The Crimson White
March 27, 1961
No one denied it.
Not one of the persons named in last week's editorial as belonging to the campus political machine denied to the Crimson-White the existence of such an organization. There were comments that the editorial was "fantastic," "funny," but no one actually denied the existence of the machine.
Machine members chose rather to cloud the issue--to joke and heckle, to induce the students into believing that the whole situation is funny.
But the laugh is on them. If the editorial was so funny, why would they go to the trouble of seeing to it that as few people as possible read the C-W? Papers were collected from fraternity and sorority houses and dormitories soon after delivery and were destroyed.
Last week's editorial has caused the University campus to divide into three distinct groups: those who are in power or would tend to lose something by a disclosure of The Group; those who believed the editorial and are infuriated; those who are so shocked that they are not certain what to believe. This latter group is like a big slumbering giant. If he awakens from his apathetic daze and become[s] active in his campus political activities, no longer could a small group of 30 to 35 rule the thousands.
A word to convince this doubting public: all the elements for a libel suit were present except untruth. Identification was there, defamatory material was there. If the members of The Group sincerely believed the editorial to be untrue, they could sue the editor for libel, but, as of press time, no suit has been filed. The reason: in Alabama the truth of allegedly libel material is a complete defense, and we can defend the validity of any of the statements in our editorial.
The disclosure of the machine presents one problem: what are we going to do about it? Many varied reactions occurred after last week's editorial: some students wanted to begin a write-in; others wanted to request the postponing of elections and the re-opening of applications for the positions; others wanted to begin a political party to counter-balance the machine.
These, we feel, are not the complete answers. The situation demands a complete re-evaluation of our system of student government to insure democracy and more participation, to put the government of, by and for the students back into the hands of the students.
With this in mind, the Crimson-White staff is preparing a series of articles on the objectives of student government and how they can be achieved on the University campus. It is our hope that, with the help of these articles, the 7,000 students may become more aware of the problem and know what to do about it.
Do you, the 7,000, want to continue to be dominated by a power-hungry group of 30?
The choice is now up to you.