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February 07, 1973 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-02-07

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I

Ie ar4i;an an
Eighty-two years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Of crime,

punishment, and cop-killers

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich. '

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of stoff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1973
New grading reform setback

THE LSA faculty has slammed the door
on academic innovation. In an amaz-
ing show of conservative strength, the
faculty defeated a grading reform pro-
posal, 226 to 45.
The grading proposal called for four
specific changes in the present grading
plan. They were:,
" Failure of a class would never be re-
corded on a student's transcript;
# Grading for all 100 and 200 level cour-
ses would be on a pass/no entry basis;
0 The instructor of an upper-level
course may offer that course either grad-
ed (A,B,C,D, no entry) or pass/no entry;
and'
* A student in a graded course could
chose to take that course graded (A,B,C,
D, no entry or A,B,C, no entry) or pass/
no entry.
The purpose of the four suggestions
was to give students and faculty a voice
in the formation of the academic envi-
ronment. Since no single program would
satisfy all the students or faculty a va-
riety of choices were offered. 4
The idea behind no entry of a failing
grade on a transcript was to eliminate
the use of grades as a means of punish-
ment. The other three provisions proAde
for lessening of competition among stu-
dents. They advocate learning not for
the sake of grades, but for the sake
of knowledge.
Those faculty members opposed to the
proposals cited the disadvantages of pass/
no entry to those students planning on

going on to graduate schools. The lack
of grades, they said, would result in
heavy use of external measurements such
as standardized aptitude exams.
But the important point to remember
is that the proposals do not force a stu-
dent to take advanced courses ' either
pass/no entry or graded. The choice is
left up to the student. Those planning
on graduate studies are free to elect up-
per-level undergraduate courses on a
graded basis.
For other students, striving for a good
gradepoint average may be an unneces-
sary burden. The options of pass/no en-
try should be made available to them.
The faculty was fearful that students
in ungraded courses wouk remain un-
motivated. They also were leary of in-
structors becoming exceedingly lax in
dealing with student work. It was be-
lieved that once a pass was given to a
paper, the instructor would cease to of-
fer meaningful criticism.
This is a very pessimistic attitude on
the part of the faculty. They should have
more faith in both'the student body and
their fellow professors.
The action of the LSA faculty is re-
grettable. We can only hope that they
will react more favorably toward future
innovations. Grading reform will be pre-
sented again in March. The faculty will
be asked to vote on the various proposals
separately. It is conceivable that they
will take a second look at grading, and
hopefully pass the suggested reforms.
-JUDY RUSKIN

By CHRISTOPHER PARKS
Co-Editor
N THE WORLD of those who
slee' comfortably at night be-
tween clean sheets there is almost
no one with less status than a cop-
killer.
The policeman of this world
hangs immortalized, on insurance
company calendars in school
rooms. He is helping children cross
the streets - jolly, rotund, smil-
ing. He is a Public Servant - big-
ger than life.
It comes as no surprise, then,
that the cop-killer has become the
object of a campaign to restore the
death penalty in Michigan.
X group of eleven Michigan po-
lice and fireman's associations is
pushing to get capital punishment
placed on the ballot for a state-
wide referendum.
Although the group claims its
appeal to be non-emotional, the re-
marks of several of its members
are revealing.
DETROIT FIREMAN'S Associa-
tion President Earl Berry puts it
rather bluntly. "These people (cop
killers) deserve what they get," he
says, "and that should be death."
Whether the state has a right to
take away life is a -complex moral
question. There can be no justifi-
cation for it, however, when execu-
tion is a mere act of revenge.
Capital punishment is only effec-
tive if it deters crime. Once a
crime has been committed, the de
terrent has failed and the execu-
tion is reduced to a sordid act of
barbarism.
And there is little evidence to
saigest that the threat of execution
is a real deterrent to violent crime.
A coldly rational person w h o
weighs the benefits and risks of
any action, might be deterred from
murder by the threat of death.
For the irrational and dsperate
people who kill cops, however, this
sort of cost-benefit analysis doesn't
even enter into the picture.
RATIONAL WEIGHING of the
consequences of crime is a mid-

dle-class luxury open only to those
with a clear perception of w h a t
they have to lose. The death penal-
ty fails because it is only perceiv-
ed as a deterrent by those in so-
ciety least likely to commit the
crimes for, which it punishes.
Capital punishment as a deter-
rent is only relevant in a white
middle-class value system. It could
be effective in deterring embez-
zlement, price fixing and other so-
called white collar crimes, b u t
not crimes of poverty and despera-
tion.
No responsible person believes
cops should be targets for a n y
maniac who wants to take a shot at
them.
BUT IF WE really want to make
police work safer, let's begin by
passing strong legislation to g e t
hand guns off the streets. It is
not as emotionally satisfying as a
primal scream for revenge, but it
'might actually save lives. A re-
turn of the death penalty would
only stand as another triumph for
bigotry, emotionalism and ignor-
ance in this state's politics.

Get involved-
write your. reps!
Sen. Philip Hart (Dem), Rm.
253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep),
Rm. 353 Old Senate Bldg., Cap-
itol Hill, Washington, D.C.
20515.
Rep. Marvin Eseh (Rep), Rm.
112, Cannon Bldg. Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep),
Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem.),
House, State Capitol Bldg., Lan-
sing, 48933

-Daily Photo
Cop-killing is no excuse to b ring back the barbarisn
of capital puiishm en t.

Federal budget cuts hit home

THE EFFECTS of President Nixon's
hatchet work on federal funds for
socially-oriented programs is slowly but
surely coming to light on the local level.
Ann Arbor itself felt the squeeze less
than two weeks ago when federal funds
were withdrawn from the local Model
Cities program.
Yesterday Mayor Gribbs of Detroit an-
nounced that several of that city's peo-
ple-oriented programs will also feel the
impact of Nixon's -war of attrition on fed-
erally funded domestic programs.
According to Gribbs, an expected $155
million cut in federal support to the City
of Detroit will mean the termination of
the Community Action Program, the
Neighborhood Youth Corps and the lay-
ing off of 2,117 city employes hired un-
der the Emergency Employment Act.
Drastic cuts are also due for Detroit's
Model Cities and water pollution pro-
grams.
In addition, funds for hospital con-
struction will be frozen, putting the
squeeze on the new Detroit general hos-
pital.
DETROIT'S PREDICAMENT as re-,
vealed by Gribbs is sadly representa-
tive of the fate of socially-oriented pro-
grams in large cities and smaller com-

munities across the country.
Under the guise of stabilizing taxes
and eliminating bureaucratic machinery
Nixon has forced the termination of
countless federal, state and local level
agencies, which are actively involved in
the betterment of American life. Other
programs under the Nixon axe, although
admittedly in need of some bureaucratic
housecleaning, have great potential for
such involvement.
- What is most irksome is that while
people-helping programs fall victim to
this unprecedented assault, law en-
forcement, ineffective drug-control pro-
grams and the military remain compara-
tively immune.
Protection of one citizen from another
at home and maintenance of large mili-
tary capability abroad emerge as the
Nixon administration's primary interest,
with the individual left to his own de-
vices to secure the necessities of a de-
cent life.
A LTHOUGH THESE priorities may, on
a short-term basis, take the pressure
off the American taxpayer, their long-
term effect on the capability of com-
munities to provide necessary human
services could prove disastrous.
-ROBERT BURAKOFF

After I
By YVONNE DUFFY
AS I, ALONG with countless oth-
ers across the nation at 7
o'clock on Jan. 27, gave silent
thanks for even a fragile and in-
coniplete cease-fire, I reflected
with pride on the part played by
the thousands of students and con-
cerned citizens who had finally
made their protests heard. To me,
this moment demonstrated that in
the dawn of defeat and despair of
last November 8, was born n o t
an overwhelming mandate f o r
Richard Nixon's policies, as he so
fervently proclaims, but a man-
date for action by the people. For
almost 200 years, there has not
been such widespread ferment of
concern or such long-term mobili-
zation of action over a single pub-
lic issue as that which culminated
at the Washington Monument one
week before the treaty signing.
Despite his idealism and social
vision, Senator McGovern could
never have inspired this extensive
public action that literally com-
pelled an unwilling administration
to negotiate, peace. With "our
man" safely ensconced in the Oval
Room,.we might have complacent-
ly packed away our placards and
megaphones with the hula hoops
and other memorablia of misspent
youth, and mumbling confidently,
"Let George do it," slipped back
to inertness.
IT IS SAID, however, that we
grow in adversity, and, to the ex-
tent that this is true, we still have
before us an unparalleled oppor-
tunity for the attainment of ma-
turity. The basic premises of our
Constitution are being seriously
threatened by both the current ad-
ministration's attempt to curtail
Freedom of he media and the usurp-
ing of congressional power by the
executive branch as well as cor-
aorate interests. Our cities a r e
>eing choked by an ever-tighten-
ing noose of poverty and crime.
Dur prison system is archaic. The
physically disabled still have not
>btained their civil rights. Nor,
for that matiter, have the American
[ndians. The 1974 federal budget
roposal onlyupromises to further
dehumanize our priorhies.
Some of the techniques of pro-
test have already been applied to
these problems. Coming easily tk
mind are the sit-in at the Bureau
of Indian Affairs and the stopping
>f rush-hour traffic at T i m e s
Square by a coalition of disabled
vreterans and Disabled in Action
members (college activists) to
Traw attention to President Nix-
)n's veto of the Rehabilitation Act.
WHILE NOT entirely ineffective,
:hese efforts have not resulted in
any desired changes in govern-
ment thinking, largely because
they have been undertaken by re-

tietna m:
atively small isolated groups.
Yet, in the cease-fire and t h e
preceding counter-inaugural ral-
b, consisting not just of st dents
but also congressmen, retirees,
teachers, people from all walks of
fife who, having searched their
respective consciences, found it
necessary to add their voices to the
rising clamor for peace, we have
actual proof that the people still
do have some power to turn the
tide, when enough sense the ur-
gency.
Such spirit must not be locked
away in mothballs until the next
crisis, for anyone knows that un-
used talent is lost. It must be
:appedaas inspirationrto remake
the nation into a more accurate
image of our Founding Fathers' big
dream sQ that in '76, we will have
earned a real celebration and not
the empty farce of a loveless mar-
rioge.
IN ALL THE experience of talk-
ing, walking, writing, and j u s t
plain hard working for the cause
of peace in the past few years, we
have slowly and painfully accumu-
lated a vast blueprint for m a n y
kinds of social action. Students
have traditionally been the van-
guards of change, and as such,
have a continuing obligation to
lead in the march toward greater
humanity for all. In the words of
one contemporary sage, Ralph
Nader, "Let it not be said by a
future, forlorn generation that ours
was a time when we lost our nerve
and wasted our great potential."

We shouldn't stop now

No amnesty from Mr. Nixon

-Daily ,Photo
"Counter-inaugural: Proof that the people can still
stem the tide."

THE WORD "AMNESTY," like "peace
with honor" or "communism," pro-
duces an instant dichotomy in one's
head. Long before American participation
in the Vietnam War came to an end, the
sides were drawn.
And because of President Nixon's
hard line stance on amnesty, the argu-
ing will probably continue for a long
time, while those men who refused to
fight in Vietnam continue to suffer in-
carceration and -exile.
While most editorials and newspaper
columns call for a cooling-off period to
be followed by amnesty at a later date,
Nixon made it abundantly clear in his
press conference last week that he for
one will never grant amnesty to "those
few hundreds" who refused to fight for a
cause in which they didn't believe. The
President still harbors the illusion that
the war, in which 50,000 Americans and
countless more Vietnamese died was a
just one. And that only a few cowards
and social outcasts refused to follow the
government's call to arms.
HOWEVER, DESPITE what N I x o n
would like us to'believe, we are not
dealing with just a few common crimi-
nals. We are dealing with the morality
of -- tncarar - o Mn a , 11wMntP1mwit

number of people who refused to fight in
Vietnam is closer to 100,000, not a "few
hundreds."
The vast majority of these people
didn't flee because they wanted some-
one else to fight. They fled because they
felt it immoral to fight a war on the
other side of the world for a cause they
did not believe in. And ultimately the
majority of Americans were to agree with
them.
BUT RICHARD NIXON didn't stop
there. After impugning their "high-
er morality," he asserted, "We cannot
provide forgiveness with a junket in the
Peace Corps or something like that."
Apparently the President feels it better
for an American boy's psyche if he lets
the army teach him how to kill instead
of letting the peace corps teach him how
to build.
NEVERTHELESS, despite all those stor-
ies relating how presidents from
George Washington to Harry Truman
granted amnesty to men who refused to
fight in wars with a lot more moral va-
lidity than the Vietnam "incursion," any
moves toward amnesty appear a long
way off. The scars and wounds of the
past ten years are still too deep and
painful to permit any kind of rational

Letters to

The

Daily

SGC not 'sexist
To The Daily:
A LETTER in Saturday's Daily
labeled me as racist and sexist.
This conservative viewpoint annoy-
ed me greatly.
One of sixteen candidates inter-
viewed for a seat on SGC wrote
'the letter. She, too, was apparent-
ly annoyed by the qualifications I
felt the new SGC member should
possess. Let me clarify these qual-
ifications by describing the char-
acteristics of the student b o d y,
SGC's constituency.
Enrollment data shows that wo-
men make up 39.9 per cent of the
student population. Blacks account
for 8 per cent of the student en-
rollment.
To ideally represent student body
five of the twelve SGC members-
at-lage should be women. O n e
member should be black.
Before the new member, Elaine
Leaphart, a black female, w a s
seated, only two members-at-large

perience in student affairs, racial
and sexual characteristics can, in
fact, enhance the nature of the Stu-
dent Government Council.
Historically, black race and fe-
male sex hampered an individual
applying for almost any position.
If one feels turning this pattern
around is not appropriate in view
of the constituency SGC must re-
present (and I feel it is highly ap-
propriate on these grounds), then
perhaps it is appropriate (and mil-
itant, to the squeamish) to turn
this pattern around for justice and
reparation.
The nature of the last SGC elec-
tion made it practically impossible
to distinguish which candidates
would most adequately represent
the individual voter. The next SGC
election, coming in March, w 11l
hopefully, clarify the issues a n d
individualize the candidates. Until
then the interviewing board saw fit
to upgrade SGC by nominating
candidates who would round out
the Council.
This. to us. is affirmative action,

are held. Parties form slates com-
posed of friends or of those stu-
dents willing to make various poli-
tical deals with them. Perhaps this
is one reason why only 8 per cent
of our student body took the time
to vote in our last election. As
president of the Coalition of Lib-
erals and Moderates Party
(CLAMP), I would therefore like
to unprecedentedly offer all stu-
dents an opportunity to run as
candidates and to participate di-
rectly in student government. For
this reason, CLAMP will hold an
open meeting on Friday, Febuary
9 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 9415
South Quad Kelsey (basement
floor). Discussion of the coming
election and selection of CLAMP
candidates for Student Government
Council (SGC), LS&A Executive
Council, and other openings will
take place at this time. Those in-
terested may contact me by call-
;- A7t 7

CO benefits
To The Daily:
I WOULD like to point out that
conscientious objectors who have
completed alternative service may
be able to get Veterans Administra-
tion educational benefits. A court
case in Boston gave CO's the right
to benefits there. I wrote to NISBO
(National Interreligious Service
Board for Conscientious Objectors)
asking about this, and they told
me that a similar case in Califor-
nia went the other way, and is now
on the docket for the Supreme
Court. I do not yet know if the
court has agreed to hear the case.
If you are a CO who has fin-
ished alternative service, you
should go ahead and apply for
benefits (although it may be some
time before the court acts). The
Veterans Affairs Agency on Wash-
tenaw Ave. is taking applications;
you can also apply at the LSA
building, and they can handle a
Student certification at the same

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