About 300 Harvard and Radcliffe anti-war demonstrators sat-in yesterday in Mallinckrodt Laboratory, imprisoning a job recruiter from the Dow Chemical Corporation in a conference room for seven hours and halting his interviews.
Shortly after the demonstration ended at 7p.m. Dean Glimp said that the sit-in was a serious violation of University regulations and could result in severance of connection for some of the students involved.
The students were protesting Dow's role in the war in Vietnam. Dow is the principal supplier of napalm for the United States military.
Between 350 and 400 students--by Glimp's count--voluntarily turned in their bursar's cards to the University officials. The demonstrators surrendered the cards because they wanted to take the responsibility and suffer the punishment for the sit-in collectively. It is understood, however, that some bursar's cards belonged to students who did not sit-in but merely wanted to give tangible support to the demonstration.
[Immediately after the sit-in, the demonstrators met for two hours and formulated a number of demands which the Administration must meet by next Monday, they say, if it wishes to avoid further protests.]
Glimp said that turning in a bursar's card in support of the protest and actually obstructing freedom of movement "are as different as night from day in my mind." He indicated as obstructing the door would not be dealt with severely even if they had surrendered their bursar's card.
He said officials had "carefully identified students right in front of the door, those directly involved in obstructing movement of the Dow representative." There is a "distinct possibility," he said, that those people will be severed.
(Severance of connection usually involves a one-year leave of absence from the College, during which the student is required to hold a job for at least six months. If the student gets favorable letters from his employer, he is almost always readmitted by the Board, Glimp said.)
Administration To Meet
The Administrative Board will meet later this week, he said, to consider each demonstrator's case individually. "Any one whose card we have may submit a written statement to the Board explaining his part in the demonstration," he added.
Glimp said it is "very likely" President Pusey, on advice from Dean Ford, will call a special meeting of the Faculty next Tuesday or Wednesday to hear the disciplinary recommendations of the Administrative Board. Although the Administrative Board has authority in disciplinary matters, Glimp said, "We want the Faculty to have a look at this." Both Pusey and Ford were out of town today.
The protestors voted at about 6 p.m. o free the Dow representative, Frederick Leavitt, and he was promptly ushered through the crowd and out of the building by a dean, a senior tutor, and an assistant senior tutor. The vote came shortly after Dean Glimp--speaking from the midst of the seated, close-packed crowd--promised that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences would "discuss the issue you have raised here."
The issue, he said, was whether the University should discriminate in deciding which groups--civilians or military--are allowed to recruit Harvard students. The demonstrators argued that any corporation guilty of war crimes and partner to genocide--in this case, Dow--had no right to come on the Harvard campus.
The sit-in began at 9:30 a.m. in front of Conant 223 where Leavitt was holding individual interviews with chemistry graduate students interested in a career with the corporation.
At 10:30 a.m. Ronald Vanelli, '41 lecturer in Chemistry and director of the chemical laboratories, asked them to disperse. When they refused, he called Dean Watson and Dean Glimp but could not reach either.
Meanwhile, Leavitt was replaced in Conant 233 by Peter Boer. Boer, it was reported, was another Dow recruiter working in shifts with Leavitt. When no interviewees showed up to see Boer at 233, the demonstrators decided he was a decoy and sent scouts to find Leavitt. They found him at 11 a.m. conducting an interview in the building next to Conant--Mallinckrodt M-102. In seconds, the whole demonstration moved to that door and Leavitt was trapped inside for the rest of the day.
Vanelli immediately attempted unsuccessfulily to escort him through the crowd which by then had grown to over 100. They stepped on and over three tiers of seated demonstrators but were then met by rows of students standing, with arms linked. A spokesman for the demonstrators, Michael S. Ansara '68, told Leavitt he could leave only after he signed a yellow sheet of paper bearing the hand-scrawled pledge: "I agree to stop interviewing on the Harvard campus and not to return for that purpose."
The demonstrators questioned Leavitt aggressively on napalm, Dow, and the war, until one protestor shouted, "Quit badgering him." Leavitt, a research chemist himself, said he didn't know enough about the war or Dow's policies to answer the questions. After a five-minute confrontation, he and Vanelli disappeared back into the conference room.
The Deans--Glimp, Watson, F. Skiddy Von Stade '38, and Burris Young '55--arrived a little after noon, and tried to lead Leavitt out. Ansara told them that although they could come and go, Leavitt could not, until he signed the pledge.
"Oh, Mike, do you have to say that," Watson signed, under his breath and the students linked arms before the Deans. Then Glimp spoke. He told the protestors that they were disrupting the normal functioning of the University and illegally incarcerating a human being. He read them portions of "Rules Relating to College" which dictated "severance of connection" for such offenses. "Is that a threat?" a demonstrator asked. Everyone laughed. "Touche," Glimp laughed, too.
The Deans said they wanted to move among the demonstrators and "talk to each of you individually." But Ansara told them they had to deal with the group as a whole. At this point he gave Watson a wad of 140 bursar's cards collected from the protestors. The Deans then went back into the conference room with Leavitt.
The rest of the afternoon virtually the entire Harvard Administration milled in and out of Mallinckrodt M-102. Most of the Masters and many Allson Burr Senior Tutors, assistant senior tutors, and tutors conferred there at one time or another. The Radcliffe deans came too.
Master Finley of Eliot House roamed among the protestors urging members of his House to leave the demonstration because, he said, there was a real danger of their all being fired. "I don't like to see friends of mine lead with their chins," Finley said.
The bursar's cards kept trickling in all afternoon and demonstration spokesmen periodically handed them over to officials cloistered in M-102. Daniel B. Magraw '68, president of the Harvard Undergraduate Council, Henry R. Norr '68, head of the Harvard Policy Committee, and Harlon L. Dalton '69, president of Young Democrats, were among those who surrendered their cards.
A small number of Faculty members and teaching fellows made statements of support to the demonstrators. They included Barrington Moore, professor of Government, Hillary W. Putnam, professor of Philosophy, Michael Walzer, associate professor of Government, and Chester W. Hartman '57, professor of City Planning.
There were rumors late in the afternoon that the Administration was going to call in the police to remove the students, who then numbered at least 300. 150 Cambridge police had been alterted and there were several Harvard policemen on hand in the basement of Mallinckrodt, but they were never used.
A Final Plea
Glimp made his second and final plea to not serve their purpose to detain Leavitt further.
The executive committee of Harvard Radcliffe Students for a Democratic Society voted Monday night to picket Dow. They specifically rejected a sit-in, however. The demonstration got started when a few individuals, mostly SDSers, decided to sit-in anyway. Only about onehalf of the students who sat in at the peak of the demonstration were members of SDS