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February 14, 1936, Page 2

Members of Higher Education Board
      Approve New American Student Union

            The Honorable Lewis Mumford and John Flynn, recently appointed members of the Board of Higher Education, have written the following letters in answer to an inquiry of "Main Events," the City College evening newspaper, concerning their attitude towards the American Student Union.

Main Events
St. Nicholas Terrace
New York City

Dear Mr. Sherl:

            I have your letter of January 13, asking me for an expression of opinion as to "how you feel about the Student Union."

            With the main objectives of your association–"the fight against reaction, for peace and against racial discrimination"–I am in the heartiest accord, This must not be taken as an approval of the Oxford oath as a weapon against war. I think it futile. I cannot help but believe that it is one of those strategems which the lovers of peace sometimes embrace which does more harm than good to the cause it aims to advance. But I do not question the Union's right to use this weapon. And I support the right of all–inside and outside of colleges–to enjoy freedom of expression and discussion, and freedom to organize in support of ideals and philosophies in society and government.

                        Yours very sincerely,
                        (signed) JOHN T. FLYNN

Dear Mr. Sherl:

            I am glad you sent me the official program of the American Student Union. I had only come across an outline. As you probably know, I am in general in hearty sympathy with its views; and I have no doubt that there are now other members on the Board of Higher Education who are likewise in agreement Since I am not an absolute pacifist, I cannot honestly subscribe to the Oxford oath; but you may rely upon me to fight to the finish to defend the students right to adhere to it, and to combat war, fascism, censorship and other forms of capitalist decadence wherever they appear.

                        Faithfully yours,
                        (signed) LEWIS MUMFORD


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May 20, 2004