UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Reports Oct 31, 1968

Item Metadata


JSON: ubcreports-1.0118306.json
JSON-LD: ubcreports-1.0118306-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): ubcreports-1.0118306-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: ubcreports-1.0118306-rdf.json
Turtle: ubcreports-1.0118306-turtle.txt
N-Triples: ubcreports-1.0118306-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: ubcreports-1.0118306-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Vol.  14, No. jg/Oct., 1968/Vancouver 8, B.C.
This is a confrontation
Not just a sit-in,
but an educational experience.
A UBC professor
explains why on Page Nine . . .
c _ _.
c. c
tfi ccrnDF
By Clive Cocking
Once upon a time Canada was in the front rank of
world optical astronomy. And it wasn't just because the
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria had the
largest telescope (72 inch) in the world when it began
surveying the skies back in 1918. (That record was
wiped out six months later anyhow when the Mt. Wilson
observatory in California unwrapped its 100-inch
telescope). The large telescope was the key, but more
important was what Canada's astronomers did with it
. . . like being the first to give extensive study to double
stars, discovering the most massive double star ever
known (Plaskett's Star), producing the first extensive
observational evidence and measurement of the rotation
of our galaxy and so on.
To the layman this is probably just so much esoteric
gibberish, but to astronomers these and other discoveries
were major contributions in expanding our knowledge of
the universe. But in recent years Canada has slipped
further and further back in world astronomy as new
observatories have arisen around the globe with more
And now it appears that Canada's hope of returning
to the front rank of world astronomy has been snuffed
out. The federal government recently announced the
cancellation, for reasons of economy, of plans to build a
$22-million observatory with a 157-inch telescope on
Mt. Kobau in the Okanagan Valley. It was to be named
the Queen Elizabeth II Observatory in memory of the
Queen's visit to Canada in 1964 and the telescope would
have been second in size to Mt. Palomar's 200-inch
telescope in California.
The government decided to scrap the project even
though federal astronomers have spent four years in
design and planning and $4 million on site preparation,
development of the 20-ton fused quartz mirror blank
and   machinery  for grinding the mirror.  The decision
Clive Cocking is director of communications for the
UBC Alumni Association and editor of the Alumni
capped a controversy among astronomers about whether
the new telescope should be built on Mt. Kobau or in
On the UBC campus, which stood to become
something of an astronomy centre through expanded
astronomy teaching and research and the development
of a National Institute of Astronomy on campus, the
reaction to the government decision was one of shock
and dismay. "Science depends on progress," said physics
professor Dr. A.M. Crooker. "If we're going to be
saddled with instrumentation that is over 50 years old
we're going nowhere. For that reason I feel that it (the
government decision) is a national disaster."
Dr. Vladimir Okulitch, UBC dean of science, goes a
step further. "The cancellation of the Queen Elizabeth II
Observatory in fact means a death sentence 1or Canadian
astronomy," Dr. Okulitch said. Dr. Michael Ovenden,
professor of astronomy in the department of geophysics,
said simply that the decision means Canadian optical
astronomy, which had been expanding, will no longer be
an expanding science.
But the UBC scientists are far from giving up; they
are campaigning to have the government reconsider its
decision. Recently UBC Dean of Applied Science, W.M.
Armstrong, advised the Science Council of Canada, of
which he is a member, of the preliminary steps being
taken to form a University Consortium to keep the
project alive. Dean Okulitch is rounding up support from
various politicians and from scientists in other western
Canadian universities.
And as a hedge, Dean Okulitch is sounding out
western universities on the possibility of forming a
consortium to carry out the project as a national
astronomical observatory in co-operation with the
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. If the government
turns over to the consortium the assets now accumulated
and the project was cut to tne bone, Dr. Okulitch
believes only $10 or $11 million more would-be
needed—at the rate of $1 million a year—to complete the
There was never any question among Canadian
scientists that Canada needed a new, larger telescope if
Canadian astronomy was to advance. The present
telescopes at Victoria and Richmond Hill near Toronto
are nearing the end of their effective lives due to the fact
that encroaching cities are creating atmospheric
interference with viewing conditions, in addition, the
telescopes are too small to conduct research outside our
galaxy snd that is where the new, exciting work is being
done. Astronomers have answered most of the big
questions concerning our galaxy.
The location of the telescope has only in the past
year or so become a source of disagreement. And the
disagreement has centred on whether it should be built
in Chile or on Mt. Kobau. No one disputes that Mt.
Kobau is the best site in Canada for a new observatory.
When the proposal went to the federal government in
1962, discussions had taken place on the possibility of
locating in the southern hemisphere, but top government
officials then maintained that no site outside Canada
would be acceptable.
The final selection of Mt. Kobau was approved by the
National Committee for Astronomy of the International
Astronomical Union, the National Advisory Committee
on Astronomy and the National Council of the Royal
Astronomical Society of Canada. "Our statistics on
Kobau indicate that conditions there are just slightly less
favorable than those at Mt. Palomar, California (the top
U.S. observatory)," said Dean Okulitch, who is a*
member of the National Advisory Committee on
A further complication arose about a year ago after
University of Toronto astronomers were approached by^
U.S. astronomers from the Carnegie Institute suggesting
Canada take a half share in building a telescope of the
same size in Chile and a share in the operation. "There
was no question of not building the telescope on Mt.
Kobau until the offer to share a telescope in Chile was
made," recalled Dr. Ovenden.
The Chile proposal had some obvious things going for v
it. The proposed site is high in the Andes and excellent
for  astronomical  viewing as the air  is very clear and
stable and there is a very high proportion of clear nights.
And   southern   hemispheric   astronomy   is   a   virtually The question now is this: Can UBC's
intrepid dean of science. Dr. Vladimir
Okulitch, round up enough support to
save the Queen Elizabeth II telescope,
which will put Canada back in the
forefront of astronomical research? Or
has the queen of sciences been
dethroned for all time in Canada?
untapped field. (The drawbacks are political and seismic
It turned out that the federal and western university
"astronomers continued to favor Mt. Kobau while the
University of Toronto astronomers backed the Chile
location. Dr. Okulitch said the Toronto group lobbied
the federal government to abandon the Mt. Kobau
project and go in on the Chile observatory. Vincent
Bladen, the former dean of arts and science at the U. of
T., carried this argument before the Senate science
policy inquiry in Ottawa last March.
The science secretariat of the Science Council later
formed a special three-man committee (two of whom
were retired federal scientists) to have another look at
the situation. The committee reported this summer that
"the completion of the proposed (Mt. Kobau) telescope
by itself . . . would fail to meet the overall needs of
astronomical research in Canada." Instead, it
recommended that Canada either put its own 157-inch
.telescope in Chile or put a major installation on Mt.
Kobau and go in with Carnegie in Chile.
Interestingly, one of the supporters of the
government decision is former UBC president Dr. John
B. Macdonald, now director of the study group on
support of research in universities sponsored by the
. Science Council and the Canada Council. "I do believe
the government made the correct decision in respect to
Mt. Kobau," Dr. Macdonald said. "Scientific opinion is
sharply divided on this matter but it is conceded that
Chile, for atmospheric reasons, provides a better site
than any in Canada. I believe it is possible that an
ultimate policy involving Chile may prove to have more
overall benefits than the Mt. Kobau telescope would
-have offered."
What the situation boils down to is that Canadian
astronomers are in disagreement not just over the site of
a new telescope but over the direction Canadian
astronomy should take in the immediate future. Dr.
Ovenden believes observatories in both locations could
be well used by Canadian astronomers, but for the
proper development of Canadian astronomy Mt. Kobau
should be given priority. "The Carnegie scheme would
provide a limited number of existing, experienced
Canadian astronomers with access to prime observing
conditions," he said.
"It would not stimulate the growth of Canadian
astronomy because its use would have to be restricted,
both because of the inconvenience of transporting
people there and because of the demands of the
partnership with the Carnegie Institute. The prime
function of the Queen Elizabeth II telescope would be
to stimulate the growth of Canadian astronomy by
training voung astronomers in the use of modern
astronomical equipment."
Prior to the government's axe falling on the Mt.
Kobau telescope, the groundwork had been laid in
Canada for the expansion of astronomy. The U. of T.
had expanded its astronomy program. A program had
been developed at the University of Western Ontario and
the university had acauired, with a $1 million National
Research Council grant, its own 48-inch telescope.
And UBC had moved strongly into astronomy, hiring
Dr. Ovenden and two other optical astronomers and
three radio astronomers. The University now offers a full
majors program in astronomy and a combined honors
program h physics ard astronomy. A federal National
Institute of Astronomy was also to have been developed
on the UBC campus Ifive acres have been set aside) to
serve as home base for the Mt. Kobau astronomers. And
UBC astrcnomers and graduate students would have had
access to the telescope for research and training.
Now the government decision—unless it is
changed—rules this out. To Dean Okulitch it is a death
sentence to Canadian astronomy both because the
present telescopes are near the end of their useful lives
and because the training of another generation of
astronomers has been seriously hit. "Without a new
observatory, it is futile to hope that we can attract and
train young astronomers in Canada," he said. "They may
just as well go to the U.S., England, U.S.S.R., Australia,
Chile or South Africa, because this is where research and
career opportunities lie."
Dr. Ovenden, however, pointed out that the
government's decision will not mean the end of
astronomical   studies at   UBC.   But  he expects  it will
change the direction of the development of astronomy
at UBC toward more theoretical and laboratory studies.
There is room for speculation about whether
economy was the real reason for the federal
government's decision to bow out of the Queen
Elizabeth observatory scheme. Especially if, as Dr.
Okulitch suggests, the project could be scaled down to
cost only $10 million more spread over 10 years. One
can only wonder whether we are witnessing the
beginning of a national science policy (as yet not
officially stated) that does not include further federal
support for astronomy.
The Science Council, of course, is nearing completion
of a report which will recommend to the government a
science policy for Canada. It's perhaps significant that
last March, Robert Cohen of the Province Ottawa
Bureau wrote a column, based on the words of top
Science Council officials themselves, suggesting that the
council will be recommending that the federal
government implement a science policy which would
beef up applied or mission-oriented research and
de-emphasize pure research.
The recent cancellation by the government of
planning on the proposed $155 million Intense Neutron
Generator (ING) at Chalk River seems to lend weight to
this suggestion. Through a new process, ING was to
produce many more neutrons more cheaply than is
possible with the present nuclear fission process. The
neutrons were to be used in nuclear research and for
nuclear power production.
And how can one forget what Prime Minister Pierre
Elliott Trudeau said on CBC-TV's Twenty Million
Questions on Sept. 17? The interviewer, Charles Lynch,
had asked why the special committee report on the Mt.
Kobau telescope had been made public and Trudeau
replied: "Because the report was submitted to the
government for the specific purpose of deciding which
way our scientific policy should go in this area."
Does that mean the queen of the sciences has been
dethroned in Canada? Milestone Decision Ends Senate 'Secrecy'
Director, Information Services,
University of B.C.
One major issue on UBC's 1968—69 Agenda for
Confrontation has been peaceably resolved.
The University Senate—the highest academic
policy-making body on the campus—has decided to
open its meetings to a limited number of observers.
For the first time, at its regular meeting on
Wednesday, Oct. 2, the Senate will conduct its
business under the scrutiny of a public gallery which
may include reporters, students, non-Senatorial
faculty members and other interested citizens.
This is one more step in improving
communications within the University community,
and between it and the larger society beyond the
campus gates. Coverage of Senate's debates by the
news media should, eventually, lead to greater public
understanding of the University's academic
objectives. And by casting aside its so-called "cloak of
secrecy" (which was really no more than a flimsy
veil), Senate will help to dispel the distrust with
which so many of today's discontented students
regard the traditional campus "power centres."
Senate did not come to this milestone decision
easily. The question had been under study by two
Senate committees for nearly a year, since the first
four student Senators were elected on an open-Senate
At the request of the student Senators, Senate
asked its special Committee on the Role and
Organization of Senate to consider whether meetings
should be open. The committee recommended that
Senate publish an agenda in advance of its meetings
and a detailed summary of proceedings immediately
afterward, but recommended against establishing a
public gallery. Senate adopted this advice.
That decision was not wildly popular with
students. In fact, about 400 of them voted in January
to hold a sit-in at the Senate's next meeting, on Feb.
The sit-in never materialized. As a result of
negotiations between student leaders and Acting
President Walter Gage, a special meeting of Senators
and students was held Jan. 31. The Senators agreed
early in the proceedings to reconsider the
open-Senate question; the meeting then dissolved into
a four-hour talkfest in which small groups of students
and Senators canvassed a whole range of other
campus problems.
On Feb. 14, Senate struck a new committee to
have another look at the question of opening Senate's
doors. That committee met, off and on, through the
spring and summer and presented its
recommendations to the first regular meeting of the
fall session on Sept. 11.
This new committee came out in favour of
establishing an observers' gallery, but with significant
The gallery was to be limited to 30 persons; they
were   to   be   admitted   by   tickets   available   on   a
Informal talkathon took place Sept. 17 in International House between students and members of the
Senate. Originally intended as a reception for Senate
and Students' Council, the meeting attracted about
110 students in addition to the Council. All remained
to discuss University problems in informal groups.
first-come-first-served basis from the Registrar, with a
deadline for applications 24 hours in advance of
meetings; observers were to maintain the decorum
prescribed for Parliamentary galleries; and Senate
could, by simple majority vote, clear the gallery at
any time.
More important, the committee recommended
that the gallery be restricted to members of the
University family—students, members of faculty,
certain University officials, and alumni—and it
specifically recommended against admitting
representatives of the news media.
This report precipitated a long and somewhat
tangled debate. In the end, Senate voted (35 to 24,
with three recorded abstentions) in favor of an
observers' gallery.
It accepted some of the committee's restrictions (a
limit of 30 observers, admission by ticket, insistence
on Parliamentary decorum, and provision for moving
in  camera.)
But it refused to bar reporters and members of the
general public. Thus the Senate in future will be more
truly open than the committee had proposed.
Senate's new, more open attitude has already been
demonstrated. On Sept. 17, about 50 Senators
responded to an invitation to a reception at which
they were to meet members of the Students' Council
for a general discussion of the brief on University
reform presented to UBC in June by David Zirnhelt,
president of the Alma Mater Society.
In theory, this gathering was to be restricted to
Senators and Councillors. But about 110 other
interested students turned up, eager to put their ideas
on University problems before the Senators. All were
allowed to remain, and again the meeting turned into
an informal talkathon.
Senators have now had two opportunities to
explore the causes of student discontent with
members of the student body, in a free-wheeling,
unstructured way.
Soon they will get down to the hard business of
detailed discussion. Senate has already appointed a
10-member committee to "consult with the AMS
Council and others" on the range of questions raised
in the AMS brief. The committee is now awaiting the
selection of a group to represent the students so that
talks may begin.
Nominations Sought
For 'Master Teacher'
A special $5,000 annual award has
been established at the University of
B.C. to give recognition to outstanding
teachers at the undergraduate level.
The UBC Master Teacher Award
has been established by Dr. Walter C.
Koerner, as a tribute to his brother,
Dr. Leon Koerner, a great friend and
benefactor of the University.
The first award will be made this
year to a member of the University
faculty who is selected from a list of
persons placed in nomination.
Students, alumni and faculty
members are eligible to make
nominations for the award and are
invited to do so.
The closing date for nominations is
October 15, 1968. They should be
forwarded in writing to Dr. Robert
M.Clark, Director of Academic
Planning, who has been appointed
honorary secretary of the award
selection committee.
Professor W.C. Gibson, a past
president of the Faculty Association
and the UBC Alumni Association, said
there is a concern at many universities
that the contributions of great
teachers tend to be forgotten because
of heavy emphasis on the importance
of research.
"The Master Teacher Award has
been established by Dr. Koerner to
recognize the vital role played by
outstanding teachers and to foster the
continued development of such
teaching," he said.
"We hope the award will emphasize
the value this University places on
good teaching and put its importance
in proper perspective to other faculty
functions which may receive more
Dr. Gibson noted that individuals
who go on to make notable
contributions in research, for example,
have often received their original
inspiration from an outstanding
teacher at the undergraduate level.
Nominees for the Master Teacher
Award will be appraised in terms of
their service to the University in recent
The final choice will be made by a
selection committee which includes
representation from various segments
of the University community.
To be eligible for nomination a
candidate must have served for at least
three years at UBC in the rank of
assistant professor, associate professor,
or professor, and during that time
must have taught undergraduate
courses in the winter sessions.
In any year in which the selection
committee decides there is no
outstanding candidate the award will
not be given.
The   award   will   not   be   divided
between two candidates. The name of
the winner of the first Master Teacher
Award Will be announced before the
end of December.
Policy Changes
To Reflect Current
Mood of Campus
UBC Reports is sporting a "new look" for the 1968—69 session.
In an effort to reflect more clearly the current mood of the campus, UBC
Reports has altered its editorial policy and opened its columns to faculty
members, alumni, students and other interested persons who wish to
comment on University affairs.
The editors extend an open invitation to readers to suggest topics for
articles or to discuss material which they feel will reflect the paper's new
editorial policy. Letters to the editor are welcome and should be sent to the
Information Office, University of B.C., Vancouver 8.
UBC Reports will appear ten times or more during the 1968—69 academic
year. It is mailed to all graduates of the University, the parents of students
and other interested groups. It is also distributed through the Vancouver
Public Library and to senior high school students in Vancouver.
If you know of anyone who would like to receive the paper, please fill in
the coupon below and send it to the Information Office, UBC.
Please add the following name, or names to your mailing list for UBC
Volume 14, No. 6 - October, 1968. Authorized as second class
mail by Post Office Department, Ottawa, and for payment of
postage in cash. Postage paid at Vancouver, B.C. Published by the
University of British Columbia and distributed free. Letters are
welcome and should be addressed to the Information Office, UBC,
Vancouver 8, B.C. The year 1968 is likely to go down in UBC's
history as the Year of the Committee to
investigate possible reforms within the
University. One group that was off and running
before the others was COFFE—the Commission
on the Future of the Faculty of
Education-announcesd by Dean of Education
Neville Scarfe in the middle of the last session.
To find out the aims of the Commission we
asked its chairman, Dr. George Tomkins,
pictured below, to take part in a question and
answer session with UBC Reports. Also taking
part were Professor Sam Black, the commission's
vice-chairman, and Mr. Gary Gumley, chairman
of the student committee assisting the
Commission's work. All agree that one basic aim
of the Commission is to create conditions for
training . . .
UBC REPORTS: Gentlemen, few university faculties
have been subject to mere criticism
than education, both in Canada and the United States.
Would you care to venture an opinion about why this is
so and whether or not the charges that are commonly
made about faculties of education are justified?
DR. GEORGE TOMKINS:     Well,   it's  undeniable that
there has been a great deal
of criticism. When we start to look for the reasons for
the criticism, I think that we find a number of
contradictory answers. I don't think you can separate
this from what I would call the whole sociology of
teaching as a profession, from the fact, for example, that
teaching is the one profession that every person has had
some direct experience with.
Everyone has strong convictions about teachers,
teaching and schools. What is good teaching? Is teaching
a profession? What are schooling and education for
anyway? In preparing teachers, should we socialize them
to the existing system, or make them agents of change?
No matter how you answer these questions, you're in for
criticism from all points of the compass, il think we
deserve criticism if we pretend we have answers to all of
I think there have certainly been some very valid
criticisms of the kind of things that have been done in
the name of teacher training in the past, but I would
deny that these criticisms are necessarily valid insofar as
they apply exclusively to education. One aspect of the
current student unrest in our universities is a severe
criticism of the quality of teaching in all faculties. In
fact, this is very explicit in the recent statement that the
Alma Mater Society has issued.
PROF. SAM BLACK: I think what George has said is
right about the sociology of
teaching. I think there is criticism from teachers also, the
people who have gone through college and are trying to
put into practice the program originated there.
George said he thought new teachers were a little bit
apprehensive and were the critical ones, but I find the
old teachers too, are critical. Too many look for
immediate answers, ideas to tide them over for another
month. In fact, we should be getting down to basic
concepts and a philosophy that will stand as a support
for teaching values.
UBC REPORTS:      Gary   in   your   contact  with   other
universities around Canada, have you
generally found  that there  is wide-spread criticism of
GARY GUMLEY: Yes, I have. This summer I was
fortunate enough to go east and
visit some of the large universities back there, Michigan
State, University of Michigan and Ohio State. It was a
general consensus that the students just didn't think the
faculty of education was doing its correct job. There was
always this overhanging feeling of criticism of professors,
the teacher training methods, every program that
education tried to accomplish. For instance, I would go
into a fraternity house and say, 'What's the faculty of
education like around here?', and everybody laughs. You
know, this is the type of thing that you get everywhere.
You get it here at UBC. You go in and say 'what do you
think of education?', and they say, 'Well, it's not very
good! It's Mickey Mouse!', stuff like this.
BLACK: I think sometimes criticisms are voiced when
people don't know really why they are
voicing them. For example, we hear a lot of talk about
People are not aware of change, they haven't thought
it all out, but they've got this feeling that something's
going wrong. That is why I think part of this criticism is
coming to education.
For example, education programs developed to meet
certain needs. Then, unfortunately, the program became
the important thing, and I think this is what is still the
case. The program is more important than the person
who is going to receive it. People are beginning to say
'individuals count.' Individuals matter more, and we've
got to organize programs that are going to meet the
needs of individuals and this is the very thing, I would
say, that the Commission on the Future of the Faculty
of Education (COFFE) is thinking about.
TOMKINS: I suggested before that a lot of the
criticisms of teacher education have
maybe been contradictory, or maybe the expectations of
students have been contradictory, and this is very
evident if you consider the somewhat conservative image
that education has often had. But as far as this faculty is
concerned, a major criticism that we've encountered out
in the field among the teachers is that so many of the
curriculum changes and reforms in teaching that we
advocated are regarded as far too extreme or liberal.
It's a very common criticism of my own area. We've
worked very, very hard, and I think with some success,
to improve the teaching of geography and history in the
province. Very often we have encountered criticism
from many conservative people in the field. On the other
hand, I would like to pay a lot of tribute to the teachers
of B.C. who have shown themselves willing to accept
leadership in these areas, and to provide it themselves.
I would like to underline the fact that I think that in
the subject teaching areas of the curriculum, geography,
history, English, mathematics and the like, that this
faculty has had a considerable impact on the schools in
British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada, and even
outside Canada. And incidentally, this is quite widely
recognized, if you talk to people outside the province.
I've just read that B.C. has the best qualified teaching
profession in Canada in terms of the percentage ot
university graduates (45%), and for this the Faculty of
Education deserves a lot of credit.
UBC REPORTS:      Perhaps   we   can   move   on   to   a
discussion of the Commission on the
Future   of   the    Faculty   of    Education,   which   was
Continued on the next page GUMLEY: The Commission is
one of the best examples
of how people can cooperate
to form a much better society1
established in this past academic year by Dean Neville
Scarfe. Was the Commission a direct result of a feeling
that the faculty of education was not meeting the needs
of teacher training in B.C.?
TOMKINS:      I think it initially arose out of some ideas
that Dean Scarfe circulated to the faculty
from the MacPherson Report at the University of
Toronto-a report highly critical of teaching in the
faculty of arts there, that made quite a number of
suggestions for improvement. When Dean Scarfe
circulated this to us hoping, I assume, to stimulate some
discussion about some of the problems raised, this
evoked an immediate response on the part of a group in
the faculty, who felt that after twelve years of
operation, the time was certainly right for an appraisal
of what we have accomplished to date, what the
problems have been, but much more than an appraisal—a
forward look at some of the problems of teacher
education that we see for the future at a time when
schools are obviously changing, when society is
changing, when the nature of the teaching profession
and the act of teaching are changing.
GUMLEY: Don't you think the dean finally realized
that the system that was implemented
twelve years ago was running down? I could draw an
analogy to an old inner tube that kept having holes and
faults; they kept putting a patch on it to make the
system keep going. He finally realized that the tire was
nearly worn out and he needed a new system to try and
cope with a nasty problem that I think education is
facing today.
TOMKINS:      I don't know if I would interpret it quite
as broadly as that, but I would agree with
you that the dean and those who were initially
concerned, and I think now the whole faculty is
concerned, recognize it wouldn't be very profitable to
more or less modify or patch up what we are doing, not
because what we are doing or what we have done in the
past is anything to be ashamed of. I think there have
been many very solid accomplishments on the part of
this faculty that have not been recognized, least of all on
this campus, but certainly I would agree with you, Gary,
that the motivation was the feeling that there really had
to be a fundamental look, that the time was ripe, as I
said before, for a really new approach in many basic
ways to the education of teachers.
BLACK:      I   think  in  institutions or wherever human
relations are concerned, there is a time that
is right  and a time that is not right. There have been
>W____£$l_ri '■
previous committees that have looked into the
possibility of change and improvement and some items
they suggested have been used and devebpment made
from them, but there was never such a widespread
feeling. There are times to say certain things or do
certain things and it seems that a culmination of several
forces have led tc the development of this commission.
One among them, no doubt, being the sort of stirring of
students to say things about what's happening and what
should be happening, and not to be as docile as students
were at one time.
TOMKINS: Let me interpolate that this study was
instigated by the faculty and was not in
any sense initially, a student-instigated force.
BLACK: I know it rose within the faculty, but I feel
there are forces which affect a person's
decision. The faculty are aware of, and are sensitive to,
student reaction to courses and curricula and ideas and
so on. And therefore, indirectly perhaps, this would help
to affect the climate which made this come about right
GUMLEY: Yes, I agree with you. Last year we created
these dean's forums to look into the
problems that the kids were finding in classes and one of
the things that came under severe criticism was music. In
the fall of last year and in the spring of last year, it was
radically changed to conform more with the students'
opinions. I think it was you. Dr. Tomkins who pointed
out in one of our discussions that what we're trying to
do is create a better atmosphere for the students to work
in with the faculty members so that we can get a
cooperation toward a better teaching program all
UBC REPORTS: How, specifically, is the Commission
going about its business? How many
persons are on the Commission and are they all faculty
of education people, or are you co-opting others from
outside? How are you going to go about getting outside
opinion which will lead you to recommendations?
TOMKINS: There are seven people on the
commission, all of them from the faculty
of education, appointed by the dean from a slate
nominated by the faculty. We've asked every department
within the faculty of education to give us their views and
in effect, each constitutes a committee, but apart from
this, we have set up I think about a dozen committees
that cut across departmental lines.
We are asking that professors from other faculties be
co-opted  onto some of these committees and we also
expect to see a committee that will consist entirely of
professors from outside the faculty, who teach
education students. Now, further to that, we have been
gathering opinions from, I think, a very, very wide range
of sources. A number of us have visited other
institutions in Canada and the United States.
We referred already to the fact that Gary, the
chairman of the student committee, did something of
this kind during the summer. We took the occasion to
talk with some distinguished overseas educators who
were here on campus during summer session. We've been
in touch already, I think, with hundreds of teachers
throughout the province and we intend to continue this.
BLACK: Through the B.C. Teachers' Federation
publication we have been in touch with
teachers and distributed information to teachers.
Incidentally, the first committee we established was the
student committee. We have had meetings with other
members of faculty, other people in education from
other universities and with people visiting here. We have »
also had meetings with Dr. Archibald McKinnon, the
head of education at Simon Fraser. It is worth
mentioning the Principals' Conference that was held here
during the summer, where 80 or more principals met and
were given information about COFFE and asked to,
consider questions which they later took to a meeting of
COFFE members for discussion.
GUMLEY:      As   for   the   Student  Commission,   it was
unfortunately around exam time when we __
first got organized. We went through the Education,
Undergraduate Society, which fortunately last year
became quite a significant factor in the faculty of
education and was cooperating with the faculty
members. We were able to set up, and I was fortunate^
enough to be selected as chairman, and from there we
selected a board of four members of the student council
to meet with the 13 applicants who applied to sit on the
student commission.
I decided, in consultation with Gerry Olund, who is -
the education president this year, to make it a
committee of seven regular members who will be
attending University this year. One of these seven will be
Barrie Mowatt, who is the student ombudsman working
in liaison with the faculty on the student-faculty liaison*
committee, and two other students who are going to be
in the schools next year, in their first year of teaching.
We felt that this was an important part of the program
that we should look into—what it is like that first year,
when you're really hit hard. What changes you, what'S
wrong, what happens?
I  know the faculty sends out a questionnaire at the
end of the year,  but we're going to try and get the
information  from  a direct viewpoint.  You know, like,
'this month, how do you feel?'
One thing that we are making sure that we do is get a
questionnaire out to every student in the faculty of
education during registration week to fully orientate
ourselves with respect to the economic background from
which the students come, the decisions that made them
enter the faculty and other relevant material which we
feel is important in the study.
BLACK:      May I  mention one point. Gary mentioned
briefly the questionnaire that the teaching '
practice division has issued. They have sent out a
questionnaire for the past three years to the teachers one
year out of college, asking their views on various aspects
of teacher training and the faculty of education. We
hope to use the findings of this.
A graduate student will be devoting a great deal of
time to finalizing this and working with COFFE on what
COFFE wants out of it.
TOMKINS: I think that one point that is noteworthy
here is that we seem to be concentrating*
on the basic teacher education function of the faculty.
There is no question of the importance of that. But I
don't think we can overlook the very wide range of
other responsibilities that the faculty has, that in a sense
were imposed at its formation.
For example, the tremendous amount of in-service
work that members of the faculty do with teachers. The
graduate program of the faculty, which is a major means
whereby the teachers of the province seek to up-grade
their professional qualifications. If I were to try to
identify any future trend that I would see the faculty
taking, it's likely to be on the one hand, continued
emphasis   on   the   teacher   education   function   artd TOMKINS: 'We are committed
to a fundamental look
at the education of teachers and the study
of education at UBC
improvement   of   this   operation   for  obvious  reasons,
'including much greater emphasis on fields like special
education, adult education, counselling—where there are
growing needs and where, incidentally, the faculty has
already made significant contributions.
. On the other hand, there has to be a much greater
concern with what I would call the study of education,
of educational issues, in a disciplined and scholarly
sense. I think it is very revealing that, again, referring
back to student unrest on campus everywhere, that the
,, students are demanding, and I think rightly, that the
University ought to be a place where we really discuss
educational issues seriously. This certainly hasn't taken
place in other faculties. Obviously, the place where it
might occur is in the faculty of education.
* In teaching (and here I include not only the schools,
but our universities), almost nothing we do has any
empirical basis or rests on any disciplined theory as that
term is used in the modern social sciences. In one sense,
j/vt;'ve simply got to be more scientific—without denying
that teaching is probably fundamentally (ancl must
remain) an art. Myth, anecdote and sentimental
utopianism can no longer serve as substitutes for
educational theory.
UBC REPORTS: When is it expected that COFFE will
make its report to the Dean or to the
TOMKINS: It is due to report in September, 1969, in
a year's time. We have the very
enthusiastic support of President Hare, who has recently
committed the University to the production of our
report as a public document. Now I think that this is
going to have obvious psychological impact. Coming
back to what I said a few minutes ago, abcut the
responsibilities I see of the faculty in the future, I
wouldn't want this to sound as though I seethe faculty
as in any sense being isolationist. There have been
criticisms, we know, of faculties of education for being
rather isolationist within the university communities. I
^ think the time now is ripe for us to pursue the education
of teachers and the study of education on a truly
inter-disciplinary basis, on a University-wide basis.
There's been a good deal of lip service to this, and while
education sometimes has been rightly criticized for
maybe seeming somewhat isolationist, the fact of the
matter is that many of our colleagues in the other
faculties have not always shown a tremendous amount
of interest in the question of educating teachers and in
-> the problems of the schools.
GLjiMLEY:      Isn't that what we're trying to do with this
commission,   Dr.  Tomkins?  Isn't  it   that
we're trying to prepare people for the future, to be able
to go out and teach in 1980, instead of being able to go
out and teach in 1968 and 1969? Isn't this the type of
thing that we're looking for in this Commission? Instead
of coming up with a program that is satisfactory for
today's standards, we have to come up with something
that is going to be satisfactory 10—15—20 years from
TOMKINS: I would agree with you that this is our
task and we know it's difficult because it
is very difficult to foresee what the schools, teaching,
and society will be like in the future. But we do have
certain guideposts. We can be reasonably certain that we
are going to oe living in a period of continuing change
and that we'ie going to have to produce teachers who
can adapt to change, who can work with pupils and help
them to grow up in a world of change.
I think of the teacher of the future as a more
socially-committed individual, one who will have to have
a great deal more knowledge of society and I think this
means that obviously we are going to have to put more
emphasis on the social dimension of the teacher's
preparation. I think that we've got to abandon the idea
in educating teachers that it's a kind of one-shot
proposition. That we can pretend to do sort of a final
job in three or four or five years of university.
Teacher education for the future is going to be a
continuing thing. Now this implies that we've got to
bring the teachers into much greater partnership with
the University in the training of teachers.
GUMLEY: This is a severe criticism that the students
have, that what you're taught here seems
to be completely irrelevant to what goes on in the
schools. This is a blanket statement, but in some cases,
it's quite true. They feel that people here in the faculty
of education tire isolated.
TOMKINS: More likely they're trying to train
students in the concept of a subject which
I'm trying to do in geography, for example, as I see it
might be within ten years, and I come back to my point
earlier. I get as much criticized for that as I would be if I
looked in McL.uhan's rear-view mirror. That is one of our
problems, believe you me. The conservatism of the
students often frightens me. It's they who too often
want to conform to the image of the school as it is—or
BLACK: You know, there's another aspect, an
interesting one. Your reference to the
teacher being a more mature person. It has been
suggested that perhaps either before or after training, or
preparation for teaching, students should spend a year or
two in a job that is maybe sociologically oriented or in
some way connected with education, to give them a
brush with the outside world before coming into
Rather than this school—college—back to school
affair, which is another criticism levelled at teacher
preparation. Students journey in a sheltered cocoon, and
go back into schools, without having experienced life
in-between. In a way, the method whereby students have
to go out to work in the summer gives them contacts
with other people in other situations and widens their
experience in a way that's needed for work in schools.
TOMKINS: When I spoke of abandoning our pretence
to sort of do a one-shot job of training
teachers, I think it amounts to saying that we're no
longer going to try to prepare what has been called the
omnicapable teacher. One of the likely characteristics of
the teacher of the future is that he's going to be more
specialized in his role. And this doesn't mean only
specialization in terms of the particular subject that he
teaches, though this will be a part of it.
But he's likely to play a more specialized role, he's
likely to have much more professional autonomy.
There's likely to be a reduction in the hierarchical
organization within which the teacher has traditionally
worked. There is very likely to be a much greater stress
on cooperative endeavour in the teaching process. I
don't like the term team-teaching, because, although this
was avant garde a few years ago—it's already almost out
of date. But certainly the idea of the teacher functioning
in a team is going to continue, but I think it's going to
be much more sophisticated than the sort of thing that
we've seen.
Now all of these possible changes in the teacher's role
and his relationships to his fellow teachers, to others, to
pupils, to the administration, have obvious implications
for our program. Though more specialized in his role,
he's going to have to be a more broadly cultivated
person—with an awareness of the liberal arts, humanities
and social sciences, having rigorous training in language
which, despite educational technology, will remain the
primary vehicle of communication in the classroom. All
this implies possession of a whole repertoire of analytical
skills—skills in which teachers, including university
teachers, are often woefully lacking.
GUMLEY: There's one comment that I'd like to
follow up with on this whole thing. At the
present time, students and faculty, especially in this
part, the lower mainland—for example, Simon Fraser
reactions this summer, have differed in their opinions
and ideas as to the cooperation that should exist
between students and faculty members.
As Dr. Tomkins has mentioned, this hierarchical
system has got to go. It's got to break down a little bit. I
think that this is an excellent opportunity to make the
comment that I feel is very valid here, that in this
particular commission, the cooperation that exists
between myself. Dr. Tomkins and the members of the
commission is one of the best examples of how people
can cooperate to form a much better society that we can
live in, instead of going out hollering and screaming,
fighting and shouting, rioting and things like this.
Let's get together and negotiate on these things. I
think this is what we've got to do and do it well. And I
feel very strongly about the fact that education is where
it's going to start and where it's going to happen at UBC.
TOMKINS:' And I'd like to stress the idea that this
study is, I think, the first really
fundamental study, by any faculty of its own operation,
in the eight years I've been at UBC, and with the
students involved, I think the point that Gary made is
really very good and I go back to what I said a moment
ago, there can be no doubting the seriousness of this
We are committed to really taking a fundamental
look at the education of teachers and the study of
education at UBC and we're soliciting the views of
everyone; alumni (we've already done this), teachers and
faculty. I'm directing a letter to every single member of
the entire University faculty at UBC and we hope that
our readers will let us have their views.
BLACK: 'Students journey in a
sheltered cocoon, and go
Jbdckinto schools without
experiencing life in-between1 Father Gerald McGuigan, a member of the UBC faculty,
journeyed behind the Iron Curtain in the summer
of 1968 to attend the 9th World Festival of Youth . . .
In the question and answer session which
begins on this page he describes . . .
That Needed
Beauty Queen
UBC REPORTS: I understand you have been behind
the Iron Curtain recently to attend
the 9th World Festival of Youth, and that afterwards
you talked with students in Prague, Paris and London.
FR. McGUIGAN: Yes, the festival was held in Sofia,
Bulgaria, for ten days at the
beginning of August. There were 30,000 students and
young people representing some 120 countries at this
festival, which was sponsored by the socialist countries.
UBC REPORTS:     What   was   the   theme   of   the
McGUIGAN:      'Peace, Solidarity and Friendship among
the Youth of the World.' Although it
was intended on paper to be a cultural and educational
affair (and in many respects it was), it could not fail to
be highly political as well—whether some of the
participants knew it or not. The main focal point was
UBC REPORTS:     How was the festival organized?
McGUIGAN:     Very   rigidly,   along   communist   party
lines. Don't forget it was in Bulgaria,
which while free in some respects is very much
neo-Stalinist. The authoritarian structure of the festival
presented a good foil to set the attitudes of western
students over against. The whole occasion provided an
excellent perspective on western student radical thought.
UBC REPORTS:     Were    western    radical   students
represented at the festival?
McGUIGAN: As far as I could tell, radical students
were there from nearly all western
countries-with especially heavy representations from
West Germany, France, the Low Countries, Italy and
Spain. Naturally, the largest delegations of students and
youth were from Russia, Czechoslovakia and the other
eastern socialist countries.
Including the Quebec delegation, there were about 40
young people from Canada, not all of whom were radical
students. Relatively few of the Canadian delegation,
which was made up of both students and other young
people, were communist party members. But this was
not the case just for Canada.
It is important to realize that even though there were
many radical students from the west, none of them by
definition were active communist party members. This
turned out to be one of the main lessons learned from
the festival. It reflects upon the accuracy of the notion
held by many people that student unrest is a
"Communist Party plot.'
UBC REPORTS:     But   many   of   them   would   be
"communist"  in the sense of being
Marxist or socialist?
McGUIGAN: Oh yes. But don't forget there are many
brands of Marxism. And this was
precisely the point at issue in the confrontation that
developed between western European students and the
festival. It was the fact of variety in Marxist thought
among the students that led to the confrontation, for
the festival organization represented the official
communist party as far as the western students were
In many recent student uprisings, particularly that in
Paris, the party had not only failed to come to the
assistance of the radical students but had even disowned
them. The students resented this conservativism in the
party, and were seeking a more realistic theory of
revolution. For them, the party had become largely an
outdated organization which had sold out to 'bourgeois'
methods of change.
One must distinguish, then, between the
Marxist-Leninist doctrine espoused officially by the
socialist countries aligned with Moscow and that
espoused by the radical students. The latter draws its
thought increasingly from the younger and more
philosophical Marx. The implications of this early
thought of Marx, especially in its relationship to notions
of human community and the relationship of practical
action to social revolution, were to a large extent
neglected by many of the later commentators on Marx.
UBC REPORTS: Exactly how was this philosophical
difference which you mention
related to the festival and the differences in thought
between students in the west and students in the eastern
socialist countries?
McGUIGAN: It showed itself in the demonstrations
and teach-ins initiated against the
authoritarianism of the festival. They tried to cut across
the vertical organization of the festival by dialogue and
attempts to create new ways of looking at the problem
of socialism and the third world. It indicated that the
basic opposition of western students was one which was
anti-authoritarian—regardless of whether the authority
was capitalistic or socialistic.
In western countries this anti-authoritarianism shows
itself in the issue of anti-American imperialism,
anti-colonialism or neo-colonialism, and especially
anti-Vietnamese war. The western students used the
technique of confrontation in an attempt to shake the
students in eastern socialist countries out of their
environmental envelope, out of the political bag of the
Marxist-Leninist line. Because their countries do not have the same history
of colonial experience as students from other countries,
-      eastern European students are not nearly as aware of the
-* j third world as western students (whether radical or not).
Although "anti-Vietnam" was an official slogan for the
festival, for eastern Europeans it was not the gut issue it
was for western students. Without any real experience of
it,   the   eastern    European   students   accepted   this
'    ' propaganda form of protest against western capitalism
because it was official.
Western students were very much aware that to be
true to their principles they had to be opposed as much
* to the rhetoric of the Marxist-Leninist line as they were
to the rhetoric of freedom in the west. On paper the
ideals of freedom and goals to work toward as espoused
4 by the west and by the socialist countries are not all that
UBC REPORTS:      From what you say and from what I
gather elsewhere, the radical student
on at least some occasions seems to be rather politically
naive and a bit Utopian in some of his hopes.
'     McGUIGAN:     To be perfectly frank on this, I gained
the    distinct    impression    in   eastern
Europe  that  the  western   radical   students are  indeed
considered   rather   naive   when   it   comes   to   political
The eastern 'pros1
resent the intrusion
of amateurs in the
revolution business
realities, especially the reality of apathy, cynicism and
self-interest, whether in capitalist or socialist countries.
Many of the eastern students were not only not fired
up by the ideals of a human society as outlined in Marx,
but large numbers had not even read him, or Lenin for
that matter. They rather resented these prophets and
missionaries coming out of the west to "save" them.
After all, they were the "pro's" in this business of
establishing the socialist revolution, and no student from
„ the west was going to tell them how to run it. But, aside
from cynicism, self-interest and so on, this sort of
reaction, again, was due largely to the lack of real
personal awareness about the third world on the part of
many students in eastern European countries.
The western radical students recognized readily that
the socialist countries had lost their idealism fully as
much as the west, and that there was as much of a split
between official teaching or propagandizing and reality
?as there was in the west. It is on this basis that there is a
commonality of protest between North American
students and European students. For these students
Marx-especially the younger Marx (and his more recent
. interpreters, Che Guevara, for example)-diagnose this
split between reasoning and social reality, and the need
for positive action to heal the breach.
Out of this grows a theory of revolutionary action in
which one acts to change reality. Social reality in these
'terms never develops to a point where society is ready
for revolution. One doesn't wait for change to evolve.
One alters reality by acting. History doesn't make the
person. People make history.
For these reasons, rather I should say because of the
actions and demonstrations of the western students that
flowed from these principles, the festival officials
accused the western students of trying to wreck the
festival. They hurled at them the worst epithet they
could think of-C.I.A. agents-when they saw that these
students were not going to be dissuaded or hushed up.
Yet back at home, the same radical student in the
west is accused of being a communist—which is our
« worst epithet. And so, strange to relate, the communist
establishment directs the same kind of criticism at the
radical student as does the capitalist establishment, such
as adventurers, anarchists etc. From both sides they are
.disdainfully referred to as Trotskyists or Maoists, even
though the label may not always fit or in some cases
does not fit at all.
Some   people  will   probably  take comfort  in what
East or west,
produces similar
student discontents
radical    student,    namely   a   certain   commonality
underlying all student protest.
UBC REPORTS: What do you think, then, are the
common bases of students' protest?
McGUIGAN: Let me mention only one of them,
although obviously there are other
important factors involved. I see as one set of causal
relationships a pattern which associates the rejection of
authotitarianism in the universities and in society at
large; the pre-empting of the universities by training in
skills in technical training, in the social sciences and even
in the humanities; and the stages of the development of
the economy, with their corresponding levels of
This may not be a very profound observation, but I
think it can be useful. It is apparent that we can't speak
in generalities when we consider the eastern European
socialist countries, student unrest and the search for
issues there on the part of their students. Each country
must be considered separately.
If I may be pardoned an economic interpretation,
each of the socialist countries is in a different stage of
development toward industrialism. One need not
belabour the point that the industrialism in the U.S.S.R.
is becoming similar to that of the United States.
However, even if we can't speak of a general student
movement in eastern Europe, it is fair to say that a
common set of values or protests develops, arising out of
the fact of industrialization—or, more exactly, out of an
uncritical acceptance of it.
There is also a common set of virtues inculcated by
the establishments, both eastern and western, that are
necessary for industrialism. In the early stages of
industrialization, a certain unconscious acceptance of
authority develops. Division of labour has much to do
with the genesis of these attitudes of dependence upon
centralized authority.
UBCREPOFITS: Is there any evidence for your
observations concerning the
development of the uncritical acceptance of authority.
McGUIGAN Yes, among other things, I can point to
this pamphlet, "Your Questions
Answered," which was distributed at the festival by the
Soviet students. The thoughts advanced are almost
identical, except for some of the vocabulary, with those
which would be given by a member of the Junior
Chamber of Commerce in the United States, or in
Vancouver, for that matter. ~*~
So you see there is a comparison between the
attitudes in two reasonably equated highly industrialized
societies, the Soviet Union and the United States. But I
want to extend it farther. Below that, we have various
It's fast communication,
not organization
that makes it all look
like a worldwide plot
vappears to be at least one area of agreement with the
official communist line—that is, that they mutually
dislike radical students. But to me it points to something
much more important and critical in understanding the
gradations of economic development from almost
agricultural societies through developing stages of
industrialism. And in each one of these particular stages,
we have different sets of attitudes with regard to
students vis a-vis the university and the governmental or
political set within which they live.
So we experience differences between the students in
Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and
the Soviet Union; quite different sets of attitudes have
developed in each of these countries and so have
different issues, different especially from the issues for
western students. There is a gradation of politically
expressed protest (almost negligible in most socialist
countries as yet), from acceptance of the 'establishment'
and a positive desire to enforce industrial virtues to
rejection of political control and the beginning of a
rejection of cultural values, as in Czechoslovakia.
But in no case is there the basic gut rejection of both
political and cultural values as has been generated by
prosperity under industrialism in western society.
UBC REPORTS: You spoke earlier of a socialist
rhetoric and a capitalist rhetoric.
Large sections of youth in either system seem then to be
conservative in the sense that they have not become
'aware' of the political 'bag' or environment in which
they live, o- that rhetoric doesn't represent reality. Or,
again, if they do appreciate that rhetoric and reality are
not the same, they don't see that it matters that there is
such a discrepancy. They don't ask questions about the
Continued on page 10
By Father Gerald McGuigan
Father Gerald McGuigan, Chairman of UBC's experimental New Arts II program, is the author of the article
below, which will appear in a book entitled "Student
Protest," to be published in October by Methucn
Publications of Toronto. Father McGuigan has also
edited the volume which will contain a number of
essays on student unrest. "UBC Reports" is grateful to
Methuen Publications for permission to reproduce excerpts from Father McGuigan's lead article.
NE cannot properly
understand the thought of radical students until one has
some understanding of the process of an unstructured
radical student meeting and the relationships between
meetings, a "turn-on," the issues, confrontation,
education and the genesis of revolutionary analysis. To
understand radical thought, one must appreciate that
action and thought are only true when united in action.
Education takes place in a seminar, at a meeting, or at a
They are all basically the same thing, in that thought
and action are combined. A "sit-in" is an education—it is
a seminar on the problem of confrontation. The younger
Marx (not the older Marx of western economic
disrepute) sums up this notion of education and truth as
participation and creation, "The question whether
human thought can pretend to objective truth is not a
theoretical question but a practical one; it is in practice
that man must prove that his thought is true."
The nature of the problem of understanding begins to
become apparent, then: it is a mistake to look for a
corpus of student revolutionary thought, for thought is
revolution and revolution is thought. Under these
circumstances, radical thought escapes adequate
description by the classical categories of western thought
and logic. It is precisely that combination of thought
and action that cannot be rationalized into ordinary
existing categories which is radical.
In fact, it is the attempt to define radical activity and
classify it as a body of thought, as certain members of
the movement itself have attempted to do, which impels
it forward into the areas of happenings which lie beyond
the grasp of formal logic or even conceptualization.
"Happenings," by definition, cannot be categorized and
it is precisely the attempt to categorize them that either
pushes them on into further "happenings" or destroys
their quality as on-going participation. In the event that
this forward movement fails to take place, it fails in the
ultimate sense of pure revolution; the analysis, proven
incorrect, must be reworked and re-tested, or
abandoned. Reality or the truth is only what continuous
revolution makes it.
■ OR t
lOR these reasons, and others
deriving from a different basic philosophical/theological
approach to life and its meaning, the establishment type
finds it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with
a genuinely radical student. One must be willing to
participate in the more demanding notion of revolution
as participation in order to understand, because understanding is "doing," and "doing" is "being." It is in this
context that one understands "ad hoc" actions, "be-
ins,"- "teach-ins," and "board-ins."
The notions of issue, confrontation and education are
the same things, seen in different aspects. Confrontation
Continued on page 11 The Search
/s for Meaningful Issuesl
framework of their own society and its relationship to
their own personal development.
McGUIGAN: Well, given the fact that the educational
methods proper to industrial systems are
not geared to create self awareness—although they
eventually cause it—this is not surprising. However,
because of increased communications, especially in the
west where there is greater cultural diffusion, students
suddenly become aware in a practical way that industrial
virtues are not the only ones possible or desirable.
This has not happened in the socialist countries yet,
at least not to the same degree. Incidentally, rapid
communication gives student unrest the appearance of
being a plot, communistic, anarchistic or otherwise. In
reality it is not organization which is facilitated by easy
communications, but the spread of similar attitudes.
UBC REPORTS: Do you see the rapid advance of
student radicalism in socialist
McGUIGAN: Given ten years or even less—perhaps
even tomorrow—what with the speed of
change these days, it might be that Vladimir, a Russian
student we met at the festival who was so representative
of the Soviet equivalent of the American Junior
Chamber of Commerce type, will be faced with the
radical student as his counterpart.
c/er USA In 1/ietnaK
Industrialism not
directed to truly
human use generates
a certain revulsion
In other words, industrialism by itself, depending
upon how well it is developed and assuming it is not
directed to truly human use, generates a certain
revulsion for the impersonalism and the superficiality
which comes with it. And sooner or later the U.S.S.R.,
and then the countries which are less economically
advanced at present, will take up this form of radicalism.
Perhaps it's less than five years away in
Czechoslovakia; the hippies, probably the forerunners of
the radical students and who don't care to be or are
perhaps less able to be intellectually explicit about their
actions than the students, are already seen in large
numbers on the streets of Prague. And so are the
long-haired student activists who have become visible
during this past year in Czechoslovakia; compared with
the short-cropped Russians, or the Bulgarians, for
But in fact, in almost every one of these eastern
socialist countries, when speaking to people who
presumably are reasonably honest, ask them whether
they had read Mao, or Marcuse, or the early Marx, and
you don't find much response in that direction so far.
(Whether you agree with them or not, these authors turn
things upside down for both eastern and western
establishments and reject what people think of as
ordinary or natural.)
To make a pun, the east hasn't been exposed to a
"death of socialism" theology yet. I don't know what
sort of world it will be when we have a "death of Mao"
theology. To extend the observation on the uncritical
acceptance of industrialism itself, up to a point people
will accept quite a bit of discipline in order to raise their
standard of living.
Now, to go back again, why is it that students from
western Germany reach a stage of protest in an industrial
society? That's a good question, but I don't know that I
can answer it. I think that much of it has to do with
communications, the necessity for a horizontal flow of
information as the industrial society grows more and
more complex. Not a flow down from the top.
The Sofia Youth Festival had its share of banners
urging an end to the Vietnam war. B. C. delegate Jim
Harding is seated in the foreground.
UBC REPORTS:       How were these attitudes related to
the festival?
McGUIGAN: Well, it was the display of these
uncritical attitudes at the festival which
provoked much of the western students' reaction. Can
you imagine? They actually had a festival queen. God
help socialism! The slogan of the festival, and its avowed
purpose, was for solidarity, friendship and unity among
socialist countries and indeed all peoples of the world.
But, in fact, the official policy and organization
prevented dialogue, even though they would claim
theoretically that the contrary was true. So, in effect, as
far as rhetoric is concerned, are we not in identical
positions in western society as in the eastern socialist
To mention that Soviet pamphlet again, "Your
Questions Answered," the answers given there are
exactly the same sorts of answers that you'd get in the
United States, in defense of their system. One of the
questions seriously posed in the pamphlet was whether
they were against long hair. The answer was that if it was
sloppy, yes.
But with regard to women, the remarks were that
they favored hair styling. I mean to say, when you have
to defend hair styling in order to make socialism
acceptable, what have you got? Not that long or short
hair is in itself a big issue, but it does function as an
indicator of other values.
All sorts of 'freedom' is allowed, all sorts of
infections much more serious than long hair which might
threaten society are effectively absorbed; and there's no
human protest that can ever really be effective. If you
care to put it in terms that Marcuse would use, the
one-dimensional society is not only capitalistic but
socialistic. Any possibility of effective opposition is
removed, absorbed, neutralized.
I think it says quite a bit for the consistency of
radical students' thought—and the quality of their
nerve—that the western radical students were almost as
much prepared to demonstrate in Sofia as they were in
Paris, New York or Berkeley, in order to point up the
rhetoric of the socialist thought and its authoritarianism.
They held back at the point that would have provoked
violent clash.
In part this was because of the longer history of
police brutality in socialist countries, and in part because
this  confrontation  will  wait  upon the eventual open
appearance of the east's radical students.
UBC REPORTS:     But how do you see all this applying
to a Canadian university?
McGUIGAN: Well, that is a complicated problem. The
whole situation must be seen in light of
the notion of confrontation, which is critical to an
understanding of student protest. In France, the.
students were driven to violent confrontation—to
destruction and to fury.
Now, obviously there's a difference in degree in the
university situation between Canada and France. The x
university system in France is archaic and terribly
regressive compared to the university situation in
Canada. However, it might be that the real difference in
attitude between French students and Canadian students
is not all that great—except that the basic humai*
demands that the French students are asking have been
realized in some part already in the Canadian
It    is    because    of    the    entrenchment   and   the*
conservativism    of   the   professorial    and   academir
community  in   France that such  a tremendously hard
shock is necessary there to begin anything.
UBC REPORTS:      Do you suppose that kind of shock
is going to be needed in introducing
academic reform in Canada and the U.S.?
McGUIGAN:      I    hope    not.    But    aside   from   the
conservativism of academics, it must be
said that in Canada and the United States the capability .
of absorption of demands for reform has increased.
The establishment has found it easier, in a non-violent
way (at least in Canada), to contain university reform.
But this is probably a recognition that we in Canada
have a more suffusive and elastic set of industrial values
which can effectively smother reforms, or at least render
them ineffective.
The question is more complicated than just that,
however. We are involved here in the whole question,of
colonialism and the historicity of issues. Students in
western universities have a sense of guilt about
imperialistic capitalist expansion—but this sense of guilt
Universities enforce
the values that
student protestors
most decry
is not generally present yet, as far as students in the
U.S.S.R. are concerned, in looking at Soviet expansion.
It is this sense of guilt which is an important factor-in
student protest. Since almost every western European
country has had its own particular history of
colonialism, out of which issues for protest arise,
Canadian students in particular must be careful in their
assessment of these issues. »
UBC REPORTS:      You think then that Canadians have
particular difficulties in finding real
issues for protest?
McGUIGAN: Yes. The search is for meaningful issues,
which have at the same time a
relationship to societal change and to their own personal
lives. For want of issues more meaningful in this sense of
arising out of his own personal circumstances, he
focusses on Vietnam, for example. This may be worthy»
of protest, but for Canadian students it is experienced
vicariously when compared with the personal
involvement of French or American students.
UBC REPORTS:     So   Canadian   students  turn   to the
university as issue?
McGUIGAN:     The   university   is   something   right   at
home for them. When they strike at the ^
university, they strike at an important place where the
values they decry are enforced and where the thinking
which supports these decried values is best developed. f
is the kind of happening in which the order of the
senses and the priorities formed by institutions are
cfisrupted. Institutions condition and order the senses to
respond in certain predictable ways in the name of
obedience. Thus the institution becomes an object of
obedience for the sake of the institution itself and one
must be shaken out of this catatonic state in which one
is obedient principally to preserve the institution for its
own sake.
UT of the disruption of
..patterns of obedience, created by the confrontation
which provides a justifiable human alternative, arises a
new ordering of the present which is unique in its
combination of evidence. The act of becoming aware of
this newly created pattern is education.
Many radical students are theologically minded (at
least implicitly so), and would accuse the establishment
of a lack of belief in the real possibility of human
renewal. Added to this is what amounts to an accusation
that the establishment has a superstitious attachment to
ways of acting which by nature are not proportioned to
attain their intended purpose, that of human growth.
This is true of all magical formulations, whether it be an
appeal to the spirits of the forest or the earth, or an
appeal to the spirits of the technological world which
must be fed and appeased.
This is where the establishment misunderstanding of
what an issue is, is likely to arise; for this consideration
is basic to an understanding of radical thought and the
role of real "issues" in the renewal of human values.
Beyond this first consideration, it is only when the
theory of revolution is fully understood that we can
understand what an issue is, and what the expressions,
. "liberal issue," "tokenism," or "selling out" mean.
It is often said that students do not know what they
want. They are vague. They are visionaries. They want to
tear down and have nothing to put up in its place. They
,go from issue to issue, like a dog hunting for a bone. In
our consideration of what the students do want, let us
from the beginning dismiss the nihilist, the mad-man
who has a rage against society and simply wishes to
destroy. Undoubtedly some students, like others in our
society, are genuinely mad; however, they are no more
acceptable in the "new left" than anywhere else. To
weigh too heavily on this element is simply another way
the establishment avoids the real intellectual issue at
TFie word "issue" has a special meaning in the
context of revolutionary thought. In ordinary thought,
we can give this word two meanings. In the first sense,
issue is a specific problem to be solved within a given set
of values. In the second sense, an issue can be the
occasion when two sets of values come into conflict. For
example, the resurfacing of an existing road is a different
sort of issue than the building of a throughway in a
densely populated city.
The meaning of issue as used in radical thought is
basically that of the second sense, where there is a clash
of values. However, it goes beyond that. An issue in the
radical sense also has the dimension of being the
moment of creation of human awareness to a new and
unique situation which did not exist before, one in
which a new set of human relationships is established
with reference to new human needs.
So, an issue in the radical sense may have two
dimensions. One may refer to an absolute concrete need
to be satisfied (for example, civil rights), and occurs on
, the occasion of a clash of value systems. The other
dimension is that in which an issue is seen as having
symbolic or even "sacramental" character in social and
political terms. That is to say, the "issue" as symbol
becomes the occasion for a rejuvenation of human
T is the contention of the
radical students that it is often destructive of human
freedom—and even superstitious, in the sense above—to
solve radical issues in terms of institutional ways which
are disfunctional and incapable of solving human problems arising from changed circumstances; it is an appeal
to abstract entities which have ceased to have human
consonance. Thus, liberal" theories of change and
paradigms of action can only lead to "liberal solutions."
■ ,&&*?
&. a
Radical thought then need not of itself deny the basic
western values concerned with the person and the
relationship of the person to society, but it does deny
the relevance for today of the particular sets of past
circumstances, coming down to the present, which
coerce the recognition of certain values and their
operation by means of obsolete institutional forms.
These forms are often part and parcel with a particular
existing set of economic, political and social
Now we have reached the core of the
intellectual/moral argument that the radical students
pose to the university, for what is moral for the radical
student is a total human act which contains upon
analysis both theory and practice. Moral actions for the
radical student are not those which "ought" to be done
out of prescription (or moral theory) and in obedience
to moral proposition, but those which are creative of
human community in the given moment out of presently
recognized needs. The impact of the radical definition of
issue, which is associated with confrontation and
morality, is then of great importance both in posing the
problem facing the university and searching for an
HE question in its first
approximation is—does the university implicitly contain
an economic, political and social bias? And if it does,
what are the implications of this for intellectual debate
when the radical point of view is such that learning and
moral awareness (in which is implicit economic, political
and social change) are the same thing? What is the
implication of the bias for truth when truth is not a
theoretical question but a practical one?
It would seem the debate finally resolves itself into
the question of whether truth is propositional or
existential. Is a university faculty prepared to seriously
debate this question, as the radical student would
demand? Or if the faculty interprets the student's call
for debate as a threat to professionalism, will the debate
turn into personal invective directed against the students
for not keeping their intellectual place?
It was pointed out previously that a radical issue can
have two dimensions, the practical dimension and the
symbolic. The university as a radical "issue" involves
both of these. Symbolically, it becomes the occasion of
a rejuvenation of the human spirit. The practical aspects
flow from this, and they are associated, for example,
with global solutions to practical and existing human
problems which press for solutions. Radicals claim that
it is the absolute set of establishment values, whether it
be of the west or the east, which is one of the principal
causes of injustice to certain sections of our own society,
the cause of the paradox of poverty in the midst of the
greatest material abundance the world has ever known,
and which prevents fresh solutions in keeping with new
human needs from being realized.
The creation of issues is an educational process in the
deepest sense of the word. Confrontations—for instance,
civil   rights  demonstrations,   the   poor   in   Washington,
picketing—are intended to be "shocks" which create, by
the fact that they are done, a new set of circumstances
which did not exist before and which, if the
confrontation is properly chosen, cannot be effectively
dealt with by the normal operations of the establishment
methods of handling change and new situations.
HEN the public or university authorities are confronted in such a manner it is
intended that they should reassess the validity and
functionality of their organization's assumptions as to
how they assist human values and rights of self-determination. However, few established institutions are in fact
capable of doing this. Given the entrenchment, the
vested financial and intellectual interests in maintaining
the status quo because of the advantages it confers on
those in control of the establishment or teaching in it, to
effect a sufficiently large shock by confrontation is no
simple matter.
There is sufficient evidence in history to show that
the establishment never wakes up until it is too late.
They rest too easy in relishing the "old values" which
give the ease, satisfaction and appearance of order. A
radical student refuses to respond to the accusation that
his actions are "immoral," because in his terms this
means he is being accused of offending against the
establishment rules, which he claims are divorced from
moral responsibility with respect to any larger "issue."
So when we hear the expression "liberal issue" it
means that the issue is one which is soluble or of genuine
interest in the given context of a liberal society, or
self-serving of special interests in the liberal society. To
solve this "liberal problem" is not to solve the real issues
which are in the context of world awareness. Not
appreciating what the framework of radical thinking is,
it is no wonder that "liberal" administrators are
dismayed when the radical students fail to be
"reasonable." Given the context of his reasoning, what is
"reasonable" for the liberal is patently "unreasonable"
for the radical student. The radical student is inviting the
establishment person to abandon his parochial view of
society. Those in the establishment look upon this as an
invitation to anarchy, when it really is an expansion
which looks beyond localism. The radical student
realizes there are certain localisms which cannot be
escaped, but he wishes to have them drastically
What radical students are saying is that so long as the
university is associated only with the total liberal society
in all its political, economic and social relationships and
continues to concentrate on training people to maintain
this set of connections, then there can be no true
alternatives. To have alternatives is to have freedom.
In other words, they define freedom in this context
as the real ability to be able to decide against the liberal
set of values; but not, let it be noted, merely to cogitate
about "non-liberal" values, but to do "non-liberal"
things and act upon "non-liberal" issues. In terms of
radical analysis, this is not a destruction or a negation of
democratic values but an affirmation of them.
One may disagree with radical students or even
suggest third or fourth alternatives, but one cannot judge
that they are merely perverse or unreasoning. The most
mature of them claim to have a way of approaching a
problem which should (at least in the university, where
one would expect it) be treated on an intellectual basis.
It is an incredible thing, whether or not one will be
convinced of the radical analysis in the end, to dismiss
radical students as mere trouble makers. And to take the
position of some members of the establishment that any
further spending of university funds on these students is
of doubtful value because they are hardly likely to
become educated or finally useful members of society is
to reinforce the lines of misunderstanding.
IF education is only another word for "training," this is probably accurate
enough. The radical student will not be trained when
what he is seeking is an education in a broader sense. But
if what is meant is that these students do not have the
ability and willingness to learn, to stretch their own
minds and the world's intellectual resources in a search
for new solutions, the establishment view of the radical
students is probably wrong. 37V -   .' ■   • ■.■-.."■        ■!_■:. *."''■ . "& I'-". *:      .    "   "
«yj- a » ■■ r ■ - ■''. ;■
£, ........
Homecoming '68 Has New Home
There will be a new home for
Homecoming this year. No longer will
alumni congregate for reunions in the
old Brock Hall-it's been replaced by a
massive new $5 million Student Union
Building. That's where the action will
be Oct. 25-26. And grads of the
1958-68 decade are particularly invited to attend the functions in SUB.
That is if they want to get a little
pleasure out of the $1.2 million which
they contributed to the building.
A bold, raw concrete structure, the
student union building (now being
rushed to completion) is already one
of the most impressive buildings on
campus. Set in a huge plaza at East
Mall and University Boulevard, it
dominates the entrance to the campus
Festivities formally get underway
Thursday morning, with a women's
golf tournament on the University golf
course. But Homecoming really begins
in earnest on Friday, Oct. 25. First,
the   men   will   be  able  to   test  their
golfing skill in a tournament on the
University course. In the evening there
will be a family sports jamboree in the
UBC War Memorial Gymnasium. Over
in SUB, Sigma Tau Chi, the honorary
men's fraternity will hold its 25-year reunion. The 50-year reunion of the
Ubyssey staffers is planned for the
same time. And UBC hockey teams
from the last 50 years will be holding
reunions in the Faculty Club. The
highlight of that event will be a talk by
all-time hockey great Babe Pratt, who
at 8 p.m. will referee an old-timers
hockey game at the UBC Winter
Sports Centre. Another game will get
underway at 8:45 p.m. that evening
with the Ex-Thunderbirds taking on
the 1958-68 'Birds. The $5 fee for the
hockey program includes dinner at the
Faculty Club with the old time hockey
players, the games and a season pass to
UBC hockey games.
On Saturday, the students will stage
their traditional parade through downtown Vancouver. Following this, there
will be student-sponsored bus tours of
the campus and of the new student
union building, winding up with a student-alumni lunch at SUB. Sports fans
will be able to take in the annual
Homecoming football game with Pacific Lutheran taking on the Thunderbirds at 2 p.m. in the new Thunderbird
stadium. After the game there will be a
hot rum party at Cecil Green Park.
And at 6 p.m. returning grads will get
together to reminisce about old times.
Reunions for the classes of 1923,
1928, 1933, 1938, and 1943 will be
held in the Faculty Club, while the
1948, 1953, and 1958 classes will get
together in SUB.
Homecoming '68 will be climaxed
with the annual Homecoming ball,
held this year in the new student
union building. So come on back and
renew your ties with the old campus.
If you want more details, phone
228-3313 or write the UBC Alumni
Association, Cecil Green Park, 6251
Northwest Marine Drive, Vancouver 8,
Vancouver CBC-TV will zoom in on
campus unrest at UBC and Simon Fraser University with the first of nine
half-hour shows beginning September
30. The program, which will be aired
weekly on Monday nights from
10:30—11:00 p.m., has been given the
intriguing title of A Little Learning.
The man behind the cameras is producer Brian Guns, a UBC alumnus (BA
'58) who decided to do the show after
becoming concerned with the media's
failure to date to adequately examine
the university issue. "After having read
a few hundred headlines and seen
many TV clips I realized that what lay
beyond these were some important
and interesting issues which the public
was not being made aware of," said
Guns. "To use a cliche, I felt it incumbent on me to close this information
The CBC-TV crew has been roaming around both campuses since midsummer filming and conducting interviews. Guns is using university students exclusively as his team of
researchers and interviewers. Host for
the series will be UBC graduate
psychology student Lanny Beckman
and key researchers will be Stan Wong,
an SFU student senator and Stan
Persky, a UBC anthropology student
and former Arts Undergraduate
Society president. Guns stressed that
use of the students did not mean the
program would forsake objectivity.
"We're doing all we can to approach
the series as a kind of research project
in a spirit of free inquiry," he said.
Alumni Assist Programs for Students
To students in a large university
little things mean a lot. Little things
like having a bone-wearying three hour
wait to register for classes, or having a
10-minute walk in the rain from car to
classes, or having lecture with 300-plus
students or wanting to chat with a professor over coffee and having nowhere
to go. Little things that make all the
difference for students in the quality
of their university experience.
The way UBC has grown in recent
years, scrambling to find classrooms
for swelling enrolments (now 20,000),
it is not surprising that some of the
"little things" should have been
neglected. And it is understandable
that some students now should complain—as they do on large campuses
everywhere—that   UBC is impersonal.
While UBC is not as impersonal an
institution as some would make out,
there are some weaknesses and more is
being done now to provide the little
things that are so important to the
quality of student life. One of the new
developments, for example, is that
more benches have been placed around
campus for students to sit on during
sunny weather. An old barn near the
new H.R. MacMillan building on the
main mall has been refurbished into a
brightly-decorated student coffee shop
predictably called. The Barn. The new
experimental Arts I program, of
course, is an obvious step toward eliminating the problems of large classes
and increasing faculty-student contact.
And the UBC Alumni Association
has been playing a part in this process.
For one thing, last year the association
allocated $5,000 from the Alumni
Fund to a special contingency fund to
give prompt help to worthwhile campus projects—one part of a larger program of student aid. Under the contingency fund procedure, each request
for aid needs only the unanimous approval of the UBC president, the executive director of the Alumni Association and the Past President of the
Alumni Association. "This allows us to
respond immediately where we would
like to help out a student situation on
campus without getting bogged down
in red tape," said Gerald McGavin,
chairman of the 1968 Alumni Fund.
To date, the Alumni Association
has made grants of $1,600 from the
contingency fund to help projects for
which aid was not available elsewhere.
The Faculty of Arts received $500 to
assist three projects recommended by
the joint Student-Faculty Committee
on Student Life. Of this, $100 was
given to provide free refreshments to
first-year students during pre-registra-
tion this month. The aim was to enable students to select courses and talk
to professors in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Another $100 was given to
publicize a series of lectures to be
given by heads of departments in Arts
in which they will discuss their departmental programs and the disciplines
for which they are responsible. The remaining $300 was granted to help
launch small, informal snack bars in
the Buchanan and Henry Angus buildings where students and faculty could
Acting Dean of Arts Dr. John Young
said the gift had been a big help and
that the snack bars have proved popular. "We wanted something where students and staff could mix informally,"
he said. "Our feeling is that having the
new Student Union Building so far
away is not very helpful to promoting
closer student-staff relations."
The Alumni Association also provided $500 to assist an initiation
symposium of Group A of the new
Arts I class held September 6—8 at
Camp Elphinstone. The grant went toward transportation and accommodation for 95 students who attended the
symposium, aimed at introducing
them to each other and to the year's
work. "The grant was a great help indeed," said Brian Mayne, assistant professor of English and a co-chairman of
Arts I. "The total cost of the weekend
was about $1,500 and the grant
allowed the amount we had to charge
each student to be only $6. If it had
been $10, fewer students would have
come and the symposium would have
been a lot less successful than it was."
The Alma Mater Student Housing
Bureau was also given $200 to help in
obtaining off-campus housing for students. The money was used toward
hiring a student field worker who
spent five weeks this summer drumming up listings of accommodation
available to students. "The field
worker proved a great success," said
AMS housing co-ordinator John Tilley.
"We picked up 800 listings over what
we had last year."
And the UBC Medical Undergraduate Society will be holding a
medical retreat October 4-6 at the
Pinewoods Lodge, Manning Park, with
the assistance of a $400 grant from the
contingency fund. The grant represents a subsidy of $5 for each of the
80 students attending the annual event
at which students, professors and
medical practitioners gather to discuss
aspects of modern medicine.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items