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Letter, March 15, 1935, Page 2

What We Think

At Hunter College

            The startling abrogation of academic freedom at Hunter College is a matter of vital concern to all students. The new ruling prescribes complete faculty domination of the Student Council and student press.

            This move is another indication of the attack that is being directed against the American tradition of student self-government. Restrictions such as these vicious regulations for Hunter, the Nunan Hill, and tits Hearst campaign habitually hide behind the skirts of patriotism and the attempt to preserve America against foreign (radical) influences. A quotation from Samuel Johnson, very relevant to this point, was made by one of the speakers at our own anti-Nunan meeting last week. "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," he said.

            The new regulations at Hunter smack of foreign influences–the influence of Hitler's Germany. What is more reminiscent of Germany in 1933 than a headline like the one in the New York World-Telegram of March 7, 1935? It. reads "Faculty at Hunter Puts Strong Curb on Students Under New Regulations." The article becomes even more disconcerting as one reads down the page. "Under the new regulations, the: student weekly, the Bulletin, will be under stricter faculty supervision, and all student activities will have to be carried on with faculty supervision." One begins to wonder whether a college is an institution primarily for students or a playground for a faculty amusing itself at a game of dictatorship?

            Because the new arrangement requires that all student activities except the Student Council must be self-supporting, there is the very imminent danger of the curtailment of several student activities.

            Further, "a Judicial Board. composed of students and faculty members. is to be set up to consider infractions of Student behavior but without authority to consider questions of discipline which come under the jurisdiction of the Conduct Committee of the Faculty and the Dean." Those who know most about student problems are certainly those who should be assigned to deal with them. And are not the students best fitted to participate in any disciplinary measure against their fellow students? Apparently the Hunter administration does not think such democracy. has any place in the miniature fascist state they are setting up.

            What probably interests us most is the cause for President Colligan's stringent clamping down movement. "Though the faculty edict contained no statements accounting for restrictions, it had been known that President Eugene A. Colligan and other members were alarmed by radical tendencies displayed by student organizations. On several occasions the Bulletin editors have criticized faculty policies. About sixteen students today were in Albany to join the state-wide student protest against the loyalty oath bill" (World-Telegram, March 7, 19.43).

            If these are the causes, and it is difficult to think of any other possible ones, we suggest to President Colligan that his approach to the problem indicates a serious lack of a knowledge of psychology. Perhaps he would do better to investigate conditions which make students radical. We suspect that a good deal of the dissatisfaction is warranted, if the president's attitude exemplifies that prevalent among the administrators of the College.

            At the Hunter Council meeting on Monday, March 11 the following resolution was passed:

            "Whereas the faculty plan is a complete nullification of all student activities; whereas the faculty has given us no reason for its decision; whereas no representatives of Student Council were ever officially consulted; therefore be it resolved that hte Student Council of Hunter College rejects the faculty plan and calls tudent activities will continue as usual."

          For the protection of our own rights, we of Brooklyn College must support the Hunter girls to maintain a student democracy. The City College Campus sent the following telegram to Hunter Council: "Reject faculty attempt to crush student liberty. We are with you." We should do the same.



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May 20, 2004