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Epps Admits to Delay of Vote

Dean Says, Boston Church of Christ Questionable Group

By Elizabeth M. Angell

In an interview yesterday, Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said he delayed a vote by the Committee on College Life (COCL) recognizing nine student organizations in order to determine whether to approve a 10th group which shares several members with the Boston Church of Christ.

"I fully admit to dragging my feet on the Boston Church of Christ issue and it's because of [the Church's] history," Epps said.

The Boston Church of Christ has been widely accused of being a cult by local religious leaders off campus and proctors on campus.

Michael J. Hrnicek '96, a COCL member, proposed the group, Harvard Christians in Action. Both of the groups' advisors are also members of the Boston Church of Christ.

Epps said he would like to put off the COCL decision in order to conduct an investigation into whether the group will be establishing a ministry on campus.

"The issue is whether we want to recognize a group that's associated with the Boston Church of Christ," said Epps. "I think it's very important that this issue be known in the community and that we have a chance to discuss and debate this before making any decision."

Epps has drawn fire from Randall A. Fine '96, a member of the Undergraduate Council, for discriminating against the group.

Fine made an analogy to European misconceptions of Judaism prevalent 50 years ago.

Epps said he "didn't understand [Fine's comparison] and didn't think it was analogous."

One of the organizations the COCL postponed approving has been allowed to publicize meetings anyway.

Decade, a group which councils students on eating disorders, advertised in the Winthrop House newsletter.

Epps said that College policy allows groups to advertise before they have been approved, but that he would not allow Hrnicek's Bible study group to do so.

"We let people hold meetings so they can attract members, elect leaders and adopt bylaws which they can then submit to the [COCL]," Epps said.

But because of the "special nature of the issue", the religious group will not be allowed to publicize.

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