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Chronology of Events

Three Months of Crisis - Part 2

From the U.C. Berkeley alumnii magazine California Monthly

The following chronology traces events of the "free speech" controversy Berkeley from Sept. 10,1964, through June 4, 1965. Full texts of all important documents, reports, statements and resolutions are included. Where full texts were too long for inclusion, they appear elsewhere online, along with. relevant portions of the State Constitution, Education Code, "University Policies Relating to Students and Student Organizations," and "The Position of the FSM on Speech and Political Activity."

Reproduced with permission from the California Monthly [Feb. 1965] Further segments (through June 4, 1965) appear in the March, June, and July-Aug. issues. At present, the text below extends through October 28. We plan to reproduce the rest through June 4, 1965.

October:   6   7   8   12   13   14   15   16   18   20    25   26   27   28

When ready, Parts Three and Four will be linked from here.

October 6

1. The FSM Steering Committee met with Vice Chancellor Alan Searcy to protest Chancellor Strong's "unilateral" appointment of the Committee on Campus Political Activity without consulting the demonstrators and to express dissatisfaction with the way student-administration negotiations were proceeding. Arthur Goldberg said the Chancellor's action was "almost a breech of good faith by the administration . .

   "It is dangerous to start out so arbitrarily. The University has put us in an impossible position before we start."

     President Kerr had agreed to accept recommendations from the demonstrators, and failed to do so, according to protest leaders. The protestors also claimed Chancellor Strong's action put them in a position of inequality, since, they claimed, ten of the Chancellor's appointments were opposed to the students" position.

     The protestors argued that a special committee of the Academic Senate should choose the faculty members, the students would choose the student members.

2. The ASUC Senate passed a resolution asking President Charles Powell to meet with President Kerr "to determine whether the Administration has violated the spirit of Friday's agreement . . ." The Powell-Kerr meeting would center on two points:

l) The manner of the Administration's appointment of faculty members to the faculty student administration committee agreed to on Friday, and

2) The Administration's referral of the cases of the suuspended students to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct.

     The Senate also decided that, if the students approve, it would negotiate with the Regents for detachment of the controversial Bancroft-Telegraph area from the University and its establishment as a "free area for political and social ction."

     The ASUC Senate's first move would be a poll to determine whether "the students wish it to attempt to secure control of the Bancroft Telegraph area ... and if they would assent to the use of ASUC funds for the purchase of the land." The Senate would consider itself bound by the poll's results.

     If the students approved, two possible alternatives would be considered:

1) The ASUC would purchase the land and donate it to the City of Berkeley, or to a trust of the Senate's choosing; or

2) The land will be donated or sold outright to the City of Berkeley.

     During the ASUC Senate meeting, Commuter-Independent Representative Ed Wilson charged that the Administration had failed to live up to the spirit of Friday's agreement. Specifically:

1) The Administration tried to force the anti-ban students to postpone Monday's rally for seventy-two hours (in conformance with the University's rules regarding non-student speakers).

2) The Administration should let the Academic Senate choose the faculty members of the negotiating committee, rather than select them itself, which the Administration already had done.

3) The district attorney was pressing charges against Jack Weinberg, even though the Administration had agreed not to. (President Kerr, in announcing the agreement, carefully pointed out that the University's decision not to press charges against Wernberg did not prohibit the district attorney's doing so.)

4) The Academic Senate Committee on Student Conduct does not exist. According to Friday's agreement, the cases of the suspended students were to be referred to this group. Instead, Wilson charged, the cases have been referred to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct, which is appointed by the Administration.

3. The Advocate Young Republicans, a group of Boalt Hall School of Law students, issued a statement "disagreeing with, and expressing condemnation of lawless behavior." The group also announced that it disagreed with the rules set up by the University with regard to the restriction on political conduct of students on campus.

October 7

The Committee on Campus Political Activity held its first meeting. Ten FSM spokesmen appeared, presented a statement condemning the Committee as illegally constituted and asked it to disband, then left. The statement read, in part:

   "As the duly elected representatives of the Free Speech Movement (FSM), we cannot in good conscience recognize the legitimacy of the present meeting.

   "This present meeting is a result of unilateral action by the Administration, and as such we cannot participate . . .

   ". . . We were not even officially notified of this meeting.

   ". . . We respectfully request this body consider itself illegally constituted and disband."

     The Study Committee's purpose, announced as the meeting convened, was to recommend action to the Administration on the problem of political action on campus.

     Following a three-hour session, minus FSM representatives, the Study Committee issued two statements:

1) The Committee will conduct discussions, hold hearings, and finally draft recommendations to the Administration as to proper University policy.

2) The Committee will hold its first public hearing at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Oct. 13) in a room to be announced.

October 8

1. An FSM spokesman claimed the demonstrators were surprised to discover the purpose of the Committee was study -- not negotiation. (The first announcement of the Committee's name and purpose was made in statements issued last night.)

     Jack Weinberg said:

      "The Administration feels they have the sole right to say what this committee is supposed to do."

     Weinberg, the former student whose arrest touched off the October 1 and 2 "police car" demonstrations, is a member of the FSM Steering Committee. He claimed FSM representatives had attempted to meet with Administration officials for two days, but had been unable to do so.

2. Two conservative groups took issue with the political ideas of the two students who may ultimately represent the demonstrators on the study committee. In a joint statement, the University Young Republicans and the Cal Students for Goldwater charged:

   "These two are, in fact, being chosen by a sub-caucus called the 'Steering Committee,' a group which believes in unlawful solutions to legitimate problems, and which represents solely left-of-center political groups."

     FSM's press relations group answered the above charges:

1) FSM's Steering Committee had attempted to reach the conservative groups, but had been unable to do so.

2) The Steering Committee had been democratically elected from members of the Executive Committee (which is composed of representatives of all student groups involved in the demonstrations).

3) FSM intended to add four independent students to its Steering Committee at a 7:00 p.m. meeting tonight.

3. ASUC President Charles Powell was unable to meet with President Kerr, as requested in the ASUC Senate resolution, because President Kerr was in Southern California.

4. President Clark Kerr, during a speech before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, said:

   "The situation (at Berkeley) is new in that students are more activist than before and that diverse groups ... are attacking the historic policies of the University. Students are encouraged, as never before, by elements external to the University."

     Kerr also described the incident as "one episode -- a single campus, a small minority of students, a short period of time."

5. President Clark Kerr answered student charges of "bad faith" on the part of the Administration in a statement released tonight:

   "A question has been raised about the appointment of the joint advisory committee. The minutes of the meeting show the following:

   "'Kerr: This committee would have to be appointed by the administration.'

   "It was noted that it was the only agency with authorization to appoint faculty, students and administrators.

   "A question has also been raised about the 'Student Conduct Committee of the Academic Senate.' This is a misnomer. It was used in a draft prepared by an informal group of faculty members. I did not catch the misstatement at the time; nor did anyone else. The only such committee that exists is the 'Faculty Committee on Student Conduct' which is composed of faculty members. The minutes show the following:

   "'Kerr: We need to understand that the Committee does not make final determinations. You would have to be aware that you would be dependent also on whatever confidence you have in the decency and fairness of the Administration and respect for it.'

   "The campus administration went ahead promptly to show its good faith in appointing the joint committee and submitting the suspension cases to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct. The campus administration reserved two of four student places for representatives of the demonstrators as they clearly represent only a minority of students."

6. Following President Kerr's statement, the faculty advisory group which proposed most of the six-point agreement of October 2, issued the following statement:

   "We who have sought to mediate some of the issues growing out of the recent demonstration, deeply regret that the present steering committee of the demonstrators took during the negotiations a rigid and unreasonable position on the question of student representatives, jeopardizing the successful organization of the student faculty-administration committee.

   "We continue to believe firmly in the importance of maximum freedom for peaceful student political action, and in company with all individuals whose primary interest lies in this end, we shall bend every effort to realize that objective."

7. Richard W. Jennings, chairman of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, said the Senate will consider directing the Committee on Academic Freedom and the Committee on Educational Policy to inquire into the recent University rulings on student political activity, the students' protest of the rulings, and the problem of the students' rights to the expression of political opinion on campus.

8. Dean of Men Arleigh Williams sent letters to the eight suspended students, informing them that in accordance with the agreement, their cases had been referred to the Faculty Committee on Student Conduct. The letters also asked the students to appear in the Dean of Students Office to set times for hearings. (Two students appeared, but none submitted himself to the Committee.)

9. The Northern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union announced it had agreed "to intervene on behalf of the students recently suspended by the University . . .

   "The ACLU's position is that the regulations which the students were alleged to have broken violate their political rights as guaranteed by the first amendment ... the ACLU will challenge the suspensions as a violation of due process of law."

10. Dean of Men Arleigh Williams received a petition signed by about 650 members of 37 fraternities and sororities, asserting that FSM was "composed of responsible students" and declaring support of its goals.

11. A petition was circulated among student leaders by Sharon Mock, ASUC second vice president. The petition expressed a belief . . .

   ". . . that rational democratic procedures should be used to voice opinion and to revise laws, since we as Americans have benefitted by this process for years.

   "We condemn the methods ... used by a minority of students and non-students which are disrupting the educational process through the deliberate violation of present University and State regulations. We also wish to preserve the Open Forum Policy which now exists on our campus as a result of orderly democratic procedure."

   (The petition was signed by the presidents of Inte- Fraternity Council, Winged Helmet, Deutsch, Davidson, Griffiths and Cheney Halls, Treble Clef, the Commute-lndependent Association,Golden Guard, and the Spirit and Honor Society. It also was signed by the entire Panhellenic Council, most of the Board and Cabinet of the Associated Women Students, and by 29 Oski Dolls.)

October 12

1. The FSM Steering Committee met with Chancellor Strong and called for suspension of activities of the Study Committee until representatives of the Administration and the FSM could reach agreement on "the interpretation and implementation of the Pact of October Second" and either immediate reinstatement of the suspended students, or submission of their cases to an ad hoc committee of the Academic Senate, with the provision that the Administration would abide by their decision.

     The FSM representatives stated that they could not recognize the legality of the Study Committee without jeopardizing their leadership and control of the situation. They also maintained that, not only the students, but also the faculty members selected to serve on the Committee should be appointed by negotiations between the FSM and the Chancellor on selections acceptable to the FSM.

     Chancellor Strong answered that, since the Study Committee had been appointed and was meeting, he would ask it for advice on the propriety of suspending its activities. He also said that, since interpretation of the intent of the Agreement was best referred to the signers, they might discuss that point with the President. Chancellor Strong also explained that he had referred the cases of the suspended students to the only existing appropriate committee that could have been meant by the October 2 Agreement

2. A petition, signed by 88 members of the faculty was presented to the Chancellor, urging reinstatement of the suspended students.

October 13

1. The Academic Senate passed two motions:

1) The first noted "with pleasure the general improvement in recent years in the atmosphere of free inquiry and free exchange of opinion within the University." This motion also declared in favor of "maximum freedom of student political activity," and directed the Committee on Academic Freedom to inquire into recent events and report to the Senate as quickly as possible.

2) The second motion recognized "the welfare of the University can only be maintained if the peace and order of an intellectual community are also maintained," and called upon all parties "to resolve the dispute in peaceful and orderly fashion" and "make full use of the joint faculty student-administration committee for that purpose."

2. FSM leaders contacted Earl Bolton, University vice president-administration, and subsequently sent telegrams to Governor Edmund G. Brown and Edward W. Carter, chairman of the Board of Regents, requesting that they be allowed an hour to present their case to the Regents. The FSM leaders promised "mass demonstrations" if they were not given "some clear indication ... that the administration is not playing."

3. The Study Committee on Campus Political Activity held its first public meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Harmon Gymnasium. Approximately 300 students attended. The Committee heard testimony from fifty students, all but one of whom, as instructed by an insert in the FSM Newsletter, stated that the Committee was illegally constituted and should disband.

October 14

Professor Arthur Ross, chairman of the Committee on University Welfare, met with the FSM Steering Committee and agreed to discuss with the administration proposed modifications of the interpretation of the Agreement of October 2.

October 15

1. Agreements were reached with the FSM, the Administration, the Regents and the Study Committee, and wereannounced to a meeting of the Academic Senate by a communication from President Kerr and Chancellor Strong, both of whom were attending the Board of Regents meeting at Davis. The points of the new agreement were:

1) The Study Committee was expanded from 12 to 18 members. The new members will include two faculty members named by the Committee on Committees of the Academic Senate; two administration members to be named by the President to represent the University-wide administration; and two additional student members plus the two members initially assigned them to be named by the FSM Steering Committee. The Study Committee would hold two or three public hearings a week and finish such hearings within three weeks. No more than five silent observers and two silent attorneys were to attend all meetings,and all findings and recommendations were to be by consensus.

2) The Academic Senate was asked to appoint an ad hoc committee to hear the cases of the eight students suspended two weeks ago. The ad hoc committee was to be advisory to the administration.

2. The Academic Senate, meeting in Berkeley, unanimously granted the administration request to establish an ad hoc committee. The Committee on Committees appointed Ira M. Hey man, professor of law, as chairman. Other committee members were Robert A. Gordon, professor of economics; Mason Haire, professor of psychology and research psychologist in the Institute of Industrial Relations; Richard E. Powell, professor of chemistry and chairman of the department of chemistry; and Lloyd Ulman, professor of economics and industrial relations and director of the Institute of Industrial Relations.

     The Academic Senate, during the same meeting, also passed a motion introduced by Frank C. Newman, dean of Boalt Hall School of Law:

   "Whereas, the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate recently has gone on record as favoring maximum freedom for student political activity and the use of peaceful and orderly procedures in settling disputes;

   "And, whereas, the attitude of the Division has been widely misunderstood as condoning lawlessness, now, therefore, this body reaffirms its convictions that force and violence have no place on this campus."

3. Edward W. Carter, chairman of the Board of Regents, sent a telegram to Mario Savio following the Regents meeting at Davis:

   "The Regents have concluded that in view of the study being conducted by the appropriate committee, no useful purpose would be served by considering whether your group should be heard by the Regents at this time."

4. President Clark Kerr, during a news conference following the Regents meeting, reiterated his belief that some of the demonstrators "had Communist sympathies."

5. The FSM Executive Committee met briefly this evening and accepted the changes in the Study Committee and in the appointment of the ad hoc Academic Senate committee. Fob lowing this meeting, Art Goldberg said:

   ""For the first time in the history of the University, anadministration treated its students as representative members of the University community. This is a major event in the life of the University and for all the students on campus."

October 16

1. The FSM Steering Committee issued a statement at 12:30 a.m.:

   "The FSM has every hope that the negotiations which we are entering into with the administration can be productive.

   "However, we hope that President Kerr's attack upon us is not an indication of an unhealthy attitude with which the administration is entering these negotiations.

   "It is regrettable that the President has resorted to such attacks and that the Board of Regents has permitted President Kerr's attack."

2. The Board of Regents, meeting for the second day at Davis, commended President Clark Kerr for his handling of the "regrettable" demonstrations at Berkeley.

     The Regents also "reaffirmed the University's traditional policy of encouraging maximum freedom with responsibility and disapproving resort to force or violence."

October 18

The FSM Executive Committee nominated its representatives to the Committee on Campus Political Activity: Mario Savio, Bettina Aptheker, Sydney Stapleton, and Suzanne Goldberg.

October 20

1. Chancellor Edward W. Strong appointed the four FSM candidates to the Study Committee. Upon nomination of the Committee on Committees of the Academic Senate, he also appointed Earl F. Cheit, professor of business administration, and Sanford H. Kadish, professor of law.

2. Particle Berkeley, an on-campus group devoted to encouraging student scientific research, was warned by the Dean of Students Office that it faced the possibility of losing on-campus status, if it joined the Free Speech Movement.

     Jack Weinberg, as FSM spokesman, said

   "We hope this is not an indication of future punishment to be given on-campus groups involved in the FSM.

   "'On- and off-campus' means 'what we like and what we don't like' to the Administration.

   "This is a bad omen, especially at the start of negotiations on the free speech issue."

     (Particle Berkeley has no official connections with PARTICLE MAGAZINE, a student scientific journal, published by an off-campus corporation. Two members of the group represent Particle Berkeley on the FSM Executive Committee.)

3. Chancellor Edward W. Strong issued a statement warning of possible further demonstrations led by "hard core demonstrators":

   "The hard core demonstrators still are going to try to open the campus," he said. Chancellor Strong identified "hard core demonstrators" as activists who had spent the summer in Mississippi as civil rights workers. Strong went on to say: "The University will not be used as a bastion for the planning and implementation of political and social action." He said the activists returned to Berkeley thinking the University should become more directly involved in social justice, and that some of those involved were "professional demonstrators, but I won't smear all the other good kids by calling it Communist led." As far as freedom of speech was concerned, Strong said, "the University has truly an Open Forum policy, but we have to draw a line between the freedom and the planning and implementing of political action."

4. Arthur Goldberg, speaking for FSM, answered Chancellor Strong's statement:

   "If 'hard core demonstrations' means that we are still going to figh1 for our principles and the Free Speech Movement, then Chancellor Strong is right." Goldberg said it was possible that some of the demonstrators had been in Mississippi during the summer.

   There are two types of "political action," Goldberg explained. "It's sort of like the double standard -- we (FSM) are the girls, with lock-out, and the administration is the boys, with no limitations. When they want to talk about their Democrat and Republican politics, it's 'University policy.'

   "But, if we say anything about social action, or something that might make people think, it becomes 'too political.' If the University has a true Open Forum, why can't we advocate social action? It seems we have a closed Open Forum."

5. Commuter-Independent Representative Edward Wilson introduced a motion in the ASUC Senate which called for a test case in the courts to settle the problem of administration responsibility on the free speech issue. Wilson withdrew his motion in anticipation of a similar case to be initated by the American Civil Liberties Union.

6. The expanded Committee on Campus Political Action agreed that all decisions would be by consensus of students, faculty and administration, each voting as a bloc with one vote.

October 25

The Ad Hoc Academic Senate Committee on Student Suspensions (known as the Heyman Committee) requested that the eight suspended students be reinstated during the course of the Committee's hearings.

October 26

1. Chancellor Edward W. Strong refused the Heyman Committee's request for reinstatement of the eight suspended students.

2. The FSM Steering Committee issued a policy statement, charging "the Regents have had legislation drafted which would make certain forms of otherwise legal demonstrations on campus misdemeanors." The Steering Committee also accused President Kerr of changing the regulations governing political activity on campus (presumably, subsequent to the changes made at the beginning of the semester). The Steering Committee also stated:

   "If the administration refuses to acknowledge the right to advocate off-campus political and social action, we shall have to consider action as well as talk."

     The three-page FSM statement indicated a general dissatisfaction with the course of negotiations to date:

   "We may soon have to admit that the administration does not mean to deal fairly with us."

     Specifically, the FSM statement charged:

1) Instead of stating he supported the work of the Committee on Campus Political Activity, President Kerr at tacked the FSM as "non-students and Communists."

2) Chancellor Strong has refused to reinstate, for the duration of their hearings, the eight students suspended for their part in the free speech demonstrations. Thus, "apparently the students are guilty until proven innocent."

3) The Committee on Campus Political Activity will not allow the FSM counsel to question witnesses on points of law.

     The FSM statement further "demands that the administration acknowledge these on-campus rights:"

1) Freedom to advocate off campus political and social action.

2) Freedom to recruit for off-campus political organizations.

3) Freedom to solicit funds for off-campus political causes.

4) Freedom from harassment of '72-hour rules' and the mandatory presence at meetings of tenured faculty moderators and police.

3. Ernest Besig, director of the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, threatened to take the University to court. If the Heyman Committee fails to resolve the question of student political rights, "we will undertake legal action," Bessig said. Any court action would challenge the constitutionality of the disputed administration regulations and the procedure by which the eight students were suspended, Bessig explained.

     Peter Franck, head of the Berkeley ACLU chapter, proposed two alternative methods of testing the constitutionality of the University regulations:

1) Challenge directly the suspensions of the eight students, or

2) Have someone else violate the regulations.

     Franck indicated the second proposal would probably be utilized, if court action became necessary. Franck, who also is an attorney advising FSM members, also claimed the University Counsel's office asked the Regents for permission "to draft legislation which would put teeth into the present anti political activity rules." The Counsel's office would only make such a request at President Kerr's urging, Franck contended.

4. Thomas Cunningham, University general counsel, had "no comment" on the FSM-Franck charges that his office was drafting restrictive legislation. Other University sources denied knowledge of either alleged action.

October 27

1. Chancellor Edward W. Strong announced the appointment of two University-wide administration representatives to the Committee on Campus Political Action, bringing the Committee to full complement. The administration representatives were Robert B. Brode, academic assistant to the President and professor of physics, and Frank L. Kidner, University dean of educational relations and professor of economics.

2. Two University faculty members attacked the University regulations governing student off-campus political activity during an open forum meeting of the Graduate Coordinating Council.

     Seymour M. Lipset, professor of sociology and director of the Institute of International Studies, described the rules as "irrelevant and destructive to the purposes of the University. Social action is relevant" to both graduate and undergraduate education. He said that while the University has liberalized a great deal in the last six years, it still has not gone far enough. He said he felt President Kerr has been responsible for "very significant changes" in the liberalization of the University.

     John R. Searle, associate professor of philosophy, claimed that, while the avowed function of the regulations is to keep the campus politically neutral, the actual result is an "increase in the alienation, hostility and contempt" of the students toward the Adminstration.

October 28

1. The Committee on Campus Political Activity considered a recommendation that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution be the only policy regarding political expression on campus. The recommendation was introduced by FSM representative Sid Stapleton. Although the Committee did not adopt Stapleton's motion, Mario Savio, another FSM representative, expressed pleasure with the proceedings. However, Savio said if the Committee did not adopt the First Amendment as the only policy regarding speech on campus, "we will have to consider more direct action."

     The Committee also heard an explanation, by Dean of Students Katherine A. Towle, of University policy regarding on-campus and off-campus groups, and activities permitted these groups. It was permissible, she said, for a speaker to recommend certain actions be taken, but it was not permissible for a speaker to advocate such actions be committed:

   "A speaker may say, for instance, that there is going to be a picket line at such-and-such a place, and it is a worthy cause and he hopes people will go. But, he cannot say, 'I'll meet you there and we'll picket'."

2. The Heyman Committee, appointed by the Academic Senate to recommend action on the eight suspended students, met today for six hours and heard the cases of three suspended students: Donald Hatch, Mark Bravo and Brian Turner. All three were charged with operating a table on campus without a permit, and raising money for unauthorized purposes.

(To be continued, when someone lends a hand.)

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