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Files, Laws And Other Paraphenalia

SUNSHINE

By Brian L. Zimbler

When you filled out the Harvard admissions application, there was a little section that offered a chance to "waive the right" to see academic recommendations and records which the University would be compiling about you.

Congress will begin discussing legislation this month which may change all that. Rep. Barry Gold water Jr. (R-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Koch(D-N.Y.) are filing bills to revise the Buckley Amendment, part of a 1974 law that guarantees students access to their educational records.

One of the new proposals would prevent students from waiving this right to access.

The Koch-Goldwater proposal is aimed at preventing students from being unduly pressured into waiving access rights. Currently, most colleges and universities offer a waiver option to applicants.

L. Fred Jewett '57, director of admissions, said this week some students might feel their recommendations will be "more frank and more helpful" if they waive the right to see them.

However, a commission on privacy on which Goldwater and Koch served reported this July that students may exercise the waiver option for other reasons.

For instance, the commission reported some students may fear a refusal to waive access rights will be seen as "uncooperative" by institutions to which they are applying.

The proposal to end waiver options is only one of the revisions Koch and Goldwater have proposed. Another would allow students to initiate civil action against institutions which deny them access to records. A third requires universities to destroy the records of applicants who do not attend those schools, 18 months after notification of acceptance or rejection.

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