A Quick Rise And Fall For the CRR

Every December, Dean Whitlock sends a letter to all the House committees asking them to nominate students to the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities. The House committees usually ignore him.

Since 1971 students have refused to serve on the CRR, a disciplinary committee the Faculty set up in the wake of the 1969 strike because it had no way of dealing with student radicals. The students' main objection to the CRR, other than its basic purpose, was its student-faculty ration--7 to 4--and its closed hearings.

But this time, over a year since the CRR had done anything substantial, several Houses considered nominating students, or nominated students to look into the CRR, or asked Whitlock about it. There was no real organized move to put students on the CRR, but there did seem at least to be more willingness than ever before on the part of students to participate in the disciplinary committee.

A few weeks later, a counter-offensive began to take shape. Lowell, Mather, Adams, South, Quincy and Winthrop Houses all decided not to participate in the CRR, and in Currier House two students began to try to organize a College-wide CRR reform move.

The matter slid along into the spring without any students joining the CRR, and in April the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life passed a resolution asking for Faculty-student negotiations for changes in the CRR.


In the meantime, Whitlock and Rosovsky had been discussing the problem and decided that the best way to handle it would be to create a subcommittee of the Faculty Council to meet with students. So in May, after the CHUL resolution, the council went along with the idea, and the subcommittee will start meeting with CHUL representatives in the fall to talk about the CRR.

But this new willingness to negotiate does not mean that major changes in the CRR are in the offing. The council is reportedly dead set against the idea of equal student-faculty representation and any conceptual changes in the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities, the Faculty enabling legislation for the CRR. And the Faculty doesn't look very favorably on changes in the CRR; last spring it voted down by wide margins a series of five such reforms, including a proposal for equal student-faculty representation.

If students stick to their present position--which, although murky, seems to be that they don't want to have anything to do with a CRR with less students than faculty members--it's unlikely that anyone will come out of next fall's negotiations particularly satisfied.