Undergraduates will vote today, Tuesday and Wednesday on several questions included in a non-binding referendum designed by the Student Assembly to gauge student opinion on a variety of issues.
The referendum will measure student support of study abroad proposals, variable meal plans, toilet paper distribution and several other issues affecting undergraduates.
Included in the referendum is a question asking whether the University should take whatever steps are necessary to change the name of the Engelhard Library at the Kennedy School.
The Student Assembly's pro statement on the Engelhard issue reads. "For ten years Charles Engelhard was the single largest investor in South Africa. He amassed a quarter-billion dollar fortune in the South African gold mines, where on average three black miners die every shift. Not an absentee investor, he was the only foreigner to sit on two labor recruitment boards for the mines."
The statement points out that the Kennedy School Student Association, the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, the Student Assembly and Sen. Edward M. Brooke (D-Mass.) have all supported the effort to change the library's name.
However, other assembly members contest the claims that Engelhard was particularly instrumental in promoting apartheid in South Africa.
The argument against renaming the library states, "All claims against Charles Engelhard are based on a single article from the now-defunct Ramparts magazine; no confirmation of the smears made against him has been forthcoming simply because none exists."
The Assembly position opposing the renaming contends that Engelhard opposed apartheid and supported the political campaigns of former President John F. Kennedy '40 and Robert F. Kennedy '48, and that the Engelhard Foundation has given money to the United Negro Fund, the National Urban League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The second and third questions on the referendum ask whether students would favor the establishment of drama courses for credit, and if so, whether they would take such courses.
Students who are in favor of such courses say the University is arbitrarily discriminating against drama students because Harvard currently offers courses for credit in drawing and music.
The assembly argument against allowing students to take drama courses for credit cites financial constraints in creating drama courses and the several extra-curricular opportunities for students interested in becoming involved in dramatics.
Other questions in the referendum concern variable meal plans, the reestablishment of a teaching center similar to the one at Hilles Library last year, the distribution of free toilet paper at the River Houses and foreign study programs.
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