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February 05, 1963 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-02-05

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Seventy-Third Year
Truths Will =Prevail"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. Thh must be noted in all reprints.

Y, FEBRUARY 5, 1963


Rushing and Pledging:
Are Sororities Outdated?

"Damn Yankee South Carolinians, Georgians, Louisianians,
Tennesseans, Arkansans, North Carolinians,
Floridians, Texans, Virginians ---"
- :
J -
- s
i: CA5LAA/-

Yes ..

POTENTIAL is a fragile thing, easily crushed.
And the girl, whose potential is womanhood,
coming to the University in search of educa-
tion, enlightenment and, hopefully, the chance
to make decisions independently and responsi-
bly, may ruin her potential forever by stifling
herself. It is all too easy to stifle yourself in
that smug, complacent, secure world of fra-
ternalism-the sorority.
Sorority rush is an experience the uninformed
cannot easily appreciate.,Perhaps the best ar-
gument in its defense is that it is an experience
that everyone should have 'once, like flunking
an exam. Do it habitually, though, and it may
destroy you.
For the rushee, rush is nerve-wracking but
exciting. She becomes entangled in a web of
compliments, roses, shining hair and fashion-
able clothes and the positively overwhelming
warmth exuded by the sorors. Even those who
begin rush with the intention only to see what
it's like, soon become deeply involved. Of course,
when others are judging you and deciding on
your acceptability, it's only. natural to become
involved and anxious about the outcome.
On the 'other side, there are the rushers,
with an intense desire to show their best side
and present a united front, of eternal love and
sisterhood. After all, the reputation of The
House is at stake.
BIT AFTER the party is over, at the sorority
house there are loud, .long and impassioned
harangues' on 'the virtues and faults of girls.
powerless to defend themselves. Judgments are
made on girls after brief meetings, casual chats
and contrived confidences. Devotees of the sys-
tem say this is a necessary evil. But is it nec-
essary to dismember people without knowing
even enough about them to form a casual
The aftermath: the beautiful and smooth
girls join the house populated by other beauti-
ful and smooth girls, the activity girls band
together, the party girls close ranks. The faces
have changed but the 'substance remains in-
It is easy to spot a sorority girl; she is the
one gaily waving to someone who looks remark-
ably like her. Following a natural human ten-
dency to the extreme, these girls choose to live
with other in the same economic, social, reli,
gious and racial group. These similarities bring
with them similar ideas and beliefs.
' E POTENTIAL that once was so apparent
in a freshman girl quickly dies as she be-
comes ensconced in a world of similarities in
which conflict and discovery are snuffed out.
Jews live with Jews, Negroes with Negroes, white
Protestants with white Protestants and so on
down the line. Every now and then observers
note a "liberal" house, one which opens its
ranks to all girls, stipulating only the ability to
live together and like one another. But this
ideal is a rarity.
One of the most obnoxious aspects of sorori-
ties is the need for a pin to identify each group.
It is a badge. for all the world to see, a sign that
"I am different"-better?-"than you" and "I
belong and you do not." It is the overt symbol of
the smugness that is implicit in a group which
excludes others from its ranks and shields it-
self from the cruel blows of the outside world
which may challenge its dearly held beliefs and
Only when people learn to live together in
' harmony-and this means all people-will this
planet be a safe and peaceful place to live.
The suffering we endure because we are human
beings and essentially alone is only intensified
by the alienation .we inflict upon one another.
College students who,we are told, hold the keys
to the future, should and must have'the cour-
age to open themselves to new ideas. In com-
ing to this. institution, each of us has made a
commitment to the betterment of ourselves
and others, to that which all moral persons
mrust ;attempt-the living of a full and honest
life with an open mind and heart."
FOR THESE REASONS, at once so philosophi-
cal and so applicable to daily life, a system
which stifles and prevents full exploration of
all the facets of university life, of all types of
people and ideas, must be damned.-
Not the least. of the sorority system's con-
temptible qualities .is.its underlying hyprocrisy.
It preaches sisterhood, yetteaches discrimina-
tion. It stands for sisterhood, yet many girls
laugh during initiation, knowing the absurdity

and meaninglessness of the words.
Perhaps those most to be ;pitied are the .girls
who truly like sorority life. They enjoy it liv-
ing as parasites on the securty and prestige it
gives them. They haven't the courage to break
loose and find true security in relationships
made because of their intrinsic worth rather
than because no one blackballed them.
In this university, for those with the courage
and initiative to seek them out, are fascinating
and valuable experiences. There is the chance
for development, maturity and intellectual
growth. Sororities may very well die out here as
more women realize that life is as wonderful
and complete when you make it for yourself

TWENTY-TWO sorority houses, now in the
midst of formal rush, face a real challenge
-can they reorient themselves to the Univer-
sity's more academic atmosphere?
Every year the selectivity of admissions re-
quirements becomes increasingly stringent,
producing an ever higher callibre of student.
Consequently, the quality of the rushee has im-
proved this year,
Mixers have demonstrated that these girls
know more about campus and about world
affairs than in past years. Conversation topics
are no longer limited to the weather, majors,
dormitories and boy friends.
Some of the rushees have shown a real
concern about :racial equality and member-
ship selection practices. The girls have not
been afraid to ask specific questions about the
individual houses and their practices-topics
socially tabooed in past years.
IF SORORITIES are going to maintain a po-
sition on this campus in the coming years,
they are going to have to follow the lead of
the rushees, who are perhaps more in tune
with the changing nature of the University.
There is no questioning the fact that soror-
ities no longer enjoy the security they once
had as student organizations. Each year the
number of rushees has decreased. And even
among the rushees, the more academic minded
individualists have been discouraged by the'
superficiality of rush.
No longer is sorority membership a pre-
requisite for a girl's social success. And even
social success is no longer given the priority
it enjoyed in the past. Today girls at the
University are preparing for careers, not just
attending a husband-factory.
If sororities are to survive they must at-
tempt not only to attract the present group
of more concerned rushees but also to interest
many girls who normally would not consider
going through rush.
INDIVIDUALS and serious students are des-
perately needed and wanted in many of the
more progressive sorority houses..
These are the houses that are trying to lead
the way out of the quagmire of superficiality
and status-quoism which is destroying many
chapters. Instead of refusing to rush, "think-
ing" individuals are the very girls who should
invade the sorority system to meet this de-
Fear of oppressive conformity is the main
factor discouraging many girls about the sys-
tem. But I am a liberal, a Daily night editor
and a sorority member and there is no in-
soluable moral or ideological conflict. In-
dividuality not conformity is the goal of a few
sororities' today, potentially a majority in the
next couple of years.
0 ATTRACT the individual, sororities must
open themselves to criticism and must re-
form in light of these criticisms. Openness not
closedness is what may save the system.
Certainly, the sorority has the most poten-
tial to be the antithesis to institutionalized
living of any type of housing offered on cam-
pus. A sorority house is not a dormitory
bureaucracy in which the student can get no
satisfaction. A sorority house is responsive-
the wishes of the girls are paramount.
When students are away from home, they are
looking for a place to live that can serve as
a real home-away-from-home. I have yet to
see anybody call Mary Markley home. The
sorority house comes closer to satisfying this
requirement for campus living than any other
type of housing.
THE SORORITY SYSTEM is far from per-
fect. The potential which might exist in the
system is only partially developed in, a few of
the houses and completely dormant in others.
However, it is impossible to expect sororities
to root out the ridiculous superficiality, anti-
intellectualism, prejudices, conservatism, and
secretive, ritualistic nature unless girls who rec-
ognize these problems swallow their pride and
go through the present inane rush system.
Once within the system with a little courage
and conviction it is possible for members to
work vigorously for local autonomy in mem-
bership selection. Girls must work to minimize

the role of the national organizations of the
various sororities. The national should merely
perform technical services for a confederation
of local chapters and serve as a clearing-house
for ideas from the locals.
nize that the idea of a sorority as a secret
social society must be abandoned. Certainly,
this is no longer a selling point for sororities.
There is a definite possibility to rid the sorority
of meaningless rituals. Hopefully a college girl
should be able to recognize any benefits of a
way of living without having. the principles
spelled out for her in the form of rituals.
There will always be some sororities that'
will try to tell their members what to wear,
whom to date and what activities to belong

The Spint is Weak
But the Flash is Filling
IN ADAPTING Melville's last novel, "Billy Budd," to the screen, Peter
Ustinov has chosen to relieve it of its fundamental allegorical mean-
ings and to reinvest them as strong moral overtones to a fine adven-
ture story. Happily enough, this spiritual evisceration renders only
two or three moments in the movie ambiguous.
The plot of the book is simple and well known (if not archetypal):
Billy Budd, a sailor impressed into British service (and also at once
the innocence of Adam before the fall and the goodness of Jesus
Christ) is maliciously accused by the ship's Master-at-arms, Claggart,
of conspiracy to mutiny. Claggart is the evil of the devil, a mixture of
Plato's Natural Depravity and Milton's Pale ire, envy and despair.
The boat's captain, Vere (who has the penultimate world-view of jus-
tice in the larger sense known mainly to God, Solomon, and some le-
gal philosophers), brings the two together for explanation. Confronted
with incontestable evil for the first time, Budd falls victim to his inevi-
table tragic flaw, a tongue-tie, and, not .being able to speak, strikes
Claggart dead on the spot. The Articles of War prescribe death for
striking a superior and Budd is hanged.
USTINOV'S CHANGES are necessary to transform the intimacy
and tightness of the book into a spectacle of a movie. He expands the
flamboyant aspects of some characters (Claggart's "dont, touch me,"
Budd's attempt to approach Claggart) and even adds characters
("Jenkins" and "Kincaid") to provide opportunities for the principals
to behave in ways that replace important descriptive passages in the
book. Where even this doesn't suffice, he makes old Dansker, who was,
in the book, only the voice of experience, here the voice of Melville.
But still the jealous hate of Claggart is not truly transmitted, his
motives for injuring Budd remain largely mysterious. Vere's dedica-
tion to a historical sense of justice which pits world order aganst in-
dividual expression, or even his personal power over the drumhead
court cannot be properly framed, and the decision to hang Billy,
though paying lip-service to the book, is nearly unintelligible in the
movie. Vere appears more Pharisaical than ever was intended.
The line "God bless Captain Yere" is impossible to deliver with any
meaning (indeed the audience laughed at it) and Billy's evangelical
power to transfix the crew is lost.
* * * *
BUT ALL THESE LOSSES are more than compensated by a vigor-
ous, well structured and well photographed sea-story. Uistinov's dialogue
and the really compelling acting of Robert Ryan, Terence Stamp, and
Utsinov himself make' "Billy Budd" a different production than the
novel, but one which in its own way is quite as rewarding. See it.
-Dick 'Pollinger





Investment, Education Assist Peninsula Recovery

THE UPPER Peninsula of Michi-
gan, long rated an econom-
ically depressed. area from one
end to the other, is struggling
toward recovery. Serious unem-
ployment has been with the penin-
sula for a long time because of
problems in the area's two basic
industries, mining and logging.
Now however these problems are
under intensive study at research
centers in Upper Peninsula col-
The progress madehin area re-
search is echoed by the growth of
the tourist industry, a new hope
for the future in UP economy.
Parallel to the rise in tourism was
the establishment of the Upper
submitted his budget for fiscal
1964. The total is $98.8 billion;
had he made it $99.9 billion, it
would sound even more like a
bargain basement. Of this tidy,
sum, $55.4 billion goes for "de-
fense." Space is to get $5.7 bil-
lion: the budget reads $4.2 for the
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, but this does not
include funds obligated. Most
space work, of course, is con-
nected with "defense" and U.S.
prestige in the cold war.. Of the
miscellaneous items, totaling over
$12 billion, it would be surprising
if some were not connected with
"defense"; where, for instance, is
the Central Intelligence Agency?
Thus ,the military budget alone,
viewed realistically, is headed for
the $60 billion mark and, at this
rate, will reach it in fiscal 1965.
* * *
WE BEHOLD here the climatic
splendor of Western civilization.
Nineteen hundred and sixty-three
years after Christ died on the
cross and in the third year of the
presidency of John F. Kennedy,
with culture enthroned in Wash-
ington and the Mona Lisa on dis-
play, upwards of $55 'illion-and
going up, up, up-is dedicated to
the sacred cause of mass slaughter..
-The Nation

Peninsula Committee on Area
Problems (UPCAP) -and "Opera-
tion Action-UP," two -organiza-
tions which are working to set up
specific redevelopment projects
and obtain federal funds to fi-
nance them.
can be traced largely to two
1) Logging companies have not
been able to utilize forest products
to the fullest benefit of the UP
economy because of the distance.
to large markets. Many corpora-
tions have failed to set up logging
operations after surveying the
area because of the high cost of
transporting finished goods over
the Straits of Mackinac to metro-
politan areas.
Unemployment follows when
established logging companies shut
down as transportation costs make
it impossible for them to compete
on a large scale with wood pro-
ducts imported from other parts
of the country and the world.
2) Several iron mines have been
forced to close, as have some cop-
per mines, and the amount of both
copper and iron mined each year
is decreasing. Most of the penin-
sula's high-grade ore has already
been mined and the cost of ex-
tracting what ore remains is pro-
hibitive with existing processes.
As a result, every year an alarm-
ing number of miners join the
ranks of the UP's unemployed.
* * *
HOWEVER, the peninsula has
recently developed answers to both
of these problems.
Prof. M. E. Volin of the Michi-
gan College of Mining and Tech-.
nology's minerals research depart-
ment has come up with a new
process that will give a fifth more
copper out of each ton of ore
mined. This process will do much
to support the cost of sinking
mine shafts deeper to get at ore
far under the land surface.
The problem of getting forest
products to a sizable market has
been by-passed with the'establish-
ment of small, localized wood pro-
ducts plants serving and suj-
porting only a portion of the UP's
Plants such as the one in Bar-

aga County, manufacturing wood
siding and related wood products,
have given work to whole towns
in the Upper Peninsula.
MUCH OF the upsurge in UP
economy is due to the new and
booming tourist industry. Caring
for the people who come to visit
and relax in the Upper Peninsula
is rapidly approaching the mining
and coal industries in importance
to the area's economy. Fresh air,
unlimited water resorces and ex-
cellent winter skisdg conditions
have the potential to make tne
Upper Peninsula cre of the na-
tion's most popu'sr year-round'
A total of about $i .5 million !n
federal aid from the Area Re-
development Adrunistration and
the Small Business Administra-
tion is being nought by private
concerns and individuals for the
improvement or construction of
peninsula ski areas.
* * *
the outgrowth of a week-long,
six-stop tour of the Upper Penin-
sula by civic leaders of both the
Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It
was organized by Edgar L. Harden,
president of Northern Michigan
College, and Walker Cisler, presi-
dent of Detroit Edison Company.
Operation Action-UP recently
announced plans to open a head-
quarters at Marquette and to staff
it with professionals from a New
York development consulting firm.
UPCAP is structured by coun-
ties, with representatives from 14
of the Upper Peninsula's 15 coun-
ties. Marquette county is not rep-,
resented. Each county organiza-
tion is empowered to develop. a
blueprint 'for economic redevelop-
ment projects in its own area.
UPCAP is sponsored by Michigan
State 'University and MSU exten-
sion agents play a leading role,
in the operation of the committee.
* * *
GROUPS IN the peninsula with'
a plan for business development
can work through UPCAP or Oper-
ation Action-UP in seeking fi-
nancial aid from governmental
units such as the ARA or SBA.
The ARA has already appropri-.
ated $125,000 for the drafting over

the next 18 months of an overall
economic development program for
the Upper Peninsula. ARA gave
the planning job to a Washington
firm specializing in economic
counseling and technical advice.
The firm is headquartered in Es-
canaba and is cooperating closely
with UPCAP.
Recently, the Michigan Legisla-
ture has paid close attention to
the economic state of the Upper
Rep. Gilbert Bursley (R-Ann
Arbor), chairman of the newly-
formed economic development
committee has called for the
drafting of a bill that would allow
banks to form a corporation and
make loans to people with ideas
for development projects but with
little collateral to back financing
of their ideas.
Bursley also said that the com-
mittee may try to introduce the
controversial Industrial Revenue
Bonding Act. Under this act, local
industries could sell municipal
bonds at a low cost because they
are tax exempt. Bursley noted
many opportunities for expansion
in Upper Peninsula business this
bill would make possible.
* * *
THE UP has one very important
but less obvious industry-higher
education. The area's colleges ex-
pect multimillion dollar expansion
over the next five years.
Michigan College of Mining and
Technology at Houghton and
Sault Ste. Marie, Northern Michi-
gan College at Marquette, Suomi
College in Hancock, Gogebic Jun-
ior College at" Ironwood and Es-
canaba's proposed Delta Commun-
ity College which won voter ap-
proval in the Nov. 6 election have
all seen tremendous increases' in
enrollment recently.
Enrollments at the four es-
tablished colleges have more than
tripled in the last 10 years-from
2,162 in 1952 to 7,467 in 1962 ac-
cording to the Associated Press.'
* * *
grant Northern Michigan College
recently established a training
center for workers in such needed
technical skills as welding, ca-
chine tool. operating and secre-
tarial services.

If future graduates from this
and similar programs at penin-
sula colleges can be induced to
stay and work in the Upper Penin-
sula, they will play a vital role
in the economic future of the re-
With programs such as UPCAP
and Operation Action-UP are
developing, with research like Prof.
Volin's and the research program
like the one at Michigan College
of Mining and Technology, with
training programs like the one at
Northern Michigan College and
with governmental aid to redevel-
opment projects the outlook for
the Upper Peninsula is very good.
The economy, which has been ail-
ing for so long, is sure to see a
turn for the better.
As Charity..
IF THE Procurator of the Soviet
Union were asked to speak on
civil liberties and devoted him-
self exclusively to denouncing
their infraction in the United
States, he would evoke snorts of
derision. This ,- in reverse -- is
.what Attorney General Robert
Kennedy did in his address before
the 10th anniversary of the Fund
for' the Republic's Centre for the
Study of Democratic Institutions.
The talk was to be on Civil Lib-
erties and the Cold War, but at the
last minute he changed this to
Civil Rights and the Cold War.
He did speak out strongly against
violations of civil liberties, but
only in the Soviet Union, South
Africa and Ghanal He said not
one word about their decline at
home, or our own need for a re-
fresher in Jeffersonianism. What
he had to say of the Soviet Union's
failings was quite true if - like
his jokes - hardly new. But only
to talk of the mote in the other
fellow's eye was less than Chris-
tian in a speech so well larded with
references to God. One of the
luncheon guests summed up the
disappointment when he said,
amid the weak spatter of barely
polite applause, "Well, we've just
won another victory in the cold


-I. F. Stone's BI-Weekly


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