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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Apr 1, 1954

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volume xxxvn
ious Clubs' Suspension
Be Reconsidered Friday
Student    Council    President | meeting:   A motion reaffirming; night, after a storm
Dick Underhill has called a spc-JAMS repugnance    to.   "unfair
Iclal general meeting of the Alma
■Mater Society for Friday ln an
1 attempt to win reinstatement
■for the Newman Club and the
|Varsity Christian Fellowship.
Student Council will present
Ithis motion tor student approval
I at the AMS meeting, to be held
| at noon in the Armouries:
"That the rule against discrimination shall not prevent
religious clubs from restrict-
ing membership, to those of
their specific religious beliefs."
Also to be presented at  the
discrimination, and calling for
Student Council action against
discrimination in fraternities
The motion will be presented
by a group of students which
Includes second-year artsman
Sandy Manson and Teacher
Training student Vaughan Lyon,
who have secured a petition of
100 names to insure that their
motion will not be ruled out of
of public
protest against the suspension
of the two clubs by Student
Council March 22 on the
grounds that the clubs' constitutions contain "discriminatory
Suspension of the two clubs
resulted from the general AMS
meeting of March 19. 1953.
when students voted to give all
campus organizations one year
to remove discriminatory clauses from their constitutions.
Councillors    said    they     were
public included attacks against fused to backtrack, on the
UBC in two editorials, three grounds that they had been
newspaper columns, and dozens, given a direct mandate by the
of letters to Student Council and I students. Instead, they agreed
President N. A. M. MacKenzie.| to call a general    meeting    to
"forced" to take action against
Student  Council  motion  was] the Newman Club and the VCF.
approved by Councillors Monday j    The  protests by  the  general
allow    students    themselves   to
reconsider  the  suspension.
"Since then, however, an
Undergraduate Societies Committee meeting (Monday noon)
defeated by only a 4-3 margin
a motion reaffirming suspension of the two clubs. Most
ef the USC representatives
abstained from the voting.
If a motion reinstating the Newman Club
and the Varsity Christian Fellowship is not
approved by students tomorrow, at least part
of the blame must be shouldered by President
! MacKenzie.
After the President's tactless statements
to the downtown press, and his apparent dictating to Student Council at the meeting in
the Faculty Club, students may be resentful
enough to refuse to backtrack solely to affirm
the right of student autonomy.
Despite any such resentment, however,
it is plain that the two clubs should be reinstated, just as it is plain that the motion aimed
at discrimination in fraternities should be supported* Reason for this can be found else-
| where on this page.
A few Students may have struggled
I through a welter of considerations and principles to come up with the conviction that the
I two clubs are unfairly discriminatory, but
[even with this view, suspending the two
[clubs would  mean  tenaciously  holding  to
shaky principles in the face of all facts.
And these facts are that suspending the
clubs has been responsible for a new height
of ill-feeling both within and without the
The letters prompted Dr. MacKenzie to summon Student
Councillors to a meeting at the
Faculty Club two days after the
suspension, where he and five
other Faculty Council members
attempted to persuade Councillors to rescind their ruling.
Councillors admitted that the
action    was    unjust,    but    re-
Issut Arose Two Yoors Ago
Here is the entire history of | one year," instead of
| the issue, starting from the gen-
j eral AMS meeting two years ago
[ which first outlawed discrimin-
i ation:
I     March  18, 1952: Annual gen-
; eral AMS  meeting  passed  this
within a
reasonable time."
March 15, 1954: Faculty Coun*
cil refused to issue an ultimatum
to discriminatory fraternities,
on the grounds that the fraternities, who have already twice
gone on record as being against
..«n,i-oo„ .w„ o»..^„„4„ n* Tinr discrimination, would be unable
Whereas the students of UBC  ,„ .,„.   f„_ ' , „, t, .- „.
University, while retention of the restrictive | rega^'Vctal anTViiioi d>< ^rdauLrar'hefr'^S:
tional conventions — the only
method by which the clauses
can be removed.
March 18, 1954: AMS general
meeting approved Faculty Council report which refused the request tor an ultimatum, and
voted disapproval ot a motion
submitted by AMS Treasurer
Allan Goldsmith which would
exempt the Newman Club and
the   Varsity   Christian   Fellow-
clauses by the two clubs in the past has caused crimination    as    fundamentally
no trouble at all. evil, and; j
The Student Council motion is satisfac-      "Whereas certain campus or-
tory except in one respect; allowing "religious   ganizations practice such discri-
clubs" to restrict membership leaves a loop-   ™nat'?n   thereby  bringing  the
hole which would permit unfair discrimination by other groups.
The motion should be amended to grant
the right to restrict membership only to clubs
whose primary purpose is furthering a religion
otherwise, a fraternity could argue that it is
a "religious" club merely because it says
prayers before each of its meetings.
It is with fraternities that the entire issue
of discrimination on the campus arose. Tomorrow, we can re-direct our attention to fighting
unfair discrimination where it actually exists Council   Directed  To  Suspend
name  of  the  university  into  ill
"Therefore, be it resolved,
that the Alma Mater Society recommend to the Faculty Council
that all campus organizations
with   discriminatory   clauses   in
their constitutions be instructed ( ship from the one-year  ultima-
to remove such  clauses within , turn issued AMS clubs,
a reasonable time." j     Goldsmith's     motion     asked
March 19, 1953: Annual gen- ■ that minority groups be given
eral AMS meeting amended the J the right to discriminate against
above   motion   to  read   "within   majority groups.
at UBC.
looperation With Frats
Needed, Says Manson
Obviously  the first thing we
Imust do on Friday is to take the;
Iban off Newman Club and VCF, I
since only a warp-minded Coun-   us      Sccond    m,   hflVe   ,carnec,
nl   could   possibly   think .them   th,u thfi fraternltie8 are not un.
|' discriminatory    to the point of   der AMS jurisdiction. And third
First, we have learned that; means by which their removal
most fraternity men are in! may be effected, we can give
wholehearted    agreement    with
March 22: Student Councillors
suspended   the   Newman   Club
and  the  Varsity  Christian   Fellowship.    VCF requires that all
would-be members sign a card
affirming   their  belief   in  Jesus
Christ as their Saviour, and the
Newman Club will grant voting ,
privileges only to members who j
arc  Roman  Catholics.     Student!
Council ruled that these restrictions  are   "discriminatory   clauses."
At   the   same
to a meeting in the Faculty Club.
Also present: Dean Walter Gage,
Dean Geoffrey Andrew, Dean
Henry Angus, Dean S. N. F.
Chant, and Dr. Gordon Shrum.
Councillors voted at this meeting to hold a special general
AMS meeting.
March 29: USC meeting rejected motion urging continued
suspension of VCF and Newman
anything   more   we
I'being evil.
Is   there
I should do?
Myself, I should say wc
might redirect our attentions to
the fraternities. After all. the
offending clauses are still there.
However, in doing so, there are
one or two Ihings we should
keep in mind. We have learned
a few things since first we set
on'  on  this crusade.
we   have   learned   that   Faculty;
Council,  which  IS  in  authority
over the fraternities, will not in'
this case make them do anything,
they don't want to do.
To be specific. I think that by
passing   a   resolution   attacking
discriminatory  clauses—not   the other university Councils across
fraternities,  but  the discriminci- the continent.    Far from having
tory   clauses—in    the   strongest lost   the   battle,   we   have   only
words   possible,   and   promising. now begun to fight,
investigation     of     all     possible ~- SANDY MANSON'
Four voted against, and the remainder abstained.
Intelligent fraternity  men some, ses." Club.     Proposed     by    Teacher
very strong ammunition with. At the same time. Student 1 T.ra'n,n* representative Ro. Da-
which to pepper their interna-1 Council decided not to launch nlellVhc 7?otlon won stuPP°rt
tional conventions. ; further   investigations   into   dis-  irom two other representatives.
There   is  also   the   possibility i crimination in Greek Letter So-
that we might do this in coniunc-! cicties. following a report  from
tion with other student bodies WUS President. Nan Adamson. March 29: Student Council
on other campuses.    This would   that there are no discriminatory j meeting approved motion to be
clauses in  the charters of UBC  presented    at    general  meeting
sororities. almost   unanimously.     No    one
March 25: President MacKen-  voted against it, but two Coun-
zie  summoned  Student   Council   cillors abstained.
be an even greater blow.
So let us mov'e such a motion, i
and let us urge Council to dis-J
cuss   the   whole   question   with
Joint Statement By
Newman, VCF Clubs
Members of the B.C. Dental Association
met in convention recently at Victoria. They
held meetings, set policy, and moved through
a schedule of functions planned for them. Only
dentists were allowed, but. no one screamed
Why not? Because everyone understands
the objectives of the B.C. Dental Association.
They recognized the Association's right to bast-
its membership on certain professional qualifications.
If the objectives of the Varsity Christian
Fellowship and the Newman club were as well
understood there would be no problem in recognizing their right to base their membership on
certain religious qualifications.
V.C.F. has its object "to unite men and
women who in university life are earnestly desiring to extend Christ's kingdom at home and
abroad."   (Constitution).
The objective of  the Newman Club  is to
provide a balanced religious intellectual and
social program based on practice of the Catholic
religion. The practice of Catholicism is the
foundation of the whole program.
Both V.C.F. and Newman have well defined objectives. All thev ask of an applicant is
that he believe in and be able to live up to the
objectives of the club he joins before he i?
given the right to contribute to the policy of
the club.
The V.C.F. and Newman do not want the
right to "discriminate" but they want their
right, to operate recognized.
The Ubyssey was unable to find, up until
press time, a student who was willing to make
a statement arguing for the continued suspension of the Newman Club and the Varsity
Christian Fellowship.
Student Council
Presents Motion
In asking for clarification of the question of discrimination,
Student Council wishes to reaffirm its condemnation of all forms
of discrimination based upon bigotry or prejudice.
Student Council feels however, that a religious club which
wishes to limit full membership to adherents of its own faith is not
discriminating because of bigotry or prejudice. No one feels hurt
or humiliated because they can't vote at a religious club's meeting.
We believe that there is no simple definition or phrase which
will provide a universal test for determining what amounts to
discrimination. Instead we arc presenting a brief and specific
proviso to the general rule condemning discrimination on the
grounds of race and religion.
Council feels that if the students pass this resolution, we will
be better able to carry out Ihe spirit of the resolutions against discrimination.
Three general meetings of the A.M.S. have gone emphatically
on record as condemning all discrimination by campus organizations on the basis of race or religion. Student Council felt that the
suspended clubs were within the terms of these resolutions.
In suspending the two clubs, Council did not feel that the two
clubs were practicing harmful discrimination. Rather we felt that
is was our duty to carry out the "loaily exprsessed wishes of the
We feel that nothing less than a decision of a general meeting
of thc A,M.S. can relieve us from the obligation to suspend any
campus organization, no matter what its purposes are. which restricts religious membership on the basis of religion.


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