Touche All but the most cataclysmic of events have their ludicrous moments. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the occurrences on the campus at the University of TeXas at Austin had at least one moment of levity, courtesy of an Observer contributing editor, Dan Strawn ‘of Kenedy. Strawn is, among other things, a fencing buff. On the day that about a thousand students gathered around the statue of George Washington .for a rally, Strawn had purchased a new fencing saber at a sporting goods store near the campus. Not wishing to carry the weapon in the box in which it had been shipped \(“It was ing his new purchase by its handle. Making his way across campus, on some errand or other, Strawn happened to pass the rally site, giving security officers nearby a few uneasy moments until he had ambled out of sight, his trusty, unsheathed saber catching the noontime sun. occasion of Rusk’s visit, was dragged across the rough concrete Walk to one of the four police cars. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of a severely skinned and bleeding back. Two others at the scene were arrested for abusive language and interfering with an arrest. One of the other two, David Ledbetter, was also dragged by his heels, cutting up his back. The third young man was Jim Lyons. All three are non-students, but have recently attended U.T. Austin. At the Capitol the legislature was busy. Rep. Gus Mutscher, Brenham, asked that SB .162 be taken up. The bill, which had just come out, of committee that morning, would permit campus police to be armed and would provide a basis for nonstudents to be kept off campus, if school officials wished. It was understood by many at the Capitol that the bill had been pushed onto the House floor at the urging of Erwin. It had been passed by the Senate on March 13, introduced by Sen. A. M. Aikin, Jr., Paris. The vote was 29-to-1, with Oscar Mauzy, Dallas, the only dissenter. Hank Grover, Houston, was absent. The bill was not in its printed form for House members when Mutscher brought it up. Rep. Bob Armstrong,. Austin, told the members “The university has no authority to handle demonstrators they have to call in city police or the Dept. of Public Safety. There is a need for the bill . .. the university needs some help. . . . The current situation at the University of Texas makes this bill necessary.” Would the bill permit campus policemen to break up demonstrations such as the one the day before in front of the Capitol during Humphrey’s visit? inquired Rep. Jack Ogg, Houston. Yes, said Armstrong. “I’m all for your bill,” Ogg responded. The vote was 141-3. Voting no were liberals Rex Braun of Houston, Don Gladden of Fort Worth, and Ed J. Harris of Galveston. Abstaining was R. L. “Bob” Vale, who said he hadn’t had a -chance to read the bill and so couldn’t “cast an intelligent vote” on it. Braun said the same thing, adding that he believes “it’s not necessary to put arms on these officers,” particularly in view of the fact that some of them are not qualified on the use of weapons, he said. Meanwhile six students who had spoken at the Sunday rally had been cited for disciplinary action by university officials. Five of the students are S.D.S. members; the sixth was president of the Young Democrats on the campus. A hearing was set for Thursday. At 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday a second rally was held on the campus, attended by 1,000 persons or so. A number of students and a few faculty members spoke for more than an hour, protesting the removal of S.D.S. from the campus and the charges against “the six,” as the students facing discipline became known. No university rule existed that either S.D.S. or the six had broken, the speakers contended. Also protested was the arrest of the three nonstudents that morning. A hat was passed around, collecting money to help finance their legal defense. That night the second of the meetings of the group that ultimately named itself the University Freedom Movement was held. A steering committee was elected by the some 250 persons who were present. To emphasize the broad base of support for the movement, only one of the five steering committee members was an S.D.S. member. VV E D N E S D A Y, the largest rally of the two-weeks’ period was held, at noon, sponsored by the U.T. Veterans Assn., which has about 50 members. The association held the meeting on the steps of the U.T. administration building without seeking permission of the university, to test whether administrators would uniformly enforce the principle of not permitting unauthorized meetings on campus. The veterans group was not thrown off campus, however. After the action taken in response to the Sunday evening gathering, the administration did not interfere with any of the students’ activities on the campus, but let the movement run its course through Thursday of last week, when, 12 days after it began, it died. The highlight of the veterans’ rally was the speech of regents chairman Frank Erwin. The talk was reported by the local press and by wire services as a plea, that the university not be disrupted. But many. of the 3,000 or more persons who, were, on hand probably remembered Erwin’s talk more for this passage: “I beg you not to create on this campus the situation at Berkeley. But if you do, we do not have to have 27,000 students at this university.” This drew loud applause from the considerable body of students in the crowd who were not in sympathy with the movement. “If you choose another course,” Erwin went on, pausing at this’ point to stare intently at the crowd for a, lengthy interval, “you and I will both live’ to regret it.” Erwin also said that there was no free speech issue involved, merely the question of whether regulations had been Violated. Speaking of the S.D.S. and, perhaps, of the freedom movement’s adherents, Erwin said “Don’t take as gospel what these people tell you. They do not have the right to speak anywhere at anytime. If they have grievances with the enforcement of regulations, they should take them to the legal courts.” After addressing the rally’ Erwin joined several faculty leaders for lunch. He is reported, by several sources, to have repeated at the meal his statement that 27,000 students were not necessarily needed at the university, and,’ in that case, there would be no need for 2,000 faculty members. Erwin was handling things during the first week of the hassle, as Ransom had left for a meeting in Virginia the same weekend the uproar began. JOHN SILBER, a faculty leader, spoke. He agreed with Erwin that no free speech question existed. He said that there is, among administrators, a recognition that the rules governing student life need reworking and urged that this be done through normal channels. The night before, Erwin had, in the name of the regents, won a temporary restraining order to keep the three nonstudents off the campus. The petition requesting an injunction alleged: that the three had “actively opposed the rules and regulations of the University of Texas, as well as vocally and openly opposing the actions of the United States of America in its foreign affairs, thus engaging in activities adverse to the best interest of the May 12, 1967 d.ihe rules and regulations of the University ning the actions of the United States of Amer. rvities adverse to the best interest of the Uni eti
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