Campus race relations – thirty years ago

“We’d like to see sororities fully integrated or kicked off campus by June,” said Peggy Cooper, organizer of the newly-formed Black Students Union.

The group was formed by 60 Negro GW students who responded to a sign on G Street which read: “If you are any kind of a Negro at all we have something for you! Come to rm. 10 of the Law Library Monday night, Feb. 5.”

Three members of the Union will go to the council meeting tomorrow night to seek recognition for their group…

…”We’d like to catch the Negro kids as soon as they come to GW,” said Miss Cooper. “Even the kids who came last night were shocked that many kids showed up.”

issueAlthough a White girl was asked to leave the first meeting, Miss Cooper said the group will “definitely accept White membership,” but that it won’t “go begging for members.”

The group hopes to have Stockely Carmichael come speak in the near future. They would also like to have Sen. Edward Brooke as a speaker. “We’d like our group,” said Miss Cooper, “to be as informed as possible.”

The problem of sororities is being attacked first, Miss Cooper said, because it is such an obvious one. She said that several Negro girls who went to the Dean of Women’s office recently to ask about spring rush were told that the office did not know when it would take place and that the girls should “come back later.”

The Student Union, she continued, wants to see at least one Negro girl offered a bid by each of the sororities. “One girl for five sororities will not be enough,” she said.

Anticipating questions or questionnaires from The Hatchet, Panhellenic Council President Susan Hayes recommended that “the president should answer all questions” regarding alleged discrimination by her sorority. Miss Hayes made the proposal in a council meeting last Monday afternoon.

The Panhellenic president warned that if individual sisters fielded the questions, “personal opinion might stand for the group.” She also pointed out that the presidents are more knowledgeable concerning the policies of their sorority.

Controversy and discrepancies followed the Hayes proposal. Two people who informed The Hatchet of the suggestion, Joan Kloogman and outgoing Student Council Vice-President Christy Murphy, said they would answer any questions as honestly as they could rather than yield to their respective sorority presidents. Miss Kloogman is a member of Delta Phi Epsilon while Miss Murphy belongs to Kappa Kappa Gamma.

When asked what she knew about the plan, Delta Phi Epsilon President Doreen Rudy replied “I don’t know anything about it.” Miss Kloogman claims that Miss Rudy had in fact informed her of the plan.

The viewpoint of Linda Larsen Ziglar, the Kappa Kappa Gamma President, did not really conflict with that of Miss Murphy. She feels that the president of the sorority should answer a question dealing with official opinion or national policy, but sees nothing wrong with individual sisters offering their opinions, as long as they are regarded simply as personal opinions.

Alpha Epsilon Phi President Mary Haas agrees with Panhellenic President Hayes and asked the members of her sorority to forward all questions to her. She reasoned that “for less confusion and greater unity, each sorority must speak as one.”

Retiring Student Council Secretary Jessica Dunsay, who is also the President of Sigma Delta Tau, denied any knowledge whatsoever of the plan.

Hatchet Editor in Chief Berl Brechner said that he had not even considered sending a questionnaire to student organization members about discrimination policies, but would not rule out the possibility for the future.

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