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November 16, 1934, Pages 1, 3


Influence Of Radical Students
    On College Organizations
        Denied By Authorities

            Despite the statement in the New York Evening Journal in several issues this week that "Outbreaks at Brooklyn College have been as frequent and as riotous as those at its parent institution, City College, of New York, and that such outbursts were inspired by young Communist pupils in the school and tools of mature and more vicious minds, seeking to upset the ideals of Americanism," the College administrative staff and the student self-government bodies have shown that Brooklyn College activities have not been instigated by Communists and have not been riotous in nature.

            "There is no chapter of the National Student League or of the League for Industrial Democracy in Brooklyn College," said President William A. Boylan in an interview with a Spotlight reporter. Yet the Evening Journal quotes membership figures of these outlaw organizations calling them Brooklyn College Chapters.

            The so-called "Reds" appeal to the students by planning lunchroom strikes in the College, says the Journal. But there has never been a lunchroom strike in the College.

            The "Reds" plan anti-war protest meetings, it further states. Dr. Isidore Kayfets, the first faculty adviser of the Anti-War League, says with regard to this statement: "It was my observation and experience that the Anti-War League represented the unified sentiment of all these students in Brooklyn College who were opposed to war, irrespective of race, color, religion, or political affiliations . The organization's major activities are of an intellectual and educational nature; the League studies such topics as the nature, causes, and consequences of war, psychology and war, ress ligion and war."

(Continued on page 3)

            President Boylan said with regard to this statement that the anti-war demonstration was incited by Communist students; "Last term when the demonstration was held several thousand students paraded in orderly fashion. I doubt very much that the demonstration was inspired by Communist n students. Long Island University and Seth Low Junior College also took part."

            Eleanor Toporoff, vice-president of Student Council during the anti-war strike said, "The anti-war protest was the expression of the wishes of a great majority of the students and not the tool of any small minority group inside or outside the College. Student Council organized this demonstration because it felt that as students we were all vitally interested in this problem. The response of the student body as certainly emphatic enough to prove this."

            The Journal adds that the College obtained two hundred policemen to guard the line of march last term. But the police were not called by the college. "It was a precaution that the Police department took, and the police were very capable, intelligent, and restrained in their conduct of the march," said President Boylan. Brooklyn College held the most orderly and largest demonstration in the city according to reports of the strike in several metropolitan newspapers.

            Dean Adele Bildersee, discussing the activities of the students, stated that she considered their attitude entirely wholesome. "They are decidedly not a disloyal group," she said. "They are concerned with problems of their generation as every group of young people in any generation has been."

            The Journal says that "red and pink clubs operate" in the College, that "Reds speak daily at the Social Science club, the Negro Problems club, the Current Problems club, and the History club." Here the information is incorrect, for the clubs do not hold daily meetings, and their speakers must be approved by the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs. The main purpose of the Negro Problems club, according to the constitution approved by the Faculty committee, is to study and to applaud the progress of the Negro in the United States in the fields of literature and art. The last speaker was Aaron Douglas, a Negro artist.

            The Journal points to "the boycott of Sorrell's, terming it "The Brooklyn College Cafeteria," as a sign of Communist activity. Sorrell's, however, is not the Brooklyn College cafeteria, and support of the strike was urged by Student Council. The Council executive board states that 'Resolutions or motions passed by Student Council are a direct expression of Student Council opinion and are not due to influence or instigation by outside organizations."

            President Boylan, in referring to the Communist students, said, "In my opinion their number and their influence are such as not to be a disturbing influence here. The faculty has seen no reason to suspend any of these young men and women."


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May 20, 2004