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May 06, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-06

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420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students-at the
University of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author. This must be noted in all reprints.
Thursday, May 6, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
LSA policy committee
AFTER A YEAR of consideration, the literary college
now has a mechanism through which students may
have substantial input into the overall governance of the
literary college.
The success of that mechanism - the Joint Faculty-
Student Policy Committee -- is not guaranteed. Unfor-
tunately, the committee may become just one more in a,
long line of LSA student-faculty committees, which while
sounding good on paper, tend to get bogged down in
bureaucratic hassles or lack the time or power to imple-
ment the plans they develop.
The committee, as approved by the LSA faculty at
a meeting April 22, will be made up of ten students and
ten faculty members. It will be expected to make recom-
mendations and introduce legislation to that body. Stu-
dent members will be granted all the privileges of faculty
members at their meetings, except the vote.
Thus the committee may be able to develop innova-
tive ideas and suggestions and present them effectively
to the faculty. Under the stipulations of the proposal,
ideas developed by the committee should receive prime
consideration by the faculty. Yet, this is not a committee
that can set down regulations as can the Office of Stu-
den Services Policy Board - it is, in fact, an advisory
committee. Unfortunately, most of its "advice" will pro-
bably not become "policy."
THE REPORTS of the committee, because they must
have the support of a majority of its members, should
be representative of both faculty and student viewpoints.
But the question of the student role in academic
decision-making has not yet been adequately tackled by
the LSA faculty. The governance plans received little
publicity and there was no strong student pressure to
implement them.
From the start, the faculty killed any chance for
implementation of an 80-member student-faculty legis-
lative council for it would mean "giving the students too
much power." Whenever the plan was presented, both
last fall and last month, the faculty rapidly dismissed
it without discussing what role, if any, students should
have in deciding on curriculum, degree requirements, and
faculty appointments - areas in which the faculty now
has final authority.
The question of literary college governance is not,
therefore, resolved merely by the faculty approving the
establishment of this committee. It might be wise for the
new committee to take up the whole governance question
again as its first order of business.
FOR THE POLICY committee should be viewed as just
one phase in a whole process of increasing student
involvement in the decision-making process of the literary
college. The same questions will come up again and again
as students press for power in academic decision-making.
Maybe next time, the faculty will face them.

On the dilemma of action:
Rational man ponders Mayday
By RICK PERLOFF garchy, pursues policies alien to protests? Though it could hinder
LAST WEEK my brain was a the majority, say recent polls. But the anti-war movement.
clothesline. On it hung not last year's.
wrinkled ration a1iz a t i oais, YES, but people like the Ber-
thoughts, option after alternative WELL, THAT'S true. And so is rigans wouldn't consider this so
after sensible argument: should I this. For every position, a suf- reflectively. They would act from

attend the Mayday demonstra-
tions; could my arrest be ration-
ally justified? Would this be the
right decision?
The clothesline supported a sock
of one viewpoint just as comfort-
ably as the mate, representing the
other. The brain, that balanc-
ing artist, lets all possibilities
I ask: Just what would t h is
accomplish? Thousands blocking
traffic would .alienate potential
supporters of the anti-war move-
ment, swing them toward back-
ing the President . . . the liberal
Or: The mass actions would give
the Movement a ne* birth; the
dedication of the thousands ar-
rested could reawaken the ques-

ficient reason. What a piece of
work is man = but how noble is
his reason?
war which is immoral, unjustified,
senseless (one more adjective and
the heart feels satisfied). By any
means necessary to end it?
Hold it. Who said the war is
wrong? Maybe I just think i t 's
wrong but it really is right. I
can't be sure.
Maybe there really is a Com-
munist threat - evil men in
fiendish raincoats. Maybe Nixon
and the domino theory have been
correct, and we and the academ-
ics have been wrong.
Maybe, maybe not.
Look: We've dropped more

the heart, from a sense of inner
wrong. I should feel heart-strong
vengeance, bitter again a gov-
ernment which is inflicting blood-
shed- in Vietnam.
This is killing people, just
think of it, killing human beings,
destroying a country, a land, in-
nocent civilians . . . I think.
I scratch my elbow. Yes, I feel
a throb. Killing is, after all,
wrong. This I feel. I guess. T he
argument from compassion has its
uses. But not alone - compassion
must be justified.
I think I should feel, in t h e
heart, a commitment to this cause
- because the war is demon-
strably wrong, evil, murderous.
And since I believe what I should
feel is what I must feel (in short,


tion marks many Americans hold
on the war, but have buried,.
the radical view.
Well, I don't know. Both argu-
ments sound equally convincing,
equally uncertain. Equally confus-
ed . . . Two socks dangling.
MAYBE THEY'LL close the
city. That would be swell. Then
the war would close.
That's silly. You can't close a
city. The war won't end until
Nixon decides to end it.
The demonstrations violate the
rights of neutral Americans. To
attend their jobs.
Wrong. When authority is mis-
used, laws need not be respected.
Wouldn't it have been immoral
not to have violated laws in Nazi
Germany, for example?
Are the situations analagous?
I can't decide.
The government fights an un-
declared war. But is ending it.
The administration is an oli-

bombs there than in any other
war, have practically destroyed
destroyed Vietnam's ecology and
have killed thousands of inno-
cent people. There. The h eart
sighs. This is wrong. The cosmo-
logical argument from compas-
Rational man demands more. I
say the war is wr6ng and can
prove it, logically. I review t h e
follies of the domino theory, note
we are fighting not a monolithic
Communist conspiracy but essen-
tially a nation's left wing poli-
tical movement - one that has
much support among the people.
And we're defending an elitist
dictatorship. The head nods. Sat-
isfied. The war is wrong. (If my
facts are correct.)
Thus, I have proved the war is
wrong and I take it to be self-evi-
dent that I as a citizen should
do all I can to bring it to a halt.
Which brings me to the original
issue: should I attend the Mayday

in my interest as a righteous per-
son) I shall feel a commitment.
And I can feel this because I
have previously indicated I have
a heart, which I take as self-evi-
dent is the instrument one uses to
But this means I protest selfish-
ly - for the satisfaction of be-
ing right. Is this a valid motive?
Is this protest an effective tactic?
I can't decide.
THUS: I, a rational man, am
perched in confusion. The intel-
lectual who demands certainty.
Rational certainty. Whenever I
find a reason, I lose a decision.
Something is screwy about this
pursuit of reason. The dilemma of
rational dialogue: how can y o u
make a decision? But I shall de-
cide before the protest ends. I'll
flip a coin.





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