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November 21, 1956 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1956-11-21

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'U' Clubs Offer Outlet for Students' Special Interests

°9 Q, O .

Twelve men sit around a long
table in silent concentration before
six games of chess.
This situation is typical of one
of dozens,of small student organi-
zations on the University campus
which carry on their activities
often unnoticed by the majority of
the student body.
In most cases these groups
neither desire, nor seek campus-
wide attention. They appeal to
special interests and work to sat-
isfy these interests.
They have their own problems
and their own advantages.
Registered membership in these
clubs may be extensive, but there
is usually only a small enthusiastic
core of active members who work
hard for the success of the group.
Wide Variety
These smaller or relatively
minor organizations exist in a wide
variety of functional patterns.
Some are more active than
others. The Sailing Club, for ex-
ample, cauries on a year-round
program working with the various
facets of the sport. During the
fall and spring the members meet
every Thursday evening and en-
thusiastically lay their plans for
the weekend atatheir own tract of
land at Base Lake.
They own their own boats. They
plan for expansion, finance, main-
tenance, regattas and the teaching
program for novices.
Doug McClennan, '57, vice-com-
modore, explained that he feels
the prospects of the group are very
bright. "We would like to see our
membership increase though," he
added. "It would mean greater
financial stability."
'Silent Thinkers'
A meeting of the Chess Club
might be described as one of "silent
x thinkers." The group has been on
campus for a number of years and
it functions for all those interested
in the game.
The club sponsors both intra-
and inter-collegiate competition.
Jim O'Brien, '59, president,
stated that active members are
enthusiastic, but that prospective
members "are often scared away
when they see the proficiency of
some of our older players."

-Daily-Charles Curtissj
CALCULATED DELIBERATION-Chessmen rest statically for
long periods while the players decide upon the correct move. The
Chess Club is but one of many small clubs at the University
carrying on its activities often without outside attention.

expressed the feelings of the
group, saying, "'Many of the schools
of the University are very large.
We are small, and we feel that
through our objectives we can
achieve better integration into
University life."
Les Voyaguers meet every Sun-
day evening at their cabin on the
outskirts of Ann Arbor. They have
a meal, engage in friendly conver-
sation and sing old Michigan songs.
They have never sought much
publicity. They quietly carry on
their activities, periodically tak-
ing trips and holding canoe races
and offering the student a per-
sonal niche in the University.
Italian Culture
Circolo Italiano is another group
aspiring for quiet social and in-
tellectual discussion. The 21 mem-
bers, largely graduate students,
talk and listen to guest speakers
on the social and cultural back-
ground of Italy.
Chief problem of the organiza-
tion, according to Frank Rizzo,
'60M, president, is in appealing to
the undergraduate who often pre-
fers a more active group.
Other groups work to better
orient and to stimulate greater in-
terest in the student in his chosen
field of study.
Typical of these is the Pre-Medi-
cal Society. More than 125 stu-
dents are members of this organi-
zation, and Stewart Aron, '57, pres-
ident, explained that difficulty is
encountered in maintaining active
I interest among this large number
and in the problem of contacting
all members.
Assistance in Planning
The group hopes to assist the
pre-medical student in making the
important decisions necessary in
planning his future. They hold
discussions and listen to speakers
from the field of medicine.
Aron reported that "after a
plastic surgeon spoke and showed
slides of actual operations, I think
about 40 people dropped out of
pre-med. But that's one of the
things we want to accomplish -
to help the pre-med student decide
whether medicine is really for him.
- "I think that we could better
realize our goals if we could get

< a

-Photo Courtesy Ann Arbor News
PRACTICED PRECISION-Members of the three year old Ballet
Club rehearse long hours to perfect their control and interpreta-
tion. Like most of the smaller clubs on campus, the Ballet Club
is both enthusiastic and optimistic about its future.

According to O'Brien, this is the
only problem the group is really
concerned with now, and that it is
a relatively minor one.
Ballet Club Grows!
The Ballet Club is a fairly new
campus group that has grown by
leaps and bounds. It has more
than quadrupled its membership
to 42 during its three year ex-
The club feels that it offers
persons interested in dance an ex-
cellent opportunity to design, plan
and execute their own dances
without cost.
Jeanne Parsons, instructor of
the club, seemed to feel that the
problems of the group seem to be
clearing up. In the past the group
has been able to obtain neither.
sufficient publicity nor a satisfac-
tory place in which to perform.
"We now have a chance to per-
form in the Lydia Mendelssohn

Theatre,"' Miss Parsons stated,
"and some of our problems of
finance are looking brighter, de-
spite the fact that we have in the
past had great debt.
Discussion Groups
A great many of the smaller
campus groups do not involve
themselves so much in participa-
tion in some particular project as
in fostering quiet intellectual dis-
They strive for closely-knit per-
sonal contact in the midst of a
large and often impersonal uni-
Les Voyageurs are a group of 14
students with a mutual interest in
outdoor life. Now in its 50th year
at the University, the organization
is small and its members mean to
keep it that way. Membership is
limited to 20 by their constitution.
Contrast to Large Groups
John Scultz, '57NR, president,

better speakers and plan better
Foreign Groups
One area of student groups that
is often overlooked is that of the
foreign student organization. These
clubs carry on their activities to
assist the foreign student in ad-
justing and being assimilated into
a new and strange culture.
Hiroshi Watgatsuma, grad.,
president of the Japanese Students
Club commented, "My personal
opinion is that we have two func-
tions: One is internal, to care for
the Japanese people who may feel
strange in integrating to the new
culture and who find it pleasant to
speak in their native language.
"The other is external, that is,
to deal with our relationships to'
the United States and to other
foreign groups."
A Bit of the Homeland
The group holds periodic meet-

ings, teas, dinners and parties at
which they hold quiet conversa-
tions and meet others from their
homeland. Its only real difficulty
is in gaining the interest of those
who wish to completely reject the
culture of their native land and
fully integrate into the American
'way of life."
Whatever its particular activity
or functions entails, almost every
one of these relatively unrecog-
nized groups feels with enthusiasm
that the prospects of the organiza-
tion are definitely improving.
Financial Security
Several expressed gratitude for
the financial assistance they have
received through Cinema Guild.
In every case, these groups felt
that whether they gained wide-
spread attention or not, they are
performing an important and es-
sential function in making up the
whole of University life.

"Coke" is a registered trade-mark. @01956, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY

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