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Adams House to Submit Plan for Reform of CRR


An Adams House student will present a resolution to the Faculty on December 12 that proposes extensive procedural reform of the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR).

The resolution, signed by 147 members of Adams House and approved by the Lowell House Committee, calls for open hearings of the CRR, a random jury selection for each case, conviction by unanimous section only, and a separate appeals body.

Roger L. Carrick '73, who drafted the resolution and will present it to the Faculty, said yesterday. "The critical concern of the resolution is fairness in administering discipline. That depends on equal representation and procedural fairness so that the CRR is not weighted towards one segment of the community."

"The Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities says that the University is a community of equal individuals in terms of justice. If we take the resolution for what it says then we have to make sure the procedures are fair," Carrick added.

The Adams House resolution stipulates a hearing body chosen randomly from the entire academic community and composed of two tenured and two non tenured faculty members, two graduate students and two undergraduates, one of whom must be a Radcliffe student.

This body would convict only by unanimous decision and would determine appropriate punishment.

Carrick said yesterday that he would be "very unwilling" to compromise on the required unanimous decision for conviction. "If we believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty, then unanimity is the most reasonable test of proof," he said.

The resolution also calls for adherence to "the standard legal rules of outside criminal courts," and a "professionally competent" hearing examiner to administer them.

The appeals body designated by the resolution, also randomly selected, would sit in session for not more than a semester term. Its decisions would require a simple majority.

"We have accepted as a given that a disciplinary body is necessary," Carrick said. "What we have suggested in the resolution is a mechanism that has been used successfully in a mechanism that has been used successfully in western liberal tradition, the system of jury trial and appeal."

David L. Johnson '74, Adams House representative to the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) said yesterday, "The Adams House resolution is not a Panacea. It is an admission that discipline problems are some of the most difficult we have. The resolution doesn't trust anyone, whether they are students or Faculty members."

"There is an unwillingness on the part of students and Faculty members to deal with the problem of the CRR," Johnson added. "CHUL in particular should take a stand on the issue, either by approving the Adams House resolution or coming up with one of its own."

Carrick said that random selection of a jury and an appeal board might be awkward, but added, "The proposal could win broad-based support within the community because it doesn't make the CRR a continuous duty."

Dean Whitlock said last month that the Faculty would reconsider the CRR and asked members of the CHUL to submit proposals for its revision.

"Dean Whitlock has definitely not given an endorsement to say particular proposal," Carrick said. "He is still soliciting input from all sides." Whitlock was unavailable for comment on the Adams House resolution yesterday

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