SAC Membership Doubles

Foundation Committee Gives Greater Representation

Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations Director S. Allen Counter doubled the number of Student Advisory Committee (SAC) members over the past two weeks, giving campus minority groups greater representation on the body.

Although the Foundation office will not release the names of minority groups guaranteed representative seats until all groups are notified, SAC Co-chair Aida E. Bekele '94 said Counter offered SAC seats to at least ten groups.

The Philippine Forum, Hillel, the Korean Students Association (KSA), Society of Arab Students (SAS) and the South Asian Association (SAA) all confirmed yesterday that the had been offered seats on the committee.

Some of the new SAC representatives said they believe Counter offered representation to the Irish Cultural Association, the Catholic Students Association and the Harvard Islamic Society. Representatives from these groups did not return repeated phone calls.

The committee's expansion marks the first compositional change for the SAC since its inception in 1980. Many organization leaders said a permanent representative elected by their clubs will guarantee fair representation of specific concerns.


Previously, the SAC included 10 members elected at-large, three representing residential houses and standing appointees from the Black Students' Association, Asian American Association (AAA), La O, the Native American Association, Raza, the Undergraduate Council and the Radcliffe Union of Students.

Over the past year, minority and religious groups have appealed to Counter without success for guaranteed representation on the committee, which promotes the improvement of race relations and helps appropriate about $20,000 a year in grants to campus groups.

Counter was unavailable for com- ment, but stated in a release to The Crimson yesterday that organizations have an increased interest in association with the Foundation because of the Foundation's success in programming and support for University-wide events.

"The main change in the restructuring of the Foundation is that we have become more all-inclusive in welcoming all racial, ethnic and religious groups," Counter wrote in his statement. "We feel that these groups will help to enrich the diversity of our programs."

The structural changes to the Foundation are among the very first to emerge during a year-long review of the College's race relations programs by Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III and others.

Organization leaders interviewed said the expansion of the committee is a necessary and overdue measure.

The granting of seats to many of the Asian minority groups is the result of the smaller groups lodging concerns with Counter that the AAA cannot represent the specific concerns of the smaller Asian communities, according to Austin W. So '96, political and educational chair of KSA.

"We initiated the inquiry into getting a seat because we felt there was not adequate representation by AAA," said Mona M. Patel '94, Co-president of the South Asian Association (SSA).

Patel said few of SAA's 230 members are affiliated with AAA and that concerns about representation grew when AAA used the slogan "Yellow Power" last fall to promote a study break.

Soviety of Arab Students (SAS) leaders saw gaining an SAC seat as the "slow response" to their complaints about low funding last semester. Because SAS did not have a representative, its cultural events were not detailed at the committee meeting for grant distribution and the organization received a much smaller-grant than requested, an SAS official said.

"There is a slowness in the administration about granting us a seat," said Haneen M. Rabie '95, co-president of SAS