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February 09, 1964 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-02-09

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Se y-Tbird Year
Truth Will Prevail"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in al reprints.

SGC: Its Responsibility
By Ronald Wilton, Editor

Wholly New Treaty
Needed with Panama

DAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1964,


Low Man on Totem Pole:
The Student Nobody Knows

man on the totem pole. While the Uni-
versity exists to educate its student pop-
ulation, it knows very little about what it
is like to be one of the 27,000 on campus.
Discounting the statistical information
about students contained in their aca-
demic records, the University has only an
a priori knowledge of what and who
students are.
Clearly, the University could improve
the educational experience here if it knew
what the University environment means
to the students and how the students re-
act to it. But the University, as an admin-
istrative unit, has made no attempt to
study the campus environment.
OBTAINING information about students
on an empirical basis is a difficult
but not impossible task. The University
has at its disposal the counseling divi-
sion of the Bureau of Psychological Serv-
ices. Right now the counseling division
spends most of its time working with
students who have identity problems and
training psychologists in clinical tech-
niques. Occasionally this unit Is called in
to assist administrators and faculty mem-
bers in understanding the student.
This consulting facet of the counseling
division should be used more than oc-
casionally; it should be built into the
University decision-making process.
If the University had real concern for
the students, it could make use of this
potential consulting function before mak-
ing decisions involving trimester, a resi-
dential college, compulsory dormitory liv-
ing, two-hour examinations or a shorten-
ed examination period.j
stance, could make valuable use of the
counseling, division. Here is a school
which suffers a tremendous attrition rate
either in the form of transfers or. drop-
outs and undergraduate enrollment has
been slipping for the past few years.
Why are there so many dissatisfied en-
gineers? Why are fewer students enroll-
ing in the school? The engineering col-
lege could call in counseling consultants
to analyze just what is wrong with the
program from the student's viewpoint.
Theeducation school is another unit
on campus which could use some drastic
improvements. Students are not satisfied
with course content and methods of in-

struction, yet nothing is done. Perhaps
instead of a five-year analysis of the
school by faculty members, outside coun-
selors ought to be brought in to poll stu-
dent dissatisfaction.
The literary college doesn't really know
how its policies affect its students eith-
er. The dean's office only deals with those
unfortunate who met with academic dis-
aster. Only the academic counselor talks
with the ordinary student.
that over 40 per cent of the student
body has no primary interests. This means
means that selecting a major or a voca-
tional objective is a difficult task for
nearly half of the student body.
The academic counselor is the only per-
son in a position to recognize which stu-
dents will potentially have a difficult time
finding a place for themselves. Yet, these
academic counselors are not trained to
single out these troubled students. They
are academicigns who have memorized
distribution and major requirements.
Sometimes they are old codgers who have
been steered into counseling by their de-
partments to get them out of the class-
room where they could do more damage.
Instead of letting professors counsel
the student, the college could bring in
psychologists who could actually help the
student meet some of his problems.
effects has been the biggest campus
controversy this year.
Ideally, the University should have ask-
ed the counseling division to run prelim-
inary studies of possible effects of the
trimester and followed this up with a
comprehensive analysis of its effects dur-
ing the first actual semester under the
new calendar. Then the University would
have been in a better position to ease the
strain next fall.
But the University undertook no suchj
If the University is going to derivei
meaningful educational objectives at this
time of increasing academic pressures, it
must determine how fast and how far it
can push its students. An a priori knowl-
edge of students and the campus erviron-
ment is not going to be sufficient groundsj
for decision making.j
Associate City Editor

column on Student Govern-
ment Council appeared, people
have been asking me to clarify
various points of my stand. The
present condition of SGC certainly
warrants at least discussion-and,
in my opinion, more-and so I
feel the necessity to develop fur-
ther some points.
The foundation of my position
is a firm belief in the concept of
student responsibility. Eighteen-
year-old non-students can leave
home and administer their own
lives; it seems that college stu-
dents, as the elite of their age
group, are as qualified to formu-
late the rules and regulations un-
der which they live.
They are further qualified to
participate in decisions concern-
ing academic policy, an area in
which they have an intimate con-
nection and direct concern.
Very few stdents leave col-
lege with only a greater amount
of facts to show as a result.
Living away from home allows
the student to develop himself
as a person, to accept responsi-
bility and learn from his mis-
Once a student leaves the Uni-
versity he is expected to act as
a responsible, participating citizen
in society, the university experi-
ence should be his training
A student government is one
means of institutionalizing this
part of the educational process.
Through its activities, students
can become involved in all Uni-
versity problems affecting them.
Student legislators, elected demo-
cratically by the student body,
speak for their constituents and
represent their views within the
decision-making structures of the
The legislators report back to
their constituents periodically and
the student body acts through
various communications channels
to make its concerns known. The
student government acts on these
concerns, and through the process
of learning through experience
both the legislators and student
body become experienced partici-
pants in a democratic society.
The above is all theory. I do
not know of one place where it
is actually practiced. The usual
stumbling block is the limita-
tion on potential student gov-
ernment action prescribed by
the University administration.
Where this occurs and the stu-
dent government is prevented
from having any direct effect on
the student body apathy results;
the student government becomes
a "Mickey Mouse" organization,
concerning itself with such things
as calendaring. Occasionally, it
makes some noises in the direc-
tion of acquiring real responsi-
bility, but in many cases an ad-
ministrative glare is enough to
make it back down.
This is the way that Student
Government Council operates at
this University. I've been follow-
ing it since my freshman year
and have never been under any
illusions. However, I've always
believed that every Council mem-
ber, no matter how cowed by the
administration, held the view that
he is on Council to represent the
student body and as such assumes
the obligation of affording them
a certain amount of consideration
and respect.
The shattering of this past be-
lief resulted in my previous col-
umn and my opposition to Coun-
Sitting at the table two weeks
ago, it was my very strong
impression that Council mem-
bers did not care at all if the
student body was provided with
platform statements before the
upcoming election.
If the statements could be pro-
vided on Council's terms, then,

fine; they would be printed. If
getting them in early would in-
convenience the candidates and
prevent them from borrowing is-
sues from one another, then, too
bad; the statements might not be
printed. The students can still
Thisimpression on my part was
completely subjective; no one
actually' said the hell with the
students." But the impression was
strong enough to make me write
an editorial and stop attending
SGC meetings.
I've been accused of being bit-
ter because The Daily was pre-
vented from dictating the terms
of the election supplement to
Council. A look at some salient
facts is in order. ,
At present the question of
whether the elections supplement
gets put out is entirely in the
hands of SGC. Council has said
that it will gather the platforms,
edit them, gather' the pictures,
dummy in platforms and pictures
on page layouts and send the
completed product to The Daily
for printing. In other words, the
supplement would be prepared
and paid for by SGC; this frees
for regular work those Daily staff
members who would have spent
timetputting it together: our
The abolition of the peti-

hardly crimp Daily operations.
This is hardly strong support for
alleged Daily dictatorial attempts.
Furthermore, Daily self-interest
would have caused me to vote on
the prevailing side.
I have also been asked whether
I wrote an attack on Council
members as individuals or a con-
demnation of SGC as an organi-
zation. The intention was the lat-
ter; the condemnation of indi-
vidual members was a small part
of the total argument. First, SGC
will never be an institutionalized
means for helping to prepare stu-
dents to participate in society un-
til it can act in areas which di-
rectly affect the student.
The two major areas here are
the power to set student non-
academic rules and regulations
and the power to participate in
the formation of academic policy.
Council's powers will have to be
expanded enormously if it is ever
to fulfill the potential inherent in
a student government.f
A second basic requirement is
to restructure Council to elimi-
nate ex-officios. At present the
body is not so much a legisla-
tive or lobbying organ as it
is a campus leaders club.
Because ex-officios are the
heads of the major student or-
ganizations, they tend to view
issues in narrow perspectives and
from the context of their sup-
posed infallibility due to their
organizational success. A 19 mem-
ber body which includes at least
eight people of this type is nat-
urally going to be hampered in
deciding policy affecting the en-
tire student body. The philosophy
of the elite will prevail.
People are not wanted to run
for Council out of a desire to be-
come part of this elite rather
than an inclination to push
strongly the interests of the stu-
dent body. This attitude leads to
student disinterest in SGC which,
in turn, leads to further disre-
gard by Council members of their
The result is the attitude of

contempt which appeared to me
be present at the meeting two
weeks ago.
. This elitism and contempt is
also present in relations be-
tween Council members them-
selves. On Friday, The Daily
received a letter (see today's
Letters to the Editor column)
signed by every Council mem-
ber except me, explaining their
stand on my column. I called
up one member and discovered
that not only had she not
signed the letter, but also the
letter had never. been passed
around for Council members to
read. When I read the letter
she requested her name be
Since .'The Daily cannot print
letters without establishing their
validity, I called up some other
Council members and finally got
the story. At its last meeting,
Council had voted unanimously
to send a letter. The letter was
drawn up by the executive com-
mittee and then sent out with
everyone's name on it but with-
out first being read by everyone.
Several other members I subse-
quently spoke to also asked- me to
remove their names.' They were
quite angered by this flagrant
misuse of executive committee
power. Of 15 people who, could
be reached, six asked their names
be removed; four of the remain-
ing nine are the executive com-
mittee. Finally, SGC President
Russell Epker decided to afix his
signature only, since he was
mandated by Council to write the
Under its present structure SGC
will remain static. What is need- -
ed is a moratorium on Gouncil
meetings, and the creation of a.
student committee, aided by the
University Senate's Student Re-
lations Committee, to analyze
SGC's failure and draw up a
structure for a new student gov-
ernment: one that is dedicated
to the educational and democratic
principles student governments
are supposed to advance.

IT IS REASONABLY certain that
there will continue to be trouble
in Panama as long as the present
canal is the only canal connecting
the two oceans. It may be, of
course, that some kind of ingeni-
ous and sophistical face-saving ac-
commodation will be worked out
and that it will keep the peace
until after the Panamanian elec-
tion in May and our own in No-
vember. But the hard fact is that
the present canal is complicated,
vulnerable and vitally important.
The canal depends on a series
of locks which are very vulnerable
to sabotage. One ship with a big
bomb in it could put the canal out
of business for a long time. The
canal is an intricate piece of en-
gineering which cannot be operat-
ed and guarded by the Panaman-
ians themselves, because they do
not have the engineers and the
skilled technicians or the soldiers.
Because the canal requires the
presence of foreigners to operate
it and guard it, there is, inevitab-
ly, a foreign colony on the terri-
tory of Panama. Because there is
a foreign colony, there has to be
a treaty defining the rights and
powers of the foreign government
which the colonists serve.
WE ARE now at odds with the
government of Panama over-the
treaty of 1903. The apparent issue
is whether we will "negotiate" a
revision of that treaty or whether
we will "discuss" a revision. We
are standing fast against the pro-
posal to "negotiate" even though
the Panamanians say that this
would not .commit us' to accept
any specific change in the treaty.
I think we are right on this
point, because after a negotiation,
if we were faced with a proposal
that we believed would endanger
the security of the canal, we would
be just where we are today.
There is, however, an alternative
for us, which would be to make a
proposal for a wholly new treaty,
based on the Principle that our
rights in the Canal Zone, which
are now "in perpetuity," shall ex-
pire X years after the necessary
agreements have been reached
among the American republics for
a new sea-level canal.
THERE ARE five possible sites
for such a canal, one in Mexico,
one in Nicaragua, one in Colombia
and two in Panama itself. A sea-
level canal would be radically dif-
ferent from the present canal.
Though it would require a large
United States part in financing
and building it, especially if it is
to be made by nuclear excavation,
the continuing presence of a large
body of American technicians and
workmen and soldiers would not
be necessary to operate the canal
or to protect it. The sea-level
canal would have no locks that
could be sabotaged, and it would
need no colony of foreigners to
keep the machinery in good repair.
It is, moreover, generally ack-
nowledged that the present canal,
which is already too small for big
naval and, merchant ships, will in
10 years or so be too small for
the traffic of this hemisphere and
of the world. Another canal will
have to be built in any event, and
there is no reason, it seems to me.
why we should not at the same
time cut to the root of our quar-
rel with the Panamanians and
provide a public facility of great
importance to ourselves and our
Assuming that it might take 15

years to build a new sea-level
canal, we could offer the Repub-
lic of Panama termination of our
quasi-sovereignty in the Canal
Zone 15 years from the ratifica-
tion of the necessary agreements
to authorize and finance the new
canal. Since there would be no
practical need to make the new
canal a United States enterprise,
we could in good conscience pro-
pose that the canal be operated
under an authority representing
the American republics.
(c), 1964, The Washington Post Co.
'Hei hts'
one of the very few books
which, as a classical staple, has
also achieved the same distinction
as a movie.
It is an old movie and adheres
faithfully to the book. On the
bleak English moors, a man be-
set by vindictiveness falls in love
with the sister of the man he is
slowly destroying.
And the two lovers eventually
kill> themselves;' she, because of
her inability to preserve her sep-
arate identity in the face of
Heathcliffe's passion and he, be-
cause of his failure to possess
her completely.
The fili s prime virtue to some
is its chif failured to others. It
i& undeniably, unavoidingly, un-
ashamedly romantic. The music
and direction both emphasize ro-
manticism, anderealism is dis-
dainfully discarded.
And the petty boos and hisses
last night wonderfully demon-
strated how advanced and so-
phisticated the culture. center of
the Midwest. has become. The
audience was truly 'realistic.' Its
conduct was a progress report of
liberal education.
* * *
ence Olivier give flawless per-
formances. The acting is under-
standably maudlin. If one con-
siders that the plot is 19th cen-
tury England with all its inher-
ent eccentricities, then the sen-
timentality does not detract from
the powerful drama presented.
Those who are disgusted with
the standard prostitute plot of
the realist film, or the drab social
documentaries of our modern
muckrakers, have a rare chance
to see art in motion. Bronte
created in Heathcliffe an indi-
vidual who is not easily forgot-
ten: the personification of evil
which is not quite evil and the
consuming death he spreads.
Cathy is too weak to resist.
"WUTHERING Heights" pul-
verizes the 'slice of life' realism
of our age."
Emily Bronte wrote '"Wither
ing Heights" with the implicit if
unconscious premise that the job
of a novelist is the creation of a
story, not a journalistic compila-
tion of the 'seamy side of life.
When she became a creative
novelist instead of a Reuters car-
rier pigeon, she fulfilled tne pos-
sibilities inherent in the human
mind. For this achievement, she,
the book' and the' film will ,,be
admired afternFelini is long gone.
-Michael Hyman

Epker Clarifies Rules.
Revised by Council

Time for U.S. To Pull Out'

MUCH FUROR was raised Thursday
when Fidel Castro finally cut off the
outside water supply to our military base
at Guantanamo Bay. Castro's stated rea-
son for this action was that the United
states had seized scores of Cuban fishing
boats in international waters. Whether
this charge is true or not, it is not the
reason behind Castro's action.
The reason is bitterness-a bitterness
that stretches back over four years. It en-
compasses United States actions blocking
-off Cuba from Western trade, our abortive
invasion attempt, our blockade during the
missile crisis.
And it also encompasses the fact that
we have kept a bristling military base on
Cuban soil over repeated and completely
justified Cuban requests that we pull out.
So what are we now doing, seeing the
end result of all this bitterness? We are
firing many -Cuban personnel on Guan-
tanamo, an action that puts scores of men
out of jobs. We are making the base com-
pletely independent of Cuba, a move
which deprives the Cubans of a small
salve they did have for their bitterness-
the money we were paying them for the
WHAT WE SHOULD DO, of course, is
pull out of the base and sell the whole
works to the Cubans-at a loss if neces-
sary. The main reason behind this, and
one which very few Americans even real-
ize, is that we have absolutely no right
under international law to keep the base
The agreement which gave us the base
.e>;+ i .. - .1- e 1 . ..'",ehrs... r.nt~arvrn.f -Antyj

dictator of Cuba. And we refuse to move
our base, pointing to permission granted
by a government which has been dead
for five years. This position is both ridic-
ulous and untenable.
EVEN ASIDE FROM THIS, there is still
every reason why we should pull out
of Guantanamo. The base, of course, has
absolutely no military value. It was first
established, around the turn of the cen-
tury, to protect our interests in the Car-
Cuba is obviously no longer one of our
interests. its only possible value is as a
training ground. But of course a base on
United States territory would do just as
well, and cost much less.
. But, some will say, what of the great
propaganda boost we get out of the base?
Anyone who thinks that this base makes
us look brave and good in the eyes of the
world, or serves as an inspiring example
of Western democracy to the enslaved
Cubans, is sadly misinformed.
What the Cubans see is a group of peo-
ple living next door to them with a stand-
ard of living many times theirs. These
are the same people, of course, who have
cut them off from the lifeblood of West-
ern trade. And these people have been
paying Cuban personnel who work on the
base a small fraction of what they them-
selves get.
States maintaining a hostile military
base on the ground of a feeble, isolated
nation. The United States has no agree-
ment with the government of this nation,

To the Editor:
THIS LETTER is written in
compliance with the unani-s
mous mandate of Student Gov-
ernment Council to me as presi-
dent to clarify and more fully
explain the Council's position on]
the legislation passed changing
the petitioning regulations.
SGC has been accised regularly1
of acting irresponsibly, the article
by Daily Editor Ronald Wilton,1
"SGC Insults Students," last
Wednesday has little if any fac-
tual basis. This bitter article, we]
feel, does not represent the prop-]
er intent or interpretation of the
legislation and its consequences.
-* * *
THE REMOVAL of petition re-
quirements for candidates seeking
election to SGC was a move on
the part of Council to obtain a
more workable procedure to help
encourage qualified students to
seek election to Council. It should
be mentioned that the majority
of Council members feel that it
is worthwhile to give this new
system a one semester trial.
We think it is of interest to
note that Editor Wilton began his
debate at Council on this issue
by stating that he had had an
extremely difficult time making
up his mind on this question and
was aware of the merits of re-
moving the petitioning require-
Although there is no way to
predict definitely the results of
Council's action, the dire conse-
quences predicted bythe editor
appear extreme and assume bad .
faith on the part of future can-
IT WAS further stated that
because of certain individuals'
petty elitist tendencies and lack
of real concern for the students,
the submission datek for platform
statements was set back four days
thus making it impossible for The
Daily to prepare and print an
election supplement paid for by
the Council. This action was tak-
en to allow additional time for
candidates to campaign and to
prepare the final articulation of
their views on the election issues.
Our original premise that this
action would not prevent the
publication of a supplement has
been reaffirmed by The Daily
business staff. Unless the editor
allows his personal interests to
interfere with the activities- of
the business staff, there will be
an election supplement.
To charge that SGC acted ir-
responsibly and 'without concern
for the students' interests is to
misrepresent highly those actions
which were taken.
We are inclined to feel that a
great deal of Mr. Wilton's article
was based on personal bitterness

who do not qualify for federal
scholarships support themselves,
and often wives .on $1,200-$2,0001
per year. This is one of the very
low income groups in the United1
States. It does not even qualify
for welfare as do non-students
with the same income.
How can a man who proposes,
to help the poor refuse a program
such as this: 1) It costs nothing
to administer. 2) It is entirely free
of government control. 3) It helps
promote higher, education. 4) It
provides relief for all self-sup-
porting students and not just a
select few.
Why did President Johnson
cause the defeat of the tax exemp-
tion amendment? All liberals
ought to be ashamed of this ac-
-Marvel John Yoder, Grad
(Letters to the Editor should be
typewritten, doublespaced and lim-
ited to 300 words. Only signed let-
ters will be printed. The Daily re-
serves the right to edit or with-
hold any letter.)






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