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May 07, 1964 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-05-07

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Seventy-Third Year
Truth Will Prevail" UBLB C4
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily impress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in at, reprints.



Education: ,The Coming of Awareness

The University's Faculty:
Remaking the Stereotype

Editorial Director
once said to a class that there
are full professors who are fools
and then named an example.
In itself, the statement is not
shocking; anyone with a little
common sense and awareness
knows that there are fools in
the academic world and some-
times in very high positions.
The novelty of the statement is
merely that it is one of those
things that people just don't say.
It is one of those things that
people would rather put in the
back of their minds and not think
* * *
I THINK that one of the most
important aspects of education is
realizing the things that we don't
want to realize, to stop deluding
ourselves about the obvious. The
illusions that society and the Uni-
versity perpetuate are the greatest
barriers to education. And the
really sad part is that so many
students passively accept all that
is handed to them.

The only way to overcome this
passivity is through awareness;
but that is not a simple goal. For
it requires us first to be aware of
our own limitations as men: that
we are going to die and that we
are alone. And these are among
the things that people know but
don't like to acknowledge.
In themselves, these limitations
only point out that taking the ini-
tiative now is vital. Already, more
than a quarter of our lives has
very quickly passed. The chances
to exert ourselves in determining
the course of events are limited.
* * *
I THINK people run away from
these limitations. I have seen
people join fraternities, sororities,
groups of every description in hope
that their loneliness would be al-
leviated. Somehow, they seem to
think that being a part of a group
will destroy the necessity of an-
swering to oneself.
I also think that many people
do not want to admit inwardly-
especially when everybody says
they are so young-that life is
going to end.
It seems to me that society ac-

tively favors these escapes. There
is a mythology of college. It is an
interlude of books and beer where
at worst students embrace all
sorts of radicalism that they will
promptly forget the day after
commencement. Education is seen
as passive, consisting of facts and
having nothing to do with reality
except in an economic sense. Ac-
cording to this very widespread
view, education has little to do
with the business of living.
** *
this viewpoint. It is a basis from
which we feel the necessity of
relating what is going on around
us to ourselves.
Without this awareness, educa-
tion becomes irrelevant. The Uni-
versity as an institution too often
becomes merely a place where
people are taught, not educated.
Education becomes a compart-
mentalized number of years rep-
resented by the B.A. or the M.A.
or the Ph.D. What is taught in the
classroom seems to have little
relation to any but professional
Awareness in education means

ADMINISTRATORS are inherently evil.
There are two kinds: reactionaries
who tyrannically drag the University into
the Victorian past; and bureaucrats who
will compromise any ideal to keep things
running smoothly and blandly. Some ad-
ministrators even manage to be both.
But consider the faculty--ah, the fac-
ulty! Enlightened, dedicated educators,
courageously committed to the pursuit of
truth despite the fetters imposed upon
them by the myopic administration.
Clearly, if we can get rid of the admin-
istration-or reduce it to a totally servile
role-and place the faculty in true con-
trol of the University, everything will
be fine. Freed from administrative op-
pression, the University can then achieve
the true ideals of education.
Ha ha.
THIS (WITH A PINCH of hyperbole
thrown in) is a recurrent stereotype
of two of the major segments of the
University. Given this shining image of
the professor, perhaps it would be enlight-
ening to peruse some fragmentary but
not a typical evidence.
A few years back, a survey was taken of
faculty opinions on various issues relating
to the University. The poll showed a sharp
division: on one side, faculty members
viewed the University more or less as a
business, valuing efficiency, public rela-
tions and a chain-of-command adminis-
tration. On the other side were those
who endorsed liberal education, freedom
of student conduct, educational experi-
mentation and democratic government
within the schools and colleges.
participation in University affairs. The
University Senate considers itself lucky to
attract 200 faculty to its meetings-that's
about one-tenth of our philosopher-kings.
Senate meetings, in fact, recently were
moved to a smaller auditorium where the
empty seats wouldn't be so abundantly
Even the worldly, democratic literary
college manages to lure, at the most,
about one-third of its faculty to monthly
meetings-meetings at which professors
have the power to set all educational
policy for the college. This faculty, inci-

dentally, is one of those which came out
on the "liberal" side of that survey.
takes place at such meetings. On the
residential college, for example, there
seems to have been little intelligent op-
position until almost the end of a year-
long debate. During that year most fac-
ulty members managed to remain ignor-
ant despite the appearance of three writ-
ten reports and numerous verbal ones ex-
plaining the proposal. And on what as-
pect of the proposal did faculty members
appear to be the most articulate? Why, on
such questions as the salaries and status
of faculty members in the new college.
And consider the openness which char-
acterizes faculty democracy. Virtually
every important meeting is closed; "hav-
ing meetings open tends to inhibit dis-
cussion." Moreover, the faculty jealously
guards the prerogatives it uses so letharg-
ically. Members demand to see reports
and other potential policies before any-
one else. Even a regental decision taken
almost a month ago was hushed up until
Monday's literary college faculty meeting.
IF WE MUST OPERATE with stereotypes,
perhaps it's time to adopt a new stereo-
type of the faculty member:
His interests are focused on, yet seldom
extend beyond, his own discipline -- more
precisely, on his own status within it-
and his own salary. He "enjoys" students,
meaning he likes to display his knowl-
edge before then and isn't exactly blind
to their admiration, but would prefer not
to do anything to improve their educa-
tion that would mean remodeling his
own comfortable rut. He is eminently cap-
able of filling his own slot but equally
incapable of doing anything for the Uni-
versity as a whole. In short, he, not the
administrator, is the real obstacle to
progress at the University.
THIS IS PRESENTED as a stereotype.
It has flaws, but it contains substan-
tial elements of truth. The faculty mem-
ber who finds it offensive might well ask
himself how much he has done to prove
that the stereotype is false.
Acting Managing Editor

' i r
q 2
lfl ~r
I &
s r-.tY >' A f n ,
rs 600t> FOR HIM-s.1TEN TO HIM e)RR.4
Rights Commission's Plans

an internalization of class material
and much more. But it is im-
possible to quantify, just as it is
impossible to build an institution
that inherently makes people more
aware. At best, an institution like
the University can provide en-
couragement and opportunity.
. *~ * *
the University is increasingly not
providing that opportunity. I keep
hearing claims about .how great
the University is, and by any ob-
jective criteria I have to admit
they are true. The University has
many alumni and faculty in
"Who's Who,'S pays reasonably
good salaries to its faculty mem-
bers and has a fair number of
students with high college board
scores and IQ's.
But these are the things that
can be quantified. Education can-
not be reduced to statistics. I
know of no way to measure how
much the University encourages
people to think. The indications
that I see are rather dismal.
For the University is like society
in not wanting very often to ac-
knowledge the sometimes simple
* * *
IF A STUDENT at the Univer-
sity steals an exam, that is dis-
honesty and ought to be punished.
If an executive officers of the
University does not tell the truth,
well, that's supposed to be some-
thing else.
The University is acclaimed as
a place where people are encour-
aged to push back the barriers of
human knowledge and disseminate
that knowledge candidly. Yet the
University maintains an Office of
University Relations to sugarcoat
the truth for public consumption.
Everybody - faculty members,
students, administrators - talk
about how education is supposed to
be a total experience. Yet the
branch of the University entrusted
with responsibility for nonclass-
room life is an object of wide-
spread contempt, usually with
justification, for its lack of any
concept of the relationship of its
function and the classroom.
PERHAPS worst of all, the Uni-
versity apes the corporation. It
organizes, it constructs routines, it
builds itself into a giant machine
in which individuals only fill slots
and in which all that is expected
is that the slot be filled.
This last aspect of the Univer-
sity is the most harmful to edu-
cation. The institution attempts
to establish an equilibrium, a
smooth pattern into which all its
functions fit. Much like society,
the University does not like this
pattern to be upset.
Likewise, it encourages students
to pattern their lives. It is ex-
tremely easy to fall into any one of
a number of patterns that provide
a ready-made place to study,
sleep, eat, have a social life and
straightjacket one's mind.
* * *
I THINK that the greatest bene-
fit of having been on The Daily
is the opportunity of knowing peo-
ple who were willing to rock the
boat and upset the carefully-con-
trived patterns. Sometimes they
have done it by saying what was
obviously true but what it is very
upsetting to hear.
Very few people want to hear
that, despite some very fine words
the efforts to eliminate racial and
religious discrimination on this
campus have been until very re-
cently lackadasical.
Other times, Daily writers have
written analytically and delved
into complex areas where there
is no definitive or obvious answer
-research, budget needs, problems
of student life.
* * *
have taken, Daily reporters have
in many cases been people whose

basic commitment was to educa-
tion, to something more than
learning. I think this is the great-
est value of The Daily. It is in
part a function of the personal
leeway embodied in the institu-
tion. It is in part a function of
the personalities attracted to it.
But whatever the reasons for it,
the. commitment to awareness
must be maintained. It is the es-
sential quality that can make the
paper vital and that gives it a
spark so lacking in other campus
newspapers that serve as no more
than a training ground for future
The Daily experience also means
a public commitment, a refusal to
wrap oneself in a cocoon for four
years. It would be foolish to claim
that there are no people at The
Daily who are merely seeking an-
other kind of routine, a place to
hide from the realities of the
University and/or themselves. But
by and large, the commitment has
been genuine.
* * .*
INDEED, IT IS this element
of the genuine that the University
needs to encourage. I keep hear-
ing arguments about how the Uni-
versity should or should not be s
disinterested institution. I once
believed that it should be, but I
was wrong. No institution can be
vital unless it is involved in the
vital events around it.
But what the University can do

for the growth of awareness; but
nobody who ever really wants it is
prevented from doing it.
* * *
ments in the classroom when a
really great teacher-a Herbert
Barrows or a Palmer Throop -
electrified his students and made
poetry or history come alive. Per-
sonally, I derive a great deal of
pleasure from my academic work.
But these things have little to
do with the University as an in-
stitution. Education, as I believe
in it, is a personal process. I do
not know what it means to say
that this is a "great University.";
I do not know if there is such
a thing as a "great university."
I have known many people who
have bitterly criticized the Univer-
sity and have left very unhappy
about their experiences here. Many
of them have gone to graduate or
professional schools elsewhere. At
top schools like Harvard and
Berkeley. By and large, they are
no happier where they are today
than they were at the University.
There is no academic Elysian
Fields.rAn education comes not
with 120 credit hours. The initia-
tive has to lie with students them-
selves, not with faculty or ad-
AT BEST, the University should
offer a format in which students
can educate themselves and which
maximizes opportunity. It does
overall a mediocre job of that. In-
creasingly, I think it is doing a
poorer and poorer job.
The total picture seems discour-
aging. The one compensation is
that anyone who wants to enter
into the process of education can
do so. It depends entirely on our
willingness to see that there is a
relationship between education
and life, that life is itself a process
of education.
It is not easy. It means an
awareness of our limitations as
human beings: our mortality and
our isolation. It means that there
are things we must do as individ-
uals or never do at all. But it also
means grasping the fullness of
the moment and doing things that
really seem to have meaning to
us as individuals.
And doing so, I think it is
possible to realize the full sense
of Marvell's words:
Thus, though we cannot make
our sun
Stand still, yet we will make
him run.
A Slice
Of Life
At cinema Guild
"APARAJITO" (which is Ben-
gali for The Unvanquished)
is the second installment of Saty-
ajit Ray's Apu Trilogy. Like the
first, "Pather Panchali" and the
last, "The World of Apu," it is
about a boy from northern India,
Apu Roy: each film takes a slice
of his young life, and "Aparajito"'s
share is his later childhood and
Apu lives with his parents in
Benares, the holy watering-place
on the Ganges. He is 10 years old,
it is 1920, and India is still under
the British Raj ("Do you want
to be Viceroy when you grow up?"
Apu's mother asks him.) His
father is a priest, and so must
Apu be when he's old enough; in
the 'meantime he takes the Holy
Thread and practices ceremonial.
But one day his father dies un-
expectedly, he moves with his
mother to a new home, and
eventually attends school and
graduates to university in Cal-
THIS IS a very slow, simple

story, with the minimum of inci-
dent. If there were more, one feels,
Ray's gentle probe into human
experience would be the less in-
volving, and the film would have
less leisure in which to deploy
his tender blend of perception and
pride. Its heroic fulcrum is really
not Apu, but the devoted mother
who, when he leaves for Calcutta,
loses sight of her only purpose
in life, and relaxes into death. Her
son grieves, mops his tears, re-
turns to his studies. The tragedy,
if there was one, was the mother's
and again not Apu's. However, we
sympathize with both-in a film
as life-affirming as this, there is
no room for a discriminating sen-
If Ray owes his style to anyone,
it is probably Robert Flaherty.
"Aparajito" (like, say, "Nanook
of the North") is really a docu-
mentary and its motive forces are
environmental rather than human.
It has little to do with narrative
or character development; it
works in cameos-life in Benares,
life in the village, at school, in
Calcutta. Apu, if his behavior is a
guide, is a singularly uninterest-
ing child. When he has a job to
do nothing can distract him, not
the strong man on the waterfront
nor the children at play.
* * *

New Rush Plan Means Chaos

increase rapport between sorority and
independent women. Ostensibly, this was
the rationale behind the adoption of the
association's new honor code. It was not,
however, Panhel's entire reason.
Of basic importance to the new honor
code is the opportunity for those houses
which do not fill their house quotas dur-
ing formal rushing periods to bid all but
fjrst semester freshman girls at any time
thereafter. This was the crux of the issue
for the smaller houses, some of them in
danger of closing because of lack of mem-
bers. The new code would give them the
opportunity to invite girls to their houses
informally. It would enable rushees to
get to know the individual houses better.
It might be able to save these houses
from going under.
PANHEL SHOULD BE commended for
trying to further integrate its system
on campus. It should realize, however,
the repercussions of its actions.
The previous honor code forbade wom-
en who had not had the opportunity to
go through rush at the University from
Acting Editorial Staff
H. NEIL BERKSON..........................Editor.
KENNETH WINTER.................Managing Editor
EDWARD HERSTEIN ..............Editorial Director
ANN G WIRTZMAN .... ,........Personnel Director
MICHAEL SATTINGER .... Associate Managing Editor
JOHN KENNY............. Assistant Managing Editor
rEBORAH BEATTIE.......Associate EditorialrDirector
ILOUISE LIND......... Assistant Editorial Director in
Charge of the Magazine
Acting Sports Staff
BILL BULLARD......................Sports Editor
TOM ROWLAND .............. Associate Sports Editor
GARY WINER.................Associate Sports Editor
CHARLES TOWLE ........ Contributing Sports Editor
Acting Business Staff
JONATHON R. WIrrIE............. Business Manager
JAY GAMPEL............Associate Business Manager

entering a sorority house. It also limited
rush discussions between affiliated and
unaffiliated women.
The new code has no such restrictions.
Freshmen women may come and go as
they please in sorority houses. And, short
of extending a bid, a sorority woman
may offer a rushee almost anything.
limited rush for sororities and their
members. There is no way to limit the
number of times a girl may visit a house
or the number of times she may be a
guest for meals. There is no limit to the
number of houses she may visit and re-
visit. In short, for one solid semester, a
freshman girl may be entertained by five
or six different houses, each of which
will be trying to impress her with their
individual house warmth and generosity.
Panhellenic President Ann Wickins sees
rush competition developing "along nat-
ural lines." However, if only one member
of a house suspects that a member of,
another house is being too friendly to a
freshman girl, there will be no stopping
the ensuing struggle.
GRANTED, the old honor code did cre-
ate a somewhat artificial barrier be-
tween sorority and independent women.
But as much as it barred, it protected all
of the participants from the kind of
chaos that Panhel has now openly, though
probably unknowingly, condoned.
BOWing Out
edly told one of her admirers after
her concert here Thursday night that she
did not sing the encore she had planned
to offer "because the audience stopped

To the Editor:
that your news story about the
remarks of Judge Feikens of the
Michigan Civil Rights Commission
last evening omitted what I con-
sidered his most important state-
ment. He said, and repeated again
when questioned, that it was the
view of the commission that it
would take action, including going
to court, to redress acts of dis-
crimination in the housing mar-
ket wherever they occurred, even
if the unit in question was a single
room in a single house. He said
the commission was publicizing
its view by the remarks Commis-
sioner Feikens was making in his
talks around the state.
Later in the question period he
noted that the press was present
and hoped it would carry hisre-
marks. At another point he noted
that the commission was working
on the same Ann Arbor apartment
discrimination case that now is
pending in Municipal Court, since
the attorney general's position
(and the defendant's) is that our
city commission has no jurisdic-
tion over the case.
Please be kind enough to give
these important statements the
publicity they deserve.
-Robert J. Harris
Professor of Law
Translation Troubles
To the Editor:
way" to learn a foreign lan-
guage? Absolutely not! But it is
evident that the University French
department considers it the pri-
mary wav. It. is our understanding

lating word for word sections from
chapters in "France-L'Individu
et le Destin" as we did with "Vol
de Nuit." The extreme to which
this, translation has been carried
is pedantic, unnecessary and most
importantly, ineffective and dam-
aging. What is more, the depart-
ment is virtually defeating its
own purpose of grounding the
student in the basics of a foreign
-* * *
been told that it is necessary to
(at least attempt to) think in the
language we are trying to learn?
Furthermore, how many times
have we been told that language
is thought and idea communica-
tion and that it cannot be broken
down word by word; people do not
speak in individual words, they
speak in idioms and phrases; they
speak in their thoughts.
We do not read these stories for
content-they are merely exercises
by which the teacher checks up
on his charges. A student has
other and more important things
to do than look up every word he
does not know in a story. We are
University students and we deserve
to be treated as such-if no where
else than in the classroom. We
should not be treated as high
school students to see if we have
done our work. If we haven't, it
is we, no one else, who fail.
* * *
TRUE, many who drop French
after 232 are those who must take
their four-semester minimum re-
quirement. But those who might
still have enough desire and en-
thusiasm to continue-and the
number is pitifully small-have
their interest stifled by this sys-
tem of teaching.

the end of the week we are to
make this passive vocabulary ac-
tive for the sole purpose of a quiz
-the success on which the Frenen
department measures the supposed
achievement of the student. This
emphasis is ridiculous!
* *
literature for that matter, shouldj
not be translated-it should be
read and understood, and very
importantly, appreciated by the
student. It is evident that we are
reading neit:.:r for context nor
The department might rebutt
our objections by reminding us
that the emphasis in 232 is not
on literature, but upon teaching
the basics of the language, using
literature merely as a venicle for
this instruction.
Are we to "learn" a foreiri
language in this manner? Si-y
those professors in the 12part -
ment have benefitted from the
many years of teaching expa. - e t
they have had. Have they not
found a more interesting, produc-
tive and stimulatin manr i,
which to teach a foreign language?
u: *
THE STUDENT is here at the
the University to learn to read,
speak and understand at least the
basics of one foreign language. It
is difficult for more than a few.
We are of the opinion that even
if the course were to be made
more difficult the student would
be more willing to learn if it were
also made interesting and stimu-
This letter is meant as con-
structive criticism. We are not
whining and we do not want, nor
expect, sympathy. It is now too

SINCE THE film is so episodic,

i, 1

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