Georgetown forum; Federal funds to militants
Question federal funds to campus militants are the topic for the eleven hundred and sixty second consecutive broadcast of the Georgetown University radio forum. Another in a series of educational and informative programs from Washington D.C. The Georgetown forum was founded in 1946. This is Wallace Fanning speaking to you by transcription from the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of Georgetown University historic. Yes you would seat of learning in the nation's capital. Today's discussion will be federal funds to campus militants participating are for students in the College of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University. Members of the fellah Demick debating society. They are Mr. P John Owen a senior from Missouri. Mr. Robert de Tom's a junior from New Jersey. Mr. JEFF storey a sophomore from Pennsylvania. And Mr. Dallas G Perkins a freshman from Texas. When President S.I. Hayakawa testified recently before a congressional
committee the question came up of cutting off federal aid to militant students who disrupt campus life Kayak.com but testified that about 89 of 500 or so students arrested since last fall were getting some kind of financial aid. That would mean that about 18 percent of the student radicals at San Francisco State were receiving government funds. If approximately the same percentage figures are applicable to other schools across the country the question may arise. Should federal aid be terminated while legislation exists on the subject. It is not clear. Sense this is an area that directly affects students and might be well to seek their opinion. For this reason we have invited four students from Georgetown University representing different college classes and geographical areas as well as differing opinions. And we'll begin by going back to our
question of a moment ago should federal aid be terminated. Mr. Owen would you be in place. My family my first impulse is to say it should not be terminated because the aid was given for educational purposes not for political views or involvement in social problems mainly. It should not be termed terminated because everyone has a right to a higher education and I thought when I thought about it I realized that my views and the views of my friends in the college would really say since everyone has that right. And if militants are interfering with getting the education then their interruption of my education should be punished by removal of funds because as a result you know if someone is interfering with my classroom activities I say throw them out rather than punish me who interested in it in an education. Mr. storey what scares me. I think I have to approach this problem in more terse personal terms than anybody else here. Georgetown University is a rather expensive university and I'm getting most of
the money that I need to go here from federal funds and from federal loans. Also state funds and state loans and I know the Pennsylvania legislature is considering a law to revoke all scholarships of student militants. Now I think I would be opposed to any such law in the state or federal level simply for the problem involved in conceptualizing the idea of student militancy. Just what do you mean by student militant. I think any such law which just says we take away all funds from campus militants or from people who disrupt the last life of the campus well-tanned to well not stifle creativity so much as to stifle legitimate protest as well as illegitimate protest. So for this reason I think that this camp of this aid should not be terminated that we shouldn't have this type of laws I think it's a bad idea. Thank you Mr. storey Mr. Toms. When I think of where the age should be terminated or not I'd look at the alternatives that face the militant ones see it is cut off. I
don't accept the argument that it should be cut off because you're depriving him of his right to education because it seems to me the alternative one state is cut off is I don't either have to continue in school with more difficulty to himself maybe to have to get a job or so on or I'd have to go to a school of lower quality in either case I think it's warranted when you consider this that the person who's the militant number one most likely since the wording of the legislation is forceful disruption is one who tends towards anarchy or at least like to disrupt the classes and have the college working for a period of time. So if he is so serious about the anarchy and so on it seems to me that. Since innocence must be heard no one is more vulnerable to being hurt than himself the innocent I suppose in his own way of thinking. So my point is this then if he's serious about his anarchy and if there are courts to be born by such anarchy I think the courts should be borne by him to start with. And number two since you seem so opposed to the traditional way of teaching and so on that it really shouldn't matter to him very much if he is a serious militant that that he has
to have some difficulty or go to a lower quality school. Mr. Perkins Well I think I'd have to agree with Jack here that probably it's not a very good idea to exclude federal money and aid to campus militants for several different reasons. But even given the idea that it might be a good idea to exclude this money to the militants I think it's probably impossible. Last year the Congress of the United States passed two different laws two amendments to the laws which were going to make it illegal for federal money to go to any of campus militants. However the laws themselves have proved to be unenforceable they prove to be inherently unclear. There's really probably no way to do it. Jeff mentioned the idea that it was almost impossible to determine just what a campus militant so to speak was. But even given that idea the two laws on the books today have made it quite clear that federal money has to be cut off in one of two ways either the federal government itself will simply not give the money to the student. But this is probably going in forcible because the federal government gives at least a half a billion dollars a year to the schools in
lump sons and these schools then distribute the money to their own students and it's impossible for the federal government to have any control over the federal government also passed a law in the Congress last year which gave the schools the right to convene hearings and then the schools themselves could cut off the money. There's been a whole lot of reasons why this is an enforceable one. Many of the financial aid directors in the schools themselves oppose the law and are unwilling to enforce it. But secondly many times there is no guidance no guidelines on when the law should be enforced from the health education welfare department. The office of education or anybody else in the federal government even if the schools did want to enforce the laws which they don't they don't really know how to enforce the laws. Finally the federal government has got in many cases they simply guarantee the loans from private banks. They're given to the students. Has the federal government unable to terminate it to Greymouth with the bikes and is unable to do anything even if it wanted to. Finally I think many people on the campuses they're charged with enforcing these laws failed if they did cut off the funds
from the federal government to the students. It would simply ban the flames of dissent so to speak on campus. It would create more of a problem that already exists. And this is another really good reason I think why it's been impossible in the past to inforce these laws. Thank you Mr. Perkins Mr. own. When you. Dallas if you say it fans the flame plains of dissent and you also accept what you have to sign is true that the high cost of education makes it necessary to give federal aid in this age should not be withdrawn from so called political reasons. Then how could there be too much dissent on the campus when these people have been forced to leave with the terminations of the raid. Doesn't it sort of sanitize the university wouldn't make Georgetown a better place. If these people were thrown out or their were forced to leave because of lack of funds in town as a student I can't quite agree with you in this area it seems to me that probably you're set up with a bill in the here. Either one of two things is going to happen I think I agree with Jeff that it's not really a good idea to get rid of all of these people on the
campus but even if it was a good idea I think you're just going to create a martyr for the cause in this area so to speak. I mean everybody on campus is generally not going along with the militants I say that militant organizations on campuses around this country today is a minority. However when you give these people of color as a martyr I think they tend to increase in numbers and raise most especially in their militancy. And I think you create more of a problem than you can possibly solve by getting rid of water to the plus the fact that again I don't see any particular way you can determine just when a person becomes a militant. This is a story I think just for a moment looking here at the situation at Georgetown University. First just making a general comment. I think a lot of what is good is in American society has been based on a diversity of views different opinions. Now if you want to sanitize the university that's fine for the establishment for the people who want to keep the university the way it is. But I think just speaking of Georgetown I know there are many things at this university which shouldn't be kept that way in other words the status quo in my opinion
is not going in any details is not adequate. There are very few people on this campus pushing for this a change in the status quo Georgetown's a conservative university. Now if you want to sanitize Georgetown so to speak you're going to completely remove the few elements that are pushing for change. And I think the university will stagnate as anything any establishment any institution is going to stagnate. If you don't have diverse opinions within that institution. And I think the problem with cutting off funds with the general cut off of funds to student militants is that you're going to get rid of this diversity of opinion. You're going to tend to have one type of university with one type of view. For instance the people at Georgetown will think one thing and the people of Wisconsin will think another thing they'll both be sort of locked into their little worlds and we have no diversity within these universities. Whereas if we let these people demonstrate if we allow some degree of militancy then we'll have a diversity and we'll have a better university in my opinion. Frankly I don't understand what Jeff was saying when he talks about diversity because you don't have to be a
quote forceful disruptor which is the wording of the law in order to have a criticism of what's going on and secondly when we're looking at the reasons why you should not cut off the funds. I think we're looking too much at the university and you look at the individual militant. As I said before it seems to me that any self-respecting forceful disruptor would not number one want to accept any federal funds and number two this would either Course them to do one of two things would either cause them to be come sober or in other words if it's just a game it is I think it's a case of a large number of instances of this disrupter simply does it because he thinks it's that the in thing to do and so on and doesn't recognize the consequences to himself and to others then I think it would sober him. Or number two if he is a convinced. Forceful disruptor. Then I think it would confirm him in his attitudes and might strengthen him in as Jeff is saying perhaps would make the dissent more relevant and more persuasive. I'm not sure I could quite go along with this idea of forcible disruptor it seems to me that cutting off campus funds to somebody could start a riot on campus and takes over the
administration building for a couple of weeks or something is really kind of irrelevant. These are inherently activities which are going to be punishable in court. A person can be tried and convicted of a misdemeanor misdemeanor of trespassing. He can be expelled from the school. Why it's necessary to cut off federal funds in this area I fail to see but even given the necessity I think certain problem exists in this area. If the student does something which is bad enough to be kicked out of school or to be expelled from the school then he simply goes to another from school. If he does something that's not bad enough to getting kicked out of the school just bad enough to get the federal money cut off he gets the federal money cut off we ask drop out of school altogether meaning that if he does something bad in that he gets kicked out of sight Georgetown goes over to another schools and light sails in town and the federal monies never really cut off. This is something that a lot of financial aid directors around the country have been concerned with in the present law. It really doesn't make sense it seems the worse the act gets the more chance a person's got of staying in school.
Well I think one assumption we make here and it's rather false is that you cannot distinguish between different types of militancy and different types of forceful disruption. And I think you can. For instance there are some categories like having a sit in at the placement office because Dow Chemical is interviewing potential job candidates or perhaps having some sort of demonstration at a basketball game protesting discriminatory policies on the athletic team I would say that's a legitimate form of disruption perhaps. There are other forms which certainly are not legitimate such as Bahrain a professor from his offices such as preventing the physically preventing the administration to conduct the normal operations of the university thank him for making it impossible for other students to go to class. And I think you know in these situations you have a definite reason for with withdrawing funds. And I think also you know what you say Dallas that there are other remedies if these people are breaking the law they can be punished in courts begs the question that the university has to bring court
action against its own students. It has to bring court action saying well you can be in the administration building at 4:30 if you're standing up but if you're sitting down it's illegal. And that puts the university in a rather strange position. I think an automatic remedy from an outside source such as this act of disruption in itself would. Disqualify a person for funds would remove the university for much of the precarious position its placed him. But I fail to see your point completely because of its trance passing. If a person is sitting down as opposed to standing up and that's the only guideline you can possibly come up with then it seems to me equally if not more difficult for the federal government to decide when a person is a militant. You said yourself that you think there are legitimate forms of dissent on campus and legitimate forms of disruption. If that's the case I fail to see how the federal government's going to set up guidelines to say well if a person's in an educational building after 5 o'clock and he's sitting down and he plans to cause all sorts of disruption or something like this then we're going to cut off funds. I think if it's that clear it's
that crystal clear the school can just expel a person if it's not that crystal clear. I don't say that the federal government's going to be able to set up guidelines for cutting off or May I interject here just a moment we've had specifically recently a charge on the part of an authority at San Francisco State. That they federal funds were being used in part to purchase weapons which were being employed against the guardsmen or police or whatever authorities the university had called upon to help restore order on the campus. Now there is a specific which we can address ourselves to and I think what we're looking for really here is definitions. This is the area of your discussion of what is acceptable what is not acceptable. I just want to clarify one point here. Dallas keeps saying on the one hand that you cannot say in certain great areas when a person is a force will disrupt or get on the other hand I think it answers his question when he says that there have been no
there have been no violations today where this writer has been enforced. Now there are 20 saying is this we have a potential tool to use which we can use in extreme cases but we're not going to use them in grey areas. Realizing that we have a very potent weapon here. So in other words my point is this that although there are certainly great areas in which you can't say whether it's forcefully enough a disruption in order to qualify for the cutoff of funds you can say that there are certainly areas where it is forcefully enough a disruption and in these areas we have this tool to use. Not that we've used it so far but just that we have it as a tool. I think we're overlooking one thing here first of all the specific instance of buying funds with your federal money. I think that's a matter of buying weapons buying weapons excuse me. I think that's a matter of contractual obligation if nothing else. I know when I got my national defense when I had to sign something which said I would use this money for public for education. You make an agreement I think if you use it for things other than education you're breaking the agreement. Naturally the fund should be taken away. But just looking at this idea of whether this aid should be taken
away generally I think we're assuming that this law whatever it is is going to be passed by a state or a federal government. And I think what we're failing to assume is that everybody is talking you're sitting here we're all students we all come from practically the same income groups. We all have a certain similarity in our views. But the people who are going to enforce these laws may not be students. They may not agree with our definitions of what forcible disruption is. For instance a lawless site somebody sitting in the Education Office of the Alabama University for instance may think that simply standing outside the registrar's office protesting against discrimination for example may be forcible disruption. He may apply that law. Now that's the danger. I will agree that there are types of militancy that should be unacceptable I think it is. It depends on the situation. But I think when you pass a general law like this you're taking for granted that everybody is going to accept the same definition a forceful disruption. But everybody is not going to accept that same definition. You have a danger
of legitimate criticize criticism being stifled. I think we're being a little naive here in assuming that the persons who are enforcing these laws will agree with our well General liberal democratic ideals I don't think all of them will. And I don't I think we're asking too much other than if we build some provision like this into the institutional system. I want to say it's difficult to draw legislation really begs the question of whether legislation should be drawn. And you really say we should strive harder from perhaps a noble purposes. And Bob and I might think it's a noble purpose but you know this problem of federal funds being used to purchase weapons doesn't say that national defense education loans or loan money can be used to buy an M-16 from the in the old surplus store. What it does say is that this can be used for education friens some of your own funds to be used to buy funds. What it says is. A person is not going to have to work as hard or sacrifice as much to get the education and
it provides some level of comfort for the student. I wouldn't say not plush luxury but it removes them from the marginal category of barely staying in or being forced to leave. Now with that little cushion of the federal funds give I think the person holds those funds as a privilege. If a person as Bob says is willing to disrupt the innocent people on campus is it willing to interfere with their education. He should be forced to pay the penalty this cushion should be removed. I don't think anybody has ever filled out a loan form or a scholarship form could say that these things are a question. I mean the financial information they ask on these forms is extremely detail. Usually what you end up doing is just squeaking through even with the loans and scholarships you have. I know that's what happened to me. For instance the Pennsylvania state scholarship you get a certain amount of money from Pennsylvania then say you get a loan somewhere else if they think that you get too much on that loan they'll cut down on the scholarship.
So this isn't a question these people are just most of these people who have loans who have scholarships at least just speaking from my experience are just squeaking through. They don't have any cushion. I would hypothesize that the person has enough time to demonstrate he might have enough time to hold a part time job or something like that so I don't I don't accept the fact that he just squeaks through and has no other sort you can say. You can say that but of course that's leaving aside the question of whether the demonstrations are valuable or not whether they are more valuable than a job. It's difficult to hold a job throughout college. The time involved is one thing the lack of sleep and all that. I think in many cases be participating in extracurricular activities participating in demonstrations may be more valuable than taking a job. Even though you do have to just squeak through when we talk about funds to militants I mean we should realize we're talking about you know federal funds in this very limited context. We say I would say I would think that Georgetown
University might have a specific interest in promoting diversity that Wisconsin may have a specific interest in promoting diversity but the federal government through its funds has an obligation to the public to promote the national good to develop a higher quality of education across the board a more competent and more intelligent citizenry. Now all right let the university then if it's interested in so much diversity use some of its funds. But the federal government however cease to give these funds. But the federal government meet its obligation to the public how much money does Georgetown University have to pay out scholarships. What would Georgetown do without federal funds. Well perhaps you know people who George Town gives federal funds to now could qualify are people at Georgetown gives Georgetown money to now could receive federal funds that have George Tenet so interested in promoting the militancy on that is that it use its own money for that purpose. Georgetown is at right now a lot of Georgetown's money its scholarship funds comes from federal aid. I know on the scholarship I'm getting from Georgetown is actually an educational
opportunity Grant. The point is that the universities cannot keep at least Georgetown cannot keep up its financial program without some form of Federal Way. You take away the federal aid the university is finished and that's true for a lot if not most of the universities in this country. You can't just have the university giving scholarships on its own money. Getting back to the basic question here about stifling dissent. I just like to answer two points number one Dallas said earlier that the effect of this rider would be to fan the flames. Now following his logic then you would suppose that suspending a person or expelling him from the university would likewise fan the flames. All right but this contradicts it seems to me Jeff's point that the law would have the same effect of stifling dissent what my point is here is this. You don't have to be a legally registered student at a university in order to demonstrate. So essentially if you cut off the funds I don't see how this is going to affect your physical presence on campus and your physical ability to carry a sign or to vocalize or a
particularly your position. Which simply means that the cutting off funds besides being practically impossible and may be undesirable is also ineffective. Oh I said it presents difficulties for the student and that's what I see the purpose to be in other words you don't let him off easy if he feels there's so much need for confrontation politics and so much need to make so many people feel uncomfortable and so much need to disrupt the interest of students who would want to study and so much need to throw out presidents and so on for not doing their job. Well then let him feel the same difficulties that he's making some other innocent people feel. Maybe maybe everyone should suffer but I think he should not be in a privileged position not to suffer and simply say it is ice doing all of these terrible horrible things to the university and disrupting university life and causing all of this problem. I still want to know why I can't be simply expelled from the university. If you're going to be able to kick him out of school through cutting off the money he gets why can't you just expelling it seems to me that you've got exactly the same situation. I don't see any need to cut off
campus or federal funds in this area. Well maybe current ones to beyond. Mr. Perkins assuming that this man or a group were expelled then what would happen if they demonstrated what would happen if if they were able to mobilize some sympathy among the student body that was remaining frankly can't quite tell you I find it hard to see that there would be any difference between simply expelling This probably also would fan the flames of dissent and would you would you pursue your theory that that this that this should this should not be stifled either this dissent should all I'm not tolerate it. I've finally brought the university to a grinding screeching halt. Yes I I frankly agree with Jack here that probably there's no particular reason to stifle this to say it. My point was that even given the idea that maybe there is a reason maybe that when people are so disrupting campus life that it's necessary to do
something if that situation should exist which I somehow doubt that it does in those days then I don't see why there's any necessity of cutting off goods. It seems to me if you do that the student will just go someplace else to get some more federal money or some more money from somebody else you're going to have the same problem all over again. The point is of course now that he's suffering in the process and that was my point he's suffering for us to go to a lower quality school and he has to say take a chop on the side. You know Dallas you assume that there's a real difference here in who judges. You say it's wrong for the federal government government to make a judgment there's been disruption funds should be written were withdrawn. But it's all right for the university say there's been disruption so we'll expel the person will suspend the person. But as that form of judgment and the action which follows from it has the same results that you deplore in the federal government it galvanizes dissent it may be difficult to define where the limits of legal are and illegal disruption or protest
are follow it. Actually you know we should presume proceed to another area where we say who has the obligation here and I would side with the public funds we have a public obligation and there is no reason to subsidize disorder with federal money. Why of my point was not that it was necessarily any worse for the federal government to do it simply that there was no need for the federal government to do it. I fail to see any possible situation under which the federal government would have valid cause to cut off money when the school itself if it wants to get rid of this person so badly can't simply expel them. I've yet to hear one hypothetical example of where that might have occurred. I simply don't see any reason why in mind the apathy of the real needy is because the federal government wouldn't invest these funds invest in the future and says who promote education who will advance to the level of the nation for 10 20 years from now. Now if a person is disrupting that process of education it is not using his money to its maximum potential but preventing other people from securing the
education was going to promote the national interest. Then there's a real need for the government to step in and withdraw those public assistance and what is that need exist any more than there is a need for the College of the university itself to just expel the particular city and it seems to me that the effect exactly the same to help the future of the country and all of this in exactly the same way. I don't see any need whatsoever of hypothetical leveler. Case by case a level leader would cut all federal funds it seems to me the site with that can be gotten or lower level at the university without all of the federal bureaucracy begin to get involved in trying to define just exactly what legislation what the situation is. Thank you very much gentlemen for your dynamic discussion of federal funds to campus militant saya thanks to Mr. P. John Owen a senior from Missouri. Mr. Robert a Tums Jr. from New Jersey Mr. Jeff storey sophomore from Pennsylvania. And Mr. Dallas Perkins a freshman from
Texas all members of the College of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University and a fellow Demick debating society. You have attended the weekly discussion program the Georgetown University radio forum broadcast of which was transcribed in the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of historic Georgetown University in Washington D.C. next week you will hear discussing U.S. foreign investments. A challenge to students our panel at that time will consist of Mr. George M. Ferris Jr. Mr. David Mulford and two seniors in the School of Business Administration at Georgetown. Mr. Robert o sailor and Mr. Christian HOFFMAN We welcome your comments and suggestions please address the station to which you are listening. This program has been presented in the interest of public education by Georgetown University. Your moderator. WALLACE Finally this program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
- Georgetown forum
- Federal funds to militants
- Producing Organization
- Georgetown University
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Episode Description
- This program features T. John Own; Robert A. Tonz; Jeff Storey; and Dallas Perkins. All are members of Georgetown University's College of Arts and Sciences, and debating society.
- Series Description
- Moderated by Wallace Fanning, this series presents a panel of guests discussing a variety of topics. The radio series launched in 1946. It also later aired on WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. These programs aired 1968-69.
- Broadcast Date
- Global Affairs
- Media type
Guest: Own, T. John
Guest: Tonz, Robert A.
Guest: Storey, Jeff
Moderator: Fanning, Wallace
Producing Organization: Georgetown University
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-51-649 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “Georgetown forum; Federal funds to militants.” 1969-03-03. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m61bq83h>.
- APA: Georgetown forum; Federal funds to militants. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m61bq83h