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May 14, 1961 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-05-14

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SUNDAY, MAY 14, 1961 . I



Profile: John Feldkamp

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the.
third in a series of 'articles on
students whoshave been leaders in
major student organizations this
Editorial Director
"If these people want to change
the University lecture policy, they
have to sit down and write a By-
law, get support for it and submit
it to the Regents," retiring Student
Government Council President
John Feldkamp says.
"The Regents just don't write
out new Bylaws; getting it before
them In writing would be more
effective than just screaming
about it."
John's political personality
emerges from such remarks: a
conservatism of approach, but not
of goals or ideals; a considered,
evolutionary effort to effect
change through established chan-

These characteristics are two-
fold: it has a broad, clear area of
responsibility marked out in the
SGC plan; and with some changes
(also foreseen in the plan), it willi
have administrative machinery
equipped to handle many functions
now under the dean's offices or
the Office of Student Affairs.
Proposed Reorganization
Few other student governments
have fixed responsibilities forcing
them to grasp their problems and
work them out on a student level.
John recently presented SGC
with a proposal for reorganizing
the committee structure of the
Council, expanding the number of
administrative personnel and add-
ing an informational function to
the administrative wing's staff.
This change would facilitate ad-
ministrative detail work, freeing
Council members for long-range
examination of the Council's
operation as well as that of other
student organizations.
More Functions
"Fraternity and sorority con-
stitutions and social events, regis-
tration of student organizations-
until these functions are brought
under SGC, Council members
won't realize the full scope of
SGC," John emphasized.
John's career in student gov-
ernment was augmented by in-
volvement in National Student As-
sociation affairs. He is currently
chairman of the National Execu-
tive Committee of NSA, a broad
confederation of college student
governments whose policies are
aimed at guiding, not binding, its
nearly 400 member schools.
NSA Took Valid Stands
The stands taken by NSA at the
National Student Congress in Min-
neapolis last August were valid,
John believes, but the potential
effectiveness of the Association
was hurt by lack of objectivity at
the Congress.
"NSA must stay representative
-it's the only student organiza-
tion of its kind in the world that
isn't dominated by special inter-
ests. The Association is only as
much as its component delegates
from member schools, not its of-
ficers; if both officers and mem-
ber schools put respect for the
ideals of the organization fnre-
most, its leadership potential
would gain acceptance on the
campus level."
Similarly, John feels lack of
competition is hurting Michigan
politics. He freely admits that af-
ter law school he will enter par-
tisan politics ("I'm pretty Repub-
lican-oriented") but feels that par-
ties in Michigan are moving to
Democrats' Wins
The number of politicians go-
ing Democratic because they're
winning elections "doesn't breed
good government," he said. "The
Republicans will have to give up
or change," John added.
He wants a solid background
with a law firm from which to
enter the political arena. "Par-
tisanship isn't a valid single cri-
terion for political background."
Besides, John continues, he
wants to settle down and be a
family man (which will never hurt

him politically.) He is pinned
("almost engaged-just a matter
of money") to Barbara Condon, a
Pi Phi who celebrated her twenty-
first birthday last Saturday.
One of his most significant ex-
periences this year was member-
ship in Michigamua, senior men's
honorary society.
'Tribe' Value
The value of the "Tribe" to each
member consists in how he par-
ticipates, John said-the group's
success lies in the interaction of
sues of campus-wide importance,
the members.
Open expression or views on is-
diversity of opinion and feedback
communication contribute to the
combined drive which engenders
student action.
John would like to get away
from tapping orgies (a relatively
new manifestation) and emphasis
on personalities within the honor-
ary, but stresses the continuing
tie with the University and the
wellspring of alumni loyalty which
Michigamua provides. The worth
of constructive alumni support
cannot be overstated, he thinks.
Lose Uniqueness
John fears that the University
will lose its uniqueness if it ex-
pands as planned. "Huge class
members regard the University as
an educating machine, not a
unique institution." John thinks
the alumni of the University and
other means of private support
can be solicited in proportion to
Michigamua has increased his
opportunities for communication
with University administrators and
faculty, as well as fellow student
Vintage Racoon Coat
An interesting example of Stu-
dent-administrative interaction on
an informal level centers around
a mellow, vintage raccoon coat.
It once belonged to Assistant
Dean of Men John Bingley, an
acquaintance of Feldkamp's on
and off the job; it now graces the
shoulders of Barbara Condon,
John's "old high-school sweet-
Its sentimental value to Barbara
couldn't be higher if it were
vicuna. If John's estimate con-
cerning his future is conservative,
"Barbara's fully prepared to be
first lady," a Pi Phi soror declares.
Fraternity Man
An active fraternity man (Delta
Upsilon), John has lived three
years in the house. In fact, his
career in student government
might never have begun. He ran
for SGC following a house vote
in which John missed the presi-
dency by one vote to become vice-
He had dropped working on a
Union committee to run foi the
house office, and the supporters
who asked him to run for Coun-



... NSA official

... SGC president

cil treasurer knew him in that
"Gerber asked me to run, and I'd
learned it was bad politics to re-
fuse a nomination. When nomina-
tions started, notes began flying--
I started trying to write myself
a speech." From treasurer John
became SGC president.
SGC Most Important
Although he was twice rushing
chairman for his house, John re-
solved that SGC would be his
major activity and persevered ac -
John stresses his belief that
group living is one of the values
of college life. At the fraternity,
besides the importance of contact
otherwise lost with "the fellows I
went through with," residents
benefit from regular meals, tele-
phone message-takers, laundry,
cleaning and mail services.
"My association with the fra-
ternity isn't based on devotion to
intangibles-the mystics of being
a fraternity man - but on the
friendships formed with the group
you live with," John points out.
Two-way Fight
John cited the value of the
experience which SGC's anti-
discrimination motion has brought
to his fraternity. "I've had to fight
it both ways-in bending over
backward, some guys will give a
fellow an unfair advantage be-
cause of his nationality."
Born in Milwaukee ("I'm a
hundred per cent Geman"), John
has lived in Michigan since 1948.
He's always been interested in
politics, although his scholastic
aptitudes are science and math.
"You can apply these aptitudes in
politics, too," he says.
With a cool head, a solid, well
rounded background and enthu-
siasm based not on partisanship
but on public interest, John should
be a refreshing and valuable ad-
dition to the United States poli-
tical arena.



nels because changes take place
more quickly and surely chat way.
Distinctive CharacteristicsI
No.less part of his character are
his highly-polished glasses, grin
and gavel-and his slide rule con-
densation of Robert's Rules of
Order. These have lent SGC a
veneer of parliamentary sophisti-
cation during the Feldkamp re-,
gime which renders it unique. But
SGC's uniqueness proceeds from
other factors as well.
John has headed an outstand-
ing student governing body at an
outstanding university. "Student
government-particularly at Mich-
igan-is 'quite distinct from any
student organization," he says.
"SGC is a governing and repre-
sentative body, but even in its
representational aspect it is not
a student organization; it is to
the student body what the Uni-
versity Senate and Dean's Con-
ference are. to faculty and ad-
Unrecognized Character
Unique characteristics of the
Council sometimes go unrecog-
nized by the student who wants to
perpetuate a "stereotype univer-
sity or high school student gov-


* Please Note Time Schedule


*Please Note Time Schedule
A Memorable Motion
Picture Event To Salute
the Civil War Centennial!
:i. R'....

Spring Concert To Feature
'U' Choir, Michigan Singers
The University Choir and "Modern Age" Russell Kirk and
Michigan Singers, Maynard KleinSen. Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn)
conductor, Karen McCann ac- concerning "United States Policy
companist. will present a public Toward Emerging Nations" will be
concert at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday broadcast at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
in Hill Aud. The discussion of "United States
Selections will include songs Policy Toward China" by geo-
from "West Side Story," "The grapher-historian Owen Lattimore
Sound of Music" and a selection will be heard at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
from "Fledermaus" by Strauss.
The annual spring concert will
be broadcast by WUOM. Pane
* * *Cu ur E c ag
Lectures delivered as part of theC ltural Exchange
series "The Challenge of Emerg- The application of social science
ing Nations" will be rebroadcast research in cross-cultural exchange
on WUOM this week. will be the topic for a panel dis-
President of the UAW-CIO Wal- cussion at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in
ter Reuther will be heard at 1 p.m. the West Conference Rm. of Rack-
tomorrow. ham.
The debate between editor of
Lecturer To View This evening at 8 at Hillel
Ancient Religion
Readings from Peretz
Illya Gershevitch, a visiting pro- by
fessor from Cambridge University JERRY SAN DLE R
at Columbia University, will speak Producer-Editor, WUOM
on "The Religion of Zoroaster" at
4:15 p.m. tomorrow in the West 1429 Hill Street
Conference Rm. of Rackham.

The love
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