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Two Steps Ahead, One Step Back


By Susan C. Faludi

In the midst of a heated debate at Adams House on whether to break the ten-year student boycott of the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR), one undergraduate wondered out loud, "Does anyone really know what's wrong with CRR?" An awkward silence followed.

Apparently Freshman Council and House Committee members at Adams and South House did not believe student objections to CRR were memorable enough to warrant continuing the boycott; and two weeks ago they voted to send representatives to the body--which disciplined students involved in the 1969 political demonstrations, including the takeover of University Hall.

But other students' sense of history seemed keener and, at their request, the Freshman Council and Adams House Committee reconvened this week to reconsider the boycott. Memories refreshed, the Freshman Council decided to reverse its decision and Adams House will delay sending a representative to CRR while it conducts a House referendum this week. The committee also decided to set up a task force in the House which will work with other Houses to investigate the CRR's history and structure.

But the South House Committee plans to stick to its decision to end the boycott. Brian M. Covino '81, chairman of the South House Committee, said yesterday the committee will listen to any objections to the CRR, but he has not yet received any complaints from House residents and does not expect the committee to change its mind.

Leonard Mendonco '83, the newly elected South House representative to the CRR, said yesterday he will propose ways to reform the CRR, including banning hearsay evidence, requiring equal representation of students and faculty and allowing students to appeal CRR rulings.

Other students who volunteered to serve as CRR representatives, like Frank Streeter '83 of Adams House, also believe they can reform CRR more effectively from within. But Streeter also contends that CRR's role in the 1969 student demonstrations is irrelevant: "What happened ten years ago, happened ten years ago."

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