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Matt Weinstock

June 3, 2007 |  7:22 pm

Matt_weinstockd June 3, 1957
An alumnus of a large social fraternity has received a letter from national headquarters in Indianapolis alerting him to a "major crisis in California."

Under this particular fraternity's laws, Negroes and Orientals are not eligible for membership.

The crisis centers about Assembly Bill 758, now under consideration by the Committee on Education.

It proposes that effective July 1, 1959, "No state-owned college or university nor student council or student assembly thereof, shall recognize for official campus activities any student organization, fraternity, sorority or other private student organization which restricts its membership on the basis of either, race, color, religion or national origin."

If this legislation passes, the Greek-letter fraternity warns, it will affect chapters at Berkeley, UCLA, San Jose, Fresno and Davis.

"Opposition to AB 758," the letter continues, "carries with it no implication of racial bigotry or disagreement with the persisting ideal of the ultimate brotherhood of men. Those opposed feel that progress toward that ideal will be limited rather than encouraged by the legislation proposed."

The alumnus is urged, if he agrees with this philosophy, to make his view known to his friends, his representative in the Legislature and to Assemblyman Vernon Kilpatrick of Lynwood, sponsor of the bill. The letter concludes:

"There is no time to be lost, and the issue is vital--not only to our fraternity, but to freedom-loving Americans everywhere. We are counting on you."

The alumnus, who among other things learned tolerance while a university student, is resigning from the fraternity.

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