The student-faculty Committee on Housing will again prohibit student observers and reporters from attending its University Hall meeting today, continuing a policy unexpectedly adopted at the first meeting of the new group last week.
Committee members said yesterday that the 10-members group would continue the policy of meeting privately to foster open, informal discussion made difficult if the press and a larger group of students attend.
The student-faculty Committee on College Life also held a closed meeting last week. These sessions contract with the open procedures followed by the now-defunct Committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life (CHUL), which met in public from 1975 until last year when it was phased out to make way for the two smaller committees.
A third student-faculty group--the Committee on Undergraduate Education--maintained its long-standing open policy at its first meeting, of the year earlier this month.
Housing committee members emphasized yesterday that the policy change was made to facilitate more productive meetings, but several Undergraduate Council members voiced objections to the closed sessions, saying they expected the policy to be debated at today's meeting.
Undergraduate Council Chairman Michael G. Colantuono '83 said that he opposes the policy because "The Council, which provides the student members, should not participate in anything that's not open." "That's not how governments work," he added.
Colantuono said that he will try to meet with Dean of the College John B. Fox Jr. '59, chairman of the committee, this morning, to discuss the situation. "I think it's quite likely that we will reach a compromise," Colantuono said.
Last week, Colantuono said the council might consider having its committee delegate boycott future meetings if the policy continued.
Assistant Dean of the College Thomas A. Dingman '67, secretary to the committee, said he thought the committee felt "they could carry on better in a small group."
North House Master Hanna Hastings, a committee member, agreed, saying. "The group decided that we would feel more uninhibited and freer to express our opinions if we were a smaller group."
Other members of the committee expressed concern over the exclusion of interested observers, saying that the issues before the committee were of interest to many students.
"One way to make sure you have close ties is to have open meetings," J. French Wall '83 said.
Wall added that CHUL had operated inefficiently because student representatives, who were elected within their Houses instead of by a central student government, did not feel accountable to their constituents.
"Part of the reason you do things publicly is that you're under scrutiny," he added.