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ONE-THIRD of the Business School's MBA candidates signed an anti-Vietnam petition for Moratorium week-yet their efforts went unreported in the local and national press. This happened because Carl G. Hokanson, president of the Student Association. used his official position as student body leader to warn the press that the perition's "accuracy and validity" was dubious. New the Business School community is fuming over Hokanson's actions.
The Student Association, on Wednesday, will consider a resolution tabled last week-that the S.A. give Hokanson a vote of no confidence and ask him to resign. Not surprisingly the emotion is sponsored by the anti-war petition's publicity director, David Baxendale whose efforts to get good press coverage went completely unrealized. Many S.A. member have taken careful mote of Hokanson's actions and, bolstered by unfavorable student reaction to him, might pass a vote of no confidence and ask Hokanson to resign.
HOKANSONS EXCUSE for putting a muzzle over the petition is that about 100 student came up to him complaining about the procedures which the Harvard Business School Vietnam Peace Committee used to circulate and release the petition to the press.
A typical charge against the petition is that the Peace Committee tricked signers by not warning them that the petition would be released to the press. But more important than examining the petty charges against the petition, it might be worthwhile to find out who these 100 duped Business School students are and to get their point of view first-hand. Hokanson when asked for the names of some of these 100. replied, "Frankly, I don't give a shit whether you know any of their names or not. "He admitted that the Wall Street Journal reporter had asked him the identical question and, when pressed further. Hokanson conceded that a lot of the complaining students were first-year students (Hokanson is in the second year of the two-year MBA program) and that he recognized them by sight but did not know them by name. Nevertheless, he felt that those whose names he did know deserved the protection of anonymity.
While Hokanson would not give any idea of the identity of these students, the student body is forming its own opinions. Richard E. Teller, a second-year student, said of Hokanson. "I thing he talked to two military guys and each one said he had 50 friends to agree with him." John Gilster, a first-year student in the liberal Section J, said that Hokanson should realize "if you're at the Harvard Business School and can't read, you get what you deserve."
Many MBA candidates understand that they can support freedom of expression by opposing Hokanson. They will speak to those S.A. members they know and ask them to pass the resolution against Hokanson which is on Wednesday's agenda. In particular, some students will try to impress upon first-year S.A. members who want a second term of office that their vote on this issue will be well remembered at recollection time.
Politically involved B-School students sav that passage of this strong an anti-Hokanson resolution is questionable whereas a weaker resolution to censure him will probably pass. If either passes. Hokanson will find that his effectiveness as a student leader will have been completely shattered. For the good of the Business School community he mav feel compelled to resign of his own accord.
Hostilitv toward Hokanson dates back to last April, While all the other graduate school student organizations issued statements on the takeover and bust of University Hall. Hokanson issued a condescending statement that the S.A. would not release a statement in order to avoid "the type of emotional response characterized by the statements of certain other elements of the University Community...Information presently available is too emotional in character, and too limited in scope, to form the basis for a useful recommendation."
Hokanson's response turned out to be a politically unwise move. When the Business School finally did hold a mass meeting of about 1000 students, Hokanson received the loudest hisses of the day-quite a feat in itself considering the circumstances. Many of the Business School students dislike the type of leadership which has characterized his administration. Whether he is asked to resign or only censured. Hokanson should probably take it upon himself to bow out of the Business School's political scene.
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