The University has refused permission for the Student Council to sponsor a concert by Pete Seeger '40, who was convicted last month for contempt of Congress.
According to Dean Watson, "lawyers advise against the University getting involved in cases still pending in court." The 42-year-old folk singer has appealed his one-year sentence for refusing to testify during the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of subversive activities in the entertainment field.
President Pusey made the final decision on the Seeger concert yesterday, but members of the Administration disagreed in what capacity he acted.
Watson explained that permission for undergraduate organizations to sponsor visitors is normally granted without question. However, the Dean of Students refers to the Corporation proposed invitations of speakers or entertainers who are under indictment or conviction, Watson said.
The Dean stated that in such cases the University would probably deny permission but that there is no real precedent for the policy.
William Bentinck-Smith '37, Assistant to the President, said that the decision was not one for the Corporation but for the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Either as Acting Dean or as head of the Corporation, Pusey told Watson this morning that the University had no prejudice against the personality involved, but could not entertain a person under indictment or conviction.
The Student Council Forum Committee had hoped to raise funds with a Seeger concert May 18. Reportedly a non-Harvard groups of students will attempt to sponsor Seeger this spring in the area.
Howard J. Phillips '62, President of the Council, said that the group would accept the decision without appeal. He declared that Dean Watson was unenthusiastic about the idea when first approached last week.
Roger M. Leed '61, chairman of the Forum Committee, called the President's action "extremely ill-advised."
One University official explained that cases like Seeger's are decided by a fairly set rule, but on an ad hoc basis."