Rabbi Gerald Engel, director of the B’nai B’rith Hillel at Purdue University, said today that friends and alumni of the university will endorse the action taken last week by Rep. Leonard Farbstein of New York who called on U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell to investigate “possible discrimination” against Jews, Negroes, Puerto Ricans and other minorities by the university. Rabbi Engel noted that Purdue is only one of 136 state institutions recently polled by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. “While Purdue ended blanket discrimination against the New York metropolitan area and the State of New Jersey this past semester, the University did not make all necessary changes to enable those applying from this area of racial and religious minorities to feel they were first class citizens,” Rabbi Engel said.
He added that despite the small numbers of children of alumni coming from the metropolitan area when the new policy went into effect, all those requesting applications from New York and New Jersey were informed by the Director of Admission, H. White, that their applications would not be processed before April first implying that most of the limited spaces would go to sons and daughters of alumni who are admitted as their applications are received. Yet in the fall of 1969 only 3 or 4 children of alumni were admitted from the restricted New York metropolitan area while 65 other applicants came from unrestricted upstate New York. Rabbi Engel observed. “One hundred and thirty five state universities recognize that our democratic tradition calls for treating all out of staters with equal courtesy and consideration. Hopefully over the summer Purdue will complete its changeover of admission policy, avoiding a full scale investigation.”