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CRR Boycott


WHILE THE FRESHMEN class has not yet nominated students to serve on the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities and the seven-year student boycott of the CRR is still technically unbroken, it became clear last week that the boycott is perilously close to an end.

The 15 freshmen who must decide whether to nominate any of themselves for CRR service last week voted down a motion to preserve the boycott, but then decided not to nominate students without setting any conditions on their appointment. From these votes it is clear that the majority of the group favors an effort to reform the CRR from the inside by appointing students who are pledged to work for changes in the CRR's composition and procedures.

Any such effort, however, is doomed to failure even before it begins. Most of the Faculty members now on the CRR have shown no interest in reforming it, and the chairman has declared himself hostile to the purposes of the boycott. Under these circumstances, there is little chance that students and Faculty members on the CRR could ever agree on a comprehensive or meaningful set of CRR reforms.

An end to the boycott at this time could also be disastrous for student-initiated efforts to bring a complete set of CRR reforms before the Faculty Council. The student caucus of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life is now working on such proposals, and has requested the freshmen's cooperation in retaining the boycott as a bargaining lever with the Faculty.

Finally, the presence of students on the CRR would lend a false sense of legitimacy to its inherently unfair proceedings that could, in the minds of many Faculty members, obviate the need for reform. In this situation, where the unified boycott has assumed an important symbolic role in the efforts for reform, any conditions the freshmen panel might set would be nearly meaningless.

The CRR still stands as the major instrument by which the Faculty can suppress free speech through the threat of disciplinary action against political protesters. It has long been the position of this newspaper that the CRR should be abolished. Nothing has happened during the CRR boycott to change that position. Even those who advocate mere reform of the CRR must agree that a unified boycott is the only weapon students have left. It should not end.

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