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Stanford's Grape Policy Committee to hold public hearing

STANFORD -- A committee charged with advising the Stanford University administration on its policy concerning the purchase of table grapes will hold a public hearing on the issues from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, in Kresge Auditorium.

Luis Fraga, director of Stanford's Center for Chicano Research, associate professor of political science and chairman of the Grape Policy Committee, said people from Stanford and the surrounding communities may reserve presentation time in advance by calling the Center for Chicano Research at 723-3914.

Each person signing up can speak for up to five minutes at the meeting. Following the pre-arranged presentations, additional speakers will be allowed, time permitting, Fraga said.

"We want to hear from the broader community," he said. "I want to make sure that the members of this committee are fully informed about the full range of perspectives" on the issues.

Fraga said the committee, which has been meeting weekly since early October, had formed four subcommittees, each of which will contribute to the full group's report to the president. That report will be ready by the end of the fall quarter, he said.

The committee has interviewed representatives of the United Farm Workers Union, the Grape Growers and Farmers Coalition, and the state Department of Pesticide Regulations, among others. It also has pored over a number of government documents, policy papers and scientific studies on pesticide use and the grape industry.

The collected materials have been made available to the public at four campus locations: Meyer Library reserve, El Centro Chicano, the Office for Multicultural Development and the Office of the Academic Secretary (the latter two offices are located in Building 170).

"Anybody who wants can look over all of the material that we have examined," Fraga said.

The committee was created after a hunger strike by four Chicana students and related demonstrations last spring. Other committees currently are studying whether Stanford should develop Chicano studies and Asian American studies programs. Those committees also plan to submit their reports before the quarter ends in mid-December.



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