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The Graduate School of Design Forum - attended by more than 100 students, faculty, and administrators - unanimously passed a proposal for restructuring to give students a voice in running the school. The new system, drawn up by a student-faculty committee set up last spring, will include three new governing bodies.
Two student-faculty bodies were formed. One will deal with issues on the department level and will include two student representatives. Each department will decide on the issue of student votes on the committees.
The other student-faculty group created by the forum will deal with interdepartmental issues. In addition to students and faculty, it will include members of the administrative and technical staff. The School-wide group is to be called the General Council and elections for the six student and six faculty representatives will be held in the next two weeks. The Council will also include two alumni representatives who will have only one vote and the Dean, a non-voting member.
The Council will participate in the establishment of all School-wide committees and will appoint the committee members, half from its own body and half from requests by students and faculty who request to participate. The Dean will place any advice or proposals that the Council may request on the Faculty's agenda.
The third body created by the forum is a student Senate, designed to give the students a unified voice in GSD affairs. The specific powers of the three bodies to make changes were left "flexible" according to James Chard, head of the task force which recommended the restructuring, but the Forum directed the faculty to "respect the wishes of the Student Senate and allow any student proposals on the docket of the departmental committees."
The forum also endorsed the proposal of another GSD task force demanding that the University provide 3000 units of new low cost housing for the Cambridge area. The task force's 27-page report recommended specific proposals for the financing and designing of the new units.
Steven Browning, a second-year student at the GSD and a member of the housing task force, said last night that he spokewith Edward Gruson, assistant to the President for Community Affairs, and that Gruson seemed receptive to the GSD housing proposal. Browning said that he hopes any future University housing plans will make use of GSD faculty and students in an advisory role and said that the task force on housing will continue to meet as a"gadfly on the University."
The GSD forum was planned last spring as an attempt to "make sure the issues raised by last spring's events were reconsidered." Browning said. The Forum included an address by the new Dean of the GSD, Kilbridge, and an informal visit by President Pusey. The Forum also recommended that a GSD Forum be held each Fall and at any other time on petition from either one-fourth of the students or one-fourth of the faculty.
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