Lack of School Consensus Marks K-School Meeting
Students at the Kennedy School met yesterday for the second time to discuss the Engelhard issue, and disagreed on what direction their action on the subject should take.
"What's absent is a consensus of what the student body wants to do," one student said during the meeting.
Some students wanted to discuss the problem of apartheid, the University's fund raising policies, and the possible effect of renaming the Engelhard Library on future Harvard fundraising efforts, while others wanted to concentrate on the renaming of the library.
Luther Ragin Jr, '76, a student at the Kennedy and Law Schools, said other organizations, such as the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, exist to deal with the broader issues. He said a "multiplicity of committees and overlapping structures" would diffuse and contain the energy created by this issue."
The discord among the students became evident when many walked out of the meeting. Many expressed exasperation with what they viewed as the lack of direction of the meeting. The students "got bogged down in superfluous side issues," one of the students who left the meeting said.
After the meeting, Ragin said a "special interest group," composed of Kennedy School students and faculty concerned with the naming of the school's library is necessary.
The group would "educate" the school about the Engelhard issue and "keep a fire" under the school's student government, administration and the Harvard Corporation, Ragin said.
The Corporation--composed of President Bok and six fellows--is responsible for the University's fund-raising policies. Bok submitted the application for the Engelhard grant to the Foundation.
Donald Woods, an exiled South African journalist and Nieman Fellow, who sat in on part of the meeting, said he agreed with the students like Ragin who feel they should focus on the naming of the Engelhard Library.
"I was impressed by the degree of concern voiced at the meeting and I hope some positive action will result," Woods said.
The students voted to close the next meeting to all non-students.
Gerry Connolly, an MPA student, member of the Student Association Board of Governors, and chairman of yesterday's meeting, said outside people are an "inhibiting factor."
Several administrators and faculty members of the Kennedy School, including Ira A. Jackson '71, associate dean of the school, sat in on the meeting. At the next meeting, the students will try to reach a consensus on what action should be taken on the Engelhard issue