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November 24, 1963 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-11-24

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Seventy-.Third Year
Truth will Prevail
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in aN reprints.
The Death of the President .. .

Readers Discuss Kennedy Slaying

The Meaning
Of Tragedy
F. Kennedy has brought tragedy, hith-
erto reserved for the gods and the great,
to the American people. But our suffering
is silent, our mourning mute, for we have
not yet learned how to endure and express
What Americans, the nation and the
University need in this period of national
tragedy is leadership. We do not need,
and indeed, cannot cope with a cancella-
tion of all normal activities. Such a can-
cellation will divorce us from the leader-
ship that alone can guide us in our period
of deep mourning and national loss.
As individuals, separate from each oth-
er and from our leaders, Americans can-
not endure the suffering which accom-
panies tragedy. We have worn the comic
mask of the affluent society too long. It
has grown to our faces and shaped our
character. To don the tragic mask super-
ficially now without feeling and express-
ing the reasons for doing so, is simply to
put on a grotesque Halloween guise.
THELEADERS of the nation and the
University can teach the country to
endure and express the tragedy of Presi-
dent Kennedy's death. They can help
Americans to interpret the loss meaning-
fully and to understand the nature of the
tragedy now being experienced.
Fortunately, there are some members of
the University who have understood the
need for leadership. An English professor
understood it when he delivered a Satur-
day morning lecture to his Shakespeare
class, in essence, offering an eulogy for
the late President. University President
Harlan Hatcher understood it when he
announced campus-wide memorial serv-
ices on Monday.
MUST HAVE this kind of leadership
now from the University and the na-
tion if we are ever to understand the trag-
edy which befell this country on Friday.
Without it, suffering will continue, but it
will mean little if its true essence is never
To Honor
The Dead
CLASSES HAVE BEEN called off Mon-
day. The purpose is two-fold: it is
deemed fitting and respectable to mourn
the death of John Kennedy; it is hoped
that the re-evaluation allowed by that
cancellation will have an effect on in-
dividuals' lives.
Neither of these reasons justifies call-
ing off classes: there is no better way to
honor the dead than to continue the
pursuits- of life, especially the pursuit of
TI[B MEANING of a man's life to others
consists of those ideas, standards, goals
and outlooks which persist in other per-
sons' lives as a consequence of the contact
they have had with the deceased.
There are certainly many ways in which
President Kennedy's life has affected the
American people, as a nation and as indi-
viduals. He held many ideals, pressed for
many programs-more than can be listed
here. Beyond these and perhaps most of
all, when one thinks of him, one will vis-
ualize the inspirational symbol that he
was, the dynamism of his hopes and ef-
forts, his firm belief in the ability of
America to meet the "New Frontiers" of
the '60's.
Some of John Kennedy has rubbed off

on each American, and it is in this influ-
ence that his life will have a continuing
and significant meaning to the nation.
him, then, is by all means to continue
efforts in the classroom, thus giving ex-
pression to their own ideals and those of
the President.
But many will argue that the symbolic
and actual value of taking time out to do
some concentrated thinking about John
Kennedy's life in relation to one's own will
wholly justify cancelling classes.
Perhaps. But for only a few does con-
centrated thought about an event make a
difference in future behavior. Will people,
because a day of mourning has been de-
clared, therefore better live up to the ex-
amples set by President Kennedy?

uations far less artificial than a sudden,
forced period of concentration.
For most of us John Kennedy's death
has not been a personal trauma. While
the loss of the President is certainly trag-
ic, it cannot affect most of us directly to
that extent.
This does not mean that there cannot
be change except for those who are sensi-
tive enough to see large meanings, except
for those with a sincere enough allowance
for change in their lives, except for those
to whom the assassination is a personal
THERE HAS ALREADY been change, and
there will continue to be change as a
result of the effect of John Kennedy on
every American. But we could spend our
time better without pretending that long
hours and great energy devoted to con-
centrated thought will yield significant
The results of a proclaimed "day of
mourning," supposedly to think about the
meaning of the President's ideals, may
very likely not compensate for the classes
not held or the activities artificially cur-
RATHER, there will be a multitude of
less dramatic and more effective stim-
uli for reflection and change. John Ken-
nedy's image will stand behind domestic
and foreign programs, behind the figures
who continue after him in the govern-
ment, behind the words he has expressed
and in accounts of his life in the media.
Most important, he will remain in the
minds of all a national figure of great
But these reminders will appear to
us mixed in with the course of our activi-
ties, and this is the best way. They will
be woven into the context of everyday
life, sometimes unconsciously, sometimes
consciously, but always more immediately
and effectively than if they were conjured
up in a prolonged and perhaps hypocriti-
cal mourning.
IT IS THUS in two ways that John Ken-
nedy's life will have meaning and ef-
fect: as his ideals have already influenc-
ed our lives and as these ideals will ap-
pear to us further in many smaller but
more potent ways in the course of our
Both of these ways require that we do
not interrupt our involvement with the
business of learning. Interrupting this in-
volvement, we may well be fooling our-
selves into thinking that the change we
can force in ourselves will be fully worth
the interruption. And we will be neglect-
ing the prime honor we can pay to John
Kennedy: giving expression, through our
actions, to our own ideals and to his.
The Aspirations
Of All Americans
IT IS MORE THAN just sorrow for the
death that has led America to the re-
spect that is being shown the late Presi-
dent. Respect for the leader, his office and
his government, has made Americans
mourn the death.
There is an inherent moral responsibil-
ity for the citizens of America to respect
the President. But a part of America has
died and each person should place this
above all that he may individually desire.
The fact that the death of this President
is a matter for all Americans points out
that personal feelings must be set aside
for the benefit of the entire nation.
THE UNIVERSITY along with most oth-
er educational institutions and civic
groups has reacted to the death in the

only manner that it could: it has sus-
pended all activities until Monday night.
The University has realized that it must
respond with a feeling of respect for
Kennedy, and that having campus events
is not fitting on this occasion.
One senator, when commenting on the
death, said that it has showed primarily
that America is still a nation of Ameri-
cans. He meant that in this dire time
Americans have put aside their personal
desires and have acted for America.
His statement shows that America can
still stand even after a time of crisis has
When the new President of the United
States issued his proclamation he noted
that this is a period of "national grief-
our grief" and that all Americans should

To the Editor:
BY THIS TIME, a dull empty
feeling engulfs the mind-a
cold, gnawing, metallic numbness
pervading all the world. An aching
paralysis of grief and sorrow con-
trollingevery action. Tears for a
brilliant stateman and a stricken
first lady fall in silence. One
realizes that these powerful emo-
tions may even precipitate more
tragic events.
Our President, when he was
alive, was fully conscious that an
assassin, who carefully planned
his action and who had the nerve
and will, could succeed. This was
just another risk of being a leader.
However, John F. Kennedy en-
visioned great things for people.
This drove him onward each day
to do great things.
The creation of stable founda-
tions for general disarmament and
world peace; integrations and
equality of opportunity for all
men, are but a few of these things.
According to his belief, the Presi-
dent, if he were alive today, would
probably not want any one man
to be unduly crucified, even for
such a monstrous act as assassina-
* * *
hearts that grief could be trans-
formed too easily into vengeance
which could mitigate our sorrow.
Singling out one man, accusing
him, and murdering him might
easily restore order. But the mem-
ory of John F. Kennedy would
never approve of it. Hasty accusa-
tion of either radical wing while
motivated by and satisfying to our
tense, frustrated anguish, would
never be right.
It is hoped that Mr. Johnson
will personally, as will others, see
that justice is followed. Even the
assassin must be given a fair
chance, the right of legal counsel,
and the hope of innocence before
being proved guilty.
* * *
twisted creation of a single man,
let us treat him with compassion
for his sickness was caused by our
society. If this lowly act was the
despicable desire of a group of
men, let us stop a bloody inquisi-
tion for fear that our grieved
blindness will sacrifice many more
innocent men.
We must be just- and we be-
lieve that this is the only manner
that President Kennedy would
have wanted us to follow. .
-Robert Jackson, '66
Niel Didriksen,'67
Advertising . . .
To the Editor:
ON FRIDAY, The Daily issued a
special, single sheet extra de-
voted to the tragic death of our
President. This otherwise very ap-
propriate extra was marred by the
inclusion, on the reverse side, of
two huge ads, one for The Daily
and one for the '64 Ensian. These
ads took up almost eight tenths
of the page. The inclusion of these
or any other ads in this special
extra edition strikes me as being
in the poorest possible taste.
-Fred B. Rotz
Justice .. .
To the Editor:
NOW THAT the tragedy has
happened and the initial shock
abated, the aid has become fogged
by a nearly unanimous cry for
blood-somebody's blood, any-
body's blood. Enveloped in this
hypertense atmosphere of ven-
geance, we frantically wait for the
chance to grasp at a name, a
photograph perhaps; to label this
image "demon" and to shower
down upon it our vilest execra-
Only after the murderer is
executed will we feel relieved. But
the irreversible cannot be reversed

nor the crime undone regardless of
the number of the criminals
"brought to justice."
IN OUR ZEAL to appease our
consciences, we may well tend to
be selective in considering the in-
criminating evidence, thereby
greatly increasing the probability
of convicting the wrong man.
Since no one apparently saw the
murderer, the only really damning
evidence is the matching of the
murderer's finger prints with
those on the lethal rifle.
If such evidence is not obtain-
ed, no conviction should take
place. All other evidence is in-
conclusive and any conviction
(which in this case surely means
death to the convicted) based on
inconclusive evidence will likely
lead to a grave injustice, another
murder, in fact, no less heinous
than the one which took place
After a due period of mourning,
we must become sober once again.
-Carl Goldberg, '63
Insensitivity * **
To the Editor:
THROUGHOUT the painful

patriotic and nationalistic souls,
angered by the lack of good
variety show programming on the
"tube," decided to salvage their
precious dates by braving nasty
weather and going to the "flicks."
One had only to walk down State
Street at 11 p.m. Friday to find
these humanitarians paying their
last respects to a great man by
taking in a "funny flick or two."
* * *
ashamedly in the streets Friday,
and students and statesmen
throughout the world showed a
deep feeling for this great tragedy,
yet this not so small group, show-
ed their complete immaturity and
total absence of any deeper feel-
ing about the assassination, by
having a gay "old Friday night,"
as if this sort of tragedy did not
affect them in any way.
It was against this type of
apathy and the total lack of feel-
ing for other people and of their
problems, which is supplanted by
overpowering narcissism, that the
late President Kennedy died fight-
ing for.
* * *
made sure that no one would lack
entertainment this evening, and
the vigorous narcissists provided
the customers. These are the
people who will be helping to solve
the world problems in the near
future. Maybe they'll grow out of
it. For ourkcountry's and the free
world's sake; I hope so.
-A. Karvelis, '66E
Hysteria . ..
To the Editor:
FOR SOME, the hysteria follow-
ing the death of John F. Ken-
nedy has abated-a very very deep
hollowness is theirs. For the rest,
and as I see it, the majority, the
hysteria is still there. This hysteria
is a potential source of great
danger to this country and the
It will be very fashionable in
the next few weeks to mourn
openly and avidly for the late
President. Already, the television
stations have begun to exploit in
ruthless MadisongAvenue fashion
the sensitive and personal areas of
family: John-John, the coming
birthdays of the children, the an-
guish of Mrs. Kennedy.
Our own University has come to
see that its cheaply rationalized
policy of "the show must go on"
and "he would have wanted it
that way," are wrong. No one is
indespensible, but there is the
feeling that Life should pause, if
only for a moment, in tribute to
a fine man. It is a sacrifice; an
obligation to the memory of that
man that must be met. It is my
hope that the University has seen
this obligation and is not simply
joining the national "bandwagon"
of grief.
THE GRIEF of John F. Ken-
nedy's death belongs to the in-
timate family and friends. They
knew him in the way that allows
them the grief, we knew him only
as a leader. We can mourn, we can
praise, but the grief is theirs alone
and not the nations. Too many
will see and seize upon this grief
as an instrument of their own per
sonal motives (only please to veil
it under the label of "righteous-
I see a "rude beast," the mascot
of a McCarthy "witchhunt." If this
hunt becomes a reality, it will be
a thousand times more dangerous
than the one in the 50's because,
now, unlike then, a whole nation
will identify with it. Its first
scapegoat will follow the assassin
and more sacrifices will surely
follow. Where it will stop, no one
can imagine.
* * * '
ONE THING is certain however:
if it starts, the very foundations
upon which this nation are found-
ed will be crumbled to dust.
Whether this nation will survive

the upheaval once the hunt and
power drives assume "purge" pro-
portions, is doubtful-humans as
we have seen too often, and most
immediately, yesterday, are sel-
dom either rational or forgiving.
Forgiveness I think, must be the
We must not allow this situa-
tion. The commercial sentimental-
ity, the sloppy and distasteful
sensationalism must be curbed.
These only provide raw emotions
that will fuel aewitchhunt. They
must be dissipated.
FOR MYSELF, I saw him as a
man who provided a very con-
venient and typically American
"Father-image:" a nice wife, cute
children, man-of-the-people, the
whole works. I liked him. I cried
praying for him last night. But
that's it.
I absolutely refuse to join in the
tide of glorification. He was a
man; he died. He was a great
man; OK. There is no reason for
me to hate the man or men that
killed him. Hate is too easy and
solves nothing. I can be repulsed
by the atmosphere that created his
death-I know it exists. Ircan work
with all my being to destroy that
atmosphere of hate and bigotry, of
intolerance and violence.

orientation with rationality and
forgiveness-the only way I know
of preserving the dignity of a man
and the solidarity of a nation.
-George A. White, '65
Consequences ..
To the Editor:
THE PRESENT "show of re-
spect" that we are giving the
late President Kennedy in the
form of cancelling social functions,
television entertainment and ra-
dio programs could have far
reaching political, social and eco-
nomic consequences.
Most people feel that respect
should be shown the President
after his assassination Friday.
This attitude is good, but the can-
cellation of social functions and
other forms of entertainment may
do more harm to the United States
than if the populace flew their
flags at half-mast until the

with the present situation are
emotionally upset and if this up-
set is carried into world affairs,
the results could be disastrous. If
Oswald, the suspected assassin, is
guilty, the public and politicians
are going to blame Russia and
Communism for the President's
This enmity toward Russia could
cause poor relations to develop in
any political controversy. In the
case that Russia blocks the Berlin
access rights, the politicians may
decide to shoot their way through
the blockade instead of handling
the situation with restraint and
sense. This irrational behavior
doesn't limit itself to politicans,
rather all of society is affected ad-
versely by overemphasizing the
President's death.
* * *
ALTHOUGH, not as disastrous
as the political consequences, the
social dangers are equally impor-
taut. The emotional fervor of the

Economic Education
May Yield Nothing

people is enhanced because no
outlet, socially or emotionally, is
provided. Because people can't
think about anything but the
tragic death of our President, they
build emotional stress beyond a
point that is helpful to the situa-
For instance, if the alleged as-
sassin isn't guilty, he may be tried,
convicted and executed because of
public and jury prejudice. Also,
any group that the assassin was
associated with will be discrim-
inated against or even persecuted
though it may not have had any-
thing to do with the President's
assassination. Another social dan-
ger could result if the people par-
tially blame the conservative poli-
tical elements for the assassina-
tion even though it had nothing
to do with it.
The most serious and profound
threats resulting from overem-
phasizing the assassination are the
economic ones. By cancelling ad-
vertising on television, radio and
in other mass media, the com-
panies in the United States are
being hurt. Without advertising
they can't sell, and this endaIr
gers the country as a whole.
The most serious threat is the
one of a stock market decline and
a possible complete fall. Panic
stricken investors could start a
selling trend that could snowball,
surpassing Blue Monday and ap-
proaching the 1929 stock market
crash. Such a decline could cause
a general economic panic.
* * *
WE HAVE presented extreme
cases, but they aren't unlikely. For
example, the stock market dropped
21 points in the one hour between
the time the President was shot
and the premature closing of the
market. Therefore, considering the
consequences, we feel that this
"mourning" is being carried to an
-Kenth R. PlossI, '67
Robert J. Podd,'67


ANOTHER epoch-making docu-
ment on education has just
appeared in England. This is the
long-awaited Robbins Report, de-
voted to higher education.
It recommendsmorethan doub-
ling the number of university stu-
dents, increasing the number of
universities from 32 to 60 and
creating five special institutions
on the order of Massachusetts In-
stitute of Technology and Cali-
fornia Tech-all by 1980.
By that date, England would
have about half a million univer-
sity students. The number before
the last war was about 35,000, and
even radical critics used to say
that if it could grow to 45,000 the
needs of the country would be
met for all future time.
most popular word in the lan-
guage, it is not surprising that the
Robbins Report has been favor-
ably received. But the terms of
the response from the left, as rep-
resented by that highly intelligent
publication, the New Statesman,
are mildly astonishing.
We would have expected "lib-
erals" and "progressives" to ap-
plaud the report because of the
new opportunities it opens to hun-
dreds of thousands of hitherto
underprivileged people.
Not at all. The New Statesman
hails the report for accepting the
view that a vast expansion of
higher education is necessary for
the survival of Britain as a major
power and for announcing, in
what the New Statesman calls the
"key sentence" of the report, that
higher education must now be
geared to the needs of the national
In this view, the aim of higher
education is national power and
prosperity. These are false hopes
indeed. By 1980, when the recom-
mendations of the report would
begin to take effect, Britain will
be even less a major power than
she is today, or she will be part
of some regional or world federa-
tion and not a power in her own
right at all.
As for the national economy,
however far Britain may lag be-
hind the rest of the West, she is
already so affluent that her eco-
nomic problem is not production,
but distribution. It is not how to
get out more goods, but how to
get them around to the people
who need them. The contribution
higher education can make to this
problem remains obscure.
* * *
A GOOD educational system
may increase the power and pros-
perity of a nation. Although the
educational systems of the Scan-
dinavian countries have not made
them powerful, they have doubt-
less helped to make them relative-
ly prosperous. But the important
work of the educational systems of
the Scandinavian countries is that
they have made them civilized.
An educational system does not
succeed by meeting the immediate
needs of a country, about which
it can usually do little, or by get-
ting it gold and glory, which are
objects better left to businessmen
and politicians.
An educational system succeeds
if it makes rational animals more
rational and less animal, if it
builds the intelligence and in-
creases the wisdom of the citizens.
This is why a good educational
system is constantly at war with
the culture, that is, with the prev-
alent habits and opinions of the
Of course, any educational sys-
tem reflects the culture. But every
good educational system aims to
refine and improve the culture.
This is why we know that indoc-
trination is something different
from teaching, and something
"s1'ke T 4. 'i..,, .a .. ta i-

students through routines alleged
to make them or the country
strong and rich.
It may seem paradoxical, but it
is true, that the benefits of edu-
cation are chiefly indirect. You
would not expect much from
courses in elementary, interme-
diate and advanced character.
Character, as Woodrow Wilson
used to say, is a by-product, a by-
product of hard work well done.
If you aim at intelligence and
wisdom, you may, as a by-product,
get power and prosperity. If you
aim at power and prosperity, you
may get nothing at all.
(Copyright, Los Angeles Times)

Private Organizations
And the University


(EDITOR'S NOTE: In the Novem-
ber, 1963, Regents' meeting, I voted
against two matters of which pass-
nevertheless. One was to approve
the sale of University real estate to
a fraternity. The second was to ap-
prove the course we are following
with respect to membership regula-
tions in student organizations.
(The following statement of my
position with respect to fraternities
and sororities, which I wish to make
public, will explain the reasons for
my votes. Others voted against
these motions for entirely different
-Allan R. Sorenson
FOR A NUMBER of years, efforts
have been made on the Univer-
sity of Michigan campus, as in
many other college communities,
to force fraternities (in the term
"fraternities" I include sororities)
to eliminate by-laws which re-
quire membership practices which
discriminate ("discrimination"
hereafter refers to these same
bases only) on the basis of race,
religion, or national origin.
The rationale for these efforts
is this:
1) Fraternities are student or-
ganizations, and as such are sub-
ject to control by the University.
2) The University, following the
customary legal basis for non-
discrimination, forbids discrimina-
tion within the area of its con-
3) Fraternities are, therefore,
required not to discriminate.
* *" *
IN MY JUDGEMENT, there are
two errors in this framework, the
first leading to the second. First,
fraternities are not student or-
ganizations in the usual sense.
Second, as private social clubs,
nondiscriminatory membership
practices should not be mandatory.
In May, 1963, the Regents in a
7-1 vote, stated that fraternities
are student organizations, sub-
ject to all the regulations of such
groups. Further steps were taken
at that time to hasten the process,
one which has operated erratically
for two decades, to the goal that
there be no discrimination in fra-
ternity membership.
It is my position that this goal,
while laudable for achievement
by the fraternity, is not only un-
trealistic but improper for the
University to attempt to impose.
* * *
STUDENT organizations have
certain characteristics. They are
open to all students. Generally,
the number who may participate
in some manner is not limited. If
there are, for some reason, a limit-
ed number of certain positions,
selection is on the basis of athletic,
musical, acting, or other abilities.
Membership in a fraternity,
however, may be on a completely
arbitrary basis such as compati-
bility. This is understandable in a
social or religious club, but in-
tolerable in a student organiza-
tinn in a nubliiv mnnrted uni-

is very weak support of the posi-
tion for two reasons.
First, admission to university
housing can only be on a first-
come-first-served basis. Like stu-
dent organization membership,
admission to University housing
must be on a non-discriminatory
Second, students are housed in
private homes and apartments
without the need to declare such
residences "student organizations."
Therefore, need for a University
trol is not a significant reason for
classifying fraternities as student
It appears, thus, that neither as
student organizations nor as hous-
ing facilities should fraternities
be an official part of the Uni-
versity organization. A third rea-
son is given for not setting frater-
nities outside of University con-
trol. This is that it would mean
"the end of the fraternities," and,
as a result, the University would
be responsible for a considerable
loss of private investment in fra-
ternity real estate.
IF IT WERE TRUE that the
fraternities would disappear if
given their freedom, this could not
in all good judgement be used as
an excuse for not taking the right
action in a much more important
sphere' of decision.
This latter reason for retaining
the student-organization status of
fraternities is the most alarming
of all because of what it says of
values. It seems to say, "Protect
an investment, protect a private
club rather than take a clear de-
cisive action in a matter of civil
rights in a state institution.
There should be no question of
this: Discrimination must not
exist in any official segment of
the University. As a public insti-
tution, the University cannot tol-
erate discrimination.
IT SHOULD ALSO be recogniz-
ed that the constitutionally pro-
tected right of free association as-
sures the right to discriminate in
a private social club. This is why
I believe it is an improper goal to
seek to impose non-discrimination
on the fraternities. I also men-
tioned that it is an unrealistic
goal; I have been told of the
"gentlemen's agreements" which
exist even when the by-laws meet
University approval.
It is difficult to understand the
fear a fraternity might have of
disassociation from the University.
As students, the same participation
in intra-mural sports could be
ly operated, could be otherwise
continued. Rushing, while private-
unchanged. Permission to live in
fraternities could be on much the
same basis as for other private
residence living. Permission of
parents could be required.
* f' *
TO SUMMARIZE my position:
1 i nn tv.r+ mm O.a w..




r i

* I



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