Dr. Morton Gottschall, acting dean of the City College of New York, has suspended seven students in consequence of the pacifist demonstration Monday, and has announced that many more will follow. He also advocated the expulsion of the leaders in he disturbance, and capped off the pogram with the confiscation of an issue of the Advance, undergraduate publication, which contained an account of the pacifist proceedings. This step, he explained was due rather to the fact that the issue was unauthorized than to the nature of its contents. While all this was taking place, members of the board of The Campus, another student paper, suspended by the Board of Higher Education because of an allegedly obscene issue, were awaiting a hearing.
As well as can be judged from newspaper accounts, the continual friction at this estimable Manhatten institution is a product of the unfortunate interaction of students with a prepossessing desire to flight valiantly and noisily for any cause whatsoever, meddling Boards with a duty, and a University administration believing in the sledgehammer method of maintaining complacency. There is of course something to be said for the harsh treatment awarded the pacifists. They were so far as can be learned intent only on advertising the fact that they had opinions, without actually caring much about the opinions themselves, They interrupted the public peace of mind without excuse, and made of themselves a spectacle which can only bring disrepute on their University; they are ripe for punishment.
Whatever may be said for the justice of the treatment of individual cased, the whole situation is a blot and nothing more. It is incredible that any administration should be unable to modulate the expression of student opinion without resort to spectacular punitive tactics. Part of the difficulty no doubt lies in the fact that outside influences force this particular college to restrict free speech more than is just. The rest of the fault is in the apparent inability of the college officials to develop a relation of trust and cooperation with its students, and is inexcusable.