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December 05, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

194 SidCigwn Caihj
Eighty-two years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

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.

Post-election prices

THE NIXON administration's continuing
favoritism towards big business elites
at the expense of working men and wom-
en surfaced again on Friday when the
Federal Price Commission granted re-
quests from the major auto manufac-
turers to raise prices on their 1973 models.
In early September the price commis-
sion flatly rejected the auto manufactur-
ers' requests for a price increase.
Critics then labeled the rejections a
"political charade"-postponing new car
price increases until after the presidential
Price commission chairman C. Jackson
Grayson denied the charges at the time,
responding that "there has been some
inference drawing, but it is simply not
NOW THE ELECTION is a month past,
and sure enough, the price commis-
sion has approved price increases for the
auto companies.
The auto manufacturers seized upon
T1Oda ys staff:
News: Beth Egnater, Chris Parks, Debbie
Pastoria, David Stoll, Paul Travis,
Rebecca Warner
Editorial Page: Arthur Lerner, Martin
Arts Page: Gloria Jane Smith
Photo technician: Terry McCarthy

the increased cost of federally required
pollution and safety devices as an excuse
for the price raises. But the auto com-
panies earned considerably higher profits
in the second fiscal quarter of the year
than in the same period one year ago.
General Motors' profits were up 28 per
cent from the second quarter in 1971,
Ford's were up 43 per cent, Chrysler's up
118 per cent, and American Motors' prof-
its were 99 per cent higher than in the
same period the year before.
THE COMMISSION blithely suggested
that the GM and Ford increases were
approved "on a cost pass through to the
consumer basis," intimating that the
firms will not earn any profit from the
increases, and that the new revenue will
pay for added and updated equipment
required for the safety features.
Somehow, the commission's argument
sidesteps the common-sense realization
that if the increase-incurred dollars
aren't profit, then the dollars freed from
paying for the "safety" costs certainly
It is true that workers' wages increased
at the end of last month, but raising
prices every time wages are increased,
even when profits are up, only keeps in-
flation spiraling upward in a vicious

To The Daily:
BILL JACOBS can pride himself
on sharing hiring philosophies with
some of the most tradition-encrust-
ed American legal institutions. The
finest law faculties, the most pres-
tigious law firms, the fattest cor-
porate counselors have long used
the Buddy System - sometimes
known as the Grapevine approach
- for filling positions.
And when all your buddies in the
legal profession are non-minority
males it is remarkably easy to
achieve discriminatory results with-
out even a smiden of conscious dis-
criminatory intent. That means that
out even a smidgen of conscious dis-
criminatory result your dignity is
even more wounded and you get
even more defensive about your
practices than an employer who
consciously intends to discriminate.
It is unfortunate that Jacobs and/
or SGC was so insensitive to the
employment problems of women
and minority members of the legal
profession and their own respon-
sibility as an employer. The re-
sulting personal emabrrassment to
Tom Bentley,,who is well qualified
through his interest and experience
with student problems to handle his
job, could have been easily avoid-
ed if he had been selected from
a widely drawn group of appli-
cants, through a fair and open hir-
ing process.
A modest proposal: At the very
1 least, the next time you hire a
lawyer, send notices to the place-
ment offices and minority and
women's groups at the four law
u schools in Michigan. If you don't
even open it up that far, don't be
surprised if someone tries to shut
you down.
-Helen Forsyth
Committee on the Status of
Women in the Legal Pro-
fession of the Michigan
Women Law Students
Dec. 1
Hiring procedure
To The Daily:
BILL JACOBS has made it very
obvious that he neither understands

discrimination nor feels any moral
obligation toward affirmative ac-
tion hiring. There is a distinct dif-
ference between the two.
When I talked to him last sum-
mer and asked him to advertise
SGC's attorney's position in journ-
als likely to be read by female and
minority attorneys, Mr. Jacobs ask-
ed me what the point of advertising
was since he intended to hire Tom
Bentley anyway. That was when
I told him if he found a woman or
minority candidate more qualified
and still hired Bentley, I would sue
him. That would have been a dis-
criminatory hiring practice. Simply
not hiring a woman is not a viola-
tion of the law.
I think Mr. Jacobs actually un-
derstood t h a t, because shortly
thereafter he mentioned that he was
less likely to be sued if he didn't
advertise than if he did. Was Mr.
Jacobs afraid that he might find
a female or minority candidate so
qualified that he would actually
have to hire her/him? Perhaps,
rather than face that eventuality,
he decided not to advertise except
in The Daily.
In Robert Barkin's article Nov.
30, Mr. Jacobs mentioned that since
Tom Bentley is not a University
employe, Jacobs is under no legal
obligation to practice affirmative
action hiring. While this may be
true as a female member of his
constituency, I begin to wonder
how much he represents my inter-
ests, and the interests of the oth-
er women and minority students
on campus. Why is the University
of Michigan training women and
minorities, when even fellow stu-
dents do not see the need for en-
couraging them to get into profes-
sional areas previously closed to
It is extremely ironic that only
last Spring the University's Comn-
mission for Women successfully
suggested to the University A t -
torney's office that they ought to
make an affirmative effort to re-
cruit women applicants for their
attorney openings.

Z ,I

Bill Jacobs and SGC's attorney


7 Y Aul rights reservedt b
Pu:u:s}.hc~c-1ia3i Syndicate

,, G(, HE I MY14LAiK1:Iacctl. INAI.

That effort resulted in the ,hir-
ing of the first female University
attorney, Carol Stadler. I find it
most discouraging that the Uni-
versity administration (The Estab-
lishment) is more responsive ) the
needs of women and minoy';es in
overcoming the effects of past dis-

crimination than are our elected
student representatives.
Affirmative action, after all, is
only a method of reaching out-
groups in the population, to recruit
them for jobs previously closed to
them. Why is Mr. Jacobs defen-
sively not, doing that?- Perhaps it

is because he hopes to be:ime a
lawyer, and he is attempting to
protect his own turf .. .
-Zena Zumeta
Law Student
formerly Women's
Dec. 4

Nostalgia: A post-mortem

on campus activism?

LIFE ON campus is strange now. Pro-
fessors walk on eggs from a lingering
fear of riots. Some students appear crush-
ed by the wrecked hopes recent history
has left them with. We go through the
motions of what'only yesterday were real
postures, but now seem drained of con-
tent. Students call for "meaningful
change," denounce the "system," de-
mand "relevance" and the like, feebly
and even mechanically. Professors strug-
gle to invest their courses with more soc-
ially conscious material.
Nothing seems to help. Students sit list-
lessly through their classes, when they
attend at all. Teachers wonder who is to
blame, and frantically revise curriculums
in hopes that some magic combination of
courses and requirements will bring the
student to life again. The handful of sur-
viving radicals dutifully organize demon-
strations against the war, or on behalf
of people like Angela Davis, to which hard-
ly anyone comes.
What this means for the future is hard
to say, but it may be useful to recall
how we reached this point.
THE 1950's must now be legendary
enough so that people need few reminders
of what students were like then - dutiful,
conformist, silent. Everyone married ear-
ly and had lots of children. Security was
highly prized. Good girls didn't screw ex-
cept when in love. No one challenged
This stereotype is true enough so far
as it goes, which is not quite far enough.
Students were politically apathetic be-
cause the politics of the day were either
sordid, as with Joe McCarthy, or boring,
as with Eisenhower and Stevenson.
Students were sexually repressed by
comparison with now, yet their compara-
tive chasity was not with rewards. Girls
were under less pressure to have inter-
course, and had more excuses for not
cooperating - dormitory hours, mean
housemothers, sensitive roommates and
so on. Hence they were less likely to feel
sexualy exploited or abused. Men too, be-
cause they accepted these excuses, had
less reason to feel deprived. Or, to put it
more accurately, since it was so hard to
get a girl, to be deprived was not also to
be disgraced, as now.
There was not much of a generation gap.
Naturally, the young felt older people
did not truly understand them. Their eld-
ers felt young people were too serious or
t'oo frivolous, or, in either case, unaware
of how good they had it. But in the main
most people agreed on the importance of
universities, and the value of work. Stu-
dents did not necessarily like work any-
more than now, but they believed in it
and often took jobs even when they didn't
need the money.
Young and old alike had much the same
tastes in popular culture, though i ock
and roll music caused some problems.

was a great social distance between facul-
ty and students at large universities. Those
,vho craved intimacy went td small
schools. Students with problems tended
to blame themselves, not the system,
and looked to therapy rather than poli-
tics for solutions.
IT IS NOT easy to say why, or even
when, this relatively stable order of things
began to disintegrate. President Kennedy,
though admired by students, had little ef-
fect on them. To the degree he did, it
was to maintain patriotism, capitalism,
U.S. cold war policies and such. T h e
Berkeley Free Speech Movement of 1964,
often thought the moment when things
began falling apart on campus, was not
itself a repudiation of the large university
as such. Polls taken then showed most pro-
testing students liked it at Berkeley and
were only angry about certain infringe-
ments on political activity. Most did not
share Mario Savio's celebrated view that
the university was a machine that pro-
cessed students on behalf of the military-
industrial complex. But over time it gain-
ed ground, because some students took it
so seriously that they changed their lives,
and others, who took it less earnestly and
so remained in college, still used it to
coerce university administrations.' The
war, the new left, and black power led,
inevitably it seems, to demands for stu-
dent power.
The new politics on campus was hard to
handle. Universities could not do much
to change the world, or even themselves.
Sometimes they could make small adjust-
ments like dropping ROTC or admitting
black students. These concessions rarely
seemed adequate. So students struck and
rioted, often in pursuit of what it was not
possible for universities to give. E v e n
though no great changes took place every-
one was mad at universities anyway, par-
ents, alumnae, politicians, taxpayers and
students alike, though not for the same
reasons. The result was that support for,
and to a degree faith in, universities de-
clined, which meant in turn relatively less
money was available to run existing pro-

grams, much less to introduce new soc-
ially conscious ones.
To make things worse for universities a
new romanticism, identified with the coun-
ter-culture, developed in the mid-Sixties,
based on the ideas of men like Paul Good-
man and Norman 0. Brown, scraps of
Oriental theologies, faint memories of
having once read something by Thor-
eau, and much else. The effect of this
was to uphold intuition, spontaneity, self-
expression, play, and the primitive against
reason, science, work, order and the like.
The new romanticism was a more ser-
ious threat in some ways than the new
politics because while the new politics
struck at the structure and orientation
of universities, romanticism challenged
their right to exist. If truth were received
by the spirit, the orderly search for it
which academicians believed in was self-
defeating. And if spontaneity and free-
dom were more precious than discipline,
the controls on which both teaching and
research depend were irrelevunt too.
THE PROBLEM, both with the new pol-
itics and the new romanticism, was that
while neither was apropriate to the uni-
versity, both were imposed on it to a
degree by students, younger faculty, and
sometimes even administrators eager to
be relevant and socially conscious. T h e
politics and mores of the counter-culture
were of no matter to universities when
practiced in rural communes.
They were real headaches when ad-
vanced by students working for academic
degrees, who yet proclaimed the triumph
of virtues which were not just different
from, but incompatible with, the princi-
ples on which science and scholarship are
based. Many of these students ought to
have dropped out, since what they de-
manded no university could provide. But,
as they didn't, universities made comprom-
ises, some practical and some debiliat-
ing. Restrictions on students conduct were
eliminated, dormitories opened to both
sexes, and so on. These were successful
moves which reduced tensionat little ex-
pense to the university's real work.
Other adjustments were not so satis-

factory. More minority students were ad-
mitted, but because many of them could
not make it in the usual ways special pro-
grams, such as black studies, were devis-
ed for them. Ostensibly these were on a
par with other academic offerings. But in
practice they often were staffed by un-
qualified (except racially) faculties and
run so laxly that after four years they
produced graduates who had learned al-
most nothing of value and were qualified
only to be token blacks for employers des-
perate to avoid violating the equal oppor-
tunity laws. Many black studies programs
were classic examples of self-deception,
if not outright fakery, in the name of
Grades were another case in point. It
began to be argued that grades were sym-
bols of the competitive, inhuman social
order that students meant to change. They
stifled creativity and led students to work
only for marks, not for love of knowledge.
These are not bad arguments. About all
that can be said for grading is that it re-
sembles, in a way, the marketplace and so
in some sense does prepare students for
life in the real world, where it is results
that count, and not how they are arrived
at. But in any case, arguments about the
grading system are meaningless because
for various practical reasons little can
be done about it.
Even if universities wanted to do away
with grades society would not let them.
Since this is so, what has happened at a
great many colleges and universities is
that faculties simply give higher marks.
Grade inflation is so pronounced at Har-
vard, to give only one example, that re-
cently two-thirds of a class graduated with
honors. Thus, instead of being reformed,
the grading system was subverted, and
the giving of grades is now an even more
futile and ridiculous exercise than it was
THESE ARE but symptoms of the gen-
eral malaise afflicting universities today.
Professors and administrators take much
the same view of their functions as al-
ways, but are nervous and defensive be-
cause they know many students do not
agree with them. This leads to compari-
sons of the sort just described, which
weaken faculty morale without solving
the problems. They sometimes do actually
placate students, but they don't deal with
essential questions about the nature of
universities and the roles faculty and stu-
dents should play in them. Hence stu-
dents, even if mollified, are not satisfied.
One real possibility is that nothing can
be done. Society seems uninterested in
university reform. Professors are, in the
main, content with traditional university
practices. They may want more money
or more books in the library or whatever.
But they mostly agree that the function
of the university is to promote research
and train graduate and professional stu-
dents. Where undergraduates are con-
cerned professors have one or more of

existing courses in fields like diplomatic
history to be ideologically correct, that is,
for example, to show the origins and con-
sequences of American imperialism. They
want to get credit for non-academic ac-
tivities such as community organizing. And
they doubt the value of intellectual dis-
cipliqe, the usual academic practices, and
so on.
The distance between these two sets of
expectations, together with the failure of
either the new left or the counter culture
to substantially change American society,
still less American universities, plus the

There are few rules on student conduct.
Dormitories are open and frequently co-
educational. There is more sexual free-
dom than in the Fifties, though sexuality is
still a problem. Many students would like
to live with someone of the opposite sex,
but most don't, which makes them feel de-
prived even though by earlier standards
they aren't.
Women students are more ,ikely to feel
sexually exploited than before because
there is more social presure to have inter-
course and fewer reasons for declining,
which would be fine were it not that guilt,
anxiety, the fear of being used or get-
ting pregnant, have not been abolished.
Offsetting this in part has been the rise
of women's liberation which promises to
create a new sexual etiquette more favor-
able to women. Because of women's lib-
eration militant women are the only peo-
ple on campus with high hopes and really
good morale. And because their curve is
still going up the contrast between them
and everyone else is all the more :triking.
This is the best time in many years,
perhaps ever, to be a woman on campus,
and everything suggests that for them
times are going to get better yet.
SO THE CAMPUS is a strange place
not. Professors yearn for their lost confi-
dence and respect, but are not likely to
regain them soon. Surviving *adicals and
remnants of the counter-culture want, in
their different ways, to change the univer-
sity but know they won't. A great many
students are confused, yet thanks to the
new draft system there is less self-pity
than a few years ago. Students have more
freedom and more fun despite everything
and that is unlikely to change since the
pleasure principle keeps on rolling along.
The work ethic is in disrepute, which is
hard on professors, most of whom practice
it faithfully. For students that is only ano-
ther reason why universities are more fun
than ever - though perhaps also why for
some they are more disappointing too.
People who like tests and challenges, if
any such remain, will find fewer of then
than before. Women are much more in-
spirited than before, everyone else is less
The great academic boom during which
the university population roughly doubled
in size between 1960 and 1970 is over. En-
rollments are not going up much. Fa-
culty salaries are, on the average, declin-
ing in relation to the cost of living. And
universities don't want to hire white males
anymore, which is bad news for the ma-
jority of people seeking college positions
now, especially since teaching jobs on
any level are scarce.
If you want a good time and can afford
it, universities are great places to be.
But whatever your situation don't major
in education, or physics, or ,ny of the
other fields where there are no jobs.
In fact, don't count on getting any kind


Black studies: 'Fakery?'
"Many black studies; programs, staffed
by unqualified faculties, were classic
examples of self-deception, if not out-
right fakery, in the name of justice."
memory of past campus uprisings, account
for the peculiar atmosphere at the larger
and/or better colleges and universities
today. It is not likely that any consider-
able improvement will take place in the
near future.
Academicians who have retained their
values through the troubled Sixties are
not likely to give them up now. Students
have not yet shown any great disposition
to change their minds either, though their
demands are being pressed less insistent-
ly these days - liberated women except-
ed. Incoming students will find the ten-
sion between what their professors and
their peers think -disturbing. Those who
do actually like academic work will get
little encouragement from their friends,
many of whom are interested chiefly eith-
er in beating the system or reforming it.
Oddly enough university life still has
much to offer. Serious students can take
serious and sometimes even exciting cours-

.::awl ......... .. .::.


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