Link to the Pathways to Diversity homepage mobile menu
Furman University | Text

Students Accept Trustee Admission Policy 4 to 1

An article appearing in Furman's student newspaper, The Paladin, dated November 9, 1963, showing the results of a poll given to Furman students, seeking their opinions on the Furman Trustees' resolution authorizing Furman to admit all qualified applicants regardless of race or color.

Students Accept Trustee Admission Policy 4 To 1 -- By PEGGY ALEXANDER -- In a recent poll conducted by The Paladin, the students, voted approval of the trustees' new policy of admission by a 4 to 1 margin. Of the 365 students polled, 264 agreed to accept the new ruling; 50 were opposed; and 20 were undecided. When asked if the policy would be deterimental to the image of the school held by alumni and friends of Furman, 84 students answered yes. No was the reply given by 209, and 72 were undecided. In response to a third question as to whether Negroes would be accepted academically by the students, 292 voted yes; 28, no; and 45, undecided. A majority of students feel a qualified Negro will not be accepted socially by the students. Of those polled 171 voted no acceptance; 73 said such a student would be fully accepted, and 121 admitted indecision on the matter. In the opinion of the students, Negroes should be accepted immediately. The vote was 214, yes; 82, no; and 59, undecided. By classes, 81 freshmen favored the decision; 32 opposed; and five were undecided. The freshmen were equally divided on the detriment of the decision to the school's image with a vote of 29, yes; 30, no; and 16, undecided. A decided majority of the freshmen feel a Negro will be accepted academically but not socially with the respective results of 75, yes; 12, no; 21, undecided; and 16, yes; 58, no; and 44, undecided. Almost equally divided on the question of a Negro's being accepted immediately, 44 voted yes; 39, no; and 25, undecided. The freshman votes show more diversity in opinion than the balloting in any of the other classes. The sophmores voted 57-12 in favor of the trustees' decision with 8 undecided. By a 32-vote margin, the class feels the policy will not be detrimental to Furman's image with 19 voting yes; 52, no; and 17, undecided. By a 74-5 vote, the sophomores feel the Negro will be accepted academically by students but by a 37-19 vote indicated that he will not be accepted socially. 31 students were undecided on this last question. Sophomores voted 49-21 with 17 undecided that a qualified Negro be accepted immediately. Juniors voted 80-15 to accept the policy with 5 students undecided. Juniors also agreed that the policy would not be detrimental to Furman's standing with a vote of 26, yes; 61, no; and 13, undecided. By a wide margin of 79-7 with 9 undecided, juniors feel that a Negro student would be accepted academically, whereas they voted 37-23 with 34 undecided that he would not be accepted socially by the students. On the question of whether Negroes should be accepted immediately, juniors voted 66, yes; 21, no; and 13, undecided. By a vote of 66-2, seniors accepted the new policy. Two students were undecided. Seniors voted 46-10 with 14 undecided that the policy would not be detrimental to the image held of Furman by its friends and alumni. While seniors felt that a Negro student would accepted academically by a vote of 62-1 with 7 undecided, they voted 28-20 with 22 undecided that a Negro student would not be accepted socially. Fifty-five seniors voted that the policy be carried out immediately, while 11 voted no and 4 remained undecided. The questions used in this poll were approved by the psychology department and the complete validity of the poll was ascertained before it was conducted.