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May 09, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-05-09

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Page Two


Friday, May 9, 1969


Fleming testimony


For reasons which are not al-
together clear, the University has
so far been spared any major vio
lence or coercion. We are under
no illusions whatsoever that we
are immune from the tragic events
which have taken place on other
campuses, and we do not believe
that there is a perfect formula for
either preventing or dealing with
such pressures. We do believe tha
we understand some of the under-
lying causes of student unrest, and
that we know some of the respon-
ses which are required for rational
resolution of them. Whether we
will be wise enough, or whether
the often uncontrollable course of
events will be such that we can
continue to steer a peaceful course
only time will tell.
There is much talk today about
the tiny minority of genuinely dis-
ruptive students w h o are to be
found on almost every campus
That they are present is beyond
doubt. That they believe, for one
reason or another, in the destruc-
tion of existing institutions,- in-
cliding universities, is likewise
quite true. That they will engage
in wanton destruction must be as-
sumed. That they have achieved
certain relatively professional skills
in. escalating conflict and in turn-
ing it tb their advantage is evi-
dent everywhere. Moreover, even a
"tiny minority", of students ran
be a/ significant number- If one
percent of our students were suf-
ficiently agitated to demonstrate
in Ann Arbor, we would have 300
students involved. Ashe larger
socety 'well knows ,- from civil
rights demonstrations, strikes in
our industrial plants, poor people
revolts, farmer strikes, etc. - it
is rfot easy to cope with such num-
bers within a democratic frame-
Despite the presence of this
'disruptive minority, it is not,
in my view, the root cause of
our troubles, and 'we ido our-
seles ar disservice if We suc-
cumb to that illusion. The fact
i that there Is very widespread
dliscontent among our ,young
people. nIuch of, it springs di
rectly f r o m their disenchant-
ment with t h e larger society.
Many do not accept our present
national priorities. Specifically,
there is very little support for
the Viet Nam war, there is a
feeling that we are not facing
up to the immensely serious ra-
cial dilemma w h i c h faces us,
and they do n o t believe that
poverty needs to exist in t h e
midst 'of plenty. These are ques-
tions which are beyond the im-
mediate power of the universi-
ties to correct, but students be-
lieve that universities can in-
fluence the direction of our
course. Moreover, there Is a real
impact upon campus of decis-
" ions made in the larger society.
Let me illustrate with some ex-
Manpower n e e d s of the Viet
Nam war -ware being met by the
drafting of young men through a
Selective Service System. In a per-
iod likte World War II, when it is
necessary to mobilize all manpow-
er, the inequities of a particular
system of selection can at least be
softened. When not everyone is
needed, a system of deferments is
called for. Under the present Sys-
tem undergraduate college stu-
dents are deferred. This places the
student in a most uneasy position.
If he attends college andl, is not
x"drafted he has certain inevitable
feelings of guilt because he knows
that those who are g o i n g into
service ma yhbe drafted because
they w e r e less fortunate in life
than himself and were therefore
not able to go to school. If he does
'not go to college, he is subject to
being drafted for 'a war which he
opposes. Either way, he lives in a
state of tension. He might have
preferred to work or ag year or
two before going to school, or he
might prefer to drop out for a

year or two before he finishes his
college undergraduate carerer. At
the present time he can do neith-
er without being subjected to the
military d r a f t. If he graduates
from college and wishes to go on
to graduate school he cannot do
so and remain draft-exempt. His
career decisions are too often be-
ing made for the wrong reasons.
Our Engineering records show, for
instance, that graduate enroll-
ment is dropping off because, as
many graduates frankly explain,
they prefer taking jobs in a shel-
tered industry to going into the
army. Others are going into teach-
ing, though they do not intend to
make careers in 'this field. They!
do so because they believe it will
provide draft exemptions. Those
young people continue to live with
the same, set of g u il t feelings
which t h e y suffered as under-
graduates. That feeling will not
be alleviated until we can once
again h a v e either peace, which
they much prefer, or a different

" ... r

- system for meeting military man-
power needs.
r On the racial front, students
appear to be more sensitive than
s is the larger society to thej
r ' dreadful inequities which con-
e tinue to exist.
In a recent report on Kerner
t plus' one, a study group said that
we are continuing to drift to-
wards separate but unequal so-
cieties. Some black students are
* giving up on the possibility of a
society in which they can expect
full participation. Many white stu-
dents either agree, or believe that
we are losing our last real chance
for a society in which we can be
' one people. Within the universi-
ties we are struggling to bring in
tmore black students, and to cre-
, ate meaningful black studies pro-
grams which will give a fair pic-
. ture of the black man in our his-
tory and cuture. The problems
are immense and we cannot solve
them overnight,
I cannot h e p but wonder if
Congress is fully aware of the dis-
astrous blow we have been dealt
in this respect by the impending
1 cutback in the Additional Oppor-
tunity Grant Program appropria-
tions for 1969-70. The Congres-
sional appropriation, plus carry-
over funds will in a k e available
133.6 million dollars for this pro-
gram in 1969-70. Of this amount
only $16 million is available "for
initial grants. This represents only
22 percent of the $70 million esti-
mated by the U.S. Office of. Edu-
cation to be needed. Michigan col-
leges and universities h a v e re-
quested $4,157,500 for 7,364 initial
grantees. If our state institutions
are allocated their proportionate
share of the $16 million available,
they will receive $720,000 which
will .limit the number of young-
sters receiving awards to a maxi-
mum of 900. This will cause a
1drastic cutback below the 1968-69
level at the very time when all of
us are convinced that we should
be accelerating our efforts in this
area. At The University ,of Michi-
gan we have b e en campaigning
hard for private funds to improve
our program for black or other
disadvantaged students. It is iron-
ic that if we are highly successful
we will but stand still. -
Last fall several hundred of
our students supported ADC
mothers in the area of Ann Ar-
bor in their request for increas-
ed clothing allowances for their
children. More than two hun-
dred students were arrested for
a nonviolent sit-in beyond work-
ing hours In the County build-
ing. They were released on bail,
first through a modest bail fund
' which has always been available
from universiOy sources for stu-
dents who get in trouble, but
later by far more thai adequate
contributions from other stu-
dents who wished to support the
cause. The students were in vio-
lation of the law, they w e r e
tried, they were convicted, and
they now have paid their fines
or served their work sentences.
Incidentally, the benefits for the
mothers were increased. The
point is that the cause of these
inipoverished mothers h e I d
great appeal for the students.
I do not wish to suggest that if
the priorities of the larger society
were readjusted ;to meet the' wish-
es of the students all our troubles
would go away. They would not.
There is a good d e a 1 of unrest
'about the sinternal operation of
the universities, and Oe must not
ignore it. Indeed, it is usually this
kind of issue which is of sufficient
magnitude to ignite an explosion
which will extend well beyonI the'
demands of the minority of ex-#
tremists. Let me illustrate once
again with some examples. j
In the early history of our uni-
versities, many of them paid little
attention to the conduct of stu-
dents outside the academic arena

Where they lived, for instance,
was largely their own affair. Lat-
er, as universities grew and at-,
tempted to provide living space
for their students, dormitories
were erected. Since such buildings
were usually financed through
loans which had to be amoitized
over a long period of years, it was
essential that universities keep
them filled. All of this contributed
to rules which have been increas-
ingly irksome to students. Closing
hours, and the prohibition of visi-
tation on the part of members of
the opposite sex, were resented on
several grounds. The majority of
our young people still do not go
on to college and they are free,
once out of high s'chool, to live and:
work where they will. Some states
have lowered the voting age to 18,
19, o 20, and the Selective Ser-
vice System says that a young man
is old enough to fight and die at'
18. Since many of our brightest
young people are in college, it is'

not apparent to them why a clos-
er watch over their personal lives
should be maintained than over
their peer group which is not in
college. One need not agree with
their point of view to understand
why they are annoyed.
In the area of student disci-
pline, curricula, evaluation of
professors, and the setting of
university priorities, students
are demanding that t he y be
' heard. It is not apparent to me
why they shouldn't be heard. I
differ with them frequently about
the weight to which their views.
are entitled, but I do not differ
at all on the ground of their
legitimate interest and involve-
ment. Taken en masse, I do not
find students less reasonable
than faculty or administrators.
It is true that campus rules are
likely to be better enforced if
they have the consent of those
who are governed by them. It is
true that students perform best
when they are well motivated,
and the curriculum need not be
so inflexible that it cannot ad-
just to their major needs. It is
true that they have a contri-
bution to m a k e in evaluating
teaching. They should be heard
with respect to university pri-
The flaw in their analysis of
the present situation is not that
they are wrong in insisting that
they be consulted. Rather, it is
that they too easily ignore the role
of others. No student, in either a
public or private school, pays the
full cost of his education. It is
heavily subsidized by the taxpayer,
or through endowment. Faculty
members do have more life ex-
perience than students, and they
do h a v eagreat contributions to
make in areas of curricula and
judgment of the w o r k of their
peers. We will, in the, years ahead,
have to find an accommodation
among these various interests. It
will nottbeseasy, but I believe it
can be done. The same formula
will not work everywhere, per-
haps even within the colleges of a
single university. We must experi-
ment, and we must not always in-
sist upon maintenance of the stat-
us quo.
Some campus issues, like ROTC.
and classified research, are ex-
acerbated by the present unpopu-
lar war. They are likely targets
because even in peacetime the
campus community is divided on
the merits of ROTC or classified
research as a part of the academic
enterprise. It is hard in the pres-
ent climate to get * hearing for
the view that it may be healthy in
a democracy to have an army pop-
ulated largely with civilian offi-
cers. In another period that argu-
ment might prevail. It is hard to
get people to understand that cer-
tain kinds of research have both
military and civilian potentials,
and that elimination of basic in-
quiry may b r ing certain kinds
of scientific advance to a halt.
Perhaps I should conclude with
a sateentofmy views about fu-?
ture student unrset,ew n d about
how best we can meet it.
I do not see it ending soon be-
cause I believe it is basically attri-
butable to a rejection by a sizeable
segment of our youth of our na-!
tional goals, particularly with re-
spect to war, race and poverty.
Since the future of this country
lies in the hands of our young peo-
plc, I conclude that we must find
a way to reconcile our views.
Violence and physical coercion
on campus must be handled byl
the university community, anddby
local officials. If we fail to do so,
we will have lost control of the ac-'

ademic communities to which so
many of us are devoted. We know
It is not clear what Congress
can do about campus unrest, des-
pite the fact that the public is
immensely aroused by it. Legisla-
tion which deprives individuals of
financial benefits or deprives in-
stitutions of financial aid will do
more harm than good. "Law and
order" are not impressive when
administered in a context which
gives rise to enequities. Withdraw-
al of financial aid does not affect
students equally. To deprive in-
stitutions of their financial sup-
port because some of their stu-
dents misbehave is to punish the
great majority for the acts of a
I do not wish to be understood
as condoning students acts of vio-
lence and coercion. Indeed, I have
spoken out on this topic repeated-
ly. I see no difference between the
Nazi bully boys who removed and
burned "unsuitable" books f r o m
the German libraries and those
students who insist that certain
speakers not be heard on Ameri-
can campuses because their views
are not acceptable to those stu-
jdents. I am totally unimpressed
withtheir contentionnthatmt h e y
are somehow possessed of a higher
morality whichjustifies them in
imposing their views on others. If
and when we have to face violence
or physical coercion at The Uni-
versityofcMichigan we will do so
resolutely and, I hope, with the
support of our community. Those
students who are truly destructive
do not want a viable compromise.
Their response will simply be to
escalate their demands. This is a
technique too well known in his-
tory to deceive any of us.
But I cannot emphasize too
strongly that we should not con-
centrate all of our attention on
the destructive few. Of course they
are troublesome. Some of them
are vicious. Even so, the best
chance of containing them is to
win the support of the rest of the
community - students, faculty,
administration (including govern-
ing boards), and alumni.
We try to do this by maintain-
ing wide open channels of com-
munication up to and including
our Board of Regents. We have
several times held public hearings
before our Board on issues which
are of interest to the student, fac-
ulty or community constituencies.
At such hearings we provide an
opportunity for anyone who wants
to speak to the issue to do so in
his own way- The action of the
Board reflects the factthat the
members do listen to valid argu-
Our faculty members have tried,
not always to the satisfaction of
the students, to be receptive to
student interests. Our; students
have, in turn, generally tried to
respond reasonably and construc-
tively.sSometimes we momentar-:
ily lose our atmosphere of con-
structive tension. We have had a
building seized for a few hours.
We have had a recruiter disrupt-
ed. We have had a lecturer hooted
down. We have had peaceful sit-
ins. We are the home of the teach-
in. We have differed over the
whole range of items which stir
up every campus, including parie-
tal rules, classified research, re-
cruiting policy, disciplinary rules
and enforcement procedures,
ROTC, curricular changes, student
power, etc. So far we have been
able to recover quickly when mo-
mentary tensions have carried one
or another of us too far.






, ,

The cast

is marvelous."


--WINS Radio

ABLE EXPERIENCE! It is a play of unrequited loves, each
loving the one who oVes s another, but it is much more,

too, very

Chekhovian in its presentation and acnablysis of

character. In its quarrels and reconciliations, its philosophies
and generation gaps it speaks very directly to us across the
years and the nations -New York Post




'The Sea Gull' is an exquisite movie, faulflessly acted by a
brilliant cast impeccably directed by Sidney L u me t. It is one
of the very besfilmsof 1968." -Newsday

"A SMASHING FILM ! Beautiful beyond words. An ex-
tremely rewarding experience. A classic only too well revis-

ited and revitalized by experts. This is a film, a true film.:


even though it adheres strictly and faithfully to Chekhov's
four-act stage structure. Anton Chekhov ou have rous-
ingly approved of Sidney Lumef's film version!"
- Women's Wear Daily
-Cue Magazine


In the last analysis, campus
See FLEMING, Page 5"




Ā«A contemporary music
film . Captures the
pop musical willingness Q
to hurl yourself into
things without all the
action stopping
self-.consciousness of
an earlier generation.-"r
-Renata Adler.
New York Thes
"Yeah, the camera
made love to the
Monterey Pop Festival
.. .a beautiful, well-
done, OK-fantastic-filet,
doing what a filmshould and rari'
does do, by taking a real-life event




Know how to swim?
Learn to S'AIL

and creating a living form, another
reality ...Ive just seen a film that's
worth seeing. 12 minutes of what mush:L
can do and what a filmmoaker with
some heart can do."
-LitaElisc%,EastViage Othee
"What is your mind-blowing level?
A guitar being raped ata pop festival?
Something more substantial, like Ravi




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