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Committee Submits Plans For Election of Overseers

By Roger L. Smith

A committee chaired by Robert L. Hoguet '31, a retired Overseer, has proposed a series of changes in the procedures for the nomination and election of Overseers.

The proposed changes affect primarily the form and content of the ballot and the process by which the nominating committee is chosen.

The committee--formed last May partly in response to protests by the Committee of Concerned Alumni (CCA)--submitted its report December 26 to the President of the Board of Overseers and the President of the Associated Harvard Alumni (AHA).

The CCA wrote a letter to the Overseers May 10 protesting an alleged lack of democratic procedures.

The committee considered but did not recommend proposals for enfranchisement of students and corporation appointees, a weighted voting system, a change in the number of candidates, the appointment of some of the Overseers, and election of Overseers from constituencies instead of at large.

The committee recommended that:

* Candidates for Overseer should be listed on the ballot either by lot or alphabetically, instead of by seniority as at present;

* Candidates should be permitted, but not required, to submit 200-word statements of their positions on the University and the issues it faces, in addition to the usual 200-word biographies. The statements would be mailed with the ballots;

* Secret ballots should be used;

* The required number of signatures for nomination by petition should be changed from 200 to one per cent of the average number of votes in the previous three elections, or approximately 340 signatures;

* The nominating committee should be composed of 12 members, with half of the members selected by the six senior Directors of the AHA.

All of the proposals except the last would require the approval of both the Corporation and the Board of Overseers. The last proposal would need only the approval of the AHA to go into effect.

The CCA had protested the listing of the names on the ballot by seniority, the refusal of the University to allow the mailing of a position statement with the ballot, the procedures for selecting the nominating committee and the disenfranchisement of Radcliffe alumnae.

Radcliffe graduates have since been granted the right to vote for Overseers.

"The committee showed that they were not acting in good faith when they raised the number of signatures needed for an independent can- didacy," Cynthia Smith '61, an unsuccessful candidate for Overseer last spring, said last night. "This anti-democratic measure makes it much harder for those not nominated by the AHA to get elected."

The members of the committee were Hoguet, F. Stanton Deland '36, Francis Keppel '38, Frederick B. Lee '29 and David B. Stone '50

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