UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Reports Sep 30, 1968

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 In an interview,
Dr. F. Kenneth Hare,
UBC's new president
comments on
student requests
and speaks of
UBC REPORTS: Dr. Hare, the students of UBC
have presented to the University eight minimum
commitments (see page three) requested as a
basis to begin negotiations. I wonder if you
could outline for us what action you have specifically taken since receipt of the brief.
DR. HARE: Well, it was the council of the
Alma Mater Society and not the students of the
University that made this request. I'm not making
a distinction, but at the moment the council have
been saying that they propose to go to the students about these matters in September.
These are proposals at the moment from the
council of AMS. What I've done is to begin discussion. I've met the council itself several times
and we've discussed every aspect of the brief
in depth. I've met various groups of the faculty,
because most of the proposals have academic
And I've set up a presidential advisory committee, chaired by Dean Walter Gage, to think
about what specific action the Senate and faculties of the University are going to have to take
to discuss the AMS brief when September
UBC REPORTS: All of the commitments requested of the University include specific dates
for their implementation. Is it your intention, so
far as possible, to meet those dates, or are they
negotiable between the students and the University?
DR. HARE: I don't think it makes sense to
operate within dates, because the dates imply
deadlines, the deadlines imply ultimata and that,
I think, is not what the AMS council intends.
They appear to have had in mind the dates of
certain specific Senate meetings.
I have already made it clear that we can't
be bound by this kind of firm dating because the
complications of how to carry out consultation
are such that one can't fix a timetable like that.
But in several instances we have already
beaten the dates. They wanted us to start dis
cussions by a certain date, and we started them,
as far as I know, the day after the brief was
submitted. So some of the dates have been
beaten. The students themselves say that the
dates are mainly a sort of reminder to themselves and not intended as an ultimatum from the
University's point of view.
UBC REPORTS: Commitment number three
raises some difficult questions. It asks that it be
established as a principle by the University that
the choice of exams or other methods of evaluation be left to the decision of the students and
the professors in each course. Do you see here
a conflict between the general regulations of the
University as sat by the Senate and the requests
of the students?
DR. HARE: Well, it's obvious that the Senate's
rules imply more rigidity than the student proposal. But, of course, many of the smaller
courses in this and other universities come close
to doing this now. This is obviously something
that the Senate and the faculties will have to
It's one thing to make such a suggestion for
a class of three, it's another to make the suggestion for a class of 300, or even 3,000. I think
you would agree that you can't easily make
flexible rules for an enormously large body. You
can make flexible rules for a small body because
you can always arrive at a consensus within a
small body.
UBC REPORTS: Another of the commitments
requested was the immediate admission of students to the deliberations concerning the selection of a dean of arts. Have students been admitted to this committee, and what is the status
of the committee's work at the moment?
DR. HARE: The committee is hard at work
under the chairmanship of Dr. M. W. Steinberg
of the department of English. It's a committee
that was set up by the acting President before
I arrived, Dean Gage, and he did in fact appoint
Continued on the next page I
a student to that committee, Don Muntpn, who
at first accepted and then withdrew because he
said he felt that the students themselves should
name their representatives.
Since that time the Alma Mater Society council and the Arts Undergraduate Society have
presented me with what might be said to be a
supplementary demand, that they have parity on
this committee, that the existing committee be
discharged and replaced with a committee consisting of equal members of the faculty and students. And they say that the present committee
is undemocratic and unrepresentative of the
academic community.
Well, Dean Gage, in setting this committee
up, was acting fully within the established conventions for such committees and I find myself
bound by these conventions. They are not in
any way holy, and they could be varied, and I
think they will be discussed in the autumn.
But I'm not prepared, as I've made clear to
the AMS, to vary the conventions unilaterally.
A lot of people's rights and privileges and the
whole structure, in fact, of the University are
involved in these conventions. You won't find
them in the Universities Act. They simply come
into being as a result of a good many years of
experience. That's why I can't change them without consultation with my colleagues.
UBC REPORTS: The eighth commitment requested of the University by the Students' Council is the granting of academic recognition appropriate to the work done by students involved
in University committees, including those of student government. In the past, this kind of involvement by students has always been a voluntary affair, with them giving of their time freely
for various committees. Do you feel that student
involvement in University committees is a valid
subject for discussion for academic recognition?
DR. HARE: Well, of course it could be discussed. I should be very surprised if it has many
friends in the faculty. Most of us feel that academic credit should go only to genuinely scholarly work. And a member of the faculty doesn't
get academic credit, as it were, for serving on a
committee, and I don't think that he would be
very happy about a student claiming such credit.
On the other hand, I have every sympathy
with the student who finds himself involved in
University government. It's a very time-consuming and exasperating business. I have just come
from an institution where sabbatical leave was
generally given to the student who became presidents of the union and I think that this is worth
looking at. In any case, the whole proposal will
have to be discussed by the Senate, because its
purport, like all the others, is academic.
UBC REPORTS: Dr. Hare, in what you have
said so far you imply that there is something of
a crisis of confidence within the University.
Would you agree with that?
DR. HARE: I think this is probably true, though
I'd not want to exaggerate it. Most students and
professors are still happy at their jobs or at their
studies, I suspect — or at least not frustrated
unduly because UBC has got very big.
But increasingly one sees gaps opening up
between the various sectors — between professors and administrators, between the students
and both. A free institution also has responsibilities, as Thomas Paine made clear. If there is
a crisis in confidence, it is because we haven't
all realized that. It's up to all of us, in fact — not
least the president! — to close up the gaps.
UBC REPORTS: Dr. Hare, in addition to being
a very busy man administering the University
and dealing with the many problems that have
been raised by the students in this coming year,
you said when you arrived that you hoped to
do some teaching and maintain contact with
students in an academic way. In the light of
your first months here and the job that lies
ahead of you, do you still hold to that commitment?
DR. HARE: Oh good heavens, yes. If I can't
maintain contact with the students in the academic program of the University and feel myself
to be a member of the University, I shouldn't
personally feel that I had any right to sit at this
desk, because I think that the president of the
University is a member of the academic community and as such he ought to be there teaching with the rest.
Now it's quite apparent that he can only do
a very limited amount of this. So what I decided
to do is to give a few lectures in Physics 441
(Introductory Meteorology) and in Geography
101 (Introduction to Physical Geography) in my
own professional field and I'm very much indebted to these departments for the invitation
to do this.
I intend also to respond to an invitation from
the faculty of education to give a few seminars
on University financing, a subject that I am
rather painfully familiar with. And although this
is really a token venture, I shall put my weight
into it and hope that the students will profit as
much from it as I shall, because to teach is good
for the soul.
■ ■ ^^k _|^ Volume 14, No. 4 — September, 1968.
H H ^PB ■■ Authorized as second class mall by Post
H H U ■ ■• Office Department, Ottawa, and for pay-
H H ^^B H —_ ment of postage in cash. Postage paid at
■ ■■■■I Vancouver,   B.C.   Published   by   the   Uni-
■fl H MM versily of British Columbia and distributed
^aw ■—~'  ~■~ free of charge.   Letters are welcome and
_______ should   be   addressed   to   the   Information
REPORTS Office, UBC, Vancouver 8, B.C. Commitments
Requested of UBC
In June, the UBC Alma Mater Society issued a
document entitled "The Future of Education at the
University — Fair Weather or Foul," It was adopted
as policy by the Students' Council. AMS President
David Zirnhelt, when he released the document, stated
that it had been brought forth out of concern "for the
preservation of the University as an institution." He
added that it was the purpose of the AMS to prevent
the kind of confrontation that has occurred at Simon
Fraser University and to encourage rational and informed public debate. What follows are major portions of the text of the document and the eight
minimum commitments requested of the University as
a basis to begin negotiations.
• We seek a form of education in our University which gives the student freedom of
choice in what he should study.
• We seek the political rights of free human
beings to have a say in those decisions that
affect them.
• We seek the right to question whether we
should be educated in the traditional manner or
educated at all.
We declare that except in theory and in a
few courses in the University that teach about
freedom, these ordinary rights have all but disappeared in our universities. Our freedom in
these matters is jeopardized by both reactionaries and extremists on the left. That is, by—
Those who claim that we now have a democratic society and that each person should have
the right in so far as he can participate in those
decisions which affect him, and yet deny him
that right in practice.
Those who say that the pursuit of knowledge
should be free and that this is the glory of our
universities, yet in practice give only the opportunity to learn certain things.
Those who say in our universities and society
that the pursuit of knowledge in the arts, philosophy and the end of man is better than pursuit of material things for their own sake, yet
insist in practice that our educational requirement be determined in most instances by the
demands of our economy along the lines of
efficiency and almost exclusively designed to
fill the expectations of jobs in our industrial
Those in the university who seek to legislate
our morality, and continue to ignore the problem of the immoral use of knowledge in our
Those others who in opposition to the "establishment" preach freedom and love, and in
practice would impose another form of control
and conformity in ideas and in their turn deny
others their basic rights.
Those who in the name of democracy seek
a democratic use of power, but in the end only
seek power for themselves.
Those who decry the secrecy and depersonalization of structure in society, yet themselves meet in secret and use organizations to
obtain power.
There is no doubt a tendency on our part to
overgeneralize about the inadequacies of the
universities. In the same fashion, the older generation overcompensates in its criticism of the
student demands by saying that they are impractical and in this way attempts to avoid the
real issues. It is said that we do not take into
account the obstacles to reform, that is, the need
for trained people in society, the problems of
overcrowding,  budget  problems, the  presence
in some cases of inadequate and uninterested
faculty, the human problems of jealousy and
power seeking within the University and—given
these problems—the need for some systematic
way of ordering activity in the University. We do
recognize these difficulties and admit we lack
experience in dealing with some of them.
However, we will not allow these difficulties
to be used against us as excuses for so-called
"moderate" reform or as a technique of absorbing and blunting our criticism or not doing anything at all. It is also argued that we are neither
Columbia University nor the Sorbonne and that
we do not have the same problems. We are not
so naive as to think there is no difference between France, the United States and Canada.
We know also that the University of British
Columbia, when compared with other universities, has had an enlightened administration and
that there are many good and generous people
and teachers in the University. Nonetheless, what
we reasonably ask for now does not exist in
our University. We ask for the freeing of the
University now; the creation of alternate streams
by which a student can pursue his studies at
his own pace and at his own choice; and the
granting of political rights.
Professional schools and training must exist,
and they must have some means of regulating
their standards. This is obvious enough. We do
not however think that the criteria of professionalism and the specious scholarship that
often accompanies it should be the basis of all
education in the University. When this is the
case, teaching is reduced to training to meet
the standards of professionalism and research
becomes in many cases a means of maintaining
professional standing and advancement within
the University. The students (to say nothing of
the faculty) suffer under such a regime. Such a
system induces passivity on the part of the
student and an unthinking obedience to his
We have become dissatisfied with the quality
of university education and the slowness and
apparent lack of interest of the University to
bring these changes about. Most of the changes
we insist upon have little to do with budgeting.
We are becoming increasingly discontented
with the criteria, range and meaning of course
marks. We question the educational value of
competition for marks, written examinations as
a basis for grades and ultimately the utility of
any grading system. There is increasing unrest
over courses which are often restrictive, often
biased and usually irrelevant. We recognize the
need for scholarship and discipline in studies.
This is not incompatible with freedom of choice.
We wish more freedom to study what we want
to study and how we want to study it, without
being forced to accept certain models or biases
in order to obtain satisfactory grades.
We are becoming increasingly impatient with
dry, uninteresting lectures and with lectures
which emerge almost completely from a text
book. If this type of instruction continues, we
will not continue to attend classes. We still protest the impersonality of the University to a
point where the statement appears trite. Yet
with some exceptions we have not seen any
improvement in this direction. While budgetary
limitations are recognized, we believe that
imagination and a demonstrated willingness on
the part of most — not just some — faculty to
overcome this problem would do much to improve the learning situation.
For these reasons and others too numerous
to mention here the students put to the University the following reforms, which will enable us
with the faculty and administration to preserve
freedom in the University and ensure the political rights of the students in the University.
Areas where negotiations must be initiated
We ask to share in making decisions concerning:
1. Academic and administrative appointments.
2. Faculty Council and student discipline.
3. Financing of student education.
4. Housing for graduate and undergraduate
5. Physical planning and building for the
6. The presence of students in all governing
bodies in the University.
7. The relationship between teaching and research in the University.
Minimum commitments requested of the University as a basis to begin negotiations
1. Negotiations in the matters named above
will commence at times mutually agreed upon
by the Alma Mater Society and University officials, but not later than November 25.
2. A faculty-student committee will be formed
by September 30 to reconsider the method and
even need of evaluating and assessing students.
This committee will report by January 13, 1969.
3. It will be established as a principle by the
University that the choice of exams or other
methods of evaluation be left to the decision of
the students and professors in each course.
This will be done by October 7. A special committee of the student government will be established to act as an appeal board for students
where these demands are not met.
4. The curriculum committees at department
and faculty levels, including the graduate faculty, will be opened for students. In those departments where there are no formal committees,
students will be invited to participate in making
decisions upon curriculum matters. This will be
done by October 21.
5. Special student-faculty committees will be
formed at both graduate and undergraduate
levels to reassess the requirements of graduate
and undergraduate degrees. This will be done
by October 28. The committees will make initial
reports on their progress by March 10, 1969.
6. The University will make a public commitment by September 23 that it will seek
changes in the Universities Act enabling the implementation of recommendations of a Presidential Advisory Committee. Such a committee will
be established at the earliest convenience of the
President with a view to amending the Act in
those matters that require changes resulting
from negotiations between the administration,
faculty and students.
7. Students will be admitted immediately into
the current deliberations concerning the selection of a Dean of Arts.
8. The University will grant academic recognition appropriate to the amount of work done
by students involved in University committees,
including those of student government. This is
to be done by September 12. OUR DOCUMENT IS NOT AN ULTIMATUM
We must seek to develop situations
and feelings of mutual respect within
the University community. Faculty,
students and administrators must be
able to work together for a better University with an overall view to building
a better society. For many reasons
there is unrest in the University. It is
not only students who are unrestful.
Many people in the University and
members of the public are unsure as
to what is going on at the University.
It is for this reason that we must be
honest, have courage and be willing
to devote time and energy to reform
where it is necessary and to general
education of all concerned. All this is
not easy.
It is not right that people should not
care, be apathetic, and withdraw from
a struggle to reform. There is a call
on the University community to thoroughly question its purpose and its
relationship to the problems confronting humanity. This is not to say that
this questioning has not taken place
before but whatever questioning has
occurred has not resulted in significant change. For example, how many
of the recommendations of President
Macdonald's advisory committee report, Guideposts to Innovation (1964),
have been implemented? Only some.
A committee on student life in the Faculty, of Arts was set up only this year
to go about seeking (successfully so
far) small changes to improve the
quality of student life. These sorts of
changes must be accelerated. With
changes the University will and must
be preserved as an institution. The
form of the University is subject to
change as the University community
Many will find change hard to accept. I am sympathetic to that, as I
would call everyone to be. Effective
and good change will not occur overnight. Many people must work very
hard to bring these changes about. I
can only emphasize how students,
faculty and administrators must endeavor to work together for both their
interests and the interests of the University.
The changes we speak of are occurring in other universities; for example, the pass-fail system of assessment, freer choice in curriculum, more
inter-disciplinary study (e.g., general
education courses).
Some of the initiative for change is
coming from students and student
government, some from faculty, some
from administration. However, there
is a question of responsiveness to signals for change. Reisman and Jencks,
in The Academic Revolution, make the
point that as far as they are able to
tell, "administrators are far more responsive to students and more concerned with the inadequacies and
tragedies of student life than the majority of faculty." If that is so, then students must convince the faculty. But
I will not put all the blame on faculty
— all are equally at fault. When given
freedom, students do not always accept it. They are often caught up in
the system as it is and do not even
have time to work for their own
Students have a real contribution to
make to the operation of the University. They have the ability but they do
not have adequate opportunity to
make that contribution. If students'
ability to help govern is respected and
they are invited to participate, there
will probably be instances where they
are content to leave the operation up
to administration and faculty. If students are given responsibility by sharing in policy-making then they are
prepared to accept responsibility for
those decisions. Students, the largest
group of individuals vitally affected
personally by the University, have a
point of view of a different generation
—the generation of young adults who
are accepting responsibility for running the world.
It is vitally important that duly-
elected representatives in student
government be in the forefront of constructive change and that they accept
responsibility for the student body in
effecting changes that affect the whole
University. There must be no discrediting of the student government to a
point where it is rendered ineffective
by any particular minority group, regardless of its political orientation. On
the other hand, individual students
must begin talking to their teachers
about the form and content of their
education. Particularism and importunity must not be key words in the
reconciliation of interests.
There is no simple solution to University problems. The document presented to the President of the University, The Future of Education at the
University, was clearly not an ultimatum. Certain commitments from the
University were requested. The requests were to be the basis of negotiation and consultation. The timetable
for discussions is necessarily flexible.
On most of the points, discussions
have been initiated and will continue
throughout next year. If negotiations
are held in good faith, there is hope
for constructive change.
Thorough studies must be made of
those contentious areas of University
education and government. There
must be a general willingness for
change coupled with the consolidation of the expertise held by people at
the University on existing reform experimentation. When there is a clear
program in each faculty, then work
must be done to implement the
changes. UBC Graduate James Carter believes
Student  involvement in University
Decision-making should grow out of the
Existing student government structure
The prospect of our University collapsing
under the pressure of student revolt is incredible. Some say it's impossible. I don't know, perhaps it is. So far at UBC the student power
elements have been vocal, but peaceful. Negotiation has not been supplanted by confrontation.
But the heat is now on. David Zirnhelt, president
of the Alma Mater Society, has presented Dr.
Kenneth Hare with a list of seven areas on which
negotiations between student council and University officials must begin by November 25.
The list boils down to a demand by students
for a share in decision-making in many aspects
of University life. The negotiations are now underway and although there has been no indication of what the consequences will be if the
University fails to meet student requests, one
hopes that a mutual desire for preservation of
the University will prevail.
The problem facing most of us is to sort out
the reasonable from the unreasonable, the
needed reform from the destructive demand.
This is not easy. The whole question has become
so highly charged with emotion that a rational
consideration of it is difficult. Nor is it a trivial
matter. The issue is basic to our whole society.
Some students, finding little meaning iin institutions and structures created in another era, are
bent on social revolution. For many others it is
not so much a question of revolution, but of
provoking needed reform in our society. They
feel we have become unthinking rule followers.
They want an opportunity to drag the rules and
structures of our institutions out of the closet,
examine them, and if they do not stand up to
examination in the light of today's knowledge to
reject them and create new ones.
The word is that those of us over thirty are
not to be trusted. I don't agree, but that is another question. The 'word' persists. Let's stop
for a moment using our past as the reference
point and examine the world of today from the
student point of view. Today's student is very
different from the student of previous eras largely because of a set of unique experiences —
experiences many of us have never felt. These
experiences have created a new set of ground
rules that we must understand if we are to appreciate the potency of student power.
To stand near an electronically amplified rock
group with a full psychedelic light show playing
for a mass of jerking, undulating figures makes
the Charleston and Jitterbug look like very sober
dances indeed. Involvement they have, not with
their dates so much as with the sound and the
lights and themselves. The experience is the
supreme goal — not an event — not a moment
— but the total effect of all the senses being
stimulated in a way we'll never know.
The drug scene is here. Like it or not, it persists in spite of our protests and warnings. The
effect upon some has been profound. Those who
have indulged advertise both the positive and
negative effects. But the desire for the experience seems to be compelling for many. It is as
easy today for a student to pick up marijuana
or LSD as it was for the under-21 student to
pick up a bottle 20 years ago. The difference is
that today they maintain they use drugs for inner exploration and a new awareness while the
bottle was used for relaxation and escape.
Out of this search for experience has grown
a significant group of students who are exploring methods of turning on without drugs. A new
interest in the eastern religions, the search for
peace through meditation, and participation in
sensitivity groups and marathons are now accepted facets of present-day university life.
Twenty years ago the current desire to find one-
Air. Carter, who is vice-principal of Point Grey
Secondary School, graduated from UBC in 1954 with
a bachelor of arts degree. He is a member of the
B.C. Teachers' Federation commission on education
' which is analyzing toe need for change m B.C.'s
elementary and secondary school system.
self was less a question. Our paths were more
clearly laid out by tradition and a picture of
what constituted success.
A generation has passed and there has not
been a major war to cause us to unify under a
common purpose and plunge unthinking into a
war for national survival. There has been time
to think, time to look, and time to wonder about
the very structure of our society. For us, looking
is often too uncomfortable to consider. For the
student not to look is worse. The goals which
we accepted out of tradition and need are being
examined more closely today than at any other
time in history. Students are not ready to accept
them uncritically.
The student today is not the naive creature
he was a generation ago. He is bombarded from
his earliest memory with the sights and sounds
of television and the pocket radio. They provide
him with knowledge beyond his capacity to absorb and a sensation of participating in Mc-
Luhan's global village. Everywhere is near, every
event is now. Yet, though he feels filled with an
awareness of the world, he lacks wisdom.
The dilemma is real. In our electronic age
wisdom and competence, so highly valued in the
past, are being forced to take a back seat to the-
feelings of awareness and involvement created
by the media. This generates a false confidence,
which by all our prevailing standards should be
rejected. However, behavioral psychologists tell
us that the way people feel about an issue is
often more important than the facts, or wisdom,
or competence. The student views himself as
capable of participating in the running of the
University. He doesn't accept the proposition
that he lacks wisdom and competence. Experience and awareness are the keynotes of his life.
Here rests the conflict. Should we accept the
wishes of the students and open the door to a
different concept of the University or should we
deny this right on the basis of our wisdom and
competence and maintain our control?
We have looked at the student. Turn for a
moment to administrative leadership. If leadership is to be effective today it must involve all
those affected by its decisions. The modern corporation has recognized long ago that the most
effective way of producing high levels of work
and motivation is to involve the employees in
the decision-making process. This is not tokenism, but rather essential involvement, where the
employee sees the reason for a procedure and
carries out his task more effectively through having been involved in drafting the procedure.
It would appear to me that the most soundly-
based research on people and change has accepted the fact that involving all members of an
organization in the process is the most effective
method. The student council is asking exactly
that — to be allowed to share in the decisionmaking processes of the University. They are
not asking to run the University. At this stage
they hope to improve it and preserve it, just as
we do.
Once we have accepted the fact that the
students want in we must then examine what
they hope to accomplish once they get in. The
heart of their seven areas for negotiation rests
with a desire to make the procedures relevant
for them. They want improved teaching and the
removal of petty rules. If University policies and
procedures will not stand the scrutiny of examination by students then we must seriously question the administrators' competence to establish
and maintain them.
Our society contains a fundamental contradiction I have never been able to understand.
On the one hand, we pride ourelves on our
democratic form of government and on the other
we operate such public institutions as universities on authoritarian lines — and many people
argue this is the way they should be run. But in
view of the trend to more personal involvement
in many other areas of life, it seems to me that
to maintain an autocratic system in our schools
and universities will be to prepare students for
a world which increasingly doesn't exist. One
of the basic concepts of learning is that teachers
and administrators should demonstrate by all
their actions the style they wish students to
adopt. To do anything else is the most damning
form of negative teaching. It is absurd to require
students to follow a model of autocracy for sixteen years and then expect that they will later
become mature, participating citizens in a democracy.
At this point it should be understood that if
participation in decision-making is granted it
must not be limited to the few radicals on cam--
pus. The most noise and by far the most newspaper space is given to a limited number of
students whose views do not necessarily reflect
those of the majority of the student body. In my
view, the crucial step to take now is to grant
participation before the situation deteriorates
to the point where the rhetoric of the radicals
has obscured any hope of a rational solution.
I reject the argument that says students should
not be involved in decision-making because
they lack wisdom or experience. Such an argument immediately raises the question of where
these qualities are to be gained. Certainly if
experience with real decision-making cannot be
gained at the university, then we are lost.
Changing the governing structure to grant
students more participation in decision-making
may well create some difficulties, but this is no
reason for hesitation. To use anticipated trouble
as a reason for rejecting innovation would be
a most unprofessional action in a university.
Problem-solving, after all, is the forte of the
university. It should be possible to grant students a bigger say in the governing process
without creating a structure as resistant to
change as the present one. The way should be
left clear for any reforms in the present structure to be later evaluated with a view to further
I am purposely vague here as I certainly do
not know in specific detail what changes should
be made to give students a greater part in the
government of UBC. The student council, however, is one area which any reformer should
closely scrutinize. It seems to me that student
government should be the first experience of the
student with democratic government, with all its
weaknesses and its demand for an informed
electorate. As long as the bulk of the students
feel that student council is not making decisions
that truly affect them they will leave the fight
for participation in decision-making to a minority.
I am sure that if the students knew that their
elected representatives would have a real voice
in the University's government the sense of urgency for participation would be strong enough
to reject destructive radicalism as a mean of
achieving their goal. I believe any new arrangements to give students a bigger part in decisionmaking should grow out of the existing structure of student government.
Whatever path is followed will involve dangers. The taste of power may be too much for
the student leaders. Demands may go beyond
reason. Reforms may not come fast enough for
the liking of the students. These dangers must
not be minimized. Experiences on campuses all
over the world have shown that conflict does
occur. We must expect in the next few years
University reform which a decade ago would
have been unthinkable. The reforms will be interpreted by many as signs of weakness on the
part of the administration. They will not be.
Rather, the steps which must be taken to bring
about more student involvement and participation will be in keeping with fundamental democratic principles and the desire of all of us to
create a University that has meaning and relevance. Student militancy and student revolt have become
the commonplaces of the 19G0's. In the west and the
east, among countries dedicated to free enterprise
and countries dedicated to communism, and in the
nations of the Third World as well, students have
risen in revolt so frequently over the past five years
that those who see life in terms of conspiracies find
little difficulty in perceiving a sinister combination
against their way of life, a new International rising
as a spectre to haunt their tranquillity. But, though
the methods of the student rebels throughout the
contemporary world are often similar, ranging
through various forms of direct action, sit-ins, and
strikes, to riots and barricades in the classic revolutionary tradition, their unity is of spirit rather than
organization, and their aims have shown considerable
Student revolt, like the conflict of the generations,
is nothing new, though the scale on which we are
experiencing it is unprecedented, for the very good
reason that there are so many more students than
ever before. In the middle ages, the Sorbonne was
noted for the fury with which its members would
defend — if necessary with sword in hand — what
they regarded as their special rights and privileges.
In Tsarist Russia the universities were often
closed down because of student unrest, and young
men and women who could not get the education
they desired, frequently migrated to Switzerland or
Germany, where they studied in freedom, often lived
in communal poverty, and conspired against the
Romanov tyranny at home. The universities manned
the Populist movement, and it was as students that
"*v both Lenin and Kropotkin developed into active
In the post-war years student revolt has often
developed along fairly traditional political lines.
The action of the Indonesian students who played a
key role in the overthrow of Sukarno's regime is a
good example. And there is a sharp and evident
difference between the aims of student rebels in
totalitarian countries and those in the free enterprise countries of the West.
In Warsaw and Prague, in Moscow and Madrid,
the students have fought on simple libertarian issues.
They are demanding a freedom of speech and of
thought which have long been denied them, and in
this they are carrying on the tradition for which many
Hungarian students gave their lives in 1956. Their
aims are clear, their fight is straightforward—a fight
of freedom against tyranny, and they arouse our
immediate and unqualified admiration.
Elsewhere the issues are more complicated, and
it is with a great deal of bewilderment that the adult
westerner, whether of conservative or liberal inclination, witnesses a generation that enjoys more wealth
and more apparent freedom of action than its predecessors, rebelling against the values of its age, and
in its apparent confusion of motives, often raising
up as heroes such figures as Che and Mao, the very
types of the rigid dogmatists against whom the students of Warsaw and Moscow are today fighting for
their   intellectual   lives.
In its mass form the present student revolt in
the west can be dated from 1964, when the students
of Berkeley protested against the administration's
infringement of free speech rights on the campus of
that massive  and  phenomenally  wealthy   university.
Bureaucracy is one of
the great enemies
of freedom and fertility
of thought
Since Berkeley, the student protests have varied
in their immediate academic objectives. In France
the students have been fighting against an antiquated, authoritarian system dating from Napoleonic
days, under which the universities have been subordinated to a strict, centralized and inflexible governmental controi. In the United States—and increasingly in Canada—the main target has been the
kind of university which has developed since the
last war under a dual impulse: the demand of the
state and of industry for an ever-increasing trained
personnel, and the democratic conception of equal
opportunity which demands that every young person
should be given as much education as he is capable
of absorbing. In current jargon, this new type of
university is called the multiversity, and during the
past decade the University of British Columbia,
among others in Canada, has been developing rapidly
in that direction. In the multiversity, there is a fatal
tendency for the multiplication of specialisms to
create the necessity for ever greater bureaucratic coordination, and bureaucracy is one of the great
enemies of freedom and fe.tility of thought. As a
pair of younger educators has stated:
"The result of these tendencies is the series of
paradoxes which frustrate everyone at the multiversity. There are more top scholars available to the
student, yet he is lucky if he meets a single one personally during his undergraduate years. There are
far more courses and resources than at a university,
yet most classes are so large and impersonal that
the students have trouble taking advantage of what
is being offered. The teacher is courted and paid
on all sides, yet cannot get a say in running the
university, or cannot get time to do his own work,
or cannot do it without being forced to publish in
season  and  out.  Education   is   lauded   on  all  sides,
George Woodcock, in addition to being professor of
English at UBC, is editor of the journal "Canadian
Literature," and a noted author and literary critic.
He has written a highly-praised study of British
novelist and essayist George Orwell entitled "The
Crystal Spirit," and a book on anarchism.
and huge sums of money are pumped into its development. Yet a great many people report a basic
disillusionment with the quality of the education in
which they are engaged."—The University Game,
edited by Howard Adelman and Dennis Lee, Toronto,
Few of those engaged in one of the major North
American academic communities would deny the
justice of these strictures, or that the conditions
they describe do result in at least some sense of
alienation among both faculty and students. By now
even administrators are beginning to seek ways by
which the worst effects of the multiversity can be
neutralized, and among both faculty and students
there have been growing demands for a democratisa-
tion of university government, though these two sections of the academic community have not often seen
eye to eye on the way in which such power as is
wrung from the administrators and the governors or
regents should be divided.
This brings us to the wider dimensions of student
protest. By 1968 there are links between the leaders
of student resistance in America, Canada, France,
Britain, Holland, Italy—but all the movements they
represent arose autonomously out of the special circumstances within their own countries, and if there
is anything that has up to the present characterized
the world movement in general, it is its reluctance
to become centralized. Revolts at particular universities are still organizationally local affairs, though
they are undoubtedly affected by example and even,
to an extent, by the interchange of evangelists who
spread the doctrine that what is wrong with the
universities is a reflection of the sickness within
society as a whole. It is true that only a minority,
even of the students who struggle for greater power
within the universities, are social revolutionaries,
but the great majority have a receptiveness to new
ideas and an easily aroused solidarity which distinguish them from the buttoned-up classes of the
In a rough way, one can divide the present generation of students into four categories. The professionals are there for training rather than education,
and are mainly concerned to master the body of
knowledge necessary to get their degrees and start
work; they remain generally aloof from—though not
necessarily unsympathetic to—the movements of
protest. Next come the many students taking arts
and sciences courses, either because they have nothing better to do, or because a BA has become the
minimum ticket to most worthwhile white-collar
jobs; these are the silent ones who may feel a vague
sympathy for the rebels, but are generally inactive,
even in student elections, unless the administration
goes out of its way to create martyrs, when — as
happened at Berkeley and later at McGill—the student masses join in the demonstrations of protest.
The main inspiration and activity of student revolt comes everywhere from a relatively small minority. It is estimated that a core of little more than
500 students out of 17,000 was mainly responsible for
the recent conflict at Columbia. This nucleus can
again be divided into two groups. There are the disillusioned idealists, those who came to the multiversity seeking, out of love of learning, a genuine
education. Most student disaffection of this kind
comes from the arts and the social sciences, the
neglected areas in larger universities, the faculties
whose ordinary graduates have the least prospect
of profitable employment, the heart of darkness
where the teaching assistants perform with least encouragement the apprentice drudgery of their profession.
Too often students find the very disciplines that
should reveal the wonder of the world and the
creativity and dignity of man reduced to niggling
analysis and uninspired pedantry, for even here the
dead hand of specialization has reached in. Some
accept and carry on to professorship. Some drop out
into one of the lesser conformisms which are the
badges of non-conformity in our age. Some enter the
struggle for student power, in the hope of winning
a say in their academic destiny. And a minority
within that minority, drawn especially from the
social sciences, become militant radicals, wielding
an influence disproportionate to their numbers.
It is these radicals who provide what ideology
exists in a movement that has been lacking in the
theoretical fervors which characterized the Old Left
of the Thirties. Most student radicals would regard
themselves as part of the New Left, though they
eschew orthodoxy and deprecate the sectarian witch-
hunting that characterized the Communists' and
Trotskyites of the past. Yet they have their own conformity, and their basic viewpoints are easily defined. They believe that contemporary western
society is sick, infected by the materialism of its way
of life, and that, so far as North America is concerned, the Vietnam war and the race-war are the
great manifestations of that sickness. (Student radicalism in its present form actually emerged from the
American civil rights campaigns and many pioneer
activists learned their militancy in the struggle in the
deep South.) The structures of the university and of
society as a whole are authoritarian, based on illegitimate power, to be replaced by a participatory democracy, in which the people actually involved in
any process (teachers and students in the case of
learning) shall control it
Since most student activists are neither eloquent
in  speech  or writing,  or even  very  well-read—and
i indeed often cultivate an affection of contempt for
i such qualities—it is not always easy to decide where
'they  derive their  ideas,  particularly  as  another  of
the affectations which is part of their special pattern
of conformity is a contempt for history. But they do
derive   a   great   deal   from   the   less   authoritarian
aspects of  Marx,  some  of  them   acknowledge  that
their  ideas  of direct  action  are  derived  from the
syndicalists,   and   their  theory  of   participatory   democracy is a direct though usually unacknowledged
The ideology of the
student revolt rejects
history in favour of
the instant solution
borrowing from the anarchists. Overlaid on all this,
a lurid decoration, is the inconsistent cult of romantic
totalitarians like Che Guevera and Ho Chi Minh.
j' Thus the ideology of the student revolt, though
in theory it rejects history in favor of the snapshot
j view, the instant solution, in fact draws its ideas from
| the long tradition of the Old Left, just as the Diggers
delve back to a seventeenth-century proto-anarachist
for their name and some of their philosophy. But one
lesson of radical history the newer radicals may be
in need of learning: the ease with which a class
of revolutionary militants can harden into a potentially reactionary elite. It is disturbing that the near-
Nazi NPD has cordially welcomed the student revolts in Germany. And even in North America there
have been disquietingly totalitarian implications in
the strategic plans for using the mass of the students as shock troops published in some New Left
periodicals, and in the kind of manipulation of situations and people that has taken place on some campuses.
As a libertarian, I sympathize with the desire of
students for a freer and less materialistic society,
as a member of an academic community I think their
grievances against the multiversity are in the main
justified; I believe university government must be
radically changed. But I think it is time the Cheist
and Maoist and Hoist myth-making and sloganising
of the activist wing were abandoned to consider some
of the practicalities of the situation. For there are
genuine problems involved in democratising a university, even with the best will and the most libertarian intent.
How, assuming power is to be vested in active
members of the academy, is it to be divided between
those who represent continuity (the faculty) and
those who are temporary and constantly replaced
(the students)? How can a freshman be regarded as
competent to decide how or what he should be taught
in a field of which he is ignorant? How are those who
now fight for power to avoid the corruption they now
see in those who at present wield it?
Given the sad history of trade unions, what guarantee do we have that student committees will be
any less authoritarian than faculty or administration
committees? Is not less power, based on a change in
the direction of the university towards less complexity, a better aim than the multiplication of
powers? These are random questions, and many
others like them might be asked, but the way they
are answered lies at the heart of the problem of
liberty and authority in this as in any other other
situation within human society. UNIVERSITIES
are now bearing the brunt of an attack against
society as a whole, but they will accomplish
needed reforms to improve educational quality
"A free university in a free society." This,
according to Martin Loney of Simon Fraser University, is the slogan of S.D.S., the radical Students for a Democratic Society movement which
is 30,000 strong in the United States today. This
movement and others similar in motive are shaping the program for university reform throughout the world. The parallel Canadian organization, Students for a Democratic University
(S.D.U.) is meeting regularly on the UBC campus
These people seek a great deal more than
mere academic reform in the universities. Their
objective is social revolution. They would change
our universities to become the training ground
for radicals who would work towards sweeping
international social revolution. Their ideological
tone is unmistakably Marxist and the attack is
against our entire social order. These students
wish to control the universities financially and
academically to the extent that their philosophy
and ideals will shape the entire educational programs of the institutions.
As Martin Loney put it recently, "if we produce the sort of university we want we are going
to run head-on into the corporate elite of B.C.
because the sort of people who come out of
that university will not go and work in the
corporate firms of B.C."
The revolutionary tactics and philosophy of
the student power movement are clearly set out
in an article by Carl Davidson, Inter-organizational Secretary of the Students for a Democratic
Society, entitled "The New Radicals and the
Multiversity," which, I believe, appeared iin Our
Generation, a student radical magazine. This is
a reading must for anyone wanting to understand
student activism. It can be obtained by writing
to 3837 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal, P.Q.
The intellectual roots of the student movement for university reform are planted firmly in
the new Marxist writings on social revolution.
Even the more moderate liberal students draw
their strength and support from the radical socialists. The two groups differ not so much in
their ideals or even their political philosophy as
Mr. Stathers, who is the director of the UBC Alumni
Association, obtained a bachelor of arts degree from
UBC in 1955 and a master of arts degree in 1958.
He emphasizes that the views expressed here are
entirely his own and do not necessarily represent the
position of the Alumni Association.
in their methods. The more militant radicals believe that confrontation politics, that is, sit-ins,
strikes, demonstrations and the like will bring
action on their demands. The liberal student
does not go this far, but prefers to work towards
acceptance of his ideas by discussion and negotiation. An example of the latter is the brief
recently presented to the University by UBC's
Alma Mater Society. It is a demand for negotiation on academic reform phrased in terms of
accomplishing ultimate social reform.
There are two rather simple reasons as to
why the confrontation is taking place in the universities. The people who are thinking deeply
about social injustice tend to be concentrated in
our universities. This is where we find a large
number of young people not committed to defending the status quo and free to think and act
in an unorthodox manner. In other words, it is
largely an intellectual movement. The second
reason is that universities are vulnerable to this
kind of attack. They profess to be highly democratic institutions whose traditional concern is
to foster freedom of thought and expression,
whether radical or orthodox. This means that
the arguments of the radical student movement
— which have some intellectual appeal — must
have a hearing.
The problems of dealing with academic reform have always been and should always be
with us. The University can cope with this. But
to deal with an attack against society as a whole
is really quite beyond the responsibility of the
university administrators. At present — and the
public should bear this in mind — university administrators are carrying the load of discussion
and negotiation on behalf of the entire community. I believe the radical students should
carry their campaign for wider social reform
into the area where this belongs—the political
As to the university or academic reform itself,
I believe there is undeniably work to be done.
The students ask for a greater say in the academic and financial management of the University. In many areas they have a good case. The
"Mickey Mouse" courses and the dry text book
lectures must be eliminated. For decades students have complained of these things and yet
they persist. If the students can cause the University to achieve higher standards of academic
excellence by greater participation in planning
and management then we will all benefit from
their action.
We must recognize, however, that many of
the other student complaints can only be eliminated if the universities receive adequate financial support. At present our universities can
barely keep pace with the demand. UBC's enrolment will be over 20,000 this year, more than
double what it was only 10 years ago. There is
not much possibility of a slackening in the demand. Our universities are not being given the
chance to adjust. There is no breathing spell. It's
simply a constant battle to keep the doors open
to all the young people in B.C. who qualify for
entrance. To expect academic excellence and
widespread university reform in the midst of the
confusion and tension of meeting such ever-
increasing needs every year is to expect nearly
the impossible.
We must bear in mind too, that the faculty
is not completely satisfied with the current state
of affairs. The system of rewards for academics
recognizes far more readily proficiency in research than in teaching. A young academic is
under great pressure to direct his attention accordingly. A further complaint in some academic
circles is that the sciences, in training young
people for jobs in business and government, receive a disproportionate share of financial support. The humanities, traditionally at the heart
of our universities, have to get by with a great
deal less and the quality of education suffers.
This complaint is voiced strongly by the student
activists as well.
In summary, it is obvious that our universities
are bearing the brunt of an attack against society as a whole and that the student activists
at the forefront are strongly inclined towards
Marxist socialism or, as they might say, Marxist
humanism. University reform to bring about
academic excellence within the context of our
present social and economic structure is completely overshadowed by the intent of the radical
activists. Our universities must and will accomplish reform to achieve a higher quality of education. But it is hoped that they alone will not
be expected to deal with the demands for
sweeping social reform. This is the task of society as a whole. Alumni and all friends of our
universities should call for and support proposals
to achieve higher quality and greater opportunity in education while at the same time
shouldering some of the responsibility of understanding and responding to the attitudes of
radical student activists.
11 Improving Student Life Aim of Arts Group
Acting Dean of Arts
This spring a decision was taken
to establish a committee to advise
the acting dean of arts on ways
and means of improving the quality
of student life within the faculty.
The objectives for a committee of
this kind were suggested in Guide-
posts to Innovation, the report of a
President's committee on academic
goals issued in 1964. In chapter IV
on the "Quality of Student Life,"
the authors of Guideposts discussed the importance of adequate
counselling and went on to say:
"Even more pervasive than faculty
counselling in determining the intellectual quality of student life are such factors as: the inevitable pressures "of bureaucratic procedures involved in administering the large community of
young people; the student's adjustment
to the cosmopolitanism of the student
body; the absence of the guiding influences of the smaller, local milieu; the
relative dearth of common rooms for
informal discussion; and the non-residential housing of the majority of students. If the intellectual benefits of the
University are to be fully enjoyed, the
advantages to be drawn from these
conditions must be exploited, the disadvantages minimized."
The proposal for a committee to
deal with these matters was discussed with a number of heads of
departments and members of faculty and the first meeting of the committee was held on May 9th, 1968.
At this meeting it was agreed that
students should be included in the
It was decided that since the
presidents of both the Alma Mater
Society and the Graduate Students
Association were both from the
Faculty of Arts they should be included in addition to the acting
president of the Arts Undergraduate Society.
All three presidents were asked
to nominate another member of
their executives with the result that
six students were added to the
committee. The composition was
therefore as follows:
J. H. Young, acting dean of arts
and economics, chairman; Geoffrey Durrant, English; C W. Miller,
English; Miss R. L. White, French;
W. E. Willmott, anthropology and
sociology; D. L. Sampson, psychology; Jacob Zilber, creative writing;
C W. Humphries, history; Rev. G.
F. McGuigan, economics; Robert
Harlow, creative writing; Miss M. C
Frederickson—assistant to dean of
women, honorary secretary; Ralph
Stanton, President, A.U.S.; Miss
Gyda Chud, member, A.U.S.; John
Tilley, president, G.S.A.; James
Tweedie, member, G.S.A.; David
Zirnhelt, president, A.M.S., and
Carey Linde, vice-president, A.M.S.
In successive meetings a number
of issues have been raised and
several have been resolved. The
committee has avoided general debate on principles and has instead
concentrated on recommending a
series of practical steps for improving the quality of student life.
One of the first items to be dealt
with was the provision of snack bar
facilities in the Brock Hall and the
Buchanan building. With the opening of the Student Union Building
it appeared that the Brock facilities
would be closed down completely
and students in the Buchanan or
Brock would be faced with a long
walk if they wanted a cup of coffee.
Members of faculty, moreover,
complained of a  lack of facilities
which would make possible informal contact between teachers and
their students and argued that the
establishment of new facilities in
the Student Union Building would
not be of much help to those lecturing in the Buchanan.
The Committee looked into this
question and recommended the establishment of a snack bar in the
Buchanan lounge. The Alumni Association contributed to this venture and this facility will be in operation in the fall.
A proposal was put forward for a
new temporary facility in the Brock
but it now appears that enough of
the present services will be retained in the Brock to deal with the
likely demand. Plans for dealing
with the needs of students and faculty in the Henry Angus building
are still under consideration.
A second problem considered by
the committee was the crush of students likely to result at registration.
UBC Named Founding
Member of Institute
The University of B.C. has been
named one of four founding members of an international institute to
promote research on India by Canadian scholars and students.
An announcement of the establishment of "The Shastri Indo-Canadian
Institute," honouring the late Indian
prime minister Lai Bahadur Shastri,
was made in Ottawa August 20 by
the Canadian and Indian governments.
Three million Indian rupees (about
$425,000 Canadian) will be made
available by the Indian government
over the next three years to support
field work by Canadian scho'ars in
India and to purchase periodicals
and books on India for the libraries
of the founding members of the Institute.
Founding institutions, in addition
to UBC, are McGill Universitv, where
the Canadian head office of the Institute will be located, the University
of Toronto, and the National Library
of Canada.
The rupee fund used by India to
enable establishment of the Institute
is one which has accumulated as a
result of Canadian foreign aid.
It will be divided equally to support faculty and student fellowships
in India and to acquire library materials. It will provide an estimated
$75,000 per year for support of
studies in India by scholars associated with Canadian universities and
will deliver approximately 10,000
books   and   periodical  annually  to
the libraries of each of the founding
Dr. Barrie Morrison, of UBC's
Asian studies department, said establishment of the Institute meant a
major advance for Indian studies in
"It should encourage the building
of scholarly interest in a country of
great importance to the long-term
development of Asia and make it
feasible for UBC to deve'op its resources for the study of Southern
UBC's offerings in south Asia are
already among the most extensive in
Canada. It offers some 25 undergraduate and graduate course in
history, language, literature, geography and politics which are staffed by
15 faculty members.
Under the terms of establishment
of the new Institute, one copy of
each research study undertaken in
India by Canadian scholars will be
presented to the government of
Membership will be open to all
Canadian universities and colleges
in accordance with the constitution
of the Institute and the affairs of the
organization will be managed by a
board of three to nine directors.
There will also be two advisory
councils to the Institute, one in India
and the other in Canada. The Councils will advise the Board on all matters affecting the administration of
the Institute and the Indian Council
will advise on suitable areas of research in Indian studies.
Some thinking had already been
done on ways and means of assisting first year students, and the
Committee suggested, and assisted
in implementing, a plan for an early
registration for first year students.
The Alumni Association made
available a grant to provide free
coffee and soft drinks for students
taking advantage of this more informal and leisurely introduction
to the University.
A third question concerned the
provision of information to first and
second year students on the programs of study available within the
faculty of arts. It was decided that
one way in which this could be
done was by an invitation to the
heads of departments in arts to
provide noon hour lectures on the
work of their departments and the
recent developments in their disciplines. This suggestion was accepted by the heads and arrangements have been made for a series
of lectures on Wednesday noons
in the auditorium of the Student
Union Building. Eight have been
scheduled for a start and if these
prove to be successful the series
will be continued throughout the
Other problems and questions
have come up for discussion. Members of the Committee have looked
into the preparations made by the
Bookstore and Library to deal with
the demand for textbooks and reserve material. As always, some
members of faculty have been slow
in making known their requirements
and steps have been taken to goad
the laggards.
A question has been raised about
the procedures for registration and
a sub-committee will report on this
problem at the next meeting. More
generally the committee is attempting to investigate all complaints
raised about administrative procedures which are unnecessarily
complex and time-consuming.
Another question which has been '
under continuing study in preparation for presentation to the faculty
and Senate is a proposal for a
special week in the spring term
when an effort will be made to
offer a rather different program
than that available throughout the
rest of the year.
Alumni Form 'Mini Royal Commission'
The Student Power movement has unceremoniously
opened up a Pandora's Box of philosophical questions,
many of which are overdue for serious consideration.
One of the most urgent, of course, is the question of
the proper nature of the university today. Is its true
role that of a knowledge factory producing highly
skilled professional people all finished and ready to
"plug into" the present economic and social system?
Or should it be a launching pad for social reform
movements?   Or something else  again?
In the public discussion so far — on the UBC campus at least — these questions have only been touched
on in general terms. Equally general has been the discussion on such concomitant questions as what should
be the structure of university government, the nature
of the curriculum and of student-faculty relations.
It is to remedy this defect and to attempt to arrive
at some practical proposals in areas needing reform
that the UBC Alumni Association is sponsoring a "mini
royal commission" into the entire question of student
unrest at UBC. Coordinator of the Alumni Commission
on Student Unrest in Nick Omelusik, BLS'66, head of
acquisitions for the UBC library. Jim McKibbon, a CBC
public affairs radio and television broadcaster, is serving as chairman of the commission's proceedings.
Omelusik said the problems facing universities today are too important for the debate to continue much
longer in general terms. "I'm hoping we can be as
specific as possible," he said. "The time for generalities is over."   Out of the inquiry, which will  be free-
ranging, Omelusik said he hoped the commission will
come up with some specific findings and recommendations.
Jim McKibbon said he views the commission's role
as being, in a large degree, that of a sounding board
on problem areas in the University. "We should be
prepared to receive briefs from the entire spectrum
of the University, ranging all the way from Dr. Hare's
office to the janitorial staff," he said. "There's no reason why this shouldn't even be extended to the public
— they pay the taxes." He said the commission should
begin receiving briefs in mid-September and, hopefully, have the study completed by early in the new
The commission will attempt not only to discover
the sources of discontent in the University, but also
the extent of it. "We want to find out whether campus
unrest involves just a hard core of anarchists or
whether it is something that is genuinely representative of the campus," McKibbon said. "So, in a sense,
this is a challenge for both the so-called radicals and
moderates to come out and state their case."
Omelusik said the commission, now planning its fall
sessions, had been under discussion in the alumni
association since early spring. "What happened is that
the Columbia situation, combined with the European
convulsions, made us realize the extent of social
change now underway, particularly in the universities,"
he said. "We felt we had to take some constructive
action."  He added that conditions at UBC are far from
resembling those at Columbia University or many European universities.
"We've had a tradition of student participation
here," he said, "but, of course, that doesn't mean we
shouldn't sit down and discover what specific changes
need to be made." McKibbon commented that a university community should be able to analyze its problems and arrive at rational solutions. "I would say that
we're trying to open up areas of communication in
order to prevent an eruption into irrationality," he said.
The alumni association, Omelusik continued, is
sponsoring the study as a service to the university.
"We're a neutral body — we're not directly involved —
so perhaps we can provide a more objective investigation of this than if the president's office or some other
University body had undertaken it," he said. He said
the report with recommendations will be referred to the
alumni association's board of management, to the
president of the University and to the University Board
of Governors for consideration.
The commission membership is drawn from the
general public (McKibbon), students, faculty, university administration and alumni. The other members
named so far are Dr. David Suzuki, associate professor
of zoology; Les Rohringer, director of UBC housing
administration; Ben Trevino, Vancouver lawyer, and
three students, Peter Braund, a third-year law student
who is a former Alma Mater Society president, James
Tweedie, a graduate student in anthropology, and
Duane Zilm, a third-year engineering student.


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