House Masters Turn Down Council Plea for Change in Curfew Hour
Proposed Extension of Parietal Rules to 8 O'Clock Denied; 'Co-ed Atmosphere Undesirable,' Letter States; Permission On Special Occasions Up to Individual Masters
With but one dissenting voice a council of House Masters yesterday refused the extension of visiting hours suggested by the Student Council two weeks ago. In a letter to Thomas L. P. O'Donnell '47, president of the Council, Elliott Perkins '23, master of Lowell and spokesman for the House Masters claimed that "further emphasis on the coed atmosphere is undesirable."
Both extension of visiting hours until 8 o'clock and reciprocal late permission on dance nights had been proposed by the Council on the grounds of convenience and uniformity. The House Masters, however, took sharp issue and denied that the seven o'clock rule is unrealistic and productive of serious inconvenience."
The Council had pointed out that most places of entertainment opened at eight, thereby leaving a student no place to go in the time lag after supper, but the Masters pointed out that a couple, having left the House for supper "might as well stay out." To the argument advanced by the Council that the proposed change would not violate the principles already established by the Oxford Card system, the Masters replied merely that--with the College working its way back to its traditional position, no further relaxation was desirable.
Ground for partial agreement was, however, found in the determination of the Masters that there would be no return to the temporarily-suspended tradition of allowing each individual House Master to establish his own closing hour on the evenings of dances and other special occasions.
To a blanket reciprocity of late permission as to an overall extension of visiting hours the Masters expressed themselves hostile on the grounds that "the Harvard tradition of individuality should be carefully guarded. We think that one of the strong points in that defense is House autonomy.