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
PLAN LOCAL CHAPTERS
Membership Open To All Who
Are Wholly Or Partly In
Accord With Program
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
To Publish Magazine
Student Union will publish a thirty-two page magazine. The Student
Advocate eight times a year. The first issue will appear this
Membership dues in
the Union are fifty cents per semester for college students. The dues
also entitle one to two pamphlets and the magazine.
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.
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
ASSERTS RIGHT TO JOB
Supports Oxford Pledge and
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:
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
"Because they, like their forefathers, are devoted to freedom and
"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 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
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:
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."
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
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
Not Political Organization
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
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