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About 40 black faculty members and administrators met last night to discuss ways of responding as a group to the continuing conflict between black students and the Harvard administration over the hiring of minority group construction workers.
A member of the Afro-American Studies Department who helped organize the meeting said that the primary purpose was to create "a wide-ranging organization of black faculty and administrators." Such an organization, he said, could then take effective stands on issues like the Organization for Black Unity (OBU)'s demand that Harvard hire 20 per cent black and "Third World" workers.
Derrick A. Bell. Jr., lecturer on Law and spokesman for a black faculty steering committee, said that those who organized last night's meeting wanted to discuss "how they can best show some support and be supportive" to the black students involved.
OBU yesterday began a boycott of classes to bring further pressure on the administration to meet the 20 per cent quota. Philip N. Lee, a third-year law student and chairman of OBU, said that two black students attended classes at the Law School yesterday out of about 90 enrolled. At the Business School one out of about 70 went to class, he said.
Lee said that it was impossible to judge how effective the boycott had been in the College because no one he knew attended class to find out.
One topic which was to be discussed at the meeting of black faculty and administrators was faculty participation in the
OBU boycott. Lee said that the students involved plan to "cut classes for the rest of the year until [they] decide what to do." He said that he hoped the faculty would contribute by cancelling classes until the OBU demand is met.
Black faculty members so far appear willing to take a stand in the comflict, Bell said, "there's a great deal of interest in the thing."
Last week some 90 blacks took over University Hall and were served with a temporary restraining order prchibiting them from staging further disruptive demonstrations in support of their demands. A Midilesex County Supeior Court judge continued that order until Thursday, when a new hearing will be held.
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