Graduate students in Social Psychology yesterday placed flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Grad Student in protest against the Department of Psychology and Social Relations's decision Tuesday requiring first-year students to take a department-wide survey course.
The department currently has three graduate programs--personality and development, experimental psychology and social psychology--which have independent requirements. Each program conducts a separate survey course for first year students.
The tomb was erected by unidentified individuals in the lobby of William James Hall.
Frederick D. Miler, a graduate student in Social Psychology, said yesterday that an overwhelming majority of students in his program and all but one of its faculty members opposed the combined survey course. He said, however, that members of the other two wings of the department support it.
"The issue is autonomy," he said. "The other two programs can merge if they like, but we want to be free to define the requirements in our own discipline."
"The general survey will force everyone to study the biological and psychological aspects of psychology, without the counterbalancing effect of requiring the biology people to study sociology," Thomas F. Pettigrew, professor of Social Psychology, said yesterday.
The general survey will tend to alter the type of student attracted to the program, Miller said. "Adding requirements aimed solely at psychology will draw away those interested in the broad social inquiry characteristic of the Social Psychology program."