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November 06, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-11-06

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EheMihtan til
Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Wednesday, November 6, 1974

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

LSA move ignores student
input, retains requirement

F WAS WITH much bitterness that
we watched the LSA faculty re-
tain the foreign language require-
ment. Without entertaining a single
word of dissenting debate, the Gov-
erning Faculty hastily voted to ap-
prove the requirement, even stripped
away a call for future review, in a
headlong charge that can only be
termed irresponsible.
Had the LSA faculty contained
itself for just a few minutes, it would
have heard a well-reasoned ration-
ale for removing the requirement.
And these are the arguments it
might have heard.
The foreign language requirement
means, for many students, a tremen-
dous waste of time and energy. Less
than excited about their learning,
these students must attend classes in
which their achievement and reten-
tion will be far below the average.
Whether or not these students will
really learn anything is a valid ques-
tion, but even if there is some
achievement, it is bought at a tre-
mendous cost. Excited learning in
another class would have been far
more productive for those reluctant
students. Their servitude in foreign
language classes keeps them from
excited efforts and greater achieve-
ments elsewhere.
ET US, AT this point, question the
reasoning behind the foreign
language requirement. No one would
deny that the knowledge of a foreign
culture and language is a valuable
asset. But is it valid to say that for-
eign language study is more vital,
more timely, more important than,
say, the study of mathematics, his-
tory or literature? Is the study of
foreign language so special, so much
more important than any other field
of study that it deserves not a sim-
ple requirement, but demands a com-
mitment of up to four courses? Has it
occurred to the faculty that this re-
quirement, rather than helping to de-
velop a well-rounded student, can
stifle exploration and a more varied
experience because it demands such
a vast commitment of time and ener-
gy?
Let us also question the effects of
the foreign language requirement on
language study. It has been assumed
that the requirement is an asset for
language study. We contend it is a
liability.
MANY STUDENTS, sincerely inter-
ested in foreign language study,
complain about the unexcited atmos-

phere of their beginning classes.
Placed with reluctant learners, these
committed students also feel stifled
and held back. The requirement not
only works against those not interest-
ed in language study, it is also harm-
ful for those who must put up with
inattentive, unexcited, and often cyn-
ical classmates.
The language requirement also re-
tards the development of introduc-
tory foreign language curriculum. It
is true that foreign language offer-
ings now show a great diversity, but
it is a diversity and innovation that
affect primarily the more advanced
or committed students. What is
needed are eclectic courses in for-
eign cultures that would give the be-
ginning student a reason for becom-
ing involved in fore)gn language
study. Such courses, including inter-
esting aspects of history, anthropol-
ogy, language, linguistics, and art
could be very attractive and might
be very successful in their own right
as well as helpful in developing in-
terest in foreign language studies.
HOWEVER, SADDLED NOW with a
requirement that sends thous-
ands of students to them for foreign
language instruction, foreign lan-
guage departments and the college
generally will be slow to see and meet
the need for such eclectic courses in
foreign culture.
For allkthese reasonsnstudents
have spoken out time and again
against the language requirement. Let
us say now that student opposition is
intense. The Committee on the Un-
derclass Experience (CUE) Survey
showed 76 per cent of its respondents
opposed to a language reouirement.
Of the remaining 24 per cent. 13 per
cent called for some modification.
Only 10 per cent of the respondents
called for a maintenance of the
present requirement.
We characterized the faculty's ac-
tion as irresponsible because we see
the foreign language requirement as
pedagogically unsound and politic-
ally oppressive. We smile bitterly at
the faculty's attempt to remove the
issue of review. For as Professor Pa-
per said last Monday night, the issue
is perennial. And we intend to keep
it that way.
-MARK GOLD,
President, L.S.&A. Student
Government
and
MARNIE HEYN

itary
By PAUL O'DONNELL
WHILE THE WORDS sound almost contradictory,
military democracy is a phenomenon which exists
in more countries than most advocates of constitutional
government would like to admit. During the past twelve
months especially, numerous examples of military
democracy, that is military-created-or-dominated civil-
ian governments, have been provided by the mideast
crisis, and the Portuguese and Ethiopian revolutions.
The future may provide many more cases of the
same situation, particularly if economic crisis and run-
away inflatibn continue to encourage the armed forces
in the affected nations to "step in and straighten things
out.'
THE CYPRUS CRISIS
Turkey, currently in the international limelight be-
cause of its bellicose activities on Cyprus, is perhaps
the best example of a nation where the army doesn't
hesitate to take control of the government when it
feels that the civilian rulers are mismanaging the af-
fairs of state. A historically warlike nation, both the
Ottoman Empire and the first attempts at creating a
Turkish republic were the work of the armed forces.
Kemal Ataturk, the "father of Turks" who led the
movement to create a republic in the early part of the
1900's, was himself a general, and used the army to
establish civilian rule. Since then, military leaders have
on several occasions taken back the powers bestowed
upon the civilians when they thought that the military
could do a better job of running the country.
Bulent Ecevit, current Turkish prime Minister, is
well accepted by the military, and is also one of the
most popular leaders since Ataturk. This popularity
with both the civilians and the army is, however,
partly a result of his allowing the army to conquer
large portions of Cyprus, and thus score great victories
over Turkey's traditional enemies, the Greeks. The
Turkish government is also willing to accept the credit
for the re-establishment of civilian rule in Greece, al-
though this was hardly its goal when it sent troops
to Cyprus in July. Ecevit's popularity should not be
mistaken for independence; as C. L. Sulzberger of the
New York Times wrote: "I cannot imagine the army
taking it should he - like Truman - fire a general
because he was going too far."
WHETHER BY ACCIDENT, by international pres-
sures, or by military realities, the Cyprus. crisis pro-
voked a return to civilian government in the country
which invented democracy, Greece. The restoration of
Prime Minister Caramanlis was not caused by a con-
version of the military leaders over to constitutional-
ism, but rather a result of the military junta's losing
its gamble on Cyprus, and recognizing its own political
and diplomatic incompetence. For the moment, the
Greek people are behind Caramanlis, but the future of

rule

constitutional government in Greece hinges on many
variables. Among these are Caramanlis' success in
dismantling the vestiges of the military jinta, reducing
the power of the pro-fascist element in the army, and
solving the big question, the Cyprus issue. As Cara-
manlis himself once said, "I try to avoid war, but
between war and humiliation, I won't hesitate. Demo-
cracy can't be re-established if it is founded on humilia-
tion."
"For the moment, the G r e e k
people are behind Caramanlis, but
tihe future of constitutional govern-
ment in Greece hinges on his suc-
cess in dismantling the military jun-
t(, reducting the power of the pro-
fascist element in the army, and
solving the Cyprus issue."
PORTUGAL AND ETHIOPIA
While the military operated sporadic control of the
government in countries like Greece and Turkey, pro-
gressive-thinking armed forces in Portugal and Ethiopia
recently put an end to long standing dictatorships
through relatively peaceful takeovers. The armed
forces in Ethiopia, who recently deposed the "king of
kings", Haile Selassie, after 44 years of power,
state that their revolution is neither "Chinese nor
Portuguese nor Marxist", and that it "is and will re-
main Ethiopian," but many of the aspects of the
Portuguese and Ethiopian revolutions are indeed com-
parable. In Portugal, the army was prepared for re-
volutionary change by over. a decade of hopeless colon-
ial warfare in Africa; furthermore, the fact that all
university graduates were formerly obliged to serve
in Africa created a kind of radicalization of the military
forces, similar to that which took place when American
students-turned-soldiers weretexposed to the horrors
of war in Southeast Asia. The influence of the intel-
lectial community upon the military is one of the
factors which made Portugal's coup a liberal revolu-
tion rather than a traditional dictatorial takeover.
IN ETHIOPIA, widespread drought and famine ra-
ther than colonial warfare were the principle causes of
the Ethiopian "coup a 1a portugaise." Among the
reasons given by the military for deposing the Emperor
was the accusation that Selassie had deposited large
sums of money in foreign banks, and refused to bring
this money back to Ethioria. Other accusations state
that Selassie spent 250.000 dollars on his 80th birth-
day celebration, while ignoring hundreds of thousands

and

emocracy
of Ethiopia ns dying of starvation, especially in the
dr:)ght-stricken northern provinces.
As for the political policies of the new regime, no
one knows what they will be, but many expect them
to in; -de the creation of a civilian government and
the elimination of certain social inequities which existed
under Selassie. Meanwhile, Ethiopian students demon-
strate regularly in the streets of the capital in favor
of a socialist republic, but parliamentary government.
seems difficult in a country which has neither organiz-
ed political parties nor democratic traditions..
WESTERN DEMOCRACIES
Looking at these nations where the civil government
was created by the armed forces, an Englishman or
an American might be proud that this "the military
giveth and the military taketh away" situation does not
exist in his country. In England, however, where
retired military officers have created private militias
for "social assistance" and to combat "social anarchy,"
some critics talk about the leaders of these move-
ments contemplating a military takeover. While few
take these accusations seriously, many agree with
the newspaper the Observer that there exists in Eng-
land "a prerevolutionary situation."
America, proud of its democratic traditions and of
having weathered the storm of the Nixon resignation,
seems to be a country where direct military interven-
tion in civilian affairs is out of the question. Certain
sources maintain, however, that during the hours
before the Nixon resignation, the Defense Depart-
ment kept close watch over all communications con-
cerning military movements. Whether prompted by
concern that Nixon might call out the military, or
that the military might have moved on its own, that
the precaution was taken is worth noting.
The unfortunate fact is that in almost all nations of
the world, the government and the citizenry are, to
one extent or another, the hostages of the military. The
Chilean coup, just a year ago, demonstrated that all
of the military's pledges of loyalty to constitutional
government are forgotten when the crisis is serious
enough.
While the opinion that "there is no such thing as a
gnod army, nor a good machine gun, nor a good atomic
bomb," may have its strong points, even the staunchist
anti-militarist must realize that the concept of armed
national defense is not about to disappear. That the
army could become, as it has begun to in some nations,
a s pporter of social progress and human rights, and
cease to be an institution of humiliation and de-hum-
anizatior, is a possibility worth pursuing.
Paul O'Donnell is a European Correspondent for The
Daily.

Collective: Activities to meet needs

By LINDA SERAFINI
THE WOMEN'S Community
Center Organizing Collec-
tive is a group of women work-
ing together to form a Women's
Center for the Ann Arbor area.
We feel that there is a defi-
nite need for a place where
women can meet to talk, learn,
play, and work together in sis-
terhood. At present no such
place exists and so we are mak-
ing one. The Center seeks to
meet the needs of all women
in Ann Arbor: married, single,
with families, third world, of
all sexual preferences, from any
economic or social class, and
of any age. In order to do this,

it is essential that all women
become involved in the plan-
ning of the Center.
THE CENTER will also serve
as a cultural center provid-
ing a forum for women artists to
share their talents with other
women. We plan to hold classes
in self-defense, self-help, and
any other areas in which an un-
met need exists. The Center
will as well be a feminist re-
source center housing a library
and fulfilling the need for com-
munication within the women's
community. We are associated
with the already established Wo-
men's Crisis Center and when
we obtain a building the Crisis

Center will be housed in it. In
addition to counseling we plan
to provide a place where wo-
nen can stay for short per-
iods in times of crises. We
plan on providing child-care for
women using the Center.
WHILE THESE are our ob-
jectives at present, we are very
flexible and eager to incorpor-
ate other relevant objectives
in our plans. We want and need
input from all women in the
community. While we want to
serve women from all types of
lifestyles and orientations, we
realize we can only do this if
all women join and work with
us. We hold our organizational

meetings Wednesday nights at
7:30 P.M. in the 3rd floor con-
ference room of the Michigan
Union. In addition to these we
are having two week-ends of
workshops devoted to developing
organizational skills. These will
be held November 9 and 10 and
November 15 and 16~, 10-4 each
day at Guild House, 802 Monroe
St. They are intended to help
us to work together more
smoothly as a group. Work-
shop topics include group dy-
rn mics, problem solving, con-
flict resolution, strategy devel-
opment, organizational struc-
tures, leadership, fundraising,
publicity, and childcare.

RIGHT NOW we are spon-
soring the Women's Coffeehouse
every other Saturday night 8-12
pm at Guild House, 802 Monroe
St. The coffeehouse features
women musicians and poets.
Our next coffeehouse will be
held Saturday, Nov. 9. If you
are interested in performing at
future coffeehouses, call 482-
1964.
Our greatest need is for the
support, ideas and energy of
other women. For more infor-
mation about the organizational
workshops, the coffeehouse or
the Center call 761-7973 or 482-
1964 or come to our meeting
Wednesday night.

No comment...

Public puffing out in NYC

SMOKERS SUFFERED A major set-
back in New York City last week.
They must now retreat to the back
room for that life-shortening drag,
since the always upfront city pulled
another first in adopting a compre-
hensive no-smoking statute. Smoking,
previously punishable by shortened
breath, rasping cough, and higher
risk of lung cancer, is now a misde-
meanor punishable by fines of up to
$1,000 and jail terms of up to a year.
Lighting up is no longer a legal lark
in elevators, supermarkets, movie the-
atres, in 80 per cent of classroom
seats, libraries, and other public
places.
Gearing up for the battle against
the public puff, the Health Depart-
ment is distributing 35,000 flyers that
explain the new smoking laws and
15,000 signs to hang in supermarkets.
In a recent New York Times article,
Health Commissioner Dr. Lowell Bel-
lin said there would be a two to four
week program to educate the public
to the newest item in the Criminal
Code. He asserted, "Two out of ev-
ery three people don't smoke. lt's the
civil rights of those people we are
guarding." While Bellin expects en-
forcement tp be a minor problem, sea-
soned New Yorkers used to fighting
the fumes are fueling up for a heated
battle. They predict the law will be
as ineffective as ones that make jay-
walking and littering crimes. In a
city where jaywalking is a laudable

mired, is just as automatic, cigarets
are not likely to be extinguished
overnight.
THE TOUGH BUNCH that would
rather "fight than switch," and
even "walk a mile" for their favorite
brand is not likely to put down its
ammunition without an argument.
Perhaps an accurate preview of the
upcoming struggle is a case where
smoker pitted against non-smoker
ended in violence. The incident, re-
ported in the New York Times last
summer, occurred in a Greenwich
Village health food restaurant which
posts a sign requesting that patrons
refrain from smoking. When a well-
heeled, upper East Side woman lit up
anyway, another equally well-bred
type pointed to the sign and politely
requested that the woman snuff out
of the offensive cigarette. After all,
yogurt and ashes don't mix. When
the offender refused, a scuffle broke
out and the non-smoker was repaid
for her forthrightness with a broken
nose. She now has the law on her
side in future confrontations, but ad-
dicts are clearly prepared to go down
puffing in a cloud of smoke if neces-
sary.
SINCE BELLIN SAYS two out of
three people don't smoke, the
non-smokers clearly have the odds in
this match. Studies have indicated
that cigaret smoke is hazardous to
non-smokers as well as smokers. Cig-

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