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Task Force Members Criticize Affirmative Action Proposals

By Cheryl R. Devall

At a meeting last night, members of groups supporting Affirmative Action called government proposals to revise Affirmative Action laws an attempt to "hack them to death."

Approximately 40 persons, including members of the Task Force on Affirmative Action (TFAA), the 9-to-5 Organization for Working Women, the New American Movement and La Organizacion, attended the TFAA-sponsored educational meeting in Science Center A last night.

Proposed revisions of Affirmative Action laws would increase the amount of government contracts necessary for businesses to comply with the laws, eliminate written goals and timetables for implementing affirmative action in hiring practices, and limit a pre-contrast review of Affirmative Action practices to organizations receiving over $1 million in government contracts.

"It appears that the government has heeded complaints of corporations that insist they just can't find qualified minorities to hire," Laura Liffsey '78 of the TFAA said last night.

"I personally am not in love with Affirmative Action because it has so many problems," Nancy Farrell of the 9-to-5 Organization for Women Office Workers said, but added that the laws are her organization's main tool for maintaining the rights of non-union workers.

"The government says that the revisions streamline Affirmative Action, but they really take the guts out," Farrell said.

The TFAA called for a strengthening of the present Affirmative Action guidelines and criticized the Harvard administration's lack of progress in hiring women and minorities as revealed in its recent Affirmative Action status report.

The TFAA criticized the University's failure to grant autonomy to the Afro-American Studies Department, establish departments for the study of women and other minorities, and recognize Asian-Americans as minorities.

Members of the Spartacus Youth League a Trotskyist organization, also attended the meeting and denounced Affirmative Action as "a tokenist program at its most meaningless."

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