FOUR HUNDRED STUDENTS GATHER TO PROTEST
|The complete text of the Nunan Loyalty Oath Bill is found on page four.|
Resolutions protesting the Nunan Bill was passed unanimously at a huge Anti-Nunan Meeting held in the Lawrence gymnasium Wednesday. The resolutions are as follows:
"We, the students in mass meeting assembled, do hereby wish to register our protest against the Nunan Bill. We consider this bill a definite attempt to. stifle and suppress free speech and thought in our student body. We call on the New York State legislature to reject this bill and all other similar measures which may1n the future come before it. Representatives from all organizations in school which have gone on record against the Nunan Bill shall form a Students' Rights Committee in school to conduct all activities against the Nunan Bill."
More than tour hundred students gathered to hear faculty members and students present their opinions on the Nunan Bill. Professor Jesse D. Clarkson of the History department, Dr. Bernard D. N. Grebanier, and Mr. Howard W. Hintz of the English department, Miss Margaret M, McCarthy of the Speech department, and Mr. Kenneth A. Brown of the Philosophy department were the faculty members who addressed the group.,
"The principle involved in protesting the Nunan Bill is more important than new buildings," said Mr. Hintz. "Even though I know the Nunan Bill is innocuous, I am an idealist and wish to stand for the principle of the thing. I do not like the Nunan Bill because it is a discriminatory bill It is not invoked or imposed by the colleges themselves but by the State to apply to City Colleges. The only publicly-supported institutions are the three city colleges," he continued.
"Why do the students of only the free colleges have to take this oath?" asked Mr. Hintz, "when there are so many more students in private schools? Is it because they pay fees that the question of their loyalty is not impinged upon?"
Mr. Hintz also objected to the Nunan Bill because the bill is conducive to hyposrisy. Students will sign the pledge with a mental reservation, he stated. He also said this bill centers attention on an unfounded suspicion. "It makes it seem as if the City Colleges were hot beds of radicalism–which they're not. This bill is an attempt to stifle not communism essentially but people who are interested in thinking things through fur themselves," said Mr. Hintz, "these people do not fall in with a certain jingoistic attitude put forward in the Hearst papers. The bill is innocuous but indicative of a force which thinking people must combat today " concluded Mr. Hintz.
The first part of Mr, Hintz' speech was in answer to Professor Clarkson who said the tandem body should not make any protest against the Nunan Bill. Professor Clarkson said the Nunan Bill was less powerful than the pledge the students took when they entered college. "The Legislators passed the Nunan Bill because it sounded good to their constituencies," he said. "Public sentiment;" continued the speaker, "is the determining factor of :the legislators' sentiments. If sentiment goes against Brooklyn College, we will get no buildings or site, and we may get fees. There is a very strong latent hostility to public colleges which we should try not to provoke. This added against the Nunan Bill means working against your own interests, and I don't like it." continued Professor Clarkson.
The mass meeting was. opened by Dr. Grebanier who read the preamble of the Declaration of Independence and the first amendment of our Constitution to remind us our inalienable rights. Dr. Grebanier said outrageous attacks are being made on the principles embodied in the Constitution. He concluded his remarks with the statement that "Professor Counts of Columbia is no more a Communist than the publisher of the Liberty magazine is."
The mass meeting was under the chairmanship of Sivia Freedman, and was sponsored by the Student Councils of the Men's and Women's divisions. Andrew Barresi, president of the Men's Student Council and Sophie Prombaum also addressed the students.
COUNCIL PROTESTS BILL
Sends Delegates To Conference
Circulates Petitions For
The Nunan Loyally Oath Bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 34 to 10 on March 0. The measure went through the Senate only after sharp debate. The ten negative votes were almost evenly divided between the Democrats and the Republicans.
The Democrats who voted against the measure were Senator John J. Dunnigan, the Democratic leader, and Senators Esquirol, Kelly, and Manlelbaun. Senators Baldwin, Bontecou, Pitcher. Stagg, Kirkland, and Williamson were the Republicans who voted against the measure.
Although the Nunan Bill was passed by the Senate, it failed to obtain the necessary votes in the Assembly committee to win a favorable report which would bring it before the lower house. Seven votes were I needed and the vote, due to the absence of some members was 6 to 4 for a favorable report.
, The bill can be reconsidered in committee, but it was indicated, according to the March 6r issue of the Times, "that supporters of the legislation might have a hard time winning the seventh vote necessary for the report."
Council Protests Bill
Joining the state-wide fight which is being waged against the Nunan Loyalty Oath Bill, Student Council voted almost unanimously to protest and combat this measure. According to a motion passed at a special meeting last Friday, Student Council appointed a committee to carry on a campaign against the passage of the Nunan Bill. bibles Friedland, president, was elected as the Women's division representative on the delegation to Albany. Harriet Kahn, treasurer, and Ruth Fisch, editor-in-chief of Spotlight, ompleted the Brooklyn College contingent.
The Nunan Bill, which was introduced by Senator Joseph D.Nunan affirms that:
On or after September first, nineteen hundred thirty-five, every student admitted to a university, college, normal school or other institution of higher education supported in whole or part by public funds, shall take and subscribe the following oath in affirmation: 'I do solemnly swear(or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States of America and the constitution of the State of New York as a student of (here insert name or designation of college, normal school or other institution).'"
According to this bill, "it will be unlawful to admit any student to any university, normal school or other such institution unless and until he has taken the oath herein prescribed"
To carry on the fight against the passage of the Nunan Bill, delegates from high schools and colleges throughout the city met at the Teachers' Union on February 25 to organize a committee to draw up plans for the protest which is under the leadership of the National Student Federation of America, the National Student League, and the Student League for Industrial Democracy.
The delegation, which met at Teachers' Union, decided upon the following courses of action:
1. The organization upon every high school and college campus of a Students' Rights Committee to relay information to the students of the respective institutions concerning the Nunan Bill.
2. The printing of petitions to be circulated throughout the high schools and colleges condemning the bill.
3. The sending of as large and broad a delegation as possible to Albany for the purpose of voicing student protest against the passage of the bill.
Through letters to the student councils and editors of students newspapers throughout New York, the first provision mentioned above was carried out. In a recent issue of Spotlight, excerpts from a letter from the secretary of the Committee Against the Nunan Loyalty Oath Bill were reprinted. The reading of this letter at the Student Council meeting last Friday led to almost unanimous motion to oppose the Nunan Bill. The motion was passed by a 22-1 vote.
Brooklyn College Student Council has circulated petitions which were signed by the students, and were taken Albany by the delegation yesterday.
The petition read as follows:
"We, the students of Brooklyn College, protest any attempt to curtail our constitutional rights in the form of the Nunan Loyalty Oath Bill now in the New York State Legislature. Such a law would be the ideals of our democratic government and of a liberal university."
The motion in Student Council to protest the passage of the Nunan Bill was initiated by Sylvia Wener, vice-president. Miss Wener did not object to the wording of the Bill itself, but rather to its implications. "It is an attack on free speech and academic freedom," she said.
Katherine O'Hara lower junior representative, cast the vote against the motion to protest the Nunan Bill. Caroline Murphy of Pan-Hellenic, did not vote. The following members of Council voted in the affirmative: Jean Casel, Ethel Drexel, Sivia Freedman, Beatrice Golden, Harriet Kahn, Harriet Kaplan, Ruth Katz, Paula Lance, Evelyn Levin, Muriel Levitt, Ruth Lopatkin, Florence Harass, Adelel Marans, Beatrice Turetsky, Harriet Ulman, Lucille Unger, Ruth Weintraub, Miriam Brody, Clara Coleman, Sylvia Weser, Muriel Dichter, Pauline Sherman, and Ida I Schwalberg.
On Tuesday, February 2l, delegates from Vassar and Skidmore colleges registered their protest against the Nunan Bill in a visit to the State Legislature.
The Student Councils of Barnard College and the N.Y.U. School of Commerce have also protested the enactment of the Nunan Bill.
"We represent the conservative element of college students," Miss Kathleen McInerny, president of the Vassar Political Association, said before the New York Senate Committee on Education. We are willing to take this oath but we question our being asked to take it. The avowed purpose of this bill is to suppress free speech. It is directed against radicals but it also withholds the right of criticism from the college element we represent. It gives police power to check what you want to check. The Constitution has been amended many times and there wouldn't have been any amendments if there had not been criticism "
Miss Mcfnerny presented a petition 'signed by 888 Vassar students to the Committee and asked that the bill be reported unfavorably to the Senate.
May 20, 2004