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March 12, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-03-12

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Seventy-Fifth Year

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICm.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

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

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The War in Viet Nam
Is No Elephant Joke

The Honors Program:
Not What It Should Be


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last semester: after writing an edi-
torial in these pages condemning the
honors housing program as elitist, exclu-
sive and intellectually snobbish, a Daily
staff member participated in a spirited
public debate with members of Frost
and Blagdon (honors) houses-in which
they violently protested that they were
every bit as dull, mediocre and normal as
everyone else.
It was highly significant. Members of
the University's honors program were,
in effect, declaring that they were as ir-
relevant to the program as it was to
them. And to tell the embarrassing truth,
they were right.
Basketball is more popular than Hunt-
ley-Brinkley in honors housing; lectures
featuring distinguished members of the
faculty go relatively unattended (to the
point where one house's academic chair-
man patrols the corridors at the last mo-
ment to obtain a few more listeners); and
the major drift of conversation seems
more to be pizzas and TG's than politics
or Tchaikovsky.
AND THE FAILURE of honors housing
underscores and reflects the failure of
the honors program as a whole.
The program has failed because, most
important, it has been unable to select-
within the University as well as outside it
-the caliber of students such a program
should attempt to have. The program's
selection standard-its first fatal weak-
ness-are College Board scores, Merit
scores, high school grades and the like
--numerical standards similar to those
used in judging blocks of wood or cattle,
which suggests why many students cur-
rently in the honors program defend not
their excellence but their normality.
Certainly grades and scores connote
something. But an interest in the arts,
the sciences or world events, originality
and creativity-these are the hard-to-
define qualities which also make up part
of -excellence. Yet these are not qualities
in which the honors program seems to be
much interested. The easy way out of sta-
tistics has'instead caught its fancy.
Were the honors program to ask stu-
dents admitted by the University to apply
for the program, the uninterested would
eliminate themselves. The program then
- with some difficulty, of course -
through interviews, scrutiny of the ap-
plicant's record both academic and ex-
tracurricular, and perhaps even Fricke
scores, could apply qualitative as well as
quantitative standards, and thus find
excellence. This is difficult to identify,
but it is a quality of mind which is
found easily enough if the University's
program would but adopt it itself.
ON THE OTHER HAND, the honors pro-
gram, even if it had a better idea of
what excellence is, would, as things now
stand,}fail to recruit it. This is the pro-
gram's second fatal flaw. For the Univer-
sity's own freshman honor students, if
they heard of the program through offi-
cial channels, were notified of its exist-
ence only after they were accepted by
the University and by the program.
One of the efforts, if it can be flat-
tered with that appellation, the Univer-
sity hopes will remedy the situation is a
booklet on the program. "We've used
quotes by Samuel Johnson," one program
staffer exuded gleefully, apparently de-
lighted with the seductive choice. But
one of those close to the inner workings,
whatever they may be, of the honors
program has said that the program makes
"a conscious effort to inform, but not re-

The assumption, evidently, is that the
"hard sell," which is more effective, is
somehow infra dig; that one shouldn't be
too eager to have excellent students be-
cause some of them will wind up at the
University anyway: arrogance is the way
to assun:e excellence. But in view of the
successes of such "hard-sell" schools as
MSU, the honors program view represents
-to use Dr. Johnson's own phrase-noth-

ing so much as "the triumph of hope over
failed to select or to recruit true hon-
or students. To a large degree, it has also
failed to foster excellence in its own stu-
dents, and this is its third grave weakness.
Certainly a university should provide as
much opportunity as possible for its stu-
dents to fulfill their potential and their
promise-to achieve excellence. But the
honors program seems to view excellence
as a quality to be fostered through in-
cantation, not exertion.
The honors program, in this context, is
more an idea than a program. The Great
Books course, the only universal honors
course, is the perpetual joke of many of
its students. Honors sections in regular
courses, distinguished primarily because
they require more reading and somewhat
more discussion; seem to be no less crowd-
ed than others. Particularly in the first
two years of undergraduate education,
the honors student often finds little or
no advantage, save the word on his tran-
script, for being in the program at all.
THE IDEA of a "community ofscholars"
has completely collapsed after a few
years of atrophy in the present honors
setup. The student steering committee
has sent out two newsletters all year.
"We're kind of nebulous," one member ad-
More must be done with the honors
program. There must be more honors sec-
tions and more honors courses. There
should be a smaller student-teacher ra-
tio. And, most essential, there must be
an entire honors curriculum, so that the
excellent College Honors courses are an
integral part of the honors student's
program instead of what he takes when
he has satisfied all his requirements.
This, of course, all takes money. But
even without money there is much that
can be done and, in an embryonic sort of
way, is being done. In honors econom-
ics, for example, students sometimes
work with professors on research prob-
lems, which can clearly be more exciting
and more relevant than the much more
sterile fare of everyday class work.
Perhaps, indeed, research and edu-
cation are not incompatible but, as the
best professors have found, mutually re-
inforcing. This admirable policy should
be broadened and extended. A vigorous
student honors steering committee must
replace the present mouldering organism;
hopefully the petitioning ending this aft-
ernoon will bring some new faces and
some new ideas.
view of excellence and crippled in
practice by its inaction in administra-
tion, the honors program is, in sum,
neither honors nor a program. Rather
than select excellence, it examines statis-
tics. Rather than recruit excellence, it
attempts to "inform." Rather than foster
excellence, it fails to act. It is an elab-
orate charade with overtones of a wake.
This university has a call to greatness
which it must, some day, answer, or go
the way of such schools as the University
of Chicago. And until the University's
honors program replaces its complacent
sloth with a conscious policy of seeking
and stimulating excellence, the honors
student will view the honors program as
Dr. Johnson viewed his erstwhile patron,
Lord Chesterfield:
"Having carried on my work thus far
with so little obligation to any favorer of
learning, I shall not be disappointed
though I should conclude it, if less be
possible, with less; for I have long awak-

ened from that dream of hope in which
I once boasted myself with so much exul-
LAST WEEK Yale's philosophy depart-
ment decided to reverse its unanimous
recommendation of tenure for Richard
A member of the department said that
one of the reasons he changed his deci-
cinn maa +the a moof ,nd'etnt nontPCtfi nh-

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B-57 air strikes against the
Viet Cong have been halted in
a Mekong delta area after the
American bombers accidentally
killed four South Vietnamese
troops and wounded 13.
-Associated Press, March 1
An air strike was ordered
against a herd of 20 elephants
sighted 12 miles northwest of
Da Nanz. Military officials felt
the Viet Cong might be using
the lumbering beasts to haul
arms for an attack on the base.
-Associated Press, March 9
THE UNITED States has chang-
ed its tactics in Viet Nam.
An attack upon North Vietnamese
elephants reflects a bold new of-
fensive in the 10-year-old war ef-
How is the American public re-
acting to this new course of ac-
tion? Here is what they have to
of the Board, Ringling Brothers,
Barnum and Bailey Circus): The
Vietnamese jungles have always
been a major source of raw ele-
phant material for our circuses.
Therefore -we have always
staunchly backed the American
effort in Viet Nam.
But by shooting elephants the
government is depriving us of a
necessary resource. Consequently
I call for an immediate cessation
of this senseless tactic.
TOM TUSK (President, Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, New York)g: I know
things have not been going well
for our men in Viet Nam. But just
because they can't kill Viet Cong
soldiers is no justification for us-
ing elephants as scapegoats."
MARY CONTRARY (3rd grad-
er, Trunk Elementary School, De-
troit): My daddy told me. I
think it's terrible to kill those poor
de fen'seless elephants. They
wouldn't want to hurt anyone;
why would anyone want to hurt
1 M' STONED (Journalist,
Washington): I wrote last week
that 98 per cent of all Viet Cong
weapons are unwittingly supplied
by the United States through loss,
theft or sale by enterprising South

Vietnamese. It seems rather hard
to understand why we would want
to kill our own elephants.
(Chairman of the Board, Tuske-
gee Peanut Co.): Nuts.
ROY BLESSED (Chairman, Re-
publican P a r t y, Washington):
Don't be fooled for a minute.
Why, it would be sheer lunacy to
attack elephants. In my mind
there is no doubt that the whole
effort was a Johnson administra-
tion smear on the very symbol of
the Republican Party.
Psychiatrist, Cleveland): What no
one has toldhus is thatsthis new
tactic may have serious effects
upon the mental stability of our
American soldiers in Viet Nam. In
their minds an elephant is inti-
mately associated wtih circuses
and childhood. Kill the elephant
and you kill their childhood.
Bronx Zoo, New York): I believe
we are carrying this war too far
when we kill elephants. We should
limit ourselves to human beings.
In the
Collegiate Press Service
A 23-YEAR-OLD Polish student,
threatened with a mental
breakdown, was confined to an in-
sane asylum near Warsaw. After
a few months of tranquility the
youth recovered and returned to
his dorm. At that point the stu-
dent realized that patients in the
sanitarium enjoyed certain ad-
vantages: they weren't overcrowd-
ed and they had time to them-
The nostalgic inmate managed
to get himself readmitted to the
hospital. There he was able to
study peacefully and later passed
all his examinations with flying
colors. After that he was released
from the asylum.



To the Editor:
T HE RECENT events in Selma
these past few weeks have
dramatized the difficulty of regis-
tration for the Negro in the South
and the role of the white power
structure in creat'ng obstacles to
registration. Unfortunately it took
the violence of last Sunday to
prompt many Americans to act toe
ameliorate a situation which for
many Negroes in the South is an
everyday occurrence.
Hopefully the vigorous interes~t
in racial eauality displayed ths
past week is not transient and
will not confine itself to racial
injustice here in the United States.
It would be tragic if we allowed
the example of Selma to fade
without acting against the repres-
sive policy of apartheid in South
Africa before it explodes in our
WE ARE particularly responsible
,for apartheid because of the role
played by U.S. corporations and
financial institutions in support-
ing that system. Our banks and
corporations are literally writing
U.S. policy toward South Africa
with the acquiescence of the State
Department. After the Sharpeville
Massacre in 1960 and the econom-
ic instability which followed, U.S.
bank made extensive credit ac-
commodations to the South Afri-
can government and American
companies drastically increased

their inve!tnent in the South
African economy. Today we are
the second largest investor in
South Africa and the white South
Afr'can has the third highest
standard of living in the world.
The U.S. government nas con-
sistently opposed a total boycott
of all South African goods en-
dorsed by over two-thirds of the
members of the United Nations
and has by its opposition contra-
dicted the ideals of justice and
equality of the "American ex-
ample" so often emphasized to the
emerging nations as a necessary
concomitant of economic develop-
in the United States over what
happened in Selma will ring hel-
low unless we strive to correct the
injustices created by the dollar in
South Africa. I can think of no
finer way to limit the U.S. un-
favorable balance of trade than
a curtailment of investment in
South Africa.
-Dave Wallace
Education Library Staff
IQC Controversy
To the Editor:
T UESDAY NIGHT the all-white
Inter-Quadrangle Council held
its weekly meeting in the Greene
House Lounge. After covering gen-

A Sensitive Portrayal
Of Man's Limitations,
At the Campus Theatre
"NOTHING BUT A MAN" is a sensitive movie about a man trying
to keep his integrity, and relative freedom within a deficient
society. The fact that the young man is Negro and that the society
is, the South of today adds a greater sense of urgency to this drama,
but doesn't obscure the universality of its theme.
Without slipping into sentimentality, "Nothing But a Man"
follows Duff Anderson as he tries to become a responsible adult.
He is confident and hopeful and the fact that all the people around
him failed to achieve respectability or comfort without the high
price of humiliation, doesn't deter him at first. Soon he is faced
with hatred, cowardice, venality and poverty-to name some of the
few things which plague the so-called "real world," and his strength
begins to diminish. However, at the point where others give in, he
determines to renew his effort, and the movie ends.
All the movie seems to promise is the continued struggle. It doesn't
assure us of any success.
IF THIS STORY sounds like a continuous tale of woe, it is not
presented that way in the film. "Nothing But a Man" is full of lively
humor alternating with warmth and gentleness. The photography
and the music evoke at times the quaintness of the "good old days"
of wholesomeness and courage: the small towns, the wide open field
and the ever-expanding railroad. It is consequently contrasted with
the slums, the omnipresent popular music and the resignation on the
many faces.
The movie was written, directed and photographed by two young
men, Michael Roemer and Robert Young, without the benefit of
experience in Hollywood. This may explain the modesty and simplicity
with which they handle their story. The acting, too. is powerful

eral business, the council came to
Member and Constituents time.
Within minutes the council was in
an uproar.
With Acting - Chairman Lee
Hornberger pounding. away at the
gavel, generally unable to under-
stand what was happening, order
ceased to became the order of the
We wish to ask Mr. Hornberger
what it was that he was objecting
to so strenuously! It could not
have been that the constituents
were speaking too long for they
were limited to five minutes by a
belated order of the council. Per-
haps then it was something the
constituents said that so upset Mr.
WHAT THE constituents were
insisting on was simply that tne
legality has no meaning unless
the morality is behind it.
IQC is a link between the stu-
dent body and the administration.
The administration, that great
nebulous body, controls the in-
terest of the University in South
Africa. South Africa is supporting
a program of apartheid. There-
fore the University is indirectly
supporting this program of apar-
The constituents of the all-white
IQC, finding this program to be
morally objectionable, went before
IQC with a letter addressed to
President Hatcher asking him to
justify the University's interest
in South Africa and indirectly in
the apartheid program.
* * *
IQC REFUSED to sign this let-
ter. It was only then that the
Ann Arbor Civil Liberties Com-
mittee felt that further action
should be taken, therefore when
the council left the Greene Lounge
for the small East Quad council
room, first a sit-in was organized
to block the entrances to the
council room and then a filibuster
The council members, obviousjy
resentful of their time being
"wasted," censured the consti-
tuents by imposing a five minute
speaking limit on each speaker.
Even this gross infringement of
the constituents rights failed to
satiate the council. The consti-
tuents were constantly heckled and
the council chairman was all put
impartial in his use of the gavel.
The meeting ended with the
council patting its own back, and
everyone went his way. For the
constituents, the main value of
the meeting was the insightful
look at their "representatives" in
action. Among those who attend-
ed, and there were a score or
more who sat through all or most
of the meeting, there was a gen-
eral consensus that the quicKer
IQC abolished itself and started
all over again many years from
now the better off the general
student population would be.
constituents to attend its meet-
ings. Last night constituents did
attend its meeting. They will at-
tend them in the future.
-Ann Arbor Civil Liberties Union

"It's A Bitter War - Brothers Against
Brothers, Democrats Against Democrats,
Republicans Against Republicans -"

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Chance To See: Are
A hnFilms 'Only Art Left?'
At the Cinema Guild
THE THIRD Ann Arbor Film Festival opened last night with 45
minutes of proceedings. Mr. Gregory Markopoulos of New York,
pinch-hitting for Jonas Mekas, another New York filmmaker, had
unfortunately not had time to prepare a talk. His extemporaneous
remarks were interrupted by a rather undisciplined crew of spectators,
who preferred watching movies to hearing talks.
Between hisses and claps, Mr. Markopoulos did say some rather
remarkable things. His conviction "that all the arts are dead except
film" will be vigorously tested by the eight programs given this
weekend in Ann Arbor. Between the ONCE Festival, the Film Festival
and the Creative Arts Festival, local audiences have as much chance
to judge the living arts as any audiences in the world.
The seven o'clock show last night, consisting of four short films,
hardly supported Mr. Markopoulos' view. First on the program was
"Handheat," by Don Lederberg, a somewhat digestible mixture of
"advanced" film techniques. Individual shots and sequences were
effective, but the overall design, which obviously aimed at cohesiveness,
somehow never quite made it.
"Skullduggery" by Stan Vanderbeek followed. A delightful spoof
on contemporary history, it was just long enough to remain refreshing.
Through a technique of overlaps, Vanderbeek put a horned Churchill
into a bullfight, showed what Eisenhower really said, and pulled
Stalin out of the piano. "Skullduggery" was the second of a Vander-
beek series of similar films.

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