Student Blasts Social Relations Thesis Policies
Two Social Relations instructors and the Russian Research Center have been accused by a student of "unethical" practices in connection with their supervision of senior honors theses.
The charges were made against Henry W Reicken, Jr., research associate in the Laboratory of Social Relations, and Gordon W. Allport '19, professor of Psychology. The student asked his name be withheld for fear of retaliation against his sources of information.
He said one of Reicken's tutees did "strictly mechanical work" on a project last term in tutorial and received an A grade for it, and that the project topic is now being "parcelled out" to several seniors for their theses. He claimed such practices were unfair to students in other departments who are required to contribute what he termed "original and creative ideas" for their honors essays.
Allport has been giving "excessive" help to tutees, the student said, and has "structured their projects" for them and allotted them office space. He charged the Russian Research Center gives some students expense accounts and pays their expenses on trips taken for research on theses.
George C. Homans '32, associate professor of Sociology, who supervises the writing of senior Social Relations theses, said yesterday that the Department "naturally" gives all the assistance it can to its students, including the use of mimeographing machines and IBM calculators. He added that faculty members often helped the students compile their material more accurately, but said that every department in the University tries to do the same thing both in thesis and course work.
Reiken said last night that the accusations showed an "ignorance of the facts," but declined to amplify his remark. Allport declined to make any comment.