Bucking the Assembly


The North House Committee set off a wave of protest this week against the Coalition for a Democratic University (CDU) charging that the CDU controls the Student Assembly and recommending that North House assembly delegates temporarily boycott the group.

The South House Committee picked up its neighbor's lead, condemning the formation of political parties in the assembly, but stopping short of endorsing a boycott.

Lowell and Currier House Committees also discussed the role of the CDU in the assembly this week, but neither committee recommended a boycott.

Stephen V.R.Winthrop '80, former chairman of the assembly, said this week he will try to force the assembly to conduct a college-wide binding referendum to decide whether the assembly should permit political parties.

North House Committee members said this week they believe 35 CDU members in the assembly pre-arrange strategy in caucus meetings, then vote as a bloc to "railroad" whatever they want through the assembly.


They also charged the CDU surreptitously ran a slate of candidates in the election of assembly officers, and the assembly chairman, a CDU member, has ignored parliamentary procedure and favored CDU members during meetings.

CDU members and some independents in the assembly dispute the North House allegations, claiming that the CDU has neither the power nor the will to dominate the assembly.

The CDU cannot control the assembly, they say, because CDU members are a minority on the assembly's administrative committee, which sets the agenda for meetings.

They add, moreover, the members of the CDU are too diverse and uncertain of what they want to accomplish to be able to vote as a bloc.

"If the CDU is a railroad, then it's the Penn Central-it just doesn't work," Richard Bernstein '81, an assembly delegate from Mather House who is not a CDU member, said this week.