F S M PROGRESS REPORT
Where we stand -- where we go from here:
We were hopeful on the eve of the current negotiations, for at last
the administration seemed serious about joining with the faculty and with us to secure
FULL POLITICAL FREEDOM EVERYWHERE ON CAMPUS.
Unfortunately we now have reasons to question the basis of our
initial optimism. We may soon have to admit that the administration does not mean to deal
fairly with us.
Professor Arthur Ross, the mediator in this dispute, assured our
representatives that within two to three days of the new agreement (Thursday, October 15)
Clark Kerr would issue a public statement indicating how happily he looked forward to the
findings of the Committee on Campus Political Activity and that those findings would be
given the utmost consideration. Instead of such a statement, Clark Kerr attacked us as
non-students and communists. Furthermore, both he and the Regents indicated they were
seeking legislation to bolster the very regulations we are protesting. When we confronted
Arthur Ross with these distressing developments he declared that he considered his role to
have ended October 15, although on the 15th he clearly stated that he would be glad to
consider writing a mediation document at a later date if we felt it was desirable to have
one. By refusal to issue a statement that our agreement included a committment by Kerr to
endorse the Committee, Ross abdicated the moral responsibility of the mediator to remain
impartial. Our attorneys have since discovered that the Regents have had legislation
drafted which would make certain forms of demonstrations on campus misdemeanors, and that
President Kerr has already had the regulations governing political activity on campus
completely revised -- before the Committee on Campus Political Activity has made any
In its two initial meetings the Committee on Campus Polltlcal Activity has proven
hostile to the Free Speech Movement. Findings and recommendations of the Committee are
decided upon by consensus; only Professor Rosovsky supported our proposal -- defeated --
that all substantive matters be so decided. The Committee refused to make
recommendations on the regulations which should govern political activity on the campus
for the duration of the negotiations although the procedure has overwhelming precedent.
Indeed, the Ad hoc Committee on Student Conduct of the Academic Senate set up to
hear the cases of the eight suspended students has recommended immediate reinstatement
pending its own further findings -- before holding any hearings! Finally, after long and
frustrating discussion, the proposal that our counsel be permitted to question witnesses
on points of law was tabled.
We continue to meet in growing frustration and with deepening doubt as to the value of
the proceedings. The leadership of the FSM has been remiss in not maintaining constant
close contact with the student body. We acknowledge the error by issuing this bulletin --
the first in a series of "progress" reports. We admit, 1ikewise, our error in
allowing the administration to entrap us in a widening and deepening morass of red tape,
committees and ad hoc negotiations. We are not the professionals the bureaucrats
have claimed -- but we learn fast, and we will not repeat past mistakes.
Let us return to the issues. We demand the administration acknowledge these
Freedom to advocate off-campus political and social action,
Freedom to recruit for off-campus political organizations,
Freedom to solicit funds for off-campus political causes,
Freedom from harrassment of "72-hour rules", and mandatory presence at
our meetings of tenured faculty moderators and police.
Of our demands, the one most important to us -- and least palatable to the bureaucrats
-- is the first: Freedom to advocate off-campus political and social action. If the
Committee fails to recommend this, then we must conclude that these negotiations are a
means of resolving the dispute on paper only. If the administration refuses to
acknowledge this RIGHT, then we shall have to consider ACTION as well as talk.
In the agreement reached October 15, the Committee informed the Chancellor that it
would have at most three weeks of hearings, and would then begin considering its final
recommendations. However, the Committee has changed its rules so that it will now have one
continuous session - without time limit -- alternating public hearings with meetings to
decide upon final recommendations. Thus, the Committee will take up substantive matters
serially. We will not have to wait three weeks to decide whether other action is called
for. If the Committee on Campus Political Activity refuses to decide for full political
freedom, then we shall have to ACT.
For FULL POLITICAL FREEDOM EVERYWHERE ON CAMPUS,
The Steering Committee of the F S M.
Note: Next meeting of the Committee on Campus Political Activity, tonight,
Wednesday, October 28 at 340 Haviland, 4 to 6 p.m. It is an open meeting. Attend --
support your negotiators!