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Seniors Plan To Hold Alternate Graduation

By John G. Simon

An ad hoc group of graduating seniors will stage an alternative commencement program Thursday as a reaction against the "business as usual" exercises in the Tercentenary Theatre. The "second commencement" activities will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the yard between Eliot House and the Indoor Athletic Building-a half hour after the opening of the traditional ceremony.

The plan is an outgrowth of open meetings held in the aftermath of the Cambodian invasion and Kent State slayings to decide upon means and tactics for politicizing the traditional ceremonies. Other plans now include the wearing of strike armbands in the formal proceedings, and a possible walkout by SDS members.

In a leaflet being distributed today, the group claimed holding regular graduation is "callous to the escalation of atrocity and repression at home and abroad." Students organizing the protest also stated their objections to becoming "a great ?capped-and-gowned silent majority" at a ceremony that offers only "passive spectatorship and irrelevance."

Their in the round ceremony "without pomp and circumstances"-or certified degrees-will emphasize spontaneity in contrast to what they call "a carefully rehearsed, pre-fabricated lie which betrays the essence of the best of what we found at Harvard."

No specific schedule of events is beingmade. but the organizers are seeking several nationally known speakers to address the convocation.

Denouncing the "elitist preterisions" of the traditional exercises by restricting admittance, the sponsors of the alternative commencement view their gathering as public and have promised an open platform for anyone to voice his or her viewpoint.

"It is a cultural experiment, important politically. but more intended to erase a tradition that means nothing and satisfies none of our personal or collective needs." Henry Greenspan '70, one of the program's organizers. said yesterday. "Commencement should be a ceremony to participate in? something that we our selves plan and that will have meaning in our lives," he added.

Greenspan said that none of the four student speakers chosen for formal proceedings represents even a moderately radical political perspective.

"We wanted a speech representing a more radical viewpoint. When we saw it would not be possible, we decided to hold an alternative commencement." Greenspan said. "We feel that ours should be something between a political rally and a be-in without being either," he added.

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