Dean's Office to Delay Action On Film Groups
UN Council Issues Joint Statement of Agreement with HLU
Possible University curtailment of undergraduate film organizations' activity has been postponed until next fall, Associate Dean Watson '37 announced last night.
After a two hour meeting with representatives of the United Nations Council and the Liberal Union yesterday, Watson said that no decision had been reached in the Dean's Office investigation into the conduct of College film groups. Watson started the investigation Monday.
Watson however asked the three major groups concerned--Ivy Films, the U.N. Council, and the H.L.U.--to submit reports showing "why they should continue to be allowed to show films and charge admission in University tax-free buildings."
During the summer the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Activities, of which Dean Watson is secretary, will review the whole situation and define the status of these groups.
Besides the legal questions involved in charging admission, Watson scored particularly the groups' "tactics" in the film showing rivalry and the "poor taste" of some posters. "There have been a number of irregularities--the rules of decency and fair play have been violated," he said last night.
At the same time, Herbert G. Taylor '55, President of the U.N. Council, announced, "As a first step to restore the dignity of Harvard film showings, the Council will cancel its projected showing of "The Outlaw".
Late last night the three groups made moves to try and resolve the inter-organizational disputes. At 11:30 p.m. Samuel A. Olevson '54, membership chairman of the UN Council, issued the following statement:
"This evening I had a short talk with Walter M. Ulin '54, president of Ivy Films, regarding the current film disputes at Harvard. Mr. Ulin and I left on good terms, agreeing to concentrate on progress, not recriminations. We decided that arrangements were possible whereby episodes such as this one could be avoided in the future. About 10:30 this evening I contacted Michael H. Jorrin '55, Film Chairman of the HLU, and we agreed to the following joint statement to super- cede earlier statements that might have been made during the day. Earlier statements, though made, do not represent our present feelings."
The final statement was: "Arrangements are now being made to settle out-standing differences between Ivy Films, the U.N. Council, and the H.L.U.; and to assure that future film showings should be run in a manner that will be beyond all criticism."
Told of Olevson's statement at 11:45 p.m., Ulin stated, "We have made no statements." He then added, "Ivy films is now and always has been in every way completely autonomous." He did not elaborate.
Ulin also denied that Ivy Films had helped initiate the current difficulties by complaining about the tactics of the other two organizations when representatives met with Watson Monday. "We have not brought any charges against any other student organization," he said.
Representatives of all three groups refused to comment on the content of the discussions with Watson. Taylor claimed early in the evening that these conferences were "strictly confidential," and that "since no executive action by any organization has been taken. . . Dean Watson is the only party to whom we owe any explanations." He added that since action is suspended, the Council did not present Watson with the nine-page brief they had prepared.
Earlier, at 9:30, Jorrin started a flurry of accusations and retractions when he essentially designated Ivy Films as the initiator of the current dispute.
He said, "The only group which might want to complain to the Dean's Office is Ivy Films, because it feels it has been competed with and it has not done as well this spring as it has previously done. Ivy feels that it has an exclusive right to show films here. This is a lot of hooey. Because Ivy has refused to consider itself on equal standing with other film groups in dealing with Dean Watson, it is out for itself."
Ulin countered, "We will stand strictly on our record," and two hours later Olevson issued his statement