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Council Approves Divestment Report

But Some Members Call Report Biased

By Jeffrey C. Wu

The Undergraduate Council last night endorsed a report showing that a majority of students support complete University divestment from South Africa-related stock, despite charges that the document was being used as a "propaganda leaflet."

The report, based on the results of a student referendum this month, said that 52 percent of undergraduates who voted support complete divestment from South Africa, 35 percent support the Harvard Corporation's current policy of selective divestment and 13 percent do not favor any divestment whatsoever.

Also, the report indicated that 82 percent of students said the council should "support and encourage the majority view...through the appropriate means."

The referendum binds the council to encourage the administration to move towards a policy of complete divestment.

Adams House and Dunster House were the most vocal advocates of complete divestment, with 74 percent of voters in Adams and 63 percent in Dunster supporting the position.

At the other end of the spectrum were Eliot House and Kirkland House where 36 and 43 percent of voters called for complete divestment, respectively.

Some members criticized Randal S. Jeffrey '91, who wrote the report, for trying to inject a pro-divestment bias into the report.

Jeffrey, who is the chair of the council's ad hoc committee on divestment, successfully urged members not to mention the voter turnout in the report's summary, arguing that doing so would weaken the council's pro-divestment stand.

The fact that less than 40 percent of students voted in the referendum is included in the report's statistical results.

But some representatives, notably Council Vice Chair Joel D. Hornstein '91-'92, Colin V. Gallagher '91 and Adam D. Taxin '93, said that the report should be objective and not push any particular position.

"What is the purpose, is it to be honest, or is it to support divestment, twisting the facts whenever necessary?" said Hornstein.

Taxin urged the council not to turn the report into a "propoganda leaflet."

But Jeffrey defended his position, saying that "the report of any facts are in a context."

The ad hoc committees dominated the council's other business last night as well. At the request of the ad hoc committee on the president's search, the council voted to endorse a rally calling for greater student involvement in the search.

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who is a driving force behind the two Harvard watchdog groups, Harvard Watch and the undergraduate Committee on Undergraduate Practices, is scheduled to speak at the rally.

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