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Over 50 graduate students have formed a Harvard Radical Union and are meeting this week to discuss organizing study groups and a handbook for next year's entering GSAS students.
"We intended to form a caucus of government graduate students, but people in all departments showed up for the meeting," David Stark, a first-year graduate student in sociology and a spokesman for the union, said yesterday.
Judith Tucker, a second-year graduate student in history and a member of the Union, said yesterday that the Union grew out of radical groups in different departments--including Sociology and Government--which had been meeting all year.
She said that the feeling of the graduate students who formed the Union was that it should deal with three basic things. She said the members of the union wanted to:
* discuss "radical" methods of teaching and form study groups on teaching methods.
* create a forum for letting people know what courses are available and what section leaders teach courses with a radical perspective; and
* formulate a graduate student position on the financial aspects of GSAS admissions policies.
Jerry Karabel, a graduate student in sociology and a member of the Union said yesterday that groups were meeting informally to discuss the effect of the graduate school's financial state on affirmative action in admissions.
He said that the "two-tier" admission system created inequities in admission that favored affluent students.
The need-based financial aid plan that the Committee on Graduate Education formulated this year included provisions for admitting a certain number of selfsupporting students--that is, students who did not need to receive financial aid from Harvard.
A small group of students from the Union met yesterday to plan a handbook that will be distributed to first-year students at registration next year. Stark said that the book would include information on financing, admission, the position of teaching fellows, and a critique of education at Harvard.
Larry Vaughan, a graduate student in history and a member of the Union, called the organizing efforts a "holding action." He said that this union was a "germ of something--it could develop into something next year."
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