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May 31, 1979 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-31

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Page 4-Thursday, May 31, 1979-The Michigan Dily
FMichigan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 21-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Chrysl's exit
forebods deca
C LOSING A LARGE factory is a tragic and
regrettable event which directly affects
thousands of lives and touches millions more. The
impact of Chrysler Corp.'s decision to shut down
its 67-year-old Hamtramck assembly plant em-
phasizes the city's vulnerability and reliance on
the auto industry for its residents' livelihood.
Detroit's situation is a microcosm of the urban
plight which will eventually confront and
devastate other American cities. Hamtramck
already provides a depraved and abandoned
vista, inhabted now by fixed-income ethnics who
cannot afford to move. It is most unfortunate that
many of the 3,200 jobs lost by the plant's closing
have been held by faithful, hardworking in-
dividuals who will no longer be marketable after
decades of Chrysler employment if they are not
relocated.
Hamtramck will not only lose jobs and incomes
that were previously pumped into its economy, it
will also suffer from a sharply eroding tax base as
well. After 10 per cent of the city's budget is gone,
government funds will have to restore it.
Of course Chrysler cannot indefinitely operate
the plant at a loss. It is difficult to justify revam-
ping the dilapidated plant when the cost would far
outweigh the return on Chrysler's investment.
A Chrysler spokesman said most of the workers
laid off by the plant's closing will be relocated:
elsewhere in the company's operations. For-
tunately, the workers will be entitled to their full
retirement benefits and will retain their seniority
when transferred. Depletion of the unemployment
benefit fund will last through August, and then it
will be replenished.
Prudent, long-range planning might have
prevented the exodus or at least cushioned the
blow. It is unlikely, however, that the closing
would have been ruled out in view of technology
advances and lower costs which propel companies
out of urbanity southward to cheap labor havens.
Population and technology trends are inexorable
from Detroit's standpoint. Gov. William Milliken
could steadfastly appeal to industry to remain
within the state. But many Michigan cities
already offer tax breaks to industry, and the flight
continues in spite of them. Land and labor costs
will not diminish regardless of government ac-
tion.
It is hoped that some employment sources will
fill in the vacuum the auto firms leave, and that
Detroit can then enjoy unprecedented prosperity.
Trends twoard a more service-oriented economy
might provide opportunities for small firms to
regain large company losses. Small business in-
centives should be increased to spur such activity.
Industry and government must cooperate for the
benefit of all and the avoidance of unjust injury to
residents.

Students digest books
but actually fail to learn

Scene: Four years ago. The
basement of the Undergraduate
Library. It is a Tuesday night
around 10:00 and there are only a
handful of studiers, all clumped
around the large tables smoking
cigarettes by the pack. One group
has set upa hot plate, plugged in-
to an outlet near the private study
rooms, and is brewing a batch of
coffee. Another group is razzing
the former: "Hey, are you going
to move a cot in here soon?"
The atmosphere of the UGLI is
relaxed and congenial despite the
constant flow of penetrating light
from the flourescent tubes above.
The students who are there are
"the regulars": they recognize
each other but have never been
introduced. They are the first of a
growing number of students who
basically live in the libarary,
memorizing facts and figures.
SCENE: THE basement of the
Undergraduate Library on a
Tuesday night at 10:00. The only
difference is that it is four years
later, and the UGLI is jammed.
Only a handful of seats remain,
and these seats are strategically
placed for maximum disturban-
ce. The good seats were taken
shortly after dinner time.
These students, like the ones of
four years ago, recognize one
anotherdas regulars. But unlike
the students of four years ago,
they seem even more serious
about their subject, if you can
Lette
To the Daily:
I would like to thank your news-
paper for running the article of
May 19 dealing with the
Metropolitan Community Church
(MCC) of Ann Arbor and its
relation with Northside
Presbyterian Church. Unfor-
tunately, however, some inac-
curacies crept into the article in
the editing of the Rev. William
Baker's remarks which I, as an
elder at Northside, would like to
correct.
Three years ago, when the
question of ordaining gays to the
ministry was first brought before
the General Assembly of the
United PresbyterianmChurch, the
denomination appointed a com-
mission to hold nationwide
.hearings and bring back a
recommendation for action to the
5978 General Assembly. At the
same time, local congregations
were also urged to study the
issue. In response to this, Nor-
thside put its own committee
together, which recommended to
the session that our congregation
go on record in favor of there
being no prohibition on the or-
dination of gays to the
Presbyterian ministry. The
session passed this resolution,
and copies of a letter setting forth
our congregation's position were
circulated among all the chur-
ches of the Detroit Presbytery.
Meanwhile, the denominational
commission, by a large majority,
presented a report to the 19711
General Assembly which also
urged that the right of gays to or-
dination be affirmed. Sadly, for

By DAN OBERDORFER
believe that.
Many fall into the burgeoning
class of "pre-
professionals"-pre-meddies,
pre-law, engineering, and the
like. They study in earnest.
Characteristically they pore
through heavy textbooks; yellow
underliners painting every other
word.
Is the time spent worthwhile?
MANY SUCCEED in their im-
mediate goal, graduating to a
relatively high-paying job or to a
berth ina prestigious law school.
But is the time spent in the
UGLI-four or five hours a night
for many of these students-is it
really worth it?
Are they learning?
Most are just memorizing.
They are learning what the
professor tells them-so they
can get "the grade" enabling
them "to get ahead."
Few of these "pre-
professional"- types really seem
interested in learning for lear-
ning's sake. Only a handful feel
challenged to study critically
their teacher's arguments,
making an individual con-
tribution to the field-however
small it may be. They know that
if they were to do so, they would
be penalized, for most professors
here grade-off for thought which
runs counter to their own.
SOMETIMES THIS may be

only the difference between an
"A" and an "A-", but to the;"pre-
professionals," this is a big dif-
ference. That's because grades
are paramount. Without them,
there would be no law school next
year.
This attitude prevails in class,
also. Attendance is low except
just before tests. And class par-
ticipation is always
minimal-usually just a question
or two about how the final paper
will be graded, or if such and
such will be included on the final
examination.
Administrators must sit back
on their padded leather desk
chairs and marvel over today's
student. Well-behaved, bright
students.
Perhaps students should study
less and think more. This would
not make the administrators
happy, of course, but wouldn't it
be great if students were more
skeptical when learning, per-
sistently challenging each other
so they could learn to think
together, not to memorize.
Perhaps if students spent less
time in the UGLI, worrying about
the results of tomorrow's test,
and spent more time at the bars,
arguing about the issues, studen-
ts would begin learning.
Dan Oberdorfer is a former Daily
Managing Editor.

ors to the Daily

reasons which were probably as
much political as theological, the
General Assembly rejected the
careful conclusions of its own
commission and voted that or-
dination should be denied to prac-
ticing homosexuals.
I would like to emphasize that
this homophobic action ofthe
denomination has in no way
changed the position of Northside
Presbyterian Church. In ad-
dition, though we are proud and
pleased about our relationship
with MCC, we deplore the fact
that some gays have felt it

necessary to segregate them-
selves into still another division
of the Christian church. Nor-
thside remains open to the full
participation of gay Christians in
our congregation, and hopes that
those who, like myself, do not feel
entirely comfortable in MCC will
consider us an alterntive. We
constantly look forward to the
day when all of the divisons
within the Body of Christ can be
healed.
-C. K. Evans
Elder, Northside
Presbyterian Church

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