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Hove, Arthur O. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 69, Number 4 (Jan. 1968)

Protesters convicted by civil court,   p. 5


Page 5


Protesters Convicted by Civil Court
T   HE OUTBREAK of violence that
    took place on the University's
 Madison campus during a disruptive
 protest against the Dow Chemical
 Company, on Oct. 18, 1967 contin-
 ued to be an issue of major concern
 as reaction to the protest moved into
 the law courts in the month of
 December.
   Trial for six students charged by
 District Attorney James C. Boll with
 disorderly conduct following the
 Oct. 18 prtfest,-Which-sa-w apitched
battle&ofodught betwveen stu-dednts and
police called in to preserve order,
began in Dane County Circuit Court
on Dec. 11. The students brought to
trial were: Mana Lee Jennings, Ar-
lington, Va.; Michael D. Oberdorfer,
Bethesda, Md.; Robert A. Weiland,
Flushing, N. Y.; William G. Simons,
Larchmont, N. Y.; Gregor Sirotof,
East Orange, N. J.; and Carlos Joly,
Baltimore, Md.
   After a week-long trial where the
prosecution spelled out the ways in
which the defendants had been dis-
ruptive while the defense made alle-
gations of police brutality, a 12-man
jury returned a guilty verdict for five
of the students; only Joly was
acquitted.
   The convicted students were given
a maximum 30-day sa senitec byr
Circuit Judge W. L. Jackman, but
were later released pending an appeal
of their cases to the State Supreme
Court.
   The week before the trial, more
than 2,000 students had signed an
advertisement which appeared in the
Daily Cardinal. The ad claimed that
the signees were "equally responsible
for any action against Dow Chemical
Corporation that occurred at the dem-
onstration of Wednesday, Oct. 18."
   Shortly after the students' trial,
Jonathan Stielstra, a junior from
Stevens Point, Wis., pleaded "no con-
test" to a charge that he cut down the
American flag atop Bascom Hall on
the day of the anti-Dow protest.
Stielstra received a 30-day jail sen-
tence imposed by Circuit Judge Wil-
liam C. Sachtjen.
   In a surprise move following the
conviction of the students, Robert
January, 1968
Cohen, a graduate student from Lev-
ittown, Pa., who has been involved in
several campus protest actions over
the past two years, pleaded "no con-
test" to a disorderly conduct charge
stemming from his participation in the
most recent Dow Protest. Judge
Sachtjen adjudged Cohen guilty and
and imposed a maximum $100 fine.
(Cohen had been the subject of a
controversy at the November meeting
of the UW Board of Regents when
Piesidenit Fred Harvey Harrington
asked the Regents to suspen-Vhn-Y
from his duties as a teaching assistant
in the philosophy department because
of the grave civil and University
charges that had been levied against
him as a result of his protest
activities. )
   Cohen also announced that he
planned to leave Madison and to
marry a Wisconsin girl-Susan
Brady, a senior in history from Mani-
towoc-and would seek a job teach-
ing at the high school or. college
level and complete his work toward
a Ph.D. at another school. He also
stated that he would complete serv-
ing a jail sentence imposed on him
last September after he was con-
victed of disorderly conduct in a
protest against Dow Chemical which
occurred-on the Mad           I in
February, 1967.
  In other court actions, Federal
Judge James E. Doyle temporarily
restrained a State Senate select com-
mittee, created to investigate incidents
surrounding the Oct. 18 protest, from
questioning two students-Cohen
and David Goldman, Cresskill, N. J.
Judge Doyle also turned down a re-
quest to issue a restraining order
barring the University from disciplin-
ing students for misconduct, saying
that if he did so, it would do more
damage to the University than it
would to the students' rights.
  Fifteen students were subject to
University discipline for their involve-
ment in the Oct. 18 protest. By the
end of the year, three of the students
had been expelled and were appeal-
ing for reinstatement, three had vol-
untarily dropped out of school, and
nine were still facing disciplinary
action.
   Legislative reaction to the Oct. 18
protest and its aftermath produced a
great deal of discussion, but little in
the way of concrete actions. The State
Senate, as a result of its select com-
mittee hearings, approved    a bill
clarifying the powers and authority
of the Board of Regents in adminis-
tering the University and also passed
a resolution providing for the estab-
lishment of an eight-member liaison
-committee to work betweenm the Leg-
i-satute -- and  state---assisted- colleges
and universities. The Senate action
was not acted upon by the Assem-
bly before the Legislature adjourned
its fall session.
   A bill to impose a 15% out-of-
state enrollment limit on the Univer-
sity was introduced into the Assem-
bly but no action was taken on the
proposal.
   The University, in the meantime,
was moving to establish a set of
rules defining  acceptable conduct
within University buildings and on
University property.
   The proposed rules are:
   * Intentional blocking of hall-
ways, rooms, entrances to rooms or
buildings, sidewalks or roadways on
University grounds is prohibited.
   Any"enforcemenofi r,
security employee, or other employee
whose duties include controlling the
operation of a building or area of the
campus may require persons on Uni-
versity property to identify them-
selves.
   0 The use of public address sys-
tems on University property is pro-
hibited except when University offi-
cials have authorized the use of such
equipment in rooms or areas desig-
nated by them for specific program
needs.
   * All persons, other than those
assigned to work in a building, are
prohibited from entering or remain-
ing in any University building after
the normal closing hours.
  The rules were presented to the
Board of Regents at their December
meeting but no action was to be taken
on them until after a public hearing
scheduled for Jan. 12.
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