When 60 Yale students forced their way past a police cordon and held four administrators captive in the University Personnel Office Monday. ?hey set in motion Yale President Kingman Brewster's well-publicized scenario for handling student disruptions.
Forty-seven of these students were immediately placed in "temporary suspension"-a procedure outlined for future Harvard disruptions that very day by Government professor James Q. Wilson's Subcommittee of Six. Harvard's procedure, however, differs from Yale's on several important points.
Brewster's procedure, revealed April 6, calls for a University administrator to ask students occupying a building to leave it. If they do not leave, they are immediately suspended-meaning they are barred from classes and University dining halls and must vacate their dormitory rooms. If they still do not leave, the University asks for a court injunction and/or calls in the police.
The students had been in the building for four hours Monday protesting the firing of a dining hall worker when at 5:15 p.m., Yale Provost Charles Taylor Jr. warned them they had 20 minutes to leave or be suspended. At 5:51 p.m., he announced they were suspended. At 6:35 p.m., the students voted to leave.
As they left the building, deans of the various Yale colleges-the equivalent of Harvard's senior tutors-identified them. The next day, 47 of them received official notification of their temporary suspension and letters from their college deans asking them to vacate their rooms.
Yale's Executive Committee-six of whose 22 members are students-can override the suspension with a lesser or more severe punishment. The committee met with the students for four hours Wednesday and agreed to override the rule and let them remain in their rooms and eat in the dining halls.
Harvard's temporary suspension procedure-approved by the Faculty September 30-says that at least one Faculty member and one student from the Sub-committee of the Six must be present to invoke temporary suspension of any student. The terms of the suspension are up to the Subcommittee of Six.
Wilson said yesterday that asking a student to vacate his living quarters he saw as "an extreme measure" that should be invoked only if there is some urgent reason to get a person off the campus. Each student's case must be considered within seven days' of his suspension, he said, and "why should we ask someone to move out of Eliot. House into the Treadway Motor Inn for seven days?"
Wilson said Harvard's outlined procedure is "not a scenario, because these events tend to differ too much to decide anything ahead of time." The procedure says nothing about either a warning or a court injunction.
"Any similarity between our procedure and Brewster's is coincidental," he said, "like Newton and Leibnitz discovering the calculus at the same time-although I don't think our contribution will be as lasting."
The Harvard procedure says nothing about identification of students. Wilson said that while identification by a dean is not "proof beyond a shadow of a doubt" of a student's guilt, such a produre might conceivably be used at Harvard because the resulting suspension is only temporary and because, "University discipline uses the standards not of criminal but of civil procedure, where all you have to show is 'a preponderance of evidence.'"