About 150 students gathered in the Yard at noon yesterday for an SDS-sponsored rally to hear Dean Dunlop's reply to a 1500-signature petition asking for the abolition of the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR).
Dunlop did not appear at the rally, but Humphrey Doermann, assistant to the Dean for Financial Affairs, read a statement from him. Doermann said Dunlop was in Richmond, Virginia, at an alumni gathering.
The statement (reprinted at the end of this article) states that the dean has no power to abolish the CRR, which the Faculty has approved "by large margins" three times. Dunlop says in the statement that the CRR "is not politically repressive body."
Several members of the crowd burned their copies of the statement.
After Doermann's talk, Lowry Hemphill '72 took the microphone and said, "What we have to do now is fight back against the bosses in this University." She exhorted the crowd to form a "militant picket line" around University Hall About 50 people moved over to University Hall and stood on the steps chanting "Get some feathers, get some car; let's go get the CRR."
A group of demonstrators surrounded Guy B. Darst, staff writer for the University News Office, and followed him to the Holyoke Center Information Office and then to the Coop, where he was going to cash a check. When they found out, who he was, most of the demonstrators disbanded.
Dean Watson approached the building around 1:15 p.m. but saw the pickets and left. Other administrators called from the Faculty Club and were told by those in the building to delay their return from lunch.
At 1:30 p. m. the picketers decided to give up any attempt to block entrance to the building.
Hole in the Door
Samuel R. Williamson Jr., Special assistant to Dean May, said yesterday that the only charge that might be filed with the CRR would be against "a student we think we can identify" who kicked a hole in the door at the northeast corner of the building.
Williamson said that this and other recent blockades of University Hall have slowed down work on several projects:
Freshman House assignments, which the class of 1973 will now probably receive over the summer;
Co-residential living assignments, which are being handled by the office of Tests on the third floor of University Hall;
Organization of procedures for relieving students of academic work, as voted by the Faculty last week.
Another victim of the recent disturbances was a planned ceremony honoring Harvard employees who have worked here 25 years. Each employee was to have received a Harvard chair at the ceremony, and would have heard a speech by Dean Watson.
The text of Dean Dunlop's statement follows:
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has three times voted by large margins to constitute a Committee on Rights and Responsibilities to hear charges and impose discipline upon these who use violence or physically obstruct the freedom and academic activities of other members of the Harvard community. The Dean has no power to abolish the committee, drop charges, or overrule its decisions.
The Committee on Rights and Responsibilities is not a politically repressive body. As the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities explicitly states, members of the Harvard community are free to speak, to assemble, to join political associations and to hold political meetings, to engage in peaceful picketing and other non-obstructive demonstrations, and to pursue other political activities. Anyone who enters the Yard or goes about the Houses can see that members of the community are daily exercising these liberties without interference or reprisal.
The only purpose or effect of CRR is to provide a just method of protecting the liberty of all members of this community against those who would limit freedom by violence or physical obstruction. No one's freedom is safe if such coercive tactics are accepted. The Faculty is clearly and rightly of the view that when students or faculty are involved, such offenses must be handled within the University itself to the very limit of its ability. Thus, the only alternative to CRR is a body composed entirely of faculty, or entirely of administrators. The Faculty has decided that a joint body of elected students, faculty, and a person holding administrative responsibilities would be fairer to those concerned. I join in that conclusion.
I hope that everyone in the Harvard community will join in opposing all forms of political repression.