The sporadic and chronic debate over the role of the HCUA came to life again last night when John E. Diehl '65 told Council members they had become "cunuchs at the court of the Deans."
In a surprise, 1500-word statement delivered at the close of the otherwise routine meeting, Diehl said that the HCUA "is on the brink of collapse." He laid the alleged failure of the organization to what he called the "contempt" shown the HCUA by the Administration and the refusal of the Council to talk back.
"The HCUA has long been committed to a policy of cooperation with the Administration," Diehl said, "but we have seen the Council pursue that policy to disappointment and despair."
Ellis Lauds Diversity
Council chairman H. Reed Ellis '65 declined to refute or agree with Diehl in public, but said afterwards that he was always "glad to see divergent opinion" on the Council. Claiming that "it is too early to judge the success or failure of this Council," he pointed out that many projects started under his administration will not be complete until next Fall.
Ellis told the Council that this summer he hoped "to discuss at some length" HCUA proposals for inter-College dining and changes in the parietal rules with Masters and Deans. He said he was hopeful of cooperation.
Diehl said his remarks were prompted by "a long series of incidents," citing the recent refusal of the HCUA dining plan, the sudden postponement of the scooter auction, the "cold shoulder" given Council parietal proposals, and the inaction on lighting suggestions as prime examples. "The Administration has created a record of listening to Council proposals only when they are already favored by important members of the Administration."
Embarrass the "Powers"
The Quincy representative urged the Council to direct its attention to issues that might "embarass the 'powers-that-be'" in an effort to make the Council more effective and "as a demonstration of our disillusionment with present attitudes in the Administration. The Buildings and Grounds department and the University's commercial holdings were suggested as two fruitful areas for attack.
Then, with a faint trace of irony in his quiet voice, he added that "if the Administration is properly interested in the sex life of Harvard students, then it would not be improper for the HCUA to be interested in the mores and morals of our mentors, the Harvard Faculty." He thought the investigation could be handled "in the same calm and constructive manner exhibited by the Deans last Fall," stressing he was certain that "the vast majority of the Faculty are not guilty of any improperties."
Diehl's contention that the Council must more clearly establish its usefulnes or wither away was echoed in a letter to the CRIMSON (to be printed Wednesday) from Michal J. M. Galazka '64, former HCUA secretary. Galazka charged the Council has operated "in an atmosphere of student apathy and official disinterest, or, worse, manipulation."
Also at the meeting the Council heard that its scooter and bicycle auction yesterday netted $100 for the Kennedy Library.