"Students are not willing to give the time to learn about the CRR while coping with their present academic work load, and we don't think they should be expected to"
THIS STATEMENT from a letter by House committee chairmen to Dean of Students Archie C Epps III, requested that the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR) postpone convening until student delegates can be properly nominated.
But after reading this request. Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence and the Faculty members of the CRR have decided to proceed with or without student delegates in hopes of reaching a decision before Commencement
This is not only unfair to both the student being tried and the students who might want to serve on the committee, but it also sets a dangerous precedent
The procedures of the CRR state that the committee "should make make all reasonable effort to assure essential fairness and due process." But the decision to proceed with the convening of the CRR, despite the valid request for postponement by House committee chairmen, can only be seen as a lack of concern for this procedure.
Spence told the Faculty three days ago that he thought the CRR should proceed this spring to avoid any "memory loss" of the two incidents, the student sit-in at the Corporation's Quincy St. offices and the blockade of a Lowell House reception for South African official Abe S. Hoppenstein, which might occur over the summer Faculty delegates to the CRR change on June 30
However, Spence does not realize that a memory must be loaded before it can be lost. The CRR's memory has not been loaded. As late as Tuesday, the CRR had no chairman, no student delegates, no decided procedures, and no clue.
I literally know nothing about it [what cases the CRR would be facing or how it would proceed]," said Faculty CRR delegate Richard E. Kronauer, McKay Professor of Mechanical Engineering upon learning that the committee would be reactivated two weeks ago. He was elected chairman of the body on Wednesday.
"I know only what I've read in The Crimson," added Professor of Government Robert D. Putnam, who was named to replace Gurney Professor of English Literature Jerome H. Buckles on the committee only a week ago.
Yet these are the same people who beginning decide on the academic careers of every student identified as participating in the two anti-apartheid protests in question.
These are the same people who took two weeks of meetings to decide when they could meet again. In two more weeks they hope not only to sort out everybody involved in the two incidents, but to hear their cases and recommend discipline.
Can this be seen as an attempt to "make make all reasonable effort to assure essential fairness and due process?"
THE ADMINISTRATION has repeatedly said that it wants to deal with the protests as quickly as possible to avoid having to withhold needlessly the diplomas of seniors involved in the demonstrations.
But this should not be grounds for convening a committee that is unfamiliar to administrators, the media, Faculty and students, let alone its own constituents?
Furthermore, the need for expediency in the cases involving seniors should not take precedent over justice for all involved. Harvard should convene the committee when it can produce the fairest decision, not the fastest one.