UM Students Protest Move Into Cambodia
AMHERST- Pickets marched in front of most of the buildings
on the central part of the UMass campus this morning as students there joined
a nationwide student strike protesting extension of U.S. troops into Cambodia.
A university spokesman said the pickets were "non-obstructive" and
were talking to the students and faculty members who entered for morning classes,
but did not prevent their entrance.
How many students were actually supporting the strike was not known, although
a spot check by one source at 8 a.m. indicated that about 20 per cent of the
students were attending classes.
Students had originally scheduled Spring Day today, a day traditionally set
aside by students to skip classes. Tomorrow is Counselling Day, reserved for
pre-registration for the fall semester. Thus one observer said he did not expect
to know how many students were supporting the strike until Thursday.
An estimated 5,000 persons packed the Student Union last night to hear the
Student Senate vote unanimously to participate in the strike.
A resolution adopted at the meeting, and expected to be presented at a meeting
of the Faculty Senate today, declared UMass "a liberated university"
with the remaining part of the semester to be used by the school" as they
deem fit with regards to the overall context of the strike."
One spokesman said the resolution was in effect asking that final exams be
suspended for supporters of the strike and that no student receive less than
a "P" mark, allowing him to pass all courses.
Plans are to extend the strike to the end of the semester.
Leaflets handed out by pickets this morning urged students to join the strike
and to demand "the end to political repression of political dissidents
and freedom for all political prisoners, immediate and unilateral withdrawal
from Southeast Asia, and the end of university complicity in war research."
Sources attributed much of the support for the strike at last night's meeting
to reports yesterday that four students at Kent State University in Ohio had
been shot to death by National Guard troops.
Rumors on campus were that part of the striking students planned to take over
the Reserve Officer Training Corps headquarters at Dickinson Hall. "No
basis for that rumor were reported from last night's meetings.
Plans are for a rally tonight at 7 on either the Amherst Common or the Cage.
Reports are that a representative of the Black Panthers in New Haven has been
asked to speak at the rally.