Workers, Dupont could probably
work well, for the liberallabor
coalition which has runthe state
Democratic party since Soapy
Williams first became governor in
With 20 years in the party, Jer-
ry could get all the money he
wants from the party/for any
But Dupont doesn't have twenty
years. As a liberal and as a resi-
dent of Ann Arbor, he has come
into contact with what many ob-
servers see as a new trend in poli-
Eugene McCarthy has been suc-
cessful outside of the party rna
chinery' without leaving the party.
Dupont hopes to do the same.
He has identified himself with
a McCarthy - ennedy -Martin
Luther King image which he
hopes will appeal to the voters
whose consciences have been
aroused by these martyrs.
Dupont wants the congession-
al seat because he thinks he can
do something for the country X
he is elected. He is full of the
energy and ideas that only a
young politician clings to in this
country. And he hopes that some-
how Eugene McCarthy will be
nominated by his party.

AT THE FAIR in Lambertsville,
Dupont was ready to talk with
people about what's wrong with
the country. He offered rational
and liberal policies toward ending
the war, "ending the priorities of
violence," implementing the Ker-
ner Commission Report and rais-
ing the welfare budget.
His campaigners are there also.
Understanding that a politician
absoutely must attend these func-
tions, they patiently wait until
they get back to Ann Arbor, where
the game is different.
But the people who went to the
Lambertsville fair were there for
a good time. Both the kids and the
adults were leaving the TV set at
honoe to spend the day at their
own fair with their own friends.
Politics is back at the TV or at
the union meetings at work.
Dupont and Vivian came be-
cause they had to, but when the
parade was over, they left because
they undoubtedly. wanted to.
myself watching the people and
the kids. I was outf of place and
so was Dupont. It's only 40 miles
from the Cinema Guild and the
Canterbury House, but Lamberts-
ville is in a different world.



Mr. Lambertsville


JAECS" -photographed by
Eric Pergeaux
The candidate ponders


of outgoing Vice President for Stu-
dent Affairs Richard L. Cutler to the
newly-created post of Special Assistant
for Urban Affairs is an indication that
the University is finally coming to grips
with the social duty that it is required
to perform.
For too many years, American uni-
versities have hidden behind the aca-
demic gown, and ignored the'+ society
existing outside of the ivy. The argu-
ment, which might apply in 13th cen-
tury England but which is sadly out of,
place now, has been that pure 'academic
study can not, at any expense, be di-
luted and polluted with practical ap-
Somehow, though., even this line of
reasoning has been perverted and twist-
ed, by the intrusion of the military es-

required to drop the "hallowed halls"
argument, they failed to realize respon-
sibilities that were not tied to fat gov-
ernment contracts. So, rather than at-
tack the aching problems of urbanized
society that are now America's number
one priority, they have chased the bitch
goddess of the Defense Department.
NOW, however, indications are that this
is changing. The lesson of Columbia
showed how' the universities dare not
ignore the entire milieu within, which
they themselves live. And, though per-
haps motivated by fear of the same thing
happening here, hastened steps to go
beyond co-existence and into an envir-
onment of real assistance perhaps indi--
cate that the universities - this Uni-
versity, at least - are being serious.
To date, the major steps the Univer-


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