Coalition Expects Support

The coalition of nine minority organizations expects the Faculty to support its demands issued Friday and give greater attention to racial issues, said coalition leader Zaheer R. Ali '94. But it is also prepared to respond to an unfavorable administration reaction, he said.

The nine minority groups--the Asian American Association, Black Students' Association, Caribbean Club, Harvard African Students' Association, Japan Society, Korean Students' Association, La O. Raza and Society of Arab Students--distributed a flyer Friday criticizing Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles and President Neil L. Rudenstine.

The flyer, entitled "The Peculiar Institution," questioned Knowles and Rudenstine for their silence on Thomson Professor of Government Harvey G. Mansfield's allegedly insensitive comments linking grade inflation to an increased number of Black students on campus in the 1970s.

The flyer called for apologies from Rudenstine, Knowles and Mansfield, an ethnic studies requirement in the Core Curriculum, a town meeting on faculty diversity by March 24 and a review process that would lead to the appointment of a Latino professor.

Ali said any future response from the administration that does not meet the coalition's demands will be unacceptable, although he refused to disclose details of the coalition's plans.

"I hope we don't have to consider that," Ali said. "But we have some plans if our present strategies do not work."


Ali, who is president of the Black Students' Association, declined to disclose those plans. But in the past, students groups advocating for diversity in the faculty and the curriculum have taken over Mass. Hall or University Hall after their demands are not initially met.

Haewon Hwang '95, co-chair of the Asian American Association, said the Black Students' Association spearheaded the coalition. "We will push for these programs, but we must talk to the rest of the coalition to find a coherent policy," she said.

Hwang said she had not heard of Ali's plans for action if the administration's response is unfavorable, but she said the association would be inclined to support them.

Mansfield said yesterday he will respond this week to accusations that his comments were ethnocentric, insensitive or racist.

He will "explain and defend" his views in a letter to The Crimson later this week, he said.

Asked whether he will apologize in the letter, Mansfield replied, "Wait and see."

"It would be very interesting to see what kind of gymnastics [Mansfield] goes through to support what he said, because it was very specific and not taken out of context," Ali said.

Mansfield said he is waiting for a reaction from Knowles before making any public comment on the issue.

Ali said a reaction from Knowles is expected within the next few days and he expects the official statement to support the students' demands.

"I would see no other reason why it wouldn't [support the coalition] except the administration's own stubbornness," he said