NET Journal; 230; Diary of a Student Revolution
(Music) (Music) The following program is from NET, the public television network. Job placement interviews at the University of Connecticut. I think if you have this type of outlook, you should do very well in your field. We do have a definite orientation program. . Power isn't in the hands of the people. Power, you know, is at the top. It's held by corporate elite, and that the country's organized to protect the corporate elite. This system cannot be tolerated, and must be destroyed. The only people who concern me and cause me any anxiety at all are the people who I think are in fact determined to
destroy an institution. Who, it seems to me, are prepared to say that because a hospital doesn't save the life of everybody who comes into the hospital, we should burn the hospital down. (Christmas carol. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen) (music continues) (music continues wit dog yapping) (music continues with dog yapping) (music continues with yapping sound) (music continues) (music ends) silence
University campuses are in turmoil over issues ranging from black studies to on campus recruiting. This is the diary of such a campus once called fun farm by its president. (banjo music) but fun farms suddenly erupted in the fall of 1968 when a group of students and faculty demonstrated against on campus recruitment by the Dow Chemical Company whose most famous products are Saran Wrap and napalm. This was followed in November by the occupation of the university's executive building, including the President's office. (banjo music) At the end of the month there was another confrontation with the (music continues) (unintelligible) contingent of the Connecticut State pPolice during a protest against recruiting by the Olin Mathieson Corporation. There were 21 arrests at
least for insurance. (music in background) As in many cases the thrust of protest was provided by a small group of radicals, the SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. Their convictions had been forged in the crucible of the civil rights movement, tempered by the agony of Viet Nam and finally shaped and radicalized by Chicago and what they considered a failure of liberal politics. (music in background) They claimed 2 adversaries, the corporate elite and the university president, Yale graduate and former government education aid, Homer D. Babbidge, Jr. The action of this program centers on a collision course between SDS and a college president during ten days in December, 19 68. It starts on the evening of Sunday, (music in background) December 8th.To avoid the potential of further violence the (music in background) student senate has just passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on
recruiting. President Babbidge says he waiting to hear from the faculty senate and graduate student council. (music ends) [Babbidge]: I hope before I retire tonight that I will have some indication of their considered response. And uh sense a moratorium under the operating rules of the institution and is is implied by the resolution of this body is a responsibillity of the president. I'm gonna have to make a decision on the basis of the response I receive from these 3 bodies, but I cannot at this point predict what that response is or will be. When President Babbidge leaves the floor is open to both moderate and radical speakers. First, Peter Ripner, a member of SDS. [Ripner]: No students in this school actually have anything to say about the way the school is run when it comes down to the point of being in opposition to the administration. (applause) Kids are looking. Where are they going to go for student power? There's student government or
or something more radic like SDS. (applause) Now you voted down. In the past you voted down supposedly radical action as the things I've mentioned. The radicals supported it, and we got it. Now what are kids going to think? Think, if you keep voting down action like this, keep changing your mind just because the president of the university walks in and says he doesn't like it, you're going to change your mind, I ask you please so I can still have some respecting you and so I can fill (unintelligible) be proud to say that once I was a student senator. Will you please support. Will you please be firm for once. It's not too much student power to ask for, for you to be able to express your own views. ( applause, cheers)
The following morning, Monday, December 9th, the office of the University pPresident, Homer D. Babbidge Jr. i think it is and i think i don't I mean the- the- the sentiment of the, uh senate resolution's clear enough, seems to me. Well, do you yourself see any, um, uh, advantage in seeing them? The only reason I'd do it is that if I don't, subsequently they'll say that I was unwilling to communicate. But the fact of the the matter is that they have nothing to communicate to me other than, uh, what they already have. Isn't that true? All I'm doing right now is listening to them talking. [Narrator]: The student delegation, including members of the SDS, are on their way, hoping to discuss the pending Tuesday recruitment with President Babbidge. He delegates the meeting to his Assistant
Dean of Men, Jack Manning. [Babbidge]: You'll do your best. Heh. [Narrator]: SDS member Larry Smiley talks to the state police to seek a means of peaceful protest, should Tuesday's recruiting be held. [Smiley]: Why not, as- as has been done many times before, can you not set up barricades that say 'police line do not cross' and that means anybody who will cross those barricades and not a cordon of police. Therefore there would be no possibility of poss- of anyone misreading it. But, sir, I mean, like that, you know, highly, you know, you're saying they have to come in contact with us, you know with a policeman. This I think you realize is, you know, contributing highly to a possible cause of violence! I mean, those kids have absolutely no, no way of knowing when they do bump into one of your state policemen that you will not hit them! And I don't think any ?unintelligible? you can give me can, you know, o- tell me anything else. [Narrator]: That night the SDS tunes into a broadcast by President Babbidge to learn whether or not there will be recruiting Tuesday. [Babbidge]: Well at least, uh, nobody can ring this phone, so
it's off the hook. As a matter of fact, I wish I I were off the hook at the moment. Are we ready? A- a snap of the fingers will, uh [snap] On Sunday the three deliberative bodies on this campus met in extraordinary session to discuss the possibility of a moratorium on our campus placement activities. Unfortunately the results of these deliberations are contradictory. There is no clear consensus. The student senate re-endorsed its earlier recommendation of a moratorium on campus recruitment. The graduate student council opposed a moratorium and the faculty senate endorsed a statement of my own views opposing a moratorium. [faculty sentae]: In the face of this divided opinion I must act in accord with my own
best judgement. I regret very much the lack of a consensus. But I conclude that a moratorium would not be in the best interests of the institution. [Babbidge]: In the meantime, interviews scheduled for Tuesday will be held. [faculty senate]: State police [shh] will be on hand to minimize the possibility of violence. [laughter] An announcement of the exact location of the interviews will be made available to station WHUS early Tuesday morning. [background conversation] I urge all those who do not have scheduled placement interviews to stay away [audience echos] stay away. [audience]: ?inaudible? I'm not going. [faculty senate]: And I urge those who [audience whispers]: stay away
[faculty senate]: cannot refrain from being at the site to limit their expression of dissent to non-violent and non-obstructive forms. [audience member]: Does that include obscenities? [other speaker]: Does that what? [speaker]: That was university president Homer D. Babbidge [crowd mock-cheering] [Babbidge]: I hate always to make announcements, you know I don't, uh, never occurred to me, uh, when I signed on to be a college president, I was gonna be making announcements. I thought my job was to help other people do things. You get caught in the kind of, uh strategic relationship that we're in now with our critics, uh, it's to me a most unhappy situation. I'm not a strategist. I wasn't trained as a strategist. I, uh have no stomach for it, uh, and yet, you know, it seems
to be a part of a college president's job these days. [student]: Babbidge has been exposed for, for what he is. [other student]: Yeah. [first student]: The faculty senate has been exposed for what it is, right? The student senate and all that business about due process has been exposed for the sham it is. ?unintelligible? with the student senate when it, when it, when it reaches Babbidge and he simply overrides it. That's why we're gaining, we're gaining force, we're gaining a kind of popular front. [applause] [narrator]: Later that Monday night assistant professor Charles Brover addresses an SDS rally. Not all the students are members, but all are concerned about tomorrow. [student]: A nonviolent response has certain kinds of presumptions I don't have to believe. Uh, it presumes, in effect, that we're dealing with moral men. That somehow, people are gonna be moved by the fact that a hundred or a hundred and fifty beautiful people get arrested tomorrow. We're not dealing with moral men. It's like draft resistance. Remember draft resistance? How that, when people would turn in their draft cards, you'd see
and then, first there were gonna be a hundred draft cards turned in, and then there were gonna be five hundred, and then there were gonna be a thousand, and then there were gonna be ten thousand, and then there were gonna be a hundred thousand. Only that ain't the way it worked, 'cause it's finite. The number of people willing to put up anything [other student]: Yeah. [first student]: for what they believe in, that number is finite on this campus is small, and in the country it's small. We are. We're not- we're not a majority or anything like it. [other student]: Yeah. [first student]: Martin Luther King said 'Well, they'll fill up the jails. See, first they'll fill up ten people. They'll put ten people in jail, and for every ten people they put in jail there'll be twenty to take their place. And for every twenty there'll be two hundred, two hundred there'll be two thousand. It just ain't true. The choices really aren't between violence and nonviolence. Yeah. That's an artificial choice perpetrated by the powerful upon the powerless. Yeah. They want you to think that what you're doing is choosing between violence and nonviolence. Uh uh. You're choosing between various forms of violence. The ghetto is a form of violence. Yeah. What the corporate elite does to the- does to people in this country is a kind of violence. In Guatemala, yeah, where they
pay Indian peasants 30 cents a day and a pound of meat costs 40 cents a day, that's a kind of violence. Where people don't get adequate medical treatment that's a kind of violence. [other student]: Yeah. [first student]: I hate to see us deluded into thinking that those were- that we had some kind of real choice here, as much as I'd like to have that choice, 'cause what happens in this system is, the word comes down from the top. [other student]: Yep. [first student]: And everybody follows. Comes right ?inaudible? There are no decisions coming from the- in the other direction. Okay, there are people think- we can somehow get in- in this community what Felix ?inaudible? are calling an aroused conscience by getting busted. Let's get busted. [other student]: Yep. [first student]: Well we're gonna learn from getting busted and that's mostly what I care about. Thank you. [applause]. [narrator]: After the broadcast, President and Mrs. Babbidge entertained dinner guests at one point the talk is of current party games. [Babbidge]: Well you, you see Godfrey Cambridge's game? [guest]: No. [Babbidge]: I think it's called 'Ghetto'. [laughter] It's a sort of principle. You start out in a ghetto, Watts or Harlem or someplace or other, and you aspire to get to be the president of the United States.
[other guest]: Oh. [Babbidge]: It's a very similar format, and sort of tongue-in-cheek. [other guest]: You don't aspire to get busted? [Babbidge]: No. The idea of protest, you know, you can choose to protest on the college campus or you can choose to protest before the state welfare department, you know, or you can choose to protest . . . [banjo music] [banjo music] [banjo music] [speaker]: We ask for attention. We ask for attention. And we will now read the Riot Act [commotion] Quiet! Quiet! All persons assembled to immediately disperse and peaceably depart to your habitations or your lawful business under penalty of the law . . . [student] ?unintelligible? any of these men with sticks ?unintelligble?
By the authority of the state of Connecticut I charge and command all persons assembled immediately to disperse and peaceably depart to their habitations or to their lawful business under penalty of the law. [student]: 'Cause there are certain people who wish to be arrested. Nonviolently just as a symbolic gesture. [talking] [man]: Okay,?unintelligble? no man's land again [student]: I am a very gentle person. [officer]: Well, you'll have to be a little more gentle. [student]: What about crying, is wedging, is illegal? [officer]: You'll have to wedge yourself anything you want to do. You're violating the law. [student]: I want to be peaceably arrested. I'm violating the law now. ?unintelligible? Isn't that a violation of some law? Touching a policeman? [Torkelson]: We are here in large numbers to, uh, do what is
required to... [Narrator]: Professor Jack Torkelson of the economics department. [Torkelson]: Totally against what is going on here today and what has been going on. I am a member of the faculty and I wish to make my role here as plain as possible. [narrator]: As the afternoon wears on sixty seven moderate students and faculty members not belonging to SDS will be arrested on charges of breach of the peace. [student]: I have seen bad faith been demonstrated. Now we know Colonel Williams promised that the Riot Act wasn't read. And we know Commissioner [?] was there. He must take the responsibility for that! They have all their kinds of ways of taking care of things like that. President Babbidge will of course say he had no idea that that was going to happen! I personally don't believe that! [Babbidge] ... explain to someone this morning Bob is our man who's there's to see that the interviews were carried on, but in every other respect
the situation's in the hands of the police commissioner. And this is what, uh, I think so many people in the university community don't really appreciate is that if it's necessary to call in civil authorities to, uh, conduct the affairs of the institution you surrender something of the institution's uh autonomy. [noise, commotion] Assuming the worst, uh Has the infirmary been alerted? I assume they're conscious of what may be... [other speaker]: I'm sure they are. Everybody else seems to be. People have called me all day, I'm told, to say 'Will Mr. Gann be able to make his appointment? [laughs] Did I ever tell you about going out, uh, raising funds for Vanderbilt? [multiple people talking] Uh, our most militant critics, on the one hand, say we should abolish the board of trustees
you know, we should be governed by students and faculty. Uh, at the other extreme you hear people saying well, we don't want to abolish the board of trustees but we wanna pass laws that limit their authority. [phone ringing] It just seems to me that any, uh, effort to de-limit, uh the, uh, degree of trust that's, uh, placed in our board of trustees, uh is a tragedy for education. I think the people who are assaulting it from either extreme are, are, are being very unwise. [different speaker]: About a hundred. And, uh, it's mixed. It's, it's a mixed bag of it. Mmhmm. You mean there, there is a crowd there now? I asked, uh, Doc Manning to, to make a, uh, real strong plea, uh, to the, uh, student senators to remove themselves, uh, from an area if there are large groups, uh, coming in, because, uh, you know, I just don't want them to, to get in
to any trouble at all. So, uh, he's going out to, uh, ?unintelligible? to do that . . . [Babbidge]: Ed? [first man]: Hold on. [Babbidge]: You gotta tell 'em. please to meet me somewhere. [first man]: Yeah. Yes the president, uh, points out, uh, that, uh, you know, if they, uh are really inclined to to, uh, remain, that, uh, we would like to meet them somewhere, as opposed to their remaining behind, uh, and uh, innocently... [Babbidge]: Tell 'em I'll meet 'em in center field. [first man]: being, uh, involved in something. I- I really don't know if this other group, uh, on the way has anything more in mind. [multiple people talking] Traditionally we've put up signs 'Don't walk on the grass' and give out parking tickets. [second man]: That's about as much experience as we've had. [another man]: And we haven't done it very well. [a different man]: You might say your record is poor. [second man]: My record in both areas is very poor.
[laughs] [another man]: Your grass isn't growing and your parking is awful [laughs]. Yeah. We're just not law enforce- not a law enforcement agency. Uh, we're not very good at it. [different man]: Wouldn't it be nice to get back to arguing about that parking and walking on the grass. [Richie] OK, we go to Gully Hall, we go to the rock, we got a few announcements to make about what we're gonna do. Suggestions, okay? So let's go to Gully Hall. [music] [Narrator]: Richie Savage and his fellow SDS members have decided not to add new legal problems by being arrested today. The same old sense of outrage prevails, however. [music] [students talking] [Richie]: Babbidge has lied again! He said that the Riot Act wouldn't be read. It was read. We weren't allowed to even peaceably protest. This is the university's recruitment policies, so I say right now, since we can't get in
the building, let's picket the damn place. [female student]: There's something very important to all of you people who haven't been with us before who were there today. There is abs- should be absolutely no question in your mind what went on there. This campus should not be ignorant of what's going on. We should not allow anymore of that Babbidge and his administration twist and turn the events of this day into something they can use for themselves. It's up to everyone here to make sure that other people on this campus know exactly what went on, because it could happen to you tomorrow. [another student]: Friends, I'm, uh very disappointed that we were not given a chance by Commissioner Mulcahey and the officers to demonstrate peaceably. I think technically I and you are still breaking the law, because we're on the university campus, we have not dispersed to our places of work or our homes, so we may be liable to arrest [different student]: Can I say something then? Okay. It is a question of principle. And we have
the right to peacefully assemble and protest and address our grievances before those who we want to change. It's the rules. OK. We- Mr. Houseman has told you that we are all subject to arrest, but I say we've gotta [whistle] stick by those principles and stay here and picket and if they're gonna [whistle] come here and arrest us, then we know damn well that the Constitution of the United States [talking] [cheering] [yelling] [female student]: You! Now you see what this campus is! It's a police state! [male student]: ...what they did over there. What they did over there was a direct violation of our right to peace... [second male student]: Yeah. They just busted Torkleson, Leister, all those people. I mean all the liberal factor. Looks like about a hundred, and they're all going in- it's like going in- it looks like Dachau going in to the- going in to take showers.
[radio chatter, talking] [howling] You going to read the Riot Act again? [shouting] [narrator]: But for most of the twelve thousand undergraduates, campus revolution is a spectator sport. [student]: Show some respect for those guys. They're just doing their job. [shouting] [random student]: Come on baby! Come on! [background noise/talking] [student]: We were on our way... [narrator]: One student senator claims SDS has taken action into its own hands. [female student]: We are a legitimate body. We are your body. We are at the same end you are. Ask Larry who was in the meeting just now. [laughing] [Larry]: I can't answer all those... [female student]: If you're going to be a bandit group and a bandit group of students you gotta stand behind those students who can speak for you and if you're not going to... [male student]: I'm not a student and I'll do what the hell I... [male student]: Wait a minute! I object to being called a bandit! I know that President Babbidge promised that when we would arrive at the skating rink, that the Riot Act would not be read! It was read! I say
we sit in nonviolently, and if President Babbidge wants to come and talk to us, let him come and talk to us in here! [different student]: Wait a minute! [whistling, cheering] Just because he lied, there's no reason for us to lie. [several talking] [different student]: We promised to keep this nonviolent. We promised not to provoke! If you go in there, you're going to provoke violence. [several talking] [female student]: And if you go in there and do something and something disruptive happens, you're going to be putting everyone- every student on this campus in the same problem, without justice behind you! And there's gotta be something! [students talking, shouting, whistling] Stand back! [male]: Let them through. [more shouting, indistinct talking] [different male student]: Now it's perfectly clear, that President Babbidge will not let us demonstrate nonviolently, and as far as I'm concerned at this point, President Babbidge is completely discredited!
[Babbidge]: They really think that I ordered them to read the Riot Act? [other man]: ...we just say that generally, that's just the kind of question that, for example... [Narrator]: Later that Tuesday, President Babbidge and his aides try to measure the day's events. [talking] [Babbidge]: Max, what kind of reaction have you had? Same sort of... [Max]: Well, from one, uh, manly- from one very representative member of the faculty, who was there as a demonstrator privately, and, uh, who felt that because the Riot Act had been read prematurely, his liberties were abridged, and we should, therefore, for the fourth time, I believe, call a moratorium on recruiting. [other voice]: This was how he reads. [second voice]: Jack, in a community other than a university community, if a group of people assembled in this fashion are they subject to an
ordered to disperse all this really aren't fact i think they'd be arrested though without even bothering with you an ordinary commute i mean it has happened on the nation and part real policemen were subjected to this type of producer nina just wouldn't take away that there's always verbal abuse i can speak today because i couldn't hear you saying de la character that we're not but i think that the president was talking generally generally if this happened anywhere but a college campus that this would be any discussion about this it seems to me isn't really yours critically important point to get across to our colleagues is that we have for centuries institutions like this enjoyed a degree of immunity from civil procedure because the assumption was made by the public that you add some are other govern ourselves maintain our own form of law and order and this included lots of gatherings in demonstrations and so
forth that the men should call in the civil authorities to maintain order on the campus you begin to live like they live in the rest of the world and it's not going on a limit on a college campus and more delicious ironies of the situation is that if we had declared a moratorium we would have been to keep the peace corps way for three days so which would have put us in that pretty idealistic they were recruiting in the student union during the delicious irony that does take place as associate professor david cole facts and ds ds confront peace corps recruiters that's because
the constitution this is because baby
you think it's b nice beaches you know you have a lot fun that echoes an estimated that it's gathering of people in the state and around the nation that you know welcome to my nineteen ruling others
today we came to play all the tactics that the minority we were small know that one or use that we thought they are one and all they do not demand significant support chris b you know
all right yeah it is people are very clear that the job now we see at our table i think after we finish at or perhaps some allies but i am not just a just a just you in this that major stages the budget should get together because i don't know maybe a sovereign nation so they're within what their weapons but i think there is an
ample reason to implement it we'll end with this that there were sixty seven people sitting there i myself i didn't sit there to see that it was i was afraid to lose my nba alone because i have a wife and because i have a kids and it has been postponed has been going for years i tell you this is the end if its tonight i'm going there and they congratulated him and he's been to pay any old people
but it is still some two hundred activists trying to radicalize a student body of twelve thousand and so for most of the characters in his classes as usual spiritually distinguishing the ominous transcendental epic diaz and recruiting as usual we are the christmas holidays as we talk right now are only six days away and to be perfectly candid with you my hope is that we can keep going until the christmas holidays arrive we haven't two weeks of vacation and one more week of classes examinations another vacation between semesters and hopefully in six weeks of of schedule moratorium that a lot of people in the middle of their lives
can then start to think you get a little more a little more human level this rhetoric little as posturing and i'm hoping very much to keep a lid on three other we add may i say your money that as part of the strike strategy has the years members of her as various prizes to explain their point of view that was important more important for us to point out to people that dow enough to stop all corporations in america
participate in a system that is oppressing people around the world impressing people right here in america and what the blocks of migrant workers the miners in the south i saw some business this summer in there a miserable conditions and sizes and our priorities that's why we won and that's the dow we said sure he's rubbing their civil liberties to be a simple privilege to have an interview but his country's interim the civil rights people in vietnam for the distance and he says billy but if we were if we are in a society that was moral if we're in a society where all people had civil rights and liberties civil liberties and i was that nobody should file a disability at all but when you're living in a society that's corrupt that's a moral that exist to make profit that puts one man against
another man cause of motivation then they have no right to use that one people like to call us communists and say we want your recipes and they don't have to deal with the thing that just can't you know they call ohio it comes to their dealers you say your country but the communists are not the people to be worried about in this world right now as a communist i just another form of imperialism economists are furious just like the united states arb hearings there are varying degrees of varying types of comments and communism in vietnam may be totally different part and will be eichinger usually given communism in russia ok so we're not for comments that were full of say the united states and in this political you just go
nice job what do you say right now surely you're ignorant of what it means to be socialized to be political systems in the system has affected me it's worth a lot of my thinking is a lot of anxieties and me there's certain things i can't do you know like i don't want to say certain words because it makes turn rejection while lifting you have to try to do is first to recognize that doesn't matter what society you live in that society determines your morality what you think it is that you live the time is now, man, the time is now to say, 'well maybe some of those things aren't right', you know and let's look around and see what- what the truth is. [other voice]: My sympathy for the strike. I'm not going to have a class on Wednesday.
There'll be no class on Wednesday. [applause] [student]: Let's get- Let's get one thing straight before we go in there, are we going to go in there and leave when they ask us to leave? [friend]: No. [student]: Or we gonna go in there... [female]: No. We're- What we're gonna do, we're gonna go in there, we're gonna sit down and- and- just sit down and stay there. [student]: Ok Now some of those people that were doin' the talkin' do it today, you know, do it now. All right. Let's go. [other student]: Yeah, don't let 'em talk you out. [indistinct talking] We're here to tell you about what's going on, and to tell you, um, that Rich Savage has been singled out, of 100 people, and suspended from the university, and some of you, you can clap now if you want. Some of you, um, may not like Rich Savage, some of you may not like SDS, but you can't say that you like the idea of a person being singled out from 100 people who did the
same action that he did, and punished for that action. [speaker]: Problem is, that the university has decided that anyone who's gonna use their right to freedom of speech is gonna get bumped outta school, you see. [several people talking over each other] [student]: Get outta here. We don't want you around here. [whistling] [female student]: We're taxpayers just as much as you are. [male]: Yeah, so are we, and we like to have our... [talking] [female student]: We'd like to have our democratic rights guaranteed. We'd like to have our democratic rights guaranteed. [talking] [male student]: Why wasn't he getting kicked out of school? [different student]: You're not giving us a choice. [another student]: How can you call yourself a student? Do you know what a student is? [talking] I decide also that we don't want you here, so just get get out. [indistinct talking] [student]: ...about what's been going on and what's happening to our community, because the news that been coming out has been distorted, and... [adult]: Sir, let me point out to you that before coming to this class, I had 13 pages of what you put out. And, I definitely feel myself
quite well informed. I think most students have received this ?inaudible? information. [student]: ?inaudible? This isn't the time or the place. [applause] the [applause] [applause] [cheering] [student]: Let me just ask you Mr. ?inaudible? Where were you in the 50s, when people were being taken out of their cars? [cheering] [student]: All right, but we're saying very possibly, we're saying very possibly, you know, you paid your money to learn botany, and we're saying, maybe, uh, you know, you could use that money, or that education, for other reasons. [female student]: All right, but I do and I do it on other times. Last night I was there, and the night before. But don't tell me that during my classes, when I came here to learn- to listen to someone who has a PHD, or a, a masters or something, to tell me about a special subject, that
I can't learn about something... [male student]: Well, what we're saying is that you have very little choice over who you're gonna listen to and who you're gonna be taught by. That's one of the things we're tryin' to say! [female student]: All right, then please ?inaudible? Maybe I don't wanna listen to you. [applause, cheering] [different female]: Not a question, but I'm a senior and I'm using a placement office, and I want to know why you think you have the right to interfere in my getting to a placement interview. [male student]: I wouldn't allow a Ku Klux Klan meeting to go on in my house in Enfield from where I live, uh, I feel as long as you let it happen in your own home, then that's kind of a way of condoning it. The same thing if you allowed wiretapping, you know, it's just- you're condoning the idea, and I feel, you know, sure if kids wanna recruit, but they want to, get off campus. You know, this is my home, just like it's your home, and I don't feel that you should infringe on certain of those inhabitants, yes. [second female student]: Well, why should you have them off that's for you. Why can't I have them on, that's for me. [male]: See, this is the whole compromise, that's the only answer. [female]: So I'm supposed to compromise? [male]: Well, no law is
just if it affects a majority while a minority is still impaired. You can't infringe on some people's rights. They have to appeal to everyone. [female]: It makes it right if the majority is infringed upon for the minorities will? [male]: No, they wouldn't be infringed. I'm not stopping their recruiting. A half a mile off campus isn't much. It's just that I want recruiting out of my house. [female]: Well, I live here too. I want it in my house. [music] [narrator]: By Tuesday, the ninth day of the revolution, the strike collapses. [shouting] [announcer]: While Connecticut plays massachusetts the SDS discusses the future of the movement. [Student] There's two things we ought to consider really seriously. That is, one thing is the direction of the SDS and the second thing is the leadership of SDS. [sports announcer calls football plays] [student]: The recruitment issue is through. Do you wanna just disband- on the one extreme. And the second extreme- or is- are you workin' on a movement that ten or twenty
years from now will climax, all right. [other student]: Ten or twenty years? [laughing, talking] Man, I want a movement that is gonna climax in April with the shut down of the university. [drumming] [chanting]: Huskies, Huskies [student]: And I think, like, if we start demanding things, like like, a thousand black students before next year, and, uh 500 Puerto Ricans students, as opposed to the four we have now. [other student]: One. One. One. We have. [first student]: We have four, and we not only have, like a real issue that appeals to everybody. [shouting, cheering] [shouting, cheering continues] [student]: The important thing to point out
is where his interests are. See. [audience]: Right. [student]: It's not enough to see Babbidge, you know, the man, the father figure, right? You've gotta point to the fact that he sits on the corporation boards of directors, including, Cal- you know, including Cayman Industries, etcetera, etcetera, Hartford National Bank, which has an interlocking director with United Aircraft. That's the kind of stuff we have to hit. We've gotta build, seems what we oughta be doing is building anti-capitalist content into this- into this- into this popular front. [chanting, drumming]: Get that ball! Get that ball! Get that ball! Get that ball! Get that ball! [music] [indistinct talking]
[narrator]: Finally, revolution gives way to Christmas recess. There are strong reactions from some parents. [parent]: I don't think, uh, every parent in Connecticut is, uh, ultra-conservative. I think we, uh, want to feel that our students have a right- our children have a right to, uh express freely, uh, their opinions. I think that's what this country is based on. [different parent]: Well, actually, uh, I'm not in favor of [reporter]: Can you tell me why? [parent]: Yeah, I'm paying for a kid's education, I want them to get the same. And I don't want to see the de- disruptions that go on all the while. [mother]: What are they demonstrating against? I mean they're going to, a, uh, I feel that they're going to a school that's offering them an education. That's offering them advantages that, uh, most of their parents didn't have. Uh, they have a right to object to certain situations, but I don't think that, uh, forceful demonstration is a means to an end. [parent]: Can't see it. [reporter]: Can't see it? [parent]: No sir. [reporter]: Can you tell me why?
[parent]: Why? [reporter]: Yeah. [parent]: Cause I figure they're up here for an education, right? [reporter]: Yeah. [parent]: So what's the purpose of the strike? [reporter]: I see. Well, do you approve of this uh, the education system here? [parent]: Well, I don't know yet. [reporter]: I see. [parent]: I'll let you know in a year. [student]: If it wasn't for my parents at this particular time, and though sometimes I fail to express this to them, uh I probably would've really gotten keeled over Not only just in the material sense, but in- just in terms of support, because I know a lot of kids right now are so-called, as a psychiatrist would say, alienated from their parents, you know mad at what their parents- A lot of the kids up here have had a lot of hassles with their parents, you know, we cut off funds, we don't want to see ya, don't do that again, but I've gotten great support. In fact they went to Babbidge and spoke to him on my behalf [different student]: My father is dead. My mother, um, kinda just wants me to make it, should we say, and she realizes I'm not going to make it this way. She just, um,
she realizes things are wrong but, um, she's like first- generation. She feels that um, America's, you know, even its faults is still like the best place on earth, and that whole bag. So, um, she's, you know, worried about a lot of things, too. She's worried I'm going to get through with school, which, uh, you know, is her dream, that, you know all her boys go to college and become doctors, I guess. [different student]: Part of being a man, you know, in 1969, I think, in America's is to- is to be able to take some risks. And, again, I don't feel the risk is, you know, is so great when measured against the kind of- the kinds of crime being committed by this country. The kinds of exploitation of people all over the world, you know, measured against, say, the abscess is in the face of a napalm child. The deeper you get in the more, uh, the more you realize that the system is not gonna bend. It's not flexible. It will only, you know, bend to a certain point, and then it comes down hard. And, so,
I think you're only going to accom- you're not going to accomplish it through the ballot box. And you're not gonna accomplish it through changing people's minds for the even very simple reason you don't have access to their minds, through the media, through, uh, just talking to them. They're not interested. So i guess you, uh, you know, sad to say, you pick up a gun and start changing it. [Babbidge]: You know, I hate to think, uh, that- that democracy is a failure. I- I can't bring myself to believe it. I think we just have to work a hell of a lot harder at it than we've been inclined to in the past. I think we've taken it for granted that, uh we had such a stable- such a sensible form of government. That nobody in his right mind was gonna set out to destroy it. [student]: But when we came in September, the kids on this campus thought that Homer Babbidge was, you know, kinda- he was there, and- and, uh was in power because of his human relations techniques, of course. And then they bring on 200 state police, you know, onto the campus. And turns out that what he's propped up by is power. [Babbidge]: I must
compromise at times. I must take into account a wide, uh, range of opinions and try to represent the best interests of the institution. That to impose upon the institution my own personal convictions, uh, would- would be, uh dishonest. Well, worse than that, it would be- I shouldn't have said 'dishonest'. Imposing my own personal views on this institution and its policies would be an act of arrogance. So I have to stop short of arrogance in the interests of the institution. [music] [narrator]: December 18th. The lid has been kept on. On the opening agenda of the meeting of the board of trustees, are items concerning the usual interests of the institution. First a report from the provost. [Provost]: Our program in demography and human ecology, one in ?inaudible? biology and medical sciences. One in anthropology, and
one in... [others]: Remarkable. Under the agreement, the research... [narrator]: Then how profits from university research would be split. [board member]: The university will receive 28.75 and each of the two professors will receive 14.375%. [narrator]: Later what to do about a piece of donated sculpture. [board member]: Put it in our art gallery, is that the.. [other member]: Yes. Six foot high? Mmhmm. Most of... [narrator]: Finally the ten days in December are taken up by the board and its chairman John J. Budd, of the Travelers Insurance Company. [Budd]: ...and viewed TV films of campus disturbances. You know I'd like again to compliment Dr. Babbidge for the excellent judgment and diplomacy which he displayed as well as for his vigor, his persistence, and his tireless efforts to attempt to meet so many representatives of the academic community in a sincere effort to resolve a series of very, very trying problems. On the other hand, we all regret the indignities to which he has been subjected,
and the discomforts and inconveniences imposed upon him and on his family. [Babbidge]: Let me just say, Mr. Chairman, that I appreciate very much the sentiment, uh, and if I thought the board did not, uh, support, uh, me in these matters, I- I'd suppose I'd raise some question about it. But I think under the circumstances, uh, I would recommend against any formal endorsement of the president's, uh, activities. I think it's unnecessary. I appreciate the sentiment greatly but, um, I- I don't think it's appropriate to- to try and harden lines here. [board member]: We're not opposed to any change which will improve this institution. And as President Babbidge has so often remarked, the only rule that cannot be changed here at the University of Connecticut is the rule of reason. [music] [narrator]: Since this program was filmed, there have been further protests and arrests. The university has fired one activist professor; told professors Brover and Colfax their
contracts will be terminated in June 1970, despite a recommendation of tenure from Colfax's department. And brought charges against another faculty member which could subject him to five years imprisonment. The dissenters say they will now take their case to the community and seek an alliance with black students. What of the future for the campus once called 'Fun Farm'? President Babbidge. [Babbidge]: I think what's going on here is symptomatic of basic problems within our society at large. I think probably we're in for a fairly long siege. [music] [music] [music]
- NET Journal
- Episode Number
- Diary of a Student Revolution
- Producing Organization
- National Educational Television and Radio Center
- Contributing Organization
- Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
- Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- NOLA Code
- Episode Description
- This program reveals the views and actions of two contemporary opponents: the radical student and the college president. the program was filmed over a ten-day period just prior to Christmas vacation at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where students had mobilized to protest campus recruitment by outside industry. One film crew stays with the SDS students, recording their views and strategy meetings as they seek self-determination. Another crew remains with the president of the university, Dr. Homer D. Babbidge, Jr., throughout the ten-day period. A month earlier, two demonstrations had been directed against the recruiting activities of the Dow Chemical and Olin Mathieson corporations, resulting in on-campus bloodshed and arrests by the State Police. In December, when the film begins, the action is joined again, with the onset of another recruitment period. The program intimately follows the course of events, detailing the anger, frustration, and opposing attitudes which are fomenting in the period from December 8 to 18 -- not only involving the SDS students and the university president, but other "moderate" and "conservative" students as well. NET Journal -- "Diary of a Student Revolution" is an NET production. Written and produced by Morton Silberstein ("What Harvest for the Reaper?" and "The Poor Pay More") with Barbara Gordon and Lynne Littman. This hour-long piece was shot in black and white. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Published Work: This work was offered for sale and/or rent in 1972.
- Media type
- Moving Image
Editor: Alberston, Eric
Executive Producer: Perlmutter, Alvin H.
Guest: Babbidge, Homer D., Jr.
Producer: Silverstein, Morton
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Writer: Silberstein, Morton
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_2488 (WNET Archive)
Format: 2 inch videotape: Quad
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2093666-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape: Quad
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2093666-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2093666-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “NET Journal; 230; Diary of a Student Revolution,” 1969-03-24, Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-558czg1g.
- MLA: “NET Journal; 230; Diary of a Student Revolution.” 1969-03-24. Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-558czg1g>.
- APA: NET Journal; 230; Diary of a Student Revolution. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-558czg1g