A Clarkson Mosaic - page 347

As expected, on Saturday morning a number of demonstrators appeared outside the gym
carrying on light sticks "peace" signs which were derogatory of the ROTC and the armed
forces, but were not obscene. Ernest ("Mickey") Moore (retired Air Force general), dean of
student affairs, instructed William Lowe, dean of students, to "ask anyone bearing a mounted
sign or other equipment which could be used violently to please leave such equipment outside."
That message spread through the crowd as "no one carrying signs can enter." One student and
two faculty wives carrying placards were denied entrance even though they had removed the
signs from their sticks, and were carrying them in their hands.
Despite several administrators physically blocking the door of the gym to prevent
students carrying signs from entering, no violence occurred. All students were admitted once
their signs had been placed on the ground. Rather than sit in the regular bleachers, however, the
"demonstrators" sat on the floor in front of the stands as a way of showing their disapproval of
the review. Yet, they were not disorderly.
Only two unusual events occurred during the ceremony: a young woman handed a
flower to Col. Nicholas Lord, ROTC chairman; and another student, Frederick Smith, shook the
hand of the cadet colonel near the end of the review. Unusual actions, certainly, but nonviolent.
At the conclusion of the ceremonies in the gym as the ROTC Cadet Group marched to
the arena, however, several "happenings" disrupted the progress of the cadets. These included
impeding the formation of the band and the color guard, blocking the path of the band and color
guard so that the cadets had to march off the roadway to get past the dissidents, and
intermingling with the marching cadets, yelling in their ears. Once past the intersection of the
road to the dormitories and Clarkson Avenue, the cadets encountered no more interference on
their way to the Arena.
These various confrontations between students resulted in the Hearing Committee on
Disorders being convened. Its findings were that although poor judgment was shown on both
sides, no actual disorder occurred.
Ten days later, however, at 10:20 a.m. on Monday, April 27, a group of 35 students and
three faculty led by Mrs. George Leppert, wife of the chairman of the mechanical engineering
department, and Prof. Ron Hikel, social sciences department, entered the anteroom of President
Graham's office and began a sit-in. Reacting to the refusal by both the Student and Faculty
Senates to grant students equal representation with faculty and administration on the
ad hoc
ROTC Study Committee, this group had chosen this sit-in as their next
action. In its prepared statement, the group calling itself the Potsdam
Academic Freedom Committee announced the takeover of President Graham's office
in order to give the Committee "and other interested members of the student
body" power with which they could effect changes in Clarkson's policies.
They levied six specific demands:
1) a public apology from President Graham for denying student access to the ROTC Review on
April 18 [which he already had done];
2) a statement of the college policy being enforced by that refusal;
3) a revision of any such policy with assurances of all implications in any such revisions;
4) resignation of Ernest M. Moore from his office as dean of student affairs;
5) equal student representation on the ROTC Study Committee [a matter being considered by
The Faculty Senate];
6) legal fees for those students arrested at the Spring Thing on April 25.
1...,337,338,339,340,341,342,343,344,345,346 348,349,350,351,352,353,354,355,356,357,...643
Powered by FlippingBook