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December 07, 1941 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1941-12-07

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Student Thought Analyzed:
Why, How Wherefore Of 'Radicals'
In Colleges Investigated In Survey

Phi Eta Sigma
To Inaugurate
Tutor System

Students do not "turn radical" in
the average American college or uni-
Results of an exhaustive four-year
survey, combined with similar re-
search of other psychologists con-
ducted over a 15 year period in ap-
proximately 50 colleges, have \con-
vinced Prof. Theod re M. Newcomb,
of the sociology department, that
there is "only a slight increase in
liberalism" between entrance and
graduation among the great majority
of students.
(Professor Newcomb said liberalism
is defined in the survey as favoring
the kinds of changes introduced by
the New Deal, such as the Wagner
Act, public relief and government will
To Be Published
Professor Newcomb's conclusions,
which will be published in book form
next spring under the title "Person-
ality ahd Attitude Development,"E
stated that "in college students, fam-
ily background is a less important
factor in attitude change than the
conservatism or liberalism prevailing
in the college atmosphere."
His survey was conducted chiefly at
Bennington College in Vermhont,
where he taught social psychology
from 1934-41. The survey was made
from 1935-39.
At this college of 250 girls, he

found that the great majority of stu-
dents-who were nearly all from
wealthy homes-lost their intrenched
conservatism and became much more
liberal than any other college group.
Some millionaires' daughters be-
came confirmed radicals.
Liberal Environment
Citing this as proof of his theory
that family background is of second-
ary importance, he said the liberal
environment of .Bennington College
proved more potent than pa'rental ad-
vice and beliefs.
Professor Newcomb stressed, how-
ever, certain factors which differen-
tiated Bennington from other schools.i
. He pointed out that the school was!
new, founded in 1931, and based on a
radically different system of individ-
ualized education. (As a consequence
of this, according to Professor New-
comb, the loyalty to the institution
was "the most intense I have ever.
The president of the college was
himself a liberal and a social scien-
tist. In addition, the faculty, in con-
trast to those of the University of
Chicago and St. Johns College, which
emphasize the classics, was almost
obsessed with the importance of ac-
quainting students with the contem-
porary world.
Attitude Changed
Dr. Newcomb declared that all of
these factors were in great part re-
sponsible -for the immense change of

.ttdens To Be Referred
attitude of Bennington girls. He ex- To Honor Organization
plained that it is because of the con- For Special Study Help
servative attitude prevalent in most
American colleges that students are

on the whole conservative.
Subsequent data revealed that the
Bennington students who changed
their viewpoints most were those who
have the capacity and motivation to
become .enthusiastic participants in
college affairs.
He maintained , that those who!
changed least, or not at all, in an1
atmosphere such as that at Benning-
ton, were those absorbed in their
I own personal concerns, and bitter or
antagonistic toward community ac--j
tivities. Asked how many studentsI
who are liberal when they enter col-
lege adopt conservatism during
school, he said there are very few,
and in these cases there is usually a
psychological reaction against liberal1
but domineering, dogmatic parents.
Nearby Schools
Pointing to such schools near Ben-
nington as Williams College and
Skidmore where comparable students
enter conservative and leave only
slightly liberal, Professor Newcomb
said that at such typically American
schools the most prominent campus
leaders were more likely to be the
most conservative students, while at
Bennington, the most popular were
the most radical.
He said that at Bennington liberal-
ism was a vital issue while at most
other schools it was not considered
important. Indicative, he asserted,
was the fact tl\at Bennington girls
sent two ambulances to Loyalist
Spain in 1936.
Proof of the "radical and popular"
tie-up at Bennington was offered by
Professor Newcomb who said that
"attitude questionnaires" were given
to every student three or four times
a year, for four years.
The girls were asked to choose the{
five students they considered the
most representative of their school.
Each time, Professor Newcomb con-
tended, there was a straight, consis-
tent correlation between popularity
and degree of liberalism-the most
popular were the most radical, and
A large portion of the study was
obtained from personality data, and
frequent interviews with the girl,
their counselors and the college psy-

Phi Eta Sigma. all-campus fresh-
man honor society, has organized a
tutoring system for all deserving
freshman men, Herbert Heavenrich,
'44E, president, annouinced yesterday.
The system is divided into two
parts, one part for engineering stu-
dents, and the other for literary stu-
dents. The engineering division, .un -
der the direction of Lewis Smith, '44E,
is already under way and the literary
school part will begin functioning as
soon as mid-semester grades are in.
After the grades are in, literary
college academic advisers will refer
those students whom they feel need
and deserve extra help to Clifford
Straehley, '44, central coordinator for
assigning tutors.
Straehley stresses the fact that the
initiative is left up to the student, the
adviser merely letting him know that
there is help available. "Any student,"
he says, "may come of his own accord
to Prof. Arthur Van Duren, chairman
of Academic Counsellors, or to me
and ask for assistance."
The program is on an individual
basis, only two orsthree students be-
ing allowed for every tutor, of which
there are about 17. Most of these
tutors are sophomores as it was felt
that sophomores would be closer to
the problems that freshmen face in
adjusting themselves.
It was also pointed out that no
students need apply for help who have
lost out because of lack of study. How-
ever, if through illness, poor high
school preparation or some circum-
stance out of the student's control,
he should have trouble academically,
assistance will be readily given.
Apostie Runs For Santa
That den of faculty practical jok-
ers, The Apostles Club,- has entered a
candidate in the Santa Claus race
that promises to sweep all opposition
before him. Historical precedent for
his selection makes him a natural
says Dr. Frank E. Robbins, nominat-
ing Prof. L. G. Vandervelde, the gen-
ial Dutchman. Says Robbins, "Wasn't
St. Nick a Dutchman?"

... come monograrned 3..
A monogramed gift is a personal gift treasured by all. Place
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looked-string Ruc in a pastel shade or white.
10 N CKELs ARCADE " iways reasonably priced"

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with a Detachable-
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using the "Magic Purse" for *Sports-
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ALL the times that she will carry s
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- z r : lit
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Mlany Lovely Colors $ nlahr
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This is the one gift that a able coin purse. Gft packed
service man uses on duty and and sent postpaid to any
off-day and night. Special . army camp ship or station
places for bills, papers, passes,
ancisr hrieI

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