Demonstrator's Leave Of Absence Rescinded

As a result of the Paine Hall anti-ROTC demonstration a Harvard student has had his leave of absence revoked and will not be allowed to register again in the College unless the Administrative Board votes to accept him.

William B. Hopkins '71 had been granted a leave of absence beginning December 10, two days before the Paine Hall sit-in. An Ad Board vote of January 12 rescinded this decision in light of Hopkins' participation in the sit-in, making readmission contingent upon his activities while away from the college.

A letter from Robert W. Haney, Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Adams House, advises Hopkins that he is being "allowed to withdraw" as of December 10, "with the understanding that you may not register again in the College without a vote of the Board."

Great Expectations

"It is our expectation that you will hold a hard, non-academic job during this period, and the Board will want to hear from your employer about your performance of your duties," the letter continued. "It will also expect a written statement from you."


The letter is dated January 20, six days after the Faculty vote that put 52 students on probation and gave five others suspended Required to Withdraw sentences.

According to Haney, Hopkins is "in the same position as someone placed on probation who then withdraws for the Spring term." Haney added that this ruling does not amount to a suspension in that the Board will be "more flexible in looking at what the student does while he is away."

"Although he had withdrawn, Hopkins was obviously acting as a member of the Harvard community with his participa- tion in the sit-in," Haney said. "The Board was presented with an unusual case--we couldn't ignore him, but we certainly didn't want to be harsher on him than on the other students."

"It seems to me to be quite a harsh punishment, compared with probation," Hopkins said yesterday, adding that he may petition the Board for some new decision. Hopkins suggested that he be allowed to take his leave without conditions and instead be put on probation for his first semester back.

Hopkins added that he is "involved in activities--primarily political--that Harvard may not approve of." In a letter sent to his home after the January 12 decision the Board referred to his "unwise friendship with too many not-very-good people," Hopkins said.

"I've been working toward my idea of a free university--a place where anyone, regardless of financial status, could take courses from plumbing to political organizing," he said.

Politics No Issue

According to Haney, Hopkins' political activities will not be an issue when he wishes to re-enroll.

Haney said that this case had been treated along with the other students put on probation and had not been brought individually before the Faculty for a vote.

"The conditions imposed here are no different from those in any other case except the straight leave of absence in good standing," Dean Glimp said last night, adding that Hopkins' withdrawal was in fact voluntary.

Glimp said that there is some possibility that Hopkins will be on probation when he returns, although it seems "unlikely." Ordinarily a student who withdraws while on disciplinary probation does not remain on pro when he returns.

Hopkins' situation was not specifically cited when the Faculty announced its decision on punishment because he had already withdrawn, Glimp said