The Faculty Committee on Student Activities stalled last night on official recognition of the proposed Harvard Association of African and Afro-American Students. At issue, although no one would say it, was the proposed organization's allegedly "discriminatory" membership clause.
Dean Watson, chairman of the committee, said in a terse statement that "further clarification" was being sought. The absolute refusal of the committee's members to elaborate indicated to observers that the Administration regarded the discrimination question as a potentially explosive one.
Ononeze M. Anoche '64, president of the proposed group, said he had "no idea what objection the committee could have. I cannot imagine that it is because of the membership clause that they have no acted. The Faculty committee has had ample opportunity to read the constitution correctly. With the explanatory letter we have sent them, they cannot make the same incorrect reading of our aims that was made last year.
Anochie was referring to the refusal of the Harvard Council on Undergraduate Affairs last May to recommend recognition of the club. That council, after two hours of intensive debate, decided that the membership clause "in practice" would not admit "whites."
Anochie charged that R. Thomas Seymour '64, president of the HUCA, had contradicted himself in recommending a change in the membership clause "and therefore I didn't give Seymour's letter much thought."
"Seymour now seems to say there is nothing wrong with the clause," Anochie said. "Then why change it? If some one asks for a change, we would normally want to know why the change was deemed necessary and useful."
Seymour, in a letter to the CRIMSON, contended that the new insights provided by the club's explanatory letter "clearly show the Association should now have no objection to amending their membership clause.