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March 02, 1921 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1921-03-02

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THE

7 IN
jAN DAIL"

.H.ANDI
. .. ._ .. ._. . .. r .. . . ...... . ..v .,...Y

SEEN IN PROPOSED S. C. A. CHATER

STUDENTS WILL NOT BE DRAWN
INTO CHURCH ACTIVITIES, AS-
SERT OPPONENTS.
Editor, The Michigan Daily:
The "Proposed Amended Charter of
the S. C. A." presents manly points of
weakness. The first vital defect of
the "proposed" plan is that it offers no
real method of drawing students into
Christian work outside of those stu-
dents already engaged in church ac-
tivities. This may appeal as a source
of strength to some of the churches
ahd to those whose main interest in
student religious work is denomina-
tional, but for an effective, working
organization on the campus the plan is
too narrow. This movement to make
Lane hall and Newberry hall the cen-
ter only-of activities already arranged
and directed by the churches presents
a situation in which, both buildings
might well close their doors and let
the churches engage entirely unmol-
ested in their customary activities.
Lane hall and Newberry hall were
given and dedicated to general re-
ligious work among this student body
and.no group of churches has the mor-
al right, and we question their legal
right, to take these buildings over
for purely denominational actvities or
to assume property, rights in these
buildings.-
The method of selection of the
trustees as representatives of the
churches brings to the board of tris-
tees those, in general, whose primary
concern is to ensure the success of
the denominational work in their own
churches. Any activity of a general
nature. which seems to conflict, even
remotely, will be opposed if any gen-
eral work were started (by chance)
under this plan.
That this charter has been hastily
conceived by trustees not themselves
certain of their own legal status is
evident from th~e following facts:
The trustees issued a call in the
last issue of The Daily before examin-
ations, Feb. 6, for a student meeting
Feb. 24, to vote on certain amend-
ments, and those amendments were
not the onestactually voted upon by
the trustees. At this called meeting
the students were then told (so we are
informed by students present at that
meeting) that actually they, the stu-
dents, had no right to vote upon these
amendments. Further, in place of the
published amendments (given in the
call for the meeting), a wholly new
set of amendments was presented, in-
cluded within this "Proseposed
Amended Charter." The board of
trustees .Is one whose legal constitu-
tion and status appears to be a. mat-
ter of uncertainty even to themselves
and under what charter they are oper-
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ating equally uncertain, except that it
is so construed as at some times to
give them the power to elect new
members to their board and at other
times denies them the power. In a
board meeting before any of the resig-
nations had taken place these trustees
stated to the women that they did not
have the power to elect the chairman
of the women's committee to their
board, even to fill a vacancy made by
a resignation. Later the bbard as-
sumed the power to elect new mem-1
bers of the board repeatedly.
This "Proposed Amended Charter"
serves to place entirely too much pow-
er in the hands of the executive sec-
retary by making his "secretary for
the board, cabinets, and all of its
committees"; the costruction is as
loose as much of the document. How-
ever, assume that at some time an in-
efficient busybody were accidentally
made executive secretary, what pro-
cess is possible under this charter
to rid the organization of such a man?
Student committees and trustees would
call frequently upon the executive sec-
retary for counsel, undoubtedly, but to
saddle this official upon both the or-
ganization and all committees is ab-
solutely undesirable. Not to define
either term of office or definite man-
ner of election to office of the employed:
secretaries shows a lamentable lacki
of business acumen.I
Since in this charter the ultimate
control of the women's work rests
with the entire board of trustees theI
disproportionate representation (17:6)
of men and women is wholly unfair.
Certainly the control of the women's
organization should be left in the
hands of the student girls and their
women advisers, and this was done<
on paper in a previous "Amended 1

Charter" upon which the organization
was supposedly functioning when
eight women found it necessary to
resign. The chairman of the wom-
en's committee was by the constitu-
tion made a member of the executive
committee of the board of trustees on
paper, but the present executive sec-
retary of the men's organization ruled
this member off the executive com-
mittee; two meetings were held of
the executive committee, probably
illegal because of the failure to include
a legal member. Another action of
the executive secretary worth noting
is his activity in changing the mem-
bership of the board of trustees, sug-
gesting to an influential member of a
certain church that his church elect
a different representative to the board.
The immediate reason why eight
women resigned from the advisory
board should also be made clear. So
far as the board was concerned they
were legislated off the board. The
"Revised Charter" granted by the men
after many individual conferences
gave the women's advisory committee
legal status and power at the last
meeting of the board of trustees be-
fore the resignations, a resolution was
passed by the board of trustees which
would have legislated out of exist-
ence this advisory committee. At that
time the board of trustees claimed
that it was necessary fou the students
to vote upon this "Amendment"; how-
ever by the time of the student meet-
ing of Feb. 24 the board of trustees
had come to a different conclusion.
This resolution in question was intro-
duced through the student girls' cab-
inet and was evidently "inspired";
the method of its introduction and
passage may afford one of the reasons
for the resignation of six or eight
members of the student girls' cabinet.
It may be mentioned that the student
girls' cabinet passed, before this time,
a resolution of complete confidence in
the women's advisory committee.

r

Anyone who considers the long years
of service in Y. W. C. A. work by the
group of women who resigned, will
find it difficult to believe that they
resigned in pique. A board of trus-
tees more acutely conscious of the
obligations of their office would have
(Continued on Page Six)

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