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October 07, 1985 - Image 3

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-07

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 7, 1985 - Page 3

Peace (
By JILL RINGEL
The goals set out by Sen. John Ken-
nedy on the steps of the Michigan
on Oct. 14, 1960 created the foun-
dation for the U.S. Peace Corps for-
rially established by Congress a year
14ter. Over the past 25 years of the
otganization's existence, those
idealistic objectives have changed lit-
t* if at all, according to the Univer-
sity's Peace Corps coordinator,
L~ouise Baldwin.
"What the Peace Corps does is give
untries, give Americans a chance to
t to know what it is like to live in a
veloping country, and give the
ople there a chance to know what
Americans are like on a person-to-
pprson basis," Baldwin says.
ALTHOUGH MORE students
showed an interest in the Peace Corps
ii the early days and the government
pimped more dollars into it back
then, students have been exhibiting a
newed interest in the program
ring the last few years, especially
is year, says Baldwin.
And, though students of the 1980s
e of a different sort than the
oneering volunteers of the 1960s, the
sons given for joining the philan-
t ropic government agency have
mained nearly the same for 25
rs, Baldwin adds.
"People go in to make a difference
a an individual, and they can feel
od about what they do," says James
nes, who spent two-and-one-half
rs in Western Samoa when he
j ined up in 1967 upon his graduation
from the University.

corps upholds ideals over past 25 years

DURING THE Vietnam war era,
however, Jones said the Peace Corps.
also served as an appealing alter-
native to killing and being killed.
"I was drafted and was looking for
ways out of doing something immoral
- fighting in Vietnam. I joined the
Peace Corps to do something con-
structive rather than blowing up
villages," Jones says.
In retrospect, Jones says he would
have joined the Peace Corps again,
even if he was not faced with the
draft.
"IT IS AN experience you can get in
no other way. You have to learn in or-
der to survive. You have to become a
part of the culture and get rid of
preconceived notions or you won't un-
derstand," Jones says. "Above all,
you learn a lot about yourself and
others."
Originally, Jones worked in a
Samoan village on sanitation. After
six months, he was asked to teach art
in a high school in town. For two years
he taught and worked in community
development, where he felt he had a
greater impact than he could have in
the village. Because Jones was the
first person to teach art at the school,
he was given the responsibility of set-
ting up his own program.
Jones believes the experience and
responsibility he was given in the
Peace Corps set him years ahead of
his contemporaries in the United
States. He says he learned more about
American society by studying and
working within the Samoan political
system.
"IT WAS VERY democratic. In the

United States, we compete for money,
but the Samoans compete for status
and titles. Many people had more than
one title. They keep a mental balance
sheet of favors and expect each one of
them to be repayed."
As a visitor, Samoa seemed to be a
very generous society, but it was ac-
tually very stressful and competitive.
It showed me how competitive our
own society is."
Former University student Derek
Brereton joined the Peace Corps with
his wife, Bonnie, also a former Univer-
sity student. Both taught English at
the Prince Songkhla University in
South Thailand from 1969 to 1973.
LIKE JONES, Derek Brereton says
the draft was an important factor in
his decision to join the agency. But he
says Kennedy's inspirational words to
the University also had an impact on
him when he heard them over the
radio while still in high school.
"I remember that was the first
mention I had heard of the Peace Cor-
ps," Brereton says.
Brereton concludes that the Peace
Corps experience met his expec-
tations of its potential.
"YOU ARE like a fish, and the
water is your culture all around you.
You have to pop out of the water and
look back to see all you take for gran-
ted," Brereton says.
"On the one hand, it is contrived. On
the other hand, it is a necessary new
perspective to what it means to be
human. I saw how very different life
was."
John Heinrich served in the Peace

Corps of the 1980s, and thus didn't join
to avoid being drafted. He says the
Peace Corps represented travel, ad-
venture, and the chance to learn how
people cope with life in an im-
poverished nation.
SERVING IN Nepal, Heinrich
helped to implement a program that
provided primary health care at the
village level. He says it sparked his
interest in the area of public health,
and he is now enrolled in the Univer-

sity's School of Public Health as a
graduate student.
"I was a strong idealist, and the
Peace Corps helped me to broaden my
perspective of people," he says. "I
also learned that the people in Nepal
are aware of their own predicament. I
wanted to help them get the resources
to better their own lives."
Heinrich says the experience has
given him a more realistic view of the
situation of people in countries such

as Ethiopia, where a drought brought
about widespread hunger and attrac-
ted the attention of numerous
American philanthropic groups.
"Several donor agencies want a
quix-fix solution to the problems.
They dump grain in a country and,
then leave. The Peace Corps is in-'
terested in the long run improvement;
they don't expect any miracles."

Students built corps movement

t

Council may pas!
(Continued from Page 1) SME-Loc
THIS YEAR, Hunter wants the or one-thi
card to handle divestment alone, and Gould
e is certain the measure will pass member
cause Democrats now dominate the resolution
ouncil by 6 to 5. Democrat Edward have gon
fierce, elected mayor last spring, member
tipped the balance. says he f
Kathy Edgren, (D-Fifth Ward) said tribute t
he thought all the Democrats on the the board
ouncil would vote for the resolution. Divestr
But even if the council approves reasons
hunter's resolution, it will have no especially
finding effect on the board, which is loss in
Independent. Burns, ci
"All (the council) can do is set the the board
guidelines," Bruce Laidlaw, the city's "A CIT
attorney said last night. any cours
BUT THE council can apply trusteesa
litical pressure, since it appoints Burns
ee of the boards nine members, of divestn
jaid John Gould, president of AF- his resole
FHAPPEN

S divestment resolution

(Continued from Page 1)
developing countries.
TWO DAYS after the Bowles
speech, student responses to the
suggestions began trickling into the
offices of the Daily.
"Representative Chester Bowles
and Senator Kennedy in their
speeches to the students of the
University of Michigan both em-
phasized that disarmament and peace
lie to a very great extent in our hands
and requested our participation.
throughout the world as necessary for
the realization of these goals," wrote
Alan and Judith Guskin, both Univer-
sity graduate students at the time.
"In reply to this urgent request, we
both hereby state that we would
devote a number of years to work in
countries where our help is needed,
either through the United Nations or
through the United States Foreign
Service."
THE GUSKIN letter turned the
trickle into a flood. In the Sunday, Oc-
tober 23 edition of the Daily, every let-
ter to the editor responded to the new
idea. They urged students to get in-
volved in the project and to contact
both Kennedy and Nixon about the
ideas - by telegram if possible.
One letter appearing in the Thur-
sday, October 27 Daily announced the
formation of a group of students who
had begun to act on Kennedy's
request - Americans Committed to
World Responsibility.
LOOKING BACK, Guskin recalls
how surprised people were when
students began acting on Kennedy's
idea.
"(The campus) was pretty quiet at
that time. When the Peace Corps
movement got started, there was
much surprise," she said. "We didn't
just sit around and wait for the
President after the election."
Americans Committed to World
Responsibility began researching and
composing what they called "working
papers" - outlines that assessed the
needs of individual countries. Ob-

taining information from foreign
students of needy countries, they
wrote up plans for what a volunteer
could do in a specific country.
"It was very exciting that students .
were actually taking the initiative
to learn what the countries would
need," Guskin recalled.
AT THE SAME time, the students
began contacting both Kennedy and
Nixon about the idea and the work
they were doing. The idea was too fine
to be strangled by partisan politics.
Surprisingly, initial contacts failed
to yield a serious reaction from either
side.
Mildred Jeffries, then a committee
member of the National Democratic
Party, finally made progress for the
students. She contacted Sorenson, a
Kennedy advisor, who held a national
volunteer job.
THE NIXON campaign on the other
hand wrote the idea off completely,
Guskin said. "They called it a kiddie
corps and said it was naive."
Several factors made Kennedy's
idea appealing.
"One thingtthat seemed clear was
that he wanted to deal with third
world countries in a new way,"~
Guskin remembers. "He said it was in
our hands. He challenged us..He
seemed to have faith in youth."
ON NOVEMBER 2, Kennedy for-
mally announced the concept of a
Peace Corps in San Francisco.
The Guskins and other students
were contacted by Kennedy aides who
asked them if they could meet him
back at the Toledo airport to hand in
petitions they had circulated.
At the airport, Guskin handed Ken-
nedy a petition with 800 signatures on
it. Her husband asked Kennedy a
question.
"MY HUSBAND said, 'Are you
serious about this?' and he answered,
'Until the election, we will worry
about this country. After the election,
the world."'%
The following December the
Guskins and other students lobbied in

Washington for the Peace Corps,
holding a national conference on the
subject at American University.
At the conference, the working
papers put together by the Michigan
students were used, Guskin said.
The students' efforts were finally
realized on March 1, 1961 when Ken-
nedy signed the Executive Order
which created the Peace Corps.
THE GUSKINS decided to interrupt
their doctoral studies at the Univer-
sity to spend four years in Thailand.
Judith taught English, while Alan
started that country's first graduate
psychology department.
Although she and her husband
realized they were taking a risk, the
risk was well worth the gains, Guskin.
said.
"We were aware that career-wise,
this may not be the best thing to do,"
she admitted. "But we felt that par-
ticipating in world affairs and also the
growth . . . would be too exciting tr
turn down."
Although the idea of the Peace Cor-
ps was not formally announced in Ann
Arbor, Guskin said she still thinks the
University deserves to be recognized
as the birthplace of the movement.
"I think Michigan did get~,
recognized as the key place for the
Peace Corps, primarily because of the
student response there," she said. "It
was the student response that made it
happen."
Correction
A resolution passed by the
EngineeringCoucil Thursday night
requested "that MSA restrict its for-
mal discussions and statements to
issues directly concerning the student
body." The wording of the resolution
did not include references to MSA's
recent resolution to encourage
student demonstrations against Vice
President George Bush. A story in
Friday's Daily incorrectly stated the
contents of the Engineering Council
resolution.

al 2733, which represents 300
ird of the city's employees.
has said publicly that his
s would support Hunter's
in. But his words apparently
e unheeded by at least one
of the pension board, who
fears city workers who con-
o the pension fund may sue
dfor changing investments.
ment for moral or social
may not be justifiable,
y if reinvestment means a
stock dividends, said Alan
ty controller and a trustee on
d.
'Y employee could sue us for
se of action we take ... the
are liable," he said.
questioned the effectiveness
ment as well as its legality. In
ution, Hunter wrote that the
INGSi

mayor and the council ought to "con-
demn the systems of apartheid as
practiced by the government of South
Africa and therefore recommend
divestment of the city's retirement
fund..."
But Burns countered: "We would
also be divesting from (firms that
are) large Michigan employers, like
General Motors. GM is one of the
companies that has gone out of its
way, to the extent of breaking laws to
help (South African) blacks."
THE QUESTIONABLE effec-
tiveness of divestment was one of
several reasons two Republican coun-
cilmembers gave for why they will
oppose Hunter's resolution tonight.
They also said they want to retain the
pension board's independence and
wonder whether city employees would
support divestment.

Highlight
Vice President George Bush will speak at 2:30 p.m. on the front steps of!
Michigan Union in honor of the Peace Corps' 25th anniversary. A sym-
posium on "America's Role in Africa's Development: Past and Future"
will begin at 9 a.m. in the Rackham Building.
Films
MTF - Pink Floyd: The Wall, 7 & 9 p.m., Michigan Theater.
Performances
School of Music - Recitals: organ majors, 3:30 p.m., Blanche Ander-
son Moore Hall; organ, Robert Glasgow, 8:30 p.m, Hill Auditorium.
Speakers
Studies in Religion - Harvey Cox, "Jesus & the Moral Life," 8 p.m.,
MLB3.
Near Eastern & North African Studies - Jay Spaulding, "The Origins
of Urban Life in Northern Sudan, 1700-1821," noon, Lane Hall Commons
Room.
Chemistry - Richard Suenram, "Microwave Spectroscopy Studies at
NBS," 4 p.m., Rm. 1200, Chemistry Building.
Women's Research Club - Cynthia Bland, "Teaching Grammar in
-Medieval England," 7:45 p.m., W. Conference Rm., Rackham.
Friends for Mental Health - Lana Pollack, "Problems of Dein-
stitutionalization," 7:30 p.m., Meeting room, Ann Arbor Public Library.
UAC - John Ehrlichman, "Reflections on White House policy: Richard
Nixon to Ronald Reagan," 8 p.m., Rackham Auditorium.
Meetings
Society for Creative Anachronism -7 p.m., East Quad.
LSA faculty -4:10 p.m., MLB4.
Public Relations Club - 4:15 p.m., Kuenzel Room, Union.
Miscellaneous
Rackham Student Government - Candidacy forms available at
Rackham Student Government Office; Deadline, Oct. 21, Rm. 2006,
Rackham.
Yearbook Portraits - Walk-in sittings, 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 6 p.m.,
Student Publications Building, 420 Maynard Street.
CRLT - Workshop, Alfred Storey, "Speaking Skills," 7 to 9 p.m., 109 E.
Madison St.
Guild House Campus Ministry - Reading, 8 p.m., 802 Monroe St.
HRD - Workshop, Catherine Lilly, Improving Your Listening Skills, 1
to 4:30 p.m., Ostafin Room, West Quad.
Guild House Campus Ministry - Reading, Lonnie Hull & David Schaaf-
sma, 8 p.m., 802 Monroe Street.
Conmntina Center - Workshon Christine Wendt. Laura Bollettino &

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