COCL Discusses National Club Ties

Student organizations may be able to affiliate with their national counterparts without violating the College's autonomy provision for student groups, said members of a joint meeting of the Committees on College Life and House Life (COCL/COHL) yesterday.

Undergraduate Council members N. Van Taylor '96-'95 and Randall A. Fine '96 said that a national affiliation would not necessarily compromise a group's autonomy.

"Student groups at Harvard should be able to maintain contact with national organizations, as long as they make their own decisions," Taylor said.

If the committee approved national affiliation for student groups, it would be a groundbreaking decision. Since the early part of the century, the College has prohibited official student groups from being affiliated with their national counterparts.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 said that the committee might allow some student organizations, such as the campus Democrats or Republicans, to form such affiliations.


"My guess is that this committee may feel within the current rules that there are some cases we feel comfortable with approving," Jewett said.

The committee agreed to try to consider some groups' request for such affiliation at next month's COCL/COHL meeting. Committee members said they were not sure whether approving such affiliations would fall under the COCL/COHL's or the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' jurisdiction.

One group, Circle K, tried to win approval for an outside affiliation in the 1992-93 school year, said Phil Cartagena '96, president of the organization.

"I met with Dean Epps to find out if having anyaffiliation with a parent organization werepossible, and he said it was absolutely notpossible," Cartagena said. He was forced to fromthe group without an affiliation with theinternational Circle K organization, he said.

Cartagena said that he would probably bewilling to try again for a national affiliation,given the COCL/COHL's discussion yesterday.

Taylor and Fine also brought up the issue ofautonomy in regard to student organizations withgraduate or trustee boards, and asked about thepossiblity of prohibiting student groups fromhaving such boards.

Jewett, however, said that would not be likelyto happen.

"It's a shift that I wouldn't be inclined tomake without a great deal of further considerationand study," Jewett said.

Loker Commons

The committee also spent 45 minutes discussingplans for the renovation of Memorial Hall withDirector of Planning and Senior DevelopmentOfficer Philip J. Parsons and Director of theMemorial Lowell Complex Eric C. Engel.

After a half-hour information session about theprogress of the renovations, the committee decidedto create a subcommittee to examine studentconcerns in greater depth.

Epps said he wanted to serve on thesubcommittee because he wants to make LokerCommons studentfriendly.

"I'm interested in seeing it work forstudents," Epps said