The Regents' meeting of November 20 resulted in
surprisingly harsh rulings concerning the dispute over political activity on the Berkeley
I. Although the Heyman Committee recommended
that six of the eight students suspended on September 30 should not have been
suspended at all, the Regents voted to confirm their suspensions; in addition, while
voting to reinstate all eight, the Regents decided that Mario Savio and Art Goldberg
should be placed on probation for the rest of this semester. Such probation could easily
result in expulsion for both, because they have been in repeated violation of university
regulations since September 30.
II. The Regents voted to allow the
administration to take disciplinary action against students, staff, and organizations who
advocate illegal off-campus actions. The wording of the resolution is ambiguous, and the
responsibility for interpreting it is given to Chancellor Strong. The Regents rejected
without consideration the proposals concerning political freedom made by various faculty
members, the ASUC Senate, and the FSM.
These rulings (and others not discussed here)
stunned the 5000 students awaiting the Regents' decision outside University Hall. It is
the consensus of students involved in the controversy that the rulings are
unconstitutional and unacceptable. The university must not set itself up as a secondary
court, to punish students for actions which are liable to civil court action.
Chancellor Strong said in the Daily Cal
Monday that "there will be no prior determination or double jeopardy in matters of
political and social activities organized on the campus by students and staff."
That's fine, for now. But the essential thing is that he can make "prior
determination" not only of the act of advocacy but also of the act
advocated. He can take disciplinary action against students -- whether they are
subjected to court action or not -- if he decides to do so at any time in the future.
This is clearly intolerable.
The Academic Senate is meeting this afternoon to
discuss the Eli Katz case. This case involves the refusal by the administration, and
specifically by the chancellor, to rehire Professor Katz, despite the recommendation of
the German Department that he be rehired. In that instance the chancellor interpreted his
powers as the case demanded. Professor Katz was not rehired as a direct result of
insisting on his constitutional rights.
There is a close connection between the Katz
case and the free-speech controversy, and we hope that the Academic Senate will consider
this fact. Specifically, we expect the senate to take a stand against the Regents'
rulings. Up until today the faculty has played the role of mediator in the dispute between
the administration and the students. In so doing, the faculty has seriously compromised
the principles of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The faculty, by its compromising
proposals, has allowed the administration to becloud the principles involved.
LET THE FACULTY NOW STAND UP AND UNEQUIVOCALLY
SUPPORT THE STUDENTS OF THIS CAMPUS IN THEIR JUST DEMANDS FOR FULL POLITICAL FREEDOM.
We urge all students to attend the Academic
Senate meeting today -- place as yet undetermined.