70 Members of Radical Union Discuss Problems of Teaching

The Harvard Radical Union, composed of over 70 graduate students and teaching fellows, met last night to discuss problems of radical teaching at Harvard and to lay the groundwork for the future unionization of all graduate students.

The group was formed last spring by graduate students from several departments to combat what its organizers called the isolation of people within the GSAS because of the departmental structure of the graduate school.

"What we need most now is a self-directed way to overcome the fragmentation of our way of life," Theda R. Skocpol, instructor in Sociology, said last night at the meeting.

Five Possible Activities

At the meeting, members of the steering committee reported on five possible activities that the group could undertake to fuse radical graduate students at Harvard into one cohesive group. They proposed:


* Developing a teaching workshop in integrating radical perspectives into conventional courses;

* Publishing a regular Union newsletter that would be distributed among all graduate students and would contain news of radical activities in the Harvard community;

* Establishing a lecture series that would emphasize the radical approach to education;

* Formulating a committee to look into the possibility of establishing a nationally-recognized union for bargaining purposes; and

* Organizing and taking part in the activities of various community action groups, such as the Committee Against Racism, the Anti-Racist Coalition and the New American Movement.

At the meeting, which took place in William James Hall, the members of the union expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of any pre-existing formal bond among themselves.

One member of the group said that the first step towards creating a union of all GSAS students would be to form such a bond by "crossing department lines and showing what is going on in each department."

Each department admits its own graduate students and students are affiliated with their own department, but not with any central University structure.

Other members of the union claimed they were "exploited" because of their radical political beliefs.

Recommended Articles