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May 03, 1959 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-05-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

s THE MICHIGAN DAILY

.r ..........a

Discriminatory Clauses Dwindling

Theatre Notes

kt

clauses. A month later they voted
to extend the time limit one yearI
at a time to fraternities which :
"had done all in their power to
eliminate the clause."
The year 1951 brought to a sen-
sational climax the several years
of action. The SAC met twice in<
February to discuss the time-limit
proposal passed by SL. A' final
hearing was scheduled for March
6.
Approves MotionI
Again, by a one-vote margin, the
committee approved the motion to1
set up a 1956 time limit. The Daily
of March 7, 195, tells the story:
"The vote came shortly before
6 p.m. as the deeply-moved SAC
members were bringing to a close
their . . . special session ...
"Earlier, several SAC members
had sought vainly for a compro-
mise through which the actionI
might come from within the IFC
itself ... +
Highly Desirable
"Although all of the SAC mem-
bers thought it would be high'ly
desirable if any action enforcing
removal of the bias clauses were
to come from the affiliated groups
themselves, -a majority felt the
IFC could not take such action
under its own power..
"In addition to setting the 1956
time limit, the new regulation
stipulates that each organization
must petition for removal of1
clauses at its national convention.1
".. . three of the most signifi-
cant rulings regarding religious
and racial discrimination have
been decided on the strength of3
a single vote. Two were reversed
by University presients."
Such fraternities who can prove
there is "substantial probability
that all such discriminatory
clauses will be removed in the near
future" after the 1956 deadline,
may be granted one-year exten-
sions until the clause is finally re-
moved."
Apparently, a long, ugly feud
was over. One possible move was
still left for those who objected
to the decision: an appeal to high-'
er authority, which was vested in
President Alexander G. Ruthven.
Appeal Case
The IFC appealed the case as
the semester drew nearer its close.
President Ruthvent was retiring.
Harlan H. Hatcher, vice-president
at Ohio State University, was to
take over the administrative lead-
ership of the University. On May
22, The Daily warmly praised the
retiring president:
". . President Ruthven has
steered steadily toward his own
goal of making the University
'worthy in all respects of a great
democracy.
Two days later, the situation
turned upside down.
In a lengthy argument delivered
to the SAC, the 69-year-old presi-
". ..the number of writ'ten
clauses has dwindled from 22
to four."
dent vetoed the SAC proposal,
claiming it would violate both in-
dividual and property rights.
No Inherent Right
President Ruthven's statement
pointed out "It is a long-estab-
lished rule of law that no indi-
vidual has an inherent right to
membership in any particular or-
ganization," citing a section from
American Jurisprudence:
"Membership in a voluntary as-
sociation is a privilege which may
be accorded or withheld and not
a right which can be gained inde-
pendently and then enforced. The
courts cannot compel the admis-
sion of an individual into such an
association, and if his application
is refused, he is entirely without
legal remedy, no matter how arbi-
trary or unjust may be his exclu-
sion.

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BIG COUNTRY
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"Clubs and societies, whether re-;
ligious, literary, or social, have the
right to make their own rules on
the subject of admission or exclu-
sion of members, and these rulesi
may be considered as articles of1
agreement to which all who be-
come members are parties.
"Accordingly, an association has
the right to prescribe the rules
and regulations defining the quali-
fication of members, and may im-
pose such terms and conditions
upon membership, not contrary to1
law, as it may choose; members;
"The 1949 ruling refuses 'rec-
ognition of any new groups
which have selectivity clauses
in their constitutions.' "
must comply with those terms and
conditions in order to be entitled
to the benefits of membership."
Ruthven called the SAC resolu-
tion a denial of the legal rights,
of social fraternities.
Ruthven also argued that pro-
perty rights of any organization
affected by the ruling would be
"jeopardized, if not destroyed."
Make Progress
It is the "earnest desire of the
University," he added, "that all
forms of discrimination because
of race or religion be eliminated,
and we believe great progress in
this direction has already been
made by the University and hope,
that it will continue."
Campus reaction, according to
The Daily, was "cleanly split."
The Student Legislature im-
mediately declared that it "strong-
ly disapproves of the President's
action and the grounds upon which
his decision was made."
Blasts President
The Daily, which had praised
the president only two days earlier,
blasted him for a "backward step
in University policy." President
Rnuthven's contention that no in-
dividual has an inherent right to
membership in an organization
was sharply attacked in a front-
page editorial, which claimed "this
was not the issue.
"The proposal would in no way
force any group to accept any
member it did not want," the edi-
torial continued. The president's
argument that property rights
would be endangered was ripped
as not only "a minor considera-
tion, but one that places property
rights above human rights. This
is an indefensible stand for a Uni-
versity aiming to be 'worthy in all
respects of a great democracy.'"'
The veto "also serves as a re-
gressive signpost to other colleges
throughout the nation considering
or enforcing similar anti - bias
rulings."
Renew Efforts
Before any further action could
be taken, the academic year had
closed. But with the re-opening of
classes in the fall of 1951, and with
the installation of the new presi-
dent, the anti-discrimination drive
renewed its efforts.
And by the folloving ' March,
another proposal was before the
SAC. Passed by the Student Legis-
lature Feb. 13, the proposal re-
quired organizations with dis-
criminatory clauses to act posi-
tively for their removal in na-
"One possible move was still
left for those who objected to
the decision: an appeal to high-
er autJiority, which was vested
in President Alexander G.
Ruthven.".
tional conventions. If unable to
present evidence to the SAC at
the beginning of each year that
they had followed this procedure,
they would be denied SAC recog-
nition. ,
For the third time in three
years, the committee passed the
resolution by a margin of one

vote.
Rests with Hatcher
Again the issue rested with the
University president, now Harlan
Hatcher, in-his first year.
On May 21, almost a year to the
day' after the Ruthven decision,
Hatcher sent his decision to the
SAC. It vetoed the proposal.
Progress was being made in
moving towards democratic ideals
and "fraternities and sororities

have responded to this changing
atmosphere," President Hatcher
claimed.-
There are indications, he con-
tinued, "that they will continue1
to do so. The overwhelming ma-
jority of us are in agreement on
the principles of our democratic
society."
Judges Aspects
Judging the controversial as-
pects of the resolution, he argued:
"Difference of opinion arises on
the question of methods and time
sequence. We believe that the pro-;
cesses of education and personal
and group convictions will bring
us forward faster, and on a sund-
er basis, than the proposed meth-
ods of coercion. While commend-
ing the sincere and earnest con-
cern behind the proposal ... the
University must decline to en-
dorse this mode of attack."
The SAC and The Daily sharp-
ly disagreed with the president's
"The SAC and The Daily
sharply disagreed with the
president's stand."
stand. The SAC asserted that
their proposal was not coercive,
but rather "moderate and con-
structive in tone.
Perpetuates Iniquities
"We feel the University's lais-
sez-faire policy teids to perpetu-
ate the iniquities which we all
deplore."
The Daily switched its tone of
cirticism, attacking the adminis-
tration for creating serious fri-
tion by consistently ignoring stu-
den-backed proposals. An editor-
ial called the president's veto an
immediate example.
The presidents of IFC and Pan-
hellenic Association, on the other
hand, praised the decision as "just
and realistic."
Show Steps
They pointed to two definite
steps taken to facilitate discrim-
inatory clause removal: 1) the es-
tablishment of a Big Ten coun-
seling and inforamtion service at
the University, and 2) recom-
mendations by the Big Ten IFC's
and Panhels that their members
take clause-removal action.
"It is gratifying to note," they
said, "that in nearly every case
Michigan affiliated groups with
discriminatory clauses are plan-
ning to. consider removal of
clauses at their national conven-
tions this summer or next."
. The pair said it was their sin-
cere hope that the Michigan affil-
iated groups "will continue their
"The year 1951 brought to a
sensational climax the several
years of action .. ."
progress towards the ideals which,
as President Hatcher has stated,
are the principles upon which our
democratic society is founded."
Surveys Show
At the time, surveys showed 14
fraternities to have discrimina-
tory clauses, a decline of seven
since 1949.
The following day, the Stgdent
Leigslature cabinet decided to-rec-
ommend an educational rather
than a legislative approach to the
problem.
Since the crisis years, the Big
Ten Counseling Service, created to
provide information to fraterni-
ties attempting to remove clauses,
has slowly dissolved.
The local IFC, however, has re-
mained available to offer. infor-
mation and counseling to any fra-
ternities wishing to remove their
clauses. But the service has.been
little used.
The functions of the recently-
established IFC selectivity study
committee includes compilation of
past data, sihce accurate records
ohave slipped into obscurity. The
committee, headed by Fred
Wright, '59, will also assess the

present situation and make rec-
ommendations for possible future
action.
Meanwhile, the number of writ-
ten clauses slipped to 10 in 1954,
eight in 1955, six the following
year. Four houses now remain -
Acacia, Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma
Chi, and Sigma Nu. The problems
they face are considerable ones.

By JUDITH DONER
With the Drama Season box
office opening tomorrow, memories
of past seasons and stars are hard
to chase away, especially by those
who are intimately connected with
the annual festival.
Season Manager Lucille Upham
and James Murnan, box office
manager, spent a good hour and a
half one :unny afternoon last.
week 'recalling unusual incidents
ranging all the way from the prob-
lems involved in housing animals
to the fraternity man's rush which
Diana Barrymore received when
sre played here a the early thirties.
Mrs. Upham, who has been with
the Drama Season since its incep-
tion in 1930, laughingly reported
that as soon as Miss Barrymore
was announced as coming to Ann
Arbor "all the boys on campus
lined up at the box office to re-
quest dates and to entertain her
at their respective fraternities."
Couldn't Wait
"They somehow discovered that
her train was due in Ann Arbor at
11 pm., and the. station was so
crowded with males that it looked
as if a winning football team
might be coming in," Mrs. Upham'
said. "They couldn't wait to catch
sight of her."
But a surprise was in store for
those "go-getters" who mobbed'
the Ann Arbor station, "for the
smart ones had gone to Ypsilanti
and boarded Miss Barrymore's
train there."
Chuckling" over the tale, Mur-
nan remembered that in the mid-
dle thirties the Season was putting
on the book version of "Twelfth
Night" starring the then first lady
of the American theatre, Jane Co-
well-.
Hosts; Circus
Concurrently, a Detroit hall was
playing host to an indoor circus,
he continued. A family hurried to
the Season box office after
"Twelfth Night" had begun, and
amidst, the flurry of ticket pur-
chasing :one member asked, "Have
the 'bears gone on yet?"
"Yes, they had the wrong thea-
tre," Murnan extlained. "But
what was more overwhelming was
that they had never seen a legiti-
mate theatre beforeand had never
heard of the leading lady of the
American theatre."
"Perhaps this doesn't seem par-
ticularly funny to those who are.
not thoroughly ,acquainted with

the theatre," Mrs. Upham inserted,
"but I recall a customer who ques-
tioned whether the last row of
the theatre was under the bal-
cony."
Quote Seats
"And," Mrs. Upham hurried on,
"if you quote a seat in the fifth
row of the. theatre, customers oc-
casionally ask 'fifth row from the
back or from the front?'"
"When we did 'The Four Post-
er,'" she said, "Jose Ferrer, who
was directing the show in New
York, flew here to see it." Because
the event was of such importance,
we sent a photographer to the
airport to snap Ferrer as he left
the plane."
"But Ferrer had been growing a
beard for his role in 'Moulin
Rouge,' " Mrs. Upham continued.
"His appearance was so unusual
'that the photographer wouldn't
believe that it was Ferrer. He
wouldn't take the picture until I
had done all but produce written
proof of Ferrer's identity."
"It was all such fun," she added.
Dogs Appear
Then there was the dog year,
Mrs. Upham reported. "Francis
Lederer brought a gorgeous, beau-
tiful Afghan wolf-hound, while
Doris Dalton came with a black
French poodle of equal magni-
tude."
"The theatre manager then
wouldn't allow dogs inside, so each
day I had a dog hooked to either
side of my desk," she exclaimed.
"The wolf - hound was sick and
howled all the time, until one
night we actually missed the howls.
"I went into the office and there
was the theatre manager on the
floor with the wolf-hound, patting
his head."
Cat's Meow
"When Eva Le Gallienne ap-
peared here, part of the show had
to be done with a cat who had no
meow," Mrs. Upham remembered.
"We finally found a scrawny,
meowless cat at the Humane So=
ciety, which got away one half
hour before it was due to be in the
performance."
"Having frantically starched the
theatre :to no avail, we had just
about given up when someone re-
marked to us that there was a cat
in one of the League's listening
rooms," she added.
"We marched up there - ten
strong - and got it to the stage
in time."

*1

IN DETROIT
Friday evening, May 8, 1959
BOB.GIBSON
FOLK SINGER
Tickets: $1.65, $2.75, $3.30 Students $1.00
at the DISC SHOP
1210 South University

1 .

V

UNIVERSITY LECTURE IN JOURNALISM
HARRY GOLDEN

I

Author, "Ooly in America"
Editor, The Carolina Israelite
Syndicated columnist

It

Will Speak on:
"On ly in Amer*Ica"

Monday, May 4 -* Main Lecture Hall
at 4 P.M. Rackham
(This advertisement paid for by the press of Miichigan
through the University Press Club.of Michigan)

Two Great Hits Return

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