Phillips Brooks House, the small brick building in the northwest corner of the Yard, used to be the center of voluntary philanthropic activities of Harvard students, stressing religious functions and social service. Now it offers respite from the hup-two-three-four that plagues Harvard's new population.
The University's Committee on Relations with Wartime Personnel, headed by David M. Little, manages most activities aimed at officer training groups. These include a housing office, a series of teas a contact service, and dances.
Housing Office Helps Servicemen
The Housing Office, on the second floor, is directed by Mrs. Douglas White with a staff of three other women. One of these women checks on accomodations listed at the Office and tries to get additional listings of apartments available for servicemen with families. Mrs. White's group serves over 200 home-seekers a month, providing not only housing information, but other general guide lists of doctors, dentists, women who will take care of children, etc.
A mimeographed list of apartments and house-keeping suites is put out every day, and copies are available to servicemen without charge. Many house sharing propositions are employed, sometimes with as many as four families, all with children, living in one house.
At first, most of the navy officers wanted single apartments, but the stork made things difficult. The Housing Office was aghast recently to learn that Amgot officers, mostly senior ranks, were arriving with their wives and 12 and 14- year-old children.
Teas, Dances, Contact Service
Phillips Brooks House serves 1150 people hundreds of gallons o tea each week. On Tuesday afternoon, the Cruft wives, whose husbands are working on hush-hush stuff at the Cruft laboratories, gather for the India drink, and their husbands join them in an outgoing tea at the end of the course. The Navy wives have their tea on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Union. Research groups have teas once or twice a month at P. B. H.
The Contact Service keeps up college spirit in the service groups. Each man assigned to Harvard for training is notified by the Contact Service of other men from his alma mater who may be studying in other units at Harvard.
Every Wednesday and Friday evening, from 6:30 to 8 o'clock, P. B. H. gives dances for the Navy Communications group, with hostesses--mostly civil service employees and University secretaries. Occasionally there are dances with the WAVES, too.
Phillips Brooks House has other services apart from those of the University Committee. Its parlor on the first floor is open to service people as a lounge from 8 o'clock in the morning until 10 at night. On the third floor are ping-pong tables, darts, and other means of recreation, and that's where the dances are held.
Nursery Boon to Mothers
The nursery at Phillips Brooks House, managed by Miss Winifred Lydon, a pleasant, white-haired lady very much interested in the psychological aspects of her job, takes care of children of war-time personnel who are over two but under kindergarten age. The nursery is open from 2 until 5 o'clock on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons