A Meager Offering

A week ago the special committee investigating the Harvard Student Agencies released a shabby and incomplete one and a half page report. The responsibility for revealing details of the committee's study was placed entirely on two reporters, who had no more than their own knowledge of the situation and the meager committee summary on which to base questions. As a result, despite two months of study by the Committee, those holding suspicions about the practices of the HSA are still justified in maintaining them.

The student body, the complaining House Committees, and the HSA itself deserved more. There were numerous specific complaints and many more general insinuations drifting about the campus. The committee claims it investigated every complaint referred to it; if so, it should have listed these complaints and the answers it received from the HSA, along with the judgement of the committee on the validity of those answers, in a detailed and comprehensive written report. Perhaps the reporters who asked the questions could have uncovered all the issues discussed by the Committee with the HSA; more probably (owing to their own ignorance of exactly what was investigated by the committee) they could not.

On only one or two specific complaints did the committee offer a judgement of HSA practices. On at least one of these, the price of the beer mug sold by HSA, that judgement itself seems questionable. It was reported that of the $5.50 a student pays for a mug, 70c goes to the agency manager and 60c goes to the HSA for overhead. The committee saw nothing wrong with this; yet, considering the near monopoly position of the HSA, these figures seem rather high.

The HSA may very well be as "clean" as the committee says it is, but that, as yet, has hardly been proven. The watchdog committee to be appointed by the HCUA will be in a position to clear up the confusion of the HSA controversy. But to do so it must conduct an extensive investigation of HSA books and practices--and present an equally extensive report. The student body deserves a full accounting, and the HSA deserves a full and fair hearing.

Recommended Articles