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May 22, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-22

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4-Thursday, May 22, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Summer library
policy too harsh
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS who are enrolled
for fall term should be allowed to check out
materials from campus libraries during the spring
and summer.
Present Univesity policy dictates that only
students with I.D.'s validated for spring or summer
term may check out books from University
libraries during the months of June through
August. The sole reason given for this rule is that it
is long-standing University policy to deny non-
enrolled students certain services during the
summer months.
This policy is justifiable in some instances, such
as access to the recreation buildings and student
health services, since these programs rely on funds
from tuition paid by spring and summer students.
But library administrators estimate that the
number of non-enrolled students who would use the
libraries in the summer would not make an
appreciable difference in library system costs. For
virtually no additional money University
administrators could easily extend the service to
students enrolled in the fall.
Permitting fall students to use the service would
require little additional bookwork. Students who
wished to take advantage of the service would be
required to register with the library so staff could
have a record of summer addresses if overdue
notices needed to be sent. In the case of large fines
or missing books, the library would always have
the ability to revoke summer privileges from those
who abuse them.
Students not enrolled in spring and summer
terms but planning to return in the fall are still
students in every sense of the word. They have
many varied reasons for wanting to be able to
check out materials from campus libraries. They
may wish to do research on a thesis topic, get
ahead in a class next fall, or just further their own
The current policy of denying these students
access to the library does not contribute to the
library's objective of providing resource materials
to students who need them. The library staff has
recommended that students not registered for
spring and summer terms be allowed to borrow
materials during these months. The decision to
change the policy at very little expense to the
University and provide students with an additional,
beneficial service, now lies with the University
Editorial policies
Letters and columns represent the opinions
of the individual author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the attitudes or beliefs
of the Daily. -

MUDSLIDES OFF OF erupting Mount St. Helens obliterate everything in their path.

St. Helens: Dress
rehearsal for dooms dal

Mount St. Helens erupts in-
washington on Sunday and its
swirling residue hits New
England on Thursday. Towns and
cities hundreds of miles from the
volcano find themselves buried in
ash, their citizens cloistered in-
definitely inside their dwellings.
Cars and trucks by the thousands
are stranded on highways in vir-
tual blizzard conditions. Scien-
tists predict the colossal ash
cloud may remain withus for
decades, circling the globe in-
definitely; it may even possess
the power to alter the earth's
weather for an indeterminate
All this from a single gigantic
belch off a lone mountaintop.
The mind simply reels, unable to
quite comprehend the
cataclysmic scope of nature at
work. The proportions are just
too gargantuan, too encom-
passingly swift to place in a
dimension one can comphrehend.
photographs of entire forests
felled like matchsticks, of people
stumbling through city streets,
handkerchiefs wrapped over
their faces with the sky above
pitch black at midday. One sen-
ses it is allthe demented scenario
of a science fiction writer, the

By Christopher Potter
looney imagination of a hopped-
up end-of-the-world scenarist.
Yet it is all real-breathtaking in
its perverse splendor, coldly
humbling as it reminds us all
what very tiny creatures we are,
how naked and vulnerable we
remain to forces on this planet
and beyond over which we have
no more control than do ants.
It may also prove a relatively
painless vision of times to
come-a dress rehearsal for a
dark future which seems to slip
more from our command with
each passing day. Conceive, if
you can, the force not of a single
volcano but of a thousand nuclear
missiles striking within mere
minutes of each other. Picture, if
you can, not a single cloud of
ashes buta voluminous blanket of
fallout encircling the earth
forever, raining death with a
pitiless omnipresence. Is St.
Helens merely a visionary spec-
ter to our own approaching doom,
a demise ironically spawned not
by an indifferent universe but by
our erratic human passions?
It now seems a much
closer, much more graphically
believable premise than it did a
week ego. Pildtlie the ada tlJil6'

scenario: We myopically sweep
the California cowboy into office;
he soon discovers his good-vs.-
evil primitivism is horrifyingly
inadequate in coping with the
relativity of a volatile world; he
begins to panic, his rigid political
certitude crumbling around his
shoulders; his faith, his essen-
ce, his very manhood at stake, he
must fight back-he must act.
His finger edges inexorably
toward the button; it hesitates,
then thrusts cathartically down-
ward. The cowboy is brimmingly
fulfilled and the rest of us are
lost, hurtled screaming into a
mutant hell from which will
never be salvation.
The volcano sits, its gaping
hole winking sardonically out at
us. It has a multifarious
knowledge of calamity-and, like
a large-budget 3-D disaster
movie, it has even had the cour-
tesy to demonstrate precisely
what Armegeddon will be like.
Has this most desolate of political
years made us too blind, too
fatalistic, too enervated to give
this large prophet any heed? In
evangelistic terms, there is still
time, brother.
Christopher Potter is a staff

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