In light of Thursday night's stabbing of the wife of a Harvard law professor, about 50 law students yesterday morning ended an overnight sit-in outside the office of Law School Dean Robert C. Clark.
The students had occupied Griswold Hall, the site of Clark's office, since about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, as part of a protest of a lack of diversity on the Law School's faculty. But students said that at about 9:30 a.m., shortly after they received news of the death of Mary Joe Frug--a Bunting fellow and the wife of Professor of Law Gerald R. Frug--they decided to forego their plans of blocking Clark from entering his office.
"We want this to be known we're doing this out of respect for Mary Frug," Carney said. "We wanted it to be a continuous effort, but it's hard to continue in light of this."
Frug was stabbed on Brattle St. Thursday night, while she was reportedly on her way to a nearby grocery store.
Several faculty supporters of the protest had asked the activists to end the sit-in out of consideration for Frug, students said.
"We asked them to do that in light of her death," said Dean of Students Sarah Wald.
Despite the premature curtailing of the sit-in, the students will continue their protest in some form next week and will submit a list of demands to the dean, said David L. Stickland, a member of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), which organized the sit-in.
"Ending the sit-in is no statement as to us giving up," Strickland said.
The students began occupying Griswold yesterday at about 3 p.m. after a day of boycotting classes and holding several rallies, including one outside Massachusetts Hall, where the office of outgoing President Derek C. Bok is located.
After a lengthy debate, the students finally decided at about 9 p.m. to go ahead with the overnight vigil, said BLSA President Charisse A. Carney.
More than 300 Harvard law students participated in Thursday's boycott of classes, intended to protest a lack of diversity on the school's faculty. The boycott was held in conjunction with National Law Student Strike Day, which was initiated by law students at the University of California at Berkeley three years ago.
A similar sit-in held on the national strike day last year turned into the first of two overnight vigils outside Clark's office last spring.
Currently, the Law School has five women and five Blacks on its 65-member faculty. In the past decade, 45 percent of the the school's tenure and tenure-track offers have been extended to minorities and women.