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May 25, 1960 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-05-25
Note:
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Activities at the University

Student Activities and Edu

SLAT ER'S
PAY.

Continued from Page Seven
ing May-Day-like parades and
endorsements of programs con-
ceived by such pressure groups.
Such response to "in-group" pres-
sures further divorces SGC from
the bulk of those it represents.
THEDIVORCE of constituent
from representatives is fre-
quently a feature of the housing
group governments, especially the
independent ones.
Such a lack of confidence in
existing channels for action leads
to the formation of small groups
built around a "cause celebre."
The Congregational Disciples
Guild has, for example, formed a
nucleus of agitation for social
action. The Political Issues Club
with many of the same faces
among its membership is becoming
an increasingly vocal lobbying
force particularly in the discrimi-
nation area.
The faculty contributes to the
over-all "climate" of student ac-
tivities, although its attitude is
not so easily discerned -as the
other two groups. It has, through
the Faculty Senate and the Stu-
dent Relations Committee of that
body, consistently supported stu-
dent autonomy and responsible
action. The Faculty Senate en-
dorsement of SGC's stand on
.Sigma Kappa is a notable in-
stance of such faculty support.
However, attempts to initiate
student participation in academic
policy formulation have not been
received favorably by those fac-
ulty members involved. The atti-
tude has seemed to some students

ones who are reluctant to have1
students directlyinvolved in aca-
demic decisions.
Given an apparently contra-
dictory policy toward student re-
sponsibility held by the adminis-
tration and faculty, it is no sur-
prise that students are sometimes
confused about the value of these
activities. Some activities probably
have no value educationally, or
do not provide any attraction to
participants.
BUT A LARGE measure of the
shift away from attempts at
direct student influence in Uni-
versity affairs is still observable,
is due to the lack of a coherent
policy on the value of student ac-
tivities that will set a "climate"
of participation. At Minnesota,
such a policy encouraging student
involvement in every area of Uni-
versity life, is published by the
Regents and enunciated periodi-
cally by the President.
Whether such a program is per-
vasive enough in practice may
well be questionable, but it would
certainly do no harm for all three
segments of the University to do
some serious thinking-not just
once a semester at Student-Fac-
ulty-Administration conferences-
about the role of the extra-class-
room life of the student.
Does it contribute to his over-
all education? If so, do some ac-
tivities contribute more signifli-
cantly than others? What effect
does a coherent raculty-adminis-
tration policy, or lack of it, re-
garding participation have upon
the type of activities in which
students engage? Where does the

1 administrator's responsibility to
the educational atmosphere be-
come greater 'than his duty to
the 'smooth functioning of the
University?
When should an administrator
or faculty member interfere in
student affairs to protect one
organization from another, or to
"secure justice"? Are mistakes,
even those which do injury to one
student group better made for
their educational value to the
group making them than pro-
hibited for the sake of justice?
THESE QUESTIONS are usually
answered in crisis situations; in
relation to specific issues, when
personal feelings and known indi-
viduals are involved. It might be
well if such questions were dis-
cussed and resolved, in so far as
such questions can ever be finally
resolved, in a fairly dispassionate
manner with the best interests of
education foremost.
An evolution in student activi-
ties is probably occurring - a
shift from some types of partici-
pation to others. In the midst of
such a shift-which reflects both
the "climate" created by the Uni-
versity staff and the particular
goals and attitudes of students--
it might prove interesting to ask
if there is really a justification for
any student activities.
Should this justification be
clearly present, the University
staff, because it alone can pro-
vide continuity, ought to consider
in which ways it can aid the de-
velopment of those activities which
are valuable within the context
of a University education.

What Do Students Want
Outside the Classroom?
By Jo Hardee

STUDENTS PICKET
...*a new direction
one of "let's you and them fight",
that the faculty will back students
against perceived administration
encroachment, but woe betide the
student who thinks he can con-
tribute to the academic policy of
the University.
THE DUAL attitude of faculty
can be partially explained by
the fact that the faculty is more
diverse than the administration.
Statements on student involve-
ment are made by individuals
rather than in any coherent public
stand such as the administrator is
often forced to make. The faculty
members who supported the SGC
decision on Sigma Kappa, for
example, may not be the same

I

for
BOOKS

ISTUDENTSIf you have Used Books
tSell-Read This!.
As the Semester end approaches -- bringing with it a period of heavy book selling by students - ULRICH'S
would like to review with you their USED BOOK POLICY.
Used books fall into several categories, each of which -- because of the law of supply and demand - has
its own price tag. Let's explore these various categories for your guidance.
CLASS I.
A textbook of current copyright - used on our campus - and which the Teaching Department involved has
approved for re-use next semester-has the highest market value. If ULRICH'S needs copies of this book we will
offer 50% of the list price for copies in good physical condition. When we have sufficient stock of a title for the
coming semester, ULRICH'S will offer a "WHOLESALE PRICE" which will be explained later in this article. (THIS
IS ONE REASON FOR SELLING ALL YOUR USED BOOKS AT ONCE.)
CLASS I.
Some of the above Class I books will be offered which have torn bindings, loose pages or other physical de-
fects. These will be priced down according to the estimated cost of repair.
CLASS I11.
Each semester various professors decide to change texts for a given course. These decisions on change of
textbooks are made in echelons of THINKING AND AUTHORITY far above the level of your local book retailers,
AND ULRICH'S HAS NO PART IN THE DECISION. (QUITE OFTEN WE HAVE MANY COPIES OF THE OLD TITLE
OF WHICH YOU HAVE ONLY ONE.)
However, ULRICH'S DO enter the picture with our WHOLESALE connections. Somewhere there may be a
professor who will adopt a cast-off book from Michigan.WHOLESALE BOOK JOBBERS take a gamble on this and
offer to buy our over-stock and yours.
If the dropped title is a current edition, and from a well known publisher, the Jobber offer to us is usually
25% of list. AS A SERVICE TO YOU, ULRICH'S WILL BUY THESE DROPPED TITLES FOR WHAT-THE JOBBER
OFFERS.
CLASS IV.
Authors and publishers frequently bring out new editions. When we "get caught" with an old edition, let's
accept the fact that it has no value on the wholesale market, and put it on the shelf as a reference book or sell it
cheap for a bargain reference book.
ULRICH'S ARE ALWAYS GLAD TO DEAL WITH YOU, AND-IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE A BOOK OF NO
FURTHER VALUE TO- YOU - WE WILL OFFER THE HIGHEST PRICE POSSIBLE FOR IT.

IT HAS often been said, particu-
larly at SGC banquets, that the
primary justification for student
activities is- an educational one.
Unless the activity contributes to
a student's overall education, the
theory runs, it should not exist.
Unfortunately, what is educational
can be broadly enough defined to
include a gamut of activity from
pep rallies to student government,
chiefly on the notion that "learn-
ing to work together" is as valu-
able in a sailboat as on a news-
paper.
Apparently, students themselves
are accomplishing a "pruning" job
on the overcrowded branches of
student organizations.
The tendency toward selectivity
in participation is noticeable not
only in the large activities which
find difficulty in recruiting new
members for their lower echelons
-and frequently for the highest
positions-but in the dying out of
certain types of organizations and
activities. There is also a discern-
able upturn of interest in what
might be termed civic-oriented
projects: the involvement in pic-
keting, the rise of the Political
Issues Club from near-oblivion,
the institution of a Challenge pro-
gram.
AS AN EXAMPLE of the type of
activity that may well be at its
last gasp, one might take a look
at the returns of the last Senior
Class officer election. Of 14 posi-
tions filled in the literary college,
education school, and the colleges
of engineering and business ad-
ministration, eight candidates ran
unopposed, one was elected on one
write-in vote.
The President of Business Ad-
ministration Senior Class received
35 votes, the man he defeated, 20.
The President of Engineering Col-
lege won by a smashing 50-vote
lead-defeating his opponent -
who polled 30 votes.
Some housing units have stop-
ped participating in events such
as Homecoming or Spring Week-
end, while others show a marked
decline in thernumber of their
members who actually cooperate
in such projects. The Women's
League has reduced its Frosh
Weekend to a one-night basis.
It is no secret that all-campus
dances are, with the possible ex-
ception of the Homecoming
Dance, no longer popular.
PARTICIPATIOT in house func-
tions in some affiliated units is
rather a forced-draft nature if
the tales of anguished sorority
women around Lantern Night sea-
son are accurate. Some fratern-
ities appear to be having difficulty
retaining their upperclassmen -
the lure of apartment living is,
for some reason, stronger than
that of brotherhood.
Before a hasty generalization
that students are moving en masse
toward a cultural, academic, or
civic orientation in their activi-
ties, those which might more di-
rectly be termed "educational," it.
might be well to look not only at
the numerical participation in this
type of organization or project,
but at the kind of involvement.
True, a large number of people
attended the voluntary reading
and discussion seminars sponsored
by Student Government Council.
But it is also recorded that 3,052
students voted in the spring elec-
tions for that body, the lowest,
and most lamented vote in Council
history.
SInter-Quad Council nee Inter-
House Council spent much of its
energies avoiding schism, finally
reorganizing as an attempt to
render operative and useful an
organization with vast potential
for creative thinking and vast
inability to cooperate. No exterior

evidence was present to indicate
that any of the other housing
groups had surpluses of.personnel
or of new ideas.
POVERNMENT does not, then,
seem to attract the interest or
support of any large percentage of
the student body.
Publications, with the exception
of the defunct Gargoyle, showed
signs of new vitality. The contro-
versy over Generation Magazine's
content and policy created inno-
vations on that publication, and
two new "inter-arts magazines"
appeared. It is, perhaps too early
to tell if a consistent qualitative
difference will accompany the
quantitative one, but for those who
have long complained of stagna-
tion in campus literary production,
the new publications are a wel-
come sign of potential diversity.
How long the civil rights stir
with its current dynamism will
last is anyone's guess--the coming
vacation is a serious break in
continuity of activity which may
curb the enthusiasm of those in-
volved in the picketing or in
Political Issues Club programs or
may hinder the civil liberties pro-
gram of Challenge. The dovetail-
ing of the Southern sit-ins with
SGC debate on discrimination and
bias in a local clothing store was
impetus toward action which will
not be present in the fall. Such a
merging of the local events with
the national scene happens too in-
frequently tomprovide continued
stimulus to campus groups.
OF COURSE, Challenge will
continue discussion in this area,
but action-and the opportunity
for action--on civil liberties will
probably neither be so readily
conceived nor spectacularly exe-
cuted in the future. It might be
well to note that, although the
publicity gleaned by student ac-
tion in the civil rights field, has
been great, the number of persons
actually participating has been
relatively small. -
It is revealing that, in a na-
tional election year, there has
been little political activity on
campus.
The kind of involvement that
predominates the present student
scene appears to be:
1) Non-University oriented in the
sense that very little construc-
tive imagination or energy is
being directed by students to-
ward University problems -
riots are not classed as con-
structive. SGC has been in-
Jo Hardee is a senior in the
English Honors program of
the literary college. She has
served as executive vice-presi-
dent of Student Government
Council and is presently termi-
nating her term as contributing
editor of The Daily.

HYDE PARK-Student expression withl

volved with the discrimination
issue as a heritage from past
Councils and not a little due
to administrative pressure in
the the form of the new Re-
gents' By-Law on bias.
2) Non-action activity expressed
in the seminar syndrome, dis-
cussions frequently academics-
related, but not directed to-
ward forms of social action.
3) Limited more consciously by a
sense of academic pressure.
Whether it is true or not,
students - particularly those
who are dropping some or all
of their activities - feel that
a "tightening-up" process has
occurred in the classroom and
are curbing their participation
in extracurricular projects ac-
cording to felt demands in
their academic life.
4) Education - oriented. Perhaps
this sums up the type of in-
volvement best; it is related to
"awareness," to broadening
knowledge, and to exchange
ideas outside the classroom,
largely for personal benefit.
THESE ARE TRAITS, of course,
of the activities that can be
measured fairly readily. There is
a theory held by students and
administrators who work with stu-
dent organizations that there has
been a shift out of large organized
activities into small groupings.
Part of this is attributable to the
anti-Organization Man reaction
among students. Part is a reflec-
tion of a tendency to retreat into
a group in which one may be
effective as opposed to a larger
organization where "one man just
can't do anything."
Part of it may stem from the
"cult of the personal" which does
not look beyond, as one adminis-
trator put it, "Johnny and me,
and maybe the couple we double
with." Part, maybe most of the
flight from immediate action, is
traceable to climate created by
administrative policy toward stu-
dent activities, faculty practice in
this area, and student attitudes
toward their environment.
As little as three months ago, a
perceived swing out of student
activities was of serious concern 1

to those who consider them valu-
able in the educational process.
That this concern has diminislbed
with the upsurge in certain areas
of activity may be unfortunate in
the long-range. The question:
what is the "climate" of the Uni-
versity as it deals with student
activities? may go unanswered.
THE ADMINISTRATION, pri-
marily the Office of Student
Affairs, has maintained - almost
consistently-a remarkable policy
of "give responsibility and you
will get back responsibility." There
have been two notable breaches of
this policy which have affected
the activities climate in the past
two years. Whatever the actual
motives and maneuvers of' the
Sigma Kappa case may eventually
prove to be, administrator's ac-
tions seriously undermined the
concept of student responsibility
that had for years been their
watchword. When the SGC with-
drawal ofhrecognition was con-
tested by the Dean's offices, finally
being over-ruled, the pervasive
feeling among students was that
SOC-and by inference, any stu-
dent governing group-could skim
merrily along with administrative
duties and expressions of student
opinion, but that any significant
action that was contrary' to the
wishes of the administration would
be curtailed.
Although the new Council plan
which resulted from the reap-
praisal of SGC's functions after
the Sigma Kappa conflict is es-
sentially stronger, and the new
regulations booklet clearly defines
Council authority in all disputed
areas, the specter of the adminis-
trative veto still lurks. Students
who do not know about the new
plan or booklet - a conservative
estimate, 80 per cent of the stu-
dent population-are still left with
the impression of SGC as a "talk
shop,"

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