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September 28, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-28

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14c.fWrdpan Danb
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Reviewing the State

of the


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Fingers for money: Trade?

N THE WAKE of the Michigan Union
Board of Directors' wise decision to
abort manager Stanfield Wells' ill con-
ceived' fingerprinting - check cashing
scheme, serious questions have been
raised about the implementation of such
an unfortunate flirtation -with police
state tactics.

Indiscriminate fingerprinting'
versity students is repugnant to
ues of this community.

of Uni-
the val-

Tracing fraudulent checks is justified.
But in this age when neighbor spies on
neighbor and the government spies on
everybody, the implications of the Union
stocking fingerprints of every student
who cashes a check there are scary. This
is especially true in light of Wells' amaz-
ing admission that he had not considered
the necessity of any policy to ensure the
confidentiality of the fingerprint file he
was so casually collecting.
BESIDES, the whole thing just didn't
look right. Long lines of students
getting fingerprinted in order to cash

their $20 checks is, as Union board mem-
ber Robert Forman said, "inappropriate
in a university community." After cash-
ing her check Monday, one freshman wo-
man put it t-is way: "It makes me feel
like I had done something wrong."
Equally as disturbing as 'the decision
to fingerprint was Wells' rather cavalier
bypassing of his policy board in making
it. Though on a purely technical basis,
the decision may have been managerial
as Wells suggests, it clearly represented
a quantum jump from asking for a driv-
er's license and a student ID.
The board itself is hardly representa-
tive of students, composed largely of
faculty, administrators and alumni.
Moreover, if it is not to be consulted,
even .our rather limited control over
Union policy will be rendered futile.
FEW CASES cry more eloquently than
this fingerprinting caper for the re-
organization of the Union management.
More open management and more stu-
dent control are sorely needed.

"If a university is nothing more
than a place where one goes to
fill career requisites (then We)
have been engaged in an exer-
cise of futility."
-Robben Fleming
ROBBEN FLEMING, it appears,
is currently employed in an
exercise of futility. This is t h e
most plausible conclusion to be
reached from the University Pres-
ident's Monday night State of the
University Address.
In his speech Fleming attacked
the decline in recent years in the
quality of education received at the
University. Chief among his tar-
gets were the pass-faii system, the
pass-no entry system and the ease
with which one can receive a high
grade in Qome departments.
Decrying the pass-fail system,
Fleming compared the student to
a surgeon, "When we are about to
undergo surgery we readily aban-
don any views we may previously
have held about all the doctors be-
ing the same. Why, then, should we
be so reluctant about rating stu-
The pass-no entry idea drew an
even sternerorebuke from the Pre-
sident. "I view pass-no entry as a
far more dubious proposition. An
academic experience in which one
can never fail is contrary to every
other life experience which the stu-
dent will have."
GRADING, TOO, came in f o r
some harsh criticism. "There are
(academic) departments in which
grade averages have moved up one
full grade in the last few years.
Is thisbecause thestudentsare
so much better? This seems tn-
Fleming has apparently decided
that grades are indeed the key to
success in the outside world. The
President already runs a university
predicated on competition - where
one fights to prove his superiority
above another.
Even if one accepts the need for
some kind of competitive evalua-
tion (akphilosophy the University's
medical school is doing without)
one would have to be a truly naive
university President to believe that
there is some connection between
one's grade point average and
one's ability to dgal with life n the
future. Indeed a recent study at
Harvard - came to the rather start-
ling conclusion that personality has-
far more to do with success in life
than academic achievement.
THE PRESIDENT'S c u r i ou s
complaint that a rise in g r a d e
points in some departments is a
sign of academic decline is even
more startling.Presumably he is
upset because the professors have
eased up on their academic stand-
ards, allowing the same quality of

work to be passed off as worth a
better grade. A better theory is
that the students are simply doing
a better job of "kissing ass." In-
stead of thinking, they are regur-
gitating word for word what their
teacher spews in their ears-a sit-
uation which is exacerbated as
gradestbecome more and more im-
Even Fleming realizes (t h o u g h
perhaps unknowingly) that there is
a contradiction between grading
and educating, admitting that uni-
versities rely on "memorization
and recapitulation," which appear
not to give students "a capacity to
apply information thoughtfully in
current context."
". .Somehow the crossover be-
tween academic knowledge a n d
values, and the application of that
knowledge and values simply nev-
er took place," he wonders.
And yet Fleming cannot see the
inherent difficulties in a system
based on competition and the al-
mighty grade point. All he can ask
is "Why? If we knew the answer,
I suggest that our educational sys-
tem would be a better one."
FLEMING'S RIGHT, the system
we have now is a failure. It teach-
es people to screw each other,
which is exactly how they learn to
act in their relations with their
community and their world.
One of the first steps to a less
competitive system is the one
Fleming derided Monday night-
the elimination of grades. It might
be interesting to note what Flem-
ing himself once said:
"I think you can make a good
argument that when you start off

"reading, writing and 'rithmetic"
- an assembly line for the white
collar workers of the future.
Oddly enough, in last year's
State of the University Address,
Fleming seemed more recepcive to
innovation, admitting, "I have seen
enough of the world of work to
know that specific training c a n

tion exceedingly precarious. H i s
characterization of "student ac-
tivists" of a few years back as
"arrogant and totalitarian" was
pointless land only serves to open
old wounds. In fact this campus,
except for a brief flurry last April,
has been quieter this past year
than at any time since Fleming

angerous rug ealngs'

"When we are about to under-
go surgery we.readily abandon any
views we may previously h a v e
held about all the doctors being
the same. Why then, should we be
so r e l u i a n t bout rating stu-
Robben Fleming, 1972

G", ; ",When youi start off with
good s ti u d e n t s like we have at
Michigan you could get off very
well without grades. A simple pass-
fail system might work."
-Robben Fleming, 1968

JOHN INGERSOLL, director of the Bu-
reau of Narcotics and Dangerous
Drugs, demonstrated, last week that the
administration is still bogged down in an
absurd and awkward battle.against drug
Commenting on marijuana decrimi-
nalization and heroin maintenance pro-
posals, Ingersoll evinced a deplorable
lack of sensitivity toward the "whys" of
the drug culture, intimating that simply
cutting off the supply will diminish the
Speaking before the annual confer-
ence of the Maryland Chiefs of Police
last week, Ingersoll denounced both de-
criminalization of marijuana and the
legal distribution of heroin to addicts.
ing the prohibition against' the pos-
session of marijuana"-as the National
Marijuana Commission recommended-
would only "encourage" its use. To thus
insist that everything that is not illegal
is "encouraged" denotes both a sweeping
conception of the government's prescrip-
tive role and a shallow view of human na-
ture. Rat poison is legal. Yet few, if any,
persons smoke or eat it.
The government has continually em-
phasized that studies have not conclu-
sively shown that marijuana is not harm-
ful. At the same time, other agencies,
like the Food and Drug Administration,
refuse to pull "therapeutic" drugs off
the market unless they are conclusively
proven to be injurious.

THE NATION'S chief "nare" shuddered
in his speech at the thought of in-
dividuals being poisoned daily with legal
heroin. And he subsequently bragged of
administration success in cutting down
the flow of heroin and forcing heroin
prices on the underground circuit to sky-
But Ingersoll ignored the human ques-
tion of his agency's work-whether the
administration has reduced not the
amount of pure heroin, but the number
of addicts; or what effect soaring prices
have had on the quality of "horse" and
additives that addicts are'shooting them-
selves up with.
Nor does Ingersoll mention how ad-
dicts are raising the money to pay for
their more and more expensive habit; he
offers no evidence that large numbers
are kicking the habit.
The establishment of heroin mainte-
nance clinics, while not -solving the drug
problem, would at least take many ad-
dicts off the streets and guarantee a less
dangerous habit, with "cleaner jones"-
uncut with strychnine or other street
INGERSOLL CITED charts, ratios and
numbers to prove the administra-
tion's case. Statistics can lie, we all know
by now, but one set of figures-which
only add up in one direction-he side-
stepped: The number of heroin addicts
in the country has doubled in three years.

Daily Photo by DENNY GAINER
until the administration realizes
that this kind of education does
not necessarily "prepare one for
life." Granted the proper alterna-
tive is an illusive thing. But per-
haps Fleming should heed his own
"There is no guarantee t h a t
change will be good or bad, but
it is the law of life and it is in-
escanable . . . If we are confident
of our own talent and our own ed-
icational capacity, we will not
fear change or be reluctant to ex-
periment with new devices."
AS THE STANDARD educational
process retreats further and fur-
ther from reality the University
will become more and more cor-
rupt. Flening's speech of a year
ago hinted at a restructuring of the
educational process: But change
must bring affirmative action from
the administration, admittedly not
an easy step in, a large state uni-
versity, but neverthelesstone ne-
cessary in order to produce a pro-
gressive system.
Unfortunately, the president's
speech on Monday calls into ques-
tion his dedication to any' real
changein the structore. If he con-
tinues to stick by the old mores
it will be the students, and ulti-
mately our society, which will suf-
William Alterman hr an asso-
ciate sports editor for The Daily
and a frequent contributor to this

.. . .. *. *. *. . . . . .* .* . ..... . ....:.. .

with good studentslike we have
at Michigan you could get off very
well without grades. A simple pass-
fail system might work.
"If that argument were made to
me I would take it very serious-
ly. I think it might be rightly done.
However, I don't think it could
be sold to the faculty."
NOW THAT pass-fail has gained
some headway with the facuilty,
however, Fleming has backed off.
His speech Monday appears to put
a damper on any inovative p r o-
gras'tiri the near future and fore-
shadows a return to a pallor of

usually be acquired on tlje Job."
Possibly the University's current
financial crisis is the reason fir
the President's turnabout. The ex-
pansion of the University's minor-
ity admissions program i which
should be duly applaured) com-
bined with a drop off in revenues,
has forced the University into a
financial squeeze.
But innovation! should not stop
merely because funds are tight.
Pass-fail is not going to co-4t mrF'
ey, experiments such as the Pilot
Program do not cost moIev.
Or it could be that Fleming is
just mad at a student body which
over the years has made his posi-

first arrived in 1968.
WHATEVER THE reason f o r
Fleming's apparent change, it
bodes ill for'the University of Mich-
igan. American institutions of high-
er learning have been expanding
at an incredible rate in the past
fewayears.eSadly, the institutions'
response to this growth has been
an ever higher degree of institu-
tionalization. Final upon final,
grade upon grade, papertupon pap-
er, degree upon degree, the system
has taken a very Fort-range view
of education. Get them in and get
them out.
The University will continue to
produce such standardized products


Pat: Hatchet woman

with a soft stroke


. "".
,,, . "ice
.a ' <
., . ; ,.

iN 4," '

Freeing California weed


legalization of marijuana in Novem-
ber. But the California Marijuana Initia-
tive is in trouble.
Little money is coming -in to help fi-
nance the campaign and not enough
people are donating their time to inform
people of the proposition or to register
new voters.
Without an effective media campaign,
which requires money, and a person to
person canvassing drive, which requires
'j~ Atc4t1afl Btty,
Business Staff
Business Manager
BILL ABBOTT ............Associate Business Manager
HARRY HIRSCH .............Advertising Manager
FRANCINE SCHERGER ...........Personnel Manager
MANE CARNEVALE .................Sales Manager
PAUL WENZLOFF ...............Promotions Manager
STEVE EVSEEFF ..............Circulation Manager
SISTANTS: William Blackford, Sherry Kastle, Ray
Catalino, Linda Coleman, Jim Dykema, Sandy Fien-
berg, L'Tanya Haith, Dave Lawson, Elliot Legow.
STAFF AND TRAINEES: Joan Ades, Esat Ali, Dawn
Bare, Michele Becker, Roy Chernus, Linda Cycow-
ski, Donald East, Michele Engel, Harriet Erlick,
Deborah Gelstein, Gregg Gunnel, Bo Hartrick, Nancy
Karp, Cynthia Kaufman, Alan Klein, Steve LeMire,
Beryl Levine, Jon Licht, Mike Luerich, Joyce Mc-
Clendon, Carol Meyer, Paula Schwach, Valerie Sief-
man, Ton Siykhouse, Edward Stieg, John Totte.
Darai Voss, Debra Weglarz, Jonnie Williams, San-
dra Wronski.
STAFF ARTIST: Denny Dittmar.
SALEM: Dave Burleson, Bob Fischer, Karen Laakko,
Ray Nurmi, Alexandra Paul, Ricki Rusting. Mike
Treblin, Debbie Whiting.
Sports Staff

people, the proposition faces a steep up-
hill battle.
Certainly there are enough smokers in
the sun and fun state. But many of those
who back the initiative may feel that giv-
ing money to the effort is a "giveaway"
not only of money, but also of a finan-
cial status they would rather not admit-
that is, having left over money. Nonethe-
less, marijuana is not a cheap hobby; it's
more expensive than licorice.
Opponents of drug reform argue that
marijuana users smoke the weed to es-
cape the harsh realities of life. They go
further, suggesting that marijuana in-
ures one against the pressures of a helter
skelter world-making the individual
placid and content, unable to act.
UNDECIDED VOTERS are assaulted
with this set of arguments about
marijuana use, and observing but sparse
activity on the part of "the freaks", may
fall prey to this vacuous line of logic. The
only way for California's dope smokers to
shake voters loose of these beliefs is to
give freely and to actively support the
Marijuana Initiative.
Whither work?
REFLECTING the layoffs in the auto-
mobile industry unemployment (in
MichienI irned un to reaeh 392.000 or

.. p r" -.


soldiers from the war zone, it has
never repudiated our reason for
entering such a conflict in the first
place. In suoting all of the same
old Cold War rhetoric about free-
dom and communism, Ms. Nixon
is guilty of either gross ignorance
or deceit: how can she possibly
equate "freedomn" with the clos-
ing of onposition newspapers, he
end of village and hamlet elections,
and rule by virtual decree? Still,
Pat and Julie (the one who doesn't
wear the white Cinderella dresses)
have said that they would give
their lives for the Thieu regime.
IN ONE of her rare public refer-
ences to her husband, Pat Nixon
remarked last week that she had
the "best guy" in the world.
Though some may view this as an
inusially controversial statement
for the President's, wife to dike,
this compatibility can readily be
seen: for like her illustrious hus-
band, the more Ms. Nixon speaks,
the more discredited she becomes.
Her husband has learned to cur-
tail this dangerous tendency by
plasticizing everything he has to
say well beforehand and subse-
quently burying himself under the
opinion polls.
Let us be thankful that he has
thus far kept Pat on the political
a se circuit, so that at least- a little
Sthe truth can inadvertently s h i n e
ghts. through.
she ________
was Davld Margolick is a staff pho-
kin- tog rapher for The Daily.


- ,', '.'. f+ xesia.
a . :.. o.. Syndi<sM

Has Spiro "Mace" Agnew been recast as a model statesman to make
the "saccharine strategy"?

RICHARD NIXON, the greatest
politician of them all, has pious-
ly declared that the President
should not be involved in politics
during this election year. He is
not about to tamper with the na-
tional security out of mere par-
tisanship, especially after glanc-
ing at the latest opinion polls.
It is true, as one of Mr. Nixon's
old "allies," Nelson Rockefeller,
stated recently, that the President
"loves a fight." Indeed, Nixon has
not stayed entirely above politics
this year, droping in occasionally
on weddings and Italian picnics
while trying to fabricate various
ethnic ties. For the most part, how-
ever, he seems content to cloister
himself in the White House, period-
ically uttering his non-partisan pla-
titudes, all in the interests of na-
tional security, of course.

major switch, he finds himself in
the unlikely role of a statesman.
A number of other surrogate Nix-
ons are also in the race, including
such stalwarts as Clark MacGre-,
gor, Robert Dole, and Maurice
Stans, along with the venerable Ed
Nixon, a man who has made a pro-
fession out of being the Presi-
dent's' brother.
OUT OF THE struggle, one not-
able seems to have emerged as
the President's personal choice for
his spokesman and emissary -
Mrs. Thelma Patricia Nixon. Her
accept may well mark the scrap-
ping of the so-called "Southern
strategy," and its replacement with
the "Saccharine Strategy." This
calls for the naivete of Pollyanna,
extensive travel and media cover-
age, but never, never, for a gen-
uine discussion of the issues.
In her recent seven dav, five-

kind of campaign, gaining valuable
television time and frequenting
such pressure cooker trouble spots
as an Army reserve center, a na-
tional park, and a training ground
for seeing-eye dogs. The scene is
now familiar to almost everyone
- the smiling lady in her 1 o n g,
flowing, "I love Lucy" dresses,
picking up a child, patting a prize-
winning cow, or riding a merry-go-
round at the state fair.
love all of this innocuousness, but
they are occasionally reminded of
the potential embarrassment which
could result if reality were ever
to encroach upon one of Pat's cam-
paign jaunts. At an impromptu
T nttn- trTa nily should I

room for Pat and
news conference in Chicago 1
week, the First Lady was a
questions on amnesty, abortion
Watergate Caper, and equal ri
According to one reporter,
"turned tense and anxious."
parently, this sort of question
not usually encountered in her
dergarten classes.
Especially revealing were
recent comments on the Vie
War. "We didn't kill anybody
week," she cited as eviden
her husband's great success.
minded that of American"
combat" and Asian deaths, shy
considered: "People do wa
cessation of war," she adm
"but they don't want to lose
MUCH INSIGHT can be gle
from these remarks. First,
Nixon continues to propagat
whole racist rationale for
VrietnnsenWar that as Ion


ce of
te re-
nt a
e the
g as

(et involved-
write your reps.
Sen. Philip Hart (Dem), Rm.
253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert .riffin (Rep),
Rm. 353 Old Senate Bldg., Cap-
itol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), Rm.
112, Cannon Bldg. Capitol Hill,

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