Maury Maverick, Don Yarborough, and perhaps others may be interested and certainly deserve a chance to give Texas some responsible Democratic representation similar to our fine senior senator, Ralph W. Yarborough. David G. Copeland, attorney, 530 New Road, Waco, Tex. SMU: ‘The Duties of My Role’ This corrective concerns the situation of Robert Goedecke [Obs. June 12]. I too was at SMU for two years. I was under a twoyear contract to be the acting director of the Psychological Services Center there. Goedecke and I were there at the same time. I did not know him well because I was too busy fulfilling the duties of my role. I did know that he was fired and I do have some estimate of the situation. In my opinion Goedecke could not be placed in the category either of reformer or responsible faculty member. The true reformers were extremely dedicated scholars. They did not have time to waste in idle criticism of the college nor in amiable fraternization with the students. They too were underpaid -and did not like it. Still they gave their utmost to the development of true scholarship among the students and academic standing in their field and that of the university as a whole. These men fully understood the situation of the university, which is in fact truly unfortunate. Goedecke could not have accepted these problems as his own and still have written the article that appeared in your last issue. In fact, I accuse Goedecke of acting inauthentically in spite of all of his pretense at authenticity. A brief existential analysis should make this clear and at the same time emphasize some important aspects of the meaning of existential freedom in situations such as SMU’s. 16 The Texas Observer Existential freedom implies that the individual sees himself as an entirely independent individual with an infinitude of possibilities which he himself can choose from and take responsibility for in making them his projects. This is where most people who are concerned with existential freedom stop. To stop here is to never become existential at all. The project is meaningless unless one throws himself into it completely to make the possibility that it is become an actuality. The trick is however that actuality always implies the situation, the other people with possibilities and projects. There is no freedom unless the chosen possibilities, the projects, are possibilities to be realized within a particular concrete situation. This involves the difficult task of letting the situation show itself to you as it truly is as its own self, whether it be the situation of a person, a bridge, or an institution. To let an institution show itself as it truly is as its own self is to see it in its historicity. This latter point is what Goedecke failed to do. SMU is an institution that has had an illustrious history, primarily because of its past football prowess but also because there was a time when private religious schools flourished. SMU has had to face the demise of both of her laurel winners. As for many a dying hero the image of greatness goes on far beyond the time when the hero possesses the capacity to fulfill the demands of the image. To strike out at SMU now is to wreak shame upon a valiant old soldier because he is no longer a valiant young warrior. This is absurd. Absurd, but not absurd in the noble existential sense, no, not at all. This is the absurdity of the inauthentic They whose shouts at the battlers convince the shouters that They are the truest battlers. Caught in the crisis of having an anachronistic image, of being privately endowed; of being in the immediate vicinity of two large and rapidly expanding state universities and one ex-religious university in the midst of perhaps the most conservative metropolis in the world, etc. ad nauseurn, SMU has been weighed down immensely by the crippling blows of fate. \(The implications of all of this you can easily she attract anything but inauthentic crusaders when she has neither a future as an institution nor the funds to provide even the minimum salaries to offer? Still, you might be surprised to know, and perhaps inspired to find, there are more than a handful of excellent scholars working their hearts out under conditions that the average university prof would find incredible. They are not fools or martyrs. They want a decent income and decent working conditions. Their secret is that they were not simply curious about the peculiar anomaly. They did not simply prattle away at blind criticisms. They understood. Understanding, they were claimed by the situation, by the life struggling to make a life. They have found that they can do no other than let the situation show itself in its full pathetic nakedness and confusion. It is this situation that they have begun to speak authentically to and act authentically in. Perhaps it is the situation that has given them their existential freedom which, in gratitude, they are now fulfilling in that concrete situation : SMU destination unknown. Ed Young, 2413 McCall, Austin, Tex. Goedecke and Jack Daniels I have just been elected Democratic precinct chairman in the middle of University Park, Dallas. This election was due in large part to the efforts of a number of SMU faculty members. I must take issue with Bob Goedecke’s assertion that .no “activist liberals” are to be found among the SMU faculty. I share much of his dismay with Dallas and its institutions and do not propose to defend either; however, as any politician, I must defend my constituents. I have lunched with Otto Mullinax and “orgied” a bit with Bob Goedecke and assume I qualify a a garden variety liberal. My door-knocking campaign for precinct chairman was manned primarily by SMU folk; a similar campaign by Dr. George Bond of the SMU faculty \(1962 county won him election in another University Park precinct. SMU faculty and students have participated in the recent civil rights demonstrations directed at School Superintendent W. T. White’s continued program of school segregation in Dallas. In fact, SMU faculty and their families will be found in most, if not all, liberal endeavors in Dallas. I suspect Bob’s_ real quarrel with Dallas results from the loss of a new fifth of Jack Daniels on my doorsteps one bibulous evening, an event sufficiently traumatic to injure even the hardiest of souls. David R. Richards, attorney, 1601 National Bankers Life Bldg., Dallas, Tex. ACLU in Fort Worth Now You might like to know that yesterday, June 11th, a Fort Worth chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was formed here. At a meeting at my home, attended by 34 people; it . was agreed that we make application to the national office for a charter, which is now in the process of being drawn up by a group of Fort Worth attorneys. I was elected temporary chairman and a membership drive was agreed upon to start immediately. When the charter is granted the Fort Worth chapter will meet again, elect officers, appoint its committees, and institute a program including educational, public relations, and legal activities in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. A group of Dallas ACLU members, including Greg Olds, president, Grier Raggio, co-chairman of the Dallas legal committee, Carl Brannin, and M. Menaker attend: ed and briefed the group on the Dallas program, recent .experiences, and their organization. Thus another prop was placed under our democratic society. Irving Rapfogel, M.D., 1414 W. Humbolt, Fort Worth 4, Tex.
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