The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 28, Ed. 1 Friday, May 5, 1961 Page: 2 of 6
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FRIDAY, MAY 5, 1M1
Monkeys Beget Monkeys
The following editorial appeared in the Houston Chronicle on Monday.
May 1, 1961, and was titled "Students' Screwball Antics Question Value of
Education." Since the Fondren Library does not subscribe to any local
newspaper, The Thresher is printing this editorial in full.
These are silly days. While grown-ups are fretting over
ways to raise money for more schools and better paid teach-
ers, the students are making them wonder whether education
is really worthwhile.
Rice University students scheduled a bicycle riding and
beer drinking contest Saturday as a demonstration, perhaps,
of what higher education does in developing the intelligence
and character of the students.
In Galveston, thousands rioted Friday night up and down
the seawall. Similar riots held during Easter vacation in
Florida apparently suggested the Galveston uproar. What
monkeys see monkeys do.
Recently we were treated to the sight of students of
several colleges pushing a bed across the state. This was
probably designed to show that the students, although weak-
minded, did have a certain amount of brawn. And then, of
course, we have the controversy over the book "Catcher in
the Rye" being required reading in one of the Texas Univer-
sity English classes. The objection made by one of our citizens
is scarcely justified on the ground that the book endangers
morals because four-letter words are inserted periodically,
much as a bad boy scrawls such words on the walls of an
The story deals with the reactions and thoughts of a
teen-ager, none of which rise above dull mediocrity.
Why any teacher trying to instill in his students some
idea of what constitutes real literature would make such a
book required reading will be one of the unsolved mysteries of
The Houston Chronicle's pious defamation of America's
college students, especially those nurtured in its own front yard,
shows a serious lack of journalistic responsibility to the public
and an utter lack of mentality.
The distortions expressed in this bit puerile garbage im-
ply that such isolated episodes as Rice's traditional beer-bike
race, the aimless, unfortunate messes at Fort Lauderdale and
Galveston, and the bed-pushing stunt are pertinent illustrations
of the "intelligence and character" of contemporary collegians.
That on this fallacious basis they point a spotless finger at
college faculties and administrators is a telling admission of
the reliance of our society upon professional educators to mold
the character of its youth.
Monkeys beget, monkeys, Mr. Editor.
Pushing a bed or inhaling one can of beer certainly displays
as much intelligence and character as coming home from the
office to read The Chronicle's "Astro-guide" or gazing blearily
at an adult western with scotch and water in hand.
Obviously the fact that college students don't spend 24
hours a day in lab trying to beat the Russians hints at Red
subversion of our universities. And the unheard-of words in
books being forced on college students by the pink professors
is clear*evidence of the Communist plot to demoralize American
youth. Monkeys may be able to comprehend a four-letter word,
but certainly not the meaning of a frustrated adolescent's search
for values and status in our hyper-organized society.
"Silly times"? Ask us, Mr. Editor. Ask the heirs of your
filter-tip world of blue laws and clever beer ads, where flabby
100-percent-American matrons shriek and drop their stoles
whenever anyone makes them seriously question Robert Welch
or Christianity. But for God's sake don't knock your allegedly
depraved sons and daughters who are trying to understand the
mess you have placed us in and find a way out of it.
Since the sanctioning of drinking one can of beer a year
is evil in this sopping-wet city and riding a bicycle or pushing
a bed is detrimental to the development of intellect and char-
acter, perhaps it would be a good idea for the editors of The
An all-studeni newspaper for 44 Tjejrs
The Rice Thresher, the""official student newspaper of Rice University,
is published weekly from September to June, except during holiday recesses
and examination periods, and when unusual circumstances warrant a special
issue. The opinions expressed are those of the student staff and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the Rice University administration.
News contributions may be submitted and advertising information pro-
cured at the Thresher offices on the second floor of the Rice Student
Memorial Center or by telephone at Jackson 8-4141, ext. 221.
Entered as second class matter, October 17, 1917, at the post office
in Houston, Texas, under the act of March 3, 1870.
Asst. Business Manager
EUGENE KEILIN, JAN B. GORDON
Colleges phn Kusnetzky
sPort3 Chuck Yingling
Entertainment Fran Murphy
Religious Activities Neal Holifield
Photography Scott Morris, Bob Warren
Cartoons Charles Dent, John Fowler
Judi Travis, Reed Martin, Anita Jones, Harvey Pollard, Louis Smith, Syd
Nathans, Melvin Buck, Anne Watts, Lawrence Ellzey, Bill Pannill, Sue
Burton. Carol Mason, Bill Furey. Mary Anne Boone, Howard Eirspahr,
Mary Lee, Dick Woodbury, Doug Johnson, Buddy Herz.
Chronicle (and other righteous Houston crusaders) to lay off
the liquor and exercise and develop a little intellect and char-
acter in their writing.
It is unfortunate that several hundred thousand Houston-
ians look to The Chronicle for the truth. It almost makes one
proud that the Rice University library includes The Chronicle
among the other Houston papers to which it does not bother
The Last Go-Round
Clarence Manion's Forum Address Monday was at best a
mixed blessing. Although Mr. Manion's comments on the foun-
dation of American law were not very respectable intellectually,
the rather violent response from students was as unlooked for
as it was welcome.
Mr. Manion's speech is open to some very serious questions.
His basis premise, that the United States Constitution and
Declaration of Independence were based upon absolute truth
and imply a Christian God, is dubious if not absurd. Historically,
many of the men who shaped the Revolution and these two
documents were thinkers in the tradition of the French En-
lightenment; their faith was in reason and man, and they left
no room for anything but an abstract, not creative, God. Intel-
lectually, if the Founding Fathers had been in possession of
absolute truth, there would have been no need and, in fact, no
excuse for freedom. There could have been no Bill of Rights.
Is it possible that Jefferson, author of the Declaration of
Independence and a Deist, could have infused that document
with those Christian principles he did not himself believe? And
what about the broad implications of the statement equating
Americanism with belief in Mr. Manion's God? Does this mean
that all atheists are Communists?
Unfortunately, we never heard Mr. Manion's answer to
these questions. Those he didn't evade, he shouted down. Stu-
dent after student, restrained at first—even with the unbelieve-
able character of Mr. Manion's speech—stood up to question
him. They were put off at first, and finally shut up by Mr.
Manion when he saw the discussion turning against him. Re-
markably, most students kept their tempers to the end, and
those who did interrupt or hiss were sore beset.
Of the same calibre as the Manion performance was the
conduct q£ those townspeople who came to hear him. They were
a small but vociferous minority. We have no objection to their
vociferousness; in fact, we are glad they have an opinion. But
somehow, their writing down names of anti-Manion students
seemed a little out of place. And the attitude of one questioner
toward Rice atheists was quite objectionable; we students have
as much right to our beliefs as anyone else does, and Mr. Man-
ion's own Constitution guarantees us the right to speak them
The really cheering aspect of Monday's Forum was the
clear demonstration that Rice students are not going to be
taken in by demagoguery or flag-waving. Only an intelligent
speech will be respected in our Forum. And apparently political
apathy is not so widespread on our campus as this newspaper,
among others, often charges. A pat on the back for the much-
maligned Rice undergraduate. And while we're at it, another
one for the Forum Committee, for daring to bring controversy
onto our sacred lawns. They set up the best Forum of the year.
The two most important lessons coming out of Monday's
Forum are also the happiest: American students are still free
to question. And they still do.—W. P.
History Registration Reset
All present and future his-
tory majors are asked to re-
gister with Professor W. H.
Nelson on Wednesday or
Thursday, May 10-11, between
2-5 pm, 214 Anderson Kail
instead of May 8-9 as original-
(Continued from Page 1)
of this fact, in effect, constitutes
IF ANY OF our advocates are
lacking in the Faith of our Fa-
thers, then our advocacy is going
to fall down." Manion claimed
that the American system cannot
be defended with any other pre-
suppositions than those of the
founding fathers. "Whenever God
goes out of the hearts of any
people, the vacuum sucks in a
tyranny to fill its place."
According to Manion, Madison
staked the future of America
not on the power of government
but on self government.
Manion predicted a future
which would have to answer the
dilema of faith versus Commu-
A SPIRITED question and an-
swer period followed Manion's
presentation. Most of the ques-
tioners seemed to disagree with
Manion's Contentions, although
his acknowledgement of member-
ship on the advisory council of
the controversial John Birch So-
ciety was followed by vigorous
applause from a small number
of students, faculty members and
visitors. Manion argued with
many of his questioners, accusing
one of not doing his homework
and stopping others before they
completed their questions.
Justifying American interven-
tion, in Cuba and other Commun-
ist countries, Manion asserted,
"There is a revolt in spirit if not
in fact in every country which
is controlled by Communism,"
maintaining that America was
obligated to use its might in de-
fense of what it considered to
be right, but that the Commu-
nists used might as an end in it-
MANION ARGUED for the
support of dictators such as Fran-
co and Samoza on the grounds
that they were fighting Commun-
ism today much as Stalin fought
Hitler during World War II. He
claimed that the idea that it is
possible to transplant democracy
is ridiculous. After all, he point-
ed out, Franco's spies have never
been caught in the cryptographic
department of the Department of
Repeating claims similar to
those of Robert Welch, Birch So-
ciety founder, Manion charged
that the infiltration of Commun-
ists into the US was "pretty far
and pretty deep" and that the
Communists movement is spon-
sored by the elite, not by "over-
alls and dirty hands."
New Frosh Orientation..
(Continued from Page 1)
the cultural background that is so difficult to
The key to succes lies in the offering of a
wide and diverse range of activities, with no
particular emphasis in any one category or field
Besides the regular lectures, discussions, and
tours, Hanszen College plans a system of per-
sonal counseling by associates, a trip to the Alley
Theater, and two college nights: one featuring
the Associates, Master, and Cabinet which will
emphasize the College and its role in the Univer-
sity, the other presenting a stimulating speaker
from outside the "Rice sphere." Additional ac-
tivities are currently under consideration.
A book—possibly Crane Brinton's "Shaping of
the Modern Mind"—will be sent to freshmen
during the summer for study and use in the
first week's seminars.
The core of Hanszen's Freshman Week pro-
gram and Orientation program is the system of
Advisers—ten seniors and junior § who each take
charge of a group of eight freshmen and pro-
vide orientation in all fields of university life.
The Advisers will conduct the Freshman Week
activities and be "the man with the answers"
throughout the year.
Although the Advisers will carry the weight
of the Orientation program during the year,
other aspects are also important. In order to
prevent over-reacting against the old system of
"guidance" Hanszen has arranged for the ad-
visers, the faculty counselors, and the compul-
sory—though modified—"guidance" program to
be kept under a single coordinator and consid-
ered as three aspects of a single, comprehensive
plan. In this way it is felt that the great bene-
fits of the new "Advisers" program can be
achieved without neglecting the important con-
tributions toward college unity possible from a
successful "Guidance" program.
The program at Baker College will be under
the direction of the college Mentors who will act
as advisers to the freshmen during the week
and the entire year.
Baker will begin its program with a wiener
roast the first day. The first formal gathering
will be the buffet supper on the second night.
The outstanding feature of the week is ex-
pected to be a group of discussions on such top-
ics as student government; student organizations;
religion at Rice.
There will be a social event with Jones on the
last day of the week. Inter-sectional athletic
competition will be sponsored during this week>
Baker College is in complete accordance with
the basic philosophy set for in the Student Asso-
ciation report and will therefore use this to
guide all activities during the week.
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The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 28, Ed. 1 Friday, May 5, 1961, newspaper, May 5, 1961; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth231181/m1/2/: accessed February 23, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.