Just before the Faculty approved the reforms of the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR), the present chairman of the CRR rose to announce his hope that students might finally see fit to end their intermittent eight-year boycott of the committee.
But students involved in drawing up the original reforms in 1977 did not. Laura S. Besvinick '80, who was one of four students on the CRR in 1977 and member of the first class to break the boycott, said yesterday the final CRR legislation, which passed the Faculty Council last December, is a sadly diluted version of their earlier package of reforms. The Council vetoed the recommended reforms to bar hearsay evidence from CRR hearings and to create an appeals board. The Council did agree to eliminate legal counsel at hearings and to set up guidelines for release of taped transcripts of the hearings. These reforms are procedural and therefore do not require a full Faculty vote. But, as Besvinick observed, the reforms were meant to work as a whole "What good does barring legal counsel do, when the students have no appeals board to resort to?" she asked.
Besvinick said only the reform establishing a more balanced student-faculty ratio on the committee actually helps students. The legislation provides for six student and six Faculty seats, plus an additional Faculty member who will preside as chairman and cast the deciding vote in case of a tie. Previous membership rules required eight Faculty members and six students.
But some House committee chairmen, who originally voted to boycott CRR again this year, found the Faculty vote more encouraging. Susan McConnell '79, chairman of the North House committee, said yesterday the committee would soon review its decision to support the boycott, in view of the Faculty vote.
Harry D'Agostino '79, chairman of Currier House committee, did not believe the committee would consider voting to lift the boycott this year, but added he saw "no reason why we couldn't lift it next year."
Such optimism leaves students like Besvinick, who have long followed the debates over CRR reforms, bewildered over the clarity of their classmates' vision. She said "It's as if students are becoming more and more unable to see when something is wrong.