Administration Increases Efforts To Spot Activists
The Administration yesterday described how it will improve the process by which it identifies students involved in disruptive protests.
The explanation comes in the wake of charges by several Faculty members--including two members of last year's Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR)--that the Administration appeared in the past to single out members of particular political groups for selective prosecution.
President Bok said yesterday that the Administration is "trying to improve photographic identification" at disruptive incidents. Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday that an attempt will be made to employ more observers at occupations and sit-ins to assist in maximum identification.
Bok added that the increased photographic surveillance will not be provided by the Harvard News Office. Activists have charged in the past that News Office photographs were used to identify demonstrating students.
Both men explained that the attempt at improved identification will not utilize police-state tactics. "We certainly will not engage in some sinister surveillance of students or anything of that sort." Bok said.
Steiner added that the Administration's move is solely directed toward minimizing the appearance of selective prosecution. "We are trying to insure the appearance of fairness--in addition to actual fairness--in our selection of people to face discipline," he said. "I'm loathe to destroy this attempt at fairness by an overly efficient identification process."
The increased concern with selective identification stems from the Administration's reaction to an antiwar sit-in at the Littauer Center last May 10.
Although about 40 people participated in the action, charges were brought against only five of the alleged occupiers. All five were prominent members of Students for a Democratic Society, prompting speculation in some quarters that they had been singled out for political reasons