Sixty Senior Discuss Commencement Action
A group of about 60 seniors met in Kirkland House Junior Common Room Tuesday evening in the first step toward organizing a demonstration at commencement on June 12.
The group, which called itself the Ad Hoc Committee on Commencement, voted to walk out of commencement exercises to express a "general disatisfaction with Harvard " and, in particular, support of the eight strike demands. The group made no decisions on specific tactics, but voted down a proposal to burn diplomas. They stipulated, however, that as a group they would not discourage any individual from taking such action.
The Committee met yesterday in Phillips Brooks House to organize two-man work groups to formulate specific plans for commencement. Plans which have been proposed include the walk-out from commencement exercises, withholding of the class gifts, and educational seminars to be held during commencement week for parents and alumni.
Another group--separate from the Ad Hoc Committee--is being organized to take more militant action at commencement. "Our plans include the burning of diplomas and a statement telling just why we are taking the action," said Michael Hyde '69, one of the organizers of the as yet unnamed group.
"The whole thing is still indefinite. I have been in contact with seniors in Eliot, Kirkland, and Winthrop Houses so far. But whether we can get more than about 30 or 40 hard core people depends upon the next few days," Hyde said.
Hyde emphasized that his group is not in conflict with the Ad Hoc Committee. "We are just trying to get as many people as possible to do something," he said.
Both groups have described themselves as neither pro-SDS nor anti-SDS. The national SDS convention will be held on the same day as commencement, and many of the Harvard SDS leaders are expected to attend their convention and not commencement.