Overstep

With every passing year, the Student Council seems to wander farther and farther from its original function of advising the Administration on College policy. The most recent step in the wrong direction came when, over vigorous minority opposition, the council supported Massachusetts House Bill No. 646. This bill would reduce transportation fare rates by one half for students of schools, colleges, and universities in the Commonwealth.

Regardless of the possible merits of the bill, the Council should not have voted to approve it. The Council was not elected to pass judgement on local, state, or federal legislation. For it to do so is a pompous distortion of its real purpose in the College.

The Council members who favored approval of the bill claimed that there was valid precedent for their action. They cited the Barnes Bill hearing two years ago when the Council opposed legislation banning communist sympathizers from University employ. But this is not valid precedent; the Barnes Bill, if enacted, would have had great impact on College educational policy. This is not true of the transportation reduction bill.

By its hasty action, the Council has presented a standing invitation to axe grinders who want backing for causes only remotely related to College affairs. The group has probably forgotten that its support is often construed by strangers as sanction by the entire student body--an unfortunate fallacy.

It is too late for the Council to reverse its stand on Bill No. 646. The next best move is to abstain from taking action on matters which do not strictly concern it.