HOPS denied student charter



Collegian City Editor

The University has denied a charter to The Other Vision: Homophiles of Penn State after four months of investigation.

Acting Vice President for Student Affairs Raymond O. Murphy informed HOPS President Bruce H. Miller of the decision by letter Sept. 1. According to the Murphy communique, “This means that the organization has no official status with the Pennsylvania State University and is not entitled to the use of its facilities.”

HOPS was organized to help implement programs to aid homosexuals understand their sexual orientation, to provide programs of “meaningful social interaction among homosexuals” and to “create greater harmony and un­derstanding” between homosexuals and the community, according to the charter.

HOPS originally was granted a student charter by the Undergraduate Student Government Supreme Court on March 15 after the charter was amended upon advice from University lawyer Ben Novak. On May 10, Murphy announced that the HOPS charter had been temporarily suspended pending investigation of the group’s legality by University counsel.

In his letter Sept. 1, Murphy said the final University decision was based primarily on “the conflict such recognition would cause with the educational policies of the University.”

The letter stated:

“We are advised that, based upon sound psychological and psychiatric opinion, the chartering of your organization would create a substantial conflict with the counseling and psychiatric services the University provides to its students, and that such conflict would be harmful to the best interests of the students of the University. As a matter of educational policy, the University cannot condone or officially sanction any organization whose stated purpose would create such a conflict in this sensitive problem area.”

In reply to Murphy’s announcement of the denial of recognition, HOPS Acting President Diane M. Whitney wrote to Murphy asking him to clarity “several unanswered questions.” Miss Whitney requested Murphy to inform her of any specific policy with which recognition, of HOPS might conflict, the names of counselors and psychiatric persons involved in the investigation and what law was being violated by any section of the HOPS charter.

Murphy replied in a letter Thursday, “It is not my intention to become involved in prolonged discussion of that decision.”