While the Faculty braced itself for Tuesday's scheduled debate on the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities and the nature of student discipline, the 1972 version of the CRR conducted business as usual this week, releasing its verdict on the Ellen Messing case.
The CRR upheld the Administration's contention that Messing participated in a sit-in at Littauer Center May 10, but rejected a claim by James Q. Wilson, chairman of the Government Department, that Messing helped break into the Government Department offices.
But the CRR ruled that Messing violated the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities anyway. In a letter to Messing, the Committee said that "although you were not present at the moment of entry your subsequent participation in the event so initiated implicates you in the violation."
The CRR did not deem the violation worthy of punishment. Since Messing is presently under suspension from a 1970 CRR decision, further disciplinary action would have meant her required with drawal from the University.
The legitimacy of the CRR's decision could be destroyed at next week's Faculty meeting, but such a development is highly unlikely. In the CRR's stormy three-year history, legitimacy has never been one of the Committee's strong points; the disciplinary body was set up to include student representatives, but undergraduates have consistently refused to acknowledge the CRR.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Faculty have just as consistently refused to acknowledge student contempt for the CRR and its decisions. It is doubtful Tuesday's dispute will produce a different response.