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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

As of Sunday, 19 girls are on the fourth day of a hunger strike. Four have already become too weak to go on; one of them, Carole Adams, is in the infirmary. We have received a great deal of tangible support -- a generally favorable press. TV and radio coverage, supporting telegrams from NSA and the University of Buffalo, several encouraging letters and cards, flowers from unknown supporters cartons of cigarettes and Realist reprints for our amusement.

The fast was started over a question of housing, but we have found in our discussions among ourselves, with our fellow students, and with the administration that the issue underlying our demands is much broader: Do we as students have a real voice in the decision-making process in our college? Decisions at Radcliffe, it seems to us, are made completely from above. Mrs. Bunting usually chooses wisely, but this spring she made one decision, over apartment living, that was too contrary to student feeling for us to let pass. If students were adequately represented in the administrative process such extreme protests as ours would not be necessary.

Friday evening we had a lengthly meeting with Mrs. Bunting at Edmunds House. After three hours of discussion her position became quite clear: Housing policy can be changed -- now, for next year -- if Mrs. Bunting is convinced it is "important enough" to the educational experience. Otherwise the deficit (which could be made up, as it was last year, by alumnae gifts) outweighs any considerations of our wishes. She asked us to write a "well-worded" statement of why we think the question so important. We are doing so, but as far as we are concerned the importance of any question at a college should be determined by its effect on the students. We are asking for a shift in priorities: students over the budget. Jay Lockard   Susan Levenstein

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