THE MAJORITY OPINION was arrived at by a democratic vote of Crimson editors, and minorities on campus rightly fear that similar long-hallowed processes will halt their advancement. Moreover, the majority doesn't correctly perceive the Asian-American, Gay Student Association and Black Student Association's demands.
The one-man-one-vote method may work sometimes, but when the majority fails to respect the minority, then a new representative process must be arranged. Of course, the democratic ideal should not be shunted aside on every minor occasion; nevertheless, when it will destroy much-needed organizations, it must be abrogated. In the case of the BSA, GSA and AAA, democratic representation in the council could condemn their organizations to continue to rely on small, self-raised funds. This must not be allowed; in fact their growth is so paramount that almost any method however heretical must be used to promote these institutions. Ideals do not have preeminence over people; the ideal must fit the needs of the people.
These groups do not have the financial backing and alumni support that other Harvard groups can call on. Though the $60,000 funds of the Dowling-proposed student council may be negligible to many students and not worth fighting over, to those who have little and few alumni to fall back on, the money is a new life versus continued stagnation issue. The purpose behind the requests for appointed voting representatives is to ensure that each group will have a strong voice in the allotment of funding from the proposed student council. If the council or Dean of Students Archive C. Epps III were to restrict funds in spite of minority representatives, then minorities would recognize appointed representatives as useless and would have to attempt other means of gaining student money.
Currently, the minority groups feel that guaranteed representation may best achieve their goals. I support their choice of methods. The majority's suggestion that the "Cambridge" method is sufficient, ignores the fact that Chicanos and other groups in some Houses comprise too small a percentage to gain a seat by this voting system.
When the era arrives in which special provisions are not needed to provide enough funds for these minorities, then they will be the first to eliminate the now-needed, yet socially frowned upon measures. But in this day and age--when the average Black earns only 60 percent of a white's pay--even at the supposedly ideally fair Harvard, the liberal catchword democracy must not prevent disadvantaged minorities from enlarging the effectiveness of their organizations.