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March 02, 1984 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-02
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Business and Engineering, are huge and
well run.
Liberal-arts students are hard to place
through on-campus programs, largely be-
cause the firms they usually want to work
for-publishers and advertising agencies,
for example-rarely send out recruiters.
Virginia Stegath, who coordinates recruit-
ing at Michigan, notes that the number of
companies interviewing liberal-arts stu-
dents in Ann Arbor has dropped sharply in
the last two years, while the number of
companies interviewing students in science
fields has held steady at about 100 a semes-
ter. At Ohio State, where placement serv-
ices are split into 16 pieces, the quality of
placement seems to depend on one's van-
tage point. "The placement office has
worked well for us for more than 20 years,"
says Marianne Mueller, head of placement
for engineering. But a professor in the liber-
al-arts college grumps, "Placement services
are pretty lousy here."
Like every other element in a college,
counseling centers suffer from lack
of funds. Nancy Nish of Colorado
College complains that a budget crunch has
kept her from expanding services to meet
student demand: she is the only professional
counselor on the staff. Michigan's Career
Planning and Placement Office absorbed a 5
percent budget cut this year, and Minneso-
ta's Liberal Arts Guidance Office-though
it's budgeted as $100,000 a year-recently
cut back two of its three part-time counsel-
ors from 30 to 20 hours a week.
At Emory, where annual budget hikes
over the last five years have just about kept
pace with inflation, most counselingcomes
in group sessions. The sessions challenge
students to compete with each other for
information, sayscounselingand placement
director William Brake: "Theyneedtolearn
the 'meet and beat' aspects of life." Students
don't always see the benefit in the system.
Says Beth Wallace, an Emory graduate,
"The whole thing seemed geared around
business students, and I was interested in
mass communications and psychology."
Frustrated, Wallace struck out on her own
after two group sessions. Another common
economy, the use of student counselors to
supplement theprofessionals, often doesnot
please the constituency. Cornell employs 30
student counselors to assist the 15 profes-
sionals in its Career Center; the result has
been to drive many students elsewhere for
advice. "I'd go to my faculty adviser first,"
says junior Diane LaScala. "Both times I
used the Career Center I spoke to a student,
and I don't think he knew more about my
questions than I did."
Of all student complaints, however, the
most frequent concerns the matter of actu-
ally getting an appointment with a company
recruiter. On many campuses, the system
works like a cattle call. It's not uncommon
for students to take a place in line before

effective yesterday's students were, in any
case. Says Mark Kann, 37, a political-sci-
ence professor at the University of Southern
California and onetime antiwar protester:
"We had a false sense that participation and
activism could have any effect." Perhaps a
major contrast is that today's studentshave a
more modest view of their role. Gary Hau-
gen, a junior who is Hart's Harvard coordi-
nator, says his campus forces have indeed
been helpful. "We're the only thing he's got.
He doesn't have big money. He doesn't have
big endorsements. But he's got alot of little
feet, and that can make the difference."
Increasingly, students are making a dif-
ference in state and local races, as well. At
the University of Texas they're flocking
to the U.S. Senate campaign of Austin's
Democratic state Sen. Lloyd Doggett. And
both sides at the University of North Caroli-
na are bracing for what's expected to be an
abrasive contest between conservative Re-
publican Sen. Jesse Helms and Democratic
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Kate Head, a Uni-


fat-cat standards of many special-interest
PAC's-$100,000 by next August. But
STAR has already established chapters at
100 schools, and it plans to channel money
and, more important, manpower on behalf
of beleaguered liberal candidates in con-
gressional races. "There's never been such a
movement, so this seems like a vast under-
taking," says cofounder David Dow, 24.
The real goal, he declares, goes even further
than electing key liberals: "We want to
make the untapped resource of students a
powerful voice."
n certain issues, the student voice
becomes thunderous indeed-as
Ohio politicians witnessed last No-
vember. Students by the score suddenly
registered to vote, eager to cast their ballots
against a referendum that would have
boosted the state's beer-drinking age from
19 to 21. Seldom had such solidarity been
seen; in the four Columbus precincts that
are dominated by Ohio State students, the

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Canvassingfor Cranston in New Hampshire: Bundle up and wear twopairs of socks

versity of Iowa senior who used to work for
Mondale but switched to Tom Harkin, a
U.S. congressman who's aiming for the Sen-
ate, says such races offer more sustained
satisfaction. "Each presidential candidate
comes through here and they're almost
[promising] to do your dishes," she says.
"But there's no accountability. With local
candidates there is some. I can contact them
after they're elected."
In the year's most ambitious political
project to date, two Yale law students are
even trying to tie local races into a com-
puterized national network of liberal sup-
port. Called Students Against Reaganism
(STAR), the group registered last fall with
the Federal Election Commission as an offi-
cial Political Action Committee (PAC).
STAR's fund-raising goal is modest by the

vote was 1,152 against to only 125 in fa-
vor. The turnout was widely credited-or
blamed-for the measure's surprise defeat.
The electoral tide also swamped two tax
measures that could have posed financial
trouble for colleges and required a tuition
hike. "It's pretty clear there was much
greater interest than in any other issue or
candidate since 18-year-olds got the right to
vote," says Mike Stinziano, a state repre-
sentative whose district includes OSU. Ob-
viously, students can muster the energy to
change things even in a ho-hum political
year. But how many will rally to causes that
are deeper than a beer mug?
RON GIVENS with JULIA REED in Washington, D.C.,
inNe avn Conn,., JOHN SCHWARTZ
in Austin, Texas, LEIGHANNWINICKin Evanston, Ill.,
and bureau reports


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