With the belated approval of the Harvard Club of Dallas, the Debate Council has accepted an invitation to debate Bishop College, a small Negro School in Dallas, Texas, thus averting a major incident.
Once it realized that an error had been made, the Administration acted quickly to correct it. Dean Monro and Watson reaffirmed the policy that no undergraduate organization should practice racial discrimination in any form, even unwittingly, and the principle that a university should not stand for different things in different parts of the country.
The only question that remains is why there should have been any doubts about these principles in the first place. Neither Mr. Gillette, the alumni secretary who handled the communication with Dallas, nor the members of the Debate Council can have been under any illusions about the real reasons that the Dallas club opposed the debate with Bishop. The alumni objected not because Bishop was a small school but because it was a Negro school.
Whether intentionally or not, the Debate Council was put in the embarrassing position of having to choose between a desire to debate Bishop and a desire not to offend the host club. The Council members did not realize that University policy was not determined by alumni opinion until Dean Watson told them so explicitly Sunday night.
In the future, therefore, the University ought to be more careful about letting the guidance of undergraduate activities pass from the Dean's Office to the alumni office. The University cannot compel its graduates to share its opinion on every subject, but it can make those opinions well enough known so that students and alumni both realize what actions they can and cannot take.