Providence (May. 17)
Rollo Gabriel Silver, a Jewish student of Brown University in the class of 1931, was not suspended from the university because he protested that Jewish students were forced to attend Christian religious services, as was stated erroneously in a New York paper, but because he wrote a letter which appeared in the college publication, in which noted men and preachers who spoke at the Brown chapel during the year were ridiculed and treated in a manner regarded as flippant and disrespectful.
Faculty members who are interesting themselves in Silver’s case are now circulating a petition asking for Silver’s reinstatement. In their petition they point out that in his letter Silver expressed himself no more violently than authors of past letters to the “Brown Daily Herald”, none of whom has been suspended. The petition regards the punishment as disproprtionate to the offence, attributing the faults of the letter rather to lack of taste than an intention to insult. Silver’s suspension, says the petition, will be considered by many persons as a blow to the fine reputation of Brown University as a college where thought could always be liberally expressed.
Silver himself, who is now in New York City where he resides, has written a telegram stating that he still felt that compulsory chapel was undesirable, but that, although he believed in a free press, he knew he had written his open letter ill-advisedly and would make the proper apologies, or whatever amends the university would suggest. No further action has yet been taken.
Like many other students, Jewish as well as Gentile, Silver has felt the inconvenience and futility of compulsory chapel. This year, in order to make chapel exercises more interesting to the student body, President Barbour invited some of his distinguished friends, educators and preachers, to come to Providence to address the students of Brown University. There was a diversity of opinion regarding the merits of the different men, and some students still balked at the idea of compulsory attendance at these chapel services.
Several students wrote to the “Brown Daily Herald” regarding compulsory