THE DAILY COLLEGIAN

May 19, 1971

 

HOPS seeks order against University

 

By JOYCE KIRSCHNER

Collegian Junior Reporter

Members of the “Other Vision: Homophiles of Penn State” last night announced that they will seek an injunction against the University to demand the return of their privileges until the University has determined the legality of the organization.

According to HOPS Vice President Diane Whitney, representatives from the group yesterday met with a University lawyer who claimed that the group had grounds to seek an injunction. “The lawyer said that our charter was perfectly legal, that the University took our privileges without stating a reason, and that they have no right to do that,” she said.

HOPS is also basing its evidence on a letter dated May 14 from Elton Atwater, chairman of the University Senate Committee on Undergraduate Student Affairs to Raymond O. Murphy, acting vice president for student affairs.

In his letter, Atwater, professor of political science, said members of SCUSA had expressed concern about the abridgement of Senate procedures in the suspension of privileges of the HOPS organization.

According to the Senate Policies and Rules book, the Undergraduate Student Government has the authority to charter student organizations and to revoke such charters if the group violates Senate policies. The rules also specify that official recognition of an organization may be withdrawn only after an appropriate hearing by the USG Supreme Court.

Atwater also said University President John W. Oswald wrote a letter to Senate Chairman Thomas F. Magner saying that “the existing rules of the University Senate would continue in operation during the present academic year, pending the reorganization of the Senate.”

The new Senate does not officially become effective until June 1, 1971; therefore, the old rules are still in effect at the present time, according to Atwater.

Temporary Suspension

He explained that the University’s suspension of HOPS’ privileges amounts to a temporary suspension of the charter because the charter becomes meaningless if the privileges are not enjoyed.

“We think you have, in fact, suspended the practical existence of the charter and this has been done in a way which is contrary to the intent of Senate rules and procedure,” Atwater said in the letter.

He said the suspension of privileges interferes with the basic principles of freedom of enquiry on campus, and thus is not in harmony with basic University education policy and objectives.

Talk To Lawyer

According to Bruce Miller, a member of HOPS, his counsel advised that before the group seek an injunction they talk with University lawyer Delbert McQuaid, who is inquiring into the legality of HOPS.

“We asked him to meet with the officers of HOPS to discuss exactly what the University is investigating but he said he would not have any meetings with us,” Miller said.

HOPS presently is looking for a lawyer because their counsel, employed by the University, could not work for them. HOPS also is soliciting funds for the injunction from campus organizations. It will take one to two weeks to obtain the injunction.

The group presently is meeting at the Women’s Liberation House in State College. At a meeting tonight, the USG Senate will vote on a resolution allowing HOPS to use University facilities under USG’s name.

Will Reserve Room

USG Senate president pro tempore Russ Bensing, said if the proposal is passed, the USG will reserve a room in the Hetzel Union Building and allow HOPS to use it.

According to Diane Whitney. the Colloquy workshops on homosexuality were successful. “Between 50 and 120 people attended them,” she said.

Concerning Gov. Milton J. Shapp’s speech at the University on Friday to begin the Renaissance Festival, Miss Whitney said, “He jumped on the bandwagon. he supported war, women, and all the things that he knew students wanted. But when Frank Kameny, worker for Gay Liberation, confronted Shapp with the HOPS issue, Shapp didn’t say much because he didn’t know the student’s feelings.”

Members of HOPS also accused Shapp of backing up the administration although he didn’t know what the administration was doing.