In a meeting yesterday afternoon with Alex Inkeles and Ezra F. Vogel, professors of Social Relations, a group of graduate students in sociology disagreed sharply with a proposal for the creation of an autonomous sociology department.
During the two-and-a-half-hour meeting. Vogel fielded questions and opinions concerning the split in Soc Rel. Students claimed that the meeting was "patronizing" and "condescending" to them in the light of last Wednesday's decision by Faculty sociologists to make plans for the creation of an independent department.
The students proposed a committee composed equality of students and Faculty in sociology to make a study of "long term departmental considerations." They also advocated improved communications within the sociology wing of Soc Rel.
"It comes as no surprise to us that 70 to 80 per cent of you are opposed to the change. We take this none other than as a compliment, that you are satisfied with the present situation." Inkeles said.
A poll taken last winter among Soc Rel graduate students revealed that 83 percent would oppose a departmental split.
If sociology becomes an independent department, graduate students presently enrolled will be allowed to conclude their degree programs as they started them. But teaching fellows will be limited in their choices.
"As a teaching fellow in Soc Rel." said one student "you could switch from one discipline to another. Switching from one department to another is not as easy."
In addition, students said that the inter disciplinary approach which made Harvard's Soc Rel Department so attractive to them will be "dismantled."
Sense of Community
Vogel said that an independent department would lead to "more of a sense of community among sociologists, which we feel has been missing."
At present sociology shares the resources of one department with the "social" branches of psychology and anthropology, each of whose physical branches exists as an autonomous department. Since finances and academic appointments are allocated to Soc Rel as if it were a single, unified discipline. Vogel contends that sociology is uniquely disadvantaged.