STUDENTS IN Lowell House vote today on whether to participate in choosing representatives for the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, the disciplinary group the Faculty set up in 1969 to take care of radical students demonstrators. When the Faculty set it up, the CRR wasn't so bad.
Unfortunately, a year later the Faculty changed the relatively reasonable structure it started out with. According to the revised Resolution on Rights and Reponsibilities, the CRR can hold closed hearings and accept hearsay evidence. No law courts could act this way, but the revised CRR can. On the other hand, even the original CRR wasn't designed to give students a trial by their peers: it always included a clear seven-to-four faculty majority. And the Commission of Inquiry set up by the original Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities to look into complaints about the abuses that lead to demonstrations has been pretty much a dead letter since its inception.
When you come right down to it, the CRR is just a kangaroo court where the Faculty can try people it dislikes according to rules that let it convict whenever it wants to. It's a kangaroo court the Faculty doesn't use or seem to need much any more--in view of the lack of student demonstrations in the last couple of years--but that doesn't make having it around any more palatable, or make legitimizing it by putting students on it any more sensible.
Lowell House students should vote against participating in the CRR today. When Leverett House holds its referendum in a few weeks, its students should vote against the CRR, too. And when members of most of the House committees meet to discuss the matter in a few weeks, they should--once again--put their Houses on record against the CRR. Students have been doing this every year since 1970, but the Faculty just doesn't seem to get discouraged. So students will have to do it one more time.