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Regulation of Student Extra-Curricular Activities



Regulation of Student Extra-Curricular Activities


A notice put out by the Queen's College Chapter of the Teacher's Union discussing the Schultz amendment and its impact of student activities. Also covers recent political actions by J Edgar Hoover and the Committee of Un-American Activities.


Labor unions and education--United States
Queens College (New York, NY)
Student activities--Law and legislation
Student activities--New York (State)


Teacher's Union Local no. 555




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)


c. 1948-1951

Date Created



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Spatial Coverage

Queens (New York, NY)


[Page 1]
Teachers Union
Established 1916
President- Samuel Wallach; Legislative Representative: Rose V. Russell; Secretary-Treasurer; Samuel C. Greenfield; Recording Secretary; Abraham Lederman
Eugene Jackson, High Sch.; Ella Ratner, Jr. H.S.; Leona Abrams, Elem. Sch.; Joseph Bressler, College; Norman Studer, Private School; Lillie B. Pope, Voc. H.S.
Chairman, Queens College
Chapter, Oscar Shaftel
The Queens College Faculty is meeting this week to consider policy on student affairs in relation to the Board of Higher Education's action on November 19. last. Two alternatives appear possible. We may be asked to adopt a "little Schultz amendment" for Queens College. Or, if it chooses, the Faculty can reaffirm our established and successful procedures for the supervision of student organizations under Sections 154 and 155 of the Board's by-laws* as reaffirmed by the Board's rejection of the Schultz amendment.
Since it may be proposed that the Faculty initiate a policy of repression of student organizations, we of the Teachers Union feel obliged to present for your consideration our position on this matter. As part of its program for the professional and economic advancement of the staffs, the Teachers Union has traditionally advocated the fullest measure of civil rights and academic freedom, the importance of which is underlined by ominously increasing attacks. We believe that teachers are entitled to the protection of the Bill of Rights as teachers and as citizens. What we require for ourselves we cannot deny to our students. Moreover, we are reminded daily that an attack on the freedom of one sector of the college community leads to attacks on others. Last Spring an attack on AYD rapidly flamed into a vilification of 42 members of the Faculty and, in most virulent form, into demands for the resignations of President Klapper and Dean Lenz. Enemies of the principles on which the free democratic City Colleges are built have not abated these attacks, nor will our appeasement of them, on whatever "practical" grounds, buy abatement in future. On these principles, demonstrated by this recent history, we base present position.
We opposed passage of the Schultz amendment by the Board of Higher Education. We oppose any possible counterpart at Queens College, not alone for the immediate effect it would have in discouraging independent student thought and action. Even more, it would create an atmosphere generally prejudicial to the spirit of free inquiry essential to the proper functioning of an educational institution.
Most seriously, the policy involved in such regulation as that proposed by Mr. Schultz lays the basis for departure from traditional punishment or restraint for overt unlawful acts properly subject to discipline, as now provided in Section 155 of the Board's by-laws. Alleged intent is substituted as the basis of restraint. Organizations and students are therefore placed in jeopardy not for anything they do, but for the presumption by persons with or without authority that they intend to break the by-laws, or that they stand for something other than that which appears in their published programs and their activities. It is good judicial doctrine to hold individuals responsible for their acts, not for what others allege them to be thinking, or for the assumption that they may commit unlawful acts.
*Section 154 (the "McGoldrick Resolution") reads in part; "The faculties shall have full power to regulate, suspend or discontinue the extra-curricular activities of any student or group, in the interests of the effective conduct of the college or school as an institution of higher learning. Any group of students may form an organization, association, club or chapter by filing with an officer to be designated by the faculty (1) the name and purposes of the organization (etc), (2) the names and addresses of its president and secretary or other officers (etc), and (3) such other information as the President or Faculty may require. However no group with a program against religion in general or against the religion of a particular group or any race shall be permitted to organize. .."
Section 155 requires that student organizations "shall obey all the rulos :..
regulations of the duly established college authorities" and "shall obey all of the rules" and regulations of the duly established college authorities” and “shall obey the laws of the City, State, and Nation within college grounds and elsewhere.”
Affiliated with: New York Stole Industrial Union Council, ClO; Greater New York Industrial Union Council, CIO; New York Women’s Trade Union league; National Education Association

[Page 2]
We particularly reject the implied suggestion by the Board, in its resolution of November 19, or by anyone else, that we adopt the standards of Americanism of the Thomas-Rankin Committee. The motivations of a John Rankin--poll-taxer, racist, and anti-semite--are hardly those which faculty or students should be asked to emulate. The principles and procedures of the Committee have been condemned by Professor Harlow Shapley, Professor Henry Steele Commager, Professor Robert Cushman, director of Cornell Research in Civil Liberties, the Greater New York Federation of Churches, and by the dean and 21 of 25 members of the Yale Law School faculty, who declared, in condemning loyalty oaths and asking the abolition of the Committee, that "the nation’s liberty is in danger", that "persecution for opinion, if not soon curbed, may reach a point never hitherto attained even in the darkest periods of our history", and that "we need not create a police state to escape a police state". And it is not insignificant that the Committee, at various stages in its consistent course, has been blessed by Gerald L. K. Smith, Gerald Winrod, William Dudley Pelley, the Bund's Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter, and. Goebbels' radio.
Conservative newspapers and columnists have been shocked into protest against Mr. Thomas and his colleagues. Walter Lippmann called the Committee unlawful and its procedure "a violation of American morality". The Detroit Free Press stated: “The most un-American activity in the United States is the conduct of the committee on Un-American activities." The New York Herald Tribune: "Neither Mr. Thomas nor the Congress in which he sits is empowered to dictate what Americans shall think." The New York Times: "It is clear that the Committee...is actually trying certain individuals for alleged subversive and un-American acts without affording them the ordinary rights accorded to the most degraded criminal; namely, the right to cross-examine their accusers and the right to call witnesses on their own behalf."
The most cogent summary of aware opinion on the Committee is Thomas Mann‘s: "As an American citizen of German birth I...testify that I am painfully familiar with certain political trends--spiritual intolerance, political inquisition and declining legal securities--and all this in the name of an alleged state of emergency. That is how it started in Germany. What followed was Fascism, and what followed Fascism was war."
The attitudes of this Committee and of Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, who first gained fame as the ardent assistant of A. Mitchell Palmer during a similar period of "anti-red" hysteria after World War I, are presented by the Board of Higher Education as a guide for local action, although the Board has refrained from acting on them itself. We should remember that these sources may accuse with impunity and withbut respect for rules of evidence, and that the Committee, in its nine years of existence, has notoriously failed in its ostensible purpose, to suggest legislation to be enacted into Federal law
It is proper to remind ourselves that no agency of the government has the right to impose agreement with its opinions, apart from requiring specific adherence to law. The decision of the United States Supreme Court is pertinent: " If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein-" (Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S.624,642)
We urge the Faculty to reaffirm our established methods of supervising student organizations. We urge that, as in the past, student charters, including AYD, be judged on their programs and activities. Needless to say, any individual or group that infringes Sections 154 and 155 of the by-laws should and must be disciplined.
In the lurid light of the witch hunt that was waged after World War I, with its wholesale infringement of constitutional rights, and in the light of the rapidly developing attack on civil liberties and any form of intellectual independence, we feel strongly that the Faculty has the moral responsibility to strike a blow in behalf of the Bill of Rights. To fail to strike that blow would, it seems apparent, negate a good part of our curriculum. How can we impose or tolerate the imposition of restraints on freedom, and still teach American history, that long account of the bloody struggle for freedom? How can we continue to pay due honor to the memory of John Bowne and Francis Lewis, religious and political martyrs, and ignore their injunction and example? What can we say in classroom about the Constitution, Areopagitica. Mill, Looke, Thoreau, Emerson, Voltaire, Veblen, and Socrates, to name a few, if we deny in faculty meeting the very principles of free and comparative discussion of any issue which give these persons and ideas their place in our curriculum? Is there a valid course in our curriculum that does not

Original Format

8.5 x 14 inches
2 pages (last pages missing)


Teacher's Union Local no. 555, “Regulation of Student Extra-Curricular Activities,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed May 17, 2022, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/206.