After three hours of restrained discussion, the Student Council last night tabled any policy decision as to the future course of action the College should take with regard to the National Student Association.
There seemed to be general agreement, however, that observers would be sent to this summer's NSA Congress and that Council members should continue to study in detail the scope and structure of the organization. Despite this feeling, it was evident from the tone of the discussion that the misgivings about NSA which led to last Fall's decision to withdraw were still present in the minds of most Council members.
The special meeting--which many had felt would become a highly volatile one--quickly turned into a lengthy question and answer period. Willard Johnson, NSA vice-president of international affairs, was the center of most of the questioning.
Attempting to explain the role of the student organization and answer criticisms of it, Johnson spoke at great length about "the national student movement" NSA, he said, "acts on behalf of the students in protecting their interest where it is challenged."
Johnson defended the group's role in taking stands on domestic and, international political questions. "You must remember that these policies were the result of a national congress after much debate," he said.
Criticism Against Congress
Most criticism was levelled against the annual Congress rather than the day to day affairs of NSA. "When it comes to international issues, we hesitate to say what is and what is not Harvard opinion," commented Edward B. Segal '60.
Marc E. Leland, fomer Council President, urged the representatives not to rejoin NSA until or unless the student body becomes sufficiently interested to make the College an active member.
"Talk to the student body and see for yourself how few people know anything about it," he said.
Although discussion became rather tedious towards the end of the session, several important issues were raised. No decision was reached--since the meeting was intended as an educational one--but it was evident that all aspects of the situation were being considered. Further discussion is expected at next week's meeting.