THE CURRENT student strike at Harvard should continue.
Various moderate student leaders are now calling for a "moratorium" on the strike. Such a moratorium, regardless of what its proponents say, would amount to calling off the strike entirely. The strike is the only solid asset that students interested in bring about real changes at Harvard possess, and it should not be discarded until those real changes have been won.
Several days ago, it appeared that the radical program on ROTC and expansion could not obtain significant additional student support, and that therefore a moderate-radical coalition based on the need to restructure the University should be formed. The weekend has shown, however, the student support for the radical demands is large and rapidly growing. The Association of African and Afro-American students, a substantial group of teaching fellows, and majorities of students in several Houses have supported essentially similar radical demands. If this support continues to grow, the fight against ROTC and expansion can be won.
Many individual students do not agree with particular demands advanced by the various groups currently leading the strike. Some people are confused about the particulars of the expansion issue. Others are disturbed about some groups lack of emphasis on the need to restructure Harvard if any real changes in the University's policies can come about.
At the moment, no group represents everyone who supports a democratic, non-militarist and non-expansionist university. But unity Can be achieved. The strike steering committee set up by students who initially supported SDS's six demands was designed to be expanded, and the six demands can be added to and clarified. Students who find themselves for the most part in agreement with this group's demands should, as the strike proceeds, attend and participate in the meetings of the radical strike group. These are not SDS meetings, but simply meetings of people who support the radical demands.
THE CRIMSON is in substantial agreement with the demands made by the radical students in mass meetings during the past few days. We would formulate these demands as follows:
* Terminate all ROTC contracts with the Defense Department and make no new contracts. The present contractual arrangement for the training of officers here constitutes, as President Pusey indicated during his appearance before the SFAC last month, support for the U.S. military and the policies which it carries out. Harvard should not support these policies, and therefore should make no contracts which commit the University to supporting them.
There is presently circulating a proposal to refer this question to a binding referendum of the entire University community. The difficulty with this proposal is that ROTC is not a question, to be resolved by majority vote. It is a moral question, and for this reason a majority vote. It is a moral question, and for this reason a majority vote cannot be considered binding on those who hold a moral position which happens to be in the minority. This principle is commonly accepted in democratic societies: school segregation, state religion and genocide are examples of policies which could easily win elections in various localities, but which must not be submitted to such a majority rule. ROTC falls into a similar category. The only just solution to the ROTC controversy is actively to cease co-operating with the ROTC program.
* No University expansion unless all housing destroyed by such expansion is replaced by similar housing at the same cost, and unless the University offsets the impact of such expansion on the overall housing market.
* No scholarship reductions for Paine Hall demonstrators, or participants in future political demonstrations.
* Amnesty for the students who occupied University Hall.
* The ensure implementation of the Rosovsky Report on Afro-American Studies, the Committee of Afro-American Studies be reconstituted to consist of equal numbers of prospective concentrators and Afro members, to be joined by all tenured and non-tenured professors of Afro-American Studies.
A FURTHER demand has not been made by the students who elected the strike steering committee. This is the demand that the University be restructured so that its policies will be determined by the people that they significantly affect, and by no one else. The Corporation, as it is presently constituted, must be abolished.
Recent events have shown very clearly that the Corporation will never abolish ROTC, and therefore people who oppose ROTC should recognize the need to oppose the power of the Corporation. Radicals should recognize that a demand for a restructuring of the University opens for the first time the possibility of a radical University administration. For in a restructured University, all that would be needed to implement consistently just policies would be the support of the University community. This can be won, and is now being won.
WITH CHARACTERISTIC ineptitude, the Corporation yesterday announced its own plan for restructuring University decision-making. It created a body of students and Faculty to advise President Pusey in such crises as the one he faced Wednesday night. This 68-man Duma, which includes no members of SDS or Afro, was created in a transparent effort to shore up the C0orporation's weakening image among campus moderates, and to legitimize the President's reactions to future crises.
A meeting open to the entire University community will convene in Soldiers' Field at 1:30 this afternoon. It is not clear who has called this meeting, who will be running it, or what its purpose will be. One thing, however, is certain. Since the meeting has been announced as open to all members of the community, regardless of their position on the substantive issues behind the strike, the meeting can make no decision on whether or not the strike should be continued. Only the strikers can call off the strike. Consequently, the meeting should not vote on this matter, and if it does, the vote should be considered meaningless.
The men who rule Harvard would like nothing better than to have students give up their strike and sit down to talk things over. It is true that there is a great deal of talking to be done, but if we give up the strike, then we could talk forever without changing Harvard.