B.U. Students, Attacking Book Profit, Will Boycott
Following a breakdown in negotiations between the students and the Administration, Boston University's Ad Hoc Committee for University Reform has called for a boycott of the school book store beginning February 1.
The student group met with University officials yesterday in an effort to win a ten per cent discount on all books and educational materials in the store. Spokesman Julien Houston declared the meeting "inconclusive."
The strike will begin on the date the desired discount would have become effective.
The students' demands are based on the claim that the University-owned store realizes a profit of $300,000 annually.
An administration official who met with the Ad Hoc Committee told the CRIMSON last night that the $300,000 figure was "greatly inflated," but refused to give an alternate figure at this point.
The official, B.U. vice-president for Student Affairs, J. Wendell Yeo, explained that the university financial policy is formulated on a yearly basis and cannot suddenly be altered to accommodate a change in bookstore revenue.
Yeo declined to predict official reaction to a possible student demonstration; he noted that a boycott is a "legally acceptable form of protest in a democratic country."
The administration is withholding decision on the proposed discount pending receipt of a report from the Student Council and one from the Faculty Senate, Yeo said. He stressed that the president's office was anxious to listen to student problems and to try to resolve them.
Student spokesman Houston, however, doubted the administration's good faith. "If they were willing to consider student opinion," he said, "then we would have lower prices by second semester. The university might need the bookstore profit," Houston added, "but that's its problem."
The Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of about 20 students, considers the present protest an initial step toward creating a "democratically structured, intellectually viable community at B.U. in which students will play an important role."
"Students are the most exploited group in the country," Houston declared, "for they usually have no say in matters closely concerning them." He maintained that the administration has acted unfairly in the past. He cited the example of one student whose financial aid was revoked without any reason being stated.
Another issue which Houston feels B.U. makers have not discussed sufficiently with students is the controversial requirement that all students must live in dormitories or with a close relative.