Supporters Hold Vigil For Law Students

More than 60 members of the Harvard Law School Coalition for Civil Rights and their supporters from other graduate schools held a silent vigil yesterday in support of the 13 students who may face administrative board charges for their participation in two recent sit-ins.

The nine students who occupied the hallway outside Law School Dean Robert C. Clark's office for 25 hours last Monday and Tuesday may face reprimands, suspensions or expulsion, third-year John E. Bonifaz said yesterday. Four of the 14 students who participated in a sit-in at the office of Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence Charles Fried may face similar punishment.

The vigil was held outside of a faculty meeting in Pound Hall. The meeting was a continuation of last week's discussion of the appointments process, students said. The faculty considered two assistant professorship appointments, according to one faculty member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Law School administrative board will decide next week. whether to hear the case against the students,according to Dean of Students Sarah Wald. But moststudents said they believe the preliminary meetingis only a formality and will probably result in aformal declaration.

"Perhaps [the charges] would evaporate. But Iknow no one here who believes that. As far asstudents are concerned formal proceedings havebegun," third-year-Peter M. Cicciano said.

If the ad board decides to charges thestudents, it may be the first time students aretried for political protests since 1970, accordingto Martin C. Gideonse, a Cambridge attorney whorepresented one of the students involved in the1970 case. Gideonse said he thought the ad boarddropped charges in the 1970 case.


Three tenured faculty members, twoadministrators and three law students currentlysit on the Law School ad board.

Students involved in the protests said itlikely they will receive reprimands orsuspensions. A reprimand goes on the formaltranscript and is included in materials sent tothe Bar Association. Suspension results in up toyear's leave and withdrawal of student loans forthree full years, according to Julie A. Su, afirst-year law student.

The vigil, which was attended by more thantwice as many students as were at last week'sprotest outside the faculty meeting, was anattempt to keep the issue of diversity in the limelight, according to students at the rally.

Students from the Kennedy School of Governmentand the Graduate School of Education joined thelaw students.

"We're here both to keep the pressure on thefaculty and to let them know We're still fightingand we're not going to be intimidated," saidGregory E. Bylinsky, a first-year law student. "Wedon't want Clark to be able to end studentscareers when they're protesting out of moralconviction."

Su said she thought Clark may not have arrestedthe students who occupied his office because thedisciplinary measures would be "out of his hands"Su added she thought Clark was using the ad boardas a "club against students."

"The irony is that we're protesting for abetter education, and they'd be taking away oureducation for this," Su said.

Dean Clark said in an interview with TheCrimson last week that he disapproved of thesit-ins because they violated University rules.

But coalition members said they believed theLaw School was breaking the law throughdiscriminatory hiring practices. "As Clark and theLaw School have violated the law bydiscriminating, civil disobedience is anappropriate response," Bylinsky said.

Cicciano, who is organizing the students'defense, said he does not believe the ad boardwill give students a fair hearing.

"The ideal that this process can protect thesestudents is an outrageous abuse of any sort of dueprocess," Cicciano said