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Faculty Changes Policies On Disciplinary Aid Cuts

By William R. Galeota

The Faculty yesterday voted to end the controversial practice of reducing a students scholarship solely because he had been placed on academic or disciplinary probation.

The Committee on Admisions and Finacial Aid may, however, still consider a student's disciplinary status as one part of his total performance, when it reviews the status of all scholarships students during the summer in order to determine how much money to give each of them during the following year.

An amendment which would have completely separated discipline from financial aid by allowing only regular disciplinary bodies, not the financial aid committee, to assess financial penalties as discipline -against scholarship holders and nonscholarship students alike-went down to defeat by a 141 to 40 margin.

The amendment's sponsor-Marc J. Roberts '64, assistant professor of Economics-argued that the motion as presented could still permit a double punishment-probation and scholarship reduction-for scholarship students. In reply, supporters of the original motion said that Roberts' amendment would not allow the financial aid committee any discretion to allot its limited funds to the needy students whose overall performance was highest.

Automatic Review

Under policies existing prior to yesterday's vote, when a student was put on academic or disciplinary probation, the financial aid committee automatically reviewed his scholarship shortly thereafter, and could cut it by up to $500 immediately, depending on the student's financial status. The student would receive an interest-free loan to replace the loss of the grant.

This practices came under sharp attack last spring when nine of the thirteen scholarship students on probation for thePaine Hall sit-in had their scholarships reduced. Critics charged the reduction represented an additional punishment to which non-scholarships students were not subjected.

Now, under the resolution which the Faculty passed by an overwhelming margin, no scholarships can be reduced during the acadmic year because of a student's academic or disciplinary status, and disciplinary action against a student will not, by itself, constitute cause for cutting his scholarship during the summer review.

The resolution also endorses the present policy of attempting to give all students admitted to Harvard adequate aid-through a combination of scholarships, loans, and employment-complete their studies here. The Committee of Fifteen prepared the resolution; the Administrative Board and the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aids endorsed it.

The resolution may apply retroactively to the students disciplined for Paine Hall. Those scholarship cuts applied only to the second half of last year. Dr. Chase N. Peterson '52, dean of Admisions and Financial Aid. said he will take the Paine Hall cases to the Student Faculty Advisory Council, which has asked such a restoration, to see if the Council still wants it. If so, the matter will be brought to the Faculty.

In introducing the resolution, Donald G. Anderson, assistant professor of Applied Mathematics and a member of the Committee of Fifteen, said "The inequities involved [in cutting scholarships for disciplinary reasons] seem to us to be the overriding issue in this."

"We ought to divorce financial aid, insofar as possible, from disciplinary procedures," he said. Under the resolution, the Financial Aid committee would take "a look at the total performance of the student and make a comparative judgment for all students." he said. "We do not say the question of discretion should be totally divorced from this assessment during the summer."

Peter seconded the resolution, saying it "supports our traditional preference for the committee's personal look at each case."

Then Roberts rose to offer his amendment, arguing that the proposed resolution did not completely erase the policy of using scholarship reduction as a disciplinary tool. "We have one form of leverage here and we choose to use it on only one class of our students," he said.

Roberts went on to say that either all disciplined students-whether or not they held scholarships-should be fined or none should be.

Strong Debate

The amendment touched off a flurry of debate. J Joel Porte, professor of English, said that the amendment would allow disciplinary bodies to assess a fine without having the full picture of a student's financial condition.

Morton W. Bloomfield, professor of English, commented that Roberts' amendment would rob the financial aid comittee of all discretion, and seemed to "indicate the erosion of the trust without which a University faculty cannot operate."

A supporter of the amendment replied that the resolution as originally proposed might make it easier to cut scholarships for disciplinary reasons, since it would "make it part of a package and not challengeable as an item."

Peterson later said his committee did not intend to operate in this manner, and added that, even if the amendment passed, it would not be humanly possible to eliminate disciplinary considerations completely from the summer review, since the comittee would have read the newspapers, and would thus be aware of any major violations by a scholarship student.

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