40 Seniors Will Burn Diplomas, Walk Out
At least 40 seniors in Eliot House are planning to burn their diplomas and walk out of commencement exercises on June 12 to protest Harvard's policies on ROTC and expansion.
Michael W. Hyde '69 and Frederick G. Fisher '69, spokesmen for the group, said that they are organizing seniors throughout the college to participate in the demonstration. They said the number of people who will participate depends upon the disciplinary action taken by the Committee of Fifteen. Hyde predicted that perhaps 400 seniors will join the demonstration if the Committee expels anyone.
According to Fisher, the demonstration will begin with the reading of a short statement justifying the walkout. "At the end of that statement we will give the time and place for the diploma burning after the ceremony," Hyde said . "Then we will walk out."
Hyde and Fisher said that they began organizing after a meeting last Tuesday of the Ad Hoc Committee on commencement. At that meeting, about 60 seniors said they would walk out of commencement exercises. They also discussed further possible actions:
They have begun organizing radical seminars during commencement week for parents and alumni;
They are circulating a pledge to withhold contributions from Harvard because of Harvard's policies on ROTC and expansion. It was uncertain last night how many seniors had signed the pledge so far.
They are trying to place a radical speaker on the commencement program.
Alan M. Zaslavsky '69 said last night that he and other seniors had asked University Marshal William G. Anderson last week if he would add such a speaker. Anderson had decided not to, but he told Zaslavsky that he would refer the matter to president Pusey and the corporation upon written request from degree candidates.
Zaslavsky said that he is compiling a list of graduating seniors and graduate students supporting the addition of a radical speaker to the program. He plans to present the list to Anderson before the corporation meeting tomorrow afternoon