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January 23, 1921 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1921-01-23

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Student ACtion
Throttled, Claim

de By


"I believe that all student self-expression and spontaneous
activity is being throttled by misguided authority," declares ode of
the most radical of the responses received by The Daily in answer
to tho query, "Is Michigan Asleepl"
And with this striking indictment for a lead, the author of the story
continues to prove his point in a manner which leaves for him, at least, little
doubt but that the campus is in all reality, asleep, and that the root of all
evil is to be found in an authority which perhaps means well, but which is,
at best, "misguided."
The query has excited considerable comment upon the campus. Almost
daily communications have been received, protesting either that Michigan
is fully awake and alive to hex possibilities and duties, or that the Univer-
sity is quietly and peacefully, sleeping. It was the original hope that these
communications might be published in their entirety that nothing might be
lost by too severe editing. But as they continued to accumulate, the possi-
bility of this has become out of the question.
The concensus of the opinion seems to be that the campus is asleep.
Here and there a protesting voice has been raised in loud acclaim that the
University could not possibly be more wide awake today, but in the main,

Wake Up Michigan
WHENsAN ENTIRE PAGE of The Daily is not sufficient to allow
the students on tihe campus of the University of Michigan to express
. theyr opinions on the charge, "Is Michigan Asleep?" there must be
enough wrong with the general system at this institution in both
academic and private life to warrant further inquiry.
, THE MICHIGAN DAILY has here presented as much of the
opinions forwarded to it in answer to the anonymous charge, as space
would permit. The opportunity for further discussion, however, will'
not be overlooked.
NOT ONLY HAS THE FIRST PAGE been used in an effort to pre-
sent to the campus all opinion possible, but also the inside pages of this
issue contain a few comments, including some from the faculty. Prof.
William Herbert Hobbs, of the geology department, especially, has in
this issue, some rather important comments to make about what he
thinks of one of the University institutions.
BUT THIS WILL NOT BE ALL. The Michigan Daily, with this
number, invites the campus, both faculty members and students, to
submit articles for publication. From now on the Sunday Feature Sec.
tion of The Daily will try to feature student comment on all matters of
importance. Short articles are preferred. None should exceed 500
words in length. Address them to the Sunday Editor. They should be

Study, AthleticS,
CodJunior flop

A rouse



the campus seems to believe that a
state of coma has descended upon the
student body in general, sapping its
intellectual activity, and making it un-
worthy to be the successor of student
bodies of "the old days."
The writer of the above quoted story
has much to say on the subject of stu-
dent activity being stunted by the
actions of a too officious authority.
"Athletic contests are arranged for
the satisfaction of a Board in Control,"
he says. "By a policy of limiting ath-
letic competition to Conference circles,
the individuality of Michigan is being
submerged to the level of nine other
Conference universities-all more or
less provincial. The influences that
could be gained by contact and
thought with far western and eastern
universities are deliberately closed to
Michigan men."
Must Have Understanding
Another writer, continuing the theme
of placing at least a part of the diffi-
culty with those in authority, tells of
a faculty discussion which he over-
heard in which one instructor 'ex-
pressed his keen gratificaftin that
there were no athletes in any of his
"Michigan cannot be at her best
unless there is a broad under-
standing and sympathy among all
factions," he concludes. "If one
person sees something that he be-
lieve wrong s he should make his
grievance known." It is for such
things that The Daily is making
its aampaign.
And there is a great deal in this last
statement. Too much talking is done,
followed by too little action. Unless
the very life of a tradition of Michigan
is threatened, there is much talk and
no action.
Wrongs, sometimes realty sometimes
actual, are cited, groaned over, and
then finally with an angry muttering,
allowed to pass. One of the few times
when the campus has really found it-
self resulted in a sincerely live discus-
sion in the fall of 1919 when there was
talk of abandoning the block "M."
One communication urges that the,
cause of the whole trouble with the
Uniyersity today is to be found in the
descent of an "era of mental stagna-
tion upon the campus in general and
the student body in particular. * * *
Cite, for example," continues the au-
thor of this communication, "the aver-

age day of the average student---get
up with three minutes to spare for an
8 o'clock (if the Powers That Be have
been lucky enough to wish one off on
the unsuspecting student); breakfast
goes into the discard in the mad rush
to class while the student mentally
prays-possibly the only mental ac-
tivity of the day-for bolts galore
throughout the daily grind. Classes
over, the afternoon is spent with hands
in pockets in front of the Arcade until
an unrelenting force drives without
resistance into Calk's for a coke and
from there to the alleys or the green
topped tables."
Wants Old Discussions
This communication goes on to de-
plore the absence of the old-time "dis-
cussion groups that added so much to

university life in remodeling the world
with a slight alteration of heaven on
the side," and concludes by saying that
too few of the students of the Univer-
sity reallyhave any aim in their at-
tempt to secure a degree. "Stop the
average upper or under classman of
today and ask hin? for what he is
training, and the answer will usually
be to the effect that he doesn't know
or doesn't care so long as the sun
shines, the check from home comes,
and a "D" is passing."
Of course, the co-ed comes into the
limelight here and there in the discus-
sions as to whether or not there is
anything generally or particularly the
matter with Michigan today, and in a
communication of very evidently sin-
cere and honest thought:
"The dizzy, giggly, green-eyed
co-ed, target of the Telescope,
butt of the Gargoyle's jokes, and
general object of mirth-provoking
humor in the University," is held
up as a "regular honest-to-gosh

person, full of spirit and loyalty
to Michigan."
With the great amount of sometimes
friendly, occasionally caustic, joshing
which is accorded the "co" division of
bo-education at Michigan, it seems no
more than eight that this writer
should be allowed to have his say in
regard to the women of Michigan.
"Michigan is badly in need of morel
real democracy between its men and
women," he says. "The present antag-
onism is noticeable everywhere; in the
classroom, on the streets, in restau-
rants, theatres, and wherever students
congregate.:Remove this bigoted preju-
dice and our school will move forward.
Our instructors make a mistake in
seating men and women on different
sides of the room, like cats and dogs,
getting ready for battle. Why not seat
all in alphabetical order, allowing the
women to take their places among the
men? Let the men be as willing to
associate with the women as they are
with each other. They need not pass

around Lucky Strikes or spring risque
jokes;'neither is the dansant 'Oh, you
kiddo' kind of talk necessary.
Finds Women Intelligent
"In my contact with women on the
campus, I have found them as intelli-
gent as the males, and whether the
subject be the shimmie, psychology,
sex problems, or politics. A truly
masculine man and a truly feminine
woman can talk together on common
ground without either losing his (or
her) individuality."
And that, as far as communications
go, is what the campus thinks of its
women. Strangely enough, not a single
voice is raised holding up the co-ed as
the root of all evil. But if the co-ed is
eulogized, the "he-flapper" does not
escape sincere criticism, and one com-
municant evidently believes that of
late years, the University has become
"An epidemic of effieminacy has
invaded the campus and manifests
itself in what has been termed the
'lie-Flapper,'" he says. "The
species derives its name from the
feminine variety which it is not
altogether unlike. The he-flapper
to all appearances, is in school to
get a co-education and is a victim
to all that the word implies. The
aims and ambitions of the he-flap-
per are essentially the same as
those of the she-flapper. With all
of its ominous implications this
fact would not be worthy of note
were it not for the added fact that

the flapper epidemic is actually
becoming popular."
One writer admits us to be sleepin
but smugly satisfies himself with th
assertion that even if we are, "so a
the students of most American univer
sities." He lays the blame upon tl
students, but claims that the caus
goes back further than the entranc
into the university. There is a hig
school course left behindwhere th
student indulged himself in no seriou
thought upon any subject, and con
tinning this same train of thought, ha
come to college with nothing parti
ular in mind which he desires to d
and no very great force propelling hi
in the direction of the courses whic
he needs to give him a sound found
tion in culture.


(By a Grad)
So frequently of late has the spirit
of "The old gray mare, she ain't what
she used to be," popped into campus
opinion about our University that even
an archaic and ante bellum post-
graduate is forced to stop occasionally
in his, course down the diagonal to
wonder what the song is all about.
And having stopped to look around, he
sometimes has ideas,-ideas that are
perhaps a hybrid of reminiscences
and present observation, but anyhow,
are ideas.
"Is the campus asleep?" even The
Daily asks him. More than likely he
will say, "No, but it's pretty well
stunned-Stunned by having so many
weights pressed upon it that it's just
naturally lying down in self-defense."
Plenty of Time
how in the "good old days," this
grad had time to go to classes in be-
tween society meetings, time to report
for a campus publication without
thinking the universe revolved around
that fact, time to formulate an occa-
sional opinion even if it was on co-
education, time to get one hand out
of his pocket before another "drive"
pushed the other one in; and he didn't
have to debate every night between a
text book, a lecture, concert, band-
bounce, committee meeting, athletic
contest, or the Maj.

He even had time to read occasion-
ally, and to play occasionally, and to
indulge in a few other incidentals that
went rather far in making his Uni-
versity life a series of normal, vital
sensations rather than a series of
artificial, crowding stimuli that re-
sulted in over-appetite and mental in-
But the student of today, he would
at once pity and envy. What he had
in more or less restricted doses, they
have hurled at them three-fold in all
sorts of complicated and over-stimu-
lating forms. There are new organiza-
tions springing up from every nook on
the campus, (to take in all the same
people who have "made" the others),
there are increased opportunities for
hearing lectures and enjoying music,
and the bewilderment of trying to get
them all in frequently leaves them all
out; there are doubled advantages for
purely social entertainment, with the
result that a normal limit frequently
becomes a skip-stop; there are more
frequent and possibly more just, finan-
cial drives,*but a very surfeit of clever
publicity tends to stifle a normal re-
Tries Them All
In short, the opportunities and ad-
vantages and responsibilities of the
University today total such bulk that
the circulation of the average, undis-

criminating student, attempting to
swallow them all, simply runs numb
under the load. Which is no criticism
of the University, but rather a con-
gratulation. For as a mirror of the
outside world for which its function is
to train inhabitants, the campus is far
more adequate than it was ten or even
five years ago. What the student must
learn, if he is not to submerge his
personality and contribute toward the
"campus asleep" is the one simple
rule that he will be forced to practice
after his sheep-skin is packed,-or
He must learn the secret of sane
discrimination, cheerful competition,
and whole-hearted attention to those
particular things for which he is by
nature best endowed to enrich the
channel of his whole life,-rather than
dabbling in "expansion" so much that
his personality flows over the dams
into a mud-puddle of mediocrity.
Speaking in "shoulds," there ought
to be fewer organizations and keener
competition in campus functions;
some point system ought to be devised
whereby service and quality should
begin to puncture the modern, blase,
deadening ideal that makes of serious
thinking and decisive acting a social
ban. They need not wholly "wake up,"
they need only take the blinders off
their eyes to see that all of life is

relative anyhow, and the harder one
works; the more vital will be his play;
the deeper one's thoughts on "think-
ing" occasions, the keener one's wit
when humor is at goal; that substance,
as well as flavor, goes into the recipe
of a strong personality.
Reflects Individual
Campus atmosphere is at most a re-
flection of its individual members, and
the sooner Michigan students upset
their present reputation as either
"Studes, flappers, or 'B. M. O. C.'s',"
(quoted) the sooner will vitalizing
ideals, clean-cut competition, and
honest co-operation waken the campus
from its present tendency toward
muddled, and overweighted drowsi-
The student of today has to be a
bigger individual,-has to have keener
discrimination, greater capacity for
hard work, and a better balance in
ideals of work and play, than did any
of his predecessors. The University
has come down to him far richer and
more complex in opportunity for wide-
awake self-expression, but it is also
making a bigger demand on personal
character and moderation than ever
before, and in order to maintain the
"aliveness" of the Michigan of the
past, every single student of today will
have to be alive to that fact.

Would Revise Course
"Every freshman who sets foot npc
this campus," decrees this studer
"should be required to take at lea
45 hours of sociology, literature, art
philosophy, and political science.
may be objected that we have had cu
tural courses in high school. Yc
but there we learned and njemorize
here we need to think."
There is a great deal in that last
statement - "here we need to
think." Possibly in it thte solution
of the whole problem, if problem it
be, may be found: the University
at large has lost the power to
think. Students go forward mas.
tering sometimes, more often let.
ting slide, their lessons, but in any
event, failing to think seriously
upon any of the topics which have
come up for their consideraon
Their classes are simply so many
items in the daily routine of col,
lege life. Dismissed, they need not
trouble themselves with them unti
the next meeting is called.
One student finds that the camp
has descended to a state of lethar
because of over-organization. "N
campus organizations are being forn
continually and nothing is done
clear out the dead and dying organi
tions. * * * The student is not able
do any real scholastic work or acco
plish anything for the campus if evi
evening of his week is taken up w
a meeting."
"The character of these gatherli
is well known," continues the cc
munications. "The first half of f
evening is spent in waiting for son
body to come, the last in electing n
members, or arranging a date for 1
Michiganensian picture or setting
time for the next meeting." As
remedy for this condition of affai
the communication suggests Vl
either no more societies be formed
that members of the old societ
which can no longer have any logi
function on the campus retire quie
and give new organizations with a r
life a chance to exist.
"Resting On Honors"
Another writer issues the indictm
that Michigan men are "resting
their honors." "No one of us," he sa
"would be willing to admit that
have not as good a student body
(Continued on Page Four)


At Both Ends of the
Diagonal Walk




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