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February 29, 1988 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

during the season's first snowfall. The
popular Outing Club arranges hiking,
camping and skiing trips and rents equip-
ment inexpensively. A pair of cross-coun-
try or downhill skis for the weekend can
cost only $3. Hard-core skiers arrange
spring classes on Tuesdays through
Thursdays, ensuring long weekends; lift
tickets dangle from almost every down
jacket. The combined downhill and cross-
country team is a regular contender for
the NCAA championship, and the hockey
team is competitive. Even the students
who don't spend much time outside look as
if they do. Sunglasses, white turtlenecks
worn under heavy sweaters, jeans and
hiking boots are de rigueur. "Everyone
who comes here is a little bit crunchy after
awhile," says senior Jennifer Cairns.
All the fish look alike: Although UVM bills
itself as culturally diverse, there is a strik-
ing absence of minority students on cam-
pus: of the more than 8,000 undergradu-
ates, only 279 are minorities, including 40
blacks. (According to 1980 census figures,
fewer than one-half of 1 percent of Ver-
monters are black.) "It's a fishbowl here
with nice water and rocks," says Leo Trus-
clair, a black administrator in charge of
the minority-student program, "but all the
fish are the same." Almost as disturbing is
insensitive tradition: until 1970 the most
popular event on campus was the Winter
Festival's Cakewalk, in which pairs of
fraternity brothers in wigs and blackface
would high-step before a cheer-
ing audience.
In a state where heated town
meetings abound, activism at
UVM follows. A pair of stu-
dents sit as voting members
on the university's board of
trustees, and there is a small
but vocal group pressing for
more student involvement in
administrative decisions. Last
October, 19 students were ar-
rested when they occupied ad-
ministrative offices after the
career-placement office gave
student r6sumes to the CIA,
which conducted interviews in
a downtown building. As sen-
ior Will Zorn points out, "Lots
of the crunchy people are more
politically aware than just
wearing natural fibers." And,
should meetings prove too
tiresome, students can always
take out their frustrations
in another big campus event:
during finals, everyone opens
the window, leans out and
joins in a 15-minute group
primal scream. To date, no
avalanches have occurred.
in Burlington

Strong package: A setting for books in
student center, whiteout on the quad
Jonah Houston, editor of the campus news-
paper, The Vermont Cynic. The drive to
improve has also resulted in an increased
teaching load for the faculty: professors
are asked to teach five or more classes per
year in addition to keeping up with their
scholarly publishing. Even provost John
Hennessey admits that "this faculty is
Of course, when academic overload kicks
in there's always the Great Outdoors. A
major campus event is the snowball fight


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