Representatives of ten student groups last night called for a boycott of all classes on April 23 to support the Afro-American Studies Department and divestiture of Harvard's stocks in corporations operating in South Africa.
The groups--calling themselves the Coalition for Awareness and Action--also decided at their meeting late last night to endorse plans for an Afro-American Studies day this Thursday.
In a joint statement of purpose, the coalition stated: "Harvard University is not an island unto itself; it plays an integral ideological and economic role in a society which oppresses people along national, class and sexual lines."
"The groups which constitute the Coalition for Awareness and Action have actively fought injustice at home, abroad, and at Harvard itself. Believing that these issues of racial and social injustice are interrelated, we hope to educate each other and the broad community by engaging in joint work this April," the statement continued.
The coalition will ask Faculty members to cancel or reschedule all classes Monday and will sponsor picketing of the major classroom buildings--the Science Center, Emerson, William James, Harvard, Sever and Sanders Theater.
The boycott will occur on the same day the Harvard Corporation meets to discuss shareholder resolutions.
The Committee to Strengthen Afro-American Studies (CSAAS) met earlier yesterday to finalize its plans for Afro-American Studies Day, then brought the plans to the coalition meeting for endorsement.
The CSAAS plans for Afro-American Studies Day April 19 call for a march from the Radcliffe Quad to the Yard at 12:30, a rally on the steps of Memorial Church, and a 20-minute demonstration at Mass Hall.
Speakers at the rally will include Ewart Guinier '33, professor of Afro-American Studies: Selwyn R. Cudjoe, assistant professor of Afro-American Studies; Tony Martin, professor of Afro-American Studies at Wellesley; and Mark Smith '72-4.
The coalition and CSAAS are demanding the appointment of four additional tenured Faculty members to the Afro-American Studies Department and a priority place for the department in the University's current capital fund drive.
Members of CSAAS last night requested that the newly-formed coalition provide manpower to publicize and marshal Thursday's demonstration. They also called for a "mass telephone blitz" of President Bok's and Dean Rosovsky's telephones Thursday to show support for the Afro-American Studies Department.
Cindy Robbins '80, a CSAAS member, said last night she expected Thursday's demonstration "to begin an impetus of spirit that will carry through" to Monday's boycott.
The Harvard-Radcliffe student groups in the Coalition for Awareness and Action are the Asian American Association, Black Students Association, Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, Coalition for a Democratic University, American Indians at Harvard, La Organizacion, Harvard-Radcliffe Raza, South African Solidarity Committee, Students Concerned About Women's Studies, and the Committee to Commemorate the '69 Strike.