MORE ON THE COUNCIL
To the Editors of the CRIMSON: 26 April
The Dunster House Committee decision to move for secession from the Student Council could well have stood some judicious deliberation. The Council is wearing a rather grimy visage these days, chiefly in consequence of the recent Phillips censure controversy. It seems possible that some of those who were disappointed with the out-come of the anti-Phillips campaign are now entertaining notions of severing relations with the Council in order to disassociate themselves with Phillips. That smacks of cutting the throat to cure the cough. What many feel to be irresponsibility on Phillips' part is not the fault of the Council. When a question as serious as that raised by the Dunster referendum is involved, it is incumbent on all concerned to ascertain that their motives are not the product of personal distaste for the Council President.
It should be clear that any House's withdrawal from the Council will be likely to precipitate the dissolution of the Council. It is legitimate to consider leaving the Council only if a House is genuinely convinced that the Council in its present from is not worth preserving. In this case, the decision must be based on the merits and defects of the Council and on nothing else.
It is unreasonable to attempt to eliminate the Council before a more acceptable alternative has been worked out. The Dunster House Committee suggests an inter-House Council. But no such body exists, nor is there even a well-thought-out plan for creating it. It is irresponsible in the extreme to bring about a situation in which there would be no functional student policy organization above the House level. . . .
We believe the Council is due for a reformation. But we hope that the necessary time will be taken by all concerned to work out a satisfactory solution. The Council has, whether the Dunster House Committee recognizes it or not, many functions which only the Council can perform. If the Council is to be dissolved, some thought must be given to the disposition of these functions. Obviously, the Dunster House Committee has given little if any thought to the full implication of its action. The further questions remains as to whether any House can legally withdraw from an organization constituted not by Houses, but by the student body.
All of the above considerations impel us to ask that Harvard turn careful attention to the Dunster House Committee's action. We suggest that the "Student Council problem" is one that must be dealt with by the entire student body. Roger M. Leed '61, Eugene H. Zagat, Jr. '61.