The Undergraduate Council will be given an unprecedented opportunity to affect University-wide policy this week when it selects two undergraduate representatives to serve on Harvard's newly formed, 20-person committee created to examine the wages of its employees.
The council's Student Affairs Committee (SAC) will be accepting applications this week from any undergraduates who wish to apply to be on the committee. Then SAC--in accordance with the council's constitution with regard to appointments--will vote to appoint two of the applicants. SAC's choices will be voted upon by the council at large in a confirmation hearing scheduled for May 16th.
Council President Paul A. Gusmorino `02 said that although SAC appoints undergraduates to a variety of other administrative committees, like the Committee on House Life, the Committee on College Life and the Committee on Undergraduate Education, the wage committee appointment will be especially important in that it will direct University policy--not just that of the College.
"It's unusual because it's the first time a high-profile, ad-hoc committee has been formed and included students," Gusmorino said. "It's a tangible way in which the UC will be able to affect this area of policy-making at the University level. It's definitely exciting."
The only other committee that advises on University policy and includes an undergraduate appointed by the council is the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, but the University often does not follow that committee's policy suggestions about the ethics of investing Harvard's endowment.
Tuesday's creation of the two posts has sparked debate among council members over what sorts of students should be picked to serve on the committee.
Council liberals have suggested that members of the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM), whose Mass Hall sit-in led to the committee's formation, should fill both undergraduate seats.
"I personally feel that the spots should go to he members of the PSLM--the people who are responsible for the committee in the first place," said council member James C. Coleman `03.
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