pink and purple polka dots
The second time around
DURING THE SUMMER, all of the 5000 members of the
incoming freshman class of the University are tested, re-
tested, x-rayed, fed and bedded, walked and led to all or as
much of the University as can be crammed into a three-day stay.
Things that can't be shown, like the actual classroom situation,
are explained in myriad detail by one of the more than 20
leaders who work fearlessly all summer.
It's hard enough the first time around, but I went back to
see if it had changed any in three years. And it has. It's also
harder to get up at 0:30 a.m.
To begin with, the incoming freshman belongs to a different
breed. I remember being brought to the University by my parents.
True, they didn't hang around long enough to embarrass me, but
they nevertheless did bring out the family car and drive the 40
miles to Ann Arbor.
As I was waiting in line to pay my fees, I counted the num-
ber of parents who brought their clidren to Alice Lloyd Hall,
and there are more people awake at four in the morning in Ann
Arbor than there were parents in line to pay fees. Many students
got to Ann Arbor by either flying, driving themselves, or hitch-
hiking. And there were very few parents attending parents'
orientation, something of a shock to me.
THE MAIN DIFFERENCE I saw between my class-'72-
and the class of '75 was self-assurance. Most of this year's
freshmen, although not sure of what they wanted to be when
they grew up, were sure that they were going to do something
that would benefit society. But very few wanted to go into tra-
ditional jobs like medicine, law or teaching; they must have come
to college to find other alternatives.
And they were certainly sure that they were at the University
of Michigan, and that was pretty hot stuff. As a whole, they
were quiet, spending most of their time playing "Iknow people
who know people who know" and proving that they had at least
something in common.
Having never been to a class, they were still in academic
awe of the Big 'U's' reputation, and they were all afraid of
flunking out. No one could convince them not to worry, not
even the counselors who told the class that they just didn't
admit very many people who flunk out, ever.
EVIDENTLY, NO matter where the freshmen came from,
the University's reputation was well known.
While the freshmen thought orientation was useful, they
could see right away that three days with 120 other freshmen
was not the same as being thrust in with 35,000 strangers for a
Most of the time they sat around in small groups, wonder-
ing what was in store for them.
"I feel like I'm in purgatory," said one from New 'York.
"Most of the people here are from Michigan. I had no idea
Michigan had this many people in it."
From purgatory, the discussion moved to television, with
most of the freshmen expressing a reluctance to be away from
the tube for three days but at the same time confirming that all
shows are horrible. That hasn't changed.
ORIENTATION BEGAN with the ceremonial handout of ID
cards. Most of the women in my group felt they were a part of
the University, but aferwards agreed that the real awakening
came after the battery of tests was over.
We were divided into men and women so we could decide
whether we would allow men on the floor until 8 p.m. or until
midnight, and we voted for midnight. The first time I went
through, men weren't allowed on the sacred floor at all.
The rules have changed, but not all the people have. One
orientation leader tells the story of how one freshman woman
asked if she would be allowed to leave her room to go to the
bathroom at night, after the women were supposed to be in.
THE TRADITIONAL MIXER has been replaced by a micro-
lab that has two purposes: first to let the freshmen know some-
one else when 'they come back in the fall, and second to relax
them After an exhausting day, it's nice to know someone to
neck with later that night.
The second day of orientation is all testing, and the tests
are the one thing that hasn't changed since the beginning of
orientation. Language, English reading, OASIS, chemistry tests-
all are still given to the unwary freshman. It's not a pleasant
way to become acclimated to the University, but as I understand
it, tests are necessary for counseling,
The rest of the day is spent in preparation for registration
on the third day. Choosing classes that aren't closed and still
meeting the distribution requirements are a necessity. And
freshmen already know the fear of the eight o'clock class.
And so the freshmen return from whence they came, wait-
ing until September. The freshmen leave much as they have
come, for how can three days be enough to cram even a preview
of years of experience into one mind. But orientation has given
them a taste of the people they will know on campus, the tests
that they will continue to take and the, registrationnaires they
will continue to fill out
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, August 12, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
NIGHT EDITOR: TAMMY JACOBS
Peace plan:* An awkward silence
By JAMES WECHSLER
IT IS THE SULLEN VIEW of
Richard Nixon's press apolo-
gists that Hanoi and the Viet Cong
have once again been guilty of
unsportsmanlike conduct of the
most diabolical sort.
For many months Mr. Nixon, his
eyes often moistening as he spoke,
proclaimed the priority of his con-
cern for the U.S. prisoners of war.
With that look of dogged resolve
that reportedly characterized his
play as a substitute on the Whit-
tier College eleven, he assured the
families of the trapped PWs that
he would never let them down.
And now the Communists have
mischievously disrupted his game
plan. For they have said as clear-
ly as it could be said-despite la-
bored attempts by Nixon deputies
and press agents (official and vol-
unteer) to blur the point-that the
prisoners can be home in the near
future if the U.S. agrees to full-
scale withdrawal by the end of this
It is now weeks since that pro-
posal was made public. Nixon has
maintained a deadly silence while
his aides have fumbled and floun-
dered and the President's favorite
journalists have spread the word
that a negative answer is ultimate-
What is extraordinary in this de-
meaning spectacle is that he seems
to have been unprepared for a
move that a bright high school his-
tory student could have anticipat-
ed. His inability to produce for so
many days anything resembling a
serious response-and his evasion
of any encounter with the press-
has created a worldwide image of
ineptitude, confusion and devious-
THERE IS NOTHING ambiguous
about the terms being offered.
What "the other side" has said is
that our prisoners will be prompt-
ly returned if we are prepared to
abandon the notion of maintaining
a "residual force" in Vietnam to
preserve the Thieu junta. The is-
sue could not be more clear-cut.
The remarkable thing is that Nix-
on apparently thought he could in-
definitely evade it, and did not
have a responsible rejoinder at
:and when it came. Instead he was
rendered mute and inaccessible.
"Vietnamization" was to be the
formula for a drastically reduced
U.S. ground force and the massive
application of air power for an in-
definite period; the PWs were to
be the pretext for our presence.
Now the inescapable choice is be-
tween early liberation of the pri-
soners or frank avowal that we
are still determined to see it
through with Thieu-while the
Meanwhile the word is being
leaked once again that Hanoi is in
military trouble and that the VC
proposal is really a sign of weak-
ness. How many other peace open-
ings were wrecked by similar de-
THE PORTRAIT of Nixon be-
ing presented by his typewriter
brigade is that of a man deeply
torn (shades of Lyndon Johnson)
oetween his devotion to the PWs
and his fidelity to Mr. Thieu.
But apart from his longtime ad-
ierence to the domino doctrine and
nis recurrent reversion to the
hard-line posture of his earlier ca-
reer, Nixon's mediations are sha-
dowed by the specter of revolt on
his right flank. He cannot derive
much assurance from Ronald Rea-
gan's new pledges of fealty; he
knows how frail such vows can be.
The latest issue of Human
Events, which faithfully records
the blood - pressure of the GOP's
rightist legions, assesses Nixon's
performance since he assumed
the Presidency and ominously re-
ports that "the effect of his deci-
sions-and indecisions - has been
to push the country to the left." It
says some former Nixon advisors
and sponsors recently met secret-
ly in Washington to share their
disenchantment, and several urged
a "Launch Reagan" drive.
"It is extremely difficult to
,inagine," the Human Events
manifesto declares, "that the con-
servatives who rallied behind can-
didate Nixon when he opposed such
things as a guaranteed national in-
come, deficit financing, U.S. nu-
clear inferiority and Red China's
admission to the UN will next year
wave the flag for a President
Nixon who has reversed his field %
on each of these crucial issues."
THE PICTURE of Richard Nix-
on as betrayer of the conservative
faith may seem a paranoid fan-
tasy; it is also a familiar form of
blackmail. But it is unquestion-
ably true that his gestures to-
ward conciliation with China, his
avowed interest in the SALT talks
and his backing of even the inade-
quate family assistance plan of-
fended basic dogmas of his right-
wing constituency. Nor can he even
say confidently that they have no
place to go as long as George
Wallace is around-and Reagan
remains in the wings.
On the other hand, he has large-
ly lost any chance to build a "con-
census"- following: Carswell, Cam-
bodia, Mitchell and Agnew are
some of the reasons, but the per-
vasive shallowness and lack of
inspiration of his administration,
along with its disjointed economic
policy, have been no less costly.
At this troublesome juncture, re-
jection - by filibuster and self-
righteous double-talk - of the Viet
Cong averture could help restore
Nixon's right-wing credentials and
solidify his hard core; the rest-
including the PWs-can wait. Per-
haps a large public outcry can
alter that scenario, but the por-
tents suggest another bleak, fog-
O New York Post