About 75 Harvard and Radcliffe students argued with Mary I. Bunting, president of Radcliffe, yesterday morning at Fay House, protesting the Radcliffe Judicial Board's decision to place on probation 17 Cliffies who sat in at Paine Hall last December.
The 17 students had chosen the Judicial Board's option of organizing and participating in a panel discussion on the governance of the University, rather than go on probation. Last week, the Judicial Board deemed the panel, held March 24, "unsatisfactory" and put the girls on probation until the end of the semester.
Five of the 17 students on probation were arrested in the University Hall raid. Mrs. Bunting said that no one has decided yet whether the Committee of 15, set up by the Faculty, will discipline Radcliffe students, or if the Radcliffe Judicial Board will.
"It's obvious to us that what Mrs. Bunting wanted us to talk about was student participation in committees," Naomi A. Schapiro '71, one of the girls on probation said yesterday. She added that they had instead chosen to discuss the issues of ROTC and power in the University.
Factors in Decision
Mrs. Bunting said that the Judicial Board's decision was based on two factors. First, that the publicity and arrangements--part of the requirement set up by the Judicial Board--were very poor. She said that members of the Board were not notified until the morning of March 24 that the panel would be held that afternoon, so only she and one other person on the nine-member Board were able to attend. Also, she said that the two girls who gave speeches did not give copies of them to the Judicial Board, as she had requested.
Rally at 11
The demonstration yesterday started with a rally at 11 a.m. on the steps of Mem Church. About 150 students came to the rally, and after 15 minutes they marched out of the Yard and up Garden Street to Fay House, Radcliffe's administrative building.
Jared K. Rossman '71 stood on the steps with a microphone urging the demonstrators to go inside. Mrs. Bunting stood by the open door and most of the students passed her without realizing who she was. "I thought they would stay at the door and speak with me," she said.
The students went to the second floor--where Mrs. Bunting's office is--and chanted and clapped for a few minutes. They then decided to return to the steps outside and speak with Mrs. Bunting.
"There was nothing wrong with your stand on ROTC. In our opinion, this was not the issue--the issue was the sit-in at Paine Hall," Mrs. Bunting said in answer to a question.
The discussion was disorganized, with many students yelling questions and accusations from the crowd.
No Difference Now
"In my view, it makes no difference in the future which option the student chose now that she is on probation," Mrs. Bunting said.
Miss Schapiro said later in the discussion, "The point was clear to us that if we took the panel that we would not get the trappings which go along with probation."
While Mrs. Bunting was explaining why the Judicial Board decided that the panel was unsatisfactory, many students were yelling and hissing from the crowd. When she finished, Mrs. Bunting turned and went back to her office.
The students followed her upstairs and filled her office and the rooms adjoining it. Discussion went on for another half hour, often deteriorating into shouting from the crowd. At one point, a girl yelled, "Hey, guys, we don't want to shout her down."
When asked what she thought of the seven SDS demands, Mrs. Bunting replied, "I don't think this is the occasion to discuss them." She said that she thought ROTC should establish a center in Boston, not affiliated with any university.
"Nothing to Gain"
At 12:30, Miss Schapiro said, "I don't think there's anything more to be gained from this dialogue." Most of the students left, chanting "Smash ROTC, No Expansion."
News and camera men who had been unable to enter the office because it was so crowed then went in and interviewed Mrs. Bunting. When asked about the students, she said, "Like so many other things that go on these days, they take a lot of people's time without really wanting to talk about issues--but that's okay by me.