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September 26, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-26

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Page 4-

Friday, September 26, 1980

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan


by Robert Lence

Vol. XCI, No. 20

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Editorials represent a majority opinion of The Daily's Editorial Board




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A Spanish professor fails
to fairly explain pass/fail

.. I

Spanish department doesn't like
the pass/fail grading option.° That's
fine-if he wants to change it through
legitimate means, such as appeals to
LSA policy committees.
But early this week, Wolfe attacked
the pass/fail option more directly, and
this time, he exceeded the bounds of
fair play. In a startling display of
irresponsibility, the professor issued a
one-sided and partially inaccurate at-
tack on "pass/fail" to department
teaching assistants. He required that
the statement be read aloud to student
in several large Spanish courses.
The statement read in part: "The
Spanish division ... does NOT approve
of your taking any 4- or 8-hour Spanish
course pass/fail. The pass/fail
system is deceptive and demoraliz-
Though this part of the pronoun-
cement may have sounded in-
timidating to the students (mostly
freshpersons and sophomores) who
were subjected to it, what followed was
much worse.
"If you take the pass/fail risk, you
must mai'tan a B average in Spanish
at all times." The actual breakoff
point between a passing and failing
grade for those who take the "risk," of
course, is C-, a considerably easier
level to attain.
Questioned about his misleading

warning, Wolfe explained that he
merely meant it would be a good idea
for pass/fail students to maintain a B'
average, so as to avoid disaster should
they fail the course final. We think his
students might have been able to
figure that one out on their own.
The LSA administration, reasonably
enough, has extended the deadline for
electing the pass/fail option in the af-
fected Spanish classes. We commend
the administration on this move, but
point out that it was Wolfe's rashness
that necessitated the change. Perhaps
the inconvenience will persuade Wolfe
to look over his next memorandum
more carefully before distributing it.
Even if Wolfe's statement had not
contained inaccuracies, his approach
would still have been highly
questionable. He assailed an accepted
University policy in front of a large
contingent of relatively naive students
who might have' feared to make a
decision against his wishes. He failed
to note that decisions on grading are
confidential, and that his students
would therefore be safe from reprisals
for electing courses pass/fail.
Had Wolfe been willing to present
both sides of the argument, naming the
good as well as the bad points of the
pass/fail option, his vigorous ex-
pression of his own views might have
been appropriate. But the good
professor did nothing of the kind.

Students, not administrators -

should control the Union

If India plays with matches
we all could get burned

parent and India its offspring, we
would be raising one confused and ill-
disciplined child.
The U.S. has in effect given India
matches, watched India start a fire,
scolded India for starting a fire, given
India more matches, and asked India
to promise not to start another fire.
And from all this, we expect India to
learn some sort of lesson.
The matches are supplies of atomic
fuel-in 1963 the U.S. agreed to provide
India with enriched uranium for a
nuclear reactor near Bombay; on
Wednesday, the Senate narrowly voted
to approve a uranium sale to India.
The fire is India's testing of a
nuclear bomb in 1974 and the country's

consistent refusal to agree not to divert
the fuel to weapons use.
President Carter, who actively
urged senators to approve the fuel
shipment, has used his best
childrearing sense to determine that
giving the Indians the uranium will
make it easier to persuade them not to
use it to make bombs.
In fact, the decision to sell the fuel to
India-which has refused to signthe
Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty-will only show the world that
the U.S. is committed to halting the
spread of nuclear arms except when it
means alienating a possible ally in the
volatile Southwest Asia region.
We hope the world does not get bur-
ned because the U.S. let India play
with matches.

Who should set priorities for
programming and resource
allocation in a student union? We
believe that there is only one
reasonable answer-students.
There are more than 200 Univer-
sity buildings in Ann Arbor, and
in eachrbuilding, University
bureaucrats determine the
priorities. Perhaps that is ap-
propriate for other University
buildings, but not for a real
student union.
We recognize that student ser-
vices professionals can serve as a
valuable source of continuity and
ideas. Professional Union ad-
ministrators are also more
capable of dealing with problems
such as personnel management,
continuing operations, and other
day-to-day matters. But ad-
ministrators are not particularly
well-suited to make value
judgements concerning students'
sity administrators are not
always willing to admit this shor-
tcoming. The administrators
usually prefer to relegate studen-
ts to an advisory role, reserving
for themselves the privilege of
deciding what is in the "students'
best interest." Perhaps certain
sensitive, and talented higher
level student services
professionals are capable of ef-
fectively determining what
students need in a student Union,
but these people are the excep-
tion, not the rule.
To have a viable student Union
at Michigan, the Union must ef-
fectively serve student needs. To
effectively serve student needs,
students must have the principal
voice in setting programming
and space usage priorities. The
current prospects for gaining
student decision-making
authority in the Michigan Union
appear to be small. On the other
hand, it is often possible to alter
others' perception concerning
issues by either logical
discussions or expressions of
popular opinion.
While the administration and
student positions concerning
Michigan Union governance
seem currently to be conflicting,
they will undoubtedly be
gradually reconciled through
good faith and discussions and
compromises *iade possible by
the common desire to redevelop
the Michigan Union as a true
student center.
TO HELP the Union realize this
goal, a group of students concer-
ned with the future of the
Michigan Union has been
engaged in the task of developing
structure for effective student
participation in Michigan Union
decision-making. This group, the
Student Advisory Committee, has
prepared a draft Charter for the
Michigan Union. The Charter
would establish a new decision-
making structure for the
Michigan Union. Basically the

By Joe Daniels
and David Schaper

Charter provides that an
Executive Comnittee for the
Michigan Union (with a
majority of that body being
students) shall determine Union
user needs and set priorities con-
cerning space utilization and
The Charter for the Michigan
Union will be discussed at open

student-Union staff ad-
ministrative and governance
structure is needed. The Director
of the Michigan Union and
his/her staff shall manage and
operate the Union. The Director
will be responsible for personnel
management, building
operations, usage, and main-
tenance. The Director is also

members. These will include
the Director, two alumni0
representatives from the Alumni,
Association, two faculty
representatives appointed by the
Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs, one member
apiece from Student Services and
University Relations and
Development, and eleven studen.
members. One of the student
members-shall be from MSA and
two from UAC since these two
organizations are currently in&.
volved in Union planning and
The remaining eight student
representatives will be selected
at large from the general student
populace. There will be at least
two undergraduate and two
graduate members. The MS
Permanent Interviewing Com
mittee (augmented by one memo
ber from UAC and two from th.
current Executive Committee,
will interview interested can:
didates. A list of qualified can-
didates will be presented to then
current Executive Committe
which will interview and may
veto any candidate.
Once nominees are approved
by both the interviewing CommitZ~
tee and the current Executive
Committee, their names will b
put before the MSA Assembly.
Each will take his/her seat on the-
new Executive Committee unles
rejected -by the MSA Assembly.
The Executive Committee shall'
function once ten of the eleven
student: members have been
selected. All meetings will be
open hearings and the time and
location will be publicized in ad-@
vance. Decisions and actions of
each meeting will be compiled
and made available to the public.
The initial Executive Commit-
tee will be established as
previously outlined, except there
will be no Executive Committee
review of student appointments.
The current Director will con-
tinue to serve as the initial Direc-
tor under this charter.
Amendments to this charter
will be proposed to the Executive
Committee, which will forward
them, along with recommen
dations, to the Regents, Vice
President for Student Services,
and MSA. Approval of these three
groups will be, necessary tQ
amend the Charter. The charte:
will become effective upon ap.
proval by the same three groups.
Joe Daniels and David
Schaper are members of the
Michigan Union Student In-
terim Advisory Committee.

/ .7'

hearings next Monday, Wed-
nesday, and Thursday (Sept. 29,
Oct. 1 & 2) at 7:00 p.m. in the
Kuenzel Room of the Michigan
Union. Subsequently, the Charter
will be presented to the Michigan
Student Assembly for its review
as the students' initial bargaining
position. The, provisions of the
Draft Charter are summarized in
substantially condensed form
The Michigan Union should be
a student center which supports
and enhances the quality of cam-
pus life. It should have clean, at-
tractive, convenient facilities and
other conveniences appropriate
to a student center. These should
be used for social, cultural, and
recreational activities, as well as
a place where various members
of the University community can
meet, relax, and associate with
each other.
To achieve these goals, a joint

responsible for the financial
management of the Union, and is
expected to encourage and assist
student programming.
The Director shall be appointed
by the Vice President for Student
Services from among applicants
interviewed and nominated by
the Executive Committee. The
Executive Committee constitutes
the formal mechanism for user
input into Union operations. This
Committee will provide advice
and policy guidance to the Direc-
tor concerning usage, leasing,
scheduling, and design for Union
properties. The Committee will
also make periodic market
studies, revise the budget and
capital planning, evaluate the
Director's performance, and
monitor and review all long-
range planning to insure that the
Union is responsive to user needs.
The Executive Committee
will consist of eighteen

Reagan's abortion view hypocritical

To The Daily:
Viewers of the presidential
"debate" Sunday heard can-
didate Reagan proclaim ad
nauseum: "Let's get government

would also be banned, and the
sale or use of contraceptives
would be prohibited.
The passage of an anti-abortion
amendment to the U.S. Con-

government out of the lives of the
people-but only selectively. He
would abolish or weaken any
program or piece of legislation
that could benefit the average

tion. Apparently, Reagan and I
mean very different things by the
word "people." For candidate
Reagan, "people" is synonymous
with "business" or with "large :

. W wiii0 F AM m

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