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Lunching at the CFIA

By Marion E. Mccollom

"Great day for a riot; isn't it?"

We stood in front of Mem Church, listening to the NAC speakers and feeling the revolutionary sunlight. "All right, let's move out. We're going to go have lunch at the CFIA," the speaker shouted.

We moved with the crowd through the Yard and down past the Busch-Reisinger. The crowd started to run and we ran. "Ho, Ho, Ho, Chi Minh" they chanted and we clapped with the chant. I looked at Flip grinning through his moustache under his felt hat. "This is my first opportunity to be a non-student outside agitator," he said. Win snipped pictures. Howard asked people for cigarette papers.

I moved to the front of the crowd to play reporter, squeezed up the stairs into the meeting room, and scribbled notes as a grey-haired man read the CRR violation statement.

"Bullshit," the crowd chanted. Someone standing on a table in the back played Mickey Mouse on a wooden flute.

The committee retired graciously through the crowd, and everyone milled out the door to follow them.

"Excuse me, sir," I said to a professorish-looking man leaning on a door jamb.

"I hope so," he said. "I'm hungry, across the hall. "Do you know if the lunch is still going to be held?"

"What do you think was the purpose of the demonstration?" he asked.

I started to explain that many students resented the presence and influence of government officials on campus, that they felt that CFIA research was used by the government to develop new weapons and new means of suppression. "Why are these men on the visiting committee? What do they have to do with the CFIA?"

"Mostly, they supply finances," he said. "They have the money, and we need the backing to do the kind of research we want to do."

By this time, the last "Ho Ho" had faded down the corridor. Howard and Win were talking to small groups of faculty, who were gathering for lunch. The rest of the revolution had left with the committee.

Flip came to my aid. "You have to admit that the influence of this kind of man at the University is pretty ob-

jectionable. They must control pretty strictly the research that's done here."

"You have to understand that their influence is approximately equivalent to the influence of students on committees a round here." another man who had just joined the group said. "We listen to their opinions and then make the decisions based on what we want to do. The faculty has almost complete control over what is studied here.

"For instance a few years ago Fulbright called us. asking for a study to prove that if the U.S. got out of Vietnam, China would invade within two weeks. We told him that we weren't sure that anyone would be interested in doing the research: and that we couldn't predict that we could prove what he wanted. He said. "The Senate won't be very happy, 'and hung up."

The group laughed. "Why don't you come to lunch?" someone asked. I looked at Howard. After all that's what we had come for. "We're not exactly dressed for the occasion," he said.

But we sat down to jellied bullion, chicken, and wild rice. We discussed whether the working man really wanted a Marxist state, whether the Cuban revolution would succeed, whether bombing IBM would sway the moderates to the right or left, Then the talk shifted back to the morning's demonstration.

"I can't see that it achieved anything," an Englishman said. "Nobody here understood the purpose, and we didn't get a chance to talk to any radicals about their specific complaints. Actually, the whole thing was rather juvenile."

"Your view of achievement is totally different from theirs," Howard flashed back. "They were trying to shake the committee up. not cope with CFIA bureaucracy. You deal with problems on an intellectual, statistical level here; you try to figure everything out on paper. They're not convinced that that's achieving anything, either. And you use 'juvenile' disparagingly. What's wrong with being juvenile?"

The table was silent. The man next to Howard smiled. Lunch was breaking up.

As we walked down Divinity Avenue, a green MG drove by and one of the professors waved and honked. "What do you say we forget about politics and participate in the cultural revolution this afternoon?" Flip said. It seemed the only thing to do.

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