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PBHA Independently Reviews Safety Codes

By Jason C. Tsomides

Less than a year after it concluded negotiations with Harvard, Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) is reviewing its safety regulations independently of its newly appointed University overseers.

PBHA issued a report concerning its regulatory procedures last week in response to what it deemed to be inactivity on the part of the administration.

"While the administration can be supportive and [is], they don't know what it takes," said Marc H. Katz '98, author of the report.

"Student input has been ignored." Katz said. "[Harvard] should take responsibility to inform students [of safety needs]."

A draft copy of the report, dated Feb. 19, outlines new regulations for the organization's procedures for vehicle safety, student conduct and medical emergencies.

The student initiative comes after Harvard assumed authority of the PBHA programs following negotiations over the structure of PBHA last September.

PBHA President Roy E. Bahat '98 said Harvard insisted upon this control before it would continue recognition of PBHA as a student group.

Katz said Harvard now has complete jurisdiction over much of PBHA policy. Assistant Dean of Public Service Judith H. Kidd controls many aspects of PBHA programs, including safety policies.

Kidd was not available for comment yesterday.

The tension between the students of the public-service group and the desires of the University led to a large demonstration last December in support of PBHA's reclaiming its previous autonomy.

But while Katz said Harvard possesses authority over the regulation of the programs, he added that the University is not fulfilling its responsibility to create effective policies in cooperation with the organization.

The new PBHA initiative illustrates the ability of the students in the association to regulate their own affairs, Katz said.

The drafting of the new policies "demonstrates that people who know [the programs] are the students and not Harvard University administration," Katz said. "[This initiative] is an example of why all PBHA decisions should start with the students."

The PBHA contract will be renegotiated with the University in September.

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