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Social Relations 148 Drops Undergraduates As Course Sectionmen

By William M. Kutik

The organizers of Social Relations 148, "Social Change in America," yesterday cancelled plans to have some Harvard undergraduates and one non-Harvard graduate student act as sectionmen for the course.

The course's sponsor--Thomas J. Cottle '59, assistant professor of Social Relations--had the plans dropped when he realized that they violated Faculty regulations on instruction. Only persons holding Corporation appointments--teaching fellow or higher--can be responsible for course sections.

The Committee on Educational Policy approved the courses on Wednesday. Following that meeting, Dean Ford said that he had no knowledge of undergraduates planning to teach course sections. He said that if this were the case, the course would be re-examined.

The CEP did not ask whether undergraduates would be teaching. The confusion arose because of Cottle's mistaken assumption that undergraduates could lead sections so long as they were not officially responsible for grading.

He said he understood the Committee's question of who would be "running" the course as who would be grading it and answered that he and Harvard graduate students would be responsible for grading. The CEP did not ask him for a list of sectionmen.

'No Subterfuge'

"There was no subterfuge involved," Cottle said yesterday. "I wasn't trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. When a letter from George Goethals [lecturer in Social Relations] made me realize we were violating regulations, the changes were made."

Starting today, a Harvard graduate student will be present at and oversee every section meeting. They will be responsible for the sections and will grade the students on the basis of term papers and exams. Dean Ford said on Wednesday that it would be a simple matter for the Social Relations Department to make the graduate students teaching fellows. All but one of them is teaching for free.

Undergraduates Remain

Cottle said that the Harvard undergraduates and one non-Harvard graduate student in question will "explicitly fulfill the teaching function." They will remain in the section to direct discussion and suggest readings as their expertise permits. A graduate student will, as in all sections, be officially in charge.

The students in question will remain "full-fledged members of the staff," Cottle said. "They helped organize the course and will continue to attend our staff meetings."

'Nothing Hidden'

"I don't want to do anything to jeopardize this course," Cottle said. "Nothing is hidden, and we are complying fully with the Faculty's regulations on instructions."

Cottle will meet with the course's staff members this afternoon to inform those who had no hand in the decision of yesterday's actions.

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