University News

Today in University history: Feb. 14

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2013


In the aftermath of the Columbia space shuttle tragedy, students and professors mourned the fallen astronauts while expressing optimism for the nation’s space program.

But letters Americans sent to various national newspapers contained “cynical, even hateful” tones, The Herald reported at the time.

Voice of the People Editor at the Chicago Tribune, Dodie Hofstetter told The Herald she “saw a lot of letters questioning whether or not the astronauts were heroes and many saying the space program must go on.” She added that a few letters discussed the possibility that the disaster was the result of sabotage or terrorism.

The Brown community reacted more sympathetically, The Herald reported.

“We’d all gotten used to the space program being generally safe,” then-Professor of Political Science Darrell West said at the time. “(The shuttle was) a very sophisticated technology that sometimes fails.”



The Corporation — the University’s highest governing body ­— passed a vote that required all male financial aid applicants to generate proof of their having signed up for the selective service, The Herald reported.

“Brown University will not replace with its own scholarship or loan funds federal scholarship or loan funds forfeited by its students as a result of their decision not to register for the draft,” the Corporation’s statement said.

The Corporation passed the decree in response to the Solomon Amendment, a national law that withheld government scholarships from non-registered students, Vice President for University Relations Robert Reichley told The Herald.

Estimates of Brown students on financial aid, who did not register for the draft, ranged from 20 to 200.



The Inter-Fraternity Council passed a motion declaring rushing illegal in the Ivy Room, The Herald reported.

In what IFC President James Seed ’63 referred to as “dirty rushing,” fraternities would send “teams” of upperclassmen to the Ivy Room to actively recruit first-years. The practice was advantageous to larger fraternities, which had enough members to remain in the Ivy Room for extended intervals of time, The Herald reported at the time.

Rick Howard ’63, treasurer of the IFC, told The Herald that while the practice did not go against any existing rules, it was “not in the spirit” of rushing.

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