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Criticizing the conduct of Afro-American Studies protesters who staged a sit-in in University Hall this month, the Faculty Council yesterday reaffirmed regulations forbidding such "unacceptable obstructions" of University activities.
The statement, presented to the Council by Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57, recognized that students "have the right to mount orderly demonstrations, pickets and other actions in order to press for certain policies of actions," but stated that "coercive sit-ins or takeovers of buildings" were prohibited.
In a telephone interview last night, Jewett said the administration had reached a decision on whether to discipline the sit-in participants. But he said he could not discuss specific disciplinary cases and refused to say what had been decided.
Protesters interviewed said that as of last night they had not been contacted by the adminstration about disciplinary action.
During the sit-in, Jewett and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III warned the students in the building that they were disrupting the "normal functioning of the University" and recorded their names.
Jewett said last night that the Council's statement was a "general alerting of the community of the rules that the University has in these areas."
"I felt that it was important that there was a statement so that the University was clear about the regulations about sit-ins and takeovers," Jewett said. "It's useful for the Council to make clear these positions."
"When people take actions, they ought to know the consequences," he added. Jewett said he thought many students were not aware of the rules.
Nearly two weeks ago, eight students staged a 23-hour sit-in at University Hall ago to protest the dearth of faculty in the Afro-Am program. There is currently only one tenured professor in the department.
While the sit-in went on, more than 150 students rallied outside the building during the day and about 60 students spent the night in sleeping bags outside.
Sit-in participants contacted last night said the Council's statement was disappointing, but hardly surprising.
"It's to be expected but it's a little unfair," said Tiya A. Miles '92. She said the protestors only disrupted the functioning of the University for one day, while the administration's treatment of Afro-Am had adversely affected their entire undergraduate careers.
"We never expected the administration to approve of our actions," said Sulee J. Stinson '92. "You don't protest by following their guidelines of what a good protest is. That's not going to accomplish anything."
Anthony McLean '92, a spokesperson for the Afro-Am concentrators, defended the protestors' actions.
"Regarding the Faculty Council statement on just a very basic level, our action was neither a `coercive sit-in' nor a `building takeover.' There were no demands made. We were not in control of the building," said McLean.
Mclean added, "I'm not terribly surprised by it. We concentrators felt we had to do what we did. We've been through too many unproductive meetings and written too many letters to the administration. And we felt that our action was necessary."
The Council's statement also reaf- firmed the Faculty's commitment to rebuildingthe moribund Afro-Am department.
"The Faculty Council has repeatedly made clearits concern with the important issues concerningAfro-American Studies on behalf of which somestudents in the College have recently demonstratedpublicly," the statement read.
A spokesperson for the Council would not saywhether the proposal was approved unanimously ornot
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