Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Cyndi Reinhart

Tribunal Suspends 5 WSA Members For Indefinite Time

Cites Absence at Trial As Basis for Decision

First Published: Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CXIV, Number 55, 14 January 1970.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Five members of the Worker-Student Alliance faction of Students for a Democratic Society–who refused last week to attend a closed disciplinary hearing– have been suspended for an indefinite period by the College disciplinary tribunal.

The five suspensions, which are effective January 31, mark the most severe disciplinary action levelled against any group of radical students since the spring of 1968.

Ralph Allemano ’70, chairman of the College tribunal, last night stated that the disciplinary panel decided to suspend the five students after the group failed to appear for a tribunal hearing scheduled last Thursday in Casa Hispanica.

Under the Interim Rules on Campus Protest, a student facing disciplinary charges may be suspended if he does not appear at his disciplinary hearing.

The defendants – Alan Egelman ’71, Jarvis Kellogg ’72, Ed Goldman ’71, Andy Kaslow ’72 and Andy Rothstein ’72 – last night stated that they do not intend to appeal their cases to the Joint Committee on Disciplinary Affairs.

In a statement issued late last night, WSA scored the disciplinary action, saying that “this hysterical attack on SDS clearly demonstrates the administration’s fear of a student movement allied with campus workers.”

The statement also said that the organization intends to “redouble its efforts to fight racism and imperialism at Columbia.” Spokesmen for the group said no immediate action is planned to protest the five suspensions.

Disciplinary proceedings against the five students began several months ago when the protesters were charged with violations of the Interim Rules during a protest at the Personnel Office in Dodge Hall last November.

An open hearing for the group was held shortly before Christmas, but the trial was recessed abruptly when WSA members refused to remove a large banner reading “Smash Racism, Ally with G.E. Workers.” The tribunal rescheduled the hearing, but this time they ruled that the trial would be closed to the public.

Just before the re-scheduled hearing, held in Casa Hispanica last Thursday, about 100 WSA members staged a protest in front of the building, demanding that the proceedings be opened. The radicals marched in front of the entrance, chanting slogans and haranguing nearly twenty New York City policemen who had been stationed outside to prevent disruption or forced entrance by the students.

When the disciplinary tribunal declined to allow an open hearing, the protesters and defendants left the area, refusing to attend the trial.

Three members of WSA, including two of those suspended, also face criminal charges for their part in the November protest at the Dodge Hall personnel office.

The November action was staged to confront University Business Manager Joseph Nye with demands for better working conditions for dining hall employees and an increase in compensation payments for the widow of a campus janitor killed in an accident here last spring.