Today's Vote Will Disclose Fate of HCUA
Good Sense Beats Power, Says Monro
The college will decide in a referendum today whether or not to adopt the two-body student government proposed by the HCUA.
If the proposal is adopted, the HCUA will be split into two separate organizations: the Harvard Undergraduate Council to express student opinion on administrative matters, such as parietals and interhouse dining, and the Harvard Policy Committee to discuss long-range educational policy with the Faculty.
A similar proposal was rejected by an 1123-996 vote in January largely because of a lopsided 431-90 vote by the freshman class. After the January referendum the HCUA changed its plan slightly to allow the freshmen more representation on both of the new organizations.
The Freshman Council, however, rejected by a 17-11 vote Tuesday night a motion that it endorse the HCUA-proposed constitution. The council then agreed almost unanimously to instruct the freshmen HCUA representatives to request a constitutional convention at which student government could be examined in more detail.
Opposition to the split has come mainly from an ad hoc committee organized just before the first referendum. Michael S. Ansara '68, a spokesman for the group, last night charged the HCUA with trying to railroad the proposal through the college.
Most members of the committee would like to see a more powerful student government. Asked yesterday if he feels that there is a role for a more powerful student government at Harvard, however, Dean Monro replied "No."
"Power is not the most important thing," Monro said, "the most important thing is to make sense. Harvard is governed by the Corporation and the Overseers and the best way to get a proposal passed is to make a good argument for it."
"I think the council we've had is a good one" he continued, "It's given us some good reports, and I'm not eager to see it vote itself out. But I'm convinced from talking to Ellis that the new idea will work."
Members of the ad hoc committee also believe today's referendum is illegal. They cite a provision in the present constitution which says that proposed amendments must be posted in the houses for at least 10 days, excluding exam period, before the amendment is voted on.
H. Reed Ellis '65, chairman of the HCUA, last night rejected this argument saying, "We're dealing with an entirely new constitution, and therefore are under no legal obligation to follow the amendment procedure of the old one.