In the fall of 1969, following the student strike and occupation of University Hall the previous spring, the Faculty set up the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities to discipline students involved in demonstrations that disrupted the University's "normal processes."
The original CRR was composed of three Faculty members and three students. In 1970, however, the Faculty changed the CRR to include seven Faculty members and only four students, and allowed it to admit hearsay evidence.
Furthermore, students could only appeal CRR decisions to the committee itself.
As a result of those changes in the CRR's charter, students refused to serve on the committee. The selection of student nominees for the CRR was usually blocked in House Committees when the committees refused to nominate any students to the committee.
This week it seemed that the five-year boycott might end. The Mather House Council held a referendum of Mather students on Monday and Tuesday to decide whether the council should begin the process of nominating students to the CRR. The vote was close, 122-111, but the recommendation was to nominate students to serve on the CRR.
As a result of the Mather vote, other House Committees will discuss nominating students to the CRR, House Committee chairmen said this week.
All the House Committee chairmen said there had been little or no discussion of the CRR in their committees. One chairmen said, "We thought that committee had been dead for a long time."
The committee hadn't been dead, however, Last June the CRR placed letters of reprimand in the files of six students who were part of the DuBois Institute Student Coalition sit-in at President Bok's office last May.
The CRR decided the cases of the six students without student representation on the committee, and that apparently changed some student's opinions about the boycott of the CRR.
Despite the Mather vote, there still seems to be little sentiment for ending the boycott of the CRR. However, students generally know very little about the history of the CRR student boycott and the issues involved.
That ignorance probably contributed more to the result of the Mather vote than any sentiment to end the student boycott of the CRR. Some Mather students said this week they did not know there had been a student boycott of the CRR.