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Moratorium on News A front page editorial in the Tyler Telegram the morning after the Vietnam Moratorium: “. . . For reasons which could be listed throughout the remainder of the entire content of this newspaper, we are not reporting in this issue the basic news or message of the celebrants of the Vietnam war moratorium. . . . “Publicity always is among the chief aims of demonstration groups, and pitiful though it may be, offbeats in the United States today are finding it far too easy to grab the spotlight far beyond proportionate measure. This seems true in all media. “One thing is sure. “The Viet Cong military and the Hanoi ‘statesmen’ approve of what the moratorium leaders and followers are doing. “That should be sufficient reason without elaboration for restraint in support and recognition of the protest. An even stronger and more urgent reason for non-support of the demonstrations would be the personal consideration and honor due just one of the US servicemen now or previously in Vietnam. Some never will be able to speak for themselves again. They found their moratorium without aid of the unwashed, unproven ‘thinkers’ who would direct our nation’s course. “A politician can justify anything, it seems true, but for some members of the US Congress and certain officials of the states, educational institutions, and the federal government who have taken an oath of office, it seems an act of treason that they encourage and support a Vietnam moratorium, which suitably might be called ‘Sick Wednesday.’ “No, we will not report the message and the antics of those people in this issue, because we believe most of our leaders have had enough of rot, disloyalty, and disrespect. The task is a difficult one for reporters and editors, but they will attempt to present significant events otherwise in a framework around the vacuum of the moratorium. “It is true that ‘the news comes first,’ but a newspaper’s’ free country comes even before that.” teacher, ripped off their armbands, and Tolbert did not deny it. \(Of the high school disciplines, more complaints were made against the physical education High, some students grabbed leaflets and armbands, took them across the street from school grounds, and burned them. No action is being taken against the students on the basis that they were not on school premises. There were reports of fistfights between armband wearers and conservative students, often described as “cowboys” or “goat ropers,” at high schools in many sections of the state. The Central Texas ACLU is collecting affidavits from students who feel they were abused on moratorium day. Roy Mersky, president of the local civil liberties group, asked administrators to investigate reports of teachers tearing off armbands or demanding that students remove them. Mersky said the incidents could have been avoided “by informing teachers and students prior to the moratorium of their rights and duties as Americans regarding freedom of expression.” He offered the services of the ACLU in preparing a course on legal rights to be taught to Austin administrators and teachers, and possibly to students as well. Mersky, who is librarian of the UT law school library, said the course would be taught by UT law professors. At press time, the offer had not been acknowledged by Austin school administrators. Although the presidents of the Austin, The Texas Observer Arlington, and El Paso campuses of the University of Texas said “no institutional moratorium on teaching” would . be authorized, they did not specifically order that classes be held. On the Austin campus, many teachers chose not to lecture or put the question of holding class up to a majority vote of their students. On the day of the moratorium, UT-Austin department chairmen received a request to report on classes that were not held and on what measures, if any, were being taken for the cancelled sessions. Dr. John Silber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, explained in a memoradum that President Norman Hackerman “had been requested” to report the information, thus implying that the request did not originate with the president. An Observer source said Dr. Charles A. LeMaistre, deputy chancellor, sent the request to Dr. Hackerman. MANY DEPARTMENT chairmen were disturbed by the memorandum, fearing some sort of reprisal against professors who participated in the moratorium. A careful reading of Silber’s memorandum, however, indicated that little specific information was requested, and few department heads provided any. “I didn’t see myself going out and grabbing each faculty member by the arm and asking him for a blow by blow description of what has been doing,” one liberal arts chairman said. “I just provided some general information to the dean about my view of the matter.” He said the request was “highly unusual” and that it “disturbed” him. At least two chairmen wrote Silber that they hoped similar concern would be shown for postponed classes and student absences before football weekends. Some professors said they would hold make-up classes on the Saturday afternoon of the Texas-Arkansas game. Dr. Irwin Spear, professor of botany, informed Silber that he did not hold his Biology 302 class and that he does not plan to have , a make-up day. “I consider the opportunity to openly discuss today’s most vital national issue of the war in Vietnam to be a valuable educational function .. . and in my judgment felt it desirable to give my students every opportunity to participate in this important alternative educational activity,” Spear said. He pointed out that in the Regents Rules one of “The Greater Duties of a Member of the Teaching Staff” is “influencing beneficially students and citizens in various extracurricular ways.” He also cited a rule that says, “A state university, being a public enterprise of maximum social importance, it is the duty of all personnel connected with it to be as civic minded as possible.” Information of moratorium classes was being channeled upward as the Observer closed. Action against anti-war professors seemed improbable, if for no other reason . than the deans’ reluctance to provide facts on specific classes that were not held. There were anti-war activities on many other Texas campuses, none very heavily attended. Texas Tech in Lubbock, the third largest university in the state, saw its first organized dissent against the war. Activities included a silent vigil from early, morning until midnight, a symposium on the war, and a program conducted by ministers of different faiths. Counter demonstrators threw rocks, eggs, bottles, and fire crackers at the ministers and persons attending the night ceremony. To the embarrassment of the state Republican Party, the Tech Young Republicans helped sponsor the moratorium activities. According to an Observer source, a state GOP staff member went to Lubbock to visit the YR president, Roger Settler, to suggest that he was putting the party in an awkward position, and that Senator John Tower was , receiving complaints. Settler reportedly suggested that the state party stop being a “rubber stamp” for Tower. Several student marchers in El Paso were sprayed with mace by unidentified men cruising by in a car. Local television stations revealed that in the daily police reports of two plain clothes detectives were claims of using mace on the UT-El Paso students. The police say they are looking into the incident. TEXAS A & M banned demonstrations and speeched on Oct. 15, but some 200 students gathered off the campus to decry the war. A number of demonstrations were held in Dallas and Houston, but they did not