The Student assembly yesterday voted nearly unanimously to send a letter to several University deans calling for the establishment of courses "on the Hispanic aspect of our country's development."
The letter, written by members of a special subcommittee of the assembly's academic committee, states, "Although it has generally offered its students a fairly complete picture of this contry's historical and social developmkent, Harvard has virtually ignored the significant roles of variou7s Hispanic-American groups in several phases of U.S. history."
"Viewing this situation in the most charitable light, we must assume that Harvard is merely offering token recognition to the Hispanic-American population of this country. In so doing, the University seriously damages its own reputation for intellectual integrity."
George Sanchez, the assembly's special representative from RAZA, a Mexican-American campus organization, asked the assembly to send the letter to Dean Rosovsky, President Bok, Archiv C. Epps III, dean of students, and Glen W. Bowersock '57, associate dean for undergraduate education.
The letter points out that several major universities offer a variety of courses on Hispanic history and culture. "Yale University offers courses on Chicano history and poetry, a top Hispanic poet is a full faculty member at Wellesley college, and Notre Dame has a Center for Chicano Studies," the letter sates.
The subcommittee, composed of members of the assembly, RAZA and La Organization Estudiantil Boricua, a campus Puerto Rican group, is also contacting political figures to encourage them to write letters to University deans advocating the establishment of Hispanic-oriented courses.
The subcommittee calls for the University to create at least two or three courses on Hispanic-American culture in its undergraduate curriculum and to hire Chicano and Puerto Rican scholars to teach these courses as full-time Faculty members.
In other action, the assembly formed an ad hoc committee to prepare for a conference, at the University of Pennsylvania, of representatives from the eight Ivy League schools, the University of Chicago, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Arthur Kyriazis '80, an assembly representative who has helped organize the conference, told the assembly the representatives to the conference will exchange information and take stands on issues affecting students after attending issue-oriented workshops.
The assembly also passed a motion, backed by the Dunster House delegation, to award a "Quirk Award" to individuals and groups associated with Harvard. The award is patterned after Sen. William Proxmire's (D-Wis.) "Golden Fleece" award and will be used to "expose oddities, anomalies and illogicalities in the way the University is run."
The assembly tabled a motion to begin to seek some kind of University recognition after Carl Rosen '80, chairman of the committee for inter- and extra-University affairs, said, "I don't think there's any reason for our existence if we can't rely solely on the support of the student body.