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Editorial, March 15, 1935, Page 2



            The defeat of the Nunan Loyalty Oath Bill by the Education Committee of the New York State Assembly Tuesday constitutes one of the most welcome news items of the week.

            This move on the part of the legislators has a dual significance. It is, first, a sign that all civil liberties in this State are not yet doomed. It indicates also that well-organized protests from student bodies are not always ineffectual.

            Although proposed as a means of crystalizing undergraduate patriotism, the measure was formulated with the purpose of excluding all radicals from the colleges and of frightening the remaining students into submission with the threat of expulsion.

            Unlike the Ives Bill which passed almost unnoticed by collegiate groups the Nunan Bill aroused a clamor of opposition.

            The students of New York State would not have been the only group to suffer if this Bill were passed.

            Encouraged by the action of our lawmakers, legislators far and near would have proceeded to enact similarly suppressive measures. The toll of student oppression already overburdened by recent occurences [sic] at Hunter and City Colleges and at California, Ohio and Louisiana State Universities would have grown considerably.

            Realizing the threat this measure presented to the free expression of student-opinion the teachers and students of the state took immediate action to prevent its passage.

            Letters and telegrams of protest against the Nunan Bill flooded the mail boxes of the legislators, mass meetings were held and resolutions opposing the Bill were forwarded to Albany, and as a final step a delegation of student officer; from most of the leading colleges and schools in the State massed at the Capital to exert influence against the Bill.

            Just five days later, the Bill which had been passed with a large majority vote in the Senate and which had been tabled in the Education Committee of the Assembly was killed in the same committee.

            The students were victorious.


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May 20, 2004