Henry C. Moses, dean of freshmen, his withdrawn his office's funding of minority orientation programs during freshman week.
"It seemed my responsibilities were for the orientation of the entire freshman class and not for orientation of smaller groups within the class," Moses said yesterday, adding that budgetary considerations did not have a primary role in his decision.
The Freshman Dean's Office (FDO) has co-sponsored with undergraduate minority groups orientation programs for Third World freshmen for the past three years. Moses would not disclose the amount the FDO has spent on the activities.
"I don't mean to imply that Third World student organizations ought not to continue to reach out to freshmen. I would prefer that their programs not be an official part of freshman week and the calendar of opening days," Moses said.
Moses has conferred with minority student representatives three times in the last few weeks, suggesting co-sponsorship with undergraduate minority groups of new freshman week events to raise the issue of diversity at Harvard, including a specific discussion of racial diversity.
Third World representatives yesterday criticized Moses' decision. Jane Bock '81, former president of the Asian American Student's Association, called the withdrawal of funding "a total shock."
"It's ironic that the FDO has pulled back now, in a year when the University more than ever is addressing race relations and after the Gomes report which said that Harvard has to recognize the particular needs of Third World students," Bock said.
Bock also cited a passage from President Bok's open letter on race which "acknowledged that the University has not come as far as it could in making Third World students feel welcome and sure of their status."
Moses said he has tried "to gauge whether the co-sponsored programs over the last three years were successful," adding, "It seemed to me in looking back and talking to students that that series of orientation events was not working the way it ought to."
One source who has helped organize minority orientation activities charged that the FDO "was negligent" last year in planning freshman week Third World programs.
The source, who asked not to be identified, also said several undergraduate minority groups had approached the FDO last fall to hire a part-time worker responsible for co-ordinating Third World orientation. After arranging for workstudy money for a staffer with the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, the groups were turned down by Moses, the source added.
Archie C.EPPs III, dean of students and head of the committee which last fall released a report on race relations, declined to comment yesterday on the funding withdrawal