For almost a decade, each fall has witnessed the curious ritual of the University administration's attempt to entice undergraduates to elect representatives to the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR), a student-faculty disciplinary committee formed in the wake of the 1969 student strike. And for almost as many years, undergraduates replied with a terse "NO."
Until two years ago, that is. It was then that the members of the Class of '80, as freshmen, elected the first undergraduate members to the committee. The Class of '81 followed suit last year, and the administration has renewed its call this fall with some hope that the decade-long upperclass boycott may be over.
With the Classes of '80 and '81 both living in the Houses this year, it seems likely that they may provide enough votes for at least a few Houses to nominate representatives to the CRR. With that precedent set: and with the Class of '82 no less likely to continue electing representatives: the CRR may get down to business, as it was originally conceived, for the first time ever.
Some problems remain, however. Persistent student calls for the reform of the committee: including proposals to equalize the number of students and Faculty members on the CRR, and to ban the use of legal counsel at its proceedings: have yet to be considered by the Faculty.
Last year, the Graduate Student Association, which had previously supported the boycott, nominated two student representatives, on the condition that the CRR be reformed to meet several student demands.
Those reforms are up to the Faculty. The CRR, however, must first ask the Faculty to consider them: a bureaucratic necessity that has so far been neglected because the CRR has yet to meet this year.
If, however, the Faculty goes along with those proposals: or comes close enough to appease the Graduate Student Association: the CRR could be in full gear by the end of the year.
So much for tradition.