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Astronomy Dept. Rejects Proposal


A meeting of faculty and students in the Astronomy Department resolved yesterday by a substantial majority to reject the revised Draft Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities as submitted by the Committee of Fifteen.

The statement which the meeting adopted-drafted by Eugene H. Avrett, lecturer on Astronomy-criticized the Resolution for failing to define the responsibilities of the administration in regard to student dissent and community relations.

"Irresponsible acts on the part of officers of administration have, in our opinion, contributed substantially to the growing disaffection of students and its more active manifestations," the statement said.

"There was a general feeling that one should not approve a statement of Rights and Responsibilities without consideration of how this statement was going to be implemented," said Lee GoldBerg '34. Higgins Professor of Astronomy and chairman of yesterday's meeting. "If you're going to punish students for violations of the principles of rights and responsibilities, there ought to be some way of insuring anyone who provokes those violations by being unresponsive that they should be held to task as well." he added.

The Committee of Fifteen submitted the revised Resolutions on Rights and Responsibilities to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Oct. 21. At that time, Alan Helmert, spokesman for the Committee, requested that Faculty and graduate students consider the Resolution in department meetings to facilitate greater discussion and provide a basis for further revision. The Faculty will not act on the Resolution until next semester, but several departments have already done so, Heimert said.

Issues Important

"We considered the issue of the painters' helpers, the role of white radials and black students, and the fact that they were being punished even though their cause appeared to be a good one," said Ivan J. Danziger, lecturer on Astronomy.

Owen J. Gingerich, professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science, disagreed with the statement, arguing that it was imprudent to expect the Resolution to apply equally in the University. He said that the Resolution had created a framework for acceptable methods of political pressure, which, he added, "is the only way one can operate in a political environment against one's superiors."

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