Jewett Revokes Student Group's Recognition

HICA Loses Advisor, Student Member

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 rescinded his probationary recognition of Harvard Christians in Action (HCIA) as a student group last Friday, he confirmed in an interview yesterday.

The dean said he announced his decision at a closed portion of last Friday's meeting of the Committees on College and House Life (COCL and COHL).

HCIA, whose founder, Michael J. Hrnicek '96, and two other members are members of the Boston Church of Christ (BCC), no longer satisfies College regulations for recognizing student religious groups, according to Jewett.

Jewett said two weeks ago he would recognize HCIA if all of the group's members agreed to remain autonomous from the BCC and not to proselytize.

Hrnicek has said his group is intended for Bible study only and is not affiliated with the BCC, a church known for its aggressive missionary practices.


Jewett, However, yesterday refused to comment on his reasons for revoking the group's recognition.

But Hrnicek said yesterday that there were two main reasons for the switch: HCIA's senior faculty advisor dropped out last week, and HCIA went through an internal dispute that made its membership less than the College-mandated 10 students.

And two sources on the Undergraduate Council said yesterday that the dispute will go to the Administrative Board for consideration.

Hrnicek said last week he was disappointed that Professor of Government Robert H. Bates was stepping down as the group's advisor, but said that he was talking to the Civil Liberties Union of Harvard (CLUH) to find other professors who might be interested.

CLUH has supported HCIA on the grounds of freedom of speech and religion.

Hrnicek added that "one of the deans called [Bates] and apparently informed him of the history of certain student members of our church in the past." Although Hrnicek said he was not sure, he said he suspected that the dean was Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

Epps said yesterday that he had been asked not to comment on the case at all.

And Jewett said yesterday he "could not confirm or deny" that Bates resigned as faculty advisor.

Bates was out of town yesterday and could notbe reached for comment.

Referring to the second point of contention,Hrnicek said yesterday that two of the 10 peoplewho originally signed up for the group recentlydecided that they no longer wanted to be part ofit.

"There was confusion with one girl saying shedidn't want to be on it" and saying another womanhad signed her up without here consent, Hrniceksaid. "Dean Jewett is going to talk to the twoparties involved and work out the confusion," hesaid.