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March 25, 1958 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1958-03-25

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"When Opinions Aro Free
Truth Will Prevail

Sixty-Eighth Year

Editoriats printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This mius t be noted in all reprints.

Sense and Nonsense
About Sigma Kappa

T IS MORE THAN a year since Sigma Kappa
sorority was found in violation of University
regulations: It is only natural that since that
time many of the facts in the case have been
forgotten, but the extent to which both the
circumstances and the reasoning which went
into the Sigma Kappa decision have been lost
to memory or ignored is, like much else in the
SGC campaign, appalling.
In the summer of 1956 Sigma Kappa's na-
tional council of five alumnae withdrew the
charter of the Tufts chapter and suspended
the charter of the Cornell chapter, both of
which had pledged Negro girls the previous
spring. The Tufts chapter, like most sororities
at that school, had no house and was corres-
pondingly weak. The Cornell chapter, by all In-
dications, including the testimony of the Dean
of Women at Cornell, was a strong one.
When Sigma Kappa came on the campus
in 1955, through the affiliation of a local sor-
ority, it presented its constitution for examina-
tion by the Dean of Women, who informed the
SGC that it contained no bias clause, and that
issue has never been raised since. One of Sigma
Kappa's officers also wrote the University say-
ing she had read its regulations and agreed,
on behalf of the sorority, to abide by them.
rTHE REGULATIONS state that "recognition
will not be granted any organization which
prohibits membership in the organization be-
cause of race, religion or color." In order to
remain officially recognized, the regulations
further state, the organization must "continue
to meet the conditions for initial recognition."
and must "act in good faith with the spirit of
the regulations for recognized organizations."
The SGC, after considering the case for sev-
eral hours and having thought about it for
several months, voted 12-5 that the sorority
was in violatalon of the regulations mentioned
above. In so doing, it necessarily first conclud-
ed that since the national took action against
the two chapters (out of more than 50) which
had pledged Negroes, since it had never of-
fered a satisfactory explanation for the action
beyond "the good of the sorority as a whole,"
and since the action had the effect of prevent-
ing the Negro girls from becoming actives, that
the national sorority had a policy of restrict-
ing membership, specifically of excludinW
In light of these facts, much of what has
been said in the campaign thus far has been
utter nonsense. The most extreme has been
that point of view which says SGC must "con-
sider the actions of the Michigan chapter
(which have been excellent thus far)" as one
factor in any decision on the case, as expound-
ed by Roger Seasonwein.
Or, as Dick Odgers puts it, the local chapted
has an "excellent record," it has "amply dem-
onstrated its eagerness to participate to the
fullest in University activities ... Sigma Kappa
should be allowed to retain its present status
unless evidence is presented that directly im-
plicates the local chapter." Peter Brown argues
that the local chapter should be kept on cam-
pus: they are "a good group." And David Tay-
lor argues that the chapter has proved its
worth to the University, and in order to with-
draw its recognition SGC would have to prove
the local chapter "detrimental" to the Uni-
NOW THIS ALL may sound very well and
good, but it is the national organization
which is being judged, not the local, except
insofar as it is a member of the national and
thereby obliged to abide by its policies. The
local chapter has established a good record on
campus, and no one is proposing that the local
chapter, per se, be abolished. But as long as
the national organization practices a discrimi-
natory policy it will be in violation and thereby
subject, through its local affiliate, to withdraw-
al of recognition this fall.
Equally irrelevant is the sttaement by Bruce
Hoffman, who vociferously argues that "Sig-
ma Kappa must supply SGC with a copy of
its constitution and all by-laws to prove it does
not have a bias clause." The point is that Sig-
ma Kappa has never been accused of having
a bias clause, that there is Dean Bacon's word
that it does not, and that Sigma Kappa is still
able - by virtue of its actions - to be violating
the regulations.
THE REAL ISSUE, then, is what the national
organization can do this summer at its con-

vention to prove it is not violating University
Bruce McRitchie makes the excellent point
that "good faith" cannot be explicitly spelled
out beforehand but "can only be- determined by
a judgement on an action after the action has
has been taken." We would cite as an example
the statement by Fred Merrill that "the
election of new national officers this summer
would show that the sorority is not in viola-
tion of the regulations." This is nonsense, since
a normal transition from one set of officers to
another, each set having identical views on
discrimination, would do nothing to indicate a
change in policy. On the other hand, the un-
likely event of an angry floor fight in which

be acceptable and thereby indicate his leanings
on the question.
IT IS NOT, as McRitchie says, "very inad-
visable for any candidate for SGC . . . to
express set opinions on what Sigma Kappa
should do to show that it is not in violation,"
although It would be inadvisable to develop so
rigid a notion of acceptable convention action
that unforeseen developments could not be
evaluated anew within the entire context of
the convention's behavior.
Nor is Scott Chrysler very helpful when he
assertes that "If SGC, or SGC members for-
mulate or create in their minds standards of
judgement or alternative procedures that the
sorority might undertake this summer, it would
indeed be difficult to interpret objectively any
action, or spirit of such action, the sorority
might take." It is especially unhelpful in light
of his refusal to even state what his position
would be should thenational convention do
absolutely nothing, although some clarity is
lent by his sttaement that "I've been behind
Sigma Kappa all the way."
RON GREGG is somewhat more helpful in
saying the idea of a local mediating body
would be insufficient but that the national
need not go so far as to reinstate the Tufts and
Cornell chapters. But he is not very helpful
in analyzing the "attention" which he says
"must be paid to the specific action of the
national officers. Kessel does no more than call
for "definite action on the question."
Jo Hardee describes the "maximum require-
ment" as reinstatement of the Tufts chapter
plus a statement or nondiscriminatory pledg-
ing, but she leaves thedoor open for "other
action" which "can only be considered and
evaluated after the convention."
Given the complexity of the issue and the
space and time limitations on candidates, how-
ever, it would be unfair to label these stands a
evasive, even if they leave some questions un-
Some specific actions by the national con-
vention are accepted which are of extremely
doubtful validity. Carol Holland says a policy
statement at the national convention offering
"assurance that the Sigma Kappa chapter at
this University is not restricting its member-
ship" is mie possible way and an explanation
would be another, to clear Sigma Kappa. Fred
Merrill lists "a positive statement of policy" or
an explanation of the action as possible ways
of removing the violation. Sue Rockne, while
emphasizing more definite actions, talks of a
"convention resolution" on the subject of the
Tufts and Cornell expulsions. Mort Wise goes
so far as to say, "there is no reason not to ac-
cept a positive and definite statement from
Sigma Kappa national."
THE POINT is this: Sigma Kappa national
has already, i n1955, presented a statement
to the effect that it is willing to abide by Uni-
versity regulations, which very prominently in-
clude the regulation in question. The sorority,
has never repudiated that statement verbally,
although the SGC decision explicitly contra-
dicts it. Thus Sigma Kappa national has been
found to have acted in bad faith when it
pretended to have membership policies con-
sistent with University regulations, and SC
would be acting inconsistently if it repudiated
one statement by Sigma Kappa only to accept
An explanation is unlikely: the SGC gave
the five national officers who took the action
against Cornell and Tufts every opportunity,
over a period of several months, to explain their
action, and that opportunity has been consis-
tently passed by. It is doubtful that the con-
vention as a whole will be any better able to ex-
plain adequately an action which it did not
take. It is even more doubtful that an ade-
quate and verifiable explanation exists, other'
than the one the SGC has inferred.
LOIS WURSTER nicely summarizes and
nearly exhausts logical possibilities for con-
vention removal of the violation when she says
that in "the area which directly effects past
restrictive action" the sorority "could pledge
a Negro girl, reinstate the chapters at Tufts
and Cornell, or explain their past action." But
her suggestions that final decisions on sus-
pensions be placed in the hands of the nation-
al convention or of local mediation boards,
while what Gregg calls steps "in the right di,'
rection," should not be assumed to be ade

quate to removing the violations, since the
membership policy is the important factor, not
who enforces it. Genuine local autonomy, how-
ever, might prove convincing.
Perhaps the most totally realistic and expli,
cit statements are those of Steve Bailie, who
holds out the possibilities of reinstatement or
"a verifiable statement as to why these chap-
ters are not reinstated," Paul Kampner, who
says he does not "know of any other way at
present in which the national could clear it-
self," although "any further statement would
be premature before the national convetnion is
held," and Phil Zook who says that "Unless
new facts are presented in some other light,
Sigma Kappa could continue to be recognized

"Mirror On The Billboard Wall,
What's The Fairest Sight Of All?"
- -.
) t'
t s) ' aS i'fla Posr rC-.
Pensions for Ex-Presidents

WASHINGTON - For the first
time in many years, 76-year-
old Speaker Sam Rayburn last
week appeared as a witness before
a congressional committee. He did
it for an old friend, 73-year-old
Harry S. Truman of Missouri.
Testifying with Sam in a rare
display of nonpartisanship was
the 73-year-old Republican lead-
er and ex-Speaker, Joe Martin of
Rayburn and Martin agreed
that ex-Presidents of the United
States ought to get pensions, just
like employees of corporations
and members of Congress. They
urged the House Civil Service
Committee, headed by testy Tom
Murray of Tennessee, to approve
the Presidential pension bill of
Democratic leader John McCor-
. * *
McCORMACK'S bill would give
ex-Presidents Herbert Hoover and
Harry Truman a pension of $25,-
000 a year, plus free mailing priv-
iliges, plus office space in a Fed-
eral building, and an allowance
of about $70,000 to hire stenogra-
phers, which is the same as that
paid a senator from one of the
least populous states.
In addition, the widow of an
ex-President would get a $10,000-
a-year pension after his death.
"This is the first time in four
or five years that I've appeared
before a committee as a witness,"
Rayburn told the assembled con-
gressmen. He had already forced
Chairman Murray, who was trying
to block the pension bill, into call-

'Witness' Finest
Mystery in Years
THE TRANSLATION into film of Agatha Christie's short story and
successful stage play "Witness for the Prosecution" has given
American movie audiences the finest mystery film in several years.
A careful combination of puzzle and intrigue with fine acting and
direction culminates in a tense film that, for the final twenty minutes,
is loaded with shocks, surprises, and twists fired with a throbbing,
breathless rapidity.
In true mystery novel tradition, however, the clues are given and
the trail laid for the unsuspecting viewer-detective, who will almost
never foresee what author Christie has saved for the closing scenes.
"Witness for the Prosecution" concerns an aged barrister, Sir
Wilfred, who in spite of ill health takes on the defense of Leonard Vole,

ing a meeting. Murray finally
called the meeting, but con-
veniently overlooked informing
members of the committee that it
was called. Despite this, all mem-
bers showed up.
Rep. Hugh Gross (R-Iowa) re-
mained unconvinced. "No man
who's been President of the United
States ought to have any trouble
making a living," Gross Insisted.
"All this means is that some more
money will come out of the U.S.
Rayburn reminded Gross that,
all Truman owned upon retire-
ment was his home, and that even
FDR had no independent means
until his mother died.
Rep. August Johansen (R-
Mich.) agreed with Gross. So did
Reps. Ed Robeson (D-Va.) and
Jim Davis (D-Ga.).
* *
RAYBURN, ho w e v e r, argued
strongly for the ex-Presidents. He
pointed out that the legislation
had been passed by the Senate a
year ago and had lain mouldering
in the House for two years.
"It's the dignity of the office
of President that's involved," said
Mr. Sam. "Our big corporations
all provide for their presidents
and employees, and the U.S. Gov-
ernment is the biggest corpora-
tion of ally We shouldn't force our
ex-Presidents to go out and do
all kind of mean things in order
to make a living. We have to pro-
tect the dignity of the office."
McCormack reminded Gross
that Herbert Hoover would also
be eligible, though actually he
doesn't need it. Hoover is a mil-

lionaire. President Eisenhower
made around $500,000 by a spe-
cial tax ruling on his book.
"It's a matter of simple justice,"
said McCormack.
In the end the committee
agreed to discuss the matter again
on March 27. And in view of the
urging by Rayburn and Martin, it
looked as if the legislation would
finally reach the House floor for
a vote.
* * *
SEVEN ARMY Band musicians
are burnt up over having to sup-
ply soft string music for three
hours for a Republican reception
at Fort McNair -- despite Army
rules to the contrary. Members of
Congress can reserve the officers
clubs at Fort McNair and Fort
Myer and have music supplied by
the Army Band, but regulations
forbid using this privilege for
commercial or political purposes.
The Fort McNair gathering was
a New Hampshire affair featuring
the GOP senators and congress-
men from that state. Guest of
honor was popular, potent Sen.
Styles Bridges, dean of Senate Re-
publicans, who, as a member of
both the Armed Services and Ap-
propriations Committees, has a
lot of power at the Pentagon.
Bridges made a partisan speech
in which he advised New Hamp-
shire Republicans how to deal
with critics of the Eisenhower re-
"Tell them the only way the
Democrats know to cure a reces-
sion is through war," he recom-
(Copyright 1958 by Bell Syndicate, Inc.)

accused of murdering a rich old
widow who left Vole her money.
Vole's only alibi is provided by his
wife, Christine Helm, and coun-
tered by the widow's maid, Janet
The action of the film is pri-
marily the trial of Leonard Vole
in the Old Bailey itself. To divulge
more of the plot is impossible, but
the viewer is advised to keep
asking himself, in true detective
style, "Who really killed Emily
French?" - a question that the
film must finally answer, although
the film seems to consider only the
question of Leonard Vole's guilt or
Those who have read any of
Agatha Christie's novels will not
be disappointed with this plot-
nor will they fail to recognize the
Christy-like byplay between Sir
Wilfred and his nurse.
* * *
WHAT CLINCHES the success
of "Witness," however, is that
Rock Hudson is not cast as Leon-
ard Vole and Elizabeth Taylor as
Christine and that the film is not
in cinemascope nor in bloody
As it should be, "Witness" is
cast with capable, experience ac-
tors and actresses who lend an air
of credibility and verisimilitude to
the black-and-white proceedings.
Tyrone Power (as Vole), Marlene
Dietrich (as Christine), Charles
Laughton (as Sir Wilfred), Elsa
Lanchester (as , the barrister's
nurse) and John Williams and
Torin Thatcher as Sir Wilfred's
assicates all have stage experience
and are able to give sincere, direct
Without Hollywood coloring,
Power is forceful in the tortuous
role of the accused. Marlene Diet-
rich's acting is cleverly calculated
to fool all viewers and onlookers,
and that it does.
LAUGHTON vies with Marlene
for honors in acting with his truly
"character" part that leaps from
the pages of a non-existent Chris-
tie novel. His return to his offices
following the second-to-last day
of the trial reminds one of Win-
ston Churchill himself, but in a
dramatic, intriguing moment that
mellows in mystery.
Direction is as important in
"Witness" as it is good; Billy
Wilder has done well with office
and trial scenes although his
flashbacks, which exist neither in
the play nor the short story, hap-
pen to little other advantage that
to display Marlene's famous gams
-which may have the effect of
breaking a little monotony.
But monotony is out of the
question in the final, pulsating
moments of suspense and shock
that raise "Witness for the Prose-
cution" to its place next to "Dia-
bolique" as one of the classics in
the annals of the mystery film.
-Vernon Nahrgang
to the

- -ILY
The Daily Official Bulletin is a
official publication of the Univer-
sity of Michigan for which the
Michigan Daily assumes no edi-
toral responsibility. Notices should
be sent in TYPEWRITTEN form to
Room 3519 Administration Build-
ing, before 2 p.m. the day preceding
publication. Notices for Sunday
Daily due at 2:00 p.m. Friday.
General Notices
Seniors: C o l I e g e of L.S.&A., and
Schools of Bus. Admin., Educ., Music,
and Public Health. Tentative lists of
seniors for Jun graduation have been
posted on the bulletin board in the
first floor lobby, Admin. Bldg. Any
changes therefrom should be requested
of the Recorder at Office of Registra-
tion and Records window Number A,
1513 Admin. Bldg.
The next "Polio Shot" clinic for stu-
dents will be held Thurs., March 27,
onlyfrom 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and
1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., in the Health
Service. All students whose second or
third shots are due around this time
are urged to take advantage of this spe-
cial clinic. Students are reminded that
it is not necessary to obtain their regu-
lar clinic cards. Proceed to Room 58 in
the basement where forms are available
and cashier's representatives are pres-
ent, The fee for injection is $1.00.
Regents' Meeting: Fri., April 18. Com-
munications for consideration at this
meeting must be in the President's
hands not later than Tues., April 8.
German Department Prize Competl-
tions: Bronson - Thomas Prize Essay
Award offered to students in junior
level courses (81, 82, 91, 92). The con-
test, an English essay on topic or topics
based on the reading in the above men-
tioned courses, carries 2 stipends of
$50 and $35, respectively. The contest
will be held on Thurs., Mar. 27, from
7 to 9 p.m., 1080 Frieze Bldg. Students
who wish to compete should apply at
the German Office, 1076 Frieze Bldg.,
by wed., Mar. 26.
,Edgar Schwaibold Prize Competition
offered to students in senior level
courses (100 and above). Contestants
must be (1) of senior standing, (2)
concentrating In German, and (3) of
American academic training (h i g h
school and college). Contest consists of
two essays, one English, one German,
on topics suggested by the literature
read by the contestants in German
Dept. courses. A prize of $100 will be
awarded the winner. The contest will
be held on Thurs., Mar. 27, from 7 to
9 p.m. 1080 Frieze Bldg. Students who
wish to compete should apply at the
German Office, 1076 Frieze Bldg., by
wed., Mar. 26,
Fulbright Awards for University lee-
turing and advanced research have
been announced for 1958-59 for the fol-
lowing countries: Argentina, Australia,
Brazil, Burma. Chile, Columbia, Ecua-
dor, India, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Peru, the Philippines, and Thailand.
(Awards for other countries, especial-
ly the European, will be announced at
a later date). Those applying for le-
tureships are expected to have at least
one year of college or university teach-
ing experience. Applicants for research
awards are expected to have a doctoral
degree at the time of application or
recognized standing in respective pro-
fessions. Applications may be obtained
from the Conference Board of Associat-
ed Research Councils, Committee of
International Exchange of Persons, 2101
Constitution Ave., washington 25, D.C.
The deadline for filing an application
for these countries is April 25, 195.
Further information may be obtained
in the Offices of the Graduate School.
Delta Omega Lecture: "world-wide
Malaria Eradication" by Paul F. Rus-
sell, M.D., Medical Education and Pub-
lic Health Division, Rockefeller Foun-
dation, N. Y. City, Tues., Mar. 25, 4:00
p.m., Public Health Aud.
Gallery Program: The Book Fair for
Children and Young People. Mezzannie
Floor, Rackham Bldg. wed., March 26.
"Scenery Design and Books" by Mrs.
Richard wilt at 4:15 p.m. and "North-
ern Michigan Backgrounds" by Mr.
Lewis Reimann at 7:00 p.m.
Gallery Program: The Book Fair for
Children and Young People-1958. Ex-
hibit on Mar. 21-22, 24-29, Mezzanine
Floor, Rackham Bldg. Tues., Mar. 25:
"Puppet Show" by Chris Stasheff and
Jim Warner, 4:15 p.m. "Flight and
Birds" by Mr. Leonard Wing and "Mer-

rie Maple" by Mrs. Bess Tefft at 7:00
Debate: "Resolved: That It is Justi-
fiable to Believe in God." Speakers:
James C. O'Neill, Assoc. Professor of
French; William P. Alston, Assoc. Prof.
of Philosophy; and Paul Henle, Profes-
sor of Philosophy, Wed., March 26, 7:15
p.m., East Quad. Dining Rm. No. 2,
North Entrance. Sponsored by East
Quad Council.
Sociology Colloquium : Prof. Paul
Honigsheim of Michigan State Univer-
sity, will talk on "Georg Simmel, His
Place in the History of Sociology," as
part of the centennial celebration of
Simmel's birth. March 26, 4:00 'pm. at
the E. Conference Rm., Rackham Bldg.
The English Journal Club, Wed.,
March 26, 8:00 p.m., E. Conference Rm.
Rackham. Mr. Glauco Cambon, lectur-

Make Your Own Music'

Epilepsy .

0 *

PART-TIME campus jobs are
more difficult to get every day,
but there are some students who
are never without employment
and pocket money. We refer to
the singers and musicians who
band together to entertain at fra-
ternity parties. Jazz combos,
dance combos, vocal groups and
the like are rarely without a
weekend job in Ann Arbor.
As might be expected, this sort
of thing has become big business
in college towns. Local booking of-
fices are established here as else-
where and they garner goodly
sums. Most of the groups are in-
strumental, since dances offer the
most work. But lately many vocal
groups have sprung up, and we
offer our choice for the most un-
usual one on campus. This is a
quartet of four guitars and four
voices, and the resulting sounds
are entirely folk music.
THE GROUP is tentatively
called "The John B. Quartet"
made up of strummers Al Young,
'61, Joe Dassin, '61, Bill McAdoo,
'59 and Bernie Krause, '60. "We've
been using the John B. name be-
cause one of the first numbers we

few of us and prepare some num-
bers for future sings. We re-
hearsed and liked it so much we
decided not to limit the group to
the Folklore Society. Word got
around. Lo and behold, Phi Rho
Sigma, a medical fraternity, heard
of us and invited us to plays for
their Christmas party. They dug
it. Now," said he, smiling, "we're
booked through May."
The quartet has also been in-
vited to Ypsi to play at Eastern
Michigan College and intends to
work that into the busy schedule.
While single folk singers are plen-
tiful, Young feels that their suc-
cess lies in the group aspect. In
addition to the four guitars, Mc-
Adoo plays banjo and mandolin,
Dassin and Young play recorders
and Young plays bongo drums.
All these instruments, in various
combinations, are employed dur-
ing a session.
g a* * *
THE JOHN B. four uses ar-
rangements worked out among
them, "Four people in unison will
never make it," Young says, "so
we're trying to make harmonic
technique an integral part of our
singing. Two tenors, a bass and a

'We hope to outdo The Weav-
ers," Young said when we asked
him about influences. "Influences
-well, Pete Seeger and Woody
Guthrie, maybe. And Dassin,
who's lived in France for eight
years, is always talking about
some French guy, the 'French
Woody Guthrie.' "
Audience reaction to such an
unusual group has been gratify-
ing. "When we come on," Young
elaborated, "most people think,
"Oh, hillbilly music.' But then we
do some of these exotic things and
we get them to sing along on
some of the numbers. For a lot
of them this is a novel thing.
They've been saturated with jazz
and with rock 'n' roll, but this
is new. Occasionally we satisfy a
request, such as When The Saints
Go Marching In. We march out
on it - really hokey."
* * *
THE SUCCESS of the group,
plus the burgeoning sale of folk
music records, indicates a strong
and new interest in this type of
music. "We'd like to get more
people singing," says Young. "If
you're sick of this nonsense you
hear all day long on radio and TV,

To the Editor:*
W E MUST object to certain
statements about epilepsy in-
cluded in the motion picture
adaptation of "The Brothers
Karamazov." The comments that
epilepsy is directly inherited, that
it is caused by illegitimate birth,
and that people with epilepsy
never know of an imminent
seizure are certainly not accurate.
We have examined various edi-
tions of the novel by Dostoevsky
and can find no mention of these
statements by the author. Ob-
viously, they must be additions
made by writers who prepared the
film script.
Medical science has known for
years that epilepsy is not directly
inherited, and that it is not
caused by illegitimate birth. Also,
some people with epilepsy can tell
minutes, hours, even days in ad-
vance of when they will have a
seizure and are able to take pre-
cautions against injury to them-
selves from falling, etc.
We have received phone calls
and inquiries from people asking
us to clarify these statements
about epilepsy. We find it ex-
tremely discouraging after years
ofnrsetie .er. mdia

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