The Harvard chapter of the New University Conference (NUC), an organization of graduate students and Faculty, has accused the Graduate School (GSAS) Administrative Board of "political intimidation and repression" in its punishment of Paine Hall demonstrators.
The NUC has also called for the Ad Board's decision 'to be reversed by the Faculty, and fought by everyone."
In a statement, drafted after a meeting of 20 members yesterday, the NUC claimed that the Harvard community has been deceived if it thinks that the punishment--suspended firing--is "an example of unusual tolerance."
The NUC revealed the text of the letter sent by the GSAS Ad Board to the 14 punished students. The letter concludes with what the NUC terms "a crude threat to the students' future careers":
"The judgment of the academic and professional implications of your conduct cannot, of course, be made by this board."
Further evidence of intimidation, the NUC claimed, was that the Ad Board sent a copy of the letter to each student's department chairman.
Another section that the NUC finds objectionable reads: "The Board has further voted that if in the future it finds that you have participated in obstructing the orderly workings of any segment of the university, it will cancel the suspension and sever your connection."
NUC says that this passage implies that the Ad Board will have "unlimited powers of judgment" in determining what "obstructing" means. "'Obstructing' could include any dissenting action," NUC says, "whether this be giving all A's to contest the grading system, or burning down the ROTC building."
The NUC is a national organization of radical faculty and graduate students seeking university reform. At Harvard, the membership consists almost entirely of students, although faculty members predominate nationally, according to Ellen Cantarow, a graduate student in Comparative Literature and a member of NUC