THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
HOPS expresses concern
By JOYCE KIRSCHNER
Collegian Junior Reporter
Undergraduate Student Government President Benson Lichtig and members of ‘‘The Other Vision: Homophiles of Penn State,” have expressed concern over the temporary suspension of the HOPS charter which was granted by the USG Supreme Court April 20.
According to Lichtig, the actions of the University call into question the chartering powers of the USG. “If student government is going to have the chartering role at the University, they can’t just go over our head and completely ignore us,” he said.
Rodger Davis, USC Supreme Court chief justice, said he and former USG President Jim Antoniono met with Raymond O Murphv, acting vice president student affairs, when the charter was first submitted to the Court.
At that time, Murphv presented Davis and Antoniono with the legal objections found by the University lawyer Delbert McQuaide. McQuaide had objected to Section II of the HOPS constitution.
Section II states that the organization’s objectives were to provide opportunities for meaningful interaction among homosexuals of the University community. The constitution was a amended to read “as are permissable under existing state, local and federal laws.”
Ursula Mueller, HOPS adviser, said she and HOPS vice president Diane Whitney met with Ben Novack, a University lawyer to discuss the issue. After Section II of the constitution was revised, Novak gave the document his approval.
Davis said the Supreme Court then approved the charter because the organization met all the qualifications necessary for authorization -- which include having a faculty adviser, a written constitution, elected officers and purposes consistent with the broad educational objectives of the University.
On Monday, HOPS received official notification of the suspension of their privileges from Murphy. The suspension meant that HOPS could not use University facilities for advertising and meeting and could not ask for financial aid.
Before Miss Whitney received the letter concerning her organization’s status, a HOPS display in the Hetzel Union building was removed.
According to HOPS members, the display was removed by HUB officials.
William F. Fuller, manager of Associated Student Activities, told The Daily Collegian that he had spoken with a few members of the group the previous Friday and had explained that the organization should wait until the University lawyer clarifies the University’s position on the matter. ‘‘I felt that I should remove the display,’’ Fuller said.”
According to Miss Whitney, M. Lee Upcraft, dean of student affairs, had met with her on Friday and informed her verbally of the suspension. She added that the group was waiting for official notification which was not received until the display was removed.
Murphy explained that the charter itself was not suspended, but that use of University facilities had been. “We want to see if HOPS is in accordance with the Pennsylvania laws and the educational policy of the University,” he said.
He added that the Homophiles of Penn State did not meet with McQuaide in advance. ‘‘They met with Ben Novak instead.”
Lichtig. who has met with both Murphy and Upcraft about HOPS agreed that it is a ‘‘possibility” the University is concerned with a possible adverse reaction by the State Legislature to the existence of HOPS. As an example of this situation, Lichtig cited the qualms the University had in approving 24-hour visitation in the residence halls.
Lichtig explained that he would like the University to restore HOPS’ rights as a chartered organization until the matter is investigated and a decision is reached.
‘‘The University has judged them (HOPS) guilty until proven innocent,” Lichtig said. He added that he expects a report from McQuaide very shortly and said HOPS is prepared to take legal action if the organization is not permitted to continue.
According to Davis, University President, John W. Oswald, has been given complete control over the Senate rules and regulations concerning student conduct. ‘‘Oswald has the power; he can do what he wants,” he said.
Under Pennsylvania law, it is not crime to be a homosexual, but it is a crime to commit homosexual acts, according to Davis. He also said many types of heterosexual contact -- even between married people -- are against the law.
The members of HOPS define a homophile as anyone, homosexual or heterosexual who advocates the end of discrimination against homosexuals.
HOPS plans to work with University-related problems, including job discrimination, lack of available information in the library and classrooms and discriminatory administration policies.
The group is presently meeting at the Women’s Liberation headquarters. Women’s Lib is sponsoring a HOPS Bulletin board to the HUB which advertises Colloquy speaker who will discuss homosexuality.