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Rules for Undergraduate Groups Undergo Two Years of Changes

By Rudolph Kass

March 1948: The Beginning

Rules for undergraduate organizations have had as many vicissitudes as Candide during the last two and a half years.

The set of regulations which Associate Dean Watson handed to the Student Council Monday for approval first began to take form March 1948 when Watson announced that his office would codify the rules it was applying to student groups.

Watson said at the time that "so many groups have come to my office requesting information as to the extent of their powers that we are convinced that the proposed rules statement is very much in order. Under the plan all organizations will know what is expected of them. This does not mean that the College will depart in any way from its traditional laissez-faire policy."

Specifically, the clamor for a codified set of regulations started after the Dean's Office had declined to recognize a magazine entitled "The New Student." Recognition was declined on the grounds that the magazine violated a University principle--in this case that more than half the content of an undergraduate magazine must be student written.

1948-1950: Interregnum

Watson in his initial announcement had said the codified rules would be ready within a month. The Student Council, however, was dissatisfied with the Watson draft and appointed Frederic D. Houghteling '50 to head a sub-committee which would revise and polish Watson's outline.

Houghteling worshipped legalistic and he resolved to make the extra-curricular rules legally fool-proof. His committee, together with Watson, toyed with the regulations for two years. Last March, after Houghteling had left College on a leave of absence, Watson and the council subcommittee uncorked their rules.

Officers and members of extra-curricular groups were aghast at what they saw, a 33-page highly detailed collection of statutes which required elaborate relations between organizations and the Dean's Office.

Spring 1950: The Big Fight

The 33-page set of rules resulted in a running fight between overwrought undergraduates, the council, and the Dean's Office during March and May. Besides holding meetings of extra-curricular lead- ers to draft a less complicated code, many students also began clamoring for the abolition of the Student Council.

May 1950: Comeback

The extra-curricular organizations leaders and as especially appointed council committee eventually quelled the disturbances by issuing a much simpler set of rules, five pages long. This was then forwarded to the Dean's Office.

November 1950: Revision

Apparently not fully satisfied with the undergraduates' recommendations, the Dean's Office pondered the rules over the summer and this week issued still another version which much resembled the May set but contained several more restrictions

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