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January 25, 1925 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1-25-1925

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VOL. XXXV. No. 92






? 4,

The In and Outs Of Work On The Michigan Daily Reviewed With An Eye To Determining The Actua

it Amount Of

Practical Experience Which It Offers

Some Personal Experiences Of The Writer

Which Show The Service Of The Paper To Reporter And Campus


'. T

By Robert G. Ramsay
Mark Twain, in one of his lucid moments, said
that the only persons entitled to use "we in writing
were editors and those afflicted with tape worm.
The writer of this article begs to announce that his
'use of the word finds its justification in the right to
which his profession entitles him.
To analyze a thing which one holds dear is to
ruin that thing, and exile it forever from the happy
dream land of youth: to turn upon beauty the search-
light of scientific truth, to attempt to dissect it into
comiponent parts as a scientist will separate the
organisms which make a grasshopper, would mean
to kill all the beauty and wonder with which the
object is endowed. To attempt to discover and re-
port the wherefore and why of an emotional ex-
perience is to rob it of all its emotional value, lev-
ing in the hand of the too eager inquirer, only the
dead, dried, leaf, where once bloomed a glowing,
vital flower.
And so to attempt to tell to unsympathetic minds
the secret power which draws one in communion in
a great enterprise, is to mistake, for the wispered
confidences fall upon uninterested ears; for that
reason, an attempt to explain what The Daily can
mean to one, to show what a hold such an activity
'can keep on one, is bound to meet with miserable
failure, because there will always be some persons,
unsympathetic with the student who cries out
definitely to the protesting faculty, "Take your books,
your mathematics tables, your scietific research; let
me research in human nature, let me know, not
Greek,not Latin, but people!"
Following so closely upon the first imprints of
the report made by a member of the faculty to othei
members of the faculty in which he joins the great,
untiring mob of pedagogues who storm the fortress
of the modern student, in a vain attempt to bring
back same of the forgotten "culture" and force upon
his unwilling head the same dead antiquities which
were administered to him without the sugar coating
now customary to such doses, an article of this na-
ture would seem an attempt at a direct answer. But
the writer has neither the consummate impudence
nor the ability to frame an answer to such a work,
and if he did, he begs to report that he is aware
that such a move on his part would be neither wise
nor welcome.
However, it might be well at the outset of this,
which seems to be a hurried assembling of the forces
of outside activities to repel the invastion of the
regular curricular tedium of college going which
seems imminent, to state the position of the writer,
not that it will be of any general interest to the
campus, nor of any material aid to the Regents when
they assemble to settle this pressing question, but
to make plainer if possible, some of the points that
must be obscure. In an article of this sort, which
purports to be a description of the outside activities
which clutter the campus, with special emphasis
upon the work of The Michigan Daily, it is necessary
to give some consideration to that part of a student's
work for which we are ostensibly here, and to find
a proper place in the activity round of a day foi
It is true that the old order of things changes,
and it is not always the nuggets which remain after
the stream has been panned. The day of the fabled
scholar who reads his Iliad over his morning cup
of coffee (if this is the mark of a scholar) seems
eternally past, his place is taken by a callow youth
who rapidly surveys the sporting page of the Morn.
Ing Comet; education has changed, and the emphasis
is.no longer upon the conjunction of a Latin veri,
but upon more fundamental considerations; the
whole idea of culture has changed; the emphasis is
not so much on the mechanics of education as upon
education itself; the outward finish and veneer which
comes from superfiical knowledge of art and learn-
ing will no longer satisfy; the age is producing men
of personality where it once directed all its arts
to the declension of a Latin noun.
A new type has come into being, manifested in
the maligned character of the flapper and of the
detested tea hound, who are no more nor less than
their grandparents before them, but subject to the
incrimination of the moss backed scholar. Such
people assume for everyone the same interests whicv
cause them to spend their life in books; they go on
the ragged assumption that every one hopes to be r.
college professor, and would give every one the edu*
cation prerequisite to such a position in life. They
hold culture to be something tangible in the shape o_
some book knowledge or some formula; it is in-

tangible, uindefinable, formless, manifesting itself in
personality rather than in learning.
Upon this conception and on this conception
alone, can it be argued that extra curricular activity
has a value in college life. We might cite hundreds
of examples where the work in extra curricular
activity, and especially on The Michigan Daily,
proves itself to be a work of real value. From the

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activity, it might be the subject of some surprised
conjecture, that he would shout out fror the lns!-
tops his firm, belief that he is getting more, is ac-
complishing greater things out of the class room
than in it.
This statement would seem doubly hsz:i:adai
after the devastating attack upon the cultural status
on the campus, but it is a belief which becomes
firmly rooted in every worker in extra curicular
activity. The person who comes to the Univeraity
prepared only to take what it offers of (uitarai
training and gives nothing in return in the shape of
a contribution to its cultural background, is not
worthy of any consideration. Those who spend their
days poring with "machine like assiduity" over
books, whose energy is expanded in ardent seekig
after high marks, whose measure of succca;s is an
"A", are sorry spectacles. They mistake the mark or
a scholar; they mistake an "A" in a course as in-
dication of real genius, when in fact it is usually the
reward meted out to plodding mediocrity. The ilk
to which they belong, and the teacheIrs which they
finally become, are those who look to Oxford as the
source of all culture, attributing to that noble in-
stitution virtues which if they looked hard enough
they would find at home, for they do not have to go
to Oxford; their acres of diamonds are on their own
campus, but they close their eyes to that fla:, andi
bray sentimentally about the culture and atmnosphere
of other places. It is the same hallucination which
paints the old days in the alumnus' dream, and
imputes to these golden days glorie.;, meanings,
values and wonders which they could not. possibly
have possessed.
There are those who scoff at the idea of a prac-
tical value to any work which The Daily nihtt do;
we turn from these unhappy and unin maginative per-
sons with a sense of extreme pity, to direct our at-

tentions to a more select and sympathetic group. To
these treasured souls, we lead out with the state-
ment that more than any other thing, the Daily is
the most important factor in shaping opinion on the
campus. Those most thorouil y vaturated with the
type of conceit which must eventually surfeit The
Daily worker will fling to the summer winds the in-
fluence of any other body on the campus, and name
The Daily as the prime mover in every undertaking
which has marked the spasmodic interests of stu-
dent life. Most of the movements which have stirred
the campus have received their origin, or their
sponsorship, from The Daily, with such results that
it is safe to say that nothing would be done without
the Michigan Daily, so great is the power of the
press. But it is its importance to the individual
which must justify its present status in the social
and we might add, the political life of the campus.
Its importance and its value to the campus is demon-
strated to us every day: let some one not get his
paper in the morning, and immediately a howl is
raised; let it make some statement regarding poli-
tical situations, thereby treading on the toes of cer-
tain militant members of the community, and im-
mediately, there is an indignant response which
opens a perfect avalanche of correspondence; we
have ample proof that The Daily is read, and read
thoroughly, and it is but a step farther in our reason-
ing to arrive at the conclusion that it is of dis-
tinct value to the campus as a prime mover and
supporter of all the various projects which takes a
student's time.
The personal practical value of such work is a,
we have said-its only justification. It is not so easy
to prove to persons, skeptical of its worth as a labor-
atory of practical journalism, that it has this per-
sonal value in practicality. The romantic hum of a
large newspaper office, the lazy nonchalance of the

reporters, the atmosphere charged with indolent
expectancy, the traditional cloud of blue smoke,
thrown out in puffs and rings from those emperors
of the typewriter, are lacking in The Daily office,
and thereby hangs the cue for the charge that it is
all amateurish here. But The Daily has' something
which no other office has. It brings to the publica-
tion of its paper an enthusiasm, which no other
office can have, because it is run by students ana
for students; the veriest cub thrills'at the sight of.
his two inch story more than the professional who
glances rapidly and indifferently through the col-
umns of the New York Times, because the one does
his work from the love of the work, the other looks
at it only as a job and sees in the two column story,
beefsteak and onions for supper that night instead
of the customary toasted rolls.
Has it a practical value to the individual Is it a
practical job to be the head of an organization of
70 men and women? Is it a practical job to be the
head of an organization which yearly brings in pro-
fits mounting into the thousands? Is it a practical
job to organize such an institution on an efficient
plan delegating to some the work of writing, to
others the pleasure of publication? Is it a practical
job to dictate the policy of a newspaper?
We have always said that one of our principal
duties in connection with The Daily is to answer
the foolish questions asked us during the course o,.
the day, with regard to The Daily and any of a hun-
dred other things that might enter the head of an
eager freshman. One of the questions most frequent-
ly asked by the new tryout, and one which we al-
ways delight to answer, so deep is our conviction
on the point, is "Will The Daily be of any real ser-
vice to me in the newspaper world? Will it give
me something of real newspaper work?"-this same
question of practicality. Our answer is always an

unequivocal, unreserved statement that The Daily
does somewhere nearly approximate its boast of be-
ing a laboratory of practical journalism. Nowhere
except in the sacred precinct of a large newspaper
office can one get such training. This does not mean
to discount the value of the theoretical training in
journalism, but for one who has undergone the
fiery ordeal of actually reading proof, pricking out
the inky symbols which blur before the eyes, all the
time that the lynotype machines are droning out
their everlasting staccato of falling matrices, the
method taught In the class room must seem a dilutd
imitation of the real thing; for one who has been
taught the suspense attendant upon the makeup of
a sheet, for one who has actually seen the lead
sink into its proper place under the deft hand of
the makeup man, and has seen the paper assume the
form which exists in his mind, the lesson taught in
a class room must be a sorry attempt. Experience
is a great teacher, and one night in the machine
room of a newspaper will teach the inquiring youth
more than a month of assiduous study.
' There are problems which face the student work-
er on a campus paper which are as practical as
those which h must face in his later work. The
man who has charge of a sports extra, who waits
anxiously for the final score to be shouted over the
wire, who rushes with the brimming forms to the
press, who stands by mutely helpless when the pape
rips, while a glorious boom announces the fact to the
pressman that the web is broken, the men who
rush the paper out onto the streets to be sold to the
crowds pouring from the athletic field, have not al,
these undergone practical experience of a newspaper
May we cite one case from personal experience
It was the night of August 2, 1923, a night that will,
go down in the history of the world even as it is,
written indelibly upon our memory. The paper was
made up, the press was whirring out the fresh
copies and piling up in the receiver the fresh warm
sheets of paper, still damp from their journey ov'r _
the inky forms. The first copies had made their ap-
pearance, announcing to the world the glaa. news
that President Harding was well on the road to
recovery. It was 11:30 o'clock that night, and the
office was deserted save for ourself. The telephone
rang insistently, its harsh reverberations literally
making our head ache. The message it brought was
no less terrible. The .message which rang out over
the wire from Detroit, as it rang over the whole land,
was this: "President Harding died tonight at 10:30."
Like Mark Twain, we will draw the curtain of char-
ity over the scene which followed, for it neither re-
flected glory nor credit to the writer. In our ex-
citement of the moment, we made mistakes which
will be the byword of The Daily as long as the pres-
ent generation exists here. But it was all in the
way of actual experience. The extra which was
published that night, for which the writer has
always received unjust credit, was selling on the
streets half an hour before any other paper had
made its appearance. Listen, you objectors, you per-
sons who hold that such work is merely play, was
that not a practical experience?
In another field, not relative to the mere mechani-
cal tedium of putting out a paper, is the work on The
Daily Practical. We often wonder if The Dail as a
whole appreciates the presence of the faculty, and
the opportunity which for that reason, present itself.
a thing which for the Daily is almost a common
place, but which would be highly valued by any
other paper. On the Michigan campus there are as-
sembled men of national repute, experts 1r every
line of endeavor, who are always willing to help
The Daily with advice. To meet these men in such a
way is in itself an education, and many of the friend-
ships which exist betwen faculty men and students
are begun by the introduction afforded through The
Daily. In this broad field of interviewing, there is
ample scope for activity, the activity which most
nearly approaches " real newspaper work. Every
door is open to the newspaper man; at least so it
seems to the rosy dreams of a reporter, and until
he gets a cold rebuff, he goes on the assumption
that he is welcome everywhere. It is strange, the
lengths to which people will go to get their names in
the paper, and the pleasure that will beam forth
upon their faces as they hear the grateful news that
at last they are important enough to be interviewed.
Here is evident the power of the press. "I am from
The Michigan Daily" is the magic pass word which
'will admit one almost anywhere, and which with
few exceptions will insure one a cordial welcome,.
We recall once, when we were very young and very,
very green, being sent to interview a local mercnant
It was obviously his baptism into the art of being in'
terviewed (for it is an art) and it was also pain-
fully obvious that it was our maiden attempt at such

a task. But it soon became apparent that he, in
the flush of his embarrassment, was not aware o°
the surpassing nervousness that marked our man-
ner; we discovered that we had him completely
bluffed; after that delightful discovery, the after-
noon, was for us at least, a complete success. With
much halting and stammering, with corrections and
interlinings, with as much care as if his statement


danc atjowop History

When the eight hundred members of the Junior
class of 1925 gather with their friends and guests
next Friday, February 6, on the occasiou of the an-
nual J-hlop, they will be observing a custom na'mot
as old as the University. Tradition has it that in
1842, when the little band of men who 'omiosed the
faculty of the University of Mlichiian at its inception
first met together, the first question which came up
for discussion was as to which class was to be al-
lowed the privilege of giving an annual ball which
should be a distinctively college affair.
However, the discussion dragged on for years,
with various classes giving small dances from time
to time. The first great step toward a (distint-tive
party came in 1868, when the graduating class gave
a "Senior Ball" the night before Thanksgiving Day.
Little is known of this early forerunner of Michigan-
Hops, but that it was a success is affirmed by the
fact that it was repeated in 1869. '70 and '71. At
this. tim*e the function (lied !out, and the senior class
lost, its opportunity to be hosts to Michigan's great=-
est dance for in 1873 there appeared on the soctal
calendar the first "Junior Hop," -a "swell affair" in
the opinion of the ancient Inlander.
For a number of years, the J-Hops were con-
tinued, all of them successful in every way except
financially. A need of a better organization to ob-
tain financial backing was necessary, and the ries-

Under fraternity control, it remained, as formerly,
a college affair, the societies merely reserving the
right to display their emblems over their individual
booths. They managed the entire dance, the general
chairmanship rotating between these nine fraterni-
ties. From this time until 1895, the dance was
known as "Junior Hop of the PalladiumF raterni-
ties" and was the social event of each year.
During these years, the Hop was given in a
building called "The Rink," later the Ann Arbor
Armory, on the site now occupied by the Detroit
United Railway waiting room. A gymnasium for the
University was a much hoped for, but little ex-
pected, building. However, these balls at the Rink
were impressive affairs. Gibson's Art parlori served
as reception rooms for the guests.-
With the appearance of the U. of M. Daily in 1891,
more detailed information is available. On April
4, 1891, the day after the Hop, The Daily reported
that the decorations surpassed anything attempted
thus far. "The aesthetic taste displayed in use of
the colors was not so very good," the story read,
"but the general effect was pleasing." Schremser's
Society orchestra of Detroit furnished the music, and
on the program are found the "waltz, galop, schot-
tische and promenade." 300 guests and 100 specta-
tors attended the Hop.
In 1891 the agitation for a gymnasium was stimu-

nasium was finally under construction. By this
time, four other fraternities had appeared on the
campus, and with the Independents, were.clamoring
for a hand in the direction of the Hop. The Palla-
dium clung to their privileges and the foundation of
the battle of 1896 were laid. In the issue of Febru-
ary 27, 1892, The Daily announces:
"Owing to the discourtesy of the chairman of the
Hop committee on invitations to the Junior Hop in
not sending The Daily a press ticket, we are unable
to present our readers with an account of last night's
affair. We are sorry to see this 'position taken. It
shows an exclusive spirit not at all becoming and
widens the breach already existing between the
Fraternities and the Independents."
However, this hard feeling was forgotten in 1893,
with the first Hop in the new gymnasium, partially
completed. The annual concert of the Glee and Ban-
jo club was given' from 9 until 10:30 'o'clock, when
the grand march was held. 204 couples were danc-
ing, and the running track was crowded with specta-
tors. Booths were provided for the chaperones and
the nine Palladium fraternities. The Daily pro-
nounced the ball the "swell event of the year," and
described the souvenirs, upon the covers of which
"in raised letters, was the inscription, "Junior Hop
of the Secret Societies, April 7, 1893."
The Palladium was still in charge when the
1894 Hop was given, on the evening of March 27. 300

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