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March 12, 1964 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-03-12

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

Seventy-Third Year
Truth will Prevail'

Who Should Run
Student Newspapers?

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in al reprints.


The Good and the Bad
Of the Residential College

Combination .
IN PERSPECTIVE, the role of living quar-
ters in the educational process is a
relatively new concept. Educational in-
stitutions-both in the United States and
England, have only begun to lend im-
portance to residence hall environment
in the last few years. This importance is
especially justified at the University, for
only through measures aimed at residence
hall life can the University successfully
combat the bad effects of a large institu-
tion while retaining the good effects of
In the 1930's, when residence halls were
first being built, their purpose was mere-
ly to house students. The purpose behind
such housing had nothing to do with the
educational process. The result is that
present residence halls are nothing more
than big hotels to which students return
after classes.
BUT NOW THEY ARE being called upon
to fill a role above and beyond that of
being a place to put students who are go-
ing to the University-they may become
an integral part of the educational sys-
tem in order to combat large enrollments.
And largeness is a problem. Entering
freshmen come from completely different
backgrounds and so have little in com-
moon with other students.
However, it is one of the purposes of a
liberal education to instill some knowl-
edge in common-some basis through
which students will be able to communi-
cate. Students cannot be expected to have
such a basis upon entering the Univer-
sity; and in a University where in all like-
lihood one given student has no classes or
sections in common with those who live
near him, students usually do not have
day-to-day classroom experiences in com-
mon either.
The result-as anyone who has lived
among quaddies knows-is that conversa-
tion centers around the lowest common
denominator-sex, quad food and objec-
tionable people.
Also, in a large university, faculty con-
tact in the classroom becomes much
more mass-oriented; students are not as
likely to take courses from a given pro-
fessor more than once, and so they sel-
dom get to know many of the faculty. As
a result, student faculty contact suffers.
AT PRESENT two literary college ven-
tures-the residential college proposal
and the Pilot Project in Greene and Hins-
dale Houses in East Quad and Little
House in Mary Markley-base part of
their aspirations on concepts of student
residence and constituency.
Although intended for other purposes as
well, the residential college is also aimed
at improving environment. It would work
by restricting the numbers of faculty and
fellow students that a student comes in
contact with in classes. It follows that
with increased familiarity, student en-
vironment in the residential college would
become similar to that in small liberal
arts colleges, such as Oberlin or Carleton.
Hopefully, students in the college would
also consider themselves part of the main
campus and would participate in campus-
wide student activities.
Contrary to first impressions, the Pilot
Project is not just a narrowed-down ver-
sion of what will be done in the residential
college. It works among much smaller
groups and for this reason finds its best
advantage among freshmen and sopho-
As it now exists, residents of the houses
involved have the same faculty adviser
and are put in the same sections and
classes whenever they take the same
courses. The result is that underclassmen

are given something in common-their,
classroom experience. Special efforts to
bring faculty into contact with students
are not difficult since faculty members
find that most of their students are con-
centrated in one residence; they can easily
meet with their students just by eating
meals at the residence hall.
BUT BY THE TIME students get beyond
their underclass years, they will reach
the point when they will have enough in
common to participate in worthwhile dis-
cussion. Then it is best to expose students
fn. nt-honwc hn have hadr different exrneri-

of the residential college proposal are not
incompatible. The facilities for the resi-
dential college are ideal for Pilot Project
The best way the University can act to
improve student environment is to incor-
porate the Pilot Project and the residen-
tial college, with the Pilot Project acting
mainly at the underclass level and the
residential college taking effect at the up-
perclass level.
Apron Strings.
ALTHOUGH the literary college has ap-
proved the residential college program,
and all that is needed now is the money
to institute it, certain far-reaching side
effects may prove the plan to be educa-
tionally detrimental.
The advantages of such a college are
fairly obvious; a more effective liaison be-
tween students and faculty and between
students themselves is a laudable aim,
and may result in a more efficient fac-
THE SIDE EFFECTS which are likely to
come with this plan, however, are
neither advantageous nor in keeping with
the fundamentals of a University educa-
tion at the undergraduate level.
To derive any benefit from the pro-
posed plan, these side effects should be
kept in mind by faculty, students and ad-
ministrators when the plan is put into
A Washington city planning consultant
remarked recently that with the rapid
spread of suburbs and the tightening of
communities in socio-economic strata, it
is now possible for a person to spend his
entire life-from birth, through grammar
school and college and even into a job-
with other persons of a more or less
identical background and outlook. They
can, he said, exist without ever confront-
ing life situations which are not com-
mon to all his associates.
He does not maintain that persons ac-
tually go through life with that narrow a
field of experience; but he merely claims
that conditions now make it possible. The
residential college, it appears to me, is an-
other step in facilitating this narrow-
gauge ,spoon-fed sort of existence.
WHILE THERE ARE certain obvious
drawbacks to the overwhelming size
of the University, they are mostly admin-
istrative and involve the unwanted abun-
dance of "red tape." And although some
may complain that bigness fosters "lost-
in-the-shufflism," a certain degree of
anonimity is cherished by most students
as somehow being a little more like "real
life." The cosmopolitan atmosphere of
undergraduate life at the University, the
mass of intertwining outlooks, back-
grounds and pursuits is actually another
step away from the home fires and moth-
er's apron strings.
The whole experience can take on the
characteristics of a search. And this
search-for one's self and for one's role in
the world beyond the apron strings and
the University - is aided through the
broad exposure the undergraduate gets
The English major may never decide to
become an engineer because he is room-
ing with an engineering student, but he
does have the exposure to thinking dif-
ferent from his own. If this sort of expos-
ure is maintained, then the University
will continue to aid the undergraduate in
his search, and will function as a place,
as Arthur Miller put it, "of broadening
On the graduate level, the residential

school idea has no such drawbacks. The
medical or law student has presumably
ended his search and benefitted from his
undergraduate exposure., He now has a
greater need of being more associated
with those who are studying only law or
MUCH HAS BEEN SAID about the ill ef-
fects of spoon feeding at the Univer-
sity, usually in connection with the pre-
sentation of course material. But the res-
idential college for the undergraduate
could also be spoon feeding, for the effect
of placing an undergraduate in a nearly

Insulting Voters' Intelligence

WRITING this piece after the
New Hampshire campaign has
ended, but before the returns are
in, I am struck by the very low
estimate placed on the American
voter by practicing politicians.
The outstanding fact about the
New Hampshire primary is that
no one of the candidates, declared
or undeclared, has thought it nec-
essary to make even one consid-

ered speech addressed to an adult
and informed audience.
* * *
THE TWO leading declared
candidates-Gov. Rockefeller and
Sen. Goldwater-have mentioned
most of the topics, domestic and
foreign, which are of vital interest
to the country. Not even once has
either of them discussed any of
these topics with any thorough-
ness or with the recognition of
complexity which enables a voter
to judge what the candidate would

do if he were responsible for ac-
It is a significant comment on
the quality of the primary that
while the two declared candidates
were traipsing all over the state
like mountebanks trying to be-
guile the boobs, the undeclared
candidates seemed to be gaining
strength. I do not know how large
a write-in vote Mr. Lodge will ob-
tain. But each vote for a man
who has made no speeches at all
will be a reflection on the candi-
dates who have been making
speeches a dozen times a day.
* * *

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
article, reprinted from the Indiana
Daily Student, was written by Prof.
Michael J. Scriven of Indiana's his-
tory department. Prof. Scriven gives
his viewpoint on the Daily Student,
a newspaper run under the aus-
pices of Indiana's journalism de.
THE INDIANA Daily Student
should go. On to higher things,
I hope; but if not, then to some
institution that already has a stu-
dent paper but feels it simply must
publish the lab work of its jour-
nalism students. If there is such
an institution. ("The IDS .. . is
published by the Department of
Journalism as a laboratory proj-
ect written and edited by its stu-
dents." Quoted from the official
handbook for The IDS staff.)
A good student paper is one of
the most important extra-curricu-
lar influences that the university
environment exerts on its mem-
bers. The IDS is thought by many
faculty members to be the worst
student paper they have ever seen,
on a large or a small campus.
Whether or not that is true, it
clearly does fall short of the
standards of good journalism by a
distance that makes it a constant
source of distastefu experiences
for those who value good writing,
high regard for the truth, and the
crusacing spirit.
* . 4
IT IS a terrible commentary on
a great University that "the voice
of Indiana University (Handbook,
P. 22)" should speak bad English,
half truths, and without courage.
Nor is it the fault of the students
who work their arms off in Ernie
Pyle Hall; it is the fault of the
Instead of drawing on the colos-
sal resources of student talent at
the university, The IDS is pro-
duced by the small group of jour-
nalism students. For them to pro-
duce .a daily paper is a fantastic
burden and it has the expected re-
sults, not only in the immediate
product, but also in the strain on
their academic work outside the
TO PUT the matter very simply,
instead of learning how to write,
how to reason, and something
about the world they are to write
about, they are engaged in the
time-ravening chores of producing
a paper that does not and cannot,
under that pressure, embody the
standards and style they ard sup-
posed to be acquiring.
It is for these and connected
reasons that many of the greatest
journalists today have repeatedly
stated their opposition to the ex-
istence of undergraduate schools
of journalism; the professionalism
of the law and medicine requires a
general education before special-
ization and an even stronger case
can surely be made for the jour-
nalist whose ultimate aim is so de-
manding of wide and accurate
If there is to be an undergradu-
ate department of journalism,
there is no reason to suppose there
has to be a system that excludes
from editorship the highly literate
and gifted English or psychology
major who lends The Harvard
Crimson and other papers their
luster, and from their proper role
of reporting technical matters
those people who know something
about them.
* * *
INSTEAD WE have a dramatic
review written by a reporter who
announces that it is the first play
he has seen, music reviews written
by reporters who misuse the ele-
mentary grammar of musicology,
and reports of speeches by stu-
dents who not only lack any
knowledge of the subject, but de-
fend their failure to check with
the 'written version or with the
speaker himself by saying that it
is the speaker's fault for not get-
ting his conclusions over to them.
Nothing more can be expected
as long as the system reigns; and
so long as it does, a gross disserv-

ice is done to a university com-
munity with an internationally fa-
mous school of music.
* * *
THE MOST disturbing feature
of the system is not its support of
incompetence, but its stifiling of

independence. There is a lot of
talk in the Handbook about the
editor's independence, and indeed
the procedural rules give him con-
siderable responsibility; but it is
just talk-for with allthe good
will in the world, a journalism ma-
jor whose future career and pres-
ent grades depend on the extent to
which he pleases a cautious faculty
adviser, is not likely to turn out or
encourage highly controversial
features and editorials.
This is a campus on -which ex-
citing things are happening all the
time; but nobody believes it be-
cause they never set them written
up and on a campus of this size
they rarely trip over them. We
have difficult, immediate and in-.
teresting issues here; not the re-
hashed debates on world affairs
(educational as these are) nor the
minor symptoms of underlying
tensions like the kissing ban
(which anyway gets into the na-
tional press), but the ones we don't
hear about.
Any list will be partly dull to
someone else-but we could do
with a serious study of the Uni-
versity's role of moral baby-sitter,
the desirability and practices of
the student judiciaries, the ath-
letic "scholarship" issue, unsports-
manlike behavior by coaches, col-.
lective cheating practices, the ex-
posure of "slop" courses, the case
for and against ROTC, the case
for and against having a Com-
munist in to teach joint seminars
in government, the extent and sig-
nificance of coeducational "slum-
ber" parties in the living units or
of hidden segregation on campus,
a series on why IU is one of the
great universities, follow-ups on
the United States National Stu-
dents Association's decline, and
current academic freedom issues
on other campuses.
It isn't only at the level of edi-
torial crusading and debate that
there is a lack of courage and ini-
tiative; even surveys of the sur-
prising restaurant and nightlife
resources of the area, and profiles
of the mighty figures in the uni-
versity's backgiound like Don
Mellett the former editor of the
IDS, killed by gangsters in Ohio
for his courageous editorial cam-
paign there.
There are many topics that
would extend the present range
and value of the paper if they
were done well; and that means
that quality must not be sacrificed
to deadlines, and that means that
outside help must be used (special-
ist reporters and feature men) of
the paper must go to a less fre-
quent schedule. No one has ever
suggested that they couldn't live
without the daily on Tuesday and
* * *
TO SUM UP, The Daily is-run
by students who would be better
journalists later if they weren't
running it now, and it isn't run by
students who would be better jour-
nalists now.
This absurdity for the official
organ of the university is simply
another part of the system.
(Though, of course, the official
notices are so unreadably arranged
that even those that see the paper
hardly ever look at them.
It is run in circumstances that
lead to a grossly sub-standard pro-
duction, which is subsidized by the
university although it fails to sus-
tain either the services that it
should provide to students. and
faculty or the standards to which
the university is explicitly coin-
MOREOVER, it is grossly intol-
erant of criticism, although a
(supposedly) public service mon-
opoly, and it is organized into a
system that perpetuates these
faults. There are examples all over
the country which we can use to
improve the system, and at this
stage I feel that initiating such a
reform is the greatest challenge to
student government and one of
the most serious internal problems

for the university administration;
we are not only getting something
bad, but we are failing to get
something which could be a tre-
mendously important educational
force on the campus.
-Michael J. Scriven





How Many Suicideoens

To the Editor:
PRESENTLY there are many ru-
mors circulating about campus
concerning the number of suicides
at the University. While statistics
vary, one instructor has been
quoted as saying that we average
nearly 200 suicides a year.
This figure seems abnormally
high, but I have been unable to
confirm or disprove this state-
ment. While such events do not
warrant sensational coverage in
The Daily, this news, even the
barest statistics, appears to be
suppressed from public notice.
I believe that an editorial staae-
ment dealing with this touchy
subject would be well in order to
quell these rumors and set the
recordstraight. If The Daily is
relcctant torelease such informa-
tion to public view, I would like
to see a justification for the cen-
sorship of such news.
-David L. Ross, '64
(EDITOR'S NOTE: According to
Vice-President for Student Affairs
James A. Lewis, during the last 10
years the number of suicides among
students has averaged less than one
per year.
The Daily's Code of Ethics states
that suicides "may be reported if
in the public interest to do so."
However, it is fairly clear from

the statistics that suicide
occur anywhere near as of I
rumors Mr. Ross has hea
Misquote. . .
To the Editor:
WOULD like to point
the changes made by
in the penultimate par.
my letter on "The Child
Damned" completely rev
meaning. What I was
suggest was that Mr.I
author, does not possess
low intelligence which s
in simple black and whin
with facile answers to
moral problems.
To correct this mis
make the paragraph
clear, it should read: F
a writer, not unaware of
gers of scientific disco
does not substitute "pro
"potential"-with a relig
which can assail thoseY
whose fear of these disco
become so habitual that
reject them without c
-Hubert Cohen
Assistant Ma'
Cinema Guild

WHAT about the Rockefeller
and Goldwater estimates of the
S intellectual and moral level of the
citizens of New Hampshire? Are
the people as dumb as all that?
If they are, the outlook for popu-
lar government is pretty dismal.
My own view is that Sen. Gold-
s do not water was just being natural and
end as te was on the level to which he be-
-D.D.M.) But in the case of Gov. Rocke-
feller, what we have been witness-
ing is a man acting on the prime
fallacy of the public relations busi-
t out that It is that most of the people can
The Daily and do pay only a little attention
agraph of to public affairs, they are easily
ren of the distracted, they are too busy and
versed my they are interested in other things.
trying to The commercialized mass media
tryito cater to this condition of the pub-
Bailey, is lic mind. They keep their sights
the shal- down to that level.
ees things * * *
te, or rests BUT IN public life and indeed,
complex I would say, in journalism.and the
arts, it is essential to aim higher
take and than the average of the mass audi-
perfectly ence. For while the men and wo-
or here is men who are informed and con-
f the dan- cerned are only a part of the
veries-he people, they are a leading part.
gress" for It is these influential people who
;ious faith are neglected and ignored in the
humanists kind of campaigning which Gov.
veries has Rockefeller has stooped down to.
they will Incidentally, this may have given
onsidering a considerable advantage to the
non-candidates, who are assumed
n, Grad. to have more to say than the
nager, candidates are saying.
(c),1964, The Washington Post Co.



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