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January 20, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-20

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, January 20, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Edie ndimanedstgan at
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

North Campus may get Diag

Vol. XCV, No. 91

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Boardl

His hang-ups
were hilarious

NO MORE adolescent suicide stun-
ts. No jaguars converted into
hearses. No more positive philosophies
of life from the eyes of an 80-year-old
woman. No more midnight reassuran-
ces that death is not a taboo subject
and is very much a part of life.
Next month, the State Theater will
disband Ann Arbor's most consistent
and sincere cult. After six years of
midnight showings, the classic Harold
and Maude film reel will be taken off
the projector and put on the shelf in-
definitely. This is one death Ann Arbor
film enthusiasts will find difficult to
accept.
For those who for some reason have
missed this film, the story centers
around Harold, an adolescent with an
insatiable fascination with death, and
his elderly counterpart, Maude, who
shares that common interest in a more
positive light. For Maude, death is a
beautiful climax to life, and life is so
precious that every waking moment
must be spent living it to the fullest.
The interaction between these
characters, and its effect on Harold's
mother, his psychiatrist, and everyone
who crosses their paths provides the

basis for Harold and Maude's subtle
yet effective social commentary.
There is, in fact, nothing negative
about the timeless film. It is a
lighthearted look at life-and
death-through the eyes of a neurotic
adolescent. As the audience finds itself
relating to Harold and sympathizing
with his situation, individual spec-
tators realize their own hang-ups with
a smile. Suddenly for two hours on a
Friday or Saturday night, it is accep-
table and truly enjoyable to laugh at
death. Leaving the theater, audience
members are reminded of the impor-
tance of their own lives.
That is the beauty of Harold and
Maude, and the reason for mourning
its passing at the State Theater. But as
long as there are people in Ann Arbor
willing to open their minds to the unor-
thodox conclusions of this movie,
Harold and Maude will live on. As an
institution for six years running,
Harold and Maude may be gone, but as
a social commentary, its message will
never leave us. As it is inevitable that
Harold and Maude will make its way
back to campus before long, it is im-
portant to send the message that it will
always be welcome.

It was a dark and stormy night. The
engineer, calculator dangling conspicuously
from his belt, trudged through a foot of snow
on his way home from a review session on
Central Campus. It would be another 20
minutes before he returned to the Great White
North known as Bursley Hall, since the North
Campus bus doesn't run very often at night.
The Week
in Review
But under a plan presented to the Univer-
sity's Board of Regents on Friday, John Q.
Engineer will be able to wade through snow
on a Diag of his very own-the campus green.
Liberal arts purists might object to what
could be called the bastardization of a central
campus symbol, but it seems only fair that
engineering, music, art, and architecture
students be afforded the same opportunity to
listen to noted Diag speakers such as Stoney
Burke on their own turf.
Of course, no one knows what sort of
speaker will grace the North Campus
Diag-perhaps we'll see pundits deal with
subjects like the dynamics of hacky-sack or
the effect of hashish on laboratory mice.
And a new Diag isn't the only addition in the
works for North Campus' future. Planners
are considering building a new library next to
the Chrysler Center, a new Union-like com-
mercial center, and a host of other buildings
to expand the 800-acre campus.
Best of all, one possibility is a system of in-
door passageways to connect the major
buildings similar to systems at other cold-
weather schools.
Administrative remarks
A group of students have begun protesting
the University's apathy toward rape they say
is represented by an administrator's recent
comments about the problem.
Henry Johnson, the University's vice
president for student services, told a reporter
from Metropolitan Detroit magazine that the
problem of rape was downplayed by the
University because the issue could hurt
freshman enrollment.
The magazine quoted Johnson as saying
"(The University) wants to present an image

Henry Johnson, University vice president for student services, made comments about
campus rape that were not well received by many women on campus.

that is receptive and palatable to the potential
student cohort."
Johnson acknowledged the University's
responsibility to provide a safe campus, but
he also said that a centralized rape preven-
tion and treatment center was not likely given
the financial situation of the University.
Johnson explained the lack of University
action by likening rape to Alzheimer's disease
and mental retardation, saying it affects a
small part of the population and may have to
reach a crisis level "in order to get things
done."
"That's a cold thing to say," Johnson was
quoted as saying, "but it's (so)."
Anne Ryan, a member of the protest group,
said the group was formed to force ad-
ministrators to acknowledge the severity of
the problem.
"You don't solve a problem by downplaying
it...Rape is a problem that affects all women.
The University has to address that."
The demonstrators plan to express their
concerns about campus rape at a sit-in at
Johnson's office tomorrow morning.
A shot in the arm
Ahh, tuition. It's one of the sharpest
memories alumni have of their college years,
espewcially if they're still paying back their
student loans. Even mom and dad project
their feelings about the University's substan-

tial tuition on their children. And most of
those feelings are not terribly positive.
Most students don't look at the dynamics of
why tuition has skyrocketed in the past few
years, but one of them is fairly obvious: the
amount of money the state appropriates to the
University. And according to reports from
within Gov. Blanchard's office, that amount
may increase substantially this year.
Blanchard is expected to.request a 10 per-
cent increase in aid to higher education as
part of a $150 million increase in education
spending.
Over the summer, the University was able
to freeze in-state tuition because of the last
year's increase in aid, but it is too early to
determine whether a repeat performance is
likely. It all depends on the amount approved
by the Legislature and how the increase is
distributed to the various state colleges and
universities.
' The package reportedly will call for a $25-
million jump in financial aid and another $25
million for a "research excellence fund,"
which would be used to expand the high tech
industry in the state. Again, it remains to be
seen how the money will be distributed, but
reactions from University officials were
positive..
Week in review was compiled by Daily
writers Eric Mattson and Stacey Shonk. 4

Welcome home

T HE ISRAELI Knesset recently
defeated legislation that would
have altered the "law of return." In a
vote of 62-51, they upheld the right of
all Jews anywhere in the world to come
to Israel and obtain immediate citizen-
ship.
That right exemplifies the best of
what Israel can be.
The legislation called for a new
definition of "who is a Jew." Some ex-
tremist religious groups hold that to be
a Jew, a person must be descended
solely from Jews. They called for in-
validation of a person's "Jewishness"
if he or she were descended from a Jew
converted in a ceremony conducted by
a conservative or reform rabbi.
Israel was originally founded to ser-
ve both as a place of refuge for Jews

who were persecuted and as a symbol
of international Jewish unity in the
midst of the Diaspora. The proposed
legislation would have prevented it
from serving as a sanctuary by
questioning the birthrights of many
who might need its aid. Further, it
would have threatened the unity of in-
ternational Jews by accepting such a
limited and exclusionary definition.
The extremist religious groups
calling for the legislation demonstrate
an intolerance that is unacceptable
wherever it rears its head. They were a
small group which hoped to capitalize
on the current political make-up of the
Knesset and push through a private
goal.
In view of the threat that their
legislation held for Jews across the
world, it is fortunate that they failed.

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Atmosp here for freedom in education

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By Mark Weinstein
"Did the financial aid come
through?" "Pour the caffeine;
tomorrow I have an exam."
"There are 200 people in this
class-the professor is preaching
to social security numbers." "I
studied one week for this exam;

Government, and the Michigan
Student Assembly. All of the
courses are about some aspect of
social change for human
liberation. A wide array of topics,
ranging from "Women in
Eastern European Film" to
"Academic Freedom and Social
Responsibility," will be
examined. The courses are

desires of all the participants, the
students as well as the
facilitators. Group learning is
stressed.
The dynamics of the Free
University encourage various
expressions of human creativity
to be the focus of education. The
Free University atmosphere is
such that topics are enhanced by

liberation. All of the courses ad-
dress how individuals' ideas and
actions might guide our world in
a peaceful, progressive manner.
A variety of different channels
for social change are examined.
It is hoped that Free University
participants, therefore, realize
various routes to personal em-
powerment.

t

I

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