What started as a "panty raid" on Harvard Houses by a small group of 'Cliffies snowball into a massive demonstration in the Radcliffe Quad last night. In the glare of red and blue police lights and photographer's flash bulbs, over a thousand study-weary students laid seige to the Radcliffe dormitories, demanding female under-clothing and companionship.
A number of 'Cliffies compiled with both requests, as lacy garments were thrown from the windows of first Briggs, and then Cabot, Moors, and the other Quad residences. Girls rushed from the dorms to join the crowd until head residents locked their charges in.
Several girls were not quite so grateful for the excuse to stop studying, and the panty-seeking crowd also got several water bombs for its trouble. One such missile thrown from Barnard Hall struck a Cambridge policeman who raced into the building after the culprit.
At the height of the demonstration, five undergraduate and three Cambridge youths were arrested by Cambridge police and charged with disturbing the peace. Students were allowed to contract friends and lawyers, and most were expected to be out on bail by morning. No immediate aid was forthcoming from the University, however, "This is no time to ball them out," Dean Watson commented late last night. "We'll let them spend the night in there."
If convicted, the students could face fines of up to $100, but the indications were that charges against them would be dropped in the morning.
The police, under the direction of Chief Daniel J. Brennan, concentrated on keeping the crowd moving until it wore itself out. One officer vainly tried to disperse the mass with a portable public address system, which kept conking out. He warned that "Dr. Pusey is in the police car over there, and will suspend anybody arrested."
President Pusey is now in Florence, Italy, attending the dedication of the Villa I Tatti.
The whole thing started pretty much as a joke, and the first hour was often in danger of petering out for lack of a cause. A group of about 25 'Cliffies gathered in front of Moors Hall at 9 p.m. and marched toward the House area, yelling sporadically and giggling often. They looked like a band of Camp Fire Girls on a picnic as they walked through the Radcliffe Yard and along Brattle St. toward the Houses.
At Winthrop House the girls started several prepared chants, including "We don't want your sockies, we just want your Jockies." Head appeared at windows in Winthrop, Ellot and Kirkland, and gradually the crowd began to grow. It marched down Mill St., toward Dunster, up Plympton St., and took another turn through the House area.
Cause Still Lacking
Still lacking a cause behind which all could unite, the crowd was halted for several minutes by University police at the corner of Mill and Plympton Sts., and then again at De Wolfe St. and Memorial Drive.
Shouts of "shorts" in the dining halls" and "down with Sert" excited little attention, although "beat Michigan State" was picked up for several minutes. Then the demonstrators, now numbering close to a thousand, marched up De Wolfe St. to Lamont Library and gathered outside the walls, yelling "wonks, wonks" to the inmates.
The crowd surged along Massachusetts Ave. toward the Square, and Cambridge police lined the curbs with their cops to keep the students off the street. Finally they reached the MTA kiosk, and a University policeman was seen confiscating several bursar's cards.
Again the "Great Nothing riot" seemed to falter, but someone yelled "To the 'Cliffe" and the mob, by then more than a thousand, raced through the Cambridge Common and down Garden St. toward the Quad.
At the height of the demonstration in the Quad almost the whole grass area was covered with people, milling about and occasionally racing toward one dorm or another.
After more than an hour the crowd began to disperse, but on the way back in the Square stopped traffic several times by sitting down in the middle of Garden St. Police broke up this last effort by roaring down the street with their sirens going full blast.
When asked what disciplinary action the University would take against students arrested by police. Dean Watson said that "I imagine we'll be pretty severe." He promised, however, that before taking any action the University would "consider the students' point of view."
Although the demonstration involved an estimated 1500 students. University Police reported last night that they had picked up only "half a dozen" bursar's cards