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January 18, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-18

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

Saturday, January 18, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Law hedges on file access

new federal law which theoretic-
ally allows students access to their
own personal and academic records
looks like little more than a variation
on the "give-em-a-few-inches-and-
maybe-they'll-be-quiet" routine. As a
result of the new amendment to the
only months-old Educational Rights
and Privacy Act, certain of the con-
tents of student files may still be
kept from them.
Letters of recommendation written.
while confidentiality was still the
rule, medical and psychiatric records,
and parents' financial statements are
the bones of contention. One might
well ask what else there is: only the
academic transcript (easily available
from 555 L,S &A for $1.00) is missing
from the list of forbidden papers.
Further, the law entitles parents
and certain agencies to see their son's
or daughter's files at the discretion of
the university in question.
Certain u n h a p p y implications
emerge from this farrago of provi-
sions. First, it is clear that the peo-
ple who formed and phrased the
amendment missed one essential
point: the student wants access to his
counseling file because it pertains to
him and no one else; we want some
knowledge of what is being compiled
with regard to our personalities, our
financial status, and our academic
careers. Rather than giving students
an undisputed right to their files, -
which would, incidentally, help to de-
ter such secret entries as the OAIS
test results - the amendment hedges
by limiting the student's access as
well as by opening up the file to per-
sons other than the student.
goes too far in that it legislates
aspects of the student's personal life
as well as his integrity. Surely the
parents' financial statement is be-
tween the parents and the student. If
the parents would rather their child

did not see this form, can't they
simply request he not look? Need fed-
eral laws interfere in matters of this
sort between parents and children?
The same principle applies to let-
ters of recommendation. If a profes-
sor or employer prefers to know that
his letter will not be read by the stu-
dent to whom it pertains, he can
simply tell the student so. If students
want to be able to read all letters of
recommendation, they will simply
have to find letter-writers who are
ambivalent. Again, this is a matter
requiring no legal intervention in the
form of a provisional amendment.
This, I think, is the crux of the
problem. A large chunk of society
still regards the student as an indi-
vidual whose intergity needs watch-
ing over. Information which pertains
directly to me by rights should be
mine. My academic file concerns me;
since I generated the information
therein, I can no doubt handle it. It
will in no way harm me to be re-
minded that in March of 1973 I stop-
ped in at the Health Service and was
told I had a sore throat. Furthermore,
if meaningful clues to my personality
have been gleaned from a test and
are included in my file, who can pos-
sibly use that knowledge better than
JN AN EDUCATIONAL system where
the student has as much free
rein to choose classes, a major, and
extracurricular activities as we do
here, isn't it clear that information
academically and personally helpful
to a student should be available to
that student? And if the material
in the counseling files is not aca-
demically or personally illuminating,
but merely tab-keeping, it should be
In any case, unless we have access
to our files, limited only by ourselves
and other contributors to the file,
we alone are the losers.

E ARE THE first generation
without a future. We are
the first human beings to be
confronted with not only the
spectre of nuclear holocaust but
also the possibility of environ-
mental disaster or societal col-
lapse. Significantly, the pro-
phets of doom are not Je'ts
freaks carrying their placards
with the message "the world
is coming to an end," but rath-
er are respected scientists such
as Paul Ehrlich, John Cicer-
one,bGeorgejWald, and Robert
Heilbroner, just to name a few.
There are many reasons why the
future outlook seems gloomy,
but this essay does not want to
deal with why t h e future is
bleak, but rather the curious
way in which an in:,ea singly
large number of students are
anroaching the problems mar-
kind faces. What I reer to is
the marathon studying that
seems to have become common-
place on this as well as other
campuses throughout this coun-
try. Walk through the under-
graduate library on any right
- weekends included - and you
will find the library u' of
neonle reluctantiv yet meti c-
lously studying for the" var-
ious courses.
NO DOUBT, there are mans
valid reasons for the retrn of
the stident to serious acadenmc
nursit (by return' I mean that
the 'radical' student of the last
decade seemed, at least to mnost
observers. to stndv less than the
student of today). The maior
and overriding reason is t h e
scientific and technological
orientation of this society, an
orientation which demands that
a student choose his carear ear-
her than ever before, an orien-
tation which demands that a
student know more fans and
snecific knowledge in o:der to
become an exoert in his or her
chosen career. Because *o n e
must 'know more', courses :n
turn often become harder, re-
nuiring more effort from t h e
student. Secondly, there is the
faltering economy, a- event
which is making the t-ident
much more aware of the hard,
cold, cruel world with it' ten-
sles awaiting noon graduation.
Thirdly, there is the difficulty
involved in getting into graduat
schools, a diffiulty tis com-
mnuity is nainfuhix aware of:
all that ned be s id is that this
is a problem which drves norm-
ally rational indiv 1n1ls into
hvsterics at the th "ght of re-
"eiving a B instead of an A, he-
lievine this may be the diffei-
Pnce between accePntance c.r re-
iection at the grad sh'ol 'f
their choice. No dobt there are
other pressures on the student
That I have failed to mention,
but what is imnorant here is
that these have nelned t u r n
briht individnrils into auto-
matons who stuly day and

p -


e pass
night, fearing the 'us of one or
two study hours will mean a
lower grade, faiure t> get into
law school, failure in later !ie,
et cetera. However, it would be
fallatious to believe emphasis
on expertise, professors, a re-
icession, or competition f o r
graduate schools is entirely to
blame for the creation of study-
ing machines. Whle these are
heavy burdens, students the-
selves, must share the hame for
they create extra pressure by
overstudying, refusing to relax,
and emphasizing competition, m
the process neglecing personal
growth in order to insure aca-
demic success. This is not only
a tragedy for the student, but
for society as well.
lem of students who s t u d y
nearly all the time is no* one
which goes unrecognize around
the university. At last y e a r
honors convocation no less an
authority than University r)f
Michigan President Rbhen
Fleming stated that he felt that
as a whole students were study-
ing too much, in the prc.es fail-
ing to take adva age of the
many other ase.:ts Of uiver-
sity life which comoins to cr ate
a well-rounded individual. In
addition, there are some pro-
fessors around the campu who
structure their corss so a
to notturn their students into
studying machines, preferring
instead to emphasize thought
and creativity. 3ut by and
large, there has been little r-
sponse to Fleming s lament.
Most professors seam unaware
or unsympathetic to their u-
dent's plight, and thus unwill-
ing to lessen the requirements
of their courses. Others while
aware and sympatheta feel
that it is their duty to prepare
us for our chose professions,
and thus feel a responsibili v
not to change their methods and
,or requirements.
THE MOST dang'3"ous aspect
of the creation of a one-dimen-
sional studying automaton is
that the answers to the prob-
lems which threaten our future
often can not be found ;n text-
books. Rather, the answers or
even the processes which lead
to the answers often only turn
up either in intimrta discussion
with friends or more usually in
reflective thoug: when one isI
alone. At best, blks and their
ideas can be a gaudance f o r
thought, but never a substitute.
And importantly, thnking -.s
opposed to studying or memor-
izing - is never easy. For it is;
when he thinks that ma recog-I
nizes just how vulerable he is:i
in thought we bec >mc aware of;
the failures of mankind, of the;
limitations of our souls, and of
the evil within us all. But as
this is true, it also is the case
that in reflective thought man
is able to dream of the solutiosi

ing s tudents


A "606FROM -"S4EUC. XIflEicR IMP 1M'A'ei cowcwevG80014
* -
~OO> ZEERY V1INe 3t-40
to past failures and recognize beliefs, values, and thought sensitive to the realitios of their
the good and potential witlin come to grips with these ques- student's lives an:' try to en-
him; it is here that he is able tions and by this process give courage rather than stifle crea-
to resurrect his soul and create meaning to his life. tive thought. Finally, students
a better future for himself. Only must try to relax more, recog-
when one ponders, reflects adzd IT IS NEVER easy for one nize that one or two evening:
tikcaheoshcofottfida anwratote heeadteeaa'fo hethe problems of our civilization, meaning of his or her existence: library will not have a negative
this failure has plaguled aril- efect on their future, an l real-
TIlS IS NOT to suggest th.,:t lions, and undoubtedly w i I 1 ize that the cultivatian of per-
studying or education i,.self is trouble millions more. Today sonal relationships, new exper-
not important to the develop- the problems and crises this iences, and thought is nn o r e
ment of a person. Education - generation faces are tre mend- imnortant than anything o n e
even with the limitations of the ouis - without a doubt th'e most will find at 12:00 a.mn. in the
process at Michigan - is necas- dificullt adcmne n , library.

sary for the psychic and spirit-,
ual growth of an indi rdual
which enables one to intelligent-
ly deal with the woci. Wrat
I am suggesting is that hours
of memorizing physics eq'u-
tions and the structure of local
government is irrelevant and of-
ten a hindrance to reflective
thought. Simply, as Mark Twain
once remarked, one shouli not
let studying get in the way of
one's education. W)!it one must
recognize is that the eternal
albatross around man's neck is
that he does not know and can
never scientifically know an-
swers to questions such as 'why
am I here, what is the purpose
of my life, is there a Off, and
what comes after death'. An-
swers to these questions are not
found in textbooks; rather each
individual must through hi- own

ciety has ever had to face What
prompted me to wri'e ,his es-
say is that it bothers me to see
many of the best minds of the
University totally commi'ted to
hour after hour of memorizing,
categorizing, copying, and re-
writing facts and figures which
by themselves are essentially
irrelevant to the silitions of
man's most presasing 'ethical,
metaphysical, and existential
problems. This is not a cali for
students to burn their books, but
rather a suggestion tha ad-
ministrators, faculty, and stu-
dents alike should constantly
keep the classroom experience
in perspective. President Flem-
ing and other administrators
must make a cometittment, and
act to find ways t- lessen the
external burdens vn students
Professors must become more

WE MUST ALL r aiize that
thinking is the foundation of our
future and that the confrontanikn
of and solution to our genera-
tion's problems can only be ac-
complished throagh visions and
dreams which can not be found
in textbooks. Students here and
elsewhere must realize that
there is more to life than study-
ing; whether we care to admit
it or not we al have a com-
mitment to our fellow man, a
commitment whi:,h demands we
attempt to make the world a
more human and better place
for all.
Barry Katz is a senior in
LSA, majoring in philosophy
and political science-

Is Super K on the skids?

THE CREDIBILITY of Secretary of
State, Henry Kissinger has slip-
ped further in the eyes of interna-.
tional leaders and the American peo-
ple every day, and makes his chances
of handling a successful Mid-East
disengagement slimmer every day.
His most recent slippage concerned
his statement on the U.S.-Arab oil
relations. When questioned by report-
ers, he remarked that the possibility
of U. S. military intervention in Arab
oil controlled lands was not being
ruled out if current oil prices and
economic instability in the world's in-
dustrialized nations continued its
News: Ken Fink, Cindy Hill, Lois Josi-
movich, Sara Rimer, Judy Ruskin,
Stuart Sherr, Suanne Tiberio
Editorial Page: Peter Blaisdell, Alan
Gitles, Debra Hurwitz, Marnie Heyn
Arts Page: David Blomquist, David
Photo Technician: Stuart Hollander

downswing towards depression.
DR. KISSINGER HAS shortened the
fuse on a political time bomb in
the Mid-East that can only be alle-
viated by his immediate removal.
Arab military strength is expanding
quickly in its war with Israel. Such
antagonistic statements by Kissing-
er, unchecked by President Ford,
have raised the subsidies awarded to
the other Arab nations by King Faisal
of Saudi Arabia, the principle oil
state leader. Israel itself is sitting
upon the secret to nuclear power, and
will not submit to the Arabs without
mass destruction and loss of life, evi-
nced by the direction it is headed
Kissinger's removal is by no
means the sole answer, but it sets
the Mid-East and the Secretary of
State's office on a new course of
credibility, and offers a better chance
for a real peace, rather than part-
time disengagement.
~ ~--
I it




To The Daily:
I WAS very pleased to note
the expos6 of the term-paper
producing company, Minute Re-
search Company, in Chicago. I
have for years watched t h e
growth of these insidious com-
panies and have always wonder-
ed how they were ;allowed to
continue. The use of such com-
panies is of course partly a re-
flection of students' attitudes
towards the many inane re-
search and paper.writing re-
quirements on the part of pro-
fess'rs who don't know their
students from a chacr, and is
partially a reflecti'n of stu-
dents' increasing disdain o any
original research and creative
It is interesting that the Uni-
versity of Michigan as recent-
ly abandoned its lab science
requirement for freshman, an
act that contributes to the gen-
eral lack of respect f-r know-
ledge and the learning process.
While action must of course be
taken against such companies, I
suggest that it is the students
themselves who shoui be more
severely dealt with. Suspension
from school for a term, or
a failing grade, is the least a -
tion one might expect to be
taken against them.
taken, however, until the par-
ents themselves get invcived. it
takes little awareness to see
that their children are defraud-
ing their parents, wto are pay-
ing for "an educati) " and are
receiving nothing but counter-
feit education for their child-
ren. Hackles would rise much
more quickly were these stu-
dents found to be diving with
forged licenses, married under
false names and ages, using
false nassoorts or using fa?{e

Liz Taylor
To The Daily:
IN THE Thursday, January 9,
1975, Michigan Daily there was
an article by Rob Meachum on
the upcoming city elections. In-
that article Meachum implied
that Liz Taylor was running in
the April election against ano-
ther Democrat Bob Elton and
against the HRP candidate Dav-
id Goodman, and the GOP can-
didate Karen Graf. That is riot
On February 17 there will be
a Primary in Ward 1 to decide
who the candidate for the Demo-
crats will be. In that election the
voters will decide whether Bob
Elton or Liz Taylor will face
the HRP and GOP candidat.es.
Ms. Taylor won't be running
against anyone in April unless
she beats Bob Elton in Febru-
-Kathryn Sedo
Law '76
To The Daily:
Iran, along with several other
major oil producers in the Mid-
dle East, has been critical of oil
company profits in this coun-
try. As a resulthe has roposed
an increase in the royalties paid
to him, with no accomnanying
increase in the price of crude
oil. The intent is to decrease oil
company profits and yet keep
the price at the pump at its pre-
sent level.
This approach is deceptive in
its appeal to the American con-
sumer, for it is clearly in the
Shah's own interest to limit the
amount that American oil com-
panies can spend to find and
develop new reserves in t 1i i s
country. In this way Americans
can be prevented from achiev-
ing self-sufficiency in petroleum,
-a wil rnnt n . oey n.r,

tion, it's going to be a long time
before we can stop relying on
oil and gas.
WHATEVER YOU may think
of the oil companies, their pro-
fits have not been excessive.
Annual return on investment is
now around 10 per cent, com-
pared to 6 per cent or so in pre-
vious years. American indus-
tries average 10 per cent return
on investment, thus cIarly the
oil companies were depressed
before and are only now recov-
ering from a number, of lean
It isn't popular in this com-
munity to speak in support of
the oil companies and their cur-
rent level of profits. For nianv
politicians it has been exped-
ient to attack the major com-
panies. But is is clear to me
that blaming the companies and
enacting punitive legislation
would be wrong. For many
vears all of us consumers have
been getting oil and natural eas
products at hargain nrices. Un-
til the mast few years gasoline
has cost 12 to 13 cents per gal-
Ion, nIls federal and state tux-
es. The onlvplace in the world
where prices were so low was
the Middle East.
One cannot blame the Arabs
for the current binh price if
their crude oil either T n n
nears ago in Kuwait a barrel of
oil cost 90c, and simca oil is
their onl resource they have
to get a fair price.
THE FUTTJE will continue
to look bleak for us if we do
not establish some kind ('f er-
ergy olan, so T will sug pest that
we do sevacr-l things. First, we
must cut back our de n- nd se-
verely. Theme are larg~e slin-
plies of netroleum ava'b2 in
this country and off our shor s,
but these won't be suffi-'en. for
our needs if we cotinue to
was tit as U o no w.m!' d

crisis was engineered ?y the
oil companies so that t h e v
could raise prices. What really
happened was 'hat prices were
depressed for so long that the
return was insufficient to jus'ify
continued exploration L o w
prices incdeased demand 10 the
point where it outstripped do-
mestic supply.
This isn't The time for reorim-
inations; we reed action t h a t
will allow us to have a :onsist-
ent supply of energy - wnether
it be from pe:t leum, the sun,
the wind, o: fusion. Until then
the oil companies are all we
have - whether you like them
or not.
-Charles B. Kit'srnati
November 11

To The Daily:
MY FIRST impulse is to
fault your rep t)rer, Rob Meach-
um, for unprofessional inaccur-
acy in referring to the Demo-
cratic mayoral candidate, Al-
bert Wheeler, as a black phy-
But one shouldn t do this, for,
in spite of the fact that Wheeler
is not a physician, he aflows
people to labor under that mis-
representation, doing nothing to
correct it.
The fact s, Albert Wheeler
is but a Ph.D. Is this intellec-
tual honesty?
-Arthur Swanson
January )


For The Free Press:
When I was just a boy

When I was a boy,
I had a friend named Joey with a vet for a father.
We would steal PCP from his office,
And roll it in our joints.
Then we would roll around laughing and rolling our tongues
and eyes.
One day Joey's father caught us smoking.
He told us we were too young for pot.
When I was a boy, fathers were not very bright,
Se we gave Joey's a toke.
We told him it was treated with THC,
And sold him a lid for $50.
Wayne Johnson is a staff writer for the Editorial Page.
Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol

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