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The Sit-In


A WEEK AFTER last Wednesday's obstructive sit-in the issues in the painters' helpers controversy are still hopelessly confused. Although both SDS and the Administration have released statements on the status of painters helpers, neither has addressed itself to the points raised by the other. Given the murkiness of the dispute in most students minds, it is unfortunate that SDS chose to take such precipitate and militant action.

Prevented from confronting Administrative Vice-President L. Gard Wiggins. SDS then directed the sit-in against the wrong man; the Dean of the College has no control over University employment practices. Even had SDS demonstrated against the responsible office, they were acting while negotiations on the issues were in progress. SDS has refused to acknowledge the existence of these negotiations between the Administration and the union representing the painters.

In addition. Afro had already given the Administration a deadline for promoting painters helpers to painters. Any action should have been delayed until that dead line Dec, 2-had passed.

Perhaps most disturbing of all was the gratuitous nastiness of the sit-in. Dean May was continually and harshly berated. After the sit-in in University Hall the demonstrators followed May through the Square to the Adams House Master's Residence, chanting and shouting in his face. They finally decided not to enter Master Lilier's house, but only after his wife pleaded with them not to force their way in.

Harvard's past employment record is far from spotless: it is very likely that the University-like most huge corporations-does indeed have hiring practices which must be changed. If necessary, militant student pressure should be exerted to force the Administration to make those changes. But SDS must make a better case to get the mass student backing necessary for successful-and comprehensible-student drive. The disruption in University Hall last week contributed nothing to an understanding or resolution of the important moral and political issues involved.

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