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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“60 years ago, student body president faced arrest for ‘unauthorized use of a loudspeaker'”

Merrill Windsor, president of the student body, in the custody of a Tucson policeman immedietly following the arrest that broke up the traditional pre-game rally. Windsor was accompanied to the City Hall by Vin Ciruzzi, chairman of the traditions committee.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Chris Nagata has a tough job, but he can comfort himself knowing he’s never been arrested at work.

Sixty-one years ago this week, student body President Merrill Windsor found himself temporarily jailed after a pep rally for “”unauthorized use of a loudspeaker.””

Hey, at least he wasn’t drawing in chalk.

The Oct. 1, 1948 issue of the Arizona Wildcat, then a weekly newspaper, reported that Windsor was arrested after a downtown rally for the football team in an article titled, “”Band, rooters protest as Windsor ‘detained.'””

The Wildcat reported:

Original rally plans called for a procession from the campus to the downtown area and a cheering and song session at the intersection of East Congress Street and North Stone Avenue.

The long, colorful parade of decorated cars was diverted eastward at the Fourth Avenue underpass by motorcycle police, however, and the student groups were further broken up by traffic officers sending them in different directions at every downtown intersection.

Finally, a large group of students gathered on Sixth Avenue between Congress Street and Broadway Boulevard and began an impromptu rally, complete with band and cheerleaders.

At the height of the rally police arrived and began to write citations for illegal parking. The rally broke up in confusion and Windsor vigorously protested the intervention over the public address system used to direct the rally.

At this point, Windsor was arrested and taken to city hall, but the pep rally followed.

According to the Wildcat, students gathered outside city hall, chanting for Windsor while the band played, “”solemn dirges.””

Eventually, Windsor appeared and asked the crowd to return to campus. Shortly afterward, the chief of police arrived and ordered all charges dropped.

Afterward, Windsor told the Wildcat there had been a miscommunication with the police department. He said repeated messages left for the chief of police went unanswered while the chief was out of town.

Police responded saying rallies must be authorized by the city manager.

Even so, Windsor said event organizers had no idea, and had never been referred to the city manager or the city council.

“”I was angry at the deliberate efforts of the police to break up the rally when I previously understood everything was in order,”” Windsor said.

In the same issue, the Wildcat blasted Tucson police in an editorial, writing that the agency had acted wrongly and worked to bust up the rally on purpose.

“”It is natural for the student body to favor Merrill (Windsor’s) stand. Even if he were in the wrong, most of us know and respect our president and would back him in any crisis,”” the Wildcat said.

“”Furthermore, most of us have a deep-seated distaste for policemen,”” the editorial said.

“”Police seldom realize that all college ‘kids’ aren’t peach-fuzzed youths with too much money and little between the ears. (Police Chief) Hays must have been shocked when he found our president collected and capable.””

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