B-School Afro Union Says FBI Sought Black Recruit
The Business School's Afro-American Student Union (AASU) says that an FBI agent last week asked one of its members to serve as an "informer" on AASU activities.
The AASU released a statement Thursday asking the Business School's administration to condemn FBI surveillance on black student organizations, calling it "a very real threat to our freedom of expression."
Kelly Jacob, co-chairman of the AASU, said Thursday, "During the McCarthy period, when academicians were under fire, President Pusey stood up and was counted. But now, when the discrimination is primarily against peaceniks, what will university administrators do?"
The AASU statement urged that Lawrence E. Fouraker, dean of the Business School, take a position similar to that taken by Robert D. Cross '47, president of Swarthmore College. After documents stolen from an FBI officein Media, Pennsylvania revealed last month that Swarthmore's Afro-American Student Society was under FBI surveillance, Cross had said, "Any faculty, student, or staff who divulge confidential information risk dismissal."
Fouraker was out of town yesterday and unavailable for comment.
When asked Thursday if the FBI has in fact been investigating area black student associations, Ralph J. Rampton, assistant agent in charge of the Boston division of the FBI, refused to comment. "The tenseness of the current situation speaks for itself," Rampton said.
A group calling itself the Citizens' Committee to Investigate the FBI stole the documents from the Media, Pa., FBI office the night of March 6. On March 25 the FBI confirmed the documents' authenticity.
One of the documents, reprinted in the March 26 CRIMSON, said that "investigations are being opened or reopened on black student organizations to determine the size, aims, purposes, activities, leadership, key activists, and extremist interest or influence of these groups." Black student organizations at Swarthmore, Dickinson College, and the University of Pennsylvania were among those listed.
Jacob said that "confidentiality of information" has been a major concern of the AASU and that last month's publication of the stolen FBI documents again brought forward the dangers of such surveillance on black organizations across the country.
The statement said, "We appeal to all students, black and white, not to sit by but to stand up and make their views known on this most important issue. Today the Black Students, Question-who will it be tomorrow?"