Monday's meeting of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) demonstrated all too clearly the divisions between the student and Faculty members of the group.
CHUL's student members met the night before to draft what they considered a very mild and non-controversial statement praising the Harvard-Radcliffe Constitutional Convention for re-examining the effectiveness of student government at Harvard.
But the student members of CHUL, most of whom expected the resolution to pass without any difficulty, were in for a surprise.
Most Faculty members of the committee were apparently miffed by a sentence in the statement that insinuated that CHUL is solely an organ of student representation.
Many of them said it is erroneous to call CHUL a student group. In fact, they added that many House masters and Faculty members also voiced complaints and brought attention to various problems through CHUL.
One Faculty member said that because CHUL does not normally pass resolutions of support for undergraduate organizations, it would be inappropriate for the committee to do so in the case of the convention.
The members of CHUL tabled the motion to pass the resolution after Dean Rosovsky told them that passing the resolution by a narrow margin would, in his opinion, be like the rabbi who told a sick acquaintance that his fellow congregation members had voted, six to four, to wish him a speedy recovery.
With or without CHUL's blessing, the members of the convention began designing the internal structure of the proposed new student government. An issues committee is currently preparing a clear agenda for the delegates.
In the meantime, the rest of the student body--like CHUL--is playing a wait-and-see game before passing judgement on the convention.