Freshman Nancy Graber flunked out of Vassar College in the spring of 1970 because, she says, her roommate held all-night drug parties in their dormitory room. She is now suing Vassar for $1 million because, she claims, Vassar did nothing to stop the activity.
According to papers filed in the New York Supreme Court by her father Raymond, she was unable to transfer to the college of her choice because Vassar refused to giver her a recommendation. She had applied to Mt. Holyoke College, Pembroke College, and Lehigh University. She now attends Adelphi University on Long Island where she has a 3.8 grade point average.
Graber said her roommate became involved in drugs in February 1970 and soon became a "central figure" in campus drug life. She said that her roommate often loaned out her key to strangers who were tripping so that they could use the room to sing and play music. This kept her awake, she said.
Her father, contacted last night at his West Hempstead, N.Y., home, said, "All sorts of transients and other strangers would use the living room to 'trip,' as they call it, and to smoke marijuana. She just didn't get a moment's peace."
Open the Windows'
He also said that his daughter went to college officials a number of times, only to be told that it would be too much trouble to switch rooms so late in the spring. In one instance, he alleged, Elizabeth M. Drouilhet, dean of residence, told her daughter that if the marijuana problem persisted, she ought to "open the windows."
Despite the large sum involved in the suit, Graber said that the matter is "much more a quiet question of academic freedom--the money issue is secondary to us." He added that he is encouraged by the positive response he's received concerning the case: "Students seem to be returning to sanity, getting away from those deviations."
Meanwhile, he said, his daughter is taking the publicity very well, and is carefully going about plans to transfer to a college with better teaching and facilities. "She's intent on a place with an 'international flavor,' and actually, she's just about settled on applying to Radcliffe," he said.
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