University ban on sit-in girl is confirmed

This story is from the Leicester Mercury, local newspaper in Susan Rosinger’s hometown:

A Leicester student’s appeal against her suspension from Liverpool University for two years has been dismissed by the university’s disciplinary appeal board.

Twenty-one year-old Susan Rosinger, of 14 Sheringham Road, Leicester, was one of 10 students disciplined a month ago for their parts in a student sit-in at the university in March.

Susan and four other students were represented at the appeal hearing by Professor John Griffith, professor of public law at the London School of Economics. All ten were found guilty of “conduct detrimental to the discharge of the duties of the university.”

Susan told the Leicester Mercury: ”After the hearing the appeals board refused to re-convene and announce their findings publicly or give reasons for their decisions. I got a letter saying that they had found my case proven and that my suspension would last until the summer of 1971.

“Two other students had their suspensions cut from two years to one year, but again, no reason was given. All the appeals were against the verdicts and the sentences. We thought the first hearing was unfair. It was a kangaroo court. Although 200 students took Part in the sit-in, only ten were disciplined. I’m sure this was because our ten names were on a committee list pinned up on a wall during the sit-in. But the committee was only dealing with things like catering and ceased to function after the first day.”

Susan, who was educated at Newarke Girls’ School, was due to take her finals in a fortnight, and had been offered a place at ‘Weslminster College, Oxford, next year to study for an education diploma before becoming a teacher.

“I d0n’t know what I am going to do for the next year or so. It is unlikely that I could get into another university, and even then I would not get a grant. I will probably stay at Liverpool until the end of the year, and then I may go abroad for a year.

”It seems very unfair that we are expected to take our finals in two years time with only six weeks at the university beforehand to prepare for it.”

The sit-in was held because students wanted the university vice-chancellor to dissociate himself from the views of the Chancellor, Lord Salisbury, on racial issues. They also wanted a public inquiry into political files on students, the publication of the university’s investments and thought the university should not accept contracts for chemical and biological warfare. They also wanted no victimisation of students taking part in the demonstration.

Susan commented: “We believe that the decision to make the sentences so harsh was made a national meeting of vice-chancellors. Students at the universities of Oxford and Keele have also received harder sentences. Students were surprised at the results of our appeals at Liverpool.

“Four hundred students staged a sit-in at Senate House on Friday for three hours, and a negotiating committee of students was elected to discuss the sentences with the vice-chancellor, Mr Trevor Thomas, but he refused to see them. A meeting has now been arranged for later today.

“The university hopes that by victimising ten students, everyone will be too frightened to carry on, but that will not be the case. The struggle will go on despite this victimisation. ”

The following week the Mercury published a letter in response to this article.


Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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