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Faculty Officially Condemns War, Passes Altered Moratorium Motion

By James M. Fallows

The Faculty-while still in official session yesterday-approved a resolution condemning the Vietnam war.

The formal vote at the meeting was 255 for the resolution, 81 against, and 150 abstain.

But at an informal "convocation" after the meeting, 44 of those who had voted "no" or "abstain" voted once more. Forty-one of them voted to support the spirit of the anti-war resolution, and three voted against it.

Earlier in its meeting, the Faculty approved a modified and amended version of a resolution suporting the October 15 Moratorium.

The original version of the resolution-presented by Everett I. Mendelsohn, professor of the History of Science, asked the Faculty to "affirm its support of the October 15 day of protest" and re-affirm its members' right to suspend their classes that day.

By a vote of 268-210, the Faculty amended the resolution to say that the Faculty "recognizes that October 15 is a day of protest." The amended motion passed by a margin of 391-16.

No Recess

The Faculty voted on the anti-war resolution only after a move to recess the meeting failed by an extremely narrow margin.

Several professors-including those who had said before the meeting that the Faculty should consider the resolution at an informal convocation or during a recess-said during the debate that the Faculty should not vote on "political" issues at its formal meeting.

Then Seymour Martin Lipset, professor of Government and Social Relations, moved that the Faculty recess for 15 minutes. His motion failed by one vote, 214-215.

The Faculty voted immediately on the Vietnam resolution, with abstentions being counted as well as ayes and nays.

The approved resolution says that "it is the sense of this Faculty that the war in Vietnam must not continue. While our opinions differ in detail, we agree that the most reasonable plan for peace is the prompt, rapid, and complete withdrawalof all U. S. forces. We support a united and sustained national effort to bring our troops home."

Opponents of both the anti-war and the Moratorium resolutions argued that the Faculty should not take corporate stands on matters of national political policy.

To avoid splitting the Faculty on that issue, they suggested amending the Moratorium resolution and postponing the antiwar resolution until after the Faculty meeting.

The strategy succeeded on Mendelsohn's Moratorium motion. Peter B. Doe-ringer, assistant professor of Economics, proposed an amendment, saying that he agreed with the idea of supporting the Moratorium. but that he did not want to involve the Faculty in political debate.

Moratorium Passes

After nearly an hour of discussion, the Faculty approved Doeringer's motion. Then it immediately passed the amended Moratorium resolution by an overwhelming margin.

The amended and approved motion says that the Faculty "recognizes that October 15th is a day of protest against the war and, while not committing any individual member, reaffirms its members' right to suspend classes on that day."

During the lengthy debate on the two resolutions, argument centered on several recurring points. Opponents of the two resolutions said that:

the Faculty should restrict its formal votes to matters in which it has a direct concern and on which its members are more professionally qualified. Kenneth Arrow, professor of Economics, said that the Faculty's votes last spring on Afro-American Studies and ROTC were examples of proper Faculty action n social issues directly within its concern;

a vote on the war resolutions would set a precedent for extended political debate in the Faculty, eventually leading to political control of the University and political criteria in the choice of Faculty members. Angelika E. Laiou of the History Department said that the Faculty's academic freedom would be endangered, both by political struggles inside the University and by outside groups that would pressure the Faculty to take other political stands;

the University would face reaction from outside groups if one of its Faculties took a formal stand. Carl Friederich, professor of Government, pointed out that the University's status as a tax-exempt organization prohibited it from getting involved in public policy issues. Several other Faculty members said that a vote might bring retribution from Congress or other parts of the government:

the Faculty should not spoil its nearly-unanimous feeling about the war by fighting over procedural questions. E. Bright Wilson, Theodore William Richards professor of Chemistry, said that the only way to get an overwhelming vote in favor of the Moratorium was to accept Doeringer's amendment. And Lipset argued that the anti-war resolution would seem to be a failure if 30 or 40 per cent of the Faculty felt compelled to vote against it-even though they support its aims;

a Faculty vote would coerce the minority of the Faculty that disagreed. Anhony G. Octtinger, professor of Ling-uistics and Gordon McKay professor of Applied Mathematics said that "there is a moral issue I must weigh against the moral issue of the war. I can not live with coercion of fellow Faculty members."

In response to those arguments, supporters of the two resolutions said that:

the extraordinary nature of the war makes it an issue on which the Faculty should take an official stand. Mendelsohn and other speakers described the effects of the war on the nation and on Harvard. Marc Roberts '64, assistant professor of Economics, said that "the Faculty must stand for some things." If the war does not present "sufficient moral issues to prompt our action, then such moral issues do not exist." he said.

John T. Edsall '23, professor of Chemistry, said only the most extraordinary circumstances would justify bringing (the vote) to the floor. The circumstances are exraordinary and unprecedented in the lifetime of anyone here."

a vote against the Vietnam war would not drag the Faculty into other political discussions. "Would this set a precedent?" Mendelsohn asked in introducing his resolution. "Perhaps. If there were another war with similar effects, members of the Faculty might again rise to oppose it.";

a formal Faculty vote would be the most effective way to make anti-war sentiment felt. Wassily W. Leontief, Henry Lee professor of Economics, said that there was a "terrible difference between laid special emphasis on the unique nation." Both would "do the same thing, but speaking as a Faculty or as a convoca-the second would be much weaker than the first";

Stanley Hoffman, professor of Government, later said that the Faculty could not preserve any "unanimity" by recessing to a convocation. "We stand divided" in the formal meeting, but "we will be as badly divided if we refuse to take stand." he said:

a vote expressing the majority opinion of the Faculty would have no binding effect on those who disagreed. After several Faculty members emphasized that the resolutions would have no coercive effect on the dissenting minority, Hoffmann said that a refusal to vote would also be coercion against those who felt the Faculty should state its view.

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