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September 05, 1974 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1974-09-05

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Thursday, September 5, 1974


Page Three

Thursday, September 5, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Three

Life at the ig

'U'- a potpourri of experiences

There is no one distinguishable flavor of life
at the University of Michigan; it is an academic
Baskin-Robbins .with different flavors for different
tastes. They range from the routine vanilla of
daily 8 a.m. lectures to the more exotic spices
of personal discovery that, are indemnic to the
formative Wonder Bread college years.
The large enrollment at the university is both,
an attibute and a headache. There are crowds to
jab elbows with and dodge in lecture halls, corri-
dors and counseling offices. The University seems
adolescently awkward and uncomfortable with its
own gangling size; it cannot yet manage to com-
petently handle it.
THE ADOPTED SYSTEM for changing this
semester's classes and advance classifying for
next semester's is an old marriage of ancient
and modern. Counseling offices have efficient-
looking computer scan forms, but the student must
still wear out the soles of a pair of sneakers
getting the different sections signed by the proper
department pen.
Selection of classes is more difficult than pen-
cilling in the correct circle on the IBM form or

standing biannually in long lines in front of Water-
man gym. A few professors are reputed to be
reliably excellent, and some fallow attempts are
made to get student feedback to those making
their maiden choices.
Yet for the most part those students who choose
classes from the pages of the catalogue and time
schedule take the same prize or zonk risks as the
contestants who squealingly choose Door Number
1, 2 or 3 on "Let's Make a Deal." Students can
easily be sectioned into a musty and senile class
unless they are as alert and investigative as the
best detective the networks have to offer this sea-
ONCE THE CLASSES are confirmed, those con-
scientious and motivated students seem to find the
atmosphere for studying acceptable. Dormitories
and co-ops are usually throbbing with the noise of
competing stereos and incessant rapping, but
there are several libraries open at accommodating
The Undergraduate Library is more a place for
social looking than serious booking, but is suf-
ficiently quiet. Besides housing one of the finest
collections of printed knowledge and opinion in
the States, the Graduate Library provides claustra-

phobic little study closets where you can close
yourself into an academic solitary confinement.
Part of the chemistry of any place is its
appearance. The central campus is a patchwork
quilt of different architecture. The building styles
range from the Parthenonesque Angell Hall to the
cool electric tomb of the Modern Language Build-
ing. The Administration Building protects the Uni-
versity's higher-ups behind bricked walls punch-
ed with suspicious slit-like windows. The acknow-
ledged intellectual sanctum of the entire campus
is the block-square law quadrangle. It is an
ivy-beleaguered school with chapel-like halls and
its beauty and serenity are, by conservative esti-
mate, responsible for approximately 1 per cent of
the enrollment in the law school.
THE HEART OF the Ann Arbor campus is the
Diag, with its cement aortas shooting off in every
direction. It is a large and free stage for human
play; frustrated and frustrating musicians often
give concerts there; blue-jeaned merchants market
the Ann Arbor Sun, their own crafts, or hand out
thousands of trash-destined pamphlets and leaf-
lets. People with slotted cans and worthy causes
are stationed at each end with their eyes on your

small change and benched groups sit and watch
each other.
The social life in Ann Arbor is in an air pocket;
it is not open or overtly friendly, nor does it seem
to absorb strangers or the timid readily. Every-
one is considered responsible for lining their
own social pocket with compatible friends, and
there seems to be considerable resentment if they
pick someone else's pocket. Despite the Univer-
sity's large number of people - and perhaps be-
cause of it - Ann Arbor can be a tearfully
lonely place.
THERE ARE meeting and eating places to go
for the comfort of other bodies. The campus bars
will still yield some conversive contact if enough
effort is made or liquor is bought. When the 3
a.m. hungries hit, or when the dorm closes on
Sunday, there are a scattered few places to find
a University crowd.
The Brown Jug claims a loyal patronage, even
with its Criscoed food, and Gino's jitters the di-
gestive systems of its frugal and poverty-stricken
customers. Pizza Loy's has a reputation for imag-
inative submarines and the deli has a capital re-
pertoire of hearty sandwiches - if you have the
If the campus's social ills and the gastronomic

atrocities combine to cause the student physical
distress, the University has thoughtfully provided
the marvelous efficiency and economy of the
Health Service. The building encloses the medical
records of all students, a handful of overworked
doctors, and a pharmacy that sells prophylactics
cheaper by the dozen. It is color-coded like a day-
care center; you walk through the yellow door to
have your tongue depressed and you walk through
the blue door to have your wallet depressed.
DEPRESSION CAN reach epidemic proportions
here. The atmosphere on campus is generally
somber and serious. Most students take their stu-
dies and their lives very seriously, and the com-
petition in several pre-graduate school programs
is scalpel-keen. This is a campus of amateur
architects: everyone is busy building their own
impressive and well-balanced transcripts -nd con-
structing their futures credit by credit.
During mid-term and finals time, the Undergrad-
uate Library becomes a literal concentration camp
crammed with cramming craniums; the entire
campus area can be electric with tension, running
on fear, adrenalin, desperation and double-strength
See STUDENT, Page 5

Streakers reveal naked
truth to curious voyeurs

In the early part of spring last year,
a bizarre fad, calling for the shedding
of one's clothes and running around
nude in public, descended upon Am-
erican society, and upon this Univer-
sity, like an epidemic.
The maniac craze, called streak-
ing, spread like a brush-fire during
a summer drought across a humor-
deprived country, and attracted
waves of astute comment from self-
appointed prophets of social analy-
sists wherever streaking incidents
For the most part the craze was
limited to the uninhibited collegiate
environment, where exam pressures
< and liberated social norms added to
the attractiveness of the idea of let-
ting off steam by shedding a few in-
hibitions, and a few clothes.
THE FAD didn't really start gain-
ing ground, however, until the first
week of March, when most American
colleges were immersed in their win-
ter semester mid-term examinations.
Michigan, on the tri-mester system,
a slightly different set-up than the
quarterly semester schedule of most

colleges, was out on spring break at
this time.
However, as UM resumed classes a
week later, the maize and blue proved
it was certainly not one to side-step
the streaking challenge.
Ann Arbor's traditionally resource-
ful student community rose to the
occasion with a plethora of unusual,
creative streaks; group streaks be-
fore large audiences, individual at-
tempts,. streakers in body paint, and
even a streak by an uninhibited wo-
man one night through the staid Uni-
versity Law Library.
THE BIGGEST and most well at-
tended streak-in was the "First An-
naul UM Lucky Streak," held on the
Diag on the night of March 12. The
event, the first real occurrence of
streaking at the University, attract-
ed some 50 streakers and approxi-
mately 6,000 curious spectators in the
29 degree weather.
There was only one minor compli-
cation that night, however; there
were so many spectators that the
streakers sometimes were hard put
to streak properly - that is, run in

A "granfalloon," as defined by author
Kurt Vonnegut, is a proud and mean-
ingless association of human beings.
I keep that in mind when I recall
my days as a sorority member. It was
my first year at the University: a year
spent in total frivolity, rowdiness,
drunkenness, and other hedonistic pur-
IT WAS A helluva lot of fun. ,
Which is not to say that life as a
Greek is all play and no work. I re-
member, sometime before finals week,
the migration down to "The' Pit"-a
room devoid of any decoration or fur-
niture except work desks.
There are students who study all
term. Regularly.
STUDYING-like partying and dat-
ing-are the values emphasized in a
Greek house.
And they are enforced not only by
peer pressure, but by pressure from
"the national." Most Greeks speak of
"the national" in the same tone of
voice a hardhat speaks of "the Presi-
"The national," if your grades fall
below a specified minimum (usually
about 2.5), will put you on probation.
Two terms on probation, and a Greek
was generally expelled.
MOST DIDN'T have to worry. As
Greeks proudly point out, the average
GPA of most sorority/fraternity mem-
bers is a cut above the norm.
But the partying, dating and social
life generally survive long after night-
mares of "The Pit" have vanished. A
house is a guaranteed ticket to social
acceptance. And at times, it could also
be a guaranteed ticket to socal caste.
"Dating' is still carried on as an age-
old traditional rite, complete with all
the trappings. (Boy asks girl out, girl
accepts, gets dressed up for the occa-
ion with make-up and curlers. And
he guy, of course, pays.)
AW' IBTT Vm. nni nthrmnt

stress grades, social activity
ing "well-rounded."


and be-'

sorority women go into nursing and
teaching: Fraternity members often be-
come business executives.
And many are married, engaged, or
"pinned" by the time they graduate.
The mood, politically, is often apa-
thetic. Racial representation is still in
" the consciousness-raising stages and
the virginity crisis is still a divisive
issue in some houses.
IN SHORT, houses often live in a
world divorced from the 70's. They

exist in something of a tir
living with much the same
their "sisters" and "brothel
decade or two ago.
The politically active, of co
not shunned. But after awhile
ber can grow tired of being it
as the "house radical" or th
cally active one," even whenr
is attached.
In any case, house activit
prohibit extensive outside invo
just as the social structure cu
ciatioii with the world ou
Greek system.

ne-freeze, ,with other Greeks, usually people with-
values as in their own house. Often, this means
rs" of a your friendships from year to year
are limited to the same people.
urse, are The system leads to many lifelong,
a mem- lasting friendships. It also leads to a
ntroduced certain degree of social isolation.
Le "politi- Several years ago, the issue of racial
no stigma segregation reared its ugly head. Black
members and other minority groups
ies often are now eagerly sought as members,
lvements, when they do not join the black or
orbs asso- Jewish houses on campus.
tside the
GAY POWER and, to a large extent,
woman power has not yet hit the Greek
associate system. But then, to a large extent,
the hot, burning issues of the day are
often passed up in dinner conversation
for a more thorough discussion of class-
es or weekend activities.
Contrary to popular belief, the Greek
system is alive, well, and surviving at
the University. The much- touted down-
fall of sororities and fraternities is far
from being a reality, and will probaby
remain that way as long as the values
that the Greeks represent survive.
The recent crisis of the system has
tbeensmainly one of the survival of the
fittest. Following their heyday in the
early and mid-60's, many of the small-
er houses have had to fold.
BUT THE more popular houses-like
Kappa Kappa Gamma or Pi Beta Phi
sororities and the Phi Gamma Delta:
fraternity-never really felt the crunch.
There are often regrets among mem-
bers that they did not fully experience
or appreciate University life before,
joining ("pledging") a house.-
"Yeah, it's fine for your first year;
or two," a dissatsified member says,
"but after all, I'd much rather be liv-;
ing on my own now."

Student counselors battle
bureaucracy, offer free
advice and cheap lunches

The Student Counseling Office (SCO) was
initiated six years ago by students in a Project
Community Group who believed they were be-
ing railroaded and rubber stamped by the
regular counseling procedures.
Utilizing their own experiences, a University
counseling handbook, and the data from stu-
dent course evaluations, the student volunteers
began counseling other students in both the
School of Education and the Literary College
THE PROJECT worked so well that they
found themselves, much to their surprise, with
an official office and a budget from the very
school whose system they tried to circumvent.
During its entire history, the SCO has tried to
fill needs that weren't being met elsewhere.
Counselors made student course evaluations
available, provided hot lunches and backrubs,
opened up the office as a meeting place for ad
hoc groups, and gave friendly advice on all
sorts of topics.
In the school of Education, the students coun-
selors-University juniors and seniors-are em-
ployed on a part-time basis, usually eight to ten
hours per week.

"Mainly student counselors help alleviate
hassles that other students have with drop/add
and help them understand what the BGS (Bach-
elor of General Studies) program is all about,"
says Rufkhar.
Both counseling programs are considered to
be highly successful, both by their participants
and the University.
In contrast to the regular University counsel-
ing procedure where a harried faculty member
gives the same, old, tired advice over and over
again while dealing with perhaps hundreds of
students, the peer counseling program is much
more personalized.
IN THE SCO, students are given advice on
everything from personal problems to which
professors are lenient about deadlines. Usually,
this advice is much more practical than that of
a faculty members, who often lack a basic un-
derstanding of the student's viewpoint.
For example, faculty advisers often will not
handle candid advice about other professors
and frequently they gloss over the undesirable
aspects of a course. Often, they are not even
aware of how students perceive an instructor
and have no idea how effective he or she is
as a lecturer.
Student counselors, however, are usually able
and willing to speak frankly about the courses
they have taken. Also, the SCO staffers keep
files on various classes for easy reference.
If you have problems staying awake during

HOWEVER, unless a house is full
and needs the room space (which is ACCORDING TO head counselor Robert
still rather rare), the only way "out" Hutchcroft, "most of the training is on the job,
is the arduous, and sometimes messy although we do instruct them on academic
path of "de-activation"-which makes counseling."
a member something of a Greek sys- Tn A hA t hestidnt cAunseliens nnoram is

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