The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEWCOMER
1. Plaintiffs are twelve former and present students of defendant Villanova University.
2. Defendants are Villanova University, a private, parochial institution of higher education located in Villanova, Pennsylvania; its President, the Rev. Edward J. McCarthy; Dr. James F. Duffy, Vice-President charge of student affairs; and other officers of Villanova University.
3. In early 1974, a group of students, including some of the plaintiffs, formed an organization to seek more protection for the rights of students and a greater voice for students in school affairs. The immediate catalyst for the formation of this organization, called the "Ad Hoc Committee", was the disciplinary action taken against certain students in January, 1974. The members of the Ad Hoc Committee complained that these students had been expelled or suspended without due process.
4. On April 6, 1974, there was a school event known as "Candidates Day", during which prospective candidates for admission to the school visited campus.
5. On that date, there are many visitors on campus, and many parties in various parts of campus, including students' residence halls.
6. In order to allow the candidates and their families inside the dormitories where they might live, Villanova's regular parietal (visitation) rules were suspended so that individuals of one sex could be in the residence, washroom, and hallway areas of the opposite sex until 9:00 p.m.
7. Under Villanova's parietal rules, students are allowed to remain in the lounge areas of the residence halls of the opposite sex until 3:00 a.m. on weekends.
8. On April 6, several students, including some of the plaintiffs, distributed throughout campus fliers inviting students to attend a rally in Sheehan Hall, a residence for women students at the University.
9. Approximately fifteen minutes before the special visitation hours were to elapse, numerous male students came to Sheehan Hall, entered the washroom and hallway areas, and began to distribute beer from kegs.
10. Alarmed by this influx of male visitors, the resident counselors of Sheehan Hall asked for the help of male counselors. The Assistant Dean of Men, Anthony Martin, soon appeared on the scene and ordered the males to leave.
11. By this time -- approximately 9:30 p.m. -- there were over a hundred males in all areas of Sheehan Hall. When Mr. Martin and his cohorts were not able to convince the men to ...