LAW SUIT IMMINENT Ironic Tensions Turn Institution Against Itself \(Continued from Page grate all University facilities with deliberate speed. The student assembly resolved in favor of integrating varsity athletics, 22-2, and of integrating one men’s dorm, 23-0. On July 22, the regents made public their decision. They said there would be “no substantial changes . . . in the immediate future” with respect to extracurricular activities integration. They said the University was already ahead of majority opinion in Texas and described the pro-integration developments as the result of the efforts of a “vocal minority.” That was a -challenge, and it was accepted. Closed Door Policy The Negro girls who live in Whitis Dorm and Almetris Co-Op next door cannot help but notice that their old frame structures differ considerably from the large and modern brick dorms across the street up and down several blocks from them. Lately they became acutely sensitive to rules barring them from visiting with white girl friends in “public the white girls’ dorms. They are also barred from the dining rooms. They were goaded into action by a story in the student newspaper reporting that women residents at Kinsolving dormitory had been told that Negro girls visiting white dormitories should do so only in rooms with the doors closed, that Negro girls could not use rest rooms or water fountains in the white dorms, that Negro men visiting the white women’s dorms must be there only on errands, and that dean of students Glenn Barnett said if students refused to leave dorm social areas when asked to by proper authority, they would be subject to disciplinary probation. Barnett now says that the closed-door issue came up because of a situation in which a white and Negro girl visiting in the white girl’s room had been embarrassed by what another white girl said to them at the door. He and President J. R. Smiley say the reported prohibitions against rest room and drinking fountain use were never part of the rules, and are not now. One of the Negro girls confirms that they had been told by a University official before they decided to test the rules that they were not barred from using fountains or rest rooms. Nevertheless, Barnett said, “I couldn’t trace that down at all. It just couldn’t be squelched.” October 19th, about 55 Negro students met at Almetris Co-Op and sent across to Kinsolving four girls to test the rules. They were asked to leave the “public area,” that is, the social visiting area. They went back and the Negroes then returned in a body. Asked to leave, they refused; asked to give their names, they refused. Mary Simpson, Negro law student, said “a few white students joined us. They just sort of took us for granted.” A resident counselor came up to her group and said, “Are you aware that you are in a public area? I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You are violating a University regulation.” “We told her we wouldn’t leave,” Miss Simpson says. Asked to write her name down, she replied, “Is this the usual procedure you use with your guests?” Some of the Negroes gave mocking names Jackie Robinson, Mrs. Sammie Davis, Mae Britt, Elizabeth Taylor. ;Barnett moved swiftly, with ‘ Smiley’s backing. Chancellor Har ry Ransom was out of town. Barnett and Smiley say they were simply carrying out the regents’ policy. At some point board chairman Thornton Hardie called in and asked if the students would be suspended; he was told probation was thought to be adequate. About 30 Negro students, boys and girls, were put on disciplinary probation. Students and faculty started seething almost at once. Maurice “Mo” Olian, student body president, received many calls. He called Smiley and Barnett and told them that he could not guarantee quiet on the campus Sunday night unless they firmly agreed to a meeting with student leaders Monday. Smiley agreed; Olian persuaded the students pressing him to wait. Interim Compromise It is now clear that at this meeting, Oct. 24, Smiley persuaded the nine student spokesmen to hold off student action a week in return for his, Smiley’s, attempt to get the probations lifted. The students disciplined were notified *by telephone later that day that their probations were being reviewed. Mary Simpson, who attended, says, “Smiley said none of the people in the room were responsible individually or singly” for the ‘probations, that he needed another week before “this ‘body” that had to decide could get together, and that he and Barnett would “present our side of the case to this body and recommend that the probation be suspended.” \(The regents did not actually meet last weekend. Five or six of them were in town for the Rice-Texas football This week, another student who participated, Claude Allen, said, “We were told the president would entertain favorably the possibility of rescinding the probations,” and Smiley confirms this is an accurate summation of his position. In return, Olian announced the oneweek cooling off period. The ferment did not subside, however. E. E. ‘Goldstein, professor of law, announced circulation of a faculty resolution asserting the dorm regulations “according to racial criteria degrade the dignity of the individual, subvert the academic community and interfere with the educational process,” and calling upon the chancellor and president immediately to revoke them and their enforcement. ‘By the time the general faculty met this Tuesday he had 175 faculty signatures. including some heads of departments. Last Wednesday, the students voted in favor of intercollegiate athletics by a vote of 5,132 to 3,293, and Gwen Jordan became the first Negro in school history elected to a political office, student assemblyman. The Daily Texan editorialized that the question about a “vocal minority” had been answered. The regents asked for constructive suggestions, said the student ‘paper; they should “tune their ears” to this one and carry it out. The very next day, however, the vice-chairman of the Regents, W. W. Heath, an Austin lawyer, came on stage with the argument that since the vote for integration was not an absolute majority of all the students, most of the students favor segregation. A noon radio news broadcast script quoted him as saying: “Only about 20 percent of the student body voted in favor of integration, and to me that would indicate that a great majority of students are satisfied with the situation.” Heath also suggested it would be interesting to poll parents of the school’s students and pointed out the voters of the state overwhelmingly defeated integration a few years back. Keith C. Klein, the students’ attorney general, said Heath’s evaluation came from “a prejudiced consideration” and said he could not see how Heath “can be so blind as to fail to see the absurdity of his remarks.” Heath now says “that wasn’t an exactly accurate quote” on the radio. “My .position in the first place is that the students are not running the University,” he says. “There wasn’t a majority of ’em voting in favor of it. There are 20,000 students out there.” Did he mean a majority are opposed? He hadn’t talked to enough of ‘them to say. Ransom had conversations with individual regents over the weekend. He said he did not discuss the students’ probation, but rather ‘the general problems of desegregation. Smiley said he does not Si ti I. communicate with regents; he gets the word from them through Ransom. In any case, Tuesday of this week, a few hours before the general faculty met, regulations were posted at the dorms, specifying for the first time in writing the rules about Negroes; at 5:30 Tuesday evening, several hours before the student protest meeting began, the 30-odd Negro students on probation received letters delivered ‘by hand that their probation had been reviewed and confirmed. The regulations note that only one of the six university dorms for women, Whitis, is “open to Negro women students.” Only three men’s dorms are “open to both white and Negro men students.” Here are the written rules: “The social and dining area of Whitis dormitory and overnight privileges for women guests in the dormitory are available only to Negroes. The social and dining areas of the other women’s residence halls and overnight privileges in these dormitories are not available to Negroes. Students living in these residence halls may invite other girls to their rooms as personal guests, but are expected to respect the rights of their fellow residents at all times.” For men: “Students living in men’s residence halls may invite other men to their rooms as personal guests, but are expected to respect the rights of their fellow residents at all times. ‘Overnight privileges for Negro men are available only in” the three dorms open to both white and Negro men students.’ Smiley. and Barnett said the rules are intended to exclude Negroes from the sitting areas and dining rooms of the white dorms, but do not prohibit Negroes’ use of rest rooms or drinking fountains in the white dorms. Sense of Crisis This was the setting as the general faculty convened Tuesday afternoon. The faculty seemed tense, edgy, and fidgety. Smiley went through his reports in a calm, formal mannerthis was his maiden voyage before the faculty as president. Ransom and his three vice-chancellors, though ostensibly concerned only with the University system at large, not the Main University, were present but said nothing. The word had spread about the posted regulations and confirmed probations; many profs felt their timing was an open affront to the faculty. The sense of crisis was compared by a few old-timers to the days of Homer Rainey. Worrying about political effects on appropriations, a law teacher joshed, “surely they won’t cut off the money with our football team winning.” But he was angry at the regents’ forcing the administration to the course it had struckthe general assumption being Ransom and Smiley had no choice. “This is the fist,” he said. Goldstein presented his resolution. He said the posted regulations were “unsigned, undated.” They “in. effect mean that a Negro and a white may only meet in the bedroom of a dormitory.” They “are without color of law,” with the Supreme Court decisions “fairly clear in this area.” Goldstein was also concerned about what the timing of the day’s events meant for “the integrity of this faculty.” With such segregation in effect, he said, industry will not come to Austin, and “we are not going to attract the personnel to this University of the type we want. This is not going to make for a happy University community.” H. J. Ettlinger, professor of mathematics who came here 48 years ago, criticized “those who assault human dignity to the diminution of the rights and privileges of man.” When he first came to ‘U.T., he said, a Negro would not be permitted to come on campus; if he did “the would be subject to “furious pursuit and chase, and subsequent mahem.” Today, Ettlinger asked, “Are we going to have our standards set ‘by the lowest level of some of our fellow citizens ?” R. L. Moore, professor of mathematics, challenged Goldstein, “Why did you accept the tradition here? Why did you come?” “Because I knew what the law of the land was and I assumed the University would progress with the rest of the world,” Goldstein snapped. The crowd was carried into enthusiasm by this. Moore said integration is not a necessary condition of a first-class school and asked if anyone really believed a top professor of chemistry would not come here because of segregation. “Yes,” came a chorus. Did anyone know of such a case? he insisted. A professor stood up and stated quietly, “When I was investigating coming to the University of Texas, the first thing I did was find out whether this was an integrated university.” Roger Shattuck, bearded professor of Romance Languages and one of Ransom’s bright young faculty members, said, “We are not as much responsible to the majority of Texans as to right and wrong. The community to which the Regents might have given some attention is this community of faculty and students. . . . It would be a sad paradox if full integration had come to this University on the basis of Negro students bringing suit against the University.” C. W. Horton, professor of physics, said the majority of parents would probably be very reluctant to send their children to integrated dorms. Robert Cotner, associate professor of history, asked why the resolution was not directed to the regents. “I am not yet informed, sir,” Goldstein replied, “that the president or the chancellor of the University cannot decide about who uses what toilet. I don’t believe this is a regental matter.” Cotner said it is a good administration that should not be put in a situation “which is liable to get them fired.” Goldstein replied that the administration had a report from the faculty committee on minorities last spring and did not act on it. Taking the vote, Smiley made a fascinating slip. “Those in favor of the revolution” he called out. The faculty, and Smiley, were convulsed. The vote, by show of counted hands, was 308 to 34 for -Goldstein’s revolution. Then another of Ransom’s new faculty members, William Arrowsmith, celebrated translator of Greek plays and professor of classical languages, offered a resolution that the action of the administration in unilaterally posting regulations on a subject known to be of concern to the faculty only hours before the faculty met “evidences a disturbing disregard of faculty opinion and seriously impairs communication and cooperation between the faculty and the administration.” This was grave stuff. Gene Nelson, secretary of the faculty, leapt to his feet to call the resolution “a gratuitous insult to the administration” that would accomplish nothing except “alienation.” Smiley immediately recognized a faculty member who moved it be tabled, and it was. In ‘this episode it became clear that Ransom, by regarding integration as a matter for the regents to decide and studiously maintaining impartiality in public, ‘is in danger of losing the support of his favorite faculty leaders. In a question period, Smiley dodged many questions and gave unrevealing answers to most others. He said student appeals from probation will be allowed. Asked whether the student paper’s independence may be impaired, he said he knows of “no immediate contemplated move.” Joe Witherspoon, professor of law, condemned procedures used against the Negroes, “on a general kind of call for them to appear from certain locations at the University,” with their punishments being settled without reference to any faculty discipline panel. He said, “This type of action not only degrades the human person but . . . is wholly and completely without merit in the field of . . . due process of law. . .. This is a type of procedure.. . . which so far as I know hasn’t been recognized in principle in this country since its founding.” ‘Bright Young Men’ Then rose John Silber, associate professor of philosophy, confirming the rebellion of Ransom’s
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