FRESHMEN IN THE HOUSES
The explanation given this morning of the procedure followed by the central committee in assigning Freshmen to the Houses should serve to quiet some of the criticism that has been heard in the Yard since the first assignments were made. It is clear that, in spite of the short notice, the committee has pursued its announced objectives in a thoroughly fair manner and has made the best of a bad situation. While probably the majority of the Freshmen have not been assigned to the Houses of their choice, the groups in which they were encouraged to apply have not been broken up arbitrarily.
The committee has wisely confined its efforts to achieving a cross section based on social lines as revealed by preparatory schools. Had it attempted to assure a cross section in every sense by taking pains to break up the football team, the crew, and so forth, the result would have been an unnecessary and unwarranted interference with the development of the Houses.
In assigning many Freshmen to rooms above their price range, the committee has pursued the only course open to it under the prevailing scale of rents. The University faces a serious problem with some of the most expensive singles but due to the large size of the class of 1936 the vacancies will probably be no more numerous than has been the case this year.
The only legitimate complaint of the Freshmen is that their class has been singled out to bear the brunt of the new system of assignments. Because of the widely varying composition of the Houses at present, some men will find that they have been put into a House where their own set is submerged, and that they are, in a sense, martyrs to the ideal of the cross section. This situation, however, will correct itself another year, and the outcome should be in healthy contrast to the situation of the last two years, with its "social deserts" and large-scale proselytism by Masters. Once the Houses have been forced into a position of social equality, it should be possible to return to the intrinsically more desirable system of allowing each Freshman to apply for the House of his choice.