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NBER the national educational radio network presents special of the week. We continue with a presentation from the recent Ann Arbor symposium student protest and the law sponsored by the Institute of continuing legal education of the law schools of Wayne State and the University of Michigan. Last week Mr. Edward collegian from New York City and outside counsel for Columbia University delivered part of his address on the general topic. The campus and the community problems of dual jurisdiction. The completion of Mr. collegians remarks now. Now a question inevitably comes up. What is the proper time or circumstance for summoning the police to a campus. And that is one that I'm sure King Solomon cannot answer in all of his wisdom no matter when the decision is taken. There will be responsible and I emphasize that responsible elements on the campus will
disagree with it. And his position will not necessarily be unreasonable. There is no pat answer. But there are several circumstances that should be borne in mind. One of these is the element of time. I think one of the lessons learned at Columbia a year ago was that the longer one of these Democrats that don't call in demonstrations are not really demonstration implies a legitimate form of protest. But the longer one of these building occupations goes on the more likely it is to acquire a de facto legitimacy. It becomes almost a recognized thing to do a carnival atmosphere builds up.
And the number of participants is likely to increase as is the moral certainty of the participants of the righteousness of their cause. Not that they are particularly lacking in moral certainty from the moment they set their first foot in the building. Generally speaking and if there were no other complicating factors the occupation of a building can probably be terminated with the minimum use of police force at the earliest stage when the confidence quotient of the occupants is at its lowest. When students first walk into a building or sit down to make themselves at home in the president's office they have some question of their ability to carry it
off generally. And while a student is in a state of mental one certainty as to whether or not he can get away with this he will generally be in a mood to give less resistance if he is confronted with the probability that he must leave. The difficulty is that the necessary requisites cannot be accomplished generally at the early stages. You cannot build any kind of you cannot build a camp of support but you cannot have you don't have the requisite time to communicate with all of the elements on the campus who should be consulted and kept advised as to the. Progress of events.
There should be some sort of. Feeling among responsible elements on the campus that if not acceptance at least resignation if possible and this takes time. At the early stages of an occupation there will be many groups who feel that if they are just given a little more time they can talk the kids out peaceably. Now there is however one very serious element involved here in the decision when to call the police. And that is before an occupation of a building has been in progress very long. There will begin to start rumblings from the so-called right the jock element or.
The conservative students moderate students students who just disagree either with the objectives of the occupants of the building or with their tactics and on the Columbia campus. The numbers of such students are not inconsiderable and they are not just all athletes. Among them are some very articulate young men. However among them also are some very impetuous young men. Who are likely to repair to the West End Bar on Broadway 213 street or the branch of the old rail on 110 street. I have a few belts and returned to the campus ready for an evening of sport with
the STDs and the Billings. Now. This would be funny if it weren't so serious and a good part of the time that a building occupation is underway and many campus people are engaged in tranquilizing these students. Who who's who feel affronted. By these occupations. I particularly remember. A very meaningful hour that I spent in April during one of the building occupations when there had been some fisticuffs in front of one of the occupied buildings as the. Outside students sought to gain entrance to even
the STF people inside. A group of their leaders were brought together so that we could talk to them try to quiet them down and I sat with the dean of the college and we talk to these kids and for an old man it was a pretty late early hour in the morning. But they took the occasion to unburden themselves in a way that they might not have done in other circumstances about the quality of student life on the campus. The things that they still thought should be done and the shortcomings that they thought needed attention and the dean in turn was able to explain to them some of the plans the university has. He listened very attentively. I had left after about an hour and a half and they were still talking. There is something about the atmosphere generated by one of these things that opens people up so that they can
communicate more freely than they would in the ordinary setting of the student and the dean and in a formal conference at the dean's office. But they need to get back to my point. There will come a time quite probably in any campus demonstration when the probability of the outbreak of uncontrolled violence between students occupying the buildings and students who oppose the occupation will become a serious threat. And when this happens and when all efforts to pacify the students who are seeking self-help so to speak then the serious consideration must be given to the use of police for the purpose of maintaining safety on the campus.
Now if it becomes necessary to call the police in New York at least there is a lead time involved several hours between the time the police are notified that they are needed and the time that they can assemble a force which they regard as adequate. The police will not leave one of these operations to chance. They operate on the principle that there should be four policeman in the force to every one demonstrator so they generally all ask for an estimate of the number of people who are in buildings. A university official range in call the police must maintain the fullest communication not end of all with his faculty
and with student groups concerning the reasons why. He believes it is now necessary to take the step. The progress of negotiations and the status of campus conditions. Even this may not bring about acceptance but it may have the effect of. Causing less withholding of support now in planning the action with the police generally. If your experience is like Columbia's the buildings the occupied buildings will be barricaded at the inside the campus entrances with barricades constructed of desks firehoses chairs tables
whatever the students were able to lay their hands on within the building which will make it difficult to make entry into the building difficult for the police. The police should be provided with accurate building plans for each occupied building and if there are entrances or to the building other than the regular campus entrances if there are subterranean Hanton says our utility tunnels they should be told about those because any means of quick access is likely to hold down the amount of violence within the building at Columbia. The campus is honeycombed with utility tunnels which connect most buildings and there are alternative entrances available to the police through beneath most buildings.
Another thing that should be done is that the police should be very carefully instructed as to the area with the campus in which they are to operate. If this is not done there is a risk that police may proceed may pursue a fleeing student into some other part of the campus where a group will taunt the policeman before you know it you have a police action in a place where it was never intended. Last year at Columbia had one of the boss. The police were instructed very specifically to just to clear the buildings bought. They were taunted are in a in other manner led into the what we call Southfield an open plaza to the south of a hundred 16th Street where there were many students and the police started to clear Southfield at the periphery of Southfield there are gates leading to public street but those gates were locked so the crowd was driven so to speak
into a corner. And this is where a great deal of the excess of use of force occurred as the police drove these people into an area in which there was no recreate. It was a scene that a good many people will who witnessed it will never forget. Now I think it would be helpful too. I think it should be done in the preparation for a police operation that university officials should attend the briefings at the police precinct when the policemen are instructed concerning the conduct of the operation by their superior officers. It goes without saying that university observers should be stationed in proximity to each of the occupied buildings. When the police arrive a notice must be read to the students occupying the building
as a predicate for any subsequent criminal trespass action that is they must be instructed over the bullhorn that if they that they are occupying the building without permission and that they must leave or they be subjected to criminal trespass charges. Can the university should also have a cameraman on hand as well as university officials for purposes of making recognizing occupants of the building as they are brought out by the police. In other words for purposes of identification. While it's true in a sense as Brother Ferrars said that student protest is open and not concealed or fraudulent. The fact remains nonetheless that it is not hope and so far has identification is concerned.
The SD asked people in a building have a frenetic sense about cameraman. They don't want their pictures taken. They don't want their identities known. They don't want people around who can recognize them. So in that sense in the in the sense which counts that is in the sense of their being willing to stand up for the consequences of civil disobedience. These are. NOT OPEN THIS IS NOT open conduct. This is concealed conduct to the extent of the material fact namely the identity of the participant. Now finally and this too comes from Columbia's experience. The police should be instructed which that violater that the occupants of the building as they are arrested should be taken to police fans by the shortest possible campus room.
That would seem to be an elementary proposition but it was not followed by the police. A year ago. And if they take a devious route why they must pass through large crowds of people who by now are hostile from the sight of wounds and bloodshed and excessive force and it just aggravates the situation. With all these precautions and with even more that some of you may have thought of that. Are not rooted in our experience. You will still find that the use of police causes problems as great as those that it ends. And therefore it should be recognized as the last resort measure.
It is almost certain that it will leave the campus highly polarized. And not in a frame of mind conducive to educational purposes. I have I'm going to I'm going to skip the rest of the talk. The but basic the basic part of it I think you can get from your from the outline but I thought perhaps I might take one or two minutes in case there are some you would like to compare your rules with the university with Columbia's rules or in case you have no rules at all you might be interested in a brief outline of what our rules of adopted last fall by faculty resolution and by the trustees program basically provide. They start out with a policy
statement that rallies picketing and petitioning to have an important place in the life of the community. And then they recognize that picketing and other mass demonstrations are conducted without reasonable restraint can have detrimental consequences to the university. They then recites prohibited forms of conduct which are gathering in a fashion to physically hinder entrance or exit from a university that's already creating excessive noise through the use of bull horns or sound amplifiers or otherwise employing force or violence on the campus against persons or property congregating or assembling within university buildings in a fashion which interferes with normal function
rooms. There is also provision in the rules for the appointment of a president to delegate whose job it is to receive requests for permission to hold the demonstration and to discuss with the group which wish to hold a demonstration. Any limitations that may be necessary to avoid physical conflict are to see to it that two groups aren't seeking to hold a demonstration at the sundial at the same time. I don't and in this respect of indoor demonstrations it he may set a limit on the number of people who may attend. Now if any member of the university community feels that a an illegal demonstration is going on he may notify the security office of the university and which event the president's delegate is instructed to proceed to the place where the demonstration is
conducted and if he finds that the demonstration or assembly violates the rules that he has to prescribe modifications in the conduct of the demonstration and allow reasonable time for these adjustments to be made. If they are if the assembly refuses to comply with his request then he rules that the demonstration is unlawful and orders that it be terminated. Now any student engaged in a demonstration declared unlawful by the delegate must upon request identify himself to anyone who identifies himself as the delegate or his agent. That rule is in force in the breach. The most significant problem in the conduct of disciplinary proceedings I think is the problem of identification.
As I mentioned before our students confronted with disciplinary and criminal charges if they wish to and may take a leave of absence from the university to have the universities charge held in abeyance until the criminal charge has been determined. The delegate procedure the delegate is required to notify the student who has committed an offense in writing of the charge citing a copy of the enclosing a copy of the rules and simultaneously the delegate noted notifies the disciplinary tribunals of the particular school. A student who fails to appear before the disciplinary tribunals as directed is liable to suspension unless he has requested and obtained a postponement and instead of appearing at the tribunals the student may elect to settle his case by agreement with his dean.
And the settlement agreed upon is then start a fight to the discipline I've been on speaking to this problem not settling with the Dean. I share Professor fires old fashioned idea that the biggest position of these problems through a quiet talk between the Dean and the student still has merit. I could talk for another hour about the due process problem but that's not a threat now in proceedings before a discipline I tried beyond the charge of violation of the rules as presented by the delegate as does the university's attorneys we try not to participate in these hearings and if we are asked to attend we do so as the delegates advise or generally we aren't asked to attend unless the student has indicated that he will be there with a lawyer. And one of the areas which I think you will all find you have to struggle
with is just what the role of attorneys should be in these things. I do not believe the law requires that a university permit a student to be represented by an attorney. Columbia's rules say that the student may have the right to be advised by counsel of his own choosing but counsel shall not participate in the proceedings without the permission of the tribunals. My experience has been that the tribunals at Columbia generally do give the students counsel the right of full participation. Whether they should or not as a policy matter I believe a transcript of the proceedings is made and. There are strict rules of evidence do not apply the Ordinarily the hearing is public unless the student requests that it be closed and the tribunals may also
close the hearing. If the spectators become disruptive and like Brother Cates I have participated in some pretty disruptive examples of due process. I cannot see how a student who is genuinely interested in the outcome of the disciplinary hearing against them could wish to have a room for all of the others fellows shouting foul language conducting big nets of guerilla theatre in front of the bench with simulations of Vietnamese children being afflicted with the Dow chemical substances. Totally. The concept of due process which is in the minds of the courts when they say that state universities must accord
some modicum of due process. Now as far as the proof is concerned the rules at Columbia say that the delegate may establish a violation in the absence of contrary evidence by showing that the demonstration was unlawful and. That the student has been reasonably identified as one of those present at the scene of the demonstration. This makes the fact issue a relatively simple one and generally in a good faith proceeding would permit the delegate to get along without much help from an attorney. Our philosophy has been that if these income mural proceedings are to work they will work best if they are done in time handled entirely within the university. Well that is about the sum and substance of the essential provisions of the rules they are. These rules will have to be revised because they do not comply with the new statute that I spoke of at the beginning of my talk.
But. I would like to conclude by just pointing out that the American public is worked up over this issue as they have seldom been worked up before. And they are going to intervene in a traditionally a Thomas operation of institutions of higher education and unless the institutions themselves. Are more responsive not just in terms of repression but more responsive in all the positive ways that a university can be responsive. I am hopeful that one result of. The flood of statutory legislation that appears to be in the offing will be to convince faculty members that the threat to the institution which is essentially theirs is not unlike the threat which they so clearly recognised from Senator Joe McCarthy back in the 50s.
I. Know. You have been listening to the conclusion of an address delivered by Edward collegian attorney from New York City outside counsel for Columbia University. Mr. collegian was speaking at the symposium student protest and the law held at last may under the auspices of the Institute of continuing legal education of the law schools of Wayne State and the University of Michigan. More from the symposium on special of the week next week. Over n e are the national educational radio network.
Special of the week
Issue 37-69
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Special of the week; Issue 37-69,” 1969-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
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