Fifth Estate # 19, December 1-15, 1966

The American Civil Liberties Union has called on 900 college and university presidents throughout the nation to deny the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) information concerning the makeup of anti- Viet groups on their campuses.

The civil liberties group’s plea came in the wake of subpoenas of membership lists of anti-war groups at the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley last summer. The ACLU called this “one of the most serious breaches of student academic freedom in recent decades, including the McCarthy era.”

A spokesman for the union called on university leaders to resist subpoenas seeking membership lists in every possible legal manner. The union feels that if challenged in the courts, the subpoena would be declared illegal.

If legal steps fail, the union says, it is incumbent upon the university to assume the risks involved in noncompliance. The alternative according to the civil liberties group is to confront its students with the risk of invasion of their rights under the First Amendment.

Dr. James McCormick, Vice President for Student Affairs at Wayne University said the university has no set policy on this issue. He said the university has not needed a policy because it hasn’t been confronted by the situation.

He did say that the Wayne Board of Regents have asked to be consulted in the event that such a situation should occur at Wayne.