In an effort to formally address the status of race relations at the College, the Dean of Students' Office distributed a new edition of The Handbook on Race Relations and the Common Pursuit across campus yesterday.
The handbook, which was distributed to all campus dining halls, contains the findings and recommendations of a study conducted by the Harvard College Race Relations Project. The first edition of the booklet was distributed last year.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said yesterday that he plans to print an annually updated version of the handbook that would include changes in visiting faculty, appointed fellows and programs related to race issues.
"We hope that the students will gain more complete knowledge of the resources available at Harvard and a clear understanding of the procedure they should use if they were to bring a complaint of racial harassment to our attention," Epps said yesterday. "[The handbook] also allows us to state clearly our vision of the kind of college we want to create."
Besides listing several programs and organizations that focus on race relations, the handbook includes a directory of sources qualified to lead discussions and seminars on race issues.
The handbook also outlines the goals of the University to improve race relations and describes the role of discussions about race and ethnic studies in an academic environment.
This year, the booklet contains two essays on race by W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Faye Chiu '95.
Despite this improvement, Asian American Association Co-president Joan R. Cheng '95 said students might not find the handbook very useful, since much of its content can be found elsewhere in the College.
"I think most students are indifferent [to the handbook]," Chen said. "The only thing students will spend time reading is the article by [Chiu] because they are interested in what students are writing."
Chen said Chiu's article is an important addition to this year's book, but more articles should be included to express more views.
"Students place too much weight on one article and try to extrapolate from it," Chen said.
Epps said the Harvard College News plans to publish a special edition which will include essays by students from various ethnic backgrounds.
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