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Minority students, including three from Harvard, boycotted the final session of the Little 11 intercollegiate conference in Philadelphia this weekend.
They charged in a written statement that the conference's "planning and policies are as racist as the institutions from which the policy-makers have come."
Several of the 23 Harvard students who attended the conference said yesterday they agree with the group that sponsored the boycott that both the conference and the 10 colleges that participated in it are "institutionally racist."
Elizabeth F. Shaw '80, chairman of the conference's Women's Affairs Committee, said yesterday she thinks many of the student delegates at the conference were "unintentionally" racist.
"We realized our committee was racist because there were no minority women on the committee and because we didn't consider minority women's problems," Shaw added.
"The problem is institutional racism, which means that the system is inherently racist, even though the people within it are not." Mark Shlomchik '81, also an organizer of the conference, said yesterday.
"It's not that individuals have racist attitudes, but that institutional practices are insensitive and have racist consequences," George J. Sanchez '80, a member of the conference's Third World Committee, which organized the boycott, said yesterday.
More than 200 students from Stanford, the University of Chicago, and all the Ivy League colleges attended the four-day conference. At the final session, the delegates voted to accept the Third World Committee's criticism of the conference.
The minority students charged in their written statement that there was inadequate third would participation in the planning stages of the conference and that an inadequate number of third world students attended the conference.
Arthur J. Kyriazis '80-2, one of the conference organizers, said yesterday "certain schools did not make adequate efforts to attract minority delegates."
"Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and Stanford did a good job" of securing minority delegates, Kyriazis added. Harvard's delegation, elected at two open meetings last semester, contained 10 women and three minority students.
All of the Harvard delegates contacted this week said the conference was worth-while, despite the controversy over racism.
The delegates exchanged information about programs and problems at each of the colleges, Natasha Pearl '82, chairman of Harvard's delegation to the conference's Student Government Committee, said yesterday.
"We tried to evaluate the degree of student input into academic and administrative decisions at the various schools," Kyriazis said. "We found that Harvard was unique in that it limits student input into official decisions more than any other school," he added.
Harvard was the only school represented at the conference which has no student input into disciplinary action, Kyriazis said. Harvard also has the most limited student input into financial and tuition decisions of all the schools, he added.
Conference members passed more than 40 resolutions, ranging from support of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to a condemnation of CIA activities on campus as a threat to academic freedom.
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