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The Harvard Undergraduate Council will die in February-to be replaced, its leader hopes, by a new Student Council bringing together all the students on all the new committees the Faculty is expected to create next month.
The new council would be financed by $10 taken out of each student's term bill-a total of $60,000-half of which would go to the individual House committees.
HUC President John D. Hanify '71, and Kirby C. Wilcox '70 and Richard W. Hausler '72 of the Committee of Fifteen, have constructed an elegant plan for election of students to the three committees recommended by the Fainsod Report-up for Faculty approval in January-and the Committee of Rights and Responsibilities.
The Fainsod Report calls for appointment of the original students on its three new committees. Merle Fainsod, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor, has refused to accept the election plan as a friendly amendment to his proposal, but has said he will not fight it. The election plan will be introduced as an amendment on the floor of the Faculty meeting.
The Committee of Fifteen, asked to propose a permanent Committee of Rights and Responsibilities to replace the Interim Committee set up this fall, hopes to have a proposal ready for the Faculty next month, according to spokesman Alan Heimert 49. The present committee has six Faculty members and three students. Heimert said the proposed committee will "definitely retain a majority of Faculty members."
The HUC, as its dying act, will run the student elections early next term. The Hanify-Wilcox-Hausler plan assumes two upperclassmen and one freshman on the Rights Committee. With the number of students on the other Committees determined by the Fainsod recommendation, the election would work as follows:
The freshman class would elect one member to each of the four committees.
Each House would elect one member to the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life.
Each House would elect a representative to one of the three other committees. There would be three upper-class representatives on the Committee on Education, two on the Rights Committee, and five on the Committee on Students and the Community. There are ten Houses.
In future years, allocation of committee assignments to the various Houses would rotate-giving each House an equal chance at each committee.
The 20 upperclassmen, four freshmen, and four Cliffies on all these committees would constitute the new Student Council. The Radcliffe Union of Students is not part of the planned council. After the Harvard-Radcliffe merger, Hanify suggested, the three Radcliffe Houses might each add a member to the Committee on Houses.
Each Council member would be an ex-officio member of his House Committee.
"Right now," Wilcox said, "representatives on student groups aren't accountable to their constituencies, or to each other. And no single group speaks for the student body. Under our plan, each representative has double accountability-to the central body and to his House."
Hanify said they rejected the idea of college-wide elections because under that system each representative would not be responsible to a particular constituency. Likewise, election of a central body which would appoint members of the smaller committees was rejected because they felt each individual should have to run for a job on a specific committee.
The three admit they have no particular authority to arrange these elections. We're doing this because we're three students in the position to think it
through," Wilcox said. "There are no others with the resources, time, or limited mandate."
If the Faculty approves the election amendment to the Fainsod report, the report itself, and the permanent Rights Committee in January, then the HUC will stage a referendum on the whole proposed program early in February, followed by an election to the four committees.
Hanify is negotiating with Dean Ford for a "student activities fee" of $8 to $10, half of which would go to the Student Council, half to the various House committees. While Ford has the power to take the money from unrestricted Faculty funds, Hanify said, "ultimately, the student will pay."
One of the reasons the HUC has been so ineffective, Hanify said, is that its operating budget-dependent solely on contributions-has been hovering around $3000 a year. "That's less than one cent per student per week," he said.
The Student Council funds would go for hiring secretaries, and for printing and distribution of Council meeting minutes. "Let's face it," Wilcox said, "the solution to the student government problem has got to be an economic one-money is power."
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