Student Leaders Summit Auspicious
The first student-group leaders' summit, held two weeks ago, was important not so much because of what was accomplished (not much), but because it set a fine precedent for the future of decision-making at Harvard. We are pleased to see this new sort of cooperation on campus, in which student groups address collective concerns. Future meetings, to be convened two or three times per semester, will create a nurturing space for student leaders to share their ideas and to discuss institutional issues.
Last week's discussion of the Undergraduate Council's grants process and of possible alternative uses for Loker Commons proved to be excellent starting points. In the future, student group leaders might similarly evaluate the council's actions and policies in order to issue public pronouncements on their efficacy. This would help to forge a more balanced conception of student government on campus. We encourage the increased formalization of the student group meetings as alternative representation to the council, one that organizes the more particularized commitments of students in the Harvard community.
Kudos go to council President Robert M. Hyman '98 and Vice President Lamelle D. Rawlins '99--who included the student-leader summit idea in their Student Bill of Rights--and their team for helping to expand the understanding of student representation from that of provincial council politicos. When Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III or another administrator is interested in the opinion of student leaders, he or she will no longer be forced to turn to the unstable and currently unrepresentative Undergraduate Council. We couldn't be more pleased that the council has helped to undermine its own monopoly on the "official" student voice and created a body that will legitimately uphold student opinion.