Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Louis Dolinar

WSA Pickets Dining Halls; Clash With Guards at Dodge

First Published: Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CXIV, Number 32, 13 November 1969.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Two university dining halls, John Jay Cafeteria and the Lion’s Den, were nearly deserted yesterday as a second day-long boycott was held by the Worker Student Alliance.

A spokesman for WSA estimated that the boycott had been 80 per cent effective. According to Thomas Devaney, director of operations at John Jay for Service Systems Inc. which operate the cafeterias for the University, their business was “definitely hurt.” He also stated, “If this boycott continues, we’ll have to lay off some of the workers.”

A spokesman for WSA replied to Mr. Devany’s remarks last night saying, “Sure they’ll threaten to lay off workers. That’s, what the bosses always do to try to break a strike.” Another member of the organization stated, that WjSA has no plans to permanently continue the boycott.

A supposed “confrontation” between the radicals and Joseph Nye, which was planned as part of yesterday’s action ended in violence outside the personnel office in Dodge Hall and was declared illegal by Proctor William E. Kahn.

According to the Proctor, “more than ten students” involved in the protest have been identified, and will be charged with violating the Interim Rules governing demonstrations.

Proctor Kahn stated the students would be accused of “making excessive noise,” “employing force against university personnel,” and of “obstructing access to a university facility.”

The boycott was called by WSA to support demands for better working conditions for dining hall employees and an increase in compensation to the widow of a janitor killed in Hartley Hall last spring.

Approximately ten WSA members stood in the entrance of the John Jay dining hall, distributing leaflets and chanting slogans intermittently. The picketers attempted to persuade people not to eat in the cafeteria, but did not physic ally prevent persons from entering ’the dining hall.

At 2:00 p.m. there were only 20 people in the John Jay dining hall and during the noon hours, when the Lions Den is usually crowded the Ferris Booth cafeteria was virtually empty.

The day’s violent confrontation occurred as 25 WSA supporters attempted to move past security police into the personnel office on the third floor of Dodge Hall. During a ten minute shoving match one demonstrator staggered campus security chief Adam DeNisco with a stiff blow to the back of the neck, while other radicals traded blows with the guards and Warren Munroe, assistant director of buildings and grounds.

The Dodge Hall protest followed a 2:00 p.m. sundial rally. In response to the requests of the protesters, Proctor Kahn went to Mr. Nye’s office in Low Library to ask the business manager to meet them at the personnel office, but he was at a meeting.