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I am writing in response to the May 5, 1994 article "Faculty, Students Stage Ethnic Studies `Teach-In.'" As an organizer of the teach-in and one of the founders of STUDIES, I'd like to set the record straight. I've noticed that ideas and events originating from the Harvard Foundation, whether through its Student Advisory Council or the Academic Affairs Committee, are often mistakenly credited to other organizations or ignored in The Crimson. Likewise, this STUDIES event was somewhat misrepresented.
First, STUDIES is not merely a continuation of past MSA efforts. Nor is it merely a continuation of past Academic Affairs Committee efforts. Last fall, the MSA voted to be mainly a cultural organization rather than a politically active one. After the quiet death of the proposal to upgrade the Visiting Scholars Program to standing committee status, more students became active, joining their energy to ongoing Academic Affairs Committee efforts and drawing in the Minority Students Alliance which then took up the ethnic studies cause. These students are STUDIES. Though STUDIES meets at the Foundation, ownership of the movement lies neither with the AAC nor with the MSA, but rather with the participating students who shape the agenda and want to work toward Harvard's having permanent ethnic studies courses as well as working on the separate issue of faculty hiring of people of color.
Second, the meeting with Dean of FAS Jeremy Knowles was not organized by the MSA. Dean Knowles himself requested to meet with students through the Harvard Foundation. This meeting, which took place on March 24, 1994, was not one for negotiation but rather for direct communication. In attendance were student activists, Dean Buell, Dr. S. Allen Counter, members of the Academic Affairs Committee, the co-chairs of the Minority Students Alliance and other student leaders.
Third, the postering about the lack of minority faculty and the lack of courses was not spearheaded by the MSA. Interested students took the initiative to poster. Also, in past articles I have been incorrectly identified as a member of the MSA; I am not a representative to the MSA. This is in no way slighting the MSA, but rather to point out that The Crimson sometimes makes mistakes that could be avoided. Another example I can't help but mention is the Harvard Foundation's Cultural Rhythms festival, which involved over 27 different student groups, faculty, staff and members of the Cambridge community of all back grounds. How the Crimson failed to cover an enormously positive cultural event, with an audience of over 1,500, is confusing to me. Hyewon Chong '95
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