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Harvard Limits Pamphleteers Despite New Jersey Decision

By Susan L. Donner

University authorities will permit only officially recognized undergraduate groups to distribute printed materials on campus, despite a New Jersey court decision last month that a university could not arrest outsiders for disseminating information, Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, said last week.

The New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that Princeton University had violated the free speech guarantees of the state constitution when it arrested a United States Labor Party pamphleteer for trespassing in 1978.

The University's policy will continue to prohibit groups not recognized by the Committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) to distribute printed materials on Harvard property, either indoors or outdoors, Epps said. Harvard, however, has no jurisdiction over Cambridge sidewalks outside the Freshman Union and certain areas of the Science Center, he added.

Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said last week, "I doubt that there are any legal problems with the Harvard policy, especially under Massachusetts law." He added that the University is "remarkably lenient" in allowing circulation of printed material in outdoor areas owned by Harvard, such as Forbes Plaza in front of Holyoke Center.

James A. Sharaf, an attorney in the general counsel's office, said last week, "Harvard has a right to restrict the distribution of materials, but it doesn't go out of its way to exercise it."

"Harvard is not a free and open place to pass out materials and hold demonstrations," Andrew Wilson '72, a member of the Unification Church, said, adding, "many of the administrators are old fashioned--wanting to regulate the lives of students according to parental guidance." Wilson said church members had not been able to freely distribute material in the past.


Lenore Frazier, a Currier House co-Master, this month told two members of the Spartacus Youth League to leave the House after they distributed materials during dinner.

Princeton University is still considering appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, a university spokesman said last week.

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