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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Vol. 70, Number 2 (Nov. 1968)

"What do you suppose gets into those college kids today!?",   pp. 8-9

Page 9

idealistic, more responsible and far less phony, according to campus clergy
0 by Jean Selk
C   LERGYMEN serving students at
    the University take strong issue
with those who proclaim that morals
have undergone a thorough break-
down on the campus.
   A number of the clergymen sur-
veyed recently, in fact, see a healthy
upsurge in interest by students on
moral issues.
   "They are tremendously interested
in what is ethical, and you can't help
but admire their idealism," com-
mented the Rev. James W. Jondrow,
pastor of the University Presbyterian
   "Many of today's students may not
feel very close to the church, but
I think it is a good sign that so many
of them want to be out where the
action is-in the Peace Corps, in
VISTA or in neighborhood efforts to
help the disadvantaged."
  Rabbi Richard W. Winograd, of
B'nai B'rith Hillel foundation, said
he finds students "more conscious of
right and wrong, more sensitive and
more devoted to justice" than they
were a decade ago.
   "Students today probably are more
moral than they have been in the
past," said the Rev. James A. La
Rue, pastor of the Baptist student
center: "They are making us all face
up to the morality of war, the moral-
ity of prejudice and the morality in
personal relationships."
   The Rev. Lowell H. Mays, pastor
at the Lutheran Campus Ministry,
described today's college student as
"looking zealously for new answers
and willing to put his finger on what
he sees as phony in contemporary
    morality" has frequently been
applied to the views and actions of
today's college generation, neither
the University campus' Methodist
minister nor its Episcopal chaplain
believes there is anything radically
new about student morals.
   "If there's anything new," com-
mented the Rev. Robert R. Sanks,
pastor of the Methodist university cen-
ter, "it's that students during the last
four to six years have become
more honest and more open about
  The Rev. Claud A. Thompson,
chaplain at St. Francis house, pointed
to long-standing Christian doctrine as
"telling us to consider the circum-
stances for any moral judgment."
Current attitudes seem new, he said,
to "those who think of morality only
as closely defined rules."
   Father Henry G. McMurrough, of
the University Catholic center, said
he believes too many persons make
the mistake of "jumping to the con-
clusion that- only sex is involved"
when morality is discussed.
- "One of the strongest -thingsabout
the new morality," Father McMur-
rough said, "is that it encourages re-
sponsible judgment-even though
some, I suppose, view this as
leniency. But students today are not
asking for advice, for someone else to
give them a set of rules to live by.
They are drawing from their own ex-
perience and environment in coming
up with the answers."
  Most of the clergymen surveyed,
however, concede that premarital sex
activity among students probably has
increased. While most denied that
out-and-out promiscuity was com-
mon, a number of the clergymen
commented on increased acceptance
of sexual relations as part of long-
term "steady" relationships between
   -L riage just does not seem very
demanding to them," the Rev. Sanks
said. "They can't believe that a 10-
minute rite in a church could mean
that much."
  The Rev. La Rue said many stu-
dents with whom he has talked are
disillusioned with marriage because
of the examples of divorce, infideli-
ties and other discord set by persons
of their parents' generation.
  "They get the feeling," he said,
"that marriage frequently is a com-
mitment without love, where husband
and wife are merely putting on a
good show, but don't have any real
feelings for each other."
  The Rev. Jondrow also finds
among students "a good deal less re-
spect for marriage and for traditional
family patterns." But he doesn't be-
lieve there has been a great increase
in campus premarital sex.
November, 1968
     things which go on in an aver-
age suburban community would
cause more blinking of eyes than
what goes on on the campus," he
said. "Students are more knowledge-
able and more open about sex, but
most of them still soak up their val-
ues from their parents."
   Father McMurrough and Rabbi
Winograd believe that today's stu-
dents still consider marriage an im-
portant and respected goal in life.
The Catholic center, Father McMur-
rough noted, was the site of 70 wed-
dings last year and the priests there
helped prepare another 120 couples
for marriage in their home towns.
  Most of the clergymen also dis-
count the problem of narcotics use
on the campus as being of major
   "The drug problem has been
blown way out of proportion,"
Father Thompson said. "There seems
to be only a very small hard core of
students who regularly use narcotics,
although there probably are a good
deal more who have experimented
with marijuana or LSD at one time."
  Rabbi Winograd believes LSD use
among students probably has de.-
clined in the last year.
  "A year ago I was more concerned
with LSD," he said. "I was running
into more and more students who
had tried it. But now it looks as
though we're over the hump."
  The student protest movement, al-
though viewed by some persons as
lawless rebellion, is seen by many of
the campus clergy as another mani-
festation of student idealism.
  "Students tell me that in 20 years
there won't be another generation of
               (Continued on page 23)

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