NYC CORE college chapters (pt. 2)

CCNY CORE also put together a sold out concert with Bob Dylan as a fund raiser for CORE. An earlier folk concert was also a success, but interestingly it had been a benefit for SNCC.

Reports show that there were questions about keeping communists out of the chapter. Such concerns stopped students at St. John’s University, the largest catholic university in country, from creating a CORE chapter there.

St. John's student council argued CORE had been infiltrated by members and sympathizers of the communist party. It did not claim CORE was a communist organization per se, but it pointed out that members of CORE’s board of advisors, including AJ Muste and James Baldwin, were one time members of the Communist Party (CP) or had been influenced by CP.

In framing its argument, the student council quoted J. Edgar Hoover in stating, ‘The American problem of civil rights presents the communists the opportunity of setting Blacks against Whites (and vice –versa) thus furthering the chance of bringing about the downfall of the U.S.’.

To fracture the nation was seen as the goal of the Communist Party. St. John’s student council argued CORE did just that. CORE ‘fractures America into racial war by augmenting tensions to a near typhoon scale’ and ‘ exaggerates racial tension into racial conflict’.‘What organization has so divided America radically and violently as has Core?’

The student council also argued its rejection had nothing to do with the issue of Black and White. It stated CORE misunderstood the terms ‘segregation’ and ‘non-violence’, despite the fact that St. John’s was overwhelmingly White. It also ignored the prominent presence of catholics in CORE, such as founding member James Robinson, freedom rider Jim Peck and national vice chairman Rudy Lombard. It also ignored the number of Christian ministers involved in the freedom rides and CORE demonstrations.

As CCNY CORE members graduated, some became members of other chapters. After Perlman and Wechsler joined East River CORE with Pat Walker,
Steve Cagan became chair. He was followed by George Knowles in 1965. Other officers included Fannie Weinstone, Eussa Krauss, Judith Pierce, Eric Mauer and Susan Puskin.

There had also been a chapter at Brooklyn College as early as 1949. Brooklyn College CORE was active during the 1960's but other than the fact it was working with fellow student Arnie Goldwag of Brooklyn CORE, not much is known about it at this time.

Some chapters, such as Queens College, NYU and Columbia University CORE, stood out more because of specific projects. Other colleges known to have chapters were: Long Island University (LIU) and Queensboro Community College.

There are also student chapters of CORE (SCORES) for pre-college students, mostly from the local high schools. They were supervised by a local ‘adult’ chapter. There was a Queens (Mark Feinstein, chair), Long Island (Susan Schnapf, chair), Rockville (Jonathon Moscow, chair), Brooklyn (Eleanor Stein, chair) and New Rochelle SCORE. There was also a SCORE Coordinating Committee, similar to the MACC, to coordinate activities among all the different SCORES. It was chaired by Hank Saveth.