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May 02, 1963 - Image 4

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

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Setnty-Thid Yean
Troth Will Preval"

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



Fall Sorority Rush:
A GiantStumble Backwards

IlqE SORORITY" SYSTEM may be on the
brink of taking one step forward and two
steps backwards. F
The step forward is Panhellenic Association's
re-evaluation of its present rushing procedure.
Sorority rush has had the effect of perpetuat-
ing the large, name houses and undermining
the small, less-known sororities. Panhel has
finally realized that if the system is going to
try to save these smaller sororities whose
membership has been dropping annually, a
new approach to rush is essential.
However, the current movement to revive
fall rush is certainly a large step backward.
In 1957, the sorority system adopted deferred
rush. Previously, University women had been
able to pledge a house during their first
semester on campus. Although fall rush had
effectively filled sorority quotas, both affiliated
and non-affiliated women decided to scrap fall
pledging in order to allow freshmen more op-
portunities to adjust to the campus and aca-
demics before being thrust into the social whirl
of sorority rushing and pledging.
NOW THAT the foundations of the sorority
system are being-questioned by University
women-who are now even more interested
in the academic than the social-Panhel is
grasping at the straws of old ideas to pull
itself out of the membership slump.
On Tuesday the presidents and rush chair-
men of each house iet on the spur of the
moment to consider the concept of fall rush.
The Panhel rushing committee has been work-
ing for about two months to devise improve-
ments in general membership selection pro-
cedures. After much discussion, the commit-
tees decided to take a straw vote of sorority
leaders on the fall rush concept. It is reported
that about four-fifths of those present gave
fall rush the nod.
But the only concrete proposal coming out of
the meeting was that each house should be
polled on the issue. Yesterday sorority members
were asked to vote on substituting fall rush
for the present spring rushing procedure or
on alternatives. The sororities could consider
proposals such as a fall rush for upperclass-
men and spring rush for all women or any
other idea the girls wish to suggest.
pANHEL PRE8IDENT Pat* Elkins and Pan-
hel's advisor, Mr's. Elizabeth Leslie, have
stressed that this poll was merely an expres-
sion of opinion and not binding. However, if
the houses rallied behind the concept of fall
rush as the presidents and rush chairmen did
the night before, it would seem to be a clear
mandate to Panhel to amend the rushing
If formal fall rush is, as early rumors have
indicated, the outcome, it would be interesting
to see how Panhel will counter its own argu-
ments of 1957 supporting deferred rush..
Panhel will probably argue that spring rush.

was an experiment that failed and that it is
more important to preserve the system than
to preserve the ideal of allowing freshmen a
semester to orient themselves to the campus.
Panhel will probably say that the freshman is
no better able to make up her mind in January
or February than she is in September.
The only valid argument of the lot is that
the present spring rush is an experiment that
failed. It failed not because of the time of
year, but because the sorority system was not
able to counter and dispell the criticisms of
sorority living.
Instead of changing the date of rush and
keeping some of 'the same old rushing pro-
cedures which will, after the novelty of fall
rush wears off, continue to work against the
small house, Panhel should work to informalize
its rushing procedure. It should root out the
superficiality of mixers. Sororities should sub-
stitute a system by which women could see
what sorority life is really like. Rushees
shouldn't feel pressured to join out of ignor-
ance of the requirements of campus social life.
RIGHT NOW Panhel has before it a better
answer than fall rush to save the small
house from dying and ease rushing procedures
for all the sororities-informal rush.
This. spring, four houses have made very
successful use of informal rushing. One house
has gained almost as many pledges in the in-
formal structure as it did in the formal period.
This plan eliminates all the rigmarole of
skits, fancy decorations and mint-passing. New
rush rules may well cut down on these. Girls
are simply invited over to the house for a
meal and allowed to look anywhere in the,
house and to see the girls in actual living
situations. No advanced house-cleaning or
menu are planned.
Such a realistic approach to rush is what
the system needs. There is no denying that
the informal method has its problems in find-
ing women with interest for all houses and
in making sure that a house in better financial
condition refrains from out-doing the other
sororities. Panhel would have to do just as
much preliminary work to institute such a plan
as it" would to start fall rush this September
because informal rush is a totally new ap-
IF SORORITY WOMEN do decide in favor of
the old fall rush, hopefully they will restrict
it to upperclassmen. The only argument for
allowing freshmen to rush early is that the#
sororities want to grab them before they have
had time'to gain a real knowledge of what
sororities can offer them at the University.
This is a short-sighted approach at an institu-
tion that is trying to develop individuals cap-
able of critical evaluations based on evidence
and experience.
Acting Associate City Editor

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
second of a two-part series on
techniques of managed news.)
MANAGED NEWS is no black-
and-white matter. Sometimes
what are cited as techniques of
news management are actually
helpful and sometimes they are
It is hard to differentiate be-
cause news management often
overlaps with citizen education. As
Prof. Sidney Fine of the history
department stresses, a president
has a duty to educate the people;
so does all of his administration
and so do senators and congress-
men and their staffs. In a democ-
racy it is a function of government
to bring issues to the people and
to provide a significant amount {of
Put your name on the mailing
list of the Superintendent of Docu-
ments and you will receive at least
twice a week a long list of new
government publications. T h e y
range from "Arms Control and
Disarmament" to "Library Service
for Rural People" to "A Pocket
Guide to Viet Nam" to "Steam-
Electric Plant Construction Cost
and Annual Production Expenses."
* * *
WRITE THE Department of
State for information about aid
to Venez ela and you may get
several pounds of booklets rang-
ing from "Alianza Para El Pro-
greso, The Record of Punta Del
Este" to "Operations Report,
Agency for International Develop-
ment" to "Report of the First
Annual Review of the Alliance for
In his speech about news man-
agement toSigma(Delta Chi, Rep.
George Meader (R-Mich) com-
plained about "the multitude of
public relations officers" who
make "the grinding out of infor-
mation" by the government "a big
business." M e a d e r specifically
complained about press handouts.
* * *
HIS COMPLAINTS should have
been praise for the vast effort of
modern federal government to
provide information to the press
and the people means a realiza-
tion of government's educational
role. This vast effort is usually


Opinion or Propaganda?

To The Editor

But it can become sinister if a
too powerful government turns its
machine from information to dis-
torted propaganda. In between
these two is the gray matter of
having press releases sprinkled
with quotations from the president
for the purpose of "showing his
compassion for the people."
This is gray matter because of
the conflicting values of straight
information and opinion. In a
democratic society based on a
libertarian way at arriving at de-
cisions, opinion is good. and if
opinion is news management then
the latter is a good thing too. The
administration shall propose, the

news management, His voice was
more needed earlier.
THE DANGER of the informa-
tional kind of news management'
is not too much information but
not enough. The danger lies in the
distortion that results from hiding
some of the news or releasing none
at all. Then people are left to
wonder and they get wrong im-
pressions about what is going on.
This is how the doctrine of ex-
ecutive, privilege in particular and
secrecy in general are wrong.
But even these concerns are
gray matters. While executive
privilege can increase the coverup
that is contrary to the democratic
notion of an open society, it can-
and did-counteract dangers like
Mc arthyism. And while secrecy
,denies the citizenry its full means
of making sound judgments, once
in a while it can be defended on
the grounds of national security.
The real evil in this kind of news
management is for a government
official to release that part of the
news that will boost his personal
fortunes and hide the rest merely
because it will hurt himself.
YET TO EXPECT otherwise is
to hope in vain for human beings
are definitely human. Each man
has a vested interest in his own
job; the appointed official does
not want to get too controversial,
the elected official does not want
unfavorable publicity and the re-
porter wants all he can get be-
cause the more he can get, the
better is he fulfilling his role as
a gatherer and transmitter of
So what results is pushing, pull-
ing and tugging, and maybe this
is the way it should be between
government and the press. But the
press should remember that the
government is not the only man-,
ager of the news and the govern-
ment should remember that the
public has a right to know and
the opposition party has a right
to criticize.
If "news management" is at-
tempted with this in mind, it be-
comes even more of a gray matter
than it already is. Neither black
nor white, "news management,"
like almost everything else in life,
is a question of shadows. Plato's
cave is where government works
and newsmen visit. ,

To the Editor:
CARL COHEN'S editorial "A
Worthwhile Challenge" was
provoked by a letter sent to the
Challenge membership. In spite
of misquoting a passage in the
beginning paragraph, his partial
understanding of that letter and
of our subsequent conversation is
reflected in four accurately re-
ported points: 1) the letter states
that "the President's office had
been prepared to subsidize Chal-
lenge generously," warranting
Cohen's observation that "the
University coughed up a $3000 ap-
propriation"; 2) "The Complexion
of American Morality" will not be
presented this spring; 3) there is
a meeting this Friday to discuss
the fate of the organization; and
4) both Cohen and I feel that
Challenge is "worth saving." But
the editorial does not correspond
any further to the information
that he got either from the letter
or from our conversation.
The membership notice clarifies
why "The Complexion of American
Morality" did not materialize. It
points to "a sheaf of rather grim
'letters from invited speakers,"
and, most importantly, to the un-
manageable nature of the topic.
It explains that, in spite of warn-
ings from knowledgeable campus
leaders and faculty, "I felt that
extremely careful organization
could structure the unwieldly mass
of material involved." I was very
Cohen states that "little explan-
ation (about the failure of the
program) was made other than
an apathetic public and a disin-
terested organization." That is
patently false. No one ever com-
plained about n indifferent au-
dience or membership. In fact,
the letter explicitly states the rea-
sons: "At that one panel discus-
sion last fall, the futility of our
participants' attempts to present
a coherent analysis of the pro-
gram foreshadowed the difficulties
that we subsequently encounter-
ed." That panel discussion was
very well attended and the Chal-
lenge staff prepared it with the
spirit and diligence that they
maintained throughout the school
year. There was no apathy any-
* * *
THE WHOLE POINT is that, as
the letter admits, "in conceiving
of a program thathwould sub-
stantially. examine the tenor of
ethics in this country in a one
semester series of lectures," I di-
rected the organization to an issue

that just cannot be presented in
any way approaching the stan-
dards set by former Challenge
Cohen refers to a Saturday Re-
view article that praises Challenge
as an active, worthwhile organ-
ization. My letter, in discussing
that article, states that "in light
of the present situation the irony
is rather brutal." It continues to
point out that "there is simply
no justification whatsoever for
perpetuating the organization just
to escape that irony." Challenge
exists when a presentable idea
exists, when an issue of vital con-
cern like civil rights or emerging
nations can be profitably exterior-
ized. If the people who attend
Friday's meeting can provide con-
tent for a structure that is mean-
ingless without its substance, they
might contribute immeasurably to
this community.
-Ron Newman, '63
To the Editor;
THE CURRENT dispute over
recording of police questioning
in Ann Arbor may also be raised
state-wide in Illinois. Civil liber-
tarians here definitely favor re-
cordings and will probably attempt
to add a section requiring their
use to the proposed criminal pro-
cedure code now before the Gen-
eral Assembly.
A report earlier this year by the
Civil Rights Committee of the
Chicago Bar Association called for
recordings "to eliminate the dis-
putes which inevitably arise under
present practices about the con-
duct of interviews between the
police and persons they have
taken into custody. A record .. .
should protect the police against
false charges of improper conduct,
and accused persons against un-
fair treatment."
* * .
of the American Civil Liberties
Union shouldn't be afraid of giv-
ing strong support to the new-
fangled equipment. Its concern
should be with two factors: the
persons being held should be in-
formed recordings are b e i n g
made and city law should require
all questioning be recorded.
This would allow the tapes to
help the accused. as well as the
police by giving proof of any
illegal policebtactics in the "twi-
light' zone" before they take the
case to court, where procedures
are more definite.
--Dick Ostlling, '62

... press handouts

opposition party shall oppose, and
if the give-and-take between them
is regarded as attempts at news
management, then let us have
more of it.
If the facts used are correct
and if the only slant is in the
opinion expressed, then the rem-
edy is not to cry out "news man-
agement" but to join the discus-
sion. This is what Meader should
have done. He was invited to a
regional conference on the policies
of the New Frontier. Instead of
going and challenging the advo-
cates of the New Frontier, he
stayed home, saving his dismay for
a Sigma Delta Chi discussion of

and newsmen visit.


Students, Politically Unconscious


Cm un~ellin v Withoniut Cl"'l

JOINT JUDICIARY Council is getting a new
constitution. Although 'far superior to the
old one, a number of important criticisms have
been made of the document and these criti-
cisms deserve an airing.
The most fundamental objection to the new
constitution is that it fails to give the student
offender facing the council the same legal.
protection he would be entitled to in a court
of law. No transcripts of the hearings are kept,
the student is not given the right to engage
counsel and his right to call and question wit-
nesses is limited, though there are exceptions.
As most objections to the new constitution
lie in the premise that students should be
granted these legal provisions, it is most im-
portant to decide if Joint Judic is in grave
error for not providing them."
Tf -ARGUMENTS against their inclusion
are one or more of the following: the Uni-
vetsity is a public corporation in the eyes of
the state and is entitled to treat students in
the manner it sees fit in areas relevant to its
role as an educational institution; Joint Judic
is more a counselling agency than a court of
law and therefore has no need for legal
methodology; Joint Judic does follow legal
practices but those of the continental tradition
rather than the Anglo-American.
These assertions appear to be both contra-
dictory and of questionable validity.
To assert that the University may treat
students however it wishes is a questionable
legal doctrine. Furthermore, it is beside the
point, for the new constitution was drawn up
by students who believe in student rights and
who felt that their document embodies them.
They cannot revert to an argument on Uni-
versity authority.
JOINT JUDIC may try to be a counselling
agency but any group that hears evidence,
reaches verdicts and fines or expells those
brought before it is in fact some sort of court.
It may be argued that the council's primary
role is to counsel, that to judge is secondary
and~ that nv moreie ~nrnoe 41- th a i i..r

JL WJLJLV SAL v R.AV w 1i1Jt11

There are still numerous objections to this
stand, however. Joint;Judic is considered to be
a court by those who go before it, and the
threat of fine or suspension would seem to
make it difficult for an offender to regard the
council as a friend intent on helping him. That
the council is composed of his peers could also
do more to harm than good. Then, too, even
if Joint Judic were a court, it would not be
prohibited from acting as a counsel, as
municipal court judges often do.
Council chairman Lawrence Schwartz main-
tained that Joint Judic only penalized people
to "make an impression" and few would deny
that to penalize offences is often necessary, but
to combine the judicial and counselling func-
tions in a body void of much due process would
appear to be the worst way to arrange things..
AT THIS POINT the third premise, that the
council does follow legal procedures, is
brought in. It is true that European justice
is patterned along the same lines as those
proposed for Joint Judie. It also may well be
true that judicial procedure in these systems,
where there is not the rigorous and often
showman and shoddy atmosphere of two bitter
antagonists, is a fair or more so than the Anglo-
American system.
Unfortunately, however, just at the point
where the new constitution's philosophy is
ready to carry the day, we notice that Joint
Judic reverts to American- legal procedure in
cases where suspension or expulsion is a possi-
bility. This could indicate either that the mem-
bers of Joint Judic do not have faith in the
continental system of justice on really import-
ant issues or they fear that their verdicts might
be overruled by the courts if they do not use
American practices. The most likely case is
the former, though a council member would
probably argue that the defects of continental
justice were worth putting up with in all but
the most important of cases because the pri-
mary function of counselling is easier with this
system. Needless to say, we then revert back to
the questionable premise concerning a counsel-



UNITED STATES education does
not foster a socially and politi-
cally conscious student class. In
fact, it does not stimulate any
type of student class at all.
This point was dramatically,
driven home at the United States
National Student Association's re-
gional conference held last week
at Wayne State University. On
one side of the room sat stu-
dents educated under the Euro-
pean system of education. They
were from Asutralia, Brazil, Mo-
rocco, Iraq and the Congo. On the
other side of the room s stu-
dent leaders from the Uniersity,
Marygrove College and WSU. And
the foreign students stumped the
Americans with one question:
"What have you done?"
The foreign students have been
educated in a system where stu-
dents and universities are shown
great respect. They are from so-
cieties where students form power-
ful political and social units.
These students were now ques-
tioning an alternative system. The
mute fact that only three schools
out of nine in the Michigan re-
gion bothered to attend spoke for
* * *
WHILE the foreign participants
could point to vocal and effective
student actions in their countries,
American students could only
point to impotent telegrams sent
to Attorney General Robert Ken-
nedy over the Oxford rebellion.
. John Felix Koli of the Congo
noted that students form an in-
tellectual elite in his country and
"when we say something, the gov-
ernment must listen; we act just
like a political party."
In Iraq, a teacher slapped an
insolent child. The child happened
to be the son of a government of-
ficial's son and conseq.ently the
teacher was dismissed. After stu-
dent demonstrations and strikes,
the teacher was reinstated. Besides
mild student protests, no such
action ever occurs in the United
WHILE STUDENTS and univer-
sities hold high places of distinc-
tion in Europe, they hold no com-
parable positions in the United
States. Here, colleges are por-
trayed as ivory towered castles
which are apart from the society
in which they reside. Professors
are supposed to write academic
treatises but are prohibited from
speaking out against Kennedy's
policy toward Cuba.
Within this cloistered frame-
work, American students absorb
knowledge but take no part in the
politics surrounding them. Some
stetsiin~ be na ivrn.',, a ~..,.

ed "What has it done?" Neglect-
ing the national scope of the or-
ganization, hewished to know
what it had done on the campus
and regional level. After many
hems and haws, a WSU student
leader admitted that even at the
campus level nothing very much
had been done.
But this lack of accomplish-
ment is not solely confined to
WSU. Recently a University lead-
er came to The Daily and asked
the paper to "play big" the newly
established Campus Travel Board.
The board is im;;>ortant because
it is one of USNSA's direct ben-
efits to students here on campus,
she said.
Foreign travel can be of great
educational value. But what else
does USNSA do to influence stu-
dents at large?
S * * *
CHAIRMAN of the Michigan
Region Howard Abrams noted that
USNSA's broadly based member-
ship makes it nearly impossible for

the organization to become any-
thing like its European and Latin
American counterparts. By ridding
USNSA of fringe groups, this or-
ganization would no doubt become
smaller but also more active.
Across the South, colleges belong
to a more conservative organiza-
tion than USNSA. This group
stands firmly behind the doctrine
of "states' rights." Their beliefs
differ greatly from those held by
USNSA. In that they are united
firmly behind a cause, this group
comes closer to Europe's National"
Union of Students than NSA.
Students could be made more
politically conscious through an
organization which actively tries
to implement its goals. When
American student leaders can
point to accomplishments of their
respective organizations, then stu-
dents will become more interested.
When these organizations actu-
ally do something, American lead-
ers can proudly answer a foreign
student's question of "What have
you done?"

sponse to our call to check the
Communists in Laos and to uphold
the Geneva accord of 1961, we
shall have a measure of his power
and influence in southern Asia.
Two years ago, when he 'met the
President in Vienna and agreed
with him that Laos should be neu-
tral and uninvolved in the cold
war, Mr. Khrushchev was still the
leader and big boss of communism
in Asia.
Is he still the big boss and the
leader? Much has happened in the.
past two years. The biggest event
was they Chinese attack on India.
There is reason for thinking that
the disturbance, in Laos as well

you done?"

A Me re of Pwer

"What Do You Mean, I Can't Take It With Me?"

as the mounting pressure of the
guerrillas in South Viet-Nam are
part of-the same Chinese thrust
to the south.
Does Mr. Khrushchev still have
the power and influence to over-
rule the Chinese? Presumably-
for we can only speculate-the
controlling fact is that the Rus-
sians and the Chinese, though
they have conflicting interests and
theories, cannot break with each
other. This probably means that
the Chinese can go some way, but
not a very long way, against India
and Southeast Asia and, beyond
that, against Indonesia. T'h e
Chinese cannot force the issue in
Asia to a point where not only
they, but the Soviet Union as well,
would be brought into a major
nuclear confrontation with the
United States.
*** *
Russians cannot afford to exert
the kind of economic and military
pressure on China which will be
needed to prevent the Chinese
from nibbling their way forward
into southern Asia.
In the short view, there is the
possibility of a patch-up arrange-
ment which will put off a show-
down. Laos is still too far from
everybody, from the Soviet Union,
from the United States and even
from China, to make it a good
place for a showdown.
In the long run, the Chinese
will surely keep on moving. With,
their birth rate and their poverty,
they are sure to push outward.
Assam, East Pakistan, Burma,
Southeast Asia and Indonesia are
rich, poorly defended, highly sus-
ceptible and very tempting. The
Soviet Union will at the same time
become increasingly concerned
about its long, frontier with China
and about the security of the'"ter-
ritories which were once under
Chinese suzerainty.
* * ,
opments are taking place' in the
Communist world, we and our
allies have got ourselves into such
a mess that France and the United
States are seriously estranged. We
ought to be ashamed of ourselves.
We have let our relations degener-
ate to a point where the President
of the United States is planning
to visit Italy, Germany and Ire-
land and to avoid London, lest a


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