Isolationism

THE College Council, Radcliffe's policy-making body, did not invite student representatives to its first meeting. This failure is particularly disappointing because both the administration and students spent long hours last year trying to work out a new, mutually beneficial relationship.

True, the present constitution of the Radcliffe Union of Students does not deal with student representation on the Council even though students over-whelmingly approved the idea when a first draft of the constitution was submitted to them for a vote last year. This clause was finally dropped by the student officers in order to get the constitution approved at all and a verbal agreement was substituted under which students would be invited "from time to time."

Mrs. Bunting often said that "at a time when students want communication so much, it is a shame for them to isolate themselves." She has praised RUS several times in the past for not isolating itself. She is right, and it is praise well-deserved.

But one would hope that the administration is equally eager for communication and that it is not going to isolate itself. A dialogue can only exist in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

For this reason the College Council should have made a special point of inviting student representatives to its first meeting. Mrs. Bunting has used the excuse that the meeting took place in early September before most students were back in Cambridge. But the dates for the Council meetings are set up well in advance and it is hard to believe that the Council could not have dropped RUS President Debbie Batts a line informing her of the meeting and requesting student representation if possible.

Late last spring there was hope in the air. Hope that the administration had realized that students could make important contributions to the running of the College. An invitation to the first meeting of the Council would have been a symbolic statement of the administration's trust in students and of its sincere wish to see students participate.

IN ORDER to build on the achievements of last spring, the administration must now move to regularize student participation to give students the feeling that they do have a valuable contribution to make. The ambiguities surrounding student representation on the Council must be settled quickly. Students for their part must take up the challenge, and begin working together with the administration in the various alumnae committees open to student representatives for the first time this year.