Students Launch Petitions Against Communist Probe
Protest against investigation of subversives in local colleges began yesterday when members of the Law School Civil Liberties Union began circulating a petition affirming that "there is no need for any committee to investigate this University."
Although the petition of protest has gained no formal endorsement yet from any club, Herbert Semmel, president of the Law School CLU, said last night that the approval of his organization and other groups in the University such as the HLU and Student Council is being sought.
The petition will be presented to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, which begins its college investigations here Thursday.
Senator William E. Jenner (R.-Ind.), chairman of the committee, may not be in Boston when the probe begins, however. "The committee has ten teams of investigators setting up these sessions in different cities," Jenner explained. "I have just returned to Washington after being out of town, so this is the first I have heard of the one in Boston. . . . I'll have to see how things are here first before I can determine whether I can make the trip."
The protest, according to Semmel, is to show the "opposite side of the distorted view given by such an investigation in the press." Students from M.I.T., Wellesley, B.U., Radcliffe, and the University will meet at P.B.H. tonight to discuss the Law School protest.
Many students seemed reluctant to approve the protest. One circulator said that she had obtained only 50 signatures in three hours at the Law School library yesterday. "Many are scared to sign," she said.
The petition reads, in part, "We students are proud of the heritage of academic freedom which exists at our school. We have never experienced any attempt at indoctrination in any particular ideology.
"We believe that any benefits arising from such an investigation would be far outweighed by the harmful effects on the University."