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Dowling Committee Meets To Revise Draft Report

By Alan Cooperman

A joint student-Faculty committee reviewing the structure of College governance will issue a report to Dean Fox this month recommending "a series of major reforms that represent a potentially vast improvement over the current system of student government." John E. Dowling, professor of Biology and chairman of the committee, said yesterday.

The four undergraduates, three Faculty members and one administrator on the ad hoc committee met privately this week to revise a confidential, 24-page first draft of the report, which Dowling wrote during Christmas vacation. They have been meeting twice a month since September.

Although the committee is still divided on at least one substantive issue--election procedures for a new student assembly--"the bulk of our work is done and all we have to do is polish up the report so that it is a collective opinion," Dowling said.

Most committee members yesterday refused to discuss the specific recommendations in the report, but Dowling said the final draft is likely to suggest four major reforms:

Incorporation of an "Assembly-like" representative student government into the University's official decision-making structure. The current assembly has only "provisional" recognition from the University and no official powers.

Division of the Committee on House and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) into two smaller committees, one dealing with housing issues and the other with student services. According to Dowling Committee members, this would increase the efficiency of CHUL, which is now "too large" and considers "too many issues."

Provision of a "substantial" budget for the new student government--perhaps as much as $60,000--funded by a 10 dollar addition to undergraduate term bills. The current assembly does not receive any funds from the University.

Inclusion of House Committees in discussions of campus-wide issues through strong ties between the committees and the new student assembly. No such formal ties now exist.

Dean Fox, who appointed the Dowling committee at the request of the Student Assembly last spring, has said repeatedly that he will present the committee's final recommendations--"whatever they may be--for ratification by "whatever groups are appropriate." Voting by these groups--which might include the student body, the Corporation, and the Faculty--could take place as early as this spring or next fall.

The most important issue still dividing the committee is electoral procedure, Dowling said. Some members of the committee believe students delegates should be elected directly to subcommittees of the new assembly, while others believe they should run for seats in the general assembly and choose their committee berths after election.

The final report may reflect this disagreement in a compromise proposal, or committee members may issue minority reports if no compromise can be reached. Dowling added.

Most committee members said yesterday, however, that they are in agreement on the major issues and do not expect minority reports.

"All the major questions have been resolved," Joseph F. McDonough '81, one of the two Student Assembly members on the committee, said, adding. "The committee is set to make proposals for some very dramatic and important changes."

Elizabeth E. Ryan '81, a CHUL student representative on the committee, said yesterday there has not been as much of a student-Faculty split in the committee as she expected. "There's been a really strong feeling that everyone is working together," she added

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