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Several Harvard students are trying to establish a student advisory committee to the Social Studies Department with full voting powers in response to what they termed "discriminatory" admissions policies and tighter academic requirements in the department this year.
Susan C. Eaton '79, Karen Winkler '78 and Ruth Colker '78 said yesterday they will send letters to the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies today, requesting the establishment of a student advisory committee with voting rights. In their letter, the students objected to the racial and sexual make-up of those admitted to the department this year.
In addition, Victoria Rideout '79 and Charles Roberts '79 suggested at a social studies tutors' meeting Wednesday afternoon that some form of student input into the department be instituted.
Eaton said the concern for student input partly stems from the Social Studies Department's recent decision to tighten thesis requirements and to require Ec 10 for all concentrators.
Robert L. Amdur, head tutor in Social Studies, said yesterday that although he would "be amenable" to the formation of a student committee whose role was "advisory," he does not feel the group should have voting powers.
Eaton said she and the other co-signers of the letter will try to organize women and Third World students in Social Studies. She cited re-evaluation of admissions policies and helping decide tutorial content as two issues to which the student committee would address itself.
Eaton said she would wait for response to the letter and try to coordinate her future efforts with Rideout and Roberts.
Roberts suggested a student advisory committee to the tutors because "a lot of people don't feel free to go to their tutors with their own suggestions, and a student committee would give important views a chance to be expressed."
Both Rideout and Roberts said the recent academic decisions by the department "represent things students should have a say in."
Though Roberts did not disagree with the Ec 10 and thesis decisions, he said that students should have been consulted before the rules were approved.
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