In the beginning the student
attacks the university. In the end he
demands amnesty. He does so because
his target, the bureaucratic multiversity,
remains underneath it all alma
mater-protector as well as enemy;
source of rights, privileges and
immunities as well as oppressor.
Traditionally, in America, the
relation of the university to its
students has been in loco parentis. Has
its heritage transformed the university
into a sanctuary that confers
immunities and exemptions, or at least
protection from sanctions upon the
academic community? Are tht:
students wrong in expecting freedom
from police interference? When the
police penetrate the campus, are they
comparable to an invading army?
A limited right of sanctuary
emerged in the medieval universities of
Bologna, Paris, and Oxford as a
concession wrested from the civil
authorities by militant contingents of
scholars from many lands, various
classes, and divergent cultures. In
Bologna, lacking civil rights and
consigned to second-class status, they
banded together for protection in
guilds and "nations." At last, victors in
armed clashes with the townspeople,
swift to resort to the threat of a strike
or an economic boycott, they acquired
substantial power within the university
and over the city as well.
Donald Goodman and Arthur Niederhoffer
"Universities and the Police: Force and Freedom on the Campus,"
Yale Review of Law and Social Action: Vol. 1
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yrlsa/vol1/iss1/1