Attorney Receives Assurances That Files Records Are Intact
An attorney in the University's general counsel office yesterday told the lawyer representing several Harvard students that the University has not and does not intend to destroy documents taken from students' files.
James A. Sharaf '59 told Boston attorney Harvey A. Silverglate the University would continue to remove from the files documents given under the promise of confidentiality. Sharaf said that Silverglate "was alarmed because he thought that we were irrevocably altering the file situation."
Silverglate, who represents students from Dunster House and the Law School, said Tuesday he would go to Federal court seeking an injunction against Harvard unless the University stops removing the "confidential" records.
Silverglate said yesterday that the University's promise not to destroy the documents "eased some worries," adding that "It gives me some breathing room." Silverglate said, however, that he still plans to seek an injunction sometime next week.
Ira Nerken, a Harvard Law student and assistant to Silverglate, said yesterday that any tampering with students' files by the University was "illegal." "We feel that there is a moral obligation between student and recommender. The University need not and probably should not be involved," he said.
Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said Tuesday that the University was removing the documents from the files.
Steiner also said yesterday that he had informed department chairmen that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which will give students access to their files, will also require students to sign "consent forms" allowing persons other than the recommender to see documents of recommendation.