The Student Security Patrol was organized three years ago in the hope that students could be hired to augment the University's security and fire prevention programs by walking late-night routes in and around Harvard buildings.
The administrators' confidence in the program appeared well-justified, as the demand for the patrol's services by different University offices boosted the patrol's size from 14 to 114 this spring.
And it came as a shock to most everyone when three student members of the patrol circulated a letter in February accusing the top student administrators of the patrol of engaging in financial abuses bordering on criminality.
The students, all former low-level supervisors, alleged that the patrol's coordinator, Samford L. Maier, a third-year law student, had collected pay by adding unworked patrol hours to other member's paychecks and had been paid while on Christmas vacation. The group also alleged that it was common practice for supervisors to write in their names for vacant patrol shifts and obtain compensation for what was said to be time spent supervising.
Stephen S.J. Hall, vice-president for administration, said the allegations were news to him and asked his new police chief, David L. Gorski, to investigate. But when it became apparent that many of the charges were borne out by the records, Hall appointed a special two-member commission for an independent investigation.
The investigation found there had been "no evidence of criminality" in the scandal and blamed the mess "on the University administration."
The student accusers Labeled the report a "whitewash."