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Straights for Gays, an ad hoc student group, will present the faculty Council today with a petition signed by more than 1300 undergraduates who believe the University should adopt a formal policy of non-discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The Council is scheduled to vote this afternoon on the non-discrimination policy, which the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) endorsed in February.
Straights for gays collected all the signatures on the petition in the College dining halls during a 32-hour period beginning Monday at lunch and ending Tuesday at dinner. Janet M. Helson '83, a member of the group, said yesterday.
"We were getting at least 50 signatures an hour, and we could easily have doubled the total in another day or two," she added.
None of the organizers of the petition drive and nine of the signers of the petition is a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Gay Students Association (GSA), Nathan S. Szanton '83, a Straights for Gays member, said yesterday.
"We wanted to demonstrate that there is very broad support for gay rights and civil liberties among straight students here." Szanton said, adding. "This many signatures will make it very hard for the Faculty Council to just dismiss the issue."
Michael G. Colantuono '83, the CHUL and GSA member who originally proposed the non-discrimination policy in December, said yesterday the petition drive is "dynamite, just terrific support."
Colantuono and four other GSA members will attend today's Faculty Council meeting to present a legal brief and to argue for adoption of the non-discrimination policy, which would be similar to the University's official policies against discrimination on the basis of sex, race, creed, and national origin.
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