Pennington Says University Seeks Unfair Penalties
John Pennington '67-1, charged by Harvard with violating the resolution on Rights and Responsibilities and with disturbing a public assembly, has claimed that Harvard "is singling me out for special punishment because I'm a communist and a former national secretary of SDS."
"All the CRR can do." Pennington said yesterday, "is to throw me out for a while. But the University wants to punish me more severely than that, so it's going to court."
Cox denied Pennington's charges. "We're not trying to discriminate against Pennington on account of his political beliefs," Cox said. "The only reason we pressed criminal charges was because Pennington's ambiguous status as a student made it unclear as to just what range of punishments the CRR could legally mete out. For example." Cox said. "I don't believe the CRR has the power to put Pennington on probation."
Pennington is currently a student registered without residence. He did not take any courses this semester but did study for his English Generals which were held last Friday. During the Fall term, Pennington was enrolled in four courses.
Donald G. Anderson, CRR chairman and McKay Professor of Applied Mathematies, disagreed with Cox. According to Anderson, the CRR has the right to "mete out any range of punishments in the Pennington case, including a suspended suspension, which is the equivalent of probation."
Anderson added that there was "no uncertainty" about Pennington's status at Harvard. "Pennington is registered as a student," Anderson said, "and consequently he is under my jurisdiction, at least until he receives his degree."