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March 16, 1961 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-03-16

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.dents Interviewed Criticize Houses

ing questions and re-
esent a sampling from
vered by the Survey
pinion in East Quad-



rangle, June 1960.
The section on study opportu-
nites ascertained that most of the
students interviewed did their
studying in their rooms and were
in favor of quiet hours, although
they differed as to who should
enforce quiet hours-staff, stu-
dents or a combination.
Do you feel that it is impor-
tant for a house to attempt to
create an atmosphere in which
study can take place?
Respondent 1: It's not that im-
portant. The general atmosphere
in the quad is not that conducive
to. study. Quiet hours is a farce.
The residence halls are to live in.
Study is not one of the important
functions of the quad.
Respondent 28: Definitely. But
the atmosphere for study should
not shut out other things. There
should be balance.
Respondent 34: Yes, very impor-
tant. Something is lacking in this
University system, there's not
enough' intellectual- atmosphere.;
There are too many distractions.
Scholastic achievement is not en-

couraged. Students are not chal-
lenged. There is no incentive to
study. Atmosphere is important,
and there is a lot more to this
than atmosphere ...
* , *
In the section on house and
quadrangle facilities, the students
commented negatively on dining
facilities, dress regulations, Ben-
zinger Library, 'the phone system,
laundry facilities, the vending
room, the recreation room, maid
service, general maintenance and
restrictions on Women guests in
the residence halls.
Do you have any comments,
about the dining room? Food.
Dress XRegulations. The Gen-
eral Environment.
Respondent 3: The food can be
improved mainly with food plan-
ning . . . Have a questionnaire
once each month to plan the
menus closer to what the. men
want. The .general attitude of the
dietitian should, be directed more
to the men and their likes. Now
the dietitians are just doing things
that we have to put up with.
Respondent 28: The people in
the business 'office are a bunch of
idiots. They don't know what's
going on. They have their noses

Quad Residens Find Fault
With Living' Experience'

buried so far in the rule books
that they don't know a damned
thing about the students - and
they care less. The food Is pretty
good as institutionalized food goes
- .'. The people who run the
kitchen are incompetent-I know,
I've worked there, and I've eaten
in the dining rooms . . . The din-
ing room is not really homey; it's
a cafeteria.
Respondent 31: It's the little
,things that get me. Dirty silver-
ware, dirty coffee cups, dirty din-
nerware in general . . . The main
thing about the dining room is
really the main thing that's wrong
with the quad business people:
they just don't give one damn
about the student. The students,
they seem to feel, are here for the
business office-all they seem to
do- is smile and smack the stu-
dents in the face at the same
time ..
Respondent 33:.The food is fine.
I don't agree with the dress regu-
lations, they don't go with an aca-
demic institution in which study
should take place. Who are we
getting dressed up for?.
Respondent 40: My main com-
plaint about the dining room is the
lack of sanitary considerations .. .
The only sanitation they know
is boiling the devil out of food so
that the ,germs are gone and so,
is the taste. The dining room has
the facilities, the money, the help
-the 'only thing that's wrong, is
the managing of it-the business
office in this quad is completely'
incompetent-the 500 men com-
plaining about the food can't be
that negative that their com-'
plaints don't mean anything to
a business manager who seems to
be eating good enough elsewhere,
* * *
Only one of the interviewees
said he used Benzinger Library
"fairly often." Some 73 per cent,
of, the respondents had never used
it, and 25 per cent used it seldom
or infrequently.
Students interviewed generally
thought some change could im-
prove the quad phone system, and
that operators were poor; that the
too-few laundry facilities broke
down too often; that the recrea-
tion room was inadequate and un-
inviting ("not the place I'd bring
a date"); that maid service was
of questionable value, and that
regulations governing women
guests were too stringent.
Do you have any comments
about restrictions governing
women guests in the men's
residence halls?
Respondent 4: As it .is now, it's
quite fine . . . Nothing improper
has or will go on. There's too much,
anxiety about this around here.
The hours as they are now are
Respondent 20 With this

SThe Respondents

For the Student Opinion Survey of the East Quadrangle,
five resident advisers were asked to select eight students in
their houses.
Each resident adviser judged the student's attitude toward
the residence halls, his activity in the house, the relative posi-
tiveness or negativeness of -his opinion and whether or not his
opinion was to be respected.
For each of the five areas'of consideration the large major-
ity of the students were judged to have characteristics which
would insure the validity of the responses.
More than half of those interviewed were either active or
fairly active in house activities. Greater than 65 per cent were
judged by their resident advisers to criticize positively, and the
student's opinions were respected by the resident adviser in
more than 75 per cent of the cases.
Most of the interviewees were unsure of their future oc-
cupational aims; about half were in the literary college and
a fourth in engineering school. Sixteen were freshmen, 12 sopho-
mores, 7 juniors and five seniors.


(Continued from P-ge 1)

I- ,


wrap the students not in swad-
dling clothes but rather in num-
erous restrictions-perhaps all de-
signed to make life more conven-
ient and comfortablehfor the stu-
dent, but many of them boomer-
ang and leave the student feeling.
guarded, unhappy and limp."
The students "responded vigor-
ously" to the questions asked on
the survey. Scheub described their
feelings:' "We can study in. the
residence halls, they said, and we
think that it's important for the
residen9e halls to maintain a good
study atmosphere. But the food is
not especially good, and facilities
in general are not what they could
be; maid service, for example, is
bad, and maintenance leaves much
to be desired.
Programs Ineffective
"Student government is not
what it could be; ,even though we
do' not feel the staff intervenes
too much, the programs, while
necessary, are ineffective," , he
continues. "There should be more
faculty-student contact in the res-
idence halls and, while bull ses-
sions are valuable, the residence
halls have not contributed that
much to cur education.

"While we generally agree that
freshmen should remain in the
residence halls for their first year
at college, we do feel that things
could be made more pleasant -
like allowing women in the dorms
Students Unheard
Scheub noted that students do
not have enough to say about the
running of the residence halls, and
that the administration "is quite
pleased with student opinion so
long as student opinion does :not
cross administrative opinion."
As an example of how student
opinion may prove helpful, he
pointed out that of the 40 stu-
dents interviewed only one fre-
quently used Benzinger Library,
and 29 have never used it.". ..
One may be caused to wonder
about the wisdom of pouring $10,-
000 into that enterprise in the
next three years."
Concluding, he says: ". . . if the
residence halls are indeed stifling
individual initiative by choking
student opposition, student criti-
cism, student protest, student sug-
gestion, then the residence halls,
have indeed become oppressive,
paternalistic, domineering."

younger generation has come a
loosening of moral concepts, a
much more liberal 'attitude than
that possessed by the people who
are imposing the restrictions.)
There is a great difference, for
example, between our director and
many students in East Quad . .. I
would favor a lessening of regula-
tions as they exist-allowing more
freedom . . . Certain minimum
must be set by the staff
and enforced. The minimum
should be lowered.
Respondent 31: Strictly from
the nineteenth century. The fra-
ternities are feudal, the residence
halls are Victorian-this is an
anachronism that can be avoided
only by moving into an apart-
* * *.
Under the section on student
government, attitudes toward
house government and judic and
other student organizations were
sampled. An approximate 50-50
split marked student evaluations
of the effectiveness or ineffec-
tiveness of house student govern-
ment, with a higher effectiveness
attributed to judic. It was gen-
erally felt that there is not too
much staff intervention in these
governing bodies, with a few vio-
lent dissents.
Do you feel that there has
been too much staff interven-
tion in the house student gov-
ernment? In activities? In Ju-
Respondent 8: No staff inter-
vention at all.
Respondent 9: The staff does
not intrude. There are bounds as
to what the council can do, and
the staff sees to it that the stu-
dents' do not exceed those bounds.
The staff helps the council more
than it hinders it.
Respondent 16: Judic is a pup-
pet of the staff.
Respondent 22: There is much
too much staff intervention in
everything. The staff doesn't take
enough; things to judic. Discipli-
nary cases are too much handled
by the staff without giving this
responsibility to the students. In
other areas, no, there is not much
staff intervention; if there is, it
has certainly been subtle enough.
* * *
Respondent 30: There is defi-
nitely too much staff intervention
in student judiciary. There is not
enough staff intervention in the
house activities.

Responses regarding house pro-
grams mainly stressed the freedom
of choice of participants, but in-
dicated a feeling that these pro-
grams are necessary. A need for
more faculty contact with quad
residents emerged, and bull ses-
sions were endorsed.
Do you feel that there is too
much "gungho-ism" in the,
residence halls? Too much
apathy? What are your feel-
ings about house programs?
Essential? Mickey Mouse? Do
you have any specific feelings
about, the major program
areas inthe house-social,
academic and cultural, ath-
Respondent 30: There are two
extremes of gunho-ism in the res-
idence halls: there is no gungho-
ism among those who will not be
coming back; and those who are
coming back are obnoxious in the
extent of it . . . The guys who
could carry the residence halls
look elsewhere because of all the
restrictions, because new ideas are
limited and discouraged-so you
get discouraged, you give up be-
cause you have to fight too much
here to get anything, and it's not
worth it.
Respondent 31. There's not
enough spirit in the residence
halls-and the main reason for
the lack of spirit is that the stu-
dents do not have any strong
identification for the residence
halls and the programs . . . the
students have very little say in
the running of their residence
halls. They've become the victims
of staff people who become petty
in carrying out regulations and
the business office which exists
for its own purposes-and not for
the student. Whether you like it
or not, the residence halls have
the air of being hotels-and not
much more.
Respondent 36: The residence
halls are too jail-like. I feel hedg-
ed in; there are regulations con-
stantly held over my head. I had
twice as much freedom at home as
I do here...
Interviewees' comments gener-
ally favored the requirement that
freshmen live in residence halls.
One of the philosophies of
forcing freshmen to reside in
the residence halls is that for
at least nine months out of
his college career, the student
will be forced to live with peo-



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