Brown Kept List of Activist Students
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Brown University's security officers compiled a list in 1978 of about 15 students active in protests against Brown holdings in corporations doing business with South Africa, the Brown Daily Herald reported March 12.
Several security gaurds said they compiled the lists at the requests of Thomas Bechtel, dean of undergraduate counseling in the midst of demonstrations calling for divestiture.
"As a rule the university doesn't keep lists," one former security guard said, "but when the divestiture thing came up, people started to worry and a list was compiled."
Brown officials said they did not know of any such list. Bechtel and James Lyons, director of security, said they could not remember anything about a list.
Bechtel and other administrators said they opposed the keeping of lists and added that the university would not now keep such a list.
Security guards said the lists were not used to punish active students but to know the names of organizers in case the protests resulted in personal injury or property damage.
"A list was kept because it was a necessity," one guard said, adding, "It wasn't an enemies list or anything. You have to know who you're dealing with."
The Herald reported the names of seven students who it said were on the list. One of the students, senior Jack McConnell, said, "That's bogus, that they say it's for security reasons. It's typical of the university's fear of political issues, of anything different from them."