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February 19, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-19

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Page 4-Tuesday, February 19, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Major-phobia limits choices

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom

Vol. XC, No. 115

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Grateful for sanctuary,
he- offers none to hostages

T WAS fascinating to hear of a cer-
tain Persian dignitary giving a
sermon Sunday in a Parisian church.
The official evidently went on at some
length about strides that have been
made in recent months in his
homeland-strides for which he thanks
and gives credit to God.
Ihe church was Catholic. The
dignitary was a Moslem from the
"Republic" of Iran. His name is
Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, and he is the
foreign minister of Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini's maddeningly irrational
government.
Ghotbzadeh dropped into the church
because it had welcomed him and
other Iranian exiles during the years
Shah Riza Pahlavi was in power in
Tran. Those were days when the
militantly religious in Iran were in
serious danger. Ghotbzadeh expressed
his gratitude to the congregation for
;having taken him and the others in in
that time of need.
How extraordinarily different a man
can become given new circumstan-
ces and opportunities. Ghotbzadeh, on-
ce chased from his country, once
an exile forced to live in what must
have seemed a lonely city, turned
around and became a cog in the wheel

of an incredibly oppressive theocratic
.regime. Functionaries from the
previous government were summarily
tried and quickly executed; members
of sects other than the Shi'ite clan
began to fear for their freedom to wor-
ship; decisions were autocratically
handed down by an angry, isolated
leader approaching senility; even
music became scarce on the radio, in
response to an order from the
ayatollah.
And then the regime decided to
humor zealots among its youth who did
not merely chase foreign diplomats
from their land, but cruelly imprisoned
them inside it. How quickly the foreign
minister forgot.
As Ghotbzadeh left his one-time san-
ctuary on Sunday, a parishioner
thought to ask him why his evident
belief in the rights of man was not ap-
plied equally to the hostages. No
rejoinder was reported in the press,
but perhaps the Iranian thought, for a
moment at least, of the irony of Iran's
treatment of the American Embassy
employees. Maybe, if Ghotbzadeh
imagined himself in captivity, or sim-
ply remembered what it was like to be
in exile, we will see our unwilling
exiles soon.

Of the wide variety of learning
experiences to which students
are exposed, the most direct form
of education-and that which is
common to us all-takes place in
the classroom. Because course
curriculum is central to our
education, LSA Student Gover-
nment feels it is time students
began actively participating in
the decisions that determine
what and how we will be taught.
Only by uniting for common
student interests can we effec-
tively pursue and hope to achieve
the ultimate goal of responsible,
quality education.
LSA-SG has formed the
Curriculum Action Group-a
committee open to all LSA
students-which is working to re-
evaluate the purpose and direc-
tion of LSA's curricula, monitor
course material and teaching,
and effect positive student-
desired change.
AT PRESENT, THE stated
purpose of the College is to
provide students a market for
diverse knowledge in a wide
variety of academic fields. If the
College is to offer such a spec-
trum, it must first offer a large
selection of courses that teach the
many areas of the Social Scien-
ces, Natural Sciences, and
Humanities. In this the College
has done well by-.offering more
than 2500 courses in some 60
departments. A second requisite
of the College's success in at-
taining its goal is the removal of
any obstacles which would
prevent students from foraging
among the vast selection offered.
This the College has not done, the
result being narrow and undiver-
sified course selection.
The "obstacle" referred to is
the students' fear of grade com-
petition in fields in which they are

untrained. Because of the
growing emphasis on the impor-
tance of grades-caused by an
increase of pre-professional
students-students are less
willing to explore fields in which
they are not already proficient.
An otherwise appealing course
may lose its appeal as a result of
the presence of the preponderan-
ce of students majoring in that
department. Having little or no
knowledge of the thought and
analysis processes necessary for
the new subject, many students
feel at a disadvantage to the
major who is equipped with such
tools, and, so as not to jeopardize
their GPA's, they choose to avoid
the course. Consequently, the in-

upon graduation.
THE CONCLUSION TO be
drawn is that if the College is to
reaffirm its position on the value
of and desire for a liberal arts
education, it will have to provide
incentives to students to pursue
such an education. One incentive
which would effectively do this
and at the same time would
remove the fear of grade com-
petition would be formation of
more courses for non-majors.
The College presently offers
several courses which are inten-
ded for the non-major. Biology
100 and Math 112 are popular in-
troductory courses which are
specifically designed to expose
the curious student to the

LSA-SG Forum

courses for non-majors, and thus:
offer incentive to students to pur-.:-
sue a true liberal arts education.
The Action Group is also-
working on the area of course and:
teacher evaluation. No.
mechanism exists to widel4
distribute student evaluations of: -
instructors, and the only:;
generally available course in-
formation is found in the LSA
Course Guide, a pamphlet writ-
ten by instructors. Many studen-
ts, frustrated by the lack of prior
knowledge of specific courses or
professors, groan dejectedly
wishing they had had prior ac-
cess to evaluations given by for4
mer students of the course. The
Action Group, in conjunction with
other interested organizations,
plans to design and implement a
program whereby a comprehen-
sive publication of course
evaluationswould providenper-
tinent information to students
and thereby aid in course selec-
tion.
Through the combined work of
students properly channelling
their efforts by asking questions,
finding answers, and presenting
positions to the administration,
the Curriculum Action Group in-
tends to effect changes in the in-.
terest of students and better
education.
The Curriculum Action Group
meets Thursday evenings at 7:00
p.m. in Conference Room 4 of the
Michigan Union. All are invited.
LSA-SG Forum is a bi-
weekly column covering
significant issues addressed by
the Literary College Student
Government. This piece was
written by Mitchell Mondry,
coordinator of LSA-SG's
Curriculum Action Group.

crease in grade competition has
brought a decrease in
educational risks students are
willing to take, the net result
being graduates who are un-
derexposed and more narrow in
their interests.
Moreover, another obstacle to
truly liberal education is
developing as the trend toward
greater specialization continues.
Though LSA wishes to provide
diversity, many of today's em-
ployers and professional schools
may not be content with an ap-
plicant equipped with a general
smattering of knowl'edge,
desiring instead one more well-
endowed in a specific discipline.
The result is a student body that
is increasingly concerned with
specialization of curriculum in
order to be more "marketable"

methods and processes of their
respective fields. Many of the 300
level courses in Political Science
have no prerequisites and are not
generally attended by majors.
But there are other departments
(particularly the "hard scien-
ces") which do not offer such
courses, and many students are
often discouraged from exploring
courses of interest to them for
fear of keen competition and for
lack of desire to take the full
"sequence" of courses (in those
departments with course of-
ferings in a sequence format>
they would need to acquire a well-
rounded knowledge of the sub-
ject.
The Curriculum Action Group
is working with the Curriculum
Committee of the College to im-
plement the formation of more

Fe*ffer

I

',

Hoover, KKK, and power

HE MOST recently discovered in-
i.cident in a long line of abuses of
power and position committed by J.
Edgar Hoover while he was the direc-
tor of the FBI is a startling reminder of
the danger of unchecked ad-
;ministrative strength, and should be
;heeded as such.
A Justice Department report has
revealed that Hoover twice blocked the
prosecution of four Ku Klux Klansmen
identified to him by his own agents as
the killers of four black children in
1963. The children died in the bombing
of the 16th Street Baptist Church in
Birmingham, Alabama. Hoover's
suspicious reason for overruling a
proposal by the Birmingham FBI field
office to go ahead with the case was
that "the chances of successful
prosecution (were) very remote."
As a result, it was not until 1977, five
years after Hoover's death, that one of
the Klansmen was tried and convicted
of murder -with less direct evidence
heard by the jury than was available to
the director in 1964. No others have
even been indicted.
- In any governing structure that has a
single ultimately responsible figure,
abuse of power becomes a danger. A
way simply must be found to remove

from office men like Hoover, who do
'their jobs vengefully and haphazardly,
and who prevent others from perfor-
ming their legal duties.
Since the end of the Hoover years
some significant strides have been
taken toward the goal of making those
officials who hold great power accoun-
table to the people. Candidates for such
positions have been more closely
scrutinized before being allowed to
assume their posts, and much infor-
mation which formerly could have
been kept secret unnecessarily-and
possibly misused-is now available to
the public.
But lest we be too strong in our self-
congratulations for how far we have
come, this latest revelation should
remind us that we still have a long way
to go.
Cartoons frequently appear
on both the left and right sides
of the page; they do not

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For many decades, we in the United States
have tried to prove ourselves by giving away
our taxpayers' dollars to many countries
which do little more than scorn and spit on
us-all in the name of good will, Russia is a
prime example. We accepted a settlement of
$16 billion in lieu of the $150 billion its gover-
nment owed us. We watche the Russians
take the balance of that money, along with
their own, and build an offensive threat to all
mankind. Where were our vital interests then,
when we were excusing all of these foreign
debts?
The rest of the world must now prove to us
that it is worthy of our help and that its
nations want freedom. We must not give
anything else away unless it profits our coun-
try! The only exception to this should be
giving food and essentials to those who have
no other way of obtaining them. Even our
technology must be well-guarded and preser-
ved for our use.
BY ITS OWN free will, let every nation
choose between freedom and slavery. Let us
unite with those who want to follow us and
form a "United Nations of Free Countries."
Let us then build the strongest offensive and
defensive system ever known, to truly
establish a policy of "Peace Through
Strength." Let any country that does not wish
to join us fall prey to any aggressive force
that desires to ravage it.
Communism is a self-destructive force in
its current form, as it does not allow for basic
human selfishness. In addition, aggressors
must be able to feed, clothe, shelter,, and
provide more than the bare essentials to the
nations they encompass, and this no com-
munist nation can do. One revolution after
another is destined for communism. Let the
Russians drown in their own greed!
Where have our values gone? We were not
willing to say "war" to Iran when the lives of
American citizens were involved; yet we say
"war" to Russia over OPEC oil! That oil
belongs to Iran and the other OPEC nations,

By Raymond Hamden
ned by five to one. A defeat in that area is cer-
tain unless we choose the wiser course of ac-
tion. Let us join our allies and surround
Russia with enough nuclear weapons to an-
nihilate it. Alaska is quite close to Russia, and
President Sadat has asked us to use Egypt as
a base. This will let the Russians know that
we intend to live together or die together for
our cause! Let this be of equal risk to us all.
You can be quite sure that Russia will not,
make another aggressive step if it means
their death as well as ours. They will only do
so if they think they can survive.
Our leaders have had ample time to do
something more than make us more depen-
dent on OPEC oil, especially since the oil em-
bargo of 1975 clearly defined this danger to us
all. This must tell you the role that private in-
terest groups play in our government. It
would be great to know that this isn't true.
The news media has furnished us with all we
need to make our own decisions: that graft
and corruption exist in our government from
the highest levels to the lowest. The truth is,
that we do not need any foreign oil.
The most abundant source of energy covers
over 70 per cent of the earth's surface in the
form of water. From the electrolysis of water
can be obtained its basic components, being
one third oxygen gas and two thirds hydrogen
gas. Hydrogen is our most ideal fuel, as its
combustion produces energy along with
water and hydrogen peroxide, which further
breaks down into water. Because of "the
water cycle" we can never deplete this source
of energy. Ask any chemist to verify this.
HOW MANY of our legislators are aware of
this and yet still allow countless billions of
American dollars to leave the country to buy
foreign oil? You will hear the argument that
hydrogen is too explosive to control, but that
can be handled with nitrogen. You will also'
hear that is costs- too much to produce, but a

gasoline will produce almost equal amount
of energy, and that the hydrate can Ix
produced -for 58 cents a gallon. Even if
hydrogen fuel costs three times as much to
produce (which it doesn't) as what foreign oil
costs, is it not better to pay for it in this counp
try than to buy foreign oil? If we spend it here,
it stimulates our economy and doesn't 'give
OPEC nations the money to buy up more of
our land or large interests in American cor-
porations.
But speaking of corporations, are you
aware that the Eaton Corporation has
device which the Ford Motor Company was t
use on its 1980 model automobiles? This
device entails cylinder selection according to
an engine's needs and would save a tremen-
dous amount of gasoline. If Chrysler had this
device, the Government wouldn't be having to
guarantee its loans.
THE GOVERNMENT is now promoting
the use of nuclear and solar energy along with
coal as OPEC oil substitutes. How are we t
safely dispose of nuclear waste and deal wit
the threat of a nuclear accident? Solar energy
can provide only five per cent of our needs in
the next 20 years. Coal can provide a large
portion of our needs bvit will contaminate our
already questionable air. Coal and oil are part
of our limited natural resources and should be
used to our best advantage, such as in the
manufacture of plastics and lubricants. Do
,we really want to burn these "black golds"
away? Hydrogen fuel is the answer.
If energy is reduced to its rightful position
that would leave lots of oil for the OPE
nations to try to eat, house, and clothe them-
selves with. This concept will bring the
nations with the most technology, ingenuity,
and natural resources into the foreground.
Food will be the most vital interest to a
majority of nations. The U.S. will assume a
position second to none in such a case. Then
we can charge OPEC prices for food to those
who have abused us and yet give some to the
starving. This will give us a powerful hand in

- .W i lZe m a ' "! ya''A ,--' 'r-,w"''" - U" , ,4LN' " 4I

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