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Convention Defines Six Broad Issues For Future Debate

By Steven Schorr

The Constitutional Convention last night outlined the six broad issues the body will consider in writing a constitution for a proposed student government at Harvard.

The six issues are representation; internal structure; the relationship of the new government to exixting governing and advisory bodies; the function and purpose of the new government; a ratification mechanism to legitimize the body; the method for financing the government.

The convention named a Committee to Define Issues that will discuss these topics in depth, exploring alternative solutions and determining the order in which the entire convention will debate them. The committee's first meeting will be open to all students and is scheduled for Monday night.

The debate over the representation issue centers on the number of students who will comprise the proposed council, and the proportion of the student population each member of the body will represent.

Initial sentiment, expressed in two reports presented to the convention last night, favored the idea of one representative for every 50 to 100 students.

Structural issues that have been raised include the number and role of standing committees established by the council, and the role of the council chairman.

The convention must also decide whether some student members of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) and the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) would also serve as representatives to the council or attend as non-voting members.

The convention issued a "statement of purpose" several weeks ago, but it will attempt to refine its function and purpose further in the next few weeks. At issue is whether the council will serve a social, as well as a political, function.

The convention will also consider the method for ratifying the council's constitution. Many delegates apparently lean toward a referendum of the entire student body, but whether a majority or a two-thirds vote will be necessary for passage has not yet been decided.

The convention will explore a variety of funding alternatives, including a possible check-off on students' term bills.

Convention chairman Michael A. Calabrese '79 told the delegates last night that questions falling under these six broad categories will probably fill the agenda in the near future

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