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Two student members of the Committee of Fifteen have prepared an amendment to the recommendations of the Fainsod Committee which, if approved, would allow students in the Houses to elect directly the Harvard student members of two proposed student-Faculty committees.
Kinby C. Wilcox '70 and Richard W. Hausler '72 will ask the Faculty at its meeting tomorrow-if the Faculty finishes its scheduled debate on the election of the Faculty Council-to approve the election of students to the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life, and to the Committee on Undergraduate Education.
John T. Edsall '23, professor of Biological Chemistry, will introduce the amendment for Wilcox and Hausler.
The Committee on the Organization of the Faculty-which was headed by Merle Fainsod, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor-proposed last month that the dean of the Faculty appoint student members to the new committees upon the recommendation of the Harvard Undergraduate Council and the Harvard-Radcliffe Policy Committee respectively.
Fainsod said last night, however, that his was a "temporary proposal," and that he and his committee "would certainly not oppose" the Edsall amendment.
The Fainsod Committee proposed that the five Harvard students to be members of a third student-Faculty committee-The Committee on Students and Community Relations-be elected "on a rotating" basis from the undergraduate Houses.
Wilcox and Hausler recommend broadening the principle of "rotating election" to the selection of the members of the Committee on Undergraduate Education, and the direct election of one student in each House and in the freshman class to the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life.
"It's starting off on the wrong foot to appoint these people," Hausler said last night. "Under the Fainsod system, the representative is not accountable to a constituency but to a central body." Elected committees, he added, would be "more legitimate."
If the Faculty adopts the Edsall amendment, the relevant paragraphs of the legislation creating the new student-Faculty committees will read:
"The Committee (on Houses and Undergraduate Life) will be composedof the present members of the Committee on Houses, and student members, one each to be elected from the several Houses and the freshman class and appointed by the dean of the Faculty;
"The Committee (on Undergraduate Education) will be composed of five Faculty members named by the dean of the Faculty from the membership of the Faculty Council, and five elected student members, three from the Harvard Houses, one from the freshman class, and one from Radeliffe;
"The three students elected from the Houses to the Committee on Undergraduate Education, together with the five representatives from the Harvard Houses to the Committee on Students and Community Relations, will be elected one from each House on a rotating basis, and appointed by the dean of the Faculty."
Hausler said last night that the dean's "appointment" of committee members after their election would be "perfunctory." and that the provision was necessary because the proposed committees are, technically. Faculty committees.
Under the system of "rotating" election, some Houses would elect members to the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life, and some would name members to the Committee on Students and Community Affairs.
Eventually. Hausler said, the election of student members to the disciplinary group that will succeed the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities "could be worked into this scheme, because the CRR is a student-Faculty committee and analogous to these other committees,"
Unless there are at least three Harvard students on the successor to the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, there will be more Houses than student representatives to be elected, and some Houses presumably would elect only their one representative to the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life, which will have one student representative from each House.
Hausler said last night that he and Wilcox "can't really say what our system of rotation will be." and that the composition of the future disciplinary committee is still "the subject of debate within the Committee of Fifteen."
The choice of a "rotating" system of election is dictated. Hausler said, by the desire to retain the House as the basis of elections and to keep the new committees small.
"The House is the only feasible election unit for College-wide elections." Hauster said last night, "but there's a hidden problem of proportions here. There are only certain numbers of Harvard students you can appoint and still have the proper number of Cliffies and freshmen."
Unless each committee is to have a representative from each of the ten Houses and the freshman class, Hansler said, a "lottery or system of rotation is necessary" to select representatives from the Houses.
The student members of the Committee of Fifteen were selected last fall by drawing names from thirteen students elected by the Houses, by freshmen, and at Radcliffe, Hausler called this "picking marbles out of a bag, and said that people he had spoken to about the system "didn't think it was too cool."
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