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September 09, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-09

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A

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, September 9, 1985

The Michigan Daily

I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

'Greening' the University

0

Vol. XCVI, No. 3

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Strategic sanctions

N AN ATTEMPT to head off
even stronger measures,
President Reagan has finally
agreed to approve certain mild
economic sanctions against the
apartheid policies of the South
African government.
Support for stern economic
measures against South Africa has
grown at an unprecedented rate
,since Reagan's reelection. Spurred
by repeated reports of excessive
violence by the white minority
government in South Africa again-
st its black and non-white citizens
as well as increased agitation in the
United States calling for action
against apartheid, legislators from
both political parties currently
support sanctions.
Although Reagan could veto any
Congressional sanctions, it is no
longer clear that Republicans
would be able to sustain such a
veto; and if the veto were overrid-
den it would deal a blow to the
president known for working well
with Congress.
Therefore Reagan's decision to
support mild sanctions makes sen-
se as a deft political move.
Unfortunately, it isn't enough.
South Africa is a country on the
brink of an enduring and bloody
civil conflict. By treating
"colored," people of mixed racial
parentage, as second class citizens
and denying that blacks are
citizens at all, the white minority is
widening the gulf between the
cultures. With Prime Minister
Pieter Botha's current show of in-
transigence, blacks are rapidly
losing all hope of a political solution
and are turning increasingly to
violent means of protest.
So long as all out revolution has
not begun, there is still some hope
for a negotiated transfer of power
to a government that represents all
Shop
COLUMNIST IN the New
York Times recently iden-
tified shopping as a nationally
emerging California-culture ethic:
a wave of consumerism rushing
eastward to fast engulf the con-
tinent.
There's plenty of stuff to buy in
Ann Arbor already: our gentrifying
mid-western college town seems to
be spontaneously generating chic
international boutiques and
croissant shops at unprecedented
rate. Indeed, most things money
can buy can be found at Ann Arbor
establishments.
When the community offers free
of charge, however, is perhaps the
most precious stuff available. Yes,
tuition rates are ever-climbing and
financial aid is less readily
available, but ideas are always
free.
As bewildered freshmen explore
campus for the first time, crum-
pled CRISP print-outs in hand, un-
doubtedly a few "wrong" turns will
be made. Who among us has not

actually arrived at what we
thought was the right room only to
endure an hour long lecture on
Ugandan tribal yam-eating prac-
tices to avoid the embarrassment
of "slipping out quietly" all the
while silently enraged at the
"wasted" time.
Unfortunately, learning

those living in South Africa. That
hope can be fanned by outside
countries if they bring to bear all
means of pressure on the South
African government.
The chief argument against
economic sanctions has been the
claim that the blacks themselves
will suffer most in an economy that
goes sour. However, with violence
escalating, an improved South
African economy can be nothing
more than a short term good;
something that would be torn usun-
der once the inevitable conflict
begins.
Reagan has specifically
proposed banning sales of com-
puter equipment to government
agencies which enforce apartheid
and loans to financial institutions
which discriminate against blacks.
Neither measure looks as if it will
affect the country any time soon.
The bill currently before
Congress calls for the same two
sanctions, as well as a ban on U.S.
bank loans to any South African
construction beyond new facilities
for non-whites and bans all imports
of Krugerrands, the South African
currency.
Of those additional sanctions, the
ban on Krugerrands is expected to
have the most immediate impact,
threatening to do away with the
$485 million the government made
on their sale last year.
Sanctions cannot be effective
unless they are felt. Reagan's
proposal doesn't go far enough, and
fails to apply the heavy pressure
that is necessary to effect real
change in the South African
politics. His decision may be based
on good politics, but it certainly
isn't for the best. Reagan's new call
for mild sanctions does not in any
way diminish the need for strong,
effective sanctions.
around
something one hasn't formally set
out to learn is too often mis-cast as
a hassle.
It's a sad mistake.
The University and community
offer countless hours of lecture and
discussion on an endless variety of
topics. Just because the computer
hasn't scheduled your presence,
don't be afraid to show up.
Particularly at the beginning of
the term, diligence and curiosity
can reward good shoppers with the
most interesting and challenging
courses. Don't just work hard and
party hard. Go to a few lectures
which might lead to an exciting
class.
Sit-in on a friend's Shakespeare
lecture or check-out a speaker
listed in the Daily "Happenings"
column. One day last spring each
Ann Arborite had the opportunity
to attend a lecture on the "Com-
parative Appendicular ' Myology
of the Kingbirds and their Allies
and Its Evolutionary

Achievement" or a talk on
"Women and Achievement:
Deficit or Choice Models"; but how:
many of us fit the extra hour of
thought into our schedules?
The most important stuff to be
"bought" is an investment of the
intellectual sort: spend your time
here generously and thoughtfully.

By Robert Honigman
Second in a Series1
Academic involvement produces one of
the most unusual patterns of effects on
student outcomes....Being heavily in-
volved academically tends to retard
changes in personality and behavior that
normally result from college attendan-
ce.... The only personality change accen-
tuated by academic involvement is status
needs, which are strengthened.
-AlexanderAstin,
Four Critical Years, 1977.
Sometimes it helps to do what physicists do
by giving colorful names to things that other-
wise seem dry and lifeless. For example, if
we call the academic personality a "green''
personality, the social outgoing personality a
"red" -personality, the emotionally mature
personality a "blue" personality, and a
creative personality an "orange" per-
sonality, then perhaps we can discuss some of
the impact of the modern university on young
people.
I seem to be alone in thinking that the
modern university is a negative experience
for young people - that it poisons them and
cripples their mental and emotional faculties.
:Perhaps I take education for granted, like the
water and air, and am merely speaking of
polluted water or air, an impure version of
something which is really pure and
wholesome.
The problem with the modern university is,
that it is composed of "green" men and
women who think of themselves as the salt of
the earth, the model of what every young per-
son (who is above average) ought to be. Our
whole education system is designed to create,
sustain and reward "green" people.
Innumerable studies have shown that there
is no correlation between academic success
Honigman is an attorney in Sterling Heights.

and success in one's career - assuming one
possesses the minimum abilities to learn a
profession. The lawyer or doctor or scientist,
who had mediocre grades is as likely to be a
superstar in his or her profession as the one
who graduated at the top of the class. In the{
real world, it is not the "green" personalities
who predominate.
That's not to say that "green" personality
isn't a component in a healthy and successful
person's life, but rather that it is not a critical
component, and that an educational system
designed to produce and encourage only
"green" personalities is mistaken and out of
sync with reality.
The tragedy of our educational system is
that it acts like a giant filter, letting only
those with "green" personalities through, and
pretending that those with the "greenest"
personalities are the best and most likely to
succeed. It's an enormous lie that persuades
millions of young people to sacrifice the
development of their "red," "blue," and
"orange" personalities in order tobe more
"green." The Nerd personality is the popular
rendition of the academic or "green" mind-
frame, but I've found a far more dangerous
example to be the smarmy and efficient
technocrat - a cold, ambitious intellect un-
swayed by emotions or personal feelings.
In a sense, our schools and universities
practice an insidious kind of discrimination,
promoting "green" people whenever and
wherever possible - penalizing and
ridiculing all other colors of the personality,
or giving them patronizing lip service while
ignoring them. And since minority groups,
blacks, hispanics, American Indians, etc.
lack a cultural background of "greenness"'
they are effectively kept out of the system and
positions of power and affluence.
Keep in mind that "greenness' isn't related
to the genetic capacity of majority or
minority groups. I submit as evidence for this
assertion the fact that SAT scores fell in ab-
solute numbers between 1972 and 1982. In 1972
over 53,000 students scored above 650 on the

verbal test. In 1982, only a little more than
29,000 did so. Assuming the genetic population
of the U.S. hasn't changed in this decade,
clearly something else in our culture lowered
the academic abilities of young people.
In my view, it is the failure of our
educational system to meaningfully relate to
young people that makes them feel that
developing "greenness" isn't worth the ef-
fort. (Since minorities score lower on SATs
than whites, something in our system is
discouraging them even more.) It's as if our
major universities have a sign at their en-
trances which says, "unless you are one of the
few who knows what you want, abandon all
hope of finding'anyone to guide or help you in
here."
I can understand why "green" people, run-
ning "green" institutions, honestly believe
that "greenness" is the highest attribute of a
human being and the one attribute that an
educational system should focus on and
develop above all others. We all tend to be
egocentric and take our own personalities as
the model of ideal human behavior. But
there's no reason why students entering and
living in a "green" institution during the for-
mative years of their life, should become such
narrow and self-deluding people.
I am a "green" person too, shaped by
enormous pressures - but I live in the world
outside the university where being "green"
has no special advantage, and where I
frequently envy people with "red," "orange"
and "blue" personalities. I have no in-
stitutional means of making myself impor-
tant or advancing my "green" interests. So
when I warn you against "greenness" please
don't think that I want you to neglect that part
of your personality. I only want to warn you
not to make it the center of your personality
-rin an institution that applies powerful
pressures to convince you that being green is
the most important thing of all.

:!

S

Tomorrow: Academic Elitism

Cramer

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LETTERS
Daily should answer sports questions

To the Daily:
I enjoy The Michigan Daily
very much. I take it primarily for,
the sports information. I am an
out of town subscriber and my
local paper does not give me
enough information on sports.
I do have a few suggestions or
requests. First of all I see that
Mike Hammerstein is listed as a
defensive tackle. According to
my records he has played four
seasons and therefore should
have completed his eligibility. It
would be nice if you could run a
story explaining why he is still
eligible.

We all know of course about Steve
Howe and his problems but there
are others. Is Steve Perry still in
the Los Angeles chain? If he is,,
how is he doing? And how about
Chris Sabo, Rich Stall, Dave

Kopf, Tony Evans, Jeff Jacobson,
Steve Ontiveros or any other
former Michigan players in
organised ball.
Any of this information would
make your paper even more in-

teresting than
you for your
these subjects.

it is now. Thank,
consideration of
-Chester Belt
September 5

r

The Michigan Daily encourages input from
our readers. Letters should be typed, triple
spaced, and sent to the Daily Opinion Page, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

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