Last June ended a trying year for the Student Council, but began an even more trying summer for its leader.
Howard J. Phillips '62, whose presidency has been abruptly terminated by an academic probation notice, carried the cry of the campus conservative to two national student conventions this summer, only to sacrifice personal ambition for ideological victory in one, and settle for no more than the hints of success in the other.
Phillips' politickings began in late June, at the Young Republicans' National Federation in Minnesota. Phillips, at that time still listed as Council president, was one of six candidates for the office of was one of six candidates for the office of College Service Committee Chairman, that highest post open to undergraduates. One of his most dangerous opponents was Tom A. Alberg '62, president of the Harvard Young Republicans, and a more liberal politician that Phillips.
After the first ballot, Alberg held a 20-19 lead over Phillips. But a midwesterner, James Harff of Northwester, was ahead of them both with 27 votes. Neither the second nor third ballots produced any change, and no candidate had the necessary majority.
Here Phillips had to choose between attempting to swing enough liberal votes from Alberg to defeat the even more conservative Harff, or throwing his influence behind Harff to defeat their common liberal enemies. Because using the liberal votes would "discredit" his record, Phillips held to a previous agreement with Harff and threw his weight against Alberg, who was then easily defeated. Once out of the race for the chairmanship, Phillips compromised for an appointment as Director of Liason with Outside Organizations.
With the YRNF out of the way, Phil- lips and his band of conservatives headed for Madison, Wis., and the National Student Association convention. NSA is now and always has been overwhelmingly liberal-phillips and his allies hoped to introduce conservative ideas to Association policy considerations.
The conservatives made themselves heard, but no loudly enough.
Their best showing was on the question of whether or not to condemn the House Committee on Un-American Activities, a traditional scapegoat of the NSA. A conservative resolution that advocated reform rather than abolition of the committee failed by only 236 to 216, although the eventually successful resolution to abolish the committee passed with a more clear-cut margin of 250 to 160.
But the conservative position on the pro- HUAC resolution had been heavily compromised in an effort to gain votes, and on other issues the Phillips contingent did not fare so well. Their most resounding setback was in the NSA executive committee's unanimous refusal to censure Vice President Timothy Jenkins for saying, "I think we now have unmasked in the final reality what exactly exists behind the facade of the conservative image, because we now see the base and debased colonial, repressive, slave- owning kind of mentality that can exist in a hard, fascist- type regime.