To the Editors of The Crimson:
The Crimson editorial of Feb. 25 on Leverett House's action on the CRR indicates that The Crimson is missing the essential reason for the students' decision to work for change through negotiation. Leverett House is in no way willing to accept the CRR as presently constituted. Equal student-faculty representation, open hearings, and a concrete definition of triable offenses are goals that must be worked for. Moreover, Leverett House will not enter into negotiations without representatives from the other Houses. It can therefore be seen that the aims of the negotiation effort are very similar to The Crimson's.
It is possible that The Crimson disagrees with the method to be employed for seeking change and with the idea that a disciplinary body is necessary at all. That a disciplinary body is inevitable is evidenced by the fact that the University has always had one and, particularly, by the importance given to the formation of such a body during the upheavals of the late sixties. As to the method, The Crimson itself was forced to admit that "The Committee isn't any better now than it was in 1971 ..." It is clear that the passive resistance advocated by The Crimson is ineffective, but only two student initiated proposals were pushed hard enough to be considered by the faculty in the past four years. At any rate, the CRR as presently constituted is able and willing to remain in existence with or without student participation. One could easily envision a future time when students, not remembering the turmoil of the late sixties, could come to accept the present CRR. Certainly feelings about the CRR become less negative (at least at Leverett House) as one progresses from seniors to sophomores. It is therefore necessary to take positive action for change. The present environment of tranquility on campus would hopefully allow for discussion free from the emotionalism of crisis times.
As far as projections for the success of negotiations go, there does seem to be an unwillingness on the part of the faculty to re-open the issue. Several administrators, notably Dean Whitlock, have expressed the opinion that negotiations entered in good faith would be productive. As to the possibilities of changing last year's faculty vote on the issue, while it is true that reforms equivalent to those mentioned above were defeated, it should be noted that they were defeated by the narrowest of margins (48-43). Clearly, there is some Faculty interest in reform. One thing is certain: students in Leverett House, after being given an extensive introduction to the issue, supported negotiation strongly. Once support from the other houses is received, the mechanism of the negotiations becomes a technicality. Joseph L. Potz Vice Chairman Leverett House Committee
Although the University has always had a disciplinary body, it did not have an explicitly political one until 1969.
The Faculty voted down the six amendments to the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities sponsored last year by William Paul, McKay Professor of Applied Physics, by margins of approximately four to one.