North Carolina Newspapers

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SAL6MIT6
Volume LXM
Number 1
August 31,1979
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Morrill With A Capital M
Education With A
Capital “E”
Like the other fresh
men in this great class
of 1983 I’m having a lot
of fun exploring ^e
campus and learning
about these lovely old
buildings. On the second
floor of the office
building is a simple but
pleasant place called
the Trustee’s Room. On
its walls are pictures of
all of Salem’s
presidents. These
august gentlemen peer
out solemly from every
corner of the room, and
as I’ve shared with
photos by Pam Snyder
“Going That Extra Mile
During the short
Summer I spent a great
^eal of time thinking
®hout my hopes for
Salem’s Student
Government this year.
Gf course I had the
"sual ideas of working
a more effective
*^udget, emphasizing the
^oed and use of the
Student Center, im
proving publications,
Organizing clubs and
[bore. But I found at the
ooart of all my hopes,
Aos the sincere desire
^or all the students at
^alem to play a major
Part in all of the ac-
Gvities at Salem,
[ovolvement was the
oyword. Taking the
'oitiative and going that
P’ttra mile.
I remember 3 short
yoars ago when I sat
"fhere the class of ’83
*Hs today. As topsy
turvy as you feel after
Grientation. I thought I
"'as in pretty good
*tiape. Dad had made
*Ure our room wouldn’t
P'ow-up because of
Overloaded extension
oords and Mom had
taught me the secret of
^Peping an organized
Ond neat dorm room,
^ty sister brought a
Plant to make the room
Oozy. I liked the girls on
[by hall and was
opginning to feel quite
01 home - then Con
vocation came. I was
totally taken back by
the administration and
‘acuity in their
opademic regalia, the
^Pniors seemed so
Sophisticated and
mature, everyone but
me seemed to know the
Alma Mater, but the
most impressive part
was that there seemd to
be a real sense of
belonging here. I was
ready to jump in and
take over Len Brinkleys
job as President of the
Student Government, so
I could be involved and
belong, too - but I didn’t.
Because of that my
freshman year left alot
to be desired.
Sophomore year I found
my niche - got involved
and that made all the
difference in the world.
I truly felt that I
belonged at Salem.
Since then I’ve been a
firm believer in Mark
Twain’s statement. “I
never let schooling
interfere with my
education.”
I’m not saying that
the only way to
“belong” in Salem is to
be involved, but I am
saying that it helps. At
Salem we have op
portunities galore and
this year is going to
prove to be exciting one
and full of newness,
add to Salem editorial
Involvement can be
stopping by your
favorite professor’s
office and probing
further into an in
teresting issue he or she
brought up in class.
Involvement includes
helping uphold the
Honor Tradition or
distributing exams.
Participate by going to
SGA meetings and
speaking your mind.
Involvement can mean
running for a class
office, joining
Publications, or dancing
for Dansalems.
Involvement is helping
paint decorations for
your class’s Fall Fest
skit. Involvement is
reading your assign
ment over one more
time so you can actively
and intelligently par
ticipate in the class
discussion. Involvement
is having an idea,
speaking up and putting
that idea to work.
I can’t see this year as
being anything less than
exciting and full of
opportunities for growth
and change. As you
know our Student
Government touches
every aspect of life at
Salem College. Salem’s
SGA is an active and
effective organization
that gets things done,
but it needs the support,
ideas and participation
of all Salem’s students.
While an education is
our common main
objective for being here,
don’t “let schooling
interfere with your
education.” Speak-up,
do that little bit more,
strive for quality - get
involved.
Salem’s SGA is going
to have a great year,
because all the door
ways are open for total
student participation.
.And with all of that - we
can’t help, but get the
job done!
Diana Jolliff
President of SG.A
several of you. I’ve
discovered something
peculiar about the
mathematics of
presidential tenure at
Salem. The last four
residencies go like this --
President Rondthaler
was in office an ex
traordinary 40 plus
years, followed by
President Dale
Gramley for over 20,
then by President
Chandler for five and
President Cuninggim
for three. You can see
what this means for me.
Now I’m taking it to be
my job to reverse this
iron law of
mathematical succe
ssion.
This fall you will have
the dubious opportunity
to hear me ramble on
about Salem on several
occasions. In October
there will be an in
stallation ceremony.
I’m a great believer in a
new president using that
occasion to address
questions of in
stitutional purpose and
mission - to offer, in
other words, some
thoughts and proposals
about the Salem of the
future. Now, though, it
seems much more
fitting to begin with the
wider view and to
concentrate less on
administrative and
institutional matters
and more on intellectual
ones, to place Salem in
the context of
educational trends and
possibilities.
My topic is an in
cessant and universal
one, and nothing less
than the aims and worth
of education itself. As is
often the case, though,
the occasion for its
coming to the surface is
a concrete exchange of
ideas -- a conversation,
and a debate. Early last
spring the provost at
Penn State and I had a
chance to get to know a
senior who was par
ticipating with us in the
miseries of the annual
academic budget
hearing process. Andy
was a venturesome
young man with lots of
spunk, and a certain
proper disrespect for
authority. For some
reason we began to
exchange ideas on
education, his goals,
and some of the articles
that the provost and I
had co-authored on
values in education.
Besides telling us rather
pointedly but politely
that we hadn’t had a
new idea in ten years he
told us how hopelessly
out of touch he felt we
were with him and his
compatriots. We were
fluffy-minded idealists.
We talked to the
capacity of education to
change lives and values,
to nourish and enlarge
the human spirit.
According to Andy, this
was, as he put it, a
misplaced belief in
education with a capital
“E.” And it was
decidedly not a belief in
which he shared. Andy
was a realist and a
rather grim one at that,
a proponent of starkly
small and practical
“E’S” in education. In a
way he was proud of his
education because he
had beaten the system
by finding a com
fortable way to enter it.
He held in his hand one
of several handsome job
offers from a high
technology company.
He had supplemented a
major in the social
sciences with training in
electrical engineering.
He compared with a
touch of smugness his
bright career prospects
with what to him were
the dismal and
frightening prospects of
his friends who had only
majored in one of the
basic discinlines.
Two things hit me
hard. First was the
intensity of his goal. Not
to have that job would
have meant virtually a
total loss of self, a
feeling of utter aban
donment. All sense of
possibility for the
future, any bright allure
it might have, seemed to
turn on that position.
Second, there was the
striking fact for Andy
that education had
worth simply and only
to the extent that it
provided him with the
skills and tools that he
wanted and needed to
pursue his private
purposes. The
university was a great
storehouse of skills
among which he could
choose to make his way
in the world.
The narrowness of
Andy’s vision is to me
lamentable, but let me
hasten to add that it is
understandable. He and
you the students here
have heard nothing but
a grinding
vocationalism from
parents and national
leaders and teachers
and the rest of us. There
is no point in trying to
make students feel
guilty about it or in
railing against them
because of it. 'The
depths of the feeling
surrounding the
necessity for education
to lead to a specific job
needs first to be truly
heard, then understood,
and only then
challenged. What seems
finally so difficult to
accept is not Andy’s
strategy, for he com
bined work in a basic
academic discipline
with study in an applied
field. No, most troubling
is the complete loss of
the vision and con
sciousness about what
education can be, and
probably in some
measure had been for
him. His sight had
become so fixated on the
future, that he failed to
see whence he had
come.
I submit that what has
been lost from view and
the humanizing powers
of education. This is the
capital “E” that should
not be diminished. If
this “E” has been down
sized, we can look
toward ourselves as
much as to external
forces, to explain it.
In many ways higher
learning in general and
liberal education in
particular have become
their own worst
enemies. We - and I
mean much of higher
education at large -
have lost confidence in
ourselves. Liberal
education’s greatest
present danger is to
indulge in feelings of
self-pity. This deadly
emotion throws us into
isolation and cuts us off
from new possibilities.
In silent ways we have
let Andy’s criteria of
instant utility capture
our birth-right. It then
becomes easy and
tempting to become
technicians ourselves -
wrapping our wounds
protectively in the
methods and jargon of
our fields and forsaking
the human meaning and
power of what we teach.
It then becomes easy to
say, if I can’t see a given
facet of human life from
where I stand, with my
tools, “ it’s not there or
it can’t count for very
much.
As a result, most of us
in higher education live
now with a dispiriting
set of education
separations and
fragments. We have
split feelings from
thought and thought
from action. We have
separated knowledge
from teaching, learning
from living, and
Coni, on page 2
    

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