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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 56, Number 10 (Feb. 15, 1955)

Free speech defended: debaters stick by China issue,   pp. 12-13


Page 12


A BOUT 800 students-S550 of them
     graduating seniors-were honored
     at the University's annual Midyear
Convocation on January 15. And as these
Badgers stepped into the ranks of alumni,
the total number of degrees granted by
the University since 1854 rose to more
than 105,000.
   Some thousand people were on hand
for the convocation ceremonies in the
Wisconsin Union Theater. These parents,
students and friends:
   *Heard Pres. E. B. Fred urge them
to maintain the educational momentum
of their university years-
   * Heard Mrs. Helen Peterson, the
 first married woman ever chosen to speak
 for graduating seniors, discuss the shift-
 ing interest of the University's student
 body and declare she didn't think the
 students were apathetic-
   * Heard Regent President A. Matt.
 Werner bring out the importance of
 higher education in the development of
 America-and
   * Heard Prof. Merle Curti tell them
 that, as a group, they were more mature
 and faced greater problems than students
 of 25 years ago, but were more inclined
 to conformity and had less faith in man's
 ability to solve his problems. He said he
 was grateful to the University, and grate-
 ful to Wisconsin people and their lead-
 ers for making the University possible
and able to offer its opportunities in an
atmosphere of freedom to learn and
freedom to teach.
  The Rev. John R. Collins of the Pres-
byterian Student center gave the invoca-
tion, and Rabbi Max Ticktin of the
Hillel foundation gave the benediction.
Music was provided by the University
symphony orchestra under the direction
of Prof. Richard C. Church and the
a capella choir, directed by Prof. J.
Russell Paxton.
   The Convocation was followed by a
Reception by Pres. Fred in Great Hall
of the Union.
   This year the Midyear Convocation
 was "co-sponsored" by the 1955 Senior
 Class and the University. Last year, the
 1954 Senior Class took over the event,
 expenses and all, when it was learned
 that the University itself had decided to
 give it up. Later the Regents suggested
 that the Senior Class retain the responsi-
 bility for the Convocation and plan it,
 but agreed that the University would pay
 the costs (probably around $500).
Job Hunting Good
  Job hunting graduates at mid-year
stepped into a bullish job market, accord-
ing to reports from placement officials in
all fields on the Wisconsin campus.
   There is little new about this situation.
It has been common since the beginning
of World War II for jobs to seek UW
graduates. So far this year there have
been upwards of 1,000 visits to the
campus by job-offering personnel repre-
sentatives.
   Especially strong demand comes, says
 placement   coordinator  Prof.  Henry
 Goehring, in engineering, the physical
 sciences, commerce, agriculture, home
 economics and journalism. That takes in
 about everything except the strictly lib-
 eral arts graduates who have kept their
 specialized training to a minimum--or
 whose specialty is not in much demand
 at this time.
   Goehring said that this year there have
 not only been more job interviewers, but
 that they've been offering more jobs.
Free Speech Defended
Debaters Stick by China Issue
  The University of Wisconsin is among
the U. S. colleges and universities using
this year's "controversial" national inter-
collegiate debate question.
  The   question  (Resolved, that the
U. S. should extend diplomatic recog-
nition to the Communist government of
China) aroused enough public debate to
cause West Point, Annapolis, four Neb-
raska colleges, and a scattering of others,
to withdraw from national collegiate
competition for this year.
   Prof. Winston Brembeck, director of
 UW forensics, is a member of the com-
 mittee on intercollegiate debate and dis-
 cussion of the Speech Association of
 America which met in late November
 12
to draft and sign a statement of policy
which calls the controversy "an alarm-
ing distrust of the processes essential to
a free society." The committee pointed
out that "a good debate proposition must
be timely, vital, and debatable," and
added that the China recognition ques-
tion obviously meets those requirements.
   Other members    of  the  committee
come from Boston, Alabama, and Brad-
ley universities and Oberlin College.
   The statement declared: ". . . The
 committee  unanimously  re-affirms the
 results of the national referendum by
 which the proposition was determined.
 It declines to  designate an  alternate
 question."
  "The committee points out that this
year, as for the past 20 years, the ques-
tions in general use by colleges and
universities were selected by a nation-
wide referendum of debate directors in
which all institutions interested in de-
bate were invited to participate. A pre-
liminary poll was conducted in May for
suggested topics. The five subjects most
frequently submitted were then phrased
into propositions by a committee repre-
senting the Speech Association of Amer-
ica, the American Forensic Association,
and   four  national honorary   forensic
fraternities . . . then circulated on a
preferential ballot to the nation's debate
directors. . . . Diplomatic recognition of
Communist China received 939 points,
almost 100 points more than agricul-
tural price supports, the second ranking
question.
   "The proposition thus democratically
 selected represents popular choice and is
 widely used in regional and national
 tournaments. Its use greatly simplifies
 the  planning   of  such  tournaments;
                WISCONSIN ALUMNUS
Midyear Graduates Form
Vanguard of Class of 1955


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