The first of five students to be tried at Boston University for interfering last Spring with Marine recruiting at B.U. was acquitted last Wednesday when B.U. failed to prove that he had physically prevented anyone from seeing the recruiter.
Philip Ostrow, a B.U. senior and SDS member, acknowledged that he had been present at an anti-recruiting demonstration last March 1. Ostrow denied that his non-violent participation in the action had constituted the obstruction of any legitimately authorized university activity.
Ostrow's hearing occurred amid a university-wide debate over the disciplinary code under which Ostrow was tried.
The Provisional Student Disciplinary Code, enacted last April 20 by a committee appointed by B.U. President John R. Silber, gives the president power to appoint the hearing examiner, the prosecutor, and the panel which selects the jurors. The president also represents the last avenue of appeal.
Students for Action, an ad hoc coalition of B.U. student activists who are campaigning against the code as undemocratic, organized a demonstration last Wednesday to protest Ostrow's trial. The group plans similar protests against the four other trials scheduled, but definite tactics have not yet been decided, Daniel Fishbein, a Students for Action member, said Thursday.
Kenneth Watson, B.U.'s associate counsel and its representative at Ostrow's hearing, said Thursday he was disappointed with "the heavy, heavy burden of proof" which B.U. must bear in proving its case.
"Institutions have rights, too," Watson said. "We are trying to do our best to be fair, but we can't let these hearings just drag on and on."
At Harvard, the executive committee of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life decided unanimously last Wednesday to place a discussion of a proposed student referendum on ROTC on next week's agenda.
The Harvard-Radcliffe New American Movement presented the executive committee with a petition including the names of slightly over 2500 students calling for a vote on "the return of ROTC to the Harvard campus."