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May 05, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-05

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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.
Wednesday,_May 5, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552,
Mayday and beyond
SEVENTY-THREE PER-CENT of the American people
support the withdrawal of all American troops from
Indochina by the end of this year, according to a recent
Gallup Poll.
Those Americans who have opposed the war over the
past six years may regard this as a significant gain.
But to the Vietnamese peasant sitting in his hut,
hoping against hope that the lives of those he knows and
loves will not be forfeited that day on the whims of an
American bomber, these happy tidings bring small con-
The War continues. People are still dying in large
numbers - perhaps 'only' fifty Americans this week -
and how many of 'them'? How many Vietnamese who see
themselves as fighting for a decent society free from
foreign domination? How many Vietnamese recruited
to defend the Saigon military clique? And how many more
who see merely the insanity of the seemingly endless war
which has ravaged their homeland for thTirty years?
And what can we do? We can mass by the hundreds
of thousands to demonstrate our opposition to the War.
We can work for and vote for candidates for public
office who will try to change our foreign policies. We can
try to understand the human faults and the social me-
chanisms which lead great nations to become imperial
monsters, and resolve to struggle against those tendencies.
BUT THE WAR does not end. The B-52s continue their
relentless search for an enemy we cannot hate, and
the nation we were taught to cherish as a bastion of
liberty and a light to the world, continues to crush revolu-
tion in Indochina.
So people search for new means of protest. Mayday
was one. The attempt to disrupt the operations of the
federal government appeared appropriate. It demon-
strated that people were willing to put their bodies on the
line. It provided a renewed illustration of bitter opposi-
tion to government policy-
The organizers of-the Washington actions have asked
for a nationwide strike today to culminate the period
of antiwar activity. As a demonstration of large-scale, na-
tional opposition to the war, it can function as mass
demonstrations have to some degree in the past, to in-
fluence the policy makers. Students and faculty who
oppose American involvement in Indochina should stay
out of class today to participate in this demonstration.
BUT OBVIOUSLY, the aim of the Mayday actions - "to
raise the social cost of the war to a level unaccept-
able to America's rulers" still appears a dreamlike hope.
The left-student anti-war group which is involved in
Mayday has some influence but certainly not a decisive
But just as obviously, there are people who could raise
the social cost of the war to an unacceptable level - and
they are opposed to American involvement in Indochina
- they are the seventy-three per cent that Gallup talks
Suppose nationally respected leaders who support
withdrawal from Indochina - George McGovern, Ted
Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Edmund Muskie, John Lind-
say - asked for a day of general strike again the war.
Suppose all the liberal Democratic Congressmen who op-
pose the war voted against all military appropriations
In light of the recent NLF offer to negotiated cease-
fire with American troops, this assumes added signifi-
cance. If those liberal leaders who oppose the war were
willing to move decisively on the basis of the cease-fire
proposal, a real end to the war might come much sooner.
It is quite likely that a majority of the American
people would support a campaign led by nationally re-
spected leaders, to force the Nixon Administration to
agree on such a cease-fire followed by rapid withdrawal
from Indochina. It is quite possible that strikes and such
tactics would receive wide support with such leadership.
The task is no longer, as it was a few years ago, to
convince people that the war is wrong - it is to con-
vince them that they can and should do something about
it. But the men who have the greatest potential for

providing the leadership necessary for such a campaign
continue to content themselves with mournful speeches.
'XHILE REALIZING that demonstrations, episodes of
civil disobedience such as Mayday and student strikes
are unlikely to have major immediate impact, their value
must be recognized. They keep up a certain pressure on
the government - they are a reminder that the war
has not been forgotten. The choice' often is between
watching an evil and remaining silent, or trying to do
that little which one can. The Mayday protesters refused
to be silent, and for that they deserve respect.

greater community

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
is the first part of an interview
of LSA Dean-designate Frank.
Rhodes with Daily staff members
Geri Sprung and Steve Koppman. A
second nection of the interview will
be published later in the week.
DAILY: How does it feel to be
RHODES: Well, it feels pretty
good. I'm happy at the prospect. -
Everybody comes up and offers
their commisserations and tells
me what an impossible job it is,
and so on, but I think it's a chal-
lenging job, basically, and that's

-to really get them interacting
with students.
So I hope first of all we can
make our basic aim the restora-
tion of the dignity, the importance
and the centrality of undergradu-
ate education-especially in the
first two years.
We've got to get people out of
graduate mothballs and back into
undergraduate teaching. If we can
get that right, I think the specialist
teaching will tend to take care of
itself, because the departments are
very good at that.

I hope first of all we can make our basic aim
the restoration of the dignity, the importance
and the centrality of undergraduate education-
especially in the first two years. We've got to get
people out of graduate mothballs and back into
undergraduate teaching.

why I took it. I think there are
great needs and great opportuni-
ties, so I'm happy with it.
Here am I-an outsider by any
standard. I'm British, I've been
here only two years, I'm a scien-
tist who'll be working with hu-
manists. It reassures me greatly
in the health of your academic
community that it can risk its
money on someone who basically
has a very different viewpoint.
I find this a very great trust. I
don't mean this in any way to cul-
tivate student opinion, but I'm
deeply impressed that the com-
mittee that interviewed me went
through 9 people, or whatever, and
in the end, the faculty-student vote
was unanimous-with three stu-
dents on the committee.
It seems to me to be a very ex-
citing thing that someone with
ideas as mine which are fairly
wild, I think, by conventional
standards-can really be trusted
with this kind of job. It's only a
great University that could do that.
DAILY: What's your conception
of the role of LSA?
RHODES: You know, at the be-
ginning of the catalogue it says
that the aim of LSA is to explore
every aspect of life creatively,
and that's it, in as many words.
Two statements it makes-first o
all, that we share the conviction
that the good life is the fully ex-
amined life and that no man can
successfully cope with his prob-
lems until he's gained some in-
sight into the nature of the uni-
verse in which he lives.
Then it goes on to say that we
want to help every student to un-
derstand himself and the world
round about him not by offering
knowledge in a narrow sense, as
facts alone, but in the broadest
sense of awareness of man and his
surroundings. So if you want a
one-sentence definition of my goal
for ISA it's exactly that one-to
explore the whole range of human
knowledge and experience and to
do it creatively.
DAILY: How do you go about
doing that?
RHODES: That's a big question.
There are ways in which we ought
to be doing it. The first thing I've
got to say is that in order to do
that at all, you've really got to
create a learning environment
where people feel anxious to do it.
At the moment, LSA isn't really
much of a community. So aim num-
ber one is to really make it more
of a community. I want to see
students and faculty realy talking
together-not just across a lecture
bench, but really talking to one
another as people, and there are
various ways to do this.
One is to encourage as many
faculty as we are able to use to
take an active part in undergradu-
ate courses-at the moment, many
of the brightest stars on the LSA
faculty don't get near undergradu-
ate audiences-especially, in the
first two years. We've got to really
do all we can to encourage faculty
members who have a tremendous
range of skills and experience in
all kinds of different positions-
from all over the world-all kinds
of philosophical backgrounds, so-
cial backgrounds, religious beliefs

DAILY: Don't you think there'll
be opposition to this? It seems that
many professors, especially those
considered experts in their fields;
tend to prefer to do their owp re-
search and teach graduate ^tu-
RHODES: That's a good ques-
tion. Clearly, what I have to say
when you're asking me what I can
do is that I'm not the boss of LSA.
I'm the servant, literally, of a par-
ticular group of scholars the
scholars are undergradautes, grad-

RHODES: I reject the tern peas
ants-if we have to have it, I coun
myself with them. But some di
take that attitude, and I don't sup
pose anyone works in a more eso
teric field than I do-I deal witl
microfossils in geology, and pro
lems with micro-evolution and cor
relation which are intensely eso
teric. Even the language is impos
sible, but I still teach 600 under
graduates a year, and I get tre
mendous enjoyment out of doing
it. Basically, if you're a professoi
in a University, you acknowledg
yourself to be a person who car
make the esoteric meaningful, an
if people aren't able to make i
meaningful, I think they're in th
wrong game.
DAILY: Do you think you ca
build support to work toward these
RHODES: I said these things
very forcefully when I was inter-
viewed by the selection commit
tee, and they received them very
well. I think there's a strong feel
ing in the college, amongst thg
faculty, that we've really lost oui
bearings and that we're just
rudderless ship without any sense
thing for me to read that in intro
ductory statement about LSA :n
the catalogue-I think we're ter
rible in achieving it.
Here we say to students here's
the whole world of experience-
let's open it up and let's debate it
together - that's a tremendous
thing to do. I think if we can ap-
proach it on that kind of level
we're going to get faculty support
we're going to get student support.
I just know that students want this
kind of educational experience
they don't want these little boxes
Chemistry 103 or History 207 or
I think another way we can ex-
pose undergraduate audiences to
the best people we have is to start
thinking about the whole structure
of undergraduate teaching.
We're simply fossilized into this
notion that it has to be three lec-
tures a week for a whole semester,
and that's worth three credit
hours, or whatever, I wonder itwe
don't need to experiment with
something like, for instance, in
literature, we might have some
body who's a kind of anchorman
giving an introduction so the
course. We keep him on for let's
say, the first five or six weeks of
the semester, and then we start
bringing in these experts to
give mini-courses on specific areas
that are still part of the big
one, but maybe they lecture every'
Monday for five weeks or some-
thing, and you might have several
mini-courses going, using the same
lecture hours, and a student then
could really begin within that um-
brella course to study these au-
thors he's interested in. If he's in
literature, he may be forced for
a time to study Shakespeare while
he might really want to read D.H.

Prof. Rhodes
uates and faculty-and so all I
hope to do is to persuade them to
move with me in a particular di-
rection-it has to be done with
their cooperation and not against
their will.
How can we do it? First of all,
what we have to say to them is
that if they're concerned with the
quality of graduate education, then
they dare not ignore what goes o:,
at the undergraduate level. If

Basically, if you're a professor in a Univer-
sity, you acknowledge yourself to be a person
who can make the esoteric meaningful, and if
people aren't able to make it meaningful, I think
they're in the wrong game.
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they're having some second-rate
man teach the students who are
their future graduate students,
they're going to be in deep trouble,
and they deserve to be.
So, even from their own self-
interest, they have no right to pre-
tend that undergraduate education
doesn't matter.
But, second, it seems to me, if
they're really expert in a parsicu-
lar field to which they're devoting
their whole life, and many are in a
very distinguished way, they
should have something to say to
)undergraduates. If they believe
it's that important, then it's too im-
portant to keep to themselves and
to graduate students.
DAILY: It seems some profes-
sors feel that the important parts
of what they're doing are so eso-
teric it can't be communicated
meaningfully to these peasants,
these undergraduates.

Lawrence, but then you bring in
the expert on Lawrence to talk
about him.
Instead of cramping students as
we tend to, what we could do, at a
large University like this, is to be-
gin to make individual courses of
the kind that people want, rather
than having one mold that we force4
everyone into.
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Ma r y
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally should
not exceed 250 words. The
Editorial Directors reserve the
right to edit all letters sub-

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