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There have been no formal requests for a Faculty discussion of the new regulations for Honors in General Studies, Ian Ford said yesterday. He implied that the College is virtually certain to maintain its policy for at least a year.
The reason for assuming that the cum laude in General Studies policy will need to be changed is that the technicalities of the Faculty's rules of order make it much easier to pass a motion which has been announced in advance.
In general, any material that a Faculty member would like to put forward for debate must be submitted at least two weeks before the Faculty meeting at which it is to be discussed. A motion not submitted before the two-week deadline cannot be placed on the meeting's docket, and motions not on the docket require an 80 per cent margin for passage, instead of a simple majority.
The next Faculty meeting is scheduled for January 12. Its business will include the official approval of any mid-year degrees.
Those who oppose the new C.L.G.S. policy have questioned its legality on the grounds that it should have been considered as "new business," rather than as an amendment to a motion regularly placed on the docket. Having once made this argument, anyone still wishing to revise the policy would almost certainly make his attempt in strict observance of parliamentary procedure. This would mean notifying the Dean of Faculty two weeks in advance.
Commenting on the silence of the C.L.G.S. oposition, one Faculty member pointed out last night that most of the men who dislike the new policy have made plans to block it in Departments. The way they could do this, he said, would be to threaten to give an E in tutorial to any student who seems likely to take advantage of some of the liberalizations of the new policy.
The new policy makes all seniors with the required number of honors course grades eligible for an Honors degree in General Studies, regardless of whether or not they began to write a thesis and regardless of whether or not they ever finished it. The policy was passed at the last Faculty meeting in an unexpected vote in which no department chairmen participated.
Frederick V. Hunt, Rumford professor of Physics, proposed the new policy because he felt that any student who makes honor grades in three-quarters of his courses deserves an Honors degree.
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