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Freshmen Seek General Studies Degree Program


More than 400 freshmen have signed a petition proposing that students who do not choose to declare a field of concentration be permitted to design their own programs and receive a degree in General Studies.

Acting Dean Mason, chairman of the Committee on Educational Policy, said that the proposal "would involve a very serious change in what the Faculty considers a proper program for undergraduates." He also said that no action would be taken this spring because "the CEP would want a longer time to deliberate on the issue."

According to the petition, "forcing each student at Harvard to select a field of concentration and to submit to the requirements of that department tends to suppress the academic interests of many students."

Plans to Present

Sandy B. Bonder '72, one of the originators of the petition, said his group plans to present the statement to Dean Glimp, Edward T. Wilcox, director of the Program of General Education, F. Skiddy von Stade, dean of Freshmen, and the CEP. They also plan to invite these men to talk sometime this week to the students who signed the petition.

The decision to circulate a petition was made at a meeting on April 21 called by Bonder and Evelyn K. Pye '72 for all interested freshmen. Bonder and Miss Pye had discussed the problem of concentrating in a specific field two days before in a New College seminar.

Bonder said that a group of students supporting the petition, written by Gerald M. Slutsky '72, then met with Wilcox and Glimp. "Glimp was noncommital and Wilcox said the idea was immprobable to impossible," Bonder said.

No specific plans about tutorials or course requirements have been discussed. "It's more of a gut reaction," Bonder said. He added that he did not foresee an enactment of the proposal until the Fall.

Wilcox had no comment on the petition except to say that "starting a department or a committee is a hard thing to do."

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