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Peterson Pledges Search For More Black Students

By Charles J. Hamilton

The Admissions Department, in a joint statement with the Ad Hoc Committee of Black Students, announced yesterday that Harvard will intensify efforts to recruit and admit more black students.

"We are committing ourselves to getting a substantially higher number of qualified black students," Dr. Chase N. Peterson '52, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, said yesterday, after a meeting with representatives of the Ad Hoc Committee.

Peterson added, "To this end, we want to get a better representation of a black point of view on the Admissions staff."

The announcement came after a series of meetings between the Admissions Committee and members of the Ad Hoc Committee. Peterson elaborated on the joint statement of the Admissions Committee and the black students in an interview.

Admission Statement

The Statement read:

"The Admissions Committee wants to make it clear that it has its own obligation to work for the correction of deficiencies in the appreciation of black cultural contributions to academic as well as political life."

Peterson outlined a program of action which the Admissions Committee will adopt to get more black students. It includes:

* A better representation of black attitudes and background on the Admissions Staff,

* Black Harvard students traveling to their home cities with Admissions officers during vacations and at other times during the year to recruit black candidates,

* The setting up of special area alumni systems to complement recruitment activities,

* Bringing more black candidates for visits to Harvard prior to admission decisions.

Dean Ford also met with members of the Ad Hoc Committee yesterday, but results of that meeting were not disclosed.

Vital Role

Peterson noted that black Harvard students will play an important role in all aspects of the recruitment process.

"We are not responding to a crisis so much as to a void that exists at Harvard," Peterson said. "That void happens to be the lack of attention paid to black attitudes. I think these attitudes are worth having and hearing for whites as well as black."

He went on to say:

"Of course Harvard has done a good job of recruiting black students--far more than most other schools. But we realize that it's not enough. We are now going to search out ways in which we can do much more."

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