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January 10, 1936

Representatives of 113 High Schools and Colleges
      Form Program at American Student Union Convention:
            Endeavor To Unite All Progressive Student Groups

This headline covers two articles. The first of the two articles follows immediately. Click here to see the original paper. Note the unreadable section due to faulty microfilming.

January 10, 1936, Pages 1, 3

Ten Brooklyn College Delegates
      Attend Conference of 427
            Student Leaders


Membership Open To All Who
Are Wholly Or Partly In
Accord With Program

            The American Student Union, an organization for the purpose of combating problems facing young people on the American campus, was formed by leaders of progressive student groups at a onvention held in Columbus, Ohio, last week.

            A program was formulated by the delegates designing to unite all students who want peace, are devoted to freedom and equality, and seek educational and economic security.

            Four hundred and twenty-seven delegates attended the convention, representing 113 high schools and universities in eighteen states.  Of the unaffiliated delegates twnety represented their student councils and eighty two represented clubs, fraternities, and publications.  The National Student League delegates numbered 144, while the Student League for Industrial Democracy was represented by 116 students.

             Ten students of the Brooklyn College Day Session attended the convention.  They were Cora Schleider and Marjorie Sprake of the Women's Student Council, Jesse Heller of the Men's Council, Ida Schwalberg, editor of Spotlight; Eli Jaffe, editor of Pioneer, Sylvia Dianin of the Current Problems club, Leo Krown of the Menorah society, Frances Rosen and Pauline Sherman, members of the S:L.I.D., and Allan Loeb of the N.S.L. The Evening Session, too, sent several delegates. Steps for the establishment of a Brooklyn College chap-

(Continued on page 3)

ter of the Union will be taken early next semester, according to the delegates.

            Membership in the Union is open to every high school and college student wholly or partly in sympathy with the Union program. Although every chapter is bound to subscribe to the entire program, as individual member may be in agreement with only one point in the program, the constitutional committee pointed out. A chapter will consist of at least ten members. Student Councils and other student societies may affiliate with the Union, but the basis of organization will be individual membership.

            The formation of the American Student Union came at the conclusion of individual conventions of the Student League for Industrial Democracy and the National Student League. The motion at the S.L.I.D. convention for amalgamation with the N.S.L.. and formation of the Union was adopted by a vote of 92-7, with eight members abstaining from voting.. The N.S.L. adopted an identical motion unanimously.

Elect national Committee

            The highest governing body of the Union is the National Convention, which will be held annually. The Constitution as drafted at the first convention last week will be revised slightly by the National Executive Committee. This committee consists of thirty members, ten of whom have never been affiliated with either the N.S.L. or the S L.I.D.

            George Clifton Edwards, Jr., a graduate of Southern Methodist University, was elected national chairman of the Union.; The delegates also elected Joseph P. Lash national secretary, Molly Yard, a; awarthncore graduate, as national treasurer, Serill Gerber, a graduate of Los Angeles Junior College, as field secretary, and Celeste Strack as high school field secretary.

            Other members of the National Executive committee are Nancy Beatty, Ohio State University; Joseph Cadden, former secretary of the National Student Federation; Bruce Bliver, Jr., Harvard University; Jeffrey Campbell, St. Lawrence University; Lewis Cohen, Louisville University; James Cox, Virginia Union; Harold Draper, Brooklyn College, ‘34; Francis Franklin, University of Virginia; Maurice Gates, Howard University, '33s; Albert W. Hamilton, Central Y.M.C.A., Chicago; Alvaine Hollister. Antioch College; Leo Koutouzos,Central Business High School, New York; Martz Lewis, De Paul University; Harold Libros, Temple University; Virginia McGregor, Occidental College, ‘35; Katharine Meyer, Vassar College; Quentin Ogren, University of Chicago; Walter Relis, C.C.N.Y.; Dorothy Rockwell, Smith College; Warner Shippee, University of Minnesota; Julius Sippin, LincoIn High School; Marjorie Sprake, Brooklyn College; Monroe Sweetland, Williamette Law School; Hamilton Tyler, University of California.

To Publish Magazine

            The American Student Union will publish a thirty-two page magazine. The Student Advocate eight times a year. The first issue will appear this month.

            Membership dues in the Union are fifty cents per semester for college students. The dues also entitle one to two pamphlets and the magazine.

            The National Conference of Avukah, meeting in Washington, D.C. "approved formation of a broad, united student organization," and delegated power to affiliate as a national group to its Executive committee. Local groups of the Avukah were authorized to join the campus Student Union.

            Greetings were received at the convention from the Teachers Union, the National Committee of the Student League of Canada, Joseph Cadden, secretary of the National Student Federation of America, and Francis J.Gorman, vice-president of the United Textile Workers of American. Norman Thomas wired his congratulations to the convention, "on having won the wrath of William Randolph Hearst. That entitles it to respect in America."

The second of the two articles covered by the headline follows.

January 10, 1936, Pages 1, 5

ASU Program Preamble Avers
      Students' Desire of Peace,
            Freedom, and Equality

Supports Oxford Pledge and
      All Demonstrations
            Against War

            The program adopted by the national convertion of the American Student Union is intended to draw in all progresssive students. It states in its preamble:

"Because American students want peace:
"Because they, like their forefathers, are devoted to freedom and equality:
"Because they seek educational and economic security:
"And because present-day society is increasingly denying them these elementary necessities, students in American high schools and colleges have formed a powerful alliance, an American Student Union."
            The program then asserts the right of every person to an education, stating that "no one should be prevented from attending college because of his economic status." It demands the substitution of schools for battleships, declares that it will campaign for the rapid extension of educational facilities and the distribution of educational opportunity without discrimination of race, color, politics, or religion, and advocates an adequate system of student relief.

            The second section concerns itself with the defense of academic freedom, declaring that the Union defends the independence of the student and the teacher, exerts every effort to revitalize the curriculum and to provide content and social purpose for education, and encourages and supports progressive socially-minded ac-

(Continued on page 5)

tion outside the curriculum. The program scores "the hysterical outcries of the Hearst press, and allied sponsors of ‘loyalty oaths,' `red-baiting' crusades, Vigilante attack–all designed to prevent consideration of the real issues of this generation "

            The third point of the program, The Student and Peace, supports "all legislative measures which would make the R.O.T.C. optional, as a step towards complete abolition of military training on the campus." It opposes the war preparations of the United Slates, and cites the inefficacy of the League of Nations and the Kellogg Pact as peace agencies, pointing out the "domination of the League by governments which are imperialist and which are now utilizing the League to further their own economic aims." Such circumstances, the program states, "demand independent organization and action against war by the anti-war forces of the world. Preeminent among which is the organized labor movement."

            The Union will support all anti-war strikes became they are "a declaration of our detertnination to prevent our government from going to war."

Accept Oxford Pledge

            The American Student Union accepted without reservation the Oxford Pledge, "to refuse to support any war conducted by the U. S. government." Discussing the pledge, the program states:

            "We will endeavor to win the universal support of this pledge; we regard it not merely as a statement of conviction but as a powerful deterent of government action; we believe that it will become the focal point for those hundreds of thousands of students who wish to join in exerting pressure for the maintenance of peace."
Delegates Dissent

            The greatest dissension among the delegates was. on the question of the Oxford Pledge. Liberal students held that the inclusion of the pledge in the Union's program would keep prospective members who were in agreement with the other planks of the program from joining. It was explained by the Constitutional Committee, however, that a member of the Union does not have to comply with every point in the program. Those who advocated the pledge said that it was the vital issue around which the student anti-war movement had been built and "the most effective instrument for rallying students against the forces making for war."

            After a violent discussion the convention accepted the pledge by a vote of 244 to 49. Delegates who were opposed to its adoption declared that they would nevertheless continue to support the Union.

Assert Minority Rights

            The fourth division of the program. concerns itself with the rights of minority races and discriminations against individuals in the schools because of race or creed.

            The program states: "The A.S.U. stands against racial quotas and discriminations against intolerance, Jim-Crowism and segregation, whether these apply to Negro, Jewish, Chinese, Indian and other minority groups irrespective of religious and political affiliations. Only by guaranteeing equal and adequate educational opportunities, only by providing security of employment without discrimination, can any social order claim the allegiance of its younger members. The Union calls upon all students of whatever race to cooperate in seeking these goals."
Not Political Organization

            The program concludes with the assertion that the Union is not a political organization, and that, "Although it recognizes the need for thoroughgoing social change, it leaves to political organizations as such the achieving of these changes

            The Union is independent of any political party; it proposes to unite students irrespective of political parties or religious faith, in defense of their lives and liberties . . . Together we can advance to a new frontier, a future of peace and plenty for our generation and those to come."


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