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December 08, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-12-08

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Page 4-Thursday, December 8, 1977-The Michigon Daily

Eight v-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 75
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

The PLO's mistake

THE PALESTINIAN Liberation Or-
ganization (PLO), self - styled
spokesman of the Palestinians, has re-
jected Egyptian President Anwar Sa-
dat's offer to join a summit meeting of
U.S., Soviet Union, Israeli, United Na-
tions, and various Arab leaders in a
summit meeting in Cairo. The Soviet
Union and all Arab states (except
Egypt) have spurned this offer. None-
theless, the PLO has much more to lose
than the so-called "rejectionist" Arab
states in choosing this course of action.
The PLO finds itself in a precarious
position. Its main concern must ever be
for insisting upon its legitimacy; and in
fact, it represents many of the functions
of a government-in-exile for
Palestinians. The Israelis still deny the
legitimacy of the PLO and refuse to
negotiate with them. This is the main
reason the PLO has 'missed its chance
to score a coup.
Israel accepted Sadat's invitation
without knowing that the PLO would be
present. Sadat's invitation to the PLO
was not a pre-planned stab-in-the-back
to Israel, but must simply have seemed
a way to solve a tough problem (getting
the Israelis and the PLO to talk to each
other) with a bold dramatic stroke. The
PLO would have had the Israelis where
it wanted them. Israel, upon learning
that the PLO had accepted, could have
" backed out. This would have made
Israel look foolish, considering both
Prime Minister Menachem Begin's re-
cent hospitality towards Sadat and his
declared willingness to reciprocate
* stayed, granting the same kind of
de facto recognition of the organiza-
tion's legitimacy that Sadat accorded

Israel by virtue of his visit.
The PLO could hardly look bad in
the world forum. Instead, it has chosen
to cast its lot with the rejectionist
states, which held their own "anti-
summit" meeting at Tripoli, Libya last
week. The rejectionists, led by Moam-
mar Khadafy's Libya but including
Syria, Iraq, Algeria, South Yemen, and
the PLO, declared that Sadat is a
"traitor" for his actions, and called for
the removal of the Pan-Arab League
headquarters from Cairo to Tripoli, the
severing of formal relations with
Egypt, as well as economic sanctions of
any sort.
T HE PLO HAS BEEN calling upon
those who would orchestrate peace
talks that they must be included in the
calculations. Yet when they are offered
the opportunity to go and speak their
piece, they refused. Why?,
Well, one reason is that the very na-
tions upon whom an independent Pales-
tinian state would depend greatly, are
the "rejectionist" ones; Libya's fanatic
leader Khadafy supports the PLO, but
probably would not should the PLO em-
brace any Egyptian peace initiatives.
Ditto Iraq, which walked out of the anti-,
summit meeting because the sanctions
recommended were not stringent
enough.
So the PLO has and will continue to
make its own tenuous existence even
more so.-After all, the next time any
peace talks are discussed, and they will
be again, the PLO may or may not be
considered a variable in the peace
equation. And if that proves the case,
they will have no one to blame but
themselves.

By HUGH A. MULLIGAN
Once again the groves of Academe are
shaken root, branch and bud by a howling
storm over examinations; whether to do
away with them altogether or make them
tougher.
The controversy has been recurring on
campus every seven or so years, like a plague
of locusts, ever since Socrates began asking
irksome questions instead of just lecturing
like the other tenure double domes at
Acropolis U.
EDUCATORS in favor of scrapping entran-
ce~ exams and final tests now argue that,
among other things, quizzes areunfair to
disadvantaged minority students, who may
lack the background in competing under
pressure, and that a student's overall work
and effort is a better indicator of his progress
than his ability to jot down some quick,
meaningful answers while sitting in alternate
seats in alternate rows under a ticking clock
and the suspicious gaze of a proctor.
The get-tough faction in the faculty
smoking room tends to cite the number of
functional illiterates occupying the desks
previously reserved for the football team and
argues that tomorrow's brain surgeons at
least ought to be able to read and write, even
if no one can read their handwriting on a
prescription for laudanum or aspirin or
whatever. Why award a diploma to some
spavined wealing who never blitzed a quar-
terback ox executed a blind-side tackle for the
glory of alma mater?
But, on the other hand, why flunk out-just
for the sake of a few pasty questions-some
amiable 37-year-old youth who has found a
real home on campus, a lifestyle to his liking,
now that it no longer is necessary to bug out to
Canada or Sweden.
WHAT WITH open dorms, food stamps,
unemployment checks and government loans
that rarely come to maturity when the
student does, college life would be serene
and carefree were it not for the spectre of
failure and expulsion raised by the hard-
nosed padagogues in the tougher exam camp.
In the opinion of this scholastic observer,
who has sat on both sides of the examination
bench, the whole bruhaha is based on two

)

,st tim e
questionable premises: that students actually
break into a cold sweat, have nervous break-
downs and jump out of lecture room windows.
(Harvard exams always seemed to be held in
the basement rooms during a tough quiz.)
And that professors actually read the pile of
test papers they stuff under their arms as
they march menacingly from the lecture hall.
When Vladimir Nabokov, the late, great
author of "Lolita," was teaching literature at
Cornell, he rarely read the students' answers
to the questions he so laborously contrived for
their final doom or reward. His wife, Vera,
marked the papers. That was the good news.

agailn
world, a few decades back, as a substitute
teacher in the Boston Public School system.
When a history teacher fell ill, pushed down
the staircase during fire drill, at the William
E. Russell Junior High School in the tough
Roxbury section, the substitute found himself
conducting a quiz in the origins of our
nationhood.
"When did the Mayflower reach Plymouth
Rock?" "I don't know, teach, I was absent
that day," responded a lightly mustachioed
adolescent who later was awarded a six-year
government scholarship for taking a tire iron
to a gas station attendant.

The bad news was
Statistics
that more t
students
hauled off
laughing 4
exam time
those reck
to read t
submitted t
ti ns.

that she was an ex- MY BROTHER, Andrew, now a school
superintendent in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y.,
once had the ungraciousness to pull a surprise
will shOw quiz in on ancient history class at a Brooklyn
High School the day before Christmas Eve, a
eachers than gaucherie equivalentto Scrooge turning away
the carolers at his door.
have been "Who were the Visigoths?" he asked.
t th"Where did they come from and when did
ravinge they attack Rome?"
One among the sullen, resentful examinees
academy at essayeda seasonal response: "I don't know
who the Visgoths are or where and when they
---especially came, but whoever they are and wherever
they are, I wish them all a Merry Christmas."
less enough Repentent, reborn Scrooge coughed up with
an A.

he answers
o their ques-

ceedingly tough marker. But it all came out
even, or better, because on final grades, the
master rarely could bring himself to flunk
anyone and had a special fondness for the
toothless oafs who overflowed their. lecture
benches in sweat shirts marked "property of
the Athletic Department."
STATISTICS will show that more teachers
than students have been hauled off raving to
the laughing academy at exam
time-especially those reckless enough to
read the answers submitted to their

THEN THERE was the progressive, highly
demanding Yale lecturer on England's In-
dustrial Revolution and Rising Class Struggle
(3 credits) who asked only one question on the
final exam: "Why?"
While others scribbled firiously, battled
with the clock and their total recall of lecture
notes, one self assured undergrad wrote but
two words in his blue book: "Why not?"
But my favorite exam answer is the Ver-
mont farmer who dealt a blow against
bureaucracy when at the end of a long and
exasperating government questionnaire on
pesticide controls he came to the line "Do Not
Write In This Space."
"I'll write where I damn please," he wrote
and went back to his mules.
Hugh A. Mulligan is a Special Correspon-
dent for the Associated Press.

questions.
This typewriter tyro

entered the working

Letters to

The Daily

THIS WAS YOUR FBJC

'I

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LSA-SG
To The Daily:
I have written this letter in re-
sponse to the Daily article, "In-
cumbents put on defense as 25
seek 12 seats on LSA-SG," print-
ed on December 1st, 1977. As the
headline implies, the article fo-
cused on two candidates who
charged current members with
fiscal mismanagement and elec-
tion corruption. As the current
President of the LS&A Student
Government, I wish to examine
the absurdity of the charges, to
clarify several factual inaccura-
cies concerning our reorganiza-
tion, and to discuss the irrespon-
sibility of the Daily staff in print-
ing this article.
The first charge, made by Mike
Spurnack, member of the Bull-
shit Party, is that "LS&A-SG
spent $12,000 at the beginning of
this term when there was only
$5,200 in the treasury." This
charge is ludicrous! On October
12th, the LS&A-SG Executive
Council approved a tentative
budget of $13,052 for the academ-
ic year. Since September 1, 1977,
only $2,376.64 has been allocated
for projects and operating ex-
penses. Mr. 'Spurnack's charge is
made out of ignorance. He has'
never attended an LS&A-SG
meeting, nor has he spoken to the
LS&A-SG Treasurer, Deb Filler.
The second set of charges was
levelled by Jasper Di Giuseppe,
member of the New Action Coal-
ition. # Mr. Di Giuseppe alleges
that PESC (Program for Educa-
tional and Social Change) influ-
ences LS&A-SG to appoint PESC
friends as election directors.
There is no basis for such a
charge. The Elections Director,
Theodore Yemen, is obviously
the most qualified person for this
position. Mr. Yemen was Elec-
tions Director in last April's elec-
tions, which were free of corrup-
tion.

Mr. Di Giuseppe further
alleges that voting is "easiest" in
"PESC dorms." As I pointed out
the Daily article (12/1) this is rid-
iculous, since none of the PESC
candidates even live in a dorm.
Polling sites are determined by
the Elections Director solely on
the basis of past turnout. High
voter participation is par-
ticularly difficult to achieve
given the current attitudes
towards all student governments.
Mr. Di Giuseppe points to Alice
Lloyd and East Quad as "PESC
dorms," but he fails to mention
that Mosher Jordan and South
Quad have polls open equally as
long because, historically, turn-
out has been highest in these four
dorms. Mr. Di Giuseppe also
omits the important fact that he
and others have challenged the
placement of polling sites in past
elections, but members of the
LS&A Academic Judiciary have
always maintained their legality.
Ultimately, the Daily staff
must take responsibility for
printing these unsubstantiated
charges, and giving credibility to
the candidates who made them. I
find this particularly disturbing
in view of the recent reorganiza-
tion of LS&A-SG, which was men-
tioned only in the last three para-
graphs of the article. I consider
this reorganization to be the most
important event in the recent his-
tory of LS&A-SG.
Not only has the Daily failed to
publicize the reorganization de-
spite our pleas, but Steve Gold,
author of the article, has seri-
ously misrepresented it. Mr. Gold
states that I have "spearheaded"
this reorganization and that I
"hope to carry out a fifteen
point" reorganization plan. This
is inaccurate. This reorganiza-
tion plan was decided upon by all
Executive Council members
through a series of workshops led

by an outside facilitator. The in-
ternal changes have been im-
plemented and the external
projects have begun.
Mr. Gold also implied that
apathy is my major concern. I
never mentioned the word during
our interview. On the contrary I
believe that the current members
of LS&A-SG are extremely com-
mitted, and if the recent reor-
ganization were better
publicized, more students might
become involved..
Why did the Daily print this ar-
ticle? Mr. Gold states that "al-
though he did not think that the
changes were valid, they were
nevertheless 'news.' "This is Mr.
Gold's first semester at the uni-
versity and his first article on
LSA-SG. It is understandable that
he would not know the history of
such charges nor fully under-
stand the implication of printing
them in the Daily. What is left ex-
cusable is that his editors, who
are more experienced, not only
saw fit to print such an article but
actually urged him to write it in
this fashion. It is my hope that in
the future, the Daily staff will
focus more on its energy on re-
porting LS&A-SG progress rather
than making news out of politi-
cally motivated maneuvers on
the part of persistent opportun-
ists.
Dick Brazee,
President of LS&A
Student Government
plutonium dangers
To The Daily:
Plutonium is one of the most
lethal poisons known to man. An
ounce of plutonium, widely dis-
persed, is enough to kill every

human being on this planet. A
typical commercial breeder
reactor will contain over one
metric ton of plutonium. Plutoni-
um must be contained for 250,000
years before it decays enough to
be safely released to the environ-
mrent. So far no method of perma-
nent storage has been accepted,
although a number of methods
have been studied by the AEC for
almost 20 years. In 1969 AEC was
firmly convinced that liquid
storage in specially designed
tanks "has proved safe and prac-
tical." Sixteen leaks have oc-
cured in the past 16 years. By the
year 2000 AEC projects there will
be 111,300 shipments of radio-
active materials a year or an
average of 305 en route
somewhere in the U.S. everyday -
by train or truck. A 1974 AEC
study team found AEC security
precautions and regulations "en-
tirely inadequate." An individual
or group would find little diffi-
culty in hijacking a nuclear ship-
ment (plutonium emits alpha
particles which are easily shield-
ed; thus handling is simple, in-
gestion of trace amounts if fatal.)
A precedent was set for the world
in March, 1973, when a guerrilla
band took temporary possession
of a nuclear power plant in Ar-
gentina. Controversy rages on
over the safety of the backup sys-
tems, designed to prevent melt-
down when malfunctions occur,
yet industry with AEC at its heels
aggressively pursues a return on
its capital investment, "the
public be damned." I question the
motives and the competence of
industry and AEC in providing
safe nuclear energy. They are
playing with fire, yet assure us
that everything is under control.
Why not pursue a safer energy
strategy?
- Steve Milsap
LSA

r
,
'ti 7

Students get
C ONTRARY TO popular belief, stu-t
dents can get things done around
this University if they are determined{
and reasonable. A good example is the
compromise reached Tuesday by aa
group of student leaders and University
administrators over the paucity of stu-
dent activities space on campus.
The issue first came to light lastI
Spring when.Scott Kellman and Steve
Carnevale, then president and vice-
president of MSA respectively, present-;
ed a plan to the Regents for increasing
student activities space. The proposal
called for the since demolished Water-I
man gymnasium to be converted to a I
student activities center. The RegentsI
considered the matter, but rejected the
e~narntc' nlnnTnvan aRc'f-~ b irant

m ore space
ties Building to be expanded; and per-
mitting students to use Angell Hall
classrooms at night. If the Regents ap-
prove it quickly, the plan could be put
into effect sometime next term.
T HE STUDENTS who participated
on the committee deserve hearty
thanks for securing increased space for
student activities. They acted as solid
diplomats, taking some 'and giving
some, and the end result was more
space. These students proved that the
University can be reasoned with effec-
tively, provided we don't set our sights
too high. Had our student representa-
tives demanded a new activities build-
ing, they might have come away with

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