CAMPUS WOMEN FOR PEACE
Campus Women for Peace was formed two and a half years
ago, in March, 1962. We are a group of women students unified by the realization that
military solutions to the world's conflicts are no longer feasible. Our program is
directed toward the entire campus community. We provide a platform for discussion,
disseminating information, and carrying out activities toward a peaceful world. Ours is a
non-political group; we deal with issues, not parties or ideologies. Campus Women for
Peace is a non-organizational group; it does not have "members" or
"officers". We work from a mailing list that exceeds 250 each semester. Our
activities are suggested and carried out by interested students on a voluntary basis.
Since our group was organized we have found that the
administration's rulings on student organizations have become increasingly complex, and
have tended to severely hinder the scope of our activities. The following discussion will
present some examples.
We had difficulties in organizing our group from the
beginning, owing to the rule that requires each student group to have a tenured faculty
member as faculty advisor. We were hard pressed to find faculty members who were
out-spoken on peace issues and might serve in this capacity, and were forced to postpone
our activities for a number of weeks. In addition, in order to receive classification as a
recognized group we were required to have a constitution, although we are not an
organization. The rules regarding these matters are so unclear that we have never known
for sure whether we were a "legal" off-campus group or not. Our first activity
was a noon-time discussion with Russian women who were active in women's organizations in
the USSR. We had to hold this discussion off-campus in Stiles Hall, a disadvantage because
the room was much too small for the interested crowd that came. Stiles Hall is also out of
the way for most people with only a noon-time to spare.
We have found it increasingly difficult to implement and
advertise a range of activities that will have wide-spread appeal. A maze of regulations
restricts the kinds of activities we can sponsor on campus, the nature of our
advertisements for these activities, and therefore the size of audience we reach.
One detrimental set of rules pertains to regulations on
the use of rooms on the campus That category of organizations designated as
"off-campus" cannot use University classrooms for their business meetings. This
rule hinders the effectiveness of our organization in reaching new, uninvolved students.
Because of the "non-organizational" nature of our group we would find it very
helpful to be able to hold business and planning meetings on campus, where interested
students might drop by.
Still another regulation limits our use of University
facilities. This is the rule requiring a three-day notice before use of rooms for movies
and speakers is granted by the Dean's office. This requires planning for the use of rooms
for days in advance, securing signatures to forms in quadruplicate, etcetera, although it
takes a mere five minutes to locate and reserve an empty room This rule throws cold water
on instantaneous reaction to world or campus events. When the Soviet Union resumed nuclear
testing in March 1962 we were unable to call an open meeting on the spot. Had we observed
the rule that requires 72 hour advance notice for permission to speak, the issue would
have been all but dead, and student consternation would have waned. Women for Peace held
The Administration not only restricts the forms our
activities may take, but it restricts the content of what we present. An existing ruling
prohibits student organizations from advocating certain kinds of on-campus demonstrations.
An organization cannot sponsor a sit-down on Sproul Hall steps, for example, although an
individual can. However, individuals cannot put up posters through the Student Union
"poster service" to advertise such activities. Nor can individuals utilize the
"Administration Service" which authorizes janitors to place posters about
certain activities on University bulletin boards. Thus, when Madame Nhu came to our campus
in November, 1963, we wanted to stage a sit-down as a form of dramatic protest to her
treatment of Buddhists. But under the existing regulations we could not advertise the
It is further illegal for us to urge in any way
participation in demonstrations. During Madame Nhu's visit to San Francisco we prepared
posters informing interested students about a walk around the Sheraton-Palace Hotel. We
were informed by the authorities in the Student Union who must approve all posters, that
these posters could not be placed on University property. We were informed that we might
put up posters that were of a purely "informational" nature. A second set of
posters was prepared. But it was decided that the mention of car-pools leaving for San
Francisco implied something about the nature of the activity toward which they were
headed; these posters were ordered removed. Six months later Women for Peace co-sponsored
a meeting in Pauley Ballroom, presenting a tape by Bertrand Russell and a speech by Bob
Scheer. Our advertising leaflet displayed the now-familiar photograph of the Vietnamese
father holding his badly burned son. These leaflets were banned from the Student Union
bulletin board, and from the approved University bulletin boards. In this way the Dean's
Office imposes a contradictory censorship on the nature of our activities. If they allow
us to hold the activities in the first place, we can advertise them only with difficulty.
More importantly, a type of "prior-censorship" is employed; knowing the
difficulty of receiving approval to post advertisements that are in any way controversial,
we often choose a less effective method of presenting our message.
Similarly, we find it increasingly difficult to find
acceptable forms in which to present our programs. There seems to be some latitude in
Administration regulations that allows the Dean's Office to construe the rules as they
choose. The regulation involving the necessity for a faculty moderator for
"controversial" topics is one which necessarily judges the content of that which
is presented. For example, in Spring 1963, Women for Peace presented a noon talk in 110
Wheeler with Dr. Carleton Goodlet, publisher of the San Francisco Sun Reporter.
Dr. Goodlet had recently returned from a tour of Africa for the World Council of Peace.
Because of the difficulties of obtaining a faculty moderator, we decided to call his talk
"My Trip Through Africa"; this title sounds like a travelogue, although it was
more a political trip than a safari. The title passed by the Dean's Office, and they did
not require a moderator. This incident indicates that since moderators are only required
for "controversial" titles, obviously what is controversial is defined by the
Administration via Mrs. Weaver. Non-controversial becomes that which the Administration
agrees with, and controversial, by definition, everything else. No objective standard is
involved; the Administration both formulates the rules and interpretations.
In October, 1963, the Student Union began to charge rent
for the use of Student Union rooms for "off-campus" and non-student
organizations alike. It now costs more to rent Pauley Ballroom than it does to rent the
Brazilian Room. This expense prohibits in advance most speakers. We can afford to invite
one or two speakers a semester, those that we know are the best drawing cards. When we do
use Pauley Ballroom we are not allowed to charge admission or to raise funds. We can
collect "donations", hoping that the amount collected will cover the cost of the
room. We may not, however, collect donations to help pay for speakers. Consequently we can
only invite people who will donate their services, and this often limits the field to
people seeking publicity, omitting many worthwhile speakers. We could not, for example,
pay for our presentation of Professor Yasui, the head of the Japanese Movement Against the
Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, the largest peace organization in the world. And when "The
Committee" offered to stage a special daytime performance for us last Spring, we were
forced to refuse because we could not charge admission to pay them, let alone raise funds.
It seems that the ASUC activities have a monopoly on the students' money.
Because our group cannot raise money on campus, or even
arrange for on-campus activities to pay for themselves, it is necessary to go off campus
to try to raise funds. Thus we presented our March 1964 "Hoot for Peace" in the
I-House auditorium, which decreased our profit by the $100 cost of the hall. In view of
all this, the latest ruling prohibiting groups like ours from raising money at Bancroft
and Telegraph, where we regularly set up a table in the past, will put an end to our
In addition to the prohibitory nature of certain specific
University regulations, there has been a general attitude of indifference or willful
disregard on the part of the Administration towards the expression of student and faculty
opinion on certain issues. A case in point is our campaign for removal of fallout shelter
signs from campus buildings.
In January 1963 a fallout shelter program was instituted
on this campus, in cooperation with the Federal Civil Defense Program. Protest on the part
of students and faculty members was immediate and widespread. In March 1963 the Academic
Senate passed a resolution calling for "an investigation of the reasons for, and
implications of, the fallout shelter signs." No investigation was made. Under
continued pressure of public opinion, University spokesman O.W. Campbell issued a
statement to the effect that the Regents had agreed to cooperate in the civil defense
effort, to the extent that it did not interfere with the University's main purpose of
education. (Daily Cal, March 14, 1963)
In April 1963 Women for Peace published a documented fact
sheet on civil defense, and placed a referendum on the Spring ballot of the ASUC
elections, calling for the removal of shelter signs from the campus. On April 17, 1963 a Daily
Californian editorial by Sandie North called upon authorities to remove the shelter
signs and to "devise more realistic alternatives than those now in effect." She
urged the students to vote for removal of the signs in the coming referendum.
On April 23, 1963 the students voted 2,196-1296 that
shelter signs on the University campus be removed. Three months later a Daily Cal
article of July 5, 1963 reported that the shelters were "still in business", and
that supplies were being moved in.
On October 8, 1963 the ASUC Senate voted unanimously to
draft a resolution reminding the Regents of the student referendum, and calling upon
President Kerr "to issue a statement detailing University policy on fallout shelters,
and declaring the Regent's intentions with regard to the student referendum."
On November 12, 1963 Clark Kerr stated in a letter to
ASUC President Mel Levine, "It is recognized that there are differing opinions
concerning the fallout shelter program. Not withstanding these points of view, as long as
a national shelter program is the existing policy of Civil Defense, it is reasonable that
the University should cooperate with the federal and state agencies undertaking this
program." "A statement concerning the areas of responsibility in Civil Defense
may be issued in the near future."
Such a statement was never issued. Women for Peace has
continually asked the University to review its participation in the federal government's
civil defense program, in view of its policy of non-involvement in political matters. In
an open letter to President Kerr (Daily Cal, December 11, 1963) Women for Peace
spokesmen Jackie Goldberg and Ann Forrest demanded, "Are we being ordered into a
program we don't want? Or are we volunteering for a program we don't want? Or further, are
we desirous of the program for other than scientific and rational reasons? If the latter
is the case, we students of this University feel that our Regents should re-examine
educational and moral integrity.
"To the best of our knowledge, no public statement
was ever made to this campus even acknowledging the referendum, and no explanation was
given for any part of the program. The statement that it is reasonable to cooperate with a
program that may very well be unreasonable should be debated publicly. We call upon you,
Mr. President, to enter an open debate on the merits of the shelter program, either
through the Daily Cal or preferably in person."
This letter was never answered.
On December 13, 1963 Women for Peace sponsored a noon
time panel discussion on the subject of fallout shelters, with Owen Chamberlain, fire
chief Moller, and Ben Seaver. Chamberlain stated, "For Berkeley, fallout shelter
protection is so inadequate as to be beside the point, it seems."
On February 5, 1964 Professors Dalziel and Kuhli of the
Governor's Educational Advisory Committee on Disaster Preparedness stated that Civil
Defense at the University is in a state of chaos, and may even be a waste of time."
When it became apparent that the Administration was
intent on ignoring the opinions expressed by the majority of students and faculty members
in advisory positions as well as all requests for discussion it was decided to hold a test
of the fallout shelter facilities. The test was planned to demonstrate
(1) That shelters provided no shelter at all, and
(2) That the University was lending its name and prestige
to a dangerous hoax.
Once again University regulations thwarted us. Since
recognized off-campus groups cannot sponsor any form of test, drill or demonstration on
campus, Women for Peace could not directly arrange for the fallout shelter drill.
Therefore a group of "individuals" organized the Ad Hoc Committee on Fallout
Shelter Information, which was supported and endorsed by Slate, W.E.B. DuBois Club, and
Women for Peace. This organization received permission to conduct the test on February 26,
The test demonstrated beyond any doubt that the shelter
program on this campus was an utter farce. The Daily Cal of the following day
referred to the shelter as "the Black Hole of Calcutta." Berkeley fire chief
Moller admitted that capacity figures were unreasonable. And in a letter to the Editor (Daily
Cal March 2, 1964) Raymond T. Birge, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, predicted that
under the conditions of the test "anyone not dead of suffocation in 24 hours would be
dead from the heat."
The shelter "pack-in" received coverage on
local and national television networks and newspapers. The University Administration
maintained an unbroken silence on the issue.
On February 27, 1964 the ASUC Senate voted 13-2 to
request the Chancellor's Office to conduct a campus-wide fallout shelter drill. This
request was ignored. The barrage of letters to the Daily Cal on this issue
gradually dwindled to nothing. The University Administration had effectively squelched the
desire of the Academic Senate, the ASUC Senate, the majority of the student body, and
individual professors to have an open discussion and investigation of the fallout shelter
program on the campus.
As has been pointed out in this report, there has been
increasingly repression on this campus of activity and thought that has directly affected
Women for Peace. At this writing, Women for Peace has not organized at all this semester.
Ordinarily we would have set up a table on campus for distribution of information, and
offering peace literature, bumperstickers and the like for sale. With the money thus
obtained, and donations accepted, we would have been able to send an announcement of a
meeting to those students who had indicated their interest by signing a mailing list at
that table. Since we could collect neither money nor signatures, we were unable to do
this. In addition, because of lack of funds we are unable to print and distribute
information concerning the positions of the various political candidates on issues
concerning peace, disarmament, and economic conversion to a peacetime economy. If the
present situation remains unchanged, the Administration will have succeeded in permanently
terminating the existence of Women for Peace on this Campus.
-- Deborah Rossman, Junior,
Humanities field major
Salaff, graduate Sociology
Goldberg, Senior, Social Science Field Major