A Statement of Responsibility…and of Consequences

‘Way back in 1969, the University of Notre Dame’s then-President Father Ted Hesburgh had this to say about the consequences of student disruptions [emphasis in the original]:

Now comes my duty of stating, clearly and unequivocally, what happens if…. Anyone or any group that substitutes force for rational persuasion, be it violent or non-violent, will be given fifteen minutes of meditation to cease and desist…. If they do not within that time period cease and desist, they will be asked for their identity cards. Those who produce these will be suspended from this community as not understanding what this community is. Those who do not have or will not produce identity cards will be assumed not to be members of the community and will be charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace on private property and treated accordingly by the law.
After notification of suspension, or trespass in the case of non-community members, if there is not within five minutes a movement to cease and desist, students will be notified of expulsion from this community and the law will deal with them as non-students.
There seems to be a current myth that university members are not responsible to the law, and that somehow the law is the enemy, particularly those whom society has constituted to uphold and enforce the law. I would like to insist here that all of us are responsible to the duly constituted laws of this University community and to all of the laws of the land. There is no other guarantee of civilization versus the jungle or mob rule, here or elsewhere.

It must be noted that Hesburgh’s consequences are just as applicable to today’s crop of school professors who participate in such disruptions.

It’s too bad that today’s school administrators lack Father Hesburgh’s clarity and moral courage in executing the duties attached to school administration.

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