Text of Dowling Committee Report

Page 7 of 8

The Committee recommends that these three student-faculty committees regulate their own internal affairs and rules of procedure as do CUE and CHUL at present. In this regard, we note the successful practice of CUE of allowing student representatives of ERG to attend CUE meetings and to participate fully in Committee discussions. All of the student-faculty committees may wish to experiment with such procedures.

We also urge continuation of the practice, recommended by the Fainsod Committee, of inviting student members of student-faculty committees to participate in Faculty and Faculty Council meetings when proposals originating in the student-faculty committees are being considered by the Faculty or Faculty Council. Furthermore, our Committee suggests that the students serving on the student-faculty committees, as well as the officers of the Council, should have the opportunity to consult with the Deans and administrators who will be interpreting and implementing the advice offered by these committees.

Standing Committees

As noted above, the election-selection procedures for student members of the Standing Committees are not widely known and they vary from committee to committee. We propose that the Communications and Finance Committee of the Council assume the responsibility of informing undergraduates with regard to the availability of positions of these committees and the election-selection procedures. Students interested in serving on a committee would inform the Communications and Finance Committee of the Council which would serve to organize and supervise elections to that Committee or forward names to the appointing individual or body. [Footnote: Faculty legislation mandates that student members of the Core Curriculum Committee and subcommittees be chosen from ERG by the student members of CUE. We suggest that the student members of these committees be chosen in the future from the Educational Policy Committee of the Council.] The Communications and Finance Committee may, on occasion, actively seek candidates for such positions, and, if asked, rate candidates.

We further suggest that the representatives of the various Standing Committees report at least once a semester to a joint meeting of the Administrative and Communications and Finance Committees of the Council so that the activities of the Standing Committees be made more widely known, through a Council newsletter or similar mechanism.


We see three areas in which funds are needed for a more effective student government at Harvard. First, monies are needed for supporting Council business. This would include funds for secretarial help and associated supplies, office space, meeting notices and advertisements, and for a Council newsletter. Second, funds are needed to provide the backing for University-wide events, such as the concert held in the Spring of 1980 in the Bright Center. Finally, there is need for funds to enable new student organizations to get underway, or to support student organizations that are in financial difficulty. (We are assuming that the financial responsibility for the student-faculty committee operations and other activities related to college governance will continue to be supported by the College.)

At Harvard, student organizations are expected to be self-supporting, and we agree with this view. However, funds are often needed to undertake new ventures, or to maintain worthwhile organizations that have financial problems. The Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) presently provides seed money for new organizations involving women, or financially troubled organizations in the same category. The RUS disburses approximately $7,500 a year for these purposes. We propose the Council assume these responsibilities. We suggest that the Communications and Finance Committee, with advice from the Student Services Committee, devise open and fair procedures to determine how funding of organizations be administered. The goal is to provide modest funds for new student organizations, or on-going organizations in need of additional support.

In applying for financial subsidies from the Council, student organizations should be required to include a presentation of their current and/or projected budgets. The Communications and Finance Committee should approve grants on the basis of need, and where appropriate, on a matching basis. We strongly urge that the disbursement of these funds be done in an impartial manner. While the disbursement of Council funds is intended to help new or student organizations in financial difficulty, we recommend that the Communications and Finance Committee encourage these organizations to become financially independent, both to relieve any longterm financial strain on the Council, and to allow the student organization in question the benefits of managing their own financial affairs. This Committee does recognize, however, that there are educational benefits involved on both sides of a process in which budgets are drawn up, proposals made and evaluated and funding decisions reached.

We believe that a budget of approximately $60,000 is needed for student government affairs. We estimate that $20,000 will be required for running the Council in an effective manner; we suggest that $5,000 be set aside for the support and/or backing of University-wide activities; and, finally, we see a need for approximately $35,000 for the initiation and support of student organizations.

These are substantial sums, and our committee discussed at length how such funds might be secured. Our view is that this can best be accomplished if a $10.00 surcharge is added to each tuition bill in a fashion similar to the RUS surcharge that is presently added to the tuition bills of women at the College. We acknowledge that some undergraduates may be reluctant to support the activities of the Council, and thus we would agree to a negative check-off system whereby undergraduates could request a partial refund of the $10.00 surcharge. Since all undergraduates would benefit from some aspects of the proposed student government, we suggest that no more than $6.50 of the $10.00 be refundable. This would mean that the Council would be provided with at least $20,000 per year. On the other hand, we hope that the Council will be enthusiastically supported by the entire student body and will have access to the full amount of $60,000. The Committee suggests that the principal uses by the Council of these funds be stated on the term bill work-sheet. Furthermore, any student requesting a refund should be provided with a clear and fair notice of the procedures.

We also note here that our Committee believes it important that the Council have a permanent office, in which records can be kept, meetings held, messages taken, and information provided to undergraduates.

V. Other Issues

Our Committee spent the greater part of one meeting discussing the two disciplinary groups that exist in the College. The Committee on Rights and Responsibility (CRR) is a Standing Committee with student members established at the end of the 1960's to deal with violations of the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities. However, as noted earlier, the CRR has had a troubled history and has been boycotted by students for much of its existence. It has not met for the purpose of hearing alleged violations since 1975. The Administrative Board is the second, and major, disciplinary body of the College. It handles academic matters as well as rules violations. It has no student representatives.

Our Committee was not charged with the task of examining these groups nor their structure. However, we felt some discussion of these Committees might be useful. Our discussion was wide-ranging and frank. Some members of our Committee urged that further discussion of the Administrative Board and the CRR, their relation to one another, and the question of student representation on them, be undertaken. It is, however, a large task, well beyond the scope of our Committee. For example, any such group should study how other universities operate in this regard, and how successful they are. Also, very careful consideration would have to be given to any proposal to install a new disciplinary system at Harvard, which is certainly possible, but which may generate more drawbacks and difficulties than the present system. We are not able to make any simple suggestions as to how the present disciplinary procedures of the Administrative Board might be improved. The CRR, on the other hand, is essentially non-functional, and it seems unlikely that it will become important or significant in College affairs in the foreseeable future. Whether it should continue to exist, or whether its mandate should be broadened, are among the issues that might be discussed profitably by a future review committee.