Faculty May Consider Joining Moratorium
Today's Faculty meeting may discuss whether the University should participate in the October 15 Vietnam Moratorium.
If the Moratorium is not considered today. Everett I. Mendelsohn, associate professor of History of Science, said he will ask the Faculty to call a special meeting for October 7.
A letter was circulated this week among Faculty members, urging support for the Moratorium, which calls for a nation-wide halt to normal activities on October 15 to support an early end to the war.
A motion to consider the Moratorium is not on the docket for today and four-fifths of the Faculty would have to agree to discuss it. The Faculty rarely does this. A more likely possibility, according to Dean Ford, is that the Faculty will agree to call a special meeting. A simple majority is required to take such an action.
The Harvard Undergraduate Council also sent a letter yesterday to Dean Ford urging him to ask today's Faculty meeting to allow instructors to suspend their classes in order to express "conscientious concern" over the war.
Allowing classes to be cancelled would not mean the University was taking a position on the war, Mendelsohn said. The University would simply be supporting the wishes of a majority of the Harvard community, he added.
Dean May expressed yesterday some reservation about the Moratorium. "The analogy I would use is Yom Kippur," he said. "There are people in the community whose conscience moves them not to take part in the University on a particular day. The Faculty ought to respect the conscientious beliefs of those who want to observe that day. I must confess being a little uneasy about the form of the Moratorium because it involves a suspension of the educational process."
Dean Ford made a similar analogy between the Moratorium and religious holidays, but said that some Faculty members wanted to take no action on the Moratorium while others favored the formal cancellation of all University classes.
Supporters of the Moratorium disagreed somewhat on its purpose. According to Mendelsohn, "the general commit-
ment of the Moratorium is for an immediate end to the war." But John D. Hanify '71. president of the HUC, said that his letter to Ford suggested suspending classes to "express conscientious concern." about the war. The tone of the HUC letter was moderate. Hanify said in order to attract the widest support possible among Faculty members.
Several other colleges, including Columbia Rutgers, and Beutley have already cancelled classes for the fifteenth. Mendelsohn said that many other schools are discussing the possibility.