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Student Affairs Chair Resigns

Haynes Will Keep Council Seat

By Andrew A. Green

Elizabeth A. Haynes '98 resigned at last night's Undergraduate Council meeting from her post as chair of the council's Student Affairs Committee, citing personal and political attacks against her by other committee members.

Haynes will remain on the council as a member of the Campus Life Committee.

Student Affairs Committee Vice-Chair Ian T. Simmons '98 will act as interim chair until the committee elects a new chair at tomorrow's meeting.

"The reason I joined the council and the Student Affairs Committee is no longer relevant to myself or students," Haynes said in her resignation speech to the council. "The Student Affairs Committee is working against what I see as the only way to make changes in student life."

Haynes said a number of events lead up to her decision to resign, but one of the immediate causes was a controversy at last week's executive board meeting.

According to one executive board member, questions were raised at the meeting about another Student Affairs Committee member's usurping of Haynes's authority to run committee meetings.

That Student Affairs Committee member admitted he was wrong to have done so, but went on to criticize Haynes for not living up to her promises to serve primarily to facilitate the ideas of others on the committee.

That member also said the majority of the committee differed from Haynes on a number of issues and intimated that a change was in order, though he was not specific about what kind of change was needed.

Haynes said this and other incidents made her dread council and committee meetings, leading her to resign.

Haynes said she could no longer be the head of a committee whose members took actions that destroyed ties between the committee and the administration.

"The committee wants to go out of its way to agitate and annoy the administration," Haynes said. "I believe the administration wants to work with us as equals and has set up committees to give us a voice.

"When we go out of our way to agitate and annoy the administration," Haynes said. "I believe the administration wants to work with us as equals and has set up committees to give us a voice."

"When we go out of our way to agitate and annoy them, we are not treating ourselves as equals, we're treating ourselves as inferiors. I don't want to be chair of that committee," she added.

Haynes also said she was the victim of personal attacks against her objectivity and effectiveness in leading the Student Affairs Committee.

The attacks ranged from her personal views of how the committee should act to allegations that she lied in committee and council meetings to her relationship with another council member outside of the council, she said.

According to Noah R. Freeman '98, a member of the Student Affairs Committee and of the Progressive Undergraduate Council Coalition (PUCC), members of the committee felt Haynes was in the minority on most decisions in the committee this year and used her position to give more attention to the minority view than it warranted.

Freeman said Haynes had promised in elections for the chair of the committee to act as a facilitator for the views of other committee members rather than to pursue her own agenda, but had violated that promise.

"She very clearly has her own agenda and tries to get her own agenda passed," Freeman said in an interview before the resignation.

Haynes said she had tried to fulfill her role as facilitator, but a lack of cooperation by other committee members prevented her from helping them.

Other committee members were not including her in the process of developing new ideas or bringing forth legislation, Haynes said.

"I have not yet been asked to help people speak with the administration in any way," Haynes said. "My style is to help both sides if I can. I can't because I don't know both sides."

Haynes also charged that other committee members had been going over her head by communicating with administration directly rather than going through the proper committee structure. As a result, they undermined the relationship of the committee with the faculty and administration, she said.

"People have misrepresented what I have done or said to the administration and faculty," Haynes said. "On a number of occasions I've had to go into faculty meetings and explain what's going on and apologize."

"The administration is seeing a committee divided into two camps, and there's no reason for it to pay attention to either. This is not an effective way to get things done," she added.

According to Freeman, a majority of the Student Affairs Committee now believes the only way to affect positive change in the University is to go outside of the committee's normal lobbying tactics and use new techniques.

"I personally would be willing to trade all the Student Affairs Committee has done for a single substantive reform on a major issue," Freeman said. "I think too many older members of the U.C. are overly concerned with remaining on the administration's Christmas card list and not with making substantive change."

Haynes said she felt the new tactics being used, such as petitions, protests and rallies, have their place, but should not supersede the normal channels of interaction between the committee and the University.

"Unless we merge the protests and rallies with the committee positions we hold, we will be at a disadvantage with both--nothing will change for students on campus and the committee will be as ineffective as it has ever been," Haynes said.

Haynes criticized those who advocate these more activist efforts as not taking the time to think through issues and form concrete plans for how to implement the reforms they seek.

"We are no longer making the hard decisions and coming up with plans," she said. "We are making demands and then demanding they be implemented at any cost."

Haynes also said the issues being tackled by many members of the committee are not directly relevant to most students but rather only appeal to a small minority.

Other council members expressed regret that Haynes felt she could not continue as committee chair and said her experience would be missed.

"Liz expressed that she had been personally hurt by those on the [Student Affairs Committee] and I think, for one, that though I may have disagreed with her in some situations, I feel very badly that she had such a bad experience this year," Freeman said. "Nobody was trying to hurt anybody."

Garance R. Franke-Ruta '96-'97, a member of PUCC who ran for Student Affairs Committee chair this semester, said she regretted the loss of Haynes as chair and lamented the personal nature of attacks against her.

"I do believe there have been a number of occasions that political differences have devolved to personal ones one-mail," Franke-Ruta said. "This has occurred a number of times this year and is clearly a broader problem.

"There were unfortunate personality clashes and people on all sides behaved in a fashion that was inappropriate," she added.

Franke-Ruta said she wished Haynes success on the Campus Life Committee and hoped she would continue to lend her expertise in dealing with the administration to whoever becomes the new chair of Student Affairs. As well, she said she had high hopes for the committee's future.

"I think there remains a large body of people on the council determined to make the experiment with new ways to take action a success," Franke-Ruta said. "I hope we can bring these different opinions into a successful working relationship."

Council President Robert M. Hyman '98-'97 said he agreed that the council will continue to make historic strides this year.

"In the first four weeks we've been considering things we've never seen before on the council," Hyman said. "We have a bold new agenda as a committee and as a council. I'm sorry she didn't want to continue in her post, but I am sure the council will continue to bring the diversity of talent on the council together."

Other council members were not so optimistic that the conflicts on the council could be reconciled.

Campus Life Committee Co-Chair Rudd W. Coffey '97 said he saw a common vision among council members to make the council an effective student government but a great division about how that goal should be achieved.

"There is a growing divergence on how to achieve this vision--to attack the administration from the outside or attack it from the inside," Coffey said. "The best method is to do both, but that's not always possible.

"When we go out of our way to agitate and annoy them, we are not treating ourselves as equals, we're treating ourselves as inferiors. I don't want to be chair of that committee," she added.

Haynes also said she was the victim of personal attacks against her objectivity and effectiveness in leading the Student Affairs Committee.

The attacks ranged from her personal views of how the committee should act to allegations that she lied in committee and council meetings to her relationship with another council member outside of the council, she said.

According to Noah R. Freeman '98, a member of the Student Affairs Committee and of the Progressive Undergraduate Council Coalition (PUCC), members of the committee felt Haynes was in the minority on most decisions in the committee this year and used her position to give more attention to the minority view than it warranted.

Freeman said Haynes had promised in elections for the chair of the committee to act as a facilitator for the views of other committee members rather than to pursue her own agenda, but had violated that promise.

"She very clearly has her own agenda and tries to get her own agenda passed," Freeman said in an interview before the resignation.

Haynes said she had tried to fulfill her role as facilitator, but a lack of cooperation by other committee members prevented her from helping them.

Other committee members were not including her in the process of developing new ideas or bringing forth legislation, Haynes said.

"I have not yet been asked to help people speak with the administration in any way," Haynes said. "My style is to help both sides if I can. I can't because I don't know both sides."

Haynes also charged that other committee members had been going over her head by communicating with administration directly rather than going through the proper committee structure. As a result, they undermined the relationship of the committee with the faculty and administration, she said.

"People have misrepresented what I have done or said to the administration and faculty," Haynes said. "On a number of occasions I've had to go into faculty meetings and explain what's going on and apologize."

"The administration is seeing a committee divided into two camps, and there's no reason for it to pay attention to either. This is not an effective way to get things done," she added.

According to Freeman, a majority of the Student Affairs Committee now believes the only way to affect positive change in the University is to go outside of the committee's normal lobbying tactics and use new techniques.

"I personally would be willing to trade all the Student Affairs Committee has done for a single substantive reform on a major issue," Freeman said. "I think too many older members of the U.C. are overly concerned with remaining on the administration's Christmas card list and not with making substantive change."

Haynes said she felt the new tactics being used, such as petitions, protests and rallies, have their place, but should not supersede the normal channels of interaction between the committee and the University.

"Unless we merge the protests and rallies with the committee positions we hold, we will be at a disadvantage with both--nothing will change for students on campus and the committee will be as ineffective as it has ever been," Haynes said.

Haynes criticized those who advocate these more activist efforts as not taking the time to think through issues and form concrete plans for how to implement the reforms they seek.

"We are no longer making the hard decisions and coming up with plans," she said. "We are making demands and then demanding they be implemented at any cost."

Haynes also said the issues being tackled by many members of the committee are not directly relevant to most students but rather only appeal to a small minority.

Other council members expressed regret that Haynes felt she could not continue as committee chair and said her experience would be missed.

"Liz expressed that she had been personally hurt by those on the [Student Affairs Committee] and I think, for one, that though I may have disagreed with her in some situations, I feel very badly that she had such a bad experience this year," Freeman said. "Nobody was trying to hurt anybody."

Garance R. Franke-Ruta '96-'97, a member of PUCC who ran for Student Affairs Committee chair this semester, said she regretted the loss of Haynes as chair and lamented the personal nature of attacks against her.

"I do believe there have been a number of occasions that political differences have devolved to personal ones one-mail," Franke-Ruta said. "This has occurred a number of times this year and is clearly a broader problem.

"There were unfortunate personality clashes and people on all sides behaved in a fashion that was inappropriate," she added.

Franke-Ruta said she wished Haynes success on the Campus Life Committee and hoped she would continue to lend her expertise in dealing with the administration to whoever becomes the new chair of Student Affairs. As well, she said she had high hopes for the committee's future.

"I think there remains a large body of people on the council determined to make the experiment with new ways to take action a success," Franke-Ruta said. "I hope we can bring these different opinions into a successful working relationship."

Council President Robert M. Hyman '98-'97 said he agreed that the council will continue to make historic strides this year.

"In the first four weeks we've been considering things we've never seen before on the council," Hyman said. "We have a bold new agenda as a committee and as a council. I'm sorry she didn't want to continue in her post, but I am sure the council will continue to bring the diversity of talent on the council together."

Other council members were not so optimistic that the conflicts on the council could be reconciled.

Campus Life Committee Co-Chair Rudd W. Coffey '97 said he saw a common vision among council members to make the council an effective student government but a great division about how that goal should be achieved.

"There is a growing divergence on how to achieve this vision--to attack the administration from the outside or attack it from the inside," Coffey said. "The best method is to do both, but that's not always possible.

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