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Student Fills Frustration Vacuum With Trips, Speeches, Debates

Student Fills Frustration Vacuum With Trips, Speeches, Debates image
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Day
4
Month
November
Year
1965
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Flags Exchanged At Vietnamese Embassy<br><br>A strong interest in politics and foreign affairs led University student Arthur Collingsworth (third from left) into study of Viet Nam and a subsequent visit to the country. Earlier this fall the founder of the campus-based .Conference Q4_yict Nam Steering Committee attended til? lUSllUllllf SympoSWnHJir^el Nam in Washington, where he was among<br><br>a contingent visiting the South Vietnamese Embassy to exchange flags between the two countries. With him are (from left) Jay Parsons of Johns Hopkins University; Jolynn Capo, a Michigan State University graduate student; Deputy Ambassador Anh; and Chon Wong, a counselor at the<br><br>embassy. |HU NOV A - 1965<br><br>Student Fills Frustration Vacuum With Trips, Speeches, Debates<br><br>By Virginia Westover “Students today have a great need to funnel their efforts into something constructive. They're experiencing a vacuum of frustration, and activism, often misguided, offers to fill this void.”<br><br>■ The speaker is Arthur J. Collingsworth, a 21-year-old University political science major who probably is an exception among students — and among many Americans — when it' comes to “filling the vacuum.’i This peripatetic young man from Tecumseh is a firm believer in rounding out education with practical experience.<br><br>Where has this led him?<br><br>To Viet Nam and to Brazil. To the debating floor and the speaker’s forum. To the campaign office and the conference<br><br>Collingsworth is the founder of the Conference on Viet Nam Steering Committee which formed last spring following the campus “teach-in,” and which recently gathered together 2,057 signatures supporting the U.S. policy in Viet Nam and sent them to the State Department. Prof. James K. Pollock of the political science department is the group's adviser.<br><br>As a result of the local efforts, he attended the Viet Nam Conference at Principia College last spring and discussed the subject with State Department officials in Washington. Last weekend he was at Emory University in A' lanta debating in a teach-i with such notables as Sen. Richard Russell and I*<br><br>Thomas.<br><br>This summer Collingsworth took a trip around the world and spent a month in Viet Nam through a travel grant from the American Friends of Viet Nam, a private organization.<br><br>His experiences there, combined with intense study on the country, its problems and the war, have provided him with articulate opinions on the subject<br><br>Seated in his apartment at 33d E. Madison, he cordially share-1 some of these, in the midst o> his busy on-and-off campu. schedule.<br><br>Phone calls from fellow committee workers, the c o m i n g s and goings of roommates and the passing-by of a neighbor asking to borrow an egg beater failed to break his train of thought and his enthusiasm on the subject at hand.<br><br>“I think our involvement in Viet Nam is necessary as a continuation of our policy of containment,” he said, “and is a response to curb and counter the Chinese expansion we have seen since World War II.<br><br>"If we can keep China contained,” he continued, “then the Chinese leadership may mitigate its military. And maybe if expansion is frustrated by the West, the Chinese may decide to go north to Russia. In fact,” he added, “I understand that there’s some border trouble brewing now.”<br><br>“One thing that many people<br><br>country fail to realize that there are 36 countries now sending troops to Viet Nam,” Collingsworth said. “Australia, New Zealand and South Korea have more men over there proportion to their population than we do:”<br><br>He also said that “student leaders in Hue and Saigon look upon the U.S. interest and effort with hope and optimism, “they relize that only if South Viet Nam can determine her destiny will there be a good future for her.”<br><br>Collingsworth attended an all-night teach-in at Saigon where resolution was adopted to send the first South Viet Nam student delegation abroad.<br><br>The delegation visited Ann Arbor last Friday.<br><br>“I was more free to travel . than I thought I -would Viet Nam,” Arthur said, made the most of this.”<br><br>One of the most impressive things he said he came across near Da Nang. A nearby village of some 20,000 Vietnam-has been re-developed by Marines assigned to the area.<br><br>The men volunteered to rebuild, to teach and assist in munity projects. All this was done on their spare time.<br><br>made an amazing difference in the area,” he added. ‘It’s become truly pacified, and there’s a real rapport between the villagers and the Marines.” This helped our military efforts in the area too, Arthur added, “because the people ere now willing to cooperate. ' During his travels in V i e Nam, Collingsworth ran i n t several U-M alumni helping out in hospitals and schools.<br><br>‘Good medicine in the Viet Nam hospitals is a problem, Arthur said, “because the whole family moves in with the patient when he is admitted.’ The average man on the street, particularly those Viet-e in the primitive villages, are not very aware of and why it is being fought. This is largely because<br><br>they lack the communications system which the Western world has, he pointed out. “They don’t travel, and so have a limited vision.”<br><br>Some areas are virtually untouched by the war,” Colling-worth said. “Hue, the ancient capital, is one example. Perhaps this is because of the sacred attachment the p e o p 1 e still hold towards the city.<br><br>Collingsworth believes that one of the country’s biggest problems is bridging the between the educated, y V) i elite and the country pe.<br><br>Because of this he call: South Viet Nam floods ea this year a blessing in disgt The students developeo real sense of the country’s p. lems when the floods car They began working as vo teers in the villages, and t country's" N a~t i o n at* Vol<br><br>“We hope to contact the U-M fraternities, sororities, service groups and the like and get them interested in adopting ; Viet Nam orphan.<br><br>Collingsworth also expressed hope that a national conference on Viet Nam will be held here next semester. The C h i c a Daily News and the Marshall Field Foundation have pressed interest in backing such a conference.<br><br>teer Services developed.<br><br>'The response was o v e whelming,” Arthur said. “Th summer alone there were 5,0C participating as volunteers. Th students helped rebuild f 1 o o ravaged areas, as well as a: sisting with teaching and soci< problems.”<br><br>This isn’t the first time that Collingsworth’s interest in for eign affairs has taken him t< another land.<br><br>In 1958, he was appointed tc a specially created post of Bra zilian government representative to Michigan and Ohio.<br><br>At that time, he was mentioned in the press to be the ‘world’s youngest diplomat.” He undertook a program of general promotional efforts on t h e country’s behalf and when he turned 15, he was feted at : huge birthday celebration ii New York given by the Brazili-government.<br><br>‘My age permitted me to do ire unorthodox things that a older person could not do,” Collingsworth said, “and I could outspoken.” His work resulted in two companies i tablishing branches in Brazil.<br><br>At age 16 he was invited to Brazil as a personal g<br><br>of the government, and spent three weeks touring the country, meeting with student leaders and government officials.<br><br>Other activities, too, h: served to round out his education and add new perspectives. Tn 1964 he dropped out of school semester to gain practical bv ioin-<br><br>S*perience in politics by joining the staff of former Congressman George Meader.<br><br>He is foreign affairs analyst for the Michigan Daily and education chairman for the U-M Republican Club. He was recently named to the National Young Republican Club’ eign affairs committee.<br><br>Collingsworth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Neri Collingsworth of Tecumseh, is working on a plan with the Conference on Viet Nam Steering Committee similar to a Village Adoption Plan aunchcd at Michigan State Jniversity, whereby the s t u-'lents “adopted” a village in louth Viet Nam.