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Dr. Donald M. Royer, research consultant for the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, visited Hanover this Tuesday under the sponsorship of the campus Civil Rights Committee.
He spoke to several sociology classes in the morning, had a luncheon discussion with members and guests of the Civil Rights Committee, and addressed an afternoon group of about sixty students.
Dr. Royer, a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago, quit his job two years ago as professor of sociology at Earlham College to work as the fulltime consultant for the States Civil Rights Commission. He plans to return to college teaching next year.
Most of Dr. Royer's remarks were focused on the Civil Rights movement on the national and state level, but he also dealt with topics of community and campus importance.
Following Dr. Royer's presentation, this reporter questioned him on
general topics pertaining specifically to Hanover College.
What are your general observations about Civil Rights in
relation to Hanover College?
"I have the feeling that the Negro revolt is passing by Hanover without being noticed. Hanover operates within a social vacuum and cannot be considered a real testing laboratory for civil rights." "I see a need for a more conscientious student awareness of the nature and dimensions of the Negro problem."
Do you think Hanover can anticipate more Negro students?
"According to a study our Commission recently made, Hanover reported having enrolled four American Negroes and one African Negro. This is a very low percentage. However, I think Hanover can not expect more Negroes in the future." "There are too many factors preventing a Negro from wanting to come to Hanover -- the cost, the admission requirements, the lack of a full social life, and the discrimination in the Hanover and Madison area." "For these reasons - and more, Negroes usually prefer large universities where their opportunities are greater."
What are other colleges and universities in Indiana doing in
the field of civil rights?
"Indiana University has been by far the most progressive. On their own initiative the IU administration arranged that all public facilities on the IU campus and in Bloomington be open to persons of all races." "The Catholic colleges and universities in the state, especially Notre Dame, have taken significant steps. I have found the Protestant church related colleges the most unreceptive to changes that would further racial equality."
Is the Commission interested in the membership requirements of
college sororities and fraternities?
"Yes. We included a section on our questionnaires to colleges and universities in which we asked if the school's administration would openly support local chapters who decided to integrate. Twenty colleges, including Hanover, responded in the affirmative."
Has a study been made of the racial situation in the
"No. The Commission's study included an accommodation analysis of a number of major Indiana cities and towns, but we were not able to include Madison in our study. It would be helpful if we had a collection of reliable information on Hanover and Madison."
What can interested Hanover students do in the area of Civil
"Louis Lomax, in THE NEGRO REVOLT, states that one of the most effective things the white liberal can do is make people aware of the Negro's problems and prepare the white person to make an intelligent response."
"By pursuing a mature program of education about the Civil Rights movement and active attempts to remove areas of discrimination on the college and community level the Hanover student can provide a real service."