Federal Court Upholds Ban on National Student Groups to Check Bias

A special three-judge Federal court yesterday upheld the State University of New York’s ban on national fraternities and sororities on the campuses of the 22 colleges, agricultural schools, medical schools and other institutions of higher education under the State University’s jurisdiction.

The State University last year outlawed national social clubs from the schools on the grounds that the national groups force local chapters to discriminate in membership against Jews and Negroes. At that time, the University gave the social groups until 1958 to complete the mechanics of disaffiliation. A total of some 21, 000 students are affected by the regulation.

The appeal against the ban, on grounds of violation of the Constitution, was brought by eight fraternities and sororities and one student in one of the 22 schools under the University’s jurisdiction. The court unanimously upheld the state’s right to impose the ban. An attorney for the plaintiffs said they would take the case to the United States Supreme Court.

Commenting on the court’s decision, Dr. William Carlson, president of the State University, said that it “clears the way” for the social groups to make the transition to local groups. He added that many of the fraternities and sororities had “demonstrated that they are ready and anxious to adhere to the letter and spirit of our regulation. “

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