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May 18, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-18

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Page 4-Friday, May 18, 1979-Thee Michigan Daily


wMichigan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M. 48109
Vol.LXXXIX, No. 13-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Harvard's idea
could work here
L IBERAL ARTS education has been altered
as technology and other advancements force
it to keep pace with the dynamics of knowledge
and job markets. Yesterday, Harvard University,
a frontrunner in educational innovation, unveiled
a plan to revise its undergraduate curriculum.
The plan transcends the concept of broad in-
troductory courses and instead is aimed at
schooling undergrads in various approaches to
Harvard's design includes a "core curriculum"
to invest proficiency in writing, math and the use
of computers in students by the time they
graduate. Students must devote one quarter of
their courses to classes from the core area, one
quarter to electives, and the other half to classes
in the student's field of concentration.
This University is more distinctly defined by its
colleges and disciplines than Harvard's
generalized curriculum. However, it would be
beneficial to adopt the most desirable aspets of
our eastern peer's plan. While the general
education curriculum is not outlined here for each
incoming student, counselors encourage students
to take a slate of standard courses to commence
their undergraduate career.
But many students can attest to the diminutive
knowledge gained by mass intro courses. These
courses often are handicapped by teaching to the
mean while boring the extremes. It is most unfor-
tunate that some students acquire an unrealistic
idea of the quality of education available here af-
ter wasting countless hours in MLB auditoriums.
Many students can become disillusioned with an
entire field of sudy because of an unappealing or
unscholarly intro course.
Counselors should advise students about such
courses. Student evaluations should be examined
carefully and used as a guideline for change. The
aim of inculcating a broad basis in an academic
discipline should not subordinate the offering and
challenging coursework.
Requiring some background in computer use is
another worthwhile aim of the Harvard plan. Such
knowledge is a useful asset for today's student
needs to deal with an ever-automizing society.
Harvard was wise not to mandate each student to
take a computer course, but rather that he or she
demonstrate a proficiency in computer skills.
This University should offer computer courses for
the non-technically inclined student and em-
phasize proficiency instead of the completion of a
specific course. Counselors should strongly en-
courage students to explore this field, even if
students do not have a knack for working with
Thus, the University would be wise to adopt the
spirit but not the specifics of Harvard's plan. It
would be to the contemporary student's benefit to
offer courses with real world application such as
computer operation, whilepermitting students to
decide their own course of study with professional

Letters to the Daiy
Root of the problem what about the people who will be useless because all of the leaders
To the Daily: h hurt in the process? Nobody wan- of the past went crazy and cant
I aes n ice ts to claim responsibility, the be trusted." It would be more
I am responding to your article administration would rather see responsible to help identify the
of April12thentitled,"Study says things swept under the rug and system behind the- corrupt
dorm life difficult aoued unfortunately the Daily has behavior; for example, why does
Blacks in which you announced shown whose side it is on. MSA become dominated by rain.
the release of the UM NAACP - -Charles Holman, III dless student bureaucrats, and
Chapter's report which I Co-Chairman, NAACP how does the administration
authored. National Task Force on exercise control over student
My problem with your article Black College Students government?
centers around the quote you at- Furthermore, obnoxious
tribnted to me, that the negative Welcome loopholes preachings like, "If the students
conditions outlined in the report To the Daily: have the power to run their own
are continuing today. Your ar- stude
tidle went on to quote three Ilam sure many of us are stdnt government, they shuld
peo: ha grteful for the article 'Paup exercise the power wisely, or nt
allegedly said. What I said was Loophoe.. e a r have itW" simple do not help
not that these problems are con- It provides so many of us some anyone. Why not apply this
tinung g toaybut hatcurrnt opeof retaining a respect for statement to the Office of Student
tinuing today, but that current hope rServices, which is right now up to
problems of black students in the ouselves when we can read that its elbows, along with its SABRE
dorms have their roots in the there still is self respect, and it is
prorlmsoutlined in the report. shown by such efforts, to remove allies, to squash the emerging
Thrort itself underscored the lecherous, insatiable monster political power of MSA and
by noting that it was intended as from our backs... the election difficulties? Thinissa
a record of past-struggles to aid I hope Frank Browning will con- disgracefuluse of power.
black students in future tinue to be in the Michigan Daily digaeuusofpwr
btrules sinforming (through your choice Second, Ms. Engebrecht digs
str felthat there is a big dif- of editorials, such as this) people deep into fantasy when she say
ference between what you quoted in Michigan about progress made "If the student groups had simply
and what I actually said. As a against this blatant crushing of a worked together to handle their
result you managed to com- person's will. would have never become nitin
pletely miss the point of the -Mrs.Konapek wold h ne met is in-
volved." This statement is in-
report in favor of presenting a Daily opinion defensible. The administration is
false and misleading picture of To the Daily: always on hand, and eager, to get
an improving situation for black Your reporter Julie Fnge- involved in controlling student
dormitory residents. brecht's commentary of May 4, government affairs when it starts
A paid public relations person "Politics to blame for loss of doing things that matter.
for the University could have MSA" contains one very clear in- MSA has to fight every year to
hardly done better! sight. "The administration does prove its legitimacy, and to a
In specific, your article men- not belong in student government jury not of its peers, but rather of
tioned the institution of minority affairs." But this bit of wisdom is administrators, who have shown
peer counselors in the dorms and buried ina polemic of such super- themselves capable of the
a guarantee by one dorm gover- ficiality and arrogance that I gravest insensitivity, and now,
nment of 15 per cent of its income must respond. treachery. The current crisis
to minority students as im- First, she says both major par- would not even exist if the ad-
provements over the situation ties in the election, SABRE and ministration did not have the ex-
outlined in the NAACP report. PAC, "became so preoccupied cuse, or bribe, of granting MSA's
Obviously, you have not fully with winning the election that funding every year.
read the report or you would have nothing else seemed to matter." The election saw a major par-
known that these "alleged im- It distresses me that she would ty, SABRE, launch a campaign
provements" have existed for fail to clearly identify which par- based on lies and prejudice, and
several years and were men- ties have and which have not the same party sabotage sincee
tioned in the report itself, hardly been involved in double-dealing efforts to get MSA back on its feet
improvements at all. For the and opportunism. It is now by itself. We must go beyond
record, the minority peer coun- generally agreed among most chastising people, however. We
selors were first instituted in the observers that the SABRE party must understand what is keeping
early seventies by C.U.L.S. was one which did truly lose sight MSA from taking itself seriously.
Moreover, Markley's student of what was best for MSA in the If there are Donald Sergrettis in
governmenthas for severalyears face of the administration's the making, let's expose them.
granted a "guaranteed income" challenge to student government, But above all, let's do it critically
to the Minority Action Council but with the sweep of the pen, she and thoughtfully, and in a way
(MAC). One other development lumps all student activists which does not offend the sincere
you cited in the article was that together and does everything activists within MSA.
Stockwell's minority short of providing us all with -JosephPelava
organization failed by only a dunce caps. Student Press Gouncil
slight margin in its attempt to This type of arrogance,
win representation on the Stock- although motivated more by THE MINNESOTA DAILY
well House Council. Yet the fact timidity than vindictiveness, is a recently reported that their
is, which you left unmentioned, disservice to the University Board of Student Publications
that Stockwell minority residents community in that it clouds the will form a press council to air
have been fighting this same bat- issue of MSA's current complaints against "any student-
tle for over five years and are vulnerability to the ad- run news organization in the
still losing! My question is, how ministration's attack. country."
does this indicate an improving Making all of student gover- The council is to be the first of
situation? Failure and defeat, nment suddenly seem like just a its kind at the collegiate level in
annually for over five years is bad joke, producing a the country. Minnesota was also
hardly an improving situation! Shakespearean "Alas, they've all the home of the first state press
On a final note, I would like to gone mad" explanation subjects council.
point out that although conditions students to a vision of student ac- Six students will be chosen at
at present may not seem as tivism that seems completely in- the May 19 board meeting to
"dismal" today in some of the sane. And, alarmingly, it is the comprise the council. However,
dorms for black students, par- same tactic that the Office of selection of councilmembers will
ticularly in Bursley Hall, I would Student Services used to vindic- be the only tie to the board.
like to point out once again, that tively, and successfully, discredit Press councils have no actual
the causes which led to the MSA before the Regents. power to punish a journalist or
disturbing atmosphere at Bur- Although the article chides news organization. They hear
sley in the mid-seventies still SABRE, its simple-minded con- and investigate complaints and
remain. Things may seem well clusions frustrate rather than form opinions on the subject.
and good for the present, but until illuminate. Tom Hayden once Delivery of the council's opinion
real improvements are made. a said that the net effect of this kind is aimed at influencing the party

threatening situation may once of journalism is "to make us feel against whom a complaint has
again unexpectedly erupt. And that politics and movements are been registered.

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