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About 20 graduate students in History voted this week not to elect representatives to the Graduate Student Panel, expressing dissatisfaction with present procedures for airing their views.
Students at a meeting Wednesday, organized by History Department representatives on this year's panel, decided to continue holding meetings of graduate students within the department to consider educational reforms and students' financial complaints.
The Graduate Student Panel is composed of representatives of each GSAS department. Among other things, it elects members to the Committee on Graduate Education (CGE), which this year formulated a need-based financial aid plan.
Jean Agnew, a graduate student in History and a member of this year's panel said that he was surprised at the number of first-and second-year students at the meeting. He said he felt that the comparatively large turnout indicated a general dissatisfaction with both the way students are treated within the department and with the existing mechanisms for student input.
The History Department vote follows a recommendation made last week by current panel members that the group stop sending representatives to the CGE, a student-faculty advisory body. At that meeting, Agnew said he felt the CGE was "a cosmetic operation designed to co-opt graduate student protest."
Michael Turk, a History graduate student and member of the panel, said yesterday that the people at the meeting had a sense that the panel was another "quasi-administrative body." He said the graduate students were looking for more information about other ways to channel their dissatisfaction with the department.
He said that students at the meeting expressed their dissatisfaction with student-faculty relationships, first-and second-year requirements, lack of student input into department decisions, and the financial aid plan.
Larry Vaughan, a graduate student in History and member of the panel, said that the three panel members from the History department called the meeting on Wednesday to discuss the "ineffectualness" of the panel in past years.
"When we [the members of this year's panel] decided not to send representatives to the CGE, it was because we felt that the panel was being used as a rubber stamp for administration policies," Vaughan said. He said he felt the large turnout for the meeting showed a broader base of support for the idea than either students or administration thought.
Burton S. Dreben '49, dean of the Graduate School, said yesterday he could not comment on the vote of the students in History. He said that there had been no official CGE response to last week's recommendation that the panel send no representatives.
Wallace T. MacCaffrey, chairman of the History Department, could not be reached for comment
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