The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 19, 1962, Page Page 2, Image 2
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"We therefore recognize that mental and physical degradation, personal servi tude, and such programs that hazard the health, well-being, and scholarship of an individual are inconsistent with the afore mentioned ideals ..." Fraternity pledge training is once again in the public eye. During the past week, several chapters on this campus have been engaging their pledge classes in Hell or Help week, in most cases the same. Last week, Alpha Gamma Rho managed to get particular attention. We do not plan to dwell on the AGR in cident for other than a few short com ments. First, we feel the act was com pletely ridiculous. Secondly, we feel it is in direct violation of Interfraternity Council legislation and certainly not conduct be coming a University student or organization. AGR and too many other fraternities on this campus are still reiving on the pledge training tactics that were used 30. years ago. Too many Fraternity men set back and say, "well, I went through it, he can too." Too many Fraternity men encourage their own chapters to violate University, Interfraternity Council and even their own national fraternity rulings which out law and condemn hell weeks or activities which are degrading and inconsistent with the ideals of the fraternity. One would think that a fraternity would learn after being prosecuted once before for its pledge training. AGR was cited and fined $300 two years ago for violation of IFC legislation. But the question is not whether boys will be boys and kill rabbits to prove it. The question here is, what has been done to eliminate Hell weeks on this campus? What has been done to promote the nec essary change in pledge training that must be made? We would like to quote from an anony mous letter received by the Nebraskan. It points out quite well what the situation is within the chapters on this campus. "I am not a quitter. I finished their 'hell week' and then told them where they could go. I slithered mi my belly; I ate their eggs; I bared nvy buttocks for their paddles; I let them organize me, tfe-apathize me, chastize me, but after four days of agony, when the rest of my so-called brothers were ready to become actives I stated that it was no longer my desire to Join their select group . . . "If they think that I would like to be on the other end of the paddle, they are wrong. I would not even want to be the grocer who sells them the eggs that slide down the gullets of their pledges. If they glory in making a group of men crawl and scream and vomit, then they do it not me . . . "Unity, fraternity, social ability bosh GOOD LUCK GIRLS Panhellenic Re-Evaluation Panhellenic is to re evaluate its activities, or ganizational pattern and responsibilities today. Ve feel that the campus will be interested in what some of the decisions are iii regards to this organi zation. Panhellenic is one of the major "power" or ganizations on this cam pus. Its program and pol icy effect the lives of over 2000 co-eds. It Is interesting to note that the sororities have all elected new represent tative. It is also inter esting to note that the in formation sheet given to the representatives urged that they appropriately consnlt their houses, the old representatives and officers in the house. It is also Interesting that each was Risked to talk to the alumna Panhellen ic adviser from their chapter. It is lso very interest ing to note that supposed ly the representatives turned in their evaluation sheets Friday so that ample time could be giv en to preparing a Pancl for the Monday session. Three cheers. This makes one ask if the ma terial will be cut, edited, abridged or altered to give a picture of nicey nice? We . are certain that the panel will know all the answers, too. It's about time that the Pan hellenic Representatives stood np and opened their EDITORIAL This situation is not unique only to its writer. It is, in full or in part, fairly , prominent across the campus. Parts of it can even be tied into the sorority system's infamous Hell Night or fun and games week. Some people thought that legislation passed four years ago was strictly public relations. Some people thought and still think that Hell Week is tradition and must not be altered at any cost. Some people feel that amusement for the active chap ter should take tncedence over character development. We are aware that fraternity is going through a change. A period of evolution. We are told that expansion of the system, and rededication to our ideals and prin ciples is of necessity. We are also aware that the Fraternity picture on this campus has rapidly changed. But one aspect has completely been neglected. Freshmen training. Can the fraternity develop character, personal ity, individual leadership and citizenship without fun and games? Without personal servitude? Without regard for individual human dignity? Without killing rabbits? We think so. We urge the IFC to discuss Pledge training. We hope they will investi gate their pledge training creed which was passed only a few short years ago. Yes, the fraternity must change and is changing. Fraternity does have a significant posi tion on the campus community. Fraternity does have high ideals and purpose. But it has flaws and problems. We hope that this incident with AGR, which could have happened or could still happen to a dozen chapters, was not necessary to pro voke an investigation into how to devetop men. It is not only a black mark on the system, but one on the Usivmity. mouths that they (aid something worth while, that they accomplish something. Jr We feel that one of the major faults of Penhellen ic is its system of elect ing, if one can call it that, their officers. Their undemocratic system of rotating leadership does not consider the fact that an undynamic person could assume leadership and easily be "rail roaded" out of her ideas and swayed to take those of other "conductors" While they might argue that "the rotation system gives every house a chance to have officers, "we counter with the ar gument, "why sacrifice quality in leadership?" One of the points listed cn the Panhellenic infor mation sheet was: "What about the committee sys tem are. there any new ones for which you see a need?" ir i i, The question might have been, "What about ' the committee system could it be more effective and get broader participa tion and interest if com mittee memberships were selected from without the body itself and from girls who have a genuine in terest?" The more people who participate in an organi zation; the more people s Monday, March (9, 19621 " - - 1 I 8 the objectives of the fraternity have be come either 'be subservient to the active' or 'be superior to the pledge.' ". . . The advance information that I had (about fraternity Hell Weeks and pledge training) talked about scavenger hut.ts and games and a work project of some kind. Well, we had all that ... but that game only' took an hour. The rest of the time we would be jumping when they said jump, sitting when ihey sit and eat ing when they said eat. Our games were exercises, and our work project was our minda and our bodies. Everyday we would clean the house, only to watch them ex plode the next night with more fun and filth . . . "Hell week ended with cleaning, but no matter how much soap and water we scrubbed into those walls the stagnant odor nearly turned your stomach when you entered the house. Everything ended with that final cleaning including me. That is when I told them goodbye. "... I think it took guts for a man who had just subjected himself to four sleep less days and nights of physical and mental maltreatment to refuse a cold beer and leave the house that had been a part home-to him for four months . , . I have no desire tc play the role of Simon Legree to the new pledge. ". .'. I am glad that I quit, and my pur pose in writing this letter is to explain that I am not a quitter in the cowardly sense, but to explain that I just did not sign up for the next course a course in fraternity exploitation of the body of a man a temple of God." who work for an organi zation because of desire; and the more people who participate in an organi zation because they have the qualifications of lead ership, knowledge and in terest, the better off it will be. ' it Another phase of Pan hellenic that we question is its method of voting. The representatives are virtually powerless. We question if this is indica tive of the type of people that sit as representa tives. The theory which should prevail is that the girl elected to Panhellen ic is their representative and should have the au thority to make a decis ion for that house. Run ning back and forth with legislation makes one more cog in the area of efficiency. Or is the underlying reason for this voting method that the organiza tion itself does not do anything of major im portance? Are its decisions made by its alumnae or other person(s)? If this is the case, we wonder then, why even have a Panhellenic. One of the major pur poses of Panhellenic and the entire Greek system is to develop leaders. Panhellenic might ask itself if its operational procedures are contribut ing to this factor. o One view of the educa tional implications of Francis Gary Powers' Moscow trial is offered few by Raymond Eng. lish, professor of political science at Renyon College in Gambler, Ohio: "Q. Defendant, did you 1 realize whether by intrud- ing into the airspace of I the Soviet Union you were I violating the sovereignty of the USSR? I A. Yes, I did. I Q. Do you think now you did your country a good or bad service? I A. I would say a very g bad service . . . I Q. Did it occur to you that a flight might pro- voke military conflict? ' A. The people who sent I me should have thought ' of these things. My job s was to carry out orders. I I do not think it was my responsibility to make g such decisions. I Q. Do you regret mak- ing this flight? A. Yes, very much." I This evchange, in which U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers exposed his lack I of political sophistication before a 1960 Russian tri ll bunal which sentenced him to 10 years in prison 1 for spying, was abruptly I recalled last week when the 32-year-old airman I was dramatically released in exchange of convicted Soviet spy Rudolph Abel. Among other things, I Americans who remem 'I bered the trial recalled I that Mr. Powers (a) ex s posed his unawareness of I any reasons which h i s i government might have to I suspect the aggressive preparations of a totali- tarian dictatorship confes- sedly dedicated to burying I his own country; (b) ad I mitted that he knew noth i ing about politics, and (c) s confessed that he was I principally motivated by the desire to earn money I on a fairly lavish scale. 1 Pews Is Not an Exception Most of us, in similar I circumstances would probably have behaved as unheroically as the pilot of the U-2. We are an un- f heroic lot, the spineless, latter-day generations of a civilization upon which the barbarians appear to i be closing in. And, no doubt, even if the pilot had possessed vigorous moral and political loyal- ties based on real Intel- h lectual conviction, the I Russians would not have i brought him to trial until they had thoroughly bro- I ken his spirit. I But the disquieting evi- dence, for Americans and for the whole world was that little pressure was needed to make this man I appear as he did as a I mercenary, rather than a 1 free citizen serving with affection and honor. The I episode was crimsonly embarrassing. Unfortunately, the inci- dent must be brought back to mind. We must i keep bringing it back, just I as we must keep remem- bering the revelations of I self-like political indiffer- I ence in many prisoners-of- war of the Korean conflict. We must remember these things, and ask: Why does I the country which is the leader of the "Free World" produce citizens who appear to know I neither the meaning of I freedom nor the impera- I ft- I rAutlA J v. 'J 'Nmc, we don't have a HELL WEEK You Teach Democracy? tive loyalty which free dom demands? The cap tured intelligence report from a Chinese interroga tor in Korea can hardly be repeated too often: "The American soldier has weak loyalties: to his family, his community,' his country, his religion, and to his fellcw soldier. He is ignorant of s o c i a 1 values, social conflicts, and tensions. There is lit tle or no knowledge or unde r s t a r. d i n g, even among American univer sity graduates, of U.S. po litial history and philos ophy; the Federal, state, and community organiza tions; states' and civil rights, freedoms, s a f e guards, and how these al legedly operate within his own decadent system." . The Problem of Cynicism The indictment is pain fully near the truth. Con ceivably, the young men and women of 1960 are less cyniaal and ignorant than those of 1950. Yet a short while ago a student a frank, manly, like able 20-year-old chose in an examination to write an essay in answer to the question: "What would you do, if you were a prisoner-of-war in Coin munist hands, and saw that your fellow prisoners ere being affected by Com munist propaganda?" His answer, excruciating as it is, deserves to be quoted: "Now what could I do? I can just imagine the situation, stuck in some hole for two years, eating a half cup, of rice, hardly any clothing, and my fel low prisoners treating each other worse than the Communists do. My wid owed mother back home not collecting her pension because some politican, who is a cheat or a crook, thinks that if you hold any job after 65 you don't get pensions , . , The of ficers in the army getting the warm clothing 10 miles from the front while we freeze doing the dirty work. "And after taking American history and po litical science courses I know that our whole con stitution is a farce ... And the minority groups, Negro, Catholic, Jew, are being held back. Most Americans are greedy and money hungry and don't give a damn about the guys in the p r i s o n camp. "What would I do? -I'd keep my mouth shut." This is an unusually honest if rather bad-tempered, statement of a le gitimate and perhaps fairly widespread point of view. Granted the right of the young man to have strong opinions of his own, we cannot repress a certain revulsion not only at his failure to grasp the real and profound con trasts between a rel atively free social and po litical system (with all its imperfections and a to talitarian system, but at his conscious rejection of any personal responsi bility in the predicament If he can feel so totally irresponsible in an ima ginary situation, one won ders how he will react in a real one. Above all, one searches for indications of the idealism of youth for a trace of love, faith, chivalry; and self-sacrifice. These are extreme il lustrations of a social malaise which troubles the free societies in vary ing degrees. Comparable cynicism and worse ignor ance doubtless gnaw sec retly at 'the totalitarian societies, but the diseases of slave-states can hardly comfort the free. Nor can the remedies used by such states censorship, narrow Indoctrination, heresy-h u n t i n g, brain washing, and terroristic inquisitions be usefully imitated. This point must be un derlined since many of us are periodically tempted to take the short-cut of indoctrination instead of the long rough road of ed ucation. We fail to notice that the short-cut does not lead to the same destina tion as the long road. If political education is indeed one major remedy to the problem, we find three questions before us. First, are we not already doing a good job of po litical education in Amer ica? The answer seems to be: NO! All along the line, the institutions of ed ucation family, church, schools, colleges, service clubs, labor unions, polit ical parties,. the media of mas s-communication are generally doing a fumbling job in the field of preparing and main taining the knowledge of the values the facts, and the personal qualities needed by free men. Vigilance Is the Price The second question is more tricky: Can yon have political education without turning it w i 1 1 y nilly, into political indoc trination? The answer here must be that the price of political educa tion for liberty is eternal vigilance, and that if we cannot maintain the dis tinction we deserve to lose our freedom. The working hypothesis of a free so ciety must be on the fol lowing lines: ' It is probably true that the price of liberty is a great deal of intellectual confusion and much emo tional suffering and rebejr lion. In Russia or Com munist China, as in Nazi Germany, the Party cre ates its prearranged con . tradictions and imposes hate, love, and suffering upon the subject people according to the calcu lated requirements of the regime. But in Western European democracies and the United States, the individual citizen must find his own way through conflicting values and in terests, deciding what-to love, what (not whom) to hate, and what to suffer and sacrifice for. This does not necessar ily mean that there are no social norms or no ab solute ethical values fci free, constitutional states, but it does mean that in such states no govern ment or monopolistic par ty will or may dictate and indoctrinate such norms or values. If the norms and values are correct, they must we assume be fairly self-evident, so that the free man or woman will come to ac- cept them thoughtfully, securely, and voluntarily. What Kind of Education? So we come to question number three: What sort of education will help men and women to choose freely and rightly? Notice, as a fundamental neces sary assumption, that, al though our working hy pothesis is that correct norms and values are vol untarily discoverable, we must also recognize that they are not easy to dis cover. On the contrary, they are at least as difficult as mathematics or phys ics or the mastering of a foreign language. They call not only for hard work and hard learning of facts and ideas, but for training in mental and emotional self-discipline; for the cultivation of the imagination; and for the steady and critical ac quisition of sophisticated personal and vicarious ex perience of one's self, one's social environment, and one's relation to the world, mankind, and to God. Courage (moral and physical ) , . s e 1 f-control, self-sacrifice, loyalty, kindness, honesty (intel lectual . and economic), and similar basic quali ties of the free life do not "come n a t u r a 1 1 y," although they are correct and admirable. What come naturally are self- ishness, laziness, coward ice, greed, dishonesty, cruelty. Thus one tremen dous task of education in home and in school is to expose the individual to the full implications and responsibilities of the fret life. The process of exposal? involves great efforts for teacher and student. Those efforts are not be ing made. During tb past four years, vast hearings on the boot straps of scientific a ad linguistic education have been seen. But in litera ture and in history the two areas where young people learn most about the great human prob lems and the ideas, val ues and errors of free men aud free societies . little toughening of cur ricular or instruction has been attempted. Are we equipped even to know how little we know? How much so called education in poli tics at school consists of visits to the waterworks or the post office, or preaching about the duty of voting? How little ef fort goes into revealing the staggering problems of power-politics, moral decisions, strategic c a 1 culations, geographic re lationship, economic and ideological factors, mass hysteria, racial tensions, emotional catchwords, the nature of propaganda, patterns of reeent history, and so on? , The liberal education ought to be part of the business of the schools, and the liberal education is a grim and exacting business. There is little enough of it left in the universities and tolleges. We ought to try it again sometime. --National Observer "!"iiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiniiiiiiiHuiiiiiiHiiiiii About Letters I S The DiOt NlW.A S -... uvwvr np mi g , Mauia vwifliUc . U tne HH aia. E Fr mm bit - I'Jr mai 'u lRl apa 1 tWikHHr kMwaM 5 - . "I'llc.lKm, Learfer tfiim mar k r niul. Abmlutnl bom win ke rrnf4. IIIUUIUIilUlllllilllllllllllllllHlllllUHllt?rnl Daily Nebraskan nbwrMlM ntof aw 0 Mr Mafeait rw. BntereJ at km! eb uar at ttr (oat afflot ti Llncia, Nebraska, aanrt . m. Member Associated Col lerUte Press. International Prest Representative: N tioaad AdvertisJai get-rice, ' Ineorportted. Published at: Koom SI. Student Union. Lincoln. Nebraska. x Dally Nahraakaa M aMlM Manaar. Weiaaaiar, Taanaar aa Pi-Mar aortal Cm tchaal rear, cxaa atarlac aaoaUaaa mai nia aoiaaa. fc ataaaaai at tka CahrenKr af Na kraaka aaaar aatkariiaiiaa af tin Caarniltttia a Raiatiat ajfatra as aa awoailoe at atoaeai satnwa. Faa Uaatiaa anarr ha fcrMUettaa at hs tahitmnmlrti aa Moaaal rablknattuna Van ba Ins tram filarial eaaaar- aba Mi af aba BabnanuntttM sr aa aha aart af aar aaraaa o aide tbe Calvarsllr. The meiuho b nn Nebraska sun air ar ssbsIIt nsasnitble far wbnt their aar, ar as, at causa, at be artale. Febraarr I, Wit.