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December 04, 1955 - Image 18

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-12-04

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Swoverland Career Mixes Justice, Mercy

Speed Kig Oldfield, Lincoln Highway
Prominent in Auto Racing's Annals


EHis job entails a lot more pre-
ntion than it does enforcement.
That's what. Harold E. Swover-
id, University Enforcement Of-
er, says about the position he
a held for the past 14 years.
'sponsible to the Dean of Men',
roverland is officially required
enforce the rules and regulations
up by the Univeirsity for the
[dent body.
rhe campus cop feels this is
st accomplished by tempering
stice with a mixture of common
Ise, mercy and friendly persua-
in. By nipping many minkor in-
lents before they blossom into
>ublesome affairs, a lot of later
Lef for both students and ad-
nistration is saved.
Formerly a Detective
Por 12 years the heavy-set, gen-
officer served with the Wash-
iaw County Sheriff's Depart-
ait as a detective, working part-
no on the side for the Univer-
y. About two years ago he left
e sheriff's office to devote full
ae to his University job. He
iveled, previously, for a pack-
om there. a typical day for
roverland it starts with a call at
~al police headquarters to pick
reports on the previous night's
pdenigssNext come visits wih
~u. and the Sheriff's Depart-
mnt, where he picks up similar
morts to see what assistance he
ci give.
After checking in with Assistant
an of Men John E. Bingley to
~cuss needed action on the po-
e reports, Swoveriand usually
Les around the campus area to
;ure observance of automobile
gulations-and~ to see that maii-
iance and appearance of the
diversity area are in order.
G*ives Courtroom Advice
Ef a student must~ appear in
utrt, Dean Bingley and Swover-


feeling of guilt somehow shows,
and from experience I can spot
"I may not know what is wrong
and probably never will know, as
when I come back a while later
everything is peaceful and quiet."
Swoverland likes his work for
its variety. No two incidents, he
claims, are alike, and although he
may start out with one plan in
mind, it's rarely carried out. Num-
erous minor changes must be made
along the way, and he must at-
tend to matters as they arise.
Humor Found Often
Likening his business to a game,
the husky officer said one satis-
faction of his job comes from the
humor he often encounters. An-
other, and more imrportant, satis-
faction is the students' attitude.
The great majority, Swoverland
feels, know him and appreciate his
efforts-in the long run if not at
the moment of immediate contact.
The enforcement officer main-
tains much enthusiasm for his
wtk, hdespie itsn encroachments
inohsperoa ie, Big on
duty any and all hours of the day
ad niht makes itfadifficult to
planahed wth is amiy.
To the campus in general Swov-
erland is a familiar figure, by
rePltation if not in person. He
likes it that way.

This modern generation would
be totally surprised and surely
amused if it saw a re-enactment of
early competition between Ameri-
can automobile sportsmen. It
wasn't in the form that we know
of today.
Competition was based on the
doubtful principle of' a car's abili-
ty to keep going once it- got started
--especially when the vehicle was
f'aced with the problem of making
its way to the top of a hill.
The first American auto race
was on Thanksgiving Day in Chi-
cago rn 1895, and was a fifty mile
test of endurance. Of the eleven
entries six started and two fin-
ished. The winner was Al Riker
with a winning speed of twenty-
four miles per hour.
Race For Speed Begins
Popular American thirst for
higher speeds was answered quick-
ly by the racing Industry. In 1903
the great Barney Oldfield, driving
Henry Ford's famous 999, first
achieved the speed of one mile per
minute in an American car, In
1910 Oldfield drove a Blitzen Benz
at the then terrifying speed of
131.72' m.p.h. for a world record
for gas-run autos.
It was not until 1937 the speed
of 200 miles per hour was reached
when Major H. 0. D. Segraves
4Awrned the trick at Dayton, Flori-

da. Twenty years later John Cobb
of London broke the 400 mile an
hour barrier with a speed of
403.135 m.p~h. In the same run he
set a new world speed record of
394.199 mniles an hour which still
stands today.
The World is Conquered
At the turn of the century road
races came into their own and
were finally climaxed by a race
around the world, starting in Feb-
ruary of 1908 from New York.
Travelling to Paris via Alaska and
Siberf'a, the race took more than
five months to complete and ac-:
complished nothing but increased
sales for the entrants.*
.No Place to Go
With the world conquered and
the moon OUkt of reach, speedsters
turned to the tracks. Most famous
of these was Carl Fisher's conceiv-
er of the Lincoln Highway. The
track is a two-and-one-half mile
brick paved oval, perfectly graded
and containing a gigantic grand-
This, the Indianapolis Motr
Speedway, was the beginning of
auto racing as we know it today.
Since the first Memorial Day race
in 1911 this annual event has
grbwn steadily into the automobile
racing classic. Ray Harroun won
the first race with an average
speed of 74.59 m.p.h.

As the race increased in popu-
larity, speeds Increased until now
the average speed of the winner
is just under 130 m~p.h., a quali-
fying speed of at least 125 miles
per hour having been required.
Never Won At Indianapolis
The greatest figure in auto rac-
ing of all times, Barney Oldfield,
never won at Indianapolis and
never was named National Chamn-
pion by the AAA. Yet he is uni-
versally known as the "Speed King
of the World." His name stands
for good auto racing more than
any other name In history,
Automobile racing is directly re-
sponsible for many of the standard
features on today's production
line cars. The auto induistry is
indebted to racing for such things
as blowout-proof tires, safety belts
and numerous other contributions
to the well being of the Americani
Sporting competition amongst
American cars has progressed since
those early days of hill climbing in
1890. How far it can continue to
advance is up to the manufactur-
ers and enthusiasts of the racing
industry. Some day a future gen-
eration may look back on Ameri-
can auto racing and its outgrowths
'in much the same way we look
upon now outdated hill climbing

--Daiy-Hal Leedi

Where students gather, he'll be there

land Interview him to ,advise on
courtroom procedure. It's some-
times necessary to put up bond
on a student, and the University
des thi under supervision of the
Weekends present a somewhat
different situation, Swoverland
smniled. Friday and Saturday nights
bring parties, and the ex-detective
spends the evenings, cruising about
campus keeping an eye on things
according to a .check list. "Wher-
ever a student group gathers or a
student activity takes place,"
Swoverland grinned, "that's where
Ill be."
4sked hgw he spots unauthor.
ized parties, the nattily-dressed
officer decided "well-a drinking
student just can't keep quiet for
very long."

Stressing the preventive aspects dering by checks what might have
of his job, Swoverland noted that been a sorry incident in many
his just bein around tends to sto cases.
a lot of students from breaking I"I can tell nine times out of 10
regulations. Knowledge that the when somnething is wrong with a
enforcement officer may be wan- student," Swoverland4 added. "His

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