Although Dudley Hall provides the commuter a convenient meeting place for lunch and talk, it offers little in the way of the attractive facilities of the Houses. Recently a vigorous-looking man strode into the Dudley Common Room and asked the first student he met, "What do you think of this place?" The man was William L. White, a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, and an Honorary Associate of Dudley. His interest has been one of the few indications that the University has any active concern over the commuter's difficulties.
For years the University has had theoretical plans to solve the commuter's problems by integrating them into the Houses as non-resident members. Were this done, the Commuter Center would disappear, and the former Dudley man would center his activities in one of the Houses. Besides the objections of a large number of commuters, the cramped conditions in the Houses prevented the integration idea from going beyond the thinking stage.
As a substitute for integration, gradual improvements were added to Dudley's facilities. Despite the additions, there has been a steady decline in the total number of commuters. The attraction of the Houses has drawn many men away from Dudley as soon as they could afford the price of House membership. Added to the loss of men has been a concurrent drop in Dudley's scholastic average.
To Bolster Dudley's prestige, the commuters have worked closely with their Senior Tutor to expand the range and benefits of the Center's activities. A few library at Apley Court is beginning to fill the gap between the commuter and the Lamont hours that are inconvenient to hem. And expanded tutorial plan has given the commuter more contact with faculty members. The program has succeeded to an encouraging degree, and there is a growing feeling of a unified "spirit" working for Dudley benefit. One of the greatest barriers in their progress is the Center's lack of adequate space and accommodations.
Unfortunately, the absence of an administrative policy makes in difficult for the commuters to direct their program toward any certain goal. If there is a chance of a new Center, the commuter might well destroy the opportunity by promoting and getting a remodeling of Dudley. In a like manner, the possibility of a well planned non-resident integration into any new Houses hinders programs for improving Dudley. The effect of all the countering ideas Lisa retarded efforts to give the commuter the advantages of the Houses members. As soon as possible, the Administration should clarify its intentions toward the commuter, and so give Dudley the opportunity to plan for its future.