Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

60 Yale Students Suspended After Office Occupation

First Published: Harvard Crimson, November 4, 1969.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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About 60 Yale students were temporarily suspended yesterday for taking over a Yale office and physically restraining Yale officials who wanted to leave.

The protestors left peacefully at 7 p.m., shortly after an announcement from Charles Taylor, Yale Provost, Taylor told them that they had been suspended pending further disciplinary action and that Yale would get a court injunction to remove them.

Demanding the rehiring of a black dining hall worker, the students took over a university personnel office at 2:30 p.m. They told the four Yale officials inside that they would not allow them to leave. The protestors did allow one official, an elderly man, to leave after several hours. They forcibly detained the remaining three.

After the protestors entered the building, campus security police blocked entry to other persons. The police made no attempt to remove any of the students inside.

The protest was led by the Yale Worker Student Alliance (WSA), a faction of SDS aligned with the Progressive Labor Party. They were demanding that Yale rehire Colie Williams, a black dining hall worker allegedly fired for an argument she had with a dining hall manager. WSA has protested the wages and working conditions of university employees all year.

The 60 students are suspended until the Yale Executive Committee makes the final decision on their punishment. This body can reinstate them or sever them from the college.

Kingman Brewster, president of Yale, had set out plans for dealing with such protests last year. He said that if students took over a building he would get a court injunction to remove them rather than call the police.